Just a few miles south of the Old North Church, where the American Revolution was sparked by the glint of two lanterns held high, stands a billboard with a message some hope will ignite a different sort of revolution.
Towering over 50 feet high, is a picture of two horses, one gray, and one bay brown; one nuzzling the other in typical equine affection. And besides that image, is written three words: STOP SLAUGHTERING US!
Erected Jan. 31 on Interstate 93, two miles south of downtown Boston, the billboard is the 25th to be placed around the nation by horse-welfare advocates. And the second placed in Massachusetts this month.
“Boston is one of our most important boards yet,” says horse-welfare advocate Jo Deibel, founder and director of Pennsylvania-based nonprofit Angel Acres Horse Haven Rescue, and initiator of the campaign.
“Many people are unaware that (over 100,000) horses are sent to slaughter each year. Our billboards are changing that, one person, once city, one state at a time.”
The Boston effort is especially important because the Massachusetts legislature is actively debating a bill that stands against horse slaughter, says Kathryn Webers, the Massachusetts coordinator for Americans Against Horse Slaughter.
Webers has raised the money to fund the placement of the Angel Acres billboard on the Interstate 93 location as lawmakers consider banning slaughter-bound horse trailers from its roads, as well as other restrictions on equine slaughter activities, she says.
Senate Bill 655, sponsored by Rep. Stephen Brewer, D-Barre, calls for a ban on equine slaughter for human consumption, as well as the sale, purchase, transport, delivery, receipt or export of equines for slaughter for human consumption.
On Jan. 24, the bill was referred to the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, with a deadline of March 21st for further action.
Webers hopes that the billboard will spark enough concern in passersby that they will take a moment to call their representative to encourage passage of the bill.
“You never know what can happen if enough people see it,” Webers says. “We know horses are being transported through the state to slaughterhouses in the Quebec and Ontario provinces. If the bill passes, it would directly prohibit open-hold cattle trucks” filled with horses “from being transported on our roads.”
The grassroots campaign, which is funded by horse advocates who donate specifically to the billboard campaign, has elevated awareness beyond what Deibel first imagined.
Thousands of people across the country who have spotted the signs have since logged onto the campaign website, www.stopslaughteringus.com, offering words of encouragement to Deibel.
“I’m getting email from, literally, around the country. The majority of the emails begin by saying something like, ‘Oh my God! I had no idea.’ Most people don’t know about horse slaughter.”
As awareness grows, Deibel believes many more people will be encouraged to contact their elected representative and demand that they vote to end horse slaughter.
“We want to leverage public support to pressure our legislature,” says Deibel.
And if Massachusetts lawmakers vote in favor of the slaughter ban, Deibel says the message will be carried far and wide. Protection from tyranny has its roots in Boston; protection for our beloved equine companions could as well.
29 responses to “Anti-horse slaughter billboard erected in Boston”
Faye, your compassionate heart is in the right place, but wishing doesn’t save horses from slaughter. This effort needs ‘boots on the ground’ and good MA people making calls to Washington and our MA state legislature.
Hate slaughter? Put your efforts where they’re going to make a difference. For every online post someone makes at a site like this: make a call to your elected officials and request their support of S1176/HR2966, and MA S655.
To whom it may concern, Please put a stop to our horses being slaughtered, sold or transported for human consumption. It breaks my heart to hear of things like this happening to animals who God put on this earth for our pleasure and to work for us. I fully believe he expects us to take care of horses and all the animals he has placed on his earth. I also believe he will hold us accountable if we don’t. Sincerely, Faye Spear.
Kathleen Simmons, I do hope that you’ll join our MA state group . . . many voices will do more than those petition efforts ever will. Unfortunately, petitions are not effective and mean nothing in Washington DC. Join us at Massachusetts Against Horse Slaughter on Facebook.
Thank you for your wonderful work! We have several in our tri state area. It is such a great way to raise awareness.
Thanks Susan! Another great story to help save our horses!
In front of me right now are at least 7 envelopes from horse organizations asking for money and help to stop the slaughter. This is a big thing all across the country.I’m happy that here in MA. people are getting out the word about what happens to horses daily. I sign petition after petition with the hope that we can all make a difference and stop the slaughter.
Thanks to all involved in this humane effort. The other part of this important civilized and ethical intervention is the care of these horses that are abandoned and destined for slaughter. What of those who are saved? Many are abandoned to starve in rural areas, or simply left alone in a field…..these helpless souls must be PUT somewhere and given humane care, as well as being saved from slaughter.
Next, I hope, will be stopping the slaughter of horses to use as dog food. I read ingredients of every can I feed to my pets!
Susie, I believe that US dog/cat food no longer includes horse meat. Reasons include the drug content, and unreliable access to supply in the US. I’d also heard that US zoos no longer give horsemeat to their big cats, for the same reasons. Yet for many years now . . . . foreigners have been eating this unfit meat: http://www.americanhorsemeat.com/horsemeat.html
Sure makes you lose confidence in the US government, doesn’t it?
