When the Horses Whisper
The Wisdom of Wise and Sentient Beings

by
Rosalyn W. Berne

Rosalyn Berne has always known that she was different from most people. Even as a child she was aware of things that others could not see or hear, experiencing the life force around her. But her special ability with horses was something that she would not fully recognize until she was an adult. Returning to Costa Rica―a once–visited sanctuary—she sought solace from the world and hoped to begin healing from a painful divorce and the subsequent breakdown of her family. Drawn to the horses that are part of the working farm-resort that was her retreat, she suddenly and unexpectedly received a gift―the ability to communicate with them. And what they said changed her life.

 

When the Horses Whisper shows the true power of horses. Once they realized that Rosalyn was able to ‘hear’ them they opened up completely, showing her a world of strength, beauty and, most importantly, love. She begins to realize how strong the bond is between horse and human and how anyone can communicate with them on a deeper level. She also learns how they can help humans to heal from loss and pain as she begins to recover from her own grief, including the loss of a child, a traumatic childhood encounter, and the end of her marriage.

 

As the story of each horse is revealed the author understands that they are telling her more than their own stories, they are teaching and helping her to rediscover her whole self, reminding her that she is part of a much larger universe. Proud and resourceful, the horses remind us all that creation is around us and within us at all times. In helping us to recover the pieces of ourselves that have been lost along our way, the horse’s teaching allows us to reconnect with our soul selves.

 

As the author continues to return to Costa Rica she is always met by old friends and introduced to new ones. Their stories are accompanied by photographs taken by the author’s daughter that illustrate the grace and spirit of each, beautifully recognizing the unique character of each horse. Filled with insight and hope When the Horses Whisper is an engrossing look into the heart of a horse and how the horse-human bond can change us all.

Rainbow Ridge Books • 2013 • ISBN 978-1-937907-16-7 • Trade Paper • $17.95

 

Bio

Rosalyn W. Berne, Ph.D
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Rosalyn W. Berne, Ph.D. explores the intersecting realms between emerging technologies, science, fiction and myth, and between the human and non-human worlds. As a university professor she writes and teaches about engineering and technology in society and the ethical implications of technological development, often using science fiction material in her classes. In her personal life she continues to discover the transformational nature of human-equine relationships, and offers facilitation and translation services for enhancing communication between horses and their owners. She is author of Nanotalk: Conversations with Scientists and Engineers About Ethics, Meaning, and Belief in the Development of Nanotechnology (Erlbaum Press, 2005) and the novel, Waiting in the Silence (Spore Press, 2012). To Recreate Life from Life, Biotechnology and Science Fiction brings the non-fictional writing of research scientists together with Berne’s science fiction short stories (forthcoming from Pan Stanford Press).

Full schedule of events includes ASPCA Adoption Day, appearances by ASPCA Equine Welfare Ambassadors, celebrities & top riders

NEW YORK—For the seventh consecutive year, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is partnering with the Hampton Classic Horse Show, held in Bridgehampton, N.Y., from Sunday, August 25 to Sunday, September 1, 2013.

On Monday, August 26, the ASPCA will host the Fourth Annual ASPCA Adoption and Animal Welfare Day at the Classic, focusing on helping rescued, horses, dogs, cats, and pigs find permanent homes. Seven local animal shelters and rescue groups will have animals on site throughout the day, including two former wild mustangs who serve as ambassadors for wild horses. Celebrity hosts include NBC’s Award Winning Animal Advocate and Bestselling Author, Jill Rappaport, as well as ASPCA Equine Welfare Ambassadors and top international riders Georgina Bloomberg and Brianne Goutal.

“We are excited to showcase the ASPCA’s history of horse protection and spread the word about how to help at-risk animals at the Hampton Classic,” said Valerie Angeli, senior director of equine and special projects for the ASPCA. “Our ASPCA Maclay Medal celebrates the tradition of excellence in humane and responsible horsemanship and our work at the Hampton Classic provides a wonderful opportunity to educate the community as well as find permanent homes for animals in need."

Other highlights during the week-long event include the ASPCA “Voices for Horses” Equine Welfare Reception and expert panel discussion, which takes place on Thursday, August 29. ASPCA supporters and Equine Welfare Ambassadors, Georgina Bloomberg and Jill Rappaport, actress Aida Turturro, and Prince Lorenzo Borghese will join ASPCA experts and others to discuss many critical issues impacting horses today, including horse slaughter, homelessness and neglect, and inspire attendees to help make a difference.

Visiting celebrities and top riders, including ASPCA Equine Welfare Ambassadors Georgina Bloomberg and Brianne Goutal will join us throughout the week at the “ASPCA Patio and Animal Advocacy Station” located near the VIP parking and across from the public grandstand of the Grand Prix Ring (please see schedule below).

