Monday, December 11, 2006

The 109th Senate Failed America's Horses Miserably

The 109th senate adjourned Saturday morning around 4:45 AM and quietly swept out of town. They left behind many unsigned appropriation bills, and important to many of us, the Horse Slaughter Ban Amendment died an agonizing death when the Senate adjourned.

Senator Frist, as the outgoing Senate Majority Leader scheduled the bills to be voted on. Despite a major grass roots effort, Mr. Frist was unwilling to put it on the calendar.

This bill, designed to end the slaughter of America's horses for overseas consumption was passed overwhelmingly by the House of Representative on September the 7th, 2006. The Senate was too, uhhh, "busy" to discuss the bill.

Big Beef and The Cattlemen's Association feared this bill greatly. For some reason, they think we are coming for the cattle next. They also view horses as livestock and private property, with which they may do what they please.

For people who live with and truly love horses, they are companion animals. They form a bond with us, just like our cats and dogs.

To be very clear, I like a juicy steak about once a week. However, Fido, Miss Kitty and Barbaro are not dinner options at our house.

Horse slaughter is an ugly, vicious industry whereby "killer buyers" go to auctions and purchase the meatiest, healthiest looking horses because it's all about price per pound. Over 92% of the horses ending up at the 3 Belgium owned slaughter houses in TX and IL are young, healthy and full of life.

These lovely, noble creatures stand in line waiting to enter the "kill box" and all the while are smelling the blood and fear of the horses that have gone before them. Upon entrance to the kill box, slippery with blood, they see a captive bolt pistol coming at that heads. Being flight animals, and sensing the imminent danger, they struggle to avoid the hammer being swung at their heads. Because of their struggle, they often fall and injure themselves, or receive eye, ear and head injuries. It may take many tries for the bolt to connect properly with their heads and stun their brains. Many are not even unconscious when their throats are slit and they are hung by one back leg to "bleed out."

Humane euthanasia is not an option for animals for human consumption. The strong barbituate that brings a gentle but swift end to our beloved pets would taint the meat. In fact, horses are regularly wormed, vaccinated and given drugs that are clearly labeled "NOT FOR USE IN ANIMALS FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION." Yet, we as American's allow these Belgium owned companies to kill our horses and ship the meat off as a delicacy in France, Japan and Belgium. The bottom line - the meat is loaded with toxins.

The slaughterhouses pay no taxes here in the US. I have a copy of a income tax return that shows $12 Million is income, but they only paid $5 - that's $5, not $5 million, in income tax. Once they've got the meat across the pond, they mark it up some 400% and making a killing (no pun intended) there. From a purely economic point of view, these businesses have no business operating on our soil.

And why, you may ask, don't the Belgium companies slaughter their own Belgium? Why that would be because it's illegal to slaughter horses for human consumption in most European countries.

Damned ironic, isn't it?

Disappointed? Yes I am. But we live to fight another day. Look out 110th...we're coming to educate you...


This is a poem I wrote, expressing my sadness for the horses that will continue to die every week, until this bill is passed and our horses are safe.

And Barbaro Wept…

The night was cold but calm

The night shift worked quietly


And the hospital moved thru the night

And Barbaro slept…

In the early dawn hours

The Sweet Prince awoke


It was clear in his minds eye

And Barbaro no longer slept…

He knew that many new angels

Would soon meet the pastures of Heaven


And the pain was nearly unbearable

And Barbaro wept…

I woke from my sleep in anguish

Read the email - regret to inform


The words of the people ignored

And Barbaro wept…

I reached out to him with my heart

I held him close

Believe, I coaxed

The battle over, but the war is not lost

Still, Barbaro wept…

He thought about the horses in the feedlots

And the pens

Waiting, waiting

He thought about their fate

And Barbaro wept…

Sweet Bobby thought of the Mustangs

Soon the riders and copters to come


So much beauty lost to the fear

And Barbaro wept…

He thought about the burros,

The Nokota Horses

The Ponies on Assateague

The runners coming up lame

Still, Barbaro wept…

I held his heart so tight and I whispered

We are battle weary


But this war is far from over

Have hope, I urged

You most of all must be strong

Remarkable stallion

For you are our inspiration

We will fight on, for you Sweet Prince

For we do BELIEVE


Happen every day

You must be strong, Bobby

Keep us focused

Teach by example


You taught us all to believe

I held his heart so tight

Blanketed with love


Hope for the future

And comforted, Barbaro slept.

And quietly I pulled away

I didn’t want him to feel

My pain

I wanted him to rest…

And then I wept…

Lorri Roush Shaver, 12/9/2006.

1 comment:

Ivanka Steener said...

I am saddened by the news, but will continue to fight for the ban on horse slaughter in the future.
I think our Senators should know how disappointed we are with their neglect of this important bill. I still urge everyone to call your Senators and let them know how you stand on this issue. The Senate operator can be reached at 202 224 3121.

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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