Sunday, August 16, 2009


America’s wild horses are being eradicated in violation of the Wild Free-Roaming Horse & Burro Act, which protects them as “living symbols” of our Nation's spirit. From over 2 million in the 1800s, fewer than 25,000 remain on our public lands. There are now more wild horses in government holding pens than remain in the wild. Still, the round-ups continue, and a recent change in the law opens the door to thousands being sent to slaughter.

Although in-the-wild management would save millions of tax-dollars, special interests have been successful in pressuring the government to systematically remove wild horses from public lands - specifically corporate cattle interests who want our horses replaced with private cattle for subsidized grazing.

AWHPC is coordinating a letter-writing campaign: In addition to signing this petition, it is important that you please send individual letters to your federal legislators calling for a Congressional inquiry into the government’s wild horse management practices. Tell them that our national heritage does not belong on European dinner tables.

For more information and to sign up for email updates, please visit

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Horse slaughter dream a financial nightmare

Horse gut piles at Natural Valley Farms, Canada
Contacts: John Holland
Vicki Tobin
Horse slaughter dream a financial nightmare
CHICAGO, (EWA) – The dream of the AQHA (American Quarter Horse Association) and its affiliate the MQHA (Montana Quarter Horse Association) to bring horse slaughter back to the US may have just been dealt what may be its death blow. The blow came not from anti-slaughter advocates, nor public revulsion, nor Congress, but from a horse slaughter industry insider whose op-ed, Meat plant: a cautionary tale, appeared on April 30th in the Western Producer, a subscription-only Canadian online animal agriculture journal.
“Natural Valley Farms died the day the decision makers chose to kill horses”, says Henry Skjerven, an investor and director of the defunct Natural Valley Farms (NVF) slaughter complex in Saskatchewan, Canada. Skjerven tells the story of how NVF, which had originally been built to process cattle during the BSE crisis, ended in a $42 million financial disaster following its decision to kill horses for the Velda Group of Belgium.
The story broke just as the AQHA and Stan Weaver of the MQHA, were celebrating the passage of Montana bill (HB 418).
On April 5, EWA broke the news that the plant had been closed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) in December. In his article, Skjerven refers to the plant’s confrontational interaction with the CFIA over the plant’s “composting” and other issues. Unlike beef that can be used in pet food, horse byproducts must be disposed of properly because they contain substances such as the wormer, Ivermectin, which can cause fatal encephalitis in some breeds of dogs.
Blood disposal appears to have been equally problematic for NVF as with other horse slaughter plants. Not only do horses have twice the quantity of blood as cows, but the blood is notoriously difficult to treat. The bacterial agents used in standard cattle digesters fail to provide acceptable discharge levels because of antibiotics often found in horse blood. As a result, pollution follows the horse slaughter industry where ever it goes.
During debate over HB 418, the Montana Senate Agriculture committee dismissed evidence of these problems as anti-slaughter propaganda. Even the testimony of former Kaufman, Texas mayor Paula Bacon was ignored when she told of blood rising into people’s bathtubs in her town. But unfortunately for NVF, the CFIA was not so easily assuaged.
Even Butcher has admitted that any horse slaughter plant that is built in the US will have to be operated by an EU group like Velda because the horse meat market is in Europe and they control it. Now Velda needs a new home, but in his op-ed Skjerven, says, “horse slaughter never brought a single minute of profitability to the company.”
In the end, it may not matter that HB 418 is unconstitutional, nor that a horse slaughter plant in the US could not export its horse meat without USDA inspectors, nor that the industry has committed a thousand sins against horses and the environment. If investors in a horse slaughter plant cannot be comfortable in knowing they will make a profit, there will be no plant built.
If Stan Weaver and the AQHA want horse slaughter they may have to do the killing themselves.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Hundreds of Mustangs Rescued from Nebraska Ranch Ready for New Homes
Rescue Agencies and Volunteers Continue to Care for the ‘Nebraska 200’

CONTACT: Jerry Finch 409-682-6621

1 May 2009
Alliance, NE – More than two hundred neglected horses and burros found at a Morrill County ranch are now available for adoption through Habitat for Horses, a Texas-based equine protection organization.

On April 22nd, more than two hundred horses and burros were seized from Three Strikes Ranch, a private mustang facility just outside Alliance, Nebraska. An additional 74 animals were confirmed dead. Necropsy results on a number of these animals revealed significant fat and muscle atrophy, which is consistent with starvation.

Jason Maduna, the ranch’s owner, was arrested on one count of felony animal cruelty, but additional charges are expected. The animals are now recuperating at their temporary home at the Bridgeport Rodeo Grounds. The Humane Society of the United States, Habitat for Horses and Front Range Equine Rescue have been working alongside the Bureau of Land Management and area veterinarians to feed, treat, and assess the 220 animals, including a number of foals born since the seizure. According to Jerry Finch of Habitat for Horses, “the outpouring of support from the local community is humbling. From home-cooked meals for the volunteers, to hay provided by the local Farm Bureaus, we could not ask for more or better support.”

Of the 220 animals at the Fairgrounds, 22 have been identified by their owners and will be returned to them. The remaining animals are available for placement with qualified individuals or groups. Those interested, should contact Hillary Wood of Front Range Equine Rescue at 719-481-1490. The horses have all received a negative Coggins and have been dewormed, vaccinated and microchipped. Finch strongly cautions that they are looking for those with experience in handling and training wild mustangs. According to Finch, "these are not back yard ponies."

A dedicated website has been setup which includes photographs and descriptions of the available animals, as well as forms and contact numbers. For more information, please visit:

Donations are still needed to help cover the cost of medical care. Credit card donations can be made online at Donations can also be mailed to: Habitat for Horses, P.O. Box 213, Hitchcock, TX 77563. Please notate on your check and/or credit card donations that it is for "Nebraska 200 ". Any and all help is greatly appreciated.
Habitat for Horses (HfH) is a not-for-profit equine protection agency committed to the prevention, rescue and rehabilitation of neglected, abused and homeless horses. The largest organization of its kind in North America, HfH operates a rehabilitation ranch in Texas. The organization has taken a leadership role in horse protection issues and has been instrumental in developing and promoting legislation to eliminate the slaughter of American horses. To learn more, visit

Sunday, April 26, 2009


" the Jonas Brothers", 3 orphan foals because their moms shipped to slaughter

Look at and there are FIVE new cosponsors for HR 503 for a grand total of 120.
They are:

Rep Campbell, John [CA-48] - 4/21/2009
Rep Pierluisi, Pedro R. [PR] - 4/21/2009
Rep Fattah, Chaka [PA-2] - 4/21/2009
Rep Davis, Susan A. [CA-53] - 4/21/2009
Rep Davis, Danny K. [IL-7] - 4/21/2009
and for S 727 two new cosponsors in the Senate as well, raising number to 16.

Sen Burris, Roland [IL] - 4/21/2009
Sen Kennedy, Edward M. [MA] - 4/21/2009

Go HERE for the updated federal target lists:

and HERE for the updated House and Senate cosponsor lists:

Friday, April 17, 2009

NYC, Help Keep Carriage Horses Safe--Oppose Intro. 653!

