Equine Rescue

In the Race for the Presidency, America’s Horses Could be the Biggest Losers

by Susan Wagner, President & Founder, Equine Advocates

“Both major Presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have announced some disturbing appointments…”

All of the progress that has been made since the last horse slaughterhouse operating in the U.S. closed in 2007 is in danger of being reversed. This is why we are now urgently and respectfully calling on President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to end horse slaughter before they leave office with a special action, i.e. an executive order or a federal policy change that would accomplish that goal. We are asking you to “sign our petition” in order to reach them and have your voices heard.

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Both major Presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have announced some disturbing appointments. Secretary Clinton has had an excellent voting record on animal issues over the years and is on the record as opposing horse slaughter which is why her choice of former Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar to head her Transition Team is mystifying. Salazar is ranked by many as one of the worst Interior Secretaries in American History (along with Albert Fall, James Watt and Gail Norton). He was a huge proponent of horse slaughter long before he was appointed to that post in 2009. In 2013, he resigned as Interior Secretary under questionable circumstances. It was revealed that under Salazar’s watch, Tom Davis, a known horse dealer and rancher, bought 1,794 Wild BLM Mustangs for just $10 apiece and sold them for slaughter in Mexico. We believe having Ken Salazar in any position of power would be a continued threat to the safety and protection of America’s wild and domestic equines. Please read this article that appeared in the Washington Times:


In addition, Salazar’s agenda to “industrialize” the West and America’s Public Lands amplifies the threat to America’s remaining wild horse and burro herds. We believe the damage he did while he was in office continues to have detrimental and dangerous effects on the wildlife and the land. We implore Secretary Clinton to please reconsider her appointment of Ken Salazar to her administration if she wins the election.

Donald Trump has no voting record as he has never held office before. However, his choice of proposed individuals to serve on his “Agricultural Advisory Committee,” if elected, reads like a  Who’s Who of horse slaughter supporters.  The list is so disturbing that there would be no doubt that the return of horse slaughter to the U.S. would just be a matter of time. It includes:

  • Forrest Lucas, oilman (Lucas Oil) and rancher – His political action committee (PAC), Protect the Harvest is, in our opinion, the most dangerous anti-horse/anti-animal/pro-puppy mill PAC in the nation. He said of his PAC, “…we’re out here organized…” and “…we need to get horse slaughter back.” Lucas was also named to Trump’s short list for Interior Secretary which would be a complete disaster for this country:


  • Mary Fallin, Governor of Oklahoma had signed a bill to legalize horse slaughter in her state.
  • Bob Goodlatte, Congressman from Virginia and former chair of the House Agriculture Committee, has been a major force in blocking legislation to ban horse slaughter for years and a supporter in bringing it back to the U.S.

For a complete list of Trump’s proposed Agricultural Advisory Committee members, click here:

In addition, Trump has former Georgia Congressman, Jack Kingston as one of his advisers and also as a media spokesperson. Kingston was a member of the infamous 2011 Congressional Conference Committee that voted 3-1 (along with Senator Ray Blunt and former Senator Herb Kohl) to return horse slaughter to the U.S. They based their votes on the special interest-driven Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report #11-228 on Horse Slaughter. John Holland, President of the Equine Welfare Alliance successfully proved that the GAO Report was, in fact, fraudulent:


Clearly, most Americans want to see an end to horse slaughter, but these candidates have selected individuals who we believe, if given the opportunity, would move to slaughter horses with no regard or consideration for the will of the vast majority of Americans on this issue.

The dangerous agendas of some lawmakers to quickly rebuild horse slaughterhouses in this country to satisfy special interests in the horse and ranching industries is a real threat. This goes hand-in-hand with how the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is now operating. At the most recent BLM Advisory Board Meeting, the the majority of its members voted to exterminate the 44,000 captured Wild Horses and Burros being held in long-term holding facilities. As outrageous and horrific as this sounds, we need to keep in mind that the Advisory Board has no power in the final decision. However, it is also probable that their votes reflect the desired agenda of the BLM with respect to these horses.

John Holland, President of the Equine Welfare Alliance said, “We believed right from the beginning that the use of all that stimulus money to gather so many horses was the BLM intentionally creating a crisis so they could force this decision later!”

