Hopefully this summit will become a continual conversation about the welfare of horses here in the US. With the likes of CNN’s Jane Velez-Mitchell & VP Joe Biden… and so many issues just this month – these summits are needed so everyone can keep abreast of all the issues. At the end of this article is John Holland’s, President of Equine Welfare Alliance, statement that elimination of US horses to slaughter mills in Canada and Mexico would NOT create a glut of unwanted horses in the United States. That fact cannot be overstated. The horses bought here and shipped off to be meat on the tables outside the US are from healthy horses…not unwanted, starving horses. 300 plus horses are sent to slaughter from the United States every single day. This is a travesty that must be addressed. ~ HfH
By: Bill Heller
With the ban of horse slaughter for human consumption in the United States ensured for at least the next two years, equine advocates from around North America convened at the 2014 American Equine Summit in Chatham, N.Y., April 26-27 to push for a permanent ban and the elimination of exporting American horses to Canada, Mexico, and Japan for slaughter.
“We’re safe, but what’s next?” asked Victoria McCullough, the owner of Chesapeake Petroleum and an international equestrian and equine activist. McCullough successfully enlisted the support of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden to remove funding for slaughterhouses in an Omnibus Bill signed into law by President Obama Jan. 17. “We will end horses going across the borders,” she said. “Horse meat will kill you.”
While horse slaughter in the U.S. ended in 2007, a proposed slaughterhouse in New Mexico nearly opened last December before the funding for mandatory meat inspectors was removed in the Omnibus Bill. Yet, according to the Equine Welfare Alliance, more than 150,000 U.S. horses were exported for slaughter in 2013 despite increasing global concern over the toxicology of horse meat. Such meat may have been contaminated by the myriad of drugs that horses—especially Thoroughbreds—are treated with, especially the analgesic phenylbutazone, known commonly as bute.
A scandal erupted in France in mid-December when authorities discovered that horses that had been used to produce anti-rabies and other serums were discovered in horsemeat sold to the public. Twenty-one people were arrested in Narbonne on Dec. 16. Two months later in Germany, another scandal erupted when horse meat was detected in frozen lasagna being sold in supermarkets. Subsequently, the European Union advised all countries to test meat.