House Helps Horses:
Representatives vote against horse slaughter
American horses may soon be safe from slaughter, thanks to two recent landmark votes in Congress. The first prohibits the use of taxpayer dollars to fund the slaughter of wild horses, and the second goes even further by stopping the use of these funds to slaughter any horse in the United States. Sponsored by Congressmen John Sweeney (R-NY), Nick Rahall (D-WV), Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and John Spratt (D-SC), these requirements—attached to appropriation bills—will go into effect for one year at the beginning of the fiscal year in October, if adopted in the Senate and signed into law by the President.
The Society for Animal Protective Legislation (SAPL) and the Doris Day Animal League embarked on a campaign to end the butchering of horses over four years ago, with support from horse industry groups, the humane community and Members of Congress. Compassionate celebrities such as Willie Nelson, Whoopi Goldberg, Toby Keith, Shania Twain, Tony Curtis and Bo Derek have aided our lobbying efforts by giving their names and time to the cause. Thanks to the financial support of an anonymous donor, we were able to publicize our fight with a half-page ad in the May 6, 2005 New York Times. Beth Stewart and Todd Landaker generously donated their time and considerable talents in designing the ad.
These latest votes are a tremendous stride in the right direction. It is critical for us to work together to maintain the pressure on Congress right now. We will continue pursuing all possible avenues to achieve a permanent end to the slaughter of all horses for human consumption, and we encourage you to continue pressing both of your Senators and your Representative on the issue.
You may wish to remind your legislators of the misery endured by horses during transport and slaughter. The potential of horse theft for sale to slaughter as a source of easy money is yet another concern. They might be interested to know that our taxpayer dollars must pay for US Department of Agriculture employees to work at these foreign-owned slaughter plants; banning horse slaughter would result in significant savings. Please send us copies of any responses you receive to assist us in our lobbying efforts.