EPONA Vehemently Opposes Trump Administration!

Let me explain why this page is now discussing politics so vehemently and give the evidence as to why we will oppose this administration. Each link will take you to evidence to explain this position.

For well over 16 years, let me repeat this…for 16 YEARS advocates (along with very minimal bi-partisan efforts,) have worked tirelessly, begged, pleaded, cajoled our Congress to put protections in place to stop wild and domestic equines from not only ending equine transportation as a toxic food commodity to Mexico and Canada, which is shipped out to the unsuspecting Asian and European market, but to also put in permanent protections to end equine slaughter and exploitation in our country once and for all and to redress the many violations to animals in general. The vast and overwhelming majority of opposition? Republicans.

We have asked our Congress to stop the cruelty and torture of Tennessee Walking horses, and it has fallen on deaf ears repeatedly. Equine Preservation of North America – EPONA and many others do not believe that any animal should ever be tortured as a luxury food, nor for a ribbon, prize or prestige. One of the people that has held up legislation for the PAST Act is Marsha Blackburn (R) out of Tennessee. She will now sit on Trump’s transition team. Other top picks is a Who’s Who in animal cruelty and exploitation for profit.

Republican State and Federal representatives continue the assault on our public lands, public lands where most, if not all, of our wild equines’ live, along with other vulnerable populations of animals which are virtually without any protections in place against the alt-right agenda which historically is made up of an all-white male coalition. The Alternative Right are also entrenched in many of our police and sheriff departments, non-governmental orgs, and federal agencies, they just happen to hide it very well. However, with the recent exposure of officers killing or maiming minorities, without compunction, and usually acquitted of those crimes by jurors which are solely made up by usually an overwhelming white majority and picked by the officers’ defense attorneys’, will walk away unscathed. Same outcome is happening with violent animal abusers.

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Recently, there was an important article which exposed many of dangers posed by men that are entrenched in the Alternative Right movement, also know as “patriots.” Many of these so called “Patriots” are also responsible for Trump Phenom. These men have become more of a danger in our society due to long standing indoctrination by our educational system which teaches them that the only protected class is the white males, which claim to have founded this country alone, which of course is nonsense.
This group is extremely dangerous to minorities including blacks, women, children, but also animals and more dangerous than any Islamic group combined. Incredulously, they are our fathers, brothers, uncles, our fellow citizens, and live in every community in the Nation. EPONA has proven repeatedly that this demographic poses real and viable risk to us all, but more importantly to innocent and defenseless women, children and animals.

One of the most disturbing acts perpetrated on an animal is how a mare is bred.  It is extremely cruel, and as usual, perpetrated by mainly white individuals who are seeking to find a goldmine in racing, (in which these young animals are ran to death,) rodeo, urine, blood, tissue, etc. Mares are bound, usually by both legs in order to allow a dangerous stallion to mount her, in which he becomes so aggressive, the mare is harmed irreparably.  These hostages have no voice and these acts are authorized by our own government, using our tax dollars. PMU Mares are also victims of exploitation and abuse.  These mares are kept in a constant state of pregnancy, and once they foal, their baby is shipped off to slaughter.

Honestly, this is just the tip of the iceberg.  There are many, many more ways equines and other farm animals are exploited for profit, and there are really no minimum care requirements in place to protect them from this continued exploitation, cruelty or abuse.

With the previous evidence that has been presented here, and the clear and present danger from this new administration, it will be crucial to become the ears, eyes and voice for these animals and people.

Epona will never stop exposing equine exploitation for profit, nor will it stop exposing the criminal elements in our government. If you are not interested in learning about these schemes, then please go where you can. It is going to take every one of us to speak out and against any and all atrocities against not only our innocent animals, but women, children and minorities that are at greater risk now than ever before.

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Qui Bono – “Who Benefits?”

horses at export pen
Photo Courtesy of Animals’ Angels http://www.animalsangels.org
Equines are instrumental in so many aspects of our current lives and were just as important in the lives of our ancestors. Previous generations sacrificed much in order for us to enjoy the freedom and liberties we have today. They would be as shocked as we are to see how farm animals suffer, maybe more so. According to the USDA, over 10 billion land animals are killed for food in the United States alone.  It is difficult to pinpoint a time when we considered them “companion” animals instead of their current classification as “commodities.” This designation of “livestock,” “property,” or “recreational” has put farm animals and others in harm’s way for far too long.
Designation of farmed animals at the National, Federal, and local levels of government prevent these animals from receiving humane treatment and that is wrong. These classifications were designed to prevent farmed animals the guaranteed protections that our companion animals currently enjoy. These classifications were put into place so that their exploitations for monetary gain could continue without pressure or interference from regulatory agencies.  Their lives will never include protections against abuse until it is demanded by all of us. Until we speak up and out and demand justice for their continued health and well-being, they will continue in a never-ending cycle of abuse and cruelty at the hands of man.
Because most of these animals are listed as food animals, which also includes our equines, those guilty of abusive practices in slaughter plants and the transport industry are often walking free from their terrible crimes. (An exception should be equines due to the inability of the USDA to inspect their flesh. Today, they are not considered food animals in the USA although they are still transported for slaughter for human consumption.)
There are no few enforceable protections in place when cruelty or abuse occurs to docile, innocent farm animals. Most slaughter plants are now “self-regulating” with fewer USDA govt. inspectors in place. These types of crimes under “The Humane Slaughter Act” of 1958 go unchecked the majority of the time. If there are any prosecutions or convictions under this Act for those crimes, I have not found them.
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Photo courtesy of Animals’ Angels http://www.animalsangels.com
Current animal abuse laws that protect companion animals such as cats and dogs do not apply to farmed animals. When crimes against “livestock” do occur, they are often not pursued as a criminal offense because of the “property” status classification. This negates the court’s ability to act in a manner that we have all come to expect when cruelty is involved. It’s as if our current system cannot see that farm animals have the ability to feel and experience pain and, therefore, do not warrant protection from inhumane treatment.
Most offenders end up with light sentences or monetary penalties, most of which are not enforced. As advocates, we find this incomprehensible and we cannot understand how our criminal justice system fails on stopping this blatant type of animal abuse. Current laws now in place allow these animals to fall through the cracks — equines especially. Equine exploitation happens in so many different ways it is sometimes difficult to determine which laws to implement and which regulations those crimes should fall under. Although it is more often than not clear that inhumane treatment and neglect should be pursued, the cases are often convoluted because of classifications and even the alleged purpose behind the animal’s existence (e.g., companion animal, work animal, rescue, slaughter-bound).
Now imagine if equine slaughter should resume in the US once again? If the USDA were allowed to inspect horse meat in September of 2015, who would oversee the slaughter process to ensure that cruelty and abuse will not occur? If there is a lack of inspectors now, who would bring these crimes to bear? The clear answer is no one.
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Horse down in transport trailer. Photo courtesy of Animals Angels. http://www.animalangels.org
 
Equine Exploitation: Examples Without Consequences
Horse tripping is considered a sport, donkey basketball in schools is an acceptable form of abuse, teens do not see that riding such a sensitive animal like a donkey is any different from a ride at an amusement park; Rodeo is also an accepted form of entertainment by our culture. This includes cattle prods into the anus of a horse or bull in order to make them angrier in order to get a better performance for the crowd; cancer causing drugs routinely given to race horses which cause their bodies to “break down” at young ages to either die or ship to slaughter; cruel nail padding placed on hooves in order to make that animal walk an over-exaggerated gait called the “Big Lick”; wild horses and burros rounded up and given dangerous, untested pesticides in the form of infertility drugs that disrupt their quality of life, or worse, shipped to slaughter; equines crammed in trucks too small to accommodate their size, shipped without food and water upwards of 34+ hours en route (which also includes pigs, cows, and sheep); horses forced to stand day and night to collect urine which creates dangerous drugs for the pharmaceutical industry, in a continual state of pregnancy, with their foals (babies) shipping to slaughter; mares ripped from their new infant foal to accommodate feeding a more expensive foal, with the new foal shipping to slaughter to use their flesh as a fashion accessories in the form of a purse or gloves; roundups with helicopters and contractors paid obscene amounts of money, using our tax dollars, pushing wild animals into corrals in which they break legs, necks or die. When they become incapacitated they shoot them on the spot with the government’s full and complete acknowledgment and approval. American horses transported out of the country to Japan in live animal exports in order to feed other countries including Russia and shipped out of Texas illegally. Wild Horses and Burros shipped to slaughter, even though they are protected under law!  The top 1% receiving taxpayers subsidies and responsible for the removal of wild horses.
This suffering is inexcusable. Deaths at slaughter plants, commercial factories, and large-scale industrial farms are avoidable. The weakest among us are not considered in a favorable light and are not afforded the most basic protections that we should expect in the 21st Century.
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Photo courtesy of Animals Angels http://www.animalsangels.org
More times than not, perpetrators of animal welfare crimes receive light sentences or are simply fined — even these minimal actions are rarely enforced.  Even when courts are presented with solid evidence clearly detailing cruel and abusive criminal acts, violators will walk free with only minor infractions. Due to this lack of enforcement, there is simply no protection in place when cruelty or abuse occurs to farm animals. In some instances, such as with transport, the courts’ hands are tied altogether – the USDA regulates transport violations.
And the sad reality is this.  Animal abuse and cruelty, whether it is a farmed animal or a domestic pet leads to further abuse and/or violent acts.  This excerpt taken from the Sentencing Memorandum for Jackie McConnell regarding his criminal case for horse soring states it perfectly;

“Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), animal abusers are five (5) times more likely to commit violent crimes against people and four (4) times more likely to commit property crimes than are individuals without a history of animal abuse. The FBI has recognized the connection between a history of animal abuse and the commission of violent crimes since the 1970s. Other research has demonstrated consistent patterns of animal cruelty among perpetrators of more common forms of violence. In fact, the American Psychiatric Association considers animal cruelty to be one of the diagnostic criteria of conduct disorders.  “Abusing an animal is a way for a human to find power/joy/fulfillment through the torture of a victim they know cannot defend itself.” ”  Page 14.