Update: The news of how this Advisory Board voted sparked a tremendous public outcry and as a result, the BLM has since decided not to follow the advice of the majority of its members and will not kill these 44,000 wild equines. It should be noted that the one lone vote on the BLM Advisory Board against killing them was Ginger Kathrens, the Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation.

Unless we move forward and truly bring an end to horse slaughter, it is likely to return to our soil. The vast majority of Americans want it banned just as they also want our wild horse and burro herds preserved, protected and humanely managed.

Many horse advocates are supporting the Safeguard American Food Exports Act, better known as The S.A.F.E. Act (S1214/H.R. 1942). This bill needs to be amended before we can support it. There are no effective enforcement provisions in it.

The S.A.F.E. Act, if it becomes law, could easily be circumvented based on some of the language in it including the phrase, “…the knowing sale or transport of equines…” Killer buyers and those sending equines to slaughter are unlikely to admit their true intentions. Why give them an out if they get caught to say that they did not know? We would like to know who wrote this bill and why they chose to write it this way. Decide for yourself. Here is the language for The S.A.F.E. Act:


We actually have all the ammunition we need to win the horse slaughter war.  A ground-breaking study published in Elsevier in 2010 clearly documented the dangerous health risks for people who eat the meat of horses that have been treated with the common drug, Phenylbutazone (or “Bute,” for short). This is proof that all of us can present to our lawmakers and the media as strong arguments to stop the return of horse slaughter to the U.S. Bute was important to use in this study because unlike some other drugs, it never leaves the body of the animal. Bute puts those consuming it at risk for a variety of cancers and blood diseases.

It is important to note that Bute is just one among numerous injectable, oral and topical drugs given to equines that has the disclaimer on the packaging, “Not intended for horses bred for human consumption.

NO EQUINE is bred for human consumption in this country!

Here is a link to that important landmark study:


Further evidence is documented in the hundreds of articles and lawsuits that resulted from the shocking Horse Meat Food Fraud Scandal that gripped Europe in 2013 and now appears to be a threat once again. In addition, there is the 2015 Chapman University Study (also published by Elsevier) proving the unsavory discovery of horse meat and additional meats other than beef present in some chopped meat products in the American food supply. Given the lack of DNA species testing in this country, the presence of horse meat in our food supply may be more prevalent than believed.

Here is a link to the 2015 Chapman University Study:


In December of 2014, the European Union (EU) banned the import of horse meat products from Mexico because most of the equines slaughtered there came from the U.S. and therefore are not safe for human consumption. (NOTE: The same U.S.-bred equines make up the majority of equines slaughtered in Canada for export to Europe and Japan, but inexplicably no such ban was placed on horse meat from Canada by the EU.) However, investigations indicate that there has been little to no decrease in the number of U.S.-bred equines being slaughtered in Mexico since the European ban took effect in January of 2015.

Where is all of this horse meat ending up if it’s not going to Europe or other identified markets? Investigators believe that some horse meat from Mexico is making its way into the American food supply. Food fraud is rampant all over the world. This country is not exempt.

Why is the slaughter of America’s equines tolerated? Ultimately, we are talking about morals and ethics. Horse slaughter is primarily used by special interests as a garbage disposal for those too greedy, callous and indifferent to take responsibility for the equines under their care.  How can we justify sending tens of thousands of equines across our borders into Mexico and Canada every year for people in other countries to eat knowing their meat is unfit for human consumption? The answer is simple:  There is no justification!

One reason I haven’t mentioned the extreme cruelty involved in horse slaughter is because of some sage comments made by philanthropist and horsewoman, Victoria McCullough, whom we honored in 2014:

“I believe that science is what will win for horses on the Hill – not cruelty. We’re inundated and desensitized to it. Cruelty is running over America – in our children, in our animals, in our education system – We are not accountable! But I learned that in order to win with the government it has to be intellectual and scientific.  I have to leave my emotions behind completely. I can’t take them with me. But they live with me every day.”

Thanks to Victoria’s efforts, Vice President Joe Biden attached language to the $1.1 trillion Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 which President Obama signed into law to continue the defunding of horse meat inspectors in the U.S.

“We cannot win the border closure without defund because it’s a pyramid,” she said. “You have to defund horse slaughter in the U.S. first in order to have legality. There’s an issue. What are we really slaughtering and for whom? The arrogance and the lack of accountability are outrageous. And the liability does not disappear.”

