Bo Derek Protests Slaughter of Horses
Actress Bo Derek speaks on Capitol Hill
Tuesday, March 16, 2004, in support of legislation
banning the slaughter horses for human consumption.
The bill also bans import or export and the sale of
horses or horsemeat for human consumption. (AP
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Bo Derek loved horses long
before she galloped onto American movie screens in the hit
movie "10." The movie star now hopes to ride to
the rescue of thousands of American horses killed every year
to feed European and Asian diners.
Derek, best known for her roles in "10" and a 1981
remake of "Tarzan," came to Congress Tuesday to
support legislation that would ban the killing of horses for
gourmet dining overseas.
The 47-year-old, who wrote a book about her horse hobby, was
unfazed when she was briefly introduced as "Bo
Dietrich," an apparent mixing of her name with the
early era screen star Marlene Dietrich.
She has been called much worse, she said.
"I've been referred to as everything," she said.
"Usually, it's Bob Derek."
Very few people in Congress would have mistaken her for a
"Bob," wearing a sleek black pantsuit, cream top,
and patient smile as photographers floated around her.
Derek lent her support to legislation written by Reps. John
Sweeney, R-N.Y., whose district includes the historic
Saratoga racetrack, and Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., a thoroughbred
owner. They expressed disgust with the idea of equine
cuisine in countries like France and Japan, where it is
often considered gourmet fare.
While the practice of slaughtering American horses for food
has declined in recent years, nearly 50,000 horses were
killed last year in this country for foreign consumption.
"As a horseowner, I was shocked," Derek said.
"We don't use horses any longer for pet food so why are
we sending them over to other countries?"