Hearing set for Horseracing Integrity Act

Sam Rayburn House, Washington, D.C.

When and Where

Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020 – 10:30 a.m. ET
U.S. House of Representatives
Energy & Commerce Committee
Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce
2322 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

Scheduled Speakers

• Marty Irby , Executive Director, Animal Wellness Action

• William M. Lear Jr., Vice Chairman, The Jockey Club

• Joe De Francis, Humane Society of the United States, National Horseracing Advisory Council Chairman, and former owner of the Maryland Jockey Club

• Chris McCarron, retired American Thoroughbred horse racing Hall of Fame jockey

About the Act

This bill establishes the Horseracing Anti-Doping and Medication Control Authority as an independent, private non-profit corporation with responsibility for developing and administering an anti-doping and medication control program for (1) Thoroughbred, Quarter, and Standardbred horses that participate in horse races; and (2) the personnel engaged in the care, training, or racing of such horses.

The Federal Trade Commission shall have oversight over the authority. An interstate compact may be established after five years to take over the authority’s duties.

Live Stream | House.gov

https://energycommerce.house.gov/committee-activity/hearings/hearing-on-legislation-to-promote-the-health-and-safety-of-racehorses

Spending bill sets stage for eradication of America’s Mustangs

Via EIN PRESSWIRE News Release

WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES, December 16, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ — Two national horse protection organizations today blasted Congress’ decision to increase the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro Program budget by $21 million budget to accelerate the roundup and removal of federally-protected wild horses and burros from public lands. In doing so, appropriators ignored requests by Congressman Raul Grijalva, Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee and 11 of his House colleagues, to restrict funding to humane population management with scientifically-recommended fertility control instead of roundups. The funding is part of the final omnibus FY 2020 spending package unveiled by Congressional appropriators today and set to be voted on later this week.

“The $21 million deal cut in the swamp today by the Humane Society, ASPCA, and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, is the greatest threat our iconic American wild horses have faced in half a century,” said Marty Irby, a lifelong horseman and executive director at Animal Wellness Action. “It’s a draconian experiment that will ensure mass roundups and incarcerations, surgical sterilizations amidst the hot desert sun, and has paved the road back to horse slaughter on the American taxpayer’s dime.”

“Congress just unleashed a catastrophic assault on America’s cherished wild horses and burros, turning back the clock 50 years to a time when these iconic animals were almost extinct and Congress acted unanimously to protect them,” said Suzanne Roy, Executive Director of the American Wild Horse Campaign, the nation’s largest wild horse protection organization. “The BLM will now use tens of millions of tax dollars to round up 20,000 horses a year to achieve population levels that the National Academy of Sciences ‘not supported by scientific information’, and ‘not transparent to stakeholders.’”

The funding increase for the BLM wild horse program is the result of a backroom deal cut by Washington, DC lobbyists for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and other livestock interests and the Humane Society of the U.S., the ASPCA, and Return to Freedom — organizations that critics say literally “horse traded” the fate of America’s mustangs for ulterior purposes.

Some deal supporters stand to benefit financially, either by the replacement of wild horses that are rounded up with commercial livestock on public lands, or from lucrative government contracts to warehouse thousands of wild horses and burros that will be captured, removed and incarcerated under the plan. These contracts are already attracting contractors with no animal welfare experience, like the company pursuing 5,000-horse holding facility that is a headed by a South Dakotan who government financial regulators called “a predatory businessman who has fleeced financially distressed consumers across the country with high-interest loans.”

“It’s disappointing that appropriators were sold a bill of goods by these “humane” organizations that not only ignored the National Academy of Sciences’ findings and the overwhelming will of the American people, but also actively undercut Chairman Grijalva’s attempts to protect wild horses from brutal mass roundups and risky surgical sterilization procedures,” Roy concluded. “We look forward to working with Congress next year to prevent irreparable harm to America’s wild mustangs.”

Polling released in October shows finds a strong bipartisan majority and nearly three out of four Americans, oppose the new plan to round up mass numbers of federally-protected wild horses and burros from America’s Western public lands.

