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The Golden Carrot, and  the rescues I work with, are completely against slaughter as an option for America's horses.  Despite the burden being placed on rescues in these difficult economic times, I cannot condone the barbarity of the actual slaughter process, nor do I condone the irresponsible breeding and horse ownership which uses slaughter as an easy out from under the obligations we should have towards these innocent and vulnerable lives.   Right now, twelve states with the encouragement of foreign investor slaughter companies are attempting to pass legislation to reopen slaughter houses in America.  In particular, Illinois and Montana are charging ahead with such plans.  See below for letters regarding those particular bills and ways you can help to voice our outrage - easy to do, and every voice heard makes a difference.  Remember, politicians respect only two things, votes, and money.  Those who support slaughter do so for profit - they have money.  We must make our voices heard, or they will prevail.
They are watching.  Will you help?

The question is not: "do you support horse slaughter."

The question is: do you support the cruel, terrifying transport for days without food and water in their journey to death?"

The question is: do you support the torture and abuse of the killer chutes, even for crippled horses, pregnant mares, wild horses, protective mares with foals by their sides?"

The question is: do you support the horse slaughter factories that lie to their consumers about the many chemicals that taint the horse meat, and call it Organic?

The question is: do you support the breeder who breeds hundreds of horses just to pick out the good ones and cash in the rest to the killer buyer?

The question is: do you support the person who uses the horse its whole life and when it gets to an old age sends it to slaughter as a thank you?

The question is: do you support the slaughter workers who cheer a horse on that struggles extra hard for its life?

The question is: do you support the killer buyer who not only buys up the strong, fat and healthy horses and leaves the meek weak and unhealthy for society, but also bids against the good homes and horse rescues?

The question is: can you see though the lies of the ones who stand to loose a buck with the end of horse slaughter?

The question is: do you support ripping the last of our wild horses away from their families and peaceful lives to be slaughtered?

  • Call your senator who has NOT consponsored the bill yet (if your senator has cosponsored the bill already, you can go on to another senator who has not) and tell them that it is important to you that he/she cosponsor S.727 and S.1579.
  • Call your representative in your district who has NOT cosponsored the bill yet (if your representative has already cosponsored the bill, you can go on to another representative who has not) and tell them that it is important to you that he/she cosponsor H.R.503 and H.R.305 (H.R.1018 has already passed in the house, so no need to mention this).
  • Call the Obama Line at 202-456-1111 or 202-456-9000 and let him know that you are outraged about the way the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) mismanages the last remaining wild horses, and that you are outraged about this country allowing over 100,000 horses per year to go to slaughter in Mexico and Canada.
  • Call Ken Salazar (Director of the Department of the Interior) at 202-912-7400, and let him know that you are outraged about the way he is allowing the BLM to mismanage our last remaining wild horses. If you get an answering machine leave your number.

Email them---go to    to find your state Senators and Representatives.  


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (photos attached)

Contacts:    John Holland                             


Vicki Tobin                             


Horse slaughter dream a financial nightmare

CHICAGO, (EWA) – The dream of the AQHA (American Quarter Horse Association) and its affiliate the MQHA (Montana Quarter Horse Association) to bring horse slaughter back to the US may have just been dealt what may be its death blow. The blow came not from anti-slaughter advocates, nor public revulsion, nor Congress, but from a horse slaughter industry insider whose op-ed, Meat plant: a cautionary tale,appeared on April 30th in the Western Producer, a subscription-only Canadian online animal agriculture journal.

Natural Valley Farms died the day the decision makers chose to kill horses”, says Henry Skjerven, an investor and director of the defunct Natural Valley Farms (NVF) slaughter complex in Saskatchewan, Canada. Skjerven tells the story of how NVF, which had originally been built to process cattle during the BSE crisis, ended in a $42 million financial disaster following its decision to kill horses for the Velda Group of Belgium.

The story broke just as the AQHA and Stan Weaver of the MQHA, were celebrating the passage of Montana bill (HB 418).

On April 5, EWA broke the news that the plant had been closed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) in December. In his article, Skjerven refers to the plant’s confrontational interaction with the CFIA over the plant’s “composting” and other issues. Unlike beef that can be used in pet food, horse byproducts must be disposed of properly because they contain substances such as the wormer, Ivermectin, which can cause fatal encephalitis in some breeds of dogs.

