Horse News

Moran Calls for Ban on Horse Slaughter

Press Release from the office of Congressmen Jim Moran

Joins animal advocates to deliver over 1,000 letters of support to Congress

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Photography by Terry Fitch 

Washington, DC – On March 27th, 2012, Congressman Jim Moran, Northern Virginia Democrat and Ranking Member on the House Interior and Environment Subcommittee, joined advocates from the Equine Welfare Alliance, Children 4 Horses, and the Wild Horse Freedom Federation to call on Congress to reinstate the ban on horse slaughter for human consumption. Following the press conference, the groups delivered more than 1,000 letters from the children’s letter writing campaign to Members of Congress.

“Today, we join with thousands of voices across the country calling on Congress to re-enact the ban on horse slaughter,” said Rep. Moran. “Horses hold a special place in our nation’s history and culture. Slaughtering these treasured creatures is an ugly practice and should not be condoned by Congress.”

Following a five year ban on funding for USDA horse slaughter inspections, effectively ending the practice in the U.S., the fiscal year 2012 Agricultural Appropriations Bill eliminated this provision. Moran spearheaded the fight to retain this legislative language, winning bipartisan support in the House Appropriations Committee. Unfortunately, the language was stripped during closed-door conference committee negotiations. Currently, no slaughter facilities have reopened but should the lack of a ban continue, that is likely to change.

“When 80 percent of the American public opposes this practice, congressional leaders have a responsibility to listen to the people,” Moran continued.

Moran also raised concerns with the safety of horsemeat. Unlike farm animals raised for their meat, horses are routinely given substances, including the anti-inflammatory drug phenylbutazone, which can prove dangerous if consumed by humans. The New York Times reported recently on the widespread use of drugs among racing horses.

“Just because we are children doesn’t mean we can’t stand up for what we believe in,” said Declan Gregg, 9-year old founder of Children 4 Horses who led the children’s letter writing campaign. “I think horse slaughter is inhumane, cruel and unnecessary. Horses and all animals should be treated with love and respect.”

Moran is a longtime advocate for equine and other animal welfare issues. He serves as the co-chair of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus. Last Congress, Moran championed the “Prevention of Interstate Commerce in Animal Crush Videos Act of 2010” and the “Truth in Fur Labeling Act,” both of which became law.  For these successful efforts, Rep. Moran was named last year’s Humane Legislator of the Year by the US Humane Society. This year Moran introduced the Traveling Exotic Animals Protection Act to restrict the use of exotic, non-domestic animals in traveling shows.

22 replies »

  1. Thankfully Congressman Moran has the courage to do the honorable thing in behalf of the horses. I love what he said! It gives real hope when we have someone like this onboard.

    And what about the amazing boy! He certainly is an up-and-comer who is now, and most likely will continue to be a power house advocate and activist! Wow!


  2. AWESOME !!!! Bravo RT and Congressman Moran and Declan, Thank You RT for being there with Declan !!!!He is just a little boy with the courage of his convictions………….much older in his thoughts of restoring the Beauty that has Graced our Country…. You see the real point here is not only to stop Slaughter although that is a huge no no …….To see the Mustangs running free though the desert and the Mountains I can attest to the awesome feelings i had to witness this life enriching scene on the desert in Nevada, I can say that is was the most beautiful sight and sound I have ever heard and seen , the exhilaration was astounding and changed my life everytime I witnessed it, it made me proud to be a American to also know that they were protected, made my soul have wings, each one of them so beautiful running in uni sense, the sound was overpowering awesome symphony of life’s music to my ears, how wonderful I thought that nature gives to them everything they need to survive on their own with little intervention…… how proud i was when I read the ROAM ACT , I was so thrilled that this Law was passed unanimously by Congress and they were protected…………….


    • Arlene, your comment is so powerful. I can close my eyes and imagine what you saw. I had a good friend in Carson City who has told me that she had to pull of the road and just watch them run. She’s not what we would call a horse person, just a person who loves life and everything beautiful and good. She told me that the feeling of inspiration that the seeing the wild horses run gave her were so powerful, she simply could not describe them.


