September 22, 2005
Property rights? What property rights?

The local rag has an article describing action by the U.S. Senate passing a one-year moratorium on horse slaughter in the United States. There are only three horse slaughterhouses in the country, two of which are located here in the DFW area, so the good folks in San Francisco aren't too worried. However, according to horse owners, it takes approximately $500 to "properly" dispose of a horse. Ranchers have been able to sell their horses to a slaugherhouse for approximately $500, which suggests mutually beneficial trade - but Trigger is involved so it must be immoral, or at least legislated out of existence.

Animal activists have evidently lobbied for years to get horse slaughter rendered illegal, and they have achieved a minor victory. I wonder what the response by farmers will be - perhaps a more cruel end to the aged horse? I can imagine ranchers taking aged horses to national parks, etc. and setting them "free" and letting the rest of us pick up the bill for caring, feeding, disposing of the animals when they perish. Perhaps ranchers should show up with their aging horses on the doorstep of the Society for Animal Protective Legislation and the Doris Day Animal League (the groups lobbying for the moratorium) - ranchers could just tie the horses to the hitching post out front and walk away. These activist groups have installed said hitcing posts haven't they? If not, just leave a bunch of horses over night in the parking lot.

As one of our Texas senators remarked, "[i]s government going to declare that personal property is valueless without just compensation? Apparently so."

Posted by Craig Depken at 02:58 PM in Economics  ·  TrackBack (0)

The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals would not only load himself with a most unnecessary attention, but assume an authority which could safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it. -Adam Smith

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