Videos: Celebrated Comedic Equine Welfare Christmas Videos Reloaded

John Holland, president of the Equine Welfare Alliance and covert owner of Howling Ridge Film and Fertilizer Co., has been entertaining us with equine holiday videos over the years.  But once again this year we are going to be forced to sit back and enjoy the works of years gone by as John, like many others, has been up to his eyeballs in important issues and is making great strides forward for the horses and the donkeys in the real fight on the all too real battlefield; that fight has held precedence over the production of yet another annual Christmas video, as well it should.  Keep up the good works, John and EWA, we are all on the same page and fully support your efforts.  Have a very Merry and Jolly Christmas!” ~ R.T.

Appalachian Christmas Tail (2006)

Christmas Spirit (2006)

A Christmas Legend (2007)

It’s a Wonderful Life (2008)

How the Grinch Stole Equus (2009)

The Christmas List (2010)

All John’s videos can be viewed at the EWA Video Page

Equine Welfare Experts to Converge on Wellington

Florida Governor to Speak at Equine Conference

IEC LogoCHICAGO, (EWA) – Equine welfare advocates from several countries will meet this weekend at the fourth annual International Equine Conference (IEC). Invited guests who are expected to attend include Governor Charlie Crist, and Representatives Ted Deutch and Patrick Murphy. The IEC is organized by the Equine Welfare Alliance and Wild Horse Freedom Federation, and will be hosted by Victoria McCullough at her estate in Wellington, FL. The event brings together a wide spectrum of people dedicated to the welfare of domestic equines and the protection of wild horses and burros.

Speakers will address issues ranging from the plight of cart horses in Israel, to saving a nearly extinct Abaco Island horse. Representatives from the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition will give update reports on horse slaughter in Canada and the dangers of the hormone replacement therapy that is derived from pregnant mare urine.

 The event provides both an educational and a coordinating function. The first conference grew out of alarm caused in 2011 when a ban on funding for horse slaughter inspections was dropped from the Agriculture budget, leaving the way open for horse slaughter to return to the US.

The last US horse slaughter plants were closed in 2007 under state laws and kept from moving to other states by the inspections ban. Since 2011, the concerted effort of the welfare advocates, and especially Victoria McCullough herself, has resulted in the restoration of the ban.

“We dodged a bullet in keeping the plants from coming back,” explained EWA’s Vice President Vicki Tobin, “but over a hundred thousand of our horses are still going over the border to slaughter in Canada and Mexico.”


The Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA) is a dues-free 501c4, umbrella organization with over 325 member organizations, the Southern Cherokee Government and over 1,100 individual members worldwide in 22 countries. The organization focuses its efforts on the welfare of all equines and the preservation of wild equids.

Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) is a registered, Texas non-profit corporation with federal 501(c)3 status. WHFF puts people between America’s wild equids and extinction through targeted litigation against governmental agencies whose documented agendas include the eradication of wild horse and burros from public, federal and state lands.


Evidence to Prove GAO report FRAUDULENT

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

July 31, 2013



John Holland, President, Equine Welfare Alliance

Laura Allen, Executive Director, Animal Law Coalition

EWA and ALC produce evidence showing GAO Horse Welfare report was fraudulent

EWA (Chicago) – The Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA) and the Animal Law Coalition (ALC) announced today that they have irrefutable evidence showing that the Government Accountability Office fraudulently misrepresented horse abuse and neglect data in their report GAO 11-228.

The GAO report blamed falling horse prices and increased abuse and neglect on the closing of the domestic slaughter plants in 2007. Shortly after GAO issued the report, a conference committee reinstated funding for horse slaughter inspections, opening the way for slaughter to return to the US. Widely quoted in the media, the report is also provided as evidence in the lawsuit filed by Valley Meats against the USDA.

The EWA and ALC have provided both a video and a white paper showing how the fraud was committed. The ten minute video, How the GAO deceived Congress about horse slaughter was released on YouTube, and shows step by step how the GAO hid information in its possession showing abuse and neglect was in decline and misrepresented the data as showing it was increasing.

The fraud was discovered by the EWA while collecting data for equine abuse and neglect rates across the country. “We were looking for the correlation between various factors such as unemployment, slaughter and hay prices on a state by state basis,” explained EWA’s John Holland, “and when we looked at the Colorado data, we were reminded of its mention in the GAO report.”

The GAO claimed in the report to have contacted state veterinarians across the country and to have been told that abuse and neglect was increasing everywhere in the wake of the closing of the US plants in 2007. These were the same officials EWA contacted looking for states that kept records.

The EWA found data from six states; Oregon, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Georgia and Colorado. The records showed that abuse and neglect had been in decline between 2008 and 2010 (the last year of the GAO study), and that the GAO had used the wrong dates on the Colorado data to make it appear abuse had increased 60%.

“We had accepted that abuse was probably increasing as the result of the bad economy,” says Holland, “so imagine our surprise when we found it had been decreasing.” The EWA study finally showed the reason: drought. Drought and the subsequent increases in hay prices correlated tightly with the abuse and neglect numbers, and outweighed the influence of the recession and other factors.

“Not only did the GAO misrepresent the data, they completely missed the importance of hay prices and availability.” said Holland. The EWA filed a FOIA request for the data used by the GAO and the request was denied. The EWA also filed an IG complaint, and finally had a conference call with the GAO to request the report be withdrawn. The GAO refused any response except to say that their reports were flawlessly cross checked.

Victoria McCullough, owner of Chesapeake Petroleum and internationally known equestrian, said “Acceptance of lower standards results in failed policies and most significantly failures of public interest. Special Interest encroachment within Washington must not be allowed to erode public trust.”

– # –

Video Link:

White Paper:

The Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA) is a dues-free 501c4, umbrella organization with over 300 member organizations and over 1,000 individual members worldwide in 21 countries. The organization focuses its efforts on the welfare of all equines and the preservation of wild

The Animal Law Coalition (ALC) is a coalition of pet

USDA to Grant Horse Meat Inspections

USDA Bucks Administration, Sec of Ag, Congress, Senate and John Q Public in Embracing Predatory Horse Slaughter

Press release from Equine Welfare Alliance.  DO NOT GIVE UP THE FIGHT TO SAVE THESE HORSE AND BURROS!

USDA to Grant Horse Meat Inspections

OK City Billboard courtesy of Respect 4 Horses and Wild Horse Freedom Federation

OK City Billboard courtesy of Respect 4 Horses and Wild Horse Freedom Federation

EWA (Chicago) – The Equine Welfare Alliance has learned from multiple sources that the USDA will announce a grant of horse meat inspections to the Valley Meats Company in Roswell, NM tomorrow. The plant has been involved in litigation with the USDA, accusing it of intentionally delaying a grant of inspections. The EWA has further learned that announcements will be made next week granting inspections to plants in Iowa and Missouri. Friday, June 28th, was a deadline set by the court for a response from the USDA in the litigation.

The House and Senate appropriations committees have both passed amendments to the 2014 USDA budget that would prohibit funding for such inspections, in essence banning horse slaughter in the U.S. The administration and Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack have requested that they not be funded. If the USDA budget in the House and Senate receives a vote, EWA is assured it will pass in both chambers, and the plants would again lose inspectors and be forced to close at the end of October.

The inspections were first defunded in 2007, but all three foreign plants then operating in Illinois and Texas had already been shut down by state laws before the courts had decided on challenges to the defunding. Essentially the defunding simply kept the plants from moving to other states.

Funding was restored in 2011 when the House passed a defunding amendment, but the Senate did not. A four member conference committee then reinstated the funding by a three to one vote. Since the reinstatement several plants have requested that they be granted inspections. How soon any of these companies might begin slaughtering horses is unclear. Valley Meats still must obtain a water discharge permit in order to begin operations, and there is some question about other permits. The New Mexico Environmental Department is expected to hold a public hearing on the Valley Meats discharge permit within 30 days.

The Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA) is a dues-free 501c4, umbrella organization with over 290 member organizations and over 1,000 individual members worldwide in 21 countries. The organization focuses its efforts on the welfare of all equines and the preservation of wild


International Equine Conference Press Event to be Held at UNLV Campus

Update from the Equine Welfare Alliance and Respect4Horses

Welfare of American Equine, both Wild and Domestic, to be Discussed

Chicago (EWA) – The Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA) and Respect4Horses are holding a press conference that will feature sponsors and presenters from the International Equine Conference (IEC). The press conference will be held at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) campus in the Stan Fulton Bldg. on Friday, September 21, 2012 at 11 A.M.

Current issues surrounding the BLM roundups of our wild horses and burros and horse slaughter for human consumption in the United States and its social and environmental impacts will be discussed at the press conference. The general public as well as students and faculty of the university are invited to attend. Refreshments will be served at the press conference.

The conference will be held on Saturday and Sunday, September 22 & 23, 2012, at the UNLV campus Stan Fulton Bldg. Current initiatives, legislative issues and progress addressing the care and futures of domestic and wild horses and burros in this country will be covered by an impressive and diverse panel of experts.

Registration for the full conference will be available at the press conference as well as Friday evening at a reception for attendees and on Saturday and Sunday morning prior to the start of the conference. A continental breakfast and lunch will be served on both days.

