Horse News

Key Government Report Leaked to Horse-Eaters

Article by Steven Long ~ Editor/Publisher of Horseback Magazine

Animal welfare advocates allege the report was leaked to former Rep. Charles Stenholm, now a lobbyist for the meat packing industry.

“As you may know, we have been waiting since last year for a report by the GAO on the state of the horse industry after the closings of the US base plants in 2007. Along with the ASPCA and the ALC, we at the EWA have participated in interviews and conference calls with the GAO during the study. I have personally provided them with our studies and the statistics showing that the total number of US horses slaughtered did not decline after the closings.

Recently I invited them to the International Equine Conference in September to speak on their findings and received no response.  I then asked them again and asked when the report would be available and again got no response.

It speaks volumes about our government that Charley Stenholm, a paid lobbyist for the meat industry, should have access to this report a full six months before we do.”

~ John Holland, President of the Equine Welfare Alliance

HOUSTON, (Horseback) – Horseback Magazine has confirmed that a long awaited report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has been leaked.  The report, titled The State of Horse Welfare in the United States Since the Cessation of Horse Slaughter in 2007, was quoted at the Summit of the Horse held in Las Vegas in early January.

A senior GAO public affairs specialist, Laura Kopelson, confirmed that the report was leaked. Asked if Horseback could obtain a copy of the document, the official refused saying it would be posted online June 22, 2011.

Horseback also asked longtime GAO Inspector General Frances Garcia via email if the agency would open an investigation of the leak. Thus far there has been no response.

Animal welfare advocates allege the report was leaked to former Rep. Charles Stenholm, now a lobbyist for the meat packing industry.

Kopelson did release key questions asked by government investigators in the report.

“In 2007, court action and state bans closed horse slaughter plants in the U.S. Since then, horses are exported to Canada and Mexico for slaughter. Congress also has prohibited use of funds or user fees for inspections of horses for human food. Pending bills would make it a crime to possess, transport, sell, or receive any horse or horse flesh intended for food. (Q1) How has the U.S. horse market changed since the cessation of domestic horse slaughter for food in 2007? (Q2) What has been the impact of these changes on state and local governments and animal protection organizations? (Q3) How effective is USDA oversight of the transport of U.S. horses exported for slaughter, including coordination with federal and state agencies and foreign governments?”

Last year, Animals Angels released a 90 page report obtained under the federal Freedom of Information Act by investigator Julie Caramonte that contained devastating photographs of maimed dead and dying slaughter bound horses taken by the U.S. Department of Agriculture during transport and withheld from public view.

GAO also released the official scope and methodology of the report.

“(Q1) Analyze USDA and industry data for 2005-2009 on sales, exports, adoptions, and abandonments; describe sources of horses and factors affecting them, analyze data to determine size and significance of factors to characterize changes to industry since cessation of slaughter; review studies and evaluate USDA data on farm income and trade to determine impact of plant closures; (Q2) with ARM assistance, conduct structured interviews of key national, state, local, Tribal and animal protection organizations (e.g., National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, Humane Society of the U.S.) to describe impacts; (Q3) Evaluate USDA’s Slaughter Horse Transport Program through sample of inspection forms, visits to key horse border crossings, and interviews with agency inspectors; interview federal, state, and foreign officials responsible for coordinating the transport of horses for export.”

Click (HERE) to Visit Horseback Magazine Online

17 replies »

  1. It was leaked to one person and no one else? This smells fishy to me. A leak to me is a leak not a drip and a quickfix. Leaks don’t get to just one person then get hushed. I thought the Obama admin was supposed to be transparent. Whatever happened to that? This admin is just as secretive as all the others. What are they hiding that they don’t want the general public to know? We already know the banking industry owns this country and tells the president and all major companies what to do and when to do it. Between the oil companies and the banking industry, no one can survive comfortably anymore unless they are part of the scam. Some days I feel like our gov is laughing at our attempts to right the wrongs.

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    • Now you know what my dad’s Native American people know…
      The US Government is always laughing at us…
      Let them know if they don’t save the horses we the tax payers will have the last laugh at the polls when we fire their sneak butts…
      Wolfswren

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  2. Talk about a rigged system…WOW!

    I just can’t fathom how any government entity can “not respond” and drag their feet for entities opposed to special interest and in the same way, bend over backward (and violate their own regs and fed law) to “leak” (leak my a**…the leadership gave it to that troll Stenholm) info to that exact special interest.

    It defies logic and leaves me speechless.

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  3. Proponents of horse-slaughter want to introduce horsemeat as a viable and ongoing commodity to rival beef. When anyone, including a government official, provides or receives confidential information with the potential to affect commodities, all parties involved may be in violation of laws against manipulation of commodities futures. The fact that this leaked information was specifically intended for a report to Congress, with the potential to influence legislation, makes it doubly damning.

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  4. I had tangled with the Office of Inspector General representatives last year on the report investigating the cruelty of roundups and whether the BLM was to blame. Of course, we all know how dismal that turned out to be—a Gold Star for the BLM was awarded by DOI-OIG. This GAO report is just more of the same, so I sent OIG a follow-up—
    OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL—LIKE SO MUCH IN OUR GOVERNMENT CURRENTLY, THE TAXPAYING CITIZEN IS DEMORALIZED BY THE BEHAVIOR OF OUR SUPPOSEDLY VENERABLE, LAWFUL INSTITUTIONS. THIS LATEST REPORT OF A KEY INVESTIGATION REPORT LEAKED BY GAO TO A LOBBIEST FOR THE HORSE SLAUGHTER AND MEAT INDUSTRY IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE. FOR ALL THE HIGH-MINDED RHETORIC ABOUT THE INTEGRITY, HONESTY, AND LEGAL RESPONSIBILITY OF THESE INSTITUTIONS, AT BOTTOM THEY ARE RUN BY HUMAN BEINGS SUBJECT TO THE SAME IGNOBLE, DEVIOUS IMPULSES AS ALL THE REST OF HUMANITY.
    THIS REPORT LEAKAGE AND THE CONSISTENT INTRANSIGENCE OF THE GAO TO RELEASE THE INFORMATION TO THE PUBLIC AFTER ACKNOWLEDGING THE ILLEGALITY IS SIMPLY DISGUSTING. OUR “GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS” ARE RIFE WITH GRAFT, GREED, AND TOADYING AND ALL THE FANCY MISSION STATEMENTS TO THE CONTRARY, THIS IS REALLY WHAT WE HAVE COME TO EXPECT
    SUSAN RUDNICKI, MANHATTAN BEACH CA

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    • I just sent off one too – demanding an investigation of who leaked it and what is going to be done about it. I also said that since the parties to whom it seems to have been leaked plan to use it to influence legislation, isn’t this a flagrant violation of the law? I demanded an investigation of that.

      I also questioned the integrity of the report itself if it does indeed indicate that the “dramatic” increase of so called “unwanted” horses was caused by the closure of THREE slaughter plants when statistics prove that we’re sending just as many horses to slaughter as before and the economy has been in severe recession.

      We’ll see……..

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  5. I am disturbed that a government report has been given to a known sh#t disturbing organization, who have been proven to interpret facts with relabelling slants. This certainly may have been why the lobbying effort prior to the Agricultural Appropriations Bill was almost successful.

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  6. It’s really not that difficult for “them”. They place a few people in key positions and “they” get what they want. They work their intended agenda like moves on a chess board. They don’t let personal differences get in the way.
    WE have to REMOVE those people from those key positions of power and WE CAN DO IT.

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  7. Just found this book on AMERICAN HERDS:

    Our Unprotected Heritage: Whitewashing the Destruction of our Cultural and Natural Environment by Thomas F. King
    Review
    Unprotected Heritage-Whitewashing Destruction of our Cultural and Natural Environment is a necessary and must read for anyone who has tried to penetrate the system! Whether you are an individual citizen, a tribal government, a concerned political representative, who has ever wondered why such projects catapult to existence and fruition. This book unveils the deep and cracked truth of these well-intended laws whose meaning and protections of the concerned are redirected within the process to the core of an already predetermined path. I am encouraged by the suggested adjustments to the existing laws; it is a beginning that holds great hope for a discouraged and frustrated person who for 25 years has attempted to work within the confines of a stay in the box system. Kudos to Tom for going out on the limb of a great tree of many colors for true democracy, of the people, by the people, FOR THE PEOPLE! -Nora McDowell, Former Chair, Fort Mojave Indian Tribe

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  8. Hi All:
    Good points…I guess I am not surprised at the back handed dealings in Washington. I don’t care what side of the political fence
    you are on, they are all so corrupt and DO NOT REFLECT THE
    WILL OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. Money flows like water and
    many are waiting to get thiers, what ever misery and death it
    causes. I totally agree with the inside trading, this is something
    else that can be brought to our Legislators. We need to see that
    there is an investigation on this..Its also so sad that Ken Salazar
    who was appointed to be steward over all our natural resources
    is involved with oil and the ranching industry. Talk about putting
    the Wolf in charge of the Hen House. He is the worst appointee
    to head the Interior Dept for decades. As far as the report, they
    wanted to make sure that it contained all the damaging information
    before it was released..When I call I am going to insist they I
    reason an explanation for its realease. And indicate that others
    have gone to jail for this inside trading information. Again, thank
    you so much for keeping us informed.

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  9. But we shud consider that the report was leaked o give the opposing side talking points to lobby against and not released until after the vote on the bill to give time to garner votes for funding inspections. It seems to me that this report is good for us – at least if it were not it would be being waved triumphantly (if they can raise their arms above their heads). And that lobbying for the bill without defunding was so heavy because it is possible that once the report is out it will prove that defunding slaughter has not harmed the horse industry. From what I have heard, the fringe feeders have still managed to send almost 100000 across the borders anyway. We have got to stop slaughter of horses PERIOD.

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