Equine Welfare Alliance
July 10, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts: Vicki Tobin 630.961.9292
John Holland 540.268.5693
Pro Slaughter Group Issues Tainted Survey Results
CHICAGO, (EWA) – The Unwanted Horse Coalition, a subsidiary of the American Horse Council continues to present a false facade of neutrality on the explosive issue of horse slaughter in America, all the while doing everything in its considerable power to bring back an industry shunned by the overwhelming majority of Americans.
The Washington D.C. based lobbying group has the support of pro slaughter breeders, ranchers, and others with an economic interest in disposing of horses for profit – no matter the cruelty involved.
The latest AHC/UHC tactic was Thursday’s issuance of the results from an obviously slanted “national survey”. As an example, the survey reported that 86-88% of participants perceived that abuse was a big problem in the past year while only 22-28% thought it had been a big problem three years ago. This bracketing conveniently omitted the nearly two year period in which the domestic slaughter plants were closed before the economy collapsed.
The survey results reflected that among the participants the closing of the domestic slaughter plants was considered second to the economy as the most significant contributor to the neglect problem. Clearly this perception cannot be valid given that 134,000 horses were exported for slaughter in 2008; the second highest slaughter count since 1995.
The survey results were held until the senate committee hearing giving anti slaughter advocates no opportunity to respond. The release of this survey in conjunction with the requested GAO study was intended as a stalling technique to delay legislation that has overwhelming congressional support. This is yet another attempt in a long string of such tactics to prevent legislation from going to the senate floor for a vote.
In addition to leading questions, the targeted participants were largely members of pro slaughter organizations. Equine welfare organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States, Animal Welfare Institute, the Equine Welfare Alliance and numerous anti slaughter organizations were not invited to participate.
A major supporter of the American Horse Council and Unwanted Horse Coalition is the American Quarter Horse Association that actively lobbies for horse slaughter. Horses registered to the Amarillo based breed association account for approximately half of all horses going to slaughter as breeders are encouraged by its leadership to breed with no regard to the resulting excess horses. Many of the horses going to slaughter are culls which breeders were unable to sell. Remarkably, only 30% of these “stakeholders” thought this was contributing to the over population and neglect.
The study will almost certainly impact wild horse legislation, HR 1018, as well as anti horse slaughter legislation. With the upcoming GAO study and current BLM budget deficits, Congress must immediately issue a moratorium on wild Mustang round-ups until the GAO study is completed.
EWA welcomes a GAO study and believes that it will undoubtedly put aside perceptions and propaganda as reflected in the UHC survey and focus on solid statistical evidence. EWA plans to make available to the GAO its considerable statistical research on the subject of abuse and neglect, including the 2008 study done in conjunction with Animal Law Coalition.
Americans should be outraged that Congress allows needed legislation to languish and continually be blocked and stalled by special interest groups that perpetuate the over breeding of horses.