Latest on Lantry SD Former Wild Horses: Court Showdown Looms

as published in the Rapid City Journal

“…if a judge approves the transfer of ownership, the two groups said, they will attempt to place the horses in safe homes…”

15894876_10212499251582885_2861906781713127176_nDUPREE | State and local authorities have filed a motion to permanently remove hundreds of wild horses from a troubled north-central South Dakota sanctuary, and lawyers on both sides of the case will make arguments to a judge later this month.

The motion, filed Thursday at the Ziebach County Courthouse in Dupree, seeks to transfer ownership of the horses to “a suitable caretaker.” The motion does not name the caretaker, but a pair of nonprofit organizations said in a joint release Friday evening that they would assume the role.

They are Fleet of Angels, a North American network of trailer owners that provides emergency assistance and transportation to at-risk horses, and Habitat for Horses, a rescue group based in Texas.

If a judge approves the transfer of ownership, the two groups said, they will attempt to place the horses in safe homes, including sanctuaries and rescue organizations. Another group, California-based Return to Freedom, would assist with the adoptions.

“This would be one of the largest known equine rescue and adoption efforts in U.S. history,” the release stated.

An estimated 540 horses remain at the small, overgrazed ranch of the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros (ISPMB) near Lantry, where 810 horses were impounded by state and local authorities in October following a finding of neglect by a state-employed veterinarian. Fleet of Angels already has overseen the adoption of 270 of the horses, the organization reported.

The horses have been under the care of Dewey and Ziebach counties since the impounding began. Court documents filed with Thursday’s motion say the counties have borne a total of $156,735 in costs, of which $52,000 has been covered by the ISPMB, $11,714 has been covered by donations to the counties and $15,000 has been covered by a grant from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, leaving the counties on the hook for $78,021.

According to the nonprofit groups that want to assume ownership of the horses, The Humane Society of the United States and other donors have contributed to a fund that will cover the counties’ remaining costs if the transfer of ownership is approved.

Court documents also show that the ISPMB has retained attorneys Nathan Chicoine and Quentin Riggins of the Gunderson, Palmer, Nelson & Ashmore law firm in Rapid City ahead of a hearing scheduled later this month before state Fourth Circuit Court Judge Randall Macy.

The ownership-transfer motion was filed jointly by Sherri Wald, deputy attorney general for the South Dakota Animal Industry Board; Steven Aberle, Dewey County state’s attorney; and Cheryl Laurenz-Bogue, Ziebach County state’s attorney.

Donations sought for care of wild horses

Ongoing costs to feed, care for and treat the 540 wild horses impounded in north-central South Dakota will be an estimated $40,000 per month, according to the nonprofit groups who want to assume ownership of the horses and find new homes for them.

The groups are encouraging donations to the Wild Horse and Burro Sanctuary Alliance, either online at wildhorsesanctuaryalliance.org or by mail to The Animals Voice, 1692 Mangrove Ave. #276, Chico, CA 95926.

Anyone interested in adopting a horse or horses is encouraged to contact Fleet of Angels by email at HoldYourHorses@aol.com or go to the ISPMB Horses/Emergency Adoption Mission page on Facebook.

When allegations of starving wild horses surfaced at a sanctuary in remote north-central South Dakota, it seemed like a stunning and sudden fa…

South Dakota State’s Attorneys File Motion Seeking to Transfer Control of At-Risk Wild Horses

Source: Fleet of Angels

“If the motion is approved, the wild horses would be placed in safe homes rather than sold at auction…”

black-stallion

A Black Stallion stands, snow encrusted, in sub-zero temps. with no shelter at ISPMB facility in Landry, SD

The South Dakota state’s attorneys in Ziebach and Dewey Counties have filed a motion requesting that a judge transfer to two equine welfare organizations control of 540 wild horses found starving and neglected at the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros in Lantry, S.D.

Filed in the Fourth Circuit Court of Ziebach County, the motion requests that management and placement of the horses be turned over to Fleet of Angels, an organization that provides emergency assistance and transportation to at-risk equines in the United States and Canada, and Habitat for Horses, an equine rescue based in Texas.

