THE AMERICAN HORSE DEFENSE COALITION, INC., HAS BEEN CREATED TO WORK SIDE BY SIDE WITH THE CANADIAN HORSE DEFENCE COALITION TO BRING ABOUT A PERMANENT END TO THE COMMERCIAL SLAUGHTER OF HORSES IN BOTH OF OUR COUNTRIES.
Fellow horse warriors, you may recall that in 2015 when we formed the Washington Horse Defense Coalition, we stated that it was our intent to first pass a law banning the slaughter and export of all equines here for slaughter–joining only California, New Jersey and Illinois which currently have such laws—and then to assist grass roots efforts in other states to do the same. Our bill was introduced this year and received a hearing, therefore creating awareness in Olympia of an issue virtually none of our lawmakers had even heard of. Companion bills will be reintroduced in the 2017 Legislative session that now have an excellent chance to pass as a result.
IT IS NOW TIME TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP
As we watch the federal SAFE Act die a slow death in the U.S. Congress again, as has every other attempt to pass a federal horse slaughter ban since 2003, we are now ready to unleash our national campaign to pass enough state laws that Congress will finally be forced to act. This has been the course of almost all societal changing law, from the abolishment of slavery, suffrage, civil rights, voting rights, right to choose and most recently marital rights. It is time to take this proven path to finally make our equines’ right not to be slaughtered for human consumption the Law Of The Land.
GROUPS ALREADY FORMING IN OTHER STATES
Already groups of horse lovers are organizing state Horse Defense Coalitions in Oregon, Colorado, North Carolina, Virginia, New Mexico, New York, Texas, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Maryland to begin the process of preparing laws for their state legislatures. Also in California, Florida and Oklahoma where there are current laws on the books that require amendment to provide protection for our horses against actual slaughter or export for slaughter. These recognize that the flimsy protection of annual defunding for USDA meat inspections is nothing more than a band aid and corrective surgery is necessary to bring a real and lasting end to equine slaughter.
AHDC WILL BE A TRUE NATIONAL UMBRELLA ORGANIZATION
The American Horse Defense Coalition (AHDC) will be a true umbrella organization in that it will not be made up just of horse rescuers and advocates, but will also include breeders, ranchers, farmers, private owners and also participants in such legal equine activities as racing, rodeo, showing, polo and other sports. There are countless true horse lovers in these who abhor horse slaughter just as we do and are willing to work with us to finally bring it to an end. Unless the entire equine community comes together in this effort with a singleness of purpose—END HORSE SLAUGHTER—it will continue. It’s as simple as that.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
We are currently putting the finishing touches on the new version of our bill here in Washington State, having found a solution to the greatest problem with these laws—enforceability. As soon as this draft version is available, it will be distributed to the groups in other states to begin the task of creating compatibility with their individual statues, and then identifying lawmakers who will be willing to not only sponsor but work for the passage of these laws. The road ahead is a long and hard one, but finally we have a real chance to bring an end to the abomination that is equine slaughter. We hope that you are ready to do more than talk about this thing we all hate, but to step up in your state and help work for something with a real chance of success. Here is the simple fact that makes this the best…possibly only…road to take to end horse slaughter. Less than 2% of all bills introduced into Congress ever become law, while almost 22% of those in state legislatures are passed. It usually takes at least two years to move a bill through a state legislature, but remember we have been trying to end horse slaughter unsuccessfully in Washington, DC, for decades. It’s time to take the approach developed in the other Washington.
ALLEN WARREN #ACHORSEWARRIORS