Urgent: Our Horse Nation Needs YOUR Help

Our nation is at a critical juncture and America’s wild horses and burros are in the crossfire. Following the troubling news that the President’s budget request for 2018 would strip federal protections for wild horses and burros and put over 80,000 healthy wild horses at risk for slaughter, wild horses are now in danger more than ever before. We were deeply troubled to discover that dangerous language that would reopen the door for horse slaughter was quietly inserted into the U.S. House’s massive spending bill for next year’s budget.

Click (HERE) to join Wild Horse Freedom Federation, The CANA Foundation and many other wild horse and burro advocacy groups in taking ACTION to save the last of the few herds that still remain alive and free!

The Three Great Myths about America’s Wild Horses

by as published on HorseTalk

One of the favorite tools used by the cattle industry to push competing grazing animals off the lands they covet is that of supporting outright myths and also funding questionably designed studies and then promoting the highly questionable results.

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Throughout American history, the cattle industry has been for the most part unreasonable to other livestock producers. The American range and Sheep Wars of the 18th and early 19th centuries are clear evidence of this statement, as is outlined in this summary:

Wikipedia: The Sheep Wars, or the Sheep and Cattle Wars, refers to a series of armed conflicts in the Western United States which were fought between sheepmen and cattlemen over grazing rights. Sheep wars occurred in many western states though they were most common in Texas, Arizona and the border region of Wyoming and Colorado. Generally, the cattlemen saw the sheepherders as invaders, who destroyed the public grazing lands, which they had to share on a first-come, first-served basis. Between 1870 and 1920, approximately 120 engagements occurred in eight different states or territories. At least 54 men were killed and some 50,000 to over 100,000 sheep were slaughtered…(CONTINUED)

Read more at https://www.horsetalk.co.nz/2017/10/23/three-great-myths-america-wild-horses/#PXpdyTuImrxqT47k.99

Feel Good Sunday: A Veterans Day Prayer

“To those who look forward to a smile, a snicker and a little laugh on Sunday mornings I apologize, we will not be able to give that to you this morning.  Instead, we offer up warmth, moist eyes and a glow in your soul as I just cannot let Veterans Day drift off into the darkness for another year, not yet.

I cannot do it today, of all days, where spoiled, privileged, do-nothing ingrates take to a field to play a game we played as children and disrespect those who gave their lives so that they can make 30 times the annual salary of average Americans, just can’t do it.  Wrong place, wrong message, wrong audience…just plain wrong.

So today we offer a prayer that was given by a true American; one that pushes us forward to save the spirit of America and the National icons that we hold dear.  It is our duty, our mission and our obligation to give our all to save the last of our wild horses and burros for future generations to experience, to enjoy and to love.

For the sake of those who died to keep us free, we work with earnest to keep free the wild horses and burros of the United States of America, it is our calling.  God Bless.” ~ R.T.


Veteran’s Day Tribute: “12 Strong” America’s Horse Soldiers

“Each and every Veteran’s Day we attempt to highlight equine bravery that has helped to keep this country free and with that said, we usually land on telling the story of Sgt. Reckless, a little mare that attained the rank of Sgt. in the Marine Corp. during the Korean war.  But there have been so many other horses who have served bravely and some not all that long ago.  Which brings us to the upcoming release of the movie “12 STRONG” the unclassified true story of America’s first soldiers to enter Afghanistan after 9/11 and they did it on horseback.

We are not hyping a movie but instead applauding the telling of an important tale where horses were one of the most important components of battling for America’s freedom and sovereignty.

To all my fellow veterans, (both 2 and 4 legged) thank you for your sacrifice, your service and the pledge that you made to your commander-in-chief, country and God.  You are the backbone of our freedom and independence while being true role models for generations to come.  For you I stand with pride and tears in my eyes during the playing of the National Anthem.  May God bless you all.” ~ R.T.


