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Nine Year Old Comes to Washington

Story ID:7927
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Washington District of Columbia usa
Year:2012
Person:Declan Gregg
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I can understand why Jesus said "Suffer little children to come
unto me, for such is the kingdom of heaven." I doubt that any
of us would have any quarrel with this beautiful statement
from Jesus. And yesterday, we who belong to HSUS - the same
HSUS which Rick Berman tries to vilify and discredit at every turn,
received this wonderful message from them re a 9-year-old who
wants Congress to save our beautiful horses from slaughter.

I have been praying daily for the passage of the American Horse
Slaughter Prevention Act (H.R.2966 and S.1176) ever since I read
with horror that a provision for the USDA to inspect horse slaughter-
houses was slipped into an appropriation bill signed into law in
November 2011 by President Obama. Did he know? Did he care?
If he knew, and of course he should have, this is yet another
disappointment for me who had hoped and believed that this
Democratic president would be compassionate to animals. The
jury is still out on this one. His administration only scored a C-
on the Humane Scoreboard.

Sadly, we have seen recently how Congress generally fails to
inspire, and even worse, is guilty of caring more about their own
often selfish agendas to the detriment of the good of the country
as a whole and for the people they represent.

I've read that the majority of Americans do not want to see our
horses slaughtered for the tables of Europe. Do we need jobs
so badly that we would sacrifice our horses in such a horrible
way, and even ignore the will of the majority? Horse slaughter
is particularly inhumane because of the horse's great size, and
for the past 6 years, we have been sending them to Canada
and Mexico for slaughter, and it continues to this day. Not only
is this wrong, but the horses suffer terribly -particularly in Mexico
where the slaughtering practices are especially inhumane.

Recently, a "shamed" Congress -after a 60 Minutes expose of
their being privy to insider trading without impunity, had to outlaw
this procedure. Other people convicted of this crime went to
prison, but our lawmakers selfishly exempted themselves from
the law until being caught.

So, it is no surprise to me that another shameful practice -that of
slipping in selfish-interest amendments into appropriation bills
is still being done. In my opinion, this is immoral and objectionable.
Why is this still going on? Why hasn't some Congressperson come
forward introducing a bill to forbid it? This horse-killing-funding
amendment is paving the way for the USDA to inspect horse
slaughterhouses. Torn down in 2006, they can now be rebuilt if
this amendment is lawful. In such an important issue as the
slaughtering of our horses, should not this be deliberated in both
houses of Congress?

Former Senator Conrad Burns of Montana had used this same sneaky
method to slip in a proviso in an appropriation bill for horse slaughter
in the U.S.in 2002. After years of killing our horses in US slaughter-
houses, a bill was passed in 2006 which led to their closing and
dismantling. But sadly, this led to even more suffering for our horses
as the "horse meat buyers" sent them to Canada and Mexico by torturous
transit in double decker trucks, and finally to horrible deaths in these
two countries.

From the HSUS - a wonderful picture of Declan Gregg at the HSUS
headquarters standing along side CEO Wayne Pacelle. This incredible
9-year-old learned about the slaughter of horses from his mom, and
he wanted to do something about it. He was able to take two days off
from his school in New Hampshire and travel to Washington to lobby
for the horses.

After speaking to his representative - Frank Guinta and other lawmakers,
the representative took him to the floor of the House. Wow - what an
honor and privilege. There Declan urged those in attendence to ban
the slaughter of American horses in the US and abroad and to support
the AMERICAN HORSE SLAUGHTER PREVENTION ACT (H.R.2966 and
S.1176.) God bless you, Declan, and your wonderful compassionate
mother. We need thousands more like you both to speak up for the
horses. Hopefully, you have managed to touch some of our legislators,
and where they haven't heard our pleas before or ignored them, they
may well have heard yours.

The HSUS also included an important paragragh in this regard which
should make Congress and people alike to be concerned about horse
slaughter on yet another level:

"More than 100,000 horses are shipped to be killed each year in
Canada and Mexico, often suffering terribly during transport and
slaughter. The HSUS and other animal protection groups have
been campaigning on many fronts to stop this cruel and predatory
practice. This week, we also highlighted how the equine slaughter
pipeline could threaten public health. The animals sent to slaughter
are former race horses, carriage horses, family ponies, and others
routinely given drugs and medications potentially toxic to people--
yet this meat is being sold for human consumption, mainly as a
gourmet item in Europe and Asia."

When I read this about harming humans, I remembered something
I read a long time ago and never forgot - "We kill the animals and
they kill us." And this has proven true even for us in America who
believe that eating meat 3 times a day is necessary. Sadly, people
with this kind of mentality are paying no attention at all to what is
being written on this subject -even from the medical community.
They are saying that it is vital to cut down on the eating of meat and
trying to adopt a more plant-based diet -that is -IF YOU WANT TO
BE HEALTHY.

Lastly, there will always be people who feel that we are ignoring the
problem of a poor economy, and some people can no longer care for
their horses. What's the solution? Certainly, people of compassion will
not send a beloved companion animal to a slaughterhouse. They should
humanely put them down if there are no other compassionate alternatives.
I have seen too many horror pictures of horses not fed and cared for-
left to die- slowly starving and unsheltered in inclement weather. This is
cruel. How can these people sit down to a meal in the comfort of their
home while their horse slowly starves to death?