When it comes to horses and lawmakers you gotta have heart

MONDAY ROUND UP — “You gotta have heart. All you really need is heart”, says the famous song from one of America’s classical musicals, “Damn Yankees”.

It takes a lot of heart to continue fighting against the monstrous cruelties committed against horses. It takes a strong heart to deal with the roller coaster ride that is horse protection work.

You have that heart or you wouldn’t be here. Never doubt for a moment how special you are.

Omnibus Spending Bill

Sen. Mitch McConnell placed a hold on the the Omnibus spending bill when it passed from the House to the Senate. However, he quickly released it again and the Senate voted and passed it into law.

The bill contains provisions put in just before midnight the night before the House vote that are threatening to the safety and welfare of our wild horses and burros. This is being downplayed by other groups, but do not be fooled. Only they know what their motives are.

The bill contains no oversight or enforcement provisions relating to federally protected horses once they are handed over into the care of the States for one. That in of itself is nightmarish for us.

We have a story developing on how the cattle ranchers and others using federal lands are reacting to the possibility of management being transferred from the Federal government to their States. You may be very surprised at what they are saying. Stay tuned.

H.R. 113 — The SAFE Act

The bill outlawing horse slaughter for human consumption — H.R. 113 — currently has 112 co-sponsors.

View them at this link: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/113/cosponsors.

Please take a look and see if your U.S. Representative has supported H.R. 113. If they have, please telephone their office or go to their contact page and leave a message of thanks. This is very important. Truly. Important.

If they have not co-sponsored please telephone and ask them to.

You might say something like this:

“Hello, my name is [       ] and I am calling to ask Rep. [       ] to please co-sponsor H.R. 113. It was introduced by Rep. Vern Buchanan. This bill is very important to me because it outlaws horse slaughter. My name again is [       ] and my address is [       ]. Would you read that back to me please.”

They will likely ask you for a phone number and/or email address. This is a good sign. If you want your Representative to reply you must request this. Otherwise they are not obligated. You might add something like:

“Would you please have Rep. [       ] respond to my call by letting me know where he stands concerning the anti horse slaughter bill, H.R. 113.”

Important: They need your full address including your zip code +4 to identify you as a constituent so have that ready. Always ask the aide to read your address back to you whenever you call. Be polite! But you know that.

You can call about more than one bill of course.

Find your U.S. Representative and their contact information at House.gov »

H.R. 1847 — PAST Act (Prevent All Soring Tactics)

The PAST Act currently has 238 co-sponsors.

View them at this link: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1847/cosponsors.

H.R. 1847 amends the Horse Protection Act closing loopholes that will lead to an end of “Big Lick” animal cruelty.

Rinse and repeat what you did for the previous bill quoting H.R. 1847. Rep. Ted Yoho introduced this bill.

A follow-up report on what went down in Florida is on its way. Or visit BillyGoBoy.com for further information.

Horse Racing Integrity Act

We await the introduction of the Horse Racing Integrity Act. We will review it and see how this version differs from the previous one if any. In the meantime, the title is somewhat of a oxymoron isn’t it? Moving on.

PopVox

We highly recommend you endorse and oppose bills on PopVox. Legislators and their staff use this system to work bills and see what constituents are saying — so you know they are hearing your voice. PopVox literally means “voice of the people”.

Sign up here with your email and a password.

Someone wrote and asked if we are getting a promotional fee. No ma’am we are not.

This is a terrific system. We have been with them since their launch and they are the real deal.

Take action on any bill, any time day or night. Track bills. View a map to see what constituents around the country are for and against. See what they are saying and take a public stand yourself. You don’t have to make your name public if you don’t want to. They will assign you a unique constituent number.

Go to our page to view the bills we endorse and oppose. PopVox is where we learned that the American Horse Council have publicly taken a neutral stand on the SAFE Act and endorsed the PAST Act.

Quote

We leave you with this lovely quote by Roy T. Bennett from The Light of the Heart.

“Don’t be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart.”

Thank you for having a strong heart for horses.

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See more horses with heart markings at https://www.pinterest.com/

Let’s double up our efforts in Washington for our horses

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Join us in doubling up our support of two bills pending in the U.S. House of Representatives (1) against horse slaughter and (2) against horse soring.

Double Up with Us.

If you have been following us you know we have been very busy in State legislatures across the U.S.

We are now working on bills pending in Washington D.C. that could significantly impact the health and safety of our horses.

Here are two ways you can truly influence legislation and make your voice heard. One involves cutting edge technology. The other is as old as Ma Bell herself.

Please take action by endorsing the following bills with your Representative in Washington.

• H.R. 113 against horse slaughter (the SAFE Act)

• H.R. 1847 against horse soring (the PAST Act)

We need to get at least a majority of the House to co-sponsor these bills — 218. Ideally, it would be highly advantageous to get 2/3rds so we can use a special procedure to bust them out of the Committees they are in and onto the floor for a vote.

