Bill aims to stop horses promised to good homes from ending up a - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Bill aims to stop horses promised to good homes from ending up at slaughterhouses

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Rep. Diana Urban said she outbid a kill buyer to get her horse, Ella. (WFSB photo) Rep. Diana Urban said she outbid a kill buyer to get her horse, Ella. (WFSB photo)
NORTH STONINGTON, CT (WFSB) -

Horses sold in Connecticut are possibly being shipped to be slaughtered and sold for meat.

Some of their owners said they were promised the animals would go to a good home.

Animal activists and lawmakers are trying to change that.

Ella's chances of living were very slim.

"She had a four digit number glued to her back," said Rep. Diana Urban, 43rd District. "When I got her, the glue was still there because she had already been picked by the kill buyer."

Now, she's on a farm where she can roam.

Urban said she outbid the kill buyer.

Beforehand, however, Ella was sent to one of the biggest horse auctions in New Holland, PA.

Those who usually buy the horses are kill buyers.

The animals are then sent to Mexico or Canada to be slaughtered. Their meat is sold to places in Europe and Japan, according to Urban.

Urban said the treatment at the auctions needs to change.

"If the horse gets out of control on the transport they will stab them in the eye with a screw driver because then the horse will hunker down and try to take care of themselves," she said.

After Urban bought Ella earlier this summer, Ella was put in quarantine for five weeks and had many injuries.

"She came up with both hind legs ripped up from falling on asphalt because they had beaten her to get some place," Urban said.

Ella's legs have since healed, but a scar remains on her neck.

"You can see there is this huge divot," Urban said.

Many horse owners who can't afford to keep these pets, or have a change of circumstances, sell them to local farms at a low price.

Some buyers promise that the horses will go to a good home.

That's not always the case, Urban said.

Many head to auctions to likely get slaughtered.

It happened to Susan Mitchell when she traded in one horse for another.

"I went back to see her three days later and she wasn't there and I was devastated and said, 'where is she?'" Mitchell said. "And he said 'you didn't think I was keeping her did you?' And those were his exact words. I will never forget it and I said 'I did!' He said 'no, she went to New Holland.'"

Urban said she's working on a bill with the help of a new group called the Equine Protection Legislative Working Group.

Mitchell said she's also a part of the effort.

They said they want Connecticut horse buyers to write up a contract showing where the horse will end up.

"You need to know if your horse is moving on, that you don't have the money to continue to keep that horse [and] be sure they know where the horse is going," Urban said.

Urban said she's pushing the bill because the situations often don't have a happy ending.

With the bill, she said buyers would have that knowledge.

"We've made the world a little bit better and that's what I think the whole thing is all about," Urban said.

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