Thursday, February 25, 2010

CA Senator Florez Introduces Bill SJR 22 in Support of Fed Horse Slaughter Ban


CA Senator Florez Introduces Bill SJR 22 in Support of Fed Horse Slaughter Ban

This measure would memorialize the Congress to support federal legislation to protect American horses from slaughter for human consumption.  
WHEREAS,
California voters enacted a ban on the slaughter of horses for human consumption and the sale of horsemeat for human consumption in 1998; and
WHEREAS, California horses continue to be transported and sold out of state, making protection of our horses difficult and dependent on the passage of a federal
ban on the movement of horses for purposes of slaughter for human consumption; and 
WHEREAS, The slaughter of American horses has continued unabated despite the closing in 2007 of the three slaughter houses then still operating within the United States;
and
WHEREAS, Federal legislation has been introduced, the Conyers-Burton Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009, that would prohibit the possession, shipping,
transporting, purchasing, selling, delivering, or receiving of horses and other equines in interstate or foreign commerce for slaughter for human consumption;
and
WHEREAS, Horse slaughter is not humane euthanasia and is in fact animal torture and cruelty;
and
WHEREAS, Horse slaughter has been detrimental to the communities where slaughtering facilities have been located, with significant negative impacts to these communities
ranging from nuisance odors to chronic sewer and environmental violations; and
WHEREAS, Horse slaughter has been found to increase and abet horse theft; and
WHEREAS, Horse slaughter is not a means of controlling numbers of unwanted, abandoned, or neglected horses, but, rather, is a for-profit operation driven by a demand for
horsemeat in some foreign countries; and 
WHEREAS, American horses are not raised, fed, or medicated within the FDA guidelines established
for food animals, making them potentially unfit and unsafe for human consumption; and
WHEREAS, In America, horses are an icon of our history, traditions, and culture, revered for their contributions to the building of this country, their companionship,
and their special bond with people; now, therefore, be it  
Resolved by the Senate and the Assembly of the State of California, jointly, That the Legislature hereby urges Congress to support federal
legislation to protect American horses from slaughter for human consumption;
and be it further  
Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate is hereby authorized and directed to transmit copies of this resolution to the President and
Vice President of the United States, the Majority Leader of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and to each Senator and Representative
from California in the Congress of the United States.
Link to Bill at CA.Gov
http://leginfo.ca.gov/pub/09-10/bill/sen/sb_0001-0050/sjr_22_bill_20100210_introduced.html

Learn more about this topic:
"Saving America's Horses A Nation Betrayed"
http://www.savingamericashorses.org/home.html
Protection for All Equines from Slaughter

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Remind IL Legislators of Cavel

Please find an update regarding yesterday's hearing on the IL Legislation H.B. 4812 and what you can do to help. (courtesy of Animal Law Coalition)
It's Time to Remind IL Legislators of Cavel

Update Feb. 24, 2010: The Agriculture & Conservation Committee voted after a hearing yesterday, Feb. 23, 2010, to approve H.B. 4812, a bill to repeal the 2007 ban on horse slaughter for human consumption.
The bill is already on the House calendar for second reading.  
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Click here to find Illinois representatives, and then click on their names and write or call each one and urge them to vote no on H.B. 4812. Please be polite! If you live in Illinois, be sure to tell your representative that you live in his or her district.
Tell Illinois legislators: The voters in Illinois already rejected horse slaughter in 2007 and don't want to see it return to the state. Horse slaughter is cruel and has no place in American culture. The GAO and countless obsrevers have established when slaughter occurred in the U.S., horses were being slaughtered while still conscious. Think of the pain, the terror of these animals; they suffer terribly.
Tell Illinois legislators that banning horse slaughter does not lead to an increase in abandoned or unwanted horses; that is a myth and studies have shown stories planted in the media about numbers of unwanted or abandoned horses are simply false. Horse slaughter actually enables overbreeding, creating a secondary or salvage market. Horse slaughter is driven by a demand for horse meat generally consumed as a pricey delicacy in some foreign countries. 92% or more of horses purchased and sent to slaughter are healthy. This is a for profit practice that should not be subsidized by Illinois taxpayers.
It is a seedy practice that leads to an increase in horse theft, and leaves communities where slaughtering facilities have been located, with significant negative impacts ranging from nuisance odors to chronic sewer and environmental violations.
Also, the U.S. has never tracked drugs that may be in horses sent to slaughter for human consumption. The European Union has realized just how dangerous horse meat may be for consumers and has issued guidelines regarding these horses.  This only underscores horses are not a food animal; they are our companions and pets.
Remind Illinois legislators of Cavel  
A state of the art pre-treatment system was built in DeKalb, Illinois in 2004 for the horse slaughter facility owned there by Cavel International, Inc.  That horse slaughter operation even had special Industrial Waste Permits that allowed much higher (8 times higher) contamination levels for wastewater leaving the slaughter house. But, the Cavel horse slaughter house was still not in compliance. It was not out of compliance a few times. This facility was in significant non-compliance hundreds of times. This does not include the numerous safety violations documented by the FSIS. 
Cavel discharged about 13,000 gallons of wastewater each day from the more than 500 horses slaughtered each week. The wastewater contained excessive levels of decomposition and waste from slaughtered horses. In one report A Cavel employee acknowledges "chunks" from slaughtered horses were oozing out of tanks.  
The DeKalb Sanitary District levied a total of $80,500 for violations from 2006 until the facility was finally closed in 2007. At one point Cavel tried to avert discharge from the facility from entering the District's collection system. 
As with other slaughter houses in the U.S., the Dekalb operation created no good jobs and paid no taxes; it was of no benefit at all to the community, only a detriment.  
For the complete Article and Information, Click here:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Another Kentucky Board, Pushing Slaughter Under the Guise of Equine Welfare?

Another Kentucky Board, Pushing Slaughter Under the Guise of Equine Welfare?


H.B. 398, is championed by the newly formed "Equine Health and Welfare Alliance" (a pro slaughter group) - this bill would create a separate Kentucky Equine Health and Welfare Board. The Board would have the authority to hold public hearings, collect data and issue regulations. ...The Board would report annually to the Governor and the Cabinet and Legislative Research Commission on its work.

horse in stable The Board would have the authority to hold public hearings, collect data and issue regulations.  The Board would report annually to the Governor and the Cabinet and Legislative Research Commission on its work.

One of the first duties of the Board will be to assess the scope of the so-called problem of "abandoned" or "unwanted" horses. The Alliance acknowledges the information disseminated is largely hearsay. Indeed, much of it is false, planted by pro-slaughter interests in an effort to see horse slaughter return to the United States. Horse slaughter, of course, is not driven by numbers of so-called abandoned or unwanted horses, but instead a demand for horsemeat largely as a delicacy in some foreign countries. The USDA reports more than 92% of horses purchased and sent to slaughter are healthy. Nonetheless, horse slaughter proponents pretend slaughter is a service to dispose of "abandoned" or "unwanted" horses to get the public to support their seedy, cruel practice.   

The bill is sponsored by Kentucky state Rep. Tom McKee of Cynthiana and has been approved by the state House Agriculture and Small Business Committee. The full House is expected to vote on the measure soon.

The Board is simply a front for pro-horse slaughter interests that will surely recommend slaughter as an equine "welfare" measure and at the same time control the rescues operated by horse protection advocates who oppose slaughter.  All under the authority of the Kentucky state government.
The Board would not be able to interfere with the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority or the Kentucky Board of Veterinary Examiners.

WHAT YOU CAN DO
Oppose this bill, H.B. 398. This is nothing but a power grab by pro-slaughter interests. If this bill passes, they will have a state sanctioned Board to push for the return of horse slaughter to the U.S., oppose the federal legislation to stop all slaughter of American horses, and control the rescues of advocates working to save horses from slaughter. Kentuckians don't need an industry weighted Board to improve the laws protecting horses or come up with ways to improve their care. They can decide these issues themselves through their local and state governments.


Contact Kentucky state representatives found here and state senators found here (be polite) and urge them to vote NO on H.B. 398. Faxes or calls are best. If you get a voice mail, leave a message. If you live in Kentucky, go here to find your legislators.

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Go here to read how you can help pass the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act, H.R. 503/S.B. 727, now pending in Congress.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Blood Money: "Under the Guise of Euthanasia"

Part 1 of a 3 part series
Feb 15, 2010
By Katia Louise
In response a 900 page FOIA document produced by the USDA[1] providing irrefutable evidence that horse slaughter is INHUMANE, proponents of horse slaughter declare that once the horses arrive at the slaughter plants they are treated humanely, yet nothing can be further from the truth. Proponents assert this nonsensical premise as proof that horse slaughter is purportedly humane, based on the fact that horses depicted in said FOIA were injured when they arrived at the US horse slaughter plants[2] rather than having their injuries sustained during the actual slaughter process.

In a recent report[3] by Animals’ Angels USA, where investigations of horse slaughter focused on conditions and treatment of horses at slaughter plants, auctions, feedlots and during transport investigations, it was found that “the instant a horse is designated a ‘kill horse’, handling and treatment change radically from that normally given horses.





·         Auction employees use wooden sticks, striking horses with full range of motion and force
·         Auction workers hitting in face and jabbing in eyes
·         Transport driver whipping horses over the head, hips and legs
·         Horses were confined on trailer for over 34 hours, without food, water or rest

According to the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act (1978), animals should be stunned into unconsciousness prior to their slaughter to ensure a quick, relatively painless death.  The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is the Agency within USDA responsible for ensuring that slaughter plants are in compliance with the Act.[4]

Evidence of barbaric animal cruelty and suffering has been well documented on US soil long before US horse slaughter plants were forced to close down.  It cannot be emphasized enough that slaughter is NOT humane euthanasia.  "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." -Dr. Lester Friedlander, DVM & former Chief USDA Inspector

As documented by Animals’ Angels in their 2008 investigation of the Juarez, Mexico Horse Slaughter Plant, horses are killed with a “puntilla knife.[5]  “Such a barbaric practice does not render the horse unconscious, it simply paralyzes the animal. The horse is still fully conscious at the start of the slaughter process during which the animal is hung by a hind leg, its throat slit and its body butchered.”[6]Dr Nicholas Dodman BVMS, MRCVS, and Founding Member Veterinarians for Equine Welfare

The USDA affirms that, “Humane stunning procedures are required by the Humane Slaughter Act of 1978, and multiple stuns of an animal are considered INHUMANE.”

