Sunday, January 30, 2011

Feb 4th Deadline for MA Bill Survival!

Dear Friends,

Please see the message below from our Americans Against Horse Slaughter MA State Coordinator and take action for our horses.

MA State residents are asked to note the Friday 2/4 deadline for gaining cosponsors for the bill. Cosponsors are absolutely necessary for the bill's survival.
We're appealing to Massachusetts residents to call their state Reps/Senators and to be persistent in their request for cosponsoring.

Thanks for forwarding.

For the horses!

Katia Louise
Americans Against Horse Slaughter, California & Western Regional Coordinator

To: Our Massachusetts Equine and Animal Rescue community, and all animal lovers . . .

Thanks for distributing this action request to your members, this bill on Beacon Hill has
until FEBRUARY 4th to gain cosponsors for it!

1. Find your state Rep and Senator here:

2. Call their offices and ask them both to support and cosponsor SD 228 by Senator Stephen Brewer, a state bill banning horse slaughter for human consumption (and related bulk transport) in Massachusetts.

3. Politely remind your MA Rep/Senator that you are a constituent of theirs, and ask them to contact Brewer's staffer Alicia G. Bandy to sign on as a cosponsor promptly.
Alicia is Deputy Chief of Staff & Legislative Director for the Office of bill sponsor Senator Stephen Brewer at (617) 722-1540,  fax (617) 722-1078

And thanks too for forwarding this to all of your Massachusetts friends. Our horses need everyone's help!
A copy of the bill is attached.

Kathryn Webers
Massachusetts State Coordinator, Americans Against Horse Slaughter

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

1 Day left to Vote and ask your questions to Obama

Posted with Courtesy of WFLF's Saving America's Horses

On Tuesday January 25 at 9 p.m. ET, President Obama will deliver his 2011 State of the Union Address, which will be streamed live on YouTube. We have submitted a question to President Obama for an exclusive YouTube Interview that will take place just two days later, on January 27. Votes are needed in order to have this question considered and addressed.

We want to know...
"What's it going to take to get you to stand behind your own commitment to protect wild and domestic horses/ equines from slaughter, (including sale authority) order a moratorium on round ups and a full judicial investigation of BLM WH & B program?"

Follow this link,  sign into your YouTube account and copy and paste part of the question above into the search box.  Please watch and vote:

For the horses and burros~
Saving America's Horses A Nation Betrayed
Wild for Life Foundation

Thursday, January 20, 2011

MA Residents: Call State Senators to Co-Sponsor Horse Slaughter Ban

MA Residents: Call State Senators to Co-Sponsor Horse Slaughter Ban
By Laura Allen
Animal Law Coalition

Massachusetts state Sen. Stephen Brewer plans to introduce and sponsor the attached bill, Senate Docket 228, to ban horse slaughter for human consumption in Massachusetts.
The bill was drafted by Equine Welfare Alliance and Animal Law Coalition working with the Massachusetts state chapter of Americans Against Horse Slaughter.

If you are a Massachusetts resident, please contact your state senator whom you can find by going to this site:   Ask your state senator to co-sponsor the bill to ban horse slaughter by contacting Sen. Brewer's aide, Alicia Bandy at or Phone: 617-722-1540/Fax: 617-722-1078. Do not contact Ms. Bandy yourself; have your state senator contact her. She only wants to hear from state senators interested in co-sponsoring the ban. The deadline for obtaining co-sponsors is Feb. 4, 2011! So there is no time to waste.

While a ban on horse slaughter for human consumption in Massachusetts will not end the slaughter of American horses elsewhere, it will certainly protect horses in Massachusetts and prevent sale and shipment of horses from Massachusetts for slaughter for human consumption. The bill would also prevent buyers from shipping horses for slaughter through the commonwealth. More than anything, this bill will send a message to Congress and the President that Massachusetts supports a federal ban on this arcane and cruel practice of horse slaughter.

Talking Points:
1. Horses are our companions and pets; they helped build this country and still work in the military and law enforcement and, provide entertainment in horse racing, shows and other sports and exhibitions. Horses are not raised for food in the U.S.
2. The slaughter of horses simply cannot be made humane: Dr. Lester Friedlander, DVM & former Chief USDA Inspector, told Congress in 2008 that the captive bolt used to slaughter horses is simply not effective. Horses, in particular, are very sensitive about anything coming towards their heads and cannot be restrained as required for effective stunning. Dr. Friedlander stated, "These animals regain consciousness 30 seconds after being struck, they are fully aware they are being vivisected." The Government Accountability Office and dozens of veterinarians and other witnesses have confirmed that ineffective stunning is common and animals are conscious during slaughter.
3. The FDA does not regulate American horsemeat as food because there is no market for it in the U.S. and most importantly, horsemeat is dangerous, if not deadly, for humans to consume. Horses are given all manner of drugs, steroids, de-wormers and ointments throughout their lives. Horses are not tracked and typically may have several owners. A kill buyer has no idea of the veterinary or drug history of a horse taken to slaughter, and many of the most dangerous drugs have no or a very long withdrawal period. A typical drug given routinely to horses like aspirin, Bute, is a carcinogen and can cause aplastic anemia in humans. Bute is banned in all food producing animals and there is no withdrawal period.

4. The availability of slaughter actually increases the numbers of excess horses on the market. Slaughter creates a salvage or secondary market that encourages overbreeding. Banning slaughter would reduce the number of excess horses. Slaughter is not "an alternative" for so called unwanted horses or horses in need. Slaughter is a for profit industry driven by a demand for horsemeat, and has nothing to do with the numbers of excess or unwanted horses. Slaughter actually encourages overbreeding and adds to the problem of horses in need. The USDA has confirmed more than 92% of horses that end up at slaughter are healthy; they are not unwanted, neglected or abused. Horses are in need right now because of the economy and, in fact, slaughter is still available which is further proof that lack of slaughter does not result in excess or unwanted horses. Just the opposite!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Pro Horse Slaughter "Summit" Not Happy with Dr. Grandin

Jan 6, 2011
By Laura Allen
Temple Grandin, Ph.D. delivered another disappointment to organizers of the misnamed "Summit of the Horse" in Las Vegas yesterday. Dr. Grandin was touted as a "featured speaker" who was said to be designing a horse slaughter facility in Wyoming that would be owned and operated by Wy state Rep. Sue Wallis.          
Prior to the "summit", Dr. Grandin told Animal Law Coalition "I have told Sue Wallis that I want no involvement in her business dealings.  ...[W]e have done no design work." Dr. Grandin was also quoted by Horseback Magazine as saying Wallis had "misrepresent[ed]" her involvement.
At the "summit" Dr. Grandin told attendees that many people had contacted her and urged her not to attend. 
Dr. Grandin was a sobering reminder that this should be about what is best for the horses.
She described herself as "neutral" on the issue of whether to ban horse slaughter for human consumption. And, Dr. Grandin's reluctance to endorse a ban on horse slaughter for human consumption stems from two concerns: 1. She said several times that a "horse's worst nightmare" was to end up at a Mexican slaughterhouse, particularly a municipal abbatoir, where they are repeatedly jabbed with puntilla knives and slaughtered while conscious. 2. Dr. Grandin was skeptical that legislation to close the border and stop export of horses for slaughter for human consumption would be enforceable. She noted that it would be very easy to smuggle horses in closed vehicles or state other reasons for their export, particularly to Mexico.
But Dr. Grandin also told "summit" attendees that only about 20% of animal slaughter facilities operate within acceptable humane guidelines and the rest "slip into bad practices" with a full 10% intentionally treating animals cruelly.
Dr. Grandin said  that in auditing slaughter facilities, 95% of the animals, whether they are horses, pigs, cows, etc., must be stunned effectively on the first blow or shot or the facility should be considered to have failed. She also strongly advocated video monitoring, non-slip flooring and high solid sides to prevent the animals from seeing anything. She agreed there are behavioral signs that can indicate when an animal is afraid and steps should be taken to alleviate the fear.
Dr. Grandin made the point that "you manage what you measure" and told attendees slaughter facilities should be audited using criteria such as whether animals are stunned on the first attempt, whether they vocalize which is a sign of fear, whether they slip or fall, how they are handled by employees, etc.
It was not what "summit" attendees wanted to hear. One man, claiming he was speaking on behalf of most people present, said Dr. Grandin's  standards to prevent cruelty would be "costly". 
But there was no compromise from Dr. Grandin. She pointed out humane euthanasia as an option. She also said people had sent her a number of ways to reduce numbers of excess horses or help horses in need. She then read them to the attendees: birth control including low cost gelding though only one facility currently offers that service, raising awareness  about overbreeding, find jobs for older horses, establish a "horsefinder" that like would help owners network to find homes for horses they cannot care for any longer, establish hay banks and allow hay to be harvested on land that the government pays farmers to leave unplanted, allow in place rescue, create horse parks, or impose surcharges on stall fees at tracks and horsebreeding to cover the cost of humane euthanasia.
In effect, the solutions relayed by Dr. Grandin are (1) stop the overbreeding, (2) find ways to care for horses in need.
And the best way to do that? Ban the slaughter of American horses for human consumption. The availability of slaughter creates a salvage or secondary market that encourages the overbreeding. As Dr. Grandin warned, however, any legislation to ban slaughter must be enforceable.
Was "summit" organizer, Wy state Rep. Sue Wallis listening to the high standards for humane treatment that Dr. Grandin would impose on her proposed slaughter facility should it ever be legally and otherwise operational? Unlikely, as Wallis appears to have been busy angrily shoving reporter and horse advocate Simone Netherlands out of the "summit" conference room. The police were called and Netherlands was treated for injuries at a local hospital. Dr. Grandin is lucky to have escaped unscathed given Wallis' treatment of people who don't agree with her.