We saw a victory in 2007 when horse slaughter was banned in the U.S. Unfortunately, that victory was short-lived when we saw our horses were still heading for a gruesome death across the border.
Without federal law banning slaughter, horses are still at risk of ending up on the dinner table in Europe and Japan. Luckily, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) and Representative Dan Burton (R-IN) just reintroduced The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act (S. 311 – H.R. 503) in the 111th Congress.
Hundreds of thousands of horses are sent to slaughter each year and there is nothing humane about their experience. They were pets, companions, show horses, race horses, byproducts of the Premarin industry and some of them were even stolen. Each of them has a story and each of them somehow ended up in an unthinkable situation.
They’re crammed onto trucks and forced to endure being shipped long distances without food or water, and without regard to their condition, or temperament.
If they’re still even alive when they arrive at their destination, their last hours are filled with dread and terror. Forced through the line, they find themselves the victims of the captive bolt gun, which doesn’t come close to being humane even in the best-case scenario, or the puntilla knife, which only paralyzes them and leaves them fully conscious for slaughter.
The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act would stop the slaughter of our horses for consumption and prohibit them from being exported for slaughter in other countries.
Those who oppose this bill are concerned that there will be an increase in the number of unwanted horses. However, when Cavel International was operating in Illinois, they actually imported horses from Canada to meet demands for horsemeat.
The industry uses the cover that they’re providing a service, when they’re really just preying on animals for a profit.
Horse slaughter is not humane and it is not necessary. Horse owners have the choice to have a veterinarian humanely euthanize their horse or to get paid to do the wrong thing.
In addition to the Equine Cruelty Act, Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL), Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) have also wasted no time in introducing the Horse Transportation Safety Act of 2009 (H.R. 305) to prevent horses from being shipped in double-deck trucks. Hopefully, this bill will close the loopholes in previous legislation that made it alright to ship horses this way to anyplace but slaughter.
Sign Care2’s petition to end slaughter here.