Chris Hemsworth (“Thor,” “The Avengers” films) and Oscar nominee Michael Shannon (“Revolutionary Road,” “Nocturnal Animals”) star in “12 Strong,” a powerful new war drama from Alcon Entertainment, Black Label Media and Jerry Bruckheimer Films. Based on the best-selling book Horse Soldiers, it is story of heroism based on true events that unfolded a world away in the aftermath of 9/11.

Award-winning director Nicolai Fuglsig directed the film, which is produced by legendary producer Jerry Bruckheimer (the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films, “Black Hawk Down”), together with Molly Smith, Trent Luckinbill and Thad Luckinbill (“La La Land,” “Sicario”) under their Black Label Media banner. Oscar winner Ted Tally (“The Silence of the Lambs”) and Peter Craig (“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Parts 1 & 2”) wrote the screenplay, based on the acclaimed book by best-selling author Doug Stanton. The executive producers are Oscar nominees and Alcon principals Andrew A. Kosove and Broderick Johnson (“The Blind Side”), together with Chad Oman, Mike Stenson, Ellen H. Schwartz, Garrett Grant, Yale Badik, Val Hill and Doug Stanton.

“12 Strong” is set in the harrowing days following 9/11 when a U.S. Special Forces team, led by their new Captain, Mitch Nelson (Hemsworth), is chosen to be the first U.S. troops sent into Afghanistan for an extremely dangerous mission. There, in the rugged mountains, they must convince Northern Alliance General Dostum (Navid Negahban) to join forces with them to fight their common adversary: the Taliban and their Al Qaeda allies. In addition to overcoming mutual distrust and a vast cultural divide, the Americans—accustomed to state-of-the-art warfare—must adopt the rudimentary tactics of the Afghan horse soldiers. But despite their uneasy bond, the new allies face overwhelming odds: outnumbered and outgunned by a ruthless enemy that does not take prisoners.

Scandals Pile up for Interior Secretary Zinke

by Rebecca Worby as published on HCN.org

“This article does a very good job of chronicling the current and ever growing list of  ‘Dinkie’ Zinke’s indiscretions and questionable behavior but it falls short of describing his checkered and horse hating past.  We will bring information forward that provide verification that Dinkie does not only hold disdain in his heart for the American tax payer but also harbors a sick blood-lust for our equine companions be they domestic or wild.  He needs to be removed from his position before he forever damages the beauty of our public lands and the wild life that lives therein, he has got to go.” ~ R.T.


Ryan Zinke faces a range of accusations, and some investigations are underway.

In recent weeks, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has taken a lot of heat for his decisions. Conservation groups have lambasted him over the secretiveness of his department’s monuments review. The final review has yet to be made public, though a draft of the report leaked to the press in September. Conservationists have also critiqued his moves to undo years of collaborative planning for sage grouse protection.

Amid all this, several events have come to light that raise questions about Zinke’s ethical practices. The now-revoked Whitefish Energy contract for grid repair in Puerto Rico — though the tiny firm hails from his hometown, Zinke denies any involvement — is only the latest example. Some of his rumored transgressions have quickly dissipated; for example, he reportedly laughed off claims that he threatened Alaska senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan before a health care vote. He tweeted a photo of himself and Murkowski sharing beers a few days later. But some of the controversies — including allegations that Zinke has mixed professional and personal business, dodged campaign finance laws and generally demonstrated dubious ethics — have led watchdog groups to call for investigations. Here are the Zinke scandals we’re watching…(CONTNUED)

Click the link to read more about Dinkie Zinke and his exploits:

http://www.hcn.org/articles/scandals-pile-up-for-interior-secretary-zinke

Stop the Execution Order for Wild Horses and Burros

In Defense of Animals has produced a one click means of contacting your U.S. Senators

Photo by Carol Walker of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Wild horses and burros are facing the greatest peril since the mid twentieth century, when hundreds of thousands were run down or shot from helicopters and made into pet food. The government is now making moves to gut legal protections intended to stop mass wild horse killings so they can kill wild equines and push them to the brink of extinction. We can’t let this happen!

The Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burros Act gives wild horses and burros the right to live freely on public lands, but they now occupy only a small fraction, while cows and sheep are grazed by ranchers on the vast majority. The Bureau of Land Management has removed wild equines from 22 million acres historically designated for their use and continues the relentless roundups that are dangerous for horses and expensive for taxpayers. This failed policy causes population spikes and leads to more suffering.

The majority of Americans oppose equine slaughter and want wild horses and burros to be protected, not eradicated.

In July, the House Appropriations Committee flaunted the will of the people under the guise of cost-saving and “population control.” It approved an amendment by Representative Chris Stewart of Utah that authorizes “euthanizing” healthy wild horses and burros, unlimited selling of those held captive including sending them to slaughterhouses, and lethally removing “excess” wild horses on the range.

In essence, the House version of the 2018 budget bill for the Department of Interior calls for government-sponsored extinction of wild horses and burros.

Lawmakers who approved the mass horse execution are doing the bidding of the ranchers, extractive industry executives, and trophy hunters who want to use more and more of our public lands for their private gain. This rich, greedy lobby put its muscle and money into persuading House members to choose eradication and slaughter.

Supporters of In Defense of Animals and allied advocate organizations have spoken up, but we are in an uphill fight. In a few days, the Senate Appropriations Committee will decide whether or not America’s wild horses and burros will fall victims to this despicable plan. We can make a difference with bold, timely action!

What you can do:

 

 

1) If your senator is on the Appropriations Committee, please call his/her office. If your state is not represented on the committee, call one of more of the key senators starred. State your name, telephone number and organization you’re affiliated with, if any. Be courteous and respectful.

You may wish to say:

Wild horses and burros are living memorials to our history and love of freedom. They do not deserve to pay with their lives for government mismanagement. Americans do not want to go back to the days of mass extermination.

Please reject the House-passed Stewart amendment language. I ask you to maintain the Congressional ban on killing or euthanizing healthy wild horses and burros and on unlimited sales of captive animals. We want solutions, not slaughter!

Senator

Phone

(CHAIR) Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS)  202-224-5054
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL)  202-224-5744
* Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)  202-224-6665
Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) 202-224-4843
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)  202-224-3841
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT)  202-224-4041
Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE)  202-224-5042
* Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) 202-224-3041
Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HW)  202-224-3934
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)  202-224-2152
Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS)  202-224-6521
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)  202-224-2541
Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA)  202-224-4623
* Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)  202-224-2523
Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)  202-224-4654
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO)  202-224-5721
Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT)  202-224-2644
Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT)  202-224-2651
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)  202-224-2841
* (RANKING) Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) 202-224-6621
Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND)  202-224-2551
Sen. James Lankford (R-OK)  202-224-5754
* Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)  202-224-3753
Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI)  202-224-4642
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)  202-224-5972
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)  202-224-4944
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) 202-224-0238
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)  202-224-2621
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) 202-224-5653
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)  202-224-6472
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV)  202-224-3954

Click (HERE) to go to Letter

https://secure2.convio.net/ida/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=3124

‘Feel Good Sunday’ Video: Bride’s Horse Stole the Spotlight by Grinning

“It’s time to recharge our batteries and validate why we do what we do and this Sunday we have the recipe to bring just such a feeling of warmth into your day.  There’s more to the story, below, than just a smile; it is a tale of honor, respect and love with a special twist of joy that only an equine companion can bring.  It is truly an honor and blessing to be a guardian for such majestic beings.  They humble me.” ~ R.T.


by Sabrina Rojas Weiss on Yahoo News

When you’re in a wedding party, you absolutely don’t want to upstage the bride — especially not in her photos. Someone forgot to tell this to Cricket, who was grinning ear-to-ear as she posed with bride Patti Womer before her ceremony in September.

“I honestly don’t mind having attention on her instead of me. Dutch and Cricket are such a big part of me, and I will always have a special place in my heart for them,” Womer tells Yahoo Lifestyle. She’s not speaking indulgently of her bridesmaids, of course, but of her two horses, who escorted her up to the ceremony in a field of sunflowers at Mt. Pleasant Mills in Pennsylvania.

Dutch, a sorrel gelding, and Cricket, a paint mare, were the first horses she and her dad bought together when Womer was 8 years old. Though her father passed away in May 2016, she found a way to represent him in her wedding. As she rode Cricket, she walked Dutch, her father’s horse, with an empty saddle next to her.

“This just showed that my father was there with me through the whole thing,” says Womer, an agriculture science major at Penn State University.

Photographing a horse at a wedding wasn’t anything new for photographer Tony Bendele, who has done his share of wildlife photography too. “I’m very used to working with animals, but I’ve never seen a horse doing the smile like that,” Bendele tells Yahoo. “It actually caught my eye initially when we first started doing the photographs. As the bride was smiling the horse would look up and put its teeth just like that.”

Womer isn’t entirely convinced Cricket was grinning for the camera. “Honestly, the horse is just shaking her head trying to get a fly off or something but with her showing her teeth, it looks like she is smiling.”

Bendele has posted Cricket and Womer’s photo to his Facebook page a few times since the wedding, finding his followers love the horse’s expression as much as he does. A photo like that may encourage others to try to incorporate their animals, big and small, into their ceremonies. This is something he recommends only if you’re certain of how the animals will react to noise and large crowds.

“We had an experience back in 2016 where we had a bride come down in a carriage and they were going to walk it down the aisle,” he recalls. “As soon as one of the horses got close to the people, somebody had their back turned to it and then turned around and scared it, so it took off and actually flipped the carriage.”

Luckily, the bride emerged unscathed in that case. Overall, Bendele says horses are better behaved than another mainstay of wedding photographs: “Sometimes the kids are a lot harder to handle than the animals.”

Greatest Wedding Photo EVER ~ Photo: Tony Bendele Photography

Along with Wanting to Slaughter America’s Wild Horses and Burros, Ryan Zinke is Erasing ‘Public’ from Lands He’s Meant to Guard

as published in The Seattle Times

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s actions show his priority is to fossil-fuels companies and whether they will be able to profitably access the public lands they’ve long relied on for cheap natural resources.

‘Dinky’ Zinke, “I’ve had a hankering to slaughter those wild horses and burros for years. Just check my past record, it speaks for itself you turkeys.”

Shortly after taking office in March, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke declared his department would work on increasing access to America’s public lands. This sounded laudable — of course it should be easier for Americans to visit and enjoy our forests, mountains, deserts and rivers. But there was a catch: Secretary Zinke wasn’t really interested in making it easier for families to visit our public lands, only in greasing the skids for the industries that exploit those same lands.

Last week the National Park Service announced it intends to raise the entrance fees at the 17 most popular national parks to $70 per vehicle starting next year. This would almost triple the entry fee to Mount Rainier and Olympic national parks, the two parks in our state that would be impacted. The price of a weeklong entry pass for a noncommercial vehicle would go up to an astounding $70 under the proposal, from the current $25.

This proposal, if implemented, will be a de facto barrier to entry for many of us wishing to visit some of the country’s grandest landscapes. National Parks visitation already skews whiter and older than the general population. The Interior Department has acknowledged this must change if our national park system is to remain relevant. But raising entrance fees by 180 percent will only further skew the demographics of park visitation.

Two other moves by Zinke show he is worried whether fossil fuels companies will be able to profitably access the public lands they’ve long relied on for cheap natural resources.

Back in March, Zinke rescinded the federal moratorium on coal leases on public land. The halt had no effect on existing coal leases or mining but prohibited the Interior Department from offering new leases. The moratorium had been put in place last year by Sally Jewell, the previous Interior Secretary under President Barack Obama, so that the department could evaluate coal’s impact on climate change (40 percent of U.S. coal comes from public lands).

