Equine Rescue

2013 Annual American Equine Summit Unites Against Horse Slaughter

Horse slaughter goes against our very culture…”
EQUINE ADVOCATES LOGOCHATHAM, N.Y., March 27, 2013 –The 2013 Annual American Equine Summit will take place Saturday, April 27 – Sunday, April 28 at Equine Advocates Rescue & Sanctuary in Chatham, NY.  This Summit will unite the equine community’s foremost experts to speak about how to end horse slaughter which, although opposed by more than 80% of Americans, is now legal in the U.S.

Said Susan Wagner, founder/president of Equine Advocates, “Horse slaughter goes against our very culture. The outcry in Europe over horsemeat invading their mainstream food chain is a cautionary tale for what could happen here.  This unethical and unsavory practice exists because a small group of special interests within the horse industry want a way to dispose of inconvenient equines quickly and for profit, rather than take responsibility for them. It’s downright un-American and must be banned.”Some of the distinguished speakers coming from across the country to participate in the Summit include:

  • Patricia M. Hogan, VMD, ACVS (New Jersey): World-renowned equine surgeon will discuss the negative effects horse slaughter has on the racing industry.
  • Ann Marini, Ph.D., M.D. (Maryland): Award-winning physician will discuss her ground-breaking study on the dangers of the drug Phenylbutazone found in horses sold for human consumption.
  • U.S. Congressman Chris Gibson (R-NY): will discuss H.R. 1094, the Safeguard American Food Exports Act (SAFE).
  • John Holland (Virginia): Equine Welfare Alliance President will speak about understanding the forces behind horse slaughter.
  • R.T. Fitch (Texas): “Straight From the Horse’s Heart” author and blogger on the BLM’s agenda to destroy America’s Wild Horse and Burro Herds.
  • Paula Bacon (Texas) Former Mayor of Kaufman, TX and Vickery Eckhoff (New York), Forbes.com writer, on the issues and impact of opening a horse slaughterhouse.
  • Victoria McCullough (Florida), Horse advocate/Chairwoman of Chesapeake Petroleum and Florida State Senator Joseph Abruzzo will discuss how horse slaughter impacts food safety in the U.S. and Europe.

37 replies »

  1. So far these “Experts” haven’t stopped equine slaughter houses, or equine slaughter. It’s aweful, No one wants it in there neighborhoods. So why does it continue to be an issue? MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! for crooks.


    • Hollie:

      The only thing the “experts” haven’t stopped is the transporting of US Equines to international slaughter destinations. HCHS plants do not function in the US, yet.

      “Experts”, like the list of speakers have gained media and legislator attention. They have personally rehomed equines here, paid and participated in legal court battles and continue to be a thorn in the side of the “meaters”

      The job is not done, but we have slowed these trolls down and educated the consumer. They have even, along with their supporters effected change in many “legitimate” equine industries….HCHS does not count as an equine industry; it is a disposal for profit and meat industry activity.

      Fast enough? Nope, but all is not lost.


      • I’m no expert, obviously, I don’t know what HCHS means. Has it come down to cute little acronyms? I do tend to agree with Hollie in wondering why anyone would want to be labelled an expert in this war. Perhaps to gain credibility?

        What is needed are decent people, to take time out of their day, which may not necessarily include a daily dose of horse controversy, to focus on one thing. Force the ban of slaughter. Use your minds, your own experience and act.

        Dr Marini has provided us with the science on the one angle ignored for so many years – her name will go down in infamy and will be the oar in the water we needed.


      • Jan;

        I am no “expert” and did not notice the wording until posting. Likewise I have shared that thought with Susan who I think wrote the release.

        But I would like to thank all of those who are willing to come together and share whatever expertise they have at their own expense and on their own time.

        I am glad to be associated with such a group of good hearted and generous people who obviously will go the extra mile in an attempt to help the horses through public education.

        My hat is off to my fellow presenters.


    • That’s just her frustration coming out RT. I’m sure she wasn’t blaming you for horse slaughter. Do you think that maybe this summit should be videotaped and posted online where we can all see it? Maybe send a copy to Congress for them to view it? Just a thought.


      • This is only the beginning. It is impossible to slaughter a horse humanely. Remember that for there are laws to enforce humane slaughter.

        Secretary of Agriculture, Jim Vilsack, is opposed to taking inspectors from other slaughter houses to inspect horse meat.

        California already has a law making it illegal to possess, own, transfer, or transport a horse for slaughter – very similar to the SAFE Act to stop American horses from slaughter anywhere in or out of the US.

        If I am not mistaken, Texas and Illinois have similar laws after experiencing the horrors of horse slaughter plants in their states. This conference keynotes speakers regarding this awful subject.

