Horse News

Equine Welfare Groups Ask Congress To Save American Horses From Slaughter

Agricultural Appropriations Bill to defund USDA Inspections for Post Mortem Inspections of Horses Slaughtered in the U.S. for Human Consumption to be voted on June 15th 2011


Dear Congressman,

We, the undersigned Organizations urge you to consider the following when voting on the Agricultural Appropriations Bill that currently contains Congressman Jim Moran’s Amendment to De-fund USDA Inspections for Post Mortem Inspections of Horses Slaughtered in the U.S. for Human Consumption.

The major market for horse meat from this country is the EU. FDA and EU standards ban Phenylbutazone in all food animals. After 2012 it will require lifetime documentation proving that they have not received a prohibited substance.

Since our American horses are not bred for slaughter, no record is kept of medications they have received and the EU is currently depending on affidavits from their previous owners. Killer buyers come by these horses at auctions where sellers are supposed to fill out the affidavits.

Advocates were able to photograph 23 of these affidavits (called Equine Identification Documents) at the New Holland auction and found none that had been filled out properly. Most had simply been signed and left blank for the kill buyer to fill in. A subsequent report by the EU [Ref.Ares(2011)398056]found that 27 horses had tested positive for prohibited substances and all 27 were carrying falsified affidavits.Horses that are slaughtered include former pets, riding horses, racehorses, performance horses, wild horses and work horses. Most of them have received the toxic substances like phenylbutazone (bute), de-wormers and inoculations that are not approved and illegal for use in animals intended for human consumption. It clearly states this on the labels of these drugs. Bute is so commonly used in the US that it is sometimes referred to as horse Aspirin.

By allowing American horses to be sent to slaughter, we are encouraging illegal activity and sending a possibly harmful product to other countries for human consumption.

If we were to fund USDA inspection of horse meat, we would put the USDA in charge of verifying eligibility and verifying false documentation in order to keep the banned substances out of the food chain. It will be far more costly than 5 million dollars. It will only benefit foreign corporations and consumers; Americans don’t eat horse meat.

By allowing our American horses who are not bred for slaughter, to be slaughtered anyway, we in fact become responsible for compromising the health of unsuspecting consumers in other countries. The future ramifications of this could be extremely serious.

You will hear from those few with a financial interest in slaughter, that ending horse slaughter will destroy the horse Industry. Their arguments are easy to see through. They are NOT speaking for the horse industry (WE are the horse Industry, millions of responsible horse owners), they are speaking for the Horse Slaughter Industry.

It is an outright fabrication that the horse industry has been negatively affected because horse slaughter is not available, it is available at every auction in the country and they know that. The horse industry has taken a fall because of the state of the economy and because it has damaged itself through over-breeding, in the same way the housing market and the banking industries damaged themselves by overcrowding the market.

Horse slaughter promotes over breeding and creates the overpopulation problem we have today.

Home builders have stopped building homes, because there is no market for them. While breeding has slowed some in recent years it is still being supported by the slaughter market. Some breeders are responsible breeders breeding for quality all around. However many are not. They can still breed 100 horses, pick out the million dollar winner discarding the rest to slaughter. It’s like buying 100 lottery tickets, cashing in the 5 winning tickets, and getting your money back for the loosing 95 tickets.

We need to slow down breeding until the market balances out again. We need to bring back the population of horses to a population that America can sustain, so that they all can have good homes.

Dear Representative, an overwhelming majority of Americans oppose the slaughter of horses for human consumption for the many obvious reasons, which we have not even mentioned here.

We stand firmly together as Respect4Horses Organization (R4H), Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA), Animal Law Coalition (ALC), Habitat for Horses Advisory Council, (HfHAC), Animal Recovery Mission (ARM), The Cloud Foundation (TCF) and Americans Against Horse Slaughter (AAHS), representing our combined almost one hundred thousand supporters, members and volunteers when we urge you to;

Please vote against any amendment that may be presented on the floor (possibly from Rep.Cynthia Lummis) that would appropriate funds to the USDA to inspect horse meat. Please vote to keep Congressman Moran’s amendment in the language of the bill to keep horse slaughter OUT of the business of the USDA and illegal in the United States of America.


