During the 2008 Presidential Campaign President Obama said, “Federal policy towards animals should respect the dignity of animals and their rightful place as cohabitants of our environment. We should strive to protect animals and their habitats and prevent animal cruelty, exploitation and neglect…. I have consistently been a champion of animal-friendly legislation and policy and would continue to be so once elected.”
President Obama announced that he had co-sponsored legislation to stop the sale for slaughter of wild free-roaming horses and burros. During the 2008 campaign President Obama signed on as co-sponsor to the bill to ban horse slaughter for human consumption. When asked specifically during the campaign, “Will you support legislation …to institute a permanent ban on horse slaughter and exports of horses for human consumption“, President Obama gave an unqualified “Yes“. (HSLF questionnaire)
Now is the time for President Obama to keep that campaign promise. The supporters of this predatory, cruel and inhumane practice of slaughtering horses have wrapped their arguments up with the flag, motherhood and apple pie. They have lobbied extensively for the return of slaughter to the U.S. and the continued exports of equines for slaughter for human consumption. They even controlled a June, 2011 GAO report which has been refuted as based on misinformation, unsupported opinions and untruths. Go here and here.
PLEASE SEND THE FOLLOWING LETTER, PROVIDED BY ANIMAL LAW COALITION to President Obama. Contact Information is provided at the bottom of this page.
Signatures of more than 6,000 Americans on a White House petition to ban the slaughter of equines for human consumption have been presented to the Obama Administration. The Obama Administration told us that if we gathered 5,000 signatures on a White House petition, the issue would receive consideration. We actually collected 5,000 signatures very quickly, at least 2 weeks before opponents were able to gather the same number of signatures for a petition started earlier to revive horse slaughter in the U.S. Of the 4 petitions created by mid-October regarding horses, the slaughter ban has collected the most signatures.
Thousands more Americans have sent letters directly to the White House over the past 3 years and still more have directed letters to their senators and representatives in Congress in an effort to end equine slaughter for human consumption.
We know from a 2006 Public Opinion Strategies poll that nearly 70% of Americans support a ban on equine slaughter. A CNN poll that same year showed a similar result. The support among Americans for a ban on equine slaughter for human consumption has grown: Currently, according to the Popvox poll, 77% of Americans support pending legislation, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, H.R. 2966/S.B. 1176, which would end the slaughter of American equines for human consumption.
I hope the Obama Administration will see this issue as paramount to human health and safety. It is also about saving communities from a predatory and environmentally and economically devastating practice. It is about stopping terrible cruelty and suffering of animals who are our companions and pets; they helped build this country and still work in the military and law enforcement and provide therapy as well as entertainment in horse racing, shows and other sports and exhibitions. They are not raised for food.
During the 2008 campaign you (President Obama) said, “Federal policy towards animals should respect the dignity of animals and their rightful place as cohabitants of our environment. We should strive to protect animals and their habitats and prevent animal cruelty, exploitation and neglect…. I have consistently been a champion of animal-friendly legislation and policy and would continue to be so once elected.” You (President Obama) announced that you had co-sponsored legislation to stop the sale for slaughter of wild free-roaming horses and burros. During the 2008 campaign you (President Obama) signed on as co-sponsor to the bill to ban horse slaughter for human consumption. When asked specifically during the campaign, “Will you support legislation …to institute a permanent ban on horse slaughter and exports of horses for human consumption“, you (President Obama) gave an unqualified “Yes“. (HSLF questionnaire)
Now is the time to keep that campaign promise, Mr. President. The supporters of this predatory, cruel and inhumane practice of slaughtering horses have wrapped their arguments up with the flag, motherhood and apple pie. They have lobbied extensively for the return of slaughter to the U.S. and the continued exports of equines for slaughter for human consumption. They even controlled a June, 2011 GAO report which has been refuted as based on misinformation, unsupported opinions and untruths. Go here and here.
The urgent reasons to ban equine slaughter have not changed, however, since you, (President Obama) as Senator signed on as co-sponsor of anti-slaughter legislation:
1. The FDA does not regulate equines as food animals. Americans don’t eat horses and other equines. American horses are not raised, fed and medicated within the FDA guidelines established for food animals, making them unfit and unsafe for human consumption. Equines are given all manner of drugs, steroids, de-wormers and ointments throughout their lives. Equines are not tracked and typically may have several owners. A kill buyer has no idea of the veterinary or drug history of a horse or other equine taken to slaughter, and many of the most dangerous drugs have no or a very long withdrawal period. A typical drug given routinely to equines like aspirin, phenylbutazone or Bute, is a carcinogen and can cause aplastic anemia in humans. It has no withdrawal period. The FDA bans bute in all food producing animals because of this serious danger to human health. The FDA and USDA would prohibit Americans from consuming horses because of this danger. Yet, neither the FDA nor the USDA prohibits the export of American horses for slaughter for human consumption. It is a grave risk to public health to continue to allow the export of American horses for slaughter for human consumption in other countries.
2. Equine slaughter has been devastating to the communities where slaughtering facilities have been located, with significant negative impacts including nuisance odors that permeated the surrounding towns to chronic sewer and environmental violations. Blood literally ran in the streets and waste from the facilities clogged sewers and piled up everywhere. This predatory practice produced few very low wage jobs, meaning workers and their families overran local resources like the hospitals and government services. This so called business brought in virtually no tax revenues and local governments incurred substantial enforcement costs in trying to regulate these facilities. The standard of living in these communities dropped during the time horse slaughter facilities operated. Good businesses refused to relocate there. As Paula Bacon, mayor of Kaufman, Texas during the time a horse facility operated there until 2007 said, “My community did not benefit. We paid.”
Recently, when officials in Hardin, Montana learned of a plan to build horse facilities in that state, the town council immediately unanimously passed Ordinance No. 2010-01 that prohibits the slaughter of more than 25 animals in a seven day period. The message is clear: Americans don’t want equine slaughter.
Equine slaughter has also been found to increase and abet horse theft in areas where facilities are located or horses are held for transport to slaughter.
3. Horse slaughter is not a means of controlling numbers of so-called unwanted, abandoned or neglected horses, but, rather, is a for-profit operation driven by a demand for horsemeat in some foreign countries. The USDA has confirmed more than 92% of horses that end up at slaughter are healthy; they are not unwanted, neglected or abused. Kill buyers are interested in buying the healthiest horses for horsemeat which is sold as a delicacy in some foreign countries.
The rise in numbers of horses in need and drop in horse prices is a result of the worst recession in memory. In fact, if slaughter controlled numbers of horses in need, there would be none as slaughter is still available and horses are sent to slaughter in the same numbers as before the 2007 closings of the slaughter houses that were located in the U.S. In fact, the availability of slaughter actually increases the numbers of excess horses and other equines on the market. Slaughter creates a salvage or secondary market that encourages overbreeding and adds to the problem of horses in need. Banning slaughter would reduce the number of excess horses and other equines.
Also, slaughter accounts for only about 3 cents for every $100 of the equine industry. It is absurd for anyone to suggest a limited salvage market could influence prices in the entire horse industry.
4. America’s iconic wild horses and burros which are supposed to be legally protected on public lands under the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act, have been illegally sent to slaughter, and, indeed, a Justice Department investigation has been launched to try to stop this. A ban on exports of horses and burros for slaughter for human consumption would greatly assist in the enforcement of this Act.
5. Equine slaughter is not humane euthanasia. The slaughter of horses and other equines simply cannot be made humane: Dr. Lester Friedlander, DVM & former Chief USDA Inspector, told Congress in 2008 that the captive bolt used to slaughter horses is simply not effective. Horses and other equines, in particular, are very sensitive about anything coming towards their heads and cannot be restrained as required for effective stunning. Dr. Friedlander stated, “These animals regain consciousness 30 seconds after being struck, they are fully aware they are being vivisected.” The Government Accountability Office and dozens of veterinarians and other witnesses have confirmed that ineffective stunning is common and animals are conscious during slaughter. It is simply not possible for USDA/APHIS to make equine slaughter humane and it is a myth to pretend otherwise.
6. The 2011 GAO report confirmed that USDA/APHIS has not – and cannot – enforce humane transport regulations for equines sent to slaughter. Changing a few words here and there in the regulations will not change this. USDA/APHIS allows the kill buyers and haulers to fill out and provide the documentation – which is routinely missing, incomplete or inaccurate – relied on for enforcement. It is impossible to enforce regulations when the information to determine violations is supplied by those USDA/APHIS is supposed to be regulating.
7. Equines are in danger and equine welfare is threatened as long as slaughter remains available, and only a federal law can stop exports of equines for slaughter for human consumption.
I would like to urge you President Obama to keep that 2008 campaign promise and write an executive order banning Horse Slaughter in the United States, and banning the transport of all equines to slaughter to slaughter houses outside of the United States.
EMAIL: CLICK HERE FOR THE CONTACT FORM FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA at THE WHITE HOUSE website, AND COPY AND PASTE THE ABOVE LETTER INTO THE COMMENTS BOX.
- FAX: SEND 5 FREE FAXES A DAY FROM YOUR COMPUTER. YOU DO NOT NEED A FAX MACHINE, YOU DO NOT NEED A CREDIT CARD. CLICK HERE TO SEND YOUR FAXES. THE PRESIDENT’S FAX NUMBER IS 202-456-2461
- CALL: THE WHITE HOUSE HOT LINE IS 202-456-1414
- TWEET: President Obama’s Twitter Address is @BarackObama. The twitter address for the White House is @whitehouse. Michelle Obama’s twitter address is @FLOTUS.
The four points on which we want President Obama to take action are as follows:
- BAN Slaughter of Equines in the United States.
- BAN Transport of Equines either (1) within the United States OR (2) across the borders of the United States to ANY Foreign Country, by ANY Method of Transport, for the purpose of slaughter.
- BAN the use of Federal Funds for the funding of USDA inspections of post slaughter horse flesh, at horse slaughter facilities in the United States.
- Impose a Complete Ban of BLM roundups of All Equines in the United States.
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emails sent to Kay Hagan, Walter Jones, and Mr. Burr this morning(NC)
WELL I HOPE OBAMA REMEMBERS WHAT HE SAID ABOUT THE HORSES BEFORE HE WAS PRESIDENT. NO ANIMAL SHOULD BE SLAUGHTERED BECAUSE THEY LIVE WILD ON THE LAND THEY WERE BORN. ANIMALS HAVE EVERY RIGHT AND REASON TO LIVE A LIFE OF PEACE AS WE ARE . NO DIFFERENCE AT ALL.
Thank you for this detail information and letter. I have sent my emails and will follow-up with postal mail versions.
The letter to Obama is too long for the contact form—limited to 2500 characters. What to do?
Excellent article and letter to send our so-called representatives in Washington. Will do all you suggested as well as re-blogging on my several blogs.
I was born and grew up in Dallas, Texas. I and my horses were there when both Beltex – in Ft. Worth – and Dallas Crown – in Kaufman – were going at full capacity 1977-1992. I can back up what you and Paula Bacon said – in spades. In fact, the reason I’m not still there is those accursed plants. After they hit our well protected – we thought – boarding stable in Dallas and took horses from the very same barn with my horse, I couldn’t take any more.
The pros talk about “property rights.” What about OUR property rights? My friends from my barn searched frantically, but never found their beloved pets. ALL the 50+ horses at that stable were PETS. They were stolen by professional horse thieves and brutally slaughtered. Property rights indeed!
I will never get over this. Especially after seeing Dallas Crown during our search. I was devastated at what we saw and heard. I can’t even IMAGINE how my friends mush have felt – knowing their beloved buddies had died in such a terrifying and brutal way. NO ONE has the RIGHT to do this.
Thanks for the kind words and support. I will never get over what happened that horrible day in 1992. One of those stolen horses was in the stall next to mine, another just across the isle. She was a sweet 18 year old TB that her owner had had forever, and they were so close. I can’t even IMAGINE what she went though knowing her sweet old friend came to such an end. It breaks MY heart even now.
Sadly, her husband didn’t understand and it broke up their marriage. Tragedy all the way around…. Just so some greedy SOB can squeeze the last penny from their poor horse.
please save the horses and burros perry is killing them all he is a murderer we dont want him as a president of usa
please save the horses president Obama thank you
Bless you all for taking action for the Voiceless Wild Horses and Burros ,
God Bless you all .
thank you .
Thank you for this sharing the for the article.
You have the power to stop this cruelty please use it.
when will it stop..it makes me sick to see how long this has been going on..
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I have written to both of my senators from Rhode Island. i tried to write to President Obama on his website, but for perhaps the 30th time, the website claiming to work for governmental transparency does not work. This is because Obama actually wants everything to be hidden from the public under the guise of transparency. The website is a sham. So is the Obama administration.
I just emailed this letter to my senators from Rhode island:
Dear Senator Whitehouse:
I urge you to do whatever you can to reestablish the tradition in the United States of protecting and respecting horses and burros. Recently, another advocate of horse slaughter and the extermination of all wild equines has been appointed by Ken Salazar to the citizens advisory committee. This is but the newest indication that Salazar intends to eliminate all wild horses and burros from public lands in order to assure that cattle ranchers, oil companies, and mines can destroy the heritage of the American public.
I urge you to do everything in your power to investigate and oppose the way the BLM and the Interior are being plundered and pillaged under the Obama administration.
In addition, as you know, Congress and the President have conspired to re-introduce horse slaughter in this country. Again, this outrage perverts the American tradition. I urge you to do all that is in your power to re-establish the American tradition of making horse slaughter and the transportation of horses out of the country for slaughter illegal.
I know that you are a shining exception to the current governmental pillaging of our public lands and our iconic animals. I hope that you will find the time and will to play a major part in redeeming the nation and restoring our traditional protection of horses and burros.
Thank you very much.
Professor Ellen Goodman
Reblogged this on angelfarm.
clicked on your ‘here’ to send a copy of this letter to the President. There is no comment box. Please make your instructions more clear.
I will check it now Shari… Thank you.
Click on this link Shari, and fill in all the blanks with your information, then paste the copied letter into the message box for the President, fill in the Captcha Code, and then click submit. Thank you for taking action on this alert.
As a born in America, lifetime taxpaying citizen of my homeland, I deem it of utmost importance that the people of America stand up for our horses and strongly oppose the heinous Industry of horse slaughter!! This God forsaken business practice of slaughtering horses was haulted in 2007 for literally pages of documented violations across the board in 3 different plants! Horse slaughter is inhumane, the meat is toxic when ingested, an environmental degradation to surrounding communities and towns and a form of bio-terrorism approved by our government on the countries where it is being shipped for consumption.
Thank you for your assistance on behalf of our horses Karen
The horses should be restored to their rightful freedom. People must learn to share the land and freedom. Horses do so much to restore the living Earth and heal the wounds that thoughtless people and so called civilization have caused!
Yes… the wild horses should be restored to their freedom (We’re doing a Page here for your Book also – “soon” )
Just sent my strong message to the President
Thanks Craig… We appreciate it – on behalf of the horses.
I still own horses now; A retired Dutch Warmblood broodmare (19), my retired dressage show horse and best friend (21) and a PMU Percheron mare (11). I raised wonderful Warmblood Horses for 25 years. I know horses and I know right from wrong.
I also know Real Estate having been licensed in Texas for 23 years. Kaufman County is part of my sales area, and it was my love of horses and my career in Real Estate that forced me to work for the demise of the Horse Slaughtering Plant in Kaufman, Texas. In 2007, I thought that horrible threat to the horses and to my ability to sell property in Kaufman County was over.
During the operation of that plant, it was virtually impossible to sell that beautiful sandy land with big oak trees to people with horses. All of my clients were afraid that their horses would be stolen and slaughtered before they got home from work (and if you read Suzanne Moore’s story, you understand that it did happen).
In the intervening years, Kaufman County has healed: I’ve gotten older, and have many happy clients that live in that beautiful area, only a 30 minute drive to downtown big D. I NEVER thought that I would be fighting this fight again. Please President Obama, either put pressure on the Congress to pass those Anti-Horse Slaughter/Transportation Bills. Or step up, and use a little power to do this wonderful thing and issue a Presidential Order to stop the slaughter of American Horses here or across our borders.
Thank you PoloPaula… Please send your thoughts to President Obama at the contact info in the Alert. We appreciate your helping in this campaign.
Done. and have tweeted, and will follow with faxes.. After the great rally in Ok, and the EU problems, I think now is our most advantageous time to get the slaughter ban passed.
Promises , promises and look who he appointed as Secretary of the Interior.
Include the link to the white paper at http://www.vetsforequinewelfare.com
Our main man in Washington, Congressman Jim Moran, tells us that President Obama IS pressuring Congress to include the Moran Amendment to again ban USDA inspections at horse slaughter plants in the final FY13 appropriations bill.