NATIONAL HORSE PROTECTION COALITION - 2-26-2005

     TO: All Veterinary Practitioners in the U.S.

     RE: H.R. 503: The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act

     Each year tens of thousands of horses are hauled all over the US to one of the three horse slaughter facilities, one that
     recently re-opened in Illinois, the other two located in Texas. Injured, sick or healthy, young or old – all are subject to this
     cruel industry. However, now there is an opportunity to address this before the United States Congress.

      The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (H.R. 503), sponsored by Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY) and Rep. John Spratt
     (D-SC), will ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption and prohibit live horses from being exported to Mexico,
     Canada, Japan or elsewhere for the purpose of slaughter. It will put an end to a barbaric practice that claims all breeds,
     ages, sizes and conditions of horse.

     Opponents of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act  (H.R. 503) portray horse slaughter as a form of humane euthanasia,
     citing the American Veterinary Medical Association's classification of the captive-bolt as "acceptable" for euthanizing equines.
     This simplistic presentation of the facts fails to acknowledge the vast difference between efficient administration of the
     captive-bolt by a highly trained veterinarian with appropriate restraint of the horse’s head (the AVMA specifies that the
     captive-bolt is acceptable "with appropriate restraint")
and its improper use by low-skilled slaughterhouse employees
     without proper head restraint. Improper use of the captive-bolt during slaughter means that horses may often endure
     repeated blows with the device, and may be improperly stunned as they proceed through slaughter.

     Further, this misrepresentation of the facts fails to recognize the immense suffering that horses endure before they ever
     arrive at the slaughterhouse.
Federal regulations currently allow horses to be transported for more than 24 hours at a time
     without food, water or rest, on double-deck cattle trailers, with broken limbs, with eyes missing. These permitted
     conditions contrast sharply with generally-accepted practices for moving horses in a humane manner. Euthanasia of a horse
     by a licensed veterinarian is a far cry from the suffering faced by horses sent to slaughter, and it is disingenuous to suggest
     that the two are comparable simply because the mechanism by which horses are stunned at the slaughterhouse can,
in
     theory
, be humane.

     We invite you to add your name to the growing list of veterinarians who are against the slaughter of American horses. To
     register your support for this bill, please contact me or fax the attached coupon to (703) 997-1134.

     Our web site provides information about H.R. 503 (text of bill, list of co-sponsors, committees, facts, status, etc.):  
     www.horse-protection.org.

     Sincerely,

     Christopher J. Heyde
     Executive Director

     Yes, please add my name to the growing list of veterinarians who want to see an end to the slaughter of America’s horses
     for human consumption abroad through passage of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act!

  Name: ____________________________________________________________________________________________

  State: __________________________________________ Title: ____________________________________

  Tel: ____________________________________________ Email: __________________________________

     PO Box 1252 | Alexandria, VA 22313 | Tel (703) 836-4300 | Fax (703) 997-1134

     Website: http://www.horse-protection.org | Email: info@horse-protection.org