Horse News

Calls Needed TODAY to Save American Horses

Let’s Go VIRAL for the Sake of the Horses

Late last week the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee approved the FY2012 Agriculture Appropriations bill. The language defunding the required USDA inspections of horse slaughter facilities was not included for the first time since 2005, despite strong bipartisan support in Congress. This first step, if successful, may allow foreign investors the opportunity to reestablish horse slaughter in the US.

At a time when Congress is dramatically cutting back federal spending and eliminating wasteful federal programs, it is disturbing that some in Congress would allow for the reestablishment of a taxpayer subsidized federal program that existed solely to support foreign owned horse slaughter facilities that inflicted tremendous suffering on American horses.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

The full House Appropriations Committee will be voting on the FY12 Agriculture Appropriations bill this Tuesday afternoon. An amendment will be offered to restore the prohibition on putting USDA inspectors in horse slaughter facilities. Restoring this USDA defund language is important, and it is critical that you call and urge your legislator to support the amendment.

There is time to have your voices heard, but you must act immediately. If your Representative is on the House Appropriations Committee (see list below), they need to hear from you. These members have supported a ban on horse slaughter so you should remind them of their previous support and urge them to vote in favor of the amendment. Please give them a call first thing Tuesday morning and urge friends, family and coworkers to do the same.

You can call the main Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-2131 and ask to be connected to your Representatives office or you can visit AWI’s Compassion Index http://capwiz.com/compassionindex/dbq/vote_info to find their direct number.

Harold D. Rogers, KY C.W. Bill Young, FL

Jerry Lewis, CA Frank Wolf, VA

Rodney Frelinghuysen, NJ Robert B. Aderholt, AL

Ander Crenshaw, FL Rodney Alexander, LA

Ken Calvert, CA Steve LaTourette, OH

Mario Diaz-Balart, FL Charles Dent, PA

Norm Dicks, WA Marcy Kaptur, OH

Pete Visclosky, IN Nita Lowey, NY

Jose Serrano, NY Rosa DeLauro, CT

Jim Moran, VA John Olver, MA

Davis Price, NC Maurice Hinchey, NY

Lucille Roybal-Allard, CA Sam Farr, CA

Jesse Jackson, IL Chaka Fattah, PA

Steve Rothman, NJ Barbara Lee, Ca

Adam Schiff, CA Betty McCollum, MN

Agriculture Appropriations:

Retain Language Defunding Federal Inspection of Horse Meat and Horses for Slaughter for Human Consumption

* On the FY2006 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, Representatives John Sweeney (R-NY), Spratt (D-SC) and Whitfield (R-KY) offered an amendment to eliminate federal funding for the inspection of horsemeat – required by federal law – for horses being slaughtered for human consumption. This amendment passed 269-158. The Senate overwhelmingly approved a similar amendment in the Senate sponsored by the late Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) and Senator John Ensign (R-NV).

* Funding federal inspection of horse slaughter plants is fiscally irresponsible. Only foreign corporations, which deal in horsemeat for consumption by wealthy foreign gourmands overseas, would benefit from federal inspection of horse slaughter plants. Funding these inspections will only benefit foreign markets – at the expense of American taxpayers – and will add to the size of the federal deficit. Precious federal dollars should be conserved and put to better use by funding worthy domestic programs, including those programs that ensure the safety of food that is consumed in our country.

* Inspecting horse slaughter facilities is a federal responsibility. Horse slaughter is a federally regulated industry. Opponents claim that slaughtering horses for human consumption is a states’ rights issue. The slaughtering of any animal for human consumption in the U.S. is a federally regulated process. This is the same for beef, hogs or other livestock (Federal Meat Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 603); Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 1901). In addition, since horses sent to slaughter come from all 50 states, and horsemeat is not consumed in the U.S., it must be hauled across state lines and the over the U.S. border. Prior to the closure of the horse slaughter plants in the U.S., very few of the horses slaughtered in a state actually came from that state. Further, if federally-funded inspections were to begin, none of the meat would be consumed in the state where a horse was slaughtered, as we do not consume horsemeat in this country. Lastly, if a horse slaughter plant were to open in the U.S., the plant would slaughter horses transported across state lines, including horses from states strongly opposed to horse slaughter. A state should have the “right” to protect its own horses from slaughter.

* Live horses benefit the U.S. economy. The horse industry (racing, showing, eventing, etc.) bring billions of dollars to the U.S. economy each year. While selling a 5-year-old horse to slaughter might bring $50 to a killer buyer, and more to the foreign investor, keeping that horse alive and in the local economy will bring far greater return for years to come in income and job growth.

* Horses sent to slaughter are healthy and robust, not “unwanted.” The USDA estimates that 92.3 percent of the horses being sent to slaughter are healthy and can continue to be productive animals – they are not old or infirm.

· American horsemeat poses a serious risk to human health. Horses in the U.S. are not raised as food animals, so while their flesh may be considered a delicacy by foreign gourmands, it poses serious risks to human health. According to a recent Food and Chemical Toxicology report, substances routinely given to American horses cause dangerous adverse effects in humans. If federally funded inspections were to begin, not only would taxpayer dollars be needed to inspect these facilities, but additional funding would be required to enforce transport regulations and increased food safety testing as required by new European Union mandates.

* Horse slaughter for human consumption is a cruel process and one that should not be practiced here in the U.S. Americans do not eat horsemeat. Over 70 percent of the country believes that this is a cruel and unnecessary practice.

* Approximately 100,000 American horses are exported to slaughter each year. There are 9 million horses in the U.S. Of the 900,000 horses that die annually, approximately 100,000 are sent to Mexico and Canada for slaughter for human consumption by foreign gourmands. Despite claims made by horse slaughterhouse lobbyists, each year the same number of American horses are slaughtered that were slaughtered when U.S. based plants were in operation. Our horses are simply being hauled to a location outside of the U.S. for slaughter for human consumption. The closure of the horse slaughter plants in the U.S. have not led to an increase in “unwanted” horses, as the same number of horses are being slaughtered now that were prior to the closure of the plants in the U.S.

* Slaughter is not humane euthanasia. The average cost to humanely euthanize a horse by a licensed veterinarian is $225, roughly the same cost that it takes to feed and shelter a horse for one month. Properly euthanizing a horse is not cost-prohibitive and is what the vast majority of Americans choose to do with their horses at the end of their lives.

* This language must be retained. This defund language has prevented horse slaughter plants in the U.S. from operating, and any new facilities from opening, which is why it is crucial in eliminating this cruel practice in the U.S. This defund language has been included in every Agriculture Appropriations bill since FY06. Americans taxpayers should not be forced to foot the bill for this unnecessary practice now, or ever.

Thanks for your help. Be sure to share this eAlert with friends, family and coworkers and encourage them to contact their legislator as well.

14 replies »

  1. According to the May 13′ 2011 issue of Southern Livestock Standard, 15,173 horses have been exported for slaughter thus far in 2011. The source for this is listed as the USDA.

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  2. Called almost everyone on the appropriations committee. With responses I received form the folks answering the phones, I am hopeful.

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  3. Dear Animal Advocates,

    Until a few years ago, there were a handful of foreign-owned slaughterhouses in the U.S. that processed horses for their meat. That meat was sent to Europe and Asia, where it is considered a delicacy.

    Because approximately 70 percent of the American public opposes horse slaughter, since 2005 Congress has effectively prevented the practice by declining to fund inspections. But while this new Congress has prided itself on reducing government spending, the 2012 Agriculture Appropriations bill, which is currently before the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, does not include a horse slaughter defunding measure. If passed as written, our precious tax dollars could be used to enable the killing of horses for their meat.

    Fortunately, we still have a chance to protect our horses. Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) is offering an amendment to continue to defund horse slaughter in 2012.

    The Appropriations bill and the Moran Amendment will be voted on by the House Appropriations Committee today, Tuesday, May 31—it is critical that you act fast to urge your representative to support the Moran Amendment.

    What You Can Do
    You are receiving this email because your U.S. representative serves on the House Appropriations Committee. Your call could make the life-or-death difference for tens of thousands of American horses.

    Visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center right now to contact your U.S. representative in Washington, D.C., and request that he or she vote YES on the Moran Amendment this afternoon.

    You will find more information, including talking points, at ASPCA.org

    Thank you for taking immediate action, advocates!

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  4. Made my calls to everyone on the list regardless of state. They are getting a lot of calls but I forgot to ask them if the majority seem to be pro or con.

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  5. Made all of my calls. I also was informed that Rep. Moran was working on an amendment to restore defunding of inspections of horses for slaughter, and also that Rep. Olver was supporting this. They are receiving lots of calls. I am hopeful, as well.

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  6. (THEY WILL BE VOTING TONIGHT)!

    This was sent by Suzanne, Wild Horse Preservation Campaign:

    No horse slaughter plants currently operate in the U.S., and none can re-open in the absence of USDA inspections. If the Congress provides federal funds for required inspections, it would open the door for foreign investors to re-establish horse slaughter plants on American soil.

    To prevent this, an amendment must be added to restore the prohibition on putting USDA inspectors in horse slaughterhouses.

    First thing this morning, please call the members of the House Appropriations Committee listed below and deliver the message below. If you cannot call every member, then please call as many as you can, making sure to call your Representative (if he or she is on the committee) as well as committee members from your state.

    SAMPLE MESSAGE

    “Hello, I’m calling to urge Rep.____ to vote in favor of an amendment to the Agriculture Appropriations Bill that will prohibit funding for USDA inspections of horse slaughter plants. American taxpayers cannot afford to subsidize foreign companies that want to open horse slaughter plants on American soil to supply foreign markets and cause extreme pain and suffering for America’s horses in the process. Thank you.”

    APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE MEMBERS

    All numbers: Area Code 202

    Harold D. Rogers, KY, 225-4601 C.W. Bill Young, FL, 225-5961
    Jerry Lewis, CA, 225-5861 Frank Wolf, VA, 225-5136
    Rodney Frelinghuysen, NJ, 225-5034 Robert B. Aderholt, AL, 225-4876
    Ander Crenshaw, FL, 225-2501 Rodney Alexander, LA, 225-8490
    Ken Calvert, CA, 225-1986 Steve LaTourette, OH, 225-5731
    Mario Diaz-Balart, FL, 225-4211 Charles Dent, PA, 225-6411
    Norm Dicks, WA, 225-5916 Marcy Kaptur, OH, 225-4146
    Pete Visclosky, IN, 225-2461 Nita Lowey, NY, 225-6506
    Jose Serrano, NY, 225-4361 Rosa DeLauro, CT, 225-3661
    Jim Moran, VA, 225-4376 John Olver, MA, 225-5335
    Davis Price, NC, 225-1784 Maurice Hinchey, NY, 225-6335
    Lucille Roybal-Allard, CA, 225-1766 Sam Farr, CA, 225-2861
    Jesse Jackson, IL, 225-0773 Chaka Fattah, PA, 225-4001
    Steve Rothman, NJ, 225-5061 Barbara Lee, Ca, 225-2661
    Adam Schiff, CA, 225-4176 Betty McCollum, MN, 225-6631

    Thanks, Suzanne, this made it a whole lot easier!

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  7. Made the call. The secretary knew exactly what I was calling about–and that Rep. Olver was supporting the amendment. Every call represents a certain number of voters ( like 1 call = 100 voters–something like that) so please pick up the phone. Some horse article somewhere said ” Faces you’ll never see again…..”

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  8. This is horrible!! It’s one fight after another, non-stop!! Unfortunately, I live in Missouri, & there was no Rep. on the list from here, so I couldn’t call . If, however, anything comes up that I can do something about, I most certainly will! My prayers are all I can help with right now, & for the sake of all American horses, wild or domestic, I hope this tragic nightmare will NOT start back up in this country! It’s like we’re fighting one issue, & “they” (the BAD guys!!), are starting up another behind our backs! We’re trying to get the point across to STOP the transport of our horses across borders to be slaughtered, & to one day shut down ALL horse slaughter facilities, & now our own “people” are trying to re-open them in our own country! SICK, SICK,SICK!!!

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  9. One more note, I KNOW it basically boils down to money (the TRUE root of all evil!), but, exactly how much can someone actually profit from the sale & rendering of American horses?? It doesn’t add up, or make any sense to me. I am thoroughly outraged, appalled & disgusted by even the thought of this awful “subject”. I am against horse slaughter of ANY kind, regardless of “reason” or “excuse”, but, if foreigners are the ones who buy & eat horses, WHY on God’s earth are American horses allowed that gruesome fate!!?? Our horses should be protected by some kind of law, especially since they’re not raised as food animals, as traditional “livestock” are!! If foreigners insist on eating horses, then unfortunately, let them eat their own poor horses! No disrespect intended because I dearly love ALL horses, but there is no reason more horses than are “necessary” should have to endure such an agonizing, brutal end to their lives!! What part of supporters brains don’t understand what they’re doing, what part of their brains aren’t working, PERIOD!!

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    • RIGHT, Valerie W, we don’t eat horses in America, so why should we, the tax payers, have to pay for the inspection of horse meat – the three plants closed in the US were Belgian owned and the meat was shipped out to foreign markets !!! Not to even begin to mention the abject torture and cruelty inflicted on our horses…then I’ve GOT to wonder what’s REALLY happening to all OUR wild horses being rounded up – follow the money trail – I’m so angry !!

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