Horse News

Spread the Word: Members Push for Passage of American Horse Slaughter Act

An open letter from Senator Mary Landrieu

Bi-Partisan Team Making Progress

Dear friend,

 I held a press conference last Wednesday with members of Congress, celebrities and citizen advocates to push for passage of my legislation, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act. If passed, this would prohibit the inhumane killing of American horses for human consumption in the United States and stop the transport of horses across the border to Canada and Mexico for slaughter.

In November 2011, Congress voted not to renew a ban on funding federal inspectors at horse slaughter plants in the U.S., opening the door for a return of horse slaughter to American soil, despite broad opposition by the public across the country. We must permanently end the slaughter of our American horses and seek viable, affordable alternatives. When a horse is old, sick, or can no longer be productive, its owner should provide humane euthanasia. Ninety percent of all horses that die each year are humanely euthanized and/or safely disposed of – this additional 10 percent is not a burden. Horse owners will buy some of these horses and horse rescue organizations will take others. Brutal slaughter is not an appropriate alternative.

 I was pleased to see such bipartisan, bicameral support from my colleagues, including U.S. Senator Scott Brown, R-Mass., and Reps. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., David Rivera, R-Fla., and Jim Moran, D-Va. See below for a full list of those who voiced their support for my legislation last week.

 In case you missed it, read The Advocate’s story on the event here. I have also copied it below.

 All the best,

Horses on the Hill attendees:

  • U.S. Senator Scott Brown, R-Mass.
  • U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky.
  • U.S. Rep. David Rivera, R-Fla.
  • U.S. Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va.
  • Actress Bo Derek
  • Lorenzo Borghese from ABC’s The Bachelor
  • Amy and Raelyn Nelson, daughter and granddaughter of singer Willie Nelson
  • Students from Foxcroft School and Madeira School, both in Virginia
  • President of the National Black Farmers Association John Boyd
  • Animal Welfare Institute (AWI)
  • American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)
  • Humane Society of the United States
  • Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue
  • Animals’ Angels
  • Seraphim 12 Foundation
  • Racer Alex Brown
  • Nine-year-old Declan Gregg, founder of Children 4 Horses

The Advocate: Horse slaughter prohibition pushed

April 28, 2012, By Jordan Blum

  WASHINGTON — Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., teamed with celebrities Bo Derek and John Corbett on Wednesday to tout her horse slaughter ban legislation during a “Horses on the Hill” event.

Landrieu has repeatedly pushed for a ban on slaughtering the animals for meat that is exported mostly to Europe and Asia. She is upping her efforts now that applications are in the works to open the nation’s first horse slaughterhouses since 2007.

“There’s no humane way to slaughter a horse,” Landrieu said. “Most horses going to slaughter are not old and they’re not sick.”

Expressing a lifelong love of horse riding like her daughter, Mary Shannon Snellings, who was present, Landrieu said she was “horrified” to learn in the past that horse slaughterhouses existed in the U.S.

But now, horses are exported under allegedly poor conditions to Mexico and Canada for slaughter and efforts are under way to open slaughterhouses domestically. About 100,000 horses are estimated to be exported for slaughter a year.

In November, Congress failed to renew a five-year ban on funding federal inspectors at horse slaughter plants in the United States, opening the door for a return of horse slaughter to American soil.

Landrieu’s American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act would prohibit the killing of American horses for human consumption in the U.S. and stop the transport of horses across the border to Canada and Mexico for slaughter.

Actress and anti-slaughter activist Bo Derek said it is “truly obscene” that she is still fighting after 10 years for a ban on the slaughter of animals that provide so much “companionship.”

Landrieu also received bipartisan support Wednesday from Republicans such as Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., and Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky.

Landrieu said the lobbying of the horse industry has prevented Senate and House floor votes on her legislation thus far.

Dave Duquette, president of the pro-slaughter group United Horsemen, said the lack of horse slaughterhouses in the U.S. only leads to a poor market for the value of horses, which forces financially struggling horse owners to abandon their animals or keep them under poor conditions.

“We don’t advocate that everyone needs to slaughter their horse,” Duquette said. “But the option needs to be there.”

Duquette, who said he regularly receives death threats, said there are currently plans for horse slaughterhouses in Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, Oregon and Washington.

“There’s a lot of efforts going on, and I think it’s probably going to happen in the near future,” he said.

A 2011 Government Accountability Office report advised either an outright ban on horse slaughtering or to legalize it, in order to stop the negative side effects of current practices, such as increased horse abandonment, the poor condition of horses exported to be slaughtered elsewhere and the overall decline in the price of horses.

Duquette, a self-described horse trainer, contended it is hypocritical for people to argue that horses must be treated differently when they go home and eat the meat from cows and pigs that were slaughtered.

“What makes them different? They’re not really,” he said. “That argument is emotional, not reality.”

“That argument is ridiculous on its face,” Landrieu said. “Cows are raised for slaughter.”

“We don’t eat our dogs and our horses,” she added.

**Please feel free to share with others who may be interested. Send your feedback by replying to this e-mail, posting on my Facebook Page or Tweeting me.


11 replies »

  1. This is fantastic! Way to go Declan and ALL who attended this important event! I vote for a THANK YOU phone call session. I will be taking the list of all legislators that support S1176 and HR2966 and personally calling to say THANK YOU for doing what you are doing! I will also be sending each legislator a postcard (clears faster via security in the mail room) thanking them for moving to protect our domestic and wild horses. They need our support, our thank you’s, our phone calls to give them the energy, strength and confidence to meet with fellow legislators who are still fence sitters and outright against protecting our horses.

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  2. What a sweet, smart and courageous young man. Thanks to Declan and everyone there who are taking a stand for the protection of our equines. Great idea, Horseshoe Angel, with the calls and postcards thanking them for their support…way to go! (-:

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  3. Great, Great job Declan!!!!! Perhaps they are finally listening to the 80% plus Americans who want this horror stopped in our country…This is the only way this will be stopped. However, once passed it will not be a dead issue and the Low Lifes will be waiting underground until they feel the time is right to surface again. Therefore, putting our equines in jeopardy again! We must continue to write and email these companies and tell them we DON’T WANT YOU HERE NOW AND NEVER!
    Take your scum bag businesses and go to another country that does not value their horses the way we do..finally making them history in the USA!

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  4. Love Scott Brown – he’s our senator here in MA and I’m so proud that he’s part of this! I’ve already sent a “thank you” to Mary Landrieu for her wonderful work! Let’s make this happen – this year!

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  5. Great update, RT!!! I have only one constructive suggestion: i do wish you would consistantly refer to this as the “horse slaughter *prevention* Act” ,as i find it endlessly alarming and confusing each time i see a post on my boards asking me to support the “horse slaughter act”. You might want to remember that frequently the titles to these articles pop up in various locations without the contextual cues that make it obvious to readers what the content is about.

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  6. I can start if you like. Baja the horse you see in the picture is a dear fenrid of mine. He is the laugh at the parrty in the kids camp. He is always having fun and wanting to play. When it comes to the finger painting he gets serious. He holds still for the kids to put their designs on him so that they can be proud of their work, Baja knows this is an honor to be painted by them and he holds as still as he can for them. I love him very much and he is dieing, I won’t have him with me here much longer, he has cancer. He is teaching me a lesson, love each day as it were your last, and enjoy the little things in life, They might make the difference that some one needs, He inspires me, and so does my other horse Willy who has over come the odds. They are my teachers and I never forget to be thankful for them touching my life. They make me try harder and never give up. Same as my first horse Digalow.

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