We cannot continue to sit back and accept defeat as a given because of who is in office, or might be working against us, or that these are animal bills and not as important as the ones that impact human lives. They are important. Very important. The way we treat animals impacts their lives and the humans involved.

1. Sign up with POPVOX and endorse these two bills. That’s the cutting edge technology.

Legislators and their staff use PopVox. That means that they will see what you think and count your endorsements and oppositions.

And you will be able to follow the bills, see what others are saying, how many are who’s for or against them, a map showing support and opposition around the country, and more.

Or . . .

2. Telephone your Representative and ask them to co-sponsor these two bills. Yes, you heard us right. Call!

Calls are having more impact right now in Washington D.C. than any of us can recall and we’ve been at this nearly 15 years.

If you know your Representative call (202) 225-3121 for the U.S. House switchboard operator.

When you are put through, be sure to give your name and address to the person answering your Representative’s phone so they can identify you as a constituent. They may not ask! If you want a reply from your Representative you must request that too. It is not automatic.

Find your Representative here »

Whether via POPVOX or via the telephone you will get quicker action. Letters take forever. Automated pre-formulated messages often aren’t counted, or batched together and counted as one. Don’t waste your time.

And speak from the heart. That is what your legislators really want to hear. It may take a bit more time than a point and click message, but aren’t our horses worth the extra effort, especially considering how much is at stake with both of these bills?

From what we hear, some of you are doing both! We love it.

According to D.C. lawmakers who spoke at a rally last night, they are hearing from constituents in record numbers and they want more, not less — more. So let’s bring it on.

Remember these are bipartisan issues.

Double Up with a Donation

We have a dollar for dollar matching gift campaign going on right now that will help us put more boots on the ground in Washington D.C. visiting and talking with key legislators and their staff about these bills.

We have a big presence. Help us keep it and make an even bigger one.

Thank you so very much.

THE HORSE FUND
Visit Our Popvox Page


RELATED READING AND ACTION

If you wish to take further action, please see all the horse related bills pending in Washington »

Like to help out as a volunteer? Go here »

See also Help Us Get 2/3rds of the House to co-sponsor the PAST Act »

OTHER BILLS

While you are on PopVox or speaking with your Representative’s Office you may wish to support another bill, H.R. 1406, the Dog and Cat Meat Trade Prohibition Act of 2017. This Act was introduced “To amend the Animal Welfare Act to prohibit the slaughter of dogs and cats for human consumption”.  It is sickening to think we need to prohibit this but sadly we do.

ARTWORK
Horse by Bob Langrish. Image created by Vivian Farrell.

Federal legislators plan bills to restore USDA’s animal welfare records including soring

WASHINGTON, DC – Oregon’s Sen. Ron Wyden [D-OR] (above left) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer  [D-3-OR] (above right) plan to introduce bills to require the U.S. Department of Agriculture to restore records of animal welfare inspections, removed last month, to its web page.

The department’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service database went dark shortly after the Trump Administration took office but a plan to end the transparency was under review toward the end of the Obama administration, USDA said last month in explaining the move.

More than 100 members of Congress have written to the department’s acting secretary or Trump demanding that the records of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service be restored. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which relies on the records to call attention to cases of animal cruelty, and five other animal rights groups have sued in federal district court in Washington to have the records database restored.

Records collected pursuant to the Horse Protection Act called attention to the illegal injury of high-stepping Tennessee Walking Horses called soring.

Wyden’s six-page bill, filed Thursday with five co-sponsors, instructs the secretary of agriculture to “maintain and promptly make available to the public in an online searchable database in machine-readable format on the website of the Department of Agriculture information relating to the administration of the Animal Welfare Act . . . and the Horse Protection Act.”

Blumenauer’s identical bill is expected to be introduced on Monday Continue reading »

SOURCE: The Statesman Journal, by Bartholomew D. Sullivan, March 2, 2017


ABOUT HORSE SORING AND TENNESSEE WALKING HORSES

Soring involves the intentional infliction of pain to a horse’s legs or hooves in order to force the horse to perform an artificial, exaggerated gait. Caustic chemicals—blistering agents like mustard oil, diesel fuel and kerosene—are applied to the horse’s limbs, causing extreme pain and suffering.

Image from 2015 HSUS Horse Soring Investigation.
Image from 2015  HSUS Horse Soring Investigation.

A particularly egregious form of soring, known as pressure shoeing, involves cutting a horse’s hoof almost to the quick and tightly nailing on a shoe, or standing a horse for hours with the sensitive part of his soles on a block or other raised object. This causes excruciating pressure and pain whenever the horse puts weight on the hoof.

The 75th Walking Horse Celebration in Shelbyville, Tennessee on August 29, 2013. HSUS.
The 75th Walking Horse Celebration in Shelbyville, Tennessee on August 29, 2013. HSUS.

Soring has been a common and widespread practice in the Tennessee walking horse show industry for decades. Today, judges continue to reward the artificial “Big Lick” gait, thus encouraging participants to sore their horses and allowing the cruel practice to persist. Source: HSUS.

THE HORSE FUND

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