“But what can we do?” – Here’s the answer.
“If this country is so against horse slaughter, why does it continue?”
“It’s like we’re a nation of sheep, blindly following those who are calling for the destruction of the wild horses!”
“Is the whole system corrupt?”
I’m faced with those kind of questions practically every day. As one of the warriors fighting horse slaughter since the latter part of the last century, I’ve struggled with the corruption that has permeated local, state and national legislation. The propaganda machine of the horse slaughter industry and their lobbyists are extremely well funded, while we are mostly individual voices calling for reason and logic. At times, we’ve won, but they are gaining ground.
“What can we do?”
It’s a question often asked, and now we have an answer. Get ready for a MASSIVE call/fax movement. Involve everyone you know and everyone they know. At one time we burned up the telephone lines into DC. We can do it again, we must do it again, because if we don’t, we and the horses lose everything we’ve gained since horse slaughter stopped in the US in 2007. Now is not the time to hold back or wait to see what happens.
On Monday, a legislator will be making a statement about horse slaughter language in a new appropriations bill that will be introduced in both the House and the Senate soon (perhaps next week). Within those bills will be language to DEFUND
inspections for equine slaughter houses. This measure will effectively kill the chance for any horse slaughter to open in any state in the US.
The massive appropriations bills must pass and be signed into law by March 27th.
Make this work, guys. This is the one for which we all have been waiting. Subscribe to this blog and stay informed as we take it to the legislators to do the will of the majority.
From the Equine Welfare Alliance:
Stay tuned for legislation soon to be introduced by both houses. We will also have a legislator statement on Monday to kick things off. We’ll let you know as soon as the bills are out so rest your fingers for a massive call-in/faxing campaign to your legislators.
What you can do right now:
Appropriations bill: There is a lot of buzz about the appropriations bills. Our congressional contacts are telling us the house is NOT going to debate the 2013 bill other than two pieces – neither related to the defunding of horse inspections. That means we need to concentrate of the senate bill. The subcommittee members are listed at the bottom of this email. The chairwoman is Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.). She has been a strong ally of ours so be sure she is on your list to contact.
Also call senators not on the subcommittee that you know that are in favor of defunding inspections and have them contact committee members on your behalf. If we are successful in adding the defunding language to the senate bill, the two bills will have to be reconciled so it might be a good idea to contact your congressmen, as well, so they are aware of your opposition to funding horse inspections.
While you are free to voice all of your concerns, we are recommending the two key talking points below – in your own words, of course. We ask that you do not use the humane issue as it falls on deaf ears and is viewed as an “emotional” argument. They all know what the horses endure and choose to ignore it.
It is also of note that whatever they do will only be in effect for 6 months until they take up the 2014 appropriations bill. Mention 6 months is not a long time while the issues (scandal, traceability, etc.) are being sorted out and that you are also asking for defunding in the 2014 bill.
1) Budgets – Our government should not be wasting valuable tax dollars that will compromise our food safety for a foreign meat business.
-Inspection budgets have been severely slashed.
-Inspectors should be in place to insure the safety of the food we consume in the US, not in foreign countries.
(Note – There are only about 70 killer-buyers in the US that provide horses for the slaughterhouses. They are the ONLY people making money between the auction house and the kill floor. The actual slaughterhouse may be American owned, but the operations, shipping, etc were all owned by foreign businesses and employeed minimum wage workers. There is no reason to think anything has changed. – Jerry)
2) Food Safety -The recent horse meat scandal has highlighted tenfold the fraud and deception inherent in food processing that has and will continue to exist in the horse meat business.
-Bringing it to US soil will ensure it exists in our country.
-US horses are not raised as food animals and should never enter the food chain
-It is unethical to send toxic meat to unsuspecting, foreign consumers
-The US should be taking the lead to stop it by defunding horse inspections
Subcommittee members: Bold are known to be allies. If any of you know of allies not bolded on this let, please let us know so we can notify everyone.
Majority Members- Democrats:
Member Name DC Phone DC FAX
Mark Pryor (D-AR) [Chairman] 202-224-2353 202-228-0908
Tom Harkin (D-IA) 202-224-3254 202-224-9369
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) 202-224-3841 202-228-3954
Tim Johnson (D-SD) 202-224-5842 202-228-5765
Jon Tester (D-MT) 202-224-2644 202-224-8594
Tom Udall (D-NM) 202-224-6621 202-228-3261
Jeff Merkley (D-OR) 202-224-3753 202-228-3997
Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
[Chairman] 202-224-4654 202-224-8858
Minority Members- Republicans:
Member Name DC Phone DC FAX
Roy Blunt (R-MO) [Ranking Member] 202-224-5721 202-224-8149
Thad Cochran (R-MS) 202-224-5054 202-224-9450
Mitch McConnell (R-KY) 202-224-2541 202-224-2499
Susan Collins (R-ME) 202-224-2523 202-224-2693
Jerry Moran (R-KS) 202-224-6521 202-228-6966
John Hoeven (R-ND) 202-224-2551 202-224-7999
Richard Shelby (R-AL) 202-224-5744 202-224-3416
Habitat for Horses is always on the lookout for a few great people at our ranches. The work is unique, the animals are special and we want folks who both know and understand the special connection our animals need.