Saturday, September 26, 2009

Senate Votes to Stop Slaughter of Wild Horses and Burros!


Posted by Laura Allen (Animal Law Coalition)

The Senate also prohibited BLM from using funds to kill healthy unadopted wild horses and burros!

Update Sept. 25, 2009: The Senate has voted to pass H.R. 2996, an appropriations bill for 2010 for the Dept. of Interior including the Bureau of Land Management ("BLM").

BLM manages the nation's wild horses and burros. In the bill the Senate made clear to the BLM: Appropriations ... made [in this bill]shall not be available for the destruction of healthy, unadopted, wild horses and burros in the care of the Bureau of Land Management or its contractors or for the sale of wild horses and burros that results in their destruction for processing into commercial products.

This mandate was proposed by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA). This provision must still be approved by the U.S. House.

Also at Sen. Landrieu's urging, the Senate Appropriations Committee found "the costs for gathering and holding equines to control populations on public lands have risen beyond sustainable levels. The Committee directs the Bureau to (1) consider private proposals for long-term care of wild horses and burros; (2) create a bidding process among such proposals, and (3) prepare and publish a new comprehensive long-term plan and policy for management of wild horses and burros that involves consideration and development of proposals by non-governmental entities, by September 30, 2010."

The Committee "encourage[d] all Federal agencies that need and use horses to fulfill their responsibilities to first seek to acquire a wild horse from the Bureau of Land Management, and, prior to seeking another supplier for usable horses, document why the Bureau cannot meet the needs of the inquiring Federal agency." The Committee "encouraged" BLM "to develop an expedited process for providing wild horses to local and State police forces."

Sen. Landrieu told the Senate,

"We ... are down to just a few herds of horses. And the reason that i think that this is even more important than to just western states or the ranchers or landowners or humane society and others is because for the people generally, the idea of wild spaces with wild horses is something that is really part of our heritage. And we want to make sure that that heritage isn't lost, that we're being responsible in terms of the way the land is being used for multiple purposes and from the perspective of horse advocates, that the horses themselves are being treated fairly.

"And none of that right now is being done in the way that most people, i believe, would appreciate or would be satisfied with. There have been any number of studies that i'm going to submit to the record.

"Most recently, the congressional research service as well as the government accounting office has suggested major changes to the program. I'm just going to go through a few possible options. One, the creation of several public-private sanctuaries. This has been suggested by a few fairly high-profiled individuals in our country. The idea has merit. We are working with a variety of different groups along with the department to think about the possibility of creating public-private partnerships, large sanctuaries, maybe 500,000 or a million acres where thousands of wild horses could not only roam freely in a healthy way, but they also could potentially become ecotourist opportunities for some of the states and communities as it would be an attraction that could potentially make money and attract people out to some of these western areas. Or, for that matter, grant rural areas in other parts of the country.

"There is a possibility to make some smart investments to step up some of the adoption programs that might work. And there are any number of scientific and new technologies that can be brought to bear in terms of breed management, reproductive issues that could help us get a much more cost-effective, sane and humane approach to this problem."


Thank you for visiting my blog and reading the updates! I hope the things I post helps keep everyone up-to-date and informed with the true facts. Please have a great day, until next time. Take care!

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Thursday, September 10, 2009


This was written by Pat Murphy from "The Santa Ynez Valley Journal". I had to post it to make everyone aware of what is going on. And hopefully you will continue to fight for our American horses. It's NEVER to late. Please take a moment and read the following message, thank you.

Bo Derek has worked for six years to bring about proper protection of American horses. She has worked with legislators across the United States, and American slaughter houses have been closed for several years now. But we need to take one more step. The final effort to protect our country’s horses is about to come up in Congress. This is not a “bleeding hearts” issue. It is common decency and the recognition of American horses’ contributions to our lives. Did you ever realize how important a part they played in establishing the United States of America? Horses may very well have been the key element in defeating the British. British soldiers were on foot and realized their disadvantage, and whenever possible, they resorted to stealing horses. Luckily for us, they realized this too late.

