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Feb 20, 2006

Focus:Animal Welfare
Action Request:Various
Location:Texas, United States
This information came from Texas Humane Legislation Network as of Feb 2006. If you are involved in trying to end the slaughter of wild horses and burros that is going on as we speak in a hideous and brutal way then please take a moment to contact your Senator and Representative. Let your Representative know that you would like him/her to support HR 503 to end permanently horse slaughter and would prefer that he/she become a co-sponsor of this bill. Let your Senator know that this is an issue that you feel strongly about and you would appreciate their efforts in helping HR 503 and any similar legislation be passed to put a permanent end to horse slaughter in this country.

THLN information:
ACTION ALERT

SPECIAL REQUEST FOR HELP WITH

FEDERAL HORSE SLAUGHTER BILL (H.R. 503)

Background:

 

The USDA has just adopted rules to circumvent the new federal law which prohibits the

USDA from paying government employees to inspect horses being slaughtered for human

food
.
Despite pleas from the public and the Congress, the USDA has accommodated the three

European owned horse slaughter plants (two in Texas and one in Illinois) to allow them to pay

the USDA a small fee for inspecting the horses being slaughtered for export to Europe for human

consumption. Thus, with the USDA.s help these slaughter plants will continue to butcher tens of

thousands of horses each year.

The only way to permanently stop this madness is for Congress to pass H.R. 503 which will once

and for all prohibit the shipping, transporting, moving, delivering, receiving, possessing,

purchasing, selling, or donation of horses to be slaughtered for human consumption. If this bill

passes, there is no way the USDA or any state or local government can allow these slaughter

plants to continue their slaughter of American horses.

The members of Congress are keenly aware of, and many dismayed by, the blatant actions of the

USDA to circumvent the amendment to the Agriculture Appropriations Bill last fall which

prohibits the use of USDA inspectors to inspect horsemeat and the Congress seems poised to

move forward on H.R. 503 to stop horse slaughter once and for all. To date, there are 144 cosponsors

of H.R. 503 but only a very few from the Texas delegation. Thus, it is important that

we get as many Texas Congressmen as possible to co-sponsor and support H.R. 503. This is

especially important since two of the three U.S. slaughter plants are located here in Texas.

Action Needed:

 

We are asking you to contact as many Texas Congressmen as possible (and especially your own)

and urge them to co-sponsor and support H.R. 503. Below are some talking points you can use,

but the main thing is to let them know that you support H.R. 503 and want them to co-

sponsor and support it.

A Texas Statewide Voter Survey on Horse Slaughtering was conducted by Mason-Dixon
Polling & Research, Inc. in May, 2003 which revealed the following:

>89% of Texans are not aware that horse slaughtering is going on in Texas.

>72% are opposed to the slaughtering of horses for human consumption.

>77% oppose any law that would legalize the slaughter of horses for human

consumption.

>By an 8 to 1 margin, Texans associate the value of horses with Texas
culture and heritage rather than as a simple livestock commodity like cattle.

Contrary to the proponents. claims, the vast majority of horses slaughtered are not old, sick or lame but instead are young, healthy horses bought by "killer buyers" who attend
horse auctions where they compete with families and other horse brokers looking for good,

sound horses. Also, horse slaughter promotes horse theft - horse theft decreased by over
50% in California after California banned horse slaughter in 1998.


Contrary to the proponents. claims, the elimination of horse slaughter will not increase
horse abuse or neglect; nor will it increase the export of live horses to Mexico and

Canada
. The number of slaughtered horses in the U.S. has decreased from 360,000 annually
in 1990 to 42,000 in 2002 and, according to a recently published study commissioned by The

Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, no increase in abuse or neglect has occurred, nor has

the export of live horses to Mexico or Canada increased.
The transportation of horses to slaughter houses is cruel and inhumane, often resulting
in horses arriving at slaughter plant dead or severely injured.

The slaughter method used to kill these horses is anything but humane. The 2002 report

of the American Veterinarian Medical Association states "adequate restraint is important to
ensure proper placement of the penetrating captive bolt" when used for euthanasia of horses.

