Sunday, March 24, 2013

Horse shot in YouTube video: Disturbing video ignites debate over horse slaughter houses in U.S.

ABC Channel 15 Phoenix

Posted: 9:34 AM
Last Updated: 49 minutes ago
A video of a New Mexico meat company employee shooting a horse to death is causing controversy in the Arizona equine community.
In the video recently removed by YouTube, a man walks a horse towards a camera, yells a derogatory message towards animal activists and then proceeds to shoot the horse to death at point blank range.
Many are upset not only because of the gruesome video, but because the employee was working for a meat company that is trying to become a horse slaughter house.
Jim Gath rescued his horse Mistor who was headed for a horse slaughter house in Mexico two years ago.
“He broke his leg in a race and my friend called me and said he had 24 hours before he was going to be slaughtered. I brought him here and he was in bad shape. He could hardly walk,” said Gath of Tierra Madre Horse Sanctuary.
Gath has since nursed Mistor back to health. Now he is one of Gath’s fastest horses. Although Mistor was saved from the slaughter house, Gath worries for the thousands of other horses who aren’t as lucky.
"In these slaughter houses in Mexico, they stab the animals in the back to paralyze them and as they’re hanging upside down they’d slice their throat and they’d bleed to death,” said Gath.
It’s for this inhumane treatment that horse slaughter houses were shut down in the U.S. six years ago. While most animal activists feel they should stay shut, equine enthusiast Barbara Rector believes re-opening them is the humane thing to do.
“I’ve witnessed them being out on these trucks to Mexico or Canada. They have to travel a huge number of miles with no water, standing, some of them falling down. Some of them dead. Talk about feeling hopeless. It’s just like those trains heading for Auschwitz, it's horrible,” said Rector.
Gath agrees that something needs to be done, but doesn’t feel horse slaughter houses are the answer. 
“We gave Mistor his life back and not only that. He's turned into one of the greatest horses in the universe. He never should have been sent to a slaughter house.”

Friday, March 22, 2013

Horse Snuff Video Ignites Outrage

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Posted: March 22, 2013 by R.T. Fitch in Horse News
Source: By  on Fri, Mar 22, 2013
Coon said his department had received “lots of email, lots of calls, lots of faxes from people all over the country” about the video, which he described as “very disgusting.” 
Equine Snuff Video
Equine Snuff Video
Graphic, Sadistic Violence – Endorsed by Sue Wallis
LAS CRUCES — The video of a longtime Roswell slaughterhouse employee fatally shooting a horse in the head after swearing at “animal activists” has sparked a state Livestock Board investigation and outrage across the country.
Officials with the state Livestock Board executed a search warrant Thursday at the Dexter home of Tim Sappington, who had worked in maintenance for the Roswell area Valley Meat Co.
The company, which is seeking USDA inspections so it can begin slaughtering horses to export the meat to Mexico and overseas markets, issued a statement Thursday confirming that the man in the video is Sappington, a former employee.
The company’s attorney, A. Blair Dunn, said Valley Meat fired Sappington after becoming aware of the video, which was posted a year ago but has now become the focus of a public relations campaign by the Horse Plus Humane Society.
Chaves County Sheriff Rob Coon, whose agency is supporting the Livestock Board investigation, said the shooting of the horse is being examined as an animal cruelty case. But, Coon added, “It’s going to be up to the district attorney and the Livestock Board to come to that conclusion.”
Coon said his department had received “lots of email, lots of calls, lots of faxes from people all over the country” about the video, which he described as “very disgusting.”
Coon added: “For a man to make his point by shooting a helpless horse that deserved better than that.”
The Valley Meat statement said Sappington euthanized the horse “as was his legal right for his own consumption,” and Dunn noted that Sappington “precisely and exactly euthanized a horse in the proper fashion.”
In a 51-second video posted to YouTube, Sappington leads a brown horse by a rope to a spot in a dirt road next to a trailer. After briefly stroking the horse’s nose and then its neck, he says, “All you animal activists, (expletive) you,” pulls a handgun from its holster, places it against the horse’s forehead and fires a single shot.
The horse appears to leap involuntarily into the air, its legs curling beneath it, and crashes to the ground. Sappington turns to glare briefly at the camera and then walks away, saying, “Good.”
Sappington could not be reached for comment Thursday. A still image from the video, which Dunn said was made in early 2012, is posted on Sappington’s Facebook site, where he states he worked for Valley Meat since 1995.
“We agree that his (Sappington’s) comments were regrettably crass, not contributing anything to this dialogue so we do not condone his statements,” says the Valley Meat statement, “but he was within his lawful rights to slaughter and butcher a horse and he was not acting as an employee of the company in that action.”
Dunn noted that, over the last year since Valley Meat’s efforts to become the first company in the U.S. since 2006 to slaughter horses for the consumer market became public, the company’s ownership and staff have received death threats and bomb threats, including a bomb threat on Monday. The slaughterhouse has also been burglarized and vandalized, Dunn said.
The Valley Meat statement said “the opposition is now resorting to terrorist tactics.”
“.While Mr. Sappington’s personal comments are inappropriate, they pale in comparison to threatening to bomb people and kill their families,” the statement says. “… No animal is worth threatening or ending a person’s life.”
A mailer from an advocacy group called Horse Plus Humane Society to its supporters said Sappington’s action — swearing at animal rights activists before shooting the unsuspecting horse in the head — “could be considered a hate crime against all of us who have spoken out against the Roswell, NM horse slaughter house.”
A spokeswoman for the Livestock Board said only that the investigation is ongoing. Animal Protection of New Mexicoforwarded a copy of the video to the Livestock Board on Thursday, but it was not clear if that initiated the investigation.
Laura Bonar of Animal Protection of New Mexico said Sappington’s actions might qualify as exteme animal cruelty, defined as maliciously killing an animal.
“Posting that video is not doing anything toward solutions for horses that are suffering,” Bonar said. “The act itself is very disturbing and troubling.”
Click (HERE) to visit the ABQ Journal and to Comment

