Throughout the history of the U.S., horses can be seen playing a role either working for us or living with us as our companions or pets. They have never been raised for human consumption, yet they are slaughtered by the thousands to meet the demand for their meat by foreign diners in Europe and Asia.
In 2007, slaughtering horses on U.S. soil came to an end when the last slaughterhouses in Texas and Illinois were closed for good. Now, with the passage of a new law that will fund USDA inspections of horse meat, there is an effort underway to once again open the doors to this barbaric practice in states that do not have a ban in place.
This year the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011 (S.1176) was reintroduced by Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), which will end the slaughter of American horses and prevent them from being shipped abroad for slaughter. A House version of this bill (H.R. 2996) was also reintroduced by Representative Dan Burton (R-IN) and Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL).
Please sign the petition asking your representative to co-sponsor this vital piece of legislation and end the slaughter of America's horses once and for all by prohibiting the possession, shipment, transport, purchase, sale, delivery, donation or receipt of horses that are intended for human consumption.
As someone who cares about the welfare of animals, I am writing to urge you to support and co-sponsor the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011 (S. 1176/H.R. 2966). This important piece of legislation will ban the possession, shipment, transport, purchase, sale, delivery, donation or receipt of horses that are intended for human consumption.
Not only are the transport and slaughter procedures used for horses considered inhumane by citizens, industry professionals, animal protection groups and a number of professional organizations, including Veterinarians for Equine Welfare, but allocating an estimated $5 million to fund USDA inspections of horse meat and perpetuating this cruelty at the expense of the taxpayer, which will only benefit foreign owned businesses during an economic downturn, is reprehensible.
Additionally, as horses are not raised for human consumption, they are regularly given a host of drugs and medications that pose a serious risk to human health and are clearly labeled that they are not to be used in animals that will be eaten. A study published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology highlights the fact that at least one of the drugs regularly given to horses, Phenylbutazone (bute), is not only toxic to humans, but a known carcinogen. There is currently no way to trace whether or not horses that end up in the slaughter pipeline have been given these drugs.
Since President Obama signed the 2012 Agriculture Appropriations Bill with no provision preventing the USDA from inspecting horse meat, despite a campaign promise to end horse slaughter cruelty, this barbaric practice could once again take place on U.S. soil.
The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011 will end the slaughter of American horses and prevent them from being shipped abroad for slaughter, practices which the vast majority of Americans opposed to. I hope you will support and co-sponsor this vital piece of legislation that will keep both horses and consumers safe. If you have already done so, I would like to share my deepest gratitude. Despite what proponents say, slaughter is not the solution.
Keep up the great work. Look what you've accomplished!
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