“I am interested in long-term humane solutions to manage our horse populations. Our land is precious to the Navajo people as are all the horses on the Navajo Nation. Horses are sacred animals to us.” – Ben Shelly, president of the Navajo Nation
Phenomenal news! Horse-welfare advocates just gained an important new ally in the fight to stop the brutal practice of horse slaughter. As reported earlier this week in TheNew York Times, Ben Shelly, president of the Navajo Nation, announced that the Nation opposes the practice of horse slaughter and has stopped all horse round-ups on the reservation.
This statement follows two important developments for horses on Navajo lands. In September, a coalition of Navajo elders and medicine people passed a resolution to oppose horse slaughter, and a Navajo Nation chapter opted to suspend round-ups in its territory for fear the horses would be sent to slaughter.
The ASPCA applauds President Shelly’s announcement, which underscores the fact that the inherently cruel practice of horse slaughter is never an acceptable end for a horse.
President Shelly’s message on behalf of the Navajo Nation confirms the building momentum for the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, which would forbid the slaughter of horses in the U.S. and end the current export of American horses for slaughter abroad.
It happened again: Yesterday a terrified carriage horse bolted down a busy New York City street, flipped over and was pinned to the ground. As traffic ground to a halt, rescue workers and good Samaritans labored to free the equine from under the wrecked carriage and prevent further suffering.
This is unacceptable. Carriage horses were never meant to live and work in today’s urban settings. From congested city streets to startling noises, New York City is a nightmare for these animals—and current City laws do not afford working horses adequate protection to ensure their safety and wellbeing.
"How many horses and people must be hurt before New York City wakes up and realizes we are in the 21st century?" asks Michelle Villagomez, ASPCA New York City Legislative Director. "Let’s change with the times and push for a safe, humane alternative."
Take Action! Your help is urgently needed to protect our city's working carriage horses. The ASPCA has been working hard to pass legislation that would take the burden off these horses and create a more humane attraction for tourists. If you live in New York Cityplease urge your councilmember to support and cosponsor Intro. 86A, legislation that would phase out horse-drawn carriages in New York City, replacing them with vintage electric cars. Yesterday’s accident is only the latest reminder that the time has come to get these sensitive animals off our streets.
In 1971, Congress declared our wild horses and burros an integral part of our public rangelands and ordered the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to care for them as cultural icons. Over the years, the BLM has rounded up tens of thousands of our wild equines, often with cruel methods, and shipped them to tax-funded holding facilities where they are confined for the rest of their lives.
The BLM is again looking to apply the same failed model of round-ups and removals in revised management plans for wild horses out West. These plans must be altered.
If adopted, these management plans would decimate the wild horse population in the Wyoming Checkerboard, a two-million-acre mix of public and private land where nearly half of Wyoming’s wild horses live. This is certainly not the free-roaming vision Congress set out for these majestic animals.
The good news is that you can help! The BLM is accepting public comments through Friday, September 27, on the potentially devastating revisions to Resource Management Plans that will cull wild horses in Wyoming.
It was a heartbreaking sight. Equines left to fend for themselves—bone skinny, and braving harsh summer elements without access to food or water.
The ASPCA Equine Fund recently stepped in to provide an emergency grant of $13,000 to help provide care for 21 donkeys and five Arabian Mares who were abused and abandoned earlier this summer. To make matters more tragic, all five of the Arabian Mares and ten of the donkeys were pregnant, with one donkey actually birthing a foal during their rescue.
“Unfortunately, equine neglect and abuse is widespread in this country,” says Jacque Schultz, ASPCA Senior Director of Community Outreach. “Rescue groups are struggling with increasing calls for help and shrinking budgets. That’s where the ASPCA Equine Fund comes in.”
The funds granted by the ASPCA in this case will be used to rehabilitate the rescued equines and cover expenses for medical treatment, food, transport, and training.
“The ASPCA Equine Fund is vital when it comes to saving lives,” says Floss Blackburn, president of Denkai Animal Sanctuary, the organization that took the animals in. “Without their help, many equine organizations would not be able to fund such large rescue efforts.”
American horses have quite literally dodged a bullet as a meat processing plant in Iowa has officially withdrawn plans to start slaughtering horses for human consumption.
While the struggle to prevent U.S. horse slaughter is far from over, this announcement is another victory resulting from a string of efforts by the ASPCA and other national and local organizations to ensure that the American people’s voices are heard: Opposition to horse slaughter for human consumption is broad and deep across every demographic.
A plant in New Mexico has also received a grant of inspection to slaughter horses, but it is on hold pending litigation and faces strong opposition from the state’s attorney general and governor. This means we have time to stop horse slaughter before it starts, and we implore you to join us today by urging your members of Congress to cosponsor the SAFE (Safeguard American Food Exports) Act.
Championed by Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Representatives Patrick Meehan (R-PA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), to the SAFE Act would prevent the slaughter of American horses as well as their transport to other countries for this purpose.
We have been simultaneously pressing for protections in the FY2014 Agriculture Appropriations bill to prevent tax dollars from being spent on inspections for these plants—no inspections would amount to a de facto ban on horse slaughter on U.S. soil. We must now ensure this language remains in the final version, which Congress is likely to take up next month when it returns from recess.
We know that slaughter is no answer to the problem of horse neglect—that is a hollow argument used by the industry to cover up its greed and abuses (and we are working with a vast network of horse rescues all over the country to provide at-risk horses with safe havens from commercial slaughter). Every step we take together brings us closer to a real and lasting victory for horses! Please take action now!