PRO slaughter people... http://www.unitedorgsofthehorse.org/index_files/banopposition.htm
Check this out... DEAD
(2006, 2007, and May 14, 2008... signed by Brenda Hemphill Wright and both
Dennis and John Crowley.)
2008 and 2009 pending.
Updated KNOWN kill buyer list:
"... it would make the horrors of Auschwitz look merciful..."
A Different Kind of Murder
(But Murder Nontheless)
-- by Steven Long
The victim stood trapped in a steel box as the assailant stood above repeatedly stabbing her in the back. He was aiming to sever the spinal cord but continued to miss. Finally, on the 13th thrust of the stiletto like knife she dropped to her knees and lay on the concrete floor, her spine destroyed, but her mind very much alive. A chain was wrapped around her numb legs and she was hoisted head down as she saw a sharp knife come toward her and felt the slice into her carotid artery.
Finally, mercifully, she lost consciousness as her four feet were chopped from her body.
This murder was unusual because it was documented by a news photographer from a Texas newspaper.
You see, she and a reporter had penetrated the bloody halls of a slaughterhouse in Juarez, Mexico. The story by San Antonio Express News reporter Lisa Sandburg has stunned the nation, and perhaps will finally persuade Congress to move to pass an act that will finally end this horror. The story broke simultaneously also in the Houston Chronicle.
The Mexican abattoir, and another in Canada, has been busy since equine slaughter was finally outlawed by the legislatures of Texas and Illinois, and the laws banning the killing of horses for human consumption were upheld in two federal appellate courts.
America has never had a hunger for horse meat, yet it is considered a pricey delicacy in parts of Europe and Japan.
Years ago, two foreign owned companies saw an opportunity and opened slaughterhouses in Fort Worth and Kaufman, Texas, and also in DeKalb, Illinois. For years, despite protests from local residents, the killing of horses took place in these locations to the tune of 100,000 per year until the two Texas plants were shut down late last year, and the Illinois kill was closed a couple of months back.
And make no mistake about it; the method of killing a horse in America was no less painful, cruel, and clumsy than in the foreign slaughterhouses. It was just mechanized. The U.S. plants used what is called a captive bolt gun. With this device, a rod was discharged with the idea of hitting the head sufficient enough to stun the animal who was about to meet its maker and be transformed from a living beautiful creature to red meat displayed in a foreign butcher shop.
But the captive bolt missed its mark as often as not and the horses endured unspeakable suffering until they were finally subdued by a lucky strike. As in Mexico, horses were hoisted by one leg into the air, their throat slashed, and they were dismembered - as they bled to death.
The killing of horses for their meat is big business. The industry would have you believe that only old, broken, frail, and useless horses go to slaughter. That is the big lie. Fat, healthy, horses are bought at auctions across the land not because they are useless and old, but because they are healthy and filled with meat. Most often, their owners take them to the auction hoping that the horse they have loved for years will go to another adoring home to be used for wholesome recreation.
Recently I was sent a chilling photograph. It showed the carcasses of horses inside a kill plant hoisted in the process line. Below, their hooves had just been severed. In the foreground was a hoof with a horseshoe on it.
That horse was never meant for slaughter. It had been cared for by a farrier in the past six weeks (the proscribed period for shoeing a horse). Its owner had paid the farrier at least $80 to trim and shoe the animal. The horse clearly had gone to auction, its owner hoping it would be sold into a good life as a work horse at worst, or as a pleasure horse which was more likely.
Instead, the highest bidder was the "killer buyer," a bottom feeder in the horse industry. From that point on, the horse knew nothing but misery. At auction's end, it was loaded on huge crowded trailer, taken to a feed lot likely hundreds of miles away, and then shipped on a cattle truck with ceilings built for low slung cattle. From there, the horse was again shipped hundreds of miles to the slaughter plant.
The cruelty which goes on 24/7 in this business is unspeakable.
Congress now has before it the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act. It will not only outlaw slaughter from the federal level, it will also make illegal the transport of horses to slaughter, including transport to plants currently operating in Mexico and Canada.
Until that happens, horses will still be stabbed to death, be hoisted by their feet in the air, their throats slashed, and then be bled to death as their bodies are cut apart while still living. If this happened to humans it would make the horrors of Auschwitz look merciful.
USDA document and photos obtained through the Freedom of Information Act paint a disturbing image of the U.S. horse slaughter industry.
December 5, 2008
The document and photos were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request submitted three years ago by equine cruelty investigator Julie Caramante. Animals’ Angels assisted Caramante in obtaining the documents, and they are now working with Animal Law Coalition to assess and disseminate the information.
"I've been an equine cruelty investigator for a number of years," Caramante says, "and I've witnessed many incidents of animal cruelty but nothing could prepare me for these images."
According to the press release, “The photographs document significant injuries to horses at the slaughter house. Injuries included conscious dismemberment, open fractures, blinding, and battered faces. It appears some horses were left to bleed out. Other injuries indicated long-term abuse and neglect.”
“The pain and terror these horses had endured is criminal," Caramante says.
The documents and photographs released by the USDA can be found at http://www.kaufmanz
WARNING: THE IMAGES ARE EXTREMELY DISTURBING.
The press release goes on to state that there is some veterinary community support behind the anti-slaughter movement. “Dr. Nicholas Dodman of the Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine testified before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee describing horse slaughter as, ‘a brutal and predatory business that promotes cruelty and neglect,’ concluding that as a veterinarian a ‘rapid end to this wholly brutal and un-American trade’ is warranted.” Indeed, Dr. Dodman has vehemently spoken out against horse slaughter. A Q&A with him about his views can be found at: http://vetsforequin
Horse slaughter in the U.S. ended in 2007 after the three remaining plants in Texas and Illinois were closed by state lawmakers and the courts. There is a federal bill pending in Congress that would prevent horse slaughter from resuming in states without laws prohibiting it. The bill would also prevent U.S. horses from being shipping across international borders for slaughter. Currently, thousands of U.S. horses are shipped to Canada and Mexico for slaughter.
What’s for Dinner... hope it isn’t me!
By Jennifer Swanson and Cheryl Hanna
Good evening everyone. Before you go out to dinner tonight, I would like to tell you about myself. You see.. I am a racehorse, or rather I was a racehorse. Now I am retired because I couldn’t make the grade or rather the purse..I am only five years old; my references are impeccable, and might I add that my grandfather was the last triple crown winner. Unfortunately a few months ago, during my last race I was hurt, and no one wanted to wait until I was healed…. So my time was over I was going to be sent to slaughter, and just before I was loaded onto a truck to be hauled off to the slaughter house, a horse rescue organization stepped up and saved me… yes .. in the very nick of time.
"Affirmed Fever" after his bath; Swat, Alu-Shield, Furazone and wormer all part of his daily regimen.. all not to be used on animals for human consumption
"Affirmed Fever" after his bath; Swat, Alu-Shield, Furazone and wormer all part of his daily regimen.. all not to be used on animals for human consumptionThis is a very relaxing place to me. Everyone is very patient and kind. I am being rehabbed to ride trails as as a pleasure horse or maybe even a show horse. I would love to show you my picture now; I think I am looking very sleek. I doubt that you would recognize me if I had been drizzled with a demi glaze.
Please excuse my appearance; I have just finished my bath and my caretakers are tending all of my equine needs. The white stuff around my mouth is the wormer. It tastes really bad , but it kills all the worms and parasites in my body. I get this every six weeks, and it stays in my body for 6 months. Don’t tell anyone, but on the box I read where it states, “ Not to be used for animals intended for human consumption.”The pink stuff under my eyes is not eye make-up silly. It is called SWAT, and that keeps the bugs away from my face. It absorbs into my skin and my bloodstream. Oops.. same warning on that jar, “ Not to be used for animals intended for human consumption.”Now that yellow gook on my legs is for the scratches I always get from playing or just running around in the pasture. The caretakers call that Furazone, and they use gloves when they apply that to my open sores. It has carcinogens in it. The silver stuff called AluShield works as a band aide, but I don’t think it is edible. Whenever I get a stomach ache or my muscles start to hurt, I get bute and banamine. The faster it gets into my bloodstream, the faster my aches and pains stop, but I think I remember the same warnings on those medications too.“ Not to be used for animals intended for human consumption.”
I would think in this day and age, humans would be very concerned with chemicals and especially carcinogens that may be mixed in our bodies. No one in the US tells you that horse owners do not have to report what drugs they give their horses, and the horse slaughter houses brag how fast our bodies go from living to dying, (“From Stable to Table in 4 days”) which means the drugs stay in our system. You may think you are eating an American legacy, but in reality you are dining on the poisons and carcinogens pumped into our equine bodies to keep us looking and feeling good.
Bon Appetit Mon Ami..... I hope you're not eating me.
The Unwanted Horse Coalition
The American Horse Council.
There seems to be some confusion regarding these two, one and the same, organizations and their stand on horse slaughter. To clarify:
The American Horse Council's official stand on slaughter is:
The AHC is neutral on the legislation because it has organizations and individual members both supporting and opposing a federal legislative ban."
Although previously statements declared that they were in favor of slaughter, the current membership of AHC contains organizations which are both pro and con on the slaughter issue. Nevertheless, if some feel that they need to affiliate with them due to the mistaken impression that AHC /UHC are anti-slaughter, please refer to the AHC list of members.
It is somewhat enlightening to refer to the section for AHC Members, then cross reference it to the list of members for Common Horse Sense/aka Horse Welfare Coalition/aka slaughterhouse web site, (commonhorsense.com domain previously registered to attorney for Texas slaughterhouses, now listing contact as SciWords, the PR firm for the slaughterhouses).
If the chain of association still seems cloudy, refer to the list of Current Unwanted Horse Coalition Member Organizations. The first four on the list are very actively pro slaughter. Also, reference JAVMA, August 15, 2006 where a news release was published in the AVMA Journal as the start up of UHC was initiated. AAEP/AVMA was instrumental, and both organizations are quite openly in favor of horse slaughter.
There are no praises to be sung for UHC as related to the slaughter issue. Elsewhere, perhaps there are, but not here. If someone is considering donating dollars to them, it would be better spent in assisting horse rescue.
Equine Protection Network
Rhode Island General Assembly Passes Horse Transport Bill- Awaiting
Signature of the Governor Donald L. Carcieri
Sen. Dominick Ruggerio, D-Providence, and Rep. Amy Rice, D-Portsmouth
introduced legislation modeled after the PA Horse Transport Law, the
strongest law of its kind in the United States and one of PA's
strongest criminal laws banning the use of double deck trailers to
transport any horse, no matter what its final destination.
The PA Horse Transport Law passed the PA Legislature unanimously and
was signed into law by Governor Tom RIdge in June 2001. Since its
passage it has been successfully enforced two times.
We are asking everyone to please contact Rhode Island Governor Donald
L. Carcieri and ask him to sign H8425 into law bringing Rhode Island
into the select league of states banning these inhumane trailers.
Governor Donald L. Carcieri
Office of the Governor
State House, Room 115
Providence, RI 02903
Phone: (401) 222-2080
Fax: (401) 222-8096
e-mail Governor Carcieri
For more information on doubles visit the EPN website:
Double deck trailers are not designed, safety tested, or manufactured
for horses, nor are they marketed to the horse industry; Industry
standard for the commercial transport of horses is 8 feet in similar
Doubles are used by low end horse dealers, rodeo stock contractors,
and "killer buyers"
Double deck trailers have been banned outright in several leading
horse states due to injuries caused to the horses transported – PA
(2001), NY (1980), MA, and regulated in: CT (1976), VA(1987),VT
(1989), MN.(1996), MD (2006)
Note-These states are examples of either poorly drafted legislation,
legislation compromised with performance based language offered by
the opposition. Enforcement of these laws requires testimony from
experts, measurements taken by law enforcement. The result is the
regulation and legitimization of doubles. The hostile amendment
offered by the IL Farm Bureau would have legalized and legitimized
doubles for horses in IL and at the same time weakened other state
horse transport laws.
Double deck trailers banned by the USDA for horses transported to
slaughter in 2007 due to the results of studies documenting that
double deck trailers, even if modified could not be made safe and
humane for horses. AZ and CA also ban their use for transport to
Double deck trailers can have ceiling heights as low as 5'7".
Industry standard is 7'.
Bottom deck has 3" I Beams every 12" on center to support the top
Steep and narrow ramps with metal floors cause the horses to slip and
fall, cause injuries to the horses hips.
Horses are forced to jump down into a narrow opening leading to the
Due to the low ceiling heights horses cannot raise and lower their
heads and necks for balance. Horses routinely throw their heads and
rear, unlike cattle, hogs, goats or sheep which theses trailers are
Horses suffer head and back injuries due to the low ceiling height,
the 3" I beams, and overhead ramp storage.
Horses suffer injuries to their hips and sides due to the narrow
Federal law REGULATES the use of doubles for slaughterbound horses
only. Several states laws regulate their use and do not ban. PA & NY
have the strongest and the best laws, both of which have been
Ginger and Snaps, both saved from slaughter, Ginger was saved from the Beltex feedlot while pregnant.
Anti horse slaughter supporters Vicki Tobin, from Illinois, and John Holland, from Virginia, make plans with volunteers before visiting the House of Representatives.
In all about 100 volunteers showed up in Washington on March 4 and 5 for its "lobby week". The intense two-day effort, intended to garner support for federal legislation, was the largest such effort to date.
"It was an incredible example of grass-roots democracy at work," said Alex Brown, a racing professional, professor and one of the event's organizers. The all-volunteer effort attracted experts on every aspect of the issue as well as several celebrities.
The volunteers were joined by actor Paul Sorvino who attended meetings with key congressional members and staffers. In all, hundreds of separate and pre-arranged meetings were held between AAHS volunteers and congressional staffers, and packets of information were presented to each office.
