Saturday, February 28, 2009

NM group proposes legislation to help horse owners, rescues,...

If this is a repeat of an earlier post, please disregard and forgive. I am much too busy these days and have lost track of where I have been or where I am going. lol

Here is some good news from New Mexico. Every state should be doing the same!

NM is the only state required to register equine rescues. Whether that is a good or bad thing is a matter of differing opinions, however, here is a great idea stemming from NM that every state should be working towards, regardless of any registration requirement....

The recently passed Economic Stimulus Act provides BILLIONS for non-profits, so there IS money available to NPO rescues who apply;


A group of animal rights activists, Animal Protection of New Mexico, is working to get a bill through the Legislature that would establish a permanent fund to help subsidize equine euthanasia and provide grants to licensed horse shelters to help with renovations and upkeep.

(will be posting link to full article soon, so be sure to check bak)

while Im at at, also going 'round;

The Mentality of Slaughterhouse Workers;

WARNING: Graphic pics & language!
Would you want a slaughterhouse in your neighborhood?
Would you want your son or daughter to work at one of these?
Would you want one of these guys to move in next door to you?
Would you want your daughter to be dating one?
For those who ask for more slaughterhouses, take a good look
and see what you would be inviting into your state, your counties, and your towns.

*Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.

Thank you for your time.


Ca. Animals in Need of Homes

AHC to make it official: Horse slaugher a necessary evil

AHC / "Un-Wanted" Horse Coalition news contained within article below;
I say we really let them have it this year!

"Friends of Equines FOES of Equine Slaughter"
"Because We Care Enough to Protest & Demand"


Hard Times for Horses


MONA T. KANCIPER scanned the pastures that ring her blue and white
barn, now at close to capacity and crammed with four-legged creatures
temporarily, and in some instances permanently, residing here for lack of
anywhere else to go. As the hard-driving president of New York Horse Rescue a nonprofit organization that had its
origins in the rehabilitation of racetrack castoffs but now copes with all
breeds in all manner of predicaments, she is more interested in rescuing
horses than whispering to them. But, like most horse-lovers, she occasionally
does that as well.

By chance, she met the liquid brown eye of a previously homeless,
malnourished and unwanted Irish thoroughbred named Maple, plucked
from a backyard shed on Long Island. His ribs poked out like bicycle
spokes and his attitude verged on sour when she took him in. Hunger and loneliness
had taken a toll. Trust issues? He had those, too.

"This is definitely a very bad time to be a horse," Ms. Kanciper
said, confirming the negative development - driven by panicky, cash-
strapped owners and an unforgiving economy - that has uprooted Maple and an
as-yet-unknown number of his species. Reports of a surge in
abandoned or neglected horses; of overcrowded rescue, auction and retirement
facilities; and of unwanted equines being fattened in feedlots before being
shipped to slaughter in Mexico and in Canada have prompted the Unwanted Horse
Coalition, an offshoot of the
American Horse Council, to undertake a national survey on the problem.

According to Dr. Tom Lenz, a veterinarian who is the chairman of the
coalition, although the elimination of domestic slaughterhouses has
reduced the total number of horses killed, 100,000 to 150,000 are still
exported for slaughter each year. "So we know they're unwanted," he
said. "America needs a wake-up call about this issue. The general population
has this love affair with the horse without realizing the costs and complications of
owning horses in this economy."

The expense of euthanizing horses that are sick, lame, old or
dangerous is creating an ill-timed rise in "irresponsible owners," Dr. Lenz
said, and a new class of unwanted - and in some cases discarded - beasts. He
finds logic in California's proactive, if grim, response to the problem: It has
established low-cost equine euthanasia centers.

Results of the national survey on abandoned horses are scheduled
for release next month. But those in the rescue business, like Ms. Kanciper,
46, who worked in Manhattan as a commercial real estate appraiser before
transforming her Long Island farm into a horse haven in 1998,
already have the living data occupying their barns and straining their financial
resources. When donations, adoption fees and her twice-yearly fund-
raisers fall short of covering the rescue operation's annual expenses of
$150,000 to $200,000, Ms. Kanciper supplements the budget from her own pocket.
She and others running rescue organizations say that the economy has left
fewer people willing, or able, to help.

"Nobody's adopting these horses; it's been kind of a record winter
in that regard," said Patty Wahlers, who operates the Humane Organization
Representing Suffering Horses, a rescue
facility on 47 acres in Washington, Conn. Besides the dozens of
horses, many of them retired police horses, she sustains on her farm, she
supplies a feed-assistance program that is helping five other horses stay with
their owners.

"Hopefully the people who genuinely want to keep their horses are
getting smarter about spending and learning to conserve, to cut back on
shows, lessons, trailering and whatnot," she said.

At Ray of Light Farm East
Haddam, Conn., Bonnie Buongiorne said the faltering economy has caused her
to re-evaluate her mission. Since 2004 she focused on finding homes for
unwanted foals that are an inevitable byproduct of the manufacture
of Premarin, a hormone replacement therapy drug made in Canada using
urine from pregnant mares. Now, based on calls she gets from people who say
they cannot make a commitment to adopt Premarin foals because they cannot
afford to keep the horses they already own, Ms. Buongiorne says she thinks her
rescue efforts may need to be redirected closer to home. "We may have to
rethink what we're trying to accomplish and concentrate on helping out the
horse owners in our own backyard," she said.

Though it is a less dire phenomenon than horses being dumped at
auction, there is an unprecedented glut of horses being offered for outright
adoption or free lease by owners who suddenly cannot afford the upkeep,
which in the New York metropolitan area can range anywhere from $350 a month for
rough board (figure on shoveling manure and supplying the feed yourself)
to the $2,500 per month (exclusive of lessons, training or other add-ons)
charged by top-shelf equestrian boarding facilities. The cost of an
adequate supply of hay and grain to feed a thousand-pound horse is $400 a month.

Art Morano, who owns Stargate Farm ,
a 70-stall equestrian facility in Allentown, N.J., confirms that the
recession has left his business suffering. "We're hanging on by the threads,"
Mr.Morano said. "Last year at this time I maybe had five empty stalls.
Now there's 35."

Boarders who owned multiple horses, he said, are culling their
herds or getting out of ownership altogether. A major blow to his barn came
last fall when Frank Hernandez, a trainer who had 22 hunter jumper horses
under his direction at Stargate, took a position in Tennessee because the
signs were evident that business in New Jersey, where he had worked about 20
years, was trailing off.

At Twin Lakes Farm in Bronxville,
home to 30 lesson horses and 25 private boarders, the riding instructors
still give an average of 1,500 lessons each month, but a significant statistic
has reversed itself in the past year.

"It used to be that 80 percent of the kids took lessons twice a
week and 20 percent came once a week, but now it's the exact opposite," said
Scott Tartar, the owner-manager. "So we're doing the same amount of
lessons, but we're teaching twice as many kids."

The barn has also cut back on its horse show excursions. It once
sent out 8 to 10 clients and their horses each weekend; now it transports just
5 show participants every other weekend. Sales are basically at a

"February was always a slow month, but it's gone from slow to
closed," Mr. Tartar said.

There is no seller's market for midrange horses either. At Wit
's End Farm in Jackson, N.J., Yolanda
Mazzarisi is asking $30,000 for Oops, $25,000 for Edelweiss, both mixed-breed
warmbloods, and $20,000 for Amigo del Diablo, a large pony, but has
not received any serious offers.

"The economy has reduced our income, which is why we are selling
them and probably a fourth horse," Ms. Mazzarisi said. "And we'll definitely
have to negotiate our prices the same as anyone out there who's trying to
sell anything."

In the Hamptons, Christine Barrett-Distefano runs the Amaryllis
Farm Equine Rescue, an antislaughter network that
since 2005 has rescued 76 horses, many of them elderly or sickly. This winter,
she said, the sanctuary has been overwhelmed by returnees and besieged
by newcomers surrendered by cost-cutting owners.

"Aramis was returned by his adoptive family because the builder dad
saw a huge decline in work," Ms. Barrett-Distefano said as she began to
name a few. "Star and Trace were adopted to a real estate broker in Lake
Placid, and we just sent them money for feed because we don't have room for
them here. Arapahoe is a paint pony who was desperate for housing when
his owner, a dog-groomer and mother of three, could no longer afford his board
bills when the dog-grooming business dropped off."

The situation in a nutshell: People lose their jobs or their
bonuses. Next they lose their animals.

"Everybody's interpretation of financial hardship is different,"
said Ms. Kanciper, who began adopting washed-up thoroughbreds from local
tracks 10 years ago. "But in an uncertain economy like this, the first thing
to go are the so-called luxury items like horses and boats. Except that boats
don't have feelings."

Horses not only react to pain but also bond with their human
handlers, which is why Ms. Kanciper, although not opposed to euthanasia, does not
regard it as an answer to the plight of the horses in her care unless they
are hobbled by chronic pain or are terminally ill. "I try not to be a softy -
in my business you really can't if you want to survive - but it's very
hard to euthanize a horse," she said. "You look into those big brown
trusting eyes, and. ..." It's a last resort.

