Sunday, March 15, 2009

Horse slaughter? Horsefeathers!

Horse slaughter? Horsefeathers!
Published: Friday, March 13, 2009 12:03 PM
When it comes to opposing the slaughter of horses, Le Ann Box can be as stubborn as a mule.“I consider myself a reasonable person and I’m amazed at what’s going on,” Box said.
Box is the secretary of Eagle’s Nest Draft Rehab and Sanctuary Inc. of Fayetteville. She is also a member of the Humane Society of the Ozarks. She does not consider herself a radical animal rights activist. She eats meat, she said, and her husband is an avid outdoorsman who loves to hunt.However, she is adamantly opposed to the resolution introduced by state Rep. Roy Ragland (R-Marshall) that urges the U.S. Congress to support horse processing plants. She even testified against horse slaughter at Ragland’s committee hearing.“It’s brutal, predatory and unacceptable,” Box said of the practice. “The industry perpetuates a market for irresponsible breeding. It gives an incentive for it.”Ragland has said he introduced the resolution on behalf of the Arkansas Horse Council. However, Box said its president, Betty Miller Jones of Kingston, did not speak for all horse owners in Arkansas.
= 1212037200) && (nAdsysTime
According to Box, she wasn’t always so opposed to horse slaughter. She had been led to believe that the method of putting down horses was humane, and though she didn’t like the idea, she grudgingly went along it. She has since investigated the industry and has become convinced that it is not humane.“Knowing how it was done completely stole a piece of my soul,” Box said.In her testimony before Ragland, Box said she challenged him to produce reliable evidence that the horse slaughter industry was humane. He could not, she said.A lawyer, Box considered how Ragland’s lack of evidence would play in her profession.“I can’t go before a judge and say ‘This is the truth and I say so,’” Box said. One of the groups that Box cited in her campaign against horse slaughter is Veterinarians for Equine Welfare. While proponents of horse slaughter point out that the captive-bolt method for equine euthanasia is acceptable with the American Veterinary Medical Association, Veterinarians for Equine Welfare qualified that position.On its website, the organization said there is a “vast difference between efficient administration of the captive-bolt by a highly trained veterinarian with appropriate restraint of the horse's head and its improper use by low-skilled slaughterhouse employees without proper head restraint. Improper use of the captive-bolt during slaughter means that horses may often endure repeated blows with the device, and may be improperly stunned as they proceed through slaughter.”Box also referred to the Veterinarians’’ position that horses, unlike traditional food animals in the United States, are not raised or medicated during their lifetime with the intent of one day becoming human food.“Because no American horse is ever ‘intended’ for the human food chain,” the group said, “often times horses throughout their lives will have received medications that are banned for use ever during the life of food animals.”Box even questioned the number of truly hungry people that are fed because of the processing of horse meat for human consumption. She noted that horse meat is considered a delicacy in Europe and Japan, and sells for up to $20 a pound.According to Box, horses endure terror at a slaughter plant before they are even euthanized. She challenged people to ask anyone who trains horse for hunting if the animals don’t know what blood is.“The idea that horses don’t know what’s going on is ludicrous,” Box said. “Add the chaos of a slaughter house with its sounds and the smell of blood. It’s not a quick, clean kill.”Box and her husband are currently caring for eight horses on the nine acres owned by Eagle’s Nest. One of the horses, she said, is a direct daughter of Secretariat, a thoroughbred that won the Triple Crown of racing in 1973. The mare had gotten too old to breed and was headed for slaughter before she was rescued.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Senator Sue Madison introduces Arkansas SCR 11 Anti-Horse Slaughter Resolution

Arkansas Senator Sue Madison has just introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution 11 which is an anti-horse slaughter bill. Below is the SCR 11 link.

SCR 11

The Arkansas pro-slaughter resolution HCR 1004 is still in Committee and has been voted down so far.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Alex Brown Racing sponsoring YouTube Horse Slaughter Contest

Alex Brown Racing is sponsoring a YouTube contest that will run from Tuesday, February 10 to Sunday May 10 2009. We will offer a $1,000 prize, to be sent to the horse rescue organization of choice of the winning entry, as of Noon eastern time, May 10, 2009. All entries are to be completed, posted and approved, by Noon on Friday April 10, 2009.
Entrants must read and be familiar with the document: Deconstructing the Horse Slaughter Issue: Chapter Horse Slaughter. Please click on the link below for all rules and more information.

$1,000 YouTube Horse Slaughter Contest.

Below are links to the five entries so far. (all videos are PG13 and not graphic)

No More Horse Slaughter horsesrule925
End Horse Slaughter thoroughbredlover3
Another Chance: Saved from Horse Slaughter millertime83
Please Stop Horse Slaughter sandyelmore490
Horse Heroes - Stop Horse Slaughter wendyu1

Friday, February 20, 2009

Saving Horses a passion for Brown

Saving Horses a Passion for Brown

Posted on Friday, February 20, 2009

HOT SPRINGS - Alex Brown likes to ride horses and write about horses, but is passionate about saving horses.
"I feel like I've got my PhD in this," Brown said of his effort to save horses from slaughter.
Brown, 43, is chronicling his daily f ight through his Web site, www., dedicated to the legacy of 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro by improving horse welfare, finding a cure for laminitis, a circulatory disorder of the foot, and ending slaughter.
Brown's journey has brought him to Oaklawn Park, where he gallops horses for trainer Steve Asmussen.
"Everything I'm doing is a consequence of following Barbaro," Brown said. "Previously, I had spent the best part of 20 years in racing completely oblivious to horse slaughter and really little regard to horse welfare in general."
Barbaro was euthanized in January 2007 after developing laminitis, which developed after the colt broke multiple bones in his right hind leg shortly after the start of Preakness in May 2006.
Brown became attached to the story while galloping horses at Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland, where Barbaro was based much of his career.
An Internet marketing professor at the University of Delaware, Brown already was blogging on a site for local trainer Tim Woolley when Barbaro won the Kentucky Derby.
Two weeks later, the site unexpectedly became a mainstream news source.
"We built the traffic up to about 150 page views going into the Preakness," said Brown, a native of Manchester, England. "Then obviously, we know what happened in the Preakness. My initial reaction was to stop the project, because I wasn't going to exploit a very bad situation."
Brown said he was messing around on the site the following day and realized "everybody was Googling Barbaro and getting nothing."
Brown said after he broke a story concerning Barbaro's surgery, the site crashed after receiving 3,000 visits within an hour.
"Basically from then on, I just committed deliberately to providing updates if I could get them," Brown said. "That's how the project began."
Brown said he has a contract with Barbaro's owners, Roy and Gretchen Jackson, to write a book, Greatness and Goodness: Barbaro and His Legacy.
Brown said three-quarters of the book - 150 pages of pure text - is already on the Internet.
"It's more to establish that Barbaro is great, and then talk about the good things that have occurred as a result of Barbaro, which would be horse slaughter, horse rescue, issues related to horse racing," Brown said.
A little over a year ago, Brown cut his roots and left Fair Hill (he had been based there for 20 years) to tour North America to get a better handle on those issues at a local level.
The easiest way to do that, Brown said, was to work for a trainer and move when the horses moved to another track.
Brown galloped horses at Penn National and Presque Isle in Pennsylvania and at Keeneland and Churchill Downs in Kentucky before going to work exclusively for Asmussen in November 2007 at Sam Houston Race Park in Texas.
Brown also galloped horses last year at Woodbine in Canada. Now he's at Oaklawn for the first time.
Although he's in Arkansas, Brown still runs his Web site, which, in the past two years, has raised more than $1 million to rescue approximately 2,700 horses from the horse slaughter pipeline.
Brown said the site has had almost a million messages posted.
One of the site's recent success stories is Clever Allemont, who won Oaklawn's Rebel and Southwest stakes in 1985 for trainer Lynn Whiting and owner Cal Partee of Magnolia.
Clever Allemont was discovered in a kill pen late last year in Kansas.
Roughly a half-hour after the story was posted on Brown's site, a forum reader donated funds to purchase Clever Allemont from the dealer who sells horses for slaughter.
Clever Allemont is now at Old Friends, a facility for retired thoroughbreds in Georgetown, Ky.
"If any horseman can argue to me that Clever Allemont should be slaughtered, I don't think so," Brown said. "The fact that slaughter is an option puts horses like that at risk. It was purely by chance that a horse rescue was going to that kill pen to go look for a palomino pony, and the kill buyer talked to that rescue and said, 'Look, I've got this old thoroughbred, I really don't want to send him to kill. Will you take it?'
"Even the kill buyer's compassionate enough to realize that horses shouldn't be slaughtered."
Slaughterhouses in Texas and Illinois have closed in recent years, but they are still prevalent in Canada and Mexico.
"The issue is quite complicated, and I think the pro-slaughter lobbies have done a good job convincing people slaughter is necessary," Brown said. "But as a horseman, I know it's not necessary and I certainly know it's not right."
Copyright © 2001-2009 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact:

