Shocker: The US Congress did something good yesterday, on horse slaughter

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The US Congress, within the latest budget agreement, voted Thursday to cut funding for inspections at horse-slaughter plants.

Without this funding, horse slaughter plants will not be inspected and therefore will not be able to operate.

An AP story posted on the ABC News site included the following quote, which pretty much says it all:

“The message from Capitol Hill is loud and clear on this issue: Our horses deserve better, and this abhorrent industry will not be tolerated,” said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA Government Relations.

So hopefully, the proposed horse-slaughter plant in New Mexico will not be allowed to open, at least during the period where this latest budget applies. I hope the cut will become permanent.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Judge extends restraining order on opening of NM horse slaughter plant

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We can only hope a judge’s extension of a restraining order, against the opening of a horse slaughter plant in New Mexico, will lead to a permanent ban on operations such as this.

On Friday, State District Judge Matthew Wilson put the opening on hold for 10 more days, so that testimony can be heard. TribTown.com reports New Mexico Attorney General Gary King is thankfully in a lead role in the effort to stop the plant from opening at all.

The effort to block the plant is largely based on food safety. It is true that little will be known about what might have been injected into the horses, prior to being sold to slaughter. This might be the case for race horses.

But the primary issue is and should be the horrible means used to kill the horses, such as captive bolts. Shutting down horse slaughter in the US several years back was the right and humane thing to do and it’s still the right and humane thing to do.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

HSUS board member reviews 2013

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A view of the year 2013 for the Humane Society of the US, written by board member Cathy Kangas, was publish Tuesday on the Huffington Post website.

While the list Kangas features contains a number of important facts, some of the information really deserves highlights.

The public also became aware of the American Kennel Club’s ties with the puppy mill industry.

The HSUS also successfully advocated for passage of amendments to the House and Senate Agriculture Appropriations bills to defund horse slaughter inspections, which if retained in the final FY 2014 spending bill, will restore the ban on horse slaughter in the U.S.

The HSUS won a big victory in securing an amendment to the farm bill that makes it a federal crime to attend an animal fight.

Let’s hope we see a huge range of success in the area of animal welfare in 2014.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Pack of Compassion Award: NH 11-year-old opposing horse slaughter

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Sometimes, kids can show more intelligence, logic and compassion than some adults. This is the case for an New Hampshire 11-year-old, who is fighting the good fight against horse slaughter.

New Hampshire.com reports Declan Gregg runs a blog, Children 4 Horses. He’s been to Washington, DC three times to voice his concerns and keeps track of related bills. He was named the Humane Kid of the Year in 2012, by the ASPCA.

Hopefully, his efforts and the work of others can lead to a full ban of horse slaughter and therefore block the opening of the proposed plant in New Mexico. He is also promoting the SAFE Act, to also protect food safety.

For his great mission in helping horses, Declan has earned the latest Pack of Compassion Award.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Wacky Royal Mentality: Princess Anne on eating horses

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Princess Anne spoke this week at the World Horse Welfare conference and suggested fewer horses would suffer if more were killed for human consumption. She claims people would treat horses better if they thought the horses would end up as food.

No way around it, that is Wacky Mentality. And anyone who would treat horses badly, but somehow decide to treat them better if they knew the horses would be slaughtered later, is practicing Wacky Mentality too.

The Telegraph reports this:

She spoke of how in Poland horse owners cared properly for their animals. The Princess Royal said it was only when they were sold for meat and transported live in lorries that they were subjected to poor conditions.

So it’s okay that they are subjected to poor conditions on the way to – and at – the slaughterhouses? Has she thought this through?

People who really care about horses treat them with compassion because it’s the right thing to do. If some people won’t care properly for horses unless they know they can sell them into the meat trade later, then those people should not be guardians for horses in the first place.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Editorial covers a lot of ground on animal welfare

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An editorial by Peter Fricker, projects and communications director for the Vancouver Humane Society, ran September 8 on the Vancouver Sun website.

Fricker covers a lot of territory on animal-welfare topics, from endangered species to habitat loss to horse racing to factory farming to fur farms to bull fighting. He offers one quote indicating that unlike the extinction of animals over the past history of the Earth, human activity is almost entirely to blame for the current extinction crisis.

Among the terrible statistics he cited is this:

More than 10,000 U.S. thoroughbred horses are shipped annually to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico. Most of these are young, healthy horses — their racing careers can end at three years old but they can live to 30.

This is a stunning number that outpaces the horrors of the awful greyhound racing industry. The convenient excuse is to claim we have to inflict suffering on animals in vast ways, for financial reasons – or for the jobs the suffering supports.