Here is more information about the importance of what Vice President Biden accomplished for America’s horses in 2014:


We believe a remedy exists which would not involve a bill that needs to be passed or Congressional approval. Human Health and Food Safety, as outlined in this piece, are key to a federal ban.

Since both President Obama and Vice President Biden are acutely aware of all the dangers and risks associated with slaughtering horses for food, not to mention the liability factor, it could be a really wonderful and important part of the Obama/Biden legacy to end this unspeakable and un-American practice through a special action to ban horse slaughter and remove equines from the food chain.

Consequently, we need to start respectfully and earnestly imploring President Obama and Vice President Biden to take action before they leave office. Let them know how dire this situation truly is and how years of progress will evaporate if something is not done immediately. They know how most Americans feel about this. They saw the tremendous outcry against killing those 44,000 wild BLM horses and burros. We look to them to save America’s wild and domestic equines from slaughter!

As they say, there is strength in numbers, so please start by taking the time to sign our petition which is an appeal to be sent to both President Obama and Vice President Biden asking them to take action to ban horse slaughter before they leave office. To sign the petition, please see the list of What You Can Do below this article. (Note: Please also take the time to send a hand-written letter to each of them. Their mailing addresses are also provided below.)

If Obama and Biden do not act before the end of their administration, the fate of our horses will be placed in the hands of the next president. Now is the time for all of us to act. It is urgent that we act.


  • Please sign our petition appealing to both President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to take action in banning horse slaughter entirely – both in the U.S., as well as stopping the transport of live equines from the U.S. across our borders into Mexico and Canada for slaughter or to any other country for that purpose. Please be sure to forward the petition and share it far and wide. We need a big and enthusiastic response in order for it to make a difference. We need to gather 100,000 signatures by Election Day to present to them. That number of signatures would ensure that both the President and V.P. would see the petition.
  • Please write a handwritten letter to both President Obama and Vice President Biden asking them to take steps to ban horse slaughter before they leave office. You have plenty of ammunition to use in the way of scientific studies, documentation and good arguments as provided in this article. Please use them, in addition to more abundant data now readily available online to back up any other points you wish to make. Please address separate letters to the President and V.P. Mail your letters to them in care of:

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

This is a shot that is well worth taking. We owe it to our horses to try.

Together we can make a difference!

Thank you!

Susan Wagner, President
Equine Advocates

Click (HERE) To visit Equine Advocates

27 replies »

  1. We only have about one, maybe two months to. Do this. Can we accomplish it? Why did you all wait so long? The proslaughter BLM CREATED THE PERFECT SMOKESCREEN and people feel for it … I’ve signed how many petitions but I’ll sign more of it makes the crucial difference. Can the president make a difference? He keeps saying yes we can… Let’s hold him to b the task… Get em done.. Thanks to Victoria for all she’s done. She’s never unfocused on the crucial issue. Wee need her to focus on this bill..get her freinds to do the same.. She did it before. She can do it again… GET ER DONE!!!!!!! And remember to vote for the horses……


  2. We only have about one, maybe two months to. Do this. Can we accomplish it? Why did you all wait so long? The proslaughter BLM CREATED THE PERFECT SMOKESCREEN and people feel for it … I’ve signed how many petitions but I’ll sign more of it makes the crucial difference. Can the president make a difference? He keeps saying yes we can… Let’s hold him to b the task… Get em done.. Thanks to Victoria for all she’s done. She’s never unfocused on the crucial issue. Wee need her to focus on this bill..get her freinds to do the same.. She did it before. She can do it again… GET ER DONE!!!!!!! And remember to vote for the horses…… PS.. Ì SIGNED THIS PETITION WHEN IT V CAME OUT..


  3. George Soros, who’s supporting Hillary, also made campaign contributions to Ken Salazar and Harry Reid in the past. I’ve got a sneaky suspicion that Soros had something to do with Salazar winding up on her transition team. And apparently Forrest Lucas contributed to Mike Pence’s (who is now Trump’s VP pick) campaign previously. All of a sudden, it turns out that Lucas could wind up being his pick for the next Secretary of the Department of the Interior. Follow the money.


  4. Very disappointed that those who critisized the Safe Food, Safe Horse Export bill were no where to be found when this bill was created nor to my knowledge did not sacrifice anything like many of us to go to Washington. I have been involved in the slaughter issue for many many years. My group closed the last slaughter plant in Illinois and if you think that was easy think again! If you know anything about politics, you should know sometimes bills are NOT perfect and our amended later.

