Thursday, December 18, 2008

Equine Advocate "Gets it," about Stenholm, Gets Active Again

Click on title above to see and sign the petition to ole' slaughterhouse Stenholm.

Equine Advocates, Inc.
Promoting The Humane And Responsible Treatment of Horses

Horse Slaughter Lobbyist and Former Texas Congressman Charles Stenholm is Pushing for American Indians to Slaughter Horses on Their Reservations

No way, Charlie!

According to the Associated Press, horsemeat lobbyist and former Texas Congressman, Charles Stenholm, is encouraging some American Indian tribes to consider starting a horsemeat industry on their reservations. This is about as un-American as you can get, especially when over 70% of Americans overwhelming want federal legislation passed banning the slaughter of horses for human consumption.

After Californians made history in 1998 when they passed "Proposition 6," the first state initiative in the nation outlawing horse slaughter, the practice declined, but then escalated during the Bush years. However, The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act did pass in the House of Representatives in 2006, but was blocked in the Senate by special interests, including the Farm Bureau, the Cattlemen, the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and other pro-horse-slaughter groups.

In 2007, the very last foreign-owned and operated horse slaughterhouse in the U.S. finally shut its doors thanks to the will of the American people. The federal bill should have passed around the same time. However, these very same powerful special interests used their influence to prevent that from happening and with that, created a massive problem. More horses than ever are now being transported to Canada and Mexico for slaughter. Had the legislation passed, real solutions to the problems of indiscriminate/over-breeding and irresponsible horse ownership would have been on their way to being solved. As long as slaughter is available, every reasonable idea will continue to be rejected. As long as greedy and irresponsible people are able to get rid of their unwanted horses quickly and for a profit, they will never take the time to try to place them or spend the small amount of money it costs to have them humanely euthanized.

Pro-horse slaughter terrorists are trying every trick in the book to re-establish the horse slaughter industry in the U.S. One reliable source who asked to remain anonymous, told Equine Advocates that these terrorists are actually turning horses loose in Texas and other parts of the West to deliberately create problems for the cities and towns. It seems that they will stop at nothing to try to bring horse slaughter back.

Charles Stenholm was advising the new Obama Administration on a choice for Secretary of Agriculture. He actually wanted the job himself, but was also strongly endorsing John Salazar, a long-time horse slaughter proponent. Obama is to be commended for instead nominating former Iowa Governor, Tom Vilsack for that post.

Over 100,000 American Quarter Horses are bred in the U.S. annually, often "puppy mill style" where tens of thousands end up being slaughtered for human consumption every year in Canadian and Mexican slaughterhouses. This QH is one of the lucky ones. After being used at an urban riding stable, he was rescued by a woman who had ridden him after she found out he was being shipped to a slaughter auction due to an illness that caused him to become infirm. Today, he is a permanent resident at Equine Advocates' Safe Home sanctuary in upstate New York..


Cathleen Doyle, former head of the California Equine Council and the historic Proposition 6 - Save the Horses campaign in 1998 which led to horse slaughter being banned in California, had this to say in response to Stenholm's intentions and comments:

"Former Congressman Charles Stenholm is clearly out of step with mainstream America and appears to be 'cow-towing' to a handful of special interest Cattlemen. The American people do not want horses cruelly slaughtered and exported for the foreign meat markets...Period! And their voice has been unwaveringly heard by way of a mandate initiative in California (the largest agricultural and horse owning state in the nation), majority votes in both the Illinois and Texas legislature, an overwhelming majority vote in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate Judiciary Committee as well as all independent national polling conducted throughout the last decade.

"Stenholm, himself, concedes that unwanted horses must be dealt with in a humane fashion, and that the American people do not want them slaughtered for human consumption.

"Here, we agree to agree. So the issue is really one of disposal. Horses whenever necessary for whatever reason should be humanely euthanized. It's easily accessible, and the cost of euthanasia and carcass removal is commonly under $200. Humane disposal goes with the territory of horse ownership and personal responsibility.

"However, I am embarrassed for Mr.Stenholm when he represents that Native Americans should embrace horse slaughter which is something completely contrary to American sentiment evidenced by the fact that each of the fourteen foreign-owned horse slaughter facilities previously operating in the United States have had to close their doors. Why would Native Americans want the stigma of this reviled, underbelly business which would generate only a small handful of minimum wage jobs and would potentially lay their profitable casino businesses open to massive, negative public relations campaigns?

"Stenholm is also forgetting that when the national bill to prohibit the slaughter and export of American horses passes in the next Congress, the reservations could not open nor operate horse slaughter facilities because they must adhere to federal laws. It would seem like pure folly to me especially in today's economy to capitalize a business venture whose immediate demise is tied to an extremely popular bill merely being placed on the calendar and brought to a vote.

"So. Mr. Stenholm, the question is not what to do with unwanted horses nor who will pay to feed them but rather how do we dispose of recreational, non food tax based animals in this country?

"What do we do with our unwanted horses each year? There are several humane options including humane euthanasia (a lethal injection administered by a licensed veterinarian) which has been the method of disposal for our recreational, non-food animals for a very long time, including dogs and cats.

"Starving or abandoning a horse is against the law, and anyone who would do so is a criminal. Horse slaughter is not a humane alternative.

"At the very least, Americans can. and should, guarantee our horses a humane and dignified death!"

Slaughtering horses is simply un-American.

What You Can Do

Let Charles Stenholm know how you feel by contacting him at Olsson Frank Weeda, the Washington, D.C.-based firm where he works:
phone: (202) 789-1212
fax: (202) 234-3550
Olsson Frank Weeda
1400 Sixteenth Street
Washington, D.C. 20036

Let him know that horse slaughter goes against the American culture and that there is no place for it in this society. Let him know that massive protests and boycotts of Indian casinos will be organized immediately if they try to build horse slaughterhouses on Indian reservations.
Stay tuned for Equine Advocates updates on new legislation introduced during the 111th Congress that would ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption and prohibit their transport across the Canadian and Mexican borders or to any other country for the purpose of slaughter.

Down with horse slaughter!

No comments: