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Last Hope for Horses!! Push to Pass the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (S. 1176/H.R. 2966)

Animals  (tags: Horse Slaughter, killing, brutal, cruelty, society, sadness, ethics, death, abuse, slaughter, investigation, animals )

- 1980 days ago -
The recent passage of the Agriculture Appropriations bill did not include vital defunding language to prohibit USDA inspections of horse slaughter plants in the U.S. More than 80 percent of Americans are against horse slaughter and understand

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Krystal R (120)
Wednesday December 19, 2012, 5:01 am
The Facts on Horse Slaughter

Separate fact from fiction on the issue of horse slaughter

Kathy Milani/The HSUS

Supporters of horse slaughter have many arguments to support their position.

But if you look at the facts, you'll see the truth: The slaughter of horses for meat is not only unneccessary but it is also harmful in many ways.

Learn the truth about horse slaughter and why you should support the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (S. 1176/H.R. 2966), which will prohibit horse slaughter from returning to the U.S. and end the export of U.S. horses for slaughter. Here are the facts:

Horses are our trusted companions and have never been raised for human consumption in America.
Owner responsibility is the answer.
Horse slaughter and even transport to slaughter are abuses.
Slaughter is not a humane form of euthanasia.
Slaughter is not a “necessary evil.
Drugs given to horses are dangerous to humans.
The foreign-owned plants in the U.S. are not a better alternative than horse slaughter plants over the border.
Ending horse slaughter won’t lead to an increase in unwanted horses and result in horse abuse and neglect.
Banning horse slaughter will not undermine private property rights.
Ending horse slaughter will not cause environmental harm.
Ending horse slaughter will not cause the federal government to face the financial burden of care for horses no longer going to slaughter.

Horses are our trusted companions and have never been raised for human consumption in America.

A symbol of grace and beauty, horses have contributed greatly to our society throughout history. They have carried us into battle, plowed our fields, and served as endless sources of inspiration. Americans hold horses in high esteem and believe they deserve respect and dignity.

National polls show that 80% of Americans strongly favor a ban on horse slaughter. However, American horses are being killed for consumers in France, Belgium, and Japan. Show horses, pony ride ponies, racehorses, wild horses, carriage horses, and family horses are victims of the horse slaughter industry.

Owner responsibility is the answer.

It is a matter of personal responsibility when someone takes on a horse as a companion or work animal. If an owner can no longer care for a horse, that person has a responsibility to seek out other options for placing the horse or to have her humanely euthanized, rather than simply try to profit by selling her to slaughter. Putting a horse on a truck for thousands of miles of long-distance transport to a slaughter plant, where the horse will suffer a terrifying and painful death, is not a responsible option.

Protect horses: Support the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act »

Horse slaughter and even transport to slaughter are abuses.

Even though horse slaughter has stopped in the U.S., our horses are still being subjected to intense suffering and abuse though transport and slaughter over the border. Undercover footage shows live horses being dragged, whipped, and crammed into trucks in whose interiors were 110 degrees.

Horses are often shipped for more than 24 hours at a time in crowded double-deck cattle trucks without food, water, or rest. Pregnant mares, foals, injured horses, and even blind horses must endure the journey.

Slaughter is not a humane form of euthanasia.

Horse slaughter is a far cry from humane euthanasia. “Euthanasia” means a gentle, painless death provided in order to prevent suffering. Horse slaughter is a death fraught with terror, pain, and suffering.

In Mexican and Canadian slaughter plants, horses are stabbed multiple times in the neck with a “puntilla knife” to sever their spinal cords. This is not a stunning method—it paralyzes, leaving the horse twitching on the ground, unable to move or breathe. They are hoisted, bled out, and dismembered, often while still conscious.

When no other option exists, unwanted horses should be humanely euthanized by a licensed veterinarian. The vast majority of horse owners already use humane euthanasia for their old or ill horses; only 1 percent of all horses are sent to slaughter.

Fight horse slaughter today » »

Slaughter is not a “necessary evil.”

Slaughterhouse operators want everyone to believe that all the horses they slaughter are old or injured, without any other options. In truth, USDA statistics show that 92.3% of all horses sent to slaughter arrive in “good” condition–meaning they are sound and in good health. Horse slaughter actually prevents horse rescue; rescue operators are routinely outbid by killer buyers at auctions.

A 2011 report by the Government Accountability Office confirms that shipping horses long distances in double decker trailers and killing them for food isn’t good for horses. The report recommends that Congress consider passing legislation to ban the export of American horses for slaughter and end the inhumane practice in this country for good.

Over the last two decades, horse slaughter has declined dramatically (from 413,786 in 1990 to 66,400 in 2002); the horse industry has absorbed the horses that would have gone to slaughter in past years.

Drugs routinely given to horses are dangerous to humans.

Horses are not raised as food animals in the United States and therefore receive medications that are banned by the Food and Drug Administration and the European Union for use on animals raised for food.

The U.S. has no system for recording medications given to horses over the course of their lifetimes and no way to remove horses from the food chain once they have been given prohibited substances.

