Equine Rescue

NY State Politicans Propose Anti-Horse Slaughter Bill in Albany

Source: By ANDREW CHAMPAGNE of the Saratogian

“Reason, logic, and fact dictate that we should ban horse slaughter in New York state.”

ALBANY — Fewer stories in horse racing have had higher highs and lower lows than that of Ferdinand.

The 1986 Kentucky Derby winner banked more than $3.7 million in a stellar career and went to the breeding shed in 1988. However, the champion thoroughbred was slaughtered in Japan in 2002, setting off outrage in the horse racing community.

That story was repeated Wednesday by Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, one of several state politicians who spoke out in support of a bill that would criminalize the transport of horses for slaughter in the Empire State.

“It is a shame and a tragedy,” Tedisco said, “and we as a state should be ashamed for allowing that to happen.”

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Deborah Glick and Sen. Kathy Marchione, among others, and the press conference was held in the well of the Legislative Office Building. The proposed legislation has support from both sides of the aisle, but may not be voted on in this current legislative session.

According to guest speaker Jack Knowlton, a Saratoga native who co-owned 2003 Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide, Ferdinand’s plight sparked similar legislation on the national level several years ago. However, that bill, H.R. 503, did not make it out of committee in the U.S. Senate.

“We’re a very diverse country,” Knowlton said. “There are a lot of interests in horse slaughter, particularly in the western part of the country, and that legislation still has not happened on a national level.”

Marchione spoke for several minutes, and she and Tedisco both said the proposed bill makes sense on many different levels.

“In 2010, 137,934 horses were escorted to Canada to be slaughtered,” Marchione said. “The vast majority were intended for human consumption, and horses at the slaughterhouses are treated with cruel indifference.”

“This should be based on reason, logic, and fact,” Tedisco said. “Reason, logic, and fact dictate that we should ban horse slaughter in New York state.”

The press conference also featured presentations by veterinarian Dr. Kraig Kulikowski and Summer Brennan of Little Brook Farm in Old Chatham.

Horse slaughter is horse abuse,” Kulikowski said. “We need to start calling it what it is. As a veterinarian, I know what humane euthanasia looks like, and it doesn’t look like slaughter.”

“I’ve spent my entire life working with these horses that were discarded for various reasons,” Brennan said. “What I’ve found doing this is that there’s rarely anything wrong with the horse. It’s mainly the people that own them.”

All who spoke Wednesday agreed that public support of the bill is crucial…(CONTINUED)

Please click (HERE) to read the story in its entirety AND to Comment at the Saratogian

Assemblyman Tedsico speaking at 2013 Equine Conference last month

Dr. Kraig Kulikowski speaking at the 2013 American Equine Conference last month

11 replies »

  1. Marchione says “horses were escorted” to Canada to be slaughtered? Escorting horses implies caring for them, and that’s not how it’s done. Knowlton says there is a lot of interest in the West for slaughter? I believe they are loud, but the people are a few. There are many more people who are against horse slaughter. Dr. Kulikowski calls it like it is, and it should be against the law for trainers make medication decisions for the horses on their own. Although, some vets would likely just approve on paper whatever the trainers decided.


  2. I have a superb, unlimited litho beautifully framed of Ferdinand and his jockey, Bill Shoemaker hanging on my wall so I never forget.

    I will never forget that our beautiful KD champion was turned into meat for an unthinking human.

    Go NY, go…pass that law and ban transport thru your state and ENFORCE IT.


  3. This bill should absolutely pass and then the Safe Act should pass for national legislation against horse slaughter. Now is the time. We have been sounding our voices for so long now to ban this horrendous and barbaric practice for good in the U.S. There is very strong opposition for re-instating it here and we have to send a loud and clear message to people who abuse horse ownership and breeding and create these serious problems in our country; that we will decide and take control over the well-being of our horses. Then we must send more loud and clear messages that we will boycott any products and services that these corrupt, unethical and immoral people represent and put back “We the People” in this country rather than “them” and “us.”


  4. I only wish we had people like this in New Mexico. I went with Dr. Lester Friedlander ( well known USDA Whistle-blowe and former Track Vet) to the Slaughter “facility” in Roswell ,NM this week. It is a dismal dump that looks to be on the ” back -40″ of the Veterinarian owner of Mine That Bird, 2010 Derby winner.I don’t hear him decrying horse slaughter, do you? His Veterinarian Brother has published papers on “the Unwanted Horse” Roswell is 70 miles from Ruidoso Downs.


    • Mr Wholley (sp?) and the owner of Mine that Bird don’t appear to be the height of TB racing altruism; and yes, they should speak out. I know why they don’t.

      MTB is well cared for and retired at the owner’s ranch.

      NM, like many states have dumb and “me” on the brain syndrome.


  5. If this becomes law in New York, and I pray it does, I’m wondering how they will enforce the transport portion of it. Is the plan to have state and local police stop and investigate every single truck that is carrying horses? Will there be authorities posted at every border crossing that will question, and cite and/or arrest every driver? Does anyone know the logistics?


    • Don’t necessarily have to actively enforce it. You could make the penalty so severe no trucker would take the chance. Also, one could focus on semis headed to Quebec loaded with horses while leaving the horse enthusiast alone.


    • Good Question? We have an anti-slaughter and transport law in CA, but it is unenforced and we are hearing that race horses are regularly shipped to slaughter. How do you enforce such a law?

      I must say the trucks used to transport to slaughter are unlike any other vans or trailers used for friendly purpose, but how do you define that to the authorities or even get the authorities to stop those that are suspect? A federal law would be easier to enforce because it would be the same everywhere, yet it would need authorities everywhere to get on the ball and look for these types of slaughter trucks crammed full of loose horses.


      • Maybe the weigh stations will play a part, but they’re frequently closed. Besides, what’s to stop these drivers from lying and falsifying their paperwork? A lot of these guys already have a long history of violations. No matter how stiff the penalties are, some of them are going to do it anyway, and just get another slap on the hand.

        R. T., can you shed some light on this?


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