    This is a very volitle time for the whole country and 1,000 times worse for America’s horses and other equines. How many of those in this group stood in the streets of Washington, DC talking to the foreign visitors who will be taking our message about toxic horse meat back to their home countries. I personally spoke to people from England, France and Japan and someone from the Netherlands. Where were any of you? Sorry but its a sad day when we critize each other when we all have one common goal.
    And that is the safety of Americas horses and other equines. This is not a time to play bing bong politics with the 3.5 billion horses and other equines in the US. Its called divide and conquer folks. If you were so concerned about this bill why didn’t you contact the creators its been out for how long? Sorry but this is the closest we have ever been. Did any of you help us close those Hell Hole Slaughter plants in our states? Don’t recall seeing you at our meetings in Springfield, Illinois back in 2005, 2006, or 2007 when we finally saw it closed.Yes inspections stopped but those in Illinois made it very.clear, we will NEVER see it open again!!

    This is not the time to torpedo these efforts but work as a TEAM of Advocates because we all need each other! Don’t make this your personal.agenda please. We all need to come together as a group and make a conserted effort to save all of Americas horses both domestic and wild and other equines! And yes the US does NOT need to contaminate the Global food supply with CONTAMINATED HORSE and other EQUINE MEAT!


  5. Oh and one more item. Have any of you thought about who may take over the Interior Dept? Any thoughts on that? I do and I’m making my recommendation to the powers that be. What are you doing? By the way how many petitions have we.signed? And just who is making the deal with Joe Biden and President Obama because I would like to know before.I sign any more petitions that go NO WHERE!!!!


  6. Way back when Kennie threatened Dave Phillips I repeatedly called the White House and asked to have him terminated. On one of those calls a woman answered, she couldn’t believe it. Told her where to go to have a looksee. Shortly after that call, Kennie announced his “retirement”. Said he wanted to go home to his cows.

    Now I just recently found out he never retired! He simply switched offices and lobbies in Washington! Icky man.

    I couldn’t believe Hillary hired him for her transition team! I wrote the campaign, and zip. I don’t think she understands how dark and ugly Kennie plays.

    My issue is this…I find Hillary to just not be trustworthy. There’s nothing concrete. I simply don’t trust her. It has nothing to do with Benghazi or her private email server. Drumpf isn’t even a remote possibility. We’re screwed if he’s elected. And I don’t mean just the horses. Horse wise…Drumpf will look at the horses and see dollars and cents. Never mind the law. And that’ll be the end of them.

    I suspect that’s why BLM said they were t going to listen to the advisory board. Kennie and Dean are running around Washington…asking if Drumpf gets elected to vote to kill all the horses. And Drumpf will sign off on it.

    Honest to God I hope Cloud is gone. Not because I won’t miss him. I do, more than I could ever express. I just don’t want him to see what becomes of his family and his mountain home.


  7. Reblogged this on uddeer and commented:
    Both DJT and HRC proposed questionable people on their teams should one or the other win the presidency. DJT thinks rancher/oil man, Forrest Lucas, of Lucas Oil would make a dandy Sec. of the Interior. Lucas’ (PAC), Protect the Harvest is an inflamed anti-horse/anti-animal/pro-puppy mill PAC in the nation. He said, “…we need to get horse slaughter back.”
    Mary Fallin, Gov of OK signed a bill to legalize horse slaughter in her state.
    Bob Goodlatte, Congressman from VA is a major force in blocking legislation to ban horse slaughter for years and a supporter in bringing it back to the U.S.
    Jack Kingston, former congressman horse slaughter proponent

    HRC tapped Ken Salazar, rancher and former Sec of Interior who rounded up over 40,000 wild horses currently housed in cattle corrals, as transition team chair should she win.
    Please sign petition to ask both President Obama and Vice President Biden to permanently defund horse slaughter while they’re in office.


  8. I sincerely hope that Politico’s “anonymous sources” are mistaken about Trump’s choice for Interior Secretary – he’s like a villain straight from The Perils of Pauline, even a puppy mill supporter! How bad can you be if you support puppy mills? It’s hard to take that seriously.

    I’m more concerned with who HC is going to appoint. I haven’t heard a peep more about Ken Salazar. They must think we have short memories. Good post about writing to the President.


