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

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Vote Delayed on HR 503

Anti-Slaughter Bill May Have to Wait Until After Break
by Amanda Duckworth

It appears unlikely the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act will be put to a vote before Congress breaks for the Fourth of July holiday.

"There had been some thought for some quick movement, but it looks like there are some scheduling and timing issues," Chris Heyde, deputy legislative director for the Society for Animal Protective Legislation, said June 28. While the vote may not come until after the holiday, a lot of lobbying is going on in Washington, D.C.

"We have had a lot of people today trying to raise some big awareness to hopefully shake things loose," Heyde said. "We've had a lot of veterinarians and Thoroughbred owners and breeders in town. Even the Hancocks are here today, Arthur and Staci (of Stone Farm near Paris, Ky.), doing some meetings as well."

The bill is believed to have the support of about 200 members of the House; to pass that chamber, a bill requires a simple majority of the 435 members... [READ ENTIRE ARTICLE]

Thanks to Barbaro, sports writers and others paying more attention to horse slaughter

Barbaro, book opening our eyes
By Furman Bisher | Tuesday, June 27, 2006
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

It probably never occurred to you that if Barbaro had been running in a $25,000 claiming race when he went down on Preakness Day, he would have been euthanized on the track...

This has weighed on my mind since a copy of “After the Finish Line” reached my desk awhile ago, months ago to be shamefully honest. Bill Heller, a writer for Thoroughbred Times...

Exceller won on dirt and grass, he won on two continents. In the same race, the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park, he beat both Seattle Slew and Affirmed in 1978. Retired to stud, he bred several stakes winners, but was eventually sold to a man in Sweden. It is cruelly ironic that in the same year he was voted into the Hall of Fame at Saratoga, 1997, he was killed in a slaughterhouse in Sweden.

Once it became public knowledge, Exceller’s fate set off a wave of revulsion in this country, but it wasn’t enough to save the life of Ferdinand five years later. You remember Ferdinand. Won the Kentucky Derby in 1986, but when he didn’t produce in the barn, he was exported to Japan, and when he didn’t produce there, was slaughtered. A Kentucky Derby winner becomes dog meat!

It was nearly a year before the news broke in the United States, and a storm of outrage followed. But what kind of a dent did it make in this country? Not enough to halt the rate of slaughter, said to be about 50,000 a year. That includes all varieties, thoroughbreds, quarter horses, standardbreds, ponies, dray horses, just horses. But horse lovers of all sorts have been moved to action by the slaughter of classic champions.

...Michael Blowen’s organization is known as Old Friends, located on a farm near Midway, and has found help coming from all directions. One of his first “clients” was a filly by Exceller, sardonically named Narrow Escape. She had failed to get a bid at a major auction, and the auctioneer donated her to Old Friends.

...These are just some of the cases Heller tells us about, most all referring to racing thoroughbreds. Not all the horses spared the slaughterhouse have the exciting background of one named Rich in Dallas. Rich in Dallas had portrayed Seabiscuit in the movie, but had soon slipped from view. Blowen found him running in $2,500 claiming races at Los Alamitos, the last step before the slaughterhouse, bought him and moved him to Midway, where he is enjoying pasture retirement.

While there are cases of famous horses whose slaughter creates indignation, there are companies in Texas and Pennsylvania, cited in Heller’s book, that run horses through like cars at a car wash. “After the Finish Line” deals mainly with the racing thoroughbred and Heller’s repulsion at the slaughter. I can only scratch the surface here, but let me repeat what Bill Nack wrote after hearing of Ferdinand’s death: “Kentucky Derby winners are not meant to be part of a food chain.”

I can add to that, that no horse is. [READ ENTIRE POST]

Miller elected Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation president
"Terence was a dedicated and innovative president," TRF Executive Director Diana Pikulski said. "In recent years, the TRF has made tremendous progress in its efforts to care for retirees and educate the public and the racing industry about the horrors of horse slaughter, and that would not have been possible without Terence."

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Would Americans Tolerate Pet Dogs & Cats Being Eaten in Asia?

Would Americans Tolerate Pet Dogs & Cats Being Eaten in Asia?

"...Americans would be outraged if an animal shelter as a fund-raiser sold all their cats and dogs to a meat processing plant to be eaten in Asian countries.

Far fetched? When it comes to cats and dogs, yes. But every year more than 80,000 horses are shipped to meat processing plants to be eaten in Europe and Asian countries. So why would Americans tolerate the eating of horseflesh but not stand for eating cats and dogs?

That same question was raised recently by Frank Deford, Sports Illustrated writer, in these comments made on National Public Radio (NPR): 'It’s not our business to tell other people what to eat, but that doesn't mean we have to supply meals for foreigners. In some parts of the world, they eat dogs and cats. Would we permit slaughterhouses for our Fidos and Tabbys so that their meat could be exported to faraway dinner tables? That's what we're doing with our horses.'

Currently a Horse Slaughter Prevention Act is pending in the Senate (S1915) and House (H.R. 503) to stop the slaughtering of horses in the U.S. and to be sold and eaten in France, Belgium, and Asia. In France and Germany horsemeat is now in high demand because of the Mad Cow Disease scare..." [READ ENTIRE ARTICLE]

Thursday, June 22, 2006

House of Representatives to Vote on a Permanent End to Horse Slaughter!

[from SAPL...]

House of Representatives to Vote on a Permanent End to Horse Slaughter!
The American public must be heard like never before!

June 22, 2006

Dear Humanitarian:

Since the Society for Animal Protective Legislations national campaign against horse slaughter began in 2001, our ultimate goal has been passage of a permanent horse slaughter ban. We have just learned House of Representatives Leadership has assured the sponsors of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act that a vote on the measure will take place on the House floor before June 30.

Sponsored in the House by Congressional Horse Caucus Co-chair John Sweeney (R-NY), Representative John Spratt, Jr. (D-SC) and Representative Ed Whitfield (R-KY), the Act will end the slaughter of horses for human consumption and the domestic and international transport of live horses or horseflesh for the same purpose. Just last year, over 90,000 horses were slaughtered in the three foreign-owned horse slaughter facilities located in Texas and Illinois.

We have always believed that, if given a fair chance and an open vote, Congress would support this complete ban. Four separate times, it has demonstrated interest in stopping horse slaughter for wild and domestic horses by voting in favor of amendments. The upcoming vote is crucial, and it represents a culmination of five years of hard work by supporters from across the United States. It is vital for everyone you know to call their Representative immediately and urge a YES vote for the Act.


Please call or fax your Representative TODAY, asking him or her to vote in favor of H.R. 503, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act. Keep checking your email every day for the latest news, and continue to contact your Representative until the vote has transpired.

When talking with your Representative's office please include some of the additional facts about horse slaughter listed below.

To locate your Representatives contact information and to learn more about horse slaughter and the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act please visit

Please share our Dear Humanitarian eAlert with family, friends and co-workers, and encourage them to call or fax their Members of Congress, too. Thank you very much for your help!

Cathy Liss
Legislative Director

Sign up for SAPL eAlerts to receive the latest legislative news on what you can do to help us protect all animals.

Last year three foreign-owned slaughter plants cruelly slaughtered more than 90,000 horses for human consumption in Europe and Asia. Tens of thousands more of America's horses were exported from the U.S. and slaughtered in other countries.
Slaughter is NOT humane euthanasia. Horses suffer horribly on the way to and during slaughter.

Passage of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (AHSPA) will reduce animal suffering ­ hence its wide support throughout the equestrian and veterinary world, as well as the humane community.

Americans overwhelmingly support an end to horse slaughter for human consumption (polls from Kentucky, Virginia, Texas and Utah respectively show that 82, 74, 72 and 69 percent of those questioned oppose the practice). In California, a 1998 ballot initiative (Prop. 6) banning horse slaughter for human consumption passed with 60 percent of the vote.

