Appeals Court Vacates Ban on US Horse Slaughter

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“THIS IS A DIFFICULT SUBJECT for me to discuss. I own horses & understand that due to overpopulation, lack of food or abandonment etc. it is causing welfare problems. Charities can’t protect every horse in need of a home, they will simply never have enough funds to protect them all. God…I wish they could, I hate to see horses or any animal for that matter suffer, no animal lover would want an animal to suffer unnecessarily. So to prevent this, if there is no other way possible to save them, I would prefer they were put out of their misery; in the kindest way possible & cremated.  Horses die from disease, injury or just old age & their bodies have to be dealt with whatever the circumstance.

“If owners are not permitted to dispose of the body themselves on their own land, which most aren’t; then the body (no matter how loved) has to be dealt with! I dread the day one of my horses dies or has to be put to sleep, but I don’t have land to bury them on or the required permission…it would literally break my heart, but I will have no option but to still call the knacker man (for want of a better word) to cremate the body & return the ashes to me, so I can do with them as I wish.”

“WHAT I  OPPOSE is the use of slaughterhouses TO KILL HEALTHY, ILL & ABUSED HORSES FOR FOOD & PROFIT! This planet already kills way too many animals to feed the population, some in the most barbaric, cheapest & despicable ways, with rife abuse & cruelty: which is why I don’t eat animals. Those who don’t own horses but own dogs, would find the practice of a slaughterhouse for dogs horrific & wouldn’t stand for it! Just as it is with horse owners/lovers… HORSES DO NOT BELONG ON THE MENU in this century or the next. By all means their bodies have to be dealt with…BUT NO HORSE SHOULD END UP ON A PLATE! Killing horses for their meat & profit alone is not justified; THOSE WHO WISH TO KILL HORSES FOR FOOD, ARE IN IT FOR THE MONEY, PURE GREED ALONE & IT IS THEY WHO SHOULD BE BANNED!!”

A federal appeals court on Friday removed a temporary ban on domestic horse slaughter, clearing the way for companies in New Mexico, Missouri and Iowa to open while an appeal of a lawsuit by animal protection groups proceeds.

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The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver lifted the emergency injunction it issued in November after The Humane Society of the United States and others appealed the ruling of a federal judge in Albuquerque. The judge said the U.S. Department of Agriculture followed proper procedure in issuing permits to Valley Meat Co. in Roswell, N.M., Rains Natural Meats of Gallatin, Mo., and Responsible Transportation in Sigourney, Iowa.

The appeals court’s order Friday said the groups had “failed to meet their burden for an injunction pending appeal.”

Blair Dunn, an attorney for Valley Meat and Rains Natural Meats, said the order lifts the emergency status of the case, meaning it will likely be months before a final decision is issued.

Dunn said the plants are ready to open, although they could agree to remain shuttered if the plaintiffs agree to post a sufficient bond to cover the companies’ losses should they ultimately prevail.

“They are getting ready to go as quickly as they can. It shouldn’t take too long. Not more than two weeks,” he said.

The Humane Society, however, said “the fight for America‘s horses is not over.”

“We will press for a quick resolution of the merits of our claims in the 10th Circuit,” said Jonathan R. Lovvorn, the group’s senior vice president of animal protection litigation and investigations.

The plants would become the first horse slaughterhouses to operate in the U.S. since 2007. Congress effectively banned horse slaughter by eliminating funding for inspections at the plants in 2006. It restored that funding in 2011, but the USDA did not approve the first permits for horse slaughterhouses until this summer.

The issue has divided horse rescue and animal welfare groups, ranchers, politicians and Indian tribes about what is the most humane way to deal with the country’s horse overpopulation, and what rescue groups have said are a rising number of neglected and starving horses as the West deals with persistent drought.

Valley Meat and Responsible Transportation were set to begin horse slaughter operations in August, but U.S. District Judge Christina Armijo blocked their plans while she heard the lawsuit by The Humane Society of the United States, Front Range Equine Rescue and others. The groups claimed the plants should have been forced to undergo environmental reviews under provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act.

Responsible Transportation abandoned its horse slaughter plans and converted its plant to cattle before Armijo dismissed the lawsuit in November.

Attorneys for the plants have argued that the plaintiffs are simply in court because they are morally opposed to horse slaughter and are looking for a way to delay the plants while they lobby Congress for a ban.

