Who is Behind the Current Push to Reopen Horse Slaughter in the U.S.?
Sept 30, 2022, This Action Alert explores the pro-slaughter influence and activities of the National Tribal Horse Coalition (NTHC), the USDA and the U.S. Department of Interior, and their ongoing push to reopen horse slaughter in the U.S.
As recently reported in our Action Alert: Part One - Last week during a Committee Meeting, the Safe Act H.R.3355 was essentially dropped from the upcoming markup calendar, and as a result it may never make it to the house floor for a vote this session. The Committee had received letters from leaders of large member pro-slaughter orgs claiming strong opposition to the bill by their member base. Amongst groups submitting letters was the National Tribal Horse Coalition (NTHC).
The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), which has the overall Federal trust responsibility for managing reservation rangelands, had been working with one of the five Northwest Tribal Horse Coalition (NTHC) tribes to fund a feasibility study and business plan for a slaughterhouse in Oregon, but it reportedly did not pencil out.
It started with the NTHC (formerly known as Northwest Tribal Horse Coalition) which appears to represent a handful of tribes from the Northwest region of the US. However, the movement was expanded through the help & the support of the DOI and USDA-APHIS. In 2009, the DOI targeted the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and together they held a joint conference and established a pro-slaughter resolution which remains the active policy today. Per their pro-slaughter resolution, the tribes of NCAI declares opposition to any/all anti horse slaughter acts and support for the DOI & USDA-APHIS' push to allow tribes to open horse slaughter plants within their jurisdiction.
The back room deal between then Secretary of the US Department of Interior (DOI) Ken Salazar and the NCAI is revealed in the NCAI resolution. The NCAI would accept BIA funding from the DOI, specifically to manage the so-called overpopulation of horses. In turn the DOI/ Federal Government will support the NCAI Tribe's position opposing legislation that bans the slaughter of horses.
It's important to note that recent polls show that 83% of Americans oppose horse slaughter, and 74% oppose wild horse and burro roundups. Our research into the roundup of horses and burros on tribal lands shows that the majority of tribal people share the same view as the majority of non tribal people in the U.S.; they are adamantly opposed to the roundups and opposed to horse slaughter.
As we know, the leaders of governmental agencies, as well as large membership groups such as the AVMA, the AAEP and the NTHC, etc., oftentimes do not share, represent, or engage in activities that support the viewpoints and positions of the people they represent. None the less, they are able to control many things through the power that we, or former generations have invested them with.
“Formidable power is held by those with grazing rights, and when you consider the political power and influence of the western livestock industry it may come as no surprise to find government issued data revealing persuasive agency tactics, such as threats, or creative forms of bribery or misrepresentation. Tribes that are involved in livestock grazing stand much to lose if they don’t go along with the BLM rangeland policies," - Katia Louise, president, Wild For Life Foundation.
As exposed through the documentary film, “SAVING AMERICA’S HORSES: A NATION BETRAYED”, Agriculture and Forestry have threatened tribes with a loss of livestock grazing permits if they fail to implement management policies. In a statement made for the Confederated Umatilla Journal, a newspaper of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation; Range, Agriculture and Forestry Program Manager Gordy Schumacher warns Tribes that grazing permits are at stake. “Without implementation of a management policy by the end of 2011, livestock grazing permits may have to be canceled,” says Schumacher.
"One of the biggest challenges in getting the truth out to the public is the constant misinformation propagated by supporters of horse slaughter and then circulated by the media," - Jay Coskie, VP Wild For Life Foundation. "Education founded on truth paints the real picture of history, and exposing the truth is what SAVING AMERICA'S HORSES is all about " - Katia Louise.
promotion of horse slaughter and widespread roundups throughout the American West, Wild for Life Foundation’s President, Katia Louise is calling on members of the public who care about the horses to join in a united stance for the horses with Saving America’s Horses by going to www.savingamericashorses.org and clicking on the join button, which will continue to raise awareness and provide ongoing education on this critical issue. Ms. Louise says, “Making your voice heard will ultimately bring this unjust, cruel and barbaric practice to an end.”