      • Dear hoofhugs, I can see them now in my minds eye , your friend is right it is so very hard to describe ,, you would swear that the sound is amplified by THX, you can feel it all over your body, vibrating in tune to the sound you are hearing, then the visual , OMG the visual, every muscle in their bodies rippling , if you look to another horse running near by his also rippling in unison , it will freeze you were you stand , i know i could not move nor did I even want to move, what i was witnessing here was the most beautiful miracle one could ever imagine visually…………….I have been to see them many times for years everytime I would get near Las Vegas Nev…………….. I nknew then they ever so belong here forever !!!!.until 8years ago when they started disappearing ??????? Believe me once you have witnessed this Visual and Audio miracle , and never will you ever feel every emotion in your body captured and responding in this way, thats why I call it a Miracle of true Freedom for which I would want everyone to experience !!!!!!!!!!! And I am willing to demand it never stop……………………… They belong here forever FREE !!!! I can even see it now in my minds eye it is captured forever there !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  3. I am very hopeful that horse slaughter will be banned FOREVER ! And many thanks to everyone in D.C. & everyones efforts to make it happen –
    God bless you all.


  4. It is about time someone in the Congress proved they had a backbone and stood up for the fight for the horses. What is wrong with US????


  5. I went to capital back in 2005 when they had something similiar to yesterday’s summit. It touches my heart to see what this boy, RT Fitch and Moran are doing for our horses….wild and domestic. If I could have been there I would have because there is no reason for this torture to continue. If Europe and other countries aboard want to eat horses…I’ve seen youtube videos (I.e. World Horse Welfare posted by horsecharity) where they have a large enough supply of horses, they need to leave ours alone. Plus, they have similiar rescue efforts as us, so why do they even eat horses? I just hope that this will be our push to finally stop slaughter in the US…permanently!!!


  6. Declan has spoken for the future generations– for all children, who want both wild and domestic horses (and all animals) to be treated humanely. How can we teach our children to be humane and caring when they see killing for greed,and celebrity? We can not endorse inhumane actions–it will come back to haunt us. Just watch the news–everyday there are stories of animal abuse–and the rare redeeming story of rescue and re-homing. How fortunate for Declan to be in DC–and in the company of great men and women who are dedicated to a higher standard.


  7. I tried to send Congressman Moran an email to thank him for his support, but was unable to cause I don’t live in his district. So I’ll say it here: Thank you Congressman Jim Moran of VA for having a backbone and helping to protect the horses.


  8. Children are capable of seeing greed, corruption, and cruelty and knowing that it is wrong. I taught English in middle school for years and writing was my favorite discipline to teach. You really get to see how children see the world—and you also have a chance to influence how they see the world. If they learn to listen to that inner voice that all of us have (unless we are psycho- or socio-paths), they know what is right from what is wrong. But it takes much more to stand up and do something about what you believe in when you know that what you are going to do or say is unpopular or others will disagree with you.

    C. S. Lewis, the author of the Chronicles of Narnia, wrote that of all the virtues, courage is the most important because without courage, the other virtues do not matter.

    Without courage, Declan Gregg would still be extraordinary but because he has courage, initiative, and the support of his mother and others, he has a chance to make a difference and call attention to this issue.

    Without courage, no matter how much support Declan had, he would not have make the impact he has the change to make.

    Without courage, Jo-Claire Corcoran could still be a capable and talented organizer, articulate spokes person for horses and horse welfare issues, grandmother extraordinaire, but because of her courage and passion, she lit a fire that sparked a movement with our children.

    Without courage, no matter how much horses meant in R. T.’s life, he would not have taken on so many of the controversial topics he has that have put him in the line of fire.

    Without courage, Congressman Moran would not be the extraordinary US Representative that he is. He is recognized and respected in Congress because he is willing to stand up for what he believes is right. Others may agree with him, but lack his courage.

    Without courage, John Holland does not battle Charlie Stenholm and the meat industry, the USDA, the FDA, UHFront, and the forces in the media, Congress, etc.

    Without extraordinary levels of courage, Laura Leigh does not live with her dog armed only with a camera in the middle of no where, living on chips and peanut butter, in the blistering heat of summer and bitter cold of winter in a truck that may or may not make it to the next station. She lives some days and nights off the grid—facing predators both known and unknown—all the witness for the wild horses.

    I could go on and on because there are so many extraordinary people who are fighting for our horses on the front and back lines.

    Martin Luther King once said that all it takes for evil to prevail is for good people to see it and do nothing. Evil will not prevail because good people are recognizing it and fighting it. We will prevail, and if we falter for a moment, we have the sweet inspiration that Declan and the other children have given us through their words and art.

