Tenn. bill would allow horse slaughter

April 8, 2010 at 3:58 PM

NASHVILLE, April 8 (UPI) -- A bill allowing horse slaughtering in Tennessee has advanced in the state legislature in spite of lobbying by singer Willie Nelson and his family.

A subcommittee in the state House of Representatives approved the bill 7-6 Wednesday, The Nashville Tennessean reported. Amy Nelson, Willie's daughter, and his granddaughter, Raelyn Nelson, appeared at the hearing, where Raelyn read an op-ed piece her grandfather wrote for the Tennessean.

Rep. Frank Niceley, the Republican sponsor of the measure, argues allowing slaughterhouses and horsemeat processing plants in the state is better for the animals.

He said hard-pressed horse owners may simply let unwanted animals loose to starve.

Nelson, who is pushing for a nationwide ban on horse slaughtering, says his position is the compassionate one: "Showing compassion? Trying to end equine abuse? Yes, that is the right thing to do."

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