My View From The Country

Horse Slaughter Set To Resume, Or Is It?

While prospective plants are indicating they will soon be ready to resume horse slaughter, it may be premature to say that the industry has indeed returned to the U.S.

The last plant to process horses in the U.S. closed six years ago. The result was a decline in the value of horses, increased cases of horse abuse, and an exodus of horses moving across the border to be processed in plants that were possibly not subject to the same standards as U.S. plants.

The ban on horse slaughter in the U.S. expired in 2011, but USDA kept the ban alive, in effect, by not issuing inspectors to the plants. USDA subsequently lost a lawsuit whereby the agency was instructed to begin to provide inspection services. Two plants – the first in New Mexico and the second in Iowa – have now received USDA approval. In addition, a third plant, this one in Missouri, has asked for, and is expected to receive, permission as well.

 

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There’s been a lot of excitement within the horse industry that the return of horse slaughter to the U.S. will eliminate many problems the industry has experienced – on both the price and humane care fronts – since the processing ban was initiated. While the prospective plants are all indicating that they will ramp up production, it may be premature to say that the return of horse slaughter has indeed returned to the U.S.

The Humane Society of the U.S. has filed suit requesting injunctive relief to stop the processing of horses, and the Obama administration has requested Congress to reinstitute the ban. With the political polarity in Congress, no one can predict that such a ban will be reinstituted, but the question is whether the plants have enough confidence that the ban will remain shelved if the House majority reverts back to the Democrats in 2014. The way seems to be cleared for a reinstitution of horse slaughter, but the hurdles remain.

 

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Discuss this Blog Entry 92

Debbie (not verified)
on Jul 11, 2013

HOW can you honestly say this

(There’s been a lot of excitement within the horse industry that the return of horse slaughter to the U.S. will eliminate many problems the industry has experienced – on both the price and humane care fronts – since the processing ban was initiated. While the prospective plants are all indicating that they will ramp up production, it may be premature to say that the return of horse slaughter has indeed returned to the U.S )

Knowing we have never NOT had slaughter more horses than ever went across the borders last year and AQHA REG 150,000 foals last year ???? NOW you tell me what IS the problem cause as you can see slaughter does NOT make any difference on helping with to many horses, it actually endorsees over breeding and abuse it is a dumping ground, we have had slaughter what 30 40 years has it made any difference??? I'll answer that NO and it won't until that is NOT an option to just dump horses left and right..... PEOPLE need to be held accountable stop punishing the horses for our irresponsibility... There is NO EXCUSE and there is NO more abused horses NOW that's BULL, now there will be ignorant people always that have animal's that should not but that has nothing to do with slaughter... You know I had no idea this was going on until about a year and a half ago found out by accident and I have horses I knew we did not have slaughter but had know idea we were still sending horses across the borders so I researched with an open mind to find all the players all the reasoning and what I found out was so obvious so in your face PRO SLAUGHTER lies they lie to drum up business, if there was not a market for horse meat do you think they would be opening horse slaughter plants to help all the horses, oh my goodness, this is a no brainer, we as a nation could start up all kinds of programs use that money toward good for us and horses instead of $400,000 a plant a year of my tax dollar killing horses for Foreign interest that has NO economic value other than the monetary few in the business but a whole lot of economic value to Foreign company's who are backing these plants.... Honestly WHAT do people not get???? I can't understand the whole issue, here it is 2013 and we are STILL debating this, it's stupid a waste when we could have so many positives from horses and people......... I mean I have not even gotten to all the drugs horses take and USDA say's it's ok not to worry, yet when we had it before they said JUST the opposite and also documented horses were NOT being humanly slaughtered oh but don't worry it will be now, like I said IT IS CRAZY...... END IT once and for all for god sake.......

on Jul 12, 2013

There are too many horses in this country. There needs to be a viable option for the reduction in their numbers. Over 150,000 went to slaughter in Mexico and Canada last year. Over 100,00 each year since the domestic plants closed down. Horses live to be 25-30 years old. There aren't enough homes/shelters to take in even a small percentage of that number. Breeding has reduced dramatically, but it will be a long time before the numbers come down to a more manageable level. It would be great if there was a home for every horse needing one, and I wish there was another solution. If horses are going to be slaughtered anyway, I would rather it was in US plants, under US regulations. It will provide much needed jobs and less transportation stress on the horses. Horses are beloved in this country, so it has brought a lot of emotion to this issue. Emotions can cloud reality.

