Horse News

Horse Slaughter Vote a Setback, but There’s No Time to Let Up!

Source: Return to Freedom, endorsed by Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Attention now turns immediately to the 2018 Interior Appropriations Bill that could potentially threaten the lives of tens of thousands of America’s wild horses and burros.  

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Return to Freedom Wild Horse Conservation and other advocacy groups on Wednesday expressed disappointment in the House Appropriations Committee’s vote opening the door to horse slaughter, but urged supporters of wild horses and burros to keep the pressure on Congress.

“While today’s vote is disheartening for the overwhelming majority of Americans who oppose horse slaughter, there may be critical votes as soon as next week that could further threaten the lives of tens of thousands of wild horses and burros,” said Neda DeMayo, president of Return to Freedom.

“We must redouble our efforts and stand strong for America’s wild horses.”

The full House Appropriations committee voted 27-25 to reject the Roybal-Allard/Dent horse slaughter defund amendment to the Fiscal Year 2018 Agriculture Appropriations bill. Find out how members of the Appropriations Committee voted by clicking here.

Because there is no permanent federal ban on horse slaughter, advocates push annually for an amendment barring the U.S. Department of Agriculture from hiring horsemeat plans inspectors to effectively keep a ban in place. Advocates may have another chance to turn back slaughter when the Ag Appropriations Bill goes to the full House for approval in the weeks ahead.

Attention now turns immediately to the 2018 Interior Appropriations Bill that could potentially threaten the lives of tens of thousands of America’s wild horses and burros.  

A draft version of the Interior Appropriations Bill OKed by the House Interior Subcommittee, also on Wednesday, does not include provisions called for by the administration that would have allowed the Bureau of Land Management to kill healthy horses or sell captive animals without restriction.

While that’s good news, advocates must not be complacent. An amendment calling for inclusion of those deadly provisions could be offered when the full committee meets again, likely next week, so it’s critical that advocates continue making themselves heard.


  • Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121, ask to be connected to your representative;
  • Tell staff that your wish to urge your congressperson to oppose any provision that would allow the Bureau of Land Management to kill wild horses or to remove sale restrictions that would open the door for BLM to sell horses and burros to someone who would sell them for slaughter;
  • If your representative is not on the Appropriations Committee, please urge him or her to oppose horse slaughter when the Ag Appropriations Bill goes to the floor, as well as any provisions that could harm wild horses in the Interior Appropriations Bill.
  • Please be sure to mention that humane solutions that would enable the management of wild horses and burros on the range have long been available.

These solutions include not only using safe, proven fertility control but revisiting population targets, based on a fair interpretation of multiple-use land management; providing incentives for ranchers who reduce livestock grazing in wild horse Herd Management Areas; increasing range stewardship, including much-needed water source restoration; and relocating horses, but only if truly necessary.

21 replies »

  1. From American Wild Horse Campaign

    Voting Yes (against slaughter): Pete Aguilar, D-CA; Sanford D. Bishop, Jr., D-GA; Matt Cartwright, D-PA; Katherine M. Clark, D-MA; Rosa L. DeLauro, D-CT; Charles W. Dent, R-PA; David P. Joyce, R-OH; Marcy Kaptur, D-OH; Derek Kilmer, D-WA; Barbara Lee, D-CA; Nita M. Lowey, D-NY; Grace Meng, D-NY; Betty McCollum, D-MN; Chellie Pingree, D-ME; Mark Pocan, D-WI; David E. Price, D-NC; Mike Quigley, D-IL; Thomas J. Rooney, R-FL; Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-CA; C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-MD; Tim Ryan, D-OH; José E. Serrano, D-NY; Peter J. Visclosky, D-IN; Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-FL; Kevin Yoder, R-KS;

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for listing the names & political party of elected in our government who are AGAINST Horse slaughter in America. These elected are my HEROS.


