THE SACRAMENTO BEE — APR. 22, 2013 — On the cusp of the 2013 Annual American Equine Summit hosted by the New York-based national equine protection organization Equine Advocates, the call to ban horse slaughter permanently has received much needed support from Robert Redford.
Actor, director, environmentalist and founder of the Sundance Festival, Redford wrote a letter to Equine Advocates President Susan Wagner to support the unequivocal stance that horse slaughter must be banned in the US. "Horses are acquired for slaughter without disclosure and often through fraud and misrepresentation. The entire slaughter process is cruel, inhumane and perpetuates abuse and neglect without consequences, in addition to condoning a violation of our nation's cruelty laws," said Redford. "As Americans, we have the right to oppose both the return of horse slaughter to the US and the transport of our wild and domestic equines to other countries for the purpose of slaughter."
Redford joins a bilateral effort to reverse the advance of horse slaughter through public opinion and safety concerns, and legislation on both state and federal levels.
New York has become the latest state to push for a ban on horse slaughter with Senate Bill S.4615 and Assembly Bill A.3905. New York State Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, who will deliver the Keynote Address at the Summit, joined State Senator Kathy Marchione in co-sponsoring the bill at a press conference last week. If passed, New York State would join California, Illinois, New Jersey and Texas in prohibiting it.
The Obama administration's proposed 2014 budget includes a proposal to essentially prevent equines from being slaughtered in the US by defunding FDA inspections. The recent bipartisan introduction of the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act would also prohibit the transport, export or import of horses intended for slaughter or horsemeat, leading the issue closer to the solution most Americans demand: Ban it.
"We applaud Robert Redford for his powerful, meaningful and profound words on behalf of America, at a time when over 80% of our citizens oppose horse slaughter," said Wagner. "Beyond the sheer brutality of the practice, horse slaughter will enable dangerous FDA-banned drugs found in horsemeat to potentially threaten the US food supply if cross contamination occurs with other meat, like what's happening across Europe. Horses are not bred for food and should be removed from the food chain."
Experts, government officials and others will convene at Equine Advocates Rescue & Sanctuary in Chatham, NY Saturday, April 27 – Sunday, April 28 for the 2013 Annual American Equine Summit. For a full list of speakers, visit: http://www.equineadvocates.org/EquinesBlog/?p=765. Follow Summit News #AES2013.
Founded in 1996, Equine Advocates Inc. is a national non-profit equine protection organization whose mission is to rescue, protect and prevent the abuse of equines -- especially through banning the slaughter of American horses -- through education, investigation, rescue operations and public education. Info@equineadvocates.org, @equineadvocates.org or 518-245-1599 for more information.