America is better than this. Animal rights activists celebrated a victory recently when both the Senate and House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to ban horse slaughter in the USA, through amendments to an agricultural appropriations bill. But now we learn that the bill is likely to be stripped of these amendments while it is in committee awaiting a final vote by the Congress.
From the Humane Society of the United States:
The Ugly Truth of Horse Slaughter
More than 90,000 horses are slaughtered for food yearly in the United States. Many thousands of live horses are also transported across the border to Canada for slaughter. Show horses, racehorses, foals born as a “byproduct” of the Premarin© industry (a female hormone replacement drug), wild horses, carriage horses, and family horses are victims of the horse slaughter industry. Horses have never been raised for human consumption in America. However, American horses are being killed to feed the palates of overseas diners in Italy, France, Belgium, and Japan.
Irresponsible owners seeking an easy and profitable means of disposing of their animals provide the slaughter industry with horses. Thousands more are stolen every year for the horsemeat trade. Documents obtained from the Bureau of Land Management, the agency responsible for protecting America’s wild horses, show that federally protected wild horses have been sent to slaughter for years. Still others are purchased at auction, where equines have been found for sale who are sick, sore, lame, disabled, blind, or pregnant. Killer-buyers and slaughterhouse operators would like you to believe that all of the horses they slaughter are old and past recovery and have arrived there legally. In truth, some horses may be sick or injured because of neglect but many more are sound and in good health.
Horses bound for slaughter plants are shipped, frequently over long distances, in inhumane conditions. They are typically given no food, water or rest. Often, terrified horses and ponies are crammed together and transported to slaughter in double-deck trucks designed for shorter animals such as cows and pigs. The truck ceilings are so low that horses are not able to hold their heads in a normal, balanced position. Inappropriate floor surfaces cause slips and falls, and sometimes even trampling. Some horses arrive at the slaughterhouse seriously injured or dead. Transportation accidents where upper floors have collapsed or double-deckers have overturned have caused human fatalities as well as terrible suffering and death for the horses.
Under federal law, horses are required to be rendered insensible to pain prior to slaughter, usually with a captive bolt pistol, which shoots a metal rod into the horse’s brain. However, undercover footage has shown that some horses–struggling as they are shackled and hoisted by a rear leg–are improperly stunned and may still be conscious when their throats cut.
Action opportunity follows:
Sweeney-Spratt-Rahall-Whitfield and Ensign-Byrd Amendments
On June 8, 2005, the U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on an amendment sponsored by Reps. John Sweeney (R-NY), John Spratt (D-SC), Nick Rahall (D-WV), and Ed Whitfield (R-KY) to the House Agriculture Appropriations bill that defunded U.S. Department of Agriculture inspections at the three U.S. horse slaughterhouses as well as border inspections of slaughter-bound horses. All three slaughterhouses are foreign-owned companies.
The Senate followed suit on September 20 and approved an identical amendment sponsored by Senators John Ensign (R-NV) and Robert C. Byrd (D-WV).
Together, these measures will effectively stop horse slaughter for food exports for one year. However, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act is still needed to ensure a permanent ban on horse slaughter is enacted.
Please contact your Senators and Representative and insist that they follow the will of the people and protect our horses from this terror.
(In case the link doesn’t work) Please phone or email soon.