  2. From American Wild Horse Campaign
    Voting No (in favor of slaughter):
    Robert B. Aderholt, R-AL; Mark E. Amodei, R-NV; Ken Calvert, R-CA; John R. Carter, R-TX; Tom Cole, R-OK; Henry Cuellar, R-TX; John Abney Culberson, R-TX; Mario Diaz-Balart, R-FL; Charles J. Fleischmann, R-TN; Jeff Fortenberry, R-NE; Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, R-NJ; Kay Granger, R-TX; Tom Graves, R-GA; Andy Harris, R-MD; Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-WA; Evan H. Jenkins, R-WV; John R. Moolenaar, R-MI; Dan Newhouse, R-WA; Steven Palazzo, R-MI; Martha Roby, R-AL; Harold Rogers, R-KY; Michael K. Simpson, R-ID; Chris Stewart, R-UT; Scott Taylor, R-VA; David G. Valadao, R-CA; Steve Womack, R-AK; David Young, R-IA

    Liked by 1 person


    From American Wild Horse Campaign
    The Good Vote: Ban on Wild Horse Slaughter Kept In Interior Spending Bill

    Later yesterday, the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee held a markup on the FY 2018 spending bill for the Interior Department. The bill reported out of subcommittee yesterday did not grant the Interior Department’s budget request to lift the ban on slaughtering federally-protected wild horses and burros.

    That is great news! The bill will now be considered by the full House Appropriations Committee next week, and it contains the provision prohibiting the BLM from destroying healthy wild horses and burros and selling these cherished animals for slaughter. This is an important first step in the fight to protect as many as 92,000 wild horses and burros from mass killing by our federal government. However, we expect a hostile amendment to be offered at the full committee hearing that would permit slaughter of these American icons. Although it is harder to strip a provision from an existing bill, we cannot underestimate the determination of proponents like Chris Stewart (R-UT) who want to slaughter our wild horses and burros!

    That’s why, in the next week, we must redouble our efforts to convince these committee members to vote against any amendment that would result in the harm or destruction of our wild horses and burros. Congress must honor the American public’s overwhelming support for protecting these iconic animals on our public lands.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Send or Fax this letter to each and every member of Congress

    Dear State Legislator:

    You will soon be asked to vote on … legislation regarding the commercial slaughter of American horses of which you probably have very little firsthand knowledge. No doubt you have heard from lobbyists and organizations who want you to support the practice, but before you do, you should ask yourself why the residents of Texas and Illinois worked so hard to rid their states of their horse slaughter plants. The answer may surprise you.

    As a mayor who lived with this plague in her town for many years, who knows what the horse slaughter industry really is and what it does to a community please allow me to tell you what we experienced. The industry caused significant and long term hardship to my community which was home to Dallas Crown, one of the last three horse slaughter plants in the United States.

    All three plants were foreign-owned, and since the market for horsemeat is entirely foreign, the industry will always be dominated by these foreign interests. The corporations involved in this industry have consistently proven themselves to be the worst possible corporate citizens.
    The Dallas Crown horse slaughtering facility had been in operation in Kaufman since the late 70’s and from the beginning had caused problems both economically and environmentally. I have listed some of the specific issues below.

    I will gladly provide you with detailed reports from my former City Manager, Police Chief, and Public Works Director regarding odor and wastewater effluence violations at the Dallas Crown horse slaughter plant in the City of Kaufman.. The reports reference “decaying meat [which] provides a foul odor and is an attraction for vermin and carrion,” containers conveyed “uncovered and leaking liquids,” there are “significant foul odors during the daily monitoring of the area,” and “Dallas Crown continually neglects to perform within the standards required of them.”

    Therefore, in August of 2005, our City Council decided by unanimous decision to send the Dallas Crown issue to the Board of Adjustments for termination of their non-conforming use status. In March of 2006, the Board of Adjustments voted to order Dallas Crown closed, but the plant was able to tie the enforcement up in the courts until they were finally closed under state law in February of 2007.

