Although technically spring has not yet sprung, we seem to be doing a kind of early spring cleaning here at the Files, with updates on some issues that we haven’t discussed in a while. First, it was ONPRC and now, horse slaughter.
“Horse slaughter.” Ugh. Just the phrase alone turns your stomach, doesn’t it? Well, it’s time to turn that nausea into action by supporting H.R. 503, The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009, which is currently making its way through Congress.
Some background: In recent years, animal advocates have succeeded in ending horse slaughter in the U.S., but now, greedy folks determined to profit from their horses even in death have begun sending horses to Mexico and Canada, where slaughter is still legal. Horses suffer tremendously on the long trip to shoddy foreign slaughterhouses, often arriving with all kinds of injuries and illnesses, only to be shot or stabbed repeatedly in the neck and spine. Paralyzed but still conscious, they’re shackled and hoisted up by one leg so that their throats can be cut. Then they hang there, bleeding to death.
That’s where H.R. 503 comes in. If it becomes law, this legislation would prohibit the slaughter and/or export of horses for human consumption. It’s a huge step in the right direction and could greatly reduce the number—and therefore the suffering—of the estimated 100,000 horses who are exported for slaughter every year.
If you want to do even more to protect horses, additional measures are needed, including specifically making horse abandonment a crime (as Oregon is currently considering) with stiff penalties on a state-by-state level; requiring people who can no longer provide for their horses to find new homes for them or have them euthanized by injection; and funding enforcement to prevent the smuggling of horses across our nation’s borders under false pretenses. To learn how to become a citizen lobbyist for horses and other animals, check this out.
Written by Jeff Mackey