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Friday, January 16, 2009

Horses Out of the Gate Quickly in 111th

Every month, thousands of ex-racehorses, work horses, and family ponies are crammed into double-decker trucks where they can barely stand, and shipped hundreds of miles to Canada and Mexico. After arriving across the border, they are slaughtered for food exports to Europe and Asia, where horse meat is considered a delicacy. As Brad Woodard of Houston’s KHOU-TV exposed last month, the journey is harsh and the killing methods are brutal. Yet it still happens day after day—even though Texas and other states have banned horse slaughter, Congress has failed to shut down the cruel exports.

Horses In the first weeks of the 111th Congress, House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) have reintroduced their bill, H.R. 503, the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act. Previous bills to end horse slaughter have been blocked by some western lawmakers and committee chairs aligned with the agribusiness industry, but now it’s time to get the job done and put this issue to rest. Americans don’t eat horse meat and our horses are not raised for food. They shouldn’t be scooped up by opportunistic “killer buyers” when there are willing adopters and a network of horse rescues ready to assist.

Investigators from The Humane Society of the United States have documented the long-distance transport of horses to Juárez, Mexico, and the clumsy killing methods such as stabbing them in the spine. Watch this video to be reminded of the cruelty to horses that is still taking place, while agribusiness groups use stalling tactics and make the same old tired arguments about “unwanted” horses. Then take action by telling Congress to pull in the reins on this abusive, foreign-driven market, and finally pass the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act.


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