Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Race Horses Still Being Sent To Slaughter, Despite Programs Like "Turning For Home"

This is the story of two seriously injured Thoroughbreds who were hours from getting on the slaughter truck to Canada. It's tragic. I am hearing stories about a woman from Delaware who buys Thoroughbreds to sell to the kill buyers. Reports are that she is altering the tattoos so the horses cannot be identified.

Two Thoroughbreds Saved From Slaughter

The tragic death of Eight Belles after finishing a valiant second in this year's Kentucky Derby, the public rescue of Little Cliff, a horse initially trained by Racing Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito and on the Derby trail himself in 2005 prior to changing hands and ending up in a slaughter pen, and the heart breaking HBO segment" Hidden Horses", have opened the eyes of many people to the potential horrors facing Thoroughbred race horses once their careers on the racetracks are over.

Though many people believe that Thoroughbreds live out their lives in beautiful green pastures on farms belonging to wealthy owners, for the vast majority of ex-racers, this is just not an option. In an ideal world every racehorse not headed to an owner's farm would be provided a humane and dignified retirement and offered the opportunity to transition into a new career as a riding or show horse, therapeutic horse or even a companion, but the reality is that for thousands of Thoroughbreds finishing their race careers, the next destination is a foreign owned slaughterhouse, often only days after they leave the racetrack.

This story is about the importance of horse rescues and why they are so vitally necessary in filling the gap currently left by the Thoroughbred industry. In recent years a few racetracks have addressed the issue of retiring racehorses and have opened facilities specifically designed to aid in the transition from the racetrack to the next phase of the Thoroughbred's life, however there are still far too many Thoroughbreds at the end of their racing careers slipping through the cracks. There are still horses being lost under the radar via the network of backstretch buyers and off track horse dealers - private pens, places like where Little Cliff and many others have been found literally hours from shipping to slaughterhouses in Canada or Mexico, or the underground network of horses silently being shipped directly to slaughter each and every week. Young, healthy Thoroughbreds, racing plates still on, their identities unknown and their fates sealed because the industry has not provided it's athletes with the safety net they so desperately need and so obviously deserve. These horses are never given a chance at survival. Often when these young Thoroughbreds are picked up at the track their trainers are the ones who instruct the dealers to ship the horses directly to slaughter taking away any opportunity the horses have for a new home, a new life and another chance. Their fates are sealed before they even leave their trainer's barns. The trainers who have been entrusted with the horse's care, paid to train and care for the horses and who often tell the owners that they have found the horses good homes, are sometimes the people who make the choice to have the horses sent off to die in an effort to hide what they are doing.

For far too long it has been unknown by some, overlooked and excused by others that Thoroughbreds have been shipped off of racetracks everywhere and sent to slaughter. It is unacceptable in this day and age to sweep horse slaughter under the rug or to pretend it no longer happens. Great changes have been announced in the racing industry as a direct result of media attention. We commend those who are working to make these changes and to ensure that the horses will be responsibly cared for. While we realize that real change comes slowly, we urge the Thoroughbred industry to act quickly in protecting their horses, the athletes they depend upon for their very existence, from dying brutal deaths in slaughter houses. Industry wide protection for Thoroughbreds is long overdue. Each and every racetrack should adopt and implement policies to protect their horses. The horsemen need to embrace these policies and cooperate in transitioning their horses from their racing careers into the next chapters of their lives. Owners and trainers need the assistance of the tracks to successfully transition their horses, i.e., stalls in which horses in need of placement may be housed. Shuffling horses off the backside and to slaughter needs to stop and the industry needs to begin to provide a win-win for both the horses and the horsemen. The industry and the horsemen must to work together for the best interest of the horses. Only a concerted team effort, a well planned approach will ultimately provide the Thoroughbreds with the protection, and the life after racing, that they deserve.

Truth to Power and Toy Thief are two examples of horses that almost fell through the cracks. It took the combined effort of of several rescue organizations to save these horses after a notice went out to AC4H that both horses would be shipped off the backside of Philadelphia Park destined for New Holland auction. Their trainers were told the familiar (but untrue) story that both horses would be going to good loving homes by the man who took the horses from them. The man is fairly well-known to some on the backside as one who takes horses off the track, with false promises of great placements, only to bring the horses to the local slaughter sale where he sells the horses for a quick buck. Fortunately, AC4H was at New Holland, was able to identify the horses, purchase them from the dealer they had been sold to for slaughter and bring Toy Thief and Truth to Power to safety.

Both horse's trainers were contacted and provided the information needed to identify the person who gave them false information about where he was taking the horses. The authorities at Philadelphia Park made the man reimburse AC4H the purchase price for the two horses and was reprimanded for lying to the trainers. He was warned about his behavior and informed that he would be banned from the track if he behaved in this manner again. If more tracks stood up to people in this manner, we believe that there would be less horses shipped off the tracks to livestock auctions, dealers lots and slaughter. Several tracks around the country have gone so far as to ban backstretch buyers and have told their trainers that they will lose their stalls permanently if any of their horses are found at auction, in dealers lots or are discovered to have gone to slaughter.

Both Toy Thief and Truth to Power have been evaluated by a veterinarian and both horses have debilitating injuries. There are often horses shipped to auctions such as New Holland with injures so severe that the more humane choice would have been to euthanize the horse. Owners and trainers often choose to take the "easy" way out by shipping an injured horse to an auction and sometimes taking cash from a backstretch buyer rather than paying a veterinarian to do the right thing and humanely euthanize a horse that is in pain.

Truth to Power and Toy Thief have both required some extensive veterinary work, none of which has been reimbursed by their former trainers, Philadelphia Park or the track's new retirement program, Turning for Home (which declined to take the horses despite the fact that, as horses that were stabled at the track and had raced there, they were eligible for the program.) To date their medical bills are over a thousand dollars. We have not ruled out surgery for either horse at this point. Both horses are on the mend and we know that they are far better off now than they would have been had they shipped to slaughter. Rescue organizations like AC4H depend on public support and donations have slowed along with the economy. Every little bit helps! Thanks so much for helping the horses. They count on us and on people like you. If you have it in your heart (and your budget) to donate towards Toy Thief or Truth to Power's care we know that they, and we, would greatly appreciate it. Donation options are on the website, or can be mailed to Another Chance 4 Horses, Inc. 166 Station Rd., Bernville, PA 19506.

Note: Selling a horse that is not fit for sale is a violation of PA Cruelty Law, Title 18, Section 5511, (d):"Selling or using disabled horse.--A person commits a summary offense if he offers for sale or sells any horse, which by reason of debility, disease or lameness, or for other cause, could not be worked or used without violating the laws against cruelty to animals, or leads, rides, drives or transports any such horse for any purpose, except that of conveying the horse to the nearest available appropriate facility for its humane keeping or destruction or for medical or surgical treatment. "

Friday, December 5, 2008

Congressional Leaders Take A Stand Against Mass Slaughter of Wild Horses


Congressional Leaders Send Message to Bureau of Land Management
Don't Even Think About Killing America's Wild Horses and Burros

Washington, D.C. (December 4, 2008) - Joining with a growing public chorus of outrage at a recent proposal by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and their Wild Horse Advisory board to euthanize up to 33,000 wild horses, several leaders in the US House of Representatives sent a letter to the agency stressing their strong opposition to any such effort.

Today, Congressman Nick Rahall, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee and Congressman Raul Grijalva, chairman of the National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Subcommittee sent a letter to James Caswell, director of the Bureau of Land Management.

The chairmen said, “We continue to be concerned about your agency’s proposal to deal with problems facing the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro Program by defaulting to a policy of mass euthanization of thousands of healthy horses. As recently as November 17, the Wild Horse Advisory Board and the BLM continue to support mass euthanization, even considering options to expand sale authority in ways that will lead to the extermination of more horses. The policy is not a solution – it is a failure.”

This powerful letter comes on the heels of an announcement by Madeleine Pickens in which she as stepped forward to provide a permanent and safe home to those horses in BLM holding facilities to ensure they are not killed as the agency tries to balance its books. “Mrs. Pickens is one of the most generous and compassionate individuals I have ever known,” said Chris Heyde, deputy director of Government and Legal Affairs for the Animal Welfare Institute. “Mrs. Pickens is acting out of pure selflessness. She has been a long time fighter for America’s horses and her commitment to protecting these national treasures is historic.”

In 1971, the American public and US Congress had to come to the rescue of America’s wild horses who were being wiped out by the BLM by enacting the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. Thirty-seven years later, they are both coming to aid of them again from the mismanagement by the very same agency. There are many other options in dealing with wild horses on public lands and AWI will be working closely with Congress and other organizations to ensure the Agency is fixed so our horses and the public are not in this situation in a few years.


For More Information:
Animal Welfare Institute Condemns BLM Proposal to Kill Thousands of Wild Horses in Holding Facilities
Managing for Extinction: Shortcomings of the Bureau of Land Management's National Wild Horse and Burro Program

Chris Heyde, (202) 337-2332

For over 57 years, the Animal Welfare Institute has been the leading voice for animals across the country and on Capitol Hill to reduce the sum total of pain and fear inflicted on animals by humans. To learn more about us, please visit

********************Christopher J. HeydeDeputy Director, Government and Legal AffairsAnimal Welfare Institute PO Box 3650Washington, DC 20027Tel: (202) 337-2332 ~ Fax: (888)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bureau of Land Management Again Trying to Slaughter America's Wild Horses - Please Comment and Say WHOA to Slaughter

For the last month many of us have eagerly awaited the public release of the GAO's report on the Wild Horse and Burro Program. We just knew, based on their previous investigations, that they would do an incredible and in-depth report based on their previous investigations. In our minds we just knew that while it might not come down fully on the side of the horses, it would be fair and truthful. The BLM must have had such a hard time not to laugh in our faces.

While we had to wait more than 30 days after its release to Congress, the BLM knew what it was going to say before it came out. The GAO took surveys of BLM field offices and the report reads as if it came directly off the BLM website, and I believe that parts of it did. There was no real investigation of facts and documents provided by humane groups were ignored, especially if there was anything that conflicted with the BLM's "official" position. Of course the worst part of the report, the one that basically demanded that the BLM begin the wholesale killing of healthy wild horses in holding facilities, wasn't even expressed on the BLM site.

If you haven't yet read the report you can find it on our website or the GAO's site. Everyone should read it, our taxpayer dollars paid for it. But after reading it one has to wonder why it took months to prepare since it is full of BLM quotes many of us have heard before.

One of the things one has to wonder about is why the report repeatedly spoke about the BLM's census methods. According to the report, the census methods used by BLM are not only not accurate, but are under-estimating herd sizes astronomically. The method can only UNDER estimate, not over estimate. The method used by BLM are direct count plus a percentage for unseen animals and increased each year by a percentage to account for foals. This is the method the BLM stood behind for years saying that it was accurate + OR - anywhere from 15-20%. Now the GAO report says that the method is so inaccurate that it may account for hundreds of uncounted horses. They fail to follow with the logic that if it is so inaccurate the BLM should reevaluate the AMLs as the range has shown that it could support more horses than originally thought.

The report cites the Jackson Mountain HMA as an example. During the Jackson Mountain fiasco over 185 horses died during the removal and holding. The report erroneously cites 150. The claim is that the BLM grossly underestimated the number of horses on the range by 640 horses. They fail to mention that the BLM claimed that they were closely monitoring the herds in the Jackson Mountain HMA due to numerous reports that the water sources were not properly filling and horses were frantic to find water. They also failed to note that the neighboring Sheldon Wildlife Refuge "lost" over 400 horses that may have been migrating between the two areas. When humane groups and individuals repeatedly asked Sheldon and BLM where over 400 horses could have disappeared to, their requests for information went unanswered. By the way, during the time the horses disappeared fences were repaired between Jackson Mountain and Sheldon, so if the horses had traveled onto BLM land they would have been trapped there with no water. One single incident cannot prove that the entire BLM census method underestimates EVERY single time.

On the contrary, it is not only possible but statistically probable that they could just as easily OVER estimate census numbers. If one looks at the report prepared by the American Herds, it is not only possible but probable that the population still roaming our public lands is 20,000 fewer than the BLM estimates. American Herds looks at the way BLM calculates the population of horses and using their own methods comes to much lower number than the BLM and below their arbitrarily determined Appropriate Management Level (AML).

The determination of AML is important because it determines how many horses are removed from the range. If the AML is set too low, as it is in many areas where the AML is below 40 horses, horses are removed unnecessarily and put into holding facilities. If the GAO is looking at how to handle the horses in holding facilities they should have looked at the fact that they may or may not have been gathered improperly. This is especially true when they are basically saying these horses should be euthanized. That should be the last resort as the law states, not the answer to issues that are as yet unresolved. It is possible that these horses should be returned to their rightful place on the range and not held and certainly not killed.

The GAO also failed to recognize that the BLM has zeroed out herd areas in violation of the law that states that the horses are to "be managed WHERE THEY ARE FOUND" (emphasis added). For them to have decided for convenience sake that herd areas should be closed or horses not returned after disaster is not within their jurisdiction. The law trumps policy. In addition, the BLM has removed around 30 MILLION acres from the wild horse and burro program. Certainly the 30,000 horses in holding, or at least a large majority, could be returned to the range if this land is once again added to the program. Then the taxpayer wouldn't be footing the bill for their care at these facilities and the horses would be where they belong. Since most if not all stallions are castrated when they enter the holding facilities, it isn't likely that they would be genetically viable, but it is far better than their death.

For these reasons and many more it is imperative that EVERYONE contact their Congressperson and Senators and ask for answers. Nothing will answer these questions other than independent assessment of the wild horse and burro population and a full Congressional investigation. The American Herds report should be cited as a comprehensive investigation that shows that the BLM census numbers are not accurate, but not because they underestimate but because they are inflating the number of horses in the wild. Since there are such widely differing census numbers it is important to determine what the correct population is. Until such an assessment is done and until a Congressional hearing is held the BLM should be prevented from killing a single healthy animal in holding facilities. Wording should be included in the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act, S 3213 to prevent the BLM from using any of their budget to "euthanize" healthy animals. Please pass this along to your friends, relatives and anyone in your address book. The lives of over 30,000 horses depend on our voices, please do not let them die because the GAO failed to do its job properly or because the BLM improperly manages the program.

To find your Congressperson and Senators visit the Save Our Wild Horses website.

The BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board is meeting next Monday, 17 November 2008 at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino’s Reno Ballroom, 50 East Fourth Street, Reno, Nevada from 8am to 5pm local time. Comments should also be submitted to them asking that they NOT approve any motions to euthanize healthy animals in holding facilities. Those who would like to comment but are unable to attend may submit a written statement no later than November 12, 2008, to: Bureau of Land Management, National Wild Horse and Burro Program, WO-260, Attention: Ramona DeLorme, 1340 Financial Boulevard, Reno, Nevada, 89502-7147. Comments may also be e-mailed to: . Those submitting comments electronically should include the identifier "WH&B" in the subject of their message and their name and address in the body of the message.

The Commission for the Preservation of Wild Horses is also meeting 14 November 2008 at the Winnemucca Convention Center at 50 West Winnemucca Blvd in Winnemucca, Nevada from 9am to 11am. They should also receive comments.Thank you for your time and dedication and PLEASE forward this far and wide.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Vote For Pennsylvania's Anti Horse Slaughter Reps - Vote NO for Holden and Tim Murphy Who Are Pro-Slaughter

How Pennsylvania’s Congressional Representatives Feel About Horse Slaughter

I decided to create a comparison of incumbents versus their opponents with respect to their stance on horse slaughter based on the recently introduced bill HR 6598 (Equine Protection Cruelty Act) as well as HR 503 (American Horse Slaughter Protection Amendment) and HR 249 (restoring protection to wild burros and horses). This poll was conducted via email and telephone and began at the beginning of October. The goal was to have an informational page here to show Pennsylvanian constituents how their US Representative and their opponents in the upcoming election feel about HR 6598.

HR 6598 is the Equine Protection Cruelty Act, introduced by Representative Conyers in July of 2008. While the House of Representatives did not get the bill out of committee for a vote, we ( ) anticipate that HR 6598 will be reintroduced early in the 111th Congress.

Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2008 - Amends the federal criminal code to impose a fine and/or prison term of up to three years for possessing, shipping, transporting, purchasing, selling, delivering, or receiving any horse, horse flesh, or carcass with the intent that it be used for human consumption. Reduces the prison term to one year if the offense involves less than five horses or less than 2,000 pounds of horse flesh or carcass and the offender has no prior conviction for this offense.

Specifically, I asked the legislative aides or campaign aides if the legislator or campaigner would co-sponsor, support or not support HR 6598 as written currently when reintroduced in the 111th Congress.

Here is how things shake out:

District 1: Representative Brady, incumbent, is currently in the process of co-sponsoring HR 6598, according to Robert Henline, his Agricultural aide. His opponent, Mike Muhammed did not respond to our communications.

Vote for Brady.

District 2: Representative Fattah has co-sponsored HR 503 and is in the process of co-sponsoring HR 6598. His opponent, Adam Lang was unresponsive.

Vote for Fattah.

District 3: Representative English has co-sponsored HR 6598, 503 and supported 249. His opponent, Kathy Dahlkemper, will co-sponsor the bill according to Jon Pyatt of her campaign staff.

Good support is offered by both candidates. Note Rep. English has supported many equine bills over the last several years. Both should support humane treatment of our equines.

District 4: Representative Altmire has been a friend to horses in the past and co-sponsored HR 503 and 249. His office did not respond to my survey. Melissa Hart’s representatives were contacted several times and did not respond.

Vote for Altmire. He has a proven track record of support.

District 5: Incumbent Peterson is retiring, which is a major relief to Pennsylvanian’s opposed to horse slaughter. Glenn Thompson is running against Mark McCracken. Neither office responded to the survey, despite numerous attempts to contact them.

In this heavily rural area, it is difficult to know if either will support our equines.

District 6: Representative Gerlach has already co-sponsored HR 6598 as well as 503 and 249. His opponent, Robert Roggio, is reported by his campaign office to be supportive of 6598 and will co-sponsor the legislation if elected.

Vote for either. Gerlach has a proven record of support; Roggio intends to co-sponsor.

District 7: Neither Representative Sestak or his opponent Craig Williams responded to our survey. Representative Sestak has co-sponsored 503 and supported 249.

We suggest supporting Sestak based on his past performance.

District 8: Representative Patrick Murphy has co-sponsored HR 6598 and 503 and supported 249. His opponent Tom Manion has said he will support humane treatment of equines.

Vote for Murphy based on his past support, however Manion appears to be a good choice as well.

District 9: Representative Shuster sends letters to his constituents indicating a compassion for horses, but his office fails to confirm support of any legislation. He did not support HR 249 or co-sponsor 503. His opponent, Craig Williams did not respond to requests for information.

Write in “Shrek”…he has a kind word for donkeys!

District 10: Neither Representative Carney or his opponent Chris Hackett responded to our survey, despite numerous attempts. Carney supported 249 but not 503.

This vote again goes to the write-in “Shrek.”

District 11: Again, no response from Rep Kanjorski or Mayor Barletta. Kanjorski had supported 249 but not 503.

Vote for Barletta. We need a change.

District 12: Rep Murtha has been a steady supporter of our equines, co-sponsoring 6598, 503 and supporting 249. We received no response from his opponent.

Please support Representative Murtha.

District 13: Rep Allyson Schwartz has co-sponsored 503 and supported 249 and 6598. Her opponent, Marina Kats has also indicated that she would not only support 6598 but “push for greater penalties” for inhumane treatment of equines.

Both are very supportive of our equines, but Schwartz does have the proven track record.

District 14: Representative Mike Doyle has co-sponsored HR 6598, 503 and supported 249. Opponent Titus North of the Green Party did not respond.

Vote for Rep Doyle.

District 15: Colin Long, aide for Representative Dent was unwilling to give a stance for HR 6598, which makes me suspicious of support of the bill. However, Dent has supported 503 and 249.

Despite promises to get back to us, opponent Bennett never stated her opinion.

Vote: I don’t feel certain about either of them.

District 16: Representative Pitts has been very supportive of equine protection, but neither he nor his opponent Bruce Slater responded to our poll.

Vote for Pitts. He supported 249 and co-sponsored 503.

District 17: Holden has not been a friend to our equines. He doesn’t support 503; he is in fact pro-slaughter. His opponent, Toni Gilhooley will support the bill and probably co-sponsor according to her campaign office.

Vote for Gilhooley in 2008!

District 18: Representative Tim Murphy is also pro-slaughter based on my communications with
his office. His opponent Steve O’Donnell did not respond to the survey.

Vote for O’Donnell or anyone except Tim Murphy.

District 19: Representative Platts is a co-sponsor of HR 6598 and 503 and supported 249. He is a good friend to equines. His opponent, Phil Avillo reports he will be happy to co-sponsor 6598 as well, if elected.

Vote: Platts has been a great friend to equines and has a proven track record of supporting them, but Avillo appears to be a good choice as well.


Again, this poll was done in a limited amount of time with a limited number of resources. All comments are suggestions regarding public officials and should be viewed as such.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Update on HR 6598 - Mired in Committee by Pro-slaughter Yet Again

Here is an update from AWI on 6598:


The Committee mark-up and vote scheduled for September 10th did not
take place as planned. Some discussion occurred during the mark-up
among the members, and the issue was extremely contentious. Due to
the controversial nature of the discussions as well as other issues
(10 bills and none were finished) before the Committee, the mark-up
and vote has been delayed. Support is still strong on the Committee,
but opponents are doing everything they can to delay final action.
This in no way means support has weakened, in fact, support is very
strong which is why opponents of the bill are taking desperate
measures to delay Committee action. This can only last for so long.

As of now we do not know when it will take place, it could be at any
time. It is critical that you keep up the pressure on Congress by
contacting your Representative and Senators, particularly if your
Representative is a member of the House Judiciary Committee. As soon
as we have more news, we will post it here. In the mean time if your
Representative is not a cosponsor of H.R. 6598, the Prevention of
Equine Cruelty Act please urge them to cosponsor as soon as
possible. We need to have as much support for the bill when it
reaches the floor of the House. Thank you very much for your efforts.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Opposed to Horse Slaughter? - Please Help NOW!



September 8, 2008

Dear Humanitarian:

AWI has learned that the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act (H.R. 6598) will be voted on by the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, September 10th. The bill, which was introduced in July by Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) and Representative Dan Burton (R-IN), will criminalize the slaughter of American horses. While the vast majority of Americans, the United States Congress and members of the House Judiciary Committee support an end to horse slaughter there are some members on the committee who are staunch supporters of horse slaughter and will attempt to kill the bill through subterfuge.

What You Can Do:

Call members of the House Judiciary Committee (see full list below) TODAY and ask them “to support passage of the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act (H.R. 6598) out of committee as introduced, with NO amendments”. Please also ask them “to cosponsor H.R. 6598 if they haven’t done so already.” Let them know that:

* Every 5 Minutes an American horse is slaughtered for human consumption abroad. Visit for the current number and to learn more

* Despite the closure of the country’s three remaining horse slaughter plants in 2007, tens of thousands of American horses continue to be slaughtered in Canada and Mexico in the absence of a strong US law banning prohibiting the trade.

* Horse slaughter is not humane euthanasia; it is a brutal process during which horses suffer terribly from start to finish. Their trip to Mexico is often on double deck trailers where they are crammed with dozens of other horses for up to 30 hours without food, water or rest. Once in Mexico some slaughterhouses use a “puntilla” or knife to stab the horse to death. The entire process is extremely inhumane.

* Despite claims to the contrary, horse slaughter is not a necessary evil through which sick, old and unwanted horses are humanely disposed of. The industry is a predatory one that actively seeks out marketable and healthy horses to be slaughtered at great profit.

* According to the US Department of Agriculture, more than 92% of horses going to slaughter are in good condition and could be placed in a new home.

* Those horses who are truly sick or old should be humanely euthanized on the spot by a licensed veterinarian.

* Horsemeat is considered a delicacy in many European and Asian countries where it is consumed by high-end diners.

* The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act (H.R. 6598) will end this cruel trade for good. Ending horse slaughter is a positive step in improving horse welfare in the US, which is why so many horse industry groups and leaders, veterinarians, humane organizations and equine rescues strongly support an end to horse slaughter.

NOTE: Because of the urgency and limited time we encourage you to call each office and ask for their support.

There is no need to contact Chairman Conyers or Representative Scott given their lead on the bill itself.

Names in red are those who have not supported measures to end horse slaughter.

* Denotes this member has a history of supporting measures to end horse slaughter.

Bolded name denotes they are a current cosponsor of H.R. 6598.

The Honorable John Conyers, Jr., (MI)*
Tel: 202-225-5126
Fax: 202-225-0072

The Honorable Lamar Smith (TX)
Ranking Member
Tel: 202-225-4236
Fax: 202-225-8628

The Honorable Mark Berman (CA)*
Tel: 202-225-4695
Fax: 202-225-3196

The Honorable John Sensenbrenner (WI)
Tel: 202-225-5101
Fax: 202-225-3190

The Honorable Rick Boucher (VA)*
Tel: 202-225-3861
Fax: 202-225-0442

The Honorable Howard Coble (NC)
Tel: 202-225-3065
Fax: 202-225-8611

The Honorable Jerry Nadler (NY)*
Tel: 202-225-5635
Fax: 202-225-6923

The Honorable Bob Goodlatte (VA)
Tel: 202-225-5431
Fax: 202-225-9681

The Honorable Bobby Scott (VA)*
Tel: 202-225-8351
Fax: 202-225-8354

The Honorable Elton Gallegly (CA)*
Tel: 202-225-5811
Fax: 202-225-1100

The Honorable Melvin Watt (NC)*
Tel: 202-225-1510
Fax: 202-225-1512

The Honorable Steve Chabot (OH)*
Tel: 202-225-2216
Fax: 202-225-3012

The Honorable Zoe Lofgren (CA)*
Tel: 202-225-3072
Fax: 202-225-3336

The Honorable Dan Lungren (CA)*
Tel: 202-225-5716
Fax: 202-226-1298

The Honorable Sheila Jackson Lee (TX)*
Tel: 202-225-3816
Fax: 202-225-3317

The Honorable Chris Cannon (UT)
Tel: 202-225-7751
Fax: 202-225-5629

The Honorable Maxine Waters (CA)*
Tel: 202-225-2201
Fax: 202-225-7854

The Honorable Jim Delahunt (MA)*
Tel: 202-225-3111
Fax: 202-225-5658

The Honorable Ric Keller (FL)*
Tel: 202-225-2176
Fax: 202-225-0999

The Honorable Robert Wexler (FL)*
Tel: 202-225-3001
Fax: 202-225-5974

The Honorable Darrell Issa (CA)*
Tel: 202-225-3906
Fax: 202-225-3303

The Honorable Linda Sanchez (CA)
Tel: 202-225-6676
Fax: 202-226-1012

The Honorable Mike Pence (IN)*
Tel: 202-225-3021
Fax: 202-225-3382

The Honorable Steve Cohen (TN)*
Tel: 202-225-3265
Fax: 202-225-5663

The Honorable Randy Forbes (VA)*
Tel: 202-225-6365
Fax: 202-226-1170

The Honorable Hank Johnson (GA)*
Tel: 202-225-1605
Fax: 202-226-0691

The Honorable Steve King (IA)
Tel: 202-225-4426
Fax: 202-225-3193

The Honorable Betty Sutton (OH)*
Tel: 202-225-3401
Fax: 202-225-2266

The Honorable Tom Feeney (FL)
Tel: 202-225-2706
Fax: 202-226-6299

The Honorable Gutierrez (IL)*
Tel: 202-225-8203
Fax: 202-225-7810

The Honorable Trent Franks (AZ)
Tel: 202-225-4576
Fax: 202-225-6328

The Honorable Brad Sherman (CA)*
Tel: 202-225-5911
Fax: 202-225-5879

The Honorable Louie Gohmert (TX)
Tel: 202-225-3035
Fax: 202-225-5866

The Honorable Tammy Baldwin (WI)*
Tel: 202-225-2906
Fax: 202-225-6942

The Honorable Jim Jordan (OH)
Tel: 202-225-2676
Fax: 202-226-0577

The Honorable Anthony Weiner (NY)*
Tel: 202-225-6616
Fax: 202-226-7253

The Honorable Adam Schiff (CA)*
Tel: 202-225-4176
Fax: 202-225-5828

The Honorable Artur Davis (AL)*
Tel: 202-225-2665
Fax: 202-226-9567

The Honorable Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL)*
Tel: 202-225-7931
Fax: 202-226-2052

The Honorable Keith Ellison (MN)*
Tel: 202-225-4755
Fax: 202-225-4886

Monday, August 18, 2008

USA Today is Apparently Pro Horse Slaughter

The USA Today has repeatedly published pro-slaughter articles without regard for the truth. They have done it yet again.

LIke many others, I know that they are aware of the truth because my friend, Mr. John Holland, has spoken to several people who have spoken directly with their writers who were preparing articles. He is not alone in trying to "educate" the media.

Yet they have ignored the facts.

