Save the Horses

1998 California Initiative to Ban Horse Slaughter

Sponsored by
Cathleen Doyle, Sherry DeBoer, Sidne J. Long and the late Sue Maloney-Styles

We Won!

After collecting more than 740,000 voter signatures, Proposition 6, SAVE THE HORSES, qualified for the November l998 ballot and was overwhelmingly (60%) passed by nearly 5 million California voters. This tremendous victory on behalf of our loyal horses made history and would not have been possible without you.

We take great pride in our accomplishment that the SAVE THE HORSES Initiative was among only four of 51 initiatives successful on the November 1998 ballot.

SAVE THE HORSES was only a handful of people, a truly grassroots effort. We had no offices, no staff, no volunteers, no mailing lists and no pre-existing operating budgets to draw upon. In spite of the "naysayers", our goal was accomplished. And we did it on a budget significantly less than other efforts utilizing massive volunteer help.

Between the years of l912 and l998 there have been a total of 1080 California Initiatives filed for circulation. Of those, a total of only 279 California Initiatives have qualified for the ballot, and only 91 California Initiatives have been approved by the voters in 86 years. Or, only 8% of all initiatives filed have won.

Prop. 6 won by the largest percentage of votes (60%), of any California animal protection initiative to date.

Prop. 6 also set a precedent with the strongest (felony) animal protection penalty on the books in the State of California.

Historically, political and social movements culminate in a piece of legislation. Passage of Prop. 6 will not end irresponsible horse ownership, but by mandate, it determined the overwhelming "consensus of public opinion" which was enacted into law. It is the first such law worldwide.

Prop. 6 makes slaughtering a California horse for human consumption against the law while establishing an economic disincentive to impede over-breeding, theft and the extermination of wild mustangs.

"The people" want horse slaughter stopped!

As Americans, most of us were shocked to learn that this odious, ugly, and gut-wrenching practice even exists. Why? The reason is simple. Horse slaughter is not and never will be part of our culture.

Save the Horses

Yet, even as you read this, thousands of horses will be sold without disclosure to buyers representing foreign-owned slaughterhouses. These unscrupulous "killer buyers" go to auctions and respond to "for sale" ads only to resell our horses for "gourmet" meat in France, Japan, Italy and Belgium.

And sadly, as you read this, the multi-million dollar horse slaughter industry and their "puppets" are mounting a counter-campaign effort to "regulate" horse slaughter. After finally being forced out of secrecy, they hope to confuse people with ludicrous terms like "humane horse slaughter."

The real issue is that Americans do not eat their horses. Horses are companion animals. We would no more allow the "regulation" of the slaughter and export of our dogs and cats to countries where their meat is eaten than we should our horses.

The horrors of the auction, feed lot, transport, and slaughter house need to be brought to the public's attention.
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Before shipping American horses to slaughter houses in Texas and as far away as Canada, the horses are placed into over-crowded holding pens many times standing in disease infested muck. Often sick, the horses are crammed into double-decked cattle trucks. Without sufficient room to hold their heads upright, they travel for 36 hours through summer heat or brutal winter cold without stopping for rest, food or water.

At the slaughter house, the horse is electrically prodded into the "kill box"to be repeatedly bludgeoned in the skull by a dead-bolt gun with a four-inch nail. Alive, and often conscious, the horse is then shackled by a rear leg, hoisted into the air, its throat slit and body dismembered.

No horse is spared this ordeal. These hungry, dehydrated, fatigued and terrified horses include not only the old, sick, blind and crippled, but the young and healthy, our children's pets, mares with helpless foals standing at their side, and our wild mustangs.

The Save the Horses Prohibition of Horse Slaughter and Sale of Horsemeat Initiative, Proposition 6, makes it illegal for anyone to "possess, buy, sell or export from California any horse where that person knows - or should have known - that any part will be used for human consumption".

Save the Horses

Again, this abuse is being inflicted upon an animal that has never historically been considered a food animal, but rather a working partner and friend to man. An animal used primarily for pleasure, recreation and sport.

The lies of the horse slaughterers can't stand up to the graphic footage used in our media advertising.

Help expose horse slaughter and help expose the people who secretly support it!

Save the Horses

Remember the public is outraged and solidly behind our efforts. Two separate public opinion polls show that people overwhelmingly oppose horse slaughter (93%) and oppose eating horse meat (88%).

The only reason the illegitimate horse slaughter industry has been able to prey on our companion horses is because most of us haven't known about its existence. Well, now we know.

You are our only hope for spreading the word.

Let's send a loud message that our noble and beloved horses are not for sale! Stop horse slaughter!

Who could be against it?

Let's put the American Horse back in the stable ...and off the table!

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