Support for Horse Slaughter Ban Increases in Virginia
ALEXANDRIA, Va., June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- A survey released today shows
that nearly three-quarters (74%) of likely voters in Virginia are opposed to
"slaughtering horses for human consumption" and believe "horses are an
important part of Virginia's history" and need to be protected from abuse. The
survey also revealed that 81% of agricultural households in the state agreed
that the practice of "slaughterhouses are cruel and inhumane" and 76% of
Virginia horse owners agreed with those statements.
This survey comes on the heels of a Lexington, VA town hall meeting where
Representative and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (VA-06)
attempted to defend his position of opposing a HR 857, which calls for an end
to horse slaughter in the United States for human consumption. Goodlatte, who
won't allow the bill out of his committee despite a majority of congressional
support in the U.S. House of Representatives, claims he doesn't support
slaughtering horses despite his current stance. Hundreds of Goodlatte's Sixth
District constituents attended the meeting demanding answers and left
frustrated. "He stonewalled us, just like he is stonewalling this bill" said
Anne Russek, of Augusta County.
U.S. Representative John Sweeney of New York first introduced HR 857, The
American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act in February of 2003 when it was
referred to the House Agriculture Committee. There is also a similar bill in
the senate (S. 2352) introduced by Veterinarian and US Senator John Ensign of
Nevada. Last year more than 50,000 horses were slaughtered for human
consumption in two US based foreign owned facilities, both in Texas. A third
horse slaughter facility just reopened in Illinois over strong public
opposition. Ironically, despite federal oversight and regulation at taxpayer
expense, horse flesh isn't consumed by Americans nor does it provide poverty
or famine relief.
Support for the ban on horse slaughter for human consumption gained
momentum when it was discovered 1986 Kentucky Derby winner Ferdinand was
slaughtered for food. The National Thoroughbred Racing Association, The
Virginia Thoroughbred Racing Association as well as numerous other groups have
endorsed current legislation addressing this issue. It is also clear after
reviewing this survey that the vast majority of Virginians support the
legislation as well.
McLaughlin & Associates of Alexandria, VA conducted the Survey.
SOURCE National Horse Protection Coalition
Web Site: http://www.horse-protection.org