A 2008 report by the Canadian Horse Defense Coalition revealed unacceptable practices regarding the stunning and slaughtering of horses inside the plant. The CHDC report states, “They did not necessarily ensure accurate hitting of the horses with the captive bolt”; further that, “systemic neglect, cruel handling, poor slaughter practices, resulting in immense suffering.” 



In 2004 the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found the most frequent violation noted by inspectors in slaughter houses was ineffective stunning, meaning "in many cases ..a conscious animal reached slaughter" in violation of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act[7]. The GAO also noted there had been no effort made to stop the ineffective stunning and the records kept by inspectors were so poor, it was impossible to tell even by 2008 that there had been any improvement.

In 1998 the USDA implemented a survey to determine if humane slaughter requirements were being applied and enforced as specified. In reference to the Act, the USDA asserts that FSIS Veterinarians and inspectors stop the production line if they see any violations of the humane slaughter regulations. In each plant, documentation showed the incidents were handled according to FSIS guidelines, yet onsite follow up by FSIS inspectors indicate this is NOT the case.
As reported by the USDA, “A deficiency in humane handling was noted in each of 13 establishments.[8] These FSIS observed deficiencies included: The inappropriate and inhumane movement of downer animals to the stunning area by use of ropes, chains, and forklift.. overcrowding of animals in holding pens resulting in animals not being able to get to the watering troughs ..improper stunning of both normal and downer animals. Additional past incidents of inhumane handling were documented on Processing Deficiency Records in 15 plants.”

The USDA further reports that “Employees used devices such as whips, a length of garden hose, or plastic tubing to drive the animals. Against regulation, employees were observed to drive animals at a pace that was faster than normal walking speed to ensure full chutes and driveways to the stunning area.”

The USDA FSIS reports that with regard to captive bolt stunners, plants with lower efficiency rates usually resulted from “inexperienced operators, misplacement of the stunner, or misfiring of the stunner.”

The USDA states that, “it is desirable that animals be bled as soon after stunning as possible to utilize post stunning heart action and to obtain complete bleeding. Also, the longer the interval between stunning and bleeding, the more likely that an animal will regain consciousness. It is considered INHUMANE to allow an animal to regain consciousness after the stunning procedure, so the bleeding should be done as quickly as possible after stunning. Although a stunning-to-bleed interval is not specified in the regulations, the stunning-to-bleed intervals were monitored and recorded. The intervals ranged from less than 15 seconds (in six plants) to greater than 60 seconds (in 34 plants).”

The topic of horse slaughter has been called America’s dirty little secret and for good reason. Most people have no idea that this covert industry is not only thriving, but it’s being fueled by an aggressive and well funded international movement to reopen horse slaughter plants on US soil. 

Despite the overwhelming amount of evidence of barbaric cruelty within the horse slaughter industry, the protective legislation that would provide for a Federal law banning it has been stuck in Congress for nearly a decade.

What seems to be a pattern is that the bill is passed by the House and then lingers without movement once it reaches the Senate.  For example, H.R. 503 was passed in the House on September 7, 2006, but the bill was anonymously blocked from a vote in the Senate, so the bill died at the end of the session and then was reintroduced.

Current pending legislation reflects a clear and present need for law enforcement and on Mar 16, 2009 HR 503 was referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.  The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009[9] - Amends the federal criminal code to impose a fine and/or prison term of up to three years for possessing, shipping, transporting, purchasing, selling, delivering, or receiving any horse, horse flesh, or carcass with the intent that it be used for human consumption. The Act reduces the prison term to one year if the offense involves less than five horses or less than 2,000 pounds of horse flesh or carcass and the offender has no prior conviction for this offense.

Despite countless instances of documented cruelty and cases where charges were brought against known offenders, and the government’s own documentation of irrefutable evidence that horse slaughter is INHUMANE; law enforcement agencies continue to look the other way, fines are not enforced and the dirty little secret goes on and on.

Proponents argue if horse slaughter plants were reopened in the US, that horses would be protected from cruelty by the Humane Slaughter Act which is enforced by the USDA FSIS inspectors; however findings indicate that inspectors have become paper pushers and don’t have access to the slaughter area on a regular basis.  “We are the people who are charged by Congress with enforcing HSA, but most of our inspectors have little to no access to those areas of the plants where animals are being handled and slaughtered,” said Arthur Hughes, President of the National Joint Council of Food Inspection Locals.

H.R. 503 and S 727 are two pending Bills that could put all this to an end for domestic equines. H.R 1018 would provide additional protection for wild equines and H.R 305 would outlaw the use of double decker cattle trailers for transporting horses within the US.  Despite the support of many courageous Congressmen and Senators that currently support these Bills, they are being challenged by some of the strongest lobbying powers in recorded history.

What most American people don’t realize is that America’s horses are still facing brutal slaughter in Mexico and Canada, and that these slaughter plants are owned by the same foreign interests that once operated in the US.  

Many policy makers are being mislead, and or bought out by special interests. Many of those who oppose a ban of horse slaughter have been misled to believe that there are allegedly too many so called “unwanted” and “excess” horses and/or that horse slaughter is purportedly humane.  Gov Tracks US currently shows that there are 180 co sponsors of H.R 503, yet new pro slaughter legislation is being introduced on a regular basis in several states across the Nation at an alarming pace. There are now approximately 65 Senators that oppose the Prevention to Equine Cruelty Act or have yet to step up and support it.



Proponents are pushing hard for Americans “to accept and embrace the idea of using horse meat for human consumption”.  Proponents seem to be targeting the states that have FSIS inspections in place for food animals. According to the United Organizations of the Horse (UOH), a nation-wide network of pro slaughter activists reports that legislative action is mounting and taking place in approximately 23 states including Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming--and legislative efforts in support of the horse industry are being considered for introduction in a number of other states including Georgia, Kentucky, New Mexico, Nevada, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington.” Pro slaughter legislation encourages foreign interest to invest in horse slaughter plants in North Dakota and Montana and there are aggressive lobbying efforts to reverse the court actions in Texas and Illinois to re-open horse slaughter plants.
Illinois State Rep. Jim Sacia recently reintroduced a bill to repeal the state's 2007 ban on slaughtering horses for human consumption. Rep. Sacia's bill, H.B. 4812, would also allow horses to be shipped into the state for slaughter for human consumption, with no certificate of veterinary inspection, contrary to current state law governing horses.- Laura Allen, Animal Law Coalition.In what is perhaps even more disturbing, Rep. Sacia has also offered a clause to HB 4812 that calls for a fee of $25 to be charged to the slaughterhouse for each horse slaughtered. This money would then be placed into a fund for eventual distribution to equine rescues for use in expanding their operations or providing care to rescued horses. The ILEHC finds this clause to be particularly repulsive and we want our members and supporters to know that we would never accept a single penny of the proposed blood money.” – Gail Vacca, President Illinois Equine Humane Center
How to Help:
Americans can contact their US representatives in support of HR 503, S727, HR 305 and HR 1018. Thank your representatives if they currently support these bills (180 co sponsors of H.R 503) and to contact the policy makers that haven’t yet stepped up to support this important legislation.
The hearing on IL HB 4812 is scheduled for February 23. Contact representatives to voice your concern regarding the pending IL legislation. Learn more HERE.
Read part one of this report to get the facts about the UOH’s newest campaign effort; a nationwide so-called 'Do Not Slaughter' registry. 
Read part two of this report to see how the humane argument as supported by the AVMA and the AAEP has been used to influence and mislead certain industry leaders and US policy makers.
Learn more:
Veterinarians for Equine Welfare                               
Animal Law Coalition                                               
Equine Welfare Alliance
[1]  Evidence produced by the USDA dated Oct 8, 2008 in response to a Nov 17, 2005 FOIA request by Julie Caramante 
[2] UOH: The Fundamental Truth of Animal Agriculture
[3] Animals’ Angels Compilation Report
[4] USDA FSIS Fact Sheet
[5] Animals’ Angels Compilation Report Horse Slaughter 2007/2008/2009
[6] Horse Slaughter – Its Ethical Impact and Subsequent Response of the Veterinary Profession, by Dr Dodman
[7]GAO-04-247, GAO-08-686T [8] USDAFSISantemort.pdf
[9] H.R. 503 Full Text HR503FullText.pdf PDF of this Article

HORSES URGENTLY NEED YOUR HELP!

Following is a message from long time horse advocate, Gail Vacca in Illinois.  This hearing on HB 4812 is scheduled for February 23.  Gail will be there to testify against the bill with other long-time members of their IL anti-slaughter team.
Please take action to help our friends in IL

THE HORSES URGENTLY NEED YOUR HELP!
The horse slaughter plants and their meat industry allies are at it again. Illinois State Representative Jim Sacia has introduced a bill (HB 4812) that would repeal the 2007 Illinois ban on horse slaughter, which if passed, would ultimately allow Cavel to resume slaughtering horses in DeKalb , IL .

In what is perhaps even more disturbing, Rep. Sacia has also offered a clause to HB 4812 that calls for a fee of $25 to be charged to the slaughterhouse for each horse slaughtered. This money would then be placed into a fund for eventual distribution to equine rescues for use in expanding their operations or providing care to rescued horses.

The ILEHC finds this clause to be particularly repulsive and we want our members and supporters to know that we would never accept a single penny of the proposed blood money. The ILEHC has joined with several other Illinois-based equine rescue organizations to issue a joint letter to the Illinois General Assembly (ILGA) stating our opposition to HB 4812. We have also distributed a joint press release to multiple Illinois media outlets.

How can you help?
We need each of you to call, fax, and email each member of the House Committee on Agriculture. Please make sure to write "Vote NO on HB 4812" in the subject line of your emails and faxes.
House Agriculture Committee Member Contact Information       http://www.ilga.gov/house/committees/members.asp?CommitteeID=626&GA=96

Representative Brandon W. Phelps (D) - Chairperson
(217) 782-5131
(217) 557-0521 FAX
Email: bphelps@yourclearwave.com

Representative Patrick J. Verschoore (D) - Vice-Chairperson
(217) 782-5970
(217) 558-1253 FAX
Email: pverschoore@qconline.com
 
Representative Jim Sacia (R) - Republican Spokesperson
(217) 782-8186
(217) 558-7016 FAX
Email: JimSacia@aeroinc.net

Representative John D. Cavaletto (R)
(217) 782-0066
(217) 782-1336 FAX

Representative Shane Cultra (R)
(217) 558-1039
(217) 558-3481 FAX
Email: cultrash@ilga.gov

Representative Lisa M. Dugan (D)
(217) 782-5981
(217) 558-4553 FAX
Email: duganlm@ilga.gov
 
Representative Robert F. Flider (D)
(217) 782-8398
(217) 782-2528 FAX
Email: bobflider@repflider.com
 
Representative Mary E. Flowers (D)
(217) 782-4207
(217) 782-1130 FAX
Email: flowersme@ilga.gov

Representative Julie Hamos (D)
(217) 782-8052
(217) 557-7204 FAX
Email: julie@staterephamos.org
Representative Donald L. Moffitt (R)
(217) 782-8032
(217) 557-0179 FAX
Email: moffitt@grics.net

Representative Richard P. Myers (R)
(217) 782-0416
(217) 782-5257 FAX
Email: repmyers@macomb.com
 
Representative David Reis (R)
(217) 782-2087
(217) 557-0530 FAX
Email: david@davidreis.org
 
Representative Dan Reitz (D)
(217) 782-1018
(217) 782-0945 FAX
Email: repreitz@egyptian.net
 
THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO TO HELP THE HORSES!
Americans Against Horse Slaughter
www.americansagainsthorseslaughter.com

Learn more about the IL Bill HERE 

Helpful Info from AWI:
Every year since the Illinois General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a bill banning horse slaughter in the State, Rep. Sacia has attempted to overturn this responsible legislation and reestablish an industry well known for its widespread abuse of equines. We are at a loss to explain his support of this abusive industry or his persistence in advocating for it.
  It is unfortunate that the Illinois General Assembly and individuals from Illinois and around the country must continue dealing with this issue year after year, but we must remain vigilant against any and all attempts to overturn the 2007 ban on horse slaughter. It is a shame that our limited resources must be used to repeatedly engage in this fight, rather than expend the resources further protecting horses.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:
If your representative is on the Committee, please call her/him immediately in opposition to HB 4812. To find contact information for Agriculture & Conservation Committee members, visit http://capwiz.com/compassionindex/utr/1/DRTDMAWOZV/JYFXMAWPMX/4677968996 or see below.

If your representative is not on this Committee, please take a minute to call or email her/him in opposition to HB 4812 as soon as possible. Visit http://capwiz.com/compassionindex/utr/1/DRTDMAWOZV/NBQUMAWPMY/4677968996 to find your legislator and her/his contact information. For more information on horse slaughter you may visit http://capwiz.com/compassionindex/utr/1/DRTDMAWOZV/CVGRMAWPMZ/4677968996.

For your convenience, below is a list of talking points to aid in placing calls and drafting emails. Again, please take action for the horses today. They are counting on us!!

Talking Points:
  • Strongly oppose HB 4812 because horse slaughter is a cruel and unnecessary practice.
  • The Illinois General Assembly banned horse slaughter by an overwhelming majority in 2007, and Rep. Sacia’s bill, HB 4812, must be rejected. There is no evidence to support Rep. Sacia’s claims that the slaughterhouse closure has led to an increase in horse abandonment or abuse. Horse slaughter itself is abuse.
  • Ending horse slaughter stopped an overt form of animal cruelty and has only been good for the horses. The state ban is important.
  • The animal welfare community, equine rescues and the majority of Illinois residents DO NOT support the overturning of this ban no matter what Rep. Sacia may claim.
  • If Rep. Sacia actually cared about the welfare of horses he would support the federal ban on horse slaughter which would stop the export of horses from the U.S.
Please ask your representative to urge Rep. Sacia to discontinue his attempts to overturn the horse slaughter bill. Your representative should also urge Rep. Sacia to support the federal bill, Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act (H.R. 503/S.727), in order to truly advance the welfare of equines in Illinois if he is truly concerned with the welfare of our horses. H.R. 503/S.727 ensures horses from Illinois and all over the U.S. will no longer be hauled to Canada or Mexico for slaughter.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Placitas' New Mexico Braces for BLM Round Up

WHOA
Feb 11, 2010
New Mexico

It is illegal to willfully remove or entice a legally wild horse off BLM lands per 16 USC 1334.

