Monday, April 26, 2010

Hardin, MT says thanks, but no thanks.

 

Hardin, Montana Says "No Thanks!" to Horse Slaughter Plant.

 

CHICAGO, (EWA) - Montana Representative Ed Butcher's plan of building a horse slaughter plant in Hardin, MT has ended.

The city of Hardin unanimously passed Ordinance No. 2010-01 that amends the current zoning ordinance to prohibit the slaughter of more than 25 animals in a seven day period. The action effectively bars the building of a slaughter plant in Hardin.

Mayor Kimberly A. Hammond provided the following statement to Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA).

"I have no deluded thoughts or feelings about the need for proper disposal or care of unwanted horses.

As Mayor of a small city, it is my responsibility to make information available to our public, especially when it concerns public safety, health, and how their tax dollars are being spent.

The way our City Industrial Park is set up, a business is required to hook up to City Water and Sewer. A horse slaughter facility running at 200-400 kills a week would have brought our waste water treatment plant to a screaming halt.

Our City would have been forced to construct a new waste water treatment plant that would capacitate the slaughter facility, at the cost of our tax payers. The City most likely would not have been able to get aid with funding a 6-8 million dollar treatment plant.

I, as Mayor had our City Attorney draft an ordinance that prohibited slaughter houses within the city limits. Upon 1st reading, our city council did not like the verbiage that there would be NO slaughter facilities. They thought it was unfair to the small mom and pop operations that could be looking for a commercial plot. So we changed the language to only prohibit facilities that would kill more than twenty-five animals in a 7 day period.

Our decision was based purely on the adverse impact that a facility of this size and nature would have had on our City Waste Water Treatment Plant."

 

Mayor Hammond's concerns were well placed. Horse slaughter plants are notorious for their waste problems. Horses have almost twice as much blood per pound of body weight as cattle and it has proven very difficult to treat. In the three years Cavel International operated in DeKalb, Illinois, their discharge was in violation every month. The operation moved to Saskatchewan, Canada where it was caught discharging blood into the local river from a tanker truck. That operation was shut down last year because of health violations.

EWA applauds the city of Hardin, Montana for this proactive legislation to preserve the environment of their beautiful city.

Some Interesting Comments on Wyoming article

Slaughter Sue's Plan B site now that Hardin, MT shut her out:

"If Cheyenne wants one, they'd better be well prepared for it, because it's disgusting," ....


Horse slaughter plant may open here

By Michael Van Cassell
mcassell@wyomingnews.com


CHEYENNE -- A Wyoming state representative from Recluse is interested in opening a horse slaughtering facility in Laramie County, according to the director of the Wyoming Livestock Board.

Earlier this year, Rep. Sue Wallis, R-Recluse, was one of several legislators to sponsor a bill that allows the "disposal of" stray animals, as opposed to their sale.

"She is interested in doing something with the horses that have no value anymore," said Jim Schwartz, director of the Wyoming Livestock Board.

Derek Grant, public information officer for the Wyoming Department of Agriculture, said such a plant would have to follow the same rules that other meat facilities do in the state.

"We have not received any blueprints or an application for a permit," he said.

Grant did add that the meat at the potential facility is going to be used for animal feed.

"We don't really know where it's going to be," he said.

Patricia Fazio, who has been involved with animal welfare issues at the state and local level in Wyoming since 1994, said Wallis had "become a pariah among people like myself."

"I question the legality of it. I question the ethical and humane issues involved in this," Fazio said. "I find it totally ghastly and disgusting."

Horses cannot be slaughtered for human consumption because those facilities must be inspected by USDA inspectors, funding for which has been taken away, according to Fazio.

Fazio said such facilities create environmental problems. She said the facilities are noisy and smell.

"If Cheyenne wants one, they'd better be well prepared for it, because it's disgusting," she said.



Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Too graphic to watch but the government says its okay to happen

Chambers of Carnage
A Sweeping Undercover Investigation of Canada's Leading Equine Slaughterhouse
s


In late February 2010, the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC) received hidden camera footage of horse slaughter practices at Viande Richelieu in Quebec and Bouvry Exports in Alberta - the latter known as the largest exporter of horsemeat in North America. The CHDC has compelling proof that puts into question the effectiveness of the assembly-line slaughter of horses. The evidence demonstrates that both the facilities in Alberta and Quebec fail to meet humane slaughter standards used by the CFIA to audit Canadian slaughterhouses.