Zinke, however, scoffed at the notion of a societal cost of carbon and claimed the moratorium was unnecessary. He quickly cleared this impediment to coal companies’ access to the resource under public lands.

Then, in August, he repealed an Obama administration rule that ended a scam coal, oil and gas companies had long relied on to make deceitfully small royalty payments to the federal treasury.

The rule put an end to the practice of these companies extracting natural resources from public lands, selling the resources to affiliated companies at artificially small markups, and then having the affiliates resell the materials at a substantially higher price. Royalties paid to the public were calculated on the low initial sales price to the affiliates rather than on the price of the resource on the open market.

After receiving “numerous comments from the regulated community,” Zinke repealed the rule. Fossil-fuels companies can once again shortchange the public out of its royalties.

What truly rankles about Zinke’s selective concern for public-lands access is that the additional revenues raised from jacking up park entrance fees would be more than lost by canceling the rule that had fixed the royalty scam. Interior estimates higher entrance fees would raise an additional $70 million, while Taxpayers for Common Sense has calculated lost annual revenue from reopening the royalty loophole at $75 million.

We can expect to see more examples of this one-sided concern for public lands access. Last month came reports that President Donald Trump will follow through on Zinke’s recommendation to shrink Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments. Shrinking the monuments would open up additional public lands to fossil-fuels development while doing nothing to make those lands more accessible to the general public.

Be aware, when Zinke talks of improving public access to federal lands, he has an extremely narrow subset of the public in mind.

 What can we do? The good news is there’s still time for the public to fight back the proposed fee increase, as the National Park Service is taking comments until Nov. 23. More broadly, Congress needs to prohibit the Department of the Interior from giving special access to the fossil-fuels industries through rules that enable and encourage profiteering on our public lands.

Wild Horse & Burro Slaughter Endorser, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Is Embroiled In More Than One Scandal

by as published on ThinkProgress.org

“It started with trying to legalize horse slaughter plants in his home state and has only gone down hill from there…”

Dinky Zinke asks; “Filly Fillet in this hand and Bucking Bronc Burger in this hand, which would you pick?”

A controversial contract benefiting a small company based in his hometown is only the latest possible corruption scandal linked to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who has come under fire for his spending habits as well as his connections to special interests and potential misuse of campaign funds.

On Monday, nonprofit watchdog group the Campaign Legal Center (CLC) accused Zinke’s dormant congressional campaign of dodging rules prohibiting individuals from converting political donations into individual revenue. According to an official Federal Election Commission complaint, the campaign allegedly purchased an RV from Zinke’s wife, then sold it to a friend at a steeply discounted price a year later, lowering the car’s price from $59,100 to $25,000. The recipient, Ed Buttrey, is a Montana state senator rumored to be in the running to be nominated Interior assistant secretary.

The CLC cited the RV sale along with Zinke’s earlier hotel stays in the Virgin Islands and New York — trips he took on the Interior Department’s dime — as possible efforts to skirt federal contribution campaign rules.

“When you combine the disregard for campaign finance laws when Zinke was a candidate with the disregard that Zinke as Interior secretary has shown for the ethics laws, you certainly get a picture of an individual who may not be taking his responsibilities as an officeholder seriously,” said Brendan Fischer, who submitted the complaint on behalf of the CLC.

Zinke’s other ethical close-calls, as the CLC noted, are plentiful.

Last week, a two-person for-profit private company from Zinke’s hometown of Whitefish, Montana secured a $300 million contract to help rebuild Puerto Rico. The U.S. territory has struggled for over a month following a devastating hurricane and much of the island stills lacks access to power and water. But many officials questioned the decision to award Whitefish Energy Holdings the contract and even the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) criticized the deal. The company eventually lost the contract amid “significant concerns” about its ability to adequately perform necessary relief work, as well as increasing scrutiny and calls from Puerto Rico’s governor, Ricardo Rosselló, to cancel the deal. An audit of the deal is underway on both a federal and local level.