    Dallas Crown repeatedly described itself as a “good corporate citizen.” I will be straightforward in asserting that they are the very antithesis of such.
    • Dallas Crown had a very long history of violations to their industrial waste permit, ‘loading’ the capacity of the wastewater treatment plant.
    • Dallas Crown denied the City access to their property for wastewater testing beginning October 1, 2004 until July 6, 2005 , despite requirement by city ordinance, city permit agreement, and court order.
    • City staff reported that a $6 million upgrade to our wastewater treatment plant would be required even though the plant was planned and financed to last through 2015.
    • Odor problems resulting from the outside storage of offal and hides over several days persisted not only in traditionally African-American neighborhood known as “Boggy Bottom”, but at the nearby Presbyterian Hospital , the daycare center, and surrounding areas.
    • Transport of offal and fresh hides on City and state thoroughfares is conducted in leaking containers without covers.
    • City documents reveal an extended history of efforts to have Dallas Crown address various environmental issues. Reports include descriptive language including such as “blood flowing east and west in the ditches from your plant,” “It has been over 45 days [it had been 59 days] and no apparent cleanup has occurred,” “Your system has not improved and subsequently it has gotten a lot worse,” “Words cannot express the seriousness” of recent violations and the “adverse effects on the wastewater treatment plant,” and “Please be sure trailers are secured before leaving your premises to prevent spills,” noting also “bones and blood laying in front of the facility,” problems with bones and parts in neighboring yards and the attraction of “dogs and other animals.”
    • In response to 29 citations for wastewater violations, each accompanied by a potential fine of $2,000, Dallas Crown requested 29 separate jury trials, potentially causing yet another economic strain to the City’s budget. We could, of course, not afford to litigate in order to extract the fines
    • Dallas Crown took 11 months to submit a mandatory “sludge control plan” to assist efficient operation of the wastewater treatment plant though City staff requested it orally and in writing many times.
    • The City Manager advised me that the City would have to spend $70,000 in legal fees because of Dallas Crown problems, which was the entire legal budget for the fiscal year.
    • During this period, Dallas Crown paid property taxes that were less than half of what the City spent on legal fees directly related to Dallas Crown violations.

    • Generally, Dallas Crown has the economic ability to prevail, to exceed the constraints of the City’s budget.
    Dallas Crown had a negative effect on the development of surrounding properties, and a horse slaughter plant is a stigma to the development of our city generally. I have since learned that these problems were mirrored at the other two plants. Fort Worth’s Beltex horse slaughter plant also violated Ft. Worth’s wastewater regulations several times, clogged sewer lines, and both spilled and pumped blood into a nearby creek (San Antonio Current, June 19, 2003 ). Texas State Rep. Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth, whose district includes Beltex, and Rep. Toby Goodman, R-Arlington, fought hard against legislation that would have legalized horse slaughter in Texas in 2003.

    The horse slaughter plant in DeKalb , IL had a similar pattern. It was destroyed by fire in 2002, and rebuilt in 2004. It was charged and fined by the DeKalb Sanitary District almost every month from the reopening until its closing in 2007 under a new state law for consistently exceeding wastewater discharge guidelines. I can provide you with the documentation of those violations. Like Dallas Crown, Cavel refused to pay their fines for years.

    During this time, I learned that an estimated $5 million in Federal funding was being spent annually to support three foreign-owned horse slaughter plants! And when the Dallas Crown tax records were exposed in the city’s legal struggle, we found that they had paid only $5 in federal taxes on a gross income of over $12,000,000!

    Moreover, the parent company of Cavel has since moved its operations to Canada and continued to slaughter American horses. In Canada they have apparently become even more blatant, dumping huge untreated piles of entrails onto open ground and even using a tanker truck to discharge blood and refuse into a local river.

    I have mentioned only the pollution issue, but this is but one negative aspect of horse slaughter. I have subsequently learned of a USDA document containing 900 pages of graphic photos that show the horrors that the horses were subject to. Behind the privacy fences of these plants, trucks arrived continuously and on those trucks was every form of inhumane violation one can imagine from mares birthing foals to horses with eyes dangling from their sockets and legs ripped from their bodies.

    The more I learn about horse slaughter, the more certain I am: There is no justification for horse slaughter in this country. My city was little more than a door mat for a foreign-owned business that drained our resources, thwarted economic development and stigmatized our community. Americans don’t eat horses, and we don’t raise them for human consumption. There is no justification for spending American tax dollars to support this industry at the expense of Americans and our horses.

    Former Mayor Paula Bacon
    Kaufman, TX

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am receiving reports that some callers accidently told them to vote No instead of against the plants they accidently urged voting for them. 2 people are very ANGUISHED in particular. PLEASE CLARIFY WHAT EXACTLY CALLERS NEED TO URGE CONGRESS TO DO SPECIFICALLY. EXACT WORDING TO KEEP THE CALLERS IN DIRECT ALIGNMEMT WITH WHAT NEEDS TO OCCUR. PLEASE GET OUT AND WRITE IT IN ANY ARTICLES TALKING ABOUT THIS VOTE. EVERYONE WILL BE READING IT.


