12 Year Old Instrumental in Introduction of Anti-Horse Slaughter Bill

Source: Children 4 Horses

photo courtesy of Children 4 Horses

photo courtesy of Children 4 Horses

U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta, R-NH, joined U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-IL, on April 22, 2015, to introduce the bipartisan SAFE Act – Safeguard American Food Exports Act – of 2015 to address the inhumane and dangerous process of transporting horses outside of the United States for human consumption.

“For centuries, horses have embodied the spirit of American freedom and pride. To that end, horses are not raised for food – permitting their transportation for the purposes of being slaughtered for human consumption is not consistent with our values and results in a dangerously toxic product. My bipartisan bill seeks to prevent and end the inhumane and dangerous process of transporting thousands of horses a year for food.”

The issue of horse slaughter was brought to Congressman Guinta’s attention in the 112th Congress when 12-year-old Declan Gregg, an advocate against horse slaughter and constituent of New Hampshire’s First Congressional District, met with him to raise awareness of the issue and urge for change to protect American horses.

I am so honored to have been here in DC with Congressman Guinta for this awesome moment! It’s been really cool to be a part of introducing the bill and seeing how the legislative process works. It’s truly an honor to be here, help walk the bill down to Congress, and get to see the impact my work has made.

Thank you Congressman Frank Guinta (NH), Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL), Congressman Vern Buchanan (FL), and Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM), for sponsoring this important bill and standing up for America’s horses!! And thank you to the 41 original cosponsors of the SAFE Act, for standing up for America’s horses too!!

PLEASE CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES and ask them to cosponsor the SAFE Act and to support other pro-horse legislation. Horse slaughter has been defunded in the US, but every day, American horses are still being shipped and slaughtered in Canada and Mexico. SLAUGHTER IS NOT HUMANE EUTHANASIA and it is not an answer.

I will fight until we have won for the horses!!” ~Declan, Founder of Children 4 Horses

To find your Congressman/woman and their contact information, use this link: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

3 CA Men Arrested for Shooting Wild Burros

BY PETER SUROWSKI from The Press Enterprise

Three men were arrested on suspicion of shooting at the wild burros that are known for roaming the hills of Moreno Valley.

Wild Burros in BLM holding ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Wild Burros in BLM holding ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Eduardo Loza, 19, and Joel Rodriguez, 21, both of Lenox, were booked into jail on suspicion of attempted animal cruelty, discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner and conspiracy to commit a felony, according to a Riverside County sheriff’s news release and jail records.

Anthony Robert Holquin, 19, was booked on suspicion of the same three felony charges plus being a felon with a firearm and presenting false identification to a police officer, jail records show. He told police his name was Jonhy Fabela, according to the news release.

All three were booked into different jails, in Riverside, French Valley and Banning. Bail was set at $5,000 for each.

Witnesses reported seeing three men shooting at the animals about 12:50 p.m. Saturday, April 18, in the 9700 block of Sunnybrook Drive, the release said.

Deputies showed up and found the three suspects and a gun. They also found physical evidence that a gun was fired, though they found no indication that any of the animals was injured, the release said.

After interviewing the suspects and witnesses, deputies arrested the trio, the release said.

The incident is under investigation and anybody with information was asked to call the sheriff’s Moreno Valley station at 951-486-6700.

Federal Legislation Introduced to Prohibit Slaughter of American Equines

Source: Multiple

“This bipartisan bill seeks to prevent and end the inhumane and dangerous process of transporting thousands of horses a year for food.”

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

On April 22nd, 2015, federal lawmakers introduced legislation to prevent the establishment of horse slaughter operations within the U.S., end the current export of American horses and donkeys for slaughter abroad, and protect the public from consuming toxic horse meat. The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, H.R. 1942, was introduced by Reps. Frank Guinta (R-N.H.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.).

