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On Wayne Pacelle’s blog on the HSUS website, he stated the King Amendment “would have repealed dozens of state laws on animal protection.”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

Oklahoma Governor lifts ban on horse slaughter

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Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed new legislation Friday to lift the ban on horse slaughter in the state. And the quotes in an Associated Press article show Fallin has a complete lack understanding about this issue and a complete lack of knowledge where animal welfare is concerned.

The Governor is quoted as saying –

“Those of us who care about the wellbeing of horses – and we all should – cannot be satisfied with a status quo that encourages abuse and neglect, or that rewards the potentially inhumane slaughter of animals in foreign countries.”

To suggest that the wellbeing of horses and a change in the status quo should include an inhumane death is wrong on its face. The change should come from those responsible for creating the problem. We should force, for example, the horse racing industry to care from the animals it breeds, until the time of their natural deaths.

We should not allow inhumane slaughter – here or in foreign countries. Yes, horses are suffering and need help, but the solution should not be more suffering.

Once again, we have a politician who desperately wants to let the offenders off the hook, to the detriment of the innocent.

Horse rescue groups might be able to handle the cases where horses become homeless for more legitimate reasons, if not for the numbers who are constantly discarded by entities such as the racing industry.

Horse slaughter does not help horses, it merely adds another layer of profit for a select few – more profit from the suffering of horses.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Breaking News: New Mexico slaughterhouse worker shoots horse and posts video

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A contract worker for the New Mexico slaughter house has posted a video online, showing him fatally shooting a horse. In the clip, he reportedly swears at activists just before killing the horse. I refuse to watch it.

Rick De Los Santos is the part-owner of Valley Meat Co. NBC News reports he is the man who sued the USDA in an effort to reopen inspections of horse-slaughter plants in the US, which led to the door opening for slaughterhouses to resume operations. De Los Santos states he had no part in the shooting and that the worker engaged in this act at his home.

But it shows how little regard people like this have for animal welfare. The article does not include any statements from De Los Santos directly renouncing this horrible act.

It is hard to imagine how anyone can be cold-hearted enough to do something like this, especially to a degree where he was merely making a statement against people who promote animal welfare.

Sadly, some people seem to have no moral compass at all. And this is what some individuals at the federal level are opening the door to.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

HSUS promotes bill to end horse slaughter

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This video is part of the Humane Society of the US’s effort to promote legislation to end horse slaughter.

WARNING: The images of horses being killed with captive bolts are extremely troubling and may not be appropriate for all viewers.

We need to ban horse slaughter and ban the transport of horses to other countries for slaughter. And then we need to make sure the horse-racing industries and others take responsibility for their horses – for their lifetime.

It is true that some horses become homeless for more legitimate, financial reasons. But too many come from horse racing and other entities that are simply turning over horses that are no longer of “value” to them.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Report: Racehorse ‘I’ll Have Another’ may have suffered from other ailments

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NBC News, citing information from other sources, is reporting the racehorse I’ll Have Another suffered from ailments other than those previously reported and might have been given an anti-inflammatory to lessen the pain.

And the story reports on the number of deaths on horse-racing tracks in the US.

Of course, the pro-racing side tries to soften the news – as expected. One person interviewed even suggested the number of deaths on the tracks is falling – s-l-o-w-l-y.

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The numbers highlight the cruelty of horse racing

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While NBC Sports spent the last month or so promoting the horse-racing industry while all but ignoring its dark side, at least some news outlets are reporting actual news.

This week, legitimate news title goes to CNN, for the story under the headline: “Animal welfare activists: Horse racing industry needs reform.”

The article includes this statement: “” The Jockey Club — the registry for thoroughbred horses in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico — estimates that 15 thoroughbreds die on American racetracks every week. Those figures do not include other breeds of horses that also race in the United States. “”

Nancy Perry of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals reports horses are being injected with everything from cocaine to cancer drugs to snake venom to enhance performance.

As is the case in greyhound racing, attendance is dropping at horse races nationwide. Awareness about the cruelty of the industry in the ranks of the general public is growing. The ASPCA is calling for federal regulation of the industry. That would be great, but in reality, when you mix gambling with the desire for quick profit with animals, the outcome will not be good for the animals. It never is.

No one can justify the number of deaths each year in horse racing. No one can justify the losing horses being sent off to be tortured in slaughterhouses by untold numbers each year.

The evidence mounts against horse racing

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Another huge story has hit the web, highlighting the ills of horse racing. Anytime you put animals in the path of gambling or corporate profit, the animals are at risk to get steamrolled by dollar bills.

The New York Times reports the trainer of Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another has a history of violations. Doug O’Neill has “more than a dozen violations for giving his horses improper drugs” – according to the Times article.

The cases were spread over four states over 14 years. The NY Times also analyzed his horses’ tendencies to break down and reported “the horses he trains break down or show signs of injury at more than twice the rate of the national average.”

And then there is this troubling sentence from the story – “” The racing industry has come to realize that lax regulation and the absence of meaningful punishment have fostered a culture where top trainers with multiple drug violations are more the rule than the exception. “”

Translation: The industry has looked the other way while these violations have gone on.

So are we to believe that suddenly, after years of negative information coming out of horse racing – about the drugging of horses and horses being raced at too young an age and race horses being routinely sent off to slaughter after they are of no more value to the industry – that now the powers that have suddenly seen the light?

The problem is it’s too tempting. The money is a carrot on a stick – a very big, pricey carrot on a stick. Gotta find a way to reach the big money. Gotta get an edge.

It’s time to shut it down. Let everybody gamble on the cards and dice and other table games. Cards, dice and slot machines can’t suffer. Cards, dice and slot machines are not sent off to slaughter; to suffer in horrible fear, through the pain of a bolt through the skull or a gun blast.

It’s time to shut it down – dog and horse racing.

Extremely troubling and important article paints the horrible reality of horse racing

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FINALLY! A major media outlet has stepped out of the bubble to rip the curtain off of horse racing. A quartet of New York Times writers produced an article that was published Saturday under the headline – “Mangled Horses, Maimed Jockeys.” The lead headline reads – “Breakdown | Death and disarray at America’s racetracks.”

The following couple of sentences – among others from the article – jump off the page: “” On average, 24 horses die each week at racetracks across America. Many are inexpensive horses racing with little regulatory protection in pursuit of bigger and bigger prizes. “”

And then there is this – “” Since 2009, records show, trainers at United States tracks have been caught illegally drugging horses 3,800 times, a figure that vastly understates the problem because only a small percentage of horses are actually tested. “”

And the New York Times reports that since 2009, 6,600 horses broke down or showed signs of injury.

The deeper you dig into the article, the more troubling the picture becomes. Over the last three years, approximately 3,600 horses died as a result of races or in training for races at state-regulated tracks.

And this number represents only the tragic deaths on the tracks. What about the untold numbers that are shipped off every year to slaughterhouses?

Put all of this together and you have an industry that should be shut down. It is 2012. It is the 21st Century. We live in an era where most Americans detest cruelty. Most Americans detest the abuse and torture of animals.

How is it that in this era, thousands of horses are being illegally drugged each year at racetracks, as the players try to gain an edge over the competition? How is it that in this era, the industry itself seems to have done very little to change its policies and practices as 3,600 horses died over the course of just three years?

Couple these numbers with the horses sold to slaughter each year and the phrase ‘horrible blood sport’ does not seem quite harsh enough. And as the article points out, the dangers to the jockeys are substantial as well.