Thursday, November 8, 2007

Help Rescue Horses Bound For Slaughter - Bring Them Home for The Holidays

Horses Give Thanks Help Us........Help Them

For Immediate Release
November 7, 2007
West Palm Beach, Florida.- Pure Thoughts Inc. Horse and Foal Rescue has announced a new rescue project. Pure Thoughts Inc. will be purchasing horses from two auctions that are attended by kill buyers who sell horses to Canadian and Mexican slaughterhouses for human consumption.

"Horses Gives Thanks 2007" will take place beginning the day after Thanksgiving November 23, 2007 at Sugarcreek Livestock Auction in Ohio and will end on Monday November 26, 2007 at the New Holland Auction in south east Pennsylvania. Pure Thoughts Inc. is looking to raise money to save as many horses as possible. Since the opening of the Pure Thoughts, Inc. South Carolina facility, the ability to help horses through the rescue has doubled. South Carolina's farm director Tracy Steiger, will also be driving one the two horse trailers being utilized on the trip. Steiger is a seasoned horse transporter who is highly respected among horses owners and rescue throughout the east coast.

Pure Thoughts has asked several rescues to assist in taking in horses, including Another Chance 4 Horses to join them in the save. Rescue Founder Christy Sheidy has agreed to have stalls open for horses in need and with be at the New Holland auction on Monday, November 26th . Another Chance 4 Horses goes to New Holland every week, when asked about attending the New Holland auction Sheidy stated "It is frustrating, the kill buyers have deeper pockets and more immediate space to take the horses. They do not have to worry about care of the horses. As a rescue we go in with limited funds and limited space." In response to Sheidy's comment, Swanson stated "This time it is going to be different, this time we are going to do everything in our power to make sure the rescues have more money and the ability to house and care for more horses, this time the horses will win.. not the slaughterhouses."

This is not the first time AC4H and Pure Thoughts, Inc have worked together to pull horses from an inhumane end. Most recently on October 22, 2007, the two rescues were able to save discarded race horses bound for slaughter. This event was covered by the nationally syndicated news show Inside Edition. The crew of Inside Edition not only interviewed several rescue founders but they spent an entire day filming the save at the New Holland Livestock Auction in south east Pennsylvania, the same sale where "Horses Gives Thanks 2007" will be on Monday, November 26th.

We are hoping to spread the word and expand our fundraising efforts exponentially. Pure Thoughts Inc. is an all-volunteer 501c3 non -profit organization. When asked about fundraising Swanson said" We have been very fortunate. The Emily Vernon Foundation has helped the horses immensely and aided in helping the saving of many orphaned foals this year. In the past, The Green Foundation helped us build an additional 6 stalls so that we can house more horses and Petsmart issued us a grant to handle castrations of colts and stallions. Richard Schecter and Jennifer Reid both horse enthusiasts and long time supporters will be playing a large role in this rescue effort. In addition to donating to the rescue efforts they will be matching up to $5000 in additional donations." Swanson added. "This is the largest single rescue effort we have ever done and we need to spread the word and expand our fundraising arena. In a perfect world we would have 30 acres, 60 stalls and limitless funds. But we do not live in a perfect world. If we did, these horses would not need saving. Our goal is to raise at least $35,000 and save over 50 horses over the Thanksgiving weekend."

In most circles this day is considered Black Friday, the traditional kick off for Christmas shopping across the country. This year, Black Friday will be a new beginning, a ray of hope for horses that would have ended up on the cold floor of a slaughterhouse if it weren't for those who have the ability to change their lives. It is common to find healthy sound horses in direct to slaughter kill pens alongside horses that have obviously suffered long term neglect or abuse.

Since the closing of the last foreign owned slaughter house in Dekalb, IL, kill buyers travel to Canada and Mexico to sell to slaughterhouses there. Currently there are bills both in the House and Senate to end this practice completely. The horrific trailer accident on October 27, 2007 showed even though the slaughter has currently ended on American soil the cruelty has not. Cheryl Hanna, long time advocate against slaughter remarked.” The inhumanity and cruelty of the auctions, the feedlots/kill pens, the double decker trucks used for transport with barely a 5 foot height clearance and the 24+ hour trips that the horses are trucked to Canada and Mexico clearly demonstrate the need to pass federal legislation to finally end horse slaughter for our American horses. There are 2 bills HR. 503 and S. 311 which will finally end the despicable slaughter of these American icons." When learning of this rescue effort, John Holland, long time anti slaughter advocate said, "This rescue effort could not come at a more crucial time. Thousands of our horses are being exported to tortuous slaughter in Mexican and Canadian slaughterhouses while powerful slaughter groups like the AVMA continue to obstruct the passage of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act. Until we can get this legislation passed, every horse saved is a spared from a vicious and cruel death."