Monday, February 2, 2009

Animal Welfare Institute Establishes Abandoned Horse Reward Fund

Abandoned Horse Reward Fund Announced!
ANIMAL WELFARE INSTITUTE ESTABLISHES ABANDONED HORSE REWARD FUND Washington, DC (January 29, 2009) – The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) announced today the establishment of the “Animal Welfare Institute Abandoned Horse Reward Fund.” Under the program, individuals providing information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone who abandons a horse in violation of state law will be rewarded with up to $1,000 by AWI. “We’ve heard time and time again from those defending horse slaughter that the fight to end this cruel practice has led to an increase in abandoned horses. The truth is that the number of American horses going to slaughter now is the same or higher as before the domestic plants closed under state law. In fact, killer buyers seem to be buying more horses than when the plants were open,” said Chris Heyde, AWI’s Deputy Director of Government and Legal Affairs. Under the program, individuals with evidence should first contact their local police department, provide as many details as possible about the horse abandonment situation and let the department know about the Animal Welfare Institute Abandoned Horse Reward Fund. In such cases, eligibility for rewards and specific reward amounts will be determined by AWI. For complete terms and conditions of this reward fund, please go to“If horses are being neglected or abandoned and the law is being violated, individuals need to be held accountable. Caring for a horse or any animal is a lifelong responsibility and not something you toss aside when inconvenient. We hope our reward fund will assist in bringing criminals to justice,” said Chris Heyde.The Animal Welfare Institute has been at the forefront of efforts to pass a federal law to end horse slaughter. While the few remaining horse slaughter plants operating in the US were shut down in 2007 under state law, the absence of a federal law means that American horses are still at risk of being slaughtered for human consumption, and more than 100,000 horses were exported to Mexico and Canada in 2008 for that purpose. In Canada, horses are often shot to death while in Mexico some plants still use the “puntilla” knife to stab the horse into a state of paralysis prior to being slaughtered while still fully conscious. The meat is then sold to high-end consumers in Europe and Asia. Congress is currently considering the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act (H.R. 503), which will protect American horses from this brutal trade.For further information contact:Chris Heyde, 202-446-2142Liz Ross, 202-497-6780For over 58 years, AWI has been the leading voice for animals across the country and on Capitol Hill. Please join us in our ongoing campaigns to reduce the sum total of pain and fear inflicted on animals by humans. Sign up for AWI eAlerts to receive the latest news on what you can do to help us protect all animals:

Live Feed on John Holland, Paula Bacon and Laura Allen Feb 7th

LIVE FEED ON SATURDAY FEB. 7TH 3PM With John Holland (Senior Analyst for AAHS) and Paula Bacon and Laura Allen!
Saving America's Horses on WFL Endangered Stream Live, Talk Radio for the Protection of AnimalsThe Hidden Cruelty of Horse Slaughter and the Fight for Federal Support to Make it Stop.Host Katia Louise interviews an expert panel of guests on the continuing sordid practice of horse slaughter as currently sustained by the United States. Horses suffer unimaginable cruel treatment in the process of their transport out of the US to Mexico and Canada where they experience barbaric slaughter. Listeners will learn the truth about one of America's darkest secrets and how to take action to stop this cruel and rapidly growing business of exports through the support of current, yet disregarded bills lingering in Congress for the past 8 years. Guests include Paula Bacon representing Americans Against Horse Slaughter and as former mayor of Kaufman TX, she helped to shut down the Dallas Crown, a US horse slaughter plant now operating in Mexico, among the worst malign abusers of cruelty in this brutal practice. Also joining us is the renown author on the issue of horse slaughter, John Holland; senior analyst for Americans Against Horse Slaughter. Holland has authored and coauthored studies on the relationship of horse slaughter to the rate of abuse and neglect in horses and has written dozens of articles on the subject of horse slaughter and its politics. Plus we have Animal Law Attorney, Laura Allen of the Animal Law Coalition who's been fiercely active in the support of getting legislature passed for the Prevention of the Equine Cruelty. These panelists are fighting to abolish horse slaughter and the export of horses for slaughter with support more stringent enforcement of laws to prevent abuse and neglect.Call-in number: (646) 727- 2170. Calls will be accepted live during the show. The chat room at the show's WFL Endangered Stream Live Blog Talk Radio page will be open throughout the broadcast for simultaneous discussion and to help answer questions. Registered listeners may connect and talk straight from their computer from anywhere in the world. (learn more) Listen live on Saturday, Feb 7th at 3pm (PST) at WFL Endangered Stream Live Blog Talk Radio.Listen anytime on demand. Links:

