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Horse slaughter in Illinois

August 30, 2006

Contact: National Horse Protection Coalition

Nationwide Poll Reveals 7 Out of 10 Americans Oppose Horse Slaughter

T. Boone Pickens Joins Horse Supporters to Launch National Ad Series

DALLAS, Aug. 30 The following was released today by The National Horse Protection Coalition:

As Congress prepares for the September 7 vote on The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (H.R. 503), a bipartisan bill that would end the slaughter of horses for human consumption, a national poll revealed that 69% of American voters are opposed to killing horses for people to eat.

"It is very clear that Americans don't think that horses should be killed for people to eat," said Glen Bolger, a national pollster and founding partner of Public Opinion Strategies, the firm that conducted the poll. "The opposition to horse slaughter crosses all lines it doesn't matter what race you are, where you live, or whether you vote Republican or Democrat Americans are opposed to horse slaughter by an overwhelming margin," Bolger continued.

Key findings from the poll:

  • 71% of Americans believe that horses are part of America's culture and deserve better treatment.
  • 65% of Americans believe that in many states it is illegal to sell horse meat to eat therefore we should not be killing horses in America for the benefit of restaurants in France and Japan.
  • 64% believe that horses are not raised for food. Horses are companion animals just like dogs and cats and killing a horse to eat is no different than killing a cat or a dog to eat.
  • 49% of voters spanning diverse geographic, political party affiliations, gender and races are less likely to vote for their Member of Congress if they oppose a ban on horse slaughter.

"It's time for Congress to stand up for America, and for our ideals, and stop allowing our horses to be killed and served on dinner tables in France, Belgium and Japan. If those countries want to eat horses, then they can do their own dirty work," said T. Boone Pickens, legendary oilman and philanthropist, who along with his wife, Madeleine, is an outspoken opponent of horse slaughter.

Life-long animal lovers, T. Boone and Madeleine Pickens, are joining forces with key horse organizations, including The National Horse Protection Coalition, to launch a campaign in support of H.R. 503. Starting today, they will run a series of full-page ads in USA Today, The Dallas Morning News, San Antonio Express-News and San Diego Union Tribune asking the public to contact their lawmaker to urge support for The American Horse Prevention Act and end the slaughter of horses for human consumption.

T. Boone Pickens and representatives from The National Horse Protection Coalition will join Representative Ed Whitfield (R-KY), XM Radio host Eddie Kilroy and Sky Dutcher, a 12 year-old girl whose horse, Cimorron, was stolen and slaughtered in 2004, at a September 5 rally in Washington D.C. in support of The American Horse Prevention Act.

Background

Although the slaughter of horses for human consumption is illegal in many states, foreign-owned companies who process horsemeat here are using federal loopholes to continue killing horses, sending 39.5 million pounds of horsemeat to France, Belgium and Japan in 2005.

Every day three horse slaughterhouses in the U.S., Dallas Crown in Kaufman, Texas, Beltex Corporation in Fort Worth, Texas and Cavel International in DeKalb, Illinois, ship out thousands of pounds of fresh horsemeat abroad. Bragging, "from the stable to table in four days," these foreign-owned plants slaughtered nearly 100,000 American horses last year alone.

The process begins when owners across the country take their horses to a legitimate sale, never suspecting that within days their horse could end up on a plate in a high-end restaurant overseas. Three years ago, 1986 Kentucky Derby winner Ferdinand ended up in a slaughterhouse in Japan. And because of the quick kill and export, these slaughter plants have become a convenient dumping ground for stolen horses. In fact, horse theft in California dropped 34 percent after that state instituted a ban on horse slaughter in 1998.

Horse slaughterhouses receive USDA oversight that costs taxpayers millions of dollars all for horsemeat that is sold and consumed as a delicacy in high-dollar markets and restaurants in France, Italy and Japan. Moreover, these slaughterhouses use accounting loopholes to pay little or no taxes shipping 100% of the horsemeat and the profits abroad.

The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, a bill to end the slaughter of horses for human consumption in the United States and the export of live horses for the same purpose, was reintroduced in the House of Representatives by Congressional Horse Caucus Co-Chair John Sweeney (R-NY), Representative John Spratt (D-SC), Representative Ed Whitfield (R-KY), and Representative Nick Rahall (D-WV). Senator and veterinarian John Ensign (R-NV) and Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) have reintroduced an identical measure in the Senate.

The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act has the support of 202 co- sponsors and is widely supported in the U.S. House of Representatives and championed by more than 500 organizations, including such industry groups as the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Churchill Downs.

H.R. 503 is scheduled to go to a vote by the U.S. House of Representatives on September 7.

 

 

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