"I was so ashamed of the fact that I didn't know about horse slaughter," Madeleine Pickens said. "I wish somebody had exposed me to this before, and this was a way to let people know about what is going on and to voice their opinions either way."Pickens has been in the horse industry since 1983 and, along with her late husband, Allen Paulson, campaigned the champion racehorse Cigar. "I felt like I really needed to stand for something that I believe in. I'm not trying to hurt anybody, she said. "I have had a tremendous life in the horse business, and I've reached every high that you can achieve. I've had a full life with the horse, and I do have a responsibility to share the information that I have now with people." One of the major concerns for those who are against the bill is what will happen to horses previously destined for slaughter. "Welfare is the biggest concern for those horses that would be impacted by a ban on slaughter," Dr. Bonnie Beaver said during testimony at the Committee on Agriculture's hearing in July. "It does not address financial support required for the support of these horses. Watching a horse slowly die from starvation or disease is not only distressing, it is cruel."
Both sides agreed that the legislation elicits emotions because the horse is viewed differently in America than other livestock due to its place in history and the bond many people form with their horses.