Monday, January 26, 2009

Arkansas Horse Council Resolution Pro Slaughter HR1004

Betty Jones, Pres., AR Horse Council Has Announced the Resoluton HR 1004 on Pro Slaughter

1 State of Arkansas2 87th General Assembly DRAFT GLG/RCK3 Regular Session, 2009 HCR45 By: Representative Ragland678 HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION9 REQUESTING THE ARKANSAS CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION10 AND THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES TO SUPPORT11 HORSE PROCESSING FACILITIES.1213 Subtitle14 REQUESTING THE ARKANSAS CONGRESSIONAL15 DELEGATION AND THE CONGRESS OF THE16 UNITED STATES TO SUPPORT HORSE17 PROCESSING FACILITIES.181920 WHEREAS, horse processing is the most tightly regulated animal harvest;21 and2223 WHEREAS, horse processing is the only animal processing for which24 transportation is regulated; and2526 WHEREAS, the Horse Welfare Coalition estimates that annually ninety27 thousand (90,000) to one hundred thousand (100,000) unwanted horses will be28 exposed to potential abandonment and neglect if horse processing plants are29 forced to close and horse export options are eliminated; and3031 WHEREAS, those ninety thousand (90,000) to one hundred thousand32 (100,000) unwanted horses will compete each year for adoption with the33 thirty-two thousand (32,000) wild horses that United States taxpayers are34 currently paying forty million dollars ($40 million) to shelter and feed; and3536 WHEREAS, the nation's inadequate, overburdened, and unregulated horseHCR2 11-03-2008 08:56 GLG009rescue and adoption f 1 acilities cannot handle the influx of approximately2 sixty thousand (60,000) or more additional horses each year that would result3 from a harvesting ban, according to the Congressional Research Service; and45 WHEREAS, many zoo animal diets rely on equine protein because it6 closely resembles the food that the zoo animal would consume in the wild; and78 WHEREAS, many veterinarians and animal nutritionists assert that equine9 protein is the healthiest diet for big cats and rare birds; and1011 WHEREAS, the only source of equine protein that is inspected by the12 United States Department of Agriculture will be eliminated if federal13 legislation shuts down horse processing facilities,1415 NOW THEREFORE,16 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE EIGHTY-SEVENTH17 GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ARKANSAS, THE SENATE CONCURRING THEREIN:1819 That the House of Representatives of the Eighty-seventh General20 Assembly of the State of Arkansas requests all members of the Arkansas21 congressional delegation to support the continuation of horse processing in22 the United States and to offer incentives that help create horse processing23 plants, such as state-inspected horse harvest for export.2425 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the House of Representatives of the Eighty26seventh General Assembly of the State of Arkansas urges the Congress of the27 United States to support new horse processing facilities and the continuation28 of existing facilities on both the state and national level.2930 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the House of Representatives of the Eighty31seventh General Assembly of the State of Arkansas urges the Congress of the32 United States to oppose S. 311 and H.R. 503 of the 110th Congress and to33 support the processing of horses in the United States and internationally.3435 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the House of Representatives of the Eighty36seventh General Assembly of the State of Arkansas supports the location of United States 1 Department of Agriculture-approved horse processing facilities2 on state, tribal, or private lands under mutually-acceptable and market3driven land leases and, if necessary, a mutually-acceptable assignment of4 revenues that meets the needs of all parties involved with the horse5 processing facility; and67 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, after adoption, copies of this resolution8 shall be sent by the Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives to the9 members of Arkansas's congressional delegation, the President of the United10 States Senate, and the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.
.AOLWebSuite .AOLPicturesFullSizeLink { height: 1px; width: 1px; overflow: hidden; } .AOLWebSuite a {color:blue; text-decoration: underline; cursor: pointer} .AOLWebSuite a.hsSig {cursor: default}

