BY VIVIAN FARRELL
This has been a tumultuous year for horse advocacy at The Horse Fund. So much so that we have barely blogged until just recently. And boy, do we have a lot to tell you.
March Against Horse Slaughter
We will start with “March Against Horse Slaughter”. This was no social media exercise where you never really know who you are dealing with. We took it to the streets — literally. Boy was it eye opening.
For the whole month of March we went out and talked to the average American about horse slaughter. We decided to have no preconceived ideas or agenda, just to find out this:— are they for it, against it, no longer care?
Horse Fund volunteers went to 139 US cities in 34 States from the east coast to the west coast. We always had at least two people present, one to talk with people and one to take notes on what was discussed. The note takers were armed with clickers who recorded the numbers of people we spoke with. The total tally was amazing. Close to a million people.
During this exercise, Leslie and I were in downtown Louisville, Kentucky for three days, before going to Lexington and Frankfort for several days each, talking to people about horse slaughter.
The most surprising of all the responses were from this group of people — the people who looked at us like we were misinformed nuts, telling us that horse slaughter was banned years ago, that horses weren’t being slaughtered in the US any more.
Well, it’s true no horses are being butchered legally on US soil we told them (only because of the continued yearly horse meat inspection defunding in the federal budget), but US borders are still open to the shipment of horses to Mexico and Canada for slaughter, and trucks loaded with horses from the US are being shipped there right now, today and every day, especially Quarter Horses and guess who — the Thoroughbred racehorse — among others. They were shocked. Truly stunned.
Not sure why, but what’s coming up below shocked us, although Leslie and I have read and heard it whispered about enough times.
Unwanted and injured racehorses from Kentucky are going to Canada to be dumped at a slaughterhouse we were informed face to face by an admitted racetrack worker. He told us he has hauled a bunch up there himself — from a famous Kentucky racecourse too he bragged.
“You bitches are ****ing stupid if you think you will ever get horse slaughter stopped”, he told us. “Racing and gambling will never let you and they got power you can’t begin to fight. And nobody elected can help you neither. They all owned. You betcha, everybody you think can help you is already owned.”
When you look at the fiasco that was this year’s Kentucky Derby, we can believe it. But foolishly or not, we are not put off. We must stop this. We will stop this.
Closing Borders to Horse Slaughter
It was in April and May, after we gathered the massive amounts of data we had collected, combed through it and analyzed it ourselves, and then had a professional take a look at it, that we arrived at the following conclusion.
Since it appears that we cannot rely on the US Congress to outlaw horse slaughter — and we have been trying since 2001 — we will go back to what we are good at and successful at doing. And that is working at the State level — like we did in Texas and Illinois.
We have a campaign designed and manned for Texas and it will begin at the end of summer.
In the meantime, what about . . . ?
H.R. 961 — The SAFE Act of 2019
There’s a big glimmer of hope. We are not giving up totally on this bill. Never were.
But we realized we just had to have a back up plan to a federal law being passed, because the nightmare of slaughter for our horses must come to a complete end.
We have a whole new strategy for H.R. 961 and pretty excited about it. We will post about it tomorrow. If you can’t wait until then, we have something up on our website now where you can begin taking action. If you are a subscriber, you already know and God willing working on it.
Pension Me Off
I want to retire but I can’t retire until I am thoroughly done with this — the issue that started it all for me 20 years ago with Texans for Horses — horse slaughter. Getting horse slaughter banned in the US would be a swell way to bow out.
Action Alert — H.R. 961, The Horse Fund »
U.S. Congress 2019 Session Calendars and Schedules (pdf), Congress.gov Resources »
Horse Slaughter Legislative Timeline — 1998 to present, The Horse Fund (includes State and Federal) »
Died in Committee, Tuesday’s Horse »