There is strong evidence that the BLM is performing/preparing a round up of the Placitas Wild Horses. It should be in the light of day and should be listed as an alternative in the next step of the RMP. The people of Placitas have proven to the BLM and their representatives their interest, concern, and desire to keep these horses in Placitas.

It is not proper in the middle of a Resource Management Revision (Unit 5 of the Rio Puerco) to make so many changes to the BLM before any final decisions. The BLM has opened right of ways, carelessly added new roads apparently to perform this round up, granted grazing permits in a clandestine manner, and has withheld much of the public record as well as misrepresented information regarding the public record.

Moreover, the BLM has deemed most of the Placitas public record as “Out of Scope” of their scoping process. Now Placitans and New Mexicans have the added insult of a round up without the light of day.

This letter will be followed by proof of birth in Placitas of these horses including pictures, as well as proof that they were here long before 1971. This by definition makes them legally wild on BLM lands.  This letter of proof will be shared with all Placitans and friends on the back side of the mountain. WHOA continues to offer and work every administrative remedy available to it. Call WHOA for round up details of the BLM. WHOA has written confirmation of this round up plan from the Honorable San Felipe Pueblo and again, visual evidence of the last 4 days shows it is in progress.

PLACITANS/FRIENDS - What You Can Do.
Though we continue to try every administrative remedy, the BLM will not entertain a discussion of the legal aspects of these Placitas Wild Horses. The BLM has deemed all comments approximately 2000 of them regarding the horses as "out of scope.

  1. Please be out on the BLM walking up and down the Northern most side of it every day, as the apparent plan is to move them through the grazing permittees property to San Felipe Pueblo.
  2. Please be open and professional when you see any BLM employees out there. Ask them what is your name, and what is your mission here? Record their license plate and send to WHOA.
  3. Please take your cameras and recording devices and send WHOA any documentation.
  4. Please send donations to WHOA Legal Fund, PO Box 932, Placitas NM 87043 (Every cent goes to the defense of the horses and the open spaces with they live.)
5. Please call/email your representatives below and ask them: (phone nos. below)
·        Please hold a mediation and include WHOA and all stake holders per WHOA’s request.
·        What did they knew about this round up plan.
·        What new proof does the BLM have that San Felipe owns these horses as they have denied it through the years.
·        Has the BLM used mining permits or other “incentives” to gain cooperation from the honorable San Felipe Pueblo?
·        Did the grazing permittee gain his new permit from the BLM in the middle of this BLM RMP by agreeing to “safe passage” of this secret round up across his property?
·          Will you please stop the round up at least until the BLM’s RMP is done and disputes are settled?
·        Please document the answers to these and your questions and send to WHOA via email.
Downtown Albuquerque Office Representative Heinrich
20 First Plaza NW Suite 603 | Albuquerque, NM 87102
Phone: (505) 346-6781 | Fax: (505) 346-6723

Sarah Cobb for Senator Tom Udall
219 Central Avenue. NW Suite 210
Albuquerque, NM 87102
ph: 505-346-6791

WHOA to Senator Udall and Representative Heinrich -
Dear Representatives - Representative Heinrich, and Senator Udall
  1. Please sponsor a mediation where WHOA and our legal counsel can discuss the legalities of this issue so important to the people of this state and to Placitas. Please ensure all the stake holders are there.
  2. Please stop this clandestine round up.
  3. Please answer the bulleted questions above as well

For the Open Spaces and the Animals that Grace Them,

Patience O’Dowd co-founder WHOA
A public 501 c3 non-profit corp.
PO Box 932
Placitas, NM 87043
505-867-5228
505-610-7644

Permission to cross post granted by WHOA

(more)

The BLM’s plan is to push the horses through a grazing permittees property and over to San Felipe. San Felipe has always supported the horses and had earlier advised WHOA of this plan while asking for information. Over the last 4 days Placitans have observed the BLM employees out around the horses.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Action Notice: Public Comment by Feb 12 re Antelope Complex Roundup

Public Comment needed by Feb 12, 2010.
Wild horse advocates can now use the  Automated Email by IDA to help stop the round up of wild horses:

Support is needed to to oppose the massive removal of 1,506 wild horse in the Antelope Complex located in northeastern Nevada.

The Antelope Complex roundup is currently scheduled to take place this summer or fall. The BLM's Elko and Ely District Offices are seeking public input for the preparation of a preliminary environmental assessment (EA). This is our chance to oppose and highlight that the BLM's determination of the "appropriate management level" (AML) for wild horses is flawed and must be revised before proceeding with yet another ill-conceived roundup and removal of wild horses.
Links to BLM press release and letter of notice:
http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/elko_field_office/blm_information/newsroom/2010/january/blm_seeks_public_comment.html

http://budget.state.nv.us/clearinghouse/Notice/2010/E2010-117.pdf

Monday, February 8, 2010

Horse Slaughter Trends from 2006 through 2009


A study of horse slaughter trends analyzing data from 2006 through October, 2009. See how the findings prove that the number of horses slaughtered is not related to the number of "unwanted horses", but to the demand for horse meat.