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Equine Advocacy Groups Expose Gross Gap in U.S. Border Horse Slaughter Inspections

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Required Government Inspections are NOT happening
This is a result of a FOIA request on inspections at the Mexico border pens. We are all sickened by the lack of inspections, enforcement and what American horses endure in the slaughter pipeline. A total of only 199 inspections took place during 2010, 2011 & 2012.
Our thanks to our investigators for their diligence and determination in exposing the inexcusable conditions and treatment of American horses. We wish the horse owners could see what road they have chosen for their horses. The photo of the mare and her foal is heartbreaking.
USDA Response - please note this file is 20MB and will take a few moments to load
We encourage everyone to call their legislators and demand passage of the S.A.F.E act to end this now.
House Bill HR 1094
Senate Bill S 541 

Pam McKissick Without Reserve - Horse Slaughter


Pam McKissick and her three guests uncover the dirty truth about horse slaughter and give voice to "the other side" on behalf of 80 percent of the voting public. 

Oklahoma House Bill 1999 and Senate Bill 375 allow the horse slaughter industry to do business in Oklahoma and for horsemeat will be shipped to foreign countries for human consumption. Is that a good idea? The legislators say yes and 80 percent of the voting public say no.  So how did these bills get passed? These questions and many more are answered when Pam McKissick and her three guests give voice to "the other side" in “Pam McKissick Without Reserve: Horse Slaughter."
A third-generation Oklahoman, business leader, horse owner, rancher and veteran radio personality, Pam McKissick hosts a thought-provoking one-hour show and is joined by three of the most knowledgeable people on the topic who share their insights and first-hand experiences.  