“I am proud to serve as an ASPCA Equine Welfare Ambassador, and I am thrilled to take part in the ASPCA’s activities at the Hampton Classic again this year,” said Ms. Bloomberg. “The ASPCA was the first humane organization in the country to promote equine welfare and protection, a mission it continues to this day through advocacy, grant funding to horse rescue groups, and field investigations. This world-class horse show provides a great opportunity for the equine community and spectators of the show to join the ASPCA and serve as a voice for these noble animals.”

The presentation of the ASPCA Maclay Award at the Classic will take place on Friday, August 30. The ASPCA Maclay Championship was established in 1933 by former ASPCA board member Alfred B. Maclay to encourage junior riders to excel in the art of responsible and humane horsemanship. It is a highly coveted award in the U.S. for junior riders under 18 years of age.

From August 1 through September 30th the ASPCA, the Hampton Classic Horse Show and Neptune Feed will also be collecting donations for the ASPCA “Hay It Forward” Project, which is designed to raise awareness of equine welfare issues while providing much needed feed and supplies to local equine rescue organizations. This is a supplemental program to the ASPCA’s existing Hay Bale Out grants program, which helps feed hungry horses across the United States. To make a donation to the ASPCA “Hay It Forward” Project, please visit the ASPCA Patio or Hampton Classic Feed Store office during the show, or contact Neptune Feed at (631) 369-0965.

For more information on the Hampton Classic, please visit http://www.aspca.org/horse or www.hamptonclassic.com.

Schedule of ASPCA Events/Expert Appearances at the 38th Annual Hampton Classic Horse Show

Sunday, August 25: Book Signing – at the ASPCA Patio

  • 11 a.m.-2 p.m. – Book signing with Jayne M. Silberman, author of In the Herd: A Photographic Journey with the Chincoteague Ponies and Assateague Horses, with proceeds from the sale of the book benefiting the ASPCA Equine Fund.

Monday, August 26: Fourth Annual ASPCA Adoption and Animal Welfare Day

  • 11 a.m.–3 p.m. – The Fourth Annual ASPCA Adoption Day at the Hampton Classic will feature local dog, cat, pig, and horse rescue groups with animals available for adoption. The event will feature VIP hosts Jill Rappaport, NBC’s award-winning animal advocate and bestselling author, along with ASPCA Equine Welfare Ambassadors Georgina Bloomberg and Brianne Goutal.
    • Participating dog and cat rescue groups include: The Little Shelter Animal Rescue and Adoption Center; Southampton Animal Shelter; Gimme Shelter; ARF Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons; and Pigs4Me. Adoptable dogs, cats, and pigs will be available in the Kids/Exhibition area across from the ASPCA Patio and Animal Advocacy Station.
    • Participating horse rescue groups include Kaeli Kramer Foundation and Project Sage Horse Rescue. There will be a live, interactive program with adoptable horses and horse rescue groups in the Aspinall Ring from 12 p.m.–2 p.m.; guests can meet Jill Rappaport, Georgina Bloomberg and international VIP rider Brianne Goutal and take a tour of the state of the art Heart Horse Ambulance – a modern day version of the ambulance invented for injured horses by the ASPCA in 1867.

Tuesday, August 27 and Wednesday, August 28:

  • Please visit the ASPCA Patio and Animal Advocacy Station for schedule information.

Thursday, August 29: ASPCA “Voices for Horses” Equine Welfare Reception and Expert Panel Discussion– “THE Event for Those Who Care”

  • 1:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m. (ASPCA Ringside Chalet, north of the Grand Prix Arena) Sponsored by Louis Roederer Champagne – The ASPCA will host the ‘Voices for Horses’ Equine Welfare Reception and expert  panel discussion, with celebrity attendees including actress Aida Turturro, Jill Rappaport, Prince Lorenzo Borghese, and ASPCA Equine Welfare Ambassadors Georgina Bloomberg and Brianne Goutal. This event is by invitation only and space is limited. For information on how to obtain an invitation, please contact the ASPCA’s Valerie Angeli via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Friday, August 30: ASPCA Maclay Award Presentation

  • Late morning (Time/Ring TBD) – Local competition - ASPCA Maclay Award Presentation.

Saturday, August 31: Kid’s Day at the Hampton Classic

  • Please visit the ASPCA Patio and Animal Advocacy Station for schedule information.

Sunday, September 1: Grand Prix Sunday

  • Please visit the ASPCA Patio and Animal Advocacy Station for schedule information.

