Black Beauty

Close up of a camera lens. By Premium Beat.

Hey there folks. This is such a great portrait I just had to share.

We know all about the ugliness that can go on here. So we need all the beauty we can get in order to survive this world intact.


Featured Image: Premium Beat by Shutterstock.

Urgent! Contact Congress on these horse bills

Capitol Dome Washington D.C.

Horse Slaughter & Horse Soring

Urgent! There are two federal bills pending in Washington D.C. requiring immediate attention. They are:

(1) The anti horse slaughter bills — H.R.961 and S.2006 (SAFE Act); and

(2) the Senate version of the anti horse soring bill — S.1007 (PAST Act). Note: the House has already passed this bill 333-96.

Our Goals

(1) A minimum of 290 cosponsors in the House for H.R.961 (SAFE Act).

290 is the magic number of cosponsors we need to take advantage of the Consensus Calendar rule which will allow a Bill to bypass Committee and go straight to the House floor for debate and vote.

It is critical that we do everything we can to get those 290 cosponsors on the horse slaughter bill, and quickly. We may never have a better chance than the one we have right now.

(2) 60+ cosponsors in the Senate for both S.2006 (SAFE Act) and S.1007 (PAST Act).

Will you help? Take action by phone, or online. It’s all laid out for you below including talking points.

Calling Congress

Generally speaking, the most effective way to contact Congress is by telephone.

The Capitol Hill Switchboard number is (202) 224-3121. 

Not sure who to call? Find who represents you at https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members.

If you have no interest in phoning, scroll down to “Not Crazy About Phoning?” on how to take action online that’s fast and guaranteed.

The Bills + Talking Points

Why should our federal legislators cosponsor and vote for these bills? Here are some talking points to help you put together what you would like to say. When calling, remember to refer to bills by their alpha-numeric title.

Horse Slaughter — H.R.961 & S. 2006 (SAFE Act)

Tens of thousands of American horses are shipped each year to Canada and Mexico to be slaughtered for human consumption — a practice that 80% of American voters oppose.

American horses are not raised for food and routinely given a wide range of medications that are expressly prohibited for use in meat products.

Phenylbutazone (commonly known as “bute”) is a painkiller used legally by more than 85% of US horse owners to treat everyday soreness and inflammation, is banned completely in food-producing animals.

Even so, the problem of horses and burros being butchered for human consumption persists because “kill-buyers” can legally purchase horses at auctions or from unsuspecting owners in order to transport them to slaughterhouses across US borders.

Horse slaughter being a predatory business, various regulatory agency ID documentation systems for slaughterbound horses, including “passports” showing a horse’s origin and medical history, have all miserably failed.

The problem of tens of thousands of American horses being shipped to slaughter across our borders has persisted for far too long, despite overwhelming public opposition to this practice.

The negative food safety and animal welfare concerns associated with the horse slaughter industry are simply too great to continue to ignore.

The US has a moral obligation to outlaw the slaughter of horses for human consumption and prevent unsafe horse meat from entering the human food chain.

Horse Soring — S.1007 (PAST Act)

Horse soring still runs rampant even though laws have been on the books banning this cruel practice for decades.

S.1007 will strengthen and improve current regulations by allowing the USDA to step in since self-policing has flat out not worked over the last 20 years.

It’s companion bill passed the House overwhelmingly by a vote of 333-96.

The PAST Act is an easy, bipartisan solution that every Member of Congress should be able to get behind.

The PAST Act is supported by the American Horse Council, American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Equine Practitioners, United States Equestrian Federation, National Sheriff’s Association, and the veterinary medical associations from all 50 States.

Not Crazy About Phoning?

Don’t want to phone? You don’t need to. POPVOX will deliver your message directly to your lawmakers. Guaranteed! No kidding.

No worries. We’ve got you covered. Or should we say, POPVOX does. POPVOX connects advocacy groups and the public to Congress.

POPVOX will deliver your message directly to your lawmakers. Guaranteed. All you need is to sign up with an email and password, and you can immediately start weighing in on legislation important to you. No need to keep finding your legislators. You will have that information always at your fingertips with POPVOX.

What you have to say not only goes on record with your legislators but can also be viewed by others interested in the same bills you support or oppose. POPVOX helps you keep track of the bills you are for and against. You can follow your bills’ progress, and get updates.

We contacted POPVOX co-founder, Rachna Choudry, asking for her input too.