Intro. 653Carriage Horse Industry

Bill Sponsor(s): Councilmembers Kendall Stewart, Simcha Felder, David Weprin, G. Oliver Koppell

ASPCA Position: Oppose

Action Needed: Please send an email or mail a letter(.doc) to your New York City councilmember urging him or her to oppose Intro. 653.
Intro. 653 is a bill currently before the City Council’s Consumer Affairs Committee that seeks to eliminate the authority of the city’s departments of Health and Mental Hygiene and Consumer Affairs, the NYC Police Department and agents of the ASPCA—who have expertise in equine care and a commitment to the welfare of animals—to inspect carriage horse stables.
The sight of a carthorse being brutally beaten by his driver spurred Henry Bergh to found the ASPCA in 1866—and the ASPCA has worked to protect New York City’s working horses ever since. The ASPCA is currently the primary agency enforcing the city’s carriage horse laws.
The ASPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement (HLE) agents: monitor horses and their drivers out in the field; conduct routine and periodic inspections of the hack line; inspect logbooks in order to enforce the limit of hours horses may work each day and verify the “trip cards” carried by drivers; enforce the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s rules and regulations on the proper medical care, treatment, and housing of carriage horses in the City; and monitor the care and condition of the horses at their stables. This includes: checking stalls for proper bedding, size and cleanliness; ensuring that horses are fed a proper diet that is free of vermin; and
evaluating lighting, ventilation and unsafe conditions.
Intro. 653 calls for the inspection of the stables by a “single entity that has veterinary training in the care of horses,” but does not state who would select this entity or who would fund the inspections. There is no language in this bill that would prevent the carriage horse industry from self-regulating through a third-party arrangement.
Without access to the stables, the ASPCA cannot monitor the conditions of the horses or their living environments, and will no longer be able to ensure that failures to comply with the law are addressed.
What You Can Do Help the ASPCA continue in our role as advocate and protector of our city’s carriage horses by urging your New York City councilmember to oppose Intro. 653. Please download this sample letter and then customize, print and mail it(.doc). You also may copy the letter into your personal email account and email it to your councilmember.
Find out who represents you and obtain your councilmember’s email and mailing addresses here.
Please also ask friends and family who live in New York City to send their own letters to their councilmembers.
Thank you for your support.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Urge House to Pass Anti-Horse Slaughter Bill

Ask President Obama to urge Congress to support the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act

Sponsored by: ASPCA

Goal: 50,000 • Progress: 34,988

Horses have been our trusted companions and are a historically significant part of American culture. They deserve a more dignified end to their lives than to be inhumanely slaughtered and served for dinner.

H.R. 503 would put an end to this practice by prohibiting the transport of America's horses to foreign countries for slaughter. Ask President Obama today to urge Congress to support H.R. 503! Sign the petition and tell a friend.
More info ...

Dear President Obama,

As a concerned animal advocate, I am writing you to urge Congress to support the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act (H.R. 503). H.R. 503 would prohibit the possession, shipment, transport, purchase, sale, delivery, or receipt via interstate commerce of any horse intended for slaughter for human consumption.

Americans do not eat horse meat. However, every year, more than 100,000 American horses are cruelly slaughtered just over our borders to satisfy the markets for horsemeat in Europe and Asia.

Since the last horse slaughter plants in the U.S. were closed in 2007, unwanted American horses have been shipped to Canada and Mexico for slaughter. Overseas processing plants are not subject to U.S. oversight or regulation.

Due to overcrowded transport conditions, many horses are injured even before reaching their final destination. Some are shipped for more than 24 hours at a time without food, water, or rest, and the methods used to kill these horses once they arrive at the plant can be exceptionally inhumane.

Please help end this cruel practice - support H.R. 503, the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Holland Refutes AVMA Claims By John Holland

Bring in your children and potted plants and barricade your door…they’re coming! No, it is not Al Qaeda or even the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. The abandoned horses are coming and the destruction will be biblical!
At least that is the message of sensationalized articles appearing all over the country. They warn that horses are being abandoned because of the closing of U.S. horse slaughter plants, and because of the severe hay shortage in much of the Southeast.
An AP article by Richard Cockle of the Oregonian carries the headline Abandoned horses pose dilemma for ranchers, while another AP story quotes the executive director of the North Carolina Horse Council as saying an estimated 120,000 horses have been abandoned already. A month earlier, Dave Russell in the Yankton Press and Dakotan put the estimate of unwanted horses at “212,000 and counting!” And an official from the American Horse Council was quoted in a Dallas paper as saying owners would soon be abandoning 312,000 unwanted starving horses because of the recent closing of three U.S. horse slaughter facilities. Betsy Scott of the Northern Ohio News Herald even offered up an image of horses ruining our next outing by cantering across our picnic blankets! As proof, Scott quoted a horsewoman as saying that the President of the Ohio Horse Council had reported horses being abandoned in the state’s parks.

But before you head for the basement with an armload of groceries, you should know that this is, in the immortal words of Yogi Berra, “deja vous all over again.” In 1998, California banned horse slaughter and almost immediately a series of stories popped up about horses being abandoned in the desert, just as the slaughter proponents had warned would happen. Unfortunately nobody could find the horses.

In February, the two Texas horse slaughter plants closed after a long court battle with the state over a 1949 law prohibiting the sale of horse meat. Within weeks AP college basketball stringer Jeffrey McMurray did a shocking investigative report that was published around the world with titles such as Kentucky, land of the thoroughbred, swamped with unwanted horses!

The McMurray article was based on horses seen free grazing at a reclaimed strip mine in Eastern Kentucky. The only problem was that the horses were all privately owned and had not been abandoned. The Kentucky State Police and animal control officials immediately debunked the McMurray story but it raised such a furor that Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher responded with a letter saying it was “filled with inaccurate statements and information.”

Undeterred by these denials, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), a leading horse slaughter proponent, sent the McMurray article to its member veterinarians as proof that they had been right all along about the dire effects of a ban on horse slaughter. So were these stories more of the same? After extensive research, our findings indicate that confirmed cases of abandoned horses rank somewhere between the number of sightings of the Lock Ness monster and those of Big Foot, but without the solid photographic evidence. Starting with the story about the horses becoming such a “dilemma” for Oregon’s ranchers one has only to read beyond the sensationalized headline to see it was based on a staggering nine (9) horses that had shown up at a ranch in Oregon. More tellingly they had shown up over a 24 month period, putting their appearance at the ranch before the U.S. slaughter plants were even closed.

But the Oregonian story has worse problems. Horse abandonment is a crime, and Cockle quoted Malheur County Undersheriff Brian Wolfe as saying he tried to determine the owners of such animals but that they were rarely branded. This implied that Wolfe had investigated the incident. When contacted, Wolfe said he knew nothing of the situation. Official reports showed only three cases involving horses since 2005; a case of an injured horse found on an abandoned property with other animals, a case of a horse carcass dropped at a gravel pit and a report of an abandoned horse which was determined to be unfounded.

So our investigation turned to those picnic wrecking horses being turned loose in the Ohio parks. The President of the Ohio Horse Council responded to our enquires saying that he never made the statement on the record but that he had “heard” that horses had been turned loose in the Perry Forest. Perry Forest officials said that no horses had been abandoned there.

Next we checked with every agency in North Carolina that governs forest or park lands and found no record of abandoned horses. So we contacted the North Carolina Horse Council about their claim. They were helpful but could only recall that the number (actually 90,000) had come from the American Horse Council, possibly as an email that “probably no longer existed.”

Thanks to the American Horse Council for the Report By this point we had estimates ranging from 90,000 to 320,000 abandoned horses and most seemed to be attributed to the American Horse Council. I contacted Sara Chase, the AHC Director of Communications to ask how the estimate/s were made and which estimate was correct. Ms. Chase stated for the record that neither the AHC nor their Unwanted Horse Coalition had ever put out a number, and that none of those quotes should have ever been made!
Meanwhile, Harper’s Magazine quoted Pat Evans of Utah State University Veterinary Sciences Department as saying that more horses are being abandoned now that the slaughter houses were closed. But when asked for her sources Dr. Evans declined to disclose them. So we contacted every appropriate state agency in Utah. We found no documented cases of abandoned horses there either.
Unfortunately, the impression that all these baseless stories and their tabloid style headlines convey persists long after they are disproved. If you can produce enough smoke people will believe there has to be a fire, and as Joseph Goebbels observed, people will believe a big lie sooner than a small one.

Ironically, even if these stories were true they would tell us nothing about the impact of closing the horse slaughter outlet because it has not been closed. American horses are merely going over the borders to slaughter in Mexico and Canada in nearly the same numbers (down just 17%) as before the closings.

The question is what is likely to happen when Congress passes HR.503 / S.311 and really ends the slaughter of our horses? To predict that future we have only to look at the past, and it is this historical record that has the pro-slaughter forces pumping out smoke screens because it directly contradicts their fear mongering.

