Washington, DC (May 26, 2010) – Members of Congress and constitutional experts testified today before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security on the recent Supreme Court decision invalidating a law prohibiting interstate commerce in crush videos, dog fighting videos, and other depictions of extreme animal cruelty. (Crush videos portray scantily clad women in stilettos, or even their bare feet, literally crushing, stomping on, or impaling small, helpless animals to satisfy sadistic viewers with a bizarre sexual fetish.)
When this law was passed in 1999, at the request of prosecutors, the market for crush videos quickly dried up. The Supreme Court took up the case of an individual challenging his conviction for selling dog fighting videos, and overturned the law on grounds that it was overbroad and violated the First Amendment.
Within hours of the Supreme Court’s decision, the crush video market reopened. Two bills, H.R. 5092 (with 306 cosponsors) and H.R. 5337, have been introduced to restore the ban in a way that will pass constitutional muster.
Washington, DC (May 24, 2010) – The need for federal legislation ending the slaughter of and providing safer transportation for American horses came to the forefront again last Tuesday, as we witnessed another horrific accident involving an overturned cattle trailer carrying 30 horses.
At around 6:00 am on May 18, 2010, Christopher Dobbin of Missouri fell asleep behind the wheel of a stock cattle trailer hauling horses bound for slaughter in Mexico to a temporary feedlot in Texas. Eleven of the 30 horses died as a result of the careless and inhumane transportation methods used by Dobbin, who was issued a reckless driving citation. This unfortunate accident underscores the desperate need for quick and thorough legislative action to end the slaughter of American horses and provide safer transportation for equines.
May 17, 2010 – CHICAGO, (EWA) – Equine Welfare Alliance and Animal Law Coalition applaud the grass roots efforts in 2010 that have resulted in a series of political defeats for those who want to bring horse slaughter back to the United States.
Of course, commercial horse slaughter for human consumption remains illegal in the U.S. and no state law can change that. Nonetheless, proponents of the cruel practice have tried to use state legislatures to try to convince Americans to bring horse slaughter back to the U.S.
In Missouri, for example, a bill, H.B. 1747, introduced by state Rep. James Viebrock, purported to allow the state to register and license and even provide inspections for horse slaughter facilities. There was even talk of building a horse slaughter plant in a small town in the state.
The Women’s Horse Industry Association, the largest business networking group in the world for women in the horse industry, is bringing together all of their contacts both in the horse industry and in the music industry to raise funds for the horses and owners who were affected by the recent flood in Middle Tennessee.
“A great number of horse and farm owners in Middle Tennessee have lost everything including their barns, their tack, their feed, their bedding and in some cases, even their horses. We have a huge network of women and manufacturers around the country who want to help these horses and owners. We also know that there are a lot of country music stars living in Middle Tennessee who would like to help. So, we are setting up a coalition to bring everyone together to raise the funds to help these horses and owners,” states Catherine Masters, Executive Director.
The association which is based in Nashville, Tennessee will be working with rescue groups around the country, manufacturers, horse industry suppliers and entertainers to give support for those in need.
WESTPORT, CT – May 10, 2010 – The EQUUS Foundation received a $25,000 grant from Newman’s Own Foundation to support its mission to educate the public about horses; provide financial support through the award of grants; offer insight on management and financial practices of the charities through a thorough review of their operations; and provide a network of interested individuals for volunteer recruitment.
“We are so grateful to Newman’s Own Foundation for their generosity, especially now in these difficult times for charities,” said Jenny Belknap, EQUUS Board Chairman. “This grant will help us build a more sustainable environment for horses and for the people whose lives they are benefiting, and enhance the ability of charities across America focused on equestrian and horse-related issues to accomplish their missions. What a majority of the general public is not aware of is in providing horses with homes and useful lives, people benefit, especially children.”
May 4, 2010 – NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A horse slaughter bill that was criticized by Willie Nelson has failed this session of the Tennessee General Assembly.
The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Frank Niceley of Strawberry Plains was unanimously sent to a summer study committee by the House Finance Committee on Tuesday. The companion bill has been withdrawn from consideration in the Senate.
Niceley’s proposal stated that the slaughtering of horses is “best addressed by proper state regulations and inspection and not by banning the humane slaughter of surplus domestic horses at the federal level.”
Lausanne (SUI), 19 April 2010 – All horses show normal nerve sensation or sensitivity. Where that sensation is increased beyond normal limits it is called hypersensitivity. Hypersensitivity can be produced by a range of normal occurrences, such as an insect sting or accidental self-inflicted injury.
Hypersensitisation is the term used to define the artificial production of hypersensitivity and is contrary to horse welfare and fair play.
At FEI competitions, the determination of hypersensitivity in the horse is made by a combination of thermographic and clinical examinations, carried out by at least two experienced equine veterinarians.
Thermography is a means of detecting abnormal heat patterns of the skin through the use of an imaging camera. The clinical examination is carried out by observation and palpation (applying manual pressure).
Geneva (SUI), 15 April 2010 – The FEI Bureau today gave its unanimous approval to new Stewards’ guidelines on warm-up techniques produced by the Working Group formed after the round-table conference held in Lausanne on 9 February 2010.
One of the key stipulations in the Working Group’s report was that all unacceptable training methods and techniques must be stopped immediately. The Working Group was also insistent that abuse of the horse should be avoided and, in particular, stressing the horse, aggressive riding and inflicting pain and/or discomfort on the horse must be prevented.
The current guidelines for FEI Stewards already include instructions covering aggressive riding, but the Working Group has created a new Annex (XIII) that includes clear instructions on action to be taken if necessary relating to flexion of the horse’s neck during pre and post-competition training.
Animal Awareness is an exciting new website for animal lovers that promotes home care health programs. Eight Signs of Dog Illness and Eight Signs of Horse Illness each discuss what signs to look for in an ill animal, and what massage strategies can be used for prevention and early detection. After reading the extensive free article, an individual can purchase one of the recommended mini-DVDs for additional visual guidance.
Hourdebaigt suggests that a good prevention measure is having an animal receive a physical exam periodically. Daily home care including massage, stretching and hydrotherapy modalities will help your animal live a long and happy life.
LEXINGTON, KY (April 7, 2010) A rare equine amputee, Molly the Pony, is coming to the Kentucky Horse Park. She was made famous by a CBS News story, after having been rescued by Kaye and Glenn Harris during Hurricane Katrina. Unfortunately, several months later she was attacked by another animal who was rescued after Katrina and who was also experiencing emotional trauma, a pit bull. Although Molly’s other numerous wounds healed, her leg did not make it. Her rescuer and now owner Kaye Harris went to bat for Molly, requesting amputation and prosthesis at Louisiana State University.
Successful amputations and prosthetic legs for horses are extremely rare and there were obstacles to overcome, but Molly has adapted well to her new limb and now she visits anyone who could use her quiet wisdom and inspiration. She has impacted and inspired many people of all ages and abilities. A children’s book was written about her and her story has traveled around the world.