Robert Redford, Ed Harris, Elle Fanning to Congress: Oppose Mass Slaughter of Wild Horses & Burros

Source: EcoWatch.com

“Provisions in the budget…would allow the BLM to kill captured wild horses or sell them without restriction—a change that would enable buyers to purchase wild horses on the cheap and haul them to Canada or Mexico for slaughter.”

photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Robert Redford, Ed Harris, Elle Fanning, Ian Somerhalder and countless other equine enthusiasts joined The Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society Legislative Fund, Return to Freedom and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to draw attention to the threat posed to wild horses and burros.

“My family and I stand strongly against horse slaughter and against our government harming our wild horses,” said actor and director Ed Harris. “I am pleading that a humane and common sense solution to the management of our wild horse population be mandated by Congress in keeping with the spirit of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act.”

Since the implementation of the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has attempted to maintain stable populations by rounding up and removing thousands of horses and burros from the wild, despite repeated directives that this was leading the program to financial instability.

The Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society Legislative Fund, Return to Freedom and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals have long called for the agency to cease these actions and instead redirect money spent on capturing and holding wild horses toward available solutions, including judicious use of safe, proven fertility control on the range.

The BLM did not listen, and now they want to fix their mistakes by slaughtering wild horses.

Provisions in the budget proposed by the administration would allow the BLM to kill captured wild horses or sell them without restriction—a change that would enable buyers to purchase wild horses on the cheap and haul them to Canada or Mexico for slaughter.

f Congress approves provisions in the president’s budget, then tens of thousands of horses will die.

On Tuesday July 18, the House Committee on Appropriations will vote on the 2018 Interior Appropriations bill. The bill, approved by the House Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, maintains protective language, but there is a chance it might be amended in full committee and removed creating a pathway to slaughter.

Wild horse supporters are raising their voices to ensure the protections remain.

Here’s the letter sent to Congress from actors, singers, screenwriters and scientists urging them to oppose wild horse slaughter:

We Stand with America’s Wild Horses and Burros

Our nation’s iconic wild horses are fighting for their lives and we cannot stand by silently and let that happen.

We the undersigned call on Congress to oppose provisions in the president’s 2018 budget that threatens the lives of tens of thousands of wild horses and burros that will be senselessly killed or easily sold to those who would profit from their slaughter.

For decades, we have had available humane solutions, which would keep wild equines on the range and save tax dollars. Sadly, agencies continue to discredit proven alternatives instead of committing to implement them.

The American people have repeatedly and resoundingly called for wild horses and burros—the descendants of the animals who helped build our country, made our own freedom possible and shaped a vital part of our cultural heritage—to live free on the range.

Two years after the passage of the “Wild Horse Annie Act,” which banned the use of vehicles to hunt down wild horses sold for slaughter, the 1961 movie “The Misfits” brought the brutal practices of the mustangers onto the big screen. Marilyn Monroe cried out on behalf of audiences when she pleaded for a roped and struggling wild horse to b set free.

A decade later, in 1971, the overwhelming passage of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act enshrined in law the historic bond between Americans and wild horses and the policy of Congress “that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment or death.”

Yet, for all that apparent progress, the lives of tens of thousands of captive wild horses are again at risk.

As American citizens and as voters, we do not accept the use of our tax dollars, which for so many years were invested in the health and safety of the captive wild horses and burros, to now pay for the destruction of these noble animals because they have been deemed inconvenient. It is unnecessary and unconscionable.

The American people would never forgive such a betrayal.

We respectfully urge Congress to take a leadership role by opposing mass euthanasia, slaughter and unrestricted sales and, instead, work together to forge a bipartisan, well-reasoned and humane management plan worthy of these “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West” by recognizing and prioritizing viable alternatives that do exist.

As a nation, we can and must do better.