Throughout the Week:

  • ‘ASPCA VIP Rider’ lapel pins and ‘Horses on Sticks’ will be available at the ASPCA Patio and Animal Advocacy Station for a donation, with proceeds benefitting the ASPCA’s horse protection efforts.
  • The ‘Jump for the ASPCA’ fundraiser, sponsored by FTI Consulting, will trigger a donation to the ASPCA each time a rider clears the ASPCA fence on the show grounds.
  • Help save animal’s lives and Sign up for the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade at the ASPCA Patio and follow us on Twitter @ASPCA to be entered in a drawing to win a prize.
  • The ASPCA, the Hampton Classic Horse Show, and Neptune Feed of Long Island, NY will collaborate to assist local equine rescue groups through the ASPCA Hay It Forward Project. To make a donation to the ASPCA Hay It Forward Project, please visit the Hampton Classic Feed Store office or the ASPCA Patio during the show, or contact Neptune Feed at (631) 369-0965.

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), and Animal Protection of New Mexico are dismayed over the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recent decision to approve an application for a horse slaughter facility at Valley Meat Company LLC in Roswell, N.M. on the grounds that killing horses for human consumption is inhumane and creates a serious health risk to consumers. Similar applications are pending for Rains Natural Meats in Gallatin, Mo., and Responsible Transportation LLC in Sigourney, Iowa, and could be approved as early as Monday.

Valley Meat is slated to be the first facility in the U.S. to be green-lighted to slaughter horses for human consumption since 2007, when the few remaining plants closed after Congress voted to eliminate funding for horse meat inspections. This surprising move to reopen a horse slaughter plant defies common sense, given Congress’s recent votes to eliminate funding for such inspections and the scandal in the European Union, where horse meat was found to be mislabeled as beef in prepared food products. On June 13, the House Appropriations Committee voted to include language prohibiting the use of tax dollars for horse slaughter inspections in its Agriculture Appropriations bill, and on June 20, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted in favor of including the same language in its version of the Appropriations bill. These bills are both expected to move for floor action in July, signaling revocation of the USDA’s inspection abilities in a matter of months.

“The writing is on the wall – Americans don’t want our horses slaughtered, here or in any other country. Moving ahead with a government program to fund horse slaughter inspections is a cruel, reckless and fiscally irresponsible move,” said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA Government Relations.  “Recent polling shows that 70 percent of New Mexicans, along with the overwhelming majority of Americans, are opposed to the slaughter of U.S. horses for human consumption. Given the recent firestorm of concern and outrage over horse meat entering the food supply in Europe, this decision is shocking. The USDA is knowingly diverting tax dollars from programs that protect American consumers to programs that jeopardize them. It is time for Congress to take action to prevent American horses from suffering this terrible fate and stop horse slaughter in the U.S. once and for all.”

Horse slaughter is inherently cruel and often erroneously compared to humane euthanasia. The methods used to slaughter horses rarely result in quick, painless deaths, as horses are difficult to stun and often remain conscious during their butchering and dismemberment. Whether slaughter occurs in the U.S. or abroad, these equines suffer incredible abuse even before they arrive at the slaughterhouse, often transported for more than 24 hours at a time without food, water or rest, and in dangerously overcrowded trailers where the animals are often seriously injured or even killed in transit. The majority of horses killed for human consumption are young, healthy animals who could go on to lead productive lives with loving owners. Last year, more than 160,000 American horses were sent to a cruel death by a grisly foreign industry that produces unsafe food for consumers.

“I am baffled and greatly disappointed that the USDA has chosen to approve this application despite strong opposition from the state of New Mexico, the U.S. Congress and the American public,” said Chris Heyde, deputy director of government and legal affairs for AWI.  “Given an earlier statement from USDA Secretary Vilsack opposing horse slaughter and calling for alternatives and recent votes in Congress against this practice we had hoped no plant would be allowed to open.  It just means we will have to redouble our efforts to pass the SAFE Act which will ban slaughter and ensure our horses are safe from this cruel and predatory industry.”

“New Mexicans reject the idea of a horse slaughter plant in our state,” said Lisa Jennings, executive director of Animal Protection of New Mexico. “Horses are a valuable part of our heritage, and we have worked hard to develop a robust safety net for them, not condemn them to slaughter.”

“Despite the federal government’s decision to legalize horse slaughter for human consumption, I believe creating a horse slaughtering industry in New Mexico is wrong and I am strongly opposed,” said New Mexico Governor, Susana Martinez. “Like the overwhelming majority of Americans across the country, New Mexicans oppose the slaughter of horses for human consumption. Not only is there not a domestic demand for horsemeat, the act of slaughter itself is considered inhumane by experts, given that a horse’s biology makes them difficult to stun, leaving them conscious during the slaughter process.”

