Sunday, April 29, 2012

Declan Speaks at Horses on the Hill Event in DC


When I woke up on Wednesday morning (which was really early because I was so, so, so excited), I got ready as fast as I could and we were off to the big event and Mr. Patch from the ASPCA was driving us!  When we got to the Russell Senate Building,  I was so excited to speak for the horses I flew out of the car and then hoped happily along to the front entrance.  While waiting in line to go through security,  I noticed and pointed out that the name on a piece of marble in the hallway, was"Dennis Chavez, like the guy named Dennis Chavez who has the feedlot and is mistreating horses and it also said the person was from New Mexico!  That wouldn't be the same guy - would it??  

After we passed security, we walked to the Small Business Committee office and and went into the room where the Horses on the Hill press conference was going to be held.  While waiting for the event to begin, I spoke with several representatives from the ASPCA, HSUS and AWI, some of whom I had met before like Jessica Fiengold-Lieberman (HSUS), and Valerie Pringle (HSUS).  I also spoke with Congressman Moran (D-VA) again and met Senator Landrieu (D-LA), Senator Brown (R-MA), Congressman Whitfield (R-KY), Congressman Rivera (R-FL), Prince Lorenzo Borghese, Bo Derek, Amy and Raelyn Nelson (Willie Nelson's daughter and grand daughter),  John Boyd, President of the National Black Farmers Association, Sonja Meadows (Animal's Angels), Manda Kaliman, her daughter Sabrina and Pamela Polk (Seraphim12 Foundation), Chrisitine Hajek (Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue) and some of the girls from the Foxcroft and Madeira schools.  The room was packed and it was great to meet so many wonderful horse advocates and be all together to stand up for horses!

Nancy Perry ASPCA) started the press conference and I was called up.  I didn't know why and wasn't expecting to be up first.  She explained that the ASPCA wanted to give me an award and I was so excited I almost cried!  Valerie Angeli presented me with the Equine Angel Award and said I was the first kid to ever be awarded with the honor.  I opened the award there was a real ASPCA law enforcement badge showing a fallen carriage horse and the driver beating it, but then an avenging angel with a sword was laying a protecting hand on the horse!  I am very honored to be the first recipient of the Junior Equine Angel Award and I hope it encourages other children to speak up for horses too!
Valerie Angeli giving me the Junior Equine Angel Award
Nancy Perry then talked about the event and Senator Landrieu spoke and called up each of the speakers!  I was the last to speak and felt that I would do a great job.  I marched right up and hit it out of the park for the horses!  I think I got the loudest applause too!  

Here's the video of my speech:

I wanted to say a lot more than what we had time for since there were so many people who wanted to speak up for our horses and against horse slaughter, but I think I made people understand that just because I am a kid, doesn't mean I don't have my own thoughts and opinions and that my advocacy work IS making a difference! 

This is what I said:

Hi my name is Declan Gregg and I am 9 years old. I have come from New Hampshire today to help stop horse slaughter once and for all, because it is inhumane, cruel and unnecessary.

I’m also here to tell you that children can play an important role in our political system. We are citizens of this country and decisions made by adults affect us, too.

I have started my own organization, Children 4 Horses, and have been doing everything I can think of to raise awareness and fight to end horse slaughter for good. I have been interviewed by the media, spoken to other children’s groups, designed my own blog,www.children4horses.blogspot.com and have a Facebook page. People from all over the world, in over 60 countries, have been reading my blog to learn about the slaughter of American horses. I have had over 8000 views on my blog, so I know my advocacy is making a difference.

The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act is not about taking away rights or adding more government. It's not a party issue. It’s about doing what is right and listening to the over 80% of Americans who do not want our horses to be slaughtered. Let’s work together and pass this legislation – I will stay in this fight until we have won for the horses!


Me and John Corbett
The press conference was really exciting and I think it was a bit hit and that people will be listening better now!  After the press conference, we all talked for awhile afterwards and people took lots of pictures.  I met John Corbett and gave him and Children 4 Horses bracelet - I hope he wears it and remembers me and the horses.  My mom got a great picture of us holding up our bracelets.  I gave one to Sabrina (Manda's daughter) too!
Me and Lorenzo Borghese
The girls from the school groups, myself and some others, got a lesson on how to be effective when lobbying.  I really like the slides that Jessica Johnson (ASPCA) created - they were very helpful especially if you were someone who had never gone to a legislators office before.  I hope they helped make the girls and other people feel more confident to lobby against horse slaughter.  Since I had already been to DC and had been meeting with legislators, I already felt comfortable talking with them again.  We all went to different legislators offices from our states to go tell them that horses slaughter is inhumane!  
Jessica, my mom, and I went to Senator Ayotte's (R-NH) office, to she if we could talk to her.  Unfortunately she wasn't available and neither was Emily Lynch who I had had a meeting with before.  Emily knew I was back in DC and wanted to meet with her, so I left a few horse slaughter fact sheets for her and the Senator to look over.  

My mom and I had a little bit of time before we had to go to the airport to fly home, so we got tickets to see the Senate gallery from Senator Ayotte's Staff Assistant and headed there next.  Down in the tunnels underneath the Capitol, we saw Senators and Congressman walking to the different buildings.  That made me feel important because I got the honor of being there too.  

While going through the visitor center security, we got stopped by security and asked why we had a LE (law enforcement) badge in my backpack!  That was funny!  At least I know security is really protecting everyone!  In the Senate gallery, we watched the Senators debate and even take a vote!  I spotted Senator Landrieu and Senator Brown and my mom pointed out a few others to me who she knew.  It was so cool!  

Me and Ruby!
When I got back to the ASPCA, I met Carolyn's dog Ruby who is a greyhound she rescued from the track.  She loved to be loved on and to snuggle!  Before we left for the airport, we got a picture of everyone who was in the office at the time including me who was working to stop horses slaughter!  Unfortunately, a few people had already left, but I know I am in other pictures with them that I can look at.  After a really exciting day, we headed to the airport and flew back to Boston.

When I get the professional pictures and video, I will post them for you.  There should be some really great ones to share.  In the mean time, I hope you like the ones my mom took - most of them turned put pretty good.  She said she was so happy for me, that she kept forgetting to take pictures and just decided to rely on getting them from other people.  There is also an album posted on the Children 4 Horses page on Facebook. Children 4 Horses on Facebook

Part of the team at the DC offices of the ASPCA
I feel really honored to have been invited by the ASPCA to take part in such a great event and I will remember my experience at Horse on the Hill forever!  

~Declan







Did You Know This About Horse Slaughter?

I decided to make a list of facts (in no particular order) about horse slaughter to let people know what is really happening to America's horses.  How many did you already know?  Do you have any to add to the list?

DID YOU KNOW...

1. Every 3.5 minutes an American horse is slaughtered in either Canada or Mexico.
2. Each year approximately 150,000+ American horses are slaughtered for human consumption.
3. A national poll showed that 80% of Americans are strongly against horse slaughter.
4. Horse slaughter is inhumane and cruel.
5. Horses are NOT raised for slaughter in the United States.
6. ALL horses are at risk, both domestic and wild.
7. Kill buyers have admitted to gouging out the eyes of horses so they don't fight on the trucks during transport.
8. Horses are our companions and are not raised for food consumption.
9. The USDA found that more than 92% of all horses sent to slaughter are in good condition - they are not old and sickly.
11. The is NO SUCH THING as an "unwanted horse".
12. On average, the cost to humanely euthanize a horse is equal to one month's care of the horse.
13. During transport to feedlots and/or slaughter houses, horses die right on the trucks and even get legs ripped off.
14. During transport, the drivers don't stop and don't give the horses food, water or rest.
15. Slaughter is not a humane form of euthanasia.
16. Slaughter is NOT a "necessary evil".
17. American's DON'T EAT horse meat.  Most horse meat is exported to Italy, France, Belgium and Japan.
18. Because of their biology, the methods used to kill horses - even in state-of-the-art slaughter plants - rarely result in quick painless deaths.
19.  Horses are often conscious during their slaughter and dismemberment.
20.  At auctions, kill buyers outbid people who would give the horse a good home and let them live.
21.  Most horses are regularly given medications that are banned in animals for human consumption.
22.  Horses helped build our country.
23.  Horses helped build economy.
24.  Horse ownership is a responsibility.