If the motion is approved, the wild horses would be placed in safe homes rather than sold at auction, where they could fall into the hands of kill buyers who would transport them to Canada or Mexico for slaughter. This would be one of the largest known equine rescue and adoption efforts in U.S. history.

Fleet of Angels has already received a large number of applications for the horses. During the adoption process, the horses would be placed in a variety of approved homes, sanctuaries and rescues. Options to keep some of the herds as intact as possible are also being pursued.

The court filing follows a unanimous vote on Dec. 22 by the South Dakota Animal Industry Board to recommend to the court that the horses at ISPMB be turned over to another animal organization or group of organizations in order to allow adoptions to continue.

In mid-October, State’s Attorney Steve Aberle asked Elaine Nash, Executive Director of Fleet of Angels, to conduct a national adoption campaign with the initial goal of placing one third of the 810 ISPMB horses. By Christmas, Fleet of Angels member Palomino Armstrong and team had gathered, sorted, and loaded the currently allowed limit of over 270 horses onto adopter’s trailers for their trips to safe new homes, despite difficulties caused by especially harsh winter weather. The Wild Horse and Burro Sanctuary Alliance helped supply hay, and generous contributions by Victoria McCullough made purchasing hay, needed panels and other critical materials possible.

On Dec. 10, a consortium of animal welfare organizations reached an agreement with the state’s attorneys in Ziebach and Dewey Counties that averted a planned auction of the remaining wild horses, to give them every chance possible at avoiding slaughter and reaching a good home.

County officials and the state Animal Industry Board approved the agreement.

The counties had planned to auction the horses to recoup the costs they had incurred. The auction would have taken place on Dec. 20 in Faith, S.D., but the participating animal welfare groups established a fund that would reimburse the counties instead. Participating organizations will continue to raise funds for the care and feeding of the horses during the second phase of the adoption process.

Return to Freedom will work with Fleet of Angels and Habitat for Horses to ensure that suitable homes for the horses are found. Return to Freedom, an organization known nationally for its work with wild horses, will be working to facilitate the placing of whole herds when possible, helping ensure that many family bands are kept together, and that stallion groups are placed responsibly.

fleet-of-angelsFleet of Angels and Habitat for Horses will work together with Return to Freedom will work together to ensure that suitable homes are found for the horses. Return to Freedom, an organization known nationally for its work with wild horses, will be working to facilitate the placing of whole herds when possible, helping ensure that many family bands are kept together, and that stallion groups are placed responsibly.

The Humane Society of the United States, another national equine welfare organization, and Patricia Griffin-Soffel contributed toward a fund to cover what the counties expended in feeding and caring for the horses since October.

About 540 horses are still in need of good homes. The ongoing cost of feeding the horses is estimated at $40,000 per month. Those costs will continue throughout the adoption mission. Public support through donations is critical to the success of this campaign.

The health of the remaining mustangs varies widely. While some are in excellent condition, many are underweight and most are infested with parasites. Some of the horses also suffer from blindness or vision impairment, the cause of which is still being investigated.

Fleet of Angels and their participating partners will offer post-adoption subsidies for gelding and other veterinary needs, as well as microchipping each of the horses.

How the public can help

Feed and Care Fund: The public can support the wild horses while adoptions continue by donating to a fund created to for feed, veterinary care, and other costs related the lifesaving mission for the ISPMP horses by donating to the Wild Horse and Burro Sanctuary Alliance or to a fund to assist with transporting horses to safe new homes at Fleet of Angels’ ISPMB Rescue Mission.

Adopt: It is critical that adoptions continue so that every horse can be successfully placed and transported safely to approved homes in the next few weeks. If you would like to help by adopting wild horses in pairs, groups, family bands, or herds please contact: Fleet of Angels at HoldYourHorses@aol.com or on the ISPMB Horses / Emergency Adoption Mission page on Facebook.

http://www.fleetofangels.org/single-post/2017/01/06/SD-state%E2%80%99s-attorneys-file-motion-seeking-transfer-of-ownership-of-at-risk-wild-horses

Feel Good Sunday: How to Retire…and Make a Difference

“Many moons ago, more than we care to remember, my good friend Jerry Finch retired from a career in law enforcement and intended to sit back and enjoy his golden years sipping Wrangler Iced Teas under a pecan tree down in Galveston Texas…but fate, love and faith would not allow that to occur.  Instead, he became incensed over the local, and later national, abuse and neglect of American equines.  And to this day he still fights the good fight with the organization that he founded, Habitat for Horses.