Her guests include Vickery Echoff, a U.S. journalist who has published 15 in-depth exposes on the horsemeat trade for Newsweek, The Daily Beast, and The Huffington Post;  Mayor Paula Bacon of Kaufman, Texas who actually had the horse slaughter industry in her town along with pollution, crime and economic decline;  and Stephanie Graham one of the more informed horse advocates on what’s behind the rush to slaughter.
The show covers important topics including horsemeat in our food supply, life in a horse slaughter town in Texas and why Oklahoma legislature is putting a humane spin on an inhumane industry.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Updates from the Arizona Coalition for Equines

Arizona Coalition for Equines

The premier goal of the Arizona Coalition for Equines (ACE) is to give equine owners and
guardians the tools to help their horses, donkeys and burros thrive in their care. The core of
the ACE mission - the ACE Assistance Program - provides help to Arizonans who have
suffered personal setbacks, threatening their ability to keep and care for their horses. This
help is offered on a short-term, temporary basis, until financial or other challenges can be
solved. ACE is a statewide not-for-profit 501(c) 3.
Since the program began, ACE has responded with help for 99 equines involving hard-hit
caregivers struggling to keep and care for their horses. These numbers reflect only requests
for some type of financial assistance. ACE aims to prevent the tragic last resort of starvation,
seizure, abandonment or slaughter, by providing vital feed, and in some cases, hoof, dental
and medical care so people can maintain their beloved animals at home. If that proves
impossible, ACE also works to find new homes for equines in need.
Please visit the ACE website at for more
information. If you or someone you know is in need of temporary assistance to care for
equines, please call 520-749-4026 or email
ACE Announces ASPCA Grant Award
UPDATE: From the proceeds of this grant award, ACE has to date provided services to 31
Arizona horses. These services have included hay and feed, veterinary care, emergency
transport and foster care. ACE extends sincere appreciation and heartfelt thanks to the
ASPCA® Equine Fund grant program for their support of Arizona equines
To learn more about the ASPCA Equine Fund, visit
How Ace Is Helping
Here are a few of the recent requests and responses from


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Horse Medicine

by James Anaquad Kleinert


News! News! News! News! News! News! News!

Protect Our Nation's Horses and Food Safety Reputation

Crucial new legislation was introduced in Congress this week that will protect consumers from toxic horsemeat and end the cruel slaughter of America’s horses, titled the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, H.R. 1094/S. 541.
Horse slaughter is fraught with terror, pain, and suffering and the plants have a history of polluting local water supplies, lowering property values, and are a drain on local economies. These animals are not raised for food and over the course of their lives are given a wide variety of drugs and veterinary treatments that make their meat unfit for human consumption.
Please make a brief, polite phone call to your U.S. Representative and two U.S. Senators to urge co-sponsorship of H.R. 1094/S. 541, the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act. Look up your legislators' phone numbers here. You can say: "I would like you to please co-sponsor and support H.R. 1094/S. 541, the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act to protect our nation's horses and food safety reputation."
After making your phone call (please do not skip that crucial step!), fill in and submit the form below to automatically send a follow-up message to your members of Congress. Legislators receive a lot of email, so be sure to edit your message so it stands out.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Save the Horses! Three Lawmakers Will Try to Ban Slaughter for Food

ABC News

Mar 12, 2013 7:05pm
gty horse slaughter us nt 130301 wblog Save the Horses! Three Lawmakers Will Try to Ban Slaughter for Food
Image credit: Getty Images
A trio of U.S. lawmakers is saying “no” to horse meat.
The U.S. is set to begin slaughtering horses again for the first time in six years, and recent news of Ikea sausages and British Taco Bell beef containing small amounts of horse has raised horse-meat alarm bells among the meat-consuming public.
Congress originally banned horse slaughter in 2006 by defunding USDA’s horse-meat inspectors. But after the ban lapsed in 2011, a lawsuit and industry pressure has forced USDA to start inspecting again, and a company says it expects to open the first slaughterhouse in Roswell, N.M., within the next month and a half.
“These companies must still complete necessary technical requirements and FSIS [the Agriculture Department's Food Safety and Inspection Service] must still complete its inspector training, but at that point, the Department will legally have no choice but to go forward with inspections, which is why we urge Congress to reinstate the ban,” a USDA spokesperson told ABC News.
Enter Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Reps.  Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., and Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill.
The three will introduce a bill on Wednesday that would put a stop to the pending horse slaughter.
The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, as the House version is dubbed, would not only ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption in the U.S. but would also prohibit shipping horses outside the U.S. for food slaughter. Unlike the appropriations rider that had prevented horse slaughter until now, the statutory ban would not expire.
The Humane Society of the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will hold a press conference on Capitol Hill on Wednesday with the three lawmakers, the two groups announced on Tuesday.
“Horses sent to slaughter are often subject to appalling, brutal treatment,” Schakowsky said in a statement emailed to ABC News by a spokesperson. “We must fight those practices.  The Safeguard American Food Exports Act of 2013 will ensure that these majestic animals are treated with the respect they deserve.”

Abuse at 2013 Buckeye, AZ Rodeo

Please share! I'm not opposed to ALL rodeo events, but the cruelty has to stop!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Horses – the forgotten victims of bullfighting and Other News

Horses – the forgotten victims of bullfighting

This photo is from 2001 in the bullring of Madrid.
What is a bullfight, and who suffers in the bloody so-called sport, asks Maria Lopes.
In Anglo-Saxon countries bullfighting is regarded as a sport, perhaps due to lack of knowledge.
A horse is blind-folded before being used in a bullfight.
A horse is blind-folded before being used in a bullfight.
It is, after all, banned throughout the UK and the Commonwealth nations, as well as most of Europe. In countries where bullfighting is allowed it is increasingly becoming recognised as sheer barbarity. This savagery involves two beautiful animals, bulls and horses. While the bulls are guaranteed to die, the future of the horses is often no brighter.
Bullfights take place in three European countries, France, Portugal and Spain and in some parts of Latin America. In some states of North America a form of bullfight is permitted but the animal is covered with velcro and the spears used are imitation.
It’s commonly believed that in Portuguese bullfights bulls or horses don’t suffer, unlike the Spanish versions. This is unfortunately a myth since the suffering is the same in both bullfight styles.
The only difference is that in Spanish bullrings the bull is killed in the ring instead of in the slaughterhouse when the “entertainment” is over.
Every year more than 50,000 bulls are killed in bullfights in Europe alone. Countless horses die or suffer severe injuries.
This photo was taken during a bullfight in Spain. The horse was killed.
This photo was taken during a bullfight in Spain. The horse was killed.
Bullfighters claim that bulls bred for bullfights are aggressive and fearsome animals. This is also untrue. They fight because they are fighting for their lives.
But bulls are not the only creatures to suffer in bullrings. The tormented bull does not understand that it is the man on the horse’s back that is causing his pain, only that he is in agony. He therefore sees the horse as his enemy as much as the man.
It’s not unusual for horses used in bullfights to be so badly gored by the bulls that they have to be killed, but only after they have been dragged from the ring and the view of the spectators.
Spanish bullfights also employ “picadors”, men on horseback armed with spears.
Scene from a Portuguese bullfight.
Scene from a Portuguese bullfight.
These horses are often gored even though they are protected by what is termed a “peto”, or a protective cape. These petos often do little more than hide the horses wounds.
The horses are blind-folded to prevent them from becoming terror stricken at the charge of the bull. It is commonly believed that their ears are stuffed with cotton-wool to prevent them from panicking and their vocal cords cut to stop them screaming with fear at the bull’s attack.
This is the fate of these beautiful animals. To be used to entertain a crowd that lusts for blood and claims that bullfighting is a tradition and “cultural heritage”.
What about the brave matadors, picadors and their ilk? Bullfighters are rarely injured and seldom killed in the ring. With their armoury of weapons to weaken the bull until it can no longer fight, their lives are not at great risk. In fact, in the last 50 years only 10 bullfighters have been killed worldwide.
Should you ever find yourself in a country where bullfighting is practiced, please do not be tempted to attend one of these sadistic displays. The continuation of bullfighting depends on government subsidies and the tourist industry. Don’t be an accomplice to this savagery by supporting it with your dollars.


Other News:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Today's News from Equine Welfare Alliance

Update on legislator statement: I'm trying to confirm the statement was released. I don't want to release what I have in case it hasn't been released or the text has changed. The DC offices are closed today due to weather. Stay tuned....

Be sure to visit the links so we can send the link counts over the top and feel free to leave a comment! 

Horsemeat: Switzerland finds bute in horsemeat from Canada

Videos and information from the OK press conference and BLM meeting

Also on our wild ones:

The HSUS Urges the Bureau of Land Management to Return Wild Horse Band to its Home Near Carson City, Nev.

Vickery hits another home run in Newsweek

What's in Your Horse Burger? Chemicals That Pose Serious Health Risks

This is a great piece from British author, Susanna Forrest published in Spiegel International

The Source of Horse: A Shadowy Market Ripe for Exploitation

This is an awesome video but I will caution you there are a few graphic images toward the end. Contact info for the governor is at the end. Let's hope Oklahoma comes to their senses...

Monday, March 4, 2013

What’s in Your Horse Burger? Chemicals That Pose Serious Health Risks: PLUS The Rest of the News!

Straight from the Horse's Heart

From Newsweek
It’s not just because they’re pretty. Their meat poses serious health risks.
Vickery Eckhoff  in Newsweek.
Toxic Burgers Enter Human Food ChainThe French take few tips from the British, but French Agriculture Minister St├ęphane Le Foll made an exception recently when addressing reporters at the Paris farm show.
“One would have to eat 500 horse burgers every day in order to run a risk,” Le Foll stated. He borrowed the line from U.K. Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies, who used it just weeks ago to downplay the hazards of eating horse meat adulterated with phenylbutazone during what has turned out to be a massive international food scandal with people in the U.K. being unwittingly subjected to equine flesh.
Otherwise known as “bute,” the drug is a potent equine painkiller that’s prohibited in horse meat produced by EU trading partners, including the U.S., where 95-100 percent of horses are estimated to be “buted.”Although European government ministers claim that the horse-meat debacle is nothing more than a labeling issue, bute poses serious health hazards, according to a growing list of veterinarians as well as the authors of “Association of Phenylbutazone Usage With Horses Bought for Slaughter: A Public-Health Risk.
”Published in Food and Chemical Toxicology, the research study states that the health hazards associated with bute in horse meat aren’t dose related.
According to the study, bute causes bone-marrow depression like aplastic anemia, agranulocytosis, thrombocytopenia, leucopenia, pancytopenia, and hemolytic anemia, which are fatal in the vast majority of cases. The elderly are more susceptible than younger adults. The risks for developing bone-marrow depression and other serious effects are heightened because humans metabolize bute into oxyphenbutazone, which also causes bone-marrow depression.
The study also demonstrates that children are at increased risk of developing aplastic anemia from minute levels of bute and oxyphenbutazone in horse meat, presumably because their bones are still growing. But even very low levels of bute can result in a hypersensitivity reaction in susceptible adults that’s mostly fatal. All of these effects are considered to be idiosyncratic, meaning it is unknown who will be afflicted…(CONTINUED)
Click (HERE) to read the story in it’s entirety and to Comment, please!

2013.02.27 Press Release

EWA/WHFF Houston Horse Meat Connection Gains Major Media Attention | Straight from the Horse's Heart

BBC News - Horsemeat scandal: Four new products test positive

The Great Global Horsemeat Scandal | Straight from the Horse's Heart

Amid Sequester Scare and Global Horse Meat Scandal USDA May Approve Horse Slaughter Plant | Straight from the Horse's Heart

Widening Horse Meat Scandal Prompts Action in the EU - Wayne Pacelle: A Humane Nation

Sweden Brings In Police As Horsemeat Scandal Spreads

Head vet: ‘We see dying or badly injured horses’ | Canadian Horse Defence Coalition's Blog

Horse Meat Talk Back: Daily Deception and Callous Cruelty - Wayne Pacelle: A Humane Nation

US animal rights groups: 'Nay' to horse slaughter plan | Reuters

Welfare groups upset over New Mexico slaughter plans - News -

Equine Advocates Take On BLM Wild Horse and Slaughter Issues in Oklahoma City | Straight from the Horse's Heart

Horsemeat: Switzerland finds bute in horsemeat from Canada