Unintended consequences are everywhere in the world of regulation. Some rules actually have the exact opposite of their intended effect. This happened after Congress passed a bill in 2006 banning horses from being slaughtered for human consumption. The goal was to improve the well-being of horses. But the rule actually made them worse off.
Some older horses unable to do farm work that would have been slaughtered were instead mistreated, neglected, or abandoned. Last year, about 138,000 horses were taken to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico, defeating the very purpose of the ban.
Recognizing its failure, the ban was lifted earlier this month. Congress and President Obama did the right thing. Now at least one slaughterhouse is expected to open in the next few months. That should create a few jobs at a time when a lot of people could really use one. Most of the meat will be exported to Europe and Asia, since horsemeat doesn’t appeal to American tastebuds.
I have a post over at the AmSpec blog about a $4.6 million bridge used by 50 horses and the people who ride them. That’s $92,000 per horse.
Some of the stranger governmental goings-on I dug up over the week:
–EnergyStar has been certifying bogus products, such as a gas-powered alarm clock and a space heater with a feather duster stuck in it. Out of 20 fake items that the GAO submitted, 15 were approved, 2 were rejected, and 3 received no response.
-NASA spent $500,000,000 on a launching pad for a rocket that will probably never be built.
-In Norfolk, VA, it is illegal for hens to lay eggs between 4:00pm and 8:00am.
-In Minnesota, it is illegal for women to play Santa Claus.
-In California, it is against the law to enter a restaurant on horseback.
-From Jeff Flake’s office: The federal government is spending $935,000 on pasteurizing shell eggs in Michigan.
-The federal government is spending $73,000,000 this year on the Agricultural Water Enhancement Program.
Posted in regulation, Spending
Tagged agricultural water enhancement program, awep, california, deficits, eggs, energy star, energystar, gao, hens, horses, jeff flake, launching pad, mi, michigan, millions, minnesota, mn, nasa, norfolk, regulation, restaurants, rockets, santa claus, shell eggs, spending, va, virginia, waste, women
As horses age, their teeth often wear down into points. This can cause the animals great pain if they bite into their tongue or cheeks. Chewing can also become problematic. A horse floater’s job is to keep that from happening. They are a kind of equine dental specialist. Floaters anesthetize the animal then grind its teeth into smoother shapes.
But regulators are clamping down on horse floaters. Many states want to require them to be licensed veterinarians. This would throw a lot of floaters out of business. Most of them specialize in horse teeth and have no need for full veterinary training. That’s why few have bothered to get it, since it takes years of school and thousands of dollars.
Horse floater Carl Mitz told a reporter, ‘Saying only veterinarians can do this profession … if they’re successful, it eliminates me. After 25 years, I’ll no longer have a job.’
Mr. Mitz is fighting back in court. But he shouldn’t have to. He has a right to make an honest living. And he has been for at least 25 years. Regulators should respect that right.
Posted in Public Choice, Regulation of the Day
Tagged animal dentistry, animal dentists, dentistry, horse floaters, horses, regulation, Regulation of the Day, teeth, veterinarians, vets