By John Holland

Horse Slaughter Trends from 2006 through 2009: 
CLICK HERE


Learn more about pro slaughter propaganda at

Saving America's Horses


Horsemeat Faces Potential Ban in Italy

Horse meat, one of Italy's most popular culinary delicacies, is under threat from a cross party proposal to ban its sale.

By Nick Pisa in Rome
Published: 6:20AM GMT 08 Feb 2010


Italy is the largest consumer of horsemeat in Europe with more than 48,000 metric tonnes eaten every year and it is a common dish among youngsters because of its high iron content.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation 213,000 horses are slaughtered in Italy every year but now politicians from all parties are considering banning its slaughter and sale.

Francesca Martini, a minster with the Italian health ministry and a member of the ruling Right-wing coalition, has put forward the bill, arguing that the "dignity of horses should be respected".

READ COMPLETE ARTICLE HERE!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

BLM Postpones Eagle HMA Round Up

Sunday, Feb 7, 2010
Wild for Life Foundation

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) now shows caution regarding the proposed Eagle HMA roundup, as it could cause imminent harm to wild horses during  foaling season.

The recent Calico roundup was one of the most widely publicized BLM assaults on the wild horse population.  Pro horse advocates recently discovered over 25 deaths due to the BLM chasing pregnant mares across miles of various terrains and away from their legal herd areas.  Evidence indicates that the hoofs were run off the legs of several foals during this round up. WFLF questions the sincerity of the BLM's sudden recognition of foaling season, especially since the BLM showed no concern for the best interest of these wild horses during past round ups. If the BLM goes forward with the Eagle roundup after what they call foaling season, it could be scheduled during extreme summer temperatures; furthermore the new born foals would be placed in imminent harm and risk of death. So just when would be a good time for the BLM to remove wild horses from their rightful range lands?

BLM states that they will conduct further environmental studies and allow public comment prior removing any wild horses from the Eagle HMA. On December 28, 2009, the BLM issued a preliminary environmental assessment (EA) proposing to roundup what they call "excess" wild horses from the Eagle HMA during the month of February 2010. More than 9,000 public comments were submitted following a 30-day comment period.

The preliminary EA also included a proposal to remove approximately 50 wild horses that have migrated away from the Eagle and Silver King HMA. BLM states that these horses are threatening the safety of motorists along U.S. Highway 93 near Pioche, Nev. The BLM states that three "animals" have been hit by vehicles during the past year along HWY 93, but the BLM did not clarify as to what species these animals were. BLM is currently planning to remove these 50 wild horses and may announce their plans next week.

WFLF is concerned about the removal of the wild horses from outside of the HMAs.  Government officials have in the past,  mislabeled wild horses as "feral". Feral horses are not given the same protection that wild horses are provided and considering the way that the BLM treats wild horses, we find this is very concerning.

Link to BLM Update

Friday, February 5, 2010

Calico Round Up Ends Feb 5, 2010

Broken Horses, Broken Promises
Calico Round Up Ends with 1922 Mustangs Captured
Death Toll 39 To Date

The Bureau of Land Management has pulled the plug on the massive roundup of wild horses in the Calico Complex. This remote and starkly beautiful area in northwestern Nevada was home to one of the largest wild, free-roaming herds of wild horses in the United States. 39 horses are reported dead as a result of the winter roundup. This does not include the 25-30 mares that have aborted their late term foals in the feedlot style facility outside Fallon, Nevada. The death toll is expected to rise as BLM begins preparing and processing the horses next week (freeze-branding, gelding of stallions, etc.). However, the public may not know what happens from here on out, as BLM has decided not to provide veterinary reports on the cause of death in the new Fallon facility, according to BLM manager, John Neil. 

Despite a public statement by Don Glenn (December 7 at the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Meeting in Reno) in which he said that the public is welcome to view the roundups at any time (hence no need for a humane observer), the public was allowed only limited access to watch the Calico roundup. Viewing was limited to Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays by appointment only. Only 10 observers were allowed on any one day.  Even on the days the public was allowed to attend, viewers were required to leave between 1 and 2 in the afternoon, even though the Cattoor contract crew and helicopters continued to round up wild horses. Close access was denied for the last two weeks of the operation and injuries could not be detected or documented. BLM has referred to the visitors as “anti-gather advocates”. The contractors admitted that 30 wild horses captured on January 31 were left overnight in a crowded capture corral without water due to muddy conditions which prevented trucks from accessing the capture sight.

Now BLM sights are set on the wild horses of the Eagle Complex in the mountains of eastern Nevada. The area is larger than the state of Rhode Island, yet the number of mustangs allowable according to BLM is 100. At the same time, the number of privately-owned welfare cattle allowed is over 2,700.

 --The Cloud Foundation

Thursday, February 4, 2010

An Open Letter to President Obama

An Open Letter to President Obama

By Laura Allen, Animal Law Coalition
wild horsesI did vote for you. I was intrigued by your call for "change". You signaled a dramatic new course, one of openness and inclusion.  Certainly I applauded your choice of Joe Biden as vice president, a staunch animal welfare advocate.

