Tuesday, February 17, 2009

You can't afford to ignore this issue

After a three year battle, the USDA was finally required to release pictures of horses who were injured or killed during double-decker rides to the slaughterhouse.

WARNING: Extremely graphic. Don't look if you can't handle it.


From the site: "Thirty-six months after making a Freedom of Information Request of the U.S.D.A. regarding violations of the “Commercial Transportation of Equines to Slaughter Act” at the horse slaughter plant in Fort Worth, I received the documents. Nothing could have prepared me for their content. The 906-page FOIA includes almost 500 separate photographs of severe and alarming cruelty at the plant during part of 2005. I am an exceptionally seasoned investigator but was unprepared for the very extreme level of inhumane treatment of these animals on U.S. soil."

Transporting horses in double-deckers needs to be made illegal in all states. It doesn't just happen with slaughterbound horses. I've seen bucking stock brought to rodeos in double-deckers as well.

Double-deckers are low-ceilinged and designed for cattle, pigs and other types of livestock. They were never designed for horses. The injuries seen at that link are not the least bit surprising. The amount of suffering those horses went through is unimaginable.

I'm tired of hearing that we were wrong to stop slaughter within the U.S. borders. No, instead it was a step in the right direction and now it's time to take that second step and ban transport outside of our borders which will, in itself, stop most double-decker transport. After all, nobody takes their horses to a show this way!

Click here to find out how to vote for HR 503 to ban the transport of American horses out of the country for slaughter.

Click here to read about HR 305, the Horse Transportation Safety Act of 2009 that would ban double-decker transport in ALL states. More information. This bill provides for penalties of $100 to $500 per horse for violations...now THAT will do something toward keeping our horses off of double-deckers.

You can always identify and write your representatives at this link. Please ask them to support both HR 503 and HR 305!

Remember, all that stands between your horses and a double-decker ride is one buyer who lies to you. One person who promises a good home while secretly fronting for a kill buyer. One person who seems nice, but whose reaction to falling off is to run the horse to the nearest auction. I don't care how nice your horse is, as long as this exists, any horse you sell or give away is in danger, and let's not forget the horses stolen out of people's pastures who make this trip!

If you're comfortable with allowing that risk to exist...by all means, ignore my post. Tell me that slaughter is necessary and the only way of dealing with overpopulation - since we can't possibly deal with it responsibly via gelding and euthanasia assistance programs.

Yeah. Whatever.