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Twenty Horse Welfare Groups Meet to Address the Re-homing of America’s Horses

WASHINGTON (July 31, 2007) – National and state-based equine-protection, placement and rescue organizations gathered for the first time Friday to discuss the re-homing of at-risk horses in America. The Homes for Horses Conference was jointly sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI).

Conference attendees took preparatory steps to both understand the causes of horse abandonment and neglect, and to counter false claims that America will face an unmanageable oversupply of horses once the slaughter of these animals for human consumption abroad is brought to an end. The newly formed coalition will communicate constantly and meet annually to enhance equine protection in the United States.

“Horse welfare organizations need to come together to figure out how we can help each other,” said Keith Dane, HSUS director of equine protection. “The personal relationships, new initiatives and goals established at this event will have a direct impact on the lives of numerous horses. I look forward to continuing the dialogue we began here this week and continuing to work in coalition with our sister organizations for many years to come.”

“This conference brought together the very individuals and organizations directly involved in protecting and improving the lives of horses on a daily basis. For far too long, associations designed to promote business over welfare have attempted to portray themselves as guardians of equine protection, but that has changed,” said Chris Heyde, deputy legislative director of AWI. “Homes for Horses is a tremendous step forward.”

The new team approach to horse welfare focused on the placement and re-homing of horses, as needed. Additionally, conferees joined ranks in acknowledging the many challenges facing horse rescue groups and discussed the realities and problems associated with implementing a national licensing and accreditation program.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization -- backed by 10 million Americans, or one of every 30. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty -- On the web at humanesociety.org .

The Animal Welfare Institute, founded in 1951, is a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the sum total of pain and fear inflicted on animals by humans. AWI's legislative division, the Society for Animal Protective Legislation (SAPL), is leading the national campaign to end horse slaughter and advocating passage of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act. For more information, please visit http://www.awionline.org .


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