For example, in 1989 the USDA reported 379,571 American horses were slaughtered or exported for slaughter. By 2002 that number had plunged to just 77,713 as a result of reduced demand for their meat. There was no government sponsored rescue effort and no documented increase in either neglect or abandonment.

Likewise, when the Cavel horse slaughter plant in Illinois burned on Easter Sunday in 2002, it took about 40% of U.S. horse slaughter capacity off line for over two years. Yet, the year after the fire the number of cases of abuse and neglect reported by the Illinois Department of Agriculture (which had doubled in the three years before the fire) actually went down.

None of this is to say we are not facing a hard winter, but horse owners have seen worse. "Last year in Texas we had a horrible hay shortage when stocks were depleted by the commercial suppliers," said Steven Long, author, and Vice President of the Greater Houston Horse Council. "Not only did we suffer a hay shortage, we had a frightening water shortage when the stock tanks dried up. Yet I don't know of a single case of an abandoned horse."

John Holland is a freelance writer and the author of three books. He frequently writes on the subject of horse slaughter from his small farm in the mountains of Virginia, where he lives with his wife, Sheilah, and their 10 horses.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Walk Across America for Horses

Kristina Kremer age 32 from Capulin, CO is walking across the United States to raise awareness about the plight of the American horse. Kristina and her husband are truck drivers and operate an animal rescue including 120 plus horses. She is surrounded by the Colorado feedlots and sees 3-4 tractor trailer loads of horses leaving for the slaughterhouses in Mexico every week. She sees this as a great American tragedy. She has a heart to save horses and has taken up the cause and her sneakers to walk across America to let people know that horses are being mistreated at an alarming rate and in extreme. She is willing to have an honest dialogue with anyone and is currently in Washington, DC waiting to meet with Congressmen and has 1,200 letters for Congress and the President from all over the country and including many from children. Some of the children's letters have hand drawn pictures of horses.

Kristina was not the person who was planning to do this walk, as she has a family and obligations at home. However when the original walker, Eric Wilson from Circleville, OH crashed his bike and severely broke his ankle and shoulder requiring immediate surgery there was only one person left who would be willing to do it. Kristina, a determined woman was not deterred by her lack of preparation say, "We'll find help along the way". Her monies go to care for her family and her animals so she came with less than the bare essentials including her only shoes, a pair with holes in them. This did not dissuade her from coming to Newark, DE to begin her walk as scheduled. The News Journal covered this story, written by Jack Ireland, a prominent sports journalist in Delaware and followed the story the day of the walk with a photographer to document the start. Her walk was followed by Susan Pizzini of West Grove, PA in her pick up truck with signs stating, "Walk Across America for Horses" with flowers, American flag balloons, and purple ribbons which is the color used for horse welfare.

The walk proceeded to Fair Hill, MD where the famed equestrian park of over 5,000 acres of rolling hills and acclaimed Fair Hill Training Center, where Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro was trained. Tragically he was fatally injured at the start of the Preakness. As a truck driver, she had made deliveries to the Fair Hill facility and Kristina was pleasantly familiar somewhat with this location. After a visit the following Monday to the New Holland sales auction for the horse sales, she returned to pick up the walk going to Washington, DC where she is staying nearby as a guest of Freedom Hills Horse Rescue. She will continue the walk after their adoption day event on April 4th in Owings, MD. She hopes that people will make appointments with their Congressmen for her and call her at 719 580-0374 with the contact information for the Congressman' s office to firm up those appointments.

Kristina would like to get the 1,200 letters to President Obama with a promise that he will see them after sharing them with the members of Congress so they can see the support behind her mission.

Kristina needs support along her route, please call her at 719 580-0374 if you can help her with this walk. Her mission is urgent, her cause is noble and it can only be successful with the help of horse lovers across America.

Web site for the walk: http://awalkforhors
Yahoo support discussion group for the walk: http://pets. com/group/ Walk_Across_ America_for_ Horses/
Kristina Kremer 719 580-0374
"Walk Across America for Horses"

After the walk is over in the fall of 2009 Kristina would like to share this story and would be happy to be interviewed along the route at any time. Her email address is snowyriveranimalres cue@yahoo. com

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Washington Trip & Wild Horse Sanctuary Plan Details

Dear Friends,

I've just returned from Washington DC where we met with senators and their staff to present our Wild Horse Sanctuary business plan. We feel that it was well received and look forward to further cooperation with elected officials and the BLM. At this time, we are eagerly anticipating the appointment of the new head of the BLM. While this transition is in progress, we continue to build momentum in Washington DC to support the Sanctuary (which will save American taxpayers millions), and rescue the thousands of wild horses that are held in captivity and at risk of slaughter.

Now more than ever, we need to put public pressure on the BLM for the sake of these wild horses and burros. The thousands of emails and letters you've sent have made a tremendous impact. We're still on target to reach 5,000! If you have not yet contacted Salazar and the BLM, please click here to send them a message in support of the Wild Horse Sanctuary. Again, please forward this email to as many people and groups as possible.

In addition, we have recently posted on updates on the Wild Horse Sanctuary Plan. This provides more details on the Plan as well as addresses many of the questions and suggestions you've submitted. Please click here to read more.

As always, thank you for your support and passionate concern for America's wild horses and burros. All of our efforts are making a difference to save the lives of these extraordinary animals.

With gratitude,
Madeleine Pickens
The National Wild Horse Foundation

P.S. To take action, visit and click Take action now.

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Thursday, March 26, 2009


Washington, DC (March 26, 2009) – A bill to ban horse slaughter was introduced in the United States Senate today. Sponsored by Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and John Ensign (R-NV), the Landrieu-Ensign "Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act" will end the slaughter of American horses here and abroad. The sponsors, who have long championed the cause, have the bipartisan support of 14 colleagues who are co-sponsoring the bill.
The legislation comes at a time when horse slaughter no longer occurs on U.S. soil, but each year tens of thousands of American horses continue to be hauled to Canada, Mexico and further abroad. Reports show that horses regularly travel for hundreds or even thousands of miles to the slaughterhouses on double-deck cattle trucks without food, water or rest. At some Mexican slaughterhouses horses are stabbed repeatedly in the spine until they are paralyzed, after which they are butchered while still fully conscious. This country’s three remaining horse slaughter plants – two in Texas and one in Illinois – were shut down in 2007 under state law. Since then, the pro-slaughter camp has led a concerted and disingenuous effort to resurrect the industry domestically, and has used scare tactics in an attempt to defeat the federal ban. The federal legislation is desperately needed to stop the slaughter of American horses, irrespective of where the killing takes place.
"America's horses are being beaten and dragged across the border into Mexico and Canada so that they can be inhumanely slaughtered for food. I will continue to fight in Congress to end this brutal practice and ensure that American horses will no longer be savagely slaughtered for human consumption," said Senator Mary Landrieu.
While horse slaughter no longer occurs on U.S. soil the absence of a federal statute means that horses are shipped out of the country for slaughter. Reports show that horses regularly travel for hundreds or even thousands of miles to the slaughterhouses on double-deck cattle trucks without food, water or rest. At some Mexican slaughterhouses horses are stabbed repeatedly in the spine until they are paralyzed, after which they are butchered while still fully conscious.
"The time to put an end to the practice of slaughtering horses in America is long overdue," said Senator John Ensign said. "Horses have an important role in the history of our country, particularly the West, and they deserve our protection. As a senator and a veterinarian, I am committed to doing what I can for these magnificent animals."
The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act will amend Title 18 of the U.S. Code to acknowledge horse slaughter as a form of animal cruelty. The legislation includes stiff civil and criminal penalties and gives law enforcement officials the authority to apprehend and charge violators.
We have great confidence that the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act will move quickly. The bill, which has had strong support from a majority of Congress and the American public, is long overdue. For years I have pleaded with the pro-horse slaughter camp to stop misleading the public but they are more concerned with wringing a few bucks from a suffering animal than doing what is right. Thankfully we have the majority of Congress advocating for change and this is the year that will happen,” said Chris Heyde, Deputy Director of Legislative and Government Affairs for the Animal Welfare Institute. “AWI commends Senator Landrieu, Senator Ensign and their colleagues for introducing this very important measure.”
An identical version, HR 503, was introduced earlier this year in the House of Representatives by House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) and Representative Dan Burton (R-IN). There are currently 112 bipartisan cosponsors of the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act in the House of Representatives. To take action on this important bill visit AWI's Compassion Index.

