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Summit a 'who's who' of slaughter proponents - EWA

December 3, 2010

An upcoming Summit of the Horse has what the Equine Welfare Alliance describes as a virtual who's who of slaughter proponents.

It describes event organiser Sue Wallis as "a vocal proponent of sending America's wild horses to slaughter".

Wallis has confirmed that Bureau of Land Management chief Bob Abbey will speak at the summit.

The alliance says the event's master of ceremonies, Trent Loos, has proposed solving the mustang issue by making America's wild horse a big game animal.

It says the speakers include slaughter proponents, made up of lobbyists, slaughter auctioneers, horse breeders and "fake welfare front organisations".

Abbey has come under criticism from wild horse advocates in the past year over the bureau's accelerated programme of removing wild horses and burros from public land.

"As the number of horses the bureau is holding increases and budgets tighten, a crisis is inevitable," the alliance says.

"In 2009 it was discovered that the bureau was considering sending mustangs to slaughter, igniting a firestorm of controversy. Abbey's participation in this event will certainly add fuel to that fire," it says.

Loos is an agricultural talk show host who the alliance says "first gained fame for his management of a 50,000 pig factory farm on the land of the Rosebud Sioux".

"The Rosebud contended that the farm and its vast lagoons of pig manure had been foisted on them by politicians and successfully sued to evict Loos and his porcine pals in 2002."

When a slaughter ban was being considered in Illinois, Loos promised to bring a truckload of "unwanted horses" to the capitol steps.

In the event, he showed up with a large supply of toy stick horses which he passed out to visiting school children. The bill passed despite this demonstration, eventually closing the last slaughter plant in the US.

Also included in the confirmed roster is ex-congressman and horse slaughter lobbyist Charlie Stenholm of the firm Olsson, Frank and Weeda. Before losing his seat and becoming a lobbyist, Stenholm was minority leader of Bob Goodlatte's house agriculture committee. The two men jointly managed to bottle up HR 857, an early attempt to end horse slaughter, in their committee despite the bill's overwhelming support.

Bill desBarres, of the Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada, will be giving an international perspective.

DesBarres is described by the alliance as a stalwart defender of the Canadian abattoirs.

"While the event claims to be open to ideas from all sides, it does not include anyone known to disagree with the pro-slaughter anti-mustang positions of its organisers, United Organisations of the Horse and United Horsemen," the alliance says.

The Summit of the Horse is taking place at Southpoint Casino, Las Vegas, from January 3 to 6, 2011.



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