Horse News

Boy’s Effort to Save Horses from Slaughter Hits Stride

story by Joey Cresta of

Declan Gregg’s Equine Advocacy Goes Global

Declan Gregg, 9, of Greenland pets Barney recently at the N.H. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Stratham. Declan will be going to Washington, D.C., to lobby lawmakers later this month. ~ photo by Ioanna Raptis

GREENLAND NH — The story about a local boy fighting against the slaughter of horses has produced support from across the country and around the globe.

Following a report in the Portsmouth Herald‘s sister publication, Seacoast Sunday, on Feb. 12 about 9-year-old Declan Gregg’s advocacy for the humane treatment of horses, Gregg said he received heartwarming letters of support from horse lovers from all walks of life. That Seacoast Sunday article has been shared on horse advocacy Web sites and blogs, spreading Gregg’s reach far beyond the Seacoast.

“It’s been really awesome and it’s been great to know that I’m making a difference,” he said.

Gregg first learned that horses are slaughtered for human consumption from his mother, Stacie Gregg, a volunteer at the N.H. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Stratham. She was reading about the controversy, and when Declan heard about it, he wanted to help.

He said the response to his story has been “shocking.” Thousands of people have visited his blog at, and children and adults alike have sent him letters urging him to continue raising awareness of the issue.

Gregg said he has heard from people in the United States, Australia, Ukraine, Bahamas, South Africa, Japan and other places around the world. “I can’t remember them all,” he said.

He said the response has showed him that even though he is young he can still speak up and make a difference. “I feel really happy and excited because I know that I’m letting people know what is happening to our horses. I’ve been getting lots of great letters, and that’s also making me really happy,” he said. “Lots of great pictures, too.”

There is a bill in Congress, HR 2966, known as the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011, that would prohibit horse slaughter in this country and make it illegal to ship horses to other countries for slaughter.

Though horse meat is not typically eaten in the United States, it is considered a delicacy in other parts of the world. Opponents of horse slaughter argue that it is inhumane and that horses raised in this country are unfit for human consumption due to the veterinary drugs given to them.

Stacie Gregg said she is stunned that when she types her son’s name into the Google search bar, pages upon pages of results pop up. She said his blog has been visited by Internet users in 24 countries.

She said the overwhelming rush of support has brought her to tears on several occasions.

Some letters, such as one from an Illinois woman who wrote “the recent actions of a young, idealistic boy” shook her from apathy, leave the Greggs on the verge of disbelief.

“My son moved her to do something. A 9-year-old kid reached her. It was amazing,” Stacie Gregg said.

The exposure has opened Declan up to more opportunities as well. He has published an 11-minute-long video on YouTube, been invited to meet a woman dedicated to lobbying for the horse slaughter prevention act, and will be taken onto the House floor by U.S. Rep Frank Guinta, R-N.H., during a vote, Stacie Gregg said.

Declan is looking for more letters of support to bring with him when he goes to Washington, D.C., later this month to present letters to Congress. The SPCA in Stratham is hosting a letter-writing party on March 18 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to help gather more letters.

Letter-writing campaign:
Send letters opposing horse slaughter to PO Box 614, Greenland, NH 03840
Letter-writing party at the N.H. SPCA
What: SPCA is hosting a party to help Declan Gregg acquire letters written by children opposed to horse slaughter, which he will bring to Washington, D.C., to present to lawmakers
When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday, March 18
Where: N.H. SPCA, 104 Portsmouth Ave., Stratham

If they succeed in protecting horses, Stacie Gregg said, the family will likely continue to advocate for humane treatment of all animals. She said their long-term goal is to set up a nonprofit to raise funds for various animal protection organizations.

Through his advocacy, Declan has “blossomed as a person,” and has already expressed an interest in running for Congress or even the presidency some day, Stacie Gregg said.

“It will be really, really interesting to see long-term what this does for him and where it takes him,” she said.

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17 replies »

  1. I’m so honored and proud to know these guys personally. A chance meeting in the barn at the NHSPCA’s Holiday Open House in December opened the door. I invited them in and WOW!!! After all the people I’ve spoken to and educated, I must say, these guys are my star pupils. 🙂 I always hope that I can compel people to get involved and I know that sometimes it works. Then there’s folks like this that don’t just get involved but jump into the arena and grab the bull by the horns. It’s truly magical to watch and be a part of. We at the NHSPCA have hundreds of fabulous volunteers that are instrumental to what we are able to do and many of them get drawn into advocacy after learning the horrors of horse slaughter; but this wonderful family has truly gone way, way, way above and beyond any hopes or expectations I could’ve had. All I did was mention the kids writing campaign and that they may want to draw some pictures for submission. Well, almost 100 pictures and lovely letters later – with many more on the way – I can only sit back and smile, awestruck. I’m delighted to be able to offer a venue for their compassion, their advocacy and their Letter Writing Party. Declan and Stacie, it’s people like you that give me hope for the future and the strength to carry on. Love you guys!!! XOXO


  2. Dear Duclan , you are a wonderful young man , Please never give up, your voice is heard loud and clear, you are a great example to all children and adults………………….. You are filled with compassion and love …..


  3. Compassion and love does not pay to feed them all.Where is the money going to come from.The money to support slaughter is there.Most all of the breeders and ranchers that I have talked to have no problem with donating surprizingly big sums to make this happen.Where is yours going to come from.


    • You are at the wrong site Rob again….. Please make sure you go to Sue Walrus s site and i am sure you will be welcome there, dont waste your time here, nobody wants to hear your opinion ,


  4. Horses are considered expendable by people that only use horses to make a profit. If racehorse breeders stopped breeding and then discarding their horses just because they weren’t fast enough every single year like garbage, that would be a start. They don’t take the time to find them homes because they really don’t care what happens to the horses. They just start training the next one. They don’t see the animals as living creatures that feel pain and fear while they are standing in line waiting to have their throats slit and then their hooves cut off and hung upside down so they can bleed out, sometimes while they are still conscious because they were not stunned or knocked out properly. As I have said before. we should do the same thing to the people that do this to horses or any animal for that matter.


  5. By far the Worst Culprits of over-breeding and horse slaughter is the AQHA assoc. thats where we need to stop it first !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! These people are notorious for sending to Slaughter healthy horses, these are the people to stop first ……………. There is 2 for one here for sure …..Stop these people and we will end a whole lot of both these evils…………………..


  6. I am a teacher ,but now,the boy is my teacher,He teach me to protect horse ,I think my wife also protect horse, I will find her on the equinemingle.{c,o/m}.


  7. Horses in America are part of our history and have been instrumental in building our nation
    in more ways them one. Slaughter facilities are not the “thanks” they deserve! Education on owner responsibility with strict laws protecting our horses is the answer.. The words ” slaughter” and ” humane” are not
    synonymous ..shame on us if we open these
    Slaughter house doors!!!!


  8. Declan, there are those who are going to challenge you when you go into the public arena. Be ready for them.
    First, ask where “all of the excess Horses” are coming from? We have to know the industries that are breeding Horses and treating them as disposable. That is important to know.
    You also have to be ready to offer solutions. There are many. This article offers some.
    Horse Slaughter Alternatives


  9. I am very moved by this video and Declan’s efforts. What child (or adult) doesn’t wish to be able to save a creature—or many—that can’t speak for itself? Keep speaking up for the horses, Declan. You are making a difference.


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