It is because of their tireless and dedicated efforts that horse slaughterhouses will be prevented from opening in the U.S. once Congress passes the "Omnibus" bill by this weekend. The last time horses were slaughtered in the United States was in 2007 when Congress defunded the practice and three existing plants closed.
"Victoria McCullough announced at our first American Equine Summit in 2012 that she would take on the challenge of ending horse slaughter in the U.S.," said Equine Advocates President, Susan Wagner. "She took the lead from the experts speaking at the Summit, each of whom had invaluable information and experience, and helped contribute to the resolution of this hard-fought issue. She used her own funding and dedicated countless hours to get this done."
McCullough used the data and documentation presented by John Holland, President of the Equine Welfare Alliance; Paula Bacon, former Mayor of Kaufman, TX; renowned equine veterinarian Dr. Kraig Kulikowski; Caroline Betts, PhD, professor of economics at USC and others. Much of the necessary documentation was there, combined with Dr. Ann Marini's brilliant study on the potentially dangerous effects the drug Phenylbutazone can have on people who eat horse meat, and subsequent studies including Holland's scathing analysis of the misinformation in the 2011 GAO Report (#11-228).
Said Wagner, "That GAO Report was like a fixed race."
While horse slaughter is opposed by more than 80% of Americans, the GAO Report claimed it was necessary for reasons which have been soundly refuted by Holland's study and other experts.
"This is the first major hurdle that needed to happen so that a complete federal ban on horse slaughter can now be passed," Wagner added. "We are grateful to Vice President Joe Biden, along with the support of congressional leaders, for adding the defunding language to the Omnibus bill. Robert Redford also needs to be thanked because he has been actively involved since he first signed the Voter Card for the passage of the California Initiative banning horse slaughter back in 1998. His support through the years has had a tremendous impact on this issue. I know I speak for most Americans when I say that horse slaughter is wrong and has no place in our culture."
The focus now moves to passing a federal ban on the transport of equines across U.S. borders into Canada and Mexico for slaughter.
Founded in 1996, Equine Advocates (equineadvocates.org) is a non-profit equine protection organization based in Chatham, NY. Its mission is to rescue, protect and prevent the abuse of equines through education, investigation, rescue operations, the dissemination of information to the public and the operation of a horse sanctuary for slaughter-bound, abused and neglected equines. Email [email protected] or call 518-245-1599 for more information.