Horse Slaughter, Wild Horses & Burros; Senate Save – House Kill, What the Heck Does It All Mean?

Source: ASPCA

“Today we share with you a recap of recent legislative events that impact the future health, safety and well being of not only our domestic equines but also our federally protected wild horses and burros. Today’s news round up comes from the ASPCA and is a very readable article that helps to clarify the whirlwind of events and future legislative action relative to the wild ones, we thank the ASPCA for putting this together.

Likewise, we would like to recognize Neda DeMayo and the efforts of RTF for keeping us up to date and focused on the events of the past several weeks…many thanks.

With all that said, you have not heard much, specifically, from Wild Horse Freedom Federation; there is a reason for that so please allow me to briefly explain why.

As I type, every single member of our Legal Staff, Directors, Officers and volunteers at WHFF have their collective nose’s to the grindstone putting the final polishing on a five year project that is ensured to raise eyebrows, shine a light on the truth and give both legislators and the public the tools that they need to further the protection of our wild horses and burros. We stand at the brink.

Stimulate your curiosity? Then stay tuned, remain focused and keep the faith…we will prevail, my friends. Until then, may the Force of the Horse be with you.” ~ R.T.


photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

The ayes have it! That was the Chairman’s call Thursday morning in the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee after it passed the Udall-Graham-Coons-Feinstein-Reed-Collins-Shaheen Amendment to prevent horse slaughter plants from reopening on U.S. soil.

This amendment to the fiscal year 2018 Agriculture Appropriations bill is the Senate’s response to the House Appropriations Committee’s narrow, disappointing failure to pass a similar provision last week (in a 25-27 final count). It also means we have a fighting chance to retain the horse slaughter prohibition in the final law when it passes.

The House and Senate each work on a different version of the annual Appropriations bill. Once both House and Senate have passed their respective bills, they merge them together and decide which provisions to keep and which to toss. The key to our ultimate success for horses is to ask both chambers, particularly leadership, to retain this important prohibition.

For more than a decade, Congress has rejected the idea that the government should spend our tax money subsidizing horse slaughter. Outcry from voters, animal welfare advocates, equine rescues, horse industry groups, veterinarians, farmers and therapy organizations has been extremely compelling for most legislators.

Polling at the federal and state levels has repeatedly and resoundingly demonstrated that Americans view horses as companions, not food. As work and therapy animals, athletes and friends to young riders, horses have served us well. Allowing them to be served to diners overseas is not acceptable.

While this amendment cannot completely prevent all horse slaughter, we have seen encouraging statistics this year showing a dramatic 44% decline in the number of American horses taken over our borders for slaughter. We are on the right track, and once we are sure horse slaughter plants are not allowed to operate on our soil we will direct our energy to passing the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act (H.R. 113). This bill would permanently prevent horse slaughter in this country as well as halt the transport of our horses to Mexico and Canada for this gruesome purpose.

The future of our nation’s wild horses was also considered this week—by the same House committee that opened the door for slaughter last week. Not surprisingly, the committee approved an amendment to allow the killing of thousands of healthy wild mustangs.

The U.S. has protected wild horses and burros from wholesale massacre for decades, but the Trump budget proposal seeks to allow the government to take the lives of thousands of horses held captive in holding pens. Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) offered this amendment to remove protections against killing any wild horse, and it passed over the strong objections of many members of the committee. We must speak out against lethal measures like this, and we must prevent the Senate from voting the same way.

Congress takes the month of August off. With this recess looming, we encourage advocates who want to ensure we win these fights to engage their federal legislators back at home in their districts and states. If you want to help wild and domestic horses, please join the ASPCA’s Horse Action Team and we’ll arm you with the information you need.

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

Call to Action: America’s Wild Horses & Burros – No Slaughter, NO WAY!

photo artistry by Carol Walker of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“Many compliments to the advocates who compiled the raw phone contact information for members of the House Appropriations Committee that meets this Tuesday morning, (TOMORROW), when the fate of America’s wild horses and burros will again be joined. Also included are the Senate members who’ll play a key role in deciding whether the provision allowing the reintroduction of US horse slaughterhouses will be defeated. Calls are the key, immediate and polite. “No slaughter, NO WAY!” is the goal. 

After calling, Tweet, Facebook, Email…do everything you can to get the message out but please remain focused and polite, it is a simple message, “No Slaughter, NO WAY”!  Let’s get after it!!” ~ R.T.