They tell us they've already made up their minds. They have no interest in truth. They have no interest in research. They have no interest in talking to those on the ground working to save horses.

Enough is enough.

So, the question is, "If you can't trust the USA Today on this issue, can you trust them on any issue?"

Please read the article and ask for a retraction! Isn't American the home of free and unfettered media?

It certainly doesn't appear that way.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Two Wonderful Mares Saved from Slaughter by AC4H - Would you like to adopt a sweet mare?

Norma Jean – Belgian Saddlebred Cross Mare – Saved from Slaughter

GREAT NEWS!!! 6/14/2008 - Norman Jean has been adopted.

Norma Jean was purchased from kill buyers in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania last August. She is approximately 15 years old. A bone wreck when she arrived at Another Chance for horses, Norma has filled out nicely. Her blood test came back negative for pregnancy and (just to be sure) palpation was also negative. She is just an easy keeper and a full figured woman! She is a nice quiet girl to ride. Norma is a hubby type of mount. Walk, trot and she can canter!

See Norma on YouTube:

Check out the pictures of Norma on the left side of this page!!!

Norma is one of the favorites for the volunteers to ride at Another Chance for Horses. For more information, please check out and click on the link on the left side of the page “available horses.”

Easily Echo – Also Saved From Slaughter

More Great News! Echo has found a home as of 6/21/08.

Echo is a registered aged AQHA mare saved from slaughter suitable for children, light riding or companion. She has a slight calcification front leg... very healthy and great attitude- super nice girl gentle babysitter type. Suitable for very light riding lead line child mount or pasture pet.

Echo has a sweet and kind personality. Do you have room for her or Norma in your heart?

Scroll down and see pictures of Echo on the left side of this page!

For more information, please check out and click on the link on the left side of the page “available horses.”

Monday, May 12, 2008

Racing Needs to Heal Itself - Eight Belles Tragedy and Horse Slaughter are Travesties to the Horse Racing Industry

I was fascinated by horses from the time I was born. I fell in love with racing at an early age. I remember watching Riva Ridge and Canonero II win in the early seventies. I will never forget watching Secretariat win the Belmont in 1973. In 1975, when Ruffian died due to injuries in a match race with Foolish Pleasure, my mother called me into the house and sat me down on the couch and quietly explained to me what had happened. I was twelve years old. Ruffian was the first horse, and certainly not the last, to bring me to tears.

As painful as the memories of Ruffian are, this year’s Kentucky Derby and the death of Eight Belles is so profoundly upsetting that I find myself telling people I doubt I’ll watch horse racing ever again.

The Kentucky Derby is special. It is the crème de la crème. It is what everyone strives for in horse racing. It is a beautiful spectacle in a fantastic setting and it should never end in tragedy.

I remember back in 1993 when a horse was lost in the Preakness and the Belmont. Union City broke down and was euthanized at the Preakness; Prairie Bayou suffered the same fate three weeks later in the Belmont Stakes.

In 1990 Go For Wand broke down in the Breeders Cup and was euthanized on the track, much to the horror of the on-looking fans. Barbaro suffered a mortal injury in the 2006 Preakness. Just last fall in the Breeders Cup Classic, the great Champion George Washington suffered a fatal injury and died on the muddy track. That scene was replayed Saturday evening (May 3rd, 2008) as we watched the celebration of Big Brown’s win. He won impressively, and Eight Belles finished in grand fashion just a few lengths behind him to take second. A few seconds later her body failed her and she fell mortally injured to the track. She was a mere three years old.

In both the case of George Washington and Eight Belles, the death of a racehorse on the track was dealt with quickly. The televising media failed to give both fallen heroes the attention they deserved on the day they died. I guess dead race horses on the track don’t do a whole lot for viewer ship.

Despite their sad and untimely deaths, Barbaro, Eight Belles and George Washington were never in the danger that many race horses are in – the danger of ending up at a slaughterhouse to become “what’s for dinner” in elite European/Asian restaurants and butcher shops.

In my previous blog I talked about two thoroughbred race horses that I interacted with a few weeks ago at New Holland horse auction. Both horses were raced at Penn National Racetrack. Both had their front ankles totally blown out. A nearby show rider softly told me that the kindest thing that could have been done was to have euthanized both of these horses at the track. I knew both horses would sell to a kill buyer, and yet I wanted to give them both a few moments of affection. It seemed that they were owed that at the very least.

The horses had auction tags of #396 and #394. Their tattoos were taken and searched to determine who these horses were.

#396 was Rockpile. He was in training at Penn National. He worked out as recently as April 12th.

#394 was Impeach Willie. His most recent race was in September of 2007.

The breeders at the farm where Rockpile was bred were contacted about him being in at the auction, destined for slaughter for overseas human consumption. The response was that they try to do what they can to retire their horses, but were not able to assist in Rockpile’s case.

Both horses shipped out of New Holland Monday evening and undoubtedly died on Tuesday at the Richelieu plant in Canada.

Rockpile’s trainer is well known for sending horses to slaughter. It’s a common enough practice on many racetracks. When you’ve run every last ounce out of the horse, sell what’s left of him for a few bucks to the meat man. Send the horse on a journey to Hell with hours of inhumane transportation, a cruel death and never mention to the consumers of the horse meat that it’s loaded with carcinogens from the drugs that most horses are given as painkillers and vaccinations.

It’s time for the racing industry to step up to the plate and provide greater safety for all race horses. Research on the synthetic tracks indicates a greater safety factor for the equine athletes. A retirement system needs to be put in place nationally to protect equine athletes no longer suited to run that either places them into a transition program from track to rehoming or humanely euthanizes them. And perhaps we need to look at whether it is a good idea to be racing horses barely three years old. An incredibly fit three year old filly should not cross the finish line just to have her body fail a few yards further down the track.

I want to watch horse racing…I want to be excited about the Triple Crown races! I want to go to the race track and watch impressive horses run races and return sound. I want to know the equine athletes have a retirement program and that steps to improve safety for them is an ongoing process. It is time for the horse racing industry to heal itself.

Rest in peace, Eight Belles. You will be mourned for long to come. So much potential, beauty and grace lost in a mere moment.

Rest in peace, Rockpile and Impeach Willie. Perhaps only I mourn your deaths, but I suspect not. Someone groomed and cared for both of you. Your kind personalities told me that you had affection somewhere in your short life. All race horses are not created equal, but all horses are special and deserve a better fate than death in a slaughter house.

Eight Belles is going to be cremated and returned to her human connections for a respectful and sad burial.

Rockpile and Impeach Willie are now slabs of meat in a Belgium or French butcher’s shop. It’s a crying shame in all three cases.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Death of A Young Thoroughbred Horse – Two Years Old and Sent to Slaughter

This week I attended the horse auction at the infamous New Holland auction house. It was not my first trip. In fact, I have been there numerous times in the last year. I had no illusions about what I would see. I knew there would be some beautiful horses that would command good prices. I knew there’d be a few bone wrecks, worn out buggy horses and draft horses worked into the ground. And, I knew there’d be race horses.

I wasn’t there long before I found two thoroughbreds tied next to one another. Both had obvious ankle issues. #396 spoke to me with his sad eyes. He was very friendly, albeit confused. He was used to a stall. His coat was still shiny and well groomed. He laid his head against mine and searched for comfort. I spent quite a bit of time with him. I found myself drawn to him again and again. He was just so kind and loving.

I asked someone far more educated than myself if he could be rehabilitated. The sad answer for both of the Thoroughbreds was that they should have been euthanized at the track they came from. Both only two years old, and both destroyed by an industry that by and large seems conscienceless. Whoever sent them to New Holland wasn’t satisfied with what they’d already taken from these two young horses. They wanted those last few dollars for their bodies.

The end of the auction at New Holland is always the most difficult for me. That’s when the kill buyers pull the shoes off the horses they are going to kill. It’s emotionally devastating to watch.

I didn’t watch them pull the shoes off #396 – I could not. However, after they led that sweet gelding off to take his last ride, I went over and picked up his shoes and took them home with me.

I can’t look at them without feeling despair and heartbreak. How can we American’s have left our horses down so badly?

My husband said, “Why do you do this to yourself?”

Because I never want to forget. I want to feel the pain and anger that will inspire me to keep fighting to end horse slaughter. I will continue to fight for the American Horse Slaughter Protection Amendment (S 311/HR 503) as long as I draw breath. I will keep those horse shoes highly visible so that this kind, young horse’s death will not be in vain.

#396 never had a chance. His people used him up and threw him away for a few dollars.

RIP #396...I will never forget you.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Senator Kloucek & Citizens of South Dakota - Do You Really Want a Horse Slaughter Plant in Your Community?

Dear Senator Kloucek, citizens of South Dakota, et al,

Funding a horse slaughter facility may have seemed like a good economic development idea, but nothing could be further from the truth.

The vast majority of American citizens are vehemently opposed to the idea of slaughtering American horses for overseas human consumption. True horse enthusiasts view horses as companion animals, and would no more send their horses off to a slaughterhouse than they would their cats and dogs. Countless polls have indicated that 70-85% of Americans are opposed to killing our American horses for overseas human consumption.

The area where this facility would be built would forever be scarred. The few jobs a horse processing facility creates are low paying and attract workers with no marketable skills and lacking in ethics. Horses are not livestock and are not meant to be food source animals. Companion animals should not be terrorized and killed in this manner. This is not humane euthanasia. Not by a long shot. The same things you are viewing from the “downed” cows videos related to the beef recall go on with the horses and is equally repulsive. And horses are much smarter, and flight animals by nature, so they try to elude their killers – resulting in even more inhumane acts.

The environmental impact is massive. Have you researched the negative impact to drinking water sources, sewer systems and treatment plants, the horrible smells and sounds coming from the plants that were formerly in operation in Texas and Illinois? Are you aware the former Mayor Paula Bacon, from Kauffman, Texas, is going to Capitol Hill in March to speak about the horrors her town experienced as a result of being “neighbors” with the infamous Dallas Crown horse killing plant? Do your citizens really want this sort of development?

I work in economic development in the state in which I reside, so I know a little bit about what I speak. This is not the type of industry you want to attract to your area. You won't be creating many jobs, and they certainly won't attract the higher paying, better educated members of society you would like to have in your community. And do the current community members deserve to be forced to live in an area with these issues? Will they want to continue to live in those communities after this slaughter plant is built?

The federal ban (S 311/HR 503) on slaughter of horses for human consumption and their export out of the country for the same is going to be voted on this session. It is known as the American Horse Slaughter Protection Act. It would be very foolhardy to fund an industry that is going to come to an end in America.

Don’t try to make this about “anti-meat” activists. I love a good steak, love a good burger. But Flicka isn’t a food source animal, and I am not about to condone eating her. I am not a member of PETA. I am however, a volunteer at a rescue that saves slaughter bound horses and gives them another chance at life. According to the USDA, 92% of the horses ending up at slaughter houses are young, healthy and not dangerous. Again, I know firsthand of what I speak.

After carefully considering these important facts, I am certain you'll realize that you would be doing your state – your taxpayers – a huge disservice to bring this blight into their communities.

Most respectfully,

Lorri Roush Shaver

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

American's Against Horse Slaughter - Join Us in DC

American’s Against Horse Slaughter ~ Join us in DC!

On March 4th and 5th we are all invited to come together and be a voice for the horses who cannot speak for themselves. Please join us!

You will have the opportunity to meet many Americans who share our love for horses and want to end the threat of slaughter for our horses. We will be traveling to the many offices of our Senators and Representatives to let them know emphatically that the American Horse Slaughter Protection Amendment must be passed. It is the will of the American people, and we need to drive that point home.

Traveling to DC to visit our legislators may sound intimidating. I know it did for me. But back in July, I made the trip. I discovered the all the House and Senate offices are around the Capitol, and walking from one to another was an easy trip. Some of the buildings even offer underground access to the adjacent building, so that you do not have to go outside and go through security again. I actually stayed across the river in Virginia and took a cab into DC, which only cost about $5.

We cannot emphasize enough that this must be a very professional endeavor. If you are going to participate, we need you to be dressed as business professionals. This event is of monumental importance, so please dress the part.

So…join us! Speak for the horses that have no voice! End the slaughter!

For additional information please visit this website:

Here is the “official” invitation from Mayor Bacon:

You are warmly and urgently invited to participate in the great task remaining before us—banning the slaughter of American horses. Your voice is critical at this time as thousands of American horses are being shipped across our borders and appallingly slaughtered. We have come so far, but our great task remains, to see to it that American laws and American justice finally prevail.

Please join me, Paula Bacon (former mayor of Kaufman, TX-- former home of Dallas Crown horse slaughter plant) and other major leaders and advocates in Washington, D.C. for two days of advocacy, to urgently encourage Congress to implement a permanent ban of horse slaughter.

On arrival you can expect a strategy session/breakfast meeting to bring together all attendees before your scheduled appointments. On the evening of March 4th plan to attend a networking event of the anti horse slaughter community where you can talk with others deeply committed to the ban.

We extend this important invitation to you, asking you to come to Washington on March 4th and 5th:

  • To respectfully remind members of Congress that our numbers are growing and we are not going away—ever—not without a permanent end to horse slaughter.
  • To respectfully remind Congress that in fact, horse slaughter is THE ‘go away’ issue, as offensive to the electorate as it is un-American, and the sooner it goes away the better for all.
  • To respectfully remind Congress that we are a government of the people, by the people, and for the people—and, with respect, it is high time we abide by the will of the people, permanently banning horse slaughter.

We need 100 people. The impact of a minimum 100 people who can commit to participate and ‘walk the halls’ for the federal ban is considerable—100 dedicated, well-dressed, well-spoken and courteous advocates. We will dress for success in our best business attire—because we do mean business. We will bring our most professional attitude—we will not be portrayed as tree-hugging ‘animal rights’ people, but as average Americans, unfunded but absolutely committed to stand up for American values and America’s horses.

Please respond if you can go to Washington D.C. on March 4th and 5th (Tuesday and Wednesday). E-mail Julie Caramante at using the subject header Attending DC Event.

Please come. Help make this the legislative session when the federal ban on horse slaughter was finally achieved.

All the best,

Paula Bacon

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

My response to Dr. Golab of the AVMA on her pro-slaughter stance regarding The American Horse Slaughter Protection Amendment

It's no secret I am deeply involved in trying to end horse slaughter in America. One of my colleagues recently received this letter in response to an email she'd sent to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). It inspired outrage in me. This organization is charged with looking out for the welfare of our nations companion animals and livestock.

You'll find Dr. Golab's email at the bottom of the post and my response just below here.

Dr. Golab,

Despite your words to the contrary, it is very clear that the AVMA’s focus on the AHSPA is to insure the continuation of horse slaughter in America.

I would like to remind everyone of the language in the Veterinarian’s Oath:

The Veterinarian’s Oath:

"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." (end of oath)

I think is safe to say the slaughter process is terrifying and inhumane for the horses. We’ve all seen the videos. The horses suffer a great deal throughout the process. It’s certainly contrary to the Oath to perpetuate the suffering of animals, but by opposing the ban on slaughter, that is exactly what the AVMA are doing.

The AVMA should, in all reality be at the forefront of supporters for the ban of horse slaughter. They should be working to find alternative, humane solutions for the equines currently termed “un-wanted.” They could be offering reasonably priced euthanasia clinics and education to backyard breeders. The AVMA should be working to “relieve suffering,” not to support it!

Instead, Washington insiders inform us that the AVMA is being funded by certain agriculture lobbying groups with very deep pockets. Just recently, Senator Larry Craig was (allegedly) given $9000K to go before the Senate to put a hold on S311 (AHSPA). The Senator’s career is essentially over and was before he placed the hold on S 311. Apparently the cash cushions the fall.

One also has to question how many equine vets actually are members of the AVMA. The AVMA is an organization that is voluntary to join. Obviously, there are many more small animal vets in the US the large animal vets. My own vet - incredible with cats and dogs - admits to being uncomfortable around horses. It would be very interesting to know what percentage of the AVMA members are large animal vets, and what percentage of the entire large animal vet population are members of the AVMA. Is the AVMA really representative of equine veterinarians across our nation?

The AVMA and other pro-slaughter proponents are also fortunate that the economy is in a downturn and much of the country has suffered from drought. It was driven the cost of feeding horses way up. Because of mad cow disease, horse meat is a premium in Belgium. The Cattleman’s Association receives money for each horse slaughtered on American soil. The AVMA works hand in glove with the Cattleman’s you begin to see the association between the AVMA and their pro-slaughter stance? It’s far more profitable to kill them here, in the US, thus the USDA is suddenly very concerned about horses being transported out of the US.

The reality is that I am on the front lines. I volunteer weekly at a rescue full of “unwanted” horses. I have attended the auction at New Holland Pennsylvania and seen the killer buyers picking them by the pound. The horses at New Holland, Sugarcreek, Shipshewana and Fallon and the like are very much “wanted” horses. The kill buyers are there weekly filling their trucks with the heaviest, healthiest, meatiest horses they can find. I have the benefit of working each week with horses pulled from the slaughterhouse lines. These horses are not mean, old or dangerous. Many need some time off from a work or racing related injury. I am astounded by how much trust these creatures still have when they arrive at the rescue after the grueling trip to the auction or feedlot. These horses are rehabbed, in some cases retrained, rehomed and given a new career. Often they become the apple of a little girls eye or a therapy horse working with autistic children. Some go on to rewarding show careers and some become pasture pets. The allegations that the vast majority of these horses are “problem” horses is nothing less than bunk.

It is interesting to me to hear the USDA say even if the ban on slaughter is passed, the horses will still be transported across the border, simply with a different stated purpose than slaughter. That can and will certainly happen in some instances. Of course meth is made is some rural kitchens and we know that’s not easily eradicated. Do we throw up our hands and say, well, we can only stop some of it, so why bother trying? There are also differing tariff costs depending on what the animal entering the country is going to be used for. It is significantly more expensive to transport a horse into a foreign country for a horse show than it is to bring in horses for slaughter. The difference in tariff costs, the cost of transportation and other factors will dictate how hard the kill buyers will work to get around the system.

Additionally, according to the USDA, in 2006 138,000 American horses were slaughtered for human consumption in either Mexico, Canada or the US. The same stats show that 33,000 less American horses were slaughtered in 2007. Despite allegations by pro-slaughter proponents, reports of horses being abandoned in the streets have been exaggerated, if not down right invented.

Dr. Cordes, of the USDA, says "One of the most daunting things about all of this is, once a horse crosses the border, it is no longer a U.S. horse. It becomes a Mexican horse. It loses its identity, it loses its citizenship, it loses its ownership."

Doesn’t that alone as a Veterinarian upset the AVMA members?

This is the most perplexing statement of all:

He goes on to say "It's really a matter of supply and demand. These horses are going to go across the border, one way or another," Dr. Cordes said, adding that the $5 million allocated in the horse slaughter prevention legislation for enforcement purposes isn't adequate to secure the borders. "It doesn't even come close," he said.

(Does that mean that horses and everything else passes freely across our borders without inspection daily? How frightening...)

Make no mistake about it – the AVMA is not concerned with the welfare of horses. They are once again paying homage to the almighty dollar.

It’s akin to saying we won’t fight terrorism because we can’t stop it all. It simply defies reason. We can’t end all crime; we can’t end all humanity. We can’t make the AVMA prevent the suffering of horses. But we can sure as hell try.


From Dr. Golab:

Thank you for your contact regarding the AVMA's position on the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act.

The AVMA's focus in opposing the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act has nothing to with support for horse slaughter or the plants associated with that business. It has everything to do with ensuring the welfare of horses. The American Horse Slaugher Prevention Act is a well-intentioned, but sadly misconceived bill. Having said this, the proponents of the AHSPA are definitely having an effect. Unfortunately, it's an extremely negative one for the welfare of horses.

The efforts of pro-AHSPA advocates have been effective in removing slaughter in the US as an option for unwanted horses. Has this stopped the slaughter of American horses for human consumption? NO, definitely not.

What has been the result is that, according to the USDA Market News Service (Las Cruces, NM), 1687 horses have been transported across the US border and into Mexico from January 1 through January 17, 2008. During the same time period last year, 653 horses were transported into Mexico for slaughter—an increase of 158%. Similarly, the number of horses transported to Mexico for ‘breeding purposes’ during this was 216, compared to 8 horses in 2007. Overall, 1961 horses have been transported across the border and into Mexico during the first three weeks of 2008, compared to 706 horses during the same time period in 2007—an increase of 178%. Back in September of 2007, when we compared 2006 to 2007 equine transport for Mexican slaughter figures, we saw a one-year increase in 2007 of 486%!

This number of horses obstentively transported for slaughter will decrease if the AHSPA passes, but ONLY because transporters will identify another purpose as their reason for transporting horses across the border. This may already be happening, based on the marked increase in the number of horses transported for declared reasons other than slaughter. Transporters could claim that horses are being transported for sale as riding, working, or pleasure horses, only to cross the border and sell them for slaughter. Catching violators and enforcing the act would be nearly impossible. Transport of horses to slaughter within the United States is regulated, as is the slaughter process itself, but regulatory authority ends when horses cross the border into another country. They may be loaded in large numbers on trailers, transported longer distances, deprived of food or water, and killed using inhumane methods. Passage of the AHSPA will prevent horses from being slaughtered in the US, under regulatory controls; it will NOT stop American horses from being slaughtered outside of the US without benefit of such regulatory oversight.