Zinke has denied any connection to the contract, blaming the growing scandal on coastal elitism and a bias against small towns.

“I had absolutely nothing to do with Whitefish Energy receiving a contract in Puerto Rico,” the interior secretary wrote in a statement on Friday.

“Any attempts by the dishonest media or political operatives to tie me to awarding of influencing any contract involving Whitefish [Energy Holdings] are completely baseless,” Zinke continued. “Only in elitist Washington, D.C., would being from a small town be considered a crime.”

But the Whitefish controversy has very little to do with the small town roots of Whitefish Energy Holdings and far more to do with alarm over possible corruption. Zinke has been connected to a number of other scandals — many of them ongoing and drawing increasing scrutiny.

As the overseer of approximately 500 million acres across the United States, Zinke plays a crucial role in crafting President Trump’s domestic climate policy. Under Trump’s budget, the Department of the Interior faces steep cuts, including an 80 percent reduction in funding for climate efforts.

Zinke himself has taken an apathetic approach to climate change and environmental protection on a broader level. He has called the Paris climate agreement — signed by virtually every country in the world apart from embattled Syria — a “badly negotiated deal” and has supported Trump’s decision to leave the landmark decision. He has also questioned the impact of climate change — claiming that “no models” exist proving the phenomenon’s impact on the planet — and sought to heavily downsize national monuments, despite outcry from activists and indigenous tribes.

As a Montana congressman, Zinke took thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from oil and gas companies, many of whom drill on the same public lands he now oversees. Zinke received a total of $345,000 between 2013 and 2017 from donors like these, with one oil-and-gas executive giving the now-secretary as much as $11,600, according to Federal Election Commission data. These numbers have caused many to worry Zinke’s stances are being shaped by oil, gas, and coal lobbyists, as well as by climate skeptics more generally.

The secretary’s lavish trips are also alarming watchdog groups. This summer, Zinke took a $12,375 chartered flight from Las Vegas to an area near his Montana home, when a commercial equivalent would have cost around $300. That trip was aboard a private plane owned by a Wyoming oil-and-gas exploration firm, once again concerning climate activists.

In March, Zinke also took a taxpayer-funded trip to the aforementioned U.S. Virgin Islands, where he attended a Republican Party fundraiser and donors paid up to $5,000 per couple for a photo with the secretary. That event was one of many Zinke attended with major donors and other political figures on Interior Department-funded trips, according to documents reviewed by Politico.

Earlier this month, 26 House Democrats wrote in a letter that Zinke’s trips “give the appearance that you are mixing political gatherings and personal destinations with official business.” Other figures have also expressed concern — Zinke’s Virgin Islands trip, which are mentioned in its complaint, attracted CLC’s attention three weeks ago.

“This activity constitutes impermissible solicitation of political contributions if event organizers conditioned the opportunity to take a photograph with Secretary Zinke on paying a higher fee,” CLC’s senior director for ethics, Walter Shaub, wrote to the Justice Department’s Office of Special Council. Shaub requested a Hatch Act investigation in order to determine whether Zinke violated rules restricting federal employees from partisan political events and dealings.

Monday’s complaint comes amid a Special Counsel investigation into Zinke’s spending habits, as well as a separate investigation opened by Interior Department’s inspector general.

Audits into Puerto Rico’s canceled contract with Whitefish Energy Holdings are also ongoing.

https://thinkprogress.org/zinke-scandals-papertrail-26c2e725f345/

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Time to ban horsemeat trade in all of North America, as investigation in Mexico uncovers horse sold as beef

by Wayne Pacelle as published on A Humane Nation

“A new study in six Mexican cities has found horsemeat in nearly 10 percent of meat products that are being sold as beef…”

American horses and burros, both wild and domestic, are NOT food animals. – photo by Carol Walker of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Mexico is forging ahead on animal protection. Earlier this year, its Congress made dogfighting a felony throughout the nation. Mexico City adopted an extraordinary charter on animal protection. A number of major food retailers in Mexico have said they will change their purchasing practices to stop buying eggs and pork from operations that confine hens and pigs in small confinement cages and crates. Our Humane Society International/Mexico office and partner organizations are working hard to keep this important and strategic country trending in the right direction and to also crack down on other abuses of animals.

