US Representative from Texas threatens provision banning horse slaughter on US soil

Rep. Henry Bonilla says “It’s Coming Out” to Agriculture Appropriations Bill amendment suspending funding for USDA horse slaughter plant inspections

WASHINGTON DC (Oct. 21, 2005) – Federal legislation that would ban horse slaughter on US soil for Fiscal Year 2006 saving the taxpayer an estimated $5 Million could be under serious threat because of Texas politician, Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-23-TX).

Passed by an overwhelming majority in both the House and the Senate, the amendment to the Agriculture Appropriations Bill prohibiting the federal government from using federal funds to carry out horse slaughter plant inspection is currently being considered by a conference committee of Senators and Representatives as they reconcile the final document for the President’s signature.

Word is Bonilla is busying himself in an attempt to get the necessary votes to strip the amendment from the final bill. When confronted by legislators friendly to the measure, he is quoted as saying, “It’s coming out!”

The amendment should not be altered or omitted according to Congressional rules.

“This is a travesty and yet another example of the American people being robbed of their voice in Washington. Tragically, it is not the first time politicians have manipulated behind the scenes to the detriment and destruction of our horses,” states Vivian Farrell, President of The Fund for Horses.

The Sweeney-Spratt Amendment passed the House by 269-158 on June 8, 2005. The Ensign-Byrd Amendment containing identical language passed the Senate 69-28 on September 20, 2005.

There are three foreign-owned horse slaughter plants for human consumption in the United States. All meat and profits go overseas.

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Two-thirds of Canadians polled do not believe in horse slaughter

VANCOUVER, BC (May 27, 2004) — According to a new Ipsos-Reid poll conducted on behalf of B.C. based TRACS, “The Responsible Animal Care Society”, two-thirds (64%) of adult Canadians “do not believe in the slaughter of Canadian horses for human consumption”.

Poll respondents were told “Government statistics show that in 2003 more than 61,000 horses were slaughtered in Canada for human consumption or shipped out of the country for the same purpose.”

One-in-three (33%) adult Canadians say they “do believe in the slaughter of Canadian horses for human consumption”. Three percent have no opinion on this issue.

Regional and demographic differences included the following:

A slight majority of Quebec residents say they “believe” in the slaughter of Canadian horses for human consumption (53% believe vs. 47% do not believe). A majority of residents from other provinces “do not believe” in the slaughter of Canadian horses for human consumption (77% Atlantic, 73% Ontario, 69% British Columbia, 62% Alberta, 56% Manitoba/Saskatchewan).

A majority of residents in all other socio-economic and demographic groups “do not believe” in the slaughter of Canadian horses for human consumption. Opposition to the slaughter is higher amongst women (73% vs. 55% men), younger residents (69% 18-34 years vs. 59% 35-54 years), lower income residents (74% vs. 58% higher) and less educated residents (75% less than high school, 69% high school vs. 64% some post-sec, 57% university graduates).

These are the findings of an Ipsos-Reid/TRACS poll conducted between May 18th and 20th, 2004. For the telephone survey, a representative randomly selected sample of 1000 adult Canadians was interviewed.  With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ± 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult Canadian population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure the sample’s regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to the 2001 Census data.

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