Equine Rescue

Summit Focuses on Ending Export for Slaughter

By Bill Heller as published on Blood Horse

“We’re safe, but what’s next?”

With the ban of horse slaughter for human consumption in the United States ensured for at least the next two years, equine advocates from around North America convened at the 2014 American Equine Summit in Chatham, N.Y., April 26-27 to push for a permanent ban and the elimination of exporting American horses to Canada, Mexico, and Japan for slaughter.

A huge, huge thank you to Victoria McCullough, FL State Senator Joe Abruzzo and Vice President Joe Biden. No matter what you read, they drove this effort from the starting gate to the finish line.

A huge, huge thank you to Victoria McCullough, FL State Senator Joe Abruzzo and
Vice President Joe Biden. No matter what you read, they drove this effort from the starting gate to the finish line.

“We’re safe, but what’s next?” asked Victoria McCullough, the owner of Chesapeake Petroleum and an international equestrian and equine activist. McCullough successfully enlisted the support of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden to remove funding for slaughterhouses in an Omnibus Bill signed into law by President Obama Jan. 17. “We will end horses going across the borders,” she said. “Horse meat will kill you.”

While horse slaughter in the U.S. ended in 2007, a proposed slaughterhouse in New Mexico nearly opened last December before the funding for mandatory meat inspectors was removed in the Omnibus Bill. Yet, according to the Equine Welfare Alliance, more than 150,000 U.S. horses were exported for slaughter in 2013 despite increasing global concern over the toxicology of horse meat. Such meat may have been contaminated by the myriad of drugs that horses—especially Thoroughbreds—are treated with, especially the analgesic phenylbutazone, known commonly as bute.

A scandal erupted in France in mid-December when authorities discovered that horses that had been used to produce anti-rabies and other serums were discovered in horsemeat sold to the public. Twenty-one people were arrested in Narbonne on Dec. 16. Two months later in Germany, another scandal erupted when horse meat was detected in frozen lasagna being sold in supermarkets. Subsequently, the European Union advised all countries to test meat.

“There is a global concern about food safety,” McCullough said. “We must disqualify equines from the food chain. We have to win the EU and Canada. Science will win for horses, and we’re on the doorstep.”

McCullough has purchased the entire lot of horses offered at the Sugar Creek, Ohio, auction, known for selling horses bound for slaughter, on three occasions and said this about the demographics of these horses that were being sold: “The majority are former racehorses. Seventy percent are Thoroughbreds. The average age is 3 to 4 years old. It’s unbelievable.”

McCullough was one of a dozen speakers at the Summit, which was held at the 140-acre Equine Advocates’ Rescue & Sanctuary, now home to 80 rescued equines in Chatham, about 120 miles northeast of New York City.

Susan Wagner started Equine Advocates, a national non-profit 501 (c)(3), in 1996 after rescuing her first horse from slaughter, Gandalf. She opened her equine rescue and sanctuary, which is now home to 85 equines, in 2004, and came up with the concept of an annual equine summit. This year people came from as far away as British Columbia, California, Montana, Texas, and South Dakota to attend the event, which was by invitation only. Asked of her goal, Wagner said, “We have to close our borders for all time.”

Jane Velez-Mitchell, of CNN’s Headline News, was the keynote speaker and spoke passionately about wild horses and carriage horses, currently a controversial topic in New York City. “I live in midtown Manhattan and I look in their eyes every day when I walk my dogs,” she said. “They are miserable. They are terrified and they don’t belong there. Tradition? Chastity belts were a tradition. Carriage horses must be eliminated.”

 Read more…

10 replies »

  1. I’m wondering if anyone here has ever gone to the website for walkinonranch.com?
    This is a family who SUED the TWH celebration in order to show their TW stallion flatshod at the Big show in 1999! He was shown by their 15 year old daughter – the video (of their daughter showing) shows how absolutely sad it is – the difference between this gorgeous buckskin stallion and these poor sad abused horses with their pads and awful “big lick”. They showed again in 2007 and it seems to me the big lick horses were even more freaky after 8 years. Certainly have to give this girl credit – she went thru the whole class with a smile on her face ignoring the rudeness of the other riders. Worth watching. One of those videos should be shown to really educate people (non-horse) as to the difference between natural & freaky.


    • Maggie, thanks for posting this! What a magnificent horse… and a brave young woman! It brought tears to my eyes when partway through she got a standing ovation. I couldn’t help but notice “Watchout” looked like he could cruise a plantation all day long… while some of the others were still winded long after standing around with their saddles off as the judges walked around.



  2. Okay, that is a picture from when the budget was passed. What steps from the “insiders” should be framed? What is coming out of this to the worker bees? I’m getting a sickening feeling here. This is nothing new but we are seeing bigger names. I was reflecting on why our society flits from one issue to another. Big names come out of their worlds, we grab at media blurbs and then …. Nothing until the next appearance.

    Its sort of like big stars come out against the pipeline, then you see photos of them partying hardy. Yeah, how does ones conscience get put on a shelf? Its a strange world.

    But nothing strange when I see the little rescues driving off to the auctions to interfer with the KBs. Not enough to buy the whole lot but networking saves some. I want to see some progress in these political ventures.


  3. China approves jail for rare wild animal eaters: Xinhua

    Beijing (AFP) April 24, 2014China’s legislature voted on Thursday to approve a legal measure that will jail people caught eating rare wild animals, state media reported.

    The report said that China’s government deems 420 species of wild animals as rare or endangered.

    The animals include giant pandas, golden monkeys, Asian black bears and pangolins, the report said.

    Under the legal interpretation passed Thursday, people who eat animals on the list or purchase them for other purposes will be considered in violation of the Criminal Law.

    Depending on the crime, violators could face more than 10 years in jail, the report added.

    The killing of endangered animals and the use of their body parts — such as rhino horns and shark fins — in traditional medicine and as food delicacies has been identified as a global menace.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. If we choose to do this then we must stop over breeding horses in the quest to get that Kentucky derby winner or world ch whatever. My dogs’ breeder will take them back if for whatever reason I can no longer care for them. No reselling, no giving away, she re homes them. And they were sold on a spay neuter contract! How it horse breeders?


  5. I hope Jane Velasquez-Mitchell was quoted incorrectly here, surely she wants to do away with the carriage horse business, not the carriage horses as written?


  6. I hope something can be done to call up the horse slaughter bills out of committee for a floor vote because Canada may be on the verge of passing a bill that would ban Canadian horses from being slaughtered mainly because of the drugs found in US horses which makes up the majority of slaughter horses. Because if they pass it all of the 170 thousand horses from the US will go to Mexico. What a horrific thought.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Manes and Tails Organization Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.