Today’s ‘Feel Good Sunday’ installment center’s around a couple that had intended to retire, also, but were bitten by the same ‘compassion bug’ and are working with HfH to further the outreach to help abused and neglected equines.  Please take a few moments and recharge your batteries by viewing the video below and with any luck you will automatically download the energy and commitment demonstrated by these like minded horse warriors.  As always, keep the faith and never lose the focus.  Be Safe!” ~ R.T.

Police seize 27 horses, charge Galveston woman

By CHACOUR KOOP as published in the Galveston Daily News

“Here at SFTHH we try not to support one rescue or another so as not to have any hard feelings but this one is close to home and up until recently I sat on the Board of Directors for years.  Jerry Finch, founder and president of Habitat for Horses, has been saving horses for decades and is one of the finest folks you would ever be lucky enough to meet.  This story is just one example of the great work that Jerry and HfH volunteers do; Hats off to HfH.” ~ R.T.


Shawn Loupe, with Habitat for Horses, walks one of 28 horses seized Wednesday in Jamaica Beach.  ~ JENNIFER REYNOLDS/The Daily News

Shawn Loupe, with Habitat for Horses, walks one of 28 horses seized Wednesday in Jamaica Beach. ~ JENNIFER REYNOLDS/The Daily News

JAMAICA BEACH  – Galveston police on Wednesday seized more than two dozen horses found in poor condition and being held in a large pen used by a riding business.

Terri Glenn, 45, of Galveston, was charged with cruelty to livestock animals, a misdemeanor, and was being held in the Galveston County Jail on $7,500 bond, according to jail records.

Glenn is the owner of S-n-G Horseback Riding, according to the business’ website.

Law-enforcement officers and workers with the rescue group Habitat for Horses arrived at the property in the 17300 block of FM 3005 in a caravan of police cars and four livestock trailers to load 27 horses. The animals, many of which were showing ribs and losing tufts of hair, appeared to be malnourished, officials said.

“None of them are in what we would consider pristine health or excellent health,” said police Sgt. Joel Caldwell, who oversees the city animal services unit. “There’s three that are literally in danger of death or serious bodily injury.”

Because three horses were in serious condition, police seized the entire group, Caldwell said.

The horses will be taken to Habitat for Horses’ facilities to be examined and receive medical care, food and water. Police and veterinarians will conduct further investigations to decide whether any additional charges will be filed, Caldwell said.

Jerry Finch, president of Hitchcock-based Habitat for Horses, said the main goal will be to rehydrate and feed the animals on a diet of high-quality coastal hay.

“When they get thin like this, heart murmurs start because of a lack of food and their heart and muscle was being eaten away,” Finch said. “They’re in a very precarious situation right now.”

Click (HERE) to comment at the Daily News

Equine Independence Day Speech

By Jerry Finch ~ founder/president of Habitat for Horses

“For it is not your joy I hear, nor the fireworks booming in the skies…”

If my horse, Pete, were to give an Independence Day Speech before Congress, this is what he would say:

Jerry’s Pete ~ Courtesy of Habitat for Horses

I do not know why you have asked me to speak here today, nor do I understand what object you have asked me to represent in the celebration of your Independence Day. You celebrate freedom and justice, reflected in your Declaration of Independence, but that paper does not apply to me, or to any other animal that shares this earth with you.

For your sake, I am pleased that you have reached such high levels of freedom. Would that sole document reflect your outlook for horses as for humans, I would be first to celebrate with you. Sadly, such is not the case, for horses are not included, nor are the safeties and securities granted to you held in common with those of us who have helped you build this great nation. This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. As you celebrate, I must mourn for the loss of millions of my kind to your lust for power and money.

To halter me, tie a lead rope on me and pull me into this magnificent hall to speak of your freedom is once again a sample of your inhumane treatment and a mockery to the justice of which you are so proud. You, who have thrown the bodies of dead horses in stacks that reach to the heavens, ask one of us to tell you of the glories of America? I think not.