For More Information:Chris Heyde, 202-446-2142
For over 58 years, the Animal Welfare Institute has been the leading voice for animals across the country and on Capitol Hill. Please join us in our ongoing campaigns to reduce the sum total of pain and fear inflicted on animals by humans. Sign up for AWI eAlerts to receive the latest news on what you can do to help us protect all animals:

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Here are the UK horse passport regulations - -

US FDA laws -

Sec. 615.300 Responsibility for Illegal Drug Residues in Meat, Milk and Eggs (CPG 7125.05) -

Sec. 615.200 Proper Drug Use and Residue Avoidance by Non-Veterinarians (CPG 7125.37) -

Page 136 - Fast Antimicrobial Screen Test, only "6" horses were tested.

Pages 137 through 141 - Specific FAST Violative Residues - Antibiotic, Sulfonamide and Non-Sterioidal Anti-inflammatory (NSAID - bute) Compounds, "0" horses tested.

EU legislation provides that the Official Veterinarian must declare unfit for human consumption any meat containing residues of veterinary medicinal products if such residues exceed the permitted level laid down by Community rules. This applies to meat from domestic solipeds (e.g. horses) in exactly the same way as other meat from, more conventional, food-producing animals.
Please refer to the FDA's regulations covering food-producing animal medication restrictions and understand that horses, while not classified as food animals, are still liable for illegal and dangerous drug residues under commercial slaughter for human consumption (see below) laws. Since there is no regulation of horses since they are not raised for meat, and since they receive drugs banned from food animals routinely in their care, there is no way to regulate horses in a manner that makes their meat safe for human consumption unless we implement the 'horse passport' program (see below) as is now done in the EU (where most US horsemeat is exported) onto the US population of 9 million horses just to accommodate those few who wish to slaughter 1% of the population for human consumption. -
Our policy is to hold responsible any individual in the production and marketing chain who can be shown to have been responsible for having "caused" (by any act of commission or omission) illegal drug residues in edible animal products.
You see this throughout -
This term, as applied to food products of equines, shall have a meaning comparable to that provided in this paragraph with respect to cattle, sheep, swine, and goats.
Also, export of US horsemeat to the EU is in violation of FDA export regulations as medications used in US horses are banned from use in food animals in the EU (which includes horses).
See: - Sec. 381. Imports and exports,(e) Exports, specifically: (1) A food, drug, device, or cosmetic intended for export shall not be deemed to be adulterated or misbranded under this chapter if it-- (B) is not in conflict with the laws of the country to which it is intended for export
US horsemeat is in conflict of the laws of the EU (see those laws below).

Passports and Medicines – BEVA guidelines
Thu, 12/21/2006 - 09:41 — Administrator2
The “Horse Passports ( England) Regulations 2004” came into force in June 2004. The regulations themselves can be seen here
The accompanying DEFRA guidance notes can be seen here .
The equivalent Scottish legislation and guidance notes can be seen here .
The Welsh legislation is available here .
The only major differences between the legislations relates to the owner signing the declaration in Section IX of the passport. This must be done immediately on receipt of the passport under Scottish and Welsh legislation but can be delayed in England.– see also section 3c below . Veterinary Surgeons who are involved in seeing horses are strongly advised to download and read the full legislation and guidance notes as these contain much useful information. The Regulations will require veterinary surgeons to carry out certain actions when administering/prescribing/dispensing certain substances or medicines to a horse. In brief these are as follows…
Checking the passport
1 If you intend to administer, prescribe or dispense any substance or medicine to a horse ask to be shown the horse’s passport (If there is no passport supplied proceed as in what to do with horse with no passport – see 6 below)
2. Check that you are satisfied the passport supplied relates to the horse in question. (If you are not satisfied proceed as in what to do with horse with no passport – see 6 below)
3. Note which of the categories below the horse falls into….. a) Declared as NOT INTENDED for human consumption (in passport Section IX part II) b) Declared as INTENDED for human consumption (in passport Section IX part IIIa) or c) the declaration at Section IX has not been signed in either part, in which case you will need to proceed as if the horse IS INTENDED for human consumption. (Note that in Scotland and Wales the passport declaration must be signed one way or the other. Leaving this section unsigned is only permissible in England. ) or d) The passport contains no Section IX pages in which case you will need to proceed as in what to do with horse with no passport – see 6 below Note that changes to the section IX declaration are generally the providence of the owner (not the vet) but the vet may alter the passport declaration if for example he/she has administered a substance that means the horse can never go for human consumption. The declaration can only be changed from “intended” or “undeclared” to “not intended” – and not the other way round.
4. If the horse is declared in its passport as NOT intended for human consumption then it can be treated with drugs licenced for use in horses or under the cascade (see The Veterinary Medicines Regulations 2005 SI 2745 which can be seen here and which are summarised on the BEVA website) There is no need to record ANY drug usage.
5. If the horse IS intended for human consumption or (in England) the declaration is unsigned then withdrawal periods or complete exclusions will apply following treatment. i) What medicines should not be used? Refrain from prescribing/dispensing/administering medicines which either a) Contain substances in Annex IV of European Council Regulation 2377/90. b) Contain substances NOT in Annexes I, II or III of European Council Regulation 2377/90 If substances in either of these categories are given the horse can NEVER go for human consumption. (Note: at least one of these substances, Phenylbutazone, we use regularly in the US, even in race horses)Substances in Annex IV (List 5 i) a)) Fortunately this list is short and the main substances that are likely to be considered for use in horses are Metronidazole and Chloramphenicol . The full list is ….
Substances not in Annexes I,II or III of European Council Regulation 2377/90 that ARE components of UK licenced equine medicines (List 5 i) b) )
Meclofenamic Acid
Methylprednisolone Acetate
Acepromazine Maleate
Etorphine Hydrochloride
Pethidine Hydrochloride
Polygeline (Haemaccel)
Succinylated Gelatin (Gelofusine Veterinary)
Pentobarbitone Sodium
Cinchocaine Hydrochloride
Quinalbarbitone Sodium
Pentobarbitone Sodium