        I intend to contact all 53 Congressional Representatives from CA, remind them of the CA law, and ask them to co-sponsor the SAFE Act.

        We can BAN HORSE SLAUGHTER FOREVER if we unite, act, and persist. Send love and light to friend and foe alike. Good prevails over the evil karma of horse slaughter, and its proponents, if we believe it so.


      • Good plan Diogenes, I did that the last two years and had good responses but some cold shoulders, slaughter was forbidden by the voters, not legislative work by elected officials. But reminding our officials that the people demand slaughter be banned is definitely a good plan.

        I encourage everyone to look into the preparation of ballots for stateelections to ban slaughter as a grass roots initiative. We will wait FOREVER for the elected officials to stand up with us.
        Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


      • Except no one enforces it here in CA. There is a loophole a mile wide. Horses leave every week from northern CA for that trip to hell. Yes, theft rates are down but kill buyers abound.


      • Margaret:

        You are correct, in CA, the spirit of the anti-slaughter law is not being enforced.

        But, the Federal law was not being enforced by USDA inspection authorities at the nefarious slaughter plant in Chino/Ontario, CA either (downer cattle, etc). AND WE EAT THAT STUFF HERE IN THE US!


      • The loophole is the word “intent” and of course, being surrounded by states that allow transport and slaughter horses are bought at auction every day of the week that end up either going north to Oregon or over to New Mexico. Border control is needed and commitment of law enforcement. It is outrageous that our representatives have not taken us seriously.
        Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


      • Denise, do you know what agency is supposed to be enforcing the CA law? And if there is a loophole, what is it other than enforcement. John Campbell a representative from CA was an original sponsor of the SAFE Act currently in Congress. I will contact him but first I have to be knowledgeable. I’d appreciate any information you can provide.


      • The loophole is in the language. The law says the possessor, seller or transporter must have intent to use the horse for slaughter.
        Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


      • If we put some rules and regs in place that smack the SUPPLIERS in the wallet, and also those who are not following some basic rules that other business owners have to abide by in order to operate businesses, I believe we’d see the supply lin of slaughter bound horses dry-up radically and relatively quickly too:

        If horse slaughter is not banned entirely now or in the near future, here’s an idea that will help the banning along so that it is sooner-rather-than-later…… I believe we the taxpaying public need some controls and mechanisms put in place to police those who will continue with their activities for as long as they can to the detriment of horses and other humans:

        1. Anyone who deals in horse slaughter, be it a breeder, a kill buyer, an owner, a transporter, a slaughterhouse owner, a trainer, etc, will have to secure and pay for a Dealer’s License, complete with background checks, finger printing, fee’s, etc.

        2. One way to determine if someone is a Dealer is to trace pass history of how many horses they have bought/sold that have ended up going to slaughter annually. If it is 5 or more, we know that that is not “the norm” for a backyard horse person that has “hit on hard times” and had no other way to get rid of a horse. A horse slaughter dealer is anyone sending more than 5 horses either directly (kill buyer, horse trader/dealer, feedlot operator, etc) or indirectly (breeder, trainer, horse trader/dealer) to slaughter and/or that ends up at slaughter. And there is usually paperwork where a history or pattern of their horses going to slaughter can be found at sale yards, with brand inspections, with health certificates, with Bill of Sales, with registration papers, etc.
        If the person has no traceable history but there name begins to appear over and over on sale yard receipts as buyer or seller, on brand inspections, on health certificates, etc, then they may be new to the business and will be notified by the agency that will be regulating and enforcing these rules.

        Seriously, when I sold 3 cars and a horse trailer in a month, I was contacted by entities (the county I live in regarding a business license and the taxation board) that said I needed to get a Dealer’s license even though I really was a private party seller. Why shouldn’t people dealing and making a living with horse slaughter have to secure a Dealer’s license, complete with an IRS filing, and
        have all of their own rules, regulations and requirements separate from the rest of us horse people who don’t deal in slaughter?

        3. Because the stakes are a bit higher when it comes to horse slaughter and shipping possibly tainted horse meat and sickening and/or killing people, anyone dealing in horse slaughter will have to carry General Liability Insurance with 1 million limits to cover possible claims, and also prosecution for dealing in tainted horse meat.
        And for the transporters that haul horses to slaughter, they must carry commercial automobile insurance with at least 1 million dollar limits to cover any accidents associated with hauling the horses to slaughter.

        4. For the breeders who regularly “breed and dump” horses at the kill sales and/or ship directly to slaughter, they will be required to microchip and/or freeze or hot brand their horses to be able to identify them when they go to slaughter. When one of their horses goes through, the horse will be held, the breeder will be contacted and will be required to provide an entire record from birth of the horses vaccination records, drug records, dewormer and supplements records, other “additives” records, etc. Every person that has owned that horse between the breeder and when they end up at the slaughterhouse will also be required to provide documentation/records on the horse as well. If these records are not provided, the horse cannot be slaughtered and must be humanely euthanized and disposed of at the sellers expense.

