We must oppose slaughter with all our might, says Robert Redford

Bill Richardson and Robert Redford. Photo: Steve Terrell/Wikipedia
Bill Richardson and Robert Redford. Photo: Steve Terrell/Wikipedia

Actor, director, and conservationist Robert Redford has joined with former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson in the fight to stop horse slaughterhouses from reopening in the United States.

Their opposition is the first action by a new foundation the two have formed to protect animals and wildlife.

The Foundation to Protect New Mexico Wildlife has filed in federal court to join as a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed by animal protection organizations, including the Humane Society of the United States and Front Range Equine Rescue, to block the revival of American horse slaughter.

The lawsuit claims the US Department of Agriculture violated federal law by failing to conduct required reviews of the known environmental dangers caused by horse slaughterhouses, including one trying to open in Roswell, New Mexico.

The foundation and other plaintiffs are seeking an emergency injunction. A hearing is set for August 2, with two plants signalling they could be slaughtering horses as soon as August 5.

“As a lifelong horse lover, I am committed to doing whatever it takes to stop the return of horse slaughterhouses in this country and, in particular, my own state,” Richardson said.

“Congress was right to ban the inhumane practice years ago, and it is unfathomable that the federal government is now poised to let it resume. As a country whose rich history is so closely tied to horses, we should instead be focused on exploring new horse rescue and retirement solutions.”

Redford said: “Horses have played an important part of my life, and I strongly believe they need our protection.

“Horse slaughter has no place in our culture. It is cruel, inhumane, and perpetuates abuse and neglect of these beloved animals. We must oppose it with all of our might.

“We need to ensure horses have safe and kind treatment during their lives and are afforded the peaceful and dignified end they deserve.”

In addition to its opposition to horse slaughter, the new foundation will focus on the preservation and protection of the state’s wild mustang and burro population, including seeking out appropriate alternative habitats for the animals. Other efforts will focus on the Mexican gray wolf, bison and the reintroduction of native fish and mammal species. The foundation will also work to support New Mexico’s animal shelters and to prevent animal cruelty.

The foundation is a natural extension of both men’s decades of animal advocacy and conservation work.

As governor, Richardson spearheaded legislation and enacted polices aimed at preserving and protecting New Mexico’s wildlife and domesticated animals. He fought to ban cockfighting, increased funding for animal shelters, and enacted more humane euthanasia practices in shelters. He made natural habitat and restoration a priority and supported the reintroduction of native species, including the Mexican gray wolf.

Most recently, he was instrumental in convincing the National Institutes of Health to halt medical testing on chimpanzees, many of which are housed in Southern New Mexico at the Alamogordo Primate Facility.

Redford, a part-time New Mexico resident, is a renowned conservationist and animal advocate.

For decades he has fought to protect national resources. He is a trustee of the Natural Resources Defense Council and has received countless accolades for his efforts, including by the National Wildlife Federation.

By entering the lawsuit against the USDA, Richardson and Redford are also standing with Native American leaders, who have asserted that federal approval of horse slaughter constitutes a violation of tribal cultural values and is an insult to their age-old connection with America’s horses.



Latest research and information from the horse world.

8 thoughts on “We must oppose slaughter with all our might, says Robert Redford

  • July 23, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Thank You Robert Redford !! <3

  • July 23, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    I guess Redford supports hospitals for dying horses, that
    should work, at least in Hollywood!

  • July 23, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Thank you!

    Here is information on the SAFE act (Safeguard American Food Exports) that is in both the House and Senate with identical wording, and links where you can take action to stop horse slaughter. This will not only prevent horse slaughter in the U.S., but make it illegal to transport horses to Mexico or Canada for slaughter:


    This is great information on horse slaughter and gives people a way to do something about it by taking action. This is not an endorsement of AWI.

    Here is more information on the SAFE act and ways to take action:


  • July 23, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    Thank you!

    If you haven’t already signed, here are a few petitions that will make a great deal of difference if you can spare a few minutes:

    Ban Horse Slaughter in the U.S.:


    Stop Horse Slaughter Factory in Missouri:


    Boycott Valley Meat Company:


    SAFE act petition:


  • July 24, 2013 at 3:56 am

    i dont understand no one want the slaughter plants but rescues are full there is no donations and horses are starving i guess people think it is ok to see them suffer and die people keep breeding and there is no were to go with them others dont want to put them to sleep you call the humane society and they are full i have seen small rescues trying to get help and they dont so they close down they horses get dumped what are all of you people thinking this is a long term thing not short i see people with money saying no to the slaughter house but why are they not helping the small rescues feed and vet cost maybe just to get their name i they did something come one we want to help the horses and get prices back up were people that cant feed and care for them cant get them or maybe it is ok to watch one just starve poor babies

  • July 24, 2013 at 8:36 am

    This all sounds great, but meanwhile, there are horses starving to death on the San Felipe reservation between Albuquerque and Santa Fe.
    In my opinion, *starvation and neglect* constitutes a violation of cultural values and is an insult to their age-old connection with America’s horses.

  • July 24, 2013 at 11:31 am

    We do not have too many horses because we closed horse slaughter plants in 2007. We have too many horses because we have too many unscrupulous, greedy breeders that simply view kill pens as inventory control.

    I am also glad to see this foundation will focus on our wild mustangs and burros, and the Mexican Gray Wolf, as well as the bison.

    Thank you Robert Redford and Bill Richardson!

  • July 24, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    The only ones starving horses are:

    1) the kill buyers themselves-not rare at all
    2) mentally ill hoarders-very rare
    3) people in over their heads and truly did not know who to turn to, or too embarrassed to ask for help-rare
    4) those who have/are deliberately starving their horses,(often dogs and cats as well) because they are lazy. Those types are called ANIMAL ABUSERS and need to be charged as such.
    5) the BLM is LYING about the wild horses starving. For every one horse they are pulling off public land, 50 head of cattle are replacing them.

    The horse breeders need to STOP breeding so many. And if a person cannot afford $250 bucks to humanely euthanize a horse, they have NO business buying one. If a breeder cannot afford to support their horses from womb to grave, they have NO business breeding them.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *