Friday, December 2, 2011

Clearing Up The Confusion And What We Can Do Now!

Americans Against Horse Slaughter

This was an annual Appropriations Bill which is basically a spending bill that encompasses spending in all areas of our government. Each year Congress must pass 13 appropriations bill to fund the various federal agencies. For several years Congress has been unable to pass individual bills so they have been passing packages of bills, which is what just happened. This bill included funding for the USDA, Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Justice. It was necessary in order to keep the government afloat. These bills in some form pass every year. It was never a “horse slaughter bill”. There was actually no reference to horse slaughter in the entire bill. But here is how and why it impacted our horses:
In 2006 Congress put language in the Agriculture Appropriations Bill that cut off funding for horse meat inspections and for five years it stayed that way. That meant that no government money could be spent for inspections in horse slaughter plants. It was always supposed to be a short term fix until we got Federal legislation passed to end horse slaughter and the transport of our horses to slaughter in the U.S. or outside of the country. While we have made some headway and bills have been introduced in both the House and the Senate, we have been unable to get those bills out of committee and to the floor for a vote.
So, that brings us to this year. Two pro slaughter members of Congress quietly lifted the 5-year-old ban on funding horse meat inspections by taking out the language inserted in 2006. It did not, however, allocate any new money to pay for horse meat inspections, which could cost taxpayers $5 million or more dollars a year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture would have to find the money in its existing budget, which is expected to see more cuts this year as Congress and the White House aim to trim federal spending. The USDA will also have to take food safety and animal welfare inspectors away from our own food supply oversight.
Our fight for the horses is not over...Channel your passion in the right direction. Passing the Federal Legislation to end horse slaughter will make the Appropriations Bill meaningless. The American Horse Slaughter Prevention bills have already been introduced in both the House and the Senate. With enough cosponsors, we have a better chance of getting these bills to the floor for a vote.
We need to concentrate on gaining cosponsors and support for Senate bill S. 1176 and House bill H.R. 2966. We also need to attend Town Hall meetings.
Please call your members of Congress to find out when their next town hall meet is. You will need to call your Congressional members district offices at least once a week to get their current schedule. Speak up and let them know that horse slaughter is not acceptable and that any representative that supports it will not have your vote. Always be polite and respectful. But SHOW UP!!! Sitting behind a computer and signing petitions will only get us so far. We need more.
This newest event has brought horse slaughter to the forefront and we now have many more people aware of the situation. Our membership has grown by leaps and bounds just in the last week. Let’s use that to our advantage and strike while the issue is in the news!
To make it easier, we are including a link to the AWI Compassion Index where you can find your legislators and their contact info
We will be posting more information on additional strategy soon. A huge thanks to all of you who have been fighting to help our horses. Now is the time for ALL OF US to be the “War Horses”!!
Debra and Shelley


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