        Also for the breeders, they will have a quota of the number of horses they can produce every year (like what they have in many European countries, where they breed higher quality horses because they are breeding for quality instead of quantity) and if they go over their quota, they will be taxed/fined for every horse over the quota.

        5. Anyone dealing in slaughter horses will have their own required Bill of Sale stating that the horse is either free of drugs, vaccines, dewormers, additives, etc, or they are not, and they will be required to sign with copies going to their State, the Buyer, one for them, and a copy goes to the Federal government. This will enable a horses ownership, drug, and additive record to be more precisely traced. And although I do know people are always yapping about “less government”, I’ve also noticed that these same people always want less government when it doesn’t benefit them, but more government when it does. This slaughter Bill of Sale will also differentiate the people who deal in horse slaughter from other horse people who do not, and will keep the anti-horse slaughter people from being subjected to rules, laws and regulations like the NAIS that not only cost us money, but also infringe on our private non-business/non-slaughter ownership of horses when we are not putting any horses into the food chain with drugs and other additives in their systems. Those of us who are in fact anti-horse slaughter should never be targeted just because other horse people choose to deal in horse slaughter.

        6. The seller of the horse going to slaughter will also pay an inspection fee at the slaughterhouse so that we taxpayers don’t have to;

        7. Anyone sending a horse to slaughter will be required to pay for a blood test to test for drugs and other “additives” in the horses system, and the horse will be held until the results of the blood test come back. If the horse is found to have drugs or other additives in their system and paperwork has been signed saying they were clean, not only will the seller have to pay for humane euthanasia and disposal of the horses body, than the person performing the fraudulent actions will be: *First time offense-fined, *Second offense-fined and suspended from selling horses to slaughter for 1 year, *Third offense-prosecuted as a repeat offender in fraudulent activities, possibly jailed, and their licensing is permanently revoked as a Dealer.


      • This is very thoughtful. I don’t know if any of these rules are in place but wholeheartedly agree that those who make their living off the horses need to be more closely identified and held accountable when things go bad on their watch AND pay their fair share of taxpayer funded resources.
        Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


  2. In my humble opinion, shouldn’t there be as many Congressmen as possible at this event, both anti- and pro-slaughter? They are the law makers, and the ones we need to be talking to. NY’s Rep Hanna, for example, has not yet decided which way he will vote. No disrespect intended, but talking to other advocates seems to be futile. In any case, I will be praying for a successful and productive symposium. God bless you all, and Godspeed.


    • Proslaughter, no matter elected or industry position would never attend this summit….they don’t like exposure, lights or questions.

      How do we know they were not invited? How do we know a rep from FDA, USDA, DOI was not invited? They usually attend safe, proslaughter functions.


      • We need to thank the recent response from the USDA and the FDA rather than vilifying them. Sec Vilsack just issued a statement against Horse Slaughter and the FDA has worked with sponsors of both parties to write the SAFE bills now in Congress. Google for latest information.


  3. This will be big and to be attended by a representative in Congress is a big thing. I see a lot of names that i am or have been familiar with and am awed by. RT, John Holland, i hope to see a great synopsis of this event. I would just like to hear the speakers talk about the horse slaughter problem facing us. Thanks for posting. Hook up your magic microphone RT so we can all listen to the speakers. Thanks.


      • A great group of folks is an understatement….when you get so many wonderful, intelligent, caring folks like this together, it’s a real eye-opener, for those less informed! What really drives their motivation, in addition to the commonsense, health, environmental, and cost issues, is their compassion and respect for these incredible and magnificent creatures! That, I believe, is what makes them ALL so special! (-: There’s no doubt in my mind the Summit will be a huge success.


  4. Equine advocates are very transparent, unlike their counterparts.

    I am sure arrangements are being made to “live stream”, record and post.

    I hope the main stream media will show up and file reports.


  5. I’d like to see them invite the illustrious Governors of the states that are trying to open horse slaughter plants, who apparently do not want to listen to their constituents who by the vast majority disapprove of horse slaughter. At the very least I would like to see this summit call out the governors and issue a proclamation to each of them condemning their lack of moral strength in their unwillingness to stop this horrific business.