~Declan

Blind Horse Proves "No Unwanted Horses"

I thought this was a great story that R.T. Fitch posted on his blog today, so I am re-posting it here.  R.T. is right - there is NO SUCH THING as an "unwanted horse".   ~Declan

To read more of R.T.'s blog, go here: R.T. Fitch - Straight from the Horses Heart  


Blind Horse Proves “No Unwanted Horses”

Posted: April 29, 2012 by R.T. Fitch in Horse NewsHorse Rescue
Tags: 
By CASSIE GREGORY of yourKingwoodNews.com in Texas

25 Year Old Horse Lights Up Lives of Man





“A lot of people give up on horses, just because of an injury or old age or no matter what it might be, but an animal’s not done ‘til they’re done. You might not win all the races, but you need to let an animal do what they’ve got to do.”

Blind Scooby and Tom Boyd, tied in first place ~ photo by Jason Fochtman
When Thomas Boyd began looking for a horse to add to his family’s stable a few years ago, he thought he found the perfect one on Craig’s List.
Boyd, operations manager for City Glass in Cleveland, and his wife, Amber, drove to Alvin to inspect the horse they’d seen online. What they found was an older, neglected animal that didn’t look worth the money it would take to feed him.
“Nothing like the picture,” said Boyd. “You could see every bone in his body. He was starving.”
The owner was asking $800 for the horse, but Boyd said he didn’t think the sickly animal was worth more than $200 or $300, if that much.
“I messed with him a little out in the pasture, and we walked back up to the truck and got ready to leave,” said Boyd. “He ran over there by us and started braying.”
The owner was amazed. She told Boyd it was the most action she’d seen out of the horse in a long time.
Still hesitant, Boyd gave $300 for the animal, took him home and named him Scooby Doo.
“It was probably a year I spent with him, every day, brushing him down, giving him baths, feeding him,” said Boyd. “But I got him back to health.”
The lady who sold the horse said he hadn’t had much riding time, but Boyd said when he rode Scooby for the first time, it was magic.
“It was like riding a dream,” he said.
Boyd began roping with Scooby a short while later and discovered the old horse loved it.
Even after Scooby lost his sight, the two were able to work together through spur and touch signals.
After going to a “playday” (a family oriented horse riding competition) three years ago as a practice horse for their daughter, Boyd said Scooby picked up barrel and pole racing like a natural, in spite of his blindness.
“Low and behold — I brought him out here, he wants to run,” said Boyd.
Completely blind and 25 years old, Scooby still loves to compete.  He and Boyd are currently tied for first place in the Tarkington Prairie Playday Spring Buckle Series.
Held over a period of four weeks, the series includes pole, barrel and straight barrel races, as well as a “mystery” event.
TPPS coordinator Patty Vandver, who began TPPS with her husband, Bubba, said Scooby and Boyd are an inspiration to everyone.
“They are really something special,” she said with a smile.
Boyd said he’s tried to retire the horse, but every time the family gets ready to leave for a competition, Scooby runs to the fence, braying until they give in and let him go along.
“He’s a warrior,” Boyd chuckled. “He just doesn’t want to stop.”
Boyd said, if nothing else, he wants people to learn from his experience with Scooby.
“A lot of people give up on horses, just because of an injury or old age or no matter what it might be,” he explained. “But an animal’s not done ‘til they’re done. You might not win all the races, but you need to let an animal do what they’ve got to do.”
The TPPS finals are scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 20, at the Half Head Arena located on FM 163 in Tarkington Prairie.
For more information, call Patty Vandver at 210-831-6790 or email pattyvtx@aol.com.
Click (HERE) to visit Kingswood News and to Co

If They Knew, Horse Slaughter Would Stop

I think if our friends in Europe knew what they were really getting in their horse meat, they would never eat it again.  Horses are NOT raised for human consumption in the United States.  Medicines are given to them all the time that say right on the label that you shouldn't give the medicine to an animal that is going to be used for food.  The fact that the meat is toxic is only one of the many reasons American horses should not be slaughtered.

The HSUS just put out a report about the health risks of eating horse meat from America's horses.  It's not safe to eat.  This link is for the full HSUS report: 

Full HSUS White Paper on food safety risks associated with US horse slaughter

~Declan



American horse-meat risks explored in HSUS report

The issue of drug contamination of American horse meat has been highlighted in a white paper produced by the Humane Society of the United States.
The paper details what it says are food safety risks associated with consuming meat from American horses.
US horses are primarily used for companionship or competition and are therefore not treated in the same way as animals raised for human consumption.
Horses, the paper says, are commonly given pharmaceuticals banned for use in food-producing animals by the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Commission’s Food and Veterinary Office. 
“The slaughter of American horses poses a potentially serious health risk to human consumers, yet tens of thousands are still slaughtered for their meat,” said the society’s director of public health and animal agriculture, Dr Michael Greger.
“New measures put in place in the European Union to address this risk are vital steps to ensure horses who are regularly given phenylbutazone and other European Union-banned substances are kept out of the slaughter pipeline.”
Each year, more than 100,000 US horses are transported for slaughter in Canada and Mexico. The meat is exported for consumption in the European Union (EU) and Japan.
Research shows that horses from the US comprise a large percentage of the total slaughterhouse output of Canada and Mexico.
A study of the medical records of racehorses sent to slaughter shows that some horses with a history of phenylbutazone use are making their way to slaughter plants despite the US and other countries’ ban of the use of the drug in food producing animals.
Phenylbutazone, commonly called “bute”, is an anti-inflammatory regularly given to horses, and it is known to be hazardous to humans, even in trace amounts.
In 2010, the European Commission’s Food and Veterinary Office evaluated food safety standards for imported horsemeat and found that many countries did not keep adequate veterinary pharmaceutical records, nor are there systems in place to differentiate those equines raised for human consumption from those that are not.
Therefore, effective from July 2013, the EU will require that all horses presented for slaughter at EU-certified plants in countries which export horsemeat to the EU, have a veterinary record listing all medications they have been given over their lifetime.
This new regulation would render nearly all American horses ineligible for foreign slaughter, the white paper suggested.
The humane society and Front Range Equine Rescue have filed legal petitions with both the FDA and the US Department of Agriculture to block companion, working and show horses from being slaughtered for human consumption.
The white paper noted that, since US horses are primarily used for companionship and competition rather than consumption, drugs may be administered without taking food safety implications into account.
This was especially pertinent in regards to the administration phenylbutazone. In 1949, phenylbutazone became available in the  US for people suffering from both rheumatoid arthritis and gout.
However, within three years of its availability, PBZ was linked to serious adverse reactions, including aplastic anemia, bone marrow depression and  renal failure.
After examining several case studies, it was banned for human use in the US. For animals, the only FDA-approved phenylbutazone use is as an oral or injectable dose in dogs and horses.
The white paper noted that, in 2010, the European Commission’s Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) evaluated food safety standards of imported equine meat from non-members of the European Union.
It found that many such countries did not keep veterinary pharmaceutical treatment records for horses; and there was no systems in place to differentiate equines intended for human consumption from all other equines.
“The evaluations also reported that third countries tolerate the administration of substances that are prohibited or unauthorized in food-producing animals in the EU,” the white paper said.
Since 2000, the EU’s regulations state that horse meat cannot contain residues of veterinary medicinal products exceeding previously set limits or residue from substances banned for use in food producing animals in the EU.
These restrictions include phenylbutazone. If substances prohibited for use in food-producing animals are administered to equids, those animals must be excluded from the food chain.
Both Canada and Mexico have submitted action plans in order to comply with the EU’s import requirements for equine meat, and both plans have been approved by the FVO.
In Mexico, horses imported for slaughter are to be microchipped and border controls have been strengthened. A sworn statement on veterinary medical treatments is requested for all slaughter horses, regardless of their country of origin.
United States providers of imported horses (holding facilities) have been targeted in samplings of the Mexican National Residue Monitoring Programme (NRMP).
According to the NRMP, 19 samples of horsemeat in 2008, nine in 2009, and six in 2010, tested positive for residues of banned substances. All of the horses who tested positive were covered by a declaration stating that no treatments were given to the horses, and all of these horses came from US providers.
In Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has implemented the Equine Information Document (EID). The EID contains a physical description of the animal, record of the animal’s medical treatment for the previous six months, and requires the signature of the animal’s owner at the time of ownership transfer to verify that all information is accurate.
If the EID indicates a horse has been given a substance not permitted for use in equines slaughtered for food, such as phenylbutazone, the horse will not be eligible for slaughter.
However, the white paper said that the 2011 FVO audit noted “for those horses imported from the United States of America for direct slaughter, the equine identification documents received were not reliable …”
“As long as there is no identification system in place, US horses will not meet the European Commission’s new food safety
regulations, which will become effective in July 2013,” the white paper said.
“The European Commission mandated a transitional period of three years in which third countries have to provide guarantees regarding medical and drug history for horses during their last six months before slaughter.
“After the three-year transition period—which ends in 2013— guarantees must be provided for the lifetime of the horses.
“This required lifetime guarantee that a horse be cleared of all EU prohibited substances for use in food-producing animals could eliminate virtually all US horses from the food chain.
“The substances banned for use in food-producing animals routinely  administered by US horse owners render most American horses ineligible for foreign slaughter.”
It concluded: “Requiring accurate medical records and identification documents, regardless of the horse’s intended use, would draw clear lines regarding each individual horse’s eligibility for human consumption. Until such a system is in place, meat from American horses may pose a public health threat.”