(US FDA regs on: Phenylbutazone is a known carcinogen -- an agent capable of causing cancer -- as determined by the federal government's National Toxicology Program. "For animals, phenylbutazone is currently approved only for oral and injectable use in dogs and horses. Use in horses is limited to use in horses not intended for food. There are currently no approved uses of phenylbutazone in food-producing animals.")If an Annex IV substance or a substances NOT in Annexes I, II or III is to be administered to a horse intended for human consumption (or undeclared) the owner should be advised that the declared status of the horse will have to be amended to NOT intended for human consumption. Once this is done there is no need to record anything in the passport. If the change to the declaration has not been made by the owner at the time of administration, despite such advice, and administration of such a substance is considered essential, the veterinary surgeon may make the alteration in the passport. ii) What medicines can be used WITHOUT any recording in the passport? If a medicine is prescribed/dispensed/administered which contains a substance which IS listed (for any food producing species) in Annexes I, II or III of European Council Regulation 2377/90 then it need NOT be recorded in the passport. a) Lists of Veterinary Medicinal products licenced for use in the horse in the UK which fall into this category are on the VMD website at (under “publications” and then “horse medicines” then “Veterinary Medicinal Products Authorised for Use in Horses” then “Medicines that do not need to be listed in the passport (because the substances they contain are in Annexes I – III of Regulation 2377/90).”.). b) Where medicines are being used under the cascade reference will need to be made to the actual Annexes I, II or III of European Council Regulation 2377/90 to determine if the active substances are included (for any food producing species). There is a link to the Annex lists from the VMD website (under “publications” and then “horse medicines” then “European Commission - Maximum Residue Limits of Veterinary medicinal Products in Foodstuffs of Animal Origin”) (iii) What medicines DO need to be recorded in the passport ? At present none ! In theory medicines containing substances which are NOT included (for any food producing species) in Annexes I-III of European Council Regulation 2377/90 (List 5 i) b) above) need to be recorded in the passport (in Section IX part IIIb) BY THE PERSON ADMINISTERING IT TO THE HORSE. Lists of Veterinary Medicinal products licenced for use in the horse in the UK which fall into this category are on the VMD website at (under “publications” and then “horse medicines” then “Veterinary Medicinal Products Authorised for Use in Horses” then “Authorised veterinary medicinal products that must NEVER be used to treat horses that may, at any future time, be slaughtered for human consumption. “ However because administration of such substances means that the declaration needs to be changed to “not intended for human consumption” that then takes out the need to record their use.However, this will not be the case permanently. When the European Commission get round to producing their so called “positive list” of substances as set down in Article 10.3 of directive 2001/82 as amended by 2004/28, use of these substances will have to be recorded if administered to a horse declared as intended for human consumption. BEVA will provide further guidance at that time. iv) What withdrawal periods apply? A licenced VMP will either have a specific withdrawal period defined on its datasheet or, if not, a standard 6-month withdrawal period will apply. The list of licenced equine products for horses intended for human consumption on the VMD website referred to above is subdivided into those products that have a specific withdrawal period and those to which a standard 6-month withdrawal period applies. A 6-month withdrawal period will also apply to medicines not licenced for use in the horse and being used under the cascade. The client should be informed of the withdrawal period. Note that owners of horses declared as intended for human consumption or where the declaration is not signed have an existing separate legal obligation to keep a written record of ALL medicines or substances purchased for or administered to their horse (i.e. to keep a “medicines book”). This requirement now falls to them under The Veterinary Medicines Regulations 2005.
6. If the horse does not have a passport (e.g. is too young to require one, or does not have one available at the time, or the identification cannot be confirmed or has an “old” passport to which Section IX pages have not yet been added) then the veterinary surgeon should treat it as if it is intended for human consumption as described in section 5 above. The veterinary surgeon should thus avoid prescribing/dispensing/administering medicines containing substances in Annex IV of European Council Regulation 2377/90 as outlined above (5 (i)a) or medicines containing substances NOT in Annexes I, II or III of European Council Regulation 2377/90 for example those in List 5 i) b). 7. As far as records are concerned the veterinary surgeon should keep his own clinical record of the substances/medicines prescribed/dispensed/administered (including the date) and give a copy of this treatment record to the owner/keeper. If the medicines contain substances not included (for any food producing species) in Annexes I, II or III of Council Regulation 2377/90 or contain a substance in Annex IV of Council Regulation 2377/90 then the vet should give the owner/keeper written notification that the horse may NOT now be slaughtered for human consumption.
8. The final responsibility for recording substance/medicine use in the passport should lie with the individual administering the substance/medicine. Thus in the case of …… i) Substances/medicines prescribed or dispensed by the veterinary surgeon but administered by the owner/keeper…. or ii) Substances/Medicines acquired by the owner/keeper and administered to the horse independently of the veterinary surgeon (e.g. POM-VPS, NFA-VPS and AVM-GSL products) ……….that responsibility for recording in the passport lies with the owner/keeper (despite the fact that many passport formats are likely to suggest the need for a veterinary signature in the relevant column in section IX part IIIb) If the veterinary surgeon administers a substance/medicine then the recording responsibility lies with him/her (hence with horses declared as intended for human consumption or undeclared if in doubt record medicines administered).
BEVA have been told by DEFRA that if the horse is intended for human consumption it is the owner’s responsibility to present a residue free animal to the slaughterhouse.
Note that VMD currently (September 2005) state on their website…… “We are aware that this section offers only limited guidance. Currently the marketing authorisations for the products intended for use in horses may carry a warning that they must not be used in horses for human consumption. This fulfils the requirements of UK and EC medicines and residues legislation but the implementation of the new Horse Passport Scheme leads to some difficulties in the interpretation of the legislation overall. This is because a conflict exists between the European laws covering on the one hand, horse passports and on the other hand, residues. We have therefore amended the UK legislation to harmonise it with the horse passport provisions so far as we can. Statutory Instrument No 2004/147 came into force on 23 February 2004 and permits the legislation on residues to be read in conjunction with the passport legislation. We are currently considering how this will impact on the individual marketing authorisations and this is likely to take some time as each authorisation has to be dealt with separately in conjunction with the marketing authorisation holder. In the meantime our working assumption in interpreting the conflicting EC laws will be that we can allow the use of a medicine which contains active substance(s) that have been entered into Annex I, II or III of Council Regulation 2377/90 for all horses provided that a full medicines record is maintained and either the specific product withdrawal period or a 6-month withdrawal period before slaughter can be demonstrated. Products which contain active substances which are not entered into one of those Annexes can never be used in horses which might be slaughtered for human consumption at a future point in time so may only be used in horses which have been declared as NOT intended for human consumption in their passport. We expect to update the lists regularly – at least once every month. Holders of marketing authorisations are invited to check the lists and let us know if they consider there are any omissions or inaccuracies. As we cannot guarantee the complete accuracy or completeness of the lists, you are also advised to consult the current NOAH Compendium of Data Sheets for Veterinary Products which lists and summarises data on most authorised veterinary medicinal products. In any event, anyone administering a veterinary medicine to a horse or supplying such a product should always familiarise himself or herself with the product information relating to the medicine, as set out on the label, packaging and any leaflet accompanying the medicine. Vets should also consult the relevant data sheet or Summary of Product Characteristics. Further enquiries in respect of the lists or this page may be made by e-mail to or by telephone to Veterinary Medicinal Products Branch on 01932 338321”.
For more US info please refer to these websites -
Banned drugs -

Food Safety Issues Affecting International Trade -
Federal Meat Inspection Act
Subchapter I - Inspection Requirements; Adulteration & Misbranding -
Federal Meat Inspection Act
Title 21 - Food and Drugs
Chapter 12 - Meat Inspection

FSIS information on the regulatory enforcement of food safety inspection regulations in domestic meat, poultry, and egg product processing establishments.
Residue Violators Alert List (PDF only) FSIS monthly list of individuals or firms responsible for repeat drug, pesticide, or other chemical residue violations in animals presented for slaughter. Quarterly Enforcement Reports FSIS Quarterly Enforcement Reports provide a summary of the enforcement actions FSIS has taken to ensure that products that reach consumers are safe, wholesome, and properly labeled.
FSIS Adjudications
Food Supply Veterinary MedicineAmerican Veterinary Medicine Association.A clearinghouse of information on food supply veterinary medicine, including videos, links to state information, statistics, and media coverage.

