Americans Against Horse Slaughter (AAHS), supporters of a federal ban on the slaughter of American horses for human consumption overseas, has announced that over 80 attendees will be joining celebrities and lawmakers in the largest anti-slaughter lobbying effort to date. Actor Paul Sorvino, an eloquent and outspoken advocate on horse welfare will be among those in attendance.
"When it's all said and done, we expect around 100 people," said John Holland, a horse advocate and freelance writer on the subject of horse slaughter. "Besides the expense and difficulty of traveling to Washington, many horse people have the extra burden associated with caring for their horses. This turnout shows a very strong sense of commitment and unity."
The "Americans Against Horse Slaughter Week" will take place in Washington, D.C. tomorrow and Wednesday (March 4-5). Attendees will meet with their representatives and key congressional leaders to push for the passage of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (HR.503 / S.311). Those not able to attend will be calling their congressional members.
The AHSPA presently has 193 cosponsors in the House and 38 cosponsors in the Senate. Of particular significance, the top candidates for president, Senators Clinton, McCain and Obama, are all cosponsors of the legislation.
"There is a strong sense of imminent success and urgency among us," said Holland.
Alex Brown, a horse racing professional and one of the organizers of the event explains the sense of urgency. "Horses were being exported for slaughter to Mexico and Canada prior to the closures of the three foreign owned plants in the US, but now it is increasing. The failure at the federal level to enact the AHSPA has made it possible for this barbaric trade to continue."
A reception will be held on Tuesday evening, at which a "recent and unpublished investigation of horse slaughter following the closure of the three plants in the US will be released," said Julie Caramante, equine cruelty investigator from Texas.
Speaking for Animals' Angels, authors of the report, Caramante said "This report includes undercover investigations that document a blatant disregard of existing regulations and a total lack of enforcement."
Speakers at the reception will also include wild horse experts and well known horse advocates, as well as Paul Sorvino, Terri Farley, author of the Phantom Stallion series and Survivor star Jenna Morasca.