America was built on the back of horses. Throughout our history their contribution made it possible to expand westward and claim new lands. Horses delivered the mail, the provisions and sometime even the brides to our early settlers. Horses powered early manufacturing and helped fight our wars. They are immortalized in film and captured in the logos of our businesses.
So how does today’s Congress honor the horse’s place in America’s story? By voting 27 to 25 in favor of re-opening the practice of horse slaughter in the United States, which was banned by Congress in 2005.
This American icon deserves better. We don’t torture and eat cats and dogs that are homeless. Why would we do this to horses who have outlived their usefulness on the racetrack, the dressage ring or the polo fields?
Kill buyers often outbid a rescuer at an auction. These unscrupulous individuals load horses onto an overcrowded truck and then kill them by pulling them in part piece by piece.
I urge anyone represented by House Appropriations Committee Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-NJ-11 to get in touch with him immediately and tell him you are against any form of horse slaughter in America. Representative Frelinghuysen has gone against the wishes of his constituents in the past when he voted to overturn a Fish and Wildlife Service rule to stop the aerial tracking, landing and shooting of grizzly bears and wolves on national wildlife refuges.
If you aren’t represented by Congressman Frelinghuysen, contact your Congressional leaders and tell them that you want protection for horses and legislative action that would put these safeguards into place.
What makes little sense is why the same lawmakers are blocking a totally different bill backed by the Humane Society of the United States that would forbid the transport of our horses to slaughter so that their meat could be sold for human consumption to other countries. This is a barbaric practice and re-opening American slaughterhouses will not stop it.
Not one of the lawmakers who voted to reopen horse slaughter plants in the United States is a co-sponsor of the broader anti-slaughter bill – the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act of 2017. The bill prohibits the sale or transport of equines or equine parts for human consumption.
The bottom line is we shouldn’t be rolling back ten years of legislative action and making it possible to slaughter horses on American soil and then transporting them to Canada or Mexico as food.
Whether it is Secretariat or Mister Ed, we are a nation that reveres horses and if the current administration does indeed want to Make America Great Again it should start with protecting the horse.