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ACT: Doors Reopen For Legal Horse Slaughter In The U.S.


U.S. politicians talk about deep spending cuts. A tighten-your-belt approach. So why pass a 2012 Agriculture Appropriations bill that restores funding for horse slaughter inspectors?

Well they did, and a 6-year ban on use of USDA taxpayer funds for slaughterhouse inspections is gone.

In fact, the U.S. House of Representatives renewed this ban for Fiscal Year 2012. Then Conference Committee members Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI), and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) deleted it. Just like that. Without this loophole, states eager to kill horses for overseas diners have nothing to stop them.

Except this: The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011 (S. 1176/H.R. 2966).

USA CITIZENS: It is critical that you take the time to personally ask your federal Representative and Senators to support and cosponsor the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011 (S. 1176/H.R. 2966).

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Photo from Veterinarians For Equine Welfare, Texarkana Horse Transport Cruelty Case. "Are not veterinarians by definition advocates for animals? Do we not swear in our oath to relieve pain and suffering? So how can I remain silent when I see the suffering horses endure on their way to slaughter." John Dennigan, DVM
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Honorable Representative
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20510

Honorable Senators
The U.S. Senate
U.S. Capitol Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Elected Officials of U.S. Congress,

I respectfully ask for your help. Recent legislation boosts federal spending for an industry that 70% of Americans oppose: Horse slaughter. Lawmakers propose deep slashes in government outlay, yet Congress enacts an Agriculture Appropriations bill that finances equine slaughterhouse inspectors.

This shocking development undoes an amendment that had banned USDA spending on horse slaughter inspectors for the last six years. It essentially reopens equine slaughterhouses on U.S. soil.

The U.S. House actually renewed defunding language for the Fiscal-Year 2012 Agriculture Appropriations bill. Then Conference Committee members Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA), Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI), and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) deleted it. Due to their narrow bias, my tax dollars now subsidize horse slaughterhouse checks ó and revive an industry that most Americans condemn.

Fortunately, there is a viable solution: The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011 (S. 1176/H.R. 2966). This Act bans possession, transport, purchase, sale, delivery or receipt of a horse or horseflesh for human consumption. It also prohibits live horse export over U.S. borders for slaughter. Please advocate passage of S. 1176/H.R. 2966 and sign on as a cosponsor.

Americans donít eat horses. We regard them as companions and symbols of our pioneer heritage. Though court rulings closed the last equine plants in Texas and Illinois, tens of thousands of racehorses, trail ponies, companion and wild horses are annually trucked to Canada and Mexico to make meat for European and Asian diners. Cruelty investigations show horses beaten and jammed into undersized trailers. Deprived of food, water or rest, they arrive weak, injured, or sometimes dead.

Slaughter ó abroad or even in the U.S. when still underway ó is excruciating for these excitable animals. USDA documentation verifies a violent process. Captive bolt stun pistols, ordinarily used for short-neck animals, fail to render horses insensible. In Mexico, investigative reports reveal horses thrashing in pain while stabbed at the withers until the spinal cord severs. Some remain conscious as their throats are slit.

Proponents consider this a "solution" for surplus horses who would otherwise endure neglect and starvation. The option to discard unwanted horses for slaughter absolves breeders and caretakers of illegal animal abandonment. Offenders should be criminally charged rather than permitted to profit from killing horses. Furthermore, a timely GAO report that sought to link equine abuse with the termination of horse slaughter in the U.S. found no real evidence to back such claims.

Please help standardize policy with your support of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011 (S. 1176/H.R. 2966). I look forward to your feedback about this important issue.


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