The following is posted on Willie Nelsons Peace Research Institute. Please take a few moments out to visit the site and thank Willie for his support of America's horses!
October 24, 2007
The fight against horse slaughter in America, as I remember it:
Well, it’s soon to be history, so it’s better to write it down now. Last year we came so close to ending horse slaughter when the US House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act only to see the bill die when the US Senate failed to act before leaving for its holiday vacation. Thanks to the people at Animal Welfare Institute, my family (that’s my daughter Amy pictured with one of the horses we rescued from slaughter) and thousands of compassionate Americans, the states of Texas and Illinois have outlawed horse slaughter for the purpose of human consumption, which in turn, closed down all three U.S. Horse Slaughter Plants. But the fight is not over.
Though our horses have always been sent to other countries for slaughter the incidence of horses slaughtered in Mexico and Canada has risen dramatically over the last year. The US-based foreign-owned horse slaughterhouses continue their cruel industry with US horses by sending them to their plants in Mexico and Canada. In Mexico, the horses are savagely stabbed in the back of their necks with knives countless times, and then hung upside down to have their throats cut. This is after being transported 700 miles plus without food or water. I’m sorry to bring this bad news, but I have faith that Americans will put an end to it once and for all. Surely when the men and women of Congress become aware of this, they will expedite The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (H.R. 503/S. 311), which will outlaw the transport of horses to other countries for slaughter. So let’s tell them about it. Our horses need your help!
Recently, AWI and other humane organizations and equine rescues met in DC to work for the horses. They are developing programs to protect horses and support the growing number of equine rescues. Sadly, the pro-horse slaughter advocates won’t stop with their misinformation campaign. We just have to put aside the American Veterinary Medical Association’s wild claim of 100k horses a year in need of a home. Again, the slaughterhouse kills what it needs, not what is out there in need of a home. When we have seen such wide fluctuations in numbers there hasn’t been an issue. The numbers dropped from over 300,000 killed the 90’s to 47,000 a few years ago. We had fewer rescues and there was no increase in cruelty or horses running down the streets.
All sizes, breeds and ages of our horses are being brutally slaughtered each year. These numbers include our precious wild horses, an animal that symbolizes the American spirit like no other. Sadly, due to gross mismanagement by the federal agency tasked to protect these amazing animals. If we allow the Bureau of Land Management to continue on its current path unchecked, they will drive these animals into extinction – many having been sent to slaughter. They would have you believe that approximately 24,000 wild horses are responsible for devastating over 300 million acres of public land, while over 8 million cattle and other livestock roam in harmony with nature. It is time to stand up for an animal that evolved in North America before it is too late.
We’ve come too far to let this be our end result. It’s time to flood the phone lines, mail boxes and emails of our legislators again. Ask them to cosponsor and demand a vote on the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (H.R. 503/S. 311). It should be easier than ever for Congress to do the right thing and pass this bill that will end so much suffering. When the overwhelming majority of Americans are against horse slaughter, and we’ve already gone so far as to end it in this country, the obvious next step is to seal the deal with passage of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act and ensure that no more of our horses have to face such an ugly end as brutal slaughter.
For more information on this and other similar issues, visit www.awionline.org and http://www.compassionindex.org/. If you would like to join me in adopting a horse please visit http://www.habitatforhorses.org/.
Aloha and Peace,
Signed Willie Nelson
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