Sunday, December 6, 2009

Animals' Angels meets with European Commission to discuss horse meat imports from Mexico

AA met with representatives of the European Commission Food and Veterinary Office in Ireland on Nov 9 to discuss plans of action regarding horse meat imported from Mexico and animal welfare concerns documented by AA at the Mexican plants. AA is the first organization invited to Ireland to talk with the EU Commission about these issues. The meeting was also attended by the EU inspectors who had visited the plants in 2008 and 2009.

We were eager to learn from EU officials about a 180 day quarantine for horses intended for slaughter. The 180 day quarantine before slaughter would allow harmful drug residues in horse meat to dissipate. The issue of drug residue is of special concern to the EU and its consumers because American horses, unlike Mexican horses, commonly and regularly receive medications that are known carcinogens, etc.

However, the EU response was quite disappointing. EU officials informed us that pending further evaluation and discussion, they will accept sworn statements provided by kill buyers upon arrival at the slaughter plant declaring the horses have been drug free for 6 months.

The rumored 180 day quarantine is not currently in place, nor does the quarantine approach seem likely.

AA told EU officials this was unacceptable, that while the issue of meat tainted with drug residues certainly needs to be addressed, there is no way to verify the kill buyers' statements. True accountability is not achieved nor are safety and liability issues resolved. However at this point this is the EU plan.

On the other hand, we supplied EU officials with several pieces of information that have raised their level of concern very significantly. They were extremely surprised to learn that over 100,000 horses are exported for slaughter from the United States to Mexico annually. For the EU these numbers make the drug residue issue much more immediate than if the horses were almost all from Mexico as had been their belief.

AA also showed the EU representatives the investigation report and video of the inhumane treatment of horses at the Jerez slaughter plant. They saw horses left in the kill box while workers went to lunch, the slaughter of a horse with a broken leg, horses dragged by a wire around the leg into the plant, mothers with new born foals in the slaughter plant pens, downed horses and dead horses in the slaughter plant pens.

The officials and inspectors were extremely shocked by the evidence AA had obtained. They admitted that their inspectors had never seen anything like this during their visits at the plant. However, they said it is not surprising since due to international trade regulations they have to announce their inspections months in advance.

EU officials indicated that the evidence of inhumane treatment would be the basis for a formal complaint which then would lead to an official investigation at the Jerez plant. They were candidly appreciative and encouraged AA to share any new evidence with them quickly.

We believe that it was crucial to establish an open dialogue with the EU leaders since they have the power and the authority to change things fast - especially regarding the ongoing suffering at the plant.

We plan to meet with the Dutch and the Belgian importers, confront them with our findings and inform them of our meeting with EU officials. Pressure will be high because European consumers are to date almost completely unaware of the cruelties and dangers involved in the slaughter of horses for meat.

AA went ahead and filed formal complaints with the EU and the Mexican Secretary of Agriculture. We will unquestionably continue to work on this issue.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Unified Call for an Immediate Moratorium on Wild Horse & Burro Roundups

CHICAGO, (EWA) – On November 18, 2009, American Citizens and partners in Canada, the United Kingdom and South Africa, delivered the following letter to the President, Congress and the Department of the Interior.

Contact: John Holland
Equine Welfare Alliance

Ginger Kathrens
The Cloud Foundation

A Unified Call for an Immediate Moratorium on Wild Horse & Burro RoundupsAnd a humane, fiscally responsible plan for preserving and protecting the iconic, free-roaming wild horses and burros of the American West
President Obama, Members of Congress and the Department of the Interior:

We, the undersigned, request major changes to the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro program. This must begin with an immediate moratorium on all roundups. While we agree that the program is in dire need of reform, and we applaud your Administration's commitment to avoid BLM’s suggested mass-killing of horses, the plan outlined in October by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar raises numerous concerns. These include:
· Perpetuating the flawed assumption that wild horses and burros are overpopulating their Western ranges. In reality, the BLM has no accurate current inventory of the 37,000 wild horses and burros it claims remain on public lands. Independent analysis of BLM’s own numbers reveal there may be only 15,000 wild horses remaining on public lands.

· Continuing the mass removal of wild horses and burros from their rightful Western ranges: The BLM intends to spend over $30 million in Fiscal Year 2010 to capture more than 12,000 wild horses and burros. This stockpiling of horses continues even as an astounding 32,000 are already being held in government holding facilities at enormous taxpayer expense.

· Scapegoating wild horses and burros for range deterioration even though they comprise only a tiny fraction of animals and wildlife grazing our public lands. Far greater damage is caused by privately-owned livestock, which outnumber the horses more than 100 to 1.

· Moving wild horses and burros east off their Western homelands to “sanctuaries” in the east and Midwest at an initial cost of $96 million creates significant health concerns if animals adapted to western landscapes are managed on wet ground and rich grasses.

Removing tens of thousands of horses and burros from their legally-designated Western ranges and moving them into government-run facilities subverts the intent of the 1971 Wild Free-roaming Horse and Burro Act, which mandated that horses be preserved “where presently found.” A 2009 DC district court case held that “Congress did not authorize BLM to “manage” the wild horses and burros by corralling them for private maintenance or long-term care as non-wild free-roaming animals off the public lands."

We appreciate your Administration's recognition of the horses’ value as an ecotourism resource. However, the display of captive, non-reproducing herds in eastern pastures renders them little more than zoo exhibits, further discounting the contribution to our history and the future of the American West.

We believe that workable solutions to create a healthy “multiple use” of public rangelands, protect the ecological balance of all wildlife, and preserve America's wild horses and burros in their rightful, legally protected home can be achieved. We are calling on the Obama Administration to reform the BLM's Wild Horse and Burro Management Program.

We ask that you reverse the current course and immediately take the following actions:

1) Place a moratorium on all roundups until accurate and independent assessments of population numbers and range conditions are made available and a final, long-term solution is formalized.

2) Restore protections included in the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act. Update existing laws that protect wild horses by reopening certain public lands to the mustangs and burros, thus decreasing the number in captivity. Return healthy wild horses and burros in holding to all available acres of public land designated primarily for their use in 1971. If these lands are not available, equivalent and appropriate western public lands should be added in their place.

3) Support federal grazing permit buybacks. Reduce livestock grazing and reanalyze appropriate management levels for herd management areas to allow for self-sustaining, genetically-viable herds to exist in the west.

4) Conduct Congressional hearings regarding the mismanagement of our wild herds and further investigate the inability of BLM to correct the shortcomings of the program as audited by the Government Accountability Office’s 1990, 1991 and 2008 reports.
Supported by the undersigned on November 16, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge, NV, June 2006 – Your Tax-Dollars at Work

Despite a public outcry and pleas by humane groups to at least postpone this round-up, FWS proceeded in the summer heat, at the height of foaling season. Even the BLM doesn’t conduct helicopter round-ups during foaling season.
This days-old foal is struggling to keep up with the herd.

FWS would not allow the public within a two-mile range of the round-up site. Despite the secrecy, our investigators were able to document the process up close.

Several foals were injured, orphans separated from their mothers in the chaos. Some mares reportedly aborted their fetuses under the stress of the round-up.

Some foals, exhausted by the chase and unable to follow the herd, were left hog-tied in the desert heat for wranglers to pick up later.

Others were just lost in the chaos, left behind to fend for themselves. Wranglers reportedly managed to locate eight of these orphan foals on Friday (the round-up had started on Monday). Five of them were already dead. (See photo above) The three survivors were taken by a good Samaritan to a veterinarian for emergency care.