To view compilations of the footage obtained, please click on the YouTube links below.

WARNING: Content is very graphic and could be disturbing to some viewers.

Bouvry Part I of III
Bouvry Part II of III
Bouvry Part III of III
Richelieu Part I of III
Richelieu Part II of III
Richelieu Part III of III
As of April 9th and 10th, 2010, YouTube has removed the links to our horse slaughter footage. (Viewers can still access that footage on another site simply by clicking on the links above.) There have been tens of thousands of hits on these videos since they were originally posted, which leads us to wonder: could YouTube be caving to industry pressure? These segments include very disturbing footage, including that of a worker being kicked by a horse who had been improperly stunned, then suspended. Her suffering as she hangs upside down, attempting to right herself, is clearly intense and prolonged. This segment also illustrates the dangerous nature of a job that involves the assembly-line slaughter of horses.

Link to Photo Slideshow
Photo stills on Flickr

For footage indexes, report and photo stills, click links below:
Bouvry Index
Richelieu Index

Watch Global TV coverage here. Go to 32:25 for horse slaughter story airing on April 7, 2010.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Open Letter About MO HB 1747

Letters To Leaders
All messages are published with permission of the sender. The general topic of this message is Animal Welfare:
Subject:
Horse Slaughter Bill in Missouri

To:
President Barack Obama
Sen. Richard Lugar
Sen. Evan Bayh
Rep. Mark Souder

April 3, 2010

I am writing today to share my disturbance regarding Missouri House Bill
1747, the passage of which would authorize horse slaughter and negatively affect horses in all states. Three years ago America's last horse slaughterhouse was closed, bringing to fruition the desire millions of
Americans across the nation shared, that horse slaughter will not be
sanctioned within these borders. Horses are iconically held beings,
representing perseverance, freedom, and determination, and we must not
degrade this symbolism or the wish of Americans by validating the
fundamentally inhumane act of commodifying them.

Please allow me this opportunity to elaborate. The duplicitous nature of
this bill is shocking, a unprincipled motive to secure financial wealth
for a few exploiting an already tenuous economy and majority fears. The
reasoning has been presented that slaughterhouses would provide
much-needed capital and employment. This is an irrational argument meant
to invoke societal approval for a condemned industry. Working in a
slaughterhouse is hardly an employment option many would consider except under the most dismal, desperate circumstances. Indeed, jobs provided by a slaughterhouse are among the most dangerous, grueling, and sporadic, exposing excessive injuries and turnover rates. In fact, if you study the past employee demographics of slaughterhouses a disturbing pattern emerges, revealing shockingly exploitative positions and conditions, many times without associated benefits.

Additionally, any slaughterhouses would most likely be European-owned.
Because horse consumption is illegal in America, even rudimentary
economics expose foreign markets as cost-advantageous. Unfortunately, the shipment of horses to be slaughtered in other countries, including Canada, is largely concealed by a greedy industry, but Americans, having already collectively voiced to terminate horse slaughter, would reject the same in other countries. And certainly any American benefits as the result of foreign ownership would be negligible, and establishing potential economic advantage to validate unethical actions is unacceptable and we must not allow finances to compromise our moral parameters.

HB1747, an inherently deceptive proposition, would severely compromise
already marginal protections for other numerous nonhuman animals as well, including companions, essentially eliminating any proactive measures as championed by concerned and compassionate voters. Eroding protections to sanction savagery desensitizes society to animal exploitation, relaying the inaccurate and unethical message that animal abuse is not only tolerated, but it is also promoted. When human animals become immune to nonhuman animal suffering, acceptance of all suffering is realized, an immoral and dangerous legacy for future generations. I therefore respectfully request that you consider your potential participation in an inherently cruel industry that capitalizes on the abuse and killing of
horses and voice censure of HB1747. Please instead practice compassion and respect by refusing complicity in death.

US NEWS and World Report Article

Horse Slaughter Is Cruel, and 'Bute' in the Meat Kills Humans

April 05, 2010 04:04 PM ET | Bonnie Erbe | Permanent Link | Print
By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

(LINK TO THE SCIENTIFIC ARTICLE)

If you can't persuade them for the right reasons, then scare them with the facts.

A new paper in the journal Food & Chemical Toxicology shows how dangerous American horse meat is for human consumption.

