Last year, the federal law on funds for 2015 renewed the ban on the use of taxpayer money for inspections of equine slaughterhouses, which allowed the abominable dairy industry to not operate in America for some time.
In September, this ban expires, allowing horse slaughterhouses to eventually reappear in America, forcing Congress to reinstate its temporary shutdown.
But while the extension of the ban prevents slaughterhouses from opening on U.S. soil each year, it cannot prevent the lawful transportation of American horses-about 150,000 year-to slaughterhouses in Mexico and Canada.
Even when horse slaughterhouses were allowed in the United States, tens of thousands of horses were exported each year for slaughter and several thousand were actually imported for slaughter.
During these long-distance journeys, horses are treated as if they were already dead, kept in crowded containers and Denied proper food, water and rest. According to the USDA, 92% of these horses are in good body shape and could lead productive lives in loving homes.
The slaughter of horses also poses a browbeat to human health, because during their lifetime, horses regularly receive hundreds of medicine and other substances that have not been approved by the FDA for use on animals intended for human consumption.
We therefore urge you to inform your legislators-especially if your representative sits on the House Budget Committee-to continue the ban and prevent this cruel and polluting Industry from taking root in America. In 2011, while this restriction was not renewed, the U.S. horse slaughter industry wasted no time setting up slaughterhouses in several states.
But we should not have to hold our breath every year while the fate of our horses remains unresolved. Therefore, ask your Congressman to also support the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act of 2015 (H. R. 1942; p.1214), which would permanently ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption in the United States and prohibit The export of horses to other countries.slaughter.
Horse rescues and sanctuaries help spread awareness and save lives. In April, more than 100 horse protection organizations from 33 states celebrated Help a Horse Day, 53 of which participated in the ASPCA Help a Horse day Grant, our annual contest to recognize the most effective and creative tactics to support horses in peril.
The winning organizations announced this week used a wide range of creative strategies, but all were devoted to the same goal: the protection of American horses.
Recognized programs included Equine Animal Rescue’s 15 outreach events in the Sacramento area, Na Nog striking Horses help an equestrian sponsorship program in San Diego, and the Pegasus Project Aviation Festival in Ben Wheeler, Texas.
This dedicated effort shows the fundamental Position that horses occupy in American culture. But they also play a pioneering role in the ASPCA’s history. Nearly 150 years ago, ASPCA founder Henry Bergh prevented a rider from beating his horse, which took place on June 26.
Bergh famously wrote: “day after day I am in the slaughterhouses … lift a fallen horse on the feet, enter the buildings where I inspect the collars and saddles for raw meat, and then give lectures in public schools for children and again for mature societies. That’s how my whole life has gone.”
Horse protection has since been a key part of the ASPCA mission, including our support for legislation for the good of horses, public advocacy, training, horse rescue and targeted subsidies.
The work goes on because it has to. As the for—profit horse slaughter industry continually tries to resume operations in America— spreading myths and misinformation to make cruelty practical and even humane-we must keep it in check.
The ban on inspections of slaughterhouses is a start, but a more comprehensive protection of horses is a necessary conclusion. Our horses deserve it, and our humanity should demand it.