Sick and old horses to slaughter

Question: Is it true that slaughter is only a last resort for infirm, dangerous or no longer serviceable horses?

Answer: 92.3 percent of horses arriving at slaughter plants in this country are in "good" condition, according to the US Department of Agriculture's Guidelines for Handling and Transporting Equines to Slaughter.

Neglect and abuse

Question: Will horse abuse and neglect cases rise significantly following a ban on slaughter?

Answer: There has been no documented rise in abuse and neglect cases in California since the state banned horse slaughter for human consumption in 1998. There was no documented rise in Illinois following closure of the state's only horse slaughter plant in 2002 and its reopening in 2004.

Cost of caring for unwanted horses

Question: If there is a ban on horse slaughter, will horse rescue and retirement groups have the resources to take care of unwanted horses? Should the government have to pay for the care of horses voluntarily given up by their owners?

Answer: Not every horse currently going to slaughter will need to be absorbed into the rescue community many will be sold to a new owner, others will be kept longer and a licensed veterinarian will humanely euthanize some. Opponents of this legislation admit passage of the bill will not necessarily lead to an increase in the number of horses sent to rescue facilities, precisely because humane euthanasia is so widely used. It is not the government's responsibility to provide for the care of horses voluntarily given up by their owners, as these animals are private property. Hundreds of horse rescue organizations operate around the country, and additional facilities are being established (a list is available).

A safe and humane solution for sick, old and unwanted horses

Question: If slaughter is not an option, what will we do with sick, old and unwanted horses?

Answer: Approximately 900,000 horses die annually in this country (10 percent of an estimated population of 9 million) and the vast majority are not slaughtered, but euthanized and rendered or buried without any negative environmental impact instead. Humane euthanasia and carcass disposal is highly affordable and widely available. The average cost of having a horse humanely euthanized and safely disposing of the animal's carcass is approximately $225, while the average monthly cost of keeping a horse is approximately $200.

Export of horses for slaughter abroad

Question: If there is a ban on horse slaughter in the United States, will there be an increase in the export of horses for foreign slaughter? Will horses suffer from longer transport for slaughter in countries where there may be weaker welfare laws?

Answer: Horse slaughter has declined dramatically in the United States over the past decade, but there has been no correlating increase in the number of American horses exported for slaughter abroad. Further, the AHSPA prohibits the export of horses for slaughter abroad, and contains clear enforcement and penalty provisions to prevent this from happening. Risk of federal prosecution and the high costs associated with illegally transporting horses long distances for slaughter abroad are strong deterrents.

Standards of care at sanctuaries and rescue organizations

Question: Is it true no standards exist for horse rescue facilities that take unwanted horses?

Answer: The Doris Day Animal League and the Animal Welfare Institute published "Basic Guidelines for Operating an Equine Rescue or Retirement Facility" in 2004. Additionally, the Association of Sanctuaries and the American Sanctuaries Association provide accreditation programs, a code of ethics and guidelines for the operation of sanctuaries and rescue organizations. Horse rescue groups must also provide for the welfare of horses in their custody in compliance with state and local animal welfare laws.

Use of horsemeat in pet food

Question: If there is a ban on horse slaughter, will horsemeat no longer be available for pet food?

Answer: There is no horsemeat in pet food. This practice stopped decades ago and has some connection to the enactment of protections for America's wild horses in 1971. The US public and Congress were outraged to learn federal agencies were rounding up and allowing the exploitation and slaughter of these national treasures for items such as pet food. Some by-products of the horse slaughter industry are used in various consumer items, but they are derived from the rendering (a different process than slaughter and not affected by the AHSPA) of dead horses and other animals.