I am learning so much reading comments taking place on my blog. Thank you Susie and Kathryn for this interesting exchange!
Merci, Sylvie, pour votre soutien et d’encouragement. Nous allons nous battre pour mettre fin à cette entreprise hautement condamnable.
Massachusetts residents are needed NOW. . . before the March 21 deadline to have MA S655 released from the state committee:
Have YOUR state senator and state rep ask that MA S655, MA State Senator Stephen Brewer’s ban bill be released from the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, Beacon Hill State House, Boston.
And tell your US congressman/woman and two US/federal senators that you appreciate & depend on their active support for HR2966/S1176. Pass the slaughter ban. No excuses.
Yes, a very simple concept let’s see if we make it happen! “STOP SLAUGHTERING US!”
Thank you for helping spread awareness on the slaughter of horses! Super job!!
C’est une excellente idée ! Je suis de tout coeur avec vous dans cette initiative. Il faut protéger ceux qui ne peuvent se défendre. Bravo !!!
Sylvie, Je vous remercie! Je ne parle pas français, mais je voulais dire que je comprends que vous lisez ceci. 🙂 Sue
Very well done to you all for this billboard. What a great campaign. I live in the highlands of Scotland with my wife, Shelley and our 4 horses and 2 dogs. There is certainly some merit to the social networks in that we can keep abreast of what’s going on over there. Our horses are our family and we love them as we love all horses and it breaks our heart to observe the terrible fate that befalls many of them in the shadow of the corporate footprint.
It is wonderful to hear that your billboards are doing their work and more people are becoming aware of the problem and responding. Keep up the good work.
Dear Mark, I’m sure Jo and Fran and all the other hard-working folks at Angel Acres would appreciate your encouragement. And also, that you and your wife Shelley count your horses as your family—it’s a beautiful thing.
Thanks for reading my blog, and good luck with your horses!
Thanks for the support and encouragement, Mark. I’m looking forward to a third visit to Scotland, and even more now, knowing that our humane efforts have your support. Slainte!
Everyone in MA: pony up!! Contact YOUR MA Rep & Senator & ask them to contact the Joint Judiciary Committee on Beacon Hill to request that the committee releases MA S655 favorably. If those billboard horses would talk, that’s absolutely what they’d say!
What a great idea! Let’s hope awareness will help fight the good fight.
[…] big thanks to Amanda Chambers calling our attention to this story, originally published on Off-TrackThoroughbreds.com […]
Thanks for writing this wonderful article to help spread the message to help the horses. All of my vehicles have this message in the form of a bumper sticker on them which I proudly drive around in North Carolina trying to spread awareness as I go. I was born and raised in Massachusetts and I hope and pray that one day soon I can brag that bill S655 is the LAW and horses will be protected as they should be from this cruel and money driven industry.
Susan, so glad to hear of your compassion and your connection to this area. I invite any Massachusetts resident to contact me on FB to get active in support of the state and federal ban bills. Every voice counts and every voice is needed. There’s a LOT of money that’s influencing politicians and we have to counter that with committed action and every body that we can bring to the effort. Find me on FB, but make sure to use just one “B” as in “Kathryn Webers”. Thanks for helping horses.
Ha! Kathryn, typos make me cringe. Your name is now correct! Ane yes, I hope you will gain support and fans as this issue is pressed forward.
Thanks, Susan. I’m happy to circulate your article around, and I invite everyone in Mass to do the same. Horses can’t communicate their desire for protection from slaughter, we must act on their behalf.
A HUGE ‘thank you’ to all who contributed to the MA billboard installations. Raising awareness is the most productive effort.
It’s inaccurate to credit me for raising the funds. This has been a grass-roots effort just as other boards have been. There are a great many Massachusetts residents who contributed large and small amounts so that this billboard could be realized, just as they did for the initial billboard near Chicopee, MA on I-90 near Route 291.
I first saw one of Angel Acres’ “Stop Slaughtering Us” billboards near Philadelphia Park (TB racetrack) June 2011 and the power of it was undeniable. My time spent working at PA farms and tracks has never left my soul.
Concerned Americans are saying that they oppose horse slaughter for human consumption and that they’re willing to ‘pony up’ to raise awareness on horse slaughter. Bravo to them all, for demanding humane care for horses.
And thanks to Susan Salk and Jo Deibel/Angel Acres for exposing horse slaughter for human consumption.
Tell YOUR US congressman and two US/federal senators that you appreciate & depend on their active support for HR2966/S1176. Pass the slaughter ban. No excuses.
And also pass MA S655, MA State Senator Stephen Brewer’s ban bill. No excuses.
Find our effort on Facebook: Massachusetts Against Horse Slaughter. Thanks for helping horses.
Thank you Kathryn. Thanks for granting the interview, and for speaking so passionately about this issue. I am always happy to write about Jo Deibel, Angel Acres, and their ongoing work for ex-racehorse Thoroughbreds. I’m glad you liked the story.:)
Hi Susan, thank you for another great story…helps to save horses.
Alan, thank you for reading them, and for your encouragement.