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Text of H.R. 503

111th CONGRESS1st Session
H. R. 503
To amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit certain conduct relating to the use of horses for human consumption.
January 14, 2009Mr. CONYERS (for himself, Mr. BURTON of Indiana, Mr. ACKERMAN, Ms. BERKLEY, Mr. BILBRAY, Mrs. BONO MACK, Ms. BORDALLO, Mr. BROWN of South Carolina, Mr. CAPUANO, Mr. CASTLE, Mr. COHEN, Mr. CUMMINGS, Mr. DEFAZIO, Mr. DELAHUNT, Ms. DELAURO, Mr. GALLEGLY, Mr. GERLACH, Mr. GRIJALVA, Mr. GUTIERREZ, Mr. HALL of New York, Mr. HINCHEY, Mr. INGLIS, Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas, Mr. JONES, Mr. KING of New York, Mr. KIRK, Mr. KLEIN of Florida, Mr. KUCINICH, Mr. LEWIS of Georgia, Mr. LOBIONDO, Ms. ZOE LOFGREN of California, Mrs. MALONEY, Mrs. MCCARTHY of New York, Mr. MCCOTTER, Mr. MCGOVERN, Mr. GEORGE MILLER of California, Mr. MITCHELL, Ms. MOORE of Wisconsin, Mr. MORAN of Virginia, Mr. PATRICK J. MURPHY of Pennsylvania, Mr. NADLER of New York, Mr. PAYNE, Mr. PLATTS, Mr. RAHALL, Mr. RANGEL, Mr. ROTHMAN of New Jersey, Mr. RUPPERSBERGER, Ms. SCHAKOWSKY, Mr. SCOTT of Virginia, Mr. SERRANO, Mr. SHERMAN, Mr. SMITH of New Jersey, Ms. SUTTON, Mr. VAN HOLLEN, Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, Ms. WATSON, Mr. WEXLER, Mr. WHITFIELD, Ms. WOOLSEY, Mr. WU, and Mr. YOUNG of Florida) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
To amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit certain conduct relating to the use of horses for human consumption.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.This Act may be cited as the `Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009'.
(a) In General- Chapter 3 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
`Sec. 50. Slaughter of horses for human consumption
`(a) Except as provided in subsection (b), whoever knowingly--
`(1) possesses, ships, transports, purchases, sells, delivers, or receives, in or affecting interstate commerce or foreign commerce, any horse with the intent that it is to be slaughtered for human consumption; or
`(2) possesses, ships, transports, purchases, sells, delivers, or receives, in or affecting interstate commerce or foreign commerce, any horse flesh or carcass or part of a carcass, with the intent that it is to be used for human consumption;shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years or both.
`(b) If--
`(1) the defendant engages in conduct that would otherwise constitute an offense under subsection (a);
`(2) the defendant has no prior conviction under this section; and
`(3) the conduct involves less than five horses or less than 2000 pounds of horse flesh or carcass or part of a carcass;the defendant shall, instead of being punished under that subsection, be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
`(c) As used in this section, the term `horse' means any member of the family Equidae.'.
(b) Clerical Amendment- The table of sections for chapter 3 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new item:
`50. Slaughter of horses for human consumption.'.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Clever Allemont saved from slaughter

Clever Allemont saved from slaughter

by Tom Musgrave
Clever Allemont, winner of the 1985 Rebel and Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park, was rescued from slaughter on December 13.
Kristin Chambers, executive director of Winding Road Equine Rescue and Retirement in Waverly, Kansas, found the 26-year-old Clever Trick horse in a kill lot in Emporia, Kansas. Chambers said Clever Allemont's previous owner sold the horse to a dealer who sells horses for slaughter. Clever Allemont was set to be shipped out of the country to a slaughterhouse.
Chambers had been called by the dealer to come look at a mare he said was "too pretty to ship." When Chambers arrived at the dealer's kill lot on December 13, she also saw Clever Allemont.
The dealer asked Chambers if there was anything she could do to save Clever Allemont.
After taking photos of Clever Allemont at the dealer's kill lot, Chambers returned home and posted a story about him on the Alex Brown Racing online forum. In less than 30 minutes, a forum respondent, Susan Ackerman, donated funds to buy Clever Allemont from the dealer.
To view the forum thread, click here.
On December 14, Clever Allemont was shipped to Ray and Jeanne Mason's Donegal Ranch Quarter Horses in Williamsburg, Kansas. Chambers said former Thoroughbred Retirement Fund board member Diana Baker arranged for Clever Allemont to be boarded permanently at Old Friends Equine Thoroughbred retirement facility in Georgetown, Kentucky. He will be shipped to Old Friends shortly after Christmas.
Chambers said she continues to marvel at the speed with which the horse's rescue proceeded.
"Within 28 minutes [of posting the story on the forum], his 'bail' was posted," Chambers said. "Within 24 hours, he was invited to stay at Old Friends."
Dee Ramirez, a friend of the Masons, has volunteered to pay to ship Clever Allemont to Old Friends. For now, the horse is relaxing at Donegal, where he already has been visited by the media.
"He's been such a good boy," Chambers said. "He's into the camera."
Chambers said that the previous owner told the dealer "I hope you don't kill him" when dealer came to pick up Clever Allemont.
"It just wasn't his time [to die]," Chambers said about the speedy sequence of events following his rescue. "There was a shift in the universe. How else can you explain this chain of miracles?"
In addition to his wins in the Rebel and Southwest Stakes, Clever Allemont finished third in 1985 in the Arlington Classic (G1), Sheridan Stakes (G2), and the Fairmount Park Derby (G3). In his five-year racing career he was trained first by Lynn Whiting and then by D. Wayne Lukas. He won eight of 47 starts and earned $316,329. His stud career spanned 11 years, from 1988 through '99, in which he sired 72 winners from 125 starters. He stood his last season for $500 at Illinois Stud in Woodstock, Illinois.
Tom Musgrave is internet content editor of Thoroughbred Times

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bill to End Horse Slaughter Reintroduced

Thursday, January 15, 2009



Washington, DC (January 15, 2009) – The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act (H.R. 503), was reintroduced yesterday by House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) and Representative Dan Burton (R-IN). They first introduced the bill, which will ban horse slaughter, in the summer of 2008. It gained quick bipartisan support and passed out of the Judiciary Committee but did not move further as the legislative clock wound down. Committed to seeing the measure passed into law, Chairman Conyers has given the bill priority in his committee, as signaled by its reintroduction so early on the legislative calendar. With sixty-one original cosponsors, the bill already enjoys strong bipartisan support.

Although the few remaining horse slaughter plants operating in the US were shut down in 2007 under state law, the absence of a federal law banning the practice means that American horses are still at risk of being slaughtered for human consumption. In fact, more than 100,000 horses were exported to Mexico and Canada in 2008 for slaughter; In Canada horses are often shot to death while in Mexico some plants still use the “puntilla” knife to stab the horse into a state of paralysis prior to being slaughtered while still fully conscious. The meat is then sold to high-end consumers in Europe and Asia.

“There are naysayers who claim we should reopen the US plants rather than seek to ban all horse slaughter. Clearly, they’ve already forgotten how awful the plants here were,” said Chris Heyde, deputy director of Government and Legal Affairs for the Animal Welfare Institute.

Documents recently released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal just how brutal conditions were at the US plants before they were shut down. Hundreds of graphic photographs taken by U.S. Department of Agriculture employees at one plant show live horses with missing legs, with eyeballs hanging out, with skin ripped from the body and the birth of foals at the plant. Other photos show horses dead on arrival, having succumbed to the miseries of transport.

“The suffering of hundreds of thousands of our horses rests solely on the shoulders of those blocking this bill. Were it not for their stalling tactics horse slaughter would have ceased years ago. Meanwhile an American horse is slaughtered every five minutes. We commend Chairman Conyers and Representative Burton for taking the lead once again to end this cruel practice through introduction of H.R. 503, the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act,” said Heyde.