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March 14, 2006

Contact: Chris Heyde, 703-836-4300

Joint Statement From Animal Protection Groups on Ruling to Allow Horse Slaughter for Food Exports

A coalition of animal protection groups -- The Humane Society of the United States, Animal Welfare Institute, The Fund For Animals, Society for Animal Protective Legislation, Doris Day Animal League, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and American Humane Association -- are disappointed with today's district court decision to allow for the continued slaughter of American horses in violation of federal law and Congress's clear directive. We stand by the majority of Congress and the American people who want our horses protected, not butchered for French and Belgian dinner plates.

We will continue with our efforts to enforce the clear legislative mandate to stop horse slaughter for Fiscal Year 2006, either by proceeding on the merits of the case or by seeking an appeal. Yet even if we prevail on the merits, this case offers only a temporary reprieve for horses -- the campaign to stop horse slaughter is being waged on multiple fronts, and we are committed to permanently ending this inhumane practice. We will continue to support local communities most directly affected by this bloody business in their efforts to ban horse slaughter at the local level. We have also asked the federal court of appeals for the fifth circuit to reinstate the Texas state law banning the sale of horse meat, which would shut down two of the three remaining horse slaughter plants in the Unites States.

We will ask the hundreds of thousands of Americans who weighed in to support this amendment to now call on Congress to pass a permanent ban on horse slaughter of human consumption. The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act -- H.R. 503 by Reps. John Sweeney, John Spratt, and Ed Whitfield, and S. 1915 by Senators John Ensign and Mary Landrieu -- will ensure that no American horse is ever forced to suffer the long and painful journey to slaughter at a foreign-owned plant for the culinary desires of foreign gourmands. Horses occupy a unique place in the history of our country, and they deserve better than this.

Media Contact: Chris Heyde,, 703-836-4300
Polly Shannon,, 301-721-6440 or 703-283-5104
Liz Ross,, (202) 546-1761 x30

The Society for Animal Protective Legislation, a division of the Animal Welfare Institute, is devoted to passage of animal welfare laws. The Society, founded in 1955 and based in Washington, DC, has substantially aided the passage of more than 15 federal laws including the Animal Welfare Act, the Humane Slaughter Act and the Horse Protection Act. For more information please visit

Founded by Doris Day in 1987, the Doris Day Animal League is America's leading lobbying organization dedicated to focusing attention on legislative issues involving the humane treatment of animals. For more information on the Doris Day Animal League and its work to end horse slaughter, please visit

The HSUS is the nation's largest animal protection organization with more than 9.5 million members and constituents. The HSUS is a mainstream voice for animals, with active programs in companion animals and equine protection, wildlife and habitat protection, animals in research and farm animals and sustainable agriculture. The HSUS protects all animals through education, advocacy, litigation, investigation, legislation and fieldwork. The non-profit organization is based in Washington, DC and has regional offices across the country.

Letter to USDA

Slaughterhouse petition to USDA



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