Blood disposal appears to have been equally problematic for NVF as with other horse slaughter plants. Not only do horses have twice the quantity of blood as cows, but the blood is notoriously difficult to treat. The bacterial agents used in standard cattle digesters fail to provide acceptable discharge levels because of antibiotics often found in horse blood. As a result, pollution follows the horse slaughter industry where ever it goes.

During debate over HB 418, the Montana Senate Agriculture committee dismissed evidence of these problems as anti-slaughter propaganda. Even the testimony of former Kaufman, Texas mayor Paula Bacon was ignored when she told of blood rising into people’s bathtubs in her town. But unfortunately for NVF, the CFIA was not so easily assuaged.

Even Butcher has admitted that any horse slaughter plant that is built in the US will have to be operated by an EU group like Velda because the horse meat market is in Europe and they control it. Now Velda needs a new home, but in his op-ed Skjerven, says, “horse slaughter never brought a single minute of profitability to the company.”

In the end, it may not matter that HB 418 is unconstitutional, nor that a horse slaughter plant in the US could not export its horse meat without USDA inspectors, nor that the industry has committed a thousand sins against horses and the environment. If investors in a horse slaughter plant cannot be comfortable in knowing they will make a profit, there will be no plant built. 

If Stan Weaver and the AQHA want horse slaughter they may have to do the killing themselves.

March 25, 2009
Uncle Sam H.R. 1018 Flyer
March 27, 2009
AQHA Hypocrite Flyer

This link will take you to a page where you can send off a message to 

 June 1, 2009


Contacts:      John Holland                             


Vicki Tobin                             



AQHA Official Celebrates Pending Slaughter of Quarter Horses

CHICAGO, (EWA) – In the aftermath of Montana Governor Schweitzer’s non-action, HB 418, a bill that bars Montana’s citizens from taking court action against the building of a horse slaughter plant, became law. This action has left many Montana legislators and citizens shocked that their state might soon be known as the new “home of horse slaughter”. Montana has enacted a probably unconstitutional statute that denies due process under the United States Constitution.


Horse slaughter will tarnish the “Big Sky” brand and everything it stands for from cattle to tourism. History has shown that such plants bring nothing but pollution and controversy. Montana law makers failed to ask themselves why Texas and Illinois, and now Saskatchewan Canada, have rid themselves of the industry. Who is to gain?


The Equine Welfare Alliance has obtained a document that answers this question. The mass e-mail was from Stan Weaver, president of the Montana Quarter Horse Association (MQHA) and is titled “HB 418 Final Comments – Success!!!!. Rejoicing in the news that Montana may be home to a horse killing plant, the MQHA president boasts that the MQHA was the driving force behind the passage of the law.


Weaver praises members for pushing the legislation while bragging about the haste with which it was put together. Weaver describes how the MQHA and the bill’s sponsor, Representative Ed Butcher, had come up with the idea for the bill just weeks before it was introduced. After that introduction, the bill was ridiculed widely as the “Montana Butcher Bill.”


Indeed, this is cause to rejoice for the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), the organization leading the effort to continue the slaughter of American horses for foreign firm’s profit. This magnificent breed, touted as the most versatile of all horses, is being sent to slaughter in record numbers. In fact, half of all horses sent to slaughter each year are American Quarter Horses.


Meanwhile, the AQHA continues to promote indiscriminate breeding.


Weaver is apparently so enamored at the prospect of a slaughter plant to butcher Montana’s Quarter Horses that he ponders writing a book that will contain all the emails and letters in support of horse killing.

Last year, when other businesses were reducing production, AQHA management and its member breeders continued their mad quest to grow revenues by registering 140,000 new foals, an increase of 5,000 more horses over 2007.

In his speech before the 2008 annual convention, Bill Brewer, the AQHA’s then executive vice-president said, “Our challenge becomes looking at ways to introduce an equine economic stimulus package that will boost registration numbers.” Apparently, that package includes killing off existing Quarter Horses to make room for more.

The AQHA and its allies have promoted unfounded stories that the nation is being flooded with tens of thousands of abandoned horses. It was a salient point made by supporters of “The Butcher Bill” and was picked up by the Montana media and repeated without question, even though county officials reported a total of only fourteen abandoned horses in 2008.

Yet the group and its apologists fail to mention the indiscriminate breeding encouraged by the AQHA and ranchers such as Weaver. Weaver’s ranch alone produces and registers 100 horses per yearand helps fill the AQHA treasury with registration fees.

According to Weaver, the next major AQHA effort will be to try to defeat the federal legislation that will end the slaughter of American horses; HR 503, The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009.

In their zealous quest to defeat HR 503, EWA expects more of the elaborate disinformation campaign from the AQHA and its lobbyists 

May 26, 2009


For OP ED Page

Contact:       Duane Burright                             


We can't slaughter our way to horse welfare by Duane Burright

CHICAGO, (EWA) – By now everyone is familiar with the subject of horses being neglected or starved, along with the claims from those in agricultural circles that slaughter is "necessary" to prevent horse neglect and that it is a way to dispose of unwanted horses. I've been hearing that litany from all of the agricultural publications and blogs, the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), various state Farm Bureaus and from a group of clueless politicians including Illinois’ Rep. Jim Sacia, Sue Wallis of Wyoming and former Texas congressman and paid slaughter lobbyist, Charles Stenholm.


I find it odd that they see slaughter as being the solution for horse neglect, but when it comes to neglected or starving cattle, they are stumped. In this USA Today article Starving cattle amid high prices for feed in Neb, Steven Stanec, executive director of the Nebraska Brand Committee, a state agency that helps police the cattle industry stated that "Neglect cases are on the rise, and what's causing it, I'm not sure. We're having whole herds of hundreds of cattle being neglected."


In doing a simple Google search I found other related headlines which show that cattle starving to death is a fairly widespread problem – Officials raid farm with 30 dead, 100 plus starving cows,Starving cows rescued near Paisley on road to recoveryandStarving cattle seized in Lake County.


According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, 34.4 million cattle were slaughtered in 2008, that's an average of 94,247 cows slaughtered per day. According to Cattle Network, beef production is up over last year.


Now with all of those cattle going to slaughter, one would wonder why cattle neglect is happening. Using the logic that the AQHA, AVMA, NCBA, Farm Bureaus and the other proponents of the horse slaughter industry apply to starving or neglected horses that "slaughtering prevents neglect", one would think that we wouldn't have problems with starving or neglected cattle. Yet guys like Steven Stanec aren't sure why cattle neglect cases are on the rise.


What further weakens the argument that “slaughter is needed to prevent horse neglect” is that while all of these articles have been written about neglected and starving horses, the option of horse slaughter has been available in the United States. Horse owners can take the horses they no longer want to keep to the local livestock auction and the neighborhood friendly kill buyers will happily take the horse off their hands. According to statistics from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) 134,059 American horses have been slaughtered at the European owned plants in Canada and Mexico in 2008. American horses still continue to go to slaughter as you read this, so the slaughter pipeline continues to function despite the claims to the contrary.


The reality is that slaughter has nothing to do with animal welfare. Since slaughter apparently doesn't magically solve the problem of starving and neglected cattle, it is fallacy to think that slaughter will solve the problem of starving and neglected horses. The problem of cattle being neglected is due to the current economic crisis, that same economic crisis is making it difficult for horse owners.


In fact, astudy released in June of 2008 showed there was no correlation between horse slaughter and neglect, but a clear linkage between unemployment and neglect. Prophetically, the study warned in its conclusions that if economic conditions continued to deteriorate an upward trend in neglect could be expected.


The AQHA, AVMA, NCBA, Farm Bureaus and all of their political allies put a lot of time, energy and money into supporting horse slaughter. If these special interest groups were to focus all of those resources on solving the nation's economic problems rather than supporting a foreign owned industry that doesn’t even pay their taxes, we might be able to get something done.


It is a pity they are so narrow minded.

Duane Burright is a software engineer by trade, aside from horses and their welfare he's also interested in American musclecars, vintage electric fans, computers and software design. He has been involved in the campaign to make the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (AHSPA) law since 2003 and is a supporter of a nearby wild horse sanctuary. 


To my distress, the Arabian Horse Association has joined with the AQHA in supporting slaughter - read on

June 9, 2009


Contacts:       John Holland                             


Vicki Tobin                             


Arabian Horse Association betrays breed

CHICAGO, (EWA) – In a move reminiscent of the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), the Arabian Horse Association (AHA) and the Arabian Horse Foundation has gone on record supporting horse slaughter with the passage of a resolution. According to reports, the move was prompted by the elevation of AHA president Lance Walters to the American Horse Council board.

