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 American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act
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4364 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2006 :  09:55:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Willie Nelson and friends send open letter in support of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act to all US Senators
Willie Nelson, Bo Derek, Morgan Fairchild and Jennifer Lee Pryor recently sat down to discuss horse slaughter and the campaign to pass the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act
URGENT SAPL eALERT: Congress May Act on Two Key Issues Before Session Ends: Anti-Animal Welfare Bill Must be Opposed and Horse Bill Needs Your Help!
House of Representatives Passes Bill to End Horse Slaughter Over Horse Slaughter Industry Opposition

Testimony submitted by Christopher J. Heyde, deputy legislative director, to the House Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection (note: no organization concerned with the welfare of horses was permitted to testify during a hearing before the House Agriculture Committee on July 27, 2006. Only pro-horse slaughter organizations were invited.)
VIDEO: Footage of horse slaughter and humane euthanasia (GRAPHIC)
Organizations and Individuals Supporting the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act


The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act will end the slaughter of horses for human consumption and the domestic and international transport of live horses or horseflesh for human consumption.

Last year alone 91,757 horses were slaughtered in one of the three foreign-owned, US-based horse slaughtering facilities located in Texas and Illinois.

H.R. 503, The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act has been reintroduced in the US House by Congressman John Sweeney (R-NY), Co-chair of the Congressional Horse Caucus, Congressman John Spratt, Jr. (D-SC) and Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY). In the Senate. S. 1915 has been reintroduced by Senator and veterinarian John Ensign (R-NV) and Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA). Last year in the House 228 bipartisan Members of Congress cosponsored the bill, lets reach that number again.

What you can do
Please write, email, call or fax your Representative and Senators and urge her or him to cosponsor this important legislation. To find your member click here.

U.S. House of Representatives

H.R. 503, The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (AHSPA)
To amend the Horse Protection Act to prohibit the shipping, transporting, moving, delivering, receiving, possessing, purchasing, selling, or donation of horses and other equines to be slaughtered for human consumption, and for other purposes.
UPDATE: On September 7, 2006, the House of Representatives voted 263 to 146 in favor of H.R. 503, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, to end the slaughter of horses for human consumption.
U.S. Senate

S. 1915, The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (AHSPA)
To amend the Horse Protection Act to prohibit the shipping, transporting, moving, delivering, receiving, possessing, purchasing, selling, or donation of horses and other equines to be slaughtered for human consumption, and for other purposes.

Horses have served humans throughout history, carrying us on their backs, tilling our fields, drawing wagons and carriages, enriching our lives as friends and companions. In the United States, horses have never been raised for human consumption, yet American horses are being killed so their meat can satisfy the palates of overseas diners in countries such as Italy, France, Belgium and Japan. Show horses, racehorses, foals born as a “byproduct” of the Premarin© industry (a female hormone replacement drug), wild horses and family horses all fall prey to this detestable foreign industry.

The horsemeat trade is hidden from most Americans and the industry wants to keep it that way. Warren Smith, operations manager of a Canadian horse slaughterhouse, was quoted in the Edmonton Journal (3/10/01): “Talking about horses is kind of a scary thing, especially in the West, where people think it’s more of a pet than protein. When anybody starts writing about horses, everybody gets up in arms. Every time we say anything about horse in the paper, there’s always an uproar, so I don’t want to talk about it.”

Most horses who end up being slaughtered are brought in by killer-buyers who serve as middlemen for the slaughterhouses. Killer-buyers readily purchase as many horses as possible at livestock auctions around the country and haul them to the plants to be butchered. Many horses are sold at auction by irresponsible owners seeking an easy means to dispose of animals they no longer want. Others, however, are consigned by caring owners who simply have no idea of the fate awaiting the animals.

Horses played a vital role in the history of the United States both as a means of transportation and assistance on the family farm. Today, they continue to serve us and our lives are enriched greatly by them. (USDA)


Additionally, hundreds—perhaps thousands—of horses are stolen each year. Horse thieves make quick money by unloading illegally obtained horses to killer-buyers and slaughterhouses. Slaughterhouses typically kill and process horses within 24 hours, making it impossible to trace and recover animals in time.


Judy Taylor of Kentucky sought help in caring for her two beloved Appaloosa horses, Poco and PJ, due to her own serious health problems. At the recommendation of a friend, she contacted Lisa and Jeff Burgess. The couple agreed to take care of the animals with the understanding that, if they were unable to continue doing so, the horses were to be returned to Judy. Despite this agreement, within seven days of receiving the horses, the Burgesses sold them to a known killer-buyer for $1,000. Soon after, Judy discovered what had happened and frantically searched for her fraudulently acquired horses.

Eventually she learned the horrifying truth—her horses had been slaughtered for their meat. Successful charges were brought against the Burgesses. The Kentucky Court of Appeals noted “the Burgesses’ conduct clearly rises to the level of being outrageous and intolerable in that it offends generally accepted standards of decency and morality, certainly a situation in which the recitation of the facts to an average member of the community would arouse his resentment against the actor, and lead him to exclaim, ‘Outrageous!’”


The wild stallion, Cloud, subject of two popular PBS specials and companion books, is at risk of round-up and slaughter because of recent legislative changes to the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. (Ginger Kathrens/Taurus Productions)


In the 1950s Velma Johnston, better known as “Wild Horse Annie,” revulsed by the cruelty she witnessed at horse roundups and during transport, began a campaign to protect wild horses from this butchery. Her work culminated in the passage of The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act in 1971 that stated in part, “It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death....”

A recent backdoor Congressional amendment, engineered by Senator Conrad Burns (R–MT), gutted this law. Now, the Bureau of Land Management, the agency responsible for protecting wild horses, must sell “excess” horses (those 10 years of age or older or not adopted after three tries) at livestock auctions. As a result, thousands of wild horses will be removed from their range and sold for slaughter.


The transportation, handling and slaughter process are rife with cruelty. Failure to properly stun animals at the slaughter plant results in horses being shackled and dismembered while still conscious. Slaughter is not humane euthanasia. (Gail Eisnitz/HFA)


Currently, three foreign-owned slaughterhouses in the United States are killing horses for human consumption. They are Beltex Corporation in Ft. Worth, Texas; Dallas Crown in Kaufman, Texas and Cavel International in DeKalb, Illinois. According to the US Department of Agriculture, 65,976 horses were slaughtered in 2004, up from 50,564 killed the previous year. In addition to the horses killed in the three US-based plants, thousands more are transported under deplorable conditions across our borders into Canada and Mexico to be slaughtered.

Conditions of transport are appalling. Horses are typically hauled for more than 24 hours without rest, water or food in trailers that provide little protection from weather extremes. They are often forced onto double-decked cattle trailers with ceilings so low they injure their heads. Many horses—sick, lame, pregnant or blind—are in distress even before being loaded.

Once at the slaughterhouse, the suffering continues unabated. Horses are left for long periods in tightly packed trailers, subjected to further extremes of heat and cold. In hot weather, thirst is acute. Downed animals are unable to rise. All the horses are moved off forcibly when it’s time to unload. Callous workers, using fiberglass rods or electric prods, poke and beat the horses’ faces, necks, backs and legs as they are shoved through the facility and into the kill box.

Subject to extreme overcrowding, abuse, deafening sounds and the smell of blood, the horses become more and more desperate, exhibiting fear typical of “flight” behavior—pacing in prance-like movements with their ears pinned back against their heads and eyes wide open.

Despite the federal mandate that horses be rendered unconscious before having their throats slit, repeated blows with captive bolt pistols are often necessary to stun the animals. Terrified horses writhe in the holding stalls (known as the “kill box”), legs buckling under their weight after each traumatic, misguided and ineffective blow to their heads. Death, the final betrayal of these noble animals, is protracted and excruciating.

You can make a difference

Many of the horses sold into slaughter have been abused and neglected. Be sure to report all instances of cruelty to your local animal control office and law enforcement office.

Therapeutic riding programs benefit children and horses.


Please report stolen horses to local and state authorities. The Internet has numerous websites for reporting and looking for stolen horses. These sites allow individuals around the country to share information and photos.

Do not sell your horse at an auction; many of the horses at auctions are bought by killer-buyers. Consider the following options:

donating your horse to an equine rescue organization; making arrangements with a retirement farm;
donating, selling or leasing your horse to a therapeutic riding program;
selling the horse privately to an individual with proper references and a detailed agreement that the horse will never be sold to slaughter.
Even humane euthanasia by a licensed veterinarian is preferable to cruel transport and slaughter.

Please write the Secretary of Interior opposing the Bureau of Land Management’s overzealous wild horse round-up policy. Thousands of wild horses continue to be removed from their traditional range, and now many of them will be slated for slaughter. Write to:
Secretary of the Interior
US Department of Interior
1849 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20240

"Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music."
A. Monet


1484 Posts Administrator

Posted - 11/02/2006 :  11:01:40 AM  Show Profile  Visit Admin's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Moved to the Politics category

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839 Posts

Posted - 11/02/2006 :  11:53:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Scary these stupid people! Many folks when their horse gets too old bring it to auction. Usally when they are unhealthy. They may get $100-300 for them and the horse will likley go to a slaughter house. Now people are just going to let these horses die...usally a long suffering death. Then they will have the several hundred dollar expense of getting rid of the carcus. Hurts unwealthy horse owners and horses. Nobody breeds horses for slaughter in the USA and it is just a stupid piece of feel good lesiglation. Why should horses be considered any different than cows? I dont want to eat horse, but why shouldint I be able to buy horsemeat if I want to. What is happening to our country?

If you think this is crazy. Look into the N.A.I.S. It is a government plan to tag and track every livestock animal. It means any livestock owner will have to register their place with the Fed and let the government know every time your horse or other animal leaves your property. Even for a trail ride! This is coming in 2007.

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