Friday, January 30, 2009

Why do I like horses? I think I must be mad.
My mother wasn't horsey - And neither was my dad.
But the madness hit me early - and it hit me like a curse.
And I've never gotten better. In fact I've gotten worse.
My stables are immaculate. My house is like a hovel.
Last year for my birthday - I got a brand new shovel.
I hardly read a paper - but I know who's sold their horse.
And I wouldn't watch the news - Unless Mr. Ed was on - of course.
One eye's always on the heavens -but my washing waves in vain
As I rush to get the horses in - in case it's gonna rain.
And though they're wearing 15 rugs, The best that you can get,
I bring them in to keep them dry - while I get soaking wet.
I spend up every cent I've got - on horsey stuff for sure
I buy saddles, bridles, fancy rugs - and then I buy some more.
I should have had my hair cut - or bought that nice blue shirt
At least it wouldn't now look ripped to shreds and in the dirt
I can't make a bloody sponge cake -I don't even try
But I can back a car and trailer - in the twinkling of an eye.
It's jeans and Ariat boots that I live in night and day
And that smell of sweaty horses just doesn't wash away.
Once every now and then I dress up for a ball
Make up and a hairdo - with high heel shoes and all.
I ache from long forgotten falls. My knees have got no skin.
My toes have gone a funny shape - from being squashed again.
But late at night, when all is still - and I've gone to give them hay,
I touch their velvet softness and my worries float away.
They give a gentle nicker and they nuzzle through my hair
And I know it's where my heart is - more here than anywhere.

author unknown

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The fight for horses is not over! To stay on top of the latest legislation to ban (or legalize) horse slaughter in the U.S. go to our "Latest Updates" page. To find out more about what you can do to help horses, click here. Click here to watch the 8-minute video: "The Reality of Horse Slaughter" Mac users: If you have trouble viewing this video you can download a free QuickTime plug-in here. The American tradition of loving and respecting horses existed long before there was a United States. Americans counted on horses to build this nation; to plow the fields and to carrying soldiers to battle. Horses are for many people part of their family, and they are considered to be companion animals, just as dogs and cats are.

Unfortunately, not everyone in the United States is willing to give the horse the respect it deserves. There are those who are willing to see horses killed for profit, and that is who this website seeks to expose. Horse slaughter proponents claim to care about horses, but the facts and the video footage tell a very different story.

An Overview of Horse Slaughter
Horse slaughter has existed in the shadows for many years. In the past, horse slaughterhouses killed their victims in relative obscurity in numerous locations throughout the United States. As concern for the well being of animals has grown in recent years, horse slaughter has come under increasing scrutiny. By 2002, the United States had rid itself of the shame of horse slaughter in every state except one – Texas.
To the credit of Texans, the Texas Attorney General issued an opinion that those slaughterhouses violated Texas law, and a bill that would have legalized horse slaughter failed due to pressure from voters. A majority of Americans including Texans oppose horse slaughter, and they find the idea of eating horsemeat to be repugnant. Even in Texas, a state considered by many to be unfriendly to animals, horse killers were told to "take a hike."
Click here to find out why the rodeo industry is in cahoots with the horse slaughter lobby.
Not surprisingly, the horse killers didn't care about the Texas Attorney General's opinion, the opinion of Texas voters or about the cultural respect Americans have for horses. The horse killers received a federal court order that allowed them to continue to kill horses for the time being, in spite of the will of the people. But with the writing on the wall in Texas, the horse killers knew they had to find another state willing to take on the dubious title of "Horse Killing Capitol of the US." Now it is Illinois, the "Land of Lincoln," where the horse killers hope to continue their violent and bloody massacre.
Horse Slaughter Horror Video Documentation

What do these corporations all have in common?
Southwest Airlines
These companies prop up an industry that funnels horses to the killing floor. FIND OUT MORE.