Friday, March 20, 2009


AP Fri, February 6, 2009 12:59:57 PM CST

A resolution asking Congress not to interfere with the shipment and slaughter of unwanted horses has received preliminary approval. House Joint Resolution 8 urges Congress to keep out of state oversight of the transport and processing of horses. Rep. Sue Wallis, R-Recluse, who introduced the resolution, said it's a response to a federal bill that seeks to limit horse transport to Mexico and Canada. Americans currently send unwanted horses to the neighboring countries for slaughter, because slaughterhouses in the United States have closed. Wallis said the proposed Conyers-Burton Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009 would be a threat to Wyoming's horse and livestock industries. She said the industries have already been hurt as domestic slaughterhouses have closed due pressure from animal rights organizations. "It's absolutely decimating to the horse industry," Wallis said. There are an estimated 100,000 unwanted or unusable horses in the United States, according to supporters of the resolution.But Nancy Perry, of the Humane Society of the United States, said horses transported to Canada and Mexico are often young and slaughtered for horse meat. "Horses that wind up going to slaughter are not old, broken down horses that reach the end of their utility," Perry said. She said the Humane Society would rather see old or unwanted horses euthanized.She said the bipartisan Conyers-Burton bill has more than 80 co-sponsors and continues to gain support.
The Wyoming House would need to approve the state resolution two more times before it would go to the Senate.
This state-by-state organising for horse-slaughter is the work of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) who held a meeting last Decemeber to initiate their pro-horse slaughter agenda on a state-by-state basis. The "Pro-slaughter" states are asking Congress NOT to interfere with their "right" to slaughter horses. We MUST meet these individual proposals head on and to let Congress know that the majory of Americans are against horse slaughter. Here is a link to the state of Wyomings Legislature, Agricultural Subcomitte where you can contact the legislators and let them know that you VOTE and are against horse-slaughter;
Then please check out these other petitions as against the NCSL and the other states that propose to want horse-slaughter. We must meet them at every turn!
The National Conference of State Legislators;
North Dakota
South Dakota;

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Walking Across America for the Horses

Kremer to make strides for welfare of horses
BARN NOTES • By JACK IRELAND • March 14, 2009

Kristina Kremer is on a mission to save unwanted and neglected horses from slaughter houses, and her endeavor starts at 9 a.m. today in Newark.
Kremer, from Capulin, Colo., will begin her Walk Across America for Horses near the Main Street underpass in an effort to raise awareness of the threat of slaughter and daily abuse, and to improve the welfare and better treatment of all horses.
Kremer is deeply involved in the treatment and rescue of unwanted horses. She owns and operates the Snowy River Animal Rescue Farm, a 120-acre facility housing 120 rescued horses in Capulin, Colo. Kremer will walk down Main Street, then onto Route 273 to Fair Hill, Md., where she will take part in a luncheon with interested horsemen and horse rescue enthusiasts.
Her first major goal of the walk will be to get to Washington, D.C., and attempt to deliver approximately 1,200 letters, written mostly by children, asking President Barrack Obama to support the rescue of all horses and to stop efforts by certain factions in this country to re-open horse slaughter houses to the U.S. She hopes to finish the walk in six to eight months in California.
"This letter-writing campaign comes from children and families throughout the United States and that definitely includes Delaware," said Kremer. "The very least I can do is find a way to get someone to deliver these letters to the White House and the President when I reach Washington. I am serious, and I'm not some eccentric. Anyone out there who can help me accomplish that, please contact me or a member of our support group."

For updated information and to follow Kremer's walk each day, go to or call local contact Susan Pizzini of West Grove, Pa., at (610) 869-3629 or (610) 999-1990.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Restore Our American Mustangs Act HR 1018

March 3, 2009

CONTACT: Allyson Groff or Blake Androff, 202-226-9019

Statement of U.S. Rep. Nick J. Rahall, II Chairman, Committee on Natural Resources
Before the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands
Legislative Hearing
The Restore Our American Mustangs Act (H.R. 1018)
March 3, 2009
Thank you Chairman Grijalva.H.R. 1018 is legislation that is long overdue. It will amend the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 - the landmark legislation that first recognized the importance of wild horses and burros to our American culture, and sought to prevent them from disappearing from the western range altogether.The 1971 Act rightly declared that wild free-roaming horses and burros embody "the pioneer spirit of the West" and "enrich the lives of the American people."Since passage of this principled legislation, however, the Bureau of Land Management, the federal agency charged with the stewardship of these iconic creatures, has struggled to uphold the vision of the 1971 Act. Under funding and charges of mismanagement have plagued the program and undermined the intent of the law.The Act originally identified 53 million acres of public land on which wild horses and burros could roam freely; the BLM has since removed horses and burros from nearly 19 million of those acres. Further, since 1971, more than 200,000 wild horses and burros have been rounded up from public lands and either adopted or placed in long-term holding facilities. And of critical concern, the BLM recently announced that, due to a combination of a lack of funding, facilities and options, they may be required to kill as many as 30,000 healthy wild horses and burros.Something is obviously broken here.Protection and management of the wild horses and burros on our public lands is an important federal responsibility - but it is clear that the federal government has not been adequately meeting that responsibility. We can and must do better.The ROAM Act is intended to help the BLM do better. It is designed to provide land managers a broad array of tools with which to maintain healthy, thriving herds of wild horses and burros so that they may roam public lands, and remain, as the 1971 Act said, "an integral part of the natural system of the public lands."A 2008 report by the Government Accountability Office that I requested identified a number of deficiencies plaguing the BLM wild horse and burro program and made recommendations on how to improve the management of the Program. The ROAM Act includes those GAO recommendations.It also expands the areas available for wild horses and burros to roam in order to provide BLM needed flexibility in maintaining healthy herds on public lands. The bill requires the process for estimating the number of wild horses and burros on our public lands, and for managing these herds, to be more scientific, more consistent and more transparent.Finally, the ROAM Act specifically prohibits the killing of healthy, wild horses and burros.I would like to offer my personal gratitude to the witnesses who have joined us today to testify on this measure. Mrs. Madeleine Pickens continues her work as an advocate for animal welfare and is to be commended for her tireless engagement in this very important issue.I also want to welcome Mr. Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society of the United States and Mr. D.J. Schubert of the Animal Welfare Institute. Both of your organizations have been leading the charge to raise awareness of the plight of our wild horses and burros, and you all have been instrumental in your advocacy on their behalf and in our legislative efforts here today.I thank Chairman Grijalva for holding this hearing today, and I look forward to this opportunity to work towards improving conditions for America's iconic wild and free-roaming horses and burros.

Friday, February 27, 2009

List of States Introducing Slaughter Legislation

List of States Introducing Slaughter Legislation Grows
by: Pat Raia
February 19 2009, Article # 13639

Twelve state legislatures are now considering measures to express their support of or actively encourage the reestablishment of U.S. horse processing plants.
Resolutions indicating opposition to HR 503, the federal Conyers-Burton Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act, which would eliminate horse slaughter nationwide and prohibit the export of horses to slaughter are either under consideration or have already passed in:

Arizona (SCM 1001)
Kansas (HCR 5004)
Minnesota (SF 133)
North Dakota (HB 1496)
South Dakota (SCR 2)
Utah (HJR 7)
Wyoming (HJR 8)
Bills amending state laws to promote private investor plant development are pending in:
Arkansas (HCR 1004)
Illinois (HB 0583)
Missouri (House, HCR 19 House; Senate, SCR 8)
Montana (HB 418)
Tennessee (HB 1361)

The state measures were prompted by a resolution submitted into the National Conference of State Legislatures' (NCSL) Agriculture and Energy Committee in December 2008 by Wyoming State Rep. Sue Wallis and then South Dakota State Rep. Dave Sigdestad.
The NCSL is a bipartisan organization that advocates for state governments' interests before Congress and other federal agencies. The resolution encourages legislators in rural states to promote horse processing on the basis of generating jobs and addressing the issue of unwanted horses.
"We want to take the emotion out of the slaughter issue and look at it economically," Sigdestad said. "These bills are the only way we have to get our voices heard in Washington."

ReplyReply All


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Here is what a butcher looks like....

Emails sent to the Montana's Governor's office to not open a slaughter house in Montana or people would not travel there were replied to by staff recommending that you contact the sponsor of the bill: Rep Ed Butcher. Here is what he said:

------ Forwarded Message
From: "Senator Butcher (3rivers)"
Date: Sat, 21 Feb 2009

Dear ____: I am delighted that you will not be coming to Montana--we really do not need people who lack common sense. You obviously know nothing about horses or Montana and need to stay right where you are! Ed

Horse slaughter is driven by a demand for horsemeat, served as a delicacy in some foreign countries. It has nothing to do with unwanted horses. In fact, the availability of slaughter actually encourages overbreeding of horses. If you want to know the environmental impact of a slaughter house read what Former Mayor Paula Bacon of Kaufman, TX where the foreign owned Dallas Crown slaughter plant was located.