It is unknown how many others, too young to survive on their own, died on the range. Mares could be seen in the holding pens showing signs of recently giving birth but with their newborns unaccounted for.

FWS got nervous and became more secretive as the process unfolded. However, a vet report by Dr. Krebs, who treated the three survivors, confirms that these foals were left for days alone on the range


The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign- AWHPC

America’s wild horses are being eradicated in violation of the Wild Free-Roaming Horse & Burro Act, which protects them as “living symbols” of our Nation's spirit. From over 2 million in the 1800s, fewer than 25,000 remain on our public lands. There are now more wild horses in government holding pens than remain in the wild. Still, the round-ups continue, and a recent change in the law opens the door to thousands being sent to slaughter.

Although in-the-wild management would save millions of tax-dollars, special interests have been successful in pressuring the government to systematically remove wild horses from public lands - specifically corporate cattle interests who want our horses replaced with private cattle for subsidized grazing.

AWHPC is coordinating a letter-writing campaign: In addition to signing this petition, it is important that you please send individual letters to your federal legislators calling for a Congressional inquiry into the government’s wild horse management practices. Tell them that our national heritage does not belong on European dinner tables.

Please sign petition here:
For more information and to sign up for email updates, please visit

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Guilty by Association

Well, I was going to do a post about “emotional women” ("The AQHA leadership has always been pro-slaughter, and when their own polls revealed their membership wasn't, their own president blamed the results on ‘emotional women.’”) of whom I’m one, but after an email chat I instead opted to talk about the following...You know, it’s hard enough to think about horses getting slaughtered to make room for more, more, more (as in the AQHA making more money via more registration fees and more membership fees by getting rid of what's already here), much less realize an association as massive and well known as the AQHA—one who actually took steps to amend some of their rules to the benefit of horses... or was that only to quell public outcry?—have so little regard for their breed and all the regard for the almighty dollar that they advocate it. That begs the question: When they (the AQHA leadership) shot themselves in the foot because of it, did they also paint targets on their members, too? Let’s think about this. In the court of public opinion, owners of Quarter Horses/members of AQHA, and the association itself, are one and the same. So, guilt by association. An example might be the anti-fur movement, where folks don’t just target furriers but the individuals wearing it, to the point were people who owned it (even the homeless!) wouldn’t be caught dead in it. Now, instead of fur, it’s horse slaughter advocated by the Quarter Horse Association—the very association that’s suppose to tout and protect the breed, not push for the slaughter of it. What will the public think of it’s members now? They’ll never hear about the polls, or who agreed or disagreed with it, and they won’t stop to ask, either. One and the same, remember? Members are AQHA. Members did this. Members are the heartless bastards who will ride it AND eat it, baby. Hi ho Silver... and don’t forget the ketchup. Let’s take a moment to let this sink in. Can you say “manipulated” (as in even the pro-slaughter members were manipulated into thinking this was a good thing when all the while it was a money making venture from the beginning, something where everyone (including the cattle ranchers who are all set up and eager to turn into horse meat ranchers) wins EXCEPT the horse), folks? I know you can. I hate being manipulated. I hate being told one thing and find out it’s a whole other ballgame (or is that ‘market‘?). I hate being guilty by association, and I particularly hate that the Quarter Horse association painted it's own members as targets. By the way, how much do you think the AQHA cares about their breed when they’re advocating slaughtering them? Just curious. Oh. And while we‘re here, let this sink in too.And so it begins (note the blog’s name... and good on the blog owner for coming up with it and speaking out!). But that’s not what I’m talking about here. What I am, is pointing out that a really bad situation CAN get far worse. Yep, seems everyone’s jumping on the band wagon, including cattlemen who are being encouraged to see horse slaughter as yet another opportunity (others before being buffalo and elk, though with horses it’s a different ballgame, horses being an already established market—if they can’t sell it here, they’ll just ship it to Europe) to make a buck.So what's the alternative to slaughter? Stop backyard indiscriminate breeding. Stop thinking of horses as disposable. You bought it so you look after it for life. If you can't, then sell it to someone reputable who can. And, God forbid, if something happens to the horse to necessitate it's death, be strong enough to euthanize it instead of shipping it. At least that's my opinion.
Posted by Hawke at 9:42 AM

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Horse slaughter dream a financial nightmare

Horse slaughter gut piles at Natural Valley Farms, Canada
Contacts: John Holland
Vicki Tobin
Horse slaughter dream a financial nightmare
CHICAGO, (EWA) – The dream of the AQHA (American Quarter Horse Association) and its affiliate the MQHA (Montana Quarter Horse Association) to bring horse slaughter back to the US may have just been dealt what may be its death blow. The blow came not from anti-slaughter advocates, nor public revulsion, nor Congress, but from a horse slaughter industry insider whose op-ed, Meat plant: a cautionary tale, appeared on April 30th in the Western Producer, a subscription-only Canadian online animal agriculture journal.
“Natural Valley Farms died the day the decision makers chose to kill horses”, says Henry Skjerven, an investor and director of the defunct Natural Valley Farms (NVF) slaughter complex in Saskatchewan, Canada. Skjerven tells the story of how NVF, which had originally been built to process cattle during the BSE crisis, ended in a $42 million financial disaster following its decision to kill horses for the Velda Group of Belgium.
The story broke just as the AQHA and Stan Weaver of the MQHA, were celebrating the passage of Montana bill (HB 418).
On April 5, EWA broke the news that the plant had been closed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) in December. In his article, Skjerven refers to the plant’s confrontational interaction with the CFIA over the plant’s “composting” and other issues. Unlike beef that can be used in pet food, horse byproducts must be disposed of properly because they contain substances such as the wormer, Ivermectin, which can cause fatal encephalitis in some breeds of dogs.
Blood disposal appears to have been equally problematic for NVF as with other horse slaughter plants. Not only do horses have twice the quantity of blood as cows, but the blood is notoriously difficult to treat. The bacterial agents used in standard cattle digesters fail to provide acceptable discharge levels because of antibiotics often found in horse blood. As a result, pollution follows the horse slaughter industry where ever it goes.
During debate over HB 418, the Montana Senate Agriculture committee dismissed evidence of these problems as anti-slaughter propaganda. Even the testimony of former Kaufman, Texas mayor Paula Bacon was ignored when she told of blood rising into people’s bathtubs in her town. But unfortunately for NVF, the CFIA was not so easily assuaged.
Even Butcher has admitted that any horse slaughter plant that is built in the US will have to be operated by an EU group like Velda because the horse meat market is in Europe and they control it. Now Velda needs a new home, but in his op-ed Skjerven, says, “horse slaughter never brought a single minute of profitability to the company.”
In the end, it may not matter that HB 418 is unconstitutional, nor that a horse slaughter plant in the US could not export its horse meat without USDA inspectors, nor that the industry has committed a thousand sins against horses and the environment. If investors in a horse slaughter plant cannot be comfortable in knowing they will make a profit, there will be no plant built.
If Stan Weaver and the AQHA want horse slaughter they may have to do the killing themselves.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Hundreds of Mustangs Rescued from Nebraska Ranch Ready for New Homes
Rescue Agencies and Volunteers Continue to Care for the ‘Nebraska 200’

CONTACT: Jerry Finch 409-682-6621

1 May 2009
Alliance, NE – More than two hundred neglected horses and burros found at a Morrill County ranch are now available for adoption through Habitat for Horses, a Texas-based equine protection organization.

