July 31, 2010 – CHICAGO, (EWA) – The National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) has passed a resolution calling for the reinstatement of USDA inspectors for horse meat.
The NCSL is a non-governmental lobbyist organization which serves the nation’s 50 states legislators to advocate and lobby for the interests of states before Congress and federal agencies. The resolutions NCSL passes are not binding and merely allow them to lobby on behalf of the states.
Representative Sue Wallis (WY), who is vice chair of the NCSL’s Agriculture and Energy Committee, went on record asking that she be allowed to slaughter horses to feed Wyoming children, the poor and prison inmates without having the meat federally inspected for consumer safety. The Wyoming livestock board responded quickly by stating in no uncertain terms that “horse slaughter is not an option.”
The Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA) strongly opposes the misuse of tax payer dollars to fund inspections for an industry that is not needed or wanted by the overwhelming majority of Americans.
July 5, 2010 – CHICAGO (EWA) – The recent appointment of Dr. Douglas Corey to the top spot of the Washington lobby group, The Unwanted Horse Coalition (UHC), has made their loudly proclaimed stance of being neutral on the contentious issue of horse slaughter difficult to swallow.
Corey follows Dr. Tom Lenz, former head of American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP). Both Lenz and Corey pull no punches on their enthusiastic support of horse slaughter. The two veterinarians with close ties to animal agriculture refer to horse slaughter as an end-of-life option that is needed. Regrettably, with the UHC parent group, The American Horse Council, this front for unscrupulous breeders and the meat industry, often has the ear of Congress and is considered a respected and respectable humanitarian organization.
The daring hypocrisy of both organizations is stunning and Corey’s own words prove it. Few equine rescue organizations are members of the UHC, shunning the prohibitive cost of membership to join. Rescue groups, dependent upon donations, would prefer to spend their funds on feed and hay.
June 29, 2010 – CHICAGO, (EWA) – Since the 107th Congress (2001), equine welfare advocates across the country have been trying to get elected officials to pass legislation to ban the slaughter of American horses. Polls have consistently shown that the legislation has the support of 70% of Americans, but without fail the bills have been stalled, blocked with secret holds, and left off the legislative calendars. Now it appears the European Union (EU) and Canada may stop horse slaughter before Congress.
Strict new traceability requirements will go into effect July 31st, for all horses slaughtered for consumption in the EU. Additionally, the EU is poised to require Country of Origin labeling of all meat. And finally, the EU has begun investigating inhumane slaughter practices in Mexico.
Despite President Obama’s promise to not allow lobbyists to run the country and his support of a horse slaughter ban when he was in the Senate, the agricultural special interests have continually been allowed to prevent the legislation from moving forward. Public records reveal donations from special interest groups to the legislators blocking the bills.
“When it comes to stopping the slaughter of horses, clearly money talks,” commented Equine Welfare Alliance’s (EWA) John Holland.
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.
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.”
Nashville, TN (April 27, 2010) – Legislation advocating the slaughter of horses for human consumption will be withdrawn for the legislative session in Tennessee according to the bill’s sponsor Representative Frank Niceley. This was following overwhelming public opposition to the proposal from the public, Tennessee Volunteers for Animal Protection, Willie Nelson, his daughter Amy Nelson and granddaughter Raelyn Nelson, long time supporters of the Animal Welfare Institute.
“We are pleased that Representative Niceley has agreed to pull his bill from consideration,” said Chris Heyde, deputy director of the Animal Welfare Institute. “There are many more humane and responsible ways of caring for horses in need and we look forward to expanding those in Tennessee. Slaughter certainly isn’t an option and we feel many legislators realized this.”
Amy and Raelyn Nelson, residents of Tennessee, testified against the bill during a committee hearing earlier this month and plan on returning to Nashville to meet with legislators to discuss equine welfare issues very soon.
April 9, 2010 – CHICAGO (EWA) – The Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC) recently released hidden camera footage from an investigation that took place at the two largest horse slaughter plants in Canada, Bouvry Exports and Viande Richelieu.
So horrific are the conditions depicted at both plants that they have prompted Bill desBarres, Chairman of the Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada (HWAC) and a long time proponent of horse slaughter, to declare he believes the footage was fabricated by groups opposed to “any animal agriculture”.
Bill desBarres and his organization have repeatedly praised the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) and its inspectors for their diligence in assuring that horses are treated humanely at the slaughter plants and his organization lists the CFIA as a “resource partner” on their web site. The Horse Welfare Alliance appears to be nothing more than a front for the horse slaughter industry.
April 2, 2010 – CHICAGO (EWA) – A peer reviewed scientific study tracing race horses sent to slaughter for human consumption has found that 100% of the horses in the study group had been administered phenylbutazone, a banned carcinogen that can also fatally damage the bone marrow of humans. The findings appear to validate the European Union’s recent tightening of traceability requirements on horse meat from third countries.
The paper, titled Association of phenylbutazone usage with horses bought for slaughter: A public health risk, appeared in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology and calls into question the reliability of the USDA (US Department of Agriculture) and CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) testing programs which have consistently failed to detect the substance.
The manuscript, which was authored by Drs. Nicholas Dodman, Nicolas Blondeau and Ann M. Marini, followed eighteen Thoroughbred (TB) race horses that were identified by matching their registered name to their race track drug record over a five year period and were given phenylbutazone (PBZ, Bute) on race day and were subsequently sent to slaughter for human consumption.