Last year, more than 140,000 American horses, donkeys and mules were slaughtered for human consumption in foreign countries. The animals often suffer long journeys to slaughter plants in Canada and Mexico without adequate food, water or rest. At the slaughterhouse, horses are  brutally forced into a “kill box” and shot in the head with a captive bolt gun in an attempt to stun them before slaughter—a process that can be inaccurate due to the biology and nature of equines and result in animals sustaining repeated blows or remaining conscious during the kill process.

For centuries, horses have embodied the spirit of American freedom and pride,” said Rep. Guinta. “To that end, horses are not raised for food – permitting their transportation for the purposes of being slaughtered for human consumption is not consistent with our values and results in a dangerously toxic product.  This bipartisan bill seeks to prevent and end the inhumane and dangerous process of transporting thousands of horses a year for food.”

Horses sent to slaughter are often subject to appalling, brutal treatment,” said Rep. Schakowsky. “We must fight those practices. The SAFE Act of 2015 will ensure that these majestic animals are treated with the respect they deserve.”

“The slaughter of horses for human consumption is an absolute travesty that must be stopped,” said Rep. Buchanan.  “This bipartisan measure will finally put an end to this barbaric practice.”

Horse slaughter is an inhumane practice that causes great pain and distress to the animals, and poses numerous environmental and food safety concerns,” said Rep. Lujan Grisham. “The vast majority of my constituents oppose horse slaughter. I’m proud to support the SAFE Act to ban this cruelty once and for all.”

The SAFE Act would also protect consumers from dangerous American equine meat, which can be toxic to humans due to the unregulated administration of drugs to horses. Because horses and donkeys are not raised for food, they are routinely given hundreds of toxic drugs and chemical treatments over their lifetimes that are prohibited by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in animals intended for human consumption. Those drugs, although safe for horses, are potentially toxic to humans if consumed. In December 2014, the European Union announced its suspension of imports of horse meat from Mexico after a scathing audit of EU-certified Mexican horse slaughter plants, which kill tens of thousands of American horses each year. Additionally, the discovery of horse meat in beef products in Europe shocked consumers and raised concerns about the potential impact on American food industries.

The concerned American public is encouraged to contact their U.S. representatives and urge them to cosponsor the SAFE Act in order to protect America’s horses and overall consumer health from horse slaughter.

Federal Court Dismisses Wyoming Welfare Rancher’s Anti-Wild Horse Lawsuit

Source: Multiple

“We are pleased that the Court declined to allow this blatant attempt by the State to scapegoat the small number of wild horses that remain in Wyoming to benefit ranchers.”

Destruction of Wyoming's Adobe Town herd by the BLM ~ photo by Carol Walker of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Destruction of Wyoming’s Adobe Town herd by the BLM ~ photo by Carol Walker of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

On Tuesday (4/21/15) The U.S. District Court in Wyoming dismissed a lawsuit filed by the State of Wyoming against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) seeking the removal of wild horses from public lands across the state. Earlier this year, the Court granted intervenor status to the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC), The Cloud Foundation, Return to Freedom, and wild horse photographers Carol Walker and Kimerlee Curyl. Intervenors promptly filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit against the BLM.

The Court stated in its decision that “the Court agrees with BLM and Intervenors. At this time there is no discrete action required by BLM and the management of wild horses on federal land throughout Wyoming is properly left to the sound discretion of BLM without judicial entanglement.”

“We are pleased that the Court declined to allow this blatant attempt by the State to scapegoat the small number of wild horses that remain in Wyoming to benefit ranchers. The Court reaffirmed the BLM’s discretion to determine what actions are needed to achieve the agency’s objective to maintain a thriving natural ecological balance and that removing horses is not mandated,” said Caitlin Zittkowski of Meyer, Glitzenstein & Crystal, the Washington, D.C. public interest law firm which represented AWHPC, The Cloud Foundation, Return to Freedom, Ms. Walker and Ms. Curyl in the case.

