Robert Redford and Return to Freedom

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Robert Redford

Robert Redford serves on the Board of Directors for Return to Freedom. Photo by Kristina Loggiaa

Lompoc, California — April 28, 2015 — Legislation was introduced last week, (April 22,2015), to prevent horse slaughter operations within the U.S., and stop the sale and transport of American horses over U.S. borders to be slaughtered for foreign markets.

The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act was introduced by Reps. Frank Guinta (R-N.H.), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Vern Buchanan (R-FL), and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.).

“On behalf of Return to Freedom, Wild Horse Preservation and Sanctuary, I applaud and express our gratitude to Representatives Frank Guinta, Jan Schakowsky, Vern Buchanan and Michelle Lujan Grisham for introducing federal legislation that will protect America’s wild and domestic horses from the brutality of horse slaughter and the horrors they suffer when such an industry is allowed to exist” said Robert Redford.

“America is the home of the horse. People come to America to find freedom, and the horse helped us build this free nation. We are not a horse-eating culture. To kill the horse is simply un-American. We as a horse nation are able to implement solutions for the challenges facing our iconic wild mustangs, and provide education and sanctuaries which can support respect and a good life for all of America’s horses”.

America is home to more than 9 million horses. In 2014, approximately 140,000 American horses were brutally slaughtered for food in foreign countries. In glaring contrast, an estimated 900,000 horses are humanely euthanized and disposed of by their owners annually.

In addition, contrary to what many assume, the USDA reported that 92 % of American horses disposed of through the slaughter pipeline were in good condition. Only a small percentage of America’s annual ratio of “discarded” horses would be candidates for retirement, sanctuary or humane euthanasia.

America’s comparatively small number of horses that are now pumped through the barbaric slaughter pipeline can be re-routed to humane and responsible alternatives.

“Without a federal ban on the sale and transport of America’s horses for slaughter, American horses continue to suffer in fear, without food and water, on crowded semi-trucks to their horrific deaths in Canadian and Mexican slaughter plants”, said Neda DeMayo, founder and President of Return to Freedom (RTF).

In addition to the brutality of horse slaughter, horse slaughter facilities have been closed in the U.S. as a result of their negative impact to the local environment and social communities. Because horses are not raised for food, they are treated with a variety of drugs and chemicals over their lifetimes that are prohibited by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in animals intended for human consumption. Those drugs, although safe for horses, are potentially toxic to humans if consumed.

In December 2014, the European Union (EU) announced they were stopping all imports of horsemeat from Mexico after an audit of E.U.-Certified Mexican Horse slaughter facilities revealed sub-standard conditions for the animals and food safety issues.

Return to Freedom is asking supporters to contact their U.S. representatives and urge them to cosponsor the SAFE Act (H.R. 1942), to protect America’s wild and domestic horses from this barbaric and predatory industry once and for all.

Robert Redford

Robert Redford serves on the Board of Directors for Return to Freedom.

Return to Freedom (RTF) is a national non-profit dedicated to preserving the freedom, diversity and habitats of America’s wild horses through sanctuary, education, and conservation. RTF advocates for ethically sustainable and humane alternatives to horse slaughter and wild horse captures.