Proponents of a return to domestic horse slaughter point to a 2011 report from the federal Government Accountability Office that shows horse abuse and abandonment have increased since domestic horse slaughter was banned. They say it is better to slaughter the animals in humane, federally regulated facilities than have them abandoned to starve across the drought-stricken West or shipped to inhumane facilities in Mexico.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, calls the practice barbaric and has said blocking a return to domestic horse “is an issue of national importance and scale.”

News Link:http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/appeals-court-vacates-ban-us-horse-slaughter-21216265

GRAPHIC IMAGE: Horse starved in Citrus County; animal lovers appalled

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“How the hell could she let the mare get so bad & not ask for help or advice as to why the horse wasn’t gaining weight? Any real horse owner knows’ that teeth need to be filed down at least once a year! I get my horse done twice as it doesn’t take long for a tooth to start irritating the gum due to being sharp or hooks to cause pain, which will stop the horse eating properly. How come it took until it was on it’s last legs before someone noticed it? Was it locked away where nobody could see it? I just can’t fathom why nobody spoke up earlier, perhaps then the mare may have stood a chance! Sod falling out with neighbours; when an animals life is in danger, you speak up!! Didn’t the previous owner see it’s condition going down? So many questions because this just shouldn’t happen in this day & age!”

Floral City, Florida – “I cried her name, I said, ‘Mary, Mary — how could they do this to you?'” says a sobbing Cheryl Pence. 

She’s talking about Mary, an Arabian mare she used to own. She saw Mary again Thursday afternoon, right before she died.

When animal control officers arrived at the horse‘s current home near Floral City, Mary was down on the ground, too weak to stand — simply a breathing carcass.

“Deplorable, emaciated, there’s really not a term for it — it’s beyond emaciation,” says Animal Control Officer Terry Funderburk of the horse’s condition.

PHOTOS: Severely neglected horse euthanized, woman arrested **WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGES**

The horse’s owner, Tammi Kampman, was arrested and faces an animal cruelty charge. A vet says the mare’s teeth were so uncared for, that she could not physically eat.

Kampman was arrested on one misdemeanor count of animal cruelty after a severely emaciated horse was euthanized. WARNING: Graphic photos

“It had no way to process the food put in front of it,” explains Animal Control Supervisor Lora Peckham. “It literally starved to death, because of a lack of medical care.”

The arrest report indicates that over the past year people in this rural neighbourhood, including other horse owners, had offered to help the family. And Pence, who had given the family Mary four years ago so their girls could ride, begged to get Mary back.

“I said, ‘but if you can’t take care of her, I can take her back. I’m happy to take her back; I love this horse,'” Pence says.

But according to Citrus County Animal Control, no one called them to report the neglected horse. Some residents told investigators they didn’t want to cause hard feelings in the neighbourhood and Pence thought someone else had picked up the phone. “In situations like this I would rather fall out with a whole bloody City; than not report a suffering animal!”

When 10 News knocked on the mobile home’s door today, we were told to go away, so we don’t know why this horse was allowed to suffer for so long. However, we did see several cars at the house and a bass boat out back.

“She took no action to get a vet on property,” said Peckham.

Yet, because there isn’t an indication of “intentional abuse”, Peckham explained that state law allows only a misdemeanor charge. Kampman bonded out of jail on Thursday. “Perhaps not intentional abuse but the owner isn’t blind, she saw the state of the horse & didn’t get a vet out….I call that intentional negligence, which should be accountable for as it is clearly animal abuse to leave a horse in that condition!” 

Mary was so far gone she had to be euthanized and her former owner is now left with photographs of better days and a gnawing guilt.

Appalling, horse starved to death

“She’s in horse heaven and she’s not suffering,” says Pence. “But I will never do that again. I will never give away a horse again.”

Animal Control Officers say it’s important for people to officially report animal abuse or neglect. And if owners find themselves in a situation where they don’t have the money, time, or will to properly care for animal, officials urge owners to ask county agencies or area rescue groups for help.

News Link:-http://www.wtsp.com/rss/article/328282/8/Horse-starved-in-Citrus-Co-animal-lovers-appalled

‘Rescue Sanctuary’ Family Convicted of 16 Animal Cruelty Offences

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“Animals coming out of abusive homes, go to these places, expecting the best care, to aid in their recovery! But this just proves, yet again, anybody can set up a sanctuary; yet be capable of inflicting serious harm to animals, because they don’t love them!!. Don’t these places have to be licensed & inspected regularly?? If so, what happened?? It’s sad to say but some people see animals as an easy way to make money….they don’t love animals & have no interest in aiding animals to recover; they are just a means to an end!”