“Granting an inspection of the proposed horse slaughtering facility does not resolve the issues of potential violation of New Mexico State requirements,” said New Mexico’s Attorney General, Gary K. King. “Our office has expressed concern that under current practices it is unlikely that the plant can show that it meets the requirements of the New Mexico Food Act in their manufacture and delivery of horse meat for human consumption. The plant will also likely be required to meet State environmental standards for their discharges.”

“As a veterinarian, natural resource manager, and someone who has had the great good fortune to grow up with and around horses, I am very concerned about their health and safety. If a horse is hurt, terminally ill, or has no chance to find a loving home, then humane euthanasia is an important option,” said New Mexico State Land Commissioner, Ray Powell, D.V.M. “I am told the USDA is considering the proposal to open a horse slaughtering facility in our state. Since we do not have enough unwanted horses in New Mexico to make this economically viable, it means that horses would be trucked in from across the nation. We do not have the safeguards and oversight in place to ensure their humane handling, transport, and euthanasia. New Mexico can do much better by these intelligent and gentle creatures, and I strongly oppose this ill-conceived proposal.”

The decision to allow facilities to slaughter horses adds further to the burden on U.S. taxpayers at a time when spending cuts associated with the sequester could curtail food safety inspections for U.S. meat products. Additionally, with the opening of a horse slaughter plant in the U.S., it will be more difficult to prevent the kind of comingling between horse meat and beef products that has occurred in Europe.

In March, U.S. Sens. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Reps. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., and Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., introduced the Safeguard American Foods Export (SAFE) Act (S. 541/ H.R. 1094), bipartisan legislation that will prevent the introduction of horse slaughter operations in the U.S., end the current export of American horses for slaughter abroad, and protect the public from consuming toxic horse meat. AWI, APNM and the ASPCA urge Congress to swiftly pass the SAFE Act to protect horses and consumers.

 

 

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

About the Animal Welfare Institute
The Animal Welfare Institute (www.awionline.org) is a non-profit charitable organization founded in 1951 and dedicated to reducing animal suffering caused by people.  AWI engages policymakers, scientists, industry, and the public to achieve better treatment of animals everywhere—in the laboratory, on the farm, in commerce, at home, and in the wild.  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates and other important animal protection news.

About Animal Protection of New Mexico
Animal Protection of New Mexico has been challenging historic and widespread animal cruelty in New Mexico since 1979.

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To promote humane treatment for all equines, regardless of breed, and to provide support for non-profit organizations that provide humane treatment and shelter for equines.

 

Horse Aid Live is a 501(C)3 organization that will carry out its mission by granting financial support to other 501(C)3 organizations that retrain, rehabilitate, retire, or shelter unwanted, homeless horses of ALL breeds ~ the United Way for horses.

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Saturday, August 3rd

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This is a fun schooling show ~ coats and braiding NOT required.

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TPR News
Saturday, May 25, the 145th day of 2013.
There are 220 days left in the year.

ASPCA urges support for the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act to ban horse slaughter

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced in a new poll conducted by Lake Research Partners that 70 percent of Missouri voters are opposed to the slaughter of U.S. horses for human consumption and that 75 percent do not want a horse slaughter plant in their community. The statewide survey reveals that Missourians overwhelmingly oppose horse slaughter regardless of their political affiliation, gender, geographic location or whether they live in an urban or rural area.

In 2011, Congress chose to remove language from an appropriations bill that banned federal inspectors at horse slaughter plants in the U.S., opening the door for a return of horse slaughter on American soil, despite broad opposition to the practice. Several applications have been filed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture by companies – including one in Gallatin, Mo. – that want to slaughter horses on American soil. If the application is approved, it would be the first facility in the U.S. to slaughter horses for human consumption since 2007, when the few remaining plants closed and Congress chose to suspend funding for any further horse meat inspections.

“There is broad consensus in Missouri, as there is throughout the nation, that our horses deserve more than to be shuttled off to a gruesome death and served abroad as a toxic delicacy,” said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA Government Relations. “With 70 percent of all registered voters in the state opposed to the slaughtering of American horses, opening a horse slaughterhouse in Missouri clearly flies in the face of public opinion, and using our precious tax dollars to enable horse slaughter on U.S. soil is even more tone deaf. Enacting a ban on horse slaughter has never been more urgent.”

According to the new research, 7 in 10 Missouri registered voters are opposed to allowing American horses to be slaughtered for human consumption, with 57 percent in strong opposition to the practice. In addition, 3 in 4 Missouri voters do not want a horse slaughter plant in their community, with just 13 percent of voters supporting such a facility. Furthermore, opposition to a horse slaughtering facility extends across race, age, political affiliation, and geographic divides, with 73 percent of rural voters and 72 percent of urban voters disapproving of such a facility.