on Jul 12, 2013

Yes, emotions can cloud reality and your post demonstrates that. If there is too much of anything, the proper way to reduce inventory so that it that meets the demand is to cut back on production. Smart business people do not continue to over produce and destroy the excess. If you don’t address the root cause of the over production, it is never corrected. That couldn’t be more evident than with horse slaughter. We’ve had horse slaughter without any stoppage for decades and yet, you are saying there are too many horses. How many more years of slaughter do you need before it becomes a solution? The “excess” horses were slaughtered last year so why are there still too many horses? Stop the overbreeding and the problem is solved. Unless, of course, too many horses isn’t the reason that slaughter exists.

Gloria Eighmey (not verified)
on Jul 12, 2013

A course there is no way the rescues can ever rescue all the horses sold for slaughter. Slaughter makes that impossible. A rescue is suppose to be horses GIVIN them . Resues cant BUY out a whole industry. Which is what horse slaughter is. Horse rescues have for years been spending so much money on having to out bid and BUY horses bound for slaughter. And that solves nothing. As there would still be demand and profit to be made in the slaughter market. So yet even more horses would then be bred to fill the profitable slaughter market demand. The rescues could very likely handle the amount of unwanted horses that were GIVEN to them by owners that no longer wanted them if they didn't have to be endlessly spending there resources for years trying to save horses from the slaughter market and have to compete with the kill Byers BUYING them. They cant rescue the endless 150,000 excess horses a yeart that will ALWAYS be breed as long as their is still a profitable slaughter market demand. Recues can never resue all the unwanted horses intell all profitable horse slaughter ends. And its absured to call slaughter horses unwanted. They are no more unwanted then the cattle that are also sold to the slaughter market for money and profit .Any industry is going to produce as much of their product as what their is profit and demand for. You can't have a profitable horse slaughter market for 150,000 horses a year and not expect that many excess horses to be bred to fill that profitable market.

Debbie (not verified)
on Jul 13, 2013

Very well put indeed and it is what has been happening for decades!

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 2, 2013

I really like it when horse people do not keep track of what it cost to feed a horse. No breeder will ever breed horses for kill market with the feed prices. It takes 3-5 years on a horse to be full grown. Let me know if you can feed a horse for less than 300-500 a year and I think these estimates are low in any state with winter. Take $400x3 years is $1200 for feed. Last time I checked kill martket is $.20-$.30 cents per lb. Take a big 1300 lb horse...most are closer to 1000 lbs....1300x$.30= $390. Not sure where you went to school or learned how to do Math. But there is no way anyone raises horses for kill anymore. Another person with their made up facts.

A.M.B. (not verified)
on Jul 13, 2013

Very well put, Vicki.

B.D. Williams (not verified)
on Jul 12, 2013

Horses have a 10% mortality rate every year. That means nearly 1,000,000 (a million) horses DIE every year in the USA from ways other than slaughter. Sending 100,000 horses to be slaughtered is a drop in the bucket. Also, these horses slaughtered are young, healthy horses. The old, sick, and crippled horses are not the ones bought by killer buyers.

Instead of worrying about killing animals already alive, why don't we target the ones producing more horses than we need? 70-80% of horses slaughtered when the American plants were up and running were "stock type" horses, Quarter Horses, Paints, and grades of unknown breeding that resembled Quarter Horses. The rest were large ponies and Thoroughbreds. To stem the flow of breeding, we need to see more gelding incentives from registries, free or reduced priced gelding services, and fewer "futurities" in shows and racing. Do AWAY with racing or showing horses younger than 4 yrs old, and you'd see far fewer horses being bred. Breeding horses for longevity and durability would come back in style, so they can show/race longer. Bring back long format racing, heat racing, and steeple chasing to give race horses longer careers. Running or showing 2 and 3 yr old horses is detrimental to their long term soundness and health.
Read: http://www.equine-reproduction.com/articles/Horse-Lovers.shtml

