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TWH Industry Urged To Call Senators



Copyright WHR 2006

By Christy Howard Parsons

Jack Haefling has made The Report aware that today, November 15, 2006, Senators Ensign and Landrieu plan to attach HR 503, "The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act" to the Ag Appropriations bill, which comes up for a vote this afternoon.

If the bill passes with this attachment, the right of horse owners to send their unwanted horses to be humanely euthanized and processed at one of the nation's three horse processing facilities will be eliminated.

Call your Senator NOW and urge him/her to object to the attachment of HR 503 to the Ag Appropriations bill. To find your Senator's contact information, visit http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm. If you need help with the email, contact:  info@commonhorsesense.com.

Here is some of the information Haefling provided to the Report.

Why is H.R. 503 a bad bill?

· S. 1915 would result in more harm than good for America's horses. America's veterinarian associations (AVMA, AAEP), the National Association of Counties, nearly 200 horse and agriculture groups, and an independent study by nine university professors from four states have all determined that banning the legal, federally-supervised practice would lead to neglect and abandonment of horses. USDA already regulates the processing plants. In fact, there are more strict laws in place for the treatment of horses than for any other livestock. In addition to other inspectors throughout the process, a USDA veterinarian supervises the euthanization of every horse before processing.

· Congress should be dealing with REAL issues. On election day, millions of Americans sent a message to Congress that business as usual is not acceptable. There was serious backlash by voters when the House voted on HR 503 (S 1915 companion bill) in September because valuable time was spent on a non-existent, but "feel-good" issue rather than focusing on heath care, Iraq, and other issues that affects American humans. For the Senate to bring up this misguided legislation at this time would be out of line with American voters and inappropriate.

· There are only about 6,000 spaces in horse rescue facilities, and those are mostly full. The Congressional Research Service says our inadequate, overburdened, and unregulated horse rescue/adoption facilities cannot handle the 60,000 to 90,000 additional horses every year that would result from a ban on slaughter.

· S. 1915 attempts to hijack the private property rights of animal owners. Horse owners have the right to choose the end-of-life option that they feel is best for their own animal. If horse owners don't want their horses to go to slaughter, they simply market them privately rather than at an auction -- just as owners of a smaller pet place it in a private home rather than leaving it at a shelter where they know it may be "put down." But removing the slaughter option discriminates against the middle-income families that make up the majority of horse owners in this country.

· This legislation is a budget buster. These tens of thousands of additional unwanted horses each year would compete for adoption with the 32,000 wild horses that U.S. taxpayers are already paying $40 million to shelter and feed and will add millions of dollars to state and local government budgets. That's why the National Association of Counties opposes the bill.

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