Young NE state senator aims to rid state of horse rescue groups to promote horsemeat and slaughterrescue groups to promote slaughter

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Epona Horse Rescue Customer

Young Nebraska State Sen. Tyson Larson, 24, has big plans to promote horse slaughter and horsemeat for human consumption. First he wants the cash-strapped state to divert $200,000 from grain inspection to horse meat inspection. Then bill he introduced would make it a misdemeanor for the state’s two remaining horse rescue groups to turn away any of the state’s 100,000 unwanted horses, which would put them out of business.

No charity animal rescue operation can survive if it has to take every animal dumped on its doorstep. It ceases to be a charity and becomes a public service. The only kind of city dog shelters, for example, that take all dogs are those that have a mandate and budget from the city.

Larry Guyton, vice president of Epona Horse Rescue, says if the bill passed he would close down the rescue group the next day. Epona used to take in horses from well-meaning people who couldn’t afford them anymore. Now they mainly get animals government cruelty and neglect investigations. “We’ve got 130 acres. We’ve got 40 horses now. We rescue the ones we can,” he says. “They’re painting us with the same brush they paint Peta.”

Guyton says Nebraska alone has more than 100,000 unwanted horses a year, thanks to overbreeding. “We can save a fraction of 1% of them,” he says.

The counties that send horses to the rescue group don’t have to pay to maintain the animals if the case drags on. When a farm struck his main barn a few months ago, he got donations from farmers and governments across the region. They could get a tax write-off for giving him old supplies that were not useful to them but that he and his horses really needed.

Larson, who wants to spend $100,000 to inspect NE horse meat

So, who is this Larson? Larson only graduated from college in 2008. said he “barely meets the rule in the state constitution that a candidate must be a resident in a district for a year before representing it. Larson’s a former campaign aide for [conservative Republican Congressman] Adrian Smith, pro-death penalty and loves the flat income tax. We like his enthusiasm, but we are not sure he is ready to lead.” He fully answered a series of policy questions at VoteSmart, which puts him way to the right but not completely off the edge (he’d support abortion in cases of rape or incest and license and registration for guns).

In his official biography, his main experience is working for three Nebraska politicians while in college. He describes himself as “a successful small-business entrepreneur,” claiming he is “head of business operations and risk management for Art Research Technologies, a small art-consulting firm.” Unlike his official bio, that company says he used to work at Sotheby’s and that “as a member of the Business Intelligence Group, Tyson provided market analysis for over 20 departments.” Now he also does PR for rodeos and works as a substitute teacher. I’m just going to go out on a limb and guess that Jim Korkow, the rodeo contractor quoted in the North Platte Bulletin was one of his clients.

Korkow told the paper, seemingly thinking he was going to get sympathy, that he wants to take horses he’s used for years and send them to slaughter and get paid for their meat.“Each year, I have horses that are ready to retire. They are done,” he said. “I’m running a ranching rodeo operation, and the dammed thing is turning into a retirement home for old horses. Consequently, I just watch them here and no matter how much you feed them, you can’t help them. They deteriorate and lose muscle mass. Its saddening.”

Thing is, it’s perfectly legal and ethical–and sometimes morally necessary–for Korkow to euthanize the horses. He’d just have to pay for it instead of getting paid. Who does this guy’s PR? Oh…yeah, right.

Horse slaughter was effectively banned in 2006 and then, after the recession, a horse glut hit the country. Since then overbred horses are sold at auction, then trucked to Canada and Mexico, where they are treated far worse than they would be here, and eventually sold as meat in places like Japan or France.

Larson says he hopes to slaughter his own quarterhorses some day right in Nebraska. His bill would authorize the Department of Agriculture to hire a program administrator. The program “will initially be funded by $200,000 [over two years] from the Commercial Feed Administration Cash Fund and thereafter by use fees for the inspection services provided.”  What’s the feed fund? That’s the tax that elevators and feed manufacturers pay per ton on feed for inspections. It’s only supposed to be used for feed inspections, but, according to the Nebraska Grain and Feed Association, it “has over NGF’s objections repeatedly been raided over the past several years by the legislature and diverted to certain unrelated programs or the general fund in times of a tight budget.”

Right now Nebraska has an $18 million agriculture department and a budget gap of $750 million along with $1.1 billion of cumulative debt. Do they really want to spend money so that horse owners can get paid for horsemeat instead of decently euthanizing old horses?

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37 comments to Young NE state senator aims to rid state of horse rescue groups to promote horsemeat and slaughterrescue groups to promote slaughter

  • It’s all done to e eventuality make horses a livestock and breed them just for slaughter. DISGUSTING HUMAN RACE!

  • oh, boo hoo, boo hoo, boo hoo.

  • Good. At least these animals would not be exploited by people like lynn van gilder for the sake of $$$$$

  • jimmy boone

    at least they would be put to good use instead of bleeding hearts that want to exploit these animals for their own gain.$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  • Angel Bailey

    Posted this on Larson’s FB page. So you are Pro horse racing and pro slaughter. If you have done your homework you MUST know that ANY retired thoroughbred can never be used for human or animal consumption. I have worked at several racetracks and 100% of those horses have received Bute as a pain killer and are wormed on a regular basis, along with many other medications they are given. Even fly spray is toxic! Read the labels. “NOT FOR USE IN ANIMALS INTENDED FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION”. It is in fact illegal to send this horse to slaughter. So—do YOU personally know any horse that has never been sprayed for flies or wormed? I don’t. And as a side point, slaughtering horses is NOT humane! There has never been a proper way to do this HUMANELY. So by endorsing horse slaughter you are encouraging people to break the law. Do your homework young man.
    Incredibly my post was deleted within hours. I was also kicked off his FB page. Maybe a call to his office (though I live in Ohio) would give me satisfaction. Why not answer my post? Because you CAN’T dispute the facts! Horsemeat is NOT SAFE for human or animal consumption! Those are the facts, the laws of the US. It takes all the emotion out of the equation. Horsemeat is NOT SAFE. BTW—I am on the board of directors at our local rescue and save 100’s of horses every year! So I am vehemently anti slaughter!

  • csdivas

    Maybe someone should remind him of the fact that live horses create more jobs than dead ones. Feed dealers, tack shops, vets, trainers, to name just a few. Slaughtered horses do not create recurring jobs, they create terminal jobs. How many do you think one SH would need to employ?
    I’ve had horses for over twenty years. being a responsible pet owner, and horse owner, means i’ve had more than one old friend euthanized when their quality of life was no longer there.

  • sandra

    Mr. Larsen admits that the problem lies with the breeders. Why is he not mandating the breeders to control overbreeding and require them to comply with responsible business practice? He is penalizing the one that is acting responsibly. Mr. Larsen needs to stop thinking about how he can line his pockets and start thinking what is the “right” thing to do. Rewarding irresponsible behavior, albeit financially beneficially for a few in this case, is nothing short of encouraging bad business behavior.

  • Not all horse lovers are only against horsemeat. I am a vegetarian and I run a small horse rescue in nj. Only 1 procent of americas horses gets send to slaughter. That is indeed 1 procent that we should be able to fix with retirement homes,adoption,training or humane euthanization when needed. I do want to point out that slaughter in america was just as bad as it is in canada. In mexico 2 or 3 slaughterhouses uses a punta knife,others (stun)guns. Let’s face it. Slaughter is inhumane everywhere.

    Breeding should be limited and funds should be set aside for the later years in each horse,s life.
    We should be proud of our animals. Not make them suffer inhumane deaths.

  • Christie

    You may think of horses as livestock, but to many of us, horses are companion animals. They are highly sensitive animals who can innately perceive what kind of human they are facing. They have a sophisticated, but mostly silent language. And time after time, horses have given their hearts as they have died for us. Romantisize? As a person of faith, there is no doubt in my mind that God created horses for the purpose of being a companion and helper for man. The very idea of sending them to die this way, our companions and helps is repugnant.

    Haa any community in Nebraska said, “Oh how wonderful. Maybe we can bring a horse slaughter plant here. We need jobs…….What, only 25 or 30 jobs”. Hmm maybe some other town will want it?”

    Horse slaughter is an an environmental pollutant. Once all the usable horse meat is butchered, what are you going to do with what is left over?

    Some would find an ethical issue with knowingly selling horse meat tainted with contaminants to people who live in amity country. No, you maya not evert lay eyes on either them or their families, but they do have families. To the fathers sisters, mothers, hus ands and wives who become I’ll and die from this meat, you might want to pause love enough and think about the fact that they mean as much to the people who love them as your family and friends mean to you. That’s called our common humanity.

    Have you thought much about the type of person who could work at the plant and destroy beautiful, healthy, young horses whose onlynfault is that they were born the wrong color or had a snip instead of a star? What kind of soul would he have to have, and what would he be like after two months on the job. What about the rest of the people who would butcher these magnificent xanimsls. Historically, these kinds of people have been less than upstanding citizens. If you ade so pro slaughterr maybe youncould give them a space to live in your bunk house.

    I, too, wish for God’s grace for Mr. Lawson as well as others of his ilk. However, the price paid to fix such an unempafhetic heart is a great deal of pain, loss, and suffering. It is clear he has a lot to learn.

  • Mimi

    Just disturbing! I agree we could regulate US slaughter houses better than the Canadian and Mexican ones, but that doesn’t mean we should. Instead everyone looking to breed a h orse should have to obtain a breeder license. They could have different categories like you do for breeding barns, or an individual just wanting to breed once. It’s ridiculous the amount of all animals being produced and without homes. There is no market for these pets and the economy is falling out. Simply put it should be mandatory to spay and neuter small pets as well as geld all stud colts unless willing to pay an annual fertile fee. That would decrease the over population. It would be great too, to require an equine license to own a horse, similar t that of an exotic animal as few know how to care for them.

    Sure this prick’s rationale is economically sound in that after your property of a horse is all used up, instead of bury it, just sell it for profit to slaughter. Thing is that this is the USA, we have hearts and consciences. He’s got a place for him after life if he thinks there is anything humane about slaughter no matter how well regulated. Not to mention, peoples pet horses are full of medications, vaccinations and supplements that require 6months to a year past last administered dose before meat is considered safe for consumption. With that said, it would cost a ridiculous amount to feed animals to keep fat for slaughter while waiting for meds to clear system.

    His plan is beyond cruel and is unreasonable if fully though out. The horses leaving here for slaughter are mostly full of the meds and the chinese and french will see problems in future years from consuming horse meat. As for the romanticizing comment… This country was founded on horseback and everything was because of the horse. Don’t like that then move to a third world country. I hope this young ignorant boy learns grace, fortitude and empathy in his life. I hope he comes to adore a horse too much to accept that he’d slaughter it. I hope he comes full circle before he’s too old and the death panels take effect. No point in feeding and tending the old when they are done serving us. What a selfish waste of a soul!

    How a country treats it’s weakest, young, old and the animals speaks volumes to it’s core. So Tyson Larson, you do not speak for any of your constituents. May I remind you that horse men out way business men anyday.

  • Cindy

    I agree with Theresa. Haven’t these people done enough to ruin their world by displacing these horses and neglecting them. God made these beautiful animals to help us, physically and emotionally.
    Tyson, have you ever had a bad day or week, then visited a horse Petted him talked to him? They are so similar to a pet dog or cat. They accept you, if you’re kind, they nuzzle you, if you’re kind, they nicker to speak to you…if you’re kind. You wouldn’t think of doing this to a dog or cat, so why do you think it’s ok to do to a horse? These animals have been here a lot longer than we have. Are you trying to make them extinct.

  • SkyHerd

    I bet he gets off to a big picture of his sweetheart (Sue Wallis) in his wallet.

  • Becki

    If you want to see what Mr. Larson wants and thinks is ok, go to this website..Mary Nash’s Horse Meat Website. Quite an eye opener for those pro-slaughter people that are uneducated.

  • as a trainer i see the intelligence of these animals !!! they have been tested to have an i q of a dollfin or higher!! i see it while training them! when they go for slaughter they are trying their hardest to avoid that gun! they can smell the blood and know what is happening! the fear is crippling and anyone who loves these animals know that is wrong! most cases the people don’t even know where their animals end up, after being sold over and over,
    due to the forclosers !!!!

  • Peggy Spiezio

    I lived in Omaha a few years back.After hearing about this young idiot getting in office and what he want to do with horses,I’m so glad I left.Wake up, Nebraska! Get this jerk out of office!

  • Robyn

    It’s only a matter of time, my dear senator, before you no longer hold office and your irrational dreams of opening up a slaughter house shall leave with you. Just remember, we out number you!

  • Elaine

    Interesting…I left a comment regarding this on Larson’s FB page and surprisingly my comment was deleted. Let’s see….that means he doesn’t like being questioned about what he so strongly is rallying for. What an embarrassment to the State, if he dan’t even face up to what he is trying to do and has to remove a comment about it – I wonder what else is he hiding from “we the people.”

  • tabitha

    This idiot should not even be allowed to own horses! How could you treat something that is like part of the family like that?

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  • xangman

    I fully support his bill. He is correct about horses being sent to Mexico and Canada. Why is it so offensive for non-vegans to eat horse meat, but not beef or pork. People tend to romanticize horses, but they make no sense.

  • Amanda Gilliland

    First, I’d like to say I’m glad I’m not from Nebraska. How in the world did Tyson get elected? How can he honestly think a cash straped state would take $200,000 away from grain inspection for horse meat inspection? Will someone please tell him we don’t have slaughter houses anymore. Please inform him if he built a slaughter house, he can’t open it. Better yet send him on a road trip to Mexico to work at the slaughter house there. Horse slaughter is not the answer to horse over population. There needs to be a tax system set up to regulate the breeders. Stop the over breeding. To speak to Mr. Tyson character, I pray he doesn’t reproduce. Anyone that is void of any emotions and speaks freely of killing his horses and eating them as the norm because they are too old does not get the whole picture. How we treat our animals represents how we will treat humans? I hope no one close to him is getting old?

  • judy

    Perhaps if your horses are to old to ride and work (though I don’t see letting a old friend have happy retirement as asking to much) Maybe I will ask you when you are a bit older if you think retirment is deserved. Pay a vet to put your horse down humanely. Horse are NOT a food product. Perhaps if you need horse slaughter money to keep your ranch profitable maybe you need to rethink your your ranch.

  • judy

    I thought we had evolved from this barbaric thinking. I pray you do not succeed with your plans. Horse are our friends, partners and we cherish them. Next will you want to slaughter dogs and cats? Spend you time doing worthwile things. Horse slaughter is JUST PLAIN WRONG. In Illinois our plant was SHUT down and the horse lovers of America will shut your bill and little project down also.

  • Lynn Van Gilder

    This idiot needs to be thrown out begore he can do any more harm. Maybe if he had an IQ above 30 he would understand how stupid hiis ideas sre. Maybe he shouldn’t be allowed to own horses either. He sounds like the type of person who would set an age limit for people – over the age of 70 you sren’t allowed to live, or if you have to take medicine. GET rid of him

  • Ronnie

    My, my. A young man with a small rise to “fame” as a State Senator! Congratulations and tks, tsk. It didn’t take long for that “Big Head” to form. Meaning, narcissistic power trip. Hmmm, now he can *RULE his taxpaying constituents and take charge of the state of Nebraska! If this was not so sad, and yes, sick, it would be hilarious. Son, take a good look at reality. Your strapped state budget and needs. Logistics. The needs and wants of the the public. The majority of Americans do not want horse slaughter. Mainly the inhumane, lazy and greedy do. And BTW, horse slaughter IS horse slaughter. No matter where it is, Canada, Mexico, U.S., the slaughter of horses will always be heinously inhumane. Proven by facts and research. But I don’t think that really matters to you. For you would butcher your own horses. And rodeos can be brutal on horses, as you must know. I presume horses are deemed “disposable” to you, no matter the reason. Lastly, a suggestion. SEE A THERAPIST. For there is no hope of your advancing in politics…and possibly any other “prestigious” employment of responsibility. For now, “time-out.” Go-to-your-room and kiss the your mirror.