Americans should stop selling horses for slaughter abroad because we love our horses and do not treat them as livestock. That's the right reason to stop this incredibly cruel practice. Still, millions of greedy horse owners and breeders send horses off to slaughter because it's more remunerative than not breeding at all or even having them euthanized.

But according to this new paper, humans who consume horse meat (most often overseas and especially in France, Italy, Japan and Belgium) are at risk for being poisoned by Phenylbutazone or "bute." It's a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug originally developed for treating severe cases of arthritis, but it was later found to...

"cause serious and lethal idiosyncratic adverse effects in humans. Sixty-seven million pounds of horsemeat derived from American horses were sent abroad for human consumption last year. Horses are not raised as food animals in the United States and, mechanisms to ensure the removal of horses treated with banned substances from the food chain are inadequate at best."

Bute is still routinely used not just at the thoroughbred racetrack, which is what the authors of this paper studied, but also by horse owners nationwide to mitigate pain for all sorts of horse injuries. Horses do not have the same lethal reaction to bute that humans can display, although long-term use of bute for horses can create ulcers and other organ damage.

The paper's authors call it a "significant health hazard" for people to consume horse meat. I hope this information is highly promulgated throughout horse-consuming societies in Europe and Asia.

Monday, April 5, 2010

STRAIGHT FROM THE HORSE'S HEART

WHO'S ON FIRST?

Guest Editorial by Vicki Tobin, Vice President of The Equine Welfare Alliance

EWA Exec Speaks out on Anti-Horse Activists

The slaughter proponent’s arguments bring to mind the old Abbott and Costello routine because you never really know what they are saying. They talk back and forth to each other with neither, understanding the other or making sense.

Each new year brings new arguments and scare tactics from our opponents. When each talking point is disproved, they move on to the next. Every once in a while, they throw a curve ball and resurrect an old argument thinking it just might stick this time around.

We, on the other hand, have been consistent in our message. Humanely euthanize your horse. End your horse’s life by humane euthanasia as we do with all non-food animals in the United States. It is the preferred method by all major veterinarian associations. Any competent veterinarian will tell you that. Veterinarians don’t carry captive bolts in their medical bags or advise their clients to send their horses to slaughter. Veterinarians for Equine Welfare has an excellent updated white paper on this subject.

Dr. Lester Friedlander, DVM & former Chief USDA Inspector stated, “The captive bolt is not a proper instrument for the slaughter of equids, these animals regain consciousness 30 seconds after being struck, they are fully aware they are being vivisected.”

When the slaughter debate started heating up in the late 2000s, the argument of choice was; what are we going to do with old, lame, sick horses? Jeez, any responsible horse owner knows the answer to that. Pick up the phone and call the vet.

Next was the argument that horses are livestock. While many categorize horses as livestock, that’s not the issue. The issue is that of a food animal vs. a non-food animal. US horses are not raised as food animals but for other purposes. Mounted police are not riding food animals. Therapy horses are not food animals. Race horses are not food animals. The country does not use food animals in military and presidential funerals. Have you ever seen a riderless cow? Dressage, cutting and reining horses are not food animals. Livestock (food animals) do not perform any of the functions that horses perform in our society.

US horses must have maintenance medications that are prohibited in food animals to keep them at peak performance and healthy. There is no tracking of horses as there is with livestock. Unlike horses, you can trace livestock back to the original farm. It is obvious by the opposition to NAIS last year that owners don’t want horses tracked.

This brings me to the “abandoned” horses. If you can’t find the owners to charge them for the crime they have committed, how are you going to certify the horses are free of prohibited substances? A horse that has received a prohibited substance can never enter the food chain. There is no withdrawal period. Those are the EU rules and the FDA rules.

We have been warning of the drug issue for years. We were made the brunt of many a joke and constantly laughed at. We were so ridiculously funny, the EU took notice. It is important to note that all current anti-horse propaganda never addresses the drug issue.

There have been many scare tactics such as the AQHA release in 2008 warning owners that if the federal legislation passes they won’t be able to transport their horse across the street. Senator Landrieu promptly responded with a release stating the intent of the law and we never again saw that argument.



One of the most often used arguments is property rights. Nobody can tell slaughter proponents what they can or cannot do with their property. This is one of the more laughable arguments since there are many laws on the books telling property owners exactly how to dispose of property such as appliances, batteries, toxic substances, cars, etc. There are even laws in certain areas on horse disposal. Owning property does not give the owner the right to abuse the property, especially when the “property” is a living, sentient being.

Now we are hearing how inhumane slaughter is in Mexico and Canada. Slaughter proponents conveniently forget that they never uttered a peep when thousands of horses were sent over the borders when the US plants were open. Why was it okay then but not now? They never mention the inhumane slaughter that took place in the US and dismiss government FOIAs. The truth is that no matter where horses are slaughtered it will never be humane.

They complain of the long distances in travel now but didn’t have any concerns when horses were being trucked across the US to slaughter plants and also to plants in Mexico, Canada and Japan. All documented humane violations in shipping have taken place within US borders and yet, they oppose the slightest change to improve conditions such as a ban on double deckers. It is quite obvious; they have no concern for horse welfare, only lining their pockets. There were years and years of investigations and FOIAs of the domestic plants and never was an attempt made to correct anything.

The latest comments we are seeing is that they will start raising horses for slaughter. I’m not sure what type of business model will survive paying thousands on feed for pasture ornaments to bring in revenue of $300-$600 per horse from a kill buyer.

This is yet another shining example of their refusal to address the issue of excess horses. Instead of addressing the mess they have created, they’re going to start a new population of horses. Slaughter at all costs! One only needs to follow the rules of engagement to be a diehard anti-horse person.

Rule #1: Never admit responsibility for producing the excess horses going to slaughter.

Rule #2: Call horses “unwanted” so you can blame the horse. Call slaughter harvesting or processing so that it is more palatable.

Rule #3: Never take responsibility for horses you choose to buy or breed and transfer all blame to the “radical vegan tree huggers” that oppose slaughter.

Rule #4: Blame the rescues.

Rule #5: Blame the legislators.

Rule #6: Exploit Native Americans for the few that have chosen to go against their teachings and spiritual beliefs that revere and respect the horse.

Rule #7: Blame anyone that dares to speak up publicly for the horses, make sure you publish a list of these terrible people and call for a boycott. Even include celebrities that have raised millions of dollars for farmers. All people that want horses treated humanely must be exposed. Wait a minute. Doesn’t that sound like the organization that they so vehemently oppose? They blast them but when they do the same, it’s okay.

Rule #8: Be sure to present all propaganda to legislators with nothing to back the statements but emphasize it as fact.

Rule #9: Create bogus polls and surveys that slant questions and circulate only to those sharing your view. Then, present the results to Congress as the view of horse owners across the country.

Rule #10: State that all rescues are full and become combative when asked for the data to back the claims.

Rule #11: Ignore that slaughter is still very much available and blame all horse woes on the closure of the plants. To fully utilize this rule, under no circumstance, mention or blame the economy. The impact of the economy does not play a role in the horse industry. That is the only industry in America that would not have been impacted by the economy if the slaughter plants had remained opened.

Rule #12: Ignore the horrific investigations and FOIAs and always state that slaughter is a good thing. After all, it allows irresponsible breeders to breed and dump so they can breed more. It allows owners that are abusing and neglecting their horses to hide their crimes by having the horse slaughtered. Then, chuckle and whisper under your breath, America’s Dirty Little Secret.

Rule #13: Never discuss present society and culture. Always refer to 70 or more years ago when some people were forced to eat horse meat but make it sound like present day and thus, you may be able to create a false market in the US.

Rule #14: Always state, with emotion, that slaughter opponents are trying to change other country’s cultures. With even more emotion, state that the horse meat is feeding the hungry in foreign countries even though the hungry cannot afford the gourmet priced horse meat.

Rule#15: Never mention the largest case of neglect in the US occurred in 2005 when all three plants were operating.

Rule #16: Ignore all studies and data on abuse and neglect.

Rule #17: Be sure to always interject the slippery slope. It is your greatest weapon to scare farmers and ranchers into believing that ending the slaughter of a non-food animal will bring down livestock slaughter.

Rule #18: Never mention that slaughter is a predatory, demand driven business and especially don’t mention that US plants imported horses to fill the demand when demand increased. In years when the demand was down and fewer horses were slaughtered, just state that there were fewer “unwanted” horses in those years. Don’t ever admit that slaughter houses only slaughter the number of horses needed to fill the demand. Let everyone think they are performing a service to rid the US of “unwanted” horses.

