Statements of Support

"Are not veterinarians by definition advocates for animals? Do we not swear in our veterinarian's oath to relieve pain and suffering? So how can I remain silent when I see the suffering these horses endure on their way to slaughter. The VEW web site is my voice!"
- John Dennigan, DVM

"Why would the AAEP and AVMA support such an industry? Have they considered the inevitable suffering that the current situation brings about as opposed to the hypothetical suffering that these horses endure if they live?"

- Nicholas H. Dodman, DVM, Diplomate ACVA and ACVB

"Culture and myth gave horses wings, turned them from war machines to Olympic athletes, and in the end placed them in the use of man for pleasure -- and profit. Will the "archons" of the AVMA, AAEP, et al, consider that they need to conform to the ethics of their noble profession or, at least, their Oath? Or will they keep taking giant steps backwards, at the expense of their zoological cousin -- Equus? I wonder. After all no vet -- equine or pet vet -- "profits" from death. Kudos to owners and the treating vets of Barbaro. None of them was a barbarian."


- Theo G. Antikas, DVM, PhD


"From the time a horse is picked up by the killer buyer he is meat on the hoof, and that is the way he is treated. In a journey which can take days, or occasionally weeks, he is jammed into trucks, often where he cannot even stand, and left to fend for himself among a load of other terrified horses. Some of these horses actually have fractures and are in great pain. USDA regulations state that they can go 28 hours without food and water (bad enough) and even this is unenforceable. When the horse reaches the slaughterhouse, death is by captive bolt, and if anyone thinks this always works the first time, we have a film they should see. As a veterinarian I realize the inevitability of euthanasia in certain cases, but to equate the slaughter process with humane euthanasia is the height of hypocrisy."

- John K. Griggs, DVM

"As a veterinarian, I believe that it is my responsibility to treat all of my patients in a humane manner. Looking at the condition of slaughter-bound horses in the videos and photographs taken by journalists, investigators and welfare personnel (over many years), I could never explain to a client or to a child what is humane about their transport, and I would certainly never recommend this avenue of disposing of a horse to a client. If I cannot support these practices to my clients as being humane, how can I stand up as a professional and present them to the public as such?"

- Nena J. Winand, DVM, PhD

"I would like to impress upon you that the AVMA and AAEP may represent me by profession, but they do not represent me on this issue and until they can show you polling of their membership reflecting it, please do not believe that their governing bodies represent the views of the people they claim to either. Accordingly, I urge you to support HR 503 in any and every way you can!!!! Thank You!!!!"

- Kerry Zeigler, VMD

"I, personally as mixed animal practitioner and long time horse owner, cannot understand why horse slaughter is viewed by our profession & society so often as a necessary evil. Why not educate horse owners on responsible breeding (or NOT breeding) and encourage humane euthanasia instead of suffering or slaughter? Why not encourage the racing and other horse industries to provide for their own instead of throwing away horses when they are no longer useful?"

- Tammy McNamara, DVM

"I am appalled that the AVMA supports this inhumane treatment of horses. The practice of sending "unwanted horses" to slaughter is simply a matter of economic convenience for uncaring or uneducated horse owners. The cost of humane euthanasia is similar to the cost of keeping a horse for one month. Anyone who keeps horses, whether for profit or pleasure, should be able to plan for this final expense."
- Linda Breitman, DVM

"I am a firm supporter of public education regarding equine welfare and breeding in place of disposition via slaughter. We must focus on breeding regulations and permits, not keeping alive the barbaric practice of slaughter and transport, at this day and age, in this country that was essentially built on horseback."


- Yelena Garber, DVM

"As a veterinarian, I took an oath to aid in the health and well being of all animals, including horses. I find it very offensive that the AVMA and the AAEP would try and represent me by supporting equine slaughter. I cancelled my membership when their opinion on this matter first was made known. I refuse to be associated with an organization that is so different in their views of the welfare of horses. Any veterinarian that supports horse slaughter should consider a new occupation. It is a veterinarians duty to care for the magnificent creatures and not support disposing of them when they are unwanted."

- Lisa M. Carter, DVM

"I am delighted to see that there is now a professional equine veterinary organization to advocate for the welfare of horses and to counter the inappropriate position adopted by the AVMA and AAEP in regard to the Horse Slaughter Act. Their opposition to the bill reflects a disregard for equine suffering and a fear that, if horse slaughter undergoes careful scrutiny by the American public, then the slaughter of other "food" animals may undergo a similar examination--and will be shown to be inhumane for those species as well. In defense of this inhumane position held by the AVMA and the AAEP, it is claimed that horse slaughter is necessary in order to prevent the suffering of thousands of neglected horses by providing them a "humane" end. Not only is their end anything but humane, but also there have always been neglected horses starving slowly to death, even when horse slaughter auctions were readily available. In other words, the ability to sell horses for slaughter has never prevented this suffering of the abandoned horses, owned by ignorant backyard hobbyists and hoarders, and to use this as an excuse for this heinous cruelty is both disingenuous and dishonest. If the AVMA and the AAEP wish to put an end to the abandonment of horses due to their overpopulation, they should direct their energies to limiting the breeding of horses until there is no longer the excess of unwanted animals that we see all over this country."

- Holly Cheever, DVM