  • Elaine

    Young Mr. Larson needs to learn the difference between standing up for a “REAL” cause and padding the pockets of the big time money hands. This is just another example of someone who is yip yapping about a topic to make money mongers happy without any research. Mr. Larson suffers from a genetic disorder called I-D-10-T – I would be embarrassed to have him as my senator.

  • Sissy Apostolico

    Larson you need to stop the insantity maybe you should visit a horse slaughtering plant better yet maybe they should practice on you! Americans do not want to eat horse meat or dog meat or cat meat or any other animal that we have as part of our families! I know that people will sell their souls to the devil for the almighty $ but I don’t think you have a soul…you r just a heartless idiot! Stop the maddness!!!

  • Juliet

    The issue here is he is probably an kid who has been spending too much time around people with no moral conscious==maybe even grew up around them. Though probably it is his youth that allows him to be so used. I suggest that he spend some more time away from the hatred and maybe visiting these horse rescues until he he has a firm grasp as to what needs to be done. Until he gains some kind of backbone and moral compass to go along with it, I will continue to be ashamed to have him in my generation.

  • heidi

    He has to be a cold hearted snake!!!! How can you work with a horse and just toss it away? My horse has been with me 16 years and if something happened to me I would want her placed with a rescue so they can place her or keep her this takes away my right to do what I want. I want to point out that I had written to this boy that thinks he is a man and did not so much as get a response. I would be ashamed to say I voted for him.

  • Rolene

    This kid does not get it. You do not make jobs with a horse slaughter house. And also, I’d like to know would SEN. LARSON feed horse meat to his Mother? He’s no animal lover. And I feel so sorry for the horses he owns.

  • Becki

    Obviously Mr. Larson doesn’t do his homework. I am in total agreement with Jade. I hope that Mr.Larson enjoys his term in office because that will probably be his only term. There are more anti-slaughter people in this country than he knows, and when they decide to ban together, Mr. Larson will be history with all of his inappropriate bans. I think that he needs to step back into reality. It didn’t work before and it will never work again! Mr. Larson…quit getting your misguided info from Ms. Sue Wallis and Dave Duquette and the United Horsemen! You are so uninformed among other things!

  • Dianne Berry

    You, Mr Larson, first off deserve NO respect as a Senator and second you are an ass! Asses can be used as meat if you want to volunteer!
    Horses are used for many wonderful purposes including helping problem children, people who suffer from severe depression and crippled children…how dare you want to destroy them for your sick perverse pleasure!

  • Karen

    I’m with Jade on this. Larson needs to go back to school for some serious sensitivity training. He obviously has no heart if he would slaughter his own horses. What a shame.

  • Theresa J Barbour

    The BLM wild horse “management” program would be a good place to start if he’s cutting costs. Most of the 100,000 so-called ‘unwanted’ horses in Mr Larson’s state are from these wild mustang round-ups. How about we eliminate that program and save this country billions! The horses are better off in the wild. The BLM doesn’t make sure they are captured humanely, doesn’t make sure homes they go to are safe, doesn’t remove them from abusive homes, and doesn’t place them every year, yet rounds up more the next. So Mr. Larson before you try to take my country a step backward, how about you look in your own backyard at what the realities are!

  • Sue Shukis

    Young Tyson needs to spend some time in the Mexican slaughterhouses, up close and personal before he sends any more of America’s horses there!

  • Jade

    This young man needs to step back and get some more miles on him before he comes on with this sort of insanity for horse slaughter in this country again…AND for human consumption! Do some more homework, Tyson, before you start telling your elders how to do things.

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