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, May 23, 2005

Ford Launches "Save the Mustangs"

Go see for yourself at
One of America’s most cherished animals is facing an uncertain future, but you can help “Save the Mustangs.” To millions, the Mustang represents freedom and the unbridled American spirit. Help preserve the wild Mustang legacy by supporting “Save the Mustangs” – a fund created by Ford Motor Company in collaboration with the United States Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Department of the Interior - Take Pride in America. The fund allows us all to help ensure the future sustainability of these wild horses.

Bravo! Ford Motor Company!

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Thank you.

(Received in my mailbox May 20)

I'm so pleased to tell you that last night, thanks to your action, the U.S. House of Representatives voted in a landslide -- 249-159 -- to ban the sale of wild horses for slaughter! Americans were outraged last December when a secret rider in a budget bill gutted the federal protections afforded to wild horses for 34 years, an action that allowed "killer buyers" last month to ship 41 mustangs to an Illinois slaughterhouse, which quickly killed these majestic animals so they could be served up on dinner plates in Europe and Asia.

U.S. Representatives Nick Rahall (D-WV), Ed Whitfield (R-KY), John Sweeney (R-NY), and John Spratt (D-SC) have led the charge to end horse slaughter. As Congressman Rahall stated after last night's victory, "The very notion that wild American horses would be slaughtered as a food source for foreign consumption abroad has struck a chord with the American people. Tonight, the people's House of Representatives acted on the will of its constituents."

Congressional offices told us they were flooded with phone calls and emails all week asking them to support the Rahall-Whitfield Amendment to the Interior Appropriations Bill, and I can assure you that your participation carried the day in this decisive victory for horses. You can click here to find out how your Representative voted. If your Representative voted "Aye," please thank him or her for protecting wild horses, and if your Representative voted "No," please let him or her know how disappointed you are. You can reach your U.S. Representative, John Duncan, through the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.

Our efforts for horses will now turn to the U.S. Senate, and the decisive margin of victory in the House will undoubtedly create momentum. If you would like to help us do even more to protect wild horses and pass other animal protection laws, please make a donation. The HSUS made this a priority and together we accomplished this great victory. Thank you so much for helping us win this critical legislative battle -- and for helping wild horses to run free again.


Wayne Pacelle
President & CEO

Thank you all for making calls, spreading the word and caring.

Special to ESPN...

'They have to be free'
By William Nack, Special to

This is a good article to read about the entire mess from start to finish. There's lots of good research and if you want to get caught up on the issue, read on...

Indeed, two months earlier, Sen. Conrad Burns, a fast-yodeling former auctioneer from Montana, quietly inserted into a 3,000-page appropriations bill, sight largely unseen, a brief rider that undercut more than three decades of lobbying and legislative action aimed at protecting America's wild horses from slaughter.

So whether it was the inspiration of the many or an impulse of a few, the students of a school nicknamed the Mustangs lifted the latch on the corral's gate, and flung open the door to yet another signature moment in the long-running battle for the preservation of wild horses in the West.

"They have to be free," students said before the herd ran off into the surrounding streets...

...The Bureau of Land Management insists these public lands cannot sustain more than 28,000 wild horses and burros – at least not while the drought-stricken lands must also support other wildlife and some 4 million cattle owned by ranchers who enjoy huge federal subsidies to fatten their livestock – so it rounds up thousands of them each year to keep the herds under control....

..."The thing that is so damaging about this Conrad Burns amendment [Rider No. 142] is that he passed it on an appropriations bill that no one knew about," says Rep. Ed Whitfield, a Republican from western Kentucky. "I've not talked to one senator who knew about it. And I certainly know that nobody in the House knew about it. Or the vast majority did not know about it. We didn't have a lot of time to vote on that omnibus bill. We were all shocked when we found out it was in there. It is precisely the way the legislative process should not work.

"I don't know his motivations, but more than likely he was protecting the [cattle] ranchers who have leased those lands."...

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Family saves horse never meant for slaughter...

Canadian family saves horse from DeKalb slaughterhouse
By Leah Hope
May 19, 2005 — DeKalb police have investigated several claims of horses wrongly taken to slaughter. Usually their intervention comes too late for the horse. But a panicked call from a Canadian man started another investigation to save Montana.
If Montana could talk, what a story she would tell. Montana was a Canadian family's pet horse that was nearly slaughtered in DeKalb.

"She was literally minutes away," said Officer Jason Watson, DeKalb police.

"She saw what was going on. She heard the distress from those animals," said Barb Boubelik, Lazy Maple Equine Rescue.

Montana was taken to Cavel International, one of three horse slaughterhouses in the United States. Hundreds of horses are brought there each week, and their meat is sold in Europe.

Montana's owners say they had no intention of selling their family pet for meat. Roxanne and Cory Goodon bought Montana when their son was born. When it appeared Montana wasn't a good riding horse they sold her at an auction. The Goodon's say they were told that she would go to a rodeo. But after the sale they tracked down the horse buyer.

"He basically told me your horse will by noon tomorrow and hung up on me," said Cory Goodon.

Late last week, the Goodon's got help from DeKalb police and some local horse lovers to buy back Montana.

"The owners did the right thing by tracking her down and buying her back. And I would like to say if you are going to sell a horse, do not take it to an auction," said Officer Rizda Reese, DeKalb police.

"It is deceptive of these people to be buying up horses for meat and not saying what they are doing with them," said Gail Vacca, National horse protection coalition.

But the general manager at Cavel says that horse sellers should know that slaughterhouse buyers do a lot of their buys at auctions and that their slaughter method is a humane way to dispose of a horse.

"Even if they're selling for a purpose, such as a workhorse or a riding horse, then that person over time may need to put that animal down and bring it to slaughter," said Jim Tucker, Cavel International general manager.

The Goodons admit they may have been naive, but are grateful that their Montana was spared.

"I have tremendous guilt for our part in it where we sold her," said Roxanne Goodon, Montana's owner.

Montana does have some minor injuries and is being treated for a virus. She will be quarantined at a DeKalb farm until she's well enough to travel back to her family.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Hot Off the Presses...

For Immediate Release--Contact: Chris Heyde (703) 836-4300


(Washington, DC) - Today, the US House of Representatives resoundingly reaffirmed what it originally declared in 1971, that America's wild and free-roaming horses and burros must be protected from the cruel and inhumane slaughter industry and commercial exploitation. In what is undeniably a tremendous victory on behalf of all horses, the US Congress passed an amendment sponsored by Congressmen Nick Rahall (D-WV), Ed Whitfield (R-KY), John Sweeney (R-NY) and John Spratt (D-SC) that prohibits taxpayer funds from being used to sell or slaughter America's wild horses.

Chris Heyde, policy analyst for the Society for Animal Protective Legislation, said, "We knew the US Congress would listen again to the will of the American people and by passing this amendment, Congress has restored our faith in the democratic process."

Late last year, a rider stripping 34 year-old wild horse protections from the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, was snuck through Congress without public awareness or Congressional oversight. The amendment enacted today stops the Bureau of Land Management from implementing this reprehensible rider. As the amendment’s sponsors pointed out on the floor of the House of Representatives, such an underhanded method is not how the business of the American people should be conducted.

Heyde further noted that, "Today, Congress listened to the truth about wild horses. They deserve to live free on our public lands. Despite the enormous amount of misinformation being spread by pro-horse slaughter individuals, the facts remain clear: wild horses are not to blame for rangeland destruction, they are not starving to death and that there are far too few of these national treasures. We must ensure their future welfare."

With the will of the people being heard in the Halls of Congress, now more than ever our legislators must take the next step in ending horse slaughter once and for all. The American people must, without delay, make their voices heard in the US Senate which will vote on this bill very soon.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Ford Motor Company Continues Aid...

HOT SPRINGS, S.D., May 19, 2005 – Ford Motor Company announced today that it will provide aid to help save about 2,000 wild mustangs that currently face an uncertain future. In addition, the company is offering a means for the public to help "Save the Mustangs" – working with the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Take Pride in America to establish a fund to serve as a means for the public to contribute financial support to help maintain the wild horses...{READ MORE}

News Updates

Horse advocates want suspension of mustang roundups in Nevada
... Betty Kelly of Virginia City calls it the "Burns horsemeat bill." She was among those who called for an end to the roundups during a public meeting today at ...

Stop the slaughter
Arizona Republic - Phoenix,AZ,USA
... Late last year, a measure dubbed the "Horsemeat Bill" permitted the commercial trade of some of these animals to resume. It happened when Sen. ...

Horse Intended For Good Home Is Saved From Slaughterhouse
WBBM780 - Chicago,USA
... intentions for the horses they purchase at auction. She believes the only way to stop horse slaughter is to close down plants like Cavel.

Congressman tries to end wild horse sales
Pahrump Valley Times - Pahrump,NV,USA... purchased six wild horses and three days later sold them for a profit for slaughter to Cavel International, a Belgium-owned company that exports horse meat to ...

Humane Society of the United States Calls on Congress to ...
U.S. Newswire (press release) - Washington,DC,USA
... under the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act in response to the shootings of hundreds of thousands of horses and burros and the slaughter of horses for ...

