7/17/08

Animal Welfare Institute and National Black Farmers Association Launch “Project Wanted Horse”

In response to the current unwanted horses discussion, the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) and the National Black Farmers Association (NBFA) recently launched a national partnership aimed at helping American horses in need by finding them homes on farms operated by NBFA members.
The “Project Wanted Horse” partnership comes as Congress considers the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act. The project, say the organizers, disproves bill opponents’ arguments that the campaign to end horse slaughter has resulted in a glut of unwanted horses in the United States and that slaughter is therefore necessary.

“One of the horse slaughter industry’s main arguments is that these horses are unwanted and have no homes to go to. Today, we’re standing up and standing together to demonstrate that this is simply untrue,” said Chris Heyde, deputy director of government and legal affairs for the Animal Welfare Institute, in a press release. “The coming together of our national organizations sends a significant message that these horses are valued and wanted.”

“Project Wanted Horse” places horses that would ordinarily go to slaughter on the farms operated by NBFA’s 94,000 members. The Animal Welfare Institute will oversee the placement of horses with NBFA members. Each placed animal will be accompanied by a legally binding contract ensuring quality lifetime care and that they will not be resold to slaughter. However, the organizers note that “Project Wanted Horse” is not intended to be a dumping ground for those horses.

Congress is currently considering the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (S. 311/ H.R. 503), which would outlaw the transportation of horses either domestically or internationally for slaughter. The legislation is sponsored by Senators Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and John Ensign (R-Nev.).

The National Black Farmers Association is a non-profit, community organization founded in February of 1995, by John Boyd, Jr., of Baskerville, Virginia, a third generation farmer. The organization represents African American farmers in regulatory and legal matters.
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"From my earliest memories, I have loved horses with a longing beyond words." ~ Robert Vavra