Stopping the Slaughter of America’s Horses

Join us today and together we can end the slaughter of America’s horses.

Our singular goal: Ban horse slaughter and the transportation of horses for slaughter.

Although we read and hear less about it, close to 100,000 horses including mares and foals still suffer the horrendous and abusive trip to a violent inhumane death at slaughterhouses for human consumption in Europe. Because of the public outcry in each state where horse slaughter once existed, laws were passed banning horse slaughter in those states. The USDA has failed to fund inspection of slaughterhouses for the past five years blocking the opening of new slaughterhouses in states that have not passed a ban. So, why now are we Americans allowing horses to be transported over the borders to be slaughtered in Canada and Mexico? Because over-politicization of the issue and funding agendas hampered the efforts of those seeking the ultimate goal: a federal ban of horse slaughter and transportation of horses for slaughter in or outside the US. Now, in 2019, the path is clearer and opportunities for passage exist and cannot be wasted. We must act now.

With singular focus and no competing interests.

  • No one knows the issue, the solution and the road map to success better than our team  Chris Heyde Diana Pikulski and Joanne Yepsen. 
  • Of any efforts, it was the effort of our team, currently at CASH, who put the issue on the map and garnered the congressional support that still exists today and is ready to pass the ban on slaughter and transportation.
  • It was the work of this team that triggered a monumental change in the horse industry. The issue of aftercare and retirement of horses in all jobs and disciplines came to the forefront. People acted because they wanted to avoid having their horse or horses with which they were associated, or any horse face the fear and violence of death at a slaughterhouse not to mention the trip to the slaughterhouse.
  • It is this team that has preserved the support and the path for passing the ban on horse slaughter and the time is now.
  • Our team and supporters have no competing issues or interests to cause political tension or diversion of support.

Now is the time to end the horse slaughter.

  • Over the past 20 years, equine welfare and retirement efforts have reached a pinnacle and erased any doubt that the humane treatment and care for all allegedly “unwanted horses” is achievable and desirable. 
  • Across America and the world, allegedly “unwanted horses” are at work helping veterans, abused children, people battling addiction and mental illness, and others seeking effective treatment heretofore unattainable.
  • All horses are wanted and can be at work helping people and saving lives.
  • The business of transporting horses for slaughter is nothing but an illegitimate black market.
  • There exists no viable argument in favor is slaughtering horses or allowing the transportation of America’s horses across the US borders for slaughter in Mexico or Canada.

Industries like Thoroughbred racing and breeding have embraced zero-tolerance programs and regulations throughout the US and created an example showing that it feasible, achievable and favorable to provide humane treatment for all horses no longer active in their original vocation.   

For America’s horses, the time is now.

Our team:

Chris Heyde is the founder of Blue Marble Strategy, LLC, in Washington, D.C.  As the nation’s leading animal protection lobbyist, Chris has been involved in every federal animal legislative effort undertaken in the last 20 years, ranging from initiating and continuing to lead the national campaign against horse slaughter and stopping the sale and trade of shark fins to establishing a national sanctuary system for chimpanzees used in federal research programs.  Chris has successfully worked with House and Senate Appropriations Committees on a variety of efforts to protect horses, lab animals and primates.  In addition to his efforts on the federal level, Chris has worked with state legislatures on a variety of animal protection initiatives across the country. He successfully closed horse slaughter plants in Texas and did the first state bill to ban horse slaughter in Illinois as well as work on laws to improve the welfare of companion and farm animals. Before entering the animal protection field, Chris was vice president of a Washington, D.C. lobbying firm that represented clients from health care, education and defense. Prior to that, he worked on the staff of former Republican U.S. Senators Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Connie Mack of Florida, covering issue areas that included animal protection and the environment, veterans affairs and small business. 202-423-8689

Diana Pikulski was a successful litigator before becoming the first executive director of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF). In addition to serving on numerous non-profit boards, Pikulski served as the president of the Vermont Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys and started Vermont’s first free legal clinic. During her 21 years with the TRF, she grew the organization to be the largest and most successful of its kind in the world and forged unlikely yet highly successful and well-funded partnerships between the thoroughbred industry and state departments of correction. She served on the NY Governor’s Task Force on horse racing, the most comprehensive government study addressing horse welfare in racing. She has worked with most American racetracks and breeding organizations as an ambassador of the Thoroughbred creating strategic partnerships and sponsorships. Diana has worked with nonprofits of every size, private business and individuals in governance, advertising, marketing, business development and corporate sponsorship.

Joanne Yepsen is a public policy expert having successfully served in government and elected positions from 2006 through 2017. Known for being results-oriented, transparent, connected, and a sharp political strategist, Yepsen was a four-term County Supervisor (2006- 2013) and then elected and served as Mayor of Saratoga Springs, New York for two terms from 2014-2017. She adeptly guided the city on comprehensive and sustainable growth, social activism, and economic development. She recently made the transition from 12 consecutive years of elected executive leadership to public affairs and policy consulting, leveraging her accumulated expertise to solve complex problems and advance critical goals for clients of all sizes, focuses, and backgrounds. As a top candidate for New York State Senate in 2010 and her current public affairs accomplishments proves Yepsen has a pulse not only the Saratoga Springs community, but also on statewide, national, and international happenings.  She brings to every issue an unparalleled ability to formulate strategic action plans that get results.