Actor Robert Redford has voiced his opposition to horse slaughter in the United States.
Redford laid out his view in a letter to Equine Advocates president Susan Wagner, on the cusp of the 2013 Annual American Equine Summit, which her New York-based national equine protection organization is hosting.
Redford, an actor, director, environmentalist and founder of the Sundance Festival, said: “Horses are acquired for slaughter without disclosure and often through fraud and misrepresentation.
“The entire slaughter process is cruel, inhumane and perpetuates abuse and neglect without consequences, in addition to condoning a violation of our nation’s cruelty laws.
“As Americans, we have the right to oppose both the return of horse slaughter to the US and the transport of our wild and domestic equines to other countries for the purpose of slaughter.”
Redford joins a bilateral effort to reverse the advance of horse slaughter through public opinion and safety concerns, and legislation on both state and federal levels.
New York has become the latest state to push for a ban on horse slaughter with Senate Bill S.4615 and Assembly Bill A.3905.
New York State Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, who will deliver the keynote address at the summit, joined State Senator Kathy Marchione in co-sponsoring the bill at a press conference last week.
If passed, New York State would join California, Illinois, New Jersey and Texas in prohibiting it.
The Obama administration’s proposed 2014 budget includes a proposal to essentially prevent equines from being slaughtered in the US by defunding FDA inspections.
The recent bipartisan introduction of the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act would also prohibit the transport, export or import of horses intended for slaughter or horse meat.
Wagner said: “We applaud Robert Redford for his powerful, meaningful and profound words on behalf of America, at a time when over 80 per cent of our citizens oppose horse slaughter.
“Beyond the sheer brutality of the practice, horse slaughter will enable dangerous FDA-banned drugs found in horsemeat to potentially threaten the US food supply if cross contamination occurs with other meat, like what’s happening across Europe. Horses are not bred for food and should be removed from the food chain.”
Experts, government officials and others will convene at Equine Advocates Rescue & Sanctuary in Chatham, New York on April 27–28 for the 2013 Annual American Equine Summit.