The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Citizens and Legislators Advocate for Horses!

  • Bill Introduced to Restore Prohibition of Wild Horses to Slaughter...
    "Congressman Nick Rahall of West Virginia introduced a bill (H.R. 297) to the House of Representatives on Jan. 25 that would restore the prohibition on the commercial sale and slaughter of wild horses and burros.

    In a speech to the 109th Congress, Rahall said, 'My legislation is necessary because of 36 lines that were hidden away in the recently enacted Consolidated Appropriations Act that overturned more than 30 years of national policy on the protection and management of wild free-roaming horses and burros. This backdoor legislative maneuver, enacted without public notice, will make these animals available to the highest bidder for processing into commercial products.'

    Rahall went on to say that there are other alternatives for controlling wild horse and burro populations, such as adoption, sterilization, relocation, and placement with qualified individuals and organizations. 'To suggest that an acceptable solution to a federal agency’s (the Bureau of Land Management, or the controlling agency for the care of the wild horses and burros) management shortcomings is commercial slaughter is an irresponsible approach to our public lands and the wildlife that roam them.'"

    editor's note: Thank you, Rep. Rahall! If you would like to send your thanks to him and co-sponsor Congressman Ed Whitfield of Kentucky, please send them a note through their websites: Rahall | Whitfield.PLEASE CONTINUE TO CONTACT YOUR SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES! YOU CAN FIND LINKS ON THE SIDEBAR TO THE RIGHT.

  • Activists Campaign to Stop Horse Slaughter...
    "Last November, the US Congress approved an amendment that reversed three decades of US government policy prohibiting companies from slaughtering wild horses living on public lands...Lawmakers buried the language in the 3,000-plus pages of the FY 2005 Omnibus Appropriations Bill that President Bush signed into law last December.

    'It’s an American tragedy,' said Karen Harkson, President of Equine Voices Rescue and Sanctuary in Amado, Arizona. 'These horses suffer terribly before they are butchered. Eighty percent of those horses are healthy, and many more of their [former] owners don’t realize that they will be slaughtered.' The non-profit Equine Voices Rescue and Sanctuary rescues horses and then works to have them adopted.

    ...According to Markarian, horses on public lands are being targeted because they are seen as competition for forage by the cattle industry. 'Cattlemen claim that the cattle are in competition with the horses and burros for forage because of recent droughts in the West in the recent years,' he said. Markarian, however, pointed out that the approximately 37,000 horses and burros are sharing the same land with three to four million cattle. 'It’s nearly one horse per 100 cattle, but the ranchers want the horses and burros off public lands,' Markarian said. 'Cattle ranchers get a free ride on the backs of American taxpayers. They are using public lands and the American taxpayer is paying for it.'"

  • Measure outlaws sale of horse meat in state...
    "Horse lovers want New Mexico to ban the sale of horse meat in New Mexico.

    The Placitas-based Wild Horses Observation Association says foreign companies often buy horses for slaughter for human consumption.

    The association says no horse meat is sold in New Mexico. The group says recent federal legislation allows some wild horses to be slaughtered. They say that endangers New Mexico’s wild horses.

    The Senate Public Affairs Committee has given a do-pass recommendation to the measure. Senate Bill 67 is sponsored by Republican Senator Steve Komadina of Corrales."

  • Animal rights group wants to give doomed horses to tribes--Idea latest in furor over controversial legislation...
    "An animal rights group hopes to muster support to defeat legislation that they say would result in thousands of wild horses being used as food for Europeans. Rather, the group would like to give those horses to Indian tribes.

    The controversy started when Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., sponsored legislation that reversed a longstanding Bureau of Land Management law. For years the BLM required people adopting wild horses to prove over the course of a year that they could adequately care for them before the agency would grant legal ownership. Burns’ legislation allows the bureau to sell horses that are 10 or older, or that have been unsuccessfully offered for adoption three times, without the waiting period.

    The law outraged many who worried that the horses could end up in countries like France and Belgium where horse steaks are considered a delicacy...

    ...Rep. Nick J. Rahall, D-WV, this week introduced legislation to put the waiting period back in place.

    'The current slaughter policy does not acknowledge the fact that humane alternatives exist and federal agencies have the authority to carry out such actions such as adoption, sterilization, relocation, and placement with qualified individuals and organizations. To suggest that an acceptable solution to a federal agency’s management dilemma is commercial slaughter is an irresponsible approach to our public lands and the wildlife that roam them,' Rahall said. 'Very few icons of the West remain, and wild horses are certainly a symbol of the frontier era and our nation’s spirit. To allow them to be slaughtered without exhausting all other options, such as adoption, is an affront to our history.'

    The Alliance of Wild Horse Advocates, comprised of over 40 wild horse and burro advocacy groups from dozens of states, is encouraging people to support Rahall’s legislation.

    'We commend [him] for introducing this bill. He has taken an important step in the history of our country because, if this law is not changed, America could lose its wild horses forever. We will not allow our wild horses to be slaughtered so they can be served for dinner in France, or anywhere,' said Willis Lamm, an alliance member..."

  • Hi-Desert woman dedicates her life to rescuing horses
    "From wild mustangs to thoroughbred race horses, King rescues horses that would otherwise be slaughtered or put down...

    ...Indigo is a male that she rescued from an auction. King says he probably would have ended up in a slaughter yard.

    'A lot of times meat buyers look for big bones that they pay nothing for and then fatten them up and make a lot of money off them.'

    And King says often times that why these horses are brought to sell in the first place. They may be racing horses who are no longer winning and making money.

    But King says they still have a lot to offer the people who ride them or the families she helps place them with.

    'I'll get kids with low self esteem and see them bond and see both the kid and the horse come alive.'"


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