The surprising move toward a resumption of domestic horse slaughter comes in the wake of the recent scandal in the European Union, where consumers were alarmed by the discovery of horse meat mislabeled as beef in prepared food products ranging from lasagna to meatballs. Horses are routinely given medications and other substances that are toxic to humans and are expressly forbidden by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in animals intended for human consumption. In March, U.S. Sens. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Reps. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., and Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., introduced the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act (S. 541/H.R. 1094) to prevent the introduction of horse slaughter operations in the U.S., end the current export of American horses for slaughter abroad, and protect the public from consuming toxic horse meat.

Horse slaughter is inherently cruel and often erroneously compared to humane euthanasia. The methods used to slaughter horses rarely result in quick, painless deaths, as horses are difficult to stun and often remain conscious during their butchering and dismemberment. Whether slaughter occurs in the U.S. or abroad, these equines suffer incredible abuse even before they arrive at the slaughterhouse, often transported for more than 24 hours at a time without food, water or rest, and in dangerously overcrowded trailers where the animals are often seriously injured or even killed in transit. The majority of horses killed for human consumption are young, healthy animals who could go on to lead productive lives with loving owners. Last year, more than 160,000 American horses were sent to a cruel death by a grisly foreign industry that produces unsafe food for consumers.

To learn more about the ASPCA’s efforts to ban horse slaughter or support the SAFE Act, please visit www.aspca.org.

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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Reader’s Digest: When Animals Act Like People

April 17, 2013 – Reader’s Digest compiled a list of 12 stories that show animals at their most personal: practicing yoga, driving cars and comforting their closest friends. The stories include regular pets, such as cats and dogs, and animals as wild as a lion and marmots. Here are their stories:

· Lions Care About Their Hair – According to Peyton M. West, PhD, an evolution and animal behavior expert, female lions actively court males that are more heavily and lushly maned, especially at night, which is reserved for socializing and grooming. Of course, today such bald discrimination is frowned upon by men and women, but the big cats are content to be old-fashioned. When fights break out among members of the pride, lions with flowing tresses get preferential treatment.

· Whale Says Thanks – Each winter for nearly 20 years, Great Whale Conservancy co-director Michael Fishbach has traveled with other research scientists to the Sea of Cortez off Mexico’s west coast to study blue and humpback whales. In 2011, he and his team spotted a humpback whale trapped in a fishing net and spent an hour freeing it. Afterward, in an hour-long display of thanks, the whale swam near their boat and leaped into the air about 40 times.

· Pandas Like to Cavort – Is there anything cuter than a baby panda, except maybe a human baby? Even the word “panda” is cute. In fact, cubs sometimes behave like human babies: They sleep in the same positions and value their thumbs (pandas use theirs for holding the bamboo they munch on all day). Pandas have been known to wander inside mountain homes and get into the pots and pans. And although they grow into solitary adults who roam alone and mate just once a year, they also like to snuggle. If given the chance, they’ll sleep side by side with domestic animals.

· Bear Does Yoga – Santra, a female bear at Finland’s Ahtari Zoo, entertained visitors with a 15-minute “yoga” routine following a nap. Sitting upright, Santra used her front paws to grab her right back paw, then her left, stretching her legs as if doing a One-Legged Split. Next, she demonstrated the Open-Leg Seated Balance Pose with near-perfect form, pulling up both hind legs while keeping her balance.

· Horses Are Picky Eaters – Horses have an even keener sense of taste and smell than humans do, say equine scientists. When horses wrinkle their noses and flare their nostrils, they’re activating their vomeronasal organ, which allows them to sense smells we can’t detect. Horses also have taste buds on the back of their tongues and the roofs of their mouths, which might explain why they reject stale water and meticulously move around meadows, grazing on only the tastiest herbs, experts say.

· A Cat Honors Its Owner – A sprig of acacia, paper towels, and a plastic cup are just a few of the gifts that Toldo, a devoted three-year-old gray-and-white cat, has placed on his former owner Iozzelli Renzo’s grave in Montagnana, Italy, every day since the man died in September 2011. Renzo adopted Toldo from a shelter when the cat was three months old, and the two formed an inseparable bond. After Renzo passed away, Toldo followed the coffin to the cemetery, and now “stands guard” at the grave for hours at a time, says Renzo’s family.

· Pigeons Serve Their Country – Pigeons’ speed and navigational skills made them prized military messengers in World Wars I and II and the most decorated animals in military history. Thirty-two messenger pigeons have received the Dickin Medal, a British award that honors the gallantry or devotion of animals in war. At the moment, pigeons are resting on their laurels. They’ve fallen out of military favor and are no longer used — for now.