.Adequate restraint. on a fractious, frightened horse in a slaughter plant killing hundreds of

horses a day is virtually impossible. These horses often endure repeated stuns or blows and

remain conscious during their own slaughter.

Information on the Texas Delegation:

To give you some information about the Texas delegation and how they feel about horse

slaughter we have attached a chart that may help. The chart lists each representative with a

designation of .R. or .D. to identify Republicans and Democrats. It also shows the

representative.s district so you can determine who your representative is. It provides phone and

fax numbers for those representatives.

It also shows how the representative voted on the amendment to the Agriculture Appropriations

Bill last fall which cut off funds to the USDA to provide inspectors in horse slaughter plants. A

.YES. vote would indicate the representative is opposed to horse slaughter and a .NO. vote

would indicate that he or she supports horse slaughter. When you contact these representatives,

you may want to thank those who voted for the amendment and ask them to continue their

opposition to horse slaughter by co-sponsoring H.R. 503. For those who voted .NO. you might

give them some pointers mentioned above and also point out to them that the House amendment

last fall to cut off funds for horse slaughter passed by a bipartisan margin of 269 to 158.

The chart also lists those Texas members who have already co-sponsored H.R. 503. For those

members who have already co-sponsored H.R. 503, it is very important to contact them and

thank them for their co-sponsorship and encourage them to ask their Texas colleagues to cosponsor

the bill as well.
Also please note that Rep. Joe Barton is Chairman of the Energy
and Commerce Committee to which H.R. 503 has been referred. Ask him to hold hearings

on H.R. 503 as soon as possible.

This has been a long and hard fight with obstacle after obstacle thrown at us, each of which we

have been able to overcome with determined grass root supporters like you. This is the last push

and when we get this done, horse slaughter in the United States will be nothing more than a bad

memory.

Please take a moment to contact your representative and as many additional representatives as

possible to help make this effort a success. A list Texas representatives and their contact

information is on the following page.
U.S. REPRESENTATIVE

STATE/DISTRICT

#

PHONE

(202) FAX (202)

VOTE ON

AMENDMENT

CO-SPONSOR OF HR

503

Barton, Joe (R) * TX-6 225-2002 225-3052 NO
Bonilla, Henry (R) TX-23 225-4511 225-2237 NO

Brady, Kevin (R) TX-8 225-4901 225-5524 NO

Burgess, Michael C. (R) TX-26 225-7772 225-2919 YES

Carter, John R. (R) TX-31 225-3864 225-5886 NO

Conaway, K. Michael (R) TX-11 225-3605 225-1783 NO

Cuellar, Henry (D) TX-28 225-1640 225-1641 NO

Culberson, John Abney (R) TX-7 225-2571 225-4381 NO

DeLay, Tom (R) TX-22 225-5951 225-5241 NO

Doggett, Lloyd (D) TX-25 225-4865 225-3073 YES

Edwards, Chet (D) TX-17 225-6105 225-350 NO

Gohmert, Louie (R) TX-1 225-3035 225-5866 YES

Gonzalez, Charles A. (D) TX-20 225-3236 225-1915 YES YES

Granger, Kay (R) TX-12 225-5071 225-5683 NO

Green, Al (D) TX-9 225-7508 225-2947 YES YES

Green, Gene (D) TX-29 225-1688 225-9903 YES YES

Hall, Ralph M. (R) TX-4 225-6673 225-3332 YES

Hensarling, Jeb (R) TX-5 225-3484 226-4888 NO
Hinojosa, Rubén (D) TX-15 225-2531 225-5688 NO

Jackson-Lee, Sheila (D) TX-18 225-3816 225-3317 ABSENT

Johnson, Eddie Bernice (D) TX-30 225-8885 225-1477 YES YES

Johnson, Sam (R) TX-3 225-4201 225-1485 NO

Marchant, Kenny (R) TX-24 225-6605 225-0074 NO

McCaul, Michael T. (R) TX-10 225-2401 225-5955 YES

Neugebauer, Randy (R) TX-19 225-4005 225-9615 NO

Ortiz, Solomon P. (D) TX-27 225-7742 226-1134 YES

Paul, Ron (R) TX-14 225-2831 N/A YES

Poe, Ted (R) TX-2 225-6565 225-5547 YES

Reyes, Silvestre (D) TX-16 225-4831 225-2016 NO

Sessions, Pete (R) TX-32 225-2231 225-5878 NO

Smith, Lamar S. (R) TX-21 225-4236 225-8628 NO

Thornberry, Mac (R) TX-13 225-3706 225-3486 NO

32 Members (19R/13D) 12 yes, 19 no, 1 nv 4 cosponsors

 

* Please note that Rep. Joe Barton is the Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee

which will be the Committee to consider HR 503.

Please ask Rep. Barton to hold hearings on HR 503 as soon as possible.

(R) = Republican

(D) = Democrat

Visibility: Everyone
Posted: Monday February 20, 2006, 8:12 pm
Tags: [add/edit tags]

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Tanya W. (7)
Wednesday February 22, 2006, 8:40 pm
I am in Delays "area" and I wished that he would listen to his people but alas he will not. I have called his office and written numerous letters to him and all I get in reply is pretty much "horses need to be slaughtered to avoid overpopulation" and "slaughter is humane" What an idiot!!

Melissa McLaughlin (10)
Wednesday February 22, 2006, 9:40 pm
Oh my!! I am SICK at the thought of this is going on!! It is just WRONG and needs to be stopped! No horse, or animal for that matter needs to be treated this way.

Myla A. (60)
Tuesday February 28, 2006, 1:39 am
We need to vote for new Texas Representatives because most do not care about animals, enviroment or people. They are more into helping industry make money. I know I have written to Hutchinson, Cronyn and my congressman with no results. You should check out their voting record. I did and it is pretty sickening! I am not voting for them this coming month!

A. M. (20)
Tuesday February 28, 2006, 4:51 am
Thank you so much for supporting this project. I can only say that I wasnt a Delay supporter anyway but that statement just about takes the cake. He is a complete moron. Here in Texas it is the deer that are over-populated so apparently he is confused on the issue of which species is being talked about.
Myla, I too have written Hutchison, Cronyn and Lamar Smith to plead that they take a stance on this issue. It is like falling on deaf ears! I have made a decision that for me is pretty unusual. Ive decided to vote for those who will actively support animal protections and against those who will not - regardless of political party!!
If you can please write Representative Barton who is Chairman of the Energy and Commerce committee and ask that he begin hearings on HR 503. The bill was forwarded to this group for evaluation. Im putting a copy of the letter I sent him - (without including the whole body of the letter I received from THLN which I posted above). You are welcome to use any or all of it to write him. You can do it for free at www.congress.gov
Just go to the 'Your Congress Member' - then look in the congressional directory link at the top under 'B' for Barton. Thanks again so very much for supporting this bill and trying to end horse slaughter for good!! It means so much to me that others are also interested in saving horses.

Dear Rep. Barton,
As Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee I am writing today to ask you to consider initiating hearings on H.R. 503. Due to recent actions by the USDA to create rules to circumvent bills passed by Congress and signed by President Bush and allow for the continuation of horse slaughter. As you are aware the motivation to continue horse slaughter has been backed by foreign European livestock brokers. The H.R. 503 bill seeks to permanently prohibit the shipping, transporting, moving, delivering, receiving, possessing,purchasing, selling, or donation of horses to be slaughtered for human consumption.

My personal view on this subject is that it should be stopped permanently because it is unnecessary and inhumane. It serves no need but to satisfy a European market for the exotic culinary taste. The practice robs Americans of a valued national historic icon, symbolizing independence and strength.
I believe it is strongly suggested that the bills passed by Congress last year to prevent inspections curtailing continued horse slaughter, were in fact passed as a direct result of whole-hearted support by the majority of Americans. I urge you to begin hearings on H.R. 503 as soon as administratively
possible.

Author

A. M.
female , single
Austin, TX, USA
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