There are few organizations for whom I have more respect than The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) and its parent organization Return to Freedom (RTF). Throughout the years they have been steadfast in their fight against horse slaughter. – Jerry
POSTED ON DECEMBER 14, 2013 AT 9:14 AM
The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) and its parent organization Return to Freedom (RTF) reacted with alarm to yesterday’s ruling by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals that clears the way for horse slaughter plants to open in the United States. They now call on Congress to ban the barbaric practice of horse slaughter once and for all.
“It’s a sad irony that the court gave a green light to horse slaughter on the National Day of the Horse, designated by Congress to honor the contribution that horses have made to our nation,” said Neda DeMayo, Founder and President of Return to Freedom. “It’s the ultimate betrayal for these animals who are our companions and partners in work and recreation.”
“America is not a horse eating culture, and the vast majority of Americans oppose the cruel practice of horse slaughter,” DeMayo added. “It’s time for Congress to act to prevent this brutal and predatory industry from re-establishing itself in our nation.”
According to RTF and AWHPC, Congress must pass the SAFE (Safeguard American Food Exports) Act, which would ban the practice of horse slaughter in the U.S. and prohibit the transport of horses across our borders to slaughter plants in Canada and Mexico.
As an interim measure, Congress must pass budget language to prohibit federal funding for USDA inspections of horse slaughter plants. Without such inspections, plants cannot produce horsemeat for human consumption. All versions of the 2014 budget bill – the President’s budget as well as the Senate and House budgets – include this “defund” language.
Congress must pass a budget bill by mid-January in order to avoid a government shutdown.
Over 150,000 American horses – both domestic and wild – are currently trucked to Canada and Mexico for slaughter each year. The horses are slaughtered to supply foreign horsemeat markets in France, Belgium and Asia. The majority of U.S. horses shipped across the border for slaughter come from the thoroughbred racing and quarter horse industry, where irresponsible breeding is the major contributing factor.
“Of particular concern is the fate of 50,000 wild horses who have been removed from the range by the Bureau of Land Management and are stockpiled in government holding facilities, at a cost to taxpayers of more than $100,000 per day,” said Suzanne Roy, AWHPC director. “ “There is no question that the BLM is trying to create a crisis by stockpiling so many horses in order to justify slaughtering them. The reopening of horse slaughter plants in the U.S. will bring the BLM one step closer to that goal.”