On April 22nd, more than two hundred horses and burros were seized from Three Strikes Ranch, a private mustang facility just outside Alliance, Nebraska. An additional 74 animals were confirmed dead. Necropsy results on a number of these animals revealed significant fat and muscle atrophy, which is consistent with starvation.

Jason Maduna, the ranch’s owner, was arrested on one count of felony animal cruelty, but additional charges are expected. The animals are now recuperating at their temporary home at the Bridgeport Rodeo Grounds. The Humane Society of the United States, Habitat for Horses and Front Range Equine Rescue have been working alongside the Bureau of Land Management and area veterinarians to feed, treat, and assess the 220 animals, including a number of foals born since the seizure. According to Jerry Finch of Habitat for Horses, “the outpouring of support from the local community is humbling. From home-cooked meals for the volunteers, to hay provided by the local Farm Bureaus, we could not ask for more or better support.”

Of the 220 animals at the Fairgrounds, 22 have been identified by their owners and will be returned to them. The remaining animals are available for placement with qualified individuals or groups. Those interested, should contact Hillary Wood of Front Range Equine Rescue at 719-481-1490. The horses have all received a negative Coggins and have been dewormed, vaccinated and microchipped. Finch strongly cautions that they are looking for those with experience in handling and training wild mustangs. According to Finch, "these are not back yard ponies."

A dedicated website has been setup which includes photographs and descriptions of the available animals, as well as forms and contact numbers. For more information, please visit:

Donations are still needed to help cover the cost of medical care. Credit card donations can be made online at Donations can also be mailed to: Habitat for Horses, P.O. Box 213, Hitchcock, TX 77563. Please notate on your check and/or credit card donations that it is for "Nebraska 200 ". Any and all help is greatly appreciated.
Habitat for Horses (HfH) is a not-for-profit equine protection agency committed to the prevention, rescue and rehabilitation of neglected, abused and homeless horses. The largest organization of its kind in North America, HfH operates a rehabilitation ranch in Texas. The organization has taken a leadership role in horse protection issues and has been instrumental in developing and promoting legislation to eliminate the slaughter of American horses. To learn more, visit

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Louisiana contact Bill Cassidy and John Fleming

Next week the committee on Natural Resources will hold a markup on the bill HR 1018 on April 29th, next Wednesday, at 10am. What does that mean?

It means that amendments can be added and once that process is done there will be a vote to; recommend the bill to the full House (support it), hold for further study or not recommend it (not support it). Once done the bill will either die or be moved to the House for a vote.

It is incredibly important that this bill pass. If it does it could prevent things like what happened up in Nebraska at the 3 Strikes Ranch as it would expand the land that the mustangs can live on, it would return some mustangs back to the wild and it would repeal the 3 strikes rule (Burns Amendment).

Members of the Committee on Natural Resources

U.S. House of Representatives
111th Congress1324 Longworth House Office Building(202) 225-6065 Fax: (202) 225-1931

MR. NICK J. RAHALL, II, West Virginia, Chairman
MR. DOC HASTINGS, Washington, Ranking Republican Member (Ratio 29-20)

Dale E. Kildee, Michigan
Eni F.H. Faleomavaega, American Samoa
Neil Abercrombie, Hawaii
Frank Pallone, Jr., New Jersey
Grace F. Napolitano, California
Rush D. Holt, New Jersey
Raúl M. Grijalva, Arizona
Madeleine Z. Bordallo, Guam
Jim Costa, California
Dan Boren, Oklahoma
Gregorio "Kilili" Sablan, Mariana Islands
Martin Heinrich, New Mexico
George Miller, California
Edward J. Markey, Massachusetts
Peter A. DeFazio, Oregon
Maurice D. Hinchey, New York
Donna M. Christensen, Virgin Islands
Diana DeGette, Colorado
Ron Kind, Wisconsin
Lois Capps, California
Jay Inslee, Washington
Joe Baca, California
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, South Dakota
John P. Sarbanes, Maryland
Carol Shea-Porter, New Hampshire
Niki Tsongas, Massachusetts
Frank Kratovil, Jr., Maryland
Pedro R. Pierluisi, Puerto RicoDon Young, Alaska
Elton Gallegly, California
John J. Duncan, Jr., Tennessee
Jeff Flake, Arizona
Henry E. Brown, Jr., South Carolina
Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Washington
Louie Gohmert, Texas
Rob Bishop, Utah
Bill Shuster, Pennsylvania
Doug Lamborn, Colorado
Adrian Smith, Nebraska
Robert J. Wittman, Virginia
Paul C. Broun, Georgia
John Fleming, Louisiana Wash. DC Office(202) 225-2777 Fax: (202) 225-8039
Mike Coffman, Colorado
Jason Chaffetz, Utah
Cynthia M. Lummis, Wyoming
Tom McClintock, California
Bill Cassidy, Louisiana Wash. DC Office (202) 225-3901 Fax: (202) 225-7313

To find their contact info visit

Shelley Sawhook
PresidentAmerican Horse Defense Fund

Friday, April 17, 2009

BEEF: It's still what's for dinner


Equine Welfare Alliance
Until They Are Safe

CHICAGO, (EWA) – Horse slaughter advocates have recently thrown their misinformation campaign into high gear. In an attempt to solicit support by any means necessary, they are now feeding Congress outright lies on what the passage of the Federal Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009, HR 503 and S 727, will mean. The legislation could not be more clear in its intent: an end to horse slaughter. It is not, as recently asserted, an act to criminalize horse meat.
More importantly, the legislation is absolutely, unequivocally, indisputably, not the beginning of a vegetarian led effort to end animal agriculture in this country. Such claims are, in the jargon of animal agriculture, just plain hogwash.
Wyoming State Representative, Sue Wallis has teamed up with a special interest group and has become the go to lobbyist for the pro-slaughter campaign. In an “Informational” paper, that rivals the length of the recent stimulus package, Wallis missed her calling as a fiction writer.
And why is this special interest group, a 501(C)3, currently fundraising to “assemble a political war chest” to fund Wallis’ travels in what would appear to be a violation of Article 3 of Wyoming’s constitution? We urge the Wyoming legislature to convene an ethics investigation of Wallis’ highly suspect activities on behalf of the horsemeat industry.
What is readily apparent is that slaughter advocates are glaringly lacking in factual information. Their arguments, when exposed to critical examination, fall apart like the succulent beef of a well cooked roast. They have escalated efforts to scare the livestock industry into believing that ending horse slaughter is the first step to banning the slaughter of livestock. The shallow thinking exposed by this argument totally ignores the millions of beef, pork and chicken eaters who are revolted by the prospect of killing a non-food animal such as a horse or dog for profit.
Supporters of ending slaughter are portrayed as tree hugging vegans and PETA crazies that are on a mission to take away everyone’s hamburgers. The entire premise of Representative Wallis’ dissertation on horses as a food source is negated by the fact that horses are not classified as food animals by the USDA and are in fact classified by the FDA as companion animals.
Sue Wallis
and the meat business she hawks like a carnival barker want to create a market for horse meat in this country. Wallis, and the group she lobbies with, has even created a survey that is being sent only to carefully selected individuals that have registered on a pro slaughter web site. Undoubtedly, the results will be published as the voice of Americans and sent to our Congress even though only one side of the issue has been polled.
Ms. Wallis goes on to use the same property rights arguments that slave owners used unsuccessfully to stop the government from freeing their “property”. She argues that owners have the right to dispose of their “property” in any manner they choose, oblivious to disposal laws on appliances, cars, computer equipment, toxic waste materials and in some areas, horses. Wallis cannot change history any more than she can change the grim reality of horse slaughter.
In survey after survey, more than 70 percent of the American public has gone on record saying they don’t want horse slaughter. Congressman Conyers and Senator Landrieu, who introduced the federal legislation, are respected legislators that have been elected to multiple terms. Neither could be remotely considered tree hugging, vegans out to ban livestock slaughter. Conyers comes from a state where Midwestern beef is revered. Landrieu hails from Louisiana, and anybody knows that if something moves in that state it will likely end up in a pot to make a spicy Creole dish. Radical vegans? Hardly!
With rare exception, equine welfare advocates are meat eaters. Ending horse slaughter is not going to take away our hamburgers, sausage, chops and steaks. If anything, it would be a great opportunity for the livestock industry to start promoting our beef overseas.
We urge Congress for the swift passage of the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act and not be swayed by desperate attempts to link it to an imaginary vegan agenda.
And American Beef? It’s still what’s for dinner.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Urge House to Pass Anti-Horse Slaughter Bill

Ask President Obama to urge Congress to support the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act.

Goal: 50,000 • Progress: 34,988

Sponsored by: ASPCA

Horses have been our trusted companions and are a historically significant part of American culture. They deserve a more dignified end to their lives than to be inhumanely slaughtered and served for dinner.
H.R. 503 would put an end to this practice by prohibiting the transport of America's horses to foreign countries for slaughter. Ask President Obama today to urge Congress to support H.R. 503! Sign the petition and tell a friend.
More info ...

Dear President Obama,
As a concerned animal advocate, I am writing you to urge Congress to support the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act (H.R. 503). H.R. 503 would prohibit the possession, shipment, transport, purchase, sale, delivery, or receipt via interstate commerce of any horse intended for slaughter for human consumption.

Americans do not eat horse meat. However, every year, more than 100,000 American horses are cruelly slaughtered just over our borders to satisfy the markets for horsemeat in Europe and Asia.

Since the last horse slaughter plants in the U.S. were closed in 2007, unwanted American horses have been shipped to Canada and Mexico for slaughter. Overseas processing plants are not subject to U.S. oversight or regulation.

Due to overcrowded transport conditions, many horses are injured even before reaching their final destination. Some are shipped for more than 24 hours at a time without food, water, or rest, and the methods used to kill these horses once they arrive at the plant can be exceptionally inhumane.

Please help end this cruel practice - support H.R. 503, the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Walk Across America for Horses

Kristina Kremer age 32 from Capulin, CO is walking across the United States to raise awareness about the plight of the American horse. Kristina and her husband are truck drivers and operate an animal rescue including 120 plus horses. She is surrounded by the Colorado feedlots and sees 3-4 tractor trailer loads of horses leaving for the slaughterhouses in Mexico every week. She sees this as a great American tragedy. She has a heart to save horses and has taken up the cause and her sneakers to walk across America to let people know that horses are being mistreated at an alarming rate and in extreme. She is willing to have an honest dialogue with anyone and is currently in Washington, DC waiting to meet with Congressmen and has 1,200 letters for Congress and the President from all over the country and including many from children. Some of the children's letters have hand drawn pictures of horses.

Kristina was not the person who was planning to do this walk, as she has a family and obligations at home. However when the original walker, Eric Wilson from Circleville, OH crashed his bike and severely broke his ankle and shoulder requiring immediate surgery there was only one person left who would be willing to do it. Kristina, a determined woman was not deterred by her lack of preparation say, "We'll find help along the way". Her monies go to care for her family and her animals so she came with less than the bare essentials including her only shoes, a pair with holes in them. This did not dissuade her from coming to Newark, DE to begin her walk as scheduled. The News Journal covered this story, written by Jack Ireland, a prominent sports journalist in Delaware and followed the story the day of the walk with a photographer to document the start. Her walk was followed by Susan Pizzini of West Grove, PA in her pick up truck with signs stating, "Walk Across America for Horses" with flowers, American flag balloons, and purple ribbons which is the color used for horse welfare.

The walk proceeded to Fair Hill, MD where the famed equestrian park of over 5,000 acres of rolling hills and acclaimed Fair Hill Training Center, where Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro was trained. Tragically he was fatally injured at the start of the Preakness. As a truck driver, she had made deliveries to the Fair Hill facility and Kristina was pleasantly familiar somewhat with this location. After a visit the following Monday to the New Holland sales auction for the horse sales, she returned to pick up the walk going to Washington, DC where she is staying nearby as a guest of Freedom Hills Horse Rescue. She will continue the walk after their adoption day event on April 4th in Owings, MD. She hopes that people will make appointments with their Congressmen for her and call her at 719 580-0374 with the contact information for the Congressman' s office to firm up those appointments.

Kristina would like to get the 1,200 letters to President Obama with a promise that he will see them after sharing them with the members of Congress so they can see the support behind her mission.

Kristina needs support along her route, please call her at 719 580-0374 if you can help her with this walk. Her mission is urgent, her cause is noble and it can only be successful with the help of horse lovers across America.

Web site for the walk: http://awalkforhors
Yahoo support discussion group for the walk: http://pets. com/group/ Walk_Across_ America_for_ Horses/
Kristina Kremer 719 580-0374
"Walk Across America for Horses"

After the walk is over in the fall of 2009 Kristina would like to share this story and would be happy to be interviewed along the route at any time. Her email address is snowyriveranimalres cue@yahoo. com

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Washington Trip & Wild Horse Sanctuary Plan Details

Dear Friends,

I've just returned from Washington DC where we met with senators and their staff to present our Wild Horse Sanctuary business plan. We feel that it was well received and look forward to further cooperation with elected officials and the BLM. At this time, we are eagerly anticipating the appointment of the new head of the BLM. While this transition is in progress, we continue to build momentum in Washington DC to support the Sanctuary (which will save American taxpayers millions), and rescue the thousands of wild horses that are held in captivity and at risk of slaughter.

Now more than ever, we need to put public pressure on the BLM for the sake of these wild horses and burros. The thousands of emails and letters you've sent have made a tremendous impact. We're still on target to reach 5,000! If you have not yet contacted Salazar and the BLM, please
click here to send them a message in support of the Wild Horse Sanctuary. Again, please forward this email to as many people and groups as possible.

In addition, we have recently posted on updates on the Wild Horse Sanctuary Plan. This provides more details on the Plan as well as addresses many of the questions and suggestions you've submitted. Please click here to read more.

As always, thank you for your support and passionate concern for America's wild horses and burros. All of our efforts are making a difference to save the lives of these extraordinary animals.

With gratitude,
Madeleine Pickens
The National Wild Horse Foundation

P.S. To take action, visit and click Take action now.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009



Washington, DC (March 26, 2009) – A bill to ban horse slaughter was introduced in the United States Senate today. Sponsored by Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and John Ensign (R-NV), the Landrieu-Ensign "Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act" will end the slaughter of American horses here and abroad. The sponsors, who have long championed the cause, have the bipartisan support of 14 colleagues who are co-sponsoring the bill.
The legislation comes at a time when horse slaughter no longer occurs on U.S. soil, but each year tens of thousands of American horses continue to be hauled to Canada, Mexico and further abroad. Reports show that horses regularly travel for hundreds or even thousands of miles to the slaughterhouses on double-deck cattle trucks without food, water or rest. At some Mexican slaughterhouses horses are stabbed repeatedly in the spine until they are paralyzed, after which they are butchered while still fully conscious. This country’s three remaining horse slaughter plants – two in Texas and one in Illinois – were shut down in 2007 under state law. Since then, the pro-slaughter camp has led a concerted and disingenuous effort to resurrect the industry domestically, and has used scare tactics in an attempt to defeat the federal ban. The federal legislation is desperately needed to stop the slaughter of American horses, irrespective of where the killing takes place.
"America's horses are being beaten and dragged across the border into Mexico and Canada so that they can be inhumanely slaughtered for food. I will continue to fight in Congress to end this brutal practice and ensure that American horses will no longer be savagely slaughtered for human consumption," said Senator Mary Landrieu.
While horse slaughter no longer occurs on U.S. soil the absence of a federal statute means that horses are shipped out of the country for slaughter. Reports show that horses regularly travel for hundreds or even thousands of miles to the slaughterhouses on double-deck cattle trucks without food, water or rest. At some Mexican slaughterhouses horses are stabbed repeatedly in the spine until they are paralyzed, after which they are butchered while still fully conscious.
"The time to put an end to the practice of slaughtering horses in America is long overdue," said Senator John Ensign said. "Horses have an important role in the history of our country, particularly the West, and they deserve our protection. As a senator and a veterinarian, I am committed to doing what I can for these magnificent animals."
The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act will amend Title 18 of the U.S. Code to acknowledge horse slaughter as a form of animal cruelty. The legislation includes stiff civil and criminal penalties and gives law enforcement officials the authority to apprehend and charge violators.
“We have great confidence that the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act will move quickly. The bill, which has had strong support from a majority of Congress and the American public, is long overdue. For years I have pleaded with the pro-horse slaughter camp to stop misleading the public but they are more concerned with wringing a few bucks from a suffering animal than doing what is right. Thankfully we have the majority of Congress advocating for change and this is the year that will happen,” said Chris Heyde, Deputy Director of Legislative and Government Affairs for the Animal Welfare Institute. “AWI commends Senator Landrieu, Senator Ensign and their colleagues for introducing this very important measure.”
An identical version, HR 503, was introduced earlier this year in the House of Representatives by House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) and Representative Dan Burton (R-IN). There are currently 112 bipartisan cosponsors of the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act in the House of Representatives. To take action on this important bill visit AWI's Compassion Index.
For More Information:Chris Heyde, 202-446-2142
For over 58 years, the Animal Welfare Institute has been the leading voice for animals across the country and on Capitol Hill. Please join us in our ongoing campaigns to reduce the sum total of pain and fear inflicted on animals by humans. Sign up for AWI eAlerts to receive the latest news on what you can do to help us protect all animals:

Monday, March 23, 2009

Dear Friends,
Thanks to you, we now have sent nearly 1200 emails to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar! Our goal is to reach 5,000. This is an incredible start. As a testament to our collective voice, we now have the support of Senators Dianne Feinstein and Mary Landrieu.If you have any other friends, networks or groups, please pass our message along. Remember, this is a grassroots effort and it is the grassroots vote that makes the difference. Please tell them to take action at http://www.madeleinepicken/ It's been truly amazing to see your extraordinary response. Also, thank you for your personal comments and suggestions. We value your input and will be addressing your questions in the near future. I'm off to Washington, DC on Monday for further talks with Senators and key decision makers. Be on the lookout for updates on our progress with the Bureau of Land Management. I am deeply touched and very grateful for your outstanding passion, and for your courage to speak up on behalf of America's treasured wild horses and burros. We have launched on a path that we can see only to its fruition - a sustainable horse sanctuary for thousands of wild horses and burros.
With gratitude,
Madeleine Pickens
PresidentNational Wild Horse Foundation
P.S. To take action, visit and click Take action now.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Rep. Sue Wallis & the Wyoming State Legislature

Sponsored by:Friends of Equines Society FOES of Equine Slaughter

Wyoming Lawmakers decry interference in horse slaughter

AP Fri, February 6, 2009 12:59:57 PM CST
A resolution asking Congress not to interfere with the shipment and slaughter of unwanted horses has received preliminary approval. House Joint Resolution 8 urges Congress to keep out of state oversight of the transport and processing of horses. Rep. Sue Wallis, R-Recluse, WY who introduced the resolution, said it's a response to a federal bill that seeks to limit horse transport to Mexico and Canada. Americans currently send unwanted horses to the neighboring countries for slaughter, because slaughterhouses in the United States have closed. Wallis said the proposed Conyers-Burton Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009 would be a threat to Wyoming's horse and livestock industries. She said the industries have already been hurt as domestic slaughterhouses have closed due pressure from animal rights organizations. "It's absolutely decimating to the horse industry," Wallis said. There are an estimated 100,000 unwanted or unusable horses in the United States, according to supporters of the resolution.But Nancy Perry, of the Humane Society of the United States, said horses transported to Canada and Mexico are often young and slaughtered for horse meat. "Horses that wind up going to slaughter are not old, broken down horses that reach the end of their utility," Perry said. She said the Humane Society would rather see old or unwanted horses euthanized.She said the bipartisan Conyers-Burton bill has more than 80 co-sponsors and continues to gain support. The Wyoming House would need to approve the state resolution two more times before it would go to the Senate. This state-by-state organising for horse-slaughter is the work of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) who held a meeting last Decemeber to initiate their pro-horse slaughter agenda on a state-by-state basis. The "Pro-slaughter" states are asking Congress NOT to interfere with their "right" to slaughter horses. We MUST meet these individual proposals head on and to let Congress know that the majory of Americans are against horse slaughter. Here is a link to the state of Wyomings Legislature, Agricultural Subcomitte where you can contact the legislators and let them know that you VOTE and are against horse-slaughter;
Then please check out these other petitions as against the NCSL and the other states that propose to want horse-slaughter. We must meet them at every turn!
The National Conference of State Legislators;
North Dakota
South Dakota;

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Walk Across America for the Horses

Kremer to make strides for welfare of horses
BARN NOTES • By JACK IRELAND • March 14, 2009

Kristina Kremer is on a mission to save unwanted and neglected horses from slaughter houses, and her endeavor starts at 9 a.m. today in Newark.
Kremer, from Capulin, Colo., will begin her Walk Across America for Horses near the Main Street underpass in an effort to raise awareness of the threat of slaughter and daily abuse, and to improve the welfare and better treatment of all horses.
Kremer is deeply involved in the treatment and rescue of unwanted horses. She owns and operates the Snowy River Animal Rescue Farm, a 120-acre facility housing 120 rescued horses in Capulin, Colo. Kremer will walk down Main Street, then onto Route 273 to Fair Hill, Md., where she will take part in a luncheon with interested horsemen and horse rescue enthusiasts.
Her first major goal of the walk will be to get to Washington, D.C., and attempt to deliver approximately 1,200 letters, written mostly by children, asking President Barrack Obama to support the rescue of all horses and to stop efforts by certain factions in this country to re-open horse slaughter houses to the U.S. She hopes to finish the walk in six to eight months in California.
"This letter-writing campaign comes from children and families throughout the United States and that definitely includes Delaware," said Kremer. "The very least I can do is find a way to get someone to deliver these letters to the White House and the President when I reach Washington. I am serious, and I'm not some eccentric. Anyone out there who can help me accomplish that, please contact me or a member of our support group."
For updated information and to follow Kremer's walk each day, go to or call local contact Susan Pizzini of West Grove, Pa., at (610) 869-3629 or (610) 999-1990.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Equine Welfare Alliance

CAUTION: Many details and visuals contained in the reports on this page are extremely graphic.

Animals’ Angels Sugarcreek Auction Investigation Jan.16-18 2009

Animals’ Angels 10.2008 Mexico Transport and Slaughter Investigation

From Animals’ Angels FVO inspection report from Mexico visit reveals insufficient national measures to control drug residues in horse meat!
Read the eMail Alert Read the Report

Animals' Angels Investigative Report on the Mize Horse Sale and the Rowan horse feedlot in Mississippi. Read the Report

Our own Julie Caramante and Steve Long on KHOU TV
Thousands of US Horses Slaughtered in Mexico
Video of KHOU TV News Report

From Animals’ Angels (FOIA from the USDA)
Horse Transport Violations at Beltex Plant in Texas

Humane Slaughter Act Violations at Cavel Plant in Illinois

PRESS RELEASE From Animal Law Coalition
FOIA Request Uncovers Unprecedented Evidence Horse Slaughter is Inhumane

From our friends in Canada. An investigative report by the Canadian Horse Defense Coalition covering April 27-May 1, 2008.
Black Beauty Betrayed: The Slaughter of US and Canadian Horses

Canadian Horse Defense Coalition Investigative Report on Natural Valley Farms in Canada.
Natural Valley Investigation 02 & 03 2008

Anne Russek Auction Reports
Sugarcreek 10.17.08
Sugarcreek Abuse Update
New Holland 11.03.08

Animals' Angels Investigative Report on the Morton, Texas horse feedlot.
Read the Report
View the Video

More from Animals’ Angels
Nickerson Feedlot June 2008
Eagle Pass Export Pen June2008
Washington State Slaughter Horse Industry May 2008
Mexico Investigation 08.31.07-09.08.07

From Voluntary Instinct
What About the Horse? Video Series

** From Valerie James-Patton
Case Study of Suspected Illegal Exports of Geldings to Mexico

Deleting the Fiction (from

Deleting the Fiction: False Claims of Abandoned Horses 12.23.07

Deleting the Fiction: False Claims of Abandoned Horses Part 2 March 2008

Deleting the Fiction: Short Paper February 2008

The Texas Massacres Until They Are Safe...

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Effort disproves slaughter's proponents' claims that horses are unwanted.
WASHINGTON -- United States Senator Mary Landrieu, D-La., today commended the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) and the National Black Farmers Association (NBFA) for the partnership they launched this week to help find homes for the so called "unwanted horses" on farms operated by NBFA members.
"I am so glad that AWI and NBFA have started this partnership, flying in the face of the horse slaughter industry's argument that the push to end the killing of horses has created a surplus of horses without homes in this country," Sen. Landrieu said. "This new effort, 'Project Wanted Horse,' proves that these animals can find loving homes here in America, and need not be shipped across the border to be killed."
Sen. Landrieu's bill, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, S. 311, would prohibit horse slaughter for human consumption. Although the last horse slaughter facilities have closed their doors in the U.S., more than 100,000 American horses were exported to Canada and Mexico in 2007 to be slaughtered, processed and exported to Europe and Asia for human consumption.
"Project Wanted Horse" directly disproves the bill's opponents, who claim that slaughter is necessary to control the excess population of horses that has resulted since they are no longer sent to slaughter.
The effort will ensure that horses rescued from the slaughter pipeline or from other forms of abuse by equine protection organizations will be placed on farms operated by NBFA's 94,000 members across the country. AWI will oversee the placement of horses, and each animal will be accompanied by a contract that ensures quality lifetime care, and a commitment that they will not be resold into slaughter.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Downturn used to promote horse slaughter, says alliance

February 28, 2009

Cattle interests and agriculture associations have used the economic downturn to advance their agenda of promoting horse slaughter, says the Equine Welfare Alliance.
Representives John Holland and Vicki Tobin condemned the growing use of the term "harvest" to describe horse slaughter, calling it an insult and outrage to horse lovers.
"This fraud attempts to reduce the horse - the animal which in partnership with man built this nation - to a commodity such as corn, wheat, barley, or oats," the pair said.
"Although there is no market in the US for the 'crop', proponents of this fraud want to ensure healthy horses are killed so there is a continuous supply of meat on the hoof that must continually be shipped to overseas markets that Americans do not own nor profit. This is referred to as the never-ending cycle of breed and dump."
The term harvest was being used in a bid to mask a cruel process with a word that has pleasant associations.
Pro-slaughter groups should at least be honest in the language they use to describe the slaughter process, they said.
Not only were cattle and agriculture associations promoting horse "harvesting", but organisations such as the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) and the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) were often quoted and named in their articles and speeches as supporters.
"These are the very organisations that are entrusted to promote equine welfare and care," said the alliance.
"They are organisations that have seen recent results of a three-year long US Department of Agriculture Freedom of Information Act probe by animal cruelty investigator Julie Caramante which resulted in the release of photos and reports from investigations of the department that clearly depict the cruelty and abuse inherent with the entire horse killing process.
"The three-year cover-up by the USDA has been dubbed by some in the media 'Slaughtergate'. It is hardly a harvest," the alliance said.
"Horses are not food animals in America. They are trusted work, service, sport, therapy and companion animals. It is time for Americans to stand up and end the hold the predatory foreign market has on the American equine industry.

"It is time for Americans to stand up and let their legislators know that horses are not crops, and that it is imperative that The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009 be passed swiftly and without hesitation by the Congress and signed into law by President Obama."

Friday, February 27, 2009

List of States Introducing Slaughter Legislation

List of States Introducing Slaughter Legislation Grows

by: Pat Raia February 19 2009, Article # 13639
Twelve state legislatures are now considering measures to express their support of or actively encourage the reestablishment of U.S. horse processing plants.
Resolutions indicating opposition to HR 503, the federal Conyers-Burton Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act, which would eliminate horse slaughter nationwide and prohibit the export of horses to slaughter are either under consideration or have already passed in:

Arizona (SCM 1001)
Kansas (HCR 5004)
Minnesota (SF 133)
North Dakota (HB 1496)
South Dakota (SCR 2)
Utah (HJR 7)
Wyoming (HJR 8)

Bills amending state laws to promote private investor plant development are pending in:
Arkansas (HCR 1004)
Illinois (HB 0583)
Missouri (House, HCR 19 House; Senate, SCR 8)
Montana (HB 418)
Tennessee (HB 1361)

The state measures were prompted by a resolution submitted into the National Conference of State Legislatures' (NCSL) Agriculture and Energy Committee in December 2008 by Wyoming State Rep. Sue Wallis and then South Dakota State Rep. Dave Sigdestad.
The NCSL is a bipartisan organization that advocates for state governments' interests before Congress and other federal agencies. The resolution encourages legislators in rural states to promote horse processing on the basis of generating jobs and addressing the issue of unwanted horses.
"We want to take the emotion out of the slaughter issue and look at it economically," Sigdestad said. "These bills are the only way we have to get our voices heard in Washington."

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


George Knapp, Chief Investigative Reporter

Feb 10, 2009 09:18 PM MST

I-Team: Bold Plans to Save Wild Horses

The BLM announced last year it has no more room for additional wild horses, yet it continues to fund additional roundups on the ranges. The bureau says it can't afford to feed the animals either. Pickens and her husband are serious about their idea to set aside a million or more acres as a sanctuary for the more than 30,000 wild horses now squeezed into government pens.
The wife of Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens is riding to the rescue of Nevada's wild horse herds. Madeleine Pickens has a bold plan that would not only save the horses, but would get taxpayers out of a jam as well. The proposal is bold and big. Pickens wants to create a refuge for wild horses that could encompass more than a million acres of public land in northern Nevada. She has the support of wild horse groups, key lawmakers, and even a few people in the Bureau of Land Management.
"It's fascinating to me that you don't realize what you have. Here you have one of the greatest ecosystems that could be so popular. People go to the rain forest, imagine coming to Nevada and visiting the wild mustangs," she said.
Pickens thinks Nevada's vanishing herds of wild horses could be transformed into a major tourist attraction, instead of being viewed as four legged vermin, which is how many ranchers and bureaucrats see them.
Pickens and her husband are serious about their idea to set aside a million or more acres as a sanctuary for the more than 30,000 wild horses now squeezed into government pens.
Pickens initially wanted to take a few thousand of the horses off the BLM's hands, but the idea sort of took off on its own, "The first year I anticipate we would take 8,000 to 10,000 horses. They are the ones in temporary holding. If you go to Fallon, Nevada and you look at the horses in short term holding, they are stuffed into these corrals and they are really derriere to derriere. They have no room to move around. They were supposed to be here for three months and they've been there for three years. It's cruel. They would be the first group we would take."
The BLM announced last year it has no more room for additional wild horses, yet it continues to fund additional roundups on the ranges. The bureau says it can't afford to feed the animals either, which is why it admitted that thousands of the captured mustangs would have to be euthanized or shipped away to slaughterhouses.
Pickens wants to take the horses out of the corrals and let them run free on a vast sanctuary she hopes to assemble out of parcels both private and public. The horse refuge could provide an economic jolt to rural Nevada since Pickens hopes to turn it into an ecotourism attraction where visitors could observe mustang herds in their natural environment.
"There are so many creative ways you can think afterwards -- Jeeps, all kinds of things where you go out on safari and look for the wild herds. You can have an education center with videos, the history -- it's a living history. It's not dead. It's not gone. These horses live on and we can enjoy our land," she said.
Taking the horses out of the BLM pens could save the government more than $100 million in just the first three years, plus it would relieve the overcrowding and eliminate the need to put the horses to death.
Back in January, she met with BLM officials in Washington to explain her plan to create a million-acre sanctuary for wild horses.
BLM said it would need one month to address some initial legal questions. The month is up as of Friday. After that, Pickens plans to take her case directly to Congress to try and force BLM to act. It will be a major surprise if BLM has an answer by Friday and it will be an even bigger surprise if the bureau helps move the plan forward.
Horse advocates are already convinced BLM will come up with a list of reasons why the sanctuary is impossible. Pickens says she can't see how BLM could pass on this opportunity, just for the financial savings alone.
"It is costing BLM so much money to keep this program going. It's $27 then $35 then it goes to $65 million next year. It's inappropriate at a time when we have a global meltdown, that they still continue to gather, continue to put into short term holding and cost the taxpayers this money. By the year 2020, if they do my program, they would have saved $800 million. It's a huge number. I don't see how they could turn it down," she said.
But when it comes to the federal government, financial logic doesn't have to enter the picture. BLM's cooperation is needed in two main areas - first to allow the mustangs to be removed from the crowded pens where they're housed now so they could be transferred to the wide open spaces of Pickens refuge. BLM has long complained it has no room for the horses, and can't afford to feed them, but that doesn't mean the bureau would willingly let them go.
Second, BLM's help is needed to put together the million acres. Pickens would buy the title to ranchland but most of the acreage is public range with grazing rights assigned to individual private ranches. BLM would have to okay the transfer of that land from cattle grazing areas to horse sanctuary.
In the view of Pickens and other wild horse advocates, BLM has long been under the control of the cattle industry, "I don't think they hate the wild horses, I think they hate the wild horse issue. I sometimes wonder if they don't want the issue to go away because their departments grow and grow and grow and they get a bigger budget if they do more and more. So after awhile you start to think, could it possibly be that?"
When asked about concerns with the program, spokesman with BLM said they don't want to get into any of that at this time.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Horse Slaughterers' Strategy Revealed

Posted Feb 9, 2009 by lauraallen

Horse SlaughterState legislators have been introducing pro horse slaughter resolutions on behalf of foreign investors anxious to defeat H.R. 503.
H.R. 503, which is pending in Congress would stop them from using American horses for horsemeat served as a delicacy in fine restaurants primarily in parts of Asia, Europe and South America.These resolutions are worded almost identically.The resolutions proclaim that there is an increase in "unwanted" or "unusable" horses, as many as 100,000 or more annually, because of the closing of U.S. horse slaughter facilities in 2007. They claim the closing of U.S. slaughter houses in 2007 had "significant economic impact on the...equine industry". These resolutions call for "processing" or "harvesting" horses, euphemisms for "slaughter", which they describe as "humane". They claim slaughter can be managed through inspections and regulations.These resolutions, if approved by the state legislatures, would be sent to Congress, as the state's position that H.R. 503 should be defeated.It is important to voice your opposition to these resolutions. These resolutions are pending in these states:

Utah, H.J.R. 7, which has already passed the state House and has been approved by a Senate committee. Contact all Utah state Senators.

Missouri, HCR 19 in the House and SCR 8 in the state senate. These resolutions also call for opening a horse slaughter house in that state. Find your Missouri legislators here. Find all Missouri state representatives and senators. HCR 19 is pending before the state Agri-Business Committee and SCR 8 will be voted on by the state Senate Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions, and Ethics Committee.

South Dakota, S.C.R. 2 has already passed the state House by a vote of 63-1. A separate, second bill, S.B. 114, asks the South Dakota state legislature to spend $100,000 on a study "of the feasibility, viability, and desirability of establishing and operating an equine processing facility in the state. Find your South Dakota state senators here. Find email addresses for all South Dakota state senators here. Find contact information for all South Dakota state representatives and senators here.

North Dakota S.C.R. 4021 will be heard on Feb. 12, 2009 at 11 a.m. by the Senate Agriculture committee. Fax the committee at 701-328-3615 or email A second bill, H.B. 1496 has already been approved by a legislative committee. The committee approved $75,000 in North Dakota for a study of possible markets for horse meat, applicable laws and funding for a horse slaughter facility there. Find all North Dakota state senators here. Find all House members here.

Wyoming, H.J.R. 8 has already passed committee. Find all Wyoming legislators here. Minnesota, S.F. 133 is currently in the state Senate Agriculture and Veterans Committee. Find your Minnesota state senator and representative. Find all Minnesota state senators and representatives.

Arkansas H.C.R. 1004, also calls for incentives and support for opening of horse slaughter houses nationally and in the state. This bill has already passed in the state House and is in the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development Find here all Arkansas state senators, including yours if you live there.

In Illinois Rep. Jim Sacia has introduced a bill, as he did last session for the repeal of the 2007 state law banning horse slaughter. That state law helped shut down the horse slaughter facility in Dekalb, Illinois.Rep. Sacia's bill, H.B. 583, would also allow horses destined for slaughter for human consumption to be shipped into the state for slaughter with no certificate of veterinary inspection contrary to current state law governing horses. 510 ILCS 65/4 The new law would also exempt downed, sick, diseased, lame or disabled horses from the requirements of the Humane Care for Animals Act governing animals in this condition. 510 ILCS 70/5, 7.5This means Rep. Sacia and the interests he represents in the horse slaughter underworld understand that horse slaughter is brutal and cruel and so would want to exempt their sordid practice from the animal cruelty laws and inspection requirements.Contact Illinois state House and Senate members and urge them to vote NO on H.B. 583 and keep horse slaughter out of Illinois.