“I have no sympathy for those who abuse or neglect animals in their care & believe as a business, scamming everyone; they should receive the most serious of charges! How would you feel, if you had donated money to a sanctuary, only to learn that it mistreat’s its animals? terrible I’m guessing. So before you part with your money, even if the place has a flashy internet site etc…make your own investigations before you part with any donation. I think these so-called sanctuary’s need a lot more intervention from animal society’s like the RSPCA or HSI etc., depending where they are in the world…they need to be verified, that they are taking care of the animals in their charge; as they should!! Certainly no animals should have to be rescued from a so-called sanctuary; as in this case!!”

“Think about this, hotels are given star ratings, after being approved…yet animal sanctuary’s can pop up anywhere, with no interest what so ever in taking care of the animals…to them it’s just a money maker…wanting your donation!! Perhaps animal sanctuaries should be star rated to reflect the level of care the animals receive. Shame there were no pictures of this uncaring, selfish family. But similar folk are around us all, animal lovers must be vigilant & fight together to stand up for the rights of animals; if we don’t who will. Your local council representatives & governments are supposed to listen & work for their constituents; if they have no interest in animal welfare & don’t care….make some noise & get them booted out!!”

A family who ran an animal sanctuary in Oxfordshire have been found guilty of 16 offences of cruelty.

More than 100 animals, including 14 horses, were removed from Crunchies Animal Rescue Sanctuary, near Abingdon, in January 2012.

Eight peopleAngela Russell, her carer Daniel Bunyan, father Fred, son Robert, daughters Kirsty and Louise, her brother Peter and niece Abigail McHughwent on trial in April at Bicester Magistrates Court. They were charged with 16 offences, including failing to provide inadequate nutrition and veterinary care.

On Monday (24 June), all bar Peter Russell and Daniel Bunyan were convicted of all 16 offences at at Bicester Magistrates Court.

District judge Tim Pattison said: “I echo the words of RPSCA inspector Douglas Davidson that Crunchies was ‘an animal welfare disaster’; a sea of mud and faeces and, in short, a rescue centre from which animals needed to be rescued.”

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (27 June 2013)

News Link:- http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/family-convicted-of-animal-cruelty-offences/#98wbvdMzcbEdAGSE.99 

Family Banned From Keeping Horses For Life

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“A family of scum let this happen, to such a noble, sensitive, sentient being! They should never be allowed to own any animal ever again! Look into the eye’s of a horse & you see their soul! They are capable of giving so much, love, trust & such a unique bond! They just want to be fed & loved …it’s not a lot to ask, is it? I hope all those that know this family, see them for what they are…animal abusers; not fit to breathe the same air as animals, never mind people!! Kudos to Redwings Horse Sanctuary, for giving this horse the best thing ever, a new happy life. I hope he soon finds a forever home with loving owners. Abused horses deserve the very best life can offer after such suffering, as do all animals. They are so willing to forgive & love again, they are so grateful, not selfish or looking for revenge; like we humans do!!

A family has been banned from keeping horses for life after their cob was found collapsed and starving in a field in Essex.

On 28 June at Basildon Magistrates CourtVictoria Jaggers, of Wellington Road, Tilbury, her husband Kelly Trundle and her daughter Alicia Jaggers were found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a horse.

The cob, Frugal, was reported to the RSPCA by a concerned member of the public in December.

RSPCA Inspector Matt Gough went to the property, in Tilbury, Essex, and found the two-year-old piebald cob. He was unable to stand by himself and was starving.

Fire-fighters helped lift the horse and take him to a local vet, before he was transferred to Redwings Horse Sanctuary in Norfolk where he has since made a full recovery (see photo above).

“When Frugal arrived he was still so weak he couldn’t stand by himself and had to be lifted manually by the team,” said Redwings vet Nicola Berryman.

“He was covered in sores from where he had been stuck down for so long. This is a case of neglect, pure and simple. We are delighted to report that he is now fully recovered, but no matter what the circumstances, he should never have been allowed to get into this state in the first place.”

As well as the ban, Mr Trundle was given a 12-month community order and told to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work. The 42-year-old was also ordered to pay £250 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

Victoria Jaggers, 39, and Alicia Jaggers, 21, were each given a two-year conditional discharge and told to pay £250 costs.

“Frugal was in a very sorry state when we found him,” said RSPCA Inspector Matt Gough.

