02/17/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Horses Out of the Gate Quickly in 111th

Every month, thousands of ex-racehorses, work horses, and
family ponies are crammed into double-decker trucks where they can barely
stand, and shipped hundreds of miles to Canada and Mexico. After arriving
across the border, they are slaughtered for food exports to Europe and Asia,
where horse meat is considered a delicacy. As Brad Woodard of Houston's KHOU-TV
last month
, the journey is harsh and the killing methods are brutal. Yet it
still happens day after day -- even though Texas and other states have banned
horse slaughter, Congress has failed to shut down the cruel exports.

In the first weeks of the 111th Congress, House
Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) have
reintroduced their bill, H.R. 503, the Prevention
of Equine Cruelty Act
. Previous bills to end horse slaughter have been
blocked by some western lawmakers and committee chairs aligned with the
agribusiness industry, but now it's time to get the job done and put this issue
to rest. Americans don't eat horse meat and our horses are not raised for food.
They shouldn't be scooped up by opportunistic "killer buyers" when there are willing
adopters and a network of horse rescues
ready to assist.

Investigators from The Humane Society of the United States
have documented the long-distance transport of horses to Juarez, Mexico, and
the clumsy killing methods such as stabbing them in the spine. Watch
this video
to be reminded of the cruelty to horses that is still taking
place, while agribusiness groups use stalling tactics and make the same old
tired arguments about "unwanted" horses. Then take action by telling Congress
to pull in the reins
on this abusive, foreign-driven market, and finally pass the
Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act.