    Of all our companion animals, our horses are the most courageous of all. Cats and dogs are predators whose instincts are to attack while horses who will risk everything for us are hard wired to flee from danger—they are willing to over come their fear for us, run themselves into the ground for us, and carry us into places that even angels fear to go, so it is only right and proper that we should try to overcome our fears for them.


    • Absolutely beautiful, hoofhugs! I couldn’t have said it better. I have to wipe my eyes now. Your feelings are so inline with mine!! God Bless you!!!


    • Gorgeous.

      Arlene helps me see, feel, hear, smell, and taste the freedom for which wild horses live, the power with which they run, and the home in which they delight. Thank you for embedding those impressions so deeply within those of us who haven’t physically been there.

      Hoofhugs helps me appreciate the many good human beings whose moral courage acts like a mighty river: it emanates from a never-ending source of life-affirming love and justice-affirming truth; it flows over and around all obstacles in its path; and it is incapable of drying up.

      The reason we can overcome the fear of which hoofhugs speaks is found in the Bible. The Amplified version of I John 4:18 reads (with my punctuation): “There is no fear in love. Dread does not exist in love. But full-grown — that is, complete, perfect — love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror!”

      Speaking for myself, I’m learning from this crucible how to overcome not only fear, but also hatred of the enemy. That means, for me, letting go of the temptation to believe there are personal “devils” haunting the horses and taunting us, the horses’ defenders. It also means acknowledging that the same pure childlike love that resides in Declan also resides deep in the heart of those who seek to kill the very horses he is trying to save. (Yes, it is so deeply buried as to seem unreachable.) And, finally, it means being willing to say of the horse-and-burro persecutors, and mean it, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

      God bless all His little ones.


    • Dear Hoofhugs, Beautiful just beautiful, you proved to everyone here and anywhere that Horses are the Light of Americas soul , one just has to stand back and see what they truly are an inspiration of Power , trust courage pride love devotion and most of all the very SPIRIT OF FREEDOM< TO WHICH WE HOLD SO DEARLY IN ALL OUR HEARTS !!!!! no other awesome creature on Earth can display this fact with such unbridled innocence……………. and pureness of heart !!!!! How can anyone not see the Beauty that stands before us……………….. This my friend is what all here knows without a doubt !!!!!!!!!! It is only right to give this Freedom back to them !!!!!!!!!!!!!


    They Like Horses, Don’t They?

    Photo by abrowntable
    Rep. James P. Moran (D-Va.) is taking on a new cause—ending the slaughter of horses in the U.S. for human consumption overseas, WAMU reported yesterday.
    Moran yesterday was joined by nine-year-old Declan Gregg, a New Hampshire boy who founded campaign called Children 4 Horses in the wake of legislation passed last year that restored funding for inspections of equine slaughterhouses.
    While horse meat has not been part of the American diet for many decades, it is still consumed by humans in other countries, squeamish as that might seem to us. Inspections had been defunded in 2006, effectively banning the industry and causing it to shift to Canada and Mexico. But the law signed by President Obama last November permitted U.S. horse slaughterhouses to re-open. (None have yet resumed operations.)
    After learning about the law, Declan collected more than 1,000 signatures in opposition and brought them to Washington. Moran, standing at a podium beside Declan yesterday, called the restored slaughterhouse inspection funding a mistake. During appropriations negotiations last year, Moran introduced an amendment that would have continued the ban, though it was removed from the final bill.


  10. to me it goes deeper then this being a dangerous product your putting into your body. Horses are an important part of our American History. Yes. we have idiot back yard breeders who are producing foals with poor conformation with no market for them. give them for adoption anyway! Don’t neglect and turn em wild! that’s the worst thing you could do. We also have a human over population in the world. would you legalize human slaughter to? Uh no. man slaughter is punishable by the death penalty! What Obama did was asinine. but i appreciate our congressman for taking a stand and turning things around. it’s more of a question of morals. if you wouldn’t eat a dolphin, you wouldn’t eat a horse, if you do these two you may as well be eating your own children.


  11. Happy to report that Mary Kapur in Ohio on the Appropriations committee will be supporting the Moran Amendment, her office informed me this morning, said they had received many many calls on this , also i have called Steven La Tourrette Ohio, Steve Austria Ohio, All offices report many calls in support of the Moran Amendment ………………. I cant wait to hear how it went today !!!!!!!


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