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Letter seeks urgent action on anti-slaughter bill

September 19, 2010

A US politician is circulating a letter in a bid to get urgent action over legislation aimed at ending the slaughter of American horses for human consumption.

Mid-term elections are approaching in November and there are concerns over the dwindling number of days left in the current Congressional session.

The Animal Law Coalition said it believed there was still time to pass the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act.

US Representative James Moran is circulating a letter to all members of the House of Representatives for their signature, calling on the legislation to be brought to a vote by the full House of Representatives immediately.

Once signatures have been gathered, the letter will go to the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.

The coalition and the Equine Welfare Alliance are urging supporters of the bill to contact their US Representative and urge them to sign the letter. It must be signed by Tuesday.

Representative Moran's letter reads as follows:

Dear Madame Speaker:

We write to you in strong support of the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act (H.R. 503), legislation to ban the slaughter of American horses for human consumption and prevent the export of live horses for the same purpose. With 183 bipartisan cosponsors in the House, 28 in the Senate, and tremendous public support, we urge you to allow this bill a vote in the House.

Equine slaughter is inhumane by nature. Horses have a fractious reaction to the stress induced by chutes, kill boxes, puntilla knives and captive bolt stun systems, causing these animals to suffer immensely and die an inhumane death. These animals are subjected to brutal transport conditions on their way to slaughter facilities. In addition, the consumption of horsemeat poses a serious public health threat as this meat contains substances banned for human consumption by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Since 2005, Congress has repeatedly voted to shut down the cruel practice of horse slaughter and included appropriations language to defund the USDA inspection of horses and horsemeat as a stopgap measure until a permanent federal ban is passed. The last three horse slaughter plants on U.S. soil were closed by enforcement of state law in Texas and a recently enacted ban on horse slaughter in Illinois. As you know, California overwhelmingly banned horse slaughter over a decade ago, and the state legislature just passed a resolution in favor of passing the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act.v Still, American horses continue to be sent over the border for human consumption. Since January of this year, approximately 53,850 horses have been transported across our nation's borders into the cruelty of slaughter in Mexico and Canada. This number amounts to about 100,000 horses annually, 1,500 per week, or one every five minutes.

As cosponsors of H.R. 503, we, along with millions of Americans and animal protection organizations such as the Animal Welfare Institute and the Humane Society of the United States, urge you to bring this bill to the House floor for a vote.

Thank you in advance for your consideration of this critical legislation.

Best regards,

(U.S. Rep._______________)



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