American Horses Find Allies in US Senate

Slaughter-Bound American Horses Find Allies in US Senate. The brutal and needless slaughter of America's faithful and noble horses and ponies may soon finally be a shameless thing of the past due to today's introduction into the U.S. Senate of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (S.2352). The American Horse Defense Fund (AHDF), the nation's leading horse protection, education and advocacy nonprofit applauds the bill's lead sponsor, Senator John Ensign (R-NV), who was a practicing veterinarian prior to election to Congress. Additional cosponsors the AHDF is thankful to include: Mary Landrieu (D-LA),Daniel Inoyue (D-H), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT).

Washington, D.C.-April 27, 2004 - The brutal and needless slaughter of America's faithful and noble horses and ponies may soon finally be a shameless thing of the past due to today's introduction into the U.S. Senate of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, S.2352. The American Horse Defense Fund (AHDF), the nation's leading horse protection, education and advocacy nonprofit, applauds the bill's lead sponsor, Senator John Ensign (R-NV), who was a practicing veterinarian prior to election to Congress. Additional cosponsors the AHDF is thankful to include: Mary Landrieu (D-LA), a lifelong horseback rider, Daniel Inoyue (D-H), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT).

Horse and animal lovers and owners nationwide have been supporting and watching the House version of this bill (HR 857), introduced in 2003. Both versions would prevent American horses from being slaughtered for human consumption within the US and also in neighboring Canada and Mexico. Currently, the House bill has a very diverse, large, bipartisan collection of 202 cosponsors and is gaining momentum. Even though no action has been taken on the bill by the House Agriculture Committee. Sponsors of H.R. 857, John Sweeney (R-NY) and John Spratt (D-SC) both hold out hope that the bill will move forward onto the floor for a full vote soon. However, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), has made known that while he is sympathetic to the some of the issues the bill raises, he does not feel the bill should move forward. "We hope he will come to see things differently, it is high time for the bill to become law" Trina Bellak, Esq. of the American Horse Defense Fund said.

Advocates of the bills are very pleased to have the Senate version sponsored by such prominent Senators and having them join the fight to protect horses. "This is a giant stride forward in the long battle to end the betrayal and butchering of our horses and ponies. These senators and many Housemembers have acted upon the will of the people. " Bellak commented. Senator Ensign agrees and said “A series of recent polls show that Americans overwhelmingly support a ban on the slaughter of horses for human consumption. This should come as no surprise because horses in the United States are not raised for food. Despite state laws barring this barbaric practice, the slaughter of horses for human consumption continues because of an absence of a strong federal law to prohibit it. The time for such a law is now."

There are many alternatives to slaughtering horses and ponies. In fact, the American Horse Defense Fund hopes shortly to make available to all horse owners, the first booklet ever, listing a vast array of alternatives and where and what they are. The plentiful resources for alternatives will ease the transition after the bill becomes law. The minority of people who are not supportive of the bill also claim to fear that banning horse slaughter will lead to a surplus of horses that would cause an increase of abuse and neglect of horses. "There is no evidence of this, in fact, we know that in states where horse slaughter is specifically banned, abuse and neglect cases have actually decreased. When the state of California banned horse slaughter, the incidence of horse theft also decreased”.

The Illinois legislature is currently considering prohibiting horse slaughter as another plant Cavel International is making plans to slaughter horses in DeKalb. In the US, all horses are slaughtered at one of the two equine slaughter plants (both in Texas), which are owned by two French and Belgian families. Over 50,000 American horses annually are inhumanely killed to be shipped to France, Belgium, other European countries and Japan for wealthy consumers to eat the pricey meat. Additionally, Bellak pointed out, "Europeans should know that horsemeat is tainted by drugs and is not healthy" (a European misconception).

Horsemeat is not sold within the United States. The AHDF urges all members of the House and Senate to support this bill. Caring people should urge their elected officials to sponsor the bills. The AHDF is the only nationwide organization devoted to issues solely relating to wild and domestic horses, and is joined in support of the bill by The Humane Society of the United States, Society for Animal Protection Legislation, the Doris Day Animal League, the ASPCA, many local rescues, horse organizations and millions of Americans. The Thoroughbred racing industry is actively supporting the bill as well as many celebrities.

More information about the bill can be found at www.AHDF.org.



For More Information contact:
Trina Bellak, Esq.
866-983-3456
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Source :  http://www.prweb.com/releases/2004/4/prweb121875.htm