Waiting and Watching for HR 503

Congress Votes to Protect Wild Horses from Slaughter
by: Chad Mendell, Staff Writer

..."The House had a unanimous vote in favor of the amendment that states wild horses can not be sold to slaughter," Perry said. "Horses 10 years old or older or those that have been put up for adoption at least three times are required to be sold (under current legislation). This (the amendment) says you can't do that."

A similar amendment was proposed last year, but it was removed by U.S. Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT before the bill's final approval. Perry is concerned that when this year's amendment goes to the Senate for a vote, Burns will strip the amendment from the bill again. "Senator Burns is the committee chair, and the chances are excellent that it will be removed again," Perry said.

As for domestic horses, earlier this year, the USDA announced a fee-for-service system that would allow horsemeat processing plants to pay for post-mortem inspections that are required to process the meat. According to the USDA, the system was necessary because an amendment to the Agricultural Appropriations bill removed funding for the inspections.

There was speculation that a similar amendment would be added to the 2007 spending bill, which has already passed in the house (spending bills have to be approved annually). However, an amendment was never added. Instead, Perry said, anti-slaughter advocates are pushing a separate bill, HR 503, which would provide a more permanent end to horse slaughter. It is currently in the Energy and Commerce subcommittee awaiting a vote.

Predictions are all over the board as for when it will come to a vote. "It could come up anytime," Perry said. "It could be next week, or it could be ignored until the end of the year. We don't know."

There are several organizations that oppose a ban on horse slaughter if there isn't a plan for managing the influx of unwanted horses. In May, the Animal Welfare Council published a white paper that discusses the possible consequences of a ban on horse slaughter without having first addressed the issue of unwanted horses. (To view the white paper go to


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

More Voices from the Racetrack--Against Horse Slaughter

Slaughtering not food for thought

..."Putting a horse down for anything other than a painful condition has never entered my mind," said Jackson, who has decided to speak on behalf of the National Horse Protection Coalition, which is trying to force legislation that would end horse slaughter in the U.S. "I can't believe this exists, and it's hard for me to accept it."

According to a USDA study, about 16 percent of the horses slaughtered per year -- an estimated 80,000 to 90,000 are slaughtered each year in the U.S. -- are thoroughbreds.

"Horse slaughter is cruel and inhumane," said Arthur Hancock, who has bred three Kentucky Derby winners. "Horses are not bred for the food chain."

...They can't do it in California. Voters overwhelmingly passed a ballot initiative in 1998 that bans horse owners in the state from selling their horses to slaughterhouses or from knowingly selling their horses to people who have the intention of selling them to slaughterhouses.

Even so, California horsemen are aware that the problem hasn't been corrected on a national basis.

"I'm in the horse business, so I find (slaughtering horses for food) a little repulsive," said Brian Pitnick, a Northern California trainer. "I would support anything that can be done to decrease the practice.

"I don't know why they would want them anyway. There are so many guys pumping horses full of steroids now. There are all kinds of medications that say, 'Not intended for horses that might be used for human consumption.'"

The horse racing industry's sometimes callous attitude toward its own featured attraction might be one reason legislation to stop horse slaughter has been stalled since 2002 and why H.R. 503 now is sitting in the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

One trainer told a story of how some owners would stuff a hose in a horse's mouth and fill it with water to increase the weight before taking it to the slaughterhouse buyers.

Horse slaughter also has been an option for owners who want to dispose of unwanted horses that have become costly "pets."

"We can do a better job," Hancock said of the racing industry. "We have to be responsible for our own horses. In the past, we've sold horses, and we didn't ask where they might be going."

Northern California trainer Greg Gilchrist said he remembers a time when selling to the "killers" was an alternative.

"Back in the day, there were people who would haul them straight to the killers," said Gilchrist, who trains 2005 Eclipse Award Sprinter of the Year Lost in the Fog. "Some guys would buy them at auction for $100 and turn around and sell them to the killers for $200."... [READ ENTIRE ARTICLE...]

