by R.T. Fitch
WASHINGTON D.C. (SFHH) – My wife, Terry, and I joined fellow horse lovers from around the U.S. in Washington D.C. to participate in the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) and the Animal Welfare Institute’s (AWI) “Horses on the Hill” day, July 14th. Many areas of the United States where represented at the initial kick-off breakfast hosted by the organizations and Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La). Senator Landrieu is one of four co-authors (along with Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.)) of S-727/H.R. 503, The Equine Cruelty Prevention Act of 2009.
In the morning meeting, conducted in the Russell Senate Office Building, Senator Landrieu expressed her love of horses along with her disappointment at the undermining of the closure of the U.S. slaughter houses by killer buyers transporting healthy, young American horses across our borders to a gruesome fate in Mexico and Canada. We could not agree more. Determination amongst the horse rescuers attending was obvious as they introduced themselves, their affiliated equine rescues and expressed their thanks for the Senator’s efforts. (We were pleased to represent Habitat for Horses.) When queried as to a “Plan B” should the bill not pass Senator Landrieu replied with the definitive comment, “There is no ‘Plan B’ as the bill ‘will’ pass.”
Many attendees traveled great distances to have their opinions heard and at the close- out meeting, conducted at the offices of AWI, there appeared to be a feeling of hope as most lobbying attendees were welcomed at the offices of their elected representatives. It was apparent to all attending that their representatives were receptive to the facts and truths presented and many indicated that they would investigate the possibility of co-sponsoring Senator Landrieu’s bill. Several Senatorial and Congressional aides commented on the outpouring of support that came in from the phone lines and were happy to receive clarity on the issue after the recent flood of misinformation that has plagued the media over the past several months. All present were appalled, yet not surprised, by the spread of rumor and innuendo by dubious so called horse “friendly” groups and PACs. Concise facts and honest answers were welcomed by all offices that were visited.