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

Friday, April 29, 2005

Must Read Article...

Thirty Years Later...Wild Horses Again Slated for Slaughter--Hope Ryden, Author of AMERICA’S LAST WILD HORSES; Member, AWI Scientific Committee

The 92nd Congress had never experienced such a deluge of letters—it was as if the spirit of America’s wild horses had suddenly infected the entire nation. Newspaper editorials, radio talk shows and television coverage were all focused on this topic in 1971. Our country was so fired up over the plight of wild horses that it was inevitable Congress would act; finally the animals I’d tracked for years through canyons and deserts would receive a hearing.

I had worked with Representative Walter Baring, Velma Johnson (“Wild Horse Annie”) and Joan Blue of the American Horse Protection Association to fine-tune the proposed legislation. One of our concerns was the future management of wild horses. “There must never be any opportunity for profit to be made off these animals,” Annie said. “That must be written into the legislation.”

Both chambers took testimony in committee rooms packed with press and supporters for two days. Hearings were interrupted to seat a class of sixth graders from Long Island who raised money to attend by selling wild horse stickers.

At the hearings, Annie produced photographs of a mustang roundup to underscore the importance of our mission. The images, featuring terrified horses being chased by aircraft from the safety of their remote mountain and canyon habitats onto flat land, were hard to look at. The beautiful animals were hog-tied and loaded onto trucks, and foals were left behind to die; baby horses brought too small a price to warrant space in the rigs. Transport conditions were appalling, an awful prelude to inhumane deaths... [READ ENTIRE ARTICLE]

Get it?

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Big Names Join Fight...

Lawmakers pull together diverse coalition to stop horse slaughter

HILARY ROXE--Associated Press

WASHINGTON - A coalition of celebrities, race track leaders and others have called in from across the country hoping their voices push forward legislation that would end or limit the slaughter of wild horses. Lawmakers have been pushing for years to stop wild horses and burros from being killed at three U.S. slaughterhouses that send the meat overseas for consumption. The effort picked up steam after Congress last year replaced a 34-year-old ban on selling wild mustangs and burros with a provision that allows the sale of older, unwanted horses...

Supporters of two proposed measures - one that would stop the commercial sale of wild horses and burros and one that would ban horse slaughter in the United States -are trying to pull together as many people as possible to back their cause. So far, they have pulled together stars ranging from country music singers To "Desperate Housewives" actress...

Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., a lead sponsor on both House measures, said that Confirmed his fears that allowing sales would lead to some horses being slaughtered.

The Interior Department this week stopped delivering mustangs to buyers while it investigates whether the slaughter violates a federal contract requiring the Animals to be treated humanely. Horse advocates have solicited comments from actors -including Richard Gere and Mary Tyler Moore - and have drawn support from horse racing leaders and others...[READ ENTIRE ARTICLE]

The bill numbers are H.R. 297 and S. 576; and H.R. 503.
On the Net:
For bill text:
Bureau of Land Management: (ed's note: this site is temporarily down)

Legislation Could Be Fast-Tracked After Wild Horse Slaughter

Lawmakers hope to save wild horses

WASHINGTON -- The recent slaughter of wild horses sold by the federal government should give momentum to new legislation that would halt the killing of animals that many consider to be an icon of the American West, Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., said.

...Ensign next month plans to introduce a bill that would ban slaughter of horses for human consumption, Ensign said. A similar bill has been introduced in the House...

The Humane Society of the United States has been flooded with calls, pleading with the group to save the wild horses, said Nancy Perry, vice president of governmental affairs.

"This has been an un-American experience these last few weeks, few months," Perry said today. "Our deep concern has turned to outrage and frustration."

Another House bill would essentially repeal legislation passed in November. That legislation, championed by Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., directed the Bureau of Land Management to sell horses that are at least 10 years old or horses that were not being adopted. That left open the possibility that horses could end up in one of three U.S. slaughter houses where animals are killed for meat that is shipped overseas.

Bureau of Land Management officials this week announced that 35 horses sold by the BLM under the new law had been slaughtered at the Cavel International Inc. plant in Illinois. Another six were slaughtered at the same plant earlier this month.

"This is what people were fearing would happen," Ensign said.

The Interior Department this week halted the delivery of horses to buyers, pending a review of federal rules that requires the department to treat the animals humanely.

Now lawmakers are seeking to fast-track legislation to stop horse slaughter...[READ ENTIRE ARTICLE]

Some horses get lucky thanks to rescuers...

Woman's nonprofit group helps rescue young horses

By LIZ BEST--Special to Neighborhood Post, Wednesday, April 27, 2005

...Swanson and her partner, Brad Gaver, both of Wellington, operate Pure Thoughts Inc. and the Florida Foal Rescue Foundation, a nonprofit effort that rescues horses, many of whom are literally on their way to the slaughterhouse.

It's bittersweet work for Swanson, who can't resist smiling when she tells how they have saved more than 200 horses from the slaughterhouse since starting their mission in May 2004.

But her smile disappears when she thinks of the ones they couldn't save — the 60,000 horses who died in the United States last year to satisfy the tastes of Europeans who eat horse meat and spend lots of money on products made from the hides of newborn foals.

Swanson became interested in the plight of these animals after her 16-year-old daughter Camille cleaned out her savings account and rescued a foal. Since then, Camille has become an avid equestrian, and her mother has become an avid equine advocate.

...Swanson says the hardest part of her mission is coming face to face with the person who would be sending the horses to slaughter. But it's worth it, she said.

"The majority of people I talk to about slaughter have no idea," she said. "I know people wouldn't tolerate it if they knew."

Swanson believes slaughtering horses is barbaric. She said the animals are shackled by their hindquarters and beaten in the head in an often futile attempt to knock them out.

So the horses are awake as they are being slaughtered and often are left to drown in their own blood, said Swanson, who added that legislation is being drafted to prevent horse slaughter in this country.

Currently, there are three horse slaughterhouses in the United States: two in Texas and one in Illinois, Swanson said. All three are owned by European companies. A ban on horse slaughter was enacted in California, resulting in a decrease in horse theft and the number of abuse and starvation cases, Swanson said.

"That's why I say if people knew, they wouldn't tolerate it . . . At some point we have to stop the bleeding."

For more information on Pure Thoughts Inc., call (561) 753-6555 or visit


Spice, Stolen Filly from Zillah, Washington RECOVERED

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Mounted Police to Show Support for Anti-Slaughter May 22

May 22, 2005

(from International Fund for Horses)
Mounted Police Unit Meet & Greet Days are being held around the country on Sunday, May 22, 2005. The Mounted Police will be making formal, public statements against horse slaughter as well as demonstrating that horses are "cops" too. Many of them will be bringing their K-9 Units.

So far:
  • Hoboken, New Jersey - 9 am - Sinatra Park
  • New York City - 1 pm - Ground Zero
  • Newark, New Jersey - 4 pm - Branchbrook Park

    We need volunteers to assist the officers and hand out literature for
    the following cities: Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Austin, Atlanta and Boulder. Please email us at to find out more.

  • Investigation Temporarily Halts Slaughter

    BLM Stops Wild Horse Sales While It Investigates Slaughtering

    Wild horses routinely rounded up and sold by the Bureau of Land Management are being slaughtered, prompting the BLM to halt all horse sales while they investigate how to prevent it from happening again. News 3 First Response Team's Darcy Spears has been digging deeper into the controversial practice of slaughtering horses for human consumption. She's has an update on how the recently exposed wild horse slaughter may help a Nevada senator's case.

    US Senator John Ensign has been trying to outlaw slaughtering horses for food for some time now. He's drafted a bill he expects to introduce in May after the recess, which may gain more steam now that a second batch of BLM horses has been sold to an Illinois slaughterhouse since last month.

    It's a crazy cowboy game played out with a combination of horses and helicopters. The Bureau of Land Management rounds up wild horses to save them from starvation, but we found many of them are ending up dead anyway at a US meat packing plant...[READ MORE]

    Interior Dept. Halts Delivery of Mustangs

    WASHINGTON (AP) - The Interior Department abruptly halted delivery of mustangs to buyers while it investigates whether the slaughter of 41 wild horses in the West this month violates a federal contract requiring them to be treated humanely.

    By enlisting last-minute financial help Monday from Ford Motor Co. - makers of the Mustang sports car - the agency saved the lives of 52 other mustangs.

    The latest horses killed came from a broker who obtained them from the Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota. The tribe traded 87 of the 105 aging horses it bought from the government for younger ones. Interior officials said they would review whether a federal contract had been violated. Tribal officials were unavailable for comment... [READ MORE]

    Thank you, Ford Motor Company


    NOTE TO EDITOR: The U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro Program asked Ford Motor Company to intercede to prevent the slaughter of dozens of wild mustangs that had been re-sold and sent to a processing facility. The following statement is from Tim O’Brien, vice president, Corporate Relations – Ford Motor Company:

    Dearborn, Mich., April 25 – "The wild mustang has been an inspiration for Ford Motor Company for decades. It saddened us to learn that many wild horses are in jeopardy, and it was an easy decision to help when asked by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. We are working with this federal government agency to investigate a way to sustain these horses that are such an integral part of American lore and tradition. We hope to work together to develop a broader plan that provides safeguards for the wild mustangs’ continued protection."

    Tuesday, April 26, 2005

    Interior Department looking into slaughtering of wild horses


    WASHINGTON--The Interior Department has abruptly halted delivery of wild mustangs to buyers while it investigates the slaughter of 41 wild horses in the West this month.

    The latest horses killed had come from a broker who obtained them from a Native American tribe in South Dakota.

    The department is also investigating this month's sale of six wild horses to an Oklahoma man and their slaughter...[READ MORE...]

    Press Advisory: Wild Horses Already Being Slaughtered for Human Consumption!

    April 25, 2005

    Press Advisory:

    Wild Horses Already Being Slaughtered for Human Consumption

    (Washington, DC) - As tragic news of America's wild horses having been sold for slaughter, action is needed more than ever to protect our symbol of the American West. The Society for Animal Protective Legislation, national animal protection organizations and U.S. Representatives will hold a press conference to discuss impending legislation that could save thousands of these animals' lives.

    Time: 9:30 a.m.
    Date: Wednesday, April 27, 2005
    Location: 2322 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC

    Participants: Representative Nick Rahall, Representative Ed Whitfield, Representative John Sweeney, Representative John Spratt, Chris Heyde of the Society for Animal Protective Legislation and Nancy Perry of the Humane Society of the United States.

    Representatives Nick Rahall (D-WV) and Ed Whitfield (R-KY) introduced H.R. 297 to repeal the devastating rider to the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act that was slipped through Congress last year by Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT). Representatives John E. Sweeney (R-NY), John Spratt (D-SC) and Ed Whitfield reintroduced H.R. 503, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act to stop horse slaughter in the United States and prohibit the export of live horses for the same purpose. Both bills are critical to ensure that no horses are slaughtered in the United States.

    Since the passage of the Burns rider to the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, which allows "excess" horses and burros to be sold at auction "without limitation," the Bureau of Land Management has reported instances of horses being sold for slaughter. Just last week, the first reports of wild horses sold under the Burns amendment were killed for overseas consumption reached the American public.

    For more information on this press conference and horse slaughter issues, please contact Chris Heyde at (703) 836-4300.

    Christopher J. Heyde
    Policy Analyst
    Society for Animal Protective Legislation
    (A Division of the Animal Welfare Institute)
    PO Box 3719
    Washington, DC 20027
    Tel: (703) 836-4300
    Fax: (703) 997-1134

    SAD DAY--35 More Wild Horses Killed in the West

    35 More Wild Horses Killed in the West

    The Associated Press
    Monday, April 25, 2005; 7:58 PM

    WASHINGTON -- Thirty-five more wild horses rounded up in the West were slaughtered Monday, but the Interior Department acted quickly to save the lives of 52 other mustangs by enlisting last-minute financial help from Mustang sports car maker Ford Motor Co.

    The horses killed came from a broker who obtained them from the Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota. The tribe traded 87 of the 105 aging horses it bought from the government for younger ones. Interior officials said they would review the arrangement to see if it violated a federal contract with the agency. Tribal officials were unavailable for comment.

    "It's incredibly disappointing," Kathleen Clarke, director of Interior's Bureau of Land Management, told The Associated Press. "It is not our intent to have these animals killed. That's why we acted very aggressively."

    The latest killings bring to 41 the number of wild horses slaughtered since Congress removed protections for mustangs in December. Just last week, six were slaughtered that had been sold to a private owner. Both incidents occurred at the Cavel International Inc. commercial packing plant in DeKalb, Ill.

    BLM officials, tipped off by Agriculture Department inspectors, persuaded the plant managers to stop. That saved the lives of 16 mustangs about to be killed.

    The plant agreed to give the horses food and water until BLM officials can pick them up. BLM officials also intervened to save 36 mustangs in Nebraska that were on their way to the Cavel plant. Those horses are to be picked up separately Tuesday and kept in the Midwest.

    BLM, which captures the animals during government roundups aimed at reducing the wild population, has sold and delivered nearly 1,000 horses since the new law passed. BLM says 37,000 wild horses and burros forage its lands, 9,000 more than Western ranges can sustain.

    Clarke said Monday she ordered an immediate halt to the delivery of some 950 more that have been sold. "We will not be making any more deliveries until we can check on the situation," she said. "We just want to reassess our program."

    Clarke said she'd already been talking with Ford about such a partnership even before she called the company for help Monday. "We do not have any clear authority to buy private animals," Clarke said. So she got Ford to pledge $19,000 to ship and care for the mustangs.

    The Sioux tribe had to sign an agreement with BLM that it would "provide humane care" to each of the animals, documents show. Clarke said Interior's top lawyer was investigating that arrangement and an earlier sale of six wild horses to an Oklahoma man.


    Letter from America--Illinois


    Horse slaughter signals shameful day in Illinois history
    Monday, April 25, 2005

    Well, isn't this a day we in Illinois can all be ashamed of! With the entire world watching the fate of these wild horses that are no longer protected by federal law, the first ones that were slaughtered met their fate in our great state! All eyes shift our way and I hope glaringly! [_AP Report: First time
    under new law, six wild horses slaughtered in Illinois
    (April 22)]

    At the time when we are celebrating the opening of the Lincoln Presidential Library, six wild horses were butchered at Cavel in DeKalb. I think President Lincoln would be appalled! President Lincoln loved animals. He was the first President in the U.S. that the riderless horse accompanied the funeral cortege. The horse was Bob, President Lincoln's own horse. I think President Lincoln would be ashamed of the politicians that jokingly voted the bill down last year that would have shut down Cavel and these horses blood never would have stained Illinois' soil or reputation!

    Please contact your State representatives and ask them to support HB 1171
    that would ban horse slaughter in Illinois! There is also Federal Legislation that would restore the protection to the wild horses and burros from slaughter (House Bill HR 297 and Senate Bill S 576). Legislation is also going before U.S. Congress that would prevent the slaughter of horses in the United States for human consumption (House Bill HR 503).

    Betty Scheldt

    Dakota tribes rescue at-risk mustangs

    Dakota tribes rescue at-risk mustangs... Indian Country Today

    NEW TOWN, N.D. - Two Dakota tribes have stepped in to rescue hundreds of mustangs that many horse advocates feared were headed to the slaughterhouse.

    The Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota and the Three Affiliated Tribes in North Dakota each purchased more than 200 wild horses, at a cost of a dollar apiece, from the Bureau of Land Management in late March. Tribal officials said the decision to buy the mustangs was based as much on the past, as it is on the future.

    ''We wanted to play a role in the preservation of these wild mustangs,'' said Richard Mayer, CEO for the Three Affiliated Tribes, consisting of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara nations. ''The lineage of these horses can be traced back to our ancestors. These animals are part of our heritage and are really holy to us. They deserve to be protected...'' [READ MORE]

    Monday, April 25, 2005


    (cross-posting from Wild Horse Preservation organization)
    Multiple sources have confirmed that on Monday, April 18, six wild horses were slaughtered at the Cavel International facility in DeKalb, Ill. The horses, sold by the Bureau of Land Management pursuant to the Burns Amendment’s sale mandate on Friday, April 15th, had been purchased in Canon City, CO, for $50 each by Dustin Herbert of Oklahoma. Mr. Herbert, a former rodeo clown, had claimed that the horses would be used for a church youth program, and would not be sold for slaughter. But by Monday, less than 3 days after he purchased the animals, all six were slaughtered so that their meat could be shipped overseas to end up on foreign dinner tables.

    This is a sad day for wild horses and confirms our worst fears regarding last November’s amendment to the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act. Please contact your local and national media expressing your outrage over this latest development.

    It is also critical that we keep up our efforts to pass remedial legislation: please urge your legislators to co-sponsor H.R. 297 and S. 576. Please also keep the pressure on Senator Conrad Burns (MT) – fax: 202.224.8594, who introduced the wild horse slaughter amendment, and Senator Harry Reid (NV) - fax: 202.224.7327, primary supporter of the Burns Amendment. They need to hear from their constituents as well as from concerned citizens from all states protesting this latest development. Please also express your outrage to Gale Norton, Secretary of the Interior, Department of the Interior,1849 C Street, N.W., Washington DC 20240 - fax: 202.208.5048.

    For more information on how to help, please visit
    Wild Horse Preservation

    Horse deaths anger animal advocates

    Law passed last year clears way for sales to meat plants, fueling demands for ban--from the Las Vegas-Review Journal

    WASHINGTON -- Animal advocates on Friday demanded Interior Secretary Gale Norton stop wild horse sales until the government writes new rules to protect them from being slaughtered.

    A House member said this week's destruction of six horses would ring a "wake-up call" for Congress to re-examine a law it passed last year relaxing sales of the animals.

    Government officials and wild horse groups stepped up investigations Friday after the disclosure that the horses were bought April 15 and resold to a meat plant in DeKalb, Ill., three days later.

    The horses were the first to be reported slaughtered since Congress last year relaxed a 34-year-old ban on the slaughter of horses sold or offered for adoption after being rounded up on public land by the Bureau of Land Management.

    The initial buyer was identified Friday by horse advocate groups as Dustin Herbert of Meeker, Okla. Two government sources confirmed Herbert as the purchaser...

    ...BLM officials said the Oklahoma buyer misrepresented himself but that there is no legal recourse against him. The buyer said the horses would be used in a troubled youth program, they said.

    Animal advocates said Herbert purchased six horses from a BLM holding facility in Canyon City, Colo., and sold them directly to the slaughter plant.

    Government officials later confirmed the location of the holding facility but could not say whether the animals were sold directly or through an intermediary...

    ..."This guy certainly turned the horses around very quickly, so it sounds like he had the intention to slaughter them all along," said Chris Heyde, policy analyst for the Society for Animal Protective Legislation.

    Reps. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., and Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., sent Norton a letter Friday demanding that the BLM craft regulations for horse sales.

    BLM officials have said it was not necessary to write such rules.

    "Our directive from Congress is to sell the horses, period," Boddington said.

    Rahall and Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., introduced a bill earlier this year to repeal the law that authorized the new sales. It has attracted little support and has not been scheduled for hearings.

    "What has transpired here is a wake-up call to the Congress," Rahall said in a statement.

    Animal rights groups suggested the government could sue Herbert for fraud if he signed a BLM bill of sale stating the purchasers "intend and desire to provide humane care to the wild horse(s) and/or burros."

    But Boddington said the BLM cannot sue a buyer for slaughtering a horse, because the animals are considered private property once the sale is completed...

    ...The Senate last week approved legislation by Reid and Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., that earmarked $5 million for a privately run horse center in Northern Nevada

    "Nobody wants to see wild horses and burros sold to slaughter and the best way to prevent that is to reform the BLM's wild horse and burro adoption program," Reid said.

    John Lopez, Ensign's deputy chief of staff, said Ensign would introduce legislation banning the slaughter of horses for human consumption.

    "Senator Ensign's bill would ensure there are no more outlets for slaughter," Lopez said. "It would shut down the slaughterhouses in the United States."


    Friday, April 22, 2005

    News Release: Wild Horses Rushed to the Slaughterhouse

    April 22, 2005 (Washington, DC) – A recent amendment to the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act has already resulted in the tragic end to the lives of six of America’s wild horses in Illinois after they were purchased from the Bureau of Land Management by a former “rodeo clown” from Oklahoma.

    Last year, Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT) slipped language into the Consolidated Appropriations bill that undermined the 1971 Act by permitting so-called “excess” horses and burros to be sold at auction “without limitation.” Yet months later, several horses were purchased an auction with slaughter as their obvious fate – they were bought last Friday and killed on Monday at Belgian owned Cavel International in Illinois.

    Over 65,000 American horses were slaughtered last year in the United States to satisfy the demand for horsemeat in France, Italy, Belgium and Japan. Fortunately, two bills have been introduced in the House of Representatives in response to public demand to protect America’s wild horses from slaughter.

    Representative Nick Rahall (D-WV), ranking member of the House Resources Committee, and Representative Ed Whitfield (R-KY) introduced H.R. 297 to repeal the rider and restore the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act to its original language. Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-WV) is sponsoring a companion bill, S. 576, in the Senate.

    Upon learning of the death of these horses Representative Rahall said, “We feared this would happen, but we prayed that it would not, even without the legal protections that were stripped from America's wild horses in a legislative maneuver late last year. Unfortunately, the merchants of slaughter will not give up. What has transpired here is a wake up call to the Congress, and evidence as to why immediate action should be taken on my legislation to restore the ban on the commercial sale for slaughter of our Nation's wild horse heritage."

    The Society for Animal Protective Legislation has worked for several years on the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act to ban all horse slaughter in the United States, and to prohibit the export of live horses for the same purpose. A bill with this goal in mind, H.R. 503, has been reintroduced by Representative John E. Sweeney (R-NY), Representative John Spratt (D-SC) and Representative Ed Whitfield (R-KY).

    "I am outraged that six wild, free horses sold by BLM were slaughtered for human consumption in less than 3 days. This underscores the need that we must end all horse slaughter in the US. Our horses, wild or domestic, deserve a better fate than slaughter for human consumption in Europe and Asia. If you oppose horse slaughter, please contact your representatives in Washington and urge them to cosponsor H.R. 503," stated Representative Whitfield.

    Our horses desperately need these protections today; with wild horses already being sent to the slaughterhouse, your help is needed urgently. Please contact your representative and senators to ask for their support of these bills. To learn more about critical pieces of legislation on behalf of America's horses, or to find your member of Congress, visit

    Wild Horses Found Dead at Slaughter Plant

    Details are still to come, but I'm deeply saddened to report that six wild horses were sold Friday, April 15 in Oklahoma by the BLM, to a man allegedly posing as minister (and former rodeo clown) who lied and said he was going to use the horses in a "troubled youth program." He sold them (not sure how/where) resulting in the horses being slaughtered at Cavel in Illinois this past Monday. This has been confirmed by the Bureau of Land Management.

    Source: Trina Bellak, Esq.
    Thanks for Caring -- American Horse Defense Fund, Inc.
    In Numbers There Is Strength - JOIN AHDF TODAY

    Read the article here: First time under new law, six wild horses slaughtered--Las Vegas Sun

    BLM site down...

    During an incredibly crucial time for mustang adoption, the Bureau of Land Management's website has been shut down because of network vulnerabilities. Meanwhile, imposters are taking wild horses to slaughter.

    Wednesday, April 20, 2005

    Unwanted Horse Summit Deals with Complicated Issue

    Unwanted Horse Summit Only the

    (excerpt)...Arthur said the addressing the issue of unwanted horses would go a long way toward addressing the hot-button topic of slaughter.

    "If the problem of the unwanted horse is solved, there won't be a slaughterhouse issue to deal with," he said. "The question is whether the problem will be eliminated sooner rather than later."

    The summit was preceded by an open session on the unwanted horse. Though the number of horses slaughtered in the United States has declined by 80% since 1990, equine industry representatives acknowledged there aren't easy answers.

    The numbers show about 60,000 horses slaughtered at federally inspected plants in the United States each year, with another 20,000 shipped to Canada, and 4,000 to Mexico, according to Dr. Nat Messer, associate professor of equine medicine and surgery at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. The total number is down from about 300,000 in 1990, he said, but the problem still exists.

    "I'm not sure the entire horse industry has bought into that concept," Messer said. "There are hard questions I think need to be addressed."

    The reduction in the number of slaughtered horses is attributed to responsible breeding, market demands, changing attitudes, and the anti-slaughter movement, Messer said. Even if slaughter weren't an issue, there are complications related to many methods of carcass disposal, he said...

    IDAHO ALERT--Stolen Horse

    IDAHO ALERT: Spice, APHA Stolen Filly from Zillah, Washington
    WA Spice Zillah--APHA
  • 2 week filly stolen from mother when fence was cut. Paint.
  • Date of theft: 4/17/05


    We need your help. Please show this family they have your support by dropping them a note, posting fliers, sending this Alert to your friends and list groups and by asking them to do the same. Help bring another horse home.