Doomed horses are lined up for cruel termination. The last hours of these intelligent animals are filled with dread as they experience the noise, smell and sight of death.
This horse is hit in the shoulder by the mis-aimed captive bolt gun, causing even more pain and trauma.
Wounded but still conscious after the mis-aimed shot,the suffering victim is hit again and again by the merciless captive bolt gun.
A panicked victim struggles to gain footing on the slippery blood-soaked floor of the kill chute.
Finally steady, the horse is shot by her killer, but she remains alive and conscious.
Still struggling, she is shot a third time by her killer.
Clearly aware of the peril she faces, this horse repeatedly attempts to avoid the captive bolt gun.
The horror continues as the doomed horse continues to evade death. She looks toward her killer with eyes wide with terror. If she is looking for mercy, there is none to be found in this death house.
Finally, her killer succeeds in blasting her skull, but even after three shots she is still moving.
A still moving victim is ejected from the kill chute.
The latest victim is hoisted, to be cut up in view of still-living victims.
The victim on the left side of the screen is having its face cut apart, while the victim on the right is being bled. This occurs in view of other horses awaiting the merciless captive bolt.
While the dismantling of these once-beautiful creatures goes on, the camera pans to the kill chute just a few feet away. There a victim is hit four times with the captive bolt gun.
The above video clips were generously supplied to SHARK by the Humane Farming Association.
Humane Horse Euthanasia
These six clips add up to a total of one minute, and show two horses being put to sleep. They were euthanized due to failing health. They were put down together, as they knew each other and were very close. Their final day was sunny and breezy, and it is obvious that they are completely calm and at ease. They are given loving care from the beginning to the very end.
This footage demonstrates how people who truly care about their horses can give them a peaceful, dignified end. The horses simply become groggy and fall asleep. What a complete and utter difference from the horror of the slaughterhouse!
Our thanks to Judy Marteniuk, DVM, who was a co-producer of the film, for permission to use these clips. Dr. Marteniuk is a faculty member at Michigan State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, where she specializes in Equine Medicine in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences.
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Sunday, January 25, 2009

MICHIGAN FARM NEWS-Michigan's Only Statewide Farm Newspaper

January 15, 2009
Grooming a dead horse BY PAUL W. JACKSON
This time, the last person out of Michigan can turn off the lights from horseback. If there are any horses left. "That's not an overstatement," said Ernie Birchmeier, livestock specialist with Michigan Farm Bureau. "The horse racing industry is in serious peril of being driven out of the state, as evidenced by the recent closing of the Jackson Harness Raceway and declining racing revenues across the board. Also, we may think there will always be a pleasure horse industry here, but with even more nonsensical, misguided and emotion-driven legislation proposed in Congress, there may be no way to save Michigan's equine industry, or its contribution to the state's economy."The lion's share of discretionary income spent on horses generally goes to the pleasure horse industry, but bad legislation is putting even that in peril, said Val Vail-Shirey, executive director of the Michigan Equine Partnership (MEP).

"We're having issues with trails closing to horseback riders, the total ban on horse slaughter in the United States, and now, U.S. Rep. Conyers of Michigan will likely reintroduce a bill that would prosecute people who transport horses to slaughter houses in Canada or Mexico. So here you have the bottom dropping out of the racing industry, the higher cost of feed and unwanted horses, and people are just walking away. It's hard to stay upbeat about the industry when the Humane Society of the United States is making the decision that horse slaughter is immoral. Without the slaughter option, people are just leaving them to starve."

As was the case in 2004, warnings about unintended consequences of legislation are prevalent. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) warned in its agenda for the 111th Congress that "if Congress decides that horses and other equids are prohibited from being processed for human consumption, it is estimated that each year an additional 100,000 unwanted U.S. horses would need to find an alternative method of care..." The AVMA also said "legislation is needed to ensure the humane care and treatment of these animals."
In other words, Birchmeier said, banning horse slaughter will lead to horse starvation, a much more cruel and agonizing death than slaughter.

"The Hollywood celebrity money behind the bans may be a great way for some people to salve their consciences and get some publicity out of their flavor of the month, but it is agriculture and taxpayers that will have to deal with the unintended consequences," he said. "What many of these people don't seem to understand - and maybe they can't because they have no idea what responsible animal ownership is all about - is that there are fates worse than death, and death is a part of life."

Editor: Paul W. Jackson
800-292-2680 x6540

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Support H.R. 305

Support H.R. 305
Dear Americans Against Horse Slaughter Members,the following link will take you to an action alert from HSUS regarding new legislation that will stop the Inhuman Transport of Horses.Please click on the link and take action.FROM HSUS: Inhumane Horse TransportDoubler decker trailers are designed for short-necked species, such as cattle and hogs, not horses. However, current federal law allows horses to be transported in these trailers to any destination other than slaughter plants. Since these trailers are not meant to carry horses, frequently the top deck of the trailer will collapse, resulting in horrific injuries and even death. Just last year, a double decker trailer carrying 59 young Belgian horses overturned on an Illinois highway, killing 17 horses and injuring dozens of others.Fortunately, Representatives Kirk (R-IL) and Cohen (D-TN) introduced, H.R. 305, the Horse Transportation Safety Act, to ban the use of double decker trailers for all horse transport. TAKE ACTIONPlease make a brief, polite phone call to your U.S. Representative to urge support for H.R. 305 to prohibit double decker trailers for horse transport. You can reach your Representative through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 or click here to look up your Representative and the phone number.After making your call, fill in and submit the form on the right to automatically send an email to your U.S. Representative. Remember to personalize the email message by expressing your opinion in your own words; it's much more effective.