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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
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