Sampson napping on his favorite rug

Sampson napping on  his favorite rug
happy, happy, happy

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Horses Need "Neigh" Votes!

At a time when our federal government is moving toward banning the shipment of U.S. horses across the borders to Canada and Mexico (where the horses are slaughtered in very inhumane, horrific ways for consumption in Europe, as a delicacy) ... and at a time when other states (most recently Florida) have made horse slaughter a felony, there are some greedy legislators with no scruples in the state of Tennessee who are pushing to establish horse slaughter houses here. The bill is scheduled to go up for a vote on Tuesday, in the Ways & Means department. If you thought the "road-kill" bill was an embarrassment, consider how seriously terrible it would be for our state to officially endorse the slaughter of horses. Please read my previous post which presents the facts about this and, if you live in Tennessee, please contact your representative and urge a "no" vote to HB 1428.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Horse Sense & Sensibility --

Hi ... Clara here. Many people know that, in addition to being a musician, artist, writer, and holistic practitioner, I’m also an advocate and volunteer for animals. For ten years I traveled to schools, youth organizations, adult civic groups, and churches, presenting a program I scripted about kindness to animals and respect for the earth.

I’d like to talk with you about animals who need our help and will offer here a sort of mini-series, beginning with those that are most urgent.

HORSES --

In recent years, our country passed legislation to stop horse slaughter here in the U.S. This is very good, except that our horses (including wild mustangs and burros rounded up by the Bureau Of Land Management, and previously-owned family and working horses) are still being auctioned, bought by meat dealers – who truck them, by the thousands–to Canada and Mexico. During transit, they are crowded together without food and water. Once at their destination, they are killed in ways that are barbaric and horrifying. In Mexico, the terrified horses are repeatedly stabbed, by men with hand-held knives, until the bleeding horses can no longer stand up. In Canada, a "stun bolt" is used, which often doesn’t knock the horse out, before he or she is slaughtered. The horse meat is exported as exotic food for dinner tables in parts of Europe. There are horse rescue organizations that are able to buy and rescue a small number of these horses at auction; however, the meat buyers often are able to outbid them. Organizations such as Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue in Maryland, whose website is at
www.gentlegiantsdrafthorserescue.com, are among the dedicated groups that buy and rescue horses during those last defining moments at the auctions. Currently, a legislator in the state of Tennessee is pushing a mercenary, ugly, backward bill that would legalize horse slaughterhouses in Tennessee, even in the face of pending federal legislation that has been moving toward outlawing the transport of horses (as described above). There are many reasons that horse slaughter is an abominable thing. I will list them, as follows:

1-Stun-guns (such as currently used in Canada) are not accurate on horses, as horses thrash about in terror in the kill box and, therefore, are often conscious during slaughter.

2-The appalling nature of the method in use in Mexico is self-evident.

3-A humane kill method (for example, humane injection) would make the animal’s "meat" toxic for humans.

4-Since the USDA no longer inspects horsemeat, buyers would all be foreign...coming in and ravaging our horses.

5-When Tennessee’s (or any local) horse supply is gone, non-legal acquisitions/theft would likely begin.

6-Horse slaughter will do nothing to help neglected, starving horses, as meat buyers don’t buy thin horses.

7-Profits from slaughter houses would be skimmed/siphoned off by foreign corporations (who pay no tax because the end product is used in other countries); the U.S. towns where the slaughter houses are located would not make money. This is what happened in the past when there were three horse slaughter-houses located in the U.S.

So you can see that the only logical and humane way to dispose of ailing and no-longer-wanted companion horses is to have them humanely euthanized by a veterinarian.

Horses are part of our country’s national and natural heritage. They have served us on battlefields, as transportation, as companions, as farm help, and as movie stars. They are highly intelligent individuals and deserve humane and honorable regard.

To help them, please contact your senators and congressmen in Washington DC, imploring them to propose, support, and enact the needed federal law. You can find your federal representatives’ names and addresses at http://www.usa.gov/. and Tennessee state legislators at http://www.capitol.tn.gov/legislators
 
Thank you.