NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today applauded the M. Wells Dinette, located in the Museum of Modern Art’s PS1 gallery, for reversing its recent announcement of plans to serve horsemeat. ASPCA Equine Welfare Ambassador Georgina Bloomberg joined the ASPCA in speaking out on the issue and educating the M. Wells Dinette about the inherent cruelty and health concerns related to consuming horsemeat.
In a letter to the dinette manager last week, the ASPCA highlighted the cruelty of the horse slaughter industry, and cited concerns that horsemeat presents potential food-safety risks for consumers. The letter reads in part:*
"Horses are not bred or raised for food in the U.S. and American horses who are shuttled off to foreign slaughterhouses are former companion, sport and work animals. They have almost universally been treated with de-wormers, pain relievers, and fly ointments that are rife with chemicals banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for animals intended for human consumption. These animals were not intended for food and anyone using them in that manner is supporting cruelty as well as exposing their diners to serious health risks."
"Many people are completely unaware of the unbearable cruelty and serious hazards associated with slaughtering horses for food," said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA Government Relations. "The dinette management had no idea of the horrors of horse slaughter, and they underestimated the loyalty and love Americans feel for these majestic animals. We are thrilled that the outpouring of concern and outrage coupled with startling health concerns about the toxicity of horsemeat won the day, and the M. Wells Dinette decided to step away from this idea."
"As an Equine Welfare Ambassador for the ASPCA and a lifelong equestrian, the idea of serving slaughtered horses to diners in New York City, my hometown, is unacceptable," said Ms. Bloomberg. "Thousands of American horses are slaughtered in Canadian slaughterhouses where this meat would have come from. They are former show horses, racehorses and companion horses that ran out of luck and suffered the ultimate betrayal. We do not slaughter and eat our horses here in this country and we never will."
Horse slaughter is inherently cruel, as horses’ physiology and instinctual flight responses make them ill-suited for stunning. As a result, they often endure repeated blows and may even remain conscious during their slaughter and dismemberment. A national poll conducted earlier this year by Lake Research Partners shows that 80 percent of American voters are opposed to the slaughter of U.S. horses for human consumption.
The ASPCA urges all caring Americans to contact their federal legislators to press for passage of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011 (H.R. 2966/S.1176), which would prohibit the sale and transport of horses for slaughter in the United States, as well as across the border to Canada and Mexico. The passage of this critical legislation would end the current export and slaughter of approximately 100,000 American horses each year. For more information on the ASPCA and to join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade, please visit www.aspca.org.