· Dogs Drive Cars – Three New Zealand dogs recently navigated a specially modified Mini Cooper around a racetrack at about 20 mph. (Engineers raised the gearshift and pedals and added handles to the steering wheel.) The stunt was an effort by the Auckland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to show off canine intelligence and boost adoptions from animal shelters. After months of practice, Monty, a giant schnauzer, Porter, a bearded collie mix, and Ginny, a bearded collie–whippet mix, followed trainers’ commands to put the car into gear, press the accelerator, and steer with their paws. Since a video of the test drive appeared online last December, all three dogs have been adopted.

· Monkeys Do Math – If capuchins ran the world, we might have avoided the recent banking crisis. In an experiment conducted at Yale, capuchins demonstrated an understanding of pricing and budgeting, as well as a desire to avoid losses when required to buy food with tokens.

· Cat Guides Blind Dog – After Terfel, an 8 year-old chocolate Labrador retriever in North Wales, U.K., developed cataracts last year, he began to bump into walls and furniture. Soon enough, the once energetic dog was spending most of his time in his dog bed, unable to find his way around. On a whim, Terfel’s owner Judy Godfrey-Brown let a stray cat, whom she named Pwditat (pronounced Puddy-tat), into her home. The feline made a beeline for the blind dog and began using its paws and head to herd Terfel into the garden. Now the unlikely friends sleep together, and Pwditat helps Terfel find his way everywhere.

· Camel Eats Breakfast with People – The first time Joe dined with British farmers Nathan and Charlotte Anderson-Dixon, he was uninvited. The four-year-old Bactrian camel stuck his head through their open kitchen window in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, and proceeded to empty the contents of a fruit bowl. Now the couple, who rent out reindeer, camels, goats, and other creatures for television shows, movies, and photo shoots, set a place at their table for the assertive double-humped creature, where he munches on cereal and his favorite: bananas on toast.

· Marmots Befriend a Boy – A colony of marmots in the Austrian Alps has embraced eight-year-old Matteo Walch, whose family vacations there in summer. The Alpine marmots are the largest of their species, sometimes reaching 15 pounds. Typically, they beat their tails, chatter, and whistle to warn other marmots of danger, but with Matteo, they behave much differently, allowing the boy to feed, pet, and even touch noses with them.

To read about these personal animals, please visit: http://www.rd.com/slideshows/animal-stories-when-beasts-act-like-humans/#slide2=&slideshow=slide1.

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Animal welfare organizations support move to block spending

WASHINGTON—Congress could once again ban the use of federal funds to inspect horse slaughter plants in the United States if it follows the lead of the White House—a move that is strongly supported by The Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI). President Obama’s FY 2014 budget proposal includes a request for Congress to block spending by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to inspect U.S. horse slaughter plants. A similar spending prohibition was put in place in 2005, which effectively shut the door to the grisly horse slaughter industry on U.S. soil. However, it was not renewed in 2011, leading to the potential for horse slaughter plants to reopen in the U.S at the expense of American taxpayers.

There are no horse slaughter facilities operating in the U.S., but the USDA confirms it has received at least six applications and is processing those requests. Humane organizations oppose the slaughter of American horses for human consumption because the practice is inherently cruel to horses. Additionally, horse meat poses a potential human health risk, as horses are not raised for food in the U.S. and are consequently treated with a wide range of drugs that are not approved for use in animals intended for human consumption.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS, said: “It’s a fool’s errand to inspect tainted horse meat, and this Administration is wise to reject that path and to embrace the idea, even indirectly, that horses belong in the stable and not on the table.”

Nancy Perry, senior vice president of the ASPCA, said: “It is wonderful to see our government taking steps to ensure American horses are not slaughtered on our own soil for foreign demand, especially in light of the daily news from Europe about the horrors of discovering horse meat in their food supply from co-mingling with beef in tainted food products. Wasting tax dollars on cruel and dangerous practices makes no sense, and we urge Congress to adopt this budget cut.”

Chris Heyde, deputy director of government and legal affairs for the AWI, said: “Now that the administration has taken this important step toward ending horse abuse, reducing the size of the federal government, and saving taxpayer dollars, we urge Congress to swiftly ensure this widely supported language is maintained when sent back to the president for his signature later this year. Given the serious fiscal choices facing our elected officials in Washington, restoring an unpopular foreign driven horse slaughter industry that only serves to drain taxpayers’ money every year, this should be the easiest spending cut they can approve.”

The Safeguard American Food Exports Act, H.R. 1094 / S. 541, introduced this year by U.S. Sens. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Reps. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., and Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., is a bipartisan measure that would prevent the introduction of horse slaughter operations in the U.S., end the current export of American horses for slaughter abroad, and protect the public from consuming toxic horsemeat.