HOUSE APPROP’S FULL COMMITTEE MEMBER LIST:

REPUBLICANS

  • Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, New Jersey,Chairman– 202-225-5034   frelinghuysen.house.gov
  • Harold Rogers, Kentucky202-225-4601   halrogers.house.gov
  • Robert B. Aderholt, Alabama– 202-225-4876   aderholt.house.gov
  • Kay Granger, Texas– 202-225-5071   kaygranger.house.gov
  • Michael K. Simpson, Idaho202-225-5531   simpson.house.gov
  • John Abney Culberson, Texas– 202-225-2571   Culberson.house.gov
  • John R. Carter, Texas– 202-225-3864   carter.house.gov
  • Ken Calvert, California– 202-225-1986   calvert.house.gov
  • Tom Cole, Oklahoma– 202-225-6165   cole.house.gov or Tom.Cole@mail.house.gov
  • Mario Diaz-Balart, Florida– 202-225-4211  MarioDiaz-Balart.house.gov 
  • Charles W. Dent, Pennsylvania– 202-225-6411  dent.house.gov 
  • Tom Graves, Georgia– 202-225-5211  tomgraves.house.gov 
  • Kevin Yoder, Kansas– 202-225-2865  yoder.house.gov 
  • Steve Womack, Arkansas– 202-225-4301  womack.house.gov 
  • Jeff Fortenberry, Nebraska– 202-225-4806  fortenberry.house.gov 
  • Thomas J. Rooney, Florida– 202-225-5792  rooney.gov 
  • Charles J. Fleischmann, Tennessee– 202-225-6411  dent.house.gov 
  • Jaime Herrera Beutler, Washington– 202-225-3536  herrerabeutler.house.gov 
  • David P. Joyce, Ohio– 202-225-5731  joyce.house.gov 
  • David G. Valadao, California– 202-225-4695  valadao.house.gov 
  • Andy Harris, MD, Maryland– 202-225-5311  harris.house.gov 
  • Martha Roby, Alabama– 202-225-2901  roby.house.gov 
  • Mark E. Amodei, Nevada– 202-225-6155  amodei.house.gov 
  • Chris Stewart, Utah– 202-225-9730  stewart.house.gov or chris.stewart@mail.house.gov
  • David Young, Iowa– 202-225-5476  davidyoung.house.gov 
  • Evan H. Jenkins, West Virginia– 202-225-3452  evanjenkins.house.gov 
  • Steven Palazzo, Mississippi– 202-225-5772  palazzo.house.gov 
  • Dan Newhouse, Washington– 202-225-5816  newhouse.house.gov 
  • John R. Moolenaar, Michigan– 202-225-3561  moolenaar.house.gov 
  • Scott Taylor- 202-225-4215    taylor.house.gov (?)

DEMOCRATS

  • Nita M. Lowey, New York– 202-225-6506  lowey.house.gov 
  • Marcy Kaptur, Ohio– 202-225-4146  kaptur.house.gov or rep.kaptur@mail.house.gov
  • Peter J. Visclosky, Indiana– 202-225-2461  viclosky.house.gov 
  • José E. Serrano, New York– 202-225-4361  serrano.house.gov or jserrano@mail.house.gov
  • Rosa L. DeLauro, Connecticut– 202-225-3661  delauro.house.gov 
  • David E. Price, North Carolina– 202-225-1784  price.house.gov 
  • Lucille Roybal-Allard, California– 202-225-3536  herrerabeutler.house.gov 
  • Sanford D. Bishop, Jr., Georgia– 202-225-3631  bishop.house.gov or bishop.email@mail.house.gov
  • Barbara Lee, California– 202-225-2661  lee.house.gov 
  • Betty McCollum, Minnesota– 202-225-6631  mccollum.house.gov 
  • Tim Ryan, Ohio– 202-225-5261  timryan.house.gov 
  • C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, Maryland– 202-225-3061  dutch.house.gov 
  • Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Florida– 202-225-7931  wassermanschultz.house.gov 
  • Henry Cuellar, Texas– 202-225-1640  cuellar.house.gov 
  • Chellie Pingree, Maine– 202-225-6116  pingree.house.gov or rep.chellie.pingree@mail.house.gov
  • Mike Quigley, Illinois– 202-225-4061  quigley.house.gov 
  • Derek Kilmer, Washington– 202-225-5916  kilmer.house.gov 
  • Matt Cartwright, Pennsylvania– 202-225-5546  cartwright.house.gov 
  • Grace Meng, New York– 202-225-2601  meng.house.gov 
  • Mark Pocan, Wisconsin– 202-225-2906  pocan.house.gov 
  • Katherine M. Clark, Massachusetts– 202-225-2836  katherineclark.house.gov 
  • Pete Aguilar, California– 202-225-3201  aguilar.house.gov 
 
