N.J. Horse Owners Urge Passage of Anti-Horse Slaughter Bill

Several prominent New Jersey horse owners and advocates, including accomplished equestrian Jessica Springsteen (daughter of musician Bruce Springsteen) have joined the the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) in supporting a state ban on the slaughter, transport, and sale of horses for human consumption by submitting a letter to Gov. Chris Christie urging him to sign this critical legislation into law.

Introduced by Assemblyman Ronald Dancer and Sen. Raymond J. Lesniak, AB 2023/SB1976 would ban the in-state slaughter of horses, the transport of horses to slaughter, and the sale of horse meat for human consumption. The legislation overwhelmingly passed in both the state Senate and Assembly and was sent to Gov. Christie for his signature in July.

The letter, signed by several well-known horse owners, advocates and equestrians from across the state, including ASPCA Equine Welfare Ambassadors and international riders Springsteen and Brianne Goutal, reads in part:

As prominent horse owners and advocates with deep roots in this state's equine and business communities, both through our families and individually, we urge you to sign, as is, AB 2023/SB 1976. We are especially concerned about New Jersey's role as a major artery for the cruel transport of American horses to Canadian slaughterhouses. Due to its location on the eastern seaboard and easily accessed interstate highway system, New Jersey has put out the welcome mat for "killer buyers" seeking the shortest route to northern slaughterhouses. We thus regard AB 2023's provision prohibiting the transport of horses to slaughter for human consumption as particularly critical and in need of passage.

"By signing this bill into law, Governor Christie will protect New Jersey communities' exposure to the extreme cruelty of horse slaughter, as well as other associated ills, such as horse theft and the devastating environmental and economic impact of horse slaughter plants," said Debora Bresch, Esq., senior state director of ASPCA Government Relations for the Mid-Atlantic region and New Jersey resident. "And just as important, it will remove New Jersey from the horse slaughter trade by preventing the transport of horses to slaughter for human consumption elsewhere."

"I have spent my life with horses and they are our partners and companions," added Springsteen. "I believe that horses deserve to be treated with respect, and their lives should not end with ... a slaughterhouse."

"New Jersey is taking the lead on this issue to make sure horses aren't taken from the pasture to the plate," said Assemblyman Dancer. "The horse is New Jersey's state animal and we appreciate these magnificent animals for their grace and beauty."

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