"We wanted to stress that the closing of the three domestic plants has not stopped slaughter," said Julie Caramante, "Our horses are still going to Mexico and Canada and they are suffering terrible stress and brutality." Only federal legislation can stop these exports.
Chris Heyde, left, of the Animal Welfare Institute AWI helped volunteers prepare for lobbying.
The presentations were intended to bring the members up to date on all aspects of the battle against horse slaughter and to present the findings of investigations into horse transport by Animals' Angels, conditions at Canadian slaughter facilities by the CHDC and deceptive press accounts concerning the effect of the closing of US based plants last year. All presentations will soon be available on line.
The AHSPA, which had 193 cosponsors in the House and 38 cosponsors in the Senate, immediately gained two cosponsors with indications more would soon follow. Of particular significance, the top candidates for president, Senators Clinton, McCain and Obama, are already cosponsors of the legislation.
Brown pushes for end of horse slaughter
Fair Hill exercise rider aids grass-roots effort to boost cause
By JACK IRELAND, The News Journal
Posted Saturday, February 16, 2008
Alex Brown speaks from the heart when he talks about the slaughter of
thoroughbred racehorses and other horses in North America.
Brown, a longtime exercise rider at the Fair Hill (Md.) Training Center,
is so devoted to this cause that he has joined forces with Paula Bacon,
of Dallas, and Julie Caramante, of Houston, in a grass-roots effort to
carry their message to Washington. Bacon is the former mayor of Kaufman,
Texas, the home of the former Dallas Crown horse slaughter plant.
Brown, in fact, has taken his cause on the road in recent months.
The native of Cheshire, England, spent time last fall working at
Keeneland and Churchill Downs in Kentucky for trainer Eddie Kenneally.
This winter, he's riding at Sam Houston Race Park (Houston, Texas) in
the morning for trainer Steve Asmussen.
Brown also handled the daily online updates regarding Barbaro after the
Kentucky Derby champion was seriously injured in the 2006 Preakness. He
also co-chaired the Barbaro Celebration of Life event at Delaware Park
"I am looking to meet people at the racetrack and outside and learn more
about how our horses are treated and what support structures are in
place in different parts of the U.S.," said Brown, who taught two
sections of an Internet marketing class at the University of Delaware
last year. "I love Fair Hill, but I needed to leave for a while and
learn more about the country's attitude to the horse."
Brown said his group, Americans Against Horse Slaughter, supports
passage of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act now before Congress.
"Everything about this is grass roots," Brown said. "We don't have some
big, powerful organization or business behind us. It's a groundswell
that has been building around the country."
While Texas and Illinois slaughterhouses have been shut down, many
former racehorses are being sold for shipment to Canada and Mexico for
slaughter. The meat is then shipped overseas for human consumption.
Brown said that's why it is important that Senate Bill 311 would
"prohibit the shipping, transportation, moving, delivering, receiving,
possessing, purchasing, selling or donation of horses and other equines
to be slaughtered for human consumption.
Passage of the bill would further limit the options for disposal of
unwanted horses. The bill states that an unwanted horse is one that has
reached the useful end of its economic or recreation life. There are
numerous reasons for the existence of unwanted horses, including
financial aspects such as the owner's loss of job, the price of feed or
stabling, relocation, or poor health of the horse or its owner.
"We need more horsemen [trainers and owners] to step up to the plate and
say this is wrong," Brown said. "I can name horses who had won races and
were sold at these sales. We need more people like [Hall of Fame
trainer] Nick Zito. He has been very vocal about stopping the slaughter
of horses in the U.S."
Brown said Delaware doesn't have a law against horse slaughter, but said
Sen. Tom Carper, Sen. Joe Biden and Rep. Mike Castle support the bill.
"What has happened is that in Texas and Illinois, there were laws passed
making it illegal to operate a horse-slaughter facility," Brown said.
"However, there are still many states that don't have laws banning horse
slaughter, so there is a chance a new slaughter facility can be
established. We need federal laws enacted that ban horse slaughter
anywhere in the U.S.
"Federal law will also ban the shipment to slaughter. That will put a
stop on horses being shipped to Mexico and Canada for slaughter. We are
gaining momentum, and we are not going away."
AQHA Announces Gala Promotion and Contest
On the heels of announcing the pending registration of its 5 millionth
Quarter Horse foal, the American Quarter Horse Association has unveiled
an extravagant new promotional program. “Phase one, our auction for the
naming rights on the 5 millionth foal, was an enormous success and a
tribute to our tireless breeders” said spokesperson and European venue
coordinator Morra Lean. “But we want to show our appreciation to
everyone who makes this exciting industry possible and that means all
phases of a Quarter Horse’s career.
The American Quarter Horse is the most prolific breed in the United
States largely because of its amazing versatility. Very few people
realize just how versatile the breed is. “They think of rodeos and
barrel racing but don’t realize that there are dozens of other venues
where Quarter Horses appear, ranging from reining to racing.” Lean
explained, “and when they are done entertaining us, many Quarter Horses
go on to culinary venues in Europe and Japan where the breed garners
tremendous respect for its unique attributes.”
Lean explained that the AQHA could never have attained its goal of 5
million foals without the European venue to keep opportunities open in
the US for new Quarter Horses. She went on to explain that it is the
resultant flow of registration fees that allows the AQHA to fund its
important educational and legislative programs. “Educating the public
about the vital need for such things as horse harvesting is made all the
more difficult and expensive by the extremist animal rights groups.”
Lean complained, “They continually resort to radical tactics such as
exposing statistics and facts that disagree with our position.”
In response to this challenge the AQHA has announced phase two of its
promotional program. The second phase will include the all important
European consumers of Quarter Horses. The contest will involve the
printing of replicas of every Quarter Horse’s registration papers on
fine imitation linen napkins. These napkins will have a small scratch
off area over the registration number and diners will scratch off the
coating to view the horse’s registration number. When registration
number 5,000,000 is found the lucky diner will receive a deluxe set of
steak knives engraved with the likeness of the foal on its birth date.
Additionally, the membership will be eligible to participate in a
lottery contest to guess the date when the 5 millionth Quarter Horse was
harvested. “We can only allow our paid members to participate” said
Lean, “since it is their dues and registration fees that make this whole
industry possible.” Any member that guesses the exact date the horse was
humanely harvested will receive their choice of an artificial
insemination kit with a five gallon thermos of semen or free
registrations for a year (not to exceed 100 foals).
For more information contact:
Director of European Venues
American Quarter Horse Association
Disclaimer: This document is provided for entertainment purposes only
and any similarity to actual events, programs, positions or statements
of the AQHA, no matter how compelling, is purely coincidental. As with
authentic AQHA press releases, it may contain false, misleading and
Dear fellow fighters of horse slaughter,
My daughter and I put the story of the Cavel Miracle Horses, Snickers and
Willie into a little video. I hope you enjoy it. (Its kinda long, but gee -
its a long story to tell!) You will also see some pics of more of the
Miracle Horses that you may not have 'met' yet. I tried to find as many as
I could out of the group. They are ALL special and ALL lucky to be alive -
not just my Snickers and Willie and I wanted to pay tribute to all of these special
I cried, of course, as we put this together, even after all these months.