Just last month, the Federal Court in Nevada granted AWHPC’s motion to dismiss in a similar lawsuit filed on behalf of ranchers that sought the removal of thousands of wild horses from public lands. That case was dismissed with prejudice.

The State of Wyoming lawsuit sought the removal of hundreds of wild horses from public lands in Wyoming, a state in where fewer than 2,500 wild horses remain. Statewide, Wyoming’s wild horse population levels are far below the high “Allowable” Management Level of 3,722 wild horses, a number established by BLM land use plans.

National opinion polls indicate that 72 percent of Americans support protecting wild horses on public lands while just 29 percent want public lands used for livestock grazing.

In Wyoming, wild horse numbers are dwarfed by the number of livestock grazing on public lands at taxpayer expense. Fewer than 2,500 wild horses remain on just 3.2 million acres of public rangeland, while hundreds of thousands of livestock graze 18 million acres of public land in the state. Put another way, wild horses are present in Wyoming on just 2 percent of the BLM land grazed by livestock.

Horses Shipped to Japan for their Meat are Mistreated at Canadian Airport

as published at CTV News.com

“They are legally allowed to go up to 36 hours without food and water,”

Animal welfare advocates in Calgary say that live horses being shipped to Japan for human consumption are being treated inhumanely at the Calgary Airport, but the airport insists all rules are being followed.

The Canadian Horse Defence Coalition says a video its members shot recently shows horses being mistreated at the airport. They say the animals are kept in crates not tall enough for them to stand in. Thet also say the video shows de-icing fluid and jet blast from other planes drifting onto the crates as they’re loaded.

On Thursday, 15 protesters held a rally in front of Calgary’s Aero Space Museum, organized by CARE — the Calgary Animal Rights Effort — and the Lethbridge Animal Rights Effort. They waved signs that read “YYC flies horses to their death,” “Calgary’s Shame” and “Horse export is cruel.”

Maureen Hurly, with CARE, says horses are suffering during the long-haul flights and some have died en route.

“We’re concerned because of the inhumaneness of the entire operation from start to finish. They are legally allowed to go up to 36 hours without food and water,” she told CTV Calgary.

Hurly also brought her group’s concerns to the Calgary Airport Authority’s annual general meeting on Thursday.

Garth Atkinson, the president and CEO of the Calgary Airport Authority, told reporters that the airport authority has no jurisdiction over the handling of the horses; he says that’s a federal responsibility.

What’s more, he says, is the animals are treated well.

“As far as we know, everything takes place according to the law, and it’s very supervised and every complaint is looked into and addressed,” he said.

Hurly says she was disappointed by the airport authority’s reaction.

“I don’t feel like the airport wants to take any accountability for this at all. They just want to pass responsibility on to somebody else,” she said.

Live horse exports to Japan have jumped in recent years because of growing demand, rising from 2,200 animals in 2012 to 7,800 last year. As well, Canada exported 9,000 tonnes of already slaughtered horse meat, according to Agriculture Canada, to several countries, including Japan, Belgium and France.

Activists claim about 90 horses a week from Calgary are slaughtered in Japan to be used as raw sashimi, selling for about $25,000 a horse.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it inspects all air shipments of live horses and ensures they have food and water. It also reviews all complaints. The agency would not say whether any rules had been broken in the video shot by the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition.

New York-based Atlas Air, the cargo line that ships most of the animals, did not return a request by CTV Calgary for comment.

Wild Pig Bonds with Polo Ponies

By of KITV.com

Feel Good Sunday ~ “Meet Wilma the Feral Pig. She thinks she’s a horse.”

HONOLULU —Penny the Dog is barking at a wild pig roaming among a herd of horses.

But not everything is always what it seems.

“Common silly pig!” called Sarah Keawe, a handler with the Hawaii Polo Club in Molukeia on Oahu’s scenic North Shore.

That pig is named “Wilma” and she’s more than welcome.