  6. There is a list of representatives and senators, including phone numbers, fax numbers and facebook links on
    Senator Durbin is and always has been on the side of our Horses & Burros. He is well aware of the evils of horse slaughter.

    Wild Burro Protection League
    July 11

    Say NO to funding for USDA horse slaughter plant inspector

    Say NO to BLM budgetary request and OPPOSE any language that would allow them to destroy Wild Horses & Burros in holding or on the range or SALE WITHOUT LIMITATION

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Our Wild Burros are in GREAT danger. China is buying them up for just their hides. There will be NO more Burros…wild or otherwise unless we fight for them.

    Wild Burros of the West


  8. I think it’s time to start banning horse slaughter at the state levels, I don’t think we will get safe act passed I hate to say it, so I think this year you need to go state to state passing horse slaughter bans either by the legislature or ballet initiatives starting with new mexico, I think all the states where it’s hard to pass horse slaughter ban bills, like new mexico that’s where you should ban horse slaughter via ballot initiative, and reinstate the horse slaughter ban in Oklahoma city, texas already bans horse slaughter as far I know, but maybe you can strengthen the law to where you can export horses over the texas boarder, and maybe you can get trump to change his mind, maybe trump is against horse slaughter all along maybe it’s just his secretaries in the usda and interior. Here’s an argument you can use to get trump to change his mind especially if he found out about the illegal immigrants they hire, and the horse thefts they did, I think that guy who owned the failed horse slaughter plant in new mexico was in fact an illegal immigrant.


  9. This agenda to get rid of our wild horses & burros or any other wild species – do these idiots have any comprehension as to what happens to this planet if the livestock is allowed free reign? Or if the mining & fossil fuel industries are not regulated? Apparently, most in DC and in local government cant see beyond their comfortable little bubble! Just read “Wolf Nation” – whats being done to our wild horses & burros is also whats happening to almost every wild species on this planet. Just like allowing teenagers to take over – with no experience & no knowledge from their elders!


  10. More News just found out Dave’s enterouge is emailing and calling Congress telling them that this Humane Euthanasia and in the USDA oversight horses would more HUMANELY treated within USA. Now I suggest we start by emailing if someone can set an email that you can fill in the blanks and send to Congress explaining directly proslaughters says it’s euthanasia which it’s not it’s Commercial SLAUGHTER and that it was closed inside the USA using the same captive bolt process and the exact same procedures the USDA had created and were constantly violated. Killer Buyer trailer accident are serious dangerous and happened Within the US, inside the U.S. they gouge eyes out for calmer horses which is violent, the use cattle prods to shock them up which is still illegal, and the list goes on. State these are current Industry violations within the US. Explain about killer buyers starved horses dying on the land which is unacceptable in America. Horses need to be with people who can care for them not abusive slaughter traders who allow them to slowly die with broken bones, injuries without veterinary treatment. These haulers are violating the last 1p years within the U tied States 49 dead horses found on killer buyers land, 30 plus more burned Ali e in New York inside a hauler for slaughter and they refused to open doors and save these horses from burning alive. Word it how you feel waste no time, the truth needs shared to Congress before Duwuettes shady trick works again . ASK why are They hauling horses away from rescuers that could save the horses? To send them to such abusive circumstances over the past 10 years.? Why Are They Abusing horses to send to slaughter for profit, when we have capable people within the U.S. who can save them and Veterinarians can put down those suffering HUMANELY instead of bolting their heads, abusively hauling them away from their homes? America doesn’t want this anymore please Defund it 2018. Please anyone create our email. Rewrite how you desire bit our side, the Truth needs out there to Congress, Immediately with the passion. The cold hard facts about kill buyers killing horses at their own properties slow deaths needs outed to the People who have our horses lives in their hands. We need to act now. Let me know when it’s ready I will be eager to send the Real truth behind horse slaughter to Congress. I know my way around anything horses but I need someone who can create emails to do this. I’m waiting please help get the Real truth to Congress.


  11. no on horse slaugther and burro to i live in moreno valley ca we have wild burro and i do’nt like when people try to killed them on nancy a from moreno valley ca stop killing are wild life oki


  12. I think it’s very sad that some in our government think so little about a part of history they need to get rid of the ones running the balm and get someone in there that can do a better job .having owned a mustang myself for 15 years they are Gods creatures and deserve better No animal domesticated or not should be treated with such little thought


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