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Save Our Horses

Story ID:7642
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Washington District of Columbia usa
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Many compassionate legislators in 2006 worked hard to overturn the bill former
Senator Conrad Burns of Montana had stealthily slipped into an appropropriations
bill allowing for the slaughter of horses in the U.S. The meat was not meant for
our consumption since Americans basically don't look on horses as a food supply-
but rather as an iconic symbol of our land.

The horse meat was destined for the dinner tables of Europe, and many of us -
including and especially some very compassionate legislators in Congress anguished
over this. As one legislator noted - slaughtering horses is particularly inhumane.
Sadly, a case can be made for all the animals we slaughter, but because of their size,
their suffering is even greater.

Finally in 2006, Congressional supporters succeeded in a ban to cut off funding for
horse inspections in the U.S. This meant that the foreign-owned slaughterhouses in
the U.S. had to shut down their horse slaughterhouses. Sadly though, while most of
us breathed a sigh of relief, it was only temporary because it did not solve the problem.
Now, the "horse meat" men continued to buy horses at auction and had them sent to
the slaughterhouses of Canada and Mexico.

Now these poor horses -tightly packed together for hours and hours in their conveyances,
reached their destination weary and exhausted only to be slaughtered even more
brutally then the way it was done in the US. Sadly, the compassionate legislators must
have been devastated when learning about this. They had tried so hard but fruitlessly in
previous years to pass outright bans on horse slaughter, but were always thwarted by the
mostly western legislators who favored slaughtering horses for the meat markets of

Just recently -once again some members of Congress quietly (but despicably) lifted the
5 year-old-ban on funding horse meat inspections in a spending bill- clearing the way
for horse slaughter in the U.S. again. This spending bill was signed into law by Pres.
Obama on November l8 to keep the government going until mid-December. I can just
see the gleeful faces of these Congressional proponents of horse slaughter who are now
boasting that slaughterhouses can be up and running in as little as a month. For me -
anyone who is happy to kill these majestic creatures is unbelievably sad and bereft of

However money has not been allocated to pay for horse meat inspections. This would
cost taxpayers $3-5 million a year. Hopefully, the US Dept. of Agriculture will not be
able to find the money for this in its existing budget which may be trimmed down even
more this year to help balance the budget.

Here's hoping they don't find that money even though the USDA seems willing enough to
start inspecting new horse slaughterhouses. Personally, I think they should devote their
time and energies in doing a better job of inspecting the Cafos from hell. It seems Mercy
for Animals finds more inhumane violations than do they. One former USDA inspector
which I alluded to another post, found that basically they are not very willing to expose
cruelty or infractions. Do we have any government entities at all worth their salt and
are doing the jobs they were commissioned to do correctly and compassionately?

Sue Wallis, a hefty Wyoming state lawmaker, is just itching to see slaughterhouses up and
running because she said this was part of her family's heritage. I wouldn't brag about it
if it were mine. She said that the federal ban devastated "an entire sector of animal
agriculuture for purely sentimental and romantic notions." Wrong - the intent was
compassion and caring - not exploitive, profit-making, and cruel as meat slaughter
proponents are agitating for.

Yes today, there may be a problem of people surrendering their horses in our recent
economic downturn, but if there are no people to come forward willing to adopt, it
would be more humane to euthanize them then to send them for slaughter and the
meat markets of Europe.

I truly hope that U.S.Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va who is lobbying colleagues to permanently
ban horse slaughter succeeds because he believes the process is inhumane. He said "I
am committed to doing everything in my power to prevent the resumption of horse
slaughter and will force Congress to debate this important policy in an open, democratic
manner at every opportunity." As I believe in prayer, I will ask God to bless his efforts.
Will you join me?

I also believe that Rep. Jim Moran et al need our backing, and I hope that all of us who
care about this issue will urge our Representatives and Senators to do the same. If you
believe that horses are an iconic symbol of America as is the eagle, then please don't sit
back and do nothing. Write or e-mail your US Representative to support HR.2966 and
your Senators to support S.1176. Called the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act-
if passed, would stop the movement to build slaughterhouses in the U.S. and disallow
sending our horses to Mexico and Canada or anywhere else for slaughtering.

At the internet site POPVOX Nation, I was happy to see listed 8 animal welfare orgs
endorsing these compassionate bills. I was also able to show my support there and it
mentioned that 80 percent of the US populace supports bill HR 2966.

There is just so much on this topic on the internet that I hope all will go to it today to
become educated on a topic which needs compassionate addressing. Our horses have
suffered way too many years because of some members in Congress who keep on fighting
the humane bills on their behalf. Most of us I believe don't want our horses slaughtered
for meat here in the US or elsewhere. But don't leave it up to George. Each of us have
to take action for what we believe. The HSUS internet site has a good article on this
urgent need for action and helps connect us to the President and members of Congress.
Please act today unless you don't care that our horses are being exploited by special interest
groups who care not one iota about their welfare and well-being.