The Trip to D.C.
Thursday afternoon found RT Fitch, his wife, Terry, and myself presenting Representative Moran with around 16,000 letters calling for a stop to both horse slaughter and the BLM roundup of our wild horses. We arrived in time to witness a press conference called by Moran and Rep. Ed Whitfield about a new bill submitted to Congress regarding horse soring that would strengthen the Horse Protection Act.
For those who have been around a few years, you’ll remember that Whitfield sponsored one of the many bills to stop horse slaughter, probably back in 2005, that passed in the House but never made it to the Senate floor.
Horse soring is a despicable act – “…the deliberate infliction of pain to Tennessee walking horses’ hooves and legs in order to produce a high-stepping gait and gain unfair competitive advantage at horse shows.” While those who show these horses have declared that “self- policing” has removed soring, a recent investigation showed that 56 out of 56 horses were subjected to the cruel treatment. The bill would remove the self policing policy.
What was shocking was Whitfield’s prognosis for the future of this bill. “A large lobby firm has already been hired to prevent this bill from passing.” That lobby firm, according to Whitfield, would attack the Department of Agriculture, who is designated to do the inspections, with the threat of decreased funding, among other insidious tricks.
What kind of person would want to continue an act that causes intense pain and suffering of these very expensive horses? Where does the money comes from to hire lobbyists?
Yes, I already know the answer. Trainers, promoters, those who make money off the suffering of horses; the same mindless and heartless type of humans that fund the lobby efforts of the pro-slaughter industry.
While we didn’t have much time with Moran, we were able to discuss our issues with his assistant. Our letters will be presented to President Obama within the next few days, along with Moran’s summary and a plea to do as we requested. The results are up in the air until we hear something.
However, I did present what I consider a valid argument:
- 80% of the American public wants horse slaughter to end.
- While no polls have been taken, I would imagine that the same number want the destruction of our wild horses to end.
- The BLM is completely out of control, selling off our land and removing wild horses to satisfy the interest not only of welfare ranchers, but to the mining, oil and water industry.
- Those who want it stopped represent a very big voting block.
The argument against?
During an election, drawing the wrath of the lobbyists representing not only the welfare ranchers, but the mining, oil and water industry spells instant death to the reelection possibilities.
In all likelihood, nothing will happen between now and the election. The roundups will continue and horses will continue to be slaughtered. Our only hope is that after the election, when the value of the support of those industries decreases, Obama will make his move. If the Republicans win? I cannot make any statements supporting either side, seriously, but I can state one fact – Obama did vote to close down the horse slaughterhouse in Illinois.
RT is optimistic that good things will come from our efforts. We both made a promise that these letters would be delivered to Obama, promise fulfilled. Unlike some others who gathered letters and never delivered, these will be presented to the President. Every single one comes from the heart of our combined supporters, all expressing a hope that somehow, someway, our horses will be safe. Some are stained with tears, some contain “please” written over and over again.
And that is my prayer – to the members of the House, the Senate and the President, please listen to us. For once, ignore the money handed to you by the lobby firms, ignore the threats of defunding, ignore the lies being told to you. Listen to your heart.
May God give you the strength to do what is right, and if you decide otherwise, may the horses forgive you for doing what is wrong.
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.