Maple, the headstrong 11-year-old gelding whose only sin was being a
slowpoke on the track and a financial drag on the Long Island owner
who acquired him after his racing career expired, did not shrink from
Ms. Kanciper's gaze. "When you want to be an adoption facility, not a
euthanasia facility, sometimes you have to make hard choices about the horses
you agree to take in," she said.

And Maple? "He's adoptable," she said. "He just needs the right

Offered a carrot, Maple cheerfully accepted it. So did
Lunaticonthegrass, a chestnut gelding both younger and mellower than Maple, and Mr. T, a nearly 30-year-old roan quarter horse seized in a neglect case by the
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to

Here, these unwanted herd animals live in a full-service facility
with ample equine companionship instead of languishing alone in a backyard.
They are fed twice a day and ridden regularly by Ms. Kanciper and an
assistant to give them a better chance of being deemed adoptable by people
wanting pleasure horses, not pasture pets.

Compared with some, Maple and Lunatic, the sweet-tempered 4-year-old
thoroughbred who, despite his name, lacked the competitive instinct
to excel on the turf, have it made. Should nobody else ever want them, Ms.
Kanciper guarantees them a forever home for the remainder of their natural

Or until her hay runs out, which is becoming an unsettling
possibility, with too many mouths to feed and - as a nonprofit dependent on
contributions - not enough money to cover the escalating costs of food and bedding.
Hers is a plaint shared by many in the rescue business.

"Donations are down by 75 percent this winter, and adoptions are
down by 75 percent as well," she said. "I'm down to my last $1,000 in the hay

I've got 10 or 15 horses on my waiting list, and in the last six
weeks there's been a tremendous number of people calling me up, begging
and crying, and asking me to take their horses because they can't
afford to feed them anywhere. The economy is making people desperate. But I can't
take in more horses than I can feed. Do that and you defeat your own
purpose and risk becoming a rescue case yourself."

Around 50 horses, including 20 she owns, reside at Ms. Kanciper's
two rescue facilities. The main one is the 50-acre farm she owns with her
husband, Dr. Judson L. Butler, an equine veterinarian here on Long Island (where
the horse population is estimated at 40,000). The second is five miles
away at Hart's Cove in East Moriches, a former potato farm that is now home
to a gated community that includes eight horses and an upscale condo-and-
town house subdivision. Thanks to an open space covenant, Ms. Kanciper
leases the barn and pastures for $1 a year. The catch is that the arrangement
specifies a maximum of eight horses. Stall space is maxed out until Lunatic
or one of his ex-racehorse pals finds a home.

Last month Ms. Kanciper received a distraught call from Carolyn
LeRoy, of Ridge in Suffolk County, who adopted a thoroughbred, Reno, now 8,
from her in 2004 but is struggling to pay his feed and maintenance bills.
Ms. LeRoy asked Ms. Kanciper if she could take the horse back. Ms.
Kanciper, knowing Reno has a good home, asked Ms. LeRoy to try and keep him
and volunteered her husband, Dr. Butler, to handle any medical
emergencies. "It took the pressure off," said Ms. LeRoy, who also has a 32-year-old
horse she has owned for three decades. "I'd rather die than give my old guy
away. And if Reno left, it would break the old guy's heart. I'm in a bad
place with this."

Ms. LeRoy's husband has since persuaded her to hang onto the horses
she loves and cut corners elsewhere in their budget for as long as
necessary; not having to worry about any horse-size emergency veterinary bills
has made that option possible. But most owners cannot count on a Dr. Butler
to help them navigate financial and medical setbacks.

There are some happy endings. Five abused horses seized last year
by the Suffolk County Society for the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals have all been adopted; 15 rescued horses, many
of them bound for slaughter, now live in style at the Baiting
> Hollow Farm Vineyard;
and Whinny the Blue, an arthritic paint pony taken in by Ms. Kanciper, found a
home last month as a pasture companion in Mattituck.
Her departure freed up one spot; predictably, the organization made
room for two, Royal Congaree and Baby Suave. Hard to say no to a
thoroughbred filly named Baby Suave.

Friday, February 27, 2009

AgTalk wants Comments on Horse Slaughter

Click on title above to go there....

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The "Bibliomulas" Mules of Venzuela

Venezuela's four-legged mobile libraries

A university in Venezuela is using a novel method to take books into remote communities and encourage people to read. As James Ingham reports, the scheme is proving a great success.

The village children love reading the books that the mules bring

Enlarge Image

Chiquito and Cenizo greet me with a bit of a snort and a flick of the tail.

Mules are too tough to bother being sweet. They do a hard job which no other animal or human invention can do as well.

But these mules are rather special.

They are known as bibliomulas (book mules) and they are helping to spread the benefits of reading to people who are isolated from much of the world around them.

My trek started from the Valley of Momboy in Trujillo, one of Venezuela's three Andean states.

These are the foothills of the Andes but they are high enough, especially when you are walking.

Slow but steady

The idea of loading mules with books and taking them into the mountain villages was started by the University of Momboy, a small institution that prides itself on its community-based initiatives and on doing far more than universities in Venezuela are required to do by law.

Spreading the joy of reading is our main aim

Christina Vieras, project leader

Accompanying us was local guide Ruan who knows a thing or two about mules.

He was their boss, cajoling them carefully as they started up the hill at a slow-but-steady, no-nonsense plod.

The deeply rutted, dry and dusty path snaked its way up. The sun beat on the back of my neck.

We were all breathless, apart from Ruan.

Diving for books

A break came when it was my turn to ride a mule. I enjoyed a great view of the valley but held on tight as Chiquito veered close to the edge.

Hot and slightly bothered after two hours, we reached Calembe, the first village on this path.

Anyone who was not out working the fields - tending the celery that is the main crop here - was waiting for our arrival. The 23 children at the little school were very excited.

"Bibilomu-u-u-u-las," they shouted as the bags of books were unstrapped. They dived in eagerly, keen to grab the best titles and within minutes were being read to by Christina and Juana, two of the project leaders.

"Spreading the joy of reading is our main aim," Christina Vieras told me.

"But it's more than that. We're helping educate people about other important things like the environment. All the children are planting trees. Anything to improve the quality of life and connect these communities."

Internet plans

As the project grows, it is using the latest technology.

I love reading books and we get told some really nice stories

Jose Castillo
12 years old

Somehow there is already a limited mobile phone signal here, so the organisers are taking advantage of that and equipping the mules with laptops and projectors.

The book mules are becoming cyber mules and cine mules.

"We want to install wireless modems under the banana plants so the villagers can use the internet," says Robert Ramirez, the co-ordinator of the university's Network of Enterprising Rural Schools.

"Imagine if people in the poor towns in the valley can e-mail saying how many tomatoes they'll need next week, or how much celery.

"The farmers can reply telling them how much they can produce. It's blending localisation and globalisation."

Local enthusiasm

The book mule team played noisy games with the children, listened to them read and lunched with the adults, discussing over a hearty soup and corn bread how the community can develop the scheme.

This four-legged mobile library is not just keeping this place alive but making it thrive

One idea was using the mules to transport medicines which can be so hard to get hold of here.

Everyone I spoke to - both adults and children - was full of enthusiasm.

"It's great," said 12-year-old Jose Castillo. "I love reading books and we get told some really nice stories."

Looking up from reading her book about Harry the cat and his trip to the vet, Gesenae Guerdo told me she loved reading too.

"We share a lot of these books," she said.

Javier Sulveran, a young, bright man in his twenties, tells me that the village is very supportive of the project:

"The children are really motivated to read and we are too. A lot of the adults are reading more. It's great that they come up here."

The university has acquired a new mule. They are going to keep it in Calembe under the care of the locals, something Javier really approved of.

The mule will be able to get further into the mountains and spread the word to more villages that so far remain too remote.

With fond farewells we left Calembe behind. It was clear I was leaving a place with a strong sense of community.

This four-legged mobile library is not just keeping this place alive but making it thrive.

From Our Own Correspondent was broadcast on Saturday, 4 August, 2007 at 1130 BST on BBC Radio 4. Please check the programme schedules for World Service transmission times.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Horse Slaughter: Necessary Evil or Un-Necessary Greed?

A Rebutal to the same, tired old Pro-Slaughter Propaganda;

Horse-Slaughter: Necessary Evil or Un-Necessary Greed?
Do Your Homework & You Be the Judge

Your article is complete and utter pro-slaughter GARBAGE! It is
horse slaughter that perpetuates horse cruelty and neglect, NOT
lack of it! It is the SLAUGHTER PIPELINE that leaves seriously injured
sick and suffering horses like the horse "Regret" we have found
with a broken leg standing in Charlie Carters Feedlot in Colorado. This horse was made to stand and suffer (said to be shivering in pain) until Charlie got good and ready to cram him in a cattle-truck with 30 or 40 other horses to ship them off to slaughter. .

