POSTED: Monday May 17th 2010

Florida Horse Protection Bill Signed by Governor On Friday

Florida horses assured a safer future

While other States (notably Montana, Wyoming, Tennessee, Missouri) are working furiously to bring horse slaughter houses into their environs, Florida has made our great State safer for them and the people who love them.

The Florida Horse Protection Bill that we all worked so hard for was signed into law by Governor Crist on Friday, May 14.  It becomes effective July 1, 2010 as Chapter 2010-87 of Florida Statutes.

There are so many people to thank I hardly know where to begin.  For starters, the media, local, national and international, pressed hard to inform the public of the horrible slaughter of horses in South Florida.  To Dr. Sara Pizano, director of Miami-Dade Animal Services, who invited us to a meeting with Miami-Dade Sen./Commissioner Javier Souto, to discuss the matter.  To the entire Miami-Dade County Commission who unanimously voted to send the bill written by Commissioner Souto to Tallahassee.  To State Representatives Luis Garcia and Joseph Abruzzo who co-sponsored the bill in the House and to State Senator Victor Crist who sponsored the bill in the Senate.  In fact, thank you to the entire Florida Legislature that voted unanimously to send the bill to Governor Crist.

And, thank you to Governor Crist for signing it into law.

Special thank you to Capt. Scott Andress of Miami-Dade Police Ag Patrol for his valuable input in the writing of this legislation.  Scott asked for enforceable laws with significant penalties.  That’s what this new law does.  This bill increases penalties from misdemeanor to felony, including minimum sentencing of one year in prison with a $3,500 fine.  The new law criminalizes butchering horses for personal use and commercial uses and closes a loophole in current law to protect all horses in Florida.

The new law also protects polo ponies from the ghastly scene of horses staggering and dying at a Wellington polo match last year after ingesting an improperly mixed and dosed substance that had been given to them.  The new law requires these substances to be administered by a qualified equine veterinarian.

Last, but not least, thank you to some very brave and courageous SFSPCA members who documented these grisly horse slaughter atrocities first-hand at considerable personal risk.

Thank you, thank you to all of you.  This is a proud day for Floridians.

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Keywords · South Florida SPCA · horses · equine rights

Name: Jeanette Jordan
Organization: Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Phone: 305 987-1802

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