For it is not your joy I hear, nor the fireworks booming in the skies. I hear the cry of millions of my kind, tied in backyards, stuck in dark, wet stalls, left unfed and unloved. I hear the plaintive moan of those being trucked thousands of miles to face a horrible death at your hands. As I look out at you, I see them and what you have allowed to happen to them in your name.

On your Independence Day, the future of my kind looks far darker than ever before. Far worse than the conduct of those who occupied these seats in the years before you came, those of you who presently sit within this majestic hall now conduct yourselves with an arrogance that is both revolting and hideous. You have tied yourselves to the pockets of those who profit from the suffering of my kind, you make false statements on their behalf and refuse to represent those constituents whose vote brought you into this once hollowed hall of honor.

I do not stand before you as the honored guest, representing the triumphant battles for freedom I fought with you. I do not stand as your partner in memory of our great history together as we conquered nations, fought our way to the west, plowed fields and fed millions with our combined labor. I will not, for I now know, as do those citizens who call me their friends, what you truly think of my kind. You who occupy these seats have trampled upon the Constitution for the right to pocket pieces of gold. You refuse to represent the horses of this nation when we turned to you. You have made fun, ridiculed and ignored those citizens you represent as they have pleaded our case before you, and for that I can say nothing positive about you, the system you represent or the freedoms you allegedly vowed to protect.

Do I need to stand before you and argue that the slaughter of horses is wrong? That point is past. It is conceded and acknowledged in private and only disputed in public by the repetitious lies of those who profit from your murderous ways. Do I need to show you the truth behind the lies? They are known and open for you, if you are of the mind to look beyond the hands of those who give you money for your next reelection effort. Do I need to tell you of those citizens whom you allegedly represent who want you to stop the slaughter? Look at your call logs, your emails, your fax machines.

Am I to tell you that it is wrong to have us stolen from our loved humans, to be beaten with sticks, shocked, transported without rest or water, shoved into kill chutes, terrorized and injured by captive bolts or guns, hung by our legs while we are still alive and sold by the pound when we are dead? There is not a man among you who would suffer to the point of death as we do, yet you deny us the right to be free from this horror.

What then is your argument, that you have a divine right to our death? That your interpretation of dominion gives you a reason to kill us for the dollars it places in your pockets? Is that indeed your concept of God’s will? If that is your God, then those humans who love us are not a part of your world.

Those days of intellectual debates are a thing of the past. You do not need to hear the arguments, nor do you need to see the light. Instead, you will feel the thunder, stand in the storm and be burned by the firestorm you created, for those humans that support our freedom are aroused and your hypocrisy toward the honor of your Constitution will bring your downfall.

Do not ask me to celebrate with you, for I am not free. I am your slave, to be destroyed at your whim. Only when you grant the right of the American people to turn their beliefs into laws that stop the insane practice of horse slaughter will I be able to stand before you in honor.

Click (HERE) to learn more about Pete and the Horses at HFH

HfH/WHFF Launch Horsemeat DNA Monitoring Program in Light of UK/EU Ground Beef Contamination Scandal

Source: Habitat for Horses and Wild Horse Freedom Federation Press Release

Equine Welfare Groups Test for Horsemeat in Frozen Food Products sold at Walmart

 

(Houston) – Habitat for Horses (HfH) and Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF) have taken action to monitor and test processed ground beef products that are similar to those pulled from European store shelves due to contamination with tainted horsemeat in the ever expanding ground beef/horsemeat scandal that now engulfs 16 nations.  Long time advocates against horse slaughter president of HfH, Jerry Finch, and R.T. Fitch, president of WHFF, teamed up to begin a monitoring program of processed frozen foods that have ties to overseas markets.

“We purchased several frozen Stouffers lasagna products”, said R.T. Fitch, “as these products in the EU had issues with horsemeat DNA where Nestles pulled their lasagna from store shelves and Stouffer’s is owned by, drum roll please, Nestles.”

Jerry Finch said, “My feelings about all of this are sort of a mixed bag; part of me wants the tests to come back negative so that we know our U.S. human food chain is safe and the other wants a positive so that we can point the finger, expose the fraud and be done with all of this nonsense.

CertificateThe products tested were:

  • Stouffer’s Lasagna Bake with Meat Sauce
  • Stouffer’s Lasagna with Meat Sauce
  • Stouffer’s Swedish Meat Balls
  • Don Miguel’s Texas Hot Beef Enchilada Dinner
  • Caribbean Food Delight’s Spicy Beef Patties

The above unaltered samples were purchased at a Houston Texas Walmart, packed in dry ice and overnighted, with appropriate chain of custody in force, to an analytical lab specializing in testing for varied forms of animal DNA.

HfH and WHFF are pleased to report that the analysis of these five products has come back negative on all counts.

“This is clear evidence that not having predatory horse slaughter plants in this country increases the odds against having tainted horsemeat entering our food chain.”, stated Finch, “The UK and EU cannot make such a claim, not by a long shot.”

“As equine advocates we have always been concerned about the health, safety and well being of American horses, either domestic or wild.” Fitch added, “But as of late, we have added the American public to our watch list of concerns as drug tainted horsemeat would be a health apocalypse if it was ever introduced into our food chain.”

HfH and WHFF will continue their program of testing potentially suspect processed foods in an effort to expose fraud and abuse while protecting the health and safety of the American public.

Download Press Release by clicking (HERE)

Update: Wild Horse & Burro Advocate Letters Reach President Obama via Congressman Jim Moran

Forward by R.T. Fitch ~ co-founder/volunteer president of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Your Voice DOES Make a Difference!

Jerry Finch, R.T. Fitch delivering letters and discussing issues with Rep. Jim Moran

Over 15,000 letters from concerned individuals from around the world crying out for the cessation of the costly and devastating Bureau of Land Management‘s (BLM) relentless roundups of federally protected American wild horses and burros reached the desk of President Obama during the first week of October thanks to the facilitation of Virginia’s Congressman Jim Moran and equine advocacy groups, Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF), Habitat for Horses (HfH) and The Cloud Foundation (TCF) and many others.

Originally born as a personal appeal from co-founders of WHFF Terry and R.T. Fitch the call to action spread like wildfire and in a matter of days manifested into an international written appeal to call for a moratorium on the deadly roundups so that an appropriate accounting could take place of both how many wild equids are left on their rightful range and how many are ‘actually’ in long and short term holding.

Terry and R.T. pledged to personally fly the letters to D.C., at their own expense, while the office of Rep. Jim Moran offered to facilitate the delivery to the White House.

On September 13th, Terry, R.T. and Jerry Finch, founder and president of Habitat for Horses, flew from their Texas homes to meet with Rep. Moran, in Washington D.C., and to deliver the letters written by thousands of impassioned American voters and concerned international advocates.

The office of Rep. Moran has delivered the letters to the President and the Congressman reinforced the plea for sanity with a cover letter which is inserted below.  The letter mentions only R.T. Fitch from whence the concept was born but WHFF, HfH, TCF, EWA, dozens of other organizations and thousands of concerned individuals from around the globe reached out to make this happen.

Click (HERE) to download Congressional Letter

What Happened to Horse Slaughter?

by Jerry Finch ~ founder/president of Habitat for Horses

“HfH will not be paying money to any killer buyer for any horses…”

Known Facts:

Right off from “Slaughterhouse” Sue’s website

Since around noon on Friday, October 12, the majority of horses in the US have finally been safe – at least from the threat of slaughter. Both the Canadian and Mexican plants received orders from the EU (European Union) that they will not accept meat from US horses.

Although rumors are flying all over, we do not know the real reason nor do we know if this is a temporary or permanent stay of execution. The EU should issue a statement early in the morning on Monday, October 15. The important word here is “should.”

Mexico is still slaughtering US horses for the Russian market. While that is only a small percentage of the former number of horses slaughtered, a few horses are still being accepted at the border and trucked to the slaughterhouse.

There is absolutely no way that the Russian market is big enough to accept the number of horses caught in the slaughter pipeline. The demand for US horses in Russia is simply not that great, plus many other countries are more than willing to step in should the EU slaughterhouses in Mexico close. Mexico also has a market for horsemeat, but they have around 4 million of their own horses that are quite capable of supplying enough for their market demands.