The horse slaughterers' strategy

These resolutions and bills are a not-so-subtle ploy by the foreign investors that own horse slaughter houses to defeat H.R. 503 which would ban the sale, transport, and possession of horses in interstate and foreign commerce for slaughter for human consumption.Even without H.R. 503, horse slaughter cannot occur legally in the U.S. There is no point in states appropriating tax dollars for studies when currently horse slaughter for human consumption is not allowed in the U.S. These resolutions will simply insure horse slaughterers can continue to take American horses to Mexico or Canada for slaughter.There is also another goal: to make horse slaughter acceptable to Americans and, in fact, create a market in the U.S. for the consumption of horsemeat. The resolution proposing the North Dakota study says as much. If Americans begin eating horsemeat, the theory is that Congress will be forced to fund ante-mortem inspections. Under current law because these required inspections are not funded, horse slaughter is not legal in the U.S. For more on this.....Keep in mind when the remaining 3 horse slaughter houses in the U.S. closed in 2007, they were owned by foreign companies, Dallas Crown, Inc.; Cavel International, Inc. and Beltex Corp., which now operates a horse slaughter house in Mexico, Empacadora de Carnes de Fresnillo.Even when there were horse slaughter houses in the U.S., they were part of a horse meat industry that was only 0.001% of the U.S. meat industry. The foreign-owned U.S. horse slaughterhouses paid little in income taxes. One facility paid $5 in federal taxes on $12 million in sales. These slaughter houses paid no export taxes, meaning the U.S. government effectively subsidized the sale of horse meat to consumers generally in parts of Asia, South America and Europe.The profits went to the foreign investors. The communities where horse slaughter houses were located were left with horrific odors of dying and dead horses, blood literally running down the streets, and illegally dumped waste. There is no economic or other benefit to these states in subsidizing horse slaughter. Just the opposite. It is akin to supporting dog fighting rings.Horse slaughter is also not a means of controlling numbers of "unwanted horses". This is a myth perpetuated by the horse slaughter industry that is simply repeated over and over again as in these resolutions. Horse slaughter is a multi million dollar a year business that is driven by a demand for horse meat. Kill buyers buy horses at auction for slaughter, and the USDA has said over 92% of American horses slaughtered, are healthy, not old, sick, injured, or neglected. These horses were not unwanted; they were simply sold at auction, and their owners had no control over who purchased them. Without the kill buyers who skulk around horse auctions, looking for the best potential horse meat, most of these horses would be purchased by others or end up in rescues or sanctuaries.As John Holland, a free lance writer and researcher on horse slaughter and consultant for Americans Against Horse Slaughter, has explained, "Kill buyers do not go around the country like dog catchers gathering ‘unwanted horses' as a public service."As Americans Against Horse Slaughter points out, "Just over 100,000 horses were slaughtered in the U.S. in 2006. If slaughter were no longer an option and these horses were rendered or buried instead, it would represent a small increase in the number of horse being disposed of in this manner - an increase that the current infrastructure can certainly sustain. Humane euthanasia and carcass disposal is highly affordable and widely available. The average cost of having a horse humanely euthanized and safely disposing of the animal's carcass is approximately $225, while the average monthly cost of keeping a horse is approximately $200."Also, the horse slaughter industry actually encourages the over breeding of horses. Because owners can make money from the brutal slaughter of their horses, they have an incentive to over breed. As Paul Sorvino put it, "37% of those horses are going to be slaughtered because they couldn't run fast enough....So, it's run for your life." If the slaughter of horses for human consumption is illegal, there is no reward for over breeding.Sadly, pro-slaughter groups have disseminated disinformation in the media to convince the public that without horse slaughter, there will be large numbers of abandoned, abused and neglected horses. (Even if that were true, which it is not, it is not clear how substituting one form of cruelty for another is somehow a solution.)Indeed, these reports in the media have proven to be unfounded. A study released last year showed a decrease in horse abuse and neglect cases following closure of the last U.S. horse slaughter house in 2007. Any abandoned or neglected horses are not a result of a lack of horse slaughter houses.Historically, there have not been increases in abandoned, neglected or abused horses following closures of horse slaughter houses. In 2002 the Illinois slaughter house burned to the ground and was out of commission for some time. Reports of abandoned, abused and neglected horses in the Illinois area were actually on the rise in the 2 years before the fire but decreased afterwards.Remember the number of horses slaughtered in the U.S. dropped significantly from over 300,000 annually in the 1990s to 66,000 in 2004. There was no notable increase during that time of abandoned, abused or neglected horses.When California banned horse slaughter in 1998, there was no rise in cases of cruelty or neglect to horses. In fact, there was a 39.4% decrease initially and that rose to 88% eventually in horse thefts. (What does that tell you about this "business"?)Also, from 2004-2007 5000 horses were imported into the U.S. for slaughter. If horse slaughter occurs because of all the unwanted horses, why would these horse slaughter businesses need to import them? The answer is, of course, they wouldn't. Horse slaughter has nothing to do controlling numbers of unwanted horses. It is a business driven by a demand for horse meat primarily as a delicacy in foreign countries.As Americans Against Horse Slaughter puts it, "The ‘surplus horse population' [argument] is a scare tactic."Horse slaughter is also in no sense humane euthanasia. That much has been established by documents recently released in response to a FOIA request. The captive bolt gun used in the U.S. slaughterhouses did not typically render horses senseless before slaughter. The slaughter houses never bothered to restrain the horses' heads or use only trained personnel to operate the gun.As John Holland has explained, "In its 2000 report on methods of Euthanasia, the AVMA stated that the captive bolt gun should not be used on equines unless head restraint could be assured. This is because of the relatively narrow forehead of equines, their head shyness and the fact that the brain is set back further than in cattle for which the gun is intended. It is difficult for an operator to assure proper placement of the gun."No slaughter house ever found a practical way to restrain the heads of the horses, so by the AVMA's very definition, the process was not acceptable. The result was a very large number of ineffective stuns. These misplaced blows undoubtedly caused severe pain until a stunning or fatal blow was delivered. "Imagine the pain and terror experienced by horses as bolts were repeatedly fired at their heads many times by untrained operators. Many times horses were still conscious when they were then hoisted upside down for slaughter. For more information on the brutality of horse slaughter in the U.S., click here to read the July 25, 2006 testimony of Christopher J. Heyde, Deputy Legislative Director for Animal Welfare Institute, before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection. Click here to read testimony offered during a Congressional hearing in 2008 about the cruelty of horse slaughter.Also, listen here to a discussion on WFL Endangered Stream Live Talk Radio about horse slaughter by Laura Allen, Executive Director of Animal Law Coalition; John Holland, journalist and consultant for Americans Against Horse Salughter; Dr. Nena Winand, DVM with Veterinarians for Equine Welfare and Paula Bacon, former mayor of Kaufman, Tx and leader of the fight to shut down the horse slaughter facility that operated there until 2007. (Download this broadcast!)Then contact your U.S. representative and urge him or her to vote YES on the Conyers-Burton Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009, H.B. 503.Also, tell your representative to vote YES on H.R. 305, the Horse Transportation Safety Act, which will put an end to all transports of horses on double decked trailers.

ALC In the NewsALC on Talk Radio!Laura Allen, Executive Director of ALC on WFL Endangered Stream Live Talk Radio

ALC Recommended Reading"Mustangs, Spirit of the Shrinking West", by Alexandra Fuller, National Geographic magazine, Feb. 2009