Background:

  • American horses are raised to be companions, athletes and work horses. They are often treated with drugs, both legal and illegal, that can endanger the food supply. There is currently no system in the U.S. to track medications and veterinary treatments given to horses throughout their lives to ensure that their meat is safe for human consumption.
  • “Kill buyers” gather up horses from random sources and profit by selling horsemeat from healthy horses that bring the best price per pound for their meat. USDA reports show that approximately 92 percent of American horses going to slaughter are healthy and would otherwise be able to go on to lead productive lives.
  • The methods used to kill horses rarely result in quick, painless deaths, as horses often endure repeated blows to render them unconscious, and sometimes remain conscious during the slaughtering process. When horse slaughter plants previously operated in the U.S., the USDA documented severe injuries to horses incurred during their long-distance transport to slaughter plants in unsafe, overcrowded trailers, including broken bones and eyeballs hanging from their sockets by a thread of skin.


About HSUS
Subscribe to Wayne Pacelle’s blog, A Humane Nation. Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your Apple or Android device by searching for our “Humane TV” app.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated the most effective by its peers. Since 1954, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. We rescue and care for tens of thousands of animals each year, but our primary mission is to prevent cruelty before it occurs. We're there for all animals, across America and around the world. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty – on the Web at humanesociety.org.

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

About AWI
The Animal Welfare Institute (www.awionline.org) is a non-profit charitable organization founded in 1951 and dedicated to reducing animal suffering caused by people. AWI engages policymakers, scientists, industry, and the public to achieve better treatment of animals everywhere—in the laboratory, on the farm, in commerce, at home, and in the wild. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates and other important animal protection news.

 

ASPCA urges support for the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act to ban horse slaughter

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced in a new poll just conducted by Lake Research Partners that 70 percent of New Mexico voters are opposed to the slaughter of U.S. horses for human consumption and do not want a horse slaughter plant in their community. The statewide survey reveals that New Mexicans overwhelmingly oppose horse slaughter regardless of their political affiliation, gender, ethnicity, geographic location or whether they live in an urban or rural area. Last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced its plan to process an application for inspecting horse slaughter at a Roswell, N.M. facility. If the application is approved, Valley Meat Company LLC will be the first facility in the U.S. to slaughter horses for human consumption since 2007, when the few remaining plants closed and Congress chose to suspend funding for any further horse meat inspections.

“There is broad consensus in New Mexico, as there is throughout the nation, that our horses deserve more than to be shuttled off to a gruesome death and served abroad as a toxic delicacy,” said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA Government Relations. “With nearly three quarters of all registered voters in the state in opposition to the slaughtering of American horses, opening a horse slaughterhouse in New Mexico clearly flies in the face of public opinion, and using our precious tax dollars to enable horse slaughter on U.S. soil is even more tone deaf. Enacting a ban on horse slaughter has never been more urgent.”

According to the new research, 7 in 10 New Mexico registered voters are opposed to allowing American horses to be slaughtered for human consumption, with 55 percent in strong opposition to the practice. In addition, 70 percent of New Mexico voters do not want a horse slaughter plant in their community, with just 20 percent of voters supporting such a facility. Furthermore, opposition to a horse slaughtering facility extends across race, age, partisan, and geographic divides with 76 percent of Hispanic voters and 66 percent of Anglos disapproving of such a facility.

“In every way, shape and form, New Mexicans continue to reject the idea of a horse slaughter plant in our state,” said Lisa Jennings, executive director of Animal Protection of New Mexico. “New Mexico benefits from living and thriving horses, not dead ones. We're determined to continue developing a robust equine safety net, not condemn horses to a slaughter pipeline that will guarantee the misery continues.”

The surprising move toward a resumption of domestic horse slaughter comes in the wake of the scandal unfolding in the European Union, where consumers have been alarmed by the discovery of horse meat mislabeled as beef in prepared food products ranging from lasagna to meatballs. Horses are routinely given medications and other substances that are toxic to humans and are expressly forbidden by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in animals intended for human consumption. Last month, U.S. Sens. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Reps. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., and Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., introduced the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act to prevent the introduction of horse slaughter operations in the U.S., end the current export of American horses for slaughter abroad, and protect the public from consuming toxic horse meat.