I want to thank Mr. John Holland for originally penning this remarkable
story, which many of you have hopefully had the opportunity to read. It was
a wonderful piece of work! I used many of his original ideas in the video
but also had to edit and change the wording around alot to fit it into a
reasonable time-frame. The sequence of events, though, could not change.
Again, it is rather long - but such a moving story.
Please feel free to use this in your anti-slaughter work. We WILL get 'er
done in 2008!
Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEM14aZ7N9k
Dawn (and Tara)
You SEE how they treat horses!?
Round Lake firefighter Joe Couture comforts a horse.
(Tribune photo by Joe Shuman / October 28, 2007)
Why would we highly regulate horse slaughter plants when
we can't even check our beef plants properly??? ----- the
plants needed to be closed! support HR503 / S 311 -
CLOSE THE BORDERS!!!!!...
USDA admits skipped meat plant checks for 30 years
By Charles Abbott
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - For three decades, U.S. inspectors visited 250 meat processing plants as rarely as once every two weeks despite federal law requiring daily inspection, Agriculture Department officials admitted to lawmakers on Thursday.
"All I can say is, it's been going on for a long time," said Undersecretary Richard Raymond to the House Appropriations subcommittee on agriculture. "It's going to stop now."
There are 6,000 federally inspected slaughterhouses and meat processing plants in the United States, USDA says.
The practice started under directives issued in the early 1970s, said Raymond. He told reporters afterward that daily inspections would commence "soon, damn soon." He said the plants apparently were small operations located a long distance from an inspector's base.
Also during the hearing, Raymond said USDA would delay until June or July the implementation of "risk-based inspection" of processing plants, rather than begin in April. USDA may propose at the end of 2007 to adopt the system at slaughterhouses, he said.
Subcommittee chairwoman Rosa DeLauro repeatedly challenged whether USDA has the data needed to justify the new inspection system. "If I can help it, not on my watch," said the Connecticut Democrat in adjourning the hearing. She said Raymond would be called to another hearing in April.
DeLauro said the infrequent inspections at the 250 plants could be a violation of meat inspection laws, which require daily inspection. "I believe you're exactly right," replied Raymond, who is in charge of food safety at USDA.
While Raymond said he learned three weeks ago of the practice, DeLauro said "I find it very improbable" no one at the Food Safety and Inspection Service, which runs the meat inspection system, was aware of it.
FSIS acting administrator David Goldman told the subcommittee the 250 plants were not allowed to ship meat without inspection. They held it until approved by an inspector, he said. Some plants were checked twice a week and others were visited once every two weeks, said Goldman.
Raymond said he would take steps to assure all plants received daily inspection.
"It is critical that FSIS from this point forward document that plants are visited daily, as required by law," said Caroline Smith DeWaal of the consumer group Center for Science in the Public Interest.
Federal law requires continuous inspection of packing plants and daily inspection of processing plants.
© Reuters2007All rights reserved
Mary D. Martin
|Tuesday, June 26, 2007 - 6:30 PM|
|horse slaughter myths|
Most Americans are shocked to learn that horses are slaughtered for foreign food exports. In 2005, both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate cast landslide bi-partisan votes to stop horse slaughter in a 2006 budget bill. In order to stop the suffering experienced by horses and put an end to slaughter practices that most Americans abhor, efforts are underway to pass the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (S. 1915/H.R. 503) which would establish a permanent ban on horse slaughter. Opponents of the bill are trying to confuse the issue by the extraordinary and untenable argument that the slaughter industry somehow benefits horses.
Myth: A ban could result in "unregulated shipment of horses to slaughter" and horses being shipped longer distances to slaughter.
Fact: Untrue. The passage of The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act will prohibit the slaughter of horses for human consumption, as well as the trade and transport of horseflesh and live horses intended for human consumption. This legislation will terminate any legal option for sending American horses to slaughter within the United States at one of the three, foreign-owned plants or to any foreign slaughterhouse.
Myth: There has been an increase in the number of abandoned and unwanted horses in the United States, and a slaughter ban will lead to an increase in horse abuse and starvation or neglect cases.
Fact: There is no evidence to support these claims. According to the USDA, at least 5,000 horses have been imported into one of the three foreign-owned slaughter plants in the United States for slaughter since August 2004. If there were "too many" horses in the United States, then there would be no reason to import horses for slaughter. Furthermore, a ban on horse slaughter will not lead to an increase in horse abuse and neglect. In California, where horse slaughter was banned in 1998, there has been no corresponding rise in cruelty and neglect cases. In fact, horse theft has dropped by 34% since enactment of the ban. Allowing one's horse to starve is not an option—state anti-cruelty laws prohibit such neglect.
Myth: Transport guidelines protect horses shipped to slaughter from harm.
Fact: The 2002 guidelines allow horses to be shipped for more than 24 hours without food, water or rest, with broken limbs, with eyes missing, even heavily pregnant. Industry pushed to delay the prohibition on use of double-decker trucks until December 7, 2006. The regulations only cover the final journey to the slaughterhouse. If horses are loaded and unloaded at various places as part of their route to slaughter, only the final leg of the trip is covered. Enforcement of these guidelines will only occur once the truck reaches the slaughter plant, so these guidelines will have little preventative effect. These guidelines are wholly inadequate and allow extreme suffering in transport to continue.
Myth: There is no need for a ban because slaughter is humane euthanasia.
Fact: Horse slaughter is a far cry from humane euthanasia. "Euthanasia" means a gentle, painless death provided in order to prevent suffering. Horse slaughter is a death fraught with terror, pain, and suffering. Horses are shipped for more than 24 hours at a time in crowded double-decker cattle trucks without food, water, or rest. Pregnant mares, foals, injured horses, and even blind horses must endure the journey. Once they arrive, their suffering intensifies—undercover footage obtained by The Humane Society of the United States demonstrates that fully conscious horses are shackled and hoisted by the rear leg and have their throats slit. Because horses are skittish by nature, it is particularly difficult to align them correctly and ensure the captive bolt stun gun renders them unconscious. Unwanted horses should be humanely euthanized by a licensed veterinarian when no other option exists, rather than placed on a truck, cruelly transported, and then butchered. Most horse owners already use humane euthanasia for their older or ill horses.
Myth: If horses can no longer be slaughtered, their welfare is at risk due to the lack of adequate equine rescue facilities and uniform standards for them.
Fact: Standards of care have already been developed and embraced by the hundreds of equine rescue and retirement facilities that exist throughout the country that routinely rescue horses from slaughter. All must comply with state and local animal welfare statutes. In an effort to end the slaughter of racehorses, the New York Racing Association has partnered with other groups to launch the "Ferdinand Fee" to raise funds for the care of retired racehorses, and to honor Ferdinand, a former Kentucky Derby winner who went to slaughter. The organizations leading the charge in favor of a slaughter ban are the very organizations that are actively working to provide sanctuaries and solutions for any horses that would otherwise go to slaughter.
Myth: If a slaughter ban is passed, the federal government will face the financial burden of care for horses no longer going to slaughter.
Fact: This assertion rests on the false premise that all horses currently going to slaughter would become the financial responsibility of the federal government. Horse owners, not the government, will remain responsible for the care of their horses. Owners who no longer wish to keep their horses and who cannot sell or place their horses in a new home will have the option of humane euthanasia. The average cost for veterinarian-administered euthanasia and carcass disposal—approximately $225, the cost of one month's care—is simply a part of responsible horse ownership.
Myth: Ending horse slaughter will cause environmental harm.
Fact: Hundreds of thousands of horses are safely disposed of annually by means other than slaughter, and the infrastructure can absorb an increase in numbers. Conversely, the operation of the horse slaughterhouses has a very real negative environmental impact, with two out of the three in violation of current environmental law related to the disposal of blood and other waste materials. Mayor Paula Beacon of Kaufman, Texas—the home of one of the three horse slaughter plants in the United States—desperately states "Dallas-Crown is operating in violation of a multitude of local laws pertaining to waste management, air quality and other environmental concerns... Residents are also fed up with the situation. Long-established neighbors living adjacent to the plant cannot open their windows or run air conditioners without enduring the most horrific stench."
Myth: A prohibition on horse slaughter creates a negative precedent for beef, pork, and poultry producers by legitimizing efforts to end consumption of food derived from any animal.
Fact: Americans don't eat horses, and unlike other livestock, we don't breed them for human consumption. Additionally, horses are different from cattle (and other animals specifically bred, sold, and transported for human consumption) due to their instinctive flight response in stressful conditions, making it difficult to accurately stun them prior to slaughter. Undercover footage has demonstrated that many horses are dismembered while fully conscious, underscoring the need to ban this utterly inhumane process. The American public overwhelming supports a ban on horse slaughter—horses have a special place in our heritage and they are beloved companions to millions today.
Myth: Consuming horsemeat does not put the public's health at risk.
Fact: Horsemeat is potentially dangerous to humans when eaten because horses are not raised for this purpose. Recent lab work revealed that horsemeat from one of the Texas plants contains several substances that are not intended for human consumption. Our horses are regularly treated with worming medications, drugs, and other injections unintended for human consumption.
Myth: There has been no formal public discussion on this issue.
Fact: For years, legislation that would prohibit horse slaughter has been under consideration in the Senate. The U.S. House of Representatives witnessed thoughtful and substantial public floor debate on this identical amendment which led to its passage by a landslide bipartisan vote. Further, there has been extensive media coverage on this issue by newspapers and television networks nationwide including CNN, The L.A. Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, and many others. Action on this issue is past due.
Myth: Zoos will be prevented from feeding their big cats an adequate diet.
Fact: Zoos will be able to continue to feed horse meat to their big cats, as the bill will only stop the domestic slaughter of horses for human consumption. However, there is a growing trend to feed a beef-based diet to captive big cats. Several USDA-licensed facilities that keep big cats like lions and tigers have switched to such diets because it is a healthier alternative for these species. Horses are treated with many drugs that are prohibited for use in animals raised for food.
This information courtesy of the Humane Society of the United States
NEW: Cavel must close at midnight | No comments posted.
ROCKFORD - A federal judge ruled Thursday evening that Cavel International
J. Philip Calabrese, attorney for Cavel, had argued that Judge Frederick J.
The most current info on the status of slaughter... www.saplonline.org
Horse Slaughter Bill Advances in the
WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 25, 2007) – The Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee of the US Senate today held a mark-up for S. 311, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (AHSPA), voting 15 to 7 in favor of sending the bill to be considered before the full US Senate.
Dispelling misguided arguments from AHSPA opponents, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) argued, “We have this law in place in
The three remaining foreign-owned slaughter plants in the
“Until Congress acts, horses are being hauled under horrible conditions across the border to
Two years ago, the Senate voted overwhelmingly to stop horse slaughter for a year, and last year, the House passed the bill. Unfortunately, Congress went out of session before the Senate could vote on the measure. The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, sponsored in this session by Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and John Ensign (R-NV), will ensure that the practice of horse slaughter for human consumption is stopped permanently.
Before the measure went up for a vote, Senator Ensign stated, “There is no question that this bill will pass in this Committee, in the full Senate and in the House of Representatives, finally stopping horse slaughter.”
The Society for Animal Protective Legislation, the Animal Welfare Institute's legislative arm, is the unsurpassed leader in obtaining laws to benefit animals in need, including the protection of domestic and wild horses.
Please note that photographs and footage of horse transport and slaughter are available upon request. More information on the issue is available at www.saplonline.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Federal Court of Appeals Affirms Ruling Declaring Horse Slaughter Illegal in Texas
Two of the Nation's Three Horse Slaughter Plants Must Now Close
WASHINGTON (March 6, 2007)—Today, The Humane Society of the United States hailed a decision yesterday by the entire United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to affirm an earlier panel decision upholding a Texas state law banning the sale of horsemeat for human consumption.
Without comment or dissent, the 19 judges of the full court rejected a petition by three foreign-owned slaughter plants seeking full court review of a three-judge panel’s January 19, 2006 decision upholding the Texas horse slaughter law. The slaughter plants had claimed the Texas law at issue was unconstitutional, an argument that was quickly brushed aside by the Court in its January opinion and again by its decision denying rehearing yesterday.
“This is the end of the line for the horse slaughter industry in Texas," said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO for The HSUS. "The kill floors should be still and quiet in Texas if the owners of these foreign-owned plants obey the law.”
“Only one slaughterhouse continues to operate in the United States, and it is time for Congress to step in and halt this grisly business once and for all,” Pacelle added.
The HSUS has been actively campaigning to ban the slaughter of American horses for export for human consumption.
· The criminal code of Texas has long prohibited the sale or possession of horse meat, but the law has never been enforced.
· According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 100,800 American horses were slaughtered in three foreign-owned slaughter houses in 2006. Another 30,000 were sent to Mexico or Canada for slaughter.
· Opponents of the slaughter ban argue the practice constitutes a humane way to kill old animals, but investigations by The HSUS show cruelty and abuse throughout the process. USDA statistics show that more than 92 percent of horses slaughtered in the U.S. are not old and infirm but in good condition.
· Legislation to ban the slaughter of American horses nationwide was introduced in both the U.S. House and Senate by Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and John Ensign (R-Nev.) and Reps. Janice Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), John Spratt (D-S.C.), and Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) introduced a companion bill, H.R. 503.
· The measure received tremendous bipartisan support in the 109th Congress, winning a vote of 263 to 146 in the House. It stalled in the Senate in late 2006, however, and was not brought up for a vote before Congress adjourned, even though a similar effort had been overwhelmingly approved by the Senate in 2005.
· Nearly 70 percent of Americans are strongly against the slaughter of American horses for human consumption overseas.
· In 2002, responding to citizen and local government concerns about the two foreign-owned horse slaughter plants in the state – Dallas Crown in Kaufman and Beltex in Fort Worth – then-Texas Attorney General John Cornyn issued a written opinion that the 1949 Texas law applies and may be enforced.
· In response, the Tarrant County District Attorney attempted to enforce the law, but last year a federal district court in Texas ruled that the law was repealed by another statute and preempted by federal law.
· The District Attorney appealed that decision last year, and the HSUS filed an amicus brief in the case in March 2006.
· In January 2007, the court of appeals upheld the law, flatly rejecting the slaughterhouses' arguments that the ban on the sale of horsemeat does not protect horses from theft and abuse, and that regulating horse slaughter can achieve those same purposes, noting instead that "it is a matter of commonsense that…alternatives…
- 30 -
Polly Shannon, pshannon@hsus.
Tracey McIntire, tmcintire@hsus.
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization – backed by 10 million Americans, or one of every 30. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty -- On the web at www.HumaneSociety.
Support HSUS animal protection programs with your life insurance policy. Visit www.hsus.org/
Slaughter is not the only bad part!! See what happens to horses on the way to the plant. ):
PLEASE watch this video! It is nice...NOT graphic!
John Hollands video...http://ac4hstorage.com/
Vote! on John's video. It has been nominated for a Producer's Award!!...
The rate of horse theft in CA after slaughter was banned in '98...
The rate of neglect/abuse in relation to slaughter...
Plus some shots of horses being loaded to go to slaughter...sad! ):
http://www.saplonline.org/horses.htm Willie Nelson on slaughter.
By: John Holland
We are coming up on mid-term elections that could finally break the roadblocks to passage of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act. This report is to update you on the current situation and on what ramifications the election may have on it.
The current situation
At this moment, the AHSPA (American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act) is awaiting a vote in the Senate as S.1915 after passing the House as HR.503. The wording of the two bills is identical, and will remain so unless the Senate attaches amendments. It is also possible that the Senate could vote on HR.503 itself. There can be no doubt it will pass the Senate if it gets a vote, but that is anything but certain.
Many people have been told by Senate staffers that S.1915 may not be voted on by the Senate before January or February of next year. This is misinformation and is most probably intended to placate proponents until after the election. If the AHSPA is not voted on by the Senate when it re-convenes after the election for the brief lame duck session, the bill will die at the end of the year and will have to be reintroduced next year. That means at least another year of slaughter, and the USDA slaughter numbers are going up astronomically.
The anti-slaughter movement has grown rapidly, but as it has neared success, the opposition has pulled out all the stops to block this legislation. Power brokers such as the cattlemen, who have always feigned indifference, have now stepped out from the shadows and begun to campaign actively to block the AHSPA. Despite an incredible response by horse lovers, there is only a modest chance that S.1915 will get to the floor before the 109th Congress ends. If it does not get a vote, our House win will have been yet another in a series of hollow victories.
A recent history of the AHSPA
To understand how we have been defeated repeatedly by arguably the most despised, foreign owned “industry” in our country, you must understand how power really works at the federal level. The three branches of government are; the Executive (the President and his cabinet); the Congress (the Senate and House); and the Judiciary (the courts and judges).
The House of Representatives and the Senate together create the laws and control the budgets. The President can veto a law or a budget but most Presidents are reluctant to do so in any but the direst of circumstances. Congress can over-ride a veto with a 2/3rds majority vote. There are two senators per state, but each state has a number of representatives proportional to its population. There are thus 435 Representatives and 100 Senators. All representatives come up for re-election every two years, while Senators have a 6 year term and only 1/3rd of all Senators face re-election every other year.
Both the House and the Senate are broken down into committees. These committees control laws governing various aspects of the government like interior, defense, commerce, agriculture, etc. The majority party in each house appoints chairpersons of all the committees in that house, and this the real source of power in Congress. If a party has one more seat than the other party, they appoint all the chairpersons, and thus have total control of the bills introduced by that house.
A new law starts as a bill and it must be introduced by one or more “sponsors” in both the House and the Senate. The bill is placed in the appropriate committee depending on what aspect of government it pertains to. In the House, the current AHSPA is called HR.503 and in the Senate it is called S.1915. Members of the House and Senate can then show their support of a bill by signing up as “co-sponsors”. Theoretically, the committee holding the bill should take this support into consideration when deciding whether to release the bill onto the House or Senate floor for a vote. In reality the final decision lies with the Chairperson of that committee.
HR.857 (the AHSPA back in the 108th Congress) was introduced into Bob Goodlatte’s Agriculture Committee in 2003 and had an almost unprecedented 224 cosponsors when it expired at the end of 2004. Only 218 votes are required for passage, so HR.857 would certainly have passed but Bob Goodlatte simply ignored the co-sponsors and his own constituents and blocked it. Such is the power of a chairman. In a letter to his colleagues dated
Goodlatte is the representative of the 6th district of Virginia, but his real allegiance lie elsewhere. His promotion to Chairman of the Agriculture Committee had been something of a surprise since he was jumped over several more senior members of the committee. He gained the position with the help of a powerful group of Republicans from
The fact is that both Goodlatte’s former minority leader Stenholm and his aide Brent Gattis were not at all interested in the welfare of unwanted horses but rather were in thick with the horse slaughter industry. The proof of this came when both men slipped through the famous
A few years ago many of us began to sense that despite broad bi-partisan support we were up against a much better organized opponent than could be seen on the surface. We originally thought that organizations like the Cattlemen’s associations and the AVMA (American Veterinary Medicine Assoc) had little real interest in horse slaughter, but we were very wrong. We had also believed that Goodlatte was acting more or less alone. Again we were dead wrong. Worse yet, we did not realize that despite the overwhelming support the AHSPA had in Congress, the opposition controlled all the key gate keepers of power. We were to be taught this lesson in ambush after ambush.
In 2005, the new AHSPA was introduced into the Energy and Commerce committee as HR.503. This was a move to avoid Goodlatte’s control. This was accomplished by removing any wording that forbids the act of slaughter itself which would clearly fall under agriculture. Instead the bill prohibits things like shipment, receiving, selling, owning, and donating a horse for the purpose of slaughter for human consumption. These are commerce activities.
When a bill has passed both houses it is sent to a “conference committee” where differences between the House and Senate versions are arbitrated and a compromise bill is sent back to both houses for a final vote. The chairman of the conference committee was Henry Bonilla (R-TX). Since both the House and Senate versions of the amendment had identical language, it was not expected that the conference committee would tamper with it. They did. Just days before they were to meet, a staffer leaked that Bonilla intended to throw the amendment out wholesale!
Most of us had never heard of Bonilla, so I ran a simple google search with his name and Bob Goodlatte’s. The results were a shock. Their names appeared together again and again in battles to thwart the implementation of COOL (a law that would help American producers by requiring the country of origin be marked on most meat and produce). They also appeared to be in lock-step promoting allowing “downer” cows back into the food supply.
