To All Concerned Parties
The horse is part of American heritage, having played a major
role in our historical growth and development. Post industrial revolution,
the number of horses has surprisingly increased contributing significantly
to the enjoyment of generations of recreation enthusiasts in America.
Generations ago, our forefathers designated the horse a "favored"
animal which means they are not bred or raised for food, not eaten
in our culture, commonly given a name and accordingly are taxed
differently than traditional food animals.
However over 3 million American recreational horses have been
secretly purchased and slaughtered for the foreign markets in the
last two decades. And because of the lack of disclosure on the part
of the agents for the foreign owned horsemeat industry, people's
horses can and have been stolen and their pets purchased under false
pretenses. This practice has contributed to crime and consumer fraud.
In the United States there are currently only two horse slaughter
plants left in operation, both foreign-owned, both in Texas. Accordingly,
horses bound for these slaughter plants have been hauled several
thousand miles over several days, contrary to existing national
and international conventional standards for water, food and rest
for commercial equine transportation. Horses are also transported
in trailers designed for cattle and hogs rather than horses and
do not meet existing commercial equine industry standards resulting
in pain, suffering, injury and deaths.
The horse slaughter plants use methods of slaughter that are not
rated "Preferred" for horses in the Report of the American
Veterinary Medical Association's Panel on Euthanasia (2000). Humane
euthanasia by lethal injection administered by a veterinarian is
preferred to slaughter.
Because horses in America are not raised for food or fiber, veterinarians
commonly prescribe and treat horses with antibiotics, performance
enhancing drugs, hormones, neutraceuticals and other over-the-counter
equine products which the Food and Drug Administration has not tested
or approved for use in animals raised for food and accordingly are
labeled, "NOT TO BE USED ON HORSES INTENDED FOR USE AS FOOD."
The lack of FDA approval creates a potential food safety problem.
Would America exist today if it were not for "Brown Beauty",
the valiant and noble mare who made history when she tirelessly
carried Paul Revere on her back for his famous midnight ride? The
entire culture of this country would be profoundly different were
it not for the horse.
As Americans we cannot passively sit back and allow our noble
horse to become a casualty of free trade. Any commerce is not good
commerce and there should be cultural restraints. Horse slaughter
is an affront to our heritage and culture.
Extensive independent polling shows that voters think it is illegal
to slaughter a horse for human consumption; however when informed
that it is not, 88%-93% think that it should be.
In l972, Congress enacted the Wild Horse and Burro Act which designated
the wild horse as part of American heritage deserving protection
against those who would cruelly slaughter them for food. It is inconceivable
that the American people and their elected representatives would
have wanted any less protection for our domesticated recreational
In l985, Congress enacted the Export Administration Amendments
Act which prohibited the export of horses by sea from the United
States for purposes of slaughter.
In l998, the State of California enacted the Prohibition on Slaughter
of Horses and Sale of Horsemeat for Human Consumption Initiative
Statute which prohibited the slaughter of California horses for
human consumption and the possession or sale of horse meat for human
In l999, Congress enacted HR4868 which prohibited the import,
export or sale of dog and cat fur. The ban was incorporated into
a miscellaneous trade package.
In 2002, Texas Attorney General, John Cornyn (now US Senator),
issued a legal opinion stating that Chapter 149 of the Texas Agriculture
Code prohibiting the possession or commercial sale of horse meat
does apply to the two remaining horse slaughter plants in operation,
is not federally pre-empted and is prosecutable through the Texas
District Attorney's Offices. A similar law is on the books in the
State of Illinois.
Prohibiting the slaughter of horses and sale of horseflesh for
human consumption is consistent with the international obligations
of the United States because it applies equally to domestic and
foreign producers and is consistent with agreements that expressly
allow to protect the health and welfare of human beings and of animals
and to forbid deceptive trade practices in international or domestic
Horse slaughter creates a potential economic incentive and conduit
for irresponsible and indiscriminate over breeding, factory farming
of horses, consumer fraud, unlawful killing of federally protected
wild horses and public health and safety issues.
Horses in America deserve the same protection against slaughter
as our other nonfood, pleasure and recreational animals.
The slaughtering of American horses for gourmet export could be
banned tomorrow with no chilling impact on either agriculture or
As voters, we want to inform our representatives regarding this
issue and to respectfully urge those seeking reelection to "just
say neigh" to horse killers.
Keep America's horses in the stable and off the table.
"Keep America's horses in the stable and off the table!"
Copyright © 2002 - HOOFPAC Political Action Committee - All rights reserved.