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The USDA is notorious for lack of enforcement: cases go years with no resolution and fines are often never collected. In an Animals’ Angels investigation, documentation was uncovered proving that the USDA had 100’s of cases with a multitude of violations within each of those 100’s of cases involving the transport of horses for slaughter to the Cavel slaughter plant in Illinois from 2004 to 2007. Rather than shut the transport companies or violators down. According to the report, the USDA did not shut them down. Instead, simple fines were imposed but only in some cases.  Most offenders received nothing but a warning letter. And in those cases where fines were imposed, it took years just to get a hearing and a judgment!
We cannot comprehend how our criminal justice system and those tasked with upholding animal welfare laws could fail these beings by allowing classifications to prevent justice from prevailing. The laws that currently govern how these animals are to be treated continue to allow them to die violent, avoidable deaths. A dear friend once stated to me that “When an animal dies such a violent, cruel death, that fear is infused into their flesh and we are eating those molecules.” It is no wonder our population suffers from chronic illnesses.
The sentences are laughable and we see these monsters walk out of the courtroom completely exonerated or with a slap on the wrist. Advocates are shocked to the core at these light sentences. It is difficult to understand how our criminal justice system can continually fail these innocent beings. The current system inherently allows the animals to fall through the cracks.
The Bull who cried
A bull in Hong Kong was reported to cry and beg for his life http://bit.ly/1Nprh4F
Along with equines, bovines (cows), bovines (sheep), porcine (pigs), and chickens all fall into these categories under this misguided “classification” system and are considered as “property” rather than thinking, feeling beings that can most certainly endure pain, sorrow, and grief. This “inanimate” designation alone keeps them from receiving the justice they so richly deserve and need.
Because animals are given the label of “property,” and are treated as such, they are considered as inanimate “things” that have no feelings or rights of protection. When such labeling is assigned to animals, our legal system and the enforcement agencies in place to protect them cannot prosecute under cruelty laws but instead must follow property laws.
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Why is it that we advocate’s can clearly see that this is where our judicial system fails our animals but the legislators cannot? How is that we can clearly see the evidence at hand that unequivocally shows clear signs of abuse or cruelty, but our lawmakers cannot?
Sadly, with case after case, we see the utter and complete failure of our judicial system, government agencies in protecting animals that cannot protect themselves from cruel, criminal humans. And yet, we cannot lay full blame on the Judges or the court system as a whole. Our judicial system is unable to serve harsher penalties for such crimes due to these inane classifications and because of the courts’ limited ability to pass judgments that would prevent future abuse, these abusers never receive the maximum sentence under the rule of law. It is the legislators who are at fault for not defining more clearly that animals are living, sentient beings who deserve humane treatment in all facets of their lives and their death.
By now you are in full agreement with me and asking what is it that you can do to change it. There are many things you can do as an individual and most certainly as a cohesive group. Start donating to groups such as the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Mercy for Animals, and Animals’ Angels so their evidence can be presented in courts and to lawmakers around the country to show why our justice system should work for all animals, not just a few.
The more evidence these groups can show to the courts and legislators that mandatory protections need to be in place to protect these sweet animals from cruelties perpetrated on them through no fault of their own, the sooner we can protect the generations to come from such horrors.
Start with your local and state laws. In a wonderful book by Julie E. Lewin called “Get Political for Animals and Win the Laws They Need” gives you a comprehensive manual that will show you how to fight to win to change any and all laws that are not working. These laws are in dire need of change and with a concentrated effort by us all, we can implement strategies that will win a voice for all animals. It is an easy to understand, step-by-step manual that will teach you and others how to approach your local government, officials and representatives in Congress in order to create new laws that stand up for our any animal, including our farmed animals and equines.
There are so many advocates that are clearly very vocal and speak out for animals when given the chance either in articles, forums or comments. Now you will finally have the power to change those thoughts and expressions of intention into powerful concrete actions which will give us all the ability to put in place meaningful protections that will speak for those that cannot.
Let’s finally change their world for the better in order that our children and grandchildren are not forced to see the images or hear the horror stories we are subjected to daily.
What you will allow, is what will continue

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