Erik's Weblog 2.0

February 8, 2006


Horses Betrayed by USDA

We just received the following from the Humane Society.

February 8, 2006

Dear Erik & Vicki,

I am writing to relay some shocking news. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that it is ignoring Congress and thumbing its nose at all of your hard work to save American horses from slaughter for human consumption. In light of today's outrageous action, the horses need you now, more than ever.

As you know, we had a remarkable year for horses during 2005, winning two bipartisan, landslide votes in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate to prevent the use of tax dollars to fund horse slaughter inspections. President Bush signed the final ban on November 10, 2005, and it is scheduled to take effect on March 10, just a short month away. This was a huge victory for America's horses and those of us who want to protect them from cruelty and abuse. The law meant that horse slaughter would be prohibited for the rest of the year.

People like you across the nation were with us each step of the way during this legislative battle. Your hard work carried the day for horses, and the will of the people prevailed in Congress. Unbelievably, the USDA, with its ties to the livestock industry, says it will not implement this Congressional mandate. These bureaucrats are hell-bent on allowing the slaughter of America's horses!

Tell the USDA to respect the will of Congress and enforce the horse slaughter ban

It's not every day that animal advocates win a landslide vote in Congress to stop a cruel practice. We are disgusted that this victory is being stolen. This new development means that the tens of thousands of horses — who were to be spared from slaughter — may face a grim and bitter passage to slaughter this year, despite Congress's efforts to save them. Take action today to stop the USDA from betraying the horses and subverting the will of Congress and the American people.

1. Take action.
Contact the USDA and urge the agency to shut down this illegal and undemocratic scheme to slaughter horses. We need a permanent ban now more than ever. After you contact USDA, you will be prompted to contact your lawmakers so they know we have no time to waste — we must pass permanent legislation to protect our horses from slaughter. Members of Congress should be as angry as we are that the USDA is circumventing their clear directive. Click here to contact USDA and Congress now.

2. Spread the word.
Congress needs to hear about USDA's outrageous actions from as many Americans as possible. Ask your friends and family to contact their elected lawmakers as well. Click here to tell five friends to take action now.

Americans don't eat horsemeat — there is no domestic demand for it. But last year, more than 90,000 American horses were either killed in one of three foreign-owned slaughterhouses in the United States or shipped to Canada or Mexico for slaughter. Our thoroughbreds, show horses, mustangs, carriage horses, and family ponies are shipped in inhumane conditions and butchered.

Knowing that hundreds of thousands of our loyal companions have already been slaughtered is simply devastating. Please stand with us and do everything you can to spare the lives of our horses. Together, we will stop this horrible practice. I know we can prevail, but all of us must take action.


Wayne Pacelle
President & CEO
The Humane Society of the United States