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

Monday, October 31, 2005

Working for a permanent ban on HORSE SLAUGHTER


October 29, 2005 (Washington, D.C.) - First introduced by Representatives John Sweeney (R-NY), John Spratt (D-SC), Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and Nick Rahall (D-WV) in June, the “Horse Slaughter Amendment” passed the US House of Representatives by a sweeping vote of 269-158. It later passed the US Senate by 69-28 thanks to the leadership of its sponsors Senator John Ensign (R-NV) and Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-WV). The amendment is intended to temporarily end horse slaughter through a prohibition on funding for regulatory duties associated with horse slaughter.

Despite these overwhelming votes and strong public opposition to horse slaughter, the “Horse Slaughter Amendment” was assaulted earlier this week when certain higher-ups in Congress, including Agriculture Appropriations Conference Committee Chairman Henry Bonilla (R-TX), vowed to axe the language as it went through its final stages on Capitol Hill.

"The House and Senate overwhelmingly voted for my amendment. Yet isolated, special interests ruled the day by allowing the will of Congress to be disregarded. I am deeply disappointed that our Leadership allowed a backroom provision to be included after the voice of Congress was clearly heard,” Congressman Sweeney said. “This type of blatant disregard for the rule of order in Congress and the will of the people is unconscionable. I am committed to ending the gruesome slaughter of horses and resolve to keep up the fight until we achieve victory."

More than 65,000 horses were slaughtered in America last year at three foreign-owned plants. Tens of thousands more were exported and slaughtered abroad. Meat processed in the United States is shipped to Europe and Asia for human consumption.

“The Horse Slaughter Amendment will come into effect in March 2006, but it is temporary and was manipulated from its original intent by underhanded political tactics. Congress should be ashamed at the behavior exhibited by a few over this important measure. Thankfully, we have leaders such as the sponsors of this amendment and the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act fighting for our issues and defending the political process,” said New York Thoroughbred owner John Hettinger, chairman of the National Horse Protection Coalition.

A permanent ban on horse slaughter can only be provided through passage of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, H.R. 503 in the House of Representatives and S. 1915 in the Senate. Everyone concerned about the welfare of America's horses should call their Representative and both Senators today urging cosponsorship and immediate action on these important bills.

We cannot allow the underhanded political actions of a few to destroy the will of the American people on this very important bill.

To find your Representative and Senators please visit

Thank you,
Chris Heyde
Executive Director


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