Horse slaughter is inherently cruel and often erroneously compared to humane euthanasia. The methods used to slaughter horses rarely result in quick, painless deaths, as horses are difficult to stun and often remain conscious during their butchering and dismemberment. Whether slaughter occurs in the U.S. or abroad, these equines suffer incredible abuse even before they arrive at the slaughterhouse, often transported for more than 24 hours at a time without food, water or rest, in dangerously overcrowded trailers where the animals are often seriously injured or even killed in transit. The majority of horses killed for human consumption are young, healthy animals who could go on to lead productive lives with loving owners. Last year, more than 160,000 American horses were sent to a cruel death by a grisly foreign industry that produces unsafe food for consumers.

To learn more about the ASPCA’s efforts to ban horse slaughter or support the SAFE Act, please visit www.aspca.org.

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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ASPCA, Equestrian Sport Productions and Gold Coast Feed launch new initiative
to help Florida equine rescues care for at-risk horses

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®), Equestrian Sport Productions and Gold Coast Feed have partnered to launch the ASPCA Hay It Forward project, designed to raise awareness of equine welfare issues while providing much needed hay to local equine rescue organizations in the Wellington, Fla. community. Gold Coast Feed is currently accepting donations for the project, which can be made by purchasing hay directly from the supplier. The ASPCA and Equestrian Sport Productions will identify local equine rescue groups in need of hay, and it will be distributed to recipients throughout South Florida. If successful, this program could serve as a model for other regions of the country.

The ASPCA Hay It Forward program celebrated its official launch at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center on March 16. ASPCA Equine Welfare Ambassadors Hayley Barnhill, Georgina Bloomberg, Brianne Goutal, Paige Johnson, Stacia Madden, and Jessica Springsteen, joined ASPCA advocacy officials, Mark Bellissimo, CEO of Equestrian Sport Productions, and other VIPs for a reception at the new ringside Nespresso Boutique to raise awareness about the many grave issues impacting horses today, including the threat of horse slaughter. As long as horse slaughter remains a legal option, the rescue network is a critical safety net to ensure that every horse has a place to go. Most rescues are able to rehome horses and prevent otherwise healthy horses from being purchased by kill buyers.

“The ASPCA is proud to be joining forces with Equestrian Sport Productions and Gold Coast Feed to help at-risk horses and provide much needed aid to local equine rescue groups,” said Valerie Angeli, senior director of equine and special projects for the ASPCA. “This program encourages equestrians to give back to the local community and brings attention to the fact that there are many horses in this country facing an uncertain future who need our voice and assistance.”

"The price of hay has been impacted by fires and droughts, so hay has become a precious commodity for horse owners. Rescue groups operating on small donations are always struggling to afford feed, and I think it is our duty as equestrians to make an effort for horses at risk who are not as lucky as the show horses competing at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington,” added Georgina Bloomberg, ASPCA Equine Welfare Ambassador. “I am excited that there are some amazing horse rescue groups in the Wellington, South Florida area that will benefit from this program, and I am happy that this community is stepping up to assist the ASPCA in helping horses who need our voice."

"We are excited about working with the ASPCA Hay It Forward project, another great example of working collaboratively for the benefit of the equestrian community,” said Mark Bellissimo, CEO of Equestrian Sport Productions. “We hope everyone will participate."

"This has been a really good project for the Wellington horse show community and we have enjoyed being part of such a great cause,” said Barbara Stanfield, a representative from Gold Coast Feed. “We are all horse people, so it is amazing that so few of us are aware of critical equine welfare issues, and the many unlucky horses who need help.”

“The ASPCA Hay It Forward project is a supplemental program to our existing Hay Bale Out grants program, which helps feed hungry horses across the United States,” said Jacque Schultz, senior director of the ASPCA Equine Fund. “This new initiative allows us to dedicate even more resources to at-risk horses, and we are honored to be a part of this program.”

In 2012, the ASPCA Equine Fund awarded $1.8 million in the form of over 250 grants to equine welfare groups throughout the United States. The ASPCA Equine Fund provides grants to non-profit equine welfare organizations in the United States for purposes in alignment with their efforts to protect horses. The grants program seeks to award equine organizations who strive to achieve best practices, including sound horse care, maintenance of updated websites and robust fundraising practices.

To make a donation to the ASPCA Hay It Forward project, contact Gold Coast Feed at (561) 793-4607. To learn more about the ASPCA’s advocacy efforts for horses, the ASPCA Equine Fund and the Hay It Forward project, visit www.aspca.org/horse.

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Wellington Equestrian Partners
Wellington Equestrian Partners is the group of investors that provides guidance for its subsidiary, Equestrian Sport Productions. ESP owns and operates 42 weeks of USEF rated horse shows from September through June at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida, including the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival. The FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) is the world's largest and longest running equestrian competition. The 12-week event, which runs from January 9 through March 31, awards over $7 million dollars in prize money and hosts 5,000 horses and 2,800 riders from 50 states and 33 countries.

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