Part 1 of a 3 part series by Katia Louise (reprinted with permission)
Â There’s an alarming and aggressive campaign of deception sweeping the country to establish HORSE SLAUGHTER plants nationwide. Illinois State Rep. Jim Sacia wasted no time this year in introducing H.B. 4812, a bill to repeal the state’s 2007 ban on slaughtering horses for human consumption. Rep. Sacia’s bill, H.B. 4812, would also allow horses to be shipped into the state for slaughter for human consumption, with no certificate of veterinary inspection, contrary to current state law governing horses.
In Missouri, state Rep. James Viebrock just introduced a bill, H.B. 1747, that would authorize registration and inspections for commercial horse slaughter for human consumption.
South Dakota’s legislature has already passed a resolution this session, H.C.R. 1003, calling for the return of horse slaughter to the U.S. "The resolution exhorts Congress to defeat the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act, H.R. 503/S.B. 727. A similar resolution is pending in Kentucky, H.C.R. 47. Like the others, it is full of disinformation. These resolutions and bills claim "rising numbers of unwanted and abandoned horses" are the result of the closing of horse slaughter houses in 2007 in the U.S." – Laura Allen, Animal Law Coalition.
For the record, the proponents’ claim that there has been a rise in what they call "unwanted" horses simply is NOT true. (More on the subject of so-called "unwanted" horses in Part Two of this special Slaughter Alert report.)
So who is behind these phenomena? …And how are they able to gain such empowerment and momentum despite the overwhelming opposition to this insidious industry? In a nutshell, when you follow the money, it leads you to Ag; otherwise known as the agriculture industry. State Representatives are lobbied by large corporations, associations & wealthy constituents that, together, control a vast network of worker bees, so to speak. Large organizations are created for the purpose of distributing propaganda to mainstream media and beyond.
One such organization is under the helm of Wyoming State Rep. Sue Wallis. She’s also known as "Slaughterhouse Sue" to many, and she’s at it again. This time she is rallying support to open horse slaughter plants in Oregon.
Cult-like slaughter meetings are funded by what some critics call Ag puppets. Otherwise known as the â€˜United Organizations of the Horse’ (UOH) and the â€˜United Horsemen’s Front’ (UHC), they work to promote the inhumane slaughter of American horses in the US for human consumption, and to empower the BLM’s illegal round up & removal of wild horses & burros from public, tribal, and private lands.
The UOH and UHC are linked together with the American Horse Council and the AAEP (American Association of Equine Practitioners). The UHO is spreading disinformation by enlisting the support and soliciting money from livestock handlers and other hard working people in the equine industry at small town auction houses and saloons. Communities full of unassuming and trusting people are misled by the proponents’ misinformation which is spread until enough supporters successfully pass the next state bill in favor of horse slaughter.
Horse enthusiasts are concerned that, with enough state bills in place, the Ag Lobby leaders and its affiliates (USDA and the Department of Interior) could soon gain enough power to begin slaughtering both domestic and wild horses across the country.
Dr Nicholas Dodman, BVMS, MRCVS, and Veterinarians for Equine Welfare, testified before U.S. representatives during a hearing on the â€˜Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act’ that "Horse slaughter has never been considered by veterinary professionals to be a form of euthanasia. Congress and the general public must hear from veterinarians that horse slaughter is not and should not be equated with humane euthanasia. Rather, the slaughtering of horses is a brutal and predatory business that promotes cruelty and neglect."
Deep pocket foreign and US special interests continue to reap huge profits from this bloody trade of flesh bound Thoroughbreds, Arabians, Mustangs, Quarter Horses, Ponies, Burros and more. All are brutally killed for their meat while American tax payers foot the bill. Every day, thousands of horses are being shipped across state and federal borders to later face gruesome slaughter in Mexico and Canada. The BLM is rounding up thousands of wild horses from across the west, never to be seen again. "There are horses missing, lots and lots of horses missing." – John Holland, Equine Welfare Alliance. "The BLM is managing horses to extinction." – Ginger Kathrens, The Cloud Foundation.
Pro-horse advocates urge the general public to look beyond the smoke and mirrors of the slaughter proponents’ campaign. The Ag Lobby is extremely well funded and organized. Findings indicate that a small number of top corporate executives stand to make huge profits, while the workers on the kill-floor are generally people with few choices about where they work like criminals or those illegally in the country. Local communities are left with hazardous health and environmental conditions which the plant owners ignore. Often referred to as corporate thugs, these deep pocket interests use fear based campaigns to mislead an army of faithful farmers, ranchers and unassuming equine specialists. The result is a nation divided… but it’s a nation of blurred lines.
One of the most popular pro-slaughter claims is that horse owners will lose their right to humanely euthanize their horse, when in fact that is not true. The pending bill (HR503) would make it a crime to slaughter a horse in the U.S. for human consumption, but it doesn’t restrict the right of an owner to humanely euthanize their own horse. Another popular argument used by proponents is that, if horse slaughter is made illegal then the next thing will be to make slaughtering cattle illegal. This misinformation has then been repeated based on fear of an industry wide shut down within the Ag/ Livestock industries. Many in misguided Ag leaders have even gone so far as to rally farmers and other related groups against regular everyday people who care about their animals,Â by labeling them as radical animal activists and eco-terrorists.
What most people don’t know is that horse slaughter proponents are said to be working hard behind closed doors to prepare Americans’ palate for what they hope will become America’s next red meat. . . "Horsemeat, the New Beef".
The UOH just revealed one of their newest campaign efforts, the development of a nationwide so-called ‘Do Not Slaughter’ registry. The UOH states that horses would purportedly be checked at slaughter plants and at borders, so that registered owners could retrieve their horses. The UOH does not mention who would be responsible for the required veterinary care to revive the horses that might survive the cruel 24-48 hour transport without food, water or rest. Nor does the UOH explain who would pay for humane transport back to the registered owner.
President of Equine Advocates, Susan Wagner states, "Horse slaughter actually encourages the violation of animal cruelty laws because people who starve their horses or take non weight bearing horses to slaughter auctions, are supposed to be charged with animal cruelty; but instead, they are rewarded, getting paid, and being allowed to sell these animals."
Â Most Americans have no idea that the slaughter process begins at the auction. Once a horse enters into the food chain, most animal cruelty protection laws become inapplicable. Even worse, regulations meant to provide a "humane" experience for slaughter-bound equines have a proven record of not being enforced.
WFLF supports The Prevention of Equine Cruelty bills HR503 and S727. "The legislation is pending in both the House and the Senate. It will prohibit the slaughter of American horses for human consumption and end the transport of our American horses to Mexico and Canada for slaughter." – Debra Lopez, Americans Against Horse Slaughter.
For those left wanting to know a little more about UOH, sitting on their co-founders board is Conrad Burns, who in 2004 pushed through a midnight amendment that legalized the slaughter of America’s wild Mustangs. Also on the UOH board is Frank Bowman of the American Horse Council which claims not to be pro slaughter; however US Lobby reports reveal that Frank Bowman spends quite a bit of money lobbying for slaughter. …So, who is "Slaughterhouse Sue"?Â In addition to being the Wyoming State Rep. (R) she is UOH President and CEO.
(Read part two of this report Monday Feb 1, 2010)
Learn more about this while issue through the film "Saving America’s Horse A Nation Betrayed" which features the country’s most renown equine experts. This is a collaborative effort.Â Coming 2010!
Â© Wild for Life Foundation