You can read more about this rescue effort for the horses at:

In order to make this landmark event successful the rescue and its supporters call on horse owners and horse lovers everywhere to help in anyway they can.

Donations can be made through the rescue's web site via Pay Pal.

For donors who prefer to mail in their donations they can send a check payable to:

Pure Thoughts Inc. Horse and Foal Rescue
Horses Give Thanks
19181 Capet Creek
Loxahatchee, FL 33470561-254-0415


Pure Thoughts Inc also urges those who cannot donate to help by spreading the word. Every time someone emails this request we get closer to achieving our goal. This Holiday Season could mean a new beginning fro many horses. Help Pure Thoughts change the lives of the horses and the people who are determined to help make a difference. Pure thoughts, Inc is also looking for on sight support and local sponsors from businesses and volunteers in the South Florida area. If your business would like to participate please contact Jennifer Swanson, Founder, at

Pure Thoughts Inc. Horse and Foal Rescue Mission Statement
Pure Thoughts is an all volunteer 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to saving the lives of horses, yearlings and foals that were bound for the foreign owned slaughterhouses in our country in addition to starvation, neglect and abuse cases. Horses, yearlings and foals bound for slaughter would have been brutally tortured and slaughtered so that they could be served as a delicacy in foreign countries. After arriving at Pure Thoughts the horses are quarantined and evaluated, they are medically tended to, put on a healthy nutritional program and most importantly they are shown that they are loved and humans will not harm them, they have a second chance. They have gone on to become show horses; trail horses, family pets and forever companions. We have saved over 675 innocent equines and as long as this cruel act continues we will continue to fight for the horses. We cannot do this alone...we need your help!! Please help us and others save these beautiful animals and please remember in your thoughts the ones we were unable to reach... Both the horses and the kids at Pure Thoughts will walk together the path that is ahead of them. One will teach the other about life’s rules, expectations, caring and compassion.

Pure Thoughts Inc. has the advantage of having a fantastic rehab trainer
Brad Gaver M.Ed, Co-Founder of Pure Thoughts Inc. Horse & Foal Rescue, has a history of success working with youths. His conceptual dream, “Pure Thoughts Horsemanship” which has turned into a reality, was started so that he may lead and guide our children on a path of success through equine therapy. Mr. Gaver has spent years studying the animal / human connection and has developed a program that unitizes horses as his means for not only reaching these children but also as a catalyst for each youth to grow within their selves, understand their true self and know that their future is for them to discover…. and decide the path they wish to take. The horses deserve a second chance to be loved and so do our children.Bradley Gaver is also an accomplished horseman, farrier and trainer specializing in the "Art of Equine Communication for the Competitive Edge." Brad trains both human and horse to communicate on the same level so that their experience together is a rewarding one. In his words..."There isn't a horse out of reach.... time, patience and repetition are the key. Before anything a bond and mutual trust must be formed.

Jennifer Swanson
Pure Thoughts Inc.Horse & Foal Rescue
19181 Capet Creek
Loxahatchee, FL 33470

Saving the life of a horse may not change the world...................but it will change that horse's world.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

AVMA Pro-Horse Slaughter - Their Comments Reprehensible

On Friday, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) released a statement regarding the ramifications of the shutdown of the last horse slaughter houses in America.

The first ramification from my perspective is that we in America are no longer allowing the cruel slaughtering of our horses for wealthy Europeans to dine on.

Dr. Mark Lutschaunig, the veterinarian who directs AVMA’s governmental relations claims that neglect and abandonment have increased. The last slaughter house was just shuttered, so I’m not sure how good Dr. Lutschaunig's sample poll actually was. Was there a sample poll? When?

I do know that when California outlawed slaughter, there was no increase in neglect and abuse cases. In fact, horse theft fell by about 34%.

He makes a statement about farms where 50 to 100 horses are being neglected. I’m not sure where these farms are. I do know I follow this subject on a daily basis. On occasion we hear of a case of a highly populated horse farm with starving horses. This is not a situation where owners are being neglectful or have fallen on hard financial times. When you are dealing with that many animals you have an animal hoarder situation. The existence of slaughter, or lack thereof, has no effect on the hoarder mentality.

Dr. Lutschaunig goes on to say "Our profession absolutely loves horses, as we love all animals. And, we're not pro-slaughter. What we are is pro-animal welfare and pro-horse welfare."


The AVMA is largely made up of small animal doctors. I have no “beef” with that fact, but I do think it is part of the reason that the AVMA has gone pro-slaughter. If true equine doctors were polled, I think the results would be a little different. Understanding the equine skull is very different from a cows is the first step. The captive bolt gun that the AVMA endorses is not humane for horses. Nothing could be further from the truth. At best, it’s a brutal, terrifying death, and in many cases horses are cut apart alive.

Dr. Lutschaunig goes on to say that if that ban of horses being transported outside the county for slaughter is enacted, it will be nearly impossible to enforce. Since when is the AVMA in a regulatory position? Isn’t that better left up to our law enforcement authorities? Isn’t that the same as saying that we can’t control the flow of Heroin into the country, so let’s just not worry about it?

Killer buyers are outbidding each other at auctions to get our so-called “unwanted” horses. They are also stealing them out of their slumbering owner’s fields at night, for their value by the pound.

I read today of a killer buyer lamenting the fact that it costs him more to transport horses out of the country to be slaughtered than it did when the slaughter houses were open in Texas. Poor guy is only making about $20 profit per horse.

Since when is the life of a companion animal reduced to pennies on the pound? Are the souls and lives of our horses only worth $20? Haven’t they earned a kinder fate? Are our cats and dogs next?

As the protectors of our pets, Veterinarians are sworn to alleviate suffering of animals.

From the AVMA Website:

Policy statements

Ownership vs Guardianship
Terminology Describing the Relationship Between Animals and Their Owners

The American Veterinary Medical Association promotes the optimal health and welfare of animals. Further, the AVMA recognizes the role of responsible owners in providing for their animals' care.

Euthanasia of Unwanted Animals

The AVMA is not opposed to the euthanasia of unwanted animals, when appropriate, by properly trained personnel, using acceptable humane methods.

Pain in Animals

The AVMA believes that animal pain and suffering are clinically important conditions that adversely affect an animal's quality of life. Drugs, techniques, or husbandry methods used to prevent and control pain must be tailored to individual animals and should be based, in part, on the species, breed, age, procedure performed, degree of tissue trauma, individual behavioral characteristics, degree of pain, and health status.

These Policy Statements seem diametrically opposed to the comments of the Dr. Lutschaunig.

If the AVMA is so concerned with the opportunity and costs of euthaniasia, who not offer free or low-cost euthanasia to owners who need assistance?

So why is the AVMA pro-slaughter?

I don’t know the answer and I can only speculate, but deep pockets want the horses to continue to be slaughtered. Horse advocates want to see our animals kept in this country and humanely cared for. There are not nearly as many “unwanted” horses as the pro-slaughter group suggests. There are however, many unlucky horses that are “acquired” by horse brokers.

I find the comments by the AVMA reprehensible. They are either being paid or, or else they’ve completely missed their mission on this issue.

From where I am sitting, the AVMA is leaving the hen house in the hands of the foxes.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Musical Horse Aid Concert to End Slaughter, Advocate for Horses


An Event To Increase Awareness And Raise Funds For The Care, Safety And Rescue Of Horses brings Live Acts, Guest Speakers and Horse Fans from across the country.

Animal Fairy Charities Inc. is presenting the Musical Horse Aid benefit concert September 15th at the Walworth County FairGrounds. Musical Horse Aid is a day long event featuring live entertainment and performances by various bands.

The Event is being held to increase awareness and raise funds for the care, safety and rescue of horses.

Over the past several years the public has become more in tune with the needs of retired horses and have stepped up to the plate to help fund various organizations that provide our horses with a safe haven.

Currently, legislation is pending that could end the slaughter of American horses. This has created a national movement to rescue horses and help fund the organizations that provide care and shelter for our horses.

We must support our Equine Rescue organizations that give these horses the second chance they need. Most can be successfully retrained for second careers as show horses,companion horses, riding horses and even therapy horses for the handicapped. Those that can not go on to a new career are able to live out their lives in peace and dignity with loving people that care for them.

Musical Horse Aid will run from noon until 10 pm. The Wisconsin National Guard will open and close the event with Full Color Guard and a National Anthem Tribute. The Kettle Moraine Rough Riders will also be perfoming at the event.

