Equine welfare advocates participate in “Horses on the Hill” in D.C.

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Horses in fog
Edited Press Release

As part of the “Horses on the Hill” event, celebrities, local school children, young equestrians and advocates joined Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., and Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., sponsors of the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act (S. 541/H.R. 1094), at the Capitol to urge legislators to permanently protect American horses from inhumane slaughter. The event was co-hosted by The Humane Society of the United States, the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) and the ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).

Participants—including actress Wendie Malick from “Hot in Cleveland” and sports commentator Bonnie-Jill Laflin—met with elected officials to seek their support in passing the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act. John Boyd, president of the National Black Farmers Association; Stacia Klein Madden, ASPCA Equine Welfare Ambassador and award-winning equestrian and trainer; and representatives from Omega Horse Rescue also participated in the event.

This bill would prevent the resumption of horse slaughter operations in the United States, end the current export of American horses for slaughter abroad, and protect the public from consuming potentially toxic horse meat due to the many undocumented drugs given to horses that can be dangerous to humans if ingested. The shocking discovery of horse meat in beef products in the European Union underscores the threat to American health, consumer confidence, and the reputation of the entire U.S. meat industry that could result if this practice is brought back to this country.

Opponents of the bill argue that without legal horse slaughter in America, horses are subject to neglect or shipment to foreign slaughterhouses where treatment is even less humane. But increasing concerns about the implications of American horse slaughter for both equines and humans have helped the anti-slaughter side gain a stronger foothold.

“The practice of horse slaughter for human consumption is revolting to me as a horse owner, but also as a consumer,” said Sen. Landrieu. “Horses are not raised for human consumption, and they are frequently treated with drugs and chemicals that are toxic when ingested by humans. Especially in light of the European horse meat contamination scandals, we must ensure that our food supply at home is not tainted with horse meat, nor should we supply an unsafe food product to foreign industries. I am proud to join my colleagues to introduce the SAFE Act to end the slaughter of one of the world’s most beloved animals and help protect public health.”

Watch as Sen. Mary Landrieu explains her stance against commercial horse slaughter during 2013’s Horses on the Hill event.

“Horses are not bred for human consumption,” said Rep. Meehan. “Horses are routinely treated with drugs over the course of their lifetimes that are toxic to humans if ingested. At a time when the U.S. Department of Agriculture is threatening to furlough meat inspectors due to budget cuts, American taxpayers should not be subsidizing horse meat inspections for the foreign export market.”

“Those attending this year’s Horses on the Hill event represent the diversity of elected officials, organizations and individuals behind ending slaughter,” said Chris Heyde, deputy director of government and legal affairs for AWI. “Professional equestrians, horse owners and activists, farmers, horse rescues, and welfare organizations are here to speak out for the tens of thousands of horses that continue to be slaughtered every year while a few in Congress stubbornly oppose a bill that is widely supported in Congress and by the American public. Ending horse slaughter has been one of the most widely supported animal protection issues in decades; it is time to pass the SAFE Act.”

Further Reading
Horse Slaughter Timeline
How Humane is Horse Slaughter?

15 COMMENTS

  1. Oh my god it is WAY PAST time to stop this horse slaughter for the greedy few who want to torture our horses, supply and demand, MONEY this is what this is all about….. WE HAVE HAD SLAUGHTER WHAT 20 30 YEARS think it’s working?? It promotes over breeding like AQHA it promotes nothing but evil everything about it to the tainted meat to the environmental issues, to horse thefts to crime I could go on and on… BUT I am not holding my breath for this bill to pass, cause to many politicians have their pockets lined from BIG AG… money buys a lot of things in this country, doesn’t seem to matter to OUR elected officials that 80% of us do NOT want this doesn’t matter AT ALL…. I have lost all respect for so many of our gov. officials makes me so sick and angry!!

  2. What a great speech. I agree that as Americans we need to stop horse slaughtering. Horses are not raised to be eaten by humans. It is an excuse to kill healthy horses. As I have read, poor sickly horses are not the ones being slaughtered. If someone can not afford to keep his horse, there are other avenues to try. It does cost to buy a horse, maintain a horse property and to pay for vet bills. Breed associations should take a stand and discourage random breeding in order to just get their registration fees. There should be selective breeding as well as the thought – if you don’t have a home or use for the colt, don’t breed the mare.

  3. It’s time to stop looking at the money that can be made from horse slaughter and an easy way to dump the horse that isn’t performing the way the owner wants or the breeder doesn’t want. There’s enough rescue organizations and feed assistance out there that if anyone doesn’t want or can’t take care of the horse, ask for help, it’s out there!
    Cruel treatment is a “mild” assessment of horse transport and slaughter. Get your hands out of your pockets and end horse slaughter for good!

  4. I thought Congress passed, and Obama signed, a bill back in Nov 2011 lifting the ban on horse slaughter? Does the SAFE Act seek to reverse that?
    And why is there no Florida govt official among the sponsors or supporters? Here in Florida, we have immigrants slaughtering peoples horses ALIVE in their barns and paddocks, leaving the legs and head (sometimes a dead foal) for the poor owners to find, and local officials and police just aren’t doing enough to stop it because “they’re just horses.” Law enforcement here is mainly concerned with the drug war and most other crime is of less concern.

  5. I hope that horse slaughter never comes back, but something has to be done about he horses that are left to starve, becausse people run out of hay and no funds to buy more if it was available

  6. To slaughter a horse is to throw away equine business, dump unfit drugged meat into a black market pipeline, encourage torture of horses, create an unnecessary unclean disease potential for equines, allow abuse and neglect owners a financial reward and a way out of their crimes, distribute known cancer causing drugs in food, disrupt legitimate markets such as the European Horsemeat Scandal and cost consumers/taxpayers millions of dollars of waste tracing and tracking or inspecting something we don’t eat. We need to STOP SUBSIDIZING a few hundred horse killers that risk ruining the safety of our US food supplies and economy.

  7. Great speech, we need Horse Slaughter Stopped!!!! We also need roundups stopped from BLM!!!!
    Between Reno and Carson City over 3500 horses & burros are in holding pens,

  8. THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH FOR STANDING AGAINST HORSE SLAUGHTER AND FOR STANDING UP FOR WILD HORSES THAT NEED TO BE RELEASED BACK INTO THE WILD!! GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!! AND GOD BLESS AND KEEP OUR BEAUTIFULL MAJESTIC HORSES WILD AND FREE!!

  9. It is with great hope that the permanent stop to horse slaughter is reached. Take you hands out of your wallets, horse blood money will not solve anything.

  10. Thank you all for standing up against horse slaughter. Please put an end to BLM round ups and let the 50,000 wild horses in holding pens free. I do believe Mustang Monument would take a good percentage of them. After all the good horses have done for us,…pulling our wagons, coaches, plows, carrying soldiers into battle, and giving so much enjoyment and inspiration to the people who soar over fences or race around a track with them. We are blessed to have them in our world. Please put an end to the inhumane treatment of all horses. Stop horse slaughter.

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