More information:

•  Push to Accelerate Mustang Captures Draws Fire in Congress
•  Chair Grijalva, Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Write to House and Senate Interior Appropriators Urging Clarity, Funding Limits on BLM Horse Program
•  Poll Shows Majority of Americans Oppose Mass Wild Horse Roundup Plan

See alsoCongress wants to pull the reins on accelerated wild horse round up plan,” CPR.org, 12 Dec 2019

Last updated: 12.17.19 4.10 pm EST.


JUST SO YOU KNOW

Wayne Pacelle is founder of Animal Wellness Action and its political action committee, co-founder of the Center for a Humane Economy, and a leader with the Animal Wellness Foundation. He founded the Humane Society Legislative Fund and prior to that, he was executive director of The Fund for Animals.

Marty Irby, a former HSUS (Humane Society of the United States) executive and lobbyist, is the current executive director of Animal Wellness Action.

Read more at “Wayne Pacelle’s Deception Continues” at HumaneWatch.org »

What a tangled web . . . it’s challenging to figure out who is doing what to whom.

Calling everyone especially Republicans against horse slaughter

Horses held in a pen awaiting export for slaughter to Mexico. Photo by Kathy Milani for HSUS.

We are excited to announce our Fall version of March Against Horse Slaughter held last month was another huge success. We are still sifting through the mountain of information we gathered and totalling up the numbers on how many we reached (it’s in the many 1000s), what they had to say and why they felt that way. Brilliant!

Unresponsive Republicans

One trending item we were most surprised about regarding H.R. 961 (The SAFE Act) is how few Republican lawmakers have cosponsored it and how often this was mentioned. Republican lawmakers, your constituents are NOT happy.

Anti horse slaughter legislation has always had widely bipartisan support — supported by both Democrats and Republicans. It has never been a strictly Democratic or Republican issue.

The jaded among us have said their support was likely because Republican lawmakers knew previous bills had holds on them and were never going to make it, so could freely support a bill going nowhere and make themselves look good to constituents. This type of behavior is also what makes us disregard the “humane scorecard” so called. It’s easy to back animal friendly bills, making yourself look good along the way, when knowing they have no chance in Hades of success. But we digress!

While street teaming the H.R. 961 across the country, numerous people told us that they have been contacting their Representatives to cosponsor the SAFE Act and a huge amount of Republicans have ignored them, even the ones who have traditionally have backed previous anti horse slaughter bills.

If you look at the cosponsors for H.R. 961 there are indeed very few Republican cosponsors. It is mostly Democratic.

We need to find out why, and the best way is talk to them.

We are hiring extra lobbyists to visit Republican members of Congress who have cosponsored previous bills against horse slaughter but have not done so for this one, to find out what is going on.

Here’s how you can help with that.

CONTACT YOUR U.S. REPRESENTATIVE

First, find out if your U.S. Representative has already cosponsored here.
https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/961/cosponsors

If they have not and happen to be Republican, please contact them and ask them to cosponsor this Bill, especially if they have cosponsored legislation like it in the past.

If they they have not cosponsored, regardless of their political party, please contact them again  — and ask them again.

Seen bleeding from the nose a filly awaits death along with her travelling companion. They died a brutal and terrifying death, thanks to horse racing. Source: DEADSPIN.
Seen bleeding from the nose a filly awaits death along with her travelling companion. They died a brutal and terrifying death, thanks to horse racing. Source: DEADSPIN.

MAKE THE CALL

The most effective way is to do this is by phone. When calling, you should ask to speak to the Aide working on HR. 961 — The SAFE Act.

When you get them on the phone tell them that this bill is highly important to you not just for the sake of the horses but also for food safety.

The U.S. should not be sending its horses to slaughter who have been given numerous drugs making their meat toxic for human consumption and a threat to human health, foreign or otherwise.

Ask that the Representative cosponsor H.R.961 at his or her earliest opportunity. If they have cosponsored previous anti horse slaughter bills but haven’t done so for this one, mention that, and state that it is very important that they cosponsor and vote “yes” on this one.

The Capitol Switchboard Number is (202) 224-3121.

EMAIL

The alternative is to email your U.S. Representative directly or use their online form.

Directory of Representatives
https://www.house.gov/representatives

Horses before the auction at Shipshewana. These were racing, riding, and show horses. But the slaughterhouse buyers were there to bid on the least expensive horses. Source: Animal Angels.
Horses before the auction at Shipshewana. These were racing, riding, and show horses. But the slaughterhouse buyers were there to bid on the least expensive horses. Source: Animal Angels.

IT’S PAST TIME

Time is of the essence. We need a massive push to get the cosponsors we need. It’s way past time we have accomplished this, and is becoming a matter of urgency considering what is going on in Washington at the moment. It is a big distraction. Let’t help Congress keep their eye on the ball on our issues.

HELP WITH A DONATION

Please make a donation of $5.00 or more to help us with the additional lobbying expenses we are taking on.

Those who fear a ban on horse slaughter — such as the racing industry who kills horses on the track and also sends them to be murdered for their meat off of it — are spending huge sums of money to defeat this bill. So are the Quarter Horse people, rodeo groups and millionaire horse sorers, to name a few. Together “we the people” have big money too.

COME TOGETHER

There’s also this. Constituent power is just as influential as money. Oh, yes it is. Perhaps even more so. Without your vote, lawmakers don’t get elected no matter how much money they raise or get paid off.

Let’s come together now and make those calls, and send those messages, to Congress that we want this thing done. In this Congress. We demand that horse slaughter is outlawed.

THANK YOU

We know we and the horses can count on you. We always have.

Thank you for following us and taking part on issues like this so critical to our horses’ safety, well being and happiness.

HELPFUL LINKS

•  Find Your Representative »
•  Directory of Representatives with contact links »
•  Make an online donation »

The horsemeat scandal and American horses

Meat in grinder. By Danielle Scott.

Do you remember the horse meat scandal of 2013? I don’t think saying it sent shockwaves around the world is much of an overstatement. Horsemeat masquerading as beef!

But should it have been, really? Accurate and reliable food labeling has long, long been a problem in many countries.

Findus was front and center of many of the horsemeat scandal reports. But so was Aldi.

“Aldi (among other food vendors) had an issue back in February 2013 with a supplier who provided them with horsemeat-tainted products, but that issue has since been resolved and did not affect consumers in the U.S.”[1]

As the story unfolded, the horsemeat scandal that affected Aldi and other food vendors in Sweden, France and the UK reportedly stemmed from their unknowingly receiving horsemeat-tainted products from the supplier Comigel, who in turn blamed the problem on a subsupplier.

Comigel CEO Erick Lehagre told French news agency Agence France-Presse that his company had been “fooled” by a French supplier. “We were victims,” he said, according to AFP.

Naturally.

The words “contamination” and “tainted” hardly covers the extent of the issue especially concerning the amount of horsesmeat found. Subsequent testing determined that the contaminated Comigel products sold by Aldi and others contained 30% to 100% horsemeat instead of beef.

WHAT ABOUT THE U.S.?

In a 2015 Money Talks News article entitled, “Horse Meat Found in Other Ground Meat Sold in U.S.”, they reported:

“Research into the mislabeling of meats has uncovered horse meat mixed in with other ground meat sold in the U.S. commercial market.

“For a study of ground meat products sold in the U.S., researchers from the Food Science Program at Chapman University in California analyzed 48 samples and found that 10 were mislabeled.

“One sample was entirely mislabeled with regard to what type of animal meat it contained. Nine samples had meat from an additional type of animal mixed in. In two of those cases, the mix contained horse meat, which is illegal to sell in the U.S.”[2]

Where did the horsemeat come from and how did it get there? European countries aren’t the only ones with serious issues. We the public cannot really safely assume that any of this has been truly rectified and not going on right now, undetected.

HORSEMEAT SCANDAL TRIAL

The Guardian reporting on the horsemeat scandal trial in January 2019, states:

“The trial of four people accused of an elaborate fraud that tricked consumers into buying ready-made meals containing horsemeat instead of beef has opened in Paris.
An international scandal erupted in 2013 when the mislabelled food was discovered by the Irish authorities in frozen burgers labelled “pure beef”.

“A wider investigation found horsemeat in ready-made meals on sale in several high-street supermarkets in Britain and in pre-prepared dishes across Europe, including those used by hospital caterers and in school lunches.

“About 4.5m dishes – including lasagne, moussaka, chilli con carne and beefburgers made with horsemeat passed off as beef – were believed to have been distributed around 13 countries.[3]

13 countries!

Those in the dock were accused of:

“. . . having sold the meat as “boned beef” that had been cut and prepared in France, while allegedly knowing it was horsemeat that had been treated in Romania, Belgium or Canada.”[4]

The BBC reported:

“The four men are accused of helping organise the sale of more than 500 tonnes of horsemeat in 2012—2013 to a subsidiary of Comigel, a French company whose frozen meals were sold in more than a dozen European countries.”

Another “is also accused of selling more than 200 tonnes of horsemeat mainly in the form of beef merguez sausages.”[5]

The BBC also posted a handy timeline concerning the horsemeat scandal. Pay particular attention to 3.

HORSEMEAT SCANDAL TIMELINE

• In mid-January 2013, Irish food inspectors said they had found horsemeat in some burgers stocked by UK supermarket chains
• Up to 100% horsemeat was then found in several ranges of prepared frozen food in the UK, France and Sweden
• There were concerns that a drug used to treat horses, and which may be harmful to humans, could have entered the food chain
• Meat was traced from France through Cyprus and the Netherlands to Romanian abattoirs
Investigations suggested the adulteration was not accidental, but the work of a criminal conspiracy

The third point is a highly important one. Up to this point little to nothing was said about the horsemeat potentially being contaminated because of the drug Bute, the drug they no doubt were referring to.

GUILTY AS CHARGED

On April, 16, 2016, DW.com reported:

“A Paris criminal court on Tuesday found four men guilty of falsely labeling horsemeat as beef, handing down fines and jail time for the role they played in a Europe-wide food-fraud scandal.

“The scandal resulted in millions of industrialized beef dishes being pulled from supermarket shelves after it was discovered that they contained horsemeat despite being labeled as beef. The scam involved importing cheap horsemeat from Belgium, Romania and Canada.”[6]

TAINTED HORSEMEAT REMAINS

Meat from U.S. horses is tainted and will always be so. They are administered a laundry list of drugs which bar their meat from entering the human food chain.

Speaking of horsemeat entering the human food chain knowlingly and surreptitiously Foodwatch.org states:

“But six years after the horse meat scandal, the situation is still unsatisfactory and it is urgent that steps are taken to go much further.

“In theory, the traceability of food throughout the supply chain must be guaranteed. In reality, this is far from being the case.”

HORSE SLAUGHTER BAN

It is high time the U.S. takes the lead on this issue. It is time we take responsibility and stop being a chief supplier of toxic horsemeat dangerous for human consumption by banning the slaughter of our horses.

PENDING U.S. LEGISLATION

H.R. 961, the Safeguard American Food Exports Act of 2019 (The SAFE Act)[8], when it becomes law, will ban the slaughter of American horses for human consumption at home and across our borders.

Regardless of anyone’s personal feelings about horse slaughter (is it right or is it wrong?) it is certainly the right thing morally and ethically to ban toxic U.S. horsemeat from entering the human food chain.

The passage of the SAFE Act is designed for and will accomplish this.

TAKE ACTION

Contact your U.S. Representative today and ask him or her to cosponsor and vote H.R. 961 into law. Go here for more information.

MAKE A DONATION

Please make a donation to The Horse Fund, the publishers of Tuesday’s Horse, who are monitoring horse related bills like H.R.961 in Washington D.C., and lobbying hard for their passage. We have a tremendous opportunity this Congress to finally outlaw the slaughter of American horses. Let’s do it!
—-
[1] https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/outdated-full-horse-dinner/
[2] https://www.moneytalksnews.com/horsemeat-found-other-ground-meat-sold/
[3] https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jan/21/horsemeat-scandal-paris-fraud-trial
[4] See 3.
[5] https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-46951855
[6] https://www.dw.com/en/paris-court-hands-down-convictions-over-2013-horsemeat-scandal/a-48359348
[7] https://www.foodwatch.org/en/news/2019/horse-meat-trial-judgements-made-after-six-years-but-another-scandal-is-possible/
[8] https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/961

BANNED DRUGS IN SLAUGHTER HORSES
https://horsefund.org/resources/Banned_Drugs_Slaughter_Horses_Report.pdf (3pp)

FEATURED IMAGE
Meat in grinder. Danielle Scott.