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Horse Slaughter Up Close

Read this thorough article at Note: not for the faint of heart, but includes personal accounts of people living near the Dallas Crown slaughter plant in Texas. Excerpts below:

...A campaign to outlaw horse slaughter last year at the federal level was bolstered by polls showing 70 to 90 percent of Americans opposed killing horses for meat. Some congressional offices received more calls in favor of a proposed U.S. slaughter ban than they did regarding the recent Supreme Court nominations or Hurricane Katrina. One Senate office, fielding a call every six minutes, begged a Humane Society lobbyist to ward off the siege. “They couldn’t function,” she says.

...Finch led his video crew around the plant, past a half dozen snarling, chained rottweilers, to a tangle of pipes and vents. Misters sprayed deodorizer that did little to mask the stink of intestines. From inside a narrow cinderblock structure came an occasional chain rattle, whinny and thud. This was the plant’s “kill room.”

...Many horses here suffer horribly painful deaths, Finch believes. A gun with a retractable spike, known as a “captive bolt,” is supposed to fell the animals in one quick jolt to the brain. But two different workers kill horses for the plant on different days and Finch often hears one of them shoot the bolt repeatedly. “The Thursday guy is good,” he said. “The Monday guy is terrible.”

Whatever happens inside the plant, there’s little dispute that slaughtering a large animal can be nasty. Angling out of the kill room and over a puddle of blood, a conveyor belt carried a freshly stripped-off horse pelt, turning it over the lip of a dumpster in a bundle of ear, skin and tail. The scene was a stone’s throw from the backyard of a house where children played.

...Take the slaughter option away, Ewing says, and horse abuse cases such as Shorty’s will spike. Rather than pay to dispose of unwanted horses, some owners will turn them loose in the wild or leave them to die slow, agonizing deaths at pasture.

...Accounting for slaughterhouses in Texas and Canada picking up some of the plant’s business, he estimated 50,000 horses were nonetheless saved from slaughter even as horse abuse cases in Illinois declined. Anecdotal reports from California back up Holland’s assertion that the “unwanted horse theory” is a myth. Carolyn Stull, a UC Davis animal welfare expert, found no increase in horse abuse cases since the ban.


Monday, June 12, 2006

More Owners, Breeders and Trainers Take Stand Against US Horse Slaughter

Trainer takes reins against slaughter

Newsday Staff Writer

June 10, 2006

Millions will be watching as trainer Nick Zito's horse, Hemingway's Key, breaks from the gate in Saturday's Belmont Stakes. But after the race and away from the track, Zito and others plan to keep pushing for wide-ranging legislation to protect all horses - not just thoroughbreds.

Zito - along with legislators and horse owners, breeders and trainers - is urging Congress to enact the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act to end horse slaughtering in the United States. The bill originally was introduced in 2002...

"It's a horrible, degrading, ruthless process," Arthur Hancock of Paris, Ky., breeder of three Kentucky Derby winners, said during the conference call. "The other horses are screaming. They can smell the blood."

Some sellers aren't aware that buyers from slaughterhouses are bidding in such auctions.

"When you bring your horse in [to auction], a couple of people don't know they're selling their horses to slaughter," said Chris Heyde of the National Horse Protection Coalition.

The prevention act is sponsored by Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.), a veterinarian who has taken an active role against horse slaughter. Ensign was not available for comment Friday...

Hancock said he has auctioned off horses in the past, but after learning of the slaughtering, he is supporting the bill... [READ ENTIRE ARTICLE...]

Friday, June 09, 2006

Barbaro's Owner Steps Up to Support the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act

People's choice not in the Belmont field
11:55 PM CDT on Thursday, June 8, 2006

"...Barbaro, who fractured three right hind leg bones early in the Crown's middle jewel, stimulated a national outpouring of concern that gratified Jackson. On Thursday, she joined activists and announced her support for the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, a bill in Congress that would end the agonizing deaths of horses slaughtered for their meat.

