EPA should reconsider wild horse birth control, judge rules

By MATEUSZ PERKOWSKI reporting for the Capital Press

(April 7, 2020) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency unlawfully rejected an animal rights group’s request to consider banning a horse birth control drug, according to a federal judge.

U.S. District Judge Michael Simon has ruled the EPA violated administrative law with its “arbitrary and capricious” decision not to conduct a special review of porcine zona pellucida, or PZP, which is used to control wild horse populations on federal lands.

However, while the EPA must reconsider its denial of a petition from the Friends of Animals nonprofit, the judge will not require the agency to suspend PZP’s registration as a pesticide, which would have halted its usage.

Though the ruling doesn’t stop PZP usage, Friends of Animals considers the decision “a big win” because the judge has effectively said the EPA must take the group’s allegations seriously, said Michael Ray Harris, the nonprofit’s attorney.

“He’s telling them there’s enough evidence here that they can’t just blow it off,” Harris said. “Whenever you get an opinion like this, it means you’ve got evidence.”

The judge would not have sent the matter back to EPA for reconsideration just to waste taxpayer dollars, so the agency won’t likely want to get “hammered” in court again for disregarding new evidence about PZP, he said.

Federal managers could also discourage the killing of predators, especially cougars, which would then control wild horse populations while curbing overgrazing and overbreeding, he added. Read more »

Also take note of this from the 3/31/20 article entitled “FoA’s victory forces EPA to consider new PZP research” where it states:

Information is now available to the EPA regarding the unintended—and previously undisclosed—side effects on both targeted mares and wild horses in general. It not only shows unreasonable adverse effects, but also indicates the use of PZP on wild horses likely violates the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971.

“We fully believe the research is legitimate, and therefore the use of PZP on wild horses is likely illegal under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA),” Harris added.

When the HSUS applied to EPA to register PZP, the organization was so excited that PZP was effective at preventing pregnancy in mares that it failed to evaluate whether the forced drugging of horses could negatively impact individual animals or the herd. Indeed, most of the research submitted by HSUS was published by the late Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick, a veterinarian who manufactured PZP, and who never studied the biological, social and behavioral effects the drug can have on wild horses. Keep reading at FoA’s website »

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Featured Image: Mustangs on South Steens by Kathleen Bishop. Available at Fine Art America. Not filed with this story.

Canada’s horse slaughter plants and US ports of entry

Truck full of slaugherbound horses. Image via Glogster.com.



Horse Slaughter Plants — Canada

Three slaughterhouses are federally licensed to slaughter horses in Canada:

(1) Viande Richelieu Inc. in Massueville, Que.; Reg No 076; 

(2) Les Viandes de la Petite-Nation in St-Andre- Avellin, Que.; [517 Rang Sainte Julie E, Saint-André-Avellin, QC J0V 1W0]; Reg No 505; (no website)

(3) Bouvry Export Calgary Ltd. in Fort MacLeod, Alta.; Reg No 506;

Canada — US Ports of Entry

Here are the only designated ports of entry for slaughter-bound horses:

Canadian Food Inspection Agency Port of Entry:Corresponding US Port of Entry
Kingsgate, British Columbia
Eastport, Idaho
Coutts, Alberta
Sweetgrass, Montana
North Portal, Saskatchewan
Portal, North Dakota
Sarnia (Point Edward), Ontario
Port Huron, Michigan
Windsor, Ontario
Detroit, Michigan
Niagara Falls (Queenston), Ontario
Lewiston, New York
Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec
Champlain, New York
Woodstock, New Brunswick
Houlton, Maine
Source: https://www.inspection.gc.ca/animal-health/humane-transport/horses/designated-border-ports/eng/1324090361423/1324310392596

Updated Apr. 2, 2020 — Canadian Premium Meats Inc. in Lacombe, Alta. is no longer in operation.

Featured Image: Glogster.com.

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The woman who has saved 500 horses from slaughter

One of the 500 horses rescued by Freedom Reins.

Here’s How She Did It

by IHeartHorses.com

We live in a world where animals do not have a voice. It is our job to help them. Often times, we are their saviors from certain death. For one woman living in California, she wanted to do something for unwanted horses that were being sold for slaughter. It’s a scary fact, but in 2017 alone, around 80,000 American horses were shipped out of the country to be slaughtered.

Alicia Goetz couldn’t bear to know that horses were being sent to early graves. So she embarked on a mission to change that. How did she do it? Well, she decided she would do whatever it took to open her own sanctuary to save horses from slaughter. And we’re not talking about a few. She has nearly 500 now.

“This is what I have to do… I am a firm believer in that. It was what I was meant to do.” — Alicia Goetz

Quietly over six years ago, Goetz went to work building what is now known as Freedom Reigns Equine Sanctuary. In San Benito County just southeast of San Jose, she has 493 rescued equines living on the 4,000-acre property. And I rounded it up to 500 because she told the news channel last week that she had 10 more arriving this week!


Freedom Reigns Equine Sanctuary 2018

Full article at IHeartHorses.com» Learn more about Freedom Reigns »

Survey: 62% of Americans think less favorably of racing after 2019

Carved racehorses.


(Dec. 26, 2019) — The Reuters news wire reports, after conducting a survey earlier this month with Ispos, a leading market research firm, that widely publicized racehorse deaths left 62% of respondents with at least a “somewhat less favorable” impression of horse racing in 2019.

Reuters/Ispos conducted their online survey on Dec. 18 and 19, reaching 1,005 American respondents, 741 of whom indicated they knew injured racehorses were sometimes euthanized.

Per Reuters, the survey “found that when horses die from race-related injuries,” 34% of respondents were left with “a lot less favorable” view of the sport, while 28% had a “somewhat less favorable” impression.” Another 37% indicated the deaths did not change their opinion of racing.

Industry response has been widespread, starting at Santa Anita Park, where last spring racing and training were halted for a closer examination into the spate of injuries. Conversation about medications, whips and other reform have resulted.

Reuters also polled its respondents about government involvement in racing. More than 53% said they support federal legislation to regulate drugs, with that a positive for the Horseracing Integrity Act that has gained bi-partisan backing in the U.S. House of Representatives.

31% of respondents said they weren’t sure about federal legislation, while 16% opposed it.

Currently, racing is overseen on a state-by-state basis, while the Horseracing Integrity Act seeks to form a private, independent horse racing anti-doping authority with uniform rules across the country.

Read more »

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Of course it’s not just about the racehorse killings at Santa Anita — which gets trotted out time and time again for scenarios like these — but the doping, physical abuse, mental abuse and brutal killings at all racetracks across the good ol’ USofA.

We are neutral on the Horseracing Integrity Act. We don’t care if it passes or not. However, there is one bonus for us if it does — horse racing will be regulated under one roof which will make the sport vulnerable, especially when the predictable in-fighting among the big owner groups begins.

Churchill Hill Downs Incorporated are against the Horseracing Integrity Act so it will not become law. They have their own plan, and it’s already well underway.