Texas Humane Legislation Network

For Immediate Release

Contact: Susan Hendrix (512) 476-3377 or (512) 413-1602

                Chris Heyde (703) 836-4300 or (202) 423-8689


Horse Slaughter Casts Dark Cloud Over "Seabiscuit's" Legacy

Texas Congressman Co-Sponsors Bill to Stop Horse Slaughter

    Austin, TX  July 29, 2003 -- While “Seabiscuit” captures the hearts of movie goers across the nation, thousands of horses, many of them former race horses, are being brutally slaughtered in two foreign-owned slaughter plants operating illegally in Texas. These plants slaughter horses and ship their meat to France , Belgium and Japan where it is eaten as a delicacy.
    Federal legislation to ban horse slaughter has been introduced in Congress and has gained 63 co-sponsors to date. Congressman Martin Frost (D-24th District of Texas) has signed on to co-sponsor HR 857, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, to protect thousands of American horses who are purchased every year at horse auctions throughout the nation by middlemen known as “killer buyers” and sold by the pound for slaughter.  

    "This inhumane and cruel treatment of horses must end," said Rep. Frost, ranking member on the House Committee on Rules. 


    As Attorney General of Texas, John Cornyn, now a U.S. Senator, ruled in August 2002 that the two horse slaughter plants, French-owned Dallas Crown in Kaufman and Belgian-owned Beltex in Fort Worth , were operating illegally and must shut down or face prosecution. The plants, however, won a temporary injunction in federal court, and they continue slaughtering as many as 1,000 horses a week. 

    Attempts in the Texas Legislature to legalize horse slaughter for human consumption were thwarted when a bill sponsored by State Rep. Betty Brown (R-Terrell) failed to win passage in the 2003 legislative session.

    A statewide voter survey on horse slaughter, conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research in May 2003, revealed that 77 percent of Texas voters opposed a change in state law to legalize horse slaughter for human consumption.


    Proof that any horse, even the greatest of racing champions, can meet his fate in a slaughterhouse  was revealed just last week when The Blood-Horse magazine reported that “Ferdinand,” the 1986 Kentucky Derby winner who went on to capture the 1987 “Horse of the Year” title, ended his extraordinary life in a Japanese slaughterhouse.  (See web site below for article.)

   If passed, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (HR 857) will prohibit the slaughter of horses in the United States and ensure that American horses are not transported across U.S. Borders to Canada , Mexico or Japan for slaughter.  



Additional information: 


Kentucky Derby Winner Slaughtered for Human Consumption

Has the death of one champion helped to expose the cruelty faced by the tens of thousands of horses each year in the US ?  News about the horrific end faced by Kentucky Derby winner, Ferdinand in a Japanese slaughterhouse, have sent shock waves through the Thoroughbred industry and horse community.  http://opinions.bloodhorse.com/viewstory.asp?id=17063

Dell Hancock, of the famed Kentucky Clairborn Farm, where Ferdinand was born, has come out urging support of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act.


To learn more about this issue and the AHSPA, please visit http://www.saplonline.org/Legislation/ahpa.htm.


For other articles and information on horse slaughter, log on to: www.kaufmanzoning.net/horsemeat (all lowercase).  

For video or visuals, contact Susan Hendrix at (512) 476-3377 or hendrixs@texas.net.