The entertainment line up will range in musical styles from country, folk to rock. The featured bands include: Brian Stace of Nashville; Ronnie Nyles & the Krash Band of Milwaukee; Martha Berner of Chicago; Spiral Trance; Twang Dragons; Brent Mitchell from Austin Texas, and Twisting Roses from IL, and Musical comedy interludes performed by CJ of the Mythic Figs appearing as Pot Luck from Indiana.

Various speakers are also scheduled throughout the event including Shelley Abrams from PA (board memeber of the R.A.C.E FUND), Gail Vacca, IL speaking on behalf of The Animal Welfare Institue, Jill Fritz from Minnesota to speak on behalf of The Humane Society of the United States, Shelley Sawhook President of The American Horse Defense Fund from DC,Barbara Boubelik-Chmielewski, IL founder and executive director of Lazy Maple Equine & Rescue Rehabilitation Center, Sandy Kimpfbeck, WI Board member of Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation and more special guests!

A variety of items from area businesses will be donated for the fundraiser. The MC for this years event is Cindy Huber from FM 106, Milwaukee¢s country music station. Various food and beverage vendors will be on site for the days festivities.

Pre event ticket sales are available at Tickets are $25 with all proceeds from ticket sales being donated to Horse Rescue Organizations and other horse related charities such as The Humane Society of The United States, Habitat for Horses,Thoroughbred Charities of America, Lazy Maple Equine, IL and The Midwest Welfare Foundation of WI.

Animal Fairy Charities Inc. was organized to foster national & international prevention of cruelty to all animals and aid in their safety & welfare with a special emphasis on horses. To learn more about this organization visit them on the web at

Sunday, June 10, 2007

AVMA's Stance on Horse Slaughter Puzzling at Best

I've been doing some research on the American Veterinary Medical Association because I am very puzzled by the fact that they SUPPORT the continuation of horse slaughter in this country.

I wandered far and wide on their site and found quite a few interesting statements regarding their mission and position statements. What I found was that some of their statements plainly contradict others.

And I must say that I respect Veterinarians very much. I have three wonderful cats, and my vet is one of the sweetest women I’ve ever met.

I'd like to make a few salient points.

I would suggest that veterinarians check out "humane" slaughter videos on Make no mistake about it, there is nothing humane about slaughter of America’s horses!

To the argument that there will be too many neglected horses if the ban is enacted: There has been no documented rise in abuse and neglect cases in California since the state banned horse slaughter for human consumption in 1998. There was no documented rise in Illinois during closure of the state's only horse slaughter plant in 2002 until its reopening in 2004. (

Responsible stewardship of companion animals must be advocated by WE, the stewards. If over-breeding is going on, it must be discontinued. And when our beloved companion animals become old or unwell, we have the responsibility to let them leave this world peacefully, not terrified.

The argument is also used that the cost of euthanasia is too "expensive" for many horse owners. I strongly dispute that. Again, from : The average cost of having a horse humanely euthanized and safely disposing of the animal's carcass is approximately $225, while the average monthly cost of keeping a horse is approximately $200.

Similar issues would be dealt with by an owner of a large dog. I maintain that if you have the money to own a horse, horses, or other companion animals, you are ethically responsible for financially and emotionally providing care for the animal, up to and including the peaceful termination of it's life when/if necessary.

I respectfully ask the veterinarians to educate themselves on this issue, and make an ethical, right decision.

From the AVMA web site (I have highlighted some of the interesting comments):

Veterinarian's Oath

(Adopted by the House of Delegates, July 1969, amended by the Executive Board, November 1999)

Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health, the relief of animal suffering, the conservation of animal resources, the promotion of public health, and the advancement of medical knowledge.

I will practice my profession conscientiously, with dignity, and in keeping with the principles of veterinary medical ethics.

I accept as a lifelong obligation the continual improvement of my professional knowledge and competence.

Position statements

Transportation and Processing of Horses

(Current as of June 2005)

The AVMA endorses the American Association of Equine Practitioners' policy on transportation and processing of horses, which reads as follows:

"The AAEP advocates the humane treatment of all horses and believes the equine industry and horse owners have a responsibility to provide humane care throughout the life of the horse. However, a small percentage of horses are ultimately unwanted because they are no longer serviceable, are infirm, dangerous, or their owners are no longer able to care for them.