Rule #19: Lobby against any legislation for animal welfare, even if it’s something you feel you should support. At all costs, even good legislation from any animal “rights” organization for the humane treatment of any animal must be prevented.

and the two most important rules…

Rule #20: Never directly answer a question, especially when facts are requested. Doubletalk and then change the subject. It is imperative this rule be invoked when asked to discuss the drug issue and how unsafe US horses are for human consumption.

Rule #21: Learn the art of spinning. Always accuse the pro-horse advocates of being emotional, attack their credibility and spin the facts. This is especially important when indisputable facts are provided. When footage or photos are provided, be sure to state with authority they are fake or have been altered. Always state that because they are against slaughter that they are responsible for the horses suffering.



Slaughter proponents don’t stop at domestic horses. They must target all horses, including our wild horses. Perhaps they haven’t read the EU regulations that state that the only wild equidae meat that will be accepted is zebra meat – or did they?

Rule #1: Ignore mitochondrial DNA studies and start calling all wild horses and burros feral so they can be shipped to slaughter.

Rule #2: Be sure to send and publish propaganda on how the wild horses and burros are overpopulated and ruining the ranges.

Rule #3: Never, never mention the millions of privately owned livestock that have turned our public lands into a giant feedlot.

Rule #4: Never mention the hundreds of millions of dollars the taxpayers shell out for the private livestock grazing on public lands.

Rule #5: Dismiss and never mention the GAO studies that prove the livestock, not the horses, are ruining the ranges.

Rule #6: Never mention the pictures of the horses that died of thirst laying alongside the fences that cattle ranchers erected to block the wild horses from using the water sources.

Rule #7: Ignore all footage and photos of the healthy, thriving horses being removed from public lands. At all times, state the horses are starving and removing them is for their own good.

Rule #8: Provide your own wild horse and burro population counts. Make up a staggering number and state with authority and conviction the data source is Google Earth and begin circulating and publishing the number as fact in all communications.

The best argument, by far, is that because of the “ban” on horse slaughter, horses are being starved, neglected and abandoned. This is quite amusing since there is nothing stopping anyone from sending their horse to slaughter. 2008 saw the second highest slaughter count since 1995. Shouldn’t they wait until slaughter isn’t available to make such a statement? In one swooping statement, they disprove their own argument and prove our point that slaughter does not prevent suffering.

Why are owners allowing their horses to suffer instead of sending them to the killers? Did it ever occur to the slaughter proponents that owners are holding on to their horses because they fear the horse may end up on a slaughter truck if they sell or donate the horse?

The bottom line is that slaughter proponents don’t have a platform. They have no facts or data to back their statements and as a consequence, they continually have to invent new arguments and scare tactics.

It is time to call the ball game. Call your legislators to stop this insanity and ask that they pass the legislation to protect our horses. Pick up the phone and do it now.

Friday, April 2, 2010

USDA and CFIA studies unreliable?

April 2, 2010
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
  
Contaminated Horse Meat a Health Risk, According to Study

 

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(1), which was authored by Drs. Nicholas Dodman(2), Nicolas Blondeau(3) and Ann M. Marini(4), 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.
 
The study also traced records on sixteen TB race horses that were given PBZ on race day and would have also entered the food chain had they not been rescued. The study was limited to race horses because of the availability of drug records, but phenylbutazone is one of the most common drugs used in the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries in horses.
 
Because of the bone marrow toxicity caused by PBZ in humans, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set no safe levels of PBZ and bans its use food producing animals, including horses. While PBZ is but one of the numerous banned substances that are routinely given to US horses, it is one of the most dangerous.
 
Defenders of horse slaughter have long pointed to USDA testing records which consistently showed no positive results for PBZ. The new study shows that the USDA testing could not have been accurate. Indeed, the study uncovered a pilot test performed by the USDA in 2004 and 2005 that used a different testing technique and found 8.3% of the meat to be contaminated with PBZ. The pilot program had been subsequently discontinued.
 
The study estimates that sixty seven million pounds of horse meat derived from US horses were sent overseas for human consumption in 2008. If 8.3% of this meat contained phenylbutazone residues, it would translate to over 5 million pounds of contaminated meat.
 
Opponents of horse slaughter have long warned that US horses are not raised as food animals and mechanisms to ensure the removal of horses treated with banned substances from the food chain are inadequate at best.
---
 
Equine Welfare Alliance recently issued a discussion paper with their partners, Canadian HorseDefence Coalition on the serious drug issue concerning North American horses. The comprehensive paper covers concerns over the ability to meet compliance with European Commission regulations on food safety.
 