In fact, Wilma’s decided where the horses roam, is exactly where she wants to be.

She sticks to them like glue until she needs to do what you might expect from a feral pig when a watering hole is on the way.

“All clean now!” laughed Keawe, after Wilma took a roll in the water, then jumped back in line.

The herd reaches the open field at the polo club.

It’s the kind of site that makes you rub your eyes and blink twice.

“You did good Wilma,” Keawe chirps, as the little pig keeps up the pace.

Wilma continued to trot lock-step from start to finish — even though she’s quite a bit shorter than her four-legged friends.

“She came over and just adopted all of the horses, said Devon Daily, an accomplished polo player, who manages the club.

Frank Hinshaw, AKA “The Pig Whisperer,” owns Skydive Hawaii across the street.

He has a pretty good idea what happened.

“She was in a family of a half-dozen or eight piglets. We’d see them on the side of the road and she was the only one who has the sense to come over to this side of the road I guess,” he said, laughing.

“Yeah, she thinks they’re her herd,” said handler Sarah Keawe, who cares for Wilma nearly every day.

She said Wilma works the whole room, but has her favorites, and none of the horses seem to mind her company.

They suspect, in Wilma’s mind, she’s not much different.

“I think she thinks she’s a horse. You know, this is her family. This is what she has left,” said Daily.

These days, she’s sporting a red harness.

Wilma roams free, but and everybody here knows they needed to do something to try and keep her safe.

“There’s tons of hunters around here. It needed to be done,” said Daily, smiling softly.

“We just wanted her marked so people would know that she’s a pet,” said Keawe.

If there was any question she’s still wild, wait until she thinks she’s getting short-changed on food.

Her squeals splintered our ears when she couldn’t get to a few morsels stuck on the bottom of a nearby bin.

“She’s still got her piggy ways,” chuckled Keawe.

But most of the time she’s friendly, curious, and no doubt, getting downright comfortable.

When Hinshaw’s co-worker T.K. offered up a tummy rub, Wilma flopped to her side and closed her eyes.

“Have you guys named her?” asked visitor Kristen Kramar.

She was waiting for a trail ride with her 13 year-old daughter Mieka.

“Wilma! Oh that’s so sweet!” said Kramar.

The two were on their last day in the islands before heading back to Winnepeg, Canada.

“She’s a camera ham! But don’t say ham to much,” she laughed.

Kramar said, all she knew of feral pigs came from a warning from a friend who told her to stay away. But this time:

“It’s so cool that we get to see the wildlife that’s actually here in Hawaii! She’s just wonderful,” said Kramar.

The occasional cries from Daily’s baby girl Isla Grace was no match for Wilma.

He envisions pairing the two, maybe making a miniature saddle for Wilma, if she’ll have it.

Besides, they know that unexpected edition will always be able to call it home.

“I want her to be here for a long time,” said Keawe.

Click (HERE) to comment directly at KITV

Researchers Develop Artificial Skin for Horses – could help manage burns

Source:  thehorse.com

Researchers Develop Artificial Equine Skin

By Christa Lesté-Lasserre, MA

horse-with-3rd-degree-burn

This artificial skin for horses could help in managing burns (such as the one seen here), wounds, and other equine ailments, researchers said.   Photo: R. Reid Hanson, DVM, Dipl. ACVS

What started as a playful gallop in the field just ended with your pasture fence in shambles and your horse with wounds all over his body. As you await the veterinarian’s arrival, you think of how convenient it would be to grow him some new skin to replace the patches he just lost.

Good news. Now you can.

Yes, that science fiction concept is actually becoming a reality in the equine world. While tissue-engineered skin already exists for humans, dogs, and even mice, it’s not as easy to grow skin in a laboratory that’s customized to the equine patient. The basic building block cells of horse skin, the equine primary keratinocytes, just don’t seem to last very long in a laboratory culture. But recently, a group of Spanish researchers have discovered an effective “recipe” for a culture that works for these keratinocytes. And so, tissue-engineered equine skin has now been born.