The AAEP recognizes that the processing of unwanted horses is currently a necessary aspect of the equine industry, and provides a humane alternative to allowing the horse to continue a life of discomfort and pain, and possibly inadequate care or abandonment. The AAEP encourages, fosters and provides education regarding responsible ownership and management that will reduce the number of unwanted horses. In addition, the AAEP supports and commends the efforts of equine retirement facilities and adoption groups.

Regarding the care of horses destined for processing, the AAEP's position is that these horses should be:

  • Treated humanely and with dignity;
  • Transported to the production facility according to the guidelines approved by the United States Department of Agriculture in 2002;
  • Euthanized in a humane manner in accordance with the guidelines established by the American Veterinary Medical Association. [Report of the Panel on Euthanasia]

In addition, the AAEP recognizes that the human consumption of horsemeat is a cultural and personal issue and does not fall within the purview of the association, whose mission is the care of the health and welfare of the horse throughout its life."

Legislation to Address the Issue of Unwanted/Retired Horses

The AVMA has been actively pursuing defeat of H.R. 503/S. 1915, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act and any related amendments to the Agriculture Appropriations bill. Amendments prohibiting funding for inspection of horses slaughtered for human consumption have passed overwhelmingly on the FY 2006 House and Senate Agriculture Appropriation's bills. If Congress decides that horses and other equids are prohibited from being processed for human consumption, it is estimated that each year an additional 65,000-100,000 unwanted U.S. horses would need to find an alternative method of care, or disposal if the horse is euthanized. A congressional ban on slaughter of horses will only lead to a crisis situation if the ramifications of such actions are not addressed. The AVMA is actively pursuing legislation that will deal with these ramifications. This legislation is necessary to insure the humane care and treatment of these unwanted horses, and would be developed with input from the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP). The legislation would include the following: Euthanasia concerns; standards for horse retirement centers; proper disposal of healthy animal carcasses; proper disposal of diseased animal carcasses; education for the proper care of horses and disposition options. For additional information about this initiative, please contact Dr. Mark Lutschaunig at (800) 321-1473, ext. 3205,

I certainly would like to see standards put into place for horse rescue and adoption facilities. But more importantly, I want to see the end of the heinous practice of horse slaughter. Period. End of discussion.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Kentucky Derby Owners: END HORSE SLAUGHTER

I stand with the proud owners of Kentucky Derby winners mentioned in the following letter published in the Louisville Courier-Journal on May 5. I vehemently join them in urging Congress to end the slaughtering of American horses for human consumption abroad.

Sincerely, Lorri Roush Shaver

Derby winners' owners: End 'cruel and brutal' practice

As proud owners of Kentucky Derby winners, we urge Congress to pass the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (S 311/HR 503) to end the horrific practice of transporting and slaughtering horses for human consumption abroad.

While we have been fortunate to have bred, raised and raced world-class horses, we know we have a special responsibility to all horses, champion or not.

No horse should face the cruel and brutal end that slaughter entails.

Horses taken to slaughter are often purchased by killer-buyers; many others are stolen from their owners.

Still others have been surrendered for sale by owners unaware that their beloved animal will end up in the slaughterhouse.

Transport conditions are so bad that even the Department of Agriculture has condemned them.
Horses bound for transport are crammed into crowded trailers, unprotected from heat or cold and deprived of food, water and exercise for up to 28 hours. Many do not survive. Those who do are often too sick to stand. Abused, terrified and desperate, they are then beaten and electrocuted to death.

Recent court rulings have temporarily shut down the three horse slaughter plants in the U.S., but foreign companies are now exporting American horses to slaughterhouses in Mexico and Canada.

Without a federal ban, they will continue to transport horses across our borders for slaughter and might soon be able to relocate their slaughterhouses to other states within the U.S.
The American Horse Slaughter Protection Act will close these loopholes and put down slaughter for good. For our horses and our humanity, we ask that this bill be passed.

This letter was submitted on behalf of the following owners:

Staci and Arthur Hancock (Sunday Silence, 1989; Gato del Sol, 1982); John and Debby Oxley (Monarchos, 2001); Mike Peagram (Real Quiet, 1998) and William T. and Barbara Young, Overbrook Farm (Grindstone, 1996), all of Kentucky.

Sackatoga Stable, Jack Knowlton, managing partner (Funny Cide, 2003), and Joseph and Eileen Cornacchia and Bill Condren (Go for Gin, 1994; Strike the Gold, 1991), of New York.
Roy and Gretchen Jackson (Barbaro, 2006) and Patricia Chapman (Smarty Jones, 2004), of Pennsylvania.

Jerry and Ann Moss (Giacomo, 2005); Beverly Lewis (Charismatic, 1999; Silver Charm, 1997) and Howard Keck (Ferdinand, 1986), of Louisiana.

Mrs. Paul Mellon (Sea Hero, 1993) and Bert and Diana Firestone (Genuine Risk, 1980), of Virginia.

Sally Hill (Seattle Slew, Triple Crown winner, 1977), of Florida.
Penny Chenery (Secretariart, 1973; Riva Ridge, 1972), of Maryland.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Save America's Horses From the Shocking Cruelty of Slaughter

Equine Advocates
Monday, April 23, 2007
Red Hot Emergency Alert!!!
Strong & Decisive Action Must Be Taken All Day Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday
To Move the Ban on Horse Slaughter Forward in the US Senate with S.311
And Reinstate the Protection of America's Wild Herds with H.R. 249
Massive Public Outpouring Needed Immediately!

1) Wednesday, April 25, 2007 will mark the day that the members of the Senate Commerce Committee review S.311, the Senate version of The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act. At that hearing, the language and provisions will be decided upon for presentation to the full Senate. It is urgent and imperative that you contact the committee members and voice your full support for this legislation in its original form where horse slaughter for human consumption is banned in the US, as well as the transport of horses from the US across the Canadian and Mexican borders for the purpose of slaughter.

*** Contact the members by clicking here Please call, fax and email them immediately. Urge them to vote for the bill and to allow the original language to remain intact.

*** Contact the two sponsors of the bill, Mary Landrieu (D-LA) (202) 224-5824; Fax: (202) 224-9735; Email here

and John Ensign (R-NV) (202) 224-6244; Fax: (202) 228-2193; Email here

*** Contact your own two US Senators and urge them to support this legislation as well. To find the contact information for your two Senators by name or by state, visit You will be able to find all of that information, in addition to each Senator's individual web site. To view the current list of co-sponsors of S.311 and read the text of the bill please click here. If one or both of your Senators are co-sponsors of S.311 and/or members of the Senate Commerce Committee where the bill will be reviewed on Wednesday, please ask them to work extra hard to get this bill passed this year.

2) Thursday, April 26, H.R. 249, which would reinstate the protection of America's precious wild horse and burro herds will be voted on by the full House of Representatives. If you remember, the deadly Burns Amendment was surreptitiously attached to a 3,000-page spending bill and signed by President Bush in December 2004, stripping away over 30 years of protection of our wild mustang and burro herds. These animals were cruelly privatized and allowed to be sold for commercial purposes, including slaughter. This must be reversed! Thanks to a very dedicated sponsor in Nick Rahall (D-WV) and others in the Congress who vowed to overturn this horrendous amendment which passed against the overwhelming sentiment of the American people, we are now at the point where this can be overturned. Please call, fax and email your representative in Congress. Find all the contact information by going to Please ask your rep to vote for H.R. 249 unamended and restore the prohibition on the commercial sale and slaughter of wild horses and burros.

*** Please visit Equine Advocates' official web site at for more information about horse slaughter and other important equine issues.

There is absolutely no time to waste!
America's horses are suffering and dying more than ever before in Canadian and Mexican slaughterhouses because the Senate leadership last year refused to allow this vital legislation to come to the floor for a vote after the House did its job and the bill was ready for passage.
All was lost when the Senate refused to act and consequently both bills had to be reintroduced and they were in January 2007.
We must pass S.311 and the House version this year to finally stop a practice that goes against our very culture.
We must pass H.R. 249 on Thursday and begin the process of reinstating the protection of our wild herds.
Please take action now and spread the word!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Texas Horse Slaughter is Finally Coming to An End


Federal Court of Appeals Affirms Ruling Declaring Horse Slaughter Illegal in Texas

Two of the Nation's Three Horse Slaughter Plants Must Now Close

WASHINGTON (March 6, 2007)—Today, The Humane Society of the United States hailed a decision yesterday by the entire United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to affirm an earlier panel decision upholding a Texas state law banning the sale of horsemeat for human consumption.

Without comment or dissent, the 19 judges of the full court rejected a petition by three foreign-owned slaughter plants seeking full court review of a three-judge panel’s January 19, 2006 decision upholding the Texas horse slaughter law. The slaughter plants had claimed the Texas law at issue was unconstitutional, an argument that was quickly brushed aside by the Court in its January opinion and again by its decision denying rehearing yesterday.