Cut & paste the link below into your web-browser to see "Regrets" petition;

If you dont know what a killbuyer is, here is a good description;

"KILL-BUYERS" or "BUNCHER'S" are unscrupulous people who act as
middlemen for the $slaughterhouses. These are the people that
will outbid you at auction while you are trying to buy a cute little
horse or pony for your grandchild, these are the people that will
answer FREE TO A GOOD HOME ads for your horse and will promise to
provide a "forever loving home" to your beloved animal - and take him
directly to $laughter. These are the people that CHOOSE to earn
their living bringing horses, yes, even "good" horses, to $laughter as
a way of life. They travel all over the country and keep 'kill-
pens" or feedlots at various locations throughout the U.S., Canada &

These are the people that will keep seriously injured, sick and
suffering horses alive that SHOULD BE, NEED TO BE euthanised
RIGHT AWAY but keep them alive anyways and let them suffer because they
know a horse must be alive and standing "on at least three legs"
to go to $laughter. These are the people that realize and exploit
the fact that there is a BIG demand abroad for horsemeat and BIG
money to be made right here in the good ole' USA supplying that foreign

Click on title above to see pictures and reports recently released by the USDA proving that horse-slaughter causes abuse and neglect and prolongs suffering of the mortally injured ones; WARNING: The Pics are very graphic. They show horses with their legs sawed off, eyeballs hanging out, serious deformities, cuts, abrasions, and other atrocities, or cut and paste this url into your web-browser;

If horse slaughter were outlawed, there would be no killbuyers
anymore, and owners would have to find other, more humane methods to put
their horses down or to find them different homes. The horses would NOT
be allowed or left to suffer for any lengths of time, as IT IS
AGAINST THE LAW to allow any animal to suffer. Moreover, think about this
when they say slaughter is a necessary evil because of all
the "unwanteds" that will "flood the market" if we cant slaughter
them; only 1% of the 9.2 Million horses in America are

There is NO WAY that that 1% of any PRODUCT can flood a market or
cause a problem for it. The numbers will be absorbed. As for the
kind of horses going to slaughter, studies have shown that nearly 90%
of them are young and healthy and sound, and not all of them
are "unwanted." Lots of them are those that the killbuyers have
outbid someone else on, who was looking to buy a riding horse or
a "kid safe" horse for their child. . Many are stolen as is a
lucrative market with little or no regulation. Others are
once "Free to a Good Home" horses that the kill-buyers have taken from the
original owners on the promise that they would give them "forever
loving homes." However, nearly half of all the American horses
going to slaughter are "industry cast-offs." The American Quarter-Horse
Association (AQHA) alone is responsible for producing over HALF
of all American Horses going to slaugher. The Racing Industry is the
next largest slaugher-horse suppliers. Yes indeed folks, bringing
horses to slaughter is a dirty business, motivated solely by greed, NOT out of necessity to "dispose" of "unwanted" horses. There really is NO such thing as an un-wanted horses. Only un-lucky ones whos owners didnt care for them enough to spare them an un-necessary, premature, horrible death. Before you believe the pro-slaughter claims that slaughter is a necessary evil for horses, consider that there are many alternatives to slaughter, like HUMANE EUTHANASIA by painless
injection or even a 25 cent well placed bullet to the head is
better than a slow tortuous ride and a traumatic and painful death in a
slaughter-house. The problem is that slaughter PAYS while the
other, more humane methods COST. Please DO NOT let the pro-slaughter
camp insult your intelligence with this "so many unwanted horses with
no place to go CRAP!" Smart people know its all about the almighty
DOLLAR and nothing else. Just take a look at who is for it and
you will see, SOMEHOW they are the ones also profiting from it or who
would like to profit off it, ...for instance, our own government
now, and several of our various states, are standing in line WAITING to profit from it. How many people know that America is the WORLDS LARGEST exporter of horses to be
slaughtered and sold for human consumption abroad? Did you know
that it is a 30+ million dollar industry but only a handful of people
in the U.S. profit from it. Most of the profits go to the foreign
slaughterhouse owners and THAT does not sit will with our gov't
or the pro-slaughter folk and their politicians in the U.S. , specifically, the killbuyers & cattlemen who so want our wild horses off our public lands - but
they are also the ones with the most money to lobby congress to keep
the slaughter going. Our gov't is also in CAHOOTs with the
cattlemen /lobbyist as well as now with the Canadain & Mexican governments
now and their slaughterhouse expansions. Our government, that is "the
powers that be,"...would LOVE to expand our own equine slaughter
industry by supplying even MORE horses into the slaughter
pipeline by letting our wild horses go too! There are plans underway right
now to remove all of our wild horses and replace them with BIG GAME so
to generate mo' money not only from the slaughter of our wild ones,
but to generate even mo' money from the selling of big game permits.
Dont believe it? Read all about the "Big Buck Wild Horse Betrayal"

It is a plan for extinction of our wild horses since our
government realized what a lucrative market the horsemeat business is in
other countries.

How many of you know that due to things like mad cow disease and
horse meat supposed to be "better for humans than beef," that the
horsemeat industry today is rivaling and darn near surpassing
that of the beef industry itself? Its sad but true,...there is BIG MONEY
to be made in the horsemeat market for "smart investors."

All the governments "ducks are in order" to expand the horse-
slaughter pipeline. It Started not long ago with the creation of
our governments "Security and Prosperity Pact" we have made with
Canada & Mexico as part of the "North American Union" created for MUTUAL
PROFITEERING off of anything they can squeeze a dollar from,
including off of the blood of our American Horses, wild and tame.
Read all about the unholy alliance here;

We are even building a SUPER HIGHWAY that leads directly to those
places in Canada & Mexico to make it easier for the killers to
mass-truck the horses to and fro - much to the chagrin of the peoples
whos lands they are taking through EMINENT DOMAIN to do this, and you
can read all about that story here;

So dont believe the hype people, when they tell you horse-
slaughter is a "necessary evil." Dont let them insult your intelligence. Do
your own homework and you will find,. its all about unnecessary

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Unwanted horse issue needs attention now, says expert

Unwanted horse issue needs attention now, says expert

February 24, 2009

Dr John Madigan, right, leads discussion on unwanted horses at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

Authorities can no longer economically or morally ignore the problem of unwanted horses, says a professor in the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at the University of California, Davis.
John Madigan was addressing a meeting of experts from throughout California in animal control, veterinary practice and the humane community to discuss issues surrounding unwanted horses.

The meeting was called by the International Animal Welfare Training Institute, a new organisation within the School of Veterinary Medicine which aims to create science-based solutions to animal welfare issues.

"One thing is clear to me," Madigan told the meeting. "Any legislation that banned end of life for horses in a slaughter facility where over 100,000 horses have been sent annually should have provided an alternative mechanism to deal with the continued life of those animals in a humane manner."

The current economic downturn had only exacerbated a problem that has been building over several years, he said.

"The need for a solution is vital. We simply cannot afford economically or morally to ignore this problem any longer. Research is needed now to find reasonable solutions and implement new guidelines for the management of unwanted horses, but funding is lacking even for those basic studies."

Nearly all attendees at the meeting indicated that unwanted horses - those that can no longer be cared for with adequate feed, housing and basic health care - are flooding horse rescue facilities, sanctuaries and animal control facilities.

"It's a crisis," said Madigan, director of the institute. "Previously, unwanted horses were taken to an auction, purchased for meat export and sent to a horse slaughter facility.

"Legislation, passed by those who felt concern about the transport conditions for the horses and disliked the concept of the end of life for a horse at a slaughter plant for export for human consumption, has now put the unwanted horse on the doorstep of each county in the state of California," he said.

Madigan said statistics indicated as many as 80,000 to 100,000 horses are reported each year as unwanted, among the estimated nine million horses in the United States.

Jeff Smith, a Lake County veterinarian and past president of the California Veterinary Medical Association, said: "It's not just horses. We have unwanted dogs and cats at shelters every day in every county of the state.

"Many of those animals have been humanely put down as part of the solution, even with extensive efforts geared at adoption, spay and neuter and responsible owner education efforts."

The meeting covered a range of topics, from how to keep repeat offenders from owning more animals to public education.

The need for gathering more data was discussed, as well as areas in need of research, which included problems around carcass disposal.

"A thousand-pound horse that is euthanised presents a significant issue with regard to handling the remains of that animal given current regulations which prevent burial on a person's property, even a large ranch," Madigan said of the situation in California.

Funding is lacking even for those basic studies that would contribute strong data to enable lawmakers to set new guidelines on carcass disposal.

After the meeting, Gregory Ferraro, director of the Centre for Equine Health, said that responsible breeding and finding new jobs for working horses were important community strategies to prevent unwanted horses.

"If solutions are not found to both stem the flow of excessive equine births and more effectively absorb current horse populations into recreational and sporting use, the horse will face the very same fate as the thousands of abandoned dogs and cats already overcrowding America's animal shelters.

"The need for a solution is vital. We simply cannot afford economically or morally to ignore this problem any longer."

Tracey Stevens-Martin, the institute's deputy director, said: "Three top objectives that came from the group were the need for appropriate legislation, education and funding for humane options."

» Horse slaughter in the news

Monday, February 23, 2009

AZ Bill aims to create horse shelter registry

By James King Cronkite News Service

AIDING HORSES: Holly Marino, who heads the Horse Rescue of North Scottsdale, says auctioned horses can wind up in slaughterhouses in Mexico. She says quality shelters provide a loving environment for horses that owners can no longer afford to care for.

Cronkite News Service

Some people are finding it impossible to keep their horses as the economy worsens, leaving owners scrambling to sell or find shelters for their animals. They occasionally wind up setting horses free to fend for themselves.

