“SAVING AMERICA’S HORSES: A NATION BETRAYED” tells the story of how one of America’s most treasured and iconic species struggles to survive in a world where two camps claim to be saving them; one that actually does, and the other that is instead found to be brutally eliminating them and driving them to extinction.
As the Bureau of Land Management exterminates the last of America’s wild horses and burros in the wild, and thousands of wild and domestic equines are systemically mistreated, removed, and transported for human consumption abroad, and as the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act and Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act which are meant to protect them are left virtually worthless, SAVING AMERICA’S HORSES introduces hope.
Can we preserve and protect one of America’s most iconic species before they become extinct in the wild and reverse the degradation to open rangelands caused by their removal? Can we reduce the 1% of the 9 million domestic horses deemed as surplus by curbing breeding practices? Can we reverse the negative impact that slaughtering horses takes against the US Gross Domestic Product in which live horses otherwise contribute over $112.1 BILLION to a year, by implementing responsible management practices & reabsorbing the tiny fraction of any surplus population back into the equine communities? Can we find harmony amongst the competing interests of agriculture, industry, energy, public land acquisition, recreation and urban sprawl?
At the turn of the century there were millions of wild horses on the open range, but independent studies of the Bureau of Land Management’s data indicates there may now be less than 15,000 in the entire United States. There are over 200 million acres of rangelands in the U.S. where these horses could roam freely, but they are quickly being eliminated by the same governmental agencies that claim to protect them. Unless action is taken, America’s wild equids will continue to vanish – a potentially catastrophic scenario for generations to come.
Resounding evidence of unspeakable cruelties, egregious violations and a lack of enforcement by the USDA in U.S. slaughterhouses led Congress to the defunding of USDA inspections in 2007. That protective language was later quietly stripped from the annual appropriations bill in Nov 2011 by the powerful pro-slaughter lobby which is working at lightning speed to reopen horse slaughter plants in the U.S. If action is not taken, the torturous agony caused to U.S. horses once they are designated as food animals will continue to escalate – a potentially devastating situation for America’s horses and to people on a global level.
SAVING AMERICA'S HORSES, the movie avoids graphic footage to ensure it is palatable for all audiences, with the aim of seeking the widest distribution possible.
In SAVING AMERICA’S HORSES, we meet Dr Nicholas Dodman – DVM, ACVA and ACVB, Co-Founder of Veterinarians for Equine Welfare (VEW), Dr Nena Winand, DVM, PhD – senior research associate in the department of Molecular Medicine, Cornell University, equine veterinarian, co-founder of VEW, and John Holland – acclaimed researcher, analyst and published author on the subject of horse slaughter, as they speak to the many toxic substances administered to U.S. horses that can cause lethal affects when ingested by humans.
We meet Twyla Francois – investigator and Central Region Director for the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition, and Henry Skjerven – former director of the debunked Natural Valley Farms horse slaughter plant in Canada, as they reflect of the dumping of raw toxic pollutants from Natural Valley Farms into major fresh water resources that provide drinking water to millions of people.
We meet Michael Blake – Academy Award Winning Screenwriter, DANCES WITH WOLVES, who shares his involvement with the BLM, their slaughter related activities and a wild horse stallion who survived them, and Paula Bacon – former Mayor of Kaufman, TX where one of the nation's last U.S. horse slaughter plants operated until 2007. Mayor Bacon was instrumental in drawing attention to the plant's numerous environmental violations and its negative impact upon the community, leading to the unanimous decision by the City's judicial board to close the plant.
We meet Craig Downer – renowned wildlife ecologist, wild horse expert and published author documenting the indigenous history of equines in North America, Neda DeMayo – wild horse expert and founder of Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary, Ginger Kathrens – Emmy Award-winning producer, cinematographer of the acclaimed Cloud: Wild Stallion Nature series on PBS, and we hear from Chief Arvol Looking Horse – spiritual leader among the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota People, and Golden Globe Award Winner Ken Wahl, who highlights Grand Jury investigations, GAO and Congressional reports that reveal the illegal and fraudulent trafficking of wild horses by the BLM for the purpose of slaughter.
We also meet jockeys, trainers, policymakers and celebrity horsemen including Linda Gray, Paul Sorvino and Willie Nelson as they share a broad and balanced reflection of compelling prevention, conservation and preservation ethics—ways that illuminates how letting go of the old can lead to paths of environmental replenishment, healing and harmonious coexistence.
Filmmaker Katia Louise together with Wild for Life Foundation’s educational program created SAVING AMERICA’S HORSES: A NATION BETRAYED as an educational social action tool for people who want to engage. Promoting wild horse conservation and preservation initiatives – the prevention of equine cruelty – and to support the return horse and burro populations to the wild and the provision of lifelong sanctuary for equines in need.
This monumental and pivotal body of work has raised the bar for animal welfare in the U.S., and has united equine advocates globally. "Saving America's Horses - A Nation Betrayed" serves as the go-to resource for journalists and news outlets seeking to find substantiated documentation and well-researched, shocking statistics regarding the illegal and fraudulent sale of equines for slaughter, and the very real possibility of their extinction in the wild. The facts, findings and statistics documented in "Saving America's Horses - A Nation Betrayed" have been featured in international news publications and syndicated news globally.
Armed with the true facts and uniting together to make our united voice heard for the horses and burros, we can educate and effect change. SAVING AMERICA’S HORSES: A NATION BETRAYED is a central tool in a larger grassroots effort focused on saving this indigenous species for the greater good, and supporting the wildlife and natural ecosystems that depend on them now and for generations to come.
Cast: Linda Grey, Tippi Hedren, Paul Sorvino, Ken Wahl and Willie Nelson.
(Theatrical Running time 91 minutes)
Opened in Theaters and qualified for Oscar consideration in Dec 2012
"Impassioned" — Hollywood Reporter
"Outstanding" - LA SPLASH MAGAZINE
“Unpacks a multi-layered conspiracy - fueled by a parade of misinformation- against the survival and proliferation of horses” - LA TIMES
"A provocative rallying cry for justice and integrity" - THE QUAD CINEMA, NYC
Accolades and Awards:
STATUS: Distribution TBA
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SAVING AMERICA'S HORSES is an educational project under The Wild for Life Foundation, (WFLF) a nonprofit 501 c3 charity dedicated to saving, protecting and preserving equines through education, sanctuary and rescue. WFLF informs, inspires, and empowers the public for the greater good in saving, preserving and protecting wild and domestic equines and their significant roles in our world’s ecosystem and history; for a better world now and for generations to come.
SAVING AMERICA'S HORSES is an educational project under Wild for Life Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) all volunteer nonprofit charity dedicated to saving, protecting and preserving wild and domestic equines through education. rescue and sanctuary.