For immediate release: February 21, 2008
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Americans Against Horse Slaughter
Horse Owners and Advocates to Converge on Congress
Proponents of federal legislation to ban horse slaughter in the United States are gathering in Washington, D.C. on March 4th and 5th to lobby for the passage of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (HR.503/S.311).
Calling the event “Americans Against Horse Slaughter Week,” hundreds of people from all parts of the country will press for passage of pending legislation that would place a federal ban on the transport and slaughter of horses for human consumption.
In 2007, the last three foreign-owned horse slaughter plants operating in the U.S. were closed by state laws. However, horse slaughter plants could open in other states where such laws do not exist. The closure of the American plants has also resulted in the increased transport of American horses for slaughter to Mexico and Canada. Recent investigations into the slaughter practices in Mexico have alarmed many.
“Texas and Illinois took action to shut down the plants,” pointed out one of the event organizers, Julie Caramante, “but as a consequence of the failure to pass a federal bill, there has been an increase in horses going to Mexico where slaughter cruelty is much worse.”
The barbarity faced by horses inside Mexican slaughter plants has been documented by a report in the Houston Chronicle and by an undercover video released by the Humane Society of the United States. Horses are repeatedly stabbed in the neck until their spinal cords are severed leaving them quadriplegic. They are then slaughtered while fully conscious.
“It is urgent that we get the federal legislation enacted into law,” said Caramante. “Every week Congress delays, a thousand more horses face this horrible fate in Mexico and Canada.”
A similar bill, introduced in the Republican controlled 109th Congress, was almost passed in 2006 when the House voted for passage by a wide bipartisan margin of 263-146. However, the session ended without a Senate vote.
The 110th Congress voted unanimously to let the bill out of committee in the Senate, but it is currently being blocked by Senator Larry Craig of Idaho. Craig was recently admonished by the Senate Ethics Committee for improperly using $213,000 of his campaign funds to pay legal expenses related to his arrest for soliciting an undercover officer in a Minneapolis airport
Recent actions by the Texas, Illinois and South Dakota legislatures blocked horse slaughter in those states. “In every case, they heard from tens of thousands of Americans,” said Caramante. She went on to cite a Public Opinion Strategies poll, funded by billionaire philanthropist T. Boone Pickens, which showed that a large majority of Americans want horse slaughter banned.
“Americans don’t want horse slaughter,” Caramante summed up. “Our numbers are growing and more people are joining each day. And those who can’t go to Washington will be calling Congress to finish what the states started. We are not going away.”
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Watch the HSUS Video: Warning- Disturbing Images