Jackson [Barbaro's owner] and her husband, Roy, have been fortunate enough to be able to make sure Barbaro gets every chance. But as horse lovers, the Jacksons want to spare every Barbaro wannabe and those who can't aim that high.

If they fly Barbaro's flag to get it done, the colt's legacy will be a chance for thousands of no-longer-running horses to be matched with a pasture instead of ...

His beneficiaries won't be able to say, 'Thank you, Barbaro,' in so many words. But from the discussions about safer racing surfaces to questions about whether the Triple Crown races are too closely spaced, the buzz since the Preakness has focused on making racing a better place for horses.

Barbaro's tragedy mobilized horse lovers, though the colt faces many recovery stages... [READ ENTIRE ARTICLE]

Barbaro's owner promotes anti-slaughter bill

From the Daily Racing Form:

Jackson promotes anti-slaughter bill

Gretchen Jackson, the breeder and owner of 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro with her husband, Roy, is lending her support to anti-slaughter legislation currently in the U.S. Congress.

Jackson joined Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito and prominent owner and breeder Arthur Hancock III in a teleconference to promote passage of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act. The bill, HR 503, currently is in the Energy and Commerce Committee, according to Chris Heyde of the National Horse Protection Coalition.

Jackson said that she and her husband have eight of their former runners in retirement at their Lael Farm in Pennsylvania.

"Some are riding horses, and some aren't even up to that, and some are more than 20 years old," she said. "I just felt that when you own and breed a horse that is yours, it's your responsibility to care for that horse."

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Horse Framed for Murder Saved From Slaughter

Framed horse redeemed
Almost destroyed for owner's murder
By Nicole Sequino, Berkshire Eagle Staff

"Cross said owners who no longer want the expense of keeping horses, especially older ones like Hanna, often unwittingly sell them for slaughter. Horse auctioneers profit by selling the horses to slaughterhouses, who produce the meat for pet food companies and other countries, where it is considered a delicacy, Cross said.

'Unfortunately, Hanna's story is all too common,' Cross noted. 'It's a horrible, inhumane death for any horse. Hanna made it here by the skin of her teeth.'" [READ ENTIRE STORY...]

Monday, June 05, 2006

"Unmolded Clay," the beauty of the wild horse...

From wild mustang to best pal
By Jonathan Martin

Seattle Times staff reporter

..."At first it was infatuation with having a wild horse," said Moore, eyeing mustang No. 9646 from a hay bale. "Then it got to be that gentling a wild horse was just so satisfying."

Enthusiasts describe wild horses as precious, unmolded clay. They have no bad habits, and their sturdy hooves and indefatigable spirits make the animals excellent endurance or backcountry steeds once they've been broken, or gentled.

"These horses are a product of the survival of the fittest," said Rick McComas, the BLM's wild-horse program manager for Washington. "Only the best and smartest survive on the range and those are the ones that reproduce."

Tracing their roots
The mustangs of the American West trace to Spanish horses imported by conquistadors into Mexico. Their stamina, speed and spirit became intertwined with the mystique of the country's westward expansion, but herds dwindled until mustangs fell under federal protection. Since 1971, more than 175,000 mustangs have been adopted.

Last January, Congress ordered the BLM's National Wild Horse and Burro program to sell for slaughter 10-year-old horses that had repeatedly failed to be adopted, prompting protests from wild-horse enthusiasts.

The BLM's wild-horse program treats the animals a bit like foster children. It retains ownership of a sold horse for a year and can regain custody if a horse winds up in a bad home. Hence, auctions are called "adoptions."

...Breaking a wild horse can take weeks or months. "It's like being a schoolteacher," said horse trainer Steve Reppert. "It's like taking an unruly child and turning him into a productive member of society."

But even broken mustangs retain a whiff of rangeland attitude, Reppert said. They pause when meeting other horses to determine if they are friend or foe, and they always take test slurps of water before drinking deeply.