In the U.S., both competitive and recreational horses are routinely given medications such as Phenylbutazone (horse aspirin), wormers, Kopertox (hoof care), Clenbuterol (a bronchodilator used by racehorses), and a variety of fly repellents. None of these medications is approved for use in animals raised for food. According to the Veterinarians for Equine Welfare, “Horsemeat derived from any U.S. horse can never be regarded as safe for human consumption.”

The European Commission’s December 2010 Food and Veterinary Office report on Mexican slaughterhouses reports that, “According to the Mexican National Residues Monitoring Programme (NRMP), 19 samples in 2008, nine in 2009 and six in 2010 have tested positive for residues of substances, the use of which is prohibited in the EU. All of those horses were covered by the declaration stating that no treatments were administered to the animals.” A published study in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology back-traced 18 slaughtered race horses and found 100% had been given the banned carcinogen Phenylbutazone.

Starting in July 2013, all horses presented for slaughter at EU-certified plants must be accompanied by a lifetime veterinary record listing all medications they have been given. Furthermore, by 2013, every horse meant for food must be accompanied by a passport documenting whether the horse is “eligible for slaughter as human food” or “not eligible for slaughter as human food.”

The foreign-owned plants in the U.S. are not a better alternative than horse slaughter plants over the border.

The plants in the U.S. have been prohibited from slaughtering horses for good reason. Undercover footage from inside these facilities demonstrated how horrific these plants were: Many horses were conscious when they were shackled and hoisted by a rear leg to have their throats cut.

There is a history of abuse and cruelty at the U.S. plants, including employees whipping horses in the face and horses giving birth on the killing floors. The USDA recently released photos of horses with protruding broken bones, eyeballs hanging by a thread of skin, and open wounds—all taken at U.S. horse slaughterhouses.

Ending horse slaughter won’t lead to an increase in unwanted horses and result in horse abuse and neglect.

A ban on horse slaughter will not lead to an increase in unwanted horses or to abuse and neglect. USDA statistics show that more than 92 percent of horses slaughtered are in good condition and able to live productive lives.

In California, where horse slaughter was banned in 1998, there has been no corresponding rise in cruelty and neglect cases. When the only plant in Illinois was shut down for two years, horse neglect and abuse decreased.

State anti-cruelty laws prohibit owners from allowing their horse to starve if unwanted. But most horses in slaughterhouses are not unwanted; rather they have wound up in the hands of killer buyers because they are in good health and will bring a better price per pound for their meat.

Banning horse slaughter will not undermine private property rights.

In fact, allowing horse slaughter facilitates violates property rights by encouraging theft. Many domestic horses are stolen out of pastures and barns every year for the horsemeat trade.

Ohio newspapers reported on the theft of two prized former racehorses whose owner had planned planning to retire them to an equine sanctuary. Instead, two thieves sold the animals for $250 each to an auctioneer, who then sold them to a killer buyer employed by one of the three foreign-owned horse slaughterhouses. Owner Sky Dutcher came to Washington, D.C., to tell the story of the theft of her horse, Cimmarron, from his corral on her 12th birthday and his transport to slaughter about two days later.

When California banned horse slaughter in 1998, the horse theft rate dropped 34 percent.

Furthermore, private property rights do not grant owners the unfettered right to abuse their animals. Every state has anti-cruelty laws that mandate protections for animals. If sale for slaughter is banned, owners will still have ample options: reselling, donating, or euthanizing (which costs approximately $225–the amount of one month’s keep for a horse).

Providing for a horse, including humane euthanasia when necessary, is just part of responsible ownership.

Ending horse slaughter will not cause environmental harm.

The 92 percent of horses that go to slaughter in good condition do not need to be euthanized.

Some 900,000 horses die annually and are safely disposed of by means other than slaughter, and the infrastructure can easily absorb an increase in numbers. More than one million cattle die each year with no resulting environmental hazards. Rendering, incineration, and burial are all options, depending on local laws.

Conversely, the operation of horse slaughterhouses has a very real negative environmental impact. All three of the last domestic plants to close were in violation of local environmental laws related to the disposal of blood and other waste materials.

Ending horse slaughter will not cause the federal government to face the financial burden of care for horses no longer going to slaughter.

Horse owners, not the government, will remain responsible for the care of their horses. Owners who no longer wish to keep their horses but cannot sell or place their horses in a new home will have the option of humane euthanasia. The average cost for veterinarian-administered euthanasia and carcass disposal–approximately $225, the cost of one month’s care–is simply a part of responsible horse ownership.

naomi cohen (55)
Wednesday December 19, 2012, 9:32 am
signed! the horse slaughter must end! thank you, krystal.

Barbara Erdman (63)
Wednesday December 19, 2012, 9:47 am
N&S Krystal :-0 Tnx

Ellen G (325)
Wednesday December 19, 2012, 11:15 am
2 sigs

Roxie H (350)
Wednesday December 19, 2012, 10:11 pm
signed! stop killing horses, ugh horrible

Leslene Dunn (84)
Wednesday December 19, 2012, 10:23 pm
Noted and signed - so wish I could take all these deranged bastards and slaughter them.

Lenicka R (60)
Friday December 21, 2012, 12:40 am

Wendy F (62)
Wednesday December 26, 2012, 1:35 am
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