Monday, May 16, 2005

Alert--Vote YES on Rahall-Whitfield Amendment to End Wild Horse Slaughter

Vote YES on Rahall-Whitfield Amendment to End Wild Horse Slaughter
This is finally our big chance to speak out for our wild horses threatened by sale and slaughter. The U.S. House is expected to vote on Thursday, May 19, on the Rahall-Whitfield amendment which will ensure that no tax dollars are used for any sale of wild horses that could lead to their slaughter. Please take action right now—send an email and make a phone call to tell your U.S. Representative to vote YES on the
Rahall-Whitfield Amendment. A stealth law passed last year lifting unanimously passed, 34 year old restrictions on commercial sale of these horses has (and will continue to) already lead to the slaughter of 41 wild mustangs. This tragedy must never happen again...and by taking action, you can ensure that it won't.

You can reach your Representative by calling the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121. Your phone call could make all the difference. Not sure what to say? Here's a sample phone script for when you call:

Sample Phone Script: "My name is [your name] and I'm calling from [your city and
state]. I'm calling to urge Representative [your Representative's name] to vote YES on Thursday's vote on the Rahall-Whitfield Interior Appropriations amendment to protect wild horses from sale and slaughter. I care very much about our wild horses and am horrified that 41 were recently sent to slaughter. Thank you."

Letter which MUST be faxed (we only have Mon-Wed): I'm writing to urge Representative [your Representative's name] to vote YES on Thursday's vote on the Rahall-Whitfield Interior Appropriations amendment to protect wild horses from sale and slaughter. We have already lost 41 wild horses in the last few weeks to the slaughterhouse. Not another wild horse should go to slaughter. Please take an active
role in supporting the Rahall-Whitfield amendment on the floor. Thank you!

Info from: Trina Bellak, Esq.
Thanks for Caring -- American Horse Defense Fund, Inc.
Protecting The Nation's Horses!
In Numbers There Is Strength - JOIN AHDF TODAY

Letters from America...

Many people work hard to save unwanted horses...

This letter is in response to "'Excitable' horse lovers unfair to Cavel, DeKalb," a letter written by Peter Barick of Sycamore and published on May 3.

Mr. Barick wondered what other options there are for horses should there be no horse slaughter plant at which to dispose of what he termed "unwanted" horses.

The answer to this, Mr. Barick, is that the options are many. To name just one option: There are more than 300 equine rescues operating in the United States where caring, wonderful people break their necks and wallets on a daily basis to keep our horses out of the hands of Cavel and the two plants in Texas. And then there are the thousands of decent individuals who also are ready, willing and able to step up to the plate to help a horse in need. Many of these people are operating here in the DeKalb area, practically right under your nose, which you might have known had you bothered to take the time to discover what goes on behind the scenes in the area.

You wrote, "Well, fine - how many of those nags have they rescued to nurse, feed and board, or are willing to help? They're not saying, but I'm guessing it equals zero."

Well, Mr. Barick, to answer your question, today alone I personally rescued three, yesterday two and the day before two more. In the past 30-odd years I've lost count of how many I have saved from the likes of Cavel. I am but one person, Mr. Barick - you can multiply what I do by tens of thousands, because collectively we responsible horse owners have indeed saved many. How many did you save today, Mr. Barick?

Horse slaughter encourages backyard irresponsible breeders and irresponsible, neglectful horse owners. Horse slaughter rewards the bottom-feeders of the horse industry with an easy out, and worse, it pays them for their irresponsible behavior. The overwhelming majority of horse owners want our horses protected from those who exploit them, including meatpackers who scour the country purchasing perfectly healthy horses simply to kill them.

Perhaps you should walk a mile in our shoes for a day before offering up an opinion on a subject you clearly know little about. I personally invite you to come by my farm and visit for a day to learn just what it is we are all doing to take responsibility for not only our own horses, but also the horses that have the misfortune of being owned by the irresponsible among us. I'm certain you would walk away with a whole new perspective. You never know - you just may want to do some good and help a horse yourself someday!


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Eating Mister Ed

Eating Mister Ed
The horses of Leroy Baker: They're what's for dinner.


On a Friday afternoon, Leroy Baker stands on a wooden walkway above a sea of horses.
Sunlight beams through slits in the stable walls as he looks down upon the maze of dusty pens. The small ones hold groups of young steeds and mares. The larger pens, about 10 by 15 feet, are packed with as many as 30 less-desirables.

Baker frowns as he pulls back the cuff of his cowboy shirt, gazes at his watch, and shakes it. He's agitated. Today's auction is an hour behind schedule. "I'm all business about this stuff," he says in his farmer's drawl. "That's why people don't like me. I'm not a popular man."

His impatience isn't why he's disliked.

Baker owns Sugarcreek Livestock Auction in Sugarcreek, one of the largest slaughter-horse auctions east of the Mississippi.

He also buys horses. Every Friday, around 200 horses are put up for sale. Almost half are sold for meat to buyers like Baker.

