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2/11/09: Horse Slaughter Bill Is Back In 111th Congress
FOR A FORMATTED LETTER (WORD DOC), EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
Easily modify letter. Copy/paste it into an email or print letter to fax or mail.
Horses at Ciudad Juarez [Mexico]
plant are stabbed in the back until the spinal cord is severed, then hoisted
so their throats can be slit. JERRY LARA: San Antonio News-Express.
FULL CONTACT INFORMATION. Sample letter follows
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The Honorable Senators [YOUR SENATORS’ NAMES HERE]
The U.S. Senate, U.S. Capitol Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
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SAMPLE LETTER — This letter is prepared to inform you about the issue.
Try to shorten and personalize your letter before sending.
Dear Representative and Senators:
The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009 (H.R. 503) is back on the
legislative calendar, after moving through the Judiciary Committee with
bipartisan approval in the last Congressional session. Please help pass this
measure to ban the possession, shipping, transporting, purchasing, selling,
delivering or receiving of a horse or horseflesh for human consumption.
I am counting on you to support H.R. 503, reintroduced 1/14/09 by House
Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. and Rep. Dan Burton. I
encourage my Senators to introduce and endorse a companion bill that also
activates an export-for-slaughter ban on our nation’s horses.
In 2007, state courts closed America’s last three equine processors in Texas
and Illinois. Still, the lack of a federal law let over 100,000 horses go to
slaughter in Canada and Mexico in 2008.
To reach kill plants, horses are jammed in double-decked cattle trailers
that hurt their heads and necks. Food, water and rest are withheld for 24 or
more hours. Horses arrive weak and injured. Some are dead by journey’s end.
Others kept in the over-packed trailers endure hot or cold weather extremes.
Horses who collapse are brutally offloaded.
Slaughter is excruciating for these easily excitable animals. Horses are
goaded into the kill box with fiberglass rods. Workers pummel their faces,
necks, backs and legs. The captive bolt pistols used in Canada often don’t
work on such long-necked animals, and leave them thrashing in pain.
In Mexico, killers use a “puntilla knife” to sever a horse’s spinal cord.
Investigative footage from a San Antonio News-Express expose in 2007 shows
alert horses stabbed repeatedly around the withers. When a horse finally
falls, he is merely paralyzed while workers dangle him by his hind leg and
slit his throat. Some horses even remain sentient when dismembered.
Violent slaughter should never be an alternative to rescue, adoption or
humane euthanasia. Furthermore, without a federal law horse kill plants may
reopen in states where they are not currently banned.
As a constituent, I ask my Representative to back the Prevention of Equine
Cruelty Act (H.R. 503). I urge my Senators to initiate similar legislation
to end slaughter and domestic/global transport of horses for human
consumption. Your feedback matters to me very much.
DEBUNKING THE “UNWANTED HORSE” MYTH
This horse was bought [at auction] by a woman who lives in Michigan. Photo:
Sally Ryan for The New York Times. Horses Spared in U.S. Face Death Across
the Border — http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/11/us/11horse.html
SOURCE: Animal Welfare Institute, PREVENTION OF EQUINE CRUELTY ACT
Pro-horse slaughter organizations and individuals have consistently fought
the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act and Prevention of Equine Cruelty
Act, claiming there is a huge “unwanted horse” population in the U.S.
Proponents of this unsubstantiated claim, including the American Association
of Equine Practitioners, the American Veterinary Medical Association and the
American Quarter Horse Association (all members of the Horse Welfare
Coalition, a group founded and led by the slaughterhouses and represented by
former US Representative Charlie Stenholm of Texas) have lobbied Congress to
block passage of the federal ban.
Their premise is that slaughter improves horse welfare — offering a
“humane” way to dispose of these animals, a “necessary evil” without which
horses would be subjected to neglect, abandonment and abuse. In truth, no
hard data exists to back claims about a burgeoning population of “unwanted
horses.” It is clear that killer buyers working for slaughterhouses are
outbidding other buyers at auction because they have financial incentive.
The market for slaughter horses is set by the international demand for their
meat in other countries, not by the number of supposedly unwanted horses.
A truly humane veterinary organization has emerged to counter the bogus
claims of these veterinary and industry organizations. Veterinarians for
Equine Welfare (VEW) was founded by a group of leading veterinarians to help
educate the public about horse slaughter from a veterinary position.
“Horse owners currently have two options when their horse has reached the
end of his or her trail: They can pay to do the right thing (re-home or
euthanasia) or be paid to do the wrong thing (send to slaughter). A few
thoughtless folks choose to do the latter, and it should not be an option.”
— VEW co-founder Dr. Nicholas Dodman
SOURCE OF INFORMATION / REFERENCE LINKS
United States-100,000 horses slaughtered for meat.
Conyers-Burton Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009 (H.R. 503) Reintroduced
PREVENTION OF EQUINE CRUELTY ACT
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