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9-Year-Old Boy Petitions Congress To Stop Horse Slaughter

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Virginia representative Jim Moran meets with young Declan Gregg at the capitol to help stop the slaughter of horses.
Matt Laslo
Virginia representative Jim Moran meets with young Declan Gregg at the capitol to help stop the slaughter of horses.

In renewing an effort to permanently ban horse slaughter in the U.S., Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) is getting some help from a 9-year-old.

Declan Gregg says he first learned that horses were being slaughtered in the U.S. for human consumption overseas last year. He says it made him feel terrible, so he started a blog and got a letter writing campaign under way. Today, Declan delivered more than 1,000 of those letters to lawmakers and to the president.

"Just because we are children doesn't mean we can't stand up for what we believe in," says Declan. "We are citizens of this country and decisions made by adults affect us too."

A ban on horse slaughter was lifted last fall -- a move Moran says was a mistake -- after being initiated by the Republican-controlled House.

"The truth is that horses are not raised or thought of as food production animals," says Rep. Moran. "They're treasured and loyal companion animals. That's why Americans revere them, why the public rejects slaughtering them for human consumption."

Supporters of horse consumption are working to open plants in at least four states, though many local communities are pushing back against them.

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