Respectfully,

Robert Redford, Actor, Director, Advocate; Governor Bill Richardson, Politician; Wendie Malick, Actress, Advocate; Willie Nelson, Musician, Advocate; Ed Harris, Actor, Director; Amy Madigan, Actress; Lily Harris, Student; Elle Fanning, Actress; Ian Somerhalder, Actor; Carol Burnett, Actress; Ali MacGraw, Actress; Dr. Ross MacPhee Professor and Curator of Mammals, AMNH; Allen Rutberg, PhD, North Grafton, MA.; Bonnie-Jill Laflin, Fox Sports / BBC sportscaster; Priscilla Presley, Actress, Entrepreneur; Noah Wyle, Actor; Sam Elliott, Actor; Katherine Ross, Actress; Robert Gossett, Actor; Claire Forlani, Actress; Dougray Scott, Actor; Debbie Levin, CEO Environmental Media Association; Huey Lewis, Musician; Diane Warren, Songwriter; Scarlet Rivera, Musician; David Midthunder, Lakota Pipe Carrier, Actor; Amber Midthunder, Lakota Dancer, Actress; John Fusco, Writer; David Franzoni, Screenwriter, Geologist; Petrine Day Mitchum, Author, Film Historian; Robert Knott, Writer, Producer, Actor; Rex Linn, Actor; Rachael Worby, Artistic Director MUSE/IQUE; Lance Bass, Producer, Singer; Jill Rappaport, Media host, Advocate; Ed Asner, Actor; Mike Smith, Hall of Fame Jockey; Peri Gilpin, Actress; Laraine Newman, Actress, Comedian; Laura San Giacomo, Actress; Frances Fisher, Actress; Anjelica Huston, Actress; Jessika Van, Actress; Ray Abruzzo, Actor; Dan Lauria, Actor; Victory Tischler-Blue, Producer, Photographer; Tony Stromberg, Photographer; Amber Valletta, Actress; Kimberly Van Der Beek, Producer; Hart Bochner, Actor; Daryl Wein, Writer, Director; Olivia Newton John, Singer, Actress; Mickey Rourke, Actor; Jeff Franklin, Creator / Executive Producer; John Stamos, Actor; Beth Behrs, Actress; and Drew Carey, Comedian / Host

Robert Redford Signs Petition Urging Outgoing Obama to End Horse Slaughter

Robert Redford, a life-long horse lover, has been publicly against equine slaughter for a long time – which is why we are so honored to have his support for this petition appealing to President Obama and Vice President Biden to end this cruel and unethical practice before they leave office.

In 2013, Redford wrote an eloquent letter for Equine Advocates in support of the American Equine Summit where he clearly stated his reasons as to why horse slaughter should be banned. To read that poignant and heartfelt letter, please click here:

https://www.equineadvocates.org/robert-redford-calls-for-an-end-to-horse-slaughter/

Robert Redford’s life and career are legendary – not just as an award-winning actor, director and founder of the Sundance Film Festival, but also as an environmentalist and humanitarian. As far as we’re concerned, not only is Robert Redford one of our finest actors and filmmakers, but a truly great American.

https://www.change.org/p/barack-obama-obama-biden-end-the-slaughter-of-america-s-horses?recruiter=168695384&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=share_email_responsive

Navajo Nation eyes agreement reining in slaughter of wild horses

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SOURCE:  news.yahoo.com

By Laura Zuckerman

(Reuters) – The first effort of its kind to prevent wild horses roaming the Navajo Nation in the U.S. Southwest from being sent to slaughter in Mexico has gained the preliminary approval of tribal leaders, former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson said on Thursday.

Under a draft agreement that still must be reviewed by the tribe, a foundation established by Richardson and actor Robert Redford would provide funds and expertise to the Navajo Nation to halt reservation roundups that have seen thousands of wild horses shipped to slaughterhouses in Mexico.

  The impact of intensive grazing by wild horses in a high-desert reservation that spans more than 27,000 square miles (70,000 square km) of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Utah has been compounded by drought and led to competition with livestock for sparse vegetation, said Rick Abasta, spokesman for Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye.

  The roundups by the nation’s agriculture department and the fate of the captured animals has ignited controversy among the tribe’s more than 300,000 enrolled members, including wild horse advocates, Abasta said.

The issue has divided a tribal nation whose economy relies in part on free-range cattle and sheep but which also reveres horses.

“The Navajo elders have a saying which translates into English as ‘Our horses are sacred,'” said Abasta.

Richardson, whose second term as New Mexico governor ended in 2011, said he and Redford formed the Foundation to Protect New Mexico Wildlife with the aim of aiding wild horses.

“Our main objective is to stop the roundups and stop the horse slaughter,” said Richardson, who said Redford is a fellow horse enthusiast who owns a home in New Mexico.

Richardson said the agreement would first seek to identify the number of wild horses on the reservation, where estimates have ranged from several thousand to more than 70,000.