Butcher says "Boom, the horse is dead". There was nothing humane about horse slaughter in the U.S. If you doubt that, read this and this. And read excerpts of hearings held by Congress last year that included discussion of the horrific cruelty of horse slaughter in the U.S.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


George Knapp, Chief Investigative Reporter

Feb 10, 2009 09:18 PM MST

I-Team: Bold Plans to Save Wild Horses

The BLM announced last year it has no more room for additional wild horses, yet it continues to fund additional roundups on the ranges.
The bureau says it can't afford to feed the animals either.
Pickens and her husband are serious about their idea to set aside a million or more acres as a sanctuary for the more than 30,000 wild horses now squeezed into government pens.
The wife of Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens is riding to the rescue of Nevada's wild horse herds. Madeleine Pickens has a bold plan that would not only save the horses, but would get taxpayers out of a jam as well. The proposal is bold and big. Pickens wants to create a refuge for wild horses that could encompass more than a million acres of public land in northern Nevada. She has the support of wild horse groups, key lawmakers, and even a few people in the Bureau of Land Management. "It's fascinating to me that you don't realize what you have. Here you have one of the greatest ecosystems that could be so popular. People go to the rain forest, imagine coming to Nevada and visiting the wild mustangs," she said.
Pickens thinks Nevada's vanishing herds of wild horses could be transformed into a major tourist attraction, instead of being viewed as four legged vermin, which is how many ranchers and bureaucrats see them. Pickens and her husband are serious about their idea to set aside a million or more acres as a sanctuary for the more than 30,000 wild horses now squeezed into government pens. Pickens initially wanted to take a few thousand of the horses off the BLM's hands, but the idea sort of took off on its own, "The first year I anticipate we would take 8,000 to 10,000 horses. They are the ones in temporary holding. If you go to Fallon, Nevada and you look at the horses in short term holding, they are stuffed into these corrals and they are really derriere to derriere. They have no room to move around. They were supposed to be here for three months and they've been there for three years. It's cruel. They would be the first group we would take."
The BLM announced last year it has no more room for additional wild horses, yet it continues to fund additional roundups on the ranges. The bureau says it can't afford to feed the animals either, which is why it admitted that thousands of the captured mustangs would have to be euthanized or shipped away to slaughterhouses.
Pickens wants to take the horses out of the corrals and let them run free on a vast sanctuary she hopes to assemble out of parcels both private and public. The horse refuge could provide an economic jolt to rural Nevada since Pickens hopes to turn it into an ecotourism attraction where visitors could observe mustang herds in their natural environment.
"There are so many creative ways you can think afterwards -- Jeeps, all kinds of things where you go out on safari and look for the wild herds. You can have an education center with videos, the history -- it's a living history. It's not dead. It's not gone. These horses live on and we can enjoy our land," she said.
Taking the horses out of the BLM pens could save the government more than $100 million in just the first three years, plus it would relieve the overcrowding and eliminate the need to put the horses to death.
Back in January, she met with BLM officials in Washington to explain her plan to create a million-acre sanctuary for wild horses.
BLM said it would need one month to address some initial legal questions. The month is up as of Friday. After that, Pickens plans to take her case directly to Congress to try and force BLM to act. It will be a major surprise if BLM has an answer by Friday and it will be an even bigger surprise if the bureau helps move the plan forward.
Horse advocates are already convinced BLM will come up with a list of reasons why the sanctuary is impossible. Pickens says she can't see how BLM could pass on this opportunity, just for the financial savings alone.
"It is costing BLM so much money to keep this program going. It's $27 then $35 then it goes to $65 million next year. It's inappropriate at a time when we have a global meltdown, that they still continue to gather, continue to put into short term holding and cost the taxpayers this money. By the year 2020, if they do my program, they would have saved $800 million. It's a huge number. I don't see how they could turn it down," she said.
But when it comes to the federal government, financial logic doesn't have to enter the picture. BLM's cooperation is needed in two main areas - first to allow the mustangs to be removed from the crowded pens where they're housed now so they could be transferred to the wide open spaces of Pickens refuge. BLM has long complained it has no room for the horses, and can't afford to feed them, but that doesn't mean the bureau would willingly let them go.
Second, BLM's help is needed to put together the million acres. Pickens would buy the title to ranchland but most of the acreage is public range with grazing rights assigned to individual private ranches. BLM would have to okay the transfer of that land from cattle grazing areas to horse sanctuary.
In the view of Pickens and other wild horse advocates, BLM has long been under the control of the cattle industry, "I don't think they hate the wild horses, I think they hate the wild horse issue. I sometimes wonder if they don't want the issue to go away because their departments grow and grow and grow and they get a bigger budget if they do more and more. So after awhile you start to think, could it possibly be that?"
When asked about concerns with the program, spokesman with BLM said they don't want to get into any of that at this time.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Horse Slaughterers' Strategy Revealed
Posted Feb 9, 2009 by lauraallen
Horse Slaughter
State legislators have been introducing pro horse slaughter resolutions on behalf of foreign investors anxious to defeat H.R. 503.
H.R. 503, which is pending in Congress would stop them from using American horses for horsemeat served as a delicacy in fine restaurants primarily in parts of Asia, Europe and South America.
These resolutions are worded almost identically.
The resolutions proclaim that there is an increase in "unwanted" or "unusable" horses, as many as 100,000 or more annually, because of the closing of U.S. horse slaughter facilities in 2007. They claim the closing of U.S. slaughter houses in 2007 had "significant economic impact on the...equine industry". These resolutions call for "processing" or "harvesting" horses, euphemisms for "slaughter", which they describe as "humane". They claim slaughter can be managed through inspections and regulations.
These resolutions, if approved by the state legislatures, would be sent to Congress, as the state's position that H.R. 503 should be defeated.
It is important to voice your opposition to these resolutions. These resolutions are pending in these states:
Arizona, S.C.M. 1001 Find your Arizona legislators here. Contact all Arizona state House and Senate members.
Utah, H.J.R. 7, which has already passed the state House and has been approved by a Senate committee. Contact all Utah state Senators.
Missouri, HCR 19 in the House and SCR 8 in the state senate. These resolutions also call for opening a horse slaughter house in that state. Find your Missouri legislators here. Find all Missouri state representatives and senators. HCR 19 is pending before the state Agri-Business Committee and SCR 8 will be voted on by the state Senate Rules, Joint Rules, Resolutions, and Ethics Committee.
South Dakota, S.C.R. 2 has already passed the state House by a vote of 63-1. A separate, second bill, S.B. 114, asks the South Dakota state legislature to spend $100,000 on a study "of the feasibility, viability, and desirability of establishing and operating an equine processing facility in the state. Find your South Dakota state senators here. Find email addresses for all South Dakota state senators here. Find contact information for all South Dakota state representatives and senators here.
North Dakota S.C.R. 4021 will be heard on Feb. 12, 2009 at 11 a.m. by the Senate Agriculture committee. Fax the committee at 701-328-3615 or email A second bill, H.B. 1496 has already been approved by a legislative committee. The committee approved $75,000 in North Dakota for a study of possible markets for horse meat, applicable laws and funding for a horse slaughter facility there. Find all North Dakota state senators here. Find all House members here.
Wyoming, H.J.R. 8 has already passed committee. Find all Wyoming legislators here.
Minnesota, S.F. 133 is currently in the state Senate Agriculture and Veterans Committee. Find your Minnesota state senator and representative. Find all Minnesota state senators and representatives.
Kansas, HCR 5004 Find your Kansas legislators here. Find all Kansas state House and Senate members.
Arkansas H.C.R. 1004, also calls for incentives and support for opening of horse slaughter houses nationally and in the state. This bill has already passed in the state House and is in the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Economic Development Find here all Arkansas state senators, including yours if you live there.
In Illinois Rep. Jim Sacia has introduced a bill, as he did last session for the repeal of the 2007 state law banning horse slaughter. That state law helped shut down the horse slaughter facility in Dekalb, Illinois.
Rep. Sacia's bill, H.B. 583, would also allow horses destined for slaughter for human consumption to be shipped into the state for slaughter with no certificate of veterinary inspection contrary to current state law governing horses. 510 ILCS 65/4 The new law would also exempt downed, sick, diseased, lame or disabled horses from the requirements of the Humane Care for Animals Act governing animals in this condition. 510 ILCS 70/5, 7.5
This means Rep. Sacia and the interests he represents in the horse slaughter underworld understand that horse slaughter is brutal and cruel and so would want to exempt their sordid practice from the animal cruelty laws and inspection requirements.
Contact Illinois state House and Senate members and urge them to vote NO on H.B. 583 and keep horse slaughter out of Illinois.
The horse slaughterers' strategy
These resolutions and bills are a not-so-subtle ploy by the foreign investors that own horse slaughter houses to defeat H.R. 503 which would ban the sale, transport, and possession of horses in interstate and foreign commerce for slaughter for human consumption.
Even without H.R. 503, horse slaughter cannot occur legally in the U.S. There is no point in states appropriating tax dollars for studies when currently horse slaughter for human consumption is not allowed in the U.S. These resolutions will simply insure horse slaughterers can continue to take American horses to Mexico or Canada for slaughter.
There is also another goal: to make horse slaughter acceptable to Americans and, in fact, create a market in the U.S. for the consumption of horsemeat. The resolution proposing the North Dakota study says as much. If Americans begin eating horsemeat, the theory is that Congress will be forced to fund ante-mortem inspections. Under current law because these required inspections are not funded, horse slaughter is not legal in the U.S. For more on this.....
Keep in mind when the remaining 3 horse slaughter houses in the U.S. closed in 2007, they were owned by foreign companies, Dallas Crown, Inc.; Cavel International, Inc. and Beltex Corp., which now operates a horse slaughter house in Mexico, Empacadora de Carnes de Fresnillo.
Even when there were horse slaughter houses in the U.S., they were part of a horse meat industry that was only 0.001% of the U.S. meat industry. The foreign-owned U.S. horse slaughterhouses paid little in income taxes. One facility paid $5 in federal taxes on $12 million in sales. These slaughter houses paid no export taxes, meaning the U.S. government effectively subsidized the sale of horse meat to consumers generally in parts of Asia, South America and Europe.
The profits went to the foreign investors. The communities where horse slaughter houses were located were left with horrific odors of dying and dead horses, blood literally running down the streets, and illegally dumped waste. There is no economic or other benefit to these states in subsidizing horse slaughter. Just the opposite. It is akin to supporting dog fighting rings.
Horse slaughter is also not a means of controlling numbers of "unwanted horses". This is a myth perpetuated by the horse slaughter industry that is simply repeated over and over again as in these resolutions. Horse slaughter is a multi million dollar a year business that is driven by a demand for horse meat. Kill buyers buy horses at auction for slaughter, and the USDA has said over 92% of American horses slaughtered, are healthy, not old, sick, injured, or neglected. These horses were not unwanted; they were simply sold at auction, and their owners had no control over who purchased them. Without the kill buyers who skulk around horse auctions, looking for the best potential horse meat, most of these horses would be purchased by others or end up in rescues or sanctuaries.
As John Holland, a free lance writer and researcher on horse slaughter and consultant for Americans Against Horse Slaughter, has explained, "Kill buyers do not go around the country like dog catchers gathering ‘unwanted horses' as a public service."
As Americans Against Horse Slaughter points out, "Just over 100,000 horses were slaughtered in the U.S. in 2006. If slaughter were no longer an option and these horses were rendered or buried instead, it would represent a small increase in the number of horse being disposed of in this manner - an increase that the current infrastructure can certainly sustain. Humane euthanasia and carcass disposal is highly affordable and widely available. 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."
Also, the horse slaughter industry actually encourages the over breeding of horses. Because owners can make money from the brutal slaughter of their horses, they have an incentive to over breed. As Paul Sorvino put it, "37% of those horses are going to be slaughtered because they couldn't run fast enough....So, it's run for your life." If the slaughter of horses for human consumption is illegal, there is no reward for over breeding.
Sadly, pro-slaughter groups have disseminated disinformation in the media to convince the public that without horse slaughter, there will be large numbers of abandoned, abused and neglected horses. (Even if that were true, which it is not, it is not clear how substituting one form of cruelty for another is somehow a solution.)
Indeed, these reports in the media have proven to be unfounded. A study released last year showed a decrease in horse abuse and neglect cases following closure of the last U.S. horse slaughter house in 2007. Any abandoned or neglected horses are not a result of a lack of horse slaughter houses.
Historically, there have not been increases in abandoned, neglected or abused horses following closures of horse slaughter houses. In 2002 the Illinois slaughter house burned to the ground and was out of commission for some time. Reports of abandoned, abused and neglected horses in the Illinois area were actually on the rise in the 2 years before the fire but decreased afterwards.
Remember the number of horses slaughtered in the U.S. dropped significantly from over 300,000 annually in the 1990s to 66,000 in 2004. There was no notable increase during that time of abandoned, abused or neglected horses.
When California banned horse slaughter in 1998, there was no rise in cases of cruelty or neglect to horses. In fact, there was a 39.4% decrease initially and that rose to 88% eventually in horse thefts. (What does that tell you about this "business"?)
Also, from 2004-2007 5000 horses were imported into the U.S. for slaughter. If horse slaughter occurs because of all the unwanted horses, why would these horse slaughter businesses need to import them? The answer is, of course, they wouldn't. Horse slaughter has nothing to do controlling numbers of unwanted horses. It is a business driven by a demand for horse meat primarily as a delicacy in foreign countries.
As Americans Against Horse Slaughter puts it, "The ‘surplus horse population' [argument] is a scare tactic."
Horse slaughter is also in no sense humane euthanasia. That much has been established by documents recently released in response to a FOIA request. The captive bolt gun used in the U.S. slaughterhouses did not typically render horses senseless before slaughter. The slaughter houses never bothered to restrain the horses' heads or use only trained personnel to operate the gun.
As John Holland has explained, "In its 2000 report on methods of Euthanasia, the AVMA stated that the captive bolt gun should not be used on equines unless head restraint could be assured. This is because of the relatively narrow forehead of equines, their head shyness and the fact that the brain is set back further than in cattle for which the gun is intended. It is difficult for an operator to assure proper placement of the gun.
"No slaughter house ever found a practical way to restrain the heads of the horses, so by the AVMA's very definition, the process was not acceptable. The result was a very large number of ineffective stuns. These misplaced blows undoubtedly caused severe pain until a stunning or fatal blow was delivered. "
Imagine the pain and terror experienced by horses as bolts were repeatedly fired at their heads many times by untrained operators. Many times horses were still conscious when they were then hoisted upside down for slaughter. For more information on the brutality of horse slaughter in the U.S., click here to read the July 25, 2006 testimony of Christopher J. Heyde, Deputy Legislative Director for Animal Welfare Institute, before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection. Click here to read testimony offered during a Congressional hearing in 2008 about the cruelty of horse slaughter.
Also, listen here to a discussion on WFL Endangered Stream Live Talk Radio about horse slaughter by Laura Allen, Executive Director of Animal Law Coalition; John Holland, journalist and consultant for Americans Against Horse Salughter; Dr. Nena Winand, DVM with Veterinarians for Equine Welfare and Paula Bacon, former mayor of Kaufman, Tx and leader of the fight to shut down the horse slaughter facility that operated there until 2007. (Download this broadcast!)
Then contact your U.S. representative and urge him or her to vote YES on the Conyers-Burton Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009, H.B. 503.
Also, tell your representative to vote YES on H.R. 305, the Horse Transportation Safety Act, which will put an end to all transports of horses on double decked trailers.
Where You Can Find More Information on Horse Slaughter
Read Frequently Asked Questions About Unwanted Horses and the AVMA's Policy on Horse Slaughter
Read Veterinarians for Equine Welfare's Horse Slaughter - Its Ethical Impact and Subsequent Response by the Veterinary Profession