No one knows for certain, but best estimates are that between 5,000 to 7,000 US horses are now stuck in the pipeline while everyone waits for word from the EU. Everyone, including killer buyers and feedlots, were caught totally by surprise. We are receiving reports from feedlots, holding pens and auction houses that loose (slaughter) horses are being held.

Important fact – in every state, it is against the law to deny equine food, water and care. It is against the law to turn horses loose or to abandon them. In every state, the person in “care, custody and control” is the person who will be charged with the criminal act if any of these events occur. If you witness such an event – CALL LAW ENFORCEMENT!

Don’t waste time contacting Habitat for Horses or your local horse rescue. You are the witness, make the call. If they need assistance, any number of equine organizations are willing to step in, but know that equine rescues cannot step in and take charge of any horse without legal action being taken first.

Habitat for Horses will not be paying money to any killer buyer for any horses. They bought into making blood money off the bodies of dead horses and we will not relieve their financial disaster by sticking donated money in their pockets. Any money we receive will be spent buying hay, transporting and finding places for the horses. If we find any horse being denied feed or water by any auction house, feed lot or killer buyer, we will inform law enforcement and ask that charges be filed against them.

Please be aware and cautious when donating your money to any organization. In this situation, there will be a lot of scam artist popping up with heartbreaking stories of pipeline horses that “must be saved.” I cannot recommend enough that you deal only with equine organizations recognized, approved and accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, the only organization for accreditation of equine organizations in the United States.

These GFAS approved organizations, with the help of the ASPCA and HSUS, can and will do everything in our power to aid and assist all equine caught in the pipeline. If this is the complete end of the slaughter of US horses for the EU market, it is a day of celebration. It is also a worst case scenario where once again, those that care have to step in and clean up the mess made by those who created it.

I hope everyone pays close attention to the reactions of the breed associations, mainly the AQHA and their brother organizations, the Farm Bureaus, the Cattlemen’s Association, the horse racing industry and all those who have so strongly promoted horse slaughter to see how quickly they step in with their millions of dollars and offer assistance.

Mass breeding will have to stop or the dollar value of registered horses will drop to zero. None of them will be able to use horse slaughter to cull their horse herds. While the next few years will be difficult for the horse industry, if they act as they should, the end result will be a slow increase in the value of all horses.

Another guaranteed reaction will come from the BLM and King Salazar, because their plans to slaughter 45,000 now captive wild horses was just erased from the option list.

There is a scene from “Casablanca” that so well portrays what is happening to horse slaughter in America right now. Rick’s “American” bar was just closed by the Germans.

Rick: How can you close me up? On what grounds?

Captain Renault: I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!

[a croupier hands Renault a pile of money]

Croupier: Your winnings, sir. 

Captain Renault: Oh, thank you very much.

To all those who promote horse slaughter – why would you act surprised when you knew that practically every US horse is filled with prohibited drugs? We told you, the EU told you, the scientists told you, yet you ignored every warning and continued to sell and promote the selling of cancer causing, drug tainted horsemeat.

I would hope that the US Government is totally and completely embarrassed, once again, by the lack of any concern for food safety for any food product exported from the US. We lived through the horror of mad cow disease, with the known cause permitted by the our government. Yet you once again failed, horribly, to live up to any acceptable standard of food safety – and other countries have to step in and correct the situation.

When are we ever going reach a level of self control in our government when the words “A Product of the USA” actually means something to the rest of the world?

Stay tuned…

Click (HERE) to visit the HfH Blog and to Comment

Canada Closes its Slaughterhouse Doors to American Horses

By: Cheryl Hanna ~ Pet Rescue Examiner

“We all knew this was coming and have warned of it for years…”

Horse dealers and “killbuyers” arriving with their trucks filled with American horses slated to be slaughtered in Canada for their meat were told early Friday morning to take their horses and go home. According to the Equine Welfare Alliance, New Holland Auction in Pennsylvania, Sugarcreek Auction in Ohio, and Shipshewana Auction in Indiana all confirmed rumors that although the Canadian borders were open, the trucks were turned away as they arrived at the slaughterhouses.

