Friday, November 24, 2006

Horse Slaughter Protection Amendment

On September 7th, 2006 the US House of Representatives overwhelming passed HR 503, a bill to finally end the slaughter of American horses for overseas human consumption. The margin was 263 for the ban, 146 against it.

I support this ban because horses were never meant to be raised as a food source. They are not livestock. They are sentient beings, taught to trust us and be our companions. It is an extreme betrayal of trust that we even consider sending them to the slaughter house. And the most shocking part is that these horses have become "What's for Dinner" in France, Belgium, Italy and Japan.

Some will tell you that it is only the old and infirm that end up at the slaughterhouse. Not so. Over 92% of the horses sold at auction and ending up at the slaughterhouse are healthy young horses. They want "young" meat for the dinner table.

And to be very clear, there is nothing humane about slaughter. It's a horrific, terrifying event for the horse. The captive bolt pistol intended to render them senseless before having their throats slit open rarely hits its mark. Horses are flight animals, and they see the blows coming. They fight desperately to avoid the bolt. Many times the horses are hit again and again, resulting in head and eye injuries. Many are still conscious as they are slit open and hung by one back leg to “bleed out.”

The three slaughterhouses in the US are Belgium owned and consequently they operate free of taxation here. Purely from an economic point of view, there is no reason for them to be operating on our soil.

It has been suggested that there will be an overflow of unwanted horses if slaughter is ended. I strongly dispute that. Somewhere between 50,000 and 30,000 horses are stolen each year. When California banned slaughter within its borders the number of stolen horses went down, and there was no increase in neglected or abused horses. There are hundreds of horse rescues working in America to save our horses at this very moment. Responsible horse ownership needs to be promoted. If an owner cannot or will not pay the cost of humane euthanasia (which is minimal), then they should not have a horse.

Most Americans have no clue this atrocity is happening in the US. Every four minutes a horse is brutally killed in one of the slaughterhouses in American and the meat is going overseas for human consumption. The French and Japanese consider it a delicacy. Can you imagine eating Flicka? Barbaro? Secretariat?

This is not about eating meat or not eating meat. This is about killing companion animals for human consumption overseas. Roy Jackson, co-owner of Barbaro, says it very well. “We have an obligation. We are their keepers.” This is about responsible stewardship of companion animals.

The American people are speaking loudly and clearly, and they want this atrocity to end. The House of Representative passed this bill overwhelmingly in September, but the Senate's version, S 1915 currently is languishing in the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation committee. Please call your Senators and support this bill. Please call Senator Majority Leader Frist and ask him to place this bill on the Senate calendar. This bill needs to be brought to a vote, and now. If it is not voted on before this Senate session ends, it too dies and the entire process will need to be repeated in both the House and the Senate.

It's time to end the horror for America's horses.


Lor in PA

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Stolen Horse International


The face of death

The face of death
#396, A kind, gentle Thoroughbred

All that is left

All that is left
I will never forget him...I promise. I am so sorry, #396...I don't even have a name for you...

Why would you take my life? Am I a food source animal?

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