“We are very excited because our study describes, for the first time, the development of an equine artificial skin,” said Anna Puigdemont, PhD, of the Department of Pharmacology, Therapeutics, and Toxicology at the University of Barcelona. “This model has been used in humans mainly for treating burned patients, but it has also shown very useful results in other clinical situations. Therefore, despite it being a new strategy for tissue regeneration, its safety and usefulness seem guaranteed.”

Read the rest of this story HERE.

Illegal, cruel horse-fighting in Mindanao

SOURCE:  rappler.com

Illegal, cruel horse-fighting in Mindanao alive and kicking

by Pia Ranada

Despite national and local laws, horse fight organizers are finding ways to hold their profitable derbies outside the gaze of authorities

'ENTERTAINMENT.' An enthusiastic crowd watches as two horses fight during a derby held from May 15-17, 2014 in Digos City, Davao del Sur. Photo by Network for Animals Philippines

‘ENTERTAINMENT.’ An enthusiastic crowd watches as two horses fight during a derby held from May 15-17, 2014 in Digos City, Davao del Sur.   Photo by Network for Animals Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – “Bratatatatatatat!” blares a commentator as two white male horses fight to the death in the village of Dawis, Digos City, Davao del Sur.

Their flanks, tense with the threat of violence, are matted with blood and dirt. After biting his adversary on the neck, one horse paws the ground like a bull.

The crowd goes wild and unseen whistles screech in ecstasy. The children, watching from nearby tree branches, cheer along with their elders, making private bets among themselves.

Recorded in video by animal rights group Network for Animals (NFA), the horse-fighting derby allegedly took place on May 16, 2014.

It is one of dozens of horse-fighting events that take place in Mindanao provinces every year.

This is in violation of Republic Act No 8485 or the Animal Welfare Act of 1998 which prohibits horse fights and the maltreatment of horses. Anyone engaged in horse-fighting can be imprisoned for 6 months to 2 years and fined P30,000 to P100,000 ($676-$2,200), depending on whether or not the horse dies.

In a horse fight, two male horses are put in a ring with a mare in heat. The stallions are goaded to mate with the mare and then restrained in order to induce aggressive behavior.

Once violent enough, they are released so they can fight over the mare.

The cruel practice, which leaves hundreds of horses dying or severely injured, has been going on in the region since the 1980s, according to NFA Philippines.

Aggressive campaigning has led two governors – Jose Zubiri of Bukidnon and Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza of North Cotabato – to ban horse-fighting events in 2014.

But insiders say those who make big bucks from horse-fighting have changed tactics to avoid the law.

Read the rest of this story HERE.

A story of friendship

Source:  thedodo.com

by Ameena Schelling

Lexi the horse and George the alpaca are on their way to finding a forever home together, after a history of probable neglect helped them form a lifelong friendship.

“They have a very strong bond with each other,” Ontario SPCA inspector Brad Dewar told The Dodo. “That’s something you can see within a few minutes of being around them.”

The pair was taken in three months ago due to concerns about their welfare. While details about their past are unavailable as an investigation is ongoing, Dewar said that “they were in a state where they could no longer remain where they were.”

What is clear is that Lexi’s past has affected her. The timid Clydesdale mix is extremely scared of people and objects, and will become very uncomfortable when someone or something new approaches her.

Facebook/Official Ontario SPCA Page

“She’s borderline wild horse,” Dewan said, noting that the extent of Lexi’s experience with humans was likely someone dropping off food and water once a day. “Spend just a few minutes with her and you’ll see she gets really nervous.”

Luckily, she has George. The pair has likely spent their lives together, and the sweet alpaca has appointed himself Lexi’s bodyguard. Whenever someone new approaches, or if Lexi gets scared, George will step up to make her feel more comfortable.

“The alpaca will come to her side,” Dewan said. “If you approach her, he’ll kind of stand in front, to keep you away from her.”

