22 January 2008
A NOTE FROM TOBY KEITH ON HORSE SLAUGHTER
A NOTE FROM TOBY KEITH ON HORSE SLAUGHTER:
Tell Congress It's Time To Stand Up For America's Horses
"When my friend, Willie Nelson, asked me to join him, his family, and the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) in the fight against the slaughter of American horses for human consumption overseas, I said 'Absolutely, count me in.' Truth be known, my sister and I had already been doing what we could to protect horses from slaughter for quite some time; one more case of great minds thinking alike.
"My family shares our 160-acre ranch in Oklahoma with many horses. I also have a 280-acre racehorse training facility nearby that is equipped with a 7/8 mile track with barns, paddocks, walkers, etc. My sister, Tonni, and I keep as many as 200 horses at any given time. A lot of them are retired and brought up here to live out their lives.
"If we get too many, we sell some at auction. However, when we do sell horses, we put a $3,000 reserve on them so that they are too expensive to purchase for slaughter. If we bring one home that doesn't sell, my sis will work until she finds that horse a home, no exceptions. Sometimes we're faced with the tough decision to have our vet come out to put a suffering horse down. The idea has never occurred to me to send my horse to slaughter as a form of euthanasia, because slaughter isn't euthanasia.
"My heroes have always been horses. The reason we take such good care of our horses is because we respect them tremendously. Historically, the horse has earned this respect by accepting the two-legged rider onto his back, fighting in our battles, and helping to settle the frontier. As Winston Churchill once said, 'There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.'
"We owe a great deal of thanks to horses, and now is the time for us to express that gratitude, because they need our help more than ever. More than 100,000 American horses were slaughtered in the U.S. last year and served up in fancy European restaurants. Texas and Illinois have outlawed the practice, closing down the only three foreign-owned horse slaughterhouses on U.S. soil.
"This is great news, but our fight is far from finished. These companies are taking American horses on trucks several hundred miles without food or water across U.S. borders to slaughterhouses in Mexico and Canada where the slaughter is especially brutal.
"The federal American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (S. 311/H.R. 503) would close this route by banning the transport of American horses across U.S. borders for the purpose of slaughter. It will also stop the slaughter industry from simply choosing another state to set up shop.
"It's time for Congress to pass the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act into law. Join me, Willie, Bo Derek, John Corbett, the Animal Welfare Institute and over 75% of Americans in our effort to protect America's horses. Call your elected representatives in Washington, D.C. today and ask them to co-sponsor the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (S. 311/H.R. 503).
"For more information on horse slaughter and how you can help make a difference for our horses visit http://www.awionline.org/. To find your elected representatives, visit http:/ www.compassionindex.org/.