  6. Isn’t this a little too late now? Oklahoma has ok’d horse slaughter in their state, you know more will follow. America should not be allowed to say, or print, “In God We Trust”, instead it should read, “In Money We Trust”!! God has been removed from the American government, & from the hearts of many. Greed, corruption, lust, money, idolatry, mindless, indifferent, hardened hearts have replaced God in our lives, the lives that started this country of ours! All the farmers or ranchers, or big breeders, or whoever, care about is “their personal property, & their right to do with it as they please”, including the despicable act of slaughtering American horses & sending the toxic, tainted “meat” to other countries for those people to eat! SICKENING!! Humans, at least Americans, have confirmed my thoughts in that we are “regressing”, definitely NOT “evolving”, I’m glad I’ve taught my daughter that Darwin was a liar, he guessed, people believed. Stupid people gave the green light to horse slaughter, regardless of the food safety & health risks, & stupid people believed & followed.


  7. I would like to see if I could swing it. The documentation and speakers are very professional people. I would like to see all the Governors invited too. However, the supporters of slaughter are total “COWARDS” and would never show up. They do not want to learn the facts and the truth because it is not the welfare of the horses only ‘BLOOD MONEY” they will be receiving. The only thing that gets attention are the protests. The politicians understand that and when elections come around I would certainly consider running against someone who supports opening those HOUSE OF HORRORS. None of them have the guts to view the videos of the slaughter…they look away because they are Morans and total “COWARDS.” So lets see what happens, maybe MaD is right, the bill has not been signed into law just yet…It’s too bad these programs could not be offered in several parts of the country.since it is hard for many to travel.


  8. Only have a few moments. Zenyatta’s in labor and I’m trying to keep up with it…

    RT have you guys considered streaming this? Make it closed, depending on amount of folks signing up–costs…I would love to attend but just not able to right now. Streaming I could do…


  9. Janet you are right. Illinois fought very hard to get rid of Cavel, Intl. They were like a disease that wouldn’t leave no matter what. They tried to take it to the Supreme Court who ultimately refused to hear there case. Where do these foreign companies get off using our own laws to violate our rights?
    I find that appauling. We fought them and ultimately were able to get them out of Illinois. People can say what they want about Blagovich, but he signed the bill immediately once it reached his desk. I just responded to an email I received from the Obama group and related everything that has been going on with the slaughter issue. Someone just may take the time to read it.That maybe a pleasant surprise since it does involve the safety of the rest of the country.


    • It was such a relief, Gail. I am sure the only reason that bill passed then was due to the horrendous consequences being in the face of everyone. We all thought the dangers were over. But the failure to close the borders remained to haunt us, the pipeline invigorated and today, we fight again. Not for the failure of Illinois, Texas or California, but we stand again to join the fight of all other states and for the federal ban.
      Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


  10. Summit with streaming is a fantastic idea ! Would be great to show solidarity…i.e… “horse with the red teardrop” or similar as a profile pic

    Strength in numbers….good over evil….majority rules….whatever, because if even one more individual hears “expert” info which causes rational thought, then it’s another win for the horses. So much good in the works which trumps anything OKs got


  11. This is very well thought out, but it still provides for horse slaughter. And it assumes what would happen if a legitimate and honest person were so required. But these killers are not legitimate or honest. They are already forging and faking documentation so it is unlikely that they would not find their way around the rest of the obstacles and paperwork.

    Besides, who would do the enforcing and what hope is there of getting sufficient penalties, even if we could make these complicated infractions stick. The insurance bonds sound great, yet how much does it cost to obtain these bonds? I foresee the industry setting up all kinds of ways to maneuver around such a law.

    Are you proposing that the CA law is not being enforced? If so, I agree. Who should be enforcing it as there appears to be no one in charge of enforcement and no penalties? Can that be fixed? And how do you keep track of a horse in one state that is hauled out of that state, through several other states and taken across the border into another country with faked papers as is likely happening now. No one cares and if they do, how do they prove the papers are not legit?

    I prefer to BAN HORSE SLAUGHTER FOREVER with a federal law that has strong penalties for any infraction and a specific agency to enforce. It would then be quite obvious that the law is being broken if a horse is slaughtered or taken across the border for slaughter. I don’t think that this BAN is a dream rather a probability if we all come together and get behind it.

    Why not just make horse slaughter illegal nationally putting the USDA in charge of enforcement with high penalties including jail time? Of course, we would have to force the USDA to do its job as it is pretty lousy currently with Factory Farms and Slaughter Houses and is killing four million wild animals a year unnecessarily through its Wildlife Services, although they are currently under congressional investigation and one can hope that they will be forced to stop the wildlife killing.

    What other entity could be put in charge?

    I still want to know why the previous attempts at passing a federal law never got out of committee in the Senate. Anyone know the answer to that?

    What of setting up horse euthanasia help for the down-and-out like we have for dogs and cats? And what of forcing the Quarter horse and Racehorse people to care for the rejects until they can be adopted or rescued?

    Thank you, Laura, it certainly is a well thought out proposition and next best thing to no slaughter of American horses ever. Elaine Brown aka diogenes11, Sunland, CA


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