POPVOX co-founder Rachna Choudry.
POPVOX co-founder Rachna Choudry.

When advocates ask me about what’s the most effective way to communicate with your lawmakers, I say in-person is the best, and then a call or POPVOX. The key is sharing a personal story about why the issue is important to you or your community. It’s easy to do that in-person, of course, but sometimes it’s more challenging on the phone.

Unlike a petition site, POPVOX allows you to write a personal letter to your lawmaker about a specific issue — but enables you to share that letter with others to inspire further action. It’s a record of your engagement on the issue, and you can then link to it with your friends or on social media.

POPVOX is also integrated with the House Democrats’ intranet system, DemCom, so not only does your letter get delivered to the appropriate Congressional office, but it is also available for staffers to read in their intranet system. (We don’t have that integration with the House Republicans because they don’t have a similar system.)

How about that?

So don’t delay. Contact your Representative to cosponsor H.R.961, the SAFE Act, and both your Senators to cosponsor (1) S.2006, the SAFE Act plus (2) S.1007, the PAST Act. Get on your phone and call or weigh in on these urgent horse protection bills via POPVOX.

And yes you can call about both bills in a single call. You don’t need to make individual phone calls for them.

If you are looking for talking points, check out The Horse Fund’s Stakeholders’ page at https://www.popvox.com/stakeholders/horsefund.

Thank you everyone.

RESOURCES

•  Calling Congress. Learn how to make phone calls to your legislators that get results, The Horse Fund.

Find out who represents you at Gov.Track.US.

Go to POPVOX.COM and sign up for their unique constituency services.
Go to POPVOX.COM and sign up for their unique constituency services.

The true celebration will be when we end horse soring

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

Take action to eliminate horse soring and “big lick” animal cruelty. Elizabeth Fite, reporting for the Times Free Press writes:

The biggest competition for the Tennessee walking horse breed begins Wednesday in Shelbyville, Tennessee.

For some, the 11-day Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration — often called the Celebration — embodies the best of the breed and its traditions. For others, it’s tainted by the cruel practice of horse soring — when humans intentionally injure horses’ hooves or legs to make them step higher, creating an artificial gait known as the “big lick.”

Soring became illegal in 1970 and is not allowed at the Celebration. However, the current law doesn’t prohibit stacked shoes, chains or other “action devices,” and those will be used on horses at the Celebration in classes where the high-stepping “big lick” is still coveted.

Horse soring "stacks" on the front hooves of a Tennessee Walking Horse at Big Lick competition. HSUS.
Horse soring “stacks” on the front hooves of a Tennessee Walking Horse at Big Lick competition. HSUS.

Yes, horse soring and the “big lick” is still coveted by a minority of cruel people who continue to perpetuate horrific cruelties against the beautiful and gentle Tennessee Walking Horse. Together, let’s bring it to a final end.

SUPPORT THE PAST ACT OF 2019

There is a bill pending before Congress that will wipe out horse soring once and for all.

The House version of the bill recently passed by an overwhelming 333-96. The Senate version of the Bill — S.1007 — is pending right now awaiting further action.

Tennessee Walking horse watches worriedly during horse soring inspections, part of an undercover operation by HSUS. Photo: HSUS.
Tennessee Walking horse watches worriedly during horse soring inspections, part of an undercover operation by HSUS. Photo: HSUS.

TAKE ACTION

Contact your two U.S. Senators in Washington D.C. and urge them to cosponsor and make an unwavering commitment to the passage of S.1007, the bill against the cruel practice of horse soring for Tennessee Walking Horse competitions.

Go to Senate.gov to contact your U.S. Senators online. Prefer to telephone? The Capitol switchboard number is (202) 224-3121. A switchboard operator will connect you directly with the Senate office you request.  Go here for further information »

The Times Free Press article includes:

Clant Seay and the advocacy group Citizens Campaign Against “Big Lick” Animal Cruelty have peacefully protested outside the Celebration for the last four years.

Seay founded the group and regularly documents examples of “big lick” horse abuse on his blog, billygoboy.com, and Facebook page, which has more than 11,000 followers. One of his latest videos is of 2-year-old walking horses wearing weighted shoes and chains and displaying the “big lick” at a show on Aug. 3.

“Calling attention to illegal and abusive activity is every citizen’s responsibility. Animal cruelty is not a tradition just because it has been going on for more than 50 years,” Seay wrote in an email. “To say that this is a ‘tradition’ is just a propaganda technique. Nor is this an ‘industry’ any more than cockfighting or dog fighting is an industry.”