One of those abuses involves the slaughter of horses for human consumption. A new study in six Mexican cities has found horsemeat in nearly 10 percent of meat products that are being sold as beef or that are not clearly labeled. The samples of meat were collected from common vending points, including butcher shops, supermarkets, street markets, and street stalls.

The study, commissioned by HSI and conducted by researchers at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, also found high levels of a veterinary drug commonly prescribed for horses, clenbuterol, in some raw meat samples. Clenbuterol is not approved for food producing animals, and can be harmful to humans.

The researchers collected 433 samples of cooked and uncooked meat from an assortment of vendors across Mexico, of which nearly 10 percent tested positive for horsemeat. Samples were collected in six cities: Aguascalientes, Zacatecas, Chihuahua, Mexico City, Pachuca, and San Vicente Chicoloapan. The samples included four types of meat samples (ground meat, regular tacos, crispy tacos, and thin steaks [bistec]) and were either unlabeled or labeled as beef. The samples that tested positive for horsemeat were obtained at informal selling points such as street stalls and markets, and most vendors appeared to be unaware that there was horsemeat in the products they were selling.

Mexico is the second largest horsemeat producer in the world, after China. According to the Mexican Ministry of Trade, between January and August 2017, Mexico exported almost 1,500 tons of horsemeat, worth more than $4 million, to Japan, Russia, and Vietnam. Mexico not only kills thousands of its horses for human consumption each year, but also slaughters tens of thousands of perfectly healthy American horses. U.S. kill buyers acquire working, racing, and companion horses and even children’s ponies and try to make a fast buck by funneling them to horse slaughter plants over the northern and southern borders. Just this year, as of September, kill buyers have shipped more than 60,000 horses to Canada and Mexico to be killed for human consumption.

Horses in the United States are raised as companions and partners in work and sport, and not as food animals. As a result, they are commonly treated with drugs deemed unfit for human consumption. In 2014, the European Commission suspended the import of horsemeat from Mexico to the European Union due to food safety concerns. The HSUS has documented, via undercover footage, the incredible suffering faced by animals: downed, injured horses slaughtered for human consumption despite being ill, horses suffering in export facilities on U.S. soil, and horrific welfare problems during transport. The same drugs would put at risk Mexicans, Canadians, and the Japanese, as well as visitors to those countries and others who would sit down to a horse steak – either knowingly or not. No one is immune from drugs long deemed unfit for human consumption.

Beyond the issue of self-interest and public health, Mexico should not be complicit in this grisly trade, and the United States should not use Mexico as an export market for an enterprise that’s illegal on our soil. The practice of slaughtering horses for human consumption should stop across North America. The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, H.R. 113/S. 1706, which would cement the existing prohibitions on domestic horse slaughter and build on that provision by stopping the export of horses for slaughter abroad, is just one important policy vehicle to help us achieve that goal.

The evidence that we’ve obtained in Mexico reveals that this ugly enterprise is trying to trick Mexican vendors and consumers. It’s a disreputable industry, and the country’s lawmakers should build on their recent good works and establish protections for animals who have changed the course of North American history for the better. It’s a small act of reciprocity for North Americans to honor the role of the horse in North American settlement, commerce, and recreation and end the most extreme form of human-caused exploitation of these noble animals.

P.S. Americans can take action today to protect U.S. horses from being slaughtered for human consumption. As our companions in sport and leisure, we owe it to them to make sure that their lives do not come to a terrifying end in a slaughterhouse to feed the international demand for horsemeat.

https://blog.humanesociety.org/wayne/2017/10/time-ban-horsemeat-trade-north-america-investigation-mexico-uncovers-horse-sold-beef.html?credit=blog_post_103017_id9361