A week ago, The Costello-Barletta-Titus-Grijalva Amendment to the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform (STRR) Act, H.R. 3763/H.R. 22, was making its way through the legislative process and activists were called to action by the Humane Society of the United States to ask their legislators to support it. The amendment would have been a small step in the progress for legislation to save horses from being transported in substandard vehicles across state lines. According to Holly Gann, Campaign Manager for Horse Slaughter, Equine Protection for the HSUS, “The amendment was not voted on, and the transportation funding bill itself already passed the House…so there will be no additional activity on this specific amendment.”
However, there is still time to help horses in danger. An estimated 100,000 American horses, including those who worked on farms, raced, owned as pets (including children’s ponies) are unbelievably sent to be slaughtered so they can end up on dinner tables of those in countries where horse meat is routinely on the menu. The transport of these doomed animals is about as cruel as the act of slaughter itself. Often travelling long distances to Mexico or Canada, they are crammed into transport vehicles that were never designed for horse transport, Naturally, since they are headed for slaughter anyway, food, water, and answering nature’s call for elimination are all denied them. They must be terrified, confused, overheated, hungry and thirsty. Ironically these animals were once beloved and tenderly cared for by someone; most likely someone who has no idea his or her precious equine friend is being sent for slaughter.
Since American laws that call for the humane treatment of animals do not apply in Mexico or Canada, the killing of animals that have been domesticated and pressed into service by humans time and again to perform a variety of tasks are slaughtered in heinous and abhorrent ways which includes being stuffed into a wooden box by “kill men” who climb up the sides of the makeshift stall and stab the animal with knives until they are dead. And these are not “surplus” or sick animals, According to the HSUS, ” Sadly, the vast majority (emphasis added) of the horses that become victims of this predatory and deceptive industry are young, healthy animals who could have led productive lives with loving owners if given the chance.“
The Horse Fund is dedicated to the advocacy of horses and is actively working to stop the slaughter of horses in Mexico and Canada. Other major animal protection agencies are asking their members and supporters to contact their representatives to support another bill that is still viable. Entitled The Safeguard American Food Exports Act (the SAFE Act), H.R. 1942/S.1214, this bill “…would end horse slaughter entirely by preventing horse slaughter plants from operating in the U.S. and stopping the export of horses across the border for slaughter for human consumption,” says Gann. The intent of the bill is not to protect horses, but people. The text of the bill states its intent is “To prevent human health threats posed by the consumption of equines raised in the United States.” You can read the full text at Congress.Gov. The proximate cause of the bill will protect horses too.
There are a small number of Americans who willingly eat horses; but there is now evidence that horse meat has found its way into the American food supply and is being mislabeled as the meat of what most Americans’ consider as animals raised for food. This means you could be unwittingly eating horse meat when you sit down to a dinner that includes ground meat.
If horse protection is important to you, it’s imperative you contact your legislator now to ask him or her to co-sponsor or support The Safeguard American Food Exports Act (the SAFE Act), H.R. 1942/S.1214
TAKE ACTION HERE
Please call your two U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative to urge co-sponsorship and support the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act. Look up your legislators’ phone numbers here. You simply put in your zip code and you will learn who represents you in the state and federally. When you call, you will get a a legislative aide. You can simply say, “Please let my legislator know I am a constituent and I am calling to ask him/her to co-sponsor the Safeguard American Food Exports Act, H.R.1942/S.1214 to stop horse slaughter in the US and prohibit the export of horse meat to other countries for human consumption. If that sounds like a mouthful, just give the aide the numbers and they’ll know which bill you are calling about.
The aide will mark down your phone call under the “support’ column and that’s all there is to it. That’s it. Thirty seconds of your time and you will have done your part to be a voice for animals today.