CALL TO ACTION! Please READ, WRITE and SHARE!
The baby and mother horse pictured are safe but many others are dying every single day.
Please help stop the senseless torture and subsequent murder of hundreds of thousands of horses every year. We need you to write your representative and ask them to support the SAFE ACT. All the information is in the letter below. You can use whatever portion of this letter to send to your representative. Just be sure to alter it to make it yours and say what you want it to say. Right now slaughter buyers are lying to people and purchasing their horses under false pretenses and then putting them in feed lots to be shipped off to Mexico to die. They are terrified, sick and injured. The killers are selling them at high prices by using emotional blackmail on kind hearted people. The end result is that they get richer and go out and buy more horses to kill. The SAFE ACT is the only answer. Once we get that passed, we will tackle the overpopulation problem in a humane way. Click here to find your representative.
To: The Honorable Representative (Rep.s last name here)* use link I sent to get the Rep’s info
(Washington mailing address here)
Dear Representative :
Greetings from (your full name), a constituent in (your district). As an advocate for decent treatment of animals and for safe and accountable business practices, I am writing to urge you to cosponsor the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act ( H.R. 1942) and support it when it reaches the HOUSE.
Knowing that some 150,000 American equines, including heavily pregnant mares and even foals, are transported from the US to Canadian and Mexican slaughter houses to be sold as meat for human consumption by people in other countries, angers me and honestly, shocks me. I thought we were better than that. I feel this way because I know that our own country determined back in 2007 that the average American horse has received drugs that are not allowed to be given to animals raised for human consumption. My horses certainly got regular wormer, parasite repellents,anti inflammatories like Bute or Banamine for muscular/skeletal sprains, arthritis, etc. as well as anti-biotics and sedatives needed for teeth floating.
Approx. 10,000 race horses a year go to slaughter. An extensive investigation by the New York Times uncovered evidence that race horses are routinely given illegal drugs and bizarre concoctions like cocaine and cobra venom stimulants and to mask injury-related pain. The money incentive to win is driving the market for developing more powerful stimulants, legal or otherwise. Recently a new drug surfaced: dermorphin (“tree frog juice”) – an extract from South American tree frogs, when injected into horses acts as a painkiller 40 times more powerful than morphine. Food safety agencies have no means to test horsemeat for new substances such as dermorphin, much less determine their toxicity to humans, therefore they can never confidently state that they’re conducting all the right tests to ensure that horsemeat is safe for human consumption. The cost to develop and continually refine such tests would be enormous and
Not only did we determine that horse meat was not safe for Americans to consume (assuming we would – though the vast majority poled said they would not eat horses, and also oppose slaughter of our horses for export – we also found horse meat not safe as an ingredient in our pet food. Horses, like dogs and cats are companion and show animals, not food.
So my question is: if it is not safe for us or our pets – why on earth would we send our horses to become food for people in other countries ? This strikes me as indecent and dishonest business practice. I recently read that the European Union (EU), some 120 nations who’d been a major customer, banned all horse meat exported from Mexico (remember, over 90% of horses slaughtered in Mexico come from the U.S.). Canadian horse meat suppliers are under close scrutiny by the EU and have been given a period of time to correct the health/safety and cruelty violations found by the EU’s audit. One main requirement Canada must now meet to keep Europe’s business is total accountability for each horse’s vet history – a way to accurately trace and prove that the horse has not received any of the extensive list of drugs banned from use in animals raised for human consumption. Frankly, I don’t see how that is even possible. All U.S. horses have received many of these drugs in their lives, some routinely. This includes the mustangs in BLM holding facilities. And many vet histories are incomplete. But, if it were possible to create such a system, who is going to pay for it’s set up and man power ? Taxpayers ? Kill Buyers? Slaughter houses ? And all this trouble for others to go to in order to sell a little meat from horses whose breeders and owners have skipped out all together on responsibility for or compassion for their own animals.
Because 92.3 % of horses from U.S. kill pens are young, fat, well muscled and obviously cared for up to the point of being sold for meat, it is obvious that these horses come from people who overbreed, or lost control of their breeding business and decided to cut loses and get back a couple of hundred per horse. Looking at the shocking numbers of emergency horse rescues on the news – whole herds of horses in such bad shape the sherif could legally seize them, I wonder why on earth these people bred several more years of foals when they didn’t sell their first crop.
Though the SAFE act has plenty of substance and justification in its addressing the issue of health risks of horse meat, of course the cruelty involved matters to the all of us. So many are trampled in those transport trucks yet arrive alive, but in agony, the truckload endure as much as 38 hours of standing packed tight, but with their heads lowered to the height forced by the low ceilings of the trucks (making balance exhausting & painful)so they arrive with horrible lacerations of ears and heads. Often through the southwest extreme heat in metal transport – no water or food causes the smaller or weaker ones to fall and have legs, necks and faces trampled. If you are not familiar with the typical method of stunning a large animal so it’s heart keeps beating until it reaches the kill floor, I sincerely suggest that you watch the footage and see for yourself how inefficient the live bolt to the head is. Equine necks are long and powerful and the bolt box cannot hold them still enough as they struggle in terror. The ideal stun spot on their head is so often missed and conscious, they endure repeated blows – maybe to their eyes. Since a horse’s brain is farther back in a very sturdy skull, the stunning doesn’t always keep them unconscious, so they feel what it is to be bled, gutted and dismembered while conscious. It seems to me that the slaughter pipeline and process is exempt from the same animal welfare and cruelty laws that allow an officer to seize an animal and arrest its owner for abuse such as confining in extreme temperatures, beating, shocking, denying food and water.
Slaughter is not necessary to deal with equine overpopulation. The solution is responsible breeding and ownership practices and new laws to see them done. The hope lies in the absolutely amazing numbers of decent citizens in every state who have created equine rescues, both large and small – the growing numbers of Therapeutic Riding ranches for people of all ages and disabilities, including new programs devoted to helping our war vets and doing a wonderful job of it. The volunteers that constantly come up with great solutions to unwanted horses have a great deal to share with our law makers, if you’ll but take the time to tour and ask. If the pipeline to foreign slaughter is no longer available to breeders and to people who no longer want or can afford their horses, no one is going to suffer nearly as much as the hapless equines they should be responsible for. They will adjust and find new ways to manage their horses. So many laws passed to protect human victims of discrimination bare this out.