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June 14, 2011

One Phone Call to Help Horses and Wildlife

The federal government’s spending often makes headlines when there’s a looming budget shutdown or a contentious political battle. But there are also many important, less-publicized budget decisions that have a tremendous effect, including for the welfare of millions of animals.

Today, the House of Representatives is debating the agricultural appropriations bill for the next fiscal year. This complex legislation will dictate how money is spent by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and we’re paying close attention to a few major anticipated amendments: 1) we oppose any amendment that would allow horse slaughter plants to reopen in the United States, and 2) we support the Campbell-DeFazio amendment to stop the government-sponsored poisoning, trapping, and aerial gunning of wild animals such as wolves.

Horses in a pen
Kathy Milani/The HSUS
Please call your representative today.

Proponents of horse slaughter are expected to try to reinstate USDA’s inspections of horse slaughter plants in the United States. Since these inspections are required in order to export horse meat for human consumption, this amendment would allow the cruel horse slaughter industry to return to our country—where it’s been effectively shut down since 2007. The HSUS strongly opposes the slaughter of American horses, whether it's within our borders or in Canada or Mexico, and we urge the House to vote down any such amendment.

The other priority relates to funding for Wildlife Services, a branch of the USDA that contracts with local governments to address conflicts with wildlife. All too often, the agency’s main "solution" is to kill millions of birds and tens of thousands of mammals every year. Reps. John Campbell and Peter DeFazio have proposed an amendment that would cut funding for killing wolves and other predators with inhumane methods such as poisons, aerial gunning, and steel-jawed traps. Not only are these methods cruel, they don’t work—often another predator will simply move into the vacant territory. We support this amendment to remove funding for these outdated, wasteful methods and help to shift momentum toward humane, effective ways of resolving wildlife conflicts.

Please call your U.S. representative today to oppose any pro-horse slaughter amendment and to support the Campbell-DeFazio Wildlife Services amendment. Both actions would save money and spare countless animals. While decisions like these may seem technical or abstract, they have the potential to make a huge difference. These are your tax dollars at work, and your legislators need to know that you don’t want them to fund the slaughter of our American horses and wildlife. Here’s an opportunity to make a difference. Please call your U.S. representative right away and forward this blog to friends and family members.

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