 
 (1) Article is cited as, Dodman, N., Blondeau, N., Marini, A.M., Association of phenylbutazone usage with horses bought for slaughter: A public health risk, Food and Chemical Toxicology (2010), doi: 10.1016/j.fct. 2010.02.021

(2) Tufts University, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, North Grafton, MA

(3) Institut de Pharmacologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire - I.P.M.C, UMR 6097,
C.N.R.S/Universit√© de Nice Sophia Antipolis, 660 route des Lucioles, Sophia Antipolis

06560 Valbonne, FRANCE

(4) Department of Neurology and Program in NeuroscienceUniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD.


John Holland
540.268.5693
 
Vicki Tobin                         
630.961.9292
 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Chamber of Horrors in Canada

HSUS URGES CONGRESS to Ban Export of U.S. Horses to Slaughter in Light of New Footage

Canadian undercover video shows horses conscious as they are shot multiple times

New undercover video footage released Tuesday by the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition confirms the horrible abuses inherent in the slaughter of our horses for human consumption, and illustrates the need for the U.S. Congress to bar the export of tens of thousands of U.S. horses each year to slaughter plants across the border. At the Bouvry Exports plant in Canada, a chestnut horse is shot three times while a gray mare waits in the kill box. As the chestnut horse panics and struggles—as horses are biologically wired to do—the the gray mare is shot. She remains alive and kicking even as two more .22-caliber shots are fired at her face. She languishes. The pattern repeats itself.

The CHDC's video footage, titled "Chamber of Carnage," further demonstrates what The Humane Society of the United States has documented for years about horse slaughter: Foreign-owned horse slaughterhouses have set up shop just over the border, and U.S. horses will continue to suffer both during long-distance shipping and then during a gruesome butchering process—all for the culinary whims of foreign gourmands.

To see the "Chamber of Carnage" video, click here. Some horses in the CHDC footage bear tags from the United States Department of Agriculture, indicating animals shown in the video originated in the United States.

"Every day while Congress delays, 'killer buyers' are transporting American horses to Canada and Mexico, and there the animals are meeting an awful demise, often after a painful and harrowing journey," said Wayne Pacelle, The HSUS' president and CEO. "This new investigation affirms again that there is unmistakable cruelty in this industry and it will only end when the Congress passes the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act."

The footage is consistent with similar footage obtained by The HSUS of horses cruelly butchered in foreign-owned plants on U.S. soil as well as that of horse slaughter in Mexico. One theme runs through every investigation – U.S. horses are generally not raised for food and where this trade occurs, there is inherent abuse.

Horse slaughter is not a form of humane euthanasia — something The Canadian Horse Defence Coalition's video clearly shows. Horses are trusting, majestic creatures, and extreme flight animals. They fight or try to flee, and they suffer in these slaughter houses. Approximately 100,000 U.S. horses are purchased by "kill buyers" at auctions across the United States, who frequently outbid good horse owners to secure the fattest, healthiest horses, and are then transported cross-country often with no food, water or rest to slaughter plants in Canada and Mexico, where they are butchered. Despite Canada's regulations and inspection standards for plants that process horses, this investigation shows how ineffective they are at preventing suffering. 

Nicholas H. Dodman, D.V.M., one of the world's most noted and celebrated veterinary behaviorists, a founding member of Veterinarians for Equine Welfare, and Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine professor, reviewed the videos for The HSUS and echoed the same sentiment: "Noise, blood and suffering is what you get at the Bouvry equine slaughter plant: Horses kicking after they have been shot, sinking down and rising up; sometimes periods of struggling or paddling before a second or third shot has to be administered. This atrocity goes against all veterinary guidelines for humane euthanasia. Terror and suffering is the rule at this equine house of horrors...and all in the name of the gourmet meat market."

The HSUS joins CHDC and hundreds of other horse industry and animal welfare groups in calling for the immediate passage of H.R. 503/S. 727 to prevent our horses from the cruelty of horse slaughter for human consumption. This legislation, authored by Reps. John Conyers, D-Mich., and Dan Burton, R-Ind., and Sens. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and John Ensign, R-Nev., has 181 House cosponsors and 29 Senate cosponsors.

-30-