If ultimately approved, the deal, which proposes such methods as birth control to keep wild herds in check, would be the first of its kind on Indian lands and perhaps in the nation, he said.

“The Navajos are the biggest tribe in the country. If we strike an agreement here, it will set an example for other tribes that still slaughter,” Richardson said.

Abasta said the nation’s newly elected president is seeking feedback from tribal members.

“President Begaye wants a little more time to gather the input of grassroots organizations, ranchers and others to determine how best to go forward on implementing the agreement,” he said.

Navajo officials renegotiating wild horse agreement

th  Bill Richardson, former Gov. of New Mexico

SOURCE: santafenewmexican.com

Newly installed Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye is renegotiating a wild horse protection agreement with former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and actor/activist Robert Redford.

Richardson and Redford formed the Foundation to Protect New Mexico Wildlife in 2013 as the state considered a permit for a horse slaughter facility in Roswell. The group later worked with the former Navajo Nation president to stop the roundup of feral horses from the reservation for shipment to slaughter facilities in Mexico.

Navajo officials have said the horses are overgrazing and harming the land. The prior administration signed an agreement with Redford and Richardson to halt roundups and find other ways to reduce the horse population, such as adoptions.

Alarie Ray-Garcia of the foundation said Richardson met last week with Begaye and other Navajo officials.

Rick Abasta, a public information officer for the Navajo Nation, said Begaye wants to consult with chapter house leaders and other elders before moving forward with changes to the agreement.

Ray-Garcia said the foundation was ready to hire a company to conduct an aerial survey of the horse population. Estimates have ranged from a few thousand to 75,000 animals.

Robert Redford: Protect our Wild Horses & Burros

Open Letter from Robert Redford as published in USA Today

Wild horse populations vary between 32,000 and 50,000 while livestock grazing allocations accommodate numbers in the millions. Yes, in the millions.

The Horse WhispererHorses and I have had a shared existence, personal and professional, for as long as I can remember. And while I carry a strong passion for all horses, my tenacious support for the preservation of habitat for wildlife and the American mustangs derives from their symbolic representation of our national heritage and freedom.

Any infringement on their legally protected right to live freely is an assault on America’s principles. The varied and subjective interpretation of laws intended to protect these animals on our public lands, continues to leave wild horses under attack.

Recent “stand-offs” between ranchers and the federal government are reminiscent of old westerns. But this American tragedy does not have a hero riding in to save the day, and wild horses have become the victim in the controversies over our public land resources.

In 1971, as a result of concern for America’s dwindling wild horse populations, the US Congress passed the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act. . The Act mandated that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), protect free roaming wild horses and burros, under a multiple use management policy, on designated areas of our public lands.

The BLM manages 245 million acres of our public lands, with livestock grazing permits on 155 million acres. Wild horses are designated to share a mere 26.9 million acres. That means only 17% of BLM-managed public land are made available to wild horses. Wild horse populationsvary between 32,000 and 50,000 while livestock grazing allocations accommodate numbers in the millions. Yes, in the millions.

Advocates are only asking that the horses be treated fairly. Wild horses are consistently targeted as the primary cause of negative impact to grazing lands resulting from decades of propaganda that ignores math, science and solutions that can be implemented today.

Ranchers hold nearly 18,000 grazing lease permits on BLM land alone.  Grazing costson BLM land goes for $1.35 per cow and calf pair, well below the market rate of $16. This price disparity derived from BLM’s current permit policy establishes an uneven playing field on grazing economies. Understandably ranchers have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.

Although less than 3% of America’s beef is produced on federal land, this subsidized grazing program costs the taxpayer more than $123 million dollars a year, and more than $500 million when indirect costs are accounted for.

The long-term economic success of public lands lies in maintaining a bio diverse ecosystem within its boundaries. However, understanding the need for a preservation balance in thriving agricultural communities often becomes sidelined.

The BLM needs to comply with its original “multiple use” principle in managing wild horses and burros. In light of the inequitable share of livestock on BLM land, the on going persecution of wild horses and those that value them is unacceptable and threatens the very spirit of the American West.  I urge Congress to stand up for much needed reform of the BLM’s wild horse and burro program and livestock grazing on federal lands.

Now is not the time to repudiate environmental balance, but rather it is the time for all of us to work together – politician, advocate, rancher, scientist, and citizen. Only by doing this will the United States move forward and be a leader in environmental issues and ensure sustainability to our delicate ecosystem.