Rep. Bill Konopnicki, R-Safford, wants to make it easier for horse owners to get information about shelters and to make sure that the shelters they contact can care for horses properly.

“A lot of people don’t realize when they get a horse how expensive it is, especially during hard economic times, they end up turning animals loose,” Konopnicki said.

He has introduced HB 2178, which would require the state Department of Agriculture to create a registry of approved equine rescue facilities and to make that information available on its Web site and in its offices.

The bill, which has won approval from the House Natural Resources and Rural Affairs Committee and is heading to the floor, also would establish standards for equine rescue facilities that would be listed on the registry. They would have to be nonprofit organizations that maintain physical conditions and care sufficient for horses.

“A lot of times people don’t realize that it’s not like taking in a dog,” Konopnicki said. “The bill aims to make sure that horse rescue centers know exactly what they’re getting into when they take a horse.”

Officials at the Department of Agriculture didn’t return several phone messages seeking comment on the bill. The department is responsible for seizing neglected or abandoned horses, and animals that aren’t returned to owners are auctioned.

Holly Marino, who heads the Horse Rescue of North Scottsdale, said getting horses in shelters can save them from slaughter. While there are no longer horse slaughterhouses in the U.S., auctioned horses sometimes go to slaughterhouses in Mexico.

“We get horses from all over the country and do our best to get them healthy,” she said. “Horses are social animals and a lot of the psychological trauma they experience is healed just by being in a loving environment with other horses.”

Betty Welton, president of Healing Hearts Animal Sanctuary in Willcox, addressed lawmakers on behalf of the bill, saying that some individuals and organizations wishing to provide shelter to horses aren’t up to the task.

“Well-intentioned people can sometimes get overwhelmed with the cost of caring for horses or the sheer volume of horses in need that we’re seeing today because of the economy,” Welton said.

Healing Hearts currently has 30 horses on its 54-acre property, but it can accommodate 60.

“Certain organizations are better organized and more equipped to handle certain things,” Welton said, “and we want people to have that information before they hand a horse over to someone who may be well intentioned but can’t realistically care for a horse.”

Arizona Takes Action Against Horse-Slaughter

Dear fellow horse people,

This is a very trying time for people everywhere, and as a result it is a terribletime for American equines.

Over 100.000 perfectly good and healthy horses are still being cruelly transportedacross the USAby kill buyers who bring them to the slaughter facilities in Mexico,where the most inhumane process of slaughter brings a horribly slow death to themost innocent of souls.
Please read on to find out how you are very important to the solution:

Of great importance at this time is a bill called HR 503, that if passed will makeit illegal to transport horses for slaughter. This is a bill we want to pass.All arguments against it come from greed motivated Industries. They are trying to trick us into believing that if the bill passes more horses will beabused and starved. This is statisticallyincorrect.

Individuals will either bring their horses to rescues, or just keep them, if they no longerhave the option to bring them to an auction. Even in the rare case where someone mightchoose to shoot them in their own backyard, this would still be a largeimprovement over the suffering they would have to endure in a slaughter plant. Keep in mind that anything is better than the suffering they must endure there. Mostpeople who bring their horse to an auction are not even aware that their horsesmight end up at a slaughter facility, and would rather keep their horse if presentedwith the choice.

The large breeding industries (like for example the American Quarter horseAssociation), would like to breed 30 horses just to get one winner, and sendthe other 29 to slaughter. Over 65% of all slaughtered horses are healthyquarter horses between the age of 4 and 12 years!! If they would no longer havethis option they will just have to breed less. Prices of horses will go down,which is necessary in order for breeding to become less of an attractive way to make money. The problemof unwanted horses, is caused by over breeding and as a result a huge overpopulation of equines in America.
The solution lies in promoting anti horse breeding measures, promoting humane euthanasia,and tax break monies to go to equine rescue and retirement organizations, andsanctuaries.
The sad truth is that H.R. 503 does not have a large chance of success, because there are too many large industries that stand to loose a buck, and too few people who care enough to make their voice heard. Pretty much no American would like to see horses suffer, however most Americans close their eyes and pretend it does not happen.
How do we stand a chance against these large Lobbyists?

Please do not be one of the many who care,but not enough.

This week we are presented with an important opportunity to make a difference!

This Thursday Feb 26, is a once in a lifetime opportunity, to stand up for horses together. It is a day where we actually get to meet our AZ state legislators atthe AZ State Capitol. Our AZ legislators are currently in support of horseslaughter and we would like to tell them that the people of Arizonaare not!
Thebest thing is, you do not actually have to do or say anything, you just have toshow up. We need people being present to give power to our statement. We onlyhave 6 people in our district who are going at the moment!
It is not often that we get to meet face to face with them. Please think for a moment and decide if you care enough to spend one day at the AZ state Capitol to stand up for horses.

Ifyou are interested, please call Simone at 928308 6718
Deadline is Monday Feb 23rd.

Please forward this email to as many horse-friends as you can think of.

"March" for Horses

The month of March for Horses

"March" Against Horse Slaughter

We are getting more and more excited as we put the finishing touches
on our March for Horses campaign.

Joining us in Washington DC for the month of March are all of our
lobbyists, well-versed and experienced on the horse slaughter issue.

As you march with us against horse slaughter from where you are, they
will be on the Hill, driving your message home to federal legislators-
- end the slaughter of America's horses across our borders, and
prevent horse slaughterers from setting up here.

Also, joining us in cities across the country during the month of
March are volunteers who will be street teaming in an effort to raise
further and much needed awareness about the horse slaughter issue.

While that is going on, we are having door hangers placed in nearby
suburban areas of the cities where street teaming is taking place. A
major target is Montana, which just so happens -- a certain quarter
says -- to want a purpose built horse slaughter plant in that
state. That state just so happens to a feedlot that supplies
Bouvry's in Canada with horses for slaughter.

Your participation in the Action Alerts during March are
strategically planned and timed to support the appointments we have,
and street teaming we are conducting. We therefore need you to get
involved at the highest level you can.


It our intention, with your help, to make this a really, really big
campaign and therefore ask you to make a donation of $10.00.

-- Make a non tax deductible donation to support our lobbying

This will pay for:

Metro cards
CD production
Rent (our utilities are included)
Internet service
(Note: Meals for strategy meetings are donated to us by obliging
nearby restaurants
Thankfully we have plenty of office supplies we acquired from
Presidential campaign offices for little or nothing when they shut
down after the election!)

-- Make a tax deductible donation to support our awareness raising

This will pay for:

Door hanger printing
Door hanger distribution services
Caps and tee-shirts
Buttons (to hand out)
Postcards (to hand out)


We are so grateful to all of you who have given already of your cash
donations (many of them doubled during matching gifts), in kind
donations, monthly gifts, major gifts, volunteer time, ideas and
suggestions. For all of you who make a monthly donation, it was
because of you we felt confident to launch March for Horses. Thank

The more we receive, the more we are able to do.

Door hanger distribution and street teaming are both highly effective
in getting the word out, reaching thousands who had no idea that
horses are slaughtered for their meat, and horrified at the thought
it may be coming to their state.

Here's the link again to make either a tax deductible or non tax
deductible cash gift:

Thanks everyone. I will be reporting from Washington DC starting
next week.

Until then,

Thank you and have a great rest of the week and weekend.

Vivian Grant,

Int'l Fund for Horses

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Latest from Pro-Slaughter Kansas Politicians

Comments Need!

Controversy looms over horse slaughtering resolution

By KSNW News
updated 3:15 p.m. ET, Sat., Feb. 21, 2009
WICHITA, Kansas - The Kansas House will vote Thursday or Friday on a controversial resolution about horse slaughtering. The resolution would send a message to federal lawmakers that they don't want the practice limited.

It was about a year ago that Gracie Royle adopted a Tennessee Walker named Jada after Jada was rescued from being sent to slaughter.

"There's that myth that only the old and unformed and frail go to slaughter -- she certainly was none of those," Royle said.

Royle is adamantly against slaughtering horses, saying she believes it is cruel and inhumane. There is no longer any horse slaughtering plants in the United States. Still, horses are sent to slaughtering plants across the border to Mexico or Canada. A bill currently being debated in Congress would outlaw that practice.

"I don't think anyone with anything other than an incredible denseness of callousness could say that it is appropriate to put our horses through terror and through horror and through significant injuries before we end their life," said Karen Everhart, who opposes Kansas Resolution 5004.

But on the other side of the issue is a majority of Kansas agricultural organizations and horse organizations, including the Kansas Livestock Association, the Kansas Horse Council and a number of horse owners.

"The problem that happens is we are just saturated with old animals that have nowhere to go and people stop feeding them and they're of no use and they end up suffering and dying," said Jill Wickham with Singletree Stables.

Wickham owns Singletree Stables and agrees with Kansas Resolution 5004 that says the elimination of domestic slaughter plants has increased the number of abandoned and starving animals. The resolution opposes the Washington legislation, saying issues with humane handling and slaughter should be addressed through regulation the process -- not banning it.

"I'd rather see one horse live and have a good life than 10 that suffer for 10 years of starvation out there by themselves," Wickham said.

Click on title above to read full article where there is a place for public comments, or cut and paste this url into your web-browser;

Friday, February 20, 2009

$44M Animal Sanctuary a Killing Field

Squirtle, rescued as a foal by sanctuary founder Sue Stiles, was only 8 years old.