Needless to say, it's not a popular trade. Though Americans will readily eat cows, pigs, chickens, and fish, there's something unseemly about eating animals largely considered pets. No one wants a Fido burger for lunch. No one wants Black Beauty for dinner...

...Those sold for slaughter go for $150 to $400, depending upon their heft. They're then sold to one of three U.S. slaughterhouses -- two in Texas and one in Illinois -- for 80 cents a pound. After the meat is processed, it can fetch as much as $15 a pound.

...Mindy Thompson isn't one of Baker's fans. She runs a foster farm in Alliance for Bright Future Farms, a New York equine-rescue network. The organization focuses on outbidding meat buyers at auctions around the country. It then rehabilitates the horses and puts them up for adoption. "Not all of these horses are bad, three-legged things that can't be used," she says. "A lot of them are just unwanted."

..."The slaughter facilities are designed for cattle," she says. "The horses don't die quick and painlessly. And they're transported all the way to Texas without food or water."

...Baker understands the objections to his work. Last year, he received a shipment of horse filets from a Canadian slaughterhouse. He served them to employees at his auction office. "They enjoyed it, until I told them it was horsemeat," he says. "One woman cried, and another gagged." [READ ENTIRE ARTICLE...]

More News...

In for a wild ride
Columbia Missourian - Columbia,MO,USA
... Part-time horse trainer Chris Jamison works with a 1-year-old mustang during the Bureau of Land Management's wild

horse and burro adoption session ...


For the sake of wild horses
Salt Lake Tribune - Salt Lake City,UT,USA
... Since each wild horse herd typically doubles in size every five years, a key directive of the original Wild Horse and

Burro Act is that horses be gathered ...


Letter: Speak up for horses
Press & Sun-Bulletin - Binghamton,NY,USA
... in the protection of the thoroughbred and all of its equine relatives, famous and not so famous, by supporting the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act.


Wild Horses Sold by US Agency Sent to Slaughter
National Geographic - Washington,D.C.,USA
... reduce the number of horses that BLM keeps in holding facilities and to reduce the agency's horse-care costs (see "US

Wild Horse Slaughter Legalization Draws ...



Nick Zito and Bo Derek Lead National Coalition's Efforts Urging ...
PR Newswire (press release) - USA
... Last year Congressman John Sweeney of New York introduced a bill to ban horse slaughter in America and to close the last

three slaughterhouses operating in the ...


1/2 page ad in the New York Times


Horse-slaughtering plants aren't good for cities


As stated by the Chronicle, there are three horse-slaughtering plants operating in the United States. At least two of them are polluting the communities that have the misfortune of being home to these operations.

Both Dallas Crown in the small Texas community of Kaufman and Cavel International in our very own city of DeKalb have consistently polluted and overtaxed their respective communities' sewer systems for quite some time... [READ ENTIRE ARTICLE...]


Durango, CO--May 9, 2005
Saving the mustang
By Dale Rodebaugh,Herald Staff Writer

Alicia James feeds carrots to Venus, 5, a newcomer to the family mustang sanctuary, on April 29 in La Posta Canyon. Venus and her mother, Athena, 11, not shown, came from a local horsewoman who could not keep them.

Blaze, 5, left, and Dakota, also 5, graze last month in a pasture that is part of a mustang sanctuary in La Posta Canyon, south of Durango.

A mother and daughter, both horse lovers since childhood, have turned 15 acres along the Animas River south of Durango into a haven for mustangs, the wild descendants of steeds brought to America by Spanish conquerors and later arrivals.

"We may not be able to do much, but we'll do what we can," Debra Gates said as she watched her daughter, Alicia James, work with six of the legendary horses in a corral on a bluff overlooking the river. Two other mustangs grazed in a pasture below. "They have to be gentled and get used to this as their new home before they can be turned out into the big field."

Gates is outraged over the slaughter of 41 mustangs since December. That happened after Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., slipped a change to the 34-year-old Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act into the 2005 Omnibus
Appropriations Bill...[READ ENTIRE ARTICLE...]

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Van Clief to Receive Equine Advocates Awards

D.G. Van Clief Jr., commissioner of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and president of Breeders' Cup, will be honored Aug. 4 with the Equine Advocates Safe Home Equine Protection Award.

He will receive the award at the annual Equine Advocates awards dinner and charity auction to be held at Jeffrey and Melanie Tucker's Stone Bridge Farm in Schulyerville, N.Y.

"D.G. Van Clief is one of the most highly respected people in Thoroughbred racing nationally and internationally, and in the entire horse industry, in general," said Equine Advocates president Susan Wagner. "As both President of the Breeders' Cup and Commissioner and CEO of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), his strong stance against horse slaughter is an inspiration and ray of hope to everyone who loves and cares about horses, and sends a powerful message to those who work in the horse industry that this cruel practice must be universally outlawed..." [READ MORE...]