Even when Lexi isn’t nervous, George spends his time comforting her and rarely leaves her side. The Ontario SPCA wrote in a Facebook post that he can often be heard chattering away to her in their stall.

Facebook/Official Ontario SPCA Page

The group quickly recognized their connection, and is planning to adopt them out together. “Lexi relies on George because of her timidness,” Dewan said. “We feel it’s really important that they be adopted out together as a pair.”

Fortunately for these unusual friends, that could soon happen. After the Ontario SPCA posted the pair’s story on its Facebook page, George and Lexi received a “tremendous” amount of attention, Dewan said, and the SPCA had to stop accepting applications.

They are currently reviewing possible adopters, including performing on-site inspections of potential homes, and expects to finalize arrangements within the next few weeks.

In the meantime, Lexi and George are settling into their temporary home — and learning that people aren’t all bad. “She’s quickly adapting to the care that she’s getting,” Dewan said of Lexi. “And George is slowly getting more accepting [of people approaching her].”

Rally for wild horses & burros on the Golden Gate Bridge on April 25th

Jetara Sehart of Love Wild Horses is hosting a peaceful rally on April 25th to bring awareness to wild horses & burros on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.  And thanks to hard working advocate Patty Bumgarner for organizing Fighting for Nevada Wild Horses and the National Rally Day for the wild horses & burros.  If you’d like to do something to help wild horses & burros, public awareness is key, so you could host a rally in your town.  Make some signs and get out there and hit the streets! And, when planning where to rally, remember the old real estate saying “location, location, location.” Think about rallying in front of a local newspaper or radio station, or an area with crowds or tourists.

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Save the Last of Our: Native Wild Horses: Love Wild Horses!

Peaceful Protest
Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco, CA

April 25th, 2015
Noon – 2:00 PM

Please join us on April 25th, 2015, National Rally Day,in San Francisco, CA, on the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge: or join or host a sister/brother protest to:  Love Wild Horses

I. Return the public lands, to the BLM trapped 58,000 wild horses & burros, to live in peace, safety and freedom.

II. Establish Native Species classification to protect & preserve the wild horses and burros
(TO STOP the feral humans within the BLM from treating them, as if the native wild horses & burros, are worth no more then dandelions.)

III. Heal the public land re-seed/ install rain water catches, dig new springs for the wild ones to survive drought

IV. BAN exportation of domestic and wild horses to slaughter

V. Repeal the Burns Amendment
“In 2004, Republican Senator from Montana Conrad Burns inserted a rider into the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2005 (a 3,000-page omnibus appropriations bill) which permitted BLM to sell excess animals more than 10 years old or which have been offered for adoption three times.[40][41][42] The amendment also required that excess, unadoptable horses “shall be made available for sale without limitation.”[42] Burns was reportedly acting on behalf of ranching interests, who wished more of the horses removed from federal land.[41] The legislation, signed into law by President George W. Bush, was described by one media outlet as “undercut[ing] more than three decades of lobbying and legislative action aimed at protecting America’s wild horses from slaughter”.[41] In the 2006 Interior Appropriations Act, a rider was inserted that repealed the Burns amendment; however, in the 2007 Interior Appropriations Act the clause was re-added. As of August 2012, it had not been repealed.[43]

In early 2005, the BLM discovered that some of the excess wild horses it had sold had been slaughtered.[44] ” Wikepedia

VI. Strengthen the Wild Horse & Burro Protection Act of 1971, to truly protect our wild horses & burros

VII. Always remove toxic corporate occupation from public land use, not wild horses or burros.

Special thanks to Fighting for Nevada Wild Horses for organizing National Rally Day for the wild horses

Please find and attend a rally near you, or host one:

We are building a movement, thank you for joining us

LOVE WILD HORSES

On Facebook we are: Wild Horse Protection Act
On Twitter we are: @riseup4wldhorse