The promises
During the 2008 campaign you said, "Federal policy towards animals should respect the dignity of animals and their rightful place as cohabitants of our environment. We should strive to protect animals and their habitats and prevent animal cruelty, exploitation and neglect.... I have consistently been a champion of animal-friendly legislation and policy and would continue to be so once elected." You announced that you had co-sponsored legislation to stop the sale for slaughter of wild free-roaming horses and burros. During the election you signed on as co-sponsor to the bill to ban horse slaughter for human consumption.  When asked specifically during the campaign, "Will you support legislation ...to institute a permanent ban on horse slaughter and exports of horses for human consumption", you gave an unqualified "Yes". (HSLF questionnaire)
Today, in January, 2010, you are presiding over one of the deadliest, most cruel and unnecessary government roundups of wild horses ever documented by BLM. 

As of this writing, more than 2 dozen horses have been killed by helicopters used by your administration to run them off their legally protected herd areas and corral them in long term holding pens. The hooves of two little foals have literally torn off as they ran for their lives from the BLM. BLM's Richard Sanford DVM reported on one, "Multiple hoof sloughs were noted and the foal was euthanized for humane reasons. The cause of these hoof abscesses/sloughs was most likely hoof trauma from the gather operations."

Several mares have also aborted spontaneously or miscarried. This after being forced to run miles from a helicopter and trapped in a corral, terrified, traumatized and forever separated from their herds, their families. A long time BLM official whom you promoted to the job of Assistant Director for Renewable Resources and Planning in the BLM, Edwin Roberson, claims the spontaneous abortions are "the result of the poor condition of many of the older mares and ... directly related to lack of forage on the range." Except that they weren't miscarrying on the range and didn't do so until after they were forced to run hundreds of miles, extremely afraid, and lost their families and freedom forever. Your administration would have us believe that the mares all miscarried in the past few days because of years of eating the forage on the range and it had nothing to do with the severe trauma of the roundup they had just endured?

The nearly 2,000 horses that have now been removed from their herd areas are contained in an open, dirt arena, basically a feedlot, with no windbreaks or other protection from the weather. Visit Saving America's Horses - A Nation Betrayed, for more information on this deadly roundup.

(Cont'd) 

Youtube Question to the President: 
“What’s it Going to take Mr. President, to Save America’s Horses?”
AAHS & WFLF Joint Statement: Rise Up America!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What’s it Going to Take to Save America’s Horses?


What’s it Going to Take to Save America’s Horses?

WFLF and AAHS Call On Congress To Step Up For Our American Horses.


In a continuing joint effort, WFLF Humanion Films and Americans Against Horse Slaughter are calling on Congress to expedite passage of HR503, The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act which would end the slaughter of equines, both domestic and wild and halt the export of our horses to Canada and Mexico for slaughter.


During the past Presidential election, then, Senator Obama pledged to support animal rights issues. “I think how we treat our animals reflects how we treat each other and it's very important that we have a president who is mindful of the cruelty that is perpetrated on animals." Senator Obama said.


With strong track records on animal protection issues, both President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden co sponsored past legislation to end horse slaughter.


The BLM’s round of the Calico wild horses has become known as one of the most cruel and unwarranted wild horse roundups our country has ever witnessed. Hundreds of thousands of calls to the President by concerned citizens continue to go unanswered.


Concurrently, our young and healthy horses (race horses, show horses, ponies and wild horses) continue to be transported across our borders to Canada and Mexico to be slaughtered for the sole purpose of wealthy dinner plates overseas. The transport is cruel and inhumane as horses are shipped for days in crowded trucks going without food, water or rest.


The passing of federal legislation to end the cruel horse slaughter activities in America is long overdue. With support from the majority of the American people, we have to ask, “What’s it Going to take Mr. President, to Save America’s Horses?”

See the WFLF video clip presenting this question to the President!


AAHS & WFLF ASK ALL AMERICANS TO PLEASE TAKE ACTION!


Please take a minute to see if your U.S. Representative is already a cosponsor of H.R. 503 and if your two U.S. Senators are co sponsors of S727. If your Representative and Senators are not yet cosponsors, please make a call and ask them to cosponsor the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act.

To reach your federal legislators, please call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121, or for your convenience, you can use this toll-free number 800-828-0498 and ask for a legislator by name (or ask for extension, last 5 numbers of legislator's office phone)


WFLF Humanion Films is in production on the feature documentary film entitled “Saving America's Horses - A Nation Betrayed”. The mission of the film is for the protection of all equines from slaughter.


Humanion Films is the film label under Wild for Life Foundation (WFLF), a California nonprofit public benefit corporation organized for the purpose of protecting animals from cruelty and protecting wildlife from extinction.


Americans Against Horse Slaughter is a non funded grassroots movement comprised of constituents from all 50 States. Their only mission is to end horse slaughter and the transport of horses to slaughter through the passing of Federal legislation


http://www.savingamericashorses.org/home.html
http://www.americansagainsthorseslaughter.com/
http://california-aahsbloggingupdates.blogspot.com/