|Criminal Law. Prohibition on Slaughter|
of Horses and Sale of Horsemeat for
Human Consumption. Initiative Statute.
|Arguments on this page are the opinions of the authors and have not been checked for accuracy by any official agency.|
IF HORSEMEAT IS OUTLAWED, ONLY OUTLAWS WILL EAT HORSEMEAT!
Proposition 6 is one of the strangest measures ever to go before California voters. The proponents must really love horses to spend over $500,000 to qualify this for the ballot. But the fact is, they have no right to use the power of government to regulate peoples' eating habits.
People make many choices in life. What they eat is quite fundamental. Some people like to eat horsemeat. Because of this, a few businesses cater to the demand and sell the product. This is a private matter between a person and his local butcher--and between the butcher and his supplier. The government should not be involved.
Proposition 6 makes killing a horse for human consumption a felony. It also makes selling horsemeat a felony on the second offense. This is an absolute misuse of the law and of our justice system.
Felonies are serious offenses, most often involving violations of peoples' rights. Good examples are murder, rape and armed robbery. Selling horsemeat is certainly not in that league.
Indeed, with the current interpretation of the "three strikes" law, a restaurant owner with 2 prior violent or serious felony convictions could sell horse burgers; the first offense would be a misdemeanor and the second offense would be a felony, with a possible sentence of 25 years to life in prison! Do we really want scarce prison space to be taken up for a non-offense like this?
People have the right to eat horsemeat if they want to. Residents of other nations, like Canada, enjoy it more than Americans do, and in fact, horsemeat exports often go there. To outlaw its sale and consumption is cultural imperialism at its worst. It's also a violation of the free market; as long as there is a demand, there should be a safe, legal supply available.
Proposition 6 is dangerous, unnecessary, unconstitutional and downright nutty. Keep the state government out of our stables and out of our kitchens. Just say NEIGH to Proposition 6.
Past Chair, Libertarian Party of California
Calaveras County Supervisor