Horse News

EWA Takes Horse Slaughter Issue to Law Makers

Equine Welfare Alliance Letter to the Appropriations Reconciliation Committee

Rational Facts Counter Pro-Slaughter Hysterical Propaganda

Pint sized protester at D.C. Rally 9/25/2011 ~ photo by Terry Fitch

November 7, 2011

To: Honorable Committee Members

Re: Appropriations Reconciliation

We are contacting you today on behalf of our 206 member organizations and hundreds of individual members worldwide to urge the committee to retain the defunding of horse inspections.

Our position is rational, factual and one that cannot be disputed.

1)  In this disastrous economy, it is indefensible to be wasting tax dollars to subsidize foreign companies by inspecting animals that are not consumed or considered food animals in our country.

2) Slaughter is for food production and not the place to send excess, unusable or “unwanted” horses. It is the place to send animals that have been strictly raised as food animals. To do otherwise, is a violation of the FDA and European Union (EU) food safety regulations and comprises consumer food safety.

3)  U.S. horses are not raised or regulated as food animals. As such, they receive numerous medications for routine maintenance, injuries and illnesses that are prohibited in food animals. If you have any doubts as to the validity of this statement, please read the recent EU FVO reports on U.S. horses sent to Canada and Mexico for slaughter. Both reports reveal drug residues and falsified drug affidavits and are posted on this page on our website:

Thank you for your valuable time.

John Holland, President

12 replies »

  1. Can anyone here explain the difference between USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) with regard to HCHS, when it was in the US and exports and the current responsibilities?


    • Not really… I understand FSIS is the “enforcement” arm, but I’m still unclear on the details of the interaction among these various agencies.


  2. John, you are on the mark. Thank you for providing accurate and concise information. It is not rocket science because the information has been collected and presented. The Demons will be the Demons and will continue to spew their lies because they are illiterate and only see the $ signs of the blood money. I do believe John also helped us in Illinois along with Chris Hyde and for this we will always be grateful that we finally closed the House of Horrors after many months of committee meetings at our state capital. We also owe a great deal of graditute to State Representative Robert Molaro who fought so gallantly for our horses and to Gail Vacca, who now runs a rescue in Illinois. We as horse men and women need to bring the case to your state Legislators and federal Legislators because this is how it starts As I have said all of my Legislators are on board or are currently sponsors of the current bill. I am also grateful to them because they are now carrying on the fight in our nations capital.


  3. R. T., thanks for publishing and John, thanks for all your intelligent leadership on this issue.

    As I think I may have posted in the blur of a sleepless night last week, I have been doing a little research in the local horse community. Most of my friends who ride for pleasure find this whole issue as abhorrent as most of us who share here at SFTHH. However, my impression from talking to people who provide services to the horse community are far to busy to be keeping abreast of all the information we are following, and consequently, are not able, at this time to look at this through the same lens.

    I know the whole GAO business roused my indignation to such a degree that I failed to appreciate what it actually is. It did what it was designed to do. If you omit the 58 pages of gobblydegook, look at the essential question the study was designed to answer in the only way it could have been answered, you have the conclusion.

    The essential question was: Is the equine welfare of those horses being sent to slaughter in foreign countries worse than than the equine welfare of those horses who were slaughtered in the United States?

    The answer has to be yes due to the fact that they are traveling further. The study did not address humane handling of slaughter bound horses in the US vs. humane handling of slaughter bound horses going to foreign countries.

    So, the report has managed to twist the discussion so that the humane issue is the same issue of the pro-US-horse slaughter people need.

    I have had people here tell me that we need to have it here so we can control it. I say, “We didn’t control it when it was here before.”
    They say, “Yes, but we can. It will be better this time.”

    I say, “But what about the meat? The meat is contaminated? It is going to give a certain number people who eat it aplastic anemia, any number of other blood disorders, kidney problems, and it will put carcinogens in their bodies. People will die because they consume this meat. What about these people?”

    “If the meat is not slaughtered here, it is not our responsibility to ensure that it is safe. It is the responsibility of the importing country.” I .also was asked questions like, “Why did I care if the tainted meat was being sold in foreign countries?” I also heard that even if the meat was tainted, it was OK because the people who ate it were so hungry that for them to have anything to eat, it was better than nothing.”

    “But what about when we were slaughtering horses here? You know how many horses in this country are treated with bute, you know what bute does, how is the FSIS found 0 carcasses with bute when as many as 95 per cent of the horses had it in there system?” I ask.

    No one I talked with had much confidence in either the integrity or the competence of the US food inspection service. They do not believe they are looking out for us very well, so they were not surprised that they would also let toxic meat be sold elsewhere.


  4. What I have walked away from this is that these pro-horse-slaughter have been effective in their propaganda, particularly with long time horse people who have probably sold a few problem horses down the pipeline that ended in slaughter. Maybe there is a part of them who need to believe that what they did, though perhaps not what they would have done with a horse they loved and had had for years, was OK because the horse would find some use.

    I feel like I might as well be on the other side of the Grand Canyon when I ask?

    If the purpose of slaughter is to produce food, should we slaughter an animal whose meat cannot or should not be used for food because it is toxic to the species that is going to consume it?


  5. When I came home and checked the SFTHH Daily Mail only to see the story about the drug crazed couple in Oregon’s horrific antics and then the Wallisonian Facebook response, it was just too much perversity for my spirit to handle.

    We must continue to write, call, fax, talk, question, show, tell, and dispel the untruths that the pro-horse-slaughter group has managed to use to confuse our law makers.

    Lawmakers want to be (at least publicly) on the humane side of animal welfare issues.

    This issue has many layers and a lot of them exist because of perversion in our own government. I am using the word perversion in the sense that people in government have used a tool like the GAO not for the purpose it was intended, but in a way that it has become a stamp of approval for their agenda. It sickens me, and having checked in and said this, I am going back out in the sun for a bit of horse cheer. The best antidote for anything.


    • Being transported for longer distances is the weakest argument of all. We always shipped horses to Mexico and Canada and would continue to do so even if we did have plants here. Besides, the USA is a BIG area and we only had three plants – and two of them were in Texas.

      You can’t tell me that many of our western states – especially the northern tier – aren’t closer to Canada than Illinois or central Texas. Others in the southwest are closer to El Paso – one plant is just over the border from there – than Ft. Worth and Kaufman.

      Nothing will change in the regulatory area if plants come back. There is even less funding for inspections than before, and besides that, there is NO way to humanely slaughter horses. The very nature of horses makes assembly-line slaughter impossibly inhumane for horses, but that speed is necessary to make a profit. Horses and commercial slaughter will never go together humanely.

      What about all the horses that are stolen and/or obtained under false pretenses? If any of your acquaintances had EVER experienced this, they would never be in favor of bringing this nightmare back to American soil.

      If they haven’t had personal experience, they should talk to someone who has.


  6. I had the misfortune of having 2 of my quarter horse mares stolen @ different times. Lucky 4 me both of them were recovered. Both times I made the trip 2 the slaughter house n Ft. Worth & Kaufman, searching. Thank god they weren’t & hadn’t been brought 2 those horrible places! Something I hope I never have 2 do again n my lifetime, or anyone else! Horrible, horrible experience.


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