To see the USDA’s statistics on the number of horses exported to Mexico, go to Interestingly, when the 2001 final rule on the commercial transportation of equines to slaughter was published in the Federal Register, the USDA stated in its supplementary information a concern that closure of United States horse slaughter facilities would lead to a situation in which horses intended for slaughter “will be trucked to feedlots in Canada or Mexico, ostensibly as saddle horses, then go to slaughter. If that happens, we will have no jurisdiction over those movements because our statutory authority to regulate is limited to the commercial transport of horses to slaughter and to movements to slaughter within the United States.” Based on current information, this concern has become a real crisis. To read the 2001 final rule and its background information, go to

Unfortunately the organizations whose information you have provided below have continued to misrepresent the AVMA and its approach to this issue, despite the AVMA's repeated requests that such misinformation be corrected. As an example, the statement: "Documents held by the AWI show that the AVMA is part of a coalition founded by the companies that own the defunct domestic slaughterhouses..." which appears below is inaccurate. In fact, the Horse Welfare Coalition (HWC) was formed in 2004 by the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), the AVMA, and the Animal Welfare Council, not by the slaughter plants. Although the slaughter plants offered funding to the HWC, it was specifically declined because the concern of the HWC was the welfare of horses, not the fate of the slaughter plants. The HWC stopped meeting in mid- to late-2006. The Web site,, was initiated and maintained by the slaughter plants. The HWC granted the website permission to post related issue briefs, but did not fund, support, or otherwise contribute to the website. Currently, the website is being maintained by a lobbying group hired by the slaughter industry, and the AVMA does not and never has contributed to or provided funding for its maintenance.

For accurate information about the AVMA's position on the AHSPA and its efforts directed toward addressing the problem of unwanted horses, please visit: and the Unwanted horse Coalition Website at: .

For accurate answers to questions regarding the AVMA and its relationship to the HSVMA, please visit:


Gail C. Golab, PhD, DVM
Director, Animal Welfare Division
American Veterinary Medical Association

Monday, January 7, 2008

True American Horse Enthusiasts Call Out the Pro-Slaughter American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA)

John Holland's voice of reason one again points out the many forces lobbying to keep American horses available for slaughter for overseas human consumption.

More American Quarter Horses go to slaughter than any other breed. As a responsible association, or breeder, wouldn't you want to protect the lives you bring into the world?

From John Holland:

Hi Folks,

It is a new year and us old timers have all had about enough of the status quo. We have decided that we need to take our growing strength and go onto the offensive. This is an invitation to join us!

By now you all know the tactics of our adversaries. They set up phony "welfare" organizations and use the offices of organizations like the AVMA and the AQHA to project an agenda that has no motivation but greed. Since their position has no morally acceptable justification, they simply create one.

Most recently they are getting third rate reporters to pump out completely fabricated stories like the ones about horses being abandoned around the country. Having produced this documentary "proof", they trolled the darkest recesses of the bowels of congress to find someone who would have no problem with propagating their poison. The most recent denizen to emerge to their beckoning calls was Senator Larry Craig, a man who's career set new and impossibly low standards for hypocrisy and dishonesty. Then they shoved into his well greased palm a wad of these phony stories and sent him out to stain the Senate floor with his "consent objection" based on stories so rank that no self respecting dead fish would be found wrapped in them.

Playing defense in this game has no upside for us, it is merely damage control. We must be ready to counter this detritus, but that alone is not enough. We need to make these organizations pay for their hypocrisy and deceit. To do this, we must take the battle to them on ground they think safe. We will be doing this in several ways, and the alert below is the first. Please read it and help us put a kink in the shorts of the AQHA by exposing their true nature where they least want it seen. We will do the same with the AVMA. When we are done, no veterinarian will want the AVMA decal to deface his or her door.

None of this will change our ongoing work on Congress. That has become a well oiled machine. It is simply a matter of making these organizations realize they will find us pulling back the covers in everything they do. The AQHA is very excited about their upcoming program. Let's crash their party and pour some truth into their punch bowl.

I hope you will join us and Happy New Year!

John Holland



* *


As many of you already know, the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) is one of the main suppliers to and supporters of the horse slaughter industry and one of the main opponents to the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (AHSPA).

The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (AHSPA), currently pending before the US Congress, will ban the movement, possession transportation of
America's horses, and ban the transport to slaughter of American horses across the Canadian and Mexican borders. Sadly, pro-horse slaughter organizations such as the American Quarter Horse Association have been working hard to mislead Congress and employ underhanded tactics to block the will of the majority of Congress and the American people.

Were it not for a few organizations and individuals such as the AQHA and their ally disgraced Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) blocking the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, it would have been signed into law several years ago, saving tens of thousands of horses from a very cruel and unnecessary death.

It has come to our attention that on January 12, 2008, NBC’s Oklahoma City affiliate KFOR will broadcast the AQHA's World Championship Reining Show. This event is extremely important for the AQHA since it is used by the group to gain new memberships apart from the profits it obtains through advertising. The host of the program will be AQHA magazine editor Jim Brett Campbell, who has written articles opposing the AHSPA, as well as misrepresenting the bill using scare tactics.

*Please, contact NBC local affiliate KFOR as well the station’s headquarters in New York asking them to not televise AQHA’s World Championship Show next January 12th due to the organization’s stance actively supporting the slaughter of America’s horses through their lobbying activities in Congress.*

Tell them about AQHA's underhanded tactics to deny the overwhelming majority of Americans due process on a bill necessary to stop the cruel and extremely inhumane transport and slaughter of our horses across the borders in Canada and Mexico. Indicate you will reconsider viewing NBC shows unless they refuse to broadcast this event. Tell them that televising an AQHA event is to condone horse slaughter.

Some talking points you may include in your calls and mails include:

* Tens of thousands of American horses are slaughtered and
transported to slaughter to Canada and Mexico under appalling
conditions, including the stabbing and slaughter of conscious
animals, by the very same horse slaughtering corporations that
were operating until recently within the US.

* While AQHA argues it opposes the AHSPA because there is a
so-called 'unwanted horse problem' it is the main producer of
foals in the US -with tens of thousands of new registrations every
year- and is actively promoting the mass breeding of more foals.
This irresponsible breeding program rewards the bottom feeders of
the horse industry such as killer buyers and assorted auction

* AQHA’s stance is not based on factual, historical or statistical
evidence but rather on conveniently manipulated and distorted
information to support a presumed “need for slaughter” and denying
all the evidences proving the cruelty and atrocities going on in
the Canadian and Mexican horse slaughter plants.

* The AQHA is more concerned about protecting the hefty profits
obtained by certain mass breeders through slaughter and keeping
pace with several anti-animal agribusiness lobby groups that have
nothing to do with the horse industry than protecting those of the
very same horses they claim to represent and the overwhelming
majority of Quarter Horse owners and breeders.

* Through its irrational opposition and its underhanded tactics AQHA
is disenfranchising the overwhelming majority of Americans who are
opposed to horse slaughter, disregarding all the democratic
principles in which America is based.

When calling make sure you ask the operator to pass your call to the comments line and then start off asking NBC to not televise AQHA’s World Championship Show and quickly point out some of the arguments indicated above since time on the comments line may be limited. Also, when calling local affiliate KFOR as the receptionist to pass your call to Christy Jones.

Also, please forward this alert to all your contacts, from family members to work partners, asking them to take part on it and help putting an end to the slaughter of America’s horses abroad. The more people we get contacting NBC the more possibilities we have to stop the broadcasting of the event and make AQHA sit down and take note.

For more information contact:

Anne Russek

Director of Media Relations

Virginia Equine Council



Station and Department Phone Email address

KFOR 405-424-4444

NBC program comments line 212-664-4444

Help end their suffering! Be the voice for those with no voice. Tell Congress vote yes to HR. 503 and S. 311, American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act.

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Stolen Horse International


The face of death

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

All that is left

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

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