Open letter from Respect4horses to Honorable Louie Gohmert, Max Baucus, Jack Kingston, Roy Blunt, and all other Legislators fighting to keep Horse Slaughter alive, as well as to all NON co-sponsors of S.1176 and H.R.2699,
Honorable Louie Gohmert,
I am writing you in regards to H.R. 2699, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act.
The information that is coming from your office about H.R. 2699 is highly disturbing to me personally and also to all of our members and followers which are comprised of over 4000 individuals and affiliated equine organizations.
Although we are certainly going through rough economic times and no one denies that we have an overpopulation problem of horses, you are undoubtedly aware that the abandoned and starving horses are not the ones going to slaughter for the simple reason that their owners chose to abandon and starve them INSTEAD of sending them to slaughter.
Kill buyers are buying up the healthy, fat and young horses all over the country, because they get a higher price per pound for that type of meat. Thus they leave the meek, weak and injured, the truly unwanted, for society. Please read the USDA reports that clearly state that 92% of all slaughtered horses are healthy and in the prime of their lives.
The option of horse slaughter has in fact encouraged the quick dumping and turn around of horses, encouraged immoral lottery breeding practices and it helped create the overpopulation problem we now face today. Together with the state of the economy, the over abundant supply of horses is the reason for their decrease in value. The horse industry is in fact self destructing because of over breeding. If we could successfully curtail over breeding then horse values would have a chance to rise again.
We continue to breed over half a million horses each year in America encouraged by millions of dollars in breeding incentives and tax incentives. Basically one can write off a horse within 3 years, while his lifespan is approximately 25 years and even a dead horse is a tax write off. We currently send about one hundred thousand (100,000) to slaughter, which is actually less than 1 % of the current total population of 9.2 million horses in America. 1 % can hardly be considered an unmanageable amount if they were not to be slaughtered, but humanely euthanized or adopted instead.
It seems to us that if you truly cared about the welfare of horses, like you say you do, that you would perhaps take active steps to convert some of the millions of dollars in breeding incentives into funds for humane euthanasia and gelding and perhaps even help for horse rescues and sanctuaries. It is rather apparent by your actions that you care more about the welfare of the horse slaughter industry, than the actual welfare of the horse.
An end is inevitably coming to the horse slaughter industry, because of the fact that the meat is highly dangerous to humans. Phenylbutazone is banned for use in any animal intended for human consumption, because it causes serious and lethal idiosyncratic adverse effects in humans. The known carcinogen even in very small doses can cause bone marrow suppression, cancer, birth defects and early alzheimers disease.
You are undoubtedly aware that none of the horses going to slaughter are actually intended or bred for slaughter, they are mainly riding horses, race horses, injured performance horses, and pets. The United States (as well as you personally) is now in fact consciously responsible for poisoning unknowing consumers who are under the impression that the meat is healthy. In this lies the merit for a serious lawsuit against our government.
I have not elaborated on the intense suffering of the horses in this letter, as you have made it abundantly clear that your heart is not open to understanding it. However, with the position you hold, comes a moral duty to be fully and completely educated about the issues you are deciding upon. It is your responsibility to your constituents and in the case of a federal bill, to all citizens of America, that you visit the kill floor of one of the horse slaughter plants in Mexico, (since that is where most horses will be going after July 31st) in order to gain full understanding of what it is that you are promoting. Without ever having done so, it is immoral and hypocritical to continue to claim that horse slaughter is humane and good for the welfare of horses.
The notion that we can treat the horse with this much brutality and cruelty after it gives us his all for the duration of his life, is not only heartless, it is an example of western crudity and barbarity. In addition, it is downright un-patriotic to so soon forget on whose back we built this country.
We gain nothing by it. The slaughter plants are foreign owned and profits go abroad. Isn’t it time to find solutions to the problems we create, without compromising our humanity? Perhaps even more than this, it is just time to stop creating problems.
We collectively urge you to reconsider your position.
With utmost sincerity,
Respect 4 Horses Organization.