A husband and wife team of internationally known environmentalists, paid handsomely to oversee a San Luis Obispo County sanctuary for infirm animals, has ordered the accelerating slaughter of many of their wards.

Former and present employees of the Dancing Star Foundation claim that its top officers, Michael Tobias and Jane Gray Morrison, intend to focus on endangered animals. They say the pair has commenced the systematic elimination of aged and infirm farm animals under the foundation’s care, contrary to the foundation's purpose.

Tobias and Morrison have reportedly told employees that economic issues prompted the kill policy.

According to the foundation’s 2007 IRS Form 990 filed Oct. 6, 2008, the group had more than $43 million in assets. Tobias, as president, receives a yearly salary of $285,500; Vice President Morrison, $244,000; and Vice President of Finance Don Cannon, $240,000.

The foundation was created by Sue Stiles in 1993 with a focus on providing a refuge for elderly and handicapped farm animals. She opened one sanctuary in Paso Robles for burros, and another in Cayucos which hosts horses, cows, dogs, burros, pigs, and a goat. In January, more than 200 animals were cared for at the Cayucos sanctuary, situated south of Harmony on 700 rolling acres along U.S. Highway 1. A herd of burros wandering among the oak trees is often visible from the highway below.

“Stiles took care of animals in dire need,” said Kathy Duncan, a Morro Bay resident who took her 27-year-old horse to live out its days at Dancing Star. “Sue knew all the animals by name. She asked me to visit when I could, bring carrots, and pet the animals.”

Dying of cancer, Stiles choose Tobias to preside over her non-profit foundation. Tobias is a world traveler and author of 35 books and numerous documentaries focusing on environmental history and animal rights. In 1996, Tobias received the “Courage of Conscience Award” for his commitment to animals. His wife and vice president of the foundation, Morrison, is an ecologist and filmmaker.

The IRS statement claims the foundation spent $2,552,939 on the animal sanctuary in Paso Robles. However, the summary of charitable activities does not mention the Cayucos sanctuary.

“Tobias is stating that the foundation does not have the funds to support these animals that Sue had taken under her wing,” an employee said. “He and his wife have ordered the mass killing of horses, burros, and cows. Originally, it was 20 animals. Then it was five cows and five horses or burros every week until we reached 50 animals. We are nearing that number. Now, there is a new list. We feel this will continue. We also feel their intentions are to close the sanctuary.”

The first round of animals “were stacked like cord wood, until they were bloated, before they were hauled away,” an employee said.

Dancing Star managers informed veterinarian Gary Evans and numerous employees that adopted animals will reduce the numbers slated for execution. Officials claim they investigate possible adoptive families before releasing the animals. Employees state that animals are handed over to anyone with a trailer.

“Employees and friends in utter desperation are allowed to adopt these animals without any paperwork or inspection of the living conditions of where these animals are going,” an employee said. “These employees are making $9 an hour. They can barely feed themselves. It is total chaos.”

Next week, five cows are slated to be killed on Monday, and five horses are on the list for Thursday. The next wave, reported to be 30 animals, is supposed to drag out over a few months.

“Because of the economy, they say they can’t afford to feed the animals and provide medications,” ex-employee Sheldon Rowley said. “Then others say it is quality of life. Now these animals have to look perfectly healthy or they are dust.”

Two local veterinarians have been hired to perform euthanasia. Both horse veterinarian Tristen Weltner and cattle veterinarian Gary Evans assert that all the animals that have been put down have had health problems, though both have also noticed a change in the treatment of animals at the sanctuary during the last month.

“I was told they were out of money,” Evans said. “Sue Stiles would not approve of the way things are being done. Her whole deal was rescuing animals. There were a number of animals born and raised there.”

Both Evans and numerous employees noted that while foundation officials are firing staff and eliminating animals, they are spending funds on the construction of new barns and upgrading existing facilities.

“They built a new barn for $120,000 then killed the animals in the barn below,” Rowley added. “They are building shelters with no limits. However, they are putting down the animals with health problems and the older ones. You can see were the money is going.”

Sources claim the last round of killings included a group of viable animals.

Carmel was a wild horse and as such required the use of a squeeze (a cage that tightens around an animal’s body) to put her down. Carmel fought and fell in the squeeze, her legs caught in the bars. Her eyes were wide and wild with fear. The vet tried to inject enough drugs to drop the winter-coated mare, but Carmel continued to fight and only part of the killing drugs could be administrated on the first try. During Carmel’s long and painful death, employees stood by weeping.

An 8-year-old paint, Grace, was on and off lame due to a leg deformity. The spirited mare ran back and forth while her barn mates were slaughtered, unaware of the fate she faced. She loved to play and appeared not to be in pain.

Grace didn’t fight as her caregivers stroked her neck to distract her from the prick of the veterinarian’s deadly needle. She fell to the ground amidst the tears of Dancing Star employees.

Both Grace and Amigo, a gelding his caregivers said “was full of life and not ready to go yet,” received a shot of poison through a vein in their necks during the last round of animal eliminations.

“I think they are trying to close the sanctuary,” an employee said. “They are killing healthy animals. It is a sanctuary; all the animals have some problem. We signed on for an animal sanctuary, not a cowboy slaughter ranch. We love the animals; they don’t care.”

When the soft-spoken Tobias took over after Stiles’ death, he promptly banned volunteers and fired all employees hired by the sanctuary’s founder, an employee added. New employees sign an agreement they won’t tell anyone anything about the sanctuary, including that they work there.

“We signed disclosures that we can’t talk to the press,” an employee said. “They can fire without cause. We know we are going to lose our jobs. Two ladies were pushed out for going on maternity leave. Jerry (Smith, sanctuary manager) wants to shoot all the animals. They want us to go away so they can do what they want to.”

During the past month, as Dancing Star officials exterminated animals, they also initiated the staged firing of employees. Smith laid off four caregivers last weekend, bringing the total of dismissed employees to more than 14.

“These questions have nothing to do with you,” Dancing Star manager Smith said when asked by a Cal Coast News reporter why sanctuary officials are systematically killing off their charges and firing employees. “This doesn’t concern you. It is none of your business.”

President Tobias, vice president Morrison, and vice president of finance Don Cannon did not return requests for comment.

Sources claim that after receiving an inheritance of more than $60 million, Stiles chose to dive into philanthropy with a focus on providing a safe haven for aged and infirm farm animals.

“She told me she had inherited money from her aunt who was one of the owners of the [McClatchy] Bee newspapers,” Duncan added. “Sue thought the need was a sanctuary for farm animals. She had a board of directors who were supposed to keep the sanctuary running. This is not what she would have wanted.”

“The foundation mission is to promote and safeguard the earth’s biodiversity, including respect for and the protection of animals. The foundation provides aged, disabled, infirm, or unwanted animals with food, shelter, and veterinary care,” according to the foundation’s 990 form.

Jane Goodall wrote in a preface to Tobias’ book, World War III, “I hope that those reading this book will join Tobias on the path toward the more sustainable and compassionate future, trying to live again as we once did, in harmony with nature, and no longer at war.”

Click on title above to see (and hopefully sign) the petition we have made against Dancing Star Foundation, which also has links to some more news articles concerning this matter, including a link to a rebuttal by the directors of Dancing Star, but ha ha their excuses are a joke!.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tennessee to get horse-slaughter plant?

Niceley wants to make it easier to sell horse meat
By Tom Humphrey

Rep. Frank Niceley, R-Strawberry Plains, has moved to relax the rules for selling horse meat in Tennessee, contending that some animals are now being hauled to Mexico under inhumane conditions for slaughter.

Current law requires that horse meat be packaged and labeled prior to sale and, combined with federal laws, effectively bans the sale of horse meat, he said. His bill (HB1361) eliminates the packaging and labeling requirements.

Read more at "Humphrey on the Hill."

Horse Slaughter Movement Funded by Breeders?

First off, I got to say, I do not agree with the first sentence of the article below. It starts out "The slaughter of horses for human consumption is no longer legal in the United States." That is not true. There is no federal prohibitions against horse slaughter for human consumption or for any other reason. A few states have banned the practice but, aside from these, anyone could open up at any time a slaughter house in their states. Many states are asking their state legislatures to sanction it. Meanwhile, anyone is free to slaughter and eat their own horse, and, I imagine they always will be. No one is trying to take away anyones right to do that. You can slaughter and eat your own dog or cat if you want to, so calm down, you bloodthirsty pro-slaughter barbaric neanderthal types. Must you eat everything that moves? Evolve, will ya?

Secondly, I agree totally with just about everything else (anti-slaughter) in this anti-slaughter / pro-TRUTH article.

Check out some of the idiotic pro-slaughter comments at the end of this article.

Is the Horse Slaughter Movement Funded by Horse Breeders?

Submitted by BuzzFlash on Wed, 02/18/2009 - 12:15pm. Reader Contribution
by A BuzzFlash Reader

The slaughter of horses for human consumption is no longer legal in the US. Sadly more than 100,000 horses each year are shipped to Canada and Mexico to satisfy the palates of “gourmands” overseas. Upwards of 90 percent of the horses sold for slaughter are healthy, sound animals, according to USDA statistics. Of that 90 percent, some are bred solely for the slaughter market, others come from farms providing horse urine to pharmaceutical companies and others are horses with cosmetic or minor conformation issues which make them valueless to the breeders, many of whom are producing a hundred or more foals yearly.

Several states, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming, among others, are studying or considering opening horse slaughter plants under the guise of providing a more “humane” method of disposing of “unwanted” horses than shipping them in trucks cross country for slaughter in Canada or Mexico. There is also a well-funded, but virtually unknown national movement afoot, with bills pending in Congress, to allow horse slaughter for human consumption once again.

This issue is not about treating horses humanely or dealing with “unwanted” horses. It’s about profit, pure and simple. For example, the wording of the North Dakota bill includes “… to meet overseas export markets for horsemeat…” Clearly, sponsors of this bill see a market opportunity, thinly disguised as a way to “solve” a conveniently overstated problem.

As the movie line goes, “Follow the money.” Who would profit if a horse slaughter facility were to open in any given state? We know the slaughter facility will make money; that’s a given. But so will the people who supply the horses destined to become someone's dinner. Who is lobbying for these plants to reopen? It's my guess that it’s the potential suppliers who see the slaughter business as a way to make money off an “unwanted” or “valueless,” product, to quote the North Dakota bill’s sponsor.

For a breeder, each year’s “crop” of foals has a percentage of colts and fillies who do not meet the breeders’ standards. The North Dakota bill is sponsored by a rancher who raises Quarter Horses, which, coincidently, is the most common breed to be sent to slaughter. His last sales catalog listed 80-plus young horses for sale. Were there any “unwanted” or “valueless” horses sent to slaughter because they didn’t make “the cut”? Horse breeders, as well as horse associations, surprisingly, are some of the most vocal supporters of horse slaughter.

Other lobbyists for the horse slaughter movement claim a slaughter facility will alleviate horse “overpopulation” by providing breeders and others with a place to send horses (for a profit) to a “humane” death rather than let them face starvation, neglect or abandonment because the owner, for whatever circumstance, is unwilling to care for the animal. Horse slaughter proponents won’t tell the public that the death of a horse in a slaughter facility is anything but humane. They also won’t share statistics that don’t support their cause. For example, cases of abuse, neglect and abandonment, not to mention horse theft, actually went down when the slaughter plants closed. Supporters also won’t tell the public that there are dozens of rescue facilities, not to mention horse-loving youths and adults, who would willingly take a breeder’s “unwanted” horse and give it a loving home.

Horse slaughter is a highly emotional subject with “facts” bandied about with little but anecdotal evidence to back them up. Factual information can be found in the USDA records, as well as from organizations that track this type of activity. If, after researching the issue for yourself, you feel moved to contact legislators and share your opinion in opposition to horse slaughter, be prepared for a fight. Too much money is on the table for breeders, ranchers, kill buyers/shippers and foreign and domestic investors in slaughter facilities to let this issue die.

Here are the links to some websites you may wish to visit:

Article about horse slaughter provided by the Humane Society of America

Article in Agweek supporting horse slaughter, primarily in North Dakota.

Article from Animal Law Coalition detailing the results of a study on abuse of horses following the closing of slaughter facilities

Article from Animal Law Coalition providing information about horse slaughter bills in various states

Contact information for federal legislation to further protect horses


Click on title above to see article and comments;

AAEP Tours Mexican Slaughter Plants, Gives Good Report

From the American Association of Equine Practicioners website;

Horse slaughter conditions in Mexico explored by AAEP group
Debate over the practice continues in Congress

Though nearly two years have passed since the last horse processing plant closed in the United States, horses continue being shipped from the United States to slaughterhouses in Mexico and Canada.

Looking at 2008 Department of Agriculture figures, close to 80,000 horses from the United States traveled to Mexico for slaughter and approximately 40,000 went to Canada. The estimated total of 120,000 is less than the 140,000 figure from 2007.

"That's still a tremendous amount of horses," said Dr. Timothy Cordes, a senior staff veterinarian for equine programs with the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. He also noted that the final numbers won't be available until the end of March. The USDA's numbers are based on the number of owner/shipper certificates corroborated with other sources.

To get a better idea of how the Mexican horse slaughter industry operates, a delegation representing the American Association of Equine Practitioners arranged a tour of two Mexican slaughter facilities in the central Mexican city of Zacatecas last fall. Both are federally inspected, but one meets European standards and the other, which is locally owned and run, meets Mexican standards.

"If you look at it from the hard perspective of the meat industry, they're in the business to produce meat. They don't want an injured or down or stressed horse any more than they have to, because it affects the meat quality,"


AAEP past presidents Drs. Tom R. Lenz and Doug G. Corey, as well as an international member of the AAEP board of directors, Dr. Sergio Salinas, visited the area Nov. 9-10. They first toured one of the two South American-owned plants that operate under European Union and Mexican slaughter regulations. Five federal Mexican veterinary inspectors work at the plant in addition to three company veterinarians. In all, 200 are employed there. About 1,000 horses are processed a week; half are Mexican and the rest from the United States. Mexican and U.S. horses are kept separate during travel but are processed at the same facilities.

"All of the American horses arrive in sealed trailers," Dr. Lenz said, noting that the horses aren't unloaded or sold anywhere, but go straight from the border to the plant. A federal seal is placed on the horses at the border. They are then shipped for 10 to 12 hours to one of the two federal inspection type, or TIF, plants in Zacatecas. "They say they could make it in eight hours but choose 10 to 12 because they arrive in better condition," Dr. Lenz said.

On arrival at the processing plant, a federal Mexican veterinarian cuts the seal. Any horses severely injured in transport are euthanized.

A delegation representing the AAEP, including Dr. Tom R. Lenz (center), took a tour of two horse slaughterhouses Nov. 9-10 in Zacatecas, Mexico. Dr. Lenz said the plants were well-run, and workers killed the horses humanely by captive bolt.
The AAEP group met with the manager of the plant and was allowed free access throughout the building, where they spent three to four hours.

"They allowed us to look at everything and take pictures. Even in the United States you are seldom allowed to take pictures at a processing plant," Dr. Lenz said.

Dr. Lenz, who is also chairman of the Unwanted Horse Coalition, looked at the horses in the paddocks where most stay for a week or so. He said the pens looked clean and the horses looked good, although he classified them as "slimmer." On a scale ascending from one to nine, as Dr. Lenz put it, he saw many fours and fives. He could tell they were slimmer than the ones he saw at a former plant in Fort Worth, Texas.

"They told us (that's the kind of) horses they're buying now," Dr. Lenz said, noting that is the case because owners are holding onto their horses for a while, even when they can't afford them.

Plant officials told Dr. Lenz they see horses at sale barns too thin for meat processing. They also noted the price of horses has gone down; meanwhile, the cost to ship a horse from Morton, Texas, to Zacatecas stays at about $200.

"(The shipping cost) drives down what they're willing to pay for these horses," Dr. Lenz said.

Before processing, workers move the horses with flags rather than whips. One at a time the horses go into stocks. Once in place, a hydraulic bar pushes the horse forward while a wedge-shaped stainless steel device comes under the chin and cradles the head. This limits the horse's movement, Dr. Lenz said, which better facilitates placement of the captive device.

Dr. Lenz watched a couple dozen horses being killed by captive bolt, with which he said the employees were "extremely accurate." The skulls were then inspected for glanders and the carcasses randomly tested for drug residues and parasites in the meat as well as Escherichia coli and Salmonella infections.

Employees wear white coveralls, hats, gloves, masks, and hairnets while working, in addition to scrubbing their boots before coming in and out of the processing area.

The facility ships the meat to Japan and Europe for human consumption. "If you look at it from the hard perspective of the meat industry, they're in the business to produce meat. They don't want an injured or down or stressed horse any more than they have to, because it affects the meat quality," Dr. Lenz said.

Other parts from the horse do not go to waste. The hides are sent to Italy, hair from the mane and tail goes to China for paintbrushes, the small intestines go to Egypt for sausage casings, the tendons go to Japan for human consumption, and the hooves and tail (without the hair) to a rendering plant.

"(The plant) was an extremely clean, well-run plant. ... From a veterinary perspective, the animals were handled well," he said.

The other processing plant the group visited was locally owned by a Mexican company that solely dealt with Mexican horses. Sellers, arriving in their pickup trucks and trailers, would bring their horses to the plant two or three at a time. This plant processes only about 280 horses a week and has 12 employees. A veterinarian wasn't on site; however, one did come once a week to inspect the meat and facility, Dr. Lenz said.

This processing plant also kills the horses by captive bolt, though the stocks were not as sophisticated as at the other plant.

Overall, the group's assessment of the trip concluded that both plants use captive bolt in a humane and efficient manner, and the horses were well-cared-for and properly handled.

—Malinda Osborne

AVMA Speaks Out for Horse-slaughter

AVMA - Pro-Slaughter

From the AVMA's website;

Anti-horse-slaughter legislation reintroduced

Opponents of horse slaughter, not satisfied with existing state legislation prohibiting the practice in the United States, are pushing to go one step further.

Federal lawmakers recently reintroduced legislation that aims to abate the transport, sale, delivery, or export of horses for slaughter for human consumption. It aims to criminalize the purchase, sale, delivery, or export of horsemeat intended for human consumption.