A check of open secrets showed the final connection between Bonilla and Goodlatte. Both men had received large campaign contributions from the same groups. These groups included the AVMA, the AQHA, and lobbyists for the horse slaughter plants like Jim Bradshaw. In fact the complex patterns of donations were almost identical!
We started a hugely successful fax and phone campaign contacting all of the members of the committee. With overwhelming public visibility, the members would not go along with Bonilla’s plan to discard the amendment completely, but instead they allowed Bonilla to place a 120 day delay on its implementation.
Agriculture secretary Mike Johanns used this delay to put in place a “pay for inspection” plan that allowed the slaughter plants to thwart the intent of congress and to continue slaughtering horses. The plan appeared to violate standing statutes (e.g. the Federal Meat Inspection Act), so animal welfare groups filed a suit to block the plan. A federal judge dismissed the important claims of the law suit on standing, meaning the action of Johanns did not affect the plaintiffs directly so they could not sue. Our victory had been hollow and meaningless.
The move by Johanns was so audacious that it cannot be doubted that his action was at the behest of the man who appointed him and for whom he works; President George W. Bush (R-TX). This action was a direct affront to Congress, but Johanns weathered the ire of the sponsors and slaughter went on. The only hope for 2006 was then the AHSPA which was in the Commerce committee.
The chairman of this committee is Republican Joe Barton. And yes, Barton is a Republican from
Knowing this was going to happen, Goodlatte “recalled” a copy of the bill into his Agriculture committee where he held a Kangaroo Court of slaughter proponents and marked up half a dozen poison pill amendments to the bill to attempt to destroy it.
Both the original version of HR.503 and Goodlatte’s version were sent to the rules committee. The decision of the committee was to allow a vote on the original version and on two of Goodlatte’s poison pill amendments. Both of Goodlatte’s amendments were defeated and HR.503 passed by the overwhelming vote of 263 to 146.
But was this just a hollow victory designed to keep the proponents happy while letting the industry go on slaughtering our horses? By releasing the bill very close to the end of the session, the House made if very unlikely that the Senate would vote on it before the election recess. Worse, the clerk of the House erroneously sent Goodlatte’s version of the bill to the Senate, and it took two weeks to correct the error.
The bottom line:
The anti-slaughter movement has always attempted to keep the issue of horse slaughter a bi-partisan affair for several reasons including the fact that most of the sponsors of the AHSPA are Republican, and we have many important supporters in the party. Furthermore, many horse owners who are needed for grass roots support are Republican. Even so, it is impossible to ignore the fact that 81% of the Democrats in the house voted for HR.503, only 49% of Republicans did so. In the Senate, 43% of the Democrats are already co-sponsors of S.1915, but only 18% of Republicans have co-sponsored.
But the real power is in who controls the gate keepers like Goodlatte, Bonilla, Johanns and Barton. The pattern is clear. The
Three things can now happen:
First, the Senate can return from the elections, regardless of the outcome, and vote on and pass S.1915. If this happens, it is unlikely President Bush will veto it, but a vote is anything but assured at this point. If, however, the Democrats gain control of the Senate (which will not be effective until the new year), then the Republicans are going to be working overtime to pass everything they can before they lose control, and the chances of the AHSPA getting to a vote are even smaller.
If the Senate does not vote on the AHSPA, but the Democrats gain a majority in the House, then even if Bonilla, Goodlatte, and Barton are reelected they will lose their chairmanships and their power. Without these they are just another vote on a playing field where we have the advantage. In the calculus of power, every seat won by a Democrat (especially in the House) is one step closer to passage of AHSPA. Ironically, even if every seat won was taken from an anti-slaughter Republican by a pro-slaughter Democrat it would be sad, but still a step toward breaking the unbridled abuse of power that is keeping the horses streaming into slaughter. Even so, it is important not to forget that we owe our support to our sponsors and cosponsors from both parties.
Finally, if the Senate does not vote, and the Republicans maintain control of the House, the outlook for passage of the AHSPA before the end of the 110th Congress (2008) is bleak. It is generally assumed that the Senate is a more friendly environment for the AHSPA, but if it does not vote on it this year that could herald hidden opposition within the Republican leadership there as well.
I hope this helps everyone understand what the stakes are on Tuesday.
(or, how the horses got Abramoff’ed again)
For Immediate Release: 7 February, 2006
Today the USDA announced that it plans to ignore the intent of Congress and to allow the three foreign owned slaughter houses to continue to kill horses under new rules. These rules will permit the slaughter houses to pay for horse meat inspections. Horse slaughter, which was expected to end on March 10th, can now continue indefinitely. The move is the latest in a complex legislative battle between a broad majority of both Americans and their legislators who want horse slaughter to end, and powerful individuals within government who side with the foreign owned slaughter houses.
The AHSPA (American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act) was first introduced in 2003 as HR-857. The AHSPA would permanently ban horse slaughter for human consumption, but during 2003 and 2004 Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, blocked the bill by not letting it out of his committee for a vote. Publicly Goodlatte claims to hold his position out of principal and he espouses that ending horse slaughter would cause a rise in horse abuse and neglect. When asked to explain statistics that do not show this relationship he simply states that he interprets the statistics differently. Public records show that the position has been wise financial decision. Goodlatte, who normally runs unopposed, has been lavished with campaign contributions from Jim Bradshaw, lobbyist for the Beltex slaughter plant in Texas, by the Texas & Southwest Cattle Raiser’s Association (who receive $3 for every horse slaughtered in Texas), and by dozens of other slaughter groups and their affiliates.
At the end of the 108th session of Congress, HR-857 died in Goodlatte’s committee even though it had 225 cosponsors which would have assured its passage in the House. In response, this year the proponents of the ban launched two legislative efforts to stop horse slaughter. The first was the Ensign/Byrd Amendment to the Agriculture budget which passed the House and Senate by overwhelming margins of 269-128 and 69-28 respectively.
The House and Senate versions of the budget were then sent to conference committee to meld them into a single budget bill. The language of the amendment was identical in both houses, so there should have been nothing for the conference committee to do but to include it in the final bill. However, Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-Tx), chairman of the conference committee, is also strong ally of the French and Belgium slaughter houses. Like Goodlatte, Bonilla has been rewarded handsomely by Jim Bradshaw, and the slaughter establishment. When word leaked out of the committee that Bonilla intended to throw the amendment out, horse lovers and animal welfare advocates swamped the committee with calls and emails demanding the language be left alone. In the end Bonilla settled for a delay of 120 days on the effective date. This should have stopped horse slaughter on March 10th.
In January, the USDA had announced it was considering changing its rules on horse slaughter inspections to allow the plants themselves to pay for the inspections. This drew a strong response from the amendment’s sponsors and almost 40 other congressmen, saying that they viewed it as illegal for him to do so. According to today’s announcement Johanns has decided he does not need to obey the intent of the law and will instead interpret it as only restricting his use of federal funds for the inspectors.
Meanwhile, the AHSPA was reintroduced in 2005 as HR-503 in the House and S-1915 in the Senate. The recent announcement by Johanns that he intended to consider the petition of the slaughter houses for paid inspections appears to have resulted in a burst of support for the HR-503 and S-1915. In the past week the bills have gained more new cosponsors than in the previous month.