Is our society still so greedy or in other ways so apathetic that we’re supposed to support cruelty and torture as long as it supplies jobs? We should be at a point – in 2013 – where we’ve advanced beyond this point. But we are not there yet.

I think most people care. But there exist enough greed and apathy and cruelty around us to maintain these industries and entities and to maintain the protection the government is offering them. So horse racing, dog racing, puppy mills and other horrors still exist because too many politicians refuse to put compassion above profit margins.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Reopening the door to horse slaughter plants an idiotic move

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Late last month, the US Department of Agriculture granted an application in New Mexico to open a horse-slaughter plant. And the same thing could happen in Iowa and Missouri.

It is still possible the USDA might not be granted the funding to inspect the plants, which would block the move.

An Associated Press article posted June 28 offered this tidbit:

The decision comes more than six months after Valley Meat Co. sued the USDA, accusing it of intentionally delaying the process because the Obama administration opposes horse slaughter.

I think arguments such as this fall under the category of “Crybaby.” So it’s no fair that someone disagrees with them on the issue? Is that a legal argument? Will “Waaaah, Mommy, they don’t think the way I think” stand up in court?

Thankfully, the USDA reports the Obama administration has asked Congress to reinstate the ban on horse slaughter.

The article also cites a 2011 Government Accountability Office report suggesting the abuse and abandonment of horses has been rising since the ban on slaughter went on the books in 2006.

So I’ll ask this extremely important question: It is right to punish the horses because they are being abused and abandoned by people and because they are being over-bred to levels that are leading to increased populations of homeless horses?

What kind of illogical thought leads some people to want to punish the victims?

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Proposed amendment to the recent Farm Bill was set to strip protections for animals

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US Representative Steve King (R-Iowa) is an anti-animal welfare as they come. His latest effort – the so-called King Amendment to the latest Farm Bill – was set to do several things, such overturning the ban on gestation crates for pigs.

An Examiner.com article included the following:

According to the Olympian, it would effectively force states to authorize the sale and consumption of agricultural products, regardless of how unethical, environmentally destructive, or dangerous they may be.

And the article noted the amendment might have nullified “important state laws that prevent animal cruelty” and reported “King has voted in favor of killing American bison in Yellowstone National Park, killing horses for human consumption, and trophy killing of polar bears, despite their endangered status.”

But thankfully, the King Amendment went down in flames.

On Wayne Pacelle’s blog on the HSUS website, he stated the King Amendment “would have repealed dozens of state laws on animal protection.”

And Pacelle had more good news:

… the Senate Appropriations Committee approved by voice vote an amendment, offered by Sens. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., to bar the U.S. Department of Agriculture inspections at horse slaughter plants in the United States. This comes just a week after the House approved an identical amendment by Reps. Jim Moran, D-Va., and Bill Young, R-Fla., to do the same thing.

 

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A step in the right direction – to ban horse slaughter in the US

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The U.S. House Appropriations Committee voted last week to approve an amendment to an Agriculture Appropriations bill. If the measure makes it all the way through the Congress, it would shut down the use of taxpayer dollars for inspections on horse slaughter plants.

Without these inspections, horse slaughter operations would not be allowed to operate in the United States. This would be a tremendously compassionate move on the part of the Congress.

A Wall Street Journal article notes the bipartisan amendment was introduced by Jim Moran (D-Va.) and Bill Young (R-Fla.). The WSJ also reminded its readers that a spending ban was in place going back to 2005. But in 2012 the spending was reintroduced. So several applications for new horse slaughter facilities were subsequently filed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

And there ‘s more good news. Senators Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and Representatives Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) have introduced the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act (S. 541/H.R. 1094). If passed into law, no one would be allowed to transport American horses abroad to be slaughtered.

And finally, the article cites a national poll commissioned by the ASPCA. The results show 80 percent of American voters and 71 percent of horse guardians  are opposed to the slaughter of U.S. horses for human consumption.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Good News: Proposed horse slaughterhouse hitting roadblocks

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The proposed slaughterhouse in New Mexico has reportedly hit a roadblock due to environmental regulations. So it seems regulations to protect the environment can have a duel purpose – in this case to save horses from extreme suffering.

At the heart of the issue is a permit required under the federal Clean Water Act, one needed for discharging waste into water. It might be a technicality in this case. But we need is something to stop horse slaughter without the need for technicalities.

We need a firm, federal ban – today. And we need regulations in place ensure that individuals who breed horses for activities such as horse racing are required to care for each one over the course of their natural lives – or turn over guardianship to others who will care for them.

We have a system in place now where far too many horses are being bred for some profit-making venture and then discarded when they are no longer of “value” to that venture.

In this case, let’s hope more logical and compassionate heads prevail and a ban is put in place before the first horse is sent through the New Mexico facility.

 

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic