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World-Renowned Equestrians Speak Out Against Horse Slaughter

Monday, December 2, 2013 - 11:45am
Close up of white horse with pink bridle

Today the ASPCA Equine Welfare Ambassadors issued an open letter [PDF] in response to recent developments in ongoing litigation brought by several animal welfare organizations to halt horse slaughter for human consumption in the United States. While an emergency injunction in a U.S. Court of Appeals has temporarily stalled horse slaughter plants from opening on American soil, that injunction could be lifted at any moment. The Ambassadors are calling on all animal advocates to take action to stop the inhumane slaughter industry by supporting the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act and promoting responsible horse ownership, rescue and adoption.

The ASPCA Equine Welfare Ambassadors are respected equestrians and horse experts committed to animal welfare—and include several ASPCA Maclay National Champions and journalist and author Jill Rappaport. They are urging Congress to pass the SAFE Act to ban horse slaughter in the U.S. and transport to slaughter outside the U.S. once and for all. 

As individuals who revere, care for, and work with horses, they can speak to the importance of humane treatment of these special animals. They have joined with the ASPCA in promoting and supporting the work of the robust network of horse rescue organizations across the country. Having witnessed undercover footage showing repeated cruelties in past American, government-regulated horse slaughter plants, the Ambassadors state in the letter:

We have seen the horrifying video and photo documentation from past horse slaughter plants that were on American soil and government-regulated—horse slaughter is utterly, unmistakably inhumane . . . [C]ommercial slaughter is not about providing a kind death. It’s only about destroying as many horses as quickly as possible and making a fast profit.

The letter also acknowledges food safety concerns as another reason to ban horse slaughter.

It goes on to state:

For the roughly 130,000 horses that suffer at the hands of slaughter annually—a fraction of the 9 million horses in America—we have the power to take back the reins and lead at-risk horses to safety. Let’s refuse to allow commercial slaughter to be a convenient way out, and instead demand responsible ownership and promote rescue and adoption, just like we do for dogs and cats.

Read the full letter here [PDF]. Then contact your Members of Congress in support of the SAFE Act.

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taco bell

We would love to buy this horse

cke

http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d11228.pdf
These "world renown experts" need to read this report (as does everyone with an interest in horse slaughter). Also, everyone who is vociferous about banning slaughter needs to be opening their wallets and sending donations to the rescues and shelters that these horses wind up in to help pay for their care. Banning slaughter creates another problem -- lots of unwanted horses winding up at shelters or turned loose on public lands -- and these "experts" are part of that problem if they simply say "thou shalt not allow slaughter" and aren't contributing to resolution of the "problem" they then create. The fact the just as many US horses went to slaughter (in Mexico and Canada) when slaughter was banned as were slaughtered when it was allowed in this country should tell people something. Interesting how few people know that statistic, however. Or consider the extra shipping time the horses must endure, and the conditions they must be treated with in Mexico.

Linda

I agree in part with "cke". But, it has to be a two-fold approach. Banning horse slaughter will help the cruelty that goes along with it and preserve our dignified heritage as far as horses are concerned. They are sentient beings and sensitive enough to know and feel the fear and pain associated with the slaughter pipeline. However, the cause of all the horses going to slaughter has to be addressed. It has to be nipped in the bud. Responsible ownership is the answer. If you get a horse, be prepared to commit to its welfare all its life. It is a huge responsibility, to have a horse and most people don't know that going in, or they just think horses are a commodity. There should be more initiatives to educate, and require owners to provide funding and support for horses they own/buy/breed/sell.

lynn

SLAUGHTER is not the answer. There needs to be some sort of sanctuary for horses instead of the cruelty inflicted upon them in these slaughter houses. Humans DONT EAT HORSES so they have no business being killed here. Government needs to stop supporting these undeserving third world countries and keep our money HERE to do what we need to do to help OUR PEOPLE and ANIMALS !!!!

lynn

SLAUGHTER is not the answer. There needs to be some sort of sanctuary for horses instead of the cruelty inflicted upon them in these slaughter houses. Humans in America DONT EAT HORSES so they have no business being killed here. Government needs to stop supporting these undeserving third world countries and keep our money HERE to do what we need to do to help OUR PEOPLE and ANIMALS !!!!

Watson

On your first point, we are donating to a local equine rescue and putting the word out every day to encourage others. Second, "unwanted horses" are the responsibility of their owners plain and simple. There are neglect and cruelty laws in place. I am an activist who is contributing to the resolution of the problem by adopting, donating and educating. I'll end by making the point that it's interesting how few people know about horse slaughter period. And, I have considered the transport issues and support the Safeguard American Foods Export Act.

Riley

These peoples wishes, carried to the final outcome, would result in an economy were only the wealthy could afford horses. Yet, even today, it is the poorest of the world who must rely on beasts of burden, including horses. How are those who are dependent on horses for their livelihood going to feed an animal that can no longer do the work it is needed for, then finally how are they going to dispose of the thousand pound carcass? Make slaughter humane by shortening transport distances and regulating kill methods. Please keep your brie and wine solutions to the worlds problems in your damned country club.

vickysecho

I am responding to the comments - Once horse slaughter for US horses has ended - rescues can go back to actually helping horses in need instead of trying to save them from slaughter. Why is it that those that support the inhumane horse slaughter system continue to ask what will happen to all the unwanted horses or basically every 'for sale' horse? When does anyone elses horse become everyone elses financial responsibility? When they decide they don't want it? If that is the case - no one would pay for garbage removal. Sure, there will be some that will dump their unwanted, but the majority will act responsibly and perhaps even faster if there is no concern of their horse ending up in the inhumane horse slaughter system. The horse slaughter system is the largest horse abuse system in the country - please contact your state Senators and Representatives and ask them to support the SAFE Act!

cke - that report contained fraudulent information http://www.forbes.com/sites/vickeryeckhoff/2013/08/08/gao-accused-of-fraud-as-horse-slaughter-plants-fight-to-open/

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