HR 503, the Conyers-Burton Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act, was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee on Jan. 14 by sponsors Committee Chairman John Conyers of Michigan and Rep. Dan Burton of Indiana. The new legislation is similar to the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2008. That was passed by the committee this past September but never reached the House floor for a vote.

Once again, the bill hopes to stop the export of horses for slaughter in Mexico and Canada. Violators would face fines and/or one year's imprisonment for a first offense or those involving five or fewer horses, and fines and/or three years' imprisonment for repeat offenses or those involving more than five horses.

The National Council of State Legislatures recently approved a resolution urging Congress to oppose legislation that would restrict horse slaughter. The AVMA and American Association of Equine Practitioners also are actively working for its defeat. The AVMA opposes the bill because neither does it provide for the care of unwanted horses nor does it allocate funding for the care and placement of horses seized by the government in accordance with the law.

Also, the AVMA is concerned that passage of a law that prevents transport for slaughter will not change the number of horses transported for that purpose, but will simply change what people put on the horse's paperwork.

Meanwhile, the Humane Society of the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals support the bill. They have raised concerns about the welfare of the horses during transportation and while being slaughtered in other countries, Mexico in particular.

Click on title above to see article and comment area for AVMA members;

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Mentality of Slaughterhouse Workers

...and of course, the terrible suffering of the animals

Click on title above to view vid, and listen close as workers tell a "new employee" not to be afraid to hurt the animals, in fact, encourages him to do so.

WARNING: Graphic pics & language some may find objectionable

Activists Taking Action?

I hope so! Maybe we can break down the walls of the "free-speach zones" the govt has created for us, while we're at it!

Activists calling for uprisings for causes
By Elaine Jarvik

Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Feb. 14, 2009 11:04 p.m. MST

Marches, rallies and honks for peace are all good strategies — but they're not enough, say local activists who gathered Saturday to discuss tactics for social change. It's time now for something more, a kind of "peaceful uprising," they say.

The all-day conference at the University of Utah drew about 150 activists representing groups ranging from the Healthy Planet Mobilization Committee to a new group called Provo for Palestine. There were environmentalists, peace activists and union organizers. Panelists included former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson and Tim DeChristopher, the eco-saboteur who last month disrupted the Bureau of Land Management auction of oil drilling leases.

The "old model" of social activism hasn't proved effective, said DeChristopher, who appeared on two panels. "We have to convince leaders that there will be an uprising," he said. "Changing a light bulb is not an appropriate response" to the climate crisis.

After a day of panels and films, about 30 people attended the final, what-shall-we-do-now session, where they discussed their shared vision of a "just, sustainable and peaceful world" and the pros and cons of getting arrested for their causes. Sixteen of the 30 raised their hands "yes" when asked by attendee Caleb Proulx whether they would engage in that level of civil disobedience.

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"Sometimes you're willing to do whatever it takes, and maybe that time is now," said longtime peace activist Diana Lee Hirschi, who was arrested in 1989 as part of a national campaign to stop production of the Trident missile system.

While marches and rallies are helpful, "we could do something that's creative and powerful," suggested Ashley Sanders, who helped organize the "alternative commencement" at BYU in 2007 to protest the traditional commencement address of Vice President Dick Cheney and was youth coordinator for Ralph Nader's 2008 presidential campaign.

Sanders suggested an "action" near the end of this year's legislative session. "We'll descend on the Capitol and hold an Athenian people's legislature," she said. She envisioned thousands of Utahns, perhaps wearing togas, frustrated by the laws being passed by the lawmakers and calling instead for ethics reform and clean air. She also pushed for civil disobedience, with the protesters asking for their own bills to be passed "or we're not leaving."

"That's a recipe for martyrdom," countered peace activist Dayne Goodwin, who drew the line at actions leading to arrests.

Seattle union organizer Paul Bigman told attendees earlier in the day that activists of all stripes need to "build coalitions," especially with the country's working class. Bigman took part in the 1999 civil resistance at the WTO meetings in Seattle. A screening of a feature movie based on that event, "Battle in Seattle," was also part of the weekend conference. While the movie was an adrenaline rush, real-life activism is "hard, hard work, and it goes on for a long, long time," Hirschi told conferencegoers.,5143,705285250,00.html

Update on "Peter Rabbit"

Peter Rabbit moved to pasture outside Hickman

For those of you unfamiliar with Peter Rabbits story, click on title above to get background information.

Friday, 06 February 2009 06:00

Kelly Anderson (left) and Jack Scott (right) try to coax Harley Scott's horse, Peter Rabbit, into a trailer that will transport him from Scott's property in Hickman to Anderson's farm just south of town Thursday. (Heidi Hoffman)

By ALGIS J. LAUKAITIS / Lincoln Journal Star
Thursday, Feb 05, 2009 - 06:45:08 pm CST
HICKMAN — Peter Rabbit did not go quietly.

The old brown horse, owned by Harley Scott, fought like a mule Thursday to stay in the pasture where he had spent his entire life.

Four people couldn’t move him after 40 minutes of trying to load him into a horse trailer.

They pulled. They locked hands and pushed ungraciously from behind. They lifted his legs, one at a time. Everyone, including Peter Rabbit, was exhausted and dripping with sweat.

“He’s not wanting to go. It’s his home,” said Steve Parker, a friend of the Scotts, who dropped by to see the last horse in Hickman leave town.

Despite the muddy pasture, veterinarian Kelly Anderson took a chance and drove his pickup and trailer to a small ridge near the barn.

A few minutes later, Peter Rabbit, with a little bit of coaxing, was safely inside and on his way to Anderson’s acreage south of town, where the 32-year-old horse will spend the rest of his days.

Peter Rabbit’s departure ended a two-and-a-half-year struggle by the Scotts to keep the horse in Hickman. During that time, Peter Rabbit had become a celebrity of sorts.

Hundreds of people sent e-mails — some from as far away as Thailand — urging the city to allow the horse to stay. Some sent checks to the Scotts. Others offered to pay for a lawyer and even to take Peter Rabbit and give him a good home.

City officials wanted the horse to go, saying Peter Rabbit violated an annexation ordinance that bans horses and large animals within the city limits. Harley Scott and his son, Jack, a former City Councilman, argued the horse should stay because he was in the pasture before the ordinance was passed and should be grandfathered in.

Both sides tried to come up with an agreement to allow Peter Rabbit to stay, but negotiations broke down. The city decided to enforce the ordinance and fine Harley Scott up to $100 per day for violating the ban. A court date was set for Monday.

“They just didn’t want to amend it. We thought from day one we would be grandfathered in because we didn’t change anything here,” Jack Scott said.

He said the family decided to move Peter Rabbit to avoid the uncertainty, expense and inconvenience of further litigation. He said city officials and the family negotiated an agreement that said they had until 5 p.m. Friday to move Peter Rabbit.

City Administrator Brett Baker said Mayor Jim Hrouda signed the agreement late Wednesday after Harley and Jack Scott signed it. He said the city agreed to drop its complaint if the Scotts removed Peter Rabbit by the deadline.

Harley Scott, 77, wasn’t around Thursday to see his horse moved. He was attending a wedding in Texas.

“It’s been a real roller coaster of emotions. I’m glad Harley is not here today,” said Jack’s wife, Cheryl. “I don’t think I could watch him load up his horse and send him off.”

On Thursday, Cheryl Scott painted a large sign that read: “Peter Rabbit We Will Miss You” and set it against Harley Scott’s barn.

Later, she received a call from the city office, saying she did not have a permit for the sign.

Kentucky Horse commission makes wise move to stop horse abuse

Kudos to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission for withholding taxpayer subsidies of horse torture.

Commission members wisely balked at renewing the Kentucky Walking Horse Association's eligibility for state breeders' incentives.

The breeders fund, which comes from a state tax on Thoroughbred stud fees, provided more than $387,000 to walking-horse owners in 2007, including some who had been cited for violating the federal law against "soring."

The practice of intentionally injuring a show horse's lower legs to manufacture an extraordinarily high step has been outlawed for decades.

But compliance has been spotty, and show exhibitors often just put their horses on a trailer and leave when U.S. Department of Agriculture veterinarians show up to inspect horses for signs of "soring."

The commission left the door open for the walking-horse group to re-apply for the incentive program.

Approval should continue to be withheld until there are credible safeguards against abuse of horses and the law.

Vicki | A Voice For Our Horses

"No breed is more prominently represented in the slaughter trucks rolling

toward Canada and Mexico than the quarter horse." ~ John Holland

An Open Letter to Ill Representative Jim Sacia:

Equine Welfare Advocate involved in the grass roots effort to end horse slaughter.

Dear Representative Sacia:

The state of Illinois is in turmoil. Our governor was removed from office, we have an unprecedented deficit, our citizens are losing their jobs and as a representative of the people of the state, the best you can do is persist with unwanted legislation on horse slaughter?

The citizens of our state have spoken loud and clear, we do not want a horse slaughter plant in our state. We passed a law to ensure we do not have a slaughter plant in our state. You tried to overturn the law several times last year and each time you were struck down. On one occasion when I wrote you, you replied back that the citizens of Illinois are uninformed. No, Representative Sacia, it is you who is uninformed. The message came through loud and clear each time you tried to pass legislation and you were stopped. You were stopped by the people. Do you not understand what that means? Does your fanatical want for slaughter out trump the voice of the people of Illinois that you are supposed to represent?

