A new documentary, "Saving America's Horses: A Nation Betrayed," opens Friday in New York City. The film is presented by New York's QUAD Cinema, IMA Studios, WFLF Humanion Films and The Triumph Project and is written and directed by filmmaker Katia Louise.
Featuring interviews with veterinarians, trainers, academics, investigators, policymakers and members of the equine community, including Paul Sorvino, Linda Gray, Tippi Hedren, and Willie Nelson, the film addresses a question that recently prompted the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, to threaten to "punch out" a reporter who asked him if "any changes need to take place in the system in terms of safeguarding America's wild and domestic horses."
Louise and her organization, the Wild for Life Foundation, ask the same question in her investigation of the economic, environmental, public health and ethical issues surrounding the slaughter of both wild and domestic horses for their meat. As she notes, the cost of round up and removal of wild horses from the public lands and holding them long term continues to increase (now budgeted at more than $40 million a year); European demand for horsemeat continues to be satisfied illegally; the unregulated slaughter of horses pollutes the land and brings pain and suffering to the animals.
The film brings together a wide spectrum of hard-hitting and opposing viewpoints. The victims run the gamut, from those who eat the meat filled with carcinogens and harmful drugs, to the horses themselves - wild horses poached from government land, Thoroughbred race horses who pass through the system into oblivion, or domestic horses who outlive their welcome and are sent to slaughter.