As you may know from reading our recent newsletter detailing our extensive European Campaign, Animals' Angels was part of an expose on horse slaughter televised on Swiss t.v. this past month. We knew it was a huge story as it had summarized a year's worth of our investigations and provided direct proof exposing the realities of horse slaughter - however, we didn't realize the enormous impact it would have worldwide! Immediately after the expose aired, the report was picked up by numerous other news and media outlets.
We would like to take this opportunity to share with you the successes achieved during this investigation, our ongoing mission and how your support of Animals' Angels is making a difference.
- In response to our documentation and footage showing horrific conditions for horses whose meat ended up on Swiss dinner plates, supermarkets immediately pulled all horsemeat products off their shelves. Not surprisingly, the story created outrage among consumers.
Even the Swiss authorities initiated investigations
, stating they would take action to prevent the import of horsemeat produced under cruel conditions. The announcement came in direct response to the broadcasting of our footage showing horses being gravely mistreated prior to slaughter.
This is a major success because if we can end the demand for horsemeat, the supply aspect naturally dries up as well. With no demand for horsemeat, there will be no money in selling and processing horses for slaughter and therefore, no need for slaughter plants in the U.S.
"The images show catastrophic conditions," Federal Veterinary Office Director Hans Wyss told Der Sonntag, an
Aarau-based Sunday newspaper. "
Switzerland has a moral duty here," Wyss said, noting that his office would not simply look the other way and do nothing. Wyss said he would address the problem at the upcoming conference of the World Organization for Animal Health to be held in Paris this May.
- Already, retailers Volg, Denner, Aldi & Lidl completely stopped selling horse meat altogether, while Coop switched to horse meat from France and Poland.
- GVFI International, Switzerland's largest horse meat importer, stated: "We have started investigations, conditions like the ones shown in these videos will not be tolerated and do not comply with the requirements we have for our suppliers". GVFI's horse meat imports from supplier Lamar have been cancelled.
- Even Migros, one of the largest customers of the Bouvry plant in Fort McLeod, Canada, reacted to the pressure: "The videos have left an impression and we will confront our supplier with these images. He [Bouvry] has to show that such scenarios will be impossible at his operation in the future. In case we will not accomplish improvements, we will terminate this relationship". (Source: Basler Zeitung, Switzerland)
Animals' Angels Commitment
- It's imperative for us to keep the momentum of the European Campaign going - these horrific issues need to be kept in the public eye of the primary horsemeat consumers so they will remain outraged and refuse to purchase horsemeat. Importers & retailers are right now holding meetings regarding the continuation of horsemeat import into Switzerland.
In order to deliver fresh evidence for these critical decision-making meetings, we just spent two weeks in Texas documenting conditions at slaughter auctions, export pens and during transport. It is difficult for the meeting attendees to ignore the glaring fact that horse slaughter is and always will be a cruel and inhumane practice. We'll have more details on our Texas investigation in our next newsletter - be sure to read this crucial report! As well, we continue to actively monitor the further developments in Europe.
|Dead horse at Presidip export pens |
You might also be interested to hear what effect our February newsletter on the BLM mortality rate discrepancies had. The report was specifically addressed at the recent BLM Advisory Board meeting in Oklahoma. Joan Guilfoyle, Head of the Wild Horse and Burro Program, tried to explain away the FOIA results by stating the horses documented in the mortality records were all unmarked foals and young horses. This statement cannot be proved or disproved without further documentation from the BLM. However, one thing is certain; it does not explain why all of these horses died in the first place.
The BLM is apparently paying close attention to our releases and in addition, feels the need to refute what we've reported in any way possible - even if it is with vague explanations that do not address the problem at hand. We can't help but feel our work is successful when the perpetrators rush to denial or ambiguous justifications. Needless to say, we will continue to investigate the BLM and their practices.
I would like to thank you, our faithful supporters, for making our work possible. Please know that we will continue the fight for our horses until horse slaughter and the export of horses for slaughter are banned once and for all in this country.
I count on you to continue your support and to stand with Animals' Angels. Together we will make a difference.
Animals' Angels, Inc.