In a shocking revelation, the U. S. Department of Agriculture just confirmed that it will process Valley Meat Co. LLC’s application for a grant of inspection to begin slaughtering horses for human consumption in Roswell, New Mexico. The confirmation comes just days after furniture giant Ikea removed its signature Swedish meatballs from markets across most of Europe after they were found to contain horse meat.
“Given the current firestorm of outrage over horsemeat entering the food supply in Europe, it is time for Congress to prevent even one more American horse from suffering this terrible fate and stop horse slaughter in the U.S. once and for all,” says Nancy Perry, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Government Relations.
Despite the fact that an overwhelming 80% of Americans oppose the slaughtering of horses for human consumption, Valley Meat will be the first facility to butcher horses for human consumption on U.S. soil since 2007 if its application is approved. Horses are not biologically suited for commercial slaughter and are difficult to stun before dismemberment. They will endure terrible trauma and cruelty if the plant opens for business.
“If the USDA moves forward with allowing the cruel and toxic horse slaughter industry to enter our country, this administration is leading our nation in precisely the wrong direction,” says Perry.
Please Take Action Today!
Please call the White House message line at (202) 456-1111 and urge the Obama administration to stop horse slaughter! Here’s all you need to say:
“Please use your power to prevent any horse slaughterhouses from opening in the U.S. and to prevent the slaughter of our horses in other countries. Horses are not raised for food. This industry is cruel to horses and endangers consumers, who are eating a toxic product.”
This month nine states are considering legislation to criminalize the documentation of animal abuse on farms. “Ag-gag” or anti-whistleblower bills prevent the exposure of photos or video showing the unethical and often highly unsafe practices that all too often occur on industrial farms. This kind of evidence has recently led to cruelty prosecutions, massive food recalls and industry reform. The ASPCA is working hard to make sure these dangerous bills do not become law and you can help by reaching out to your representatives.
There is a reason that footage of farm animals is controversial. The vast majority of U.S. farm animals are raised on factory farms in filthy, overcrowded ammonia-filled sheds. They lead short lives full of suffering and frustration, are bred for unnaturally excessive growth and production, and are regularly dosed with antibiotics to compensate for their wretched surroundings. They also, way too often, are subject to cruel and depraved acts of violence.
The good news is that awareness of farm animal welfare is on the rise in all sectors: among consumers, farmers, legislatures, retailers, prosecutors and even food corporations. Better treatment of farm animals has simply become an ethical imperative, and the ASPCA is on the scene, educating the public, fighting for stronger laws and supporting more humane farming practices.
Great news! This week members of Congress reintroduced legislation to establish greater federal oversight of puppy mills and online dog sales.
The Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety (PUPS) Act would require commercial breeders who sell their puppies directly to the public, sight unseen, including via the web, to be licensed and inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Currently, only breeders who sell dogs to pet stores or to puppy brokers are subject to federal oversight.
Many puppies sold online come from puppy mills and are commonly bred in unsanitary, overcrowded and often cruel conditions without sufficient veterinary care, food, water or socialization. While facilities that breed puppies for commercial resale through pet stores are required to be licensed and inspected, breeders who sell directly to consumers, via the Internet, newspaper classifieds or other outlets, are exempt from any federal oversight.
“As the ASPCA has seen firsthand, the photos of happy, healthy puppies posted on a breeder’s website often grossly misrepresent what conditions are really like for these puppies and their parents,” says Nancy Perry, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Government Relations. “Puppy mills are able to completely evade federal oversight by taking advantage of a pre-Internet loophole in current law, but the PUPS Act would change that.”
As mentioned in USA Today, the PUPS Act will require that any breeder who sells more than 50 dogs each year to pet stores or online must meet federal standards.
“The current loophole has allowed too many dog breeders to get away with abusive behavior for far too long,” adds Cori Menkin, Senior Director of the ASPCA’s Puppy Mill Campaign. “We encourage Congress and the USDA to take meaningful steps to protect dogs in commercial breeding facilities.”
To learn more about the ASPCA’s efforts to eradicate puppy mills, and how you can help, please visit www.nopetstorepuppies.com.
Horses are frequently the victims of cruelty and neglect, but their suffering sometimes fails to grab headlines. In honor of National Horse Protection Day, we’d like to share just one horse rescue we’ve had the opportunity to support.
Last month, 13 emaciated horses were found living on a rural farm in Vermilion County, Illinois. The horses were all skin and bones. Two were blind, and a third was found deceased on the property.
Luckily, the Society for Hooved Animal Rescues and Emergencies (S.H.A.R.E) stepped in and began the long process of rehabilitating the horses. As soon the ASPCA heard about S.H.A.R.E’s incredible work, we gave the organization a $6,500 grant to help pay for veterinary care and food for the rescued equines.
We’re so glad to assist S.H.A.R.E in its efforts to help horses! Find out how you can get involved and be a hero for horses by reading our top 10 ways to help equines.
Have you stood up for horses? Tell us about it in the comments!