    • Its a tricky situation and Hillary will get Ken Salazar and he is the WORST! Also Obama and Joe have been in office for 8 years and nothing got done so far with their committee! If Hillary gets in, our economy will crash and get worse! We will also be unsafe from terrorism and helping horses will almost be a mute point if we can’t even help ourselves. Since Trump is not a politician and a true patriot and would recognize that horses are a huge part of our history, I think we should start reaching out to him about these issues and any ag committee members who may not be good for our horses


  9. Ugh. This is so disgustingly about profit and nothing is off limits. Who told these women they even need this for a natural phase of a woman’s life? There are other alternatives for those who have difficulties. For me, nothing could be worth harming another living creature.


    • Plus, prolonged exposure to estrogen beyond what is natural can cause cancer. But what do these companies care when they can make a buck in another market? I wish we would not poison other cultures with our shallow Western ideals.


  10. But where are we now? Just suppose Obama does something and by the way I worked on all of his campaigns since he ran for Senator in Illinois. An I happy with all decisions no. But let’s get back to the contamination issue. We have a problem with the medications we give them causing cancer. Very good point about the Premarin and the Prempro- also a very good chance the woman taking that could come down with.cancer. I brought all this info to my doctors office and the person purchasing this product. We are entirely shamed and if you must be your own advocate. Share this with your doctor and your circle of friends. But we have strayed from the real question. We must not be broken up in factions or the HORSES lose!! Back to the original question.about this petition. What is the deadline and who or what group is presenting it to President Obama and Vice-Presudent Biden? Can you please inform and enlighten the rest of us because as an advocate I sure feel like I’m in the dark?????

    Whether you like it or not Nancy Watson and Dr. Rita Reik have given an enormous amount of time and have been able to bring people together from all parts of the country.
    She and Rita deserve a large amount of gratitude for all their efforts. But sorry where are all your people? And instead of complaining about.who might be on this transitional team.and what ever, let’s get busy and recommended.someone before its too.late!, Actions here.. I sure hope I get an answer to my question.. Recommendations anyone???.


  11. Please save the wild horse’s, I won’t be able sigh any petitions, because my account has been hacked, by everyone. I am sorry thank you


  12. Why doesn’t anyone go to one of those corrals where the wild horses are being held and just release the wild horses, someone should do that.


  13. If Trump gets elected he will have to be told about the horse slaughter the man knows nothing about horses. I would suggest that if Obama will not put a stop to horse slaughter before he leaves that would look to me like he never had any idea of stopping it. Where has Biden been all this time since 2014? As far as I can see neither person, Obama or Biden has not done one thing to stop horse slaughter. Obama has had month’s to stop that and nothing has been done at all he’s been to busy flying around the country supporting Clinton. I doubt the petition is seen by Obama or Biden.
    There is some information I was sent by the Canadian Horse Defense Coalition Blog last week that said that the EU now demands that all horses from third countries will now be required to keep slaughter horses for 6 months starting in 2017 hoping to remove any drugs from their systems. So this is going to cost the slaughter plants plenty in feed to keep their weight up. This may put some out of business for good. Canada has nore that 50,000 horses each year from the U.S. combined this is 100,000 depending on the number Canada supplies. Which slaughter plant can afford to feed 50,000 horses from the U.S.? The slaughter plants would not be able to except truck load’s of horses very long because the numbers of them would be impossible to feed.


  14. We need to take control of our government instead of being forced to pay taxes for what we don’t believe they should be used for. I doubt thee are many people in the US that consume horse meat. I feel as Americans we love the free spirit the horse
    represents. To let the BLM capture and interfere with the natural law of nature is awful. Yes we need to make a stand-all of us together as the loving people we are.
    The horse is a great gift of spiritual love and connection I wish all people could experience. Maybe then we could all learn from the horses heart


  15. I would sign this except for the fact that it dismisses an extremely important component of success for our horses and food supply: the SAFE Act HR1942/S 1214 which definitely bans slaughter and transport to slaughter of all US horses. These animals are not raised for consumption and meet no FDA safety standards. Their toxic meat is poisoning our food supply. This consideration goes beyond humane issues and is irrefutable. Please remove the language regarding the SAFE Act which is unnecessaynand incorrect and I will ask our 1.5 million supporters of SAFE Food SAFE Horses Coalition to sign this otherwise sound petition.


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