HoofPAC NewsFrom: Newsletter
  Sent: Saturday, February 14, 2004 7:23 PM
  Subject: Newsletter message

       HoofPAC ALERT

        The following is a response to the AAEP from HoofPAC member Priscilla Clark of Tranquility Farm. During the California campaign Priscilla and I took on no less than fifteen editors from the 'Bakersfield Californian' during an Editorial Board and got their support... And Bakersfield was the home of the largest Southern Californian slaughter auction!

        The Harry A. Biszantz Memorial Center for Thoroughbred Retirement

        P.O. Box 210 Tehachapi Ca 93581

        Open Letter to the American Association of Equine Practitioners.

        Ladies and Gentlemen,

        Thank you for providing me with your position paper on HR 857, which would make the commercial slaughter of horses for human consumption and other purposes illegal in the United States. In response, I would ask that you consider the following:

        In recent years two of America's most beloved equine champions met untimely deaths while serving at stud duty in Japan. Sunday Silence lost his life after being unsuccessfully treated for a persistent foot infection. He was euthanized by lethal injection, and while the American public mourned his loss, they were assured that his death was merciful.

        The death of Ferdinand in a Japanese slaughterhouse, however, shook the racing world to its very core, and cries of outrage are still being heard wherever horse lovers express their views. The terror and suffering he endured in the slaughterhouse sparked a profound soul searching in the racing community, and has contributed tremendously to the growing political momentum to protect all American horses from such a fate.

        Why was there such a disparity in the reaction to the deaths of these two great horses? The answer is quite simple; the American public understands the difference between humane euthanasia by lethal injection and being bludgeoned to death by a captive bolt in a slaughterhouse. The American public is not confused about the consequences of administering these two very different means of rendering death. The American people understand implicitly that the horse, a highly intelligent animal, is also not fooled and dies fighting for his life in the slaughterhouse instead of peacefully passing by tranquilizers administered in a stress- free environment.

        How the American Association of Equine Practitioners, you who are entrusted to protect the welfare of horses by the American public, could fail to make this distinction and equate slaughter with humane euthanasia, is nothing short of remarkable.

        It is clear that the overwhelming majority of Americans, whenever they have an opportunity to express their preferences, choose euthanasia by lethal injection as the only acceptable means of death for the animal that has partnered with them to build this country. No opinion poll has ever shown evidence to the contrary. Horses are raised solely for recreational and aesthetic value in the United States, they are neither a food nor fiber animal, and to endorse the butchering of American horses for consumption in foreign countries is a betrayal of our American values.
        Further, I find the arguments put forth in the AAEP position paper on HR 857 specious in declaring that funding is not available for the care of unwanted or confiscated horses. In the first case a similar situation exists with unwanted dogs and cats. Unfortunately our society must necessarily perform euthanasia on thousands of dogs and cats each year precisely because funding is not available for their continued care. They are put to death, however, by lethal injection rather being killed and sent to foreign countries for meat because that is the only means of death considered humane by the American public. The benefit of outlawing the slaughter of American horses is not that every horse will be cared for ad infinitum by public moneys, but that their manner of death shall be swift and merciful.

        It has been empirically demonstrated that in California, where the transportation of horses for slaughter has been outlawed since 1998, that no loads of horses have been confiscated and placed into protective custody. The costly vaccinations, Coggins test, and health certification legally required to move horses over national boundaries effectively removes the marginal profits to be made smuggling horses long distances into Canada or Mexico.
        The specter of thousands of confiscated horses draining public funds exceeds credulity.

        I urge you to reconsider your opinion on HR 857 and to work positively with horse professionals and the American people who are so desirous of humane treatment for horses. Please uphold the faith entrusted in your organization and work to truly protect the welfare of the American horse.


        Priscilla Clark, President
        Tranquility Farm

        Let's Keep America's Horses In The Stable and Off The Table!!!

        Cathleen Doyle, founder

        Keep America's Horses In The Stable... And Off The Table!

        For information please contact: savethehorse@earthlink.net

        Thank you for caring about America's horses,
        Cathleen Doyle, founder

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        Thank You.
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