"These animals grew up on inhospitable land," he said.

After two hours in a corral with horse trainer Lesley Neuman, mustang No. 9646 had lost his edginess. She tied a rope to his halter, grabbed his deep brown ears and gave his neck a hug.

"What a good horse," Neuman said.


Mustangs join Marine Corps Color Guard

Mustangs join Marine Corps Color Guard
Posted: 6/4/2006

Three wild Nevada mustangs gentled and tamed by prison inmates were handed over to the U.S. Marine Corps Mounted Color Guard on Saturday.

The ceremony at the Warm Springs Correctional Facility in Carson City was followed by a public auction of 15 other horses and a burro.

All of the horses were found on public lands, got necessary veterinary care and were taken to the prison for a four-month training program. Inmates working with horses must have a good record while incarcerated.

This was the first time the Marines have adopted horses trained at a prison, Gunnery Sgt. Ivan Collazo Sanchez said. The federal Bureau of Land Management suggested it to the Marines.

"They're behaving great, excellent," said Sanchez, who is based out of Barstow, Calif., as he rode one of the horses. "We're very impressed."

The Mounted Color Guard participates in the annual Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif., along with other parades and shows...

..."I've been in prison for six years, and this program has saved me from going insane," said Terry, who trained "Karma," who was adopted for $2,600. "We put a lot of love into the horses, but it's good when you see them going off to a good home. It makes it all worth it." [READ ENTIRE ARTICLE...]

Friday, June 02, 2006

Trina Bellak, founder of American Horse Defense Fund Dies...

Sadly, Trina Bellak, president and founder of the American Horse Defense Fund, lost her battle with cancer on May 28. She will be sorely missed, along with others recently lost, such as Mary Nash.

...Trina received her juris doctor from Tulane Law School and worked for a member of the US Congress and in the West Wing of the White House during the Clinton Administration. Realizing that all species deserved legal and political protection, she joined the legislative staff of The Humane Society of the United States and dedicated herself to the advancement of animal welfare through legislative and legal initiatives.

Never giving up in her drive to combat all forms of equine abuse, Trina parlayed her personal and professional experience into the founding of AHDF in 2000. Dedicated to the protection of all equines, AHDF became the premier national organization focused solely on the welfare of horses and burros, whether in the wild or domestic settings or in the show ring or the backyard. Through the AHDF, Trina used her legal education and her experience on Capitol Hill to work with members of Congress and federal agencies to shape the legislation and regulations that are working to increase the protection of horses throughout our nation.

Trina’s enthusiasm and never-ending energy and passion for the equines have left an indelible mark on anyone who has ever known her. Her perseverance and bold advocacy in the struggle for equine protection will continue to leave an indelible mark on anyone who will continue her fight... [READ MORE AT]

Opinions Overheard--the danger of making generalizations when it comes to stopping horse slaughter...

We Don’t Shoot Horses, Do We!--Galveston Daily News

In response to Gabriel Chambers’ attempt to tie his animal rights philosophy into the horse slaughter issue (The Daily News, May 27), please remember that polls show that 75 percent of the American public is against the slaughter of horses for human consumption, and the vast majority of us love a good steak.

The killing of companion animals like horses, cats and dogs for food is revolting and must be stopped.

Those pressing for the laws to close the horse slaughterhouses have absolutely nothing against the cattle, pork and chicken industry.

Americans love barbecue, but we don’t eat horses.

--Jerry Finch La Marque

[Blog Editor's Note: This is a common misconception when it comes to horse slaughter. American's simply aren't intersted in slaughtering their companion animals for food--to be eaten or elsewhere. It's fairly simple and the opinion polls are extremely clear--Americans are generally disgusted by the slaughter of our horses. So, why do we continue to let three FOREIGN slaughterhouses operate on our soil to do just that? It's frightening to see the practice continue even though the entire country wants it to stop. One wonders where's the disconnect?]