When legislators return to Congress in September, they will be taking up the The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act (S 727/ H.R. 503). If you care about cruelty to horses, please contact your congressman and the Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Ask them to support this bill. It will prevent our beloved American horses from being slaughtered for human consumption.

Although slaughter houses in the U.S. have long been closed, horses are still bought here at auctions or obtained by other unsavory means and transported to slaughter houses in Mexico or Canada. These horses experience a long-distance, grueling trip, without feed or water, aboard cattle trucks to the slaughter house. The weak, older or very young horses are often trampled to death on the way.

Once there, the horror increases. The horses are nose to tail in a line-up. When the horse in front is ripped apart, the next horse is almost on top of the horrendous action. Eyewitness accounts tell us that the rod shot into the horse’s brain to kill often misses the mark and the still living horse is hoisted by one leg in the air and ripped open. If a mare is pregnant, the still living foal is thrown in the offal bin with the rest of the internal organs.

The men doing this work are not skilled technicians, even though it requires considerable care for it to done exactly right. As one might imagine, there is reportedly a constant turnover of employees at these plants. It is a heartbreaking job.

Why would anyone want to oppose this long overdue bill? Several reasons: It is hard to believe, but some people simply block out the reality of what actually happens to their horse when it is purchased by a slaughter house. They don’t hesitate to send an old friend, who has worked hard for them or given them years of pleasure, to a horrifying death.

Sometimes, they justify it by saying they don’t want to pay the vet to euthanize their horse and pay to have it buried at the landfill. The truth is, they could certainly avoid sending their dear friend to a grizzly death. If need be, they could put the horse down on their own property and bury it. Most people who have horses have land to do this. We here in the Valley have a service that will come and pick up your horse and take him to the landfill. Probably all areas with a population of horses have disposal sites.

Another reason that some oppose the bill is that a few horse associations depend on large registrations to bring in money. They do not want people to be encouraged to stop breeding more horses than they can take care of. These are some of the same people that profess a great love for horses. Yet they simply get rid of extra horses in this cruel and thoughtless way. If you think your breed association is one that will not support legislation to prevent the slaughter industry from operating, you need to contact them. Stand up and be counted for doing the right thing. There are some people who will make money, if Americans slaughter houses are re-opened or if this bill is defeated. So they have a network of spreading false rumors about huge numbers of horses being abandoned or starved. The fact is that most of the horses that go to slaughter are sound, healthy horses that were purposely sought out by a predatory horse slaughter industry.

“There have always been thoughtless people who starve or abandon animals,” Derek says. “But in spite of rewards and careful monitoring, officials tell us that there has been almost no increase in the problem since the closing of the slaughter houses in America.

“Slaughter houses in California were closed by a ballot initiative in 1998, but studies showed that there was no rise in abandonment. In fact, there has been a significant drop in horse thefts. As a horse owner, I am very glad of the ban and am calling for an ultimate federal ban to protect all of our American horses. There is simply no excuse for painting horse slaughter as a humane end-of-life option. Some Asian cultures eat dogs and cats. Does this mean we should have slaughter facilities for them, too?”

Some of the possible solutions: 1. Make sure people are heavily penalized for the abandonment or mistreatment of horses throughout America. 2. If the economy is at fault, make sure people have ways to solve their problem in a humane and decent way. There are many rescue organizations. 3. There are people who would love to have a donated horse. Healthy older horses are quite suitable for beginners and children to learn to ride. 4. There are several drop-off centers. The University of Davis has one. There, horses can either be rehabilitated or the gentle method of euthanasia can be demonstrated to the vet students. 5. Arrange a workable system where veterinarians can charge a lower fee for euthanizing a horse for clients they know are in need. 6. Check for burial sites at landfills at a reasonable price.

The people of America need to come together to help each other and our horses. Please send an email message to your congressman and your out-of-state friends, too. We need to end this tragedy.

Rep. Congressman Elton Gallegly — fax: (805) 686-2566; Washington fax: (202) 225-1100.
Dem. Congresswoman Lois Capps — fax: (805) 730-9153, Washington fax: (202) 225-5632.


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