Advocating for Horses
How Equine Rescues Can Advocate for Horses
Equine rescues are the ideal resource for all levels of government when it comes to policies impacting equine care and well-being. There are many ways that rescues can advocate for horses on the federal, state and local level, from posting action alerts to your Facebook page to hosting an open house at the rescue featuring elected officials. Here are some of the tools that you can you use to advocate for horses:
1. Phone calls or letters from the rescue, as well as from supporters, to local/state/federal representatives urging co-sponsorship of a bill is a direct form of contact.
2. Social media can be used, such as Twitter or Facebook, to ask followers to contact their legislators regarding a specific issue. Information can be provided on how to take action and can include links to specific action alerts or online petitions.
3. Face-to-face meetings with federal and state legislators in their state/district offices are a very effective advocacy tool. In fact, keeping your actions local is far more effective than spending valuable resources to travel to Washington, DC in many cases. In addition, rescues can attend Town Hall meetings as well as testify at federal, state or local hearings on horse related bills or policies.
4. Letters to the editor and op-eds can be sent to newspapers. Posting comments on articles about a horse-related bill or issue is also a good way to make your voice heard. Similarly, sharing and tweeting positive articles through social media channels will increase the exposure of the issue to a wider audience. Please remember to be professional, factual and concise with your message.
5. Joining statewide coalitions of animal advocates can keep a rescue plugged in to those local/state issues that impact horses, and provide a broader base of support for activism than the rescue alone can generate. Legislators can also be invited to tour rescue facilities where they can see, firsthand, horses that were at risk and could be helped by passage of horse related bills. Likewise, local media can be invited to take a tour (either during a legislator’s visit, or separately). A key rescue spokesperson should be prepared to talk to reporters about pertinent bills, and press packets on the issues should be made available.
The links below will lead you to resources that will help you in your advocacy for equines:
Compassion Index: A comprehensive website with information on federal legislators, bills, media resources and more. You can use the Compassion Index to Take Action and to Find Your Legislator, view their animal welfare-related legislative decisions, and see how much compassion they show on important animal protection measures currently before Congress.
Use the Media Search Page to find and contact both local and national media outlets.
What You Can Do About Horse Slaughter: The HSUS Horse Slaughter Tool Kit-end horse slaughter and the transport of horses to slaughter in Canada and Mexico.
What You Can Do To Stop Soring: The HSUS Horse Soring Tool Kit-end the cycle of cruelty in the Tennessee Walking Horse Industry.
Horse Slaughter Prevention: Animal Welfare Institute page with details, facts and background information on the national campaign to end horse slaughter in the U.S.
Congress.gov – The Official Website of The Library of Congress
Online information about current and past legislation, U.S. Code, the Supreme Court, the U.S. Constitution, legislative calendars, congressional floor schedules and more.
Make Your Voice Heard
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Conducting Lobbying and Legislative Activities
ASPCA Professional Webinar