Agriculture FY 2018 budget.  SENATE LIST:
(KEY CONTACTS MARKED IF YOU ARE NOT GOING TO DO ALL)
Thad Cochran
@SenThadCochran
Phone: (202) 224-5054
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Senator-Thad-Cochran
Patrick Leahy
@SenatorLeahy
Phone: (202) 224-4242
https://www.facebook.com/SenatorPatrickLeahy
Mitch McConnell
@McConnellPress
Phone: (202) 224-2541
Fax: (202) 224-2499
https://www.facebook.com/mitchmcconnell
Patty Murray
@PattyMurray
Phone: (202) 224-2621
Fax: (202) 224-0238
https://www.facebook.com/pattymurray
Richard Shelby
@SenShelby
p: (202) 224-5744
https://www.facebook.com/RichardShelby
Dianne Feinstein
@SenFeinstein
Phone: (202) 224-3841
Fax: (202) 228-3954
https://www.facebook.com/SenatorFeinstein
Lamar Alexander
@SenAlexander
Phone: (202) 224-4944
Fax: (202) 228-3398
https://www.facebook.com/senatorlamaralexander
Richard Durbin
@SenatorDurbin
p: 202.224.2152
f: 202.228.0400
https://www.facebook.com/SenatorDurbin
Susan Collins
@SenatorCollins
Main: (202)224-2523
Fax: (202)224-2693
https://www.facebook.com/susancollins
Jack Reed
@SenJackReed
T: (202) 224-4642
F: (202) 224-4680
https://www.facebook.com/SenJackReed
Lisa Murkowski KEY CONTACT
@lisamurkowski
Phone: (202)-224-6665
Fax: (202)-224-5301
https://www.facebook.com/SenLisaMurkowski
Jon Tester
@SenatorTester
Phone: (202) 224-2644
Fax: (202) 224-8594
https://www.facebook.com/senatortester
Lindsey Graham
Office: (202) 224-5972
Fax: (202) 224-3808
https://www.facebook.com/LindseyGrahamSC
Tom Udall KEY CONTACT
@SenatorTomUdall
(202) 224-6621
https://www.facebook.com/senatortomudall
Roy Blunt
@RoyBlunt
Phone: (202) 224-5721
https://www.facebook.com/SenatorBlunt
Jeanne Shaheen
@SenatorShaheen
Ph: (202) 224-2841
https://www.facebook.com/SenatorShaheen
Jerry Moran
@JerryMoran
Phone: (202) 224-6521
Fax: (202) 228-6966
https://www.facebook.com/jerrymoran
Jeff Merkley KEY CONTACT
@SenJeffMerkley
Phone: (202) 224-3753
Fax: (202) 228-3997
https://www.facebook.com/jeffmerkley
John Hoeven
@SenJohnHoeven
P: 202-224-2551
https://www.facebook.com/SenatorJohnHoeven
Christopher Coons
@ChrisCoons
Phone:(202) 224-5042
https://www.facebook.com/senatorchriscoons
John Boozman
@JohnBoozman
Phone: (202) 224-4843
https://www.facebook.com/JohnBoozman
Brian Schatz
@SenBrianSchatz
PHONE: (202) 224-3934
FAX: (202) 228-1153
https://www.facebook.com/SenBrianSchatz
Shelley Moore Capito
@SenCapito
Phone: 202-224-6472
https://www.facebook.com/senshelley
Tammy Baldwin
@SenatorBaldwin
Phone: (202) 224-5653
https://www.facebook.com/senatortammybaldwin
James Lankford
@SenatorLankford
Phone: (202) 224-5754
Fax: (202) 228-1015
https://www.facebook.com/SenatorLankford
Chris Murphy
@SenMurphyOffice & @ChrisMurphyCT
P: (202) 224-4041
F: (202) 224-9750
https://www.facebook.com/ChrisMurphyCT
Steve Daines
@SteveDaines
p: (202) 224-2651
https://www.facebook.com/SteveDainesMT
Joe Manchin
@Sen_JoeManchin
Phone: 304-342-5855
Fax: 304-343-7144
https://www.facebook.com/JoeManchinIII
John Kennedy
@SenJohnKennedy
Phone: (202) 224-4623
Fax: (202) 228-0447
https://www.facebook.com/SenatorJohnKennedy/
Chris Van Hollen
@ChrisVanHollen
Phone (202) 224-4654
Fax: (202) 228-0629
https://www.facebook.com/chrisvanhollen/
Marco Rubio
@SenRubioPress
(202) 224-3041
https://www.facebook.com/SenatorMarcoRubio

Political Back-Stabbing Kills Horse Slaughter Ammendment

By Rebecca Shabad as published on The Hill

The Face of U.S. Politics

The Face of U.S. Politics

Republicans narrowly blocked an amendment to a spending bill Wednesday that would have defunded inspections of horse slaughter facilities.

The amendment from Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.) would have prohibited funding for the inspection of horse slaughter facilities, which would effectively prevent them from operating.

GOP appropriators defeated the proposal in a 24-24 vote during a markup of a bill to fund the Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration.

For the last three years, Farr said the USDA has asked Congress to defund the practice in its budget requests.

“Supporting this amendment does not stop the slaughter of horses,” said Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), chairman of the subcommittee that oversees the bill.

Aderholt argued the practice would just be moved “off-shore” and “out of sight.”

Democrats, however, said the practice is not humane and Congress has previously stated it does not support the slaughter of horses.

In April, Reps. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), Frank Guinta, (R-N.H.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.) introduced the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act to ban the killing of horses for human consumption in the U.S.

The bill also would ban the export of live horses to Mexican and Canadian slaughterhouses, where the animals are killed and shipped overseas.

The U.S. already has a ban in place on the sale of horse meat for human consumption, but it must be reviewed by Congress each year.

Moran Amendment to Ban Horse Slaughter Passes Appropriations Committee

Press Release from the office of Congressman Jim Moran

“When more than 80 percent of the American population opposes this practice, it is high time we put an end, once and for all, to industrial horse slaughter”

Congressman Jim Moran, R.T. Fitch – president of Wild Horse Freedom Federation, Vicki Tobin – VP Equine Welfare Alliance speaking before National Capitol during press conference earlier this year ~ photo by Terry Fitch

Washington, DC – An amendment introduced today by Congressman Jim Moran, Northern Virginia Democrat, to eliminate federal funding for USDA inspections of horse slaughter facilities passed the full Appropriations Committee. The amendment, adopted in the Fiscal Year 2013 Agricultural Appropriations Bill, would effectively prohibit the practice of horse slaughter for human consumption in the U.S. The bill now heads to the floor for a vote by the full House.

“When more than 80 percent of the American population opposes this practice, it is high time we put an end, once and for all, to industrial horse slaughter,” said Rep. Moran. “Horses hold an important place in our nation’s history and culture, treasured by all for their beauty and majesty. They deserve to be cared for, not killed for foreign consumption.”

During debate, Moran noted that the Appropriations Committee cut back funding for USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) meat facility inspections by $9 million below Fiscal Year 2012. He argued against expanding FSIS responsibilities to inspect meat shipped to foreign countries that would come at the expense of funding for inspections of chicken, pork and beef consumed by U.S. citizens.

U.S. horse meat may also contain chemicals harmful to humans if ingested. Unlike farm animals raised for their meat, horses are routinely given powerful medications, including the anti-inflammatory pain killing drug phenylbutazone.

Declan Gregg of Children 4 Horses and Congressman Moran in D.C. earlier this year ~ photo by Terry Fitch

“Adding millions of dollars to the federal budget to inspect foreign-owned horse slaughter plants would be a step backwards for America’s iconic horses and a waste of tax dollars,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. “We are grateful to Congressman Jim Moran for leading the charge to restore this critical horse protection provision, and to the House Appropriations Committee for reining in this multi-million-dollar subsidy that could pave the way for the needless killing of American horses for foreign gourmands.”

Moran introduced similar language during debate over the fiscal year 2012 Agricultural Appropriations Bill. Though adopted in the House, the language was removed during conference committee in November. Moran’s amendment today would reinstate the five-year ban on horse slaughter from 2006-2011.