“This is the end of the line for the horse slaughter industry in Texas ," said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO for The HSUS. "The kill floors should be still and quiet in Texas if the owners of these foreign-owned plants obey the law.”

“Only one slaughterhouse continues to operate in the United States , and it is time for Congress to step in and halt this grisly business once and for all,” Pacelle added.

The HSUS has been actively campaigning to ban the slaughter of American horses for export for human consumption.
· The criminal code of Texas has long prohibited the sale or possession of horse meat, but the law has never been enforced.
· According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 100,800 American horses were slaughtered in three foreign-owned slaughter houses in 2006. Another 30,000 were sent to Mexico or Canada for slaughter.
· Opponents of the slaughter ban argue the practice constitutes a humane way to kill old animals, but investigations by The HSUS show cruelty and abuse throughout the process. USDA statistics show that more than 92 percent of horses slaughtered in the U.S. are not old and infirm but in good condition.
· Legislation to ban the slaughter of American horses nationwide was introduced in both the U.S. House and Senate by Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and John Ensign (R-Nev.) and Reps. Janice Schakowsky (D-Ill.), Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), John Spratt (D-S.C.), and Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) introduced a companion bill, H.R. 503.
· The measure received tremendous bipartisan support in the 109th Congress, winning a vote of 263 to 146 in the House. It stalled in the Senate in late 2006, however, and was not brought up for a vote before Congress adjourned, even though a similar effort had been overwhelmingly approved by the Senate in 2005.
· Nearly 70 percent of Americans are strongly against the slaughter of American horses for human consumption overseas.

· In 2002, responding to citizen and local government concerns about the two foreign-owned horse slaughter plants in the state – Dallas Crown in Kaufman and Beltex in Fort Worth – then-Texas Attorney General John Cornyn issued a written opinion that the 1949 Texas law applies and may be enforced.
· In response, the Tarrant County District Attorney attempted to enforce the law, but last year a federal district court in Texas ruled that the law was repealed by another statute and preempted by federal law.
· The District Attorney appealed that decision last year, and the HSUS filed an amicus brief in the case in March 2006.
· In January 2007, the court of appeals upheld the law, flatly rejecting the slaughterhouses' arguments that the ban on the sale of horsemeat does not protect horses from theft and abuse, and that regulating horse slaughter can achieve those same purposes, noting instead that "it is a matter of commonsense that…alternatives… do not preserve horses as well as completely prohibiting the sale and transfer of horsemeat for human consumption. "

- 30 -

Media contacts:
Polly Shannon, pshannon@hsus. org, 703-283-5104
Tracey McIntire, tmcintire@hsus. org, 301-548-7793

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization – backed by 10 million Americans, or one of every 30. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty -- On the web at

The Humane Society of the United States
2100 L St., NW
Washington, DC 20037
Promoting the Protection of All Animals

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Barbaro's Legacy Burns Brightly As A Beacon of Hope

Barbaro lost his battle for life, but his legacy goes on and burns brightly. He showed the world what hope is and brought to the mainstream media many horse related issues that would otherwise have gone largely unnoticed.

Most Americans didn't even realize horses were being slaughtered in America and sold for overseas human consumption. We didn't realize the horror of the death for these horses. 100,000 horses died brutally in the three foreign owned slaughter houses in 2006. As stewards of companion animals, it is unconscionable to me that we allow horses to be vivisected - literally cut apart - while many of them are still alive and feeling sensation.

If we did imagine slaughter existed, we surely wouldn't have thought that over 92% (USDA numbers) of them were young and healthy. Many are pregnant mares with young foals at their sides.

We wouldn't have thought that in America these businesses would operate at a loss yet profit heavily in Europe where the meat is sold. Why would America allow this slight of hand with income taxes on the part of these Belgian owned slaughterhouses?

We certainly wouldn't believe America would allow the exportation of meat that is toxic to other countries, would we? Well, we do. Horses are medicated regularly with drugs clearly listed "not for use in food source animals." These horses still have the medications in their systems when butchered and shipped to Europe. Most zoos won't even feed this meat to their animals knowing that it is indeed toxic.

Unless we owned horses, we didn't know what Laminitis was, or who the Jacksons are, or about the New Bolton Center and Dr. Dean Richardson.

We didn't know that more than 30,000 horses are stolen each year, and many of them end up at the slaughterhouse.

We didn't know there would be an option for racing surfaces - such as the new Tapeta tracks - that offer safer racing for our Thoroughbreds.

We wouldn't have know that the American Quarter Horse Association is pro-slaughter and yet more Quarter horses go to slaughter than any other breed. We wouldn't have expected this to be acceptable from the very people bringing life to Quarter Horses.

We didn't know about all the many and varied rescues working diligently to rescue horses from slaughter and abuse.

If not for Barbaro, Tim Wooley and Alex Brown of we would never have known so many things we know now. We wouldn't have known how to do battle with the greedy, conscienceless pro-slaughter advocates and how to carry this battle to the Senate and the House of Representatives. Many of us now contact our Senators and Reps daily, asking them to end this horror for America's horses...asking for humanity for our horses instead of barbarism.

Interesting that Barbaro and barbarism are closely spelled, isn't it, yet at opposite ends of the moral spectrum?

For this, we are thankful for Barbaro. His legacy will not be forgotten. His fans will champion his cause. He has become bigger than life.

We thought he was born to be a great champion. Instead, he came to change the world.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

It's Time to Renew Our Efforts to End Horse Slaughter in America

The Senate and Congress return to work on or about January 4th, and it becomes time to renew our battle to end the slaughter of America’s horses for overseas human consumption. Back in September, a bill was overwhelmingly passed to end this atrocity. A similar bill was introduced in the Senate, but they sent themselves home early for the Holiday break and never even discussed it. Senate Majority Leader Frist (now retired) refused to place it on the calendar for a vote (one can certainly speculate the lobbyists for “Big Beef” among others had a major financial hand in that decision) and consequently the bill died. It will now have to be re-introduced in the Senate and the House, and in the meanwhile, at least 2000 horses a week will be brutally slaughtered in the three Belgium owned slaughter houses here on US soil.

The slaughter houses are well aware that they are drawing their last breaths and therefore they are killing horses in record numbers. They are importing them from Mexico and Canada, as well as looking for the “meatiest” horses here in America. According to the USDA, over 100,000 horses were killed in 2006, here in America, and shipped to France, Belgium, Japan and other countries to become a delicacy. Pardon moi, but has France been a very good friend to the US of late?

This practice of horse slaughter is wrong on so many levels. Let’s talk about the economics of it first. These three slaughter houses are foreign (Belgium) owned, so they pay no taxes to our government.

Many will argue that it is the old, sick and disabled horses that end up at the slaughter house. This is simply not so. The buyers – who supply the slaughter houses – are paid by the pound. They want the heaviest, healthiest, youngest horses they can get. They go to auctions and purchase horses posing as friendly souls looking for good horses. After all, it’s a rare owner who is willing to sell the family pet to someone who admits they are buying it purely for the meat. Many of the horses are pregnant mares with foals at their sides. The foals are viewed as “veal” and looked as a bonus. It’s against the law to slaughter horses younger than six months of age, but this industry is so completely not policed that law breaking goes on every day.

The actual act of slaughter is so terrifying and horrific for the horse that watching videos of it will scar you for life. I’ve watched a few, and they are burned into my brain. It’s not quick and humane. It’s torturous and often the horses aren’t even dead when they are strung up and “bled out.” Humane euthanasia can’t be used on animals destined to become a food source. The barbiturates used to carry out a “humane” death taint the meat.

Which leads me to another compelling aspect of this awful story. Our horses, just like our other companion animals, are regularly wormed, vaccinated and medicated with drugs clearly listed “not for animals to be used for human consumption!” Therefore, the meat that the USDA is allowing to be exported from this country is literally loaded with toxins. And in many cases, the drugs have been determined to be cancer causing to humans.

It has also been argued that these horses are simply unwanted. I have to dispute that. All you have to do is Google “horse rescue” and you’ll see there are hundreds of ranches and farms who want to take and place horses needing new homes. Somewhere between 30,000 and 50,000 horses are stolen each year. Many of them end up at the slaughter house. When California banned slaughter several years ago, the number of stolen horses dropped drastically.

So, if you own horses keep a really close eye on them. Lock them up at night if you can. Don’t sell or give away your horse without a contract stipulating strict guidelines. Do your research before you sell them. Don’t let your loved pet’s life end in this heart breaking manner.

And please, as the new legislature convenes over the next few days, call, email and fax your Senator’s and Representatives and urge them to listen to the will of the American people. We don’t eat horses in America and we shouldn’t supply them to countries that do.

Please help end this absolute atrocity.

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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