Proponents of federal legislation to ban horse slaughter in the United States are gathered in Washington, D.C., March 4 – 5, to lobby for the passage of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (HR.503/S.311).
Calling the event “Americans Against Horse Slaughter Week,” hundreds of people from all parts of the country are pressing for passage of pending legislation that would place a federal ban on the transport and slaughter of horses for human consumption.
In 2007, the last three foreign-owned horse slaughter plants operating in the U.S. were closed by state laws. However, horse slaughter plants could open in other states where such laws do not exist. The closure of the American plants has also resulted in the increased transport of American horses for slaughter to Mexico and Canada. Recent investigations into the slaughter practices in Mexico have alarmed many.
“Texas and Illinois took action to shut down the plants,” points out one of the event organizers, Julie Caramante. “But as a consequence of the failure to pass a federal bill, there has been an increase in horses going to Mexico where slaughter cruelty is much worse.”
The barbarity faced by horses inside Mexican slaughter plants has been documented in news reports and by an undercover video released by the Humane Society of the United States. Horses are repeatedly stabbed in the neck until their spinal cords are severed leaving them quadriplegic. Some are slaughtered while fully conscious.
“It is urgent that we get the federal legislation enacted into law,” Caramante says. “Every week Congress delays, a thousand more horses face this horrible fate in Mexico and Canada.
“Americans don’t want horse slaughter,” Caramante sums up. “Our numbers are growing and more people are joining each day. And those who can’t go to Washington will be calling Congress to finish what the states started. We are not going away.”