Posted Saturday, February 16, 2008
Alex Brown speaks from the heart when he talks about the slaughter of
thoroughbred racehorses and other horses in
Brown, a longtime exercise rider at the Fair Hill (
Brown, in fact, has taken his cause on the road in recent months.
The native of
Brown also handled the daily online updates regarding Barbaro
after the Kentucky Derby champion was seriously injured in the 2006 Preakness. He also co-chaired the Barbaro
Celebration of Life event at
"I am looking to meet people at the racetrack and outside and learn
more about how our horses are treated and what support structures are in place
in different parts of the
Brown said his group, Americans Against Horse Slaughter, supports passage of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act now before Congress.
"Everything about this is grass roots," Brown said. "We don't have some big, powerful organization or business behind us. It's a groundswell that has been building around the country."
Brown said that's why it is important that Senate Bill 311 would "prohibit the shipping, transportation, moving, delivering, receiving, possessing, purchasing, selling or donation of horses and other equines to be slaughtered for human consumption."
Passage of the bill would further limit the options for disposal of unwanted horses. The bill states that an unwanted horse is one that has reached the useful end of its economic or recreation life. There are numerous reasons for the existence of unwanted horses, including financial aspects such as the owner's loss of job, the price of feed or stabling, relocation, or poor health of the horse or its owner.
"We need more horsemen [trainers and owners] to step up to the plate
and say this is wrong," Brown said. "I can name horses who had won races and were sold at these sales. We need more
people like [Hall of Fame trainer] Nick Zito. He has
been very vocal about stopping the slaughter of horses in the
"What has happened is that in
"Federal law will also ban the shipment to slaughter. That will put a
stop on horses being shipped to