Conference Registration link:

Study Exposes Real Reasons Behind Decline of US Horse Industry

Information obtained from the Equine Welfare Alliance

Horse Slaughter Promoter’s Propaganda Pales in the Light of Facts

Click Image to Increase Size

Chicago (EWA) – The Equine Welfare Alliance has released the first comprehensive analysis of economic forces that have caused major shrinkage of the horse industry in recent few years. The study analyzes the cost of alfalfa, grass hay, corn and gasoline as well as the impact of the extended recession, and explains why breed registries have seen an approximately 50% reduction in foal registrations since 2007.

While all sectors of the economy have been hammered by the economic conditions this new study shows that the horse industry has also suffered hyper-inflation of its costs. The combination has been devastating.

The report shows that most of these factors were in the early stage of explosive increases in early 2006, but that the full impact was not felt until the crash of the financial sector brought increased unemployment in 2008. The study also goes into government policies that lead to these pressures and thus to the collapse.

During the downward trending, state laws closed the domestic horse slaughter plants in 2007, sending all horse slaughter over the borders. With no cessation in horse slaughter during this period, the impact was negligible, at best, and the downward spiral would have continued had the plants remained open.

A GAO study released in June, 2011, assessed the declining prices of low end horses largely to the closing of the US horse slaughter plants. This conclusion was widely ridiculed because the study admitted that the increased export of horses to slaughter had meant there was no overall reduction in the number of US horses slaughtered.

“It is now obvious that the GAO completely missed the elephant in the living room,” explains Holland, “They didn’t even mention the increased cost of feed and fuel, and instead focused on the cost of longer trips for kill buyers hauling horses to Canada and Mexico.”

The new study is available for download free, and underlying data and calculations will be made available upon written request.

Full Report:

The Equine Welfare Alliance is a dues-free 501c4, umbrella organization with over 230 member organizations and hundreds of individual members worldwide in 18 countries. The organization focuses its efforts on the welfare of all equines and the preservation of wild equids.

Poll Finds Big Ag Horse Slaughter Promotion Has Backfired

Press Release from the Equine Welfare Alliance

Americans Repulsed by Concept of Butchering and Feasting Upon Companion Animals

Chicago (EWA) – A poll conducted in January by Lake Research Partners for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) found that 80% of Americans are strongly opposed to horse slaughter. The highly respected research group based its survey on 1,008 voters giving the results a 3% margin of error. The poll found opposition was consistent across all sectors, including horse owners.

The findings are all the more remarkable given the huge media effort that was mounted by the horse slaughter lobby following the closing of U.S. based horse slaughter plants in 2007.

While the effort appeared to have worked on Congress, causing them to restore funding for horse slaughter inspections, it had the opposite effect on voter opinion. A similar poll performed a decade earlier indicates that opposition to horse slaughter has increased by almost 10%.

The slaughter lobby, supported by some of the most powerful agriculture groups in the country including the Farm Bureau, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), the Pork Producers Council (PPC), the American Veterinary Medicine Association and the American Quarter Horse Association has engaged some of the top lobbying and PR firms in Washington in a concerted effort to push back against what they saw as a victory for “animal rights” supporters.

EWA’s John Holland explains “The horse slaughter issue has unfortunately become part of a much larger battle between big agriculture and animal welfare advocates. Big agriculture has decided to protect itself with an aggressive in-your-face strategy designed to preemptively crush its opponents, real and imagined.”

The promotion of horse slaughter is just one of the proxy battles being waged by the Ag giants. In July of 2011, the NCBA and the PPC opposed a plan already agreed to by the United Egg Producers (UEP) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to replace existing battery cages with equally efficient environments that create better living conditions for laying hens. The move showed a willingness to attack even other animal agriculture associations who appeared to be bending toward better humane standards.

Perhaps the most bizarre example of this aggressive strategy is SB 610 introduced into the Virginia Legislature this year by State Senator Dick Black. The bill called for working dogs to be reclassified as livestock, effectively removing their humane protection as companion animals. Following an avalanche of criticism, Black announced he was pulling the bill and admitting that he had introduced it “to aid the agriculture and farming community at their request.” He went on to mention the Farm Bureau and the Agribusiness Council by name.

“This newest poll should serve as a warning to politicians who have yielded to big Ag bullying” says EWA’s Vicki Tobin, “Voters are not with you on the horse slaughter issue.”

Trucker tells chilling account of driving horses to slaughter

A trucker who says he unknowingly drove horses to their deaths at a border slaughterhouse is telling his chilling story to Channel 4 News.

via Trucker tells chilling account of driving horses to slaughter.