    Submitted by: Wayne Todd & Jamie Phillips
    Zillah, WA

    home phone: 509-985-6150
    other phone: 509-945-1075
    date of theft: April 17, 2005
    type of theft: From farm

    "Never underestimate the power of one." You are now one.

    Debi Metcalfe
    Stolen Horse International, Inc. (a nonprofit organization)

  • Tuesday, April 19, 2005

    BLM-Eastern States to Offer Wild Horse, Burro Adoption April 22 to 24

    Contact: Bill Davenport of the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management-Eastern States, 703-440-1720, Web:
    News Advisory:

    WHO: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management-Eastern States

    WHAT: Wild horse and burro adoption where more than 100 horses and burros will be available for adoption.

    WHEN: Animals arrive for viewing April 22, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Adoptions April 23 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and April 24 from 8 a.m. to Noon

    WHERE: University of Tennessee -- Martin Livestock Center in Martin, Tenn.

    WHY: To help maintain an ecological balance on western rangelands, and preserve mustangs as "living legends." BLM gathers some horses and burros each year to control the population and offers them to qualified individuals for adoption.

    Gentled wild horses in the United States are being used for trail riding, dressage, western events, and other disciplines. They are noted for their endurance, sure-footedness and intelligence. Burros are great companion animals and are s ometimes used by farmers for predator control.

    For more information, please contact Bill Davenport, Office of External Affairs, at 703-440-1720.

    NYC Anti-Horse Slaughter Walk-a-thon May 29

    Anti-Horse Slaughter Walk-a-thon on May 29th 10:00 A.M.* n New York at Belmont Race Track.
    *(check time to be sure)

    Kim is the contact person -- 516-972-3214.

    Register by May 1st.

    Monday, April 18, 2005

    There IS Another Way...

    Ed's Note: Slaughter is NOT the only way to cope with the problem of wild horse and burro "overpopulation"--although some would contest that there is no overpopulation to begin with, only cattle interests.


    Originally published April 18, 2005--Baltimore Sun

    HAVING SPENT most of his long career in Montana, Jay Kirkpatrick knows some folks out West find the wild horse roundups he performs on Assateague Island peculiar.
    Slogging through the marshy muck, searching with binoculars to identify scores of animals at long distance, he spends hours lining up just the right shots to send darts bearing contraceptive vaccine into the unsuspecting rumps of grazing mares. Then there's the glamorous business of trailing behind his targets gathering urine and fecal samples for pregnancy tests.

    No lassos, no wranglers, no helicopters herding terrified equines into pens. Mr. Kirkpatrick is more gynecologist than cowboy. And yet the method he developed for managing wild horse populations is cheaper, more effective and far more humane than gathering up excess horses and trucking them off as they do out West.

    Assateague now serves as a model for how the federal government can succeed at its conflicting missions of protecting wild horses on the Western range while ensuring their numbers don't grow too large for the allotted space. The intimacy of the island setting can't easily be duplicated, but the birth control techniques can and should be.

    Yet today, the Bureau of Land Management is experimenting only with a relatively modest contraception program -- about 800 horses a year out of a total 37,000 -- limited by budget, restrictions on use of the vaccine and Western culture. If Congress doesn't actively encourage and facilitate a more aggressive effort, the 8,400 captive horses the bureau is trying to shed will be replaced again and again.

    Had the BLM instituted fertility controls 30 years ago when Mr. Kirkpatrick first suggested it, the agency wouldn't now be frantically seeking homes for thousands of horses that otherwise may be sold for slaughter.

    Contraception is hardly an overnight solution, though. Even in Assateague, where Mr. Kirkpatrick has been working with the National Park Service for more than a decade to manage horses on the Maryland side of the barrier island, the 155-horse herd is not yet small enough to protect sensitive vegetation and habitat. Officials are considering a one-time removal of up to 60 animals to get the numbers down quicker, but Mr. Kirkpatrick hopes the aging herd will have shrunk sufficiently by the time such a transfer could be approved.

    Foals are sold off once a year on the Virginia end of Assateague, where the wild ponies -- as they are called there -- are privately owned by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department and managed more like domestic animals.

    That practice rankles purists, though, who contend wild horses are healthiest and happiest if allowed to roam with minimal interference.

    Granted, Mr. Kirkpatrick's method is hard work, and in the West it won't eliminate the need for an ambitious, smartly marketed adoption program.

    The rewards of such toil were obvious, though, at the end of a long day spent thigh-high in muck, when Mr. Kirkpatrick could gaze across a beachy landscape where work horses evolved over centuries into small, shaggy creatures of the marsh -- wild as the egrets, free as the deer -- and know he's helping keep them that way forever.

    Stalling Freedom

    Staci Matlock | The New Mexican --April 17, 2005

    America’s mustangs have long been caught somewhere between a romantic notion depicted in films like The Misfits — and a bullet.

    Public outcry against the slaughter of the wild horses through the 1950s and ’60s spurred Congress to pass the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act, declaring the mustangs a living symbol of the historic and pioneering spirit of the West and ordering federal agencies to protect them.

    Three decades later, the agencies deal with an ongoing dilemma: what to do with the animals, including 34,000 wild horses and burros roaming Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service lands in 10 Western states and the 24,000 captured mustangs currently living in BLM holding facilities at a cost of $20 million a year.

    Mustang advocates say too many are being taken off the range, and ranchers say the horses need to be better managed.

    Recently, Congress made it easier for them to be sent to slaughter. A controversial amendment to the 1971 law passed last December allows new owners to claim immediate title to the animals, instead of waiting for a year as required in the federal mustang-adoption program.

    Now, more than 8,000 horses are on the sale block. These usually are mustangs over the age of 10 and not adopted after three tries. They sell for as low as $75 but can bring in $500 at the slaughterhouse. Under the sales provision, these horses can be sold for less than the $125 adoption fee that the BLM has assessed during the last 30 years.

    Some people aren’t satisfied that rounding up the wild horses or sending them to the slaughterhouse is the way to fix the problem.

    “Someone said you can judge a society by how it treats its animals,” said Roeliff Annon, a Velarde horse trainer who’s worked with mustangs for more than two decades and says he has never taken a horse to slaughter. But keeping a large number of horses sitting around in corrals is “no life” either Annon said, adding, “My question to people is: What’s the solution?” [READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE]

    Friday, April 15, 2005

    Responses from America...

    The following letter is in response to the article "Law allows slaughter of West's wild horses--Tribes say most of herd in Arizona is safe with them" which appeared in The Arizona Republic, Apr. 13, 2005

    from Kimberly Meagher
    President, Wildhorse Ranch Rescue
    Gilbert, AZ

    Hello Judy,
    We were interviewed by you regarding the Gila River round ups. We have several horses from their round up last year, where many foals died and mares were auctioned in groups so that the average person could not purchase them. We spent thousands of dollars to save the babies that they purposely orphaned during the round up, as did many other people who purchased them. One of our babies died and we heard from several other purchasers that their foals died as well.

    These foals were separated when some were just days old and put in a holding pen at PLA for 3 days with hay and water. Foals at that age must have mare's milk or a milk replacement. If this is not cruel, please tell me what is. Many people begged the community and the PLA staff to allow them to help nurse the babies and all were turned down. There were even dead babies in the parking lot of the auction when they were unloaded from the round up at Gila River.

    We know that Gila River rounded up last year, not 7 years ago, as they claim.

    We were sad to see your article paint such a romantic view of what is actually happening to some of our wild herds in Arizona. The public has the right to know what is really going on during these round ups. Gila River needs to be honest about what they are really doing to thin their herds. This particular statement cuts the deepest "The tribe considers the horses culturally significant and wants to use its resources to protect them, said Montague, a member of the Pima tribe." We have tried, unsuccessfully, to meet with GRIC to talk about better/kinder ways to manage their herd....the wild horse, that they claim is culturally significant to them. They will not meet with us. We have email documentation of this.

    Other tribes have wonderful programs to maintain healthy herds...GRIC just rounds them up and runs them through Pacific Live Stock Auction in Chandler AZ. Records at PLA will show that they did a round up last June...not 7 years ago.

    We honestly do not understand how the Gila River community and Pacific Live Stock Auction continue to get away with this activity and the public is not made aware of it. Even the Sheriff's office in Maricopa County is aware of the abuse and deaths that continue to occur but they have no jurisdiction on Indian Land. The public needs to know what Wildhorse Pass is really all about so they can intelligently decide if they want to patronize the Casino and facilities at Wild Horse Pass.

    Regards, Kim Meagher

    Monday, April 11, 2005


    Saratoga Springs, NY (April 11, 2005) – U.S. Representative for Saratoga Springs, John E. Sweeney (R) and Representative Ed Whitfield (R-KY) joined award-winning turf writer Bill Heller today at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame to promote Heller’s new book, After The Finish Line: The Race to End Horse Slaughter.

    The book details the growing movement to end the slaughter of America’s horses. Representative Sweeney is spearheading efforts on Capitol Hill to end horse slaughter for human consumption, and recently reintroduced the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (H.R. 503).

    Representative John Sweeney (R-NY) said, "Bill Heller has drawn attention to an important issue that must be addressed. I'm working at the federal level to stop the senseless slaughter of horses and this new book will help educate the public on this and hopefully bring this cruel practice to an end. I thank Mr. Heller for his efforts and wish him success on raising awareness."

    More than 65,000 horses were slaughtered in this country in 2004, and the meat shipped overseas, primarily to Europe where it is considered a delicacy. Only three plants slaughter horses in the United States, and all are foreign-owned.

    "Bill Heller has done it again. His new book is groundbreaking and will significantly boost our efforts to end the slaughter of American horses for European and Asian dinner tables. We are lucky to have a writer of Bill's caliber on our side and I am grateful for his hard work and dedication" said Representative Ed Whitfield (R-KY), who also attended today’s event. Representative Whitfield has worked closely with Representative Sweeney to persuade their colleagues on Capitol Hill to pass the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act.

    In After the Finish Line: The Race to End Horse Slaughter in America, Heller, an Eclipse award-winning writer for The Thoroughbred Times lays out the case for and against horse slaughter, but leaves the reader with only one conclusion – that horse slaughter must and will end.

    "The only question is when horse slaughter in America will end," Heller said.


    While we ALL push for and await passage of the House/Senate bills, H.R. 297/S. 576, we need to urge the BLM/Dept. of Interior to use some formal rules/requirements/criteria when screening potential buyers of the horses now subject to the Burns rider.

    We are part of a coalition that has filed a formal petition for rulemaking for just this purpose, about three weeks ago. We did this because the horses ARE being sold. While we hope to stop this, and pass the bills, we need this as part of our practical plan to help the horses being sold now. Rules/regulations, would require specific standards as to aging horses, what a constitutes "offered for adoption three times" and much more, all contained in the petition.....

    The agency contacts are below. We need your short letters urging that the regulations must be promulgated (and ccing your representative/senators), as soon as possible to go out now.

    Please cross post.

    Gale Norton, Secretary of Interior
    Department of the Interior
    1849 C Street, N.W.
    Washington DC 20240
    Phone: 202-208-3100

    Kathleen Clarke, Director of the BLM
    Office of Public Affairs
    1849 C Street, Room 406-LS
    Washington, DC 20240
    Phone: (202) 452-5125
    Fax: (202) 452-5124

    Jeff Rawson
    Director of the Wild Horse and Burro Program in D.C.

    News Briefs...


    LORI ASSA — The Daily Astorian file
    Horses rescued by Alder Hill Farm stand soon after their arrival. Some of the horses have been adopted, while others wait for a new home.

    Couple nurtures 64 horses back to health after rescue
    SEASIDE — When Leslie Maxwell trains her 58 equine “babies,” it isn’t by cracking a whip or digging her spurs in. Instead, she encourages them to see her as a horse. One tactic is to touch their backs as another horse would...

    She has brought home strays before, although nothing compares to the experience she and her husband Craig Maxwell have had rescuing 64 foals in December from slaughter or drug testing. The foals were a byproduct of a Premarin operation, which uses pregnant mare’s urine as an ingredient in a drug for women going through menopause...(READ MORE)


    DeKALB - A horse-slaughtering plant targeted last year by animal rights activists and some state lawmakers has been fined by the DeKalb Sanitary District for consistently exceeding a wastewater discharge guideline.

    Sanitary District Manager Mike Zima said the violations at Cavel International on DeKalb's south side do not pose a public health hazard, but they do put pressure on the district's sanitary treatment processes.

    "There's too much animal residue in that wastewater," Zima said. "It can unfairly take space out of the treatment plant..." (READ MORE)


    Just two weeks before its “Summit on Unwanted Horses” April 19 in Washington, D.C., the American Association of Equine Practitioners issued a position paper explaining its opposition to H.R. 503, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act presently before the United States House of Representatives.

    "While H.R. 503 and its supporters are well intentioned, the passage of this legislation, without adequate funding or an infrastructure in place to care for unwanted horses, will create a series of unintended consequences that negatively impact the health and welfare of the horse," the paper states. "Therefore, the AAEP opposes H.R. 503 as it is currently written..."

    ...Supporters of H.R. 503 maintain that humane euthenasia means a painless death by lethal injection and not the captive bolt gun used in horse slaughterhouses. The captive bolt gun was originally designed for cattle and frequently does not kill a horse with one shot because horses have a different skull shape and neck length than cattle. Those horses hot killed with the first shot suffer a torturous death.

    "It’s clear they continue to misunderstand the issue," said Chris Heyde, executive director of the National Horse Protection Coalition.

    According to the USDA, 65,976 horses were slaughtered in the U.S. in 2004 at the three slaughterhouses, which in addition to the two in Texas includes another in Illinois.—Bill Heller (READ ENTIRE ARTICLE)

    Wednesday, April 06, 2005

    The Rolex Ranchers and the Living Legends

    10% of BLM Land Lease Subsidy Recipients are Billionaires and Control 65% of all BLM Lands--

    Hoboken, N.J. - infoZine -The Bureau of Land Management correctly refers to wild horses and burros as 'Living Legends.' However, since Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT) added his now infamous amendment to the 2005 Omnibus Appropriations bill, these 'living legends' are available to be rounded up and sold 'without limitation through auction et. al.' to the highest bidder. That bidder could be a 'killer buyer' who will take the animals to the nearest foreign owned slaughterhouse - most likely in Texas as Illinois is rather inconvenient. Once these animals endure the trip while tightly packed in trucks, they will meet the 'captive bolt' gun. This method of driving a bolt into the animal's skull - developed for bovines - may or may not render the horses and burros unconscious as required before 'processing.' The thought of any animal being bled and butchered while conscious is horrifying. Their flesh will then be sold as a gourmet delicacy in Europe and Japan.

    Senator Burns deliberately repealed the 'Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971' - also known as 'The Wild Horse Annie Act' - which had protected the wild horses and burros from exactly the fate described. The BLM states the Wild Horse and Burro Adoption program is being heavily promoted; roughly half of the wild horse and burro population of the United States has the tremendous misfortune of living in the state of Nevada.

    Within the State of Nevada, the Bureau of Land Management administers almost 48 million acres of public land. BLM public lands comprise 67 percent of the entire area of the state. 45 million acres are leased primarily by cattle ranchers, but there are some sheep and goat ranchers. The remaining acres are allotted for the wild horses and burros, however the horses and burros overlap onto the leased land.

    An 'animal unit per month' is comprised of the forage necessary to feed one cow and one calf, or five sheep, or five goats. Lessees pay $1.79 per month for each AUM. Wild horse and burro AUMs are comprised of one horse or one burro. Nevada BLM reports there are currently 1,370,366 AUMs being consumed on 45 million acres of public land. With millions of public grazing acres available in Nevada, why are the wild horses and burros perceived as such a problem?

    The forage in Nevada is somewhat sparse and there is competition for grazing between the 100-200 thousand cattle with most spending the entire year on BLM land, and the 28 thousand wild horses and burros in that state. This begs the question of why 28 thousand wild horses and burros are considered "competition" to the 100-200 thousand privately owned cattle, and some sheep and goats? The Nevada BLM is correct about the competition for forage, however, upon inspection, it becomes evident that this 'competition' is unnecessary. Also evident is that the American taxpayers are unaware of exactly who the lessees are that their tax dollars are subsidizing, and the complete lack of understanding that Congress has regarding environmental management. Laws enacted by Congress have given the BLM a huge task and a huge problem and the wild horses and burros are paying the price.

    Paul Rogers of the 'San Jose Mercury News ("Cash Cows" page 2S, column 2 Nov. 7, 1999)' (Original source: Forest Guardians) performed nine months of research that included studying 26,000 leases. Mr. Rogers' research revealed that 10% of the total grazing leases are held by lessees that control 65% of the total public land. Furthermore, these lessees include billionaire ranchers and corporations such as Ted Turner, Baron Hilton, Mary Hewlett-Jaffey, JR Simplot, Annheiser-Busch, and the Hunt Oil Company of Dallas. The Public Lands Ranching Organization reports that the federal grazing program operates at a loss, costing taxpayers at least $500,000,000 annually. This figure includes direct program costs and millions of dollars spent on emergency feed, drought and flood relief, and predator control to support or mitigate damage from public lands grazing.

    In Nevada, the cost to the government for maintaining the wild horses and burros for one year is $794,760.00. The cost to the lessees to graze their privately owned livestock for one year is $2,452,955.14. The BLM fee, when compared with an average of $12 on private land in the west, is quite a bargain for the ranchers.

    In reality, the wild horses and burros are not the problem, rather it is the privately owned livestock grazing on public lands subsidized by American taxpayers at great expense. It is important to note that cattle are 'static' animals in that they do not move much and they destroy the ground. It takes ten years to reclaim land destroyed by cattle, and longer in arid areas such as Nevada. The cattle grazing on public lands are 'anecdotal' to the beef industry as they comprise a mere 2.5% of the total beef consumption in the United States. Why is this allowed? Perhaps the land leases in Nevada - at least - should be nullified.

    The wild horses and burros need not be rounded up in Nevada, rather the privately owned livestock do. Congress must actually read the bills they pass and demand much more 'intelligence' regarding public land management. Congress must enable the Bureau of Land Management to perform its primary function: to protect the public land and the wild life that lives on it. We all know how the 'Tale of the Rolex Ranchers and the Living Legends' will end. This is an American tragedy and it should not be this way.

    With a bit of luck and properly placed outrage, H.R. 297, a bill introduced by Congressman Nick Rahall (D-WV), ranking member of the House Resources Committee and Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY), will pass. This bill will restore the 'The Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971' to its original language.

    Special thanks to Mr. Billy Stern of the Forest Guardians Organization and the staff of the Nevada and Montana BLM District Offices for their kind help.


