TWHBEA Position Statement
The primary consideration for the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeder’s and Exhibitor’s Association (TWHBEA) has been and remains the humane treatment and care of the Walking Horse and his equine cousins. Laws which promote and encourage that treatment are and will be supported fully by TWHBEA.
Part and parcel of that position is the effective control of the thousands of horses within this country which remain unwanted, uncared for and starving.
In that spirit and with the benefit of the experience within the breed since the proposed implementation of HR 503, an amendment to the Horse Protection Act which attempted to prohibit the movement of horses in commerce for slaughter, TWHBEA notes the following unintended consequences of the shutdown of slaughter facilities in this country:
- The numbers of horses transported to Canada and Mexico for slaughter have increased exponentially. Processors in those countries, not surprisingly, remain the leading proponents and financial supporters of the abolition of slaughter in this country.
- Slaughter in Canada and Mexico now entails time in transport far exceeding the previous amounts of time spent, in conditions which are themselves inhumane. This transport can involve the overcrowding of animals, including the sick and injured, in “double decker” trailers for extended periods.
- Slaughter methods in foreign countries can be effectively unregulated, leading to the needless suffering of animals.
- Public and private sources are strained past their limits and cannot begin to meet the daily needs of unwanted horses, estimated by the Unwanted Horse Coalition (www.unwantedhorsecoalition.org) to be from $1800 to $2400 per animal per year for 80,000 to 100,000 animals. Federal funds spent each year exceed $40 million.
- The unavailability of an alternative for unwanted horses has led to the effective total loss of value of these animals and has further impaired the financial ability of horse owners to care for them.
TWHBEA supports the repeal of any law or regulatory rule which prohibits the interstate transportation for slaughter of horses on a nationwide basis, effectively leaving that issue to individual states. However, along with the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the American Veterinary Medical Association, AQHA, and other horse organizations, TWHBEA fully supports all state and federal regulations which effectively promote the humane transportation of and care for these magnificent animals.
For further details or information, please contact (931) 359-1574.