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Weirdest story of the day

Wednesday, Nov 18, 2015

* From the Daily Racing Form

A move to create new rules to prevent racehorses in Illinois from being sold for slaughter was voted down and tabled until at least next month during a meeting of the Illinois Racing Board on Tuesday, prompting Kathy Byrne, the commissioner who has pushed for enhanced anti-slaughter regulation and submitted the item on the Tuesday agenda, to withdraw the proposal and hastily leave the meeting, saying she was resigning her post. […]

Enhanced anti-slaughter rules were first brought up by Byrne during an IRB meeting in August. Byrne attempted to bring forth the measure during the IRB’s September meeting to award racing dates, but Brincat insisted it be put off until October, and when that meeting was canceled, Byrne’s measure to initiate rulemaking was rescheduled for Tuesday.

The amended official language under consideration would have required racetracks to monitor horses leaving their grounds to attempt to ensure that they were not on the way, directly or indirectly, to slaughterhouses. Trainers or owners would be required to sign forms attesting to a departing horse’s destination.

Both Chicago-area horsemen’s groups, the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and the Illinois Harness Horsemen’s Association, supported Byrne’s measure, which seemed to be on the way to passage Tuesday when Arlington chairman Dick Duchossois rose to speak against it, expressing concern about racetracks’ legal liability. Duchossois said Arlington needed more time to review the proposal, but Byrne said the specific language called into question had come straight from Arlington during negotiations over the measure.

And that’s when she quit and walked out.

Mr. D isn’t to be trifled with, apparently.

Byrne, by the way, is the daughter of the late Mayor Jane Byrne.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Not Again - Wednesday, Nov 18, 15 @ 2:07 pm:

    Good riddance.

  2. - Amalia - Wednesday, Nov 18, 15 @ 2:08 pm:

    wow, this trumps today’s weird story about Russ Stewart!

  3. - Huh? - Wednesday, Nov 18, 15 @ 2:08 pm:

    I am pretty sure that all of the horse slaughter houses in the US have been shut down since around 2007. I think the last one was in Dekalb. So any horses that are sold for slaughter have to be exported.

  4. - DuPage Bard - Wednesday, Nov 18, 15 @ 2:18 pm:

    So she doesn’t get her way, storms out and quits? Really?

  5. - Precinct Captain - Wednesday, Nov 18, 15 @ 2:19 pm:

    I take it the other racing board members view their job as that of Arlington lapdogs, rather than watchdogs. Does the governor support this kind of lapdoggery?

  6. - Dr hook - Wednesday, Nov 18, 15 @ 2:23 pm:

    When she stormed out Quinn’s most vocal reminder of incompetence left with her.

  7. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Nov 18, 15 @ 2:23 pm:

    That’s right Huh?. Problem with going to Mexico or Canada can be the long distances traveled and the manner in which transport is done. There are also programs, such as Pennsylvania’s that can help find new homes for race horses.!ut/p/a0/04_Sj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfGjzOK9_D2MDJ0MjDzdgy1dDTz9wtx8LXzMjf09TPQLsh0VAZdihIg!/

  8. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Nov 18, 15 @ 2:25 pm:

    PC- according to the Blood Horse article, looks like Rauner will be able to now appoint someone he wants.

  9. - Been There - Wednesday, Nov 18, 15 @ 2:29 pm:

    ===PC- according to the Blood Horse article, looks like Rauner will be able to now appoint someone he wants.===
    It would have to be a Dem though. Maybe he will ask Goldner to find one for him.

  10. - How Ironic - Wednesday, Nov 18, 15 @ 2:30 pm:

    Rich Miller,

    Please fix Anon 221 linky, it’s messing up the blog.

  11. - Been There - Wednesday, Nov 18, 15 @ 2:33 pm:

    While I respect Byrnes concern for the horses she didn’t seem to have much compassion for the welfare of the workers at Balmoral and Maywood when she voted with the rest of the board to not give them racing dates.

  12. - @MisterJayEm - Wednesday, Nov 18, 15 @ 2:45 pm:

    Serious question: What happens to the carcasses of the horses that are destroyed due to racing injuries?

    – MrJM

  13. - ChrisB - Wednesday, Nov 18, 15 @ 2:49 pm:

    I still nominate the federal horse slaughter legislation as some of the most “well-intentioned, but led to horrific consequences” bills of the last ten years. It was pushed by people who had no idea what they were talking about, and voted on by lawmakers who couldn’t possibly win. Having personally talked to both the ranchers who knew where it would lead vs. the city dwellers who didn’t want to hurt horses, it was very clear to me who should be listened to and who would be listened to. Rather than risk a dip in the Humane Society rating, US Reps votes to remove the only way ranchers could humanely put down their livestock by an overwhelming majority.

    Now that the US plants have all closed, Ranchers have only two options, A: Ship the horses to Mexico, or B: Dig a very large hole in the backyard. Neither option gives the Humane Society the jurisdiction or oversight they had at the US slaughterhouses to ensure everything was done correctly.

    Yes, I realize that horse slaughter is opposed by a vast majority of Americans, but I seriously doubt that a majority of Americans have looked at this issue more than, “Ohhh look, pretty horses!”