Simone Netherlands, Director, Respect4Horses Organization, (R4H) (928) 308-6718

John Holland, Director, Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA)

R.T. Fitch, Director, Habitat for Horses Advisory Council

Laura Allen, Director, Animal Law Coalition

Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director, The Cloud Foundation

Richard “Kudo” Couto, Founder/Investigator, Animal Recovery Mission (ARM)

Debra Lopez and Shelley Abrams, Directors, Americans Against Horse Slaughter (AAHS)

29 replies »

  1. I have called all of the Congressmen/women on the appropriations representing my state, except one, which kept the voice mail rolling over and over. I’m praying tonight, and will again, tomorrow, that our representatives will honor our request. Thank you for this letter to Congress representing all of us who value our horses and love them dearly and hope that soon we will see all the mongers trying to kill them to get what they deserve, not only out of office, but awaiting their reward when they themselves take their last breath.


  2. WOOO HOOOO, just what I was hoping to see!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Will be sending on to my Rep and letting him know in no uncertain terms that I am a proud member of the 100,000 that have stood up to be counted.


  3. Aaaaand, finished. Its 7.20 DC time. Every single legislator has one on his desk. Now all we have to do is root for Congressman Moran and Congressman Conyers and Congressman Grijalva to do what they do best and save the day.


  4. Hold our breathes and pray all are emails, phone calls , letters will be the deciding factor for Our Magnificent HORSES………………… Sleepless nights for all of us last night…………………. But knowing in our hearts they are , oh so well worth it………………….


  5. Although Congress has considered legislation that would have banned the commerce of horses thought to have been transported for slaughter and human consumption, I believe one consequence of this legislation would have been the devaluation of a horse-owner’s property in the event an owner sells an animal. I do not believe the federal government should infringe upon citizens’ property rights by declaring a horse-owner’s property valueless without just compensation. Thus, I am opposed to such efforts and will vote against similar measures should they be considered during the 112th Congress. THIS IS A PORTION OF A REPLY FROM ONE OF MY TEXAS SENATORS. DOES IT NOT MAKE YOU JUST WANT TO CRY?


    • Is that Hutchinson, Cronyn?

      Fire back and ask if they are talking about eminent domain or non-land based (personal property) rights; if it is the latter, this Nation settled a similar “argument” several decades ago….it was called slavery and the Southern States that argued that point of property rights, regarding a human being no less….LOST.

      That argument of their’s is just a pretend way of saying I like horse slaughter for human consumption and I get alot of campaign donations from the meat industry. Ethics and morality be DA**ED.


  6. I faxed and called. Say a prayer for our horses..It is all up to our Legislators to make
    their vote count. And I will be zooming in on this issue…I will watching for the vote!!!


    • Don’t celebrate yet! Moran’s amendment still has to pass the full house. The withdrawal of Lummis’ amendment is an indication that they don’t have the support but until it passes, let’s keep positive thoughts and hope we were successful in reaching out to our reps with the facts.

      The amendments fall under title 7 so there probably won’t be any activity until tonight.


      • Thank You Vicki, I know , I know , get real excited at any victory for the Wild mustangs or any horses……………..


      • Celebrate each small victory on its way to its rightful victory. It seems so often we advocates are waiting for the other shoe to drop. I feel the warmth of all of us pulling together and that in itself is a victory to me.


  7. Thank you God/dess, for the will of the people with good hearts here.
    We are not ever eating horses, thank you.. and we will fight and circle in what ever we must to ensure this reality, permanently.

    I am so grateful for Rep. Moran And Burton’s good voices, may justice for our wild horses/burros in freedom and survival and wellness, soon be realized, here and may wellness and honor respect too for our domestic horses/burros always be enacted here.


  8. Thank you Rep’s Moran & Burton, Conyers & Grijavala, it is so nice to know the horses have a friend in the two of you :). And a big thanks to those advocates who spent their lives on hold for a couple days getting the word out to all 😉


  9. Rep. Moran and Burton, thank you! Thank you for having the backbone to say what needed to be said today, and for doing the right thing for the horses and the people that love them. Thank you. Thank you for speaking as you did in response to Lummis’ amendment. It is a great feeling when Good wins over evil.


  10. What a wonderful letter. And bless you, Simone, for staying up all night to send it to all.

    Our side presents common (horse) sense arguments, the reverse of the patently absurd lies that Wallis or Stenholm have been pumping out. I have to trust that there are enough representatives and senators like Moran, Burton, Conyers and Gijalva who can be appealed to on the basis of logic, facts, ethics, economics, AND last but not least, the will of the people they were elected to REPRESENT!

    Hat’s off to everyone involved in this extraordinary effort to save our horses from slaughter in the US (and one day soon, we hope and pray, from slaughter anywhere).


  11. It’s a Wonderful Day in the Neighborhood~It sure is and I want to thank everyone that helped with the Task’s at hand and for the guidance through it all. You know who you are.
    To Jim Moran and Dan Burton~I am ever so grateful for your magnificent stance today for our 4 legged friend’s, the Horses and Burro’s, your word’s were just so RIGHT ON, your fact’s were so right on and your compassion was felt as I watched C-Span, on the edge of my seat. So PROUD of Both of you Dear Kind Sir’s!!!! God Bless you Real Good!!!!!!!


  12. Yes, a great day indeed! And what a super group of horse advocates there were, working so diligently on this issue!! Many spent hours faxing away into the wee hours of the morning…then making follow up phone calls this morning to be sure faxes were received! Awesome work everyone! And a HUGE and heartfelt thanks to Rep.Jim Moran and Rep. Dan Burton for their support on this issue and standing up today on the Committee Floor and telling it like it is!! Wow, you both rocked! You were awesome! Thank you! And thanks too to all the other Congressmen and women who are on the side of the horses, who want to see change in the way our horses are treated in this country and want to put an end to the barbaric horse slaughter industry. Thank you for all you are doing…everyone.. keep up the great work. Each of you give us great strength and encouragement that things can, and will be changing in how our horses are treated in this country. Our beloved horses, both domestic and wild, deserve respect and humane treat all throughout their lives.


  13. Well, Arlene – we are closer to popping the cork that I thought.

    The defunding language is part of the bill so they don’t have to vote on the amendment. We don’t think it can be derailed at this point but we are monitoring. When the House bill passes, there will be no funding for horse inspections.

    After the Conrad Burns stunt, I wait for the fat lady to sing before I celebrate….


  14. Congressman Burton and Congressman Moran were SO BOLD, and right on target !!
    It was so great to see the plight of the horses get a voice in that room today. That is the most accurate argument I’ve heard on behalf of all the horses by any public figure ever. Too bad they didn’t have more time for more facts. They both look as if they put a big dent in the slanted view that Slaughterhouse Wallis and Lummis are trying to sell everyone.
    I was glad to be a part of it in some small way today. Way to go horse warriors !!!


  15. Today Congresswoman Lummis and her supporters stated that this was an emotional issue for some people, like that somehow made the objections to slaughter less weighted or less important. But how can any person who has witnessed the videos of this heinous process not get emotional. How does one watch such immense cruelty and not be outraged or have empathy for another’s suffering? It makes me wonder how Lummis and Wallis think that this specific slaughter process is acceptable on any level. Ironically, Congresswoman Lummis became emotionally charged on the floor and made an emotional decision of her own. When annoyed by the House rules, and was requested to comply, out of anger quipped “Now I’m not gonna withdraw the Amendment, I’ll ask for a vote, I’ll ask for a vote then”. Sorry, but as a business woman, it was an embarrassing display defiance. The only thing missing was a foot stomp.


    • She probably did stomp her foot, but we just couldn’t hear it over her mouth. Heh! Heh!

      The points made here are perfect for the Senate too! I’m sending a copy to my Senators too.


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