You have opened a can of worms with your incessant want for a slaughter plant. A slaughter plant will not provide jobs because we already know that the majority of workers were not legal citizens.

Expect to hear from horse owners across the country. YOU MUST LISTEN TO THEM. Your proposed legislation impacts every horse owner across the country. Your proposed legislation will prohibit them from selling their horse without fear it is being bought by a kill buyer. Any horse owner could have their horse stolen and sent to Illinois for slaughter. Will you compensate the owners that have suffered irreparable harm?

Your incessant want of slaughter has blinded you. In your proposed legislation, you state:

“Allows equidae more than 12 months of age to enter the State for immediate slaughter without a certificate of veterinary inspection. Requires equidae entering the State for immediate slaughter to be accompanied by a consignment direct to slaughter at an approved equine slaughtering establishment.”

Do you know what this means? You are publicly stating that you don’t care what drugs the horses have ingested or what diseases they may have and what they will do to the people that consume the meat. More importantly, you are publicly stating that you intend to violate two Illinois laws; 510 ILCS 65/4 and 510 ILCS 70/5, 7.5.

Mr. Sacia, your callous disregard for human life over your obsession with slaughter is reprehensible. Your callous disregard of the voice of the people of Illinois is reprehensible. Your callous disregard for our laws is reprehensible.

Your proposed legislation will be fought by horse owners across the country and once again, your sense of judgment will be questioned. A rational person would not persist with legislation that is not wanted by the people. A sensible person would not continue to push their personal agenda above their elected office.

It appears evident that you have issues that are prohibiting you from making a sound decision here. Perhaps it is time to step aside and let someone else execute the office who is soundly capable.

Equine Welfare Advocate involved in the grass roots effort to end horse slaughter.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Message to State Legislators from Paula Bacon

Paula Bacon is the former mayor of Kaufman, TX and instrumental in helping to close the two horse-slaughter facilities in Texas a couple of years ago. She knows all too well the horrors of having horse-slaughter plants in her state, so she is speaking from first hand knowledge; the pro-slaughters would do well to listen;

Open Letter to State Legislatures Considering Pro-Horse Slaughter Resolutions
Posted Feb 13, 2009 by Laura Allen

Dear State Legislator:

You will soon be asked to vote on ... legislation regarding the commercial slaughter of American horses of which you probably have very little firsthand knowledge. No doubt you have heard from lobbyists and organizations who want you to support the practice, but before you do, you should ask yourself why the residents of Texas and Illinois worked so hard to rid their states of their horse slaughter plants. The answer may surprise you.
As a mayor who lived with this plague in her town for many years, who knows what the horse slaughter industry really is and what it does to a community please allow me to tell you what we experienced. The industry caused significant and long term hardship to my community which was home to Dallas Crown, one of the last three horse slaughter plants in the United States.
All three plants were foreign-owned, and since the market for horsemeat is entirely foreign, the industry will always be dominated by these foreign interests. The corporations involved in this industry have consistently proven themselves to be the worst possible corporate citizens.
The Dallas Crown horse slaughtering facility had been in operation in Kaufman since the late 70's and from the beginning had caused problems both economically and environmentally. I have listed some of the specific issues below.
I will gladly provide you with detailed reports from my former City Manager, Police Chief, and Public Works Director regarding odor and wastewater effluence violations at the Dallas Crown horse slaughter plant in the City of Kaufman.. The reports reference "decaying meat [which] provides a foul odor and is an attraction for vermin and carrion," containers conveyed "uncovered and leaking liquids," there are "significant foul odors during the daily monitoring of the area," and "Dallas Crown continually neglects to perform within the standards required of them."
Therefore, in August of 2005, our City Council decided by unanimous decision to send the Dallas Crown issue to the Board of Adjustments for termination of their non-conforming use status. In March of 2006, the Board of Adjustments voted to order Dallas Crown closed, but the plant was able to tie the enforcement up in the courts until they were finally closed under state law in February of 2007.
Dallas Crown repeatedly described itself as a "good corporate citizen." I will be straightforward in asserting that they are the very antithesis of such.
o Dallas Crown had a very long history of violations to their industrial waste permit, loading' the capacity of the wastewater treatment plant.
o Dallas Crown denied the City access to their property for wastewater testing beginning October 1, 2004 until July 6, 2005 , despite requirement by city ordinance, city permit agreement, and court order.
o City staff reported that a $6 million upgrade to our wastewater treatment plant would be required even though the plant was planned and financed to last through 2015.
o Odor problems resulting from the outside storage of offal and hides over several days persisted not only in traditionally African-American neighborhood known as "Boggy Bottom", but at the nearby Presbyterian Hospital , the daycare center, and surrounding areas.
o Transport of offal and fresh hides on City and state thoroughfares is conducted in leaking containers without covers.
o City documents reveal an extended history of efforts to have Dallas Crown address various environmental issues. Reports include descriptive language including such as "blood flowing east and west in the ditches from your plant," "It has been over 45 days [it had been 59 days] and no apparent cleanup has occurred," "Your system has not improved and subsequently it has gotten a lot worse," "Words cannot express the seriousness" of recent violations and the "adverse effects on the wastewater treatment plant," and "Please be sure trailers are secured before leaving your premises to prevent spills," noting also "bones and blood laying in front of the facility," problems with bones and parts in neighboring yards and the attraction of "dogs and other animals."
o In response to 29 citations for wastewater violations, each accompanied by a potential fine of $2,000, Dallas Crown requested 29 separate jury trials, potentially causing yet another economic strain to the City's budget. We could, of course, not afford to litigate in order to extract the fines
o Dallas Crown took 11 months to submit a mandatory "sludge control plan" to assist efficient operation of the wastewater treatment plant though City staff requested it orally and in writing many times.
o The City Manager advised me that the City would have to spend $70,000 in legal fees because of Dallas Crown problems, which was the entire legal budget for the fiscal year.
o During this period, Dallas Crown paid property taxes that were less than half of what the City spent on legal fees directly related to Dallas Crown violations.
o Generally, Dallas Crown has the economic ability to prevail, to exceed the constraints of the City's budget.
Dallas Crown had a negative effect on the development of surrounding properties, and a horse slaughter plant is a stigma to the development of our city generally. I have since learned that these problems were mirrored at the other two plants. Fort Worth's Beltex horse slaughter plant also violated Ft. Worth's wastewater regulations several times, clogged sewer lines, and both spilled and pumped blood into a nearby creek (San Antonio Current, June 19, 2003 ). Texas State Rep. Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth, whose district includes Beltex, and Rep. Toby Goodman, R-Arlington, fought hard against legislation that would have legalized horse slaughter in Texas in 2003.
The horse slaughter plant in DeKalb , IL had a similar pattern. It was destroyed by fire in 2002, and rebuilt in 2004. It was charged and fined by the DeKalb Sanitary District almost every month from the reopening until its closing in 2007 under a new state law for consistently exceeding wastewater discharge guidelines. I can provide you with the documentation of those violations. Like Dallas Crown, Cavel refused to pay their fines for years.
During this time, I learned that an estimated $5 million in Federal funding was being spent annually to support three foreign-owned horse slaughter plants! And when the Dallas Crown tax records were exposed in the city's legal struggle, we found that they had paid only $5 in federal taxes on a gross income of over $12,000,000!
Moreover, the parent company of Cavel has since moved its operations to Canada and continued to slaughter American horses. In Canada they have apparently become even more blatant, dumping huge untreated piles of entrails onto open ground and even using a tanker truck to discharge blood and refuse into a local river.
I have mentioned only the pollution issue, but this is but one negative aspect of horse slaughter. I have subsequently learned of a USDA document containing 900 pages of graphic photos that show the horrors that the horses were subject to. Behind the privacy fences of these plants, trucks arrived continuously and on those trucks was every form of inhumane violation one can imagine from mares birthing foals to horses with eyes dangling from their sockets and legs ripped from their bodies.
The more I learn about horse slaughter, the more certain I am: There is no justification for horse slaughter in this country. My city was little more than a door mat for a foreign-owned business that drained our resources, thwarted economic development and stigmatized our community. Americans don't eat horses, and we don't raise them for human consumption. There is no justification for spending American tax dollars to support this industry at the expense of Americans and our horses.

Former Mayor Paula Bacon
Kaufman, TX


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Horse Slaughterers' Strategy Revealed

Just in From Animal Law Coalition: 2/9/09

Posted Feb 9, 2009 by lauraallen
Horse Slaughter
State 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:
Arizona, S.C.M. 1001 Find your Arizona legislators here. Contact all Arizona state House and Senate members.

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.

ND 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.

Kansas, HCR 5004 Find your Kansas legislators here. Find all Kansas state House and Senate members.

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, 7.5
This 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.
Where You Can Find More Information on Horse Slaughter
Read Frequently Asked Questions About Unwanted Horses and the AVMA's Policy on Horse Slaughter
Read Veterinarians for Equine Welfare's Horse Slaughter - Its Ethical Impact and Subsequent Response by the Veterinary Profession