    Tuesday, April 05, 2005

    BLM Sells 30 Wild Horses to Cattle Rancher

    WASHINGTON, April 5 /U.S. Newswire/ --

    "The Bureau of Land Management today announced that it is selling 30 wild horses to a Florida cattle rancher who will provide long-term care for the mustangs on his 1,000-acre ranch.

    Larry Jones, who owns and operates the Sarasota-area LB Ranch, is buying 16 mares and 14 geldings from the BLM under a new law passed by Congress.

    "Our agency is delighted to announce this sale to Mr. Jones, a rancher whose love for mustangs has led him to provide a home for 30 wild horses. The BLM encourages other ranchers who are interested in providing long-term care to consider buying wild horses available for sale," BLM Director Kathleen Clarke said.

    Jones and his wife, Barbara, run more than 500 cattle on their ranch. He says he has loved mustangs since he was a young man.

    "I've spent a lot of time with them," Jones said. "They taught me how to be a cowboy. They are unique - tough, sure- footed, and when you make a friend with a mustang, you've got a friend for life."

    The BLM has sold, or is completing the sales of, more than 1,400 wild horses under a law (Section 142 of Public Law 108-447) that took effect in December 2004. This law directs the Bureau to sell wild horses and burros older than 10, or that have failed to be adopted at least three times. About 8,400 BLM-managed animals became eligible for sale under the new criteria. The sales do not affect BLM's thriving adoption program.

    Jones, a member of the Florida Cattlemen's Association, plans to keep 20 of the wild horses and offer the other 10 for sale to other Florida ranchers or others who are willing and able to provide long-term care. Jones said he will require any buyer to sign a contract calling for humane treatment of the animal; if he is not convinced of the buyer's intentions, Jones said he will keep the horse on his ranch, which he has owned for more than 20 years."

    ...The BLM is urging ranchers, Tribes, wild horse advocacy groups, and humane organizations - as well as the general public - to help the agency find good homes for those horses affected by the new law. The Bureau's toll-free number for those interested in buying a wild horse or burro is 1-800-710-7597. Interested groups or individuals may also contact the BLM at a new e-mail address: (MORE)

    Little Miracles

    Spirit's little Miracle is a month old--By Adam L. Neal, staff writer, TCPalm--April 1, 2005--

    "INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — As Bretton Bode-Spilios recently sat in a grassy patch in the middle of a field, a wild mustang and her then 2-week-old baby stood still several yards away...

    While the mare, Spirit, stood her ground, the curious tan-and-white foal left her side and slowly wandered toward Bode-Spilios. Spirit, a 5-year-old buckskin, still is apprehensive around humans...

    Since Walking on Water Farm recently adopted the then-pregnant Spirit just days before she was scheduled for slaughter, owner Bode-Spilios said naming the foal Spirit's Wild Miracle, or Miracle for short, was easy because of the hardship they went through...

    Officials from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management rounded up Spirit with about 500 other wild mustangs Oct. 5 in the mountains of Oregon. The federally governed organization was established to protect wild mustang herds from overpopulation in western states.

    If captured mustangs are more than 10 years old or unsuccessfully adopted at least three times, they are sent to a slaughterhouse.

    Spirit was considered "high risk" of dying after she was driven to Jacksonville for an adoption show because she was pregnant and developed a severe infection that caused massive hemorrhaging.

    She was days away from being destroyed when officials from the Jacksonville transfer station called the Vero Beach horse rescue in early February.

    "We drove the truck up there and picked her up," Bode-Spilios said. "When we brought Spirit back, she laid on the ground and slept for like 12 hours. That is very unnatural for a horse."

    Slowly gaining back energy and strength, Spirit gave birth Feb. 27 to Miracle.

    "She is our first baby on the farm. We bought pink balloons and tied them on the fence," Bode-Spilios said, adding they are the first two mustangs she has had. "Everyone thought I had a baby... " (Read entire article-registration required)

    Mustangs Provide Intelligent Companionship

    Wild horses: Old West symbols--By Dan MacArthur, North Forty News--

    "If you're looking for an exceptional equine, consider taking a ride on the wild side.

    Adopting a mustang requires some serious work, but it can be well worth the effort, according to Barb Flores, the Greeley-based chair of the Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition.

    'I wouldn't ride anything else. I like their spunk. I like their intelligence,' said Flores, who also serves on the board of the American Mustang and Burro Association Inc. In fact, Flores said such enthusiasm for wild horses is a family affair with her daughter and granddaughter also adopting mustangs...

    Monday, April 04, 2005

    It's about responsibility, stupid!

    The following copy appears in an ad sponsored by the National Horse Protection Coalition...
    Spill some coffee. Burn yourself. (No one else involved here. You spilled it on yourself.) What's to do?... Sue the server.

    Look in the mirror one day and notice that you're approximately 100 pounds overweight. (You ate the food yourself. No one forced you to.) What's to do?... Sue the company that fed you.

    Feeding an unwanted old horse (or a young, injured one) becomes a bother. (You wanted him when you bought him.) What's to do?... Contact your friendly killer buyer or send him to an auction frequented by killer buyers. They'll take him off your hands and give you a few dollars to boot.

    They're all manifestations of the same problem: irresponsibility. Incredibly, when it comes to horse slaughter, its leading defender is the American Association of Equine Practitioners.

    The AAEP has the temerity to state that a law having the backing of a majority of Congress, which would have ended horse slaughter, "has some holes in it." This from a group that chooses to ignore such basic things as the casual brutality these horses undergo, horse theft, and horses bought for slaughter under false pretenses.

    It would be funny if it weren't so sad. In fact, it's hard to think of an industry organization less equipped to deal with this problem than the AAEP.

    But now they've come up with an idea for a one-day summit on"unwanted horses." We'd like their definition of an "unwanted horse." Weren't these horses wanted when they were acquired? Those who would dump a horse this way have found a defender in the AAEP, the very group that wants to be respected as "healers."

    We really hope we're wrong, but our bet is that the AAEP will come out of their summit with a conclusion that fosters irresponsibility -- an empty "anti-slaughter" position, but concluding that "for now" it is a necessary evil.

    What else can one expect from a group whose main contribution to the problem heretofore has been semantic (to them horses are "processed" in "plants," not slaughtered in slaughterhouses) and who are possessed of the insensitivity to try to equate slaughter with humane euthanasia in the minds of the public.

    How can any thinking lover of the horse swallow that?

    Contact your legislators and urge them to support the bill that will
    end horse slaughter.

    To learn more about this issue or to make a secure online donation please visit: