Senate Takes Action to Protect U.S. Horses

Horse Press Release

WASHINGTON, April 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Veterinarian and US Senator, John Ensign (R-NV) along with his colleague Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) have introduced the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (S. 2352), a bill to end the slaughter of horses in the United States for human consumption and to prevent additional horses from being shipped live to slaughterhouses in Canada, Mexico or any other country. A similar bill (H.R. 857) is in the House and has over 200 bipartisan cosponsors.

Spokespersons for the National Horse Protection Coalition (NHPC), actress Bo Derek and Kentucky Derby winning trainer, Nick Zito expressed the NHPC's feelings when they said, "We couldn't have asked for stronger leaders on this very important legislation. As a veterinarian, Senator Ensign clearly understands the cruelty involved in this industry as does Senator Landrieu who is an able, lifelong horsewoman."

According to Senator Ensign, "A series of recent polls show that Americans overwhelmingly support a ban on the slaughter of horses for human consumption. This should come as no surprise because horses in the United States are not raised for food. Despite state laws barring this barbaric practice, the slaughter of horses for human consumption continues because of an absence of a strong federal law to prohibit it. The time for such a law is now."

US Department of Agriculture statistics show that in 2003, 49,325 horses were slaughtered in the US for human consumption primarily in Belgium, France, Italy and Japan -- up 16% from 2002. This number does not include the tens of thousands of horses transported in deplorable conditions to Mexico and Canada for slaughter there.

"Horses hold a special place in American history and culture, be it through farm work, racing, trail riding, companionship or a host of other activities," says Senator Landrieu. "Americans don't consume horsemeat, so most are shocked to find out this takes place at all. In fact, surveys from around the country showed that American's overwhelmingly want this brutal practice to end."

The National Horse Protection Coalition is a diverse collection of organizations and individuals from the horse industry, veterinary field, humane community, equine rescues and individuals from around the US. Its primary goal is to end the slaughter of America's horses and to promote their welfare.
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