“He clearly wasn’t receiving proper care, and hadn’t for some time. It is no excuse to plead ignorance when looking after any animal. Anyone who has responsibility for an animal has a legal duty of care towards that creature. The failure to do just that in this instance resulted in the matter being put before the court.

News Link:– http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/family-banned-for-keeping-horses-for-life/#pjDVdMwMs5aAtcGl.99 

Horse Dealer Guilty of Cruelty To 27 Horses

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“I really don’t think I need to tell you what I think about this family of scum…if I did you wouldn’t understand because it would be all expletives: like %$%&  & ££!^&)!> :%&*£$^^+~ etc.!! Horses just left to die….they are not fit to breathe the same air as horses never mind decent human beings!”

A South Wales horse dealer has been convicted of 57 animal cruelty and welfare charges, in a case that highlights the problem of fly-grazing in the region.

Tom Price, 48, from Wick in Glamorgan, was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering and failing to meet the needs of 27 gypsy cobs by a court in Cardiff on 14 June.

The horses were found at five different locations in South Wales. The RSPCA — which brought the prosecution — said 12 of the animals had been “left to die” in a barn in Bridgend.

Price’s eldest son, Thomas Hope Price, 26, pleaded guilty to 42 welfare charges at an earlier hearing. A second son, Tony Price, 19, also admitted to failing to meet the welfare needs of two horses.

RSPCA inspector Christine McNeil said some of the animals they found were “the most poorly and diseased horses I have come across”. The 12 horses found in the barn had been locked in with no access to food or water.

Welfare agencies estimate that the Prices own as many as 2,500 gypsy cobs. Price senior ran a company called Glamorgan Horse Traders. Since 2011, problems had been reported with his horses fly-grazing in the area.

In November last year, he was given an anti-social behaviour order to prevent his horses fly-grazing and straying on to roads in the Vale of Glamorgan.

The Welsh Government is undertaking a consultation on ways to tackle fly-grazing. Welfare organisations are lobbying for criminal legislation to penalise the worst perpetrators and to act as a deterrent.

“We need tougher laws that give authorities power to address aggressive and cruel fly-grazing and make owners accountable for their animals,” said Roly Owers, chief executive of World Horse Welfare.

The three members of the Price family will be sentenced at Cardiff Magistrates Court on 5 July. The judge warned Price snr that all options — including custody — remained open.

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (27 June 2013)

Graphic Image: Outcry Over Dead Ponies on Bodmin Moor

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“Please Note Graphic Image below, do not scroll down; viewer discretion advised. My apologies for this post being late…it won’t be the only one, sorry!!!”

“OMG…this is just heartbreaking; I can’t think straight for crying!! The POS who left these horse to die, need to be found & prosecuted; to the full extent of the law. The cold-hearted bxxxxxx’s should be thrown in a bare field, without food; until they beg for mercy…then beg a little more! Sorry but as a horse owner, I get very upset at these stories. The scum that did this are not fit to scrape sxxt off my shoes; let alone breathe the same air!! Please if you know who did this, or who the horses belonged to, I beg you to tell the police or WHW; you don’t want the death of horses on your conscience do you??”

“It should be made mandatory that all horses are chipped, irrelevant of age! Most responsible owners have their horses chipped, it’s not worth the worry not to! But there will always be the cob colts at sale rooms, from unscrupulous owners & breeders, there to make a few quid; that won’t be microchipped! So perhaps the sale rooms & livestock auctions, should refuse entry & report those who don’t have their horses chipped!”

” I have to agree with World Horse Welfare on the issue of hot branding; I think it’s cruel on horses, never mind cattle! Regards the ponies on Bodmin, perhaps it’s time the mares were given birth control drugs, although it won’t be easy trying to catch them; it’s better than having an excess of ponies who are going to die through lack of food etc”

“My horses are chipped, not just because of getting loose…their also chipped due to horse thief’s, who target certain horses to steal, especially rarer breeds like my Gelderland. There have been a lot of horses go missing, unless they are microchipped, they will probably never be returned to the rightful owner. Please see my note at the bottom about adopting horses, by way of a donation!”

The death of more than 20 ponies on Bodmin Moor last week has shocked local people and further highlighted the “equine crisis”, say welfare charities

The ponies were dumped on Eastmoor, Cornwall, and left to starve. In total more than 20 died, including eight that were put down by Defra vets.

A further 30 animals are currently being monitored by the GovernmentBut there is no clue as to whom the ponies belonged.

Though microchipping has been compulsory in foals since 2009, this is ignored by many owners.