There are yet more parallels between the horse slaughter issue and the Abramoff scandal. It has just been announced that former Representative Charles Stenholm, has accepted a position as a “consultant” with the horse slaughter industry. Until losing his seat in the 2004 election, Stenholm was the minority co-chair of Goodlatte’s Agriculture committee, and his strong confederate in blocking HR-857.
In 2005, over 120,000 horses were slaughtered in the United States or exported to Canada and Mexico for slaughter. This represented a 30% increase over 2004, and January of 2006 has seen an additional 30% increase over the same month in 2005. The meat is shipped to Europe where it sells retail for about $12 to $15 per pound as a delicacy. The surge in popularity of horse meat in Europe is largely due to the fear of mad cow disease (BSE) and the perceived adulteration of American beef. As ridiculous as it may seem to an American horse person, this attitude has been fostered by the creation of a marketing myth in the EC that American horses are free of drugs and are raised only on open meadows fed by crystal clear mountain streams. American horse advocates have long marveled at the fact that horses are often taken from the race track or auction straight to slaughter and are frequently loaded with drugs forbidden in other food animals.
You are urged to contact your representative and senators and to ask them to support the AHSPA.
Written by John Holland, email@example.com
FACTS ABOUT HORSE SLAUGHTER...
GRAPHIC slaughter info...
2 horse plants likely to close
Slaughterhouses in Kaufman, FW affected by agriculture funds bill
12:00 AM CST on Saturday, November 12, 2005
By JEFF MOSIER / The Dallas Morning News
Two North Texas plants that slaughter horses for European diners will
probably be shut down by the federal government.
An agriculture appropriations bill signed by President Bush on Thursday
effectively bans the practice through a technicality: A provision cuts
off funding for meat inspectors at plants that slaughter horses for
human consumption. The Dallas Crown plant in Kaufman, Beltex Corp. plant
in Fort Worth and a plant in Illinois would not be allowed to operate
without an inspector.
"Americans do not eat horse meat, and there is no reason that our
American horses should be killed just to end up on dinner plates in
France or Belgium," said Michael Markarian, executive vice president of
the Humane Society of the United States.
He said this is a victory for animal lovers, but the bill is not
perfect. Because the ban relies on withholding money, funding could be
restored next year.
There are bills pending in Congress to ban outright the slaughter of
horses for human consumption.
Jim Bradshaw, a Fort Worth-based lobbyist for Dallas Crown and Beltex,
said the federal bill is likely to shut down his clients' businesses,
although he said there's always a slight hope they can work around the
"Yes, it was intended to put us out of business, and yes, it probably
will," he said. "We're being cautious, though."
Pay for inspectors
Mr. Bradshaw said he's investigating whether his clients would be
allowed to pay the cost of the U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors
and keep the plants open. He said such an arrangement has been worked
out by slaughterhouses that process rabbits and exotic game, such as bison.
Mr. Markarian said he doubts that's a possibility. Private inspectors
are not permitted, and even a reimbursement plan would require the
spending of federal money, which is still prohibited.
Several members of Congress who championed the ban could not be reached
for comment Friday. Their offices were closed for the Veterans Day
holiday. Officials at the Fort Worth and Kaufman plants also could not
be reached for comment.
The ban will go into effect 120 days from Thursday, when the bill was
Mr. Bradshaw said that closing the plants would be a blow to the local
economy. According to his Web site, 18 million pounds of horse meat is
shipped out of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport annually, making
the product the airport's largest export. The separately owned plants
spend a combined $6 million annually to ship the meat to Europe and
employ more than 160 people at the two locations.
The economic benefits have not always been wanted, though.
Some Kaufman city leaders described the Dallas Crown plant as an
embarrassment to their city and have tried to force it out of town. The
City Council has discussed ways to shut down the plant, including
challenging its zoning and its environmental impact.
Previously, the plant owners successfully fought an obscure 1949 Texas
law banning the sale or transport of horse meat for human consumption. A
federal judge ruled this summer that the federal government, not the
state, had the responsibility for such regulations.
'Return ... negative'
Kaufman Mayor Paula Bacon, a vocal opponent of the plant, could not be
reached for comment Friday. But in a letter to the Senate, she said, "I
can assure you the economic development return to our community is
Just because Americans find horse meat distasteful, that doesn't mean
that the plants should close, Mr. Bradshaw said. He said that most of
the horses would be euthanized anyway, so this is a chance to put them
to use. In parts of Europe, the high-iron, low-fat meat is a delicacy.
"We are just victims of an emotion-driven campaign, and they have been
very successful," Mr. Bradshaw said.
Mr. Markarian said that emotion is an important factor. Americans have a
different attachment to horses. They are considered companions, more
akin to household pets than cattle or hogs.
"Some countries eat dogs and cats, but that doesn't mean that we take
our dogs and cats from animal shelters and ship them to other countries
Will banning horse slaughter cause an epidemic of abuse and neglect?....
Nickerson's in NY...
"This is harrassment. Why was I singled out?'
These were some of the words of Kevin Nickerson of Nickerson Livestock Transportation, Bainbridge, NY as he was being arrested on January 19th on 35 counts of illegally transporting horses.
The double-decker cattle trailer traveling from the New Holland auction barn had crossed over the PA/NY state line on Interstate 81, and in so doing, had violated New York law. Pennsylvania. unfortunately, has no viable law on the books concerning the lawful and humane transportation of horses. New York does. According to the arresting officer, New York State Trooper Steven Cornell of the Sidney Patrol, the cargo at that early point in the presumed journey to the slaughterhouse in Canada, contained 2 mules, 1 pony and 27 horses. There were 27 counts of violating the double decking section of the law and 8 counts violating the lack of partitions a maximum of every 10 ft. It was discovered the involved parties called the trailer/trailers traveling behind them to warn them to stay in Pennsylvania, a safe haven for the "torture trailers", as they have been labeled by those in the know.
Meanwhile, the 30 horses were loaded onto a legal trailer, which the haulers had contacted. You may recall that Nickerson Livestock Transport was the subject of another arrest in 1995 on similar charges, which resulted in the infamous Syracuse 36 case. In this instance, the horses, many in bad condition, were seized. At the February 5th arraignment. Nickerson pled not guilty. A March 18th non-jury trial is scheduled. We applaud New York legislators for being 17 years ahead of Pennsylvania in passing enforceable laws regulating the humane transportation of horses. And we especially applaud the efforts of the New York State Troopers who enforce the law. These efforts get them no verbal thank yous from the victims, and much verbal abuse from the guilty. It often doesn't change the destination of the horses, but can help reduce some of the unspeakable conditions of their last days, conditions created by the very design of the double-decker trailer when used to transport horses.
ED. NOTE: New York's admirable law regarding the humane transport of equines was the result of numerous inhumane incidences in up-state New York along a stretch of highway commonly known as the "Torture Trail" (Adriondack Northway), a direct route to Canadian slaughterhouses.