In 2007, the last slaughterhouse in the United States closed when Congress ended the funding of federal inspectors. Since then horses have continued to be exported to Canada and Mexico where they are slaughtered for their meat which is then sent to European markets.

It is unclear whether this ban will be permanent or temporary, but the decision to stop the slaughter of American horses in Canada comes one day after the report by the Commission’s Health and Consumers Directorate-General was released which stated the veterinary records of horses are “insufficient” to guarantee health standards relating to the European Union’s concerns about United States horses’ medication histories.

Speculation continues to make horse advocates and killbuyers wonder if the surprise ruling originated from the Canadian government, the European Union (EU) or the packing plants.

By July 31, 2013 the EU will require lifetime medication records for slaughter bound horses. Thus far the Equine Identification Documents required for all horses bound for slaughter have brought doubt as to their accuracy.

Almost all American horses are routinely treated with the anti-inflammatory phenylbutazone (bute) which is classified as a carcinogen and disqualifies the horse from being slaughtered for human consumption. Horses in the United States are not raised as food animals.

It has not been confirmed whether horse slaughter has been discontinued for American horses in Mexico although most of their trade is with the EU.

According to John Holland, President of Equine Welfare Alliance:

“We all knew this was coming and have warned of it for years, yet the suddenness caught all by complete surprise. The EID (Equine Information Document) was the last chance for the horse slaughter industry and its agents to show they could be trusted to assure the safety of the horse meat that is their stock and trade. But their long history of flaunting environmental, transport, humane and other regulations made it inevitable that they would treat the drug residue issue as a joke. True to form, they are already blaming “animal rights” radicals.”

No one knows if this ban on the slaughter of American horses is temporary or permanent, but thousands of horses are feared to have been caught in the slaughter pipeline – the horses who have been shipped and now are being returned or are at temporary holdover facilities. Horse rescues have been asked to be on alert in order to help feed, rescue and possibly help find homes for horses that were destined to die on Friday.

Jerry Finch, from Habitat for Horses in Texas will be setting up an escrow fund through an accountant to release donated funds to pay for horses. The Humane Society of the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals are also standing by ready to help as are other horse rescue organizations. According to Equine Welfare Alliance, the public should be aware there are internet scams popping up everywhere claiming to be rescuing the horses caught in the pipeline.

” We suggest anyone that becomes involved in pulling horses, set up something similar or an escrow account. That way, those donating will know their money is going to a legitimate organization and the money will be used as intended. EWA will not be accepting any donations for this. We ask that everyone work with the organizations doing the work and check them out before donating.”

Click (HERE) to visit Cheryl Hanna and to Comment
Click (HERE) to stop the carnage for good!

Texas Parks and Wildlife Horses Arrive Safely at Habitat for Horses

update by Jerry Finch ~ founder/president of Habitat for Horses

Big Bend Horses Escape Slaughter Thanks to HfH

Big Bend Horses fared better than first group sent to slaughter several weeks ago ~ photo courtesy of Habitat for Horses

After a negotiated agreement was reached last week with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, two of our folks took off to Big Bend State Park, just a few miles north of Presidio, Texas. Fifteen hours later they pulled up to the main building and checked in, met a great bunch of very helpful folks, slept in the bunkhouse, had a big breakfast, loaded the horses and headed home, 700 miles away.

The horses and crew spent the night at the local fairgrounds in Sonora, Texas to give them a chance to rest. They left at 4am, arrived back at the ranch about 1 this afternoon. All five of the horses are in excellent health with a body score of between 4-5. Two of them are not halter broken and pretty wild, the other three are perfect.

While there is an obvious disagreement about the method used to dispose of the first eleven horses, I’m very thankful that these five are safe and will continue to live productive lives. The officials in Austin made the decision to turn these horses over to Habitat for Horses rather than try to make a few bucks off them with a killer-buyer, which rates as a win for them, for us and mainly for the horses.

Our two guys that made the trip, Thom and Kevin, both deserve a well needed rest and a thank you. That was a long, hot trip, but made all the better by the folks both at the Park and in Austin.

Click (HERE) to visit HfH and to Comment