  14. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Nov 18, 15 @ 2:51 pm:

    MrJM- Most will be picked up by a rendering service-

    Burial is also allowed in Illinois-

  15. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Nov 18, 15 @ 2:54 pm:

    ChrisB- As a horse owner, it is more than the “Ohhh..” factor. It’s about responsible breeding and ownership, AND planning for the day you never want to have come. Slaughter was and never will be an option for me.

  16. - morgan - Wednesday, Nov 18, 15 @ 3:22 pm:

    Somewhat related is a newly proposed rule change that will allow composting of equine and other animals. It was in the Illinois Register 10/30/15 page 23 and is in the 45 day comment stage.

    I noticed this because the woman in Greene County a few years ago who starved 20 horses to death was eventually only charged with a violation in the Dead Animal Disposal Act. :/

  17. - He Makes Ryan Look Like a Saint - Wednesday, Nov 18, 15 @ 3:22 pm:

    With the drastic decline of horse racing in the state, she won’t have to worry about it in a few years.

  18. - Southside Markie - Wednesday, Nov 18, 15 @ 3:23 pm:

    To: Been There (regarding track closings). Could not agree more. Many of those workers are losing not only their jobs, but their homes on the backstretches of those tracks. They are mostly minorities, unskilled and low paid. It will be devastating for them.

  19. - Anon - Wednesday, Nov 18, 15 @ 3:40 pm:

    “wow, this trumps today’s weird story about Russ Stewart!”

    @Amalia: What are you referring to???

  20. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Nov 18, 15 @ 3:44 pm:

    morgan- It’s not easy to compost large animals, and the ILEPA will be involved and check out the facility.

  21. - Kenaugie - Wednesday, Nov 18, 15 @ 3:50 pm:

    It sounds to me like the billionaire racetrack owner doesn’t care if horses get slaughtered.

  22. - morgan - Wednesday, Nov 18, 15 @ 3:52 pm:

    Anon221 - not that I think composting is a good idea at all. I tried to research a little to get some perspective. Now if I have to weigh euthanize and compost vs. transport to Mexico/Canada for slaughter it is an easy choice. I’m not sure what groups are pushing for composting or why it is a proposed rule now.

  23. - Horse whisperer - Wednesday, Nov 18, 15 @ 3:55 pm:

    God bless people like Kathy Byrne who try at every turn to protect the right’s of horses. And shame on the Racing Board for standing in her way.

  24. - Kenaugie - Wednesday, Nov 18, 15 @ 4:02 pm:

    You are 100% correct Horse Whisperer. If horses could talk they would all be thanking Kathy Byrne for trying to save their lives. For four months, she had been stifled and the reason the board uses yesterday to slaughter her rule is they need more time? How can a racing board not want to protect the very reason the sport exists? Absolutely amazing.

  25. - morgan - Wednesday, Nov 18, 15 @ 4:08 pm:

    I think she must have felt outnumbered and out maneuvered. Maybe she will reconsider and realize that even without making progress for the issue, likely her presence prevented regression and at least she had a voice there, sounds like she had a few groups on her side.

  26. - Amalia - Wednesday, Nov 18, 15 @ 4:21 pm:

    Russ Stewart popped up in ARDC notices. not good.

  27. - Bob from Q.C. - Wednesday, Nov 18, 15 @ 4:36 pm:

    Every time I look up this racing board is doing exactly what Dick D. wants. I thought they were a regulatory agency that was supposed to look at what is best for the state not what some billionaire wants.

  28. - Liberty - Wednesday, Nov 18, 15 @ 5:07 pm:

    Their owners have a right to choose.

  29. - x ace - Wednesday, Nov 18, 15 @ 6:23 pm:

    Byrne may have quit hastily , an Duchossiss may have had legitimate question , but IRB Attorney acted improperly and was outside scope of his position. Inexperience or Incompetence ? See article

  30. - J.R. - Wednesday, Nov 18, 15 @ 6:25 pm:

    Kathy Byrne has fought tirelessly on behalf of the entire horse racing industry. To witness yet another debacle at an Illinois Racing Board hearing is totally disheartening. It appears as though legal counsel is running the show. I thought the Executive Director and the Chairman were suppose to lead? Since former E.D. Laino stepped aside their actions have been a complete farce. Byrne leaving is a terrible blow to racing.

  31. - Anonin' - Wednesday, Nov 18, 15 @ 8:08 pm:

    KB move takes Il another step closer to the end of kive racin’ here…another tribute the SuperStars…next Condos at AP

  32. - DuPage Dave - Wednesday, Nov 18, 15 @ 8:12 pm:

    Word of the day: lapdoggery.

  33. - Anonymous - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 2:03 am:

    There was an interpretation as to wether the tracks were required to detain horses if the person leaving with the horse was non compliant. This was the concern of the track. Legal counsel strongly recommended that the track simply be required to notify the IRB rather than detain a horse in the event of noncompliance. But KBs abrupt departure seemed to be a culmination of built up tension.

  34. - The Horseman's Voice - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 4:55 am:

    Here’s the “facts”: (until break) (after break until adjournment)

  35. - Anon221 - Thursday, Nov 19, 15 @ 8:27 am:

    Describes the Shipshewana auction process.

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