AA has gained information through a Freedom of information Act Request (FOIA) that powerfully underscores the cruelty of horse slaughter on U.S. soil. Under the most ideal conditions possible – including watering stops during single-deck transport, less packed conditions and multiple cameras with a team of monitors – a horse died in the bottom of a trailer during transport. The study adds to ever increasing evidence that demonstrates horse slaughter cannot be ‘improved’ into something that is humane.
Today, October 7, 2011 the new rule affecting double decker transport of horses becomes effective. The Humane Society of the United States wants to be in a position to monitor compliance/violations while urging the USDA to enforce the new regulations. We are in the process of developing a monitoring plan and would like your assistance. We are aware that many rescues attend auctions on a regular basis and are often in a position to observe violations of the humane transport of equines. If you witness any violations, please contact us with the following information:
Newspapers from coast to coast are carrying stories about doomed Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) pleading for the Congress to bring horse slaughter back to America. Baucus is calling for an end to a ban on the funding of USDA horse slaughter inspections that has kept the industry out of America since 2007. In doing so Baucus is taking part in a growing tradition of political penance for disgraced members of the secretive horse slaughter caucus, one of the few remaining bipartisan institutions of Congress.
There is no such thing as humane horse slaughter at this time. What is stated below can be backed up with absolute evidence or extensive documentation of what actually happens. Please know that as awfully horrific as horse slaughter actually is, the untold suffering many horses go through from point of sale to slaughter is horrific. At the point at which the Kill Buyer owns the horse that is loaded on a large crowded tractor semi trailer, his biggest expense is fuel for the truck not food (or water) for the horses; which often are injured by the time they arrive at their first US feedlot stop many hours later. DOT and USDA Laws are often broken by driving too many hours; as well as drivers not providing horses rest, food and water at required intervals that are set forth in the Transport to Slaughter Act. Since laws are not enforced, Animals that are supposed to be protected suffer *before* the horrific death with the act of slaughter itself, regardless of the country where the horse is slaughtered.
The Humane Society of the United States praises the U.S. Department of Agriculture for closing a gaping loophole that previously allowed the horse slaughter industry to escape oversight and transport horses in inhumane conditions. Many horses bound for slaughter have ended up in dangerous double-decker trailers if the shippers exploited the loophole and simply made a stop between the auction block and the slaughter plant.
WASHINGTON — The Humane Society of the United States commends Sens. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., and Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., for introducing S. 1281, the Horse Transportation Safety Act of 2011, an important measure to improve safety for horses during transport. The legislation would prohibit the interstate transportation of horses in a motor vehicle containing two or more levels stacked on top of one another. This bill is backed by organizations in the veterinary medical community, the agriculture industry and animal welfare groups, and is supported by a recommendation in a new Government Accountability Office report released last week which stated that a ban on the use of double-decker trailers for transport to slaughter would “protect horses through more of the transportation chain to slaughter.”
Animals’ Angels observed the collecting station of known slaughter buyer Garry Morris. There were approx. 40 horses in the pen area. One pen held a severely emaciated red roan Appaloosa, which was probably less than 3 years old. The horse, which was a BCS 1.5 on the Henneke chart, was obviously sick, since thick, purulent discharge was dripping from his mouth and nostrils. There also was discharge from the eyes and he had a dry cough, all symptoms of a severe strangles infection. The horse shared the same pen with numerous other horses, a few minis and an approx. 8 month old foal. Investigators never saw the horse move, he was standing very still with his head low.
The Government Accountability Office has issued its report, GAO 11-228, on action needed to address unintended consequences of the 2007 closing of domestic slaughter facilities. A principal recommendation: “Congress may wish to consider instituting an explicit ban on the domestic slaughter of horses and export of U.S. horses intended for slaughter in foreign countries.”
HOUSTON, (Horseback) – The late President Harry Truman was an expert on politics, heat, and kitchens. He knew that the combination of all three could be just too much for some in elective office to bear. Such seems to be the case with Wyoming Rep. Sue Wallis, the leader of an often fumbling effort to re-open horse slaughterhouses in the United States.
In May AA investigated the Morton, TX Feedlot and 2 export pens (Del Rio, TX and Eagle Pass, TX) after EU reports alerted us about large numbers of horses being returned at the Mexican border. EU inspectors reported that on the day they were present at the export pen, 40% or 12 out of 30 horses were rejected (advanced pregnancy, health issues and injuries). OISA data revealed that over a 10 month period when EU inspectors were not present, roughly 9% or 5,336 horses of 62,560 horses were rejected.