Equine Advocates Thanks Great Americans for Ending Horse Slaughter in the U.S.

Press Release from Equine Advocates

“Victoria McCullough announced at our first American Equine Summit in 2012 that she would take on the challenge of ending horse slaughter in the U.S…”

CHATHAM, N.Y., Jan. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Equine Advocates would like thank these key players in expediting the end of horse slaughter in the United States:

  • Victoria McCullough, horsewoman and head of Chesapeake Petroleum
  • Vice President Joseph Biden
  • Florida State Senator Joseph Abruzzo
A huge, huge thank you to Victoria McCullough, FL State Senator Joe Abruzzo and Vice President Joe Biden. No matter what you read, they drove this effort from the starting gate to the finish line.

A huge, huge thank you to Victoria McCullough, FL State Senator Joe Abruzzo and
Vice President Joe Biden. No matter what you read, they drove this effort from the starting gate to the finish line.

It is because of their tireless and dedicated efforts that horse slaughterhouses will be prevented from opening in the U.S. once Congress passes the “Omnibus” bill by this weekend. The last time horses were slaughtered in the United States was in 2007 when Congress defunded the practice and three existing plants closed.

“Victoria McCullough announced at our first American Equine Summit in 2012 that she would take on the challenge of ending horse slaughter in the U.S.,” said Equine Advocates President, Susan Wagner.  “She took the lead from the experts speaking at the Summit, each of whom had invaluable information and experience, and helped contribute to the resolution of this hard-fought issue. She used her own funding and dedicated countless hours to get this done.”

McCullough used the data and documentation presented by John Holland, President of the Equine Welfare Alliance; Paula Bacon, former Mayor of Kaufman, TX; renowned equine veterinarian Dr. Kraig Kulikowski; Caroline Betts, PhD, professor of economics at USC and others. Much of the necessary documentation was there, combined with Dr. Ann Marini’s brilliant study on the potentially dangerous effects the drug Phenylbutazone can have on people who eat horse meat, and subsequent studies including Holland’s scathing analysis of the misinformation in the 2011 GAO Report (#11-228).

Said Wagner, “That GAO Report was like a fixed race.”

While horse slaughter is opposed by more than 80% of Americans, the GAO Report claimed it was necessary for reasons which have been soundly refuted by Holland’s study and other experts.

“This is the first major hurdle that needed to happen so that a complete federal ban on horse slaughter can now be passed,” Wagner added. “We are grateful to Vice President Joe Biden, along with the support of congressional leaders, for adding the defunding language to the Omnibus bill. Robert Redford also needs to be thanked because he has been actively involved since he first signed the Voter Card for the passage of the California Initiative banning horse slaughter back in 1998. His support through the years has had a tremendous impact on this issue. I know I speak for most Americans when I say that horse slaughter is wrong and has no place in our culture.”

The focus now moves to passing a federal ban on the transport of equines across U.S. borders into Canada and Mexico for slaughter.

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Judge Delays Ruling on Horse-Slaughter Plant

By Milan Simonich as published in The New Mexican

“De Los Santos “a serial violator of environmental laws” when he slaughtered cattle at his plant…”

Eager to Kill and Butcher Companion Horses

Eager to Kill and Butcher Companion Horses

State District Judge Matthew Wilson of Santa Fe heard two hours of arguments Friday before extending a temporary restraining order against De Los Santos’ business, Valley Meat Co.

Wilson scheduled another hearing for Jan. 13 to more deeply explore state Attorney General Gary King’s lawsuit claiming that De Los Santos’ slaughter plant near Roswell could contaminate the food chain and harm the environment.

King’s staff was not prepared to question witnesses at Friday’s hearing, having had only three days to prepare during a week punctuated by the New Year’s holiday, Wilson said.

Blair Dunn, the lawyer for De Los Santos, asked Wilson to make the state post a bond so that De Los Santos would be compensated for financial losses if he eventually prevails in the lawsuit. Wilson declined to do so, but said he would revisit Dunn’s request during the next hearing.

Dunn said King, a Democrat who is running for governor, had not sued Valley Meat Co. because of any legitimate concerns about public safety. Rather, Dunn said, King’s lawsuit was calculated to advance his campaign for governor.

“Their real goal is to harass this company. … This is a politically driven issue,” Dunn said.

De Los Santos’ opponents include actor Robert Redford and many other New Mexico politicians, including Republican Gov. Susana Martinez and former Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat.

They have said a horse-slaughter plant is not the kind of business that New Mexico wants or needs.

Dunn and De Los Santos counter that horses already are being yanked from American soil, hauled on excruciating trips and killed for food. In 2012, about 158,000 horses from the United States were transported to Mexico and Canada, mostly to slaughterhouses.

King did not appear in the courtroom. One of his assistants, Ari Biernoff, argued the merits of King’s lawsuit.

Biernoff said De Los Santos had publicly announced that he would slaughter horses even without a permit from the state Environment Department for disposal of sewage water.

Biernoff called De Los Santos “a serial violator of environmental laws” when he slaughtered cattle at his plant. Given De Los Santos’ track record, King felt obligated to sue in the public’s interest, Biernoff said.

Just as important, Biernoff said, Valley Meat Co. now proposes a more controversial business venture that could put the public health at risk. Many horses are drugged during their lifetimes, and turning them into food could put people at risk, he said.

He said De Los Santos had “no idea” of the medical history of horses that would be slaughtered for consumption in international markets…(CONTINUED)

Click (HERE) to read the story in it’s entirety and to comment

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Navajo Leader Drops His Support for Slaughter of Wild Horses on the Reservation

Source: New York Times

“Our land is precious to the Navajo people as are all the horses on the Navajo Nation. Horses are sacred animals to us.”

Ben ShellyPHOENIX — Under pressure by animal welfare groups and many of his own people, the president of the Navajo Nation, Ben Shelly, has reversed his stance on horse slaughtering, saying he will no longer support it and will order the temporary suspension of the roundups of feral horses on the reservation.

The agreement, brokered by Bill Richardson, the former governor of New Mexico, is scheduled to be announced on Tuesday. One of its key provisions is to pressure the federal government to do more to help the Navajos handle the tens of thousands of horses that roam freely on their land. Mr. Shelly has estimated that feral horses cost the Navajos $200,000 a year in damage to property and range.

“I am interested in long-term humane solutions to manage our horse populations,” Mr. Shelly said. “Our land is precious to the Navajo people as are all the horses on the Navajo Nation. Horses are sacred animals to us.”

Mr. Shelly’s recalibrated position is sure to strengthen the arguments against horse slaughter in the nation, just as a legal fight to block the opening of horse slaughterhouses in New Mexico and Missouri reaches its final stages.

It could also smooth relations between his administration and tribal elders in some of the Navajo Nation’s largest chapters, who have stood steadfastly against the roundups even as Mr. Shelly embraced them in August as the best available option, given the tribe’s limited resources, to keep its feral horse population under control.

At the time, his stance put the country’s largest federally recognized tribe in a collision course with Mr. Richardson and the actor Robert Redford, who had justified joining a lawsuit against horse slaughtering filed by animal-rights groups by saying they were “standing with Native American leaders.”

In a unanimous vote last month, the Navajo Nation chapter in Shiprock, N.M., banned horse roundups in its territory. The chapter’s president, Duane Yazzie, said members were concerned about the abandoned colts and the sale of the horses to meat plants in Mexico, where slaughter is legal.

On Saturday, several of the chapter’s members protested as Mr. Shelly took part in a parade at the Northern Navajo Nation Fair in Shiprock.

Mr. Shelly and Mr. Richardson met in Farmington, N.M., just outside Navajo lands, shortly after the parade to complete the agreement. It charges several animal welfare groups — including Animal Protection of New Mexico and the Foundation to Protect New Mexico Wildlife, founded by Mr. Richardson and Mr. Redford — with developing alternative policies. One option is rounding up the horses and putting them up for adoption; another is dispensing contraceptives.

“This is a huge event,” Mr. Richardson said. “One of the most important and largest tribes in the country is now on the record against horse slaughtering, and that should be a major factor both in Congress and in the courts.”

All along, Mr. Shelly had spoken about the “delicate balance,” as he put it, between the horses’ significance to the Navajos and the cost of repairing the damage caused by feral horses on the reservation, which covers roughly 27,500 square miles across Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

The Navajos estimate there are 75,000 feral horses roaming the reservation, an estimate based on aerial observations, a method they concede is unreliable. One of the points of the agreement is to find a way to take an accurate count.

During a meeting in Washington last month, Mr. Shelly told several animal welfare groups that the federal government needed to “live up to its responsibilities,” according to his spokesman, Erny Zah, and help the Navajos manage the feral horses. It was not until the agreement with Mr. Richardson, however, that he made his new stance on horse slaughtering official.

The Humane Society of the United States and other groups sued the United States Department of Agriculture in July to keep horse slaughter plants from opening in New Mexico, Iowa and Missouri, arguing that the agency had failed to carry out all of the environmental checks, and asked the courts to block its inspectors from working there. The owners of the plant in Iowa have since scrapped their plans to slaughter horses and turned their focus to cattle.

In August, Judge M. Christina Armijo of United States District Court in Albuquerque halted the inspections until she makes her final ruling on the case, which is expected by the end of the month.

Magistrate orders bond posted in horse slaughterhouse case

Source: Multiple

“Ruling complicates recent win to save American horses from slaughter”

ALBUQUERQUE — A federal magistrate on Thursday ordered equine advocacy groups that won a temporary ban on domestic horse slaughter to post a bond of nearly $500,000 as they continue their legal fight to save America’s horses.

U.S. Magistrate Robert Scott settled on the amount after hearing from attorneys who represent two companies that had planned to begin operations this week at slaughterhouses in New Mexico and Iowa.

The attorneys argued that the delay could be “devastating,” costing their clients more than $1.5 million in lost revenues in just one month.

“The bond requires the plaintiffs to put their money where their mouth is. There are real-life consequences to these actions and we’re appreciative of the judge recognizing that,” said lawyer Pat Rogers, who represents Responsible Transportation, a horse butchering company in the town of Sigourney, Iowa.

The case has sparked an emotional debate about how best to deal with the tens of thousands of wild, unwanted and abandoned horses across the country as drought conditions and the lack of feed in many states continue to exacerbate the problem.

The Humane Society of the United States, Front Range Equine Rescue and others won a temporary restraining order last week that blocked Responsible Transportation and Valley Meat Co. in Roswell from opening their plants.  Public praise for the legal effort runs high as a recent survey indicates that over 80% of Americans are against the slaughter of horses for human consumption.

The bond covers the companies’ alleged costs and lost profits for the next 30 days should the animal rights groups lose the case. Within that time, another hearing is planned in federal court to determine the fate of the temporary ban.

Attorneys for the animal rights groups argued Thursday that the losses estimated by the companies were highly speculative and the result of creative accounting.

Attorneys for the slaughterhouses disputed those claims.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture in June gave Valley Meat the go-ahead to begin slaughtering horses. USDA officials said they were legally obligated to issue the permit, even though the Obama administration opposes horse slaughter and is seeking to reinstate a congressional ban that was lifted in 2011.

Another permit was approved a few days later for Responsible Transportation.

The animal rights groups argue that the agency failed to do the proper environmental studies before issuing the permits.

Robert Redford, former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, current New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and New Mexico Attorney General Gary King are among those who oppose a return to domestic horse slaughter, citing the horse’s iconic role as a companion animal in the West.

Richardson meets agriculture secretary in Washington to halt horse slaughter

Source: by  of the Albuquerque Business First

“Secretary Vilsack made it clear to me that he opposes horse slaughter…”

Former Gov. Bill Richardson Thursday met in Washington D.C with meet with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and urge him to stop the reopening of horse slaughterhouses, but didn’t come back with the response he hoped to hear.

“I appreciate Secretary Vilsack’s willingness to meet with me and listen to the concerns of our foundation and those of others who adamantly oppose horse slaughter,” Richardson said in a news release. “Secretary Vilsack made it clear to me that he opposes horse slaughter, but said he has to follow federal rules.”

Richardson suggested that the USDA immediately conduct a complete review of its rule making procedures regarding horse slaughter and that it block any horse slaughterhouse from reopening until that review is completed.

The meeting was part of an effort made to prevent the opening of a horse slaughterhouse near Roswell.

Richardson’s trip was on behalf of The Foundation to Protect New Mexico Wildlife, an animal protection foundation he recently founded with actor Robert Redford.

Earlier in the week the Foundation announced its first action was joining a federal lawsuit against the USDA that seeks to block horse slaughter.

Click (HERE) to comment at Albuquerque Business First