In an attempt to mitigate this announcement and ease the ultimate betrayal of their breed, the AHA and foundation also voiced support for equine rescue and responsible horse ownership. EWA questions how AHA can promote slaughter and responsible ownership since they contradict each other. AHA did not name any rescues or programs that are currently supported or planned by the AHA in support of their breed, saying only that they promote slaughtering the magnificent horses they purport to represent.

Walters stated, “Since Arabian horses are involved in racing, showing, competition, and recreation, our owners and events are greatly affected by federal actions”.

Walters did not describe how horse slaughter comes into play with racing, showing, competition and recreation events.

The AHA foal count was only 6,500 in 2008 – a commendable example of responsible breeding, and AHA bloggers have recently been discussing how well Arabian prices are holding up in the sagging economy. The only explanation for this move would thus appear to be stunning political self interest.

Scores of AHA members have told EWA they plan to discontinue membership in their breed association because of Walter’s and his board’s shameful toadying to advance his position within the pro-slaughter AHC.

Both the Arabian Association president and his board are far out of the mainstream of American’s opinion where more than 70 percent consistently say in polls that they are opposed to horse slaughter.

The Equine Welfare Alliance asks the Arabian Horse Association for its membership list in order to commission polling by an outside agency to determine whether Arabian owners really support the brutal and painful killing of their breed to supply foreign markets with a meat Americans don’t even eat.

EWA’s John Holland, himself a proud owner of Arabians, said of the action, “It is high time the members of these organizations let their management know just who they work for!” 
This is Ronan - a wild American Mustang until age 2 when he was rounded up by BLM. He was lucky - he was adopted.  Should he have died to be meat for foreigners?  Should his relatives?  See below for a blog regarding the wild horses and burros who also need our help to end slaughter.....







States Currently Pursuing Pro-Horse Slaughter Bills/Resolutions

Twelve State legislatures are now considering measures to express their support of or actively encourage the reestablishment of U.S. horse processing plants based on the Wallis Horse Industry Policy.
Arizona (SCM 1001)
A resolution urging Congress to oppose federal legislation that interferes with a state’s ability to direct the transport or processing of horses.

Arkansas (HCR 1004)
A resolution urging Congress to support the continuation of horse processing facilities in the United States.

Illinois (HB 0583)
A bill to repeal the state’s ban on the slaughter of horses for human consupmtion.
(ILHR 160) A resolution calling for the defeat of the pending federal anti-slaughter bill, HR 503.

Kansas (HCR 5004)
A resolution urging Congress to oppose federal legislation that interferes with a state’s ability to direct the transport or processing of horses. The state’s House Agriculture and Natural Resource Committee sent the bill to the full House for a vote.

Minnesota (SF 133)
A resolution urging Congress to oppose federal legislation that interferes with a state’s ability to direct the transport or processing of horses.

Missouri (HCR19)
A resolution urging Congress to oppose federal legislation that interferes with a state’s ability to direct the transport or processing of horses.
(SCR 8) – Unofficial Resolution
Includes references to competition in horse market with adoption market of 32,000 wild horses.

Montana (HB418)
A bill allowing a horse slaughter facility to operate in Montana that includes language prohibiting court action against a facility for filing for a permit, construction or operation of the facility. Already approved by Montana’s House and Senate and is currently awaiting Governor Schweitzer’s veto or approval.

North Dakota (HB 1496)
A bill directing the state’s Department of Commerce to conduct an equine processing facility feasibility study.

South Dakota (SCR2)
A resolution urging the reinstatement and funding of a federal inspection program governing horse slaughter and euthanasia facilities.
(SB 114) To provide for a study on the feasibility of establishing an equine processing facility and to make an appropriation for funding.

Tennessee (HB1361)
As introduced, deletes packaging and labeling requirements for horsemeat.

Utah (HJR7)
A resolution urging Congress to oppose federal legislation that interferes with a state’s ability to direct the transport or processing of horses. As of February 17, 2009, the Utah resolution has passed through the state House and Senate and had been sent to the lieutenant governor for enrollment.

Wyoming (HJR 0008)
A resolution urging Congress to oppose federal legislation that interferes with a state’s ability to direct the transport or processing of horses.