World Horse Welfare field officer Jeff Herrington was there.

“The scene was horrific,” he said. “I was walking across the moors and there were bodies everywhere I looked.

“We have to sort this out. We have to find a way to link animals to their owners to hold them accountable.”

Julie Dowton of the Bodmin Commoners Association told H&H that pony dumping on Bodmin is a growing concern.

“We had a couple of incidents in previous years, but thought we’d got on top of it,” she said. “But with the tough economic climate, more ponies are being abandoned.”

Redwings took in 19 ponies after a similar incident on Bodmin in 2011.

“This is a shocking and disappointing regression,” Redwings’ Nic de Brauwere said. “But if we can’t identify owners, we can’t prosecute. We are in the midst of an equine crisis; horse identification needs improving drastically.”

There are more than 600 ponies on Bodmin and Ms Dowton added that local farmers are “distraught”.

“It has made us look further at the issue of visible marking,” she said. “We are even looking at hot branding such as in Dartmoor and Exmoor so ponies are easily identifiable.”

The Exmoor Pony Society agrees it is vital to identify semi-feral ponies visually.

“It helps us recognise ponies that have been ‘dumped’ on the moor and may not be able to survive in such an environment,” said a spokesman.

World Horse Welfare disagrees with hot branding but would like to see other methods used.

Microchipping has to provide the solution, as it must be possible in the near future to be able to scan at a distance,” said chief executive Roly Owers. “In the meantime, alternatives such as the short-range reading of microchips and cutting manes and tails need to be relied upon.

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (25 April 2013)

News Link:– http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/outcry-over-dead-ponies/#lrpJzJGkL8ullLFa.99 

“Redwings & World Horse Welfare do a fantastic job caring for homeless & abused horses, they are amongst my top charities. I have several virtual adopted horses & love receiving news on their progress, especially from Will the ex police horse. Please visit their home pages to see if you could adopt a horse. By donating this way, you actually see the horse that your money is helping & it feels great to be able to say “I have an adopted horse”!!!”

 Adopting a horse costs just £5.00 a month with WHW & is great way to help give a horse the second chance in life it deserves: –http://www.worldhorsewelfare.org/Home

The Redwings Adoption Club is the fun way to support our charity and make a new friend in the process! A year’s adoption of a Redwings horse, pony, donkey or mule costs just £12.50, which goes directly towards the daily care of your chosen equine and their friends. Choose from a Standard adoption pack or our brand new Online version. Please remember that whichever you choose, your kind donation will help us take care of our rescued residents and work to help more horses in trouble across the UK :-http://www.redwings.org.uk/

Local Woman Charged With Animal Cruelty

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A High Point woman has been charged with animal cruelty according to the Randolph County Health Department.

Mimi Cooper, public health director, confirmed that Donna Burkhart, of 1205 Blain St. in High Point, has been charged with one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty. She also faces a felony cruelty to animals charge from March.

Cooper said Burkhart housed her animals on Kimery Lane in Liberty and the animals were in poor conditions without food and water. “We started getting calls about these horses years ago,” Cooper said. “When we would go, the horses looked fine.

When we would contact Burkhart she would tell us that she fed and watered her  horses.” Cooper said in March that all changed. “One of our officers was there checking out a complaint and we found two donkeys in horrendous condition,” Cooper said.

One donkey had a halter that apparently was put on when he was young and had never been taken off. According to Cooper, he was not socialized and could not be touched by humans.

The other donkey had not had his feet trimmed in at least a year, according to Cooper.
“It’s very painful to have to walk on and it’s like walking on your fingernails,” she said.

According to Cooper, Burkhart surrendered both of the donkeys to the health department, a vet was called out, and the team sedated the donkey with the embedded collar.

“He was so stressed and in such poor condition that he died while we were giving him sedation,” Cooper said. “The other one we brought back to the shelter, had his feet fixed and found him an adoptive home.”

Cooper said that they continued to monitor the other horses that Burkhart had on the property. They received a call one day that the horses were without food and water.
After leaving a note and trying to call Burkhart, Cooper said she went to the Randolph County District Attorney and the Magistrate’s Office to get a warrant to seize the seven remaining horses on the property.

“Three of the horses are in very poor condition and the other three are in okay condition,” Cooper said.
She said that she does not know when Burkhart will go to court on the charges. Burkhart could not be reached for comment Thursday.

News Link:http://www.hpe.com/news/local/x1065839475/Local-woman-charged-with-animal-cruelty

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