October 18, 2001 – Update

On Wednesday, October 17th, BSA received a call from our lobbyist, Steve Boynton, who indicated our position on House bill H.R. 2590 (Senate S.1397) was in jeopardy. As he sees it, there are four key players on the committee to approve this appropriation: Representatives Istook of Oklahoma and Hoyer of Maryland and Senators Dorgan of North Dakota and Nighthorse Campbell of Colorado. According to Steve’s sources, only Nighthorse Campbell is on our side at this time.
Why is this happening? Why are we not able to convince these legislators we are right? This is very simple, my friends. The animal rights folks have convinced our Washington Representatives and Senators that we, the shippers of poultry, are uncaring sorts who knowingly send birds through the mail expecting a huge death loss. Where does this come from? Again this is quite simple. Mr. Kurt Ebenhock, of Northwest Airlines, has been quoted as saying up to 30% of baby chicks die while in route and that their airline receives many crushed boxes from the postal service. Of course all of us know these statements are not true and when asked, neither Northwest nor the animal rights groups have ever been able to document statistically any of those claims. Is there ever a death loss? Of course there is but in those few cases it can be directly related to human error. Human error can be corrected through management at the hatchery, USPS, or air carrier.
We all know that to stay in business we must be able to ship our poultry to our customer successfully with live arrival guaranteed. Remember, WE ARE THE EXPERTS IN SHIPPING BIRDS THROUGH THE MAIL! Most of us have done this as a profitable business for decades. We know how to safely and successfully ship the birds depending on the environment presented to us at shipping time. Both the airlines and the Post Office do a nice job of helping us but it is we, the shippers, who know how to get our birds to our customers alive and full of vitality. Experience is our teacher and profit is our measure of success. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.
As of today, Thursday, October 18th, because of the anthrax scare in the House, our bill has been put on hold and the committee is not meeting until next week. As sad as that is, it does give us a window of opportunity. If you have any connections to any of the above-mentioned people don’t wait to play your card. Even if you do not have a connection or they are not your congressional representatives, take a minute to call or fax them or their staff and voice your disapproval in their decision to not support our amendment. Call your Senator or Congressmen and have them contact them for you. Tell them why you think they are wrong and what the economic impact this will have on your business and customers. You must act now. Call or Fax them today. Our future may depend on it.
Senator Bryan Dorgan (D-ND), Chairman, Subcommittee on Treasury and General Government of the Senate Appropriations Committee [District Offices: Bismark,701 250-4618; Grand Forks – 701-746-8972; Fargo – 701 239-5389; Minot 701 852-0703].
Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-CO), ranking member of the Subcommittee [Staff Pat Raymond 202 224-7337 (T)] [District Offices: Greenwood Village – 303 843-4100; Colorado Springs – 719 636-9092; Ft. Collins – 970 206-1788; Pueblo Springs – 719 542-6987; Grand Junction – 970 241- 6631]
Representative Ernest Istook (R-OK), Chairman, Subcommittee on Treasury, Postal Service and General Government of the House Appropriations Committee.[Staff: Michel Merdessa (sp?) 202 225-5834 (T)] District Offices: Oklahoma City 405 942-3636 (T); Bartlesville – 918 336-5546; Ponca City -580 -762-6778]
Representative Steny Hoyer (D-MD) ranking member of the Subcommittee.[Staff: Scott Nance 202-225-5834 (T) 225-5895 (F)] [District Offices: Greenbelt 301 474-0119; Waldorf – 301 843-1577].

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