Amen.

TALKING POINTS

See The Horse Fund’s Stakeholders page at POPVOX.com for talking points regarding this legislation »

You can also create an account with an email and password at POPVOX.com to find and communicate directly with your lawmakers, follow bills that interest you and more. Highly recommended!POPVOX LOGL


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

Rep. Paul Tonko promotes H.R.1754 at Saratoga

Racehorse tied in stall.

Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY) spoke at Saratoga Racecourse promoting the Horseracing Integrity Act (H.R.1754), gifting us with an interesting poster. It was on the front of the stand Tonko was speaking from. A link to a pdf version was also available for download online.

Promotional poster for H.R.1754 — The Horseracing Integrity Act — used at Saratoga racecourse by Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY, who introduced the bill with Andy Barr (R-KY).
Promotional poster for H.R.1754 — The Horseracing Integrity Act — used at Saratoga racecourse by Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY, who introduced the bill with Andy Barr (R-KY).

Number 1 under the subtitle “The Horseracing Integrity Act”, it reads:

“Establishes a conflict-free, self-regulatory organization responsible for creating and implementing an anti-doping program for the entire horseracing industry.”

Guess where that self-regulatory organization will come from.

We remind you of the words of Dr. Sheila Lyons, DVM, the founder and director of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, writing about H.R.1754, The Horseracing Integrity Act:


“This proposed legislation ultimately leaves the details of drug regulation in the control of members of the horseracing industry despite the reality that following decades of promises to regulate drugs effectively, it has failed to do so.”

Dr. Sheila Lyons, DVM


The poster barely mentions the horses at all. As you can see, they talk about how much money they make, how many people they employ, how lack of uniformity impacts betting and thereby their “handle”. We believe this is the only reason they are pushing no race day medication, bringing them in line with other race betting nations, and at the same time increase confidence in bettors at home.

The last sentence of the poster — their last thought — finally mentions the poor old racehorse, saying this bill will increase the safety and welfare of the horses, jockey and drivers. Oh, how nice. Thanks a lot.

Doesn’t matter where you bet on racehorses. You bet. They Die.

THE DIRTY DOZEN

At the very bottom of the poster, look who supports this disingenuous bill:

Animal “Welfare” Groups
ANIMAL WELFARE INSTITUTE
ANIMAL WELLNESS ACTION
ASPCA
HSUS

Horse Racing Groups
BREEDERS’ CUP
JOCKEY CLUB
KEENELAND ASSOCIATION
KENTUCKY THOROUGHBRED ASSOCIATION
NEW YORK RACING ASSOCIATION
STRONACH GROUP
THOROUGHBRED OWNERS AND BREEDERS ASSOCIATION
WATER HAY AND OATS ALLIANCE

ASPCA and HSUS. No surprise there. Enough said about that. The Animal Welfare Institute? You must be kidding. We thought they were pretty decent. Probably haven’t read the bill.

What about Animal Wellness Action? We just published their press release regarding horse soring. How disappointing. Would they promote putting Big Lick-ers in charge of governing horse soring? Then we say do not promote putting cheaters, liars, dopers and killers in charge of governing horse racing.

We won’t insult your intelligence by commenting on the racing groups. Except for WHOA. What happened to them? We actually supported them when they first started out. But as you can see, they have gone rogue. Or maybe they always were.

Hey. It’s all about the money. Nothing but the money.

TAKE ACTION — OPPOSE H.R.1754

Go here for quick, easy steps to take to oppose this bill »

YES, it’s August recess. But you can still contact your U.S. Representative’s office. They should be “at home”, back in their constituencies. Call. Write a letter and drop it off there instead of contacting their D.C. office if you can.

OR go to The Horse Fund’s Stakeholders Page on POPVOX. Sign up with an email and password and you can do it all from right there, with the guarantee that your lawmakers will see your message. We love POPVOX.

You can also view The Horse Fund’s talking points on each bill at POPVOX without signing up or signing in.

If your U.S. Representative has cosponsored this bill, contact him (or her) to remove their cosponsorship. Contact your two U.S. Senators and ask them to refuse to cosponsor S.1820.

*   *   *   *   *

UPDATE: We didn’t know at the time of posting, but PeTA also support this legislation, although their name is not on the poster. We are disgusted with these big box animal rights’ groups, who clearly have NOT done their homework. Nauseating.  — Editor.

6.25pm EST.