Friday, April 27, 2012

Declan Back in DC for Hoses on the Hill - Day One


My mom and I landed in DC on Tuesday morning and took a taxi to the ASPCA, so we could meet some of the people who are working on stopping horse slaughter.  They were all working really hard for the big event and it was great to see and meet all the people working to stop horse slaughter.  We met, Nancy Perry, Richard Patch, Carolyn Schnurr, Jessica Johnson, Valerie Angeli, Andrew Binovi, Evan an intern for the ASPCA.

After lunch, I got ready for my meeting with Congressman Guinta so I could thank him for co-sponsoring H.R. 2966, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act.  Mr. Richard Patch (ASPCA) went to the meeting with us and thanked Congressman Guinta and then asked him about helping with the double decker transport legislation, which would stop double decker transportation of horses.  Congressman Guinta said he would look in it and that he wanted to help.  The Congressman said that my going to Washington DC on behalf of the horses had made him think about horse slaughter and that he thought of it as a regional issue, so he hadn't researched it much before I went and talked to him.  Now I hope he understands that it's everyone's issue, not just a certain part of the country.  I really hope he does what he said and helps get other co-sponsors so we can get horse slaughter banned in the US for good!  I also hope he looks more into the double decker transport issue, so horses don't have to be transported so inhumanely.



While we were walking around the Congressional building, I told Mr. Patch about a school report I am doing on Hawaii and he took us to the office of Congresswoman Mazie Hirono from Hawaii.  She wasn't available, but we met her Senior Office Manager, Pamela Okimoto and she was very kind to give me things like maps and brochures on Hawaii for my report.  Ms. Okimoto, also gave me a letter from the Congresswoman and after I was done reading it, I found out that Congresswoman Hirono is against horse slaughter and is already a co-sponsor on the bill!  YAAAAAAAAAA!  While we were waiting for Ms. Okimoto to come back out I looked out the window and saw the outside of the building and it was so cool!  There are some really interesting buildings in DC.  



Next we went back to the ASPCA, to get ready for an ice cream social that Congressman Guinta had invited us to.  It was super fun and we even saw a family from our church!  I thought I had seen them walking around earlier when we riding in a taxi, but I wasn't sure.  I guess it really was them!  

When we got to the hotel, we had some dinner and then crashed in our beds after a great first day back in DC!!

I will work on day two later, we are still getting pictures and trying to get videos to post on my blog.  Stay tuned!!

~Declan

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Greenland Boy Goes Back to DC to Speak Against Horse Slaughter


Greenland boy back in D.C. speaking out against horse slaughtering


By LAURENNE RAMSDELL
lramsdell@fosters.com
Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Picture
Nine-year-old Declan Gregg of Greenland will reunite with U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta, R-N.H., today to discuss the congressman's co-sponsorship of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act. Courtesy photo
GREENLAND — Nine-year-old Declan Gregg will take his efforts to end the brutal treatment of horses back to the nation's Capitol today, joining forces with the "Horses on the Hill" campaign and Congressman Frank Guinta to bring an end to the horse slaughtering.

This week's venture to Washington, D.C., comes only a month after Declan's first trip to the Capitol, where he spoke to Congress about the U.S. slaughtering industry and its inhumane treatment of horses.

The 9-year-old's interest in horses grew dramatically after finding out the methods used to slaughter horses. After studying both sides of the slaughtering industry, reading information that both promoted and opposed the killing of such animals, Declan said he wanted to do all he could to help save horses from such a fate.

Declan created a blog,www.children4horses.blogspot.com, to provide readers with links to various horse related websites and information about legislation related to the meat packaging industry.

After being made aware of a bill going through the state Legislature that would exclude horse meat from inspection, processing and sales, Declan testified for the cause he is so passionate about before a packed house at the state's capitol in Concord.

The 9-year-old's efforts to voice his concern over the inhumane treatment of horses did not end there, however, as he then went to Washington, D.C., to address the U.S. Congress.

Joining forces with representatives of the Million Horse March, Declan presented Congressman Frank Guinta with more than 200 letters he had collected from children detailing why protecting horses is so important to them.

Moved by Declan's drive to lobby for what he believes in, the congressman has decided to co-sponsor a bill known as H.R. 2966 or the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act.

According to Declan's mother, Stacie Gregg, Guinta called her son last week to tell him that his advocacy for horses inspired him to take a stand on the inhumane treatment of horses.

Gregg said the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has invited Declan back to D.C. to continue lobbying against horse slaughter along with representatives of the "Horses on the Hill" campaign. Once there, Declan will also team up with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), who are participating in the "Horses on the Hill" lobbying event.

While lobbying with the "Horses on the Hill" campaign, Declan will have the opportunity to meet with an array of legislators to speak about the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act.

"I think it will be good for him as an advocate to learn the ropes about how lobbying works," said Gregg.

Eager to reunite with Guinta, Declan will meet with the congressman today so he can thank him for his co-sponsorship and talk about the ways they can work together to address horse brutality. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Frankly Speaking - Congressman Guinta


Frankly Speaking: Sometimes, A Child Reminds Us

Apr 11, 2012
FRANKLY SPEAKING
By Congressman Frank Guinta
SOMETIMES, A CHILD REMINDS US
On almost any weekday, the halls of Congress are filled with hundreds of people hurrying to meet with Congressmen and Senators.  I make a point of sitting down with a wide array of folks from New Hampshire representing all points on the political spectrum and listen as they share their views on various issues and legislation.  This is the way the Founding Fathers designed our system to work, and I’m honored to carry on the tradition of representative government.
A few weeks ago, a special Granite Stater dropped by my Washington office.  This unusual visitor wanted to share something that he feels strongly about, and I learned a remarkable lesson from our time together.  It was so special, I want to tell you about it.
In many ways, Declan Gregg (no relation to the former Senator) of Greenland, New Hampshire is a typical nine year-old boy.   He goes to school and is a member of a loving, supportive family.  But Declan has something most other kids his age don’t posses: a strong passion for an issue that he cares deeply about.  And he stands up for that belief, too.
Declan doesn’t just oppose the inhumane treatment of horses; he’s actively involved in trying to stop it.  It all started when he read details about how horses are sometimes put down.  He studied both sides of the issue and made a decision: he supported efforts to end cruelty.  That alone is unusual for a nine year-old.  But Declan decided he had to do more than merely oppose this practice… he had to personally try to end it.  This is where his story becomes remarkable.
First, he created a blog to share his views and to provide information on the issue.  He even posted information about relevant pending legislation.
Next, he went to Concord and testified at the state capitol about a bill concerning horse meat production and sales.
Finally, this boy’s personal campaign brought him to Capitol Hill a few weeks ago.  He knew people have various opinions on this controversial subject and wanted to weigh in on it.  Declan presented me with more than 200 letters from people who share his concerns.  I listened as he made a thoughtful presentation of his views.  Then I took him onto the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives during a vote and introduced him to other Members of Congress.
While he was in Washington, Declan also got meet the president of the U.S. Humane Society, several Senators and Congressmen, and attended committee hearings.  All this from a boy who hasn’t finished the fourth grade yet!
Declan said something that stuck with me:  "Just because we are children doesn't mean we can't stand up for what we believe in.   We are citizens of this country and decisions made by adults affect us, too."
It would be easy to dismiss Declan’s enthusiasm as naiveté.  But his passion goes beyond the optimism of youth.  He genuinely believes horses should be protected from slaughter.  And he acts on that conviction because he hasn’t heard the voices of negativity that keep so many of our citizens shackled to indifference and inaction.  We’ve all heard the lines before:  “Why should I bother?  One person can’t make a difference.  You can’t change anything.  I’m just too busy to get involved.”
Declan Gregg is proof those arguments don’t hold water.  Another nine years will pass before he’ll be old enough to vote for the first time.  He’s not waiting to reach that milestone to arrive; he’s too busy fighting for his belief today.  In a time when Americans bemoan the partisan gridlock that’s taken root in Washington, Declan’s involvement shows one person can be a catalyst for change.
Sometimes, it takes a child to remind us what’s important.  Sometimes a child must remind us that as citizens, we each have a personal responsibility to work for the changes we want to see.  Sometimes, we just need to stop and listen to the children for a minute.  You’ll be amazed at what they have to say.
I look forward to reporting back to you in two weeks on the latest developments in Washington.  In the meantime, if I can be of service to you, or if you want to share your thoughts, suggestions or concerns with me, please call either my district office in Manchester at (603) 641-9536 or my Washington office at (202) 225-5456, or contact me through my website at www.Guinta.House.Gov.  You can also follow what I’m doing 24/7 on Facebook at www.facebook.com/repfrankguinta and on Twitter at @RepFrankGuinta.   
Until next time, please know that I am always on your side and am actively fighting for New Hampshire’s interests in Washington.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Did You Know This About the Wild Horses?



Here is some information about what is happening to the wild horses in the United States.  I asked Laura Leigh of "Wild Horse Education", to give me some facts about the wild horses because she is a expert in this topic. Laura Leigh spends her days "in the field" and watches what is happening to the wild horses and sees first hand, the inhumane round ups and writes down what she saw.  

DID YOU KNOW....

1. We have more wild horses in captivity than on the range.

2. Horses and burros are allowed to legally exist on only 10% of public land. But the forage and water are used for livestock, mining and other purposes. The horses get very little.

3. The BLM says that populations can be 22, 12 or even as low as 3 and be considered a viable herd.

4. Wild horses do go to slaughter. The BLM sells horses legally through a loophole called "sale authority" to brokers. The brokers ship can then ship them to slaughter. BLM does not check up on sale authority horses.

5. The BLM has no humane care standard for wild horses and burros. Animals are driven by helicopter in extreme temperatures for great distances. There are issues with hotshots, rough handling, lack of water and helicopters even come in contact with exhausted animals.

6. Newborn foals are driven in the extreme heat of the desert in July and August.

7. BLM only uses 1% of their budget on range science.

8. BLM does not have one wild horse advocate on the Advisory board, but has several members that are openly pro-slaughter.

9. BLM tries to hide what happens to horses and burros at roundups and during handling. If they have nothing to hide, why are they hiding?

10. Wild Horses and Burros have an act of Congress to protect them. How come they are treated so badly?


Here are a few things I would like to add to Laura's information:

11.  After round-ups the wild horses who have been captured loose their freedom and live out their lives in "pens" if they are not part of an adoption program.
12.  There are currently over 40,000 wild horses living in pens.
13.  Wild horses are chased by helicopters during round-ups and have even been hit by the helicopters.
14. Wild horses do less damage to the land than the cattle who their homes are taken away for.


For more information about and from Laura Leigh and "Wild Horse Education", here is a link to their page on Facebook:Wild Horse Education Facebook Page 

And here's a link to their website: Wild Horse Education

If there is anything else you think should be added to the list about wild horses, please let me know.  ~Declan