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America’s Youth Appeal to Obama to End Horse Slaughter

News Release from the Equine Welfare Alliance

It Worked 40 Years Ago, It May Just Work Today

Equine author and president of the Wild Horse Freedom Federation R.T. Fitch is one of Jo-Claire Corcoran's Grandson's biggest fans, here proving it by showing a picture of the pint-sized protester at a late September protest in D.C. last year. ~ photo by Terry Fitch

Chicago (EWA) – Jo-Claire Corcoran of the Equine Welfare Alliance’s Research Team has launched a children’s letter writing campaign to end the slaughter of American horses. Canadian partners have launched a parallel campaign aimed at stopping horse slaughter in Canada.

A similar campaign forty years ago resulted in the passage of the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burros Act that was passed on a unanimous vote in both houses. Jo-Claire commented,

“As Wild Horse Annie proved in 1971 congress listened to the children of this country. Sometimes we do not give our children credit for their ability to comprehend. Children growing up on farms which raise animals for food, are aware those animals are going to slaughter to become food, they understand those animals were raised for that purpose.” She added, “My grandson understands the difference between animals raised for food and animals that are not raised for food.”

Horse owners and advocates were outraged at the back-room sub-committee meeting that removed language that defunded federal horse inspections without a full house and senate debate. “It is deplorable”, commented EWAs Vicki Tobin, “that three legislators were allowed to ignore the voice of the people and decide the fate of horses across our nation.”

The concept came to her when Jo-Claire’s six year old grandson heard a newscast stating the President had signed the appropriations bill and could mean that horse slaughter would resume in the U.S. He innocently asked his Grandmother “why is the President letting them kill horses?” He is also aware that their horse had been saved from slaughter.

EWA is getting a tremendous, positive response from parents, schools and teachers in both countries.

“This is a civics lesson for children of all ages”, explained EWAs John Holland. “Our governments, both the United State of America and Canada provide the right for their citizens to petition their government to bring about positive change when something is wrong. Children need to know that as citizens in these countries, they have the right to have a voice and a right to be heard.”

With parental consent, EWA plans to offer sample letters for publication in the local papers of the children.

 To learn more about the campaign in Canada and the U.S., please visit

Obama Urged to Keep ” No Horse Slaughter” Campaign Promise

Pro-Horse Slaughter Terrorists Used Alleged “Dirty Tricks” on White House Website

"No More Horse Slaughter!" ~ then candidate Barack Obama 2008

Chicago (EWA) – During his 2008 campaign, President Obama promised his unequivocal support for a ban on horse slaughter. “Now is the time for you to keep that promise, Mr. President,” says John Holland, president of Equine Welfare Alliance.

Calling it “paramount to public health”, the Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA) and Animal Law Coalition (ALC) sent a letter to President Obama, urging him to support a ban on equine slaughter for human consumption.  The groups also presented the president with more than 6,000 signatures on a White House petition calling for an end to equine slaughter for human consumption.

At the time the petition was created, the White House indicated the administration would consider any issue with at least 5,000 signatures. The equine slaughter ban petition easily gathered more signatures, more quickly than a petition created to reinstate equine slaughter for human consumption in the U.S. The opposition petition was lacking 2,750 signatures when the petition to ban horse slaughter reached 5,000.

Realizing they didn’t have the support, slaughter supporters solicited the help of the American Quarter Horse Association to attempt to reach the required number of signatures. As the deadline approached, the pro-slaughter petition was still well below the required 5,000 signatures. Almost 1,000 then appeared overnight to reach the required minimum, but many of the last minute entries consisted of nothing more than first and last initials. If that wasn’t suspicious enough, this came after a call from the opposition to obtain a list of friends and family that “didn’t have computers” to register and sign for them.

Sadly, the White House petition site lacks security precautions to prevent such apparent abuse and to assure one vote per individual. POPVOX, a site which has better security against fraud, has consistently registered support for anti-slaughter legislation at a rate of 3 to 1.

While the argument over horse slaughter is hot and contentious, the fact remains that American horses were not raised for human consumption. “The disregard for food safety of European consumers is unconscionable” stated EWA’s Vicki Tobin. “If they tried to sell the meat from our horses In the U.S., they would be in violation of government food safety regulations.”

Horse slaughter has not ended or slowed down since the US slaughter plants were closed in 2007. The same number of horses are being slaughtered as when the domestic plants were open. It should be obvious, that slaughter does not prevent neglect nor does it control the population. It is absurd to suggest that killing horses is going to restore an industry that makes its billions from live horses, especially when slaughter provides only 3 cents of every $100 of revenue.

On behalf of our members, the EWA and ALC call on the President to close this ugly chapter in American history.  The Wild Horse Freedom Federation, likewise, joins in the call to reinstate American dignity and pride.