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jul 12, 2013

!st horse slaughter plants do not employ a lot of people. 2nd the breeding has not been slowed down. 3rd there are a large number of horse stolen and sent to slaughter 4th It is not humane. Sometimes horses 9 times hit with captive bolt and horse is still awake when butchers start. We are supposed to be a civilized country.

evan de boer (not verified)
on Jul 13, 2013

The horse business employs, sale barns, truckers, bankers, ranchers, order buyers, hay haulers. it's huge. ohh and just let the government dictate how many stud horses there are and see how that works. and who's going to steal a horse that's not worth anything if you can't do anything with it. And while it's apparently inhumane. take out your teeth go to a steak house. and tell me how death treats you. when u can't chew your food. an d starve

elizabeth (not verified)
on Jul 16, 2013

Before you take your teeth out and go to a steakhouse and starve, try calling a vet to put that horse down with an injection, not REWARD the horse abuser with selling the horse to slaughter.

When the slaughter kill buyers STOP Transporting, the horses and close the slaughter market, the population will go down and will stabilize and formerly abused or starved horses will be euthanized by vets by owners out of fear of being jailed and fined for abuse! How is that for a SOLUTION WITHOUT SLAUGHTER!!!!

Jenn (not verified)
on Jul 12, 2013

Well-said, Maureen. There has actually been a lot of correction in the industry too, as a whole. Breeders have stopped breeding, or significantly reduced their numbers, not only due to closure of the processing facilities, but also due to the economy. The argument that you should be responsible for your horse for the life of the horse is really not an accurate one, as people's financial situations change. If you have a car payment, for instance, and you lose your job, you may have to sell your car. There's always a market for that because there is salvage value on your car. With no killer market there's no bottom for you horse, so you may or may not be able to sell him, give him away, or even get a rescue to take him (as many of them are at capacity). So what are you supposed to do with him, I ask (not you, Maureen, but the naysayers)? If you can't feed yourself, make your rent, or take care of your family what business do you have trying to throw a horse into the mix? By the last set of data on the horse industry, most horse owners made between 25-75k/year. Hardly the "wealthy".

on Jul 12, 2013

Jean , First off.You talk as though the slaughter option ended. So it cant be a solution. What a crock. What part of " THE SLAUGHTER OPTION NEVER ENDED" do pro slaughter people not get? (Actually, what they PRETEND not to get. ) The pro slaughter people just ignore the recession that has affected all businesses, and continue to parrot their proven lie that the closing of the U.S. plants is what caused any and all horse problems, including more unwanted , abandoned,starving or abused horses When that's IMPOSSIBLE! Because horse slaughter and the slaughter option has never ended! There are more horses sold to slaughter now than before the U.S. horse slaughter plants were closed. . You can't attribute negative consequences to something that HASN'T CHANGED. If people wanted to sell their horse to slaughter, THEY STILL COULD. They can take them to any horse auction in the country and the kill buyers are still there buying as many or more horses then ever .

on Jul 12, 2013

Jean, With less horses wanted for the live market due to our recession, Breeding finally has cut down some . But not enough. But it doesn't matter anyway how much it has been cut down. It needs to be cut down to WHAT ever level the live horse supply and demand can support. And ONLY the live horse demand. Not the slaughter demand. It has to cut down enough more to also include those horses sold to the profitable horse slaughter market . And it NEVER will as long as there is a profitable horse slaughter market.. Calling the horses sold to slaughter as unwanted is as absurd as calling cattle sold to slaughter unwanted. They are both filling a profitable market demand. Horse slaughter, is the same as any profitable business market. .Any industry is going to produce as much of their product as what their is profit and demand for. You can't have a profitable horse slaughter market for 150,000 horses a year and not expect that many excess horses to be bred to fill that profitable market. . Its called supply and demand. Which is 7th grade basic economics 101 that our democratic free enterprise country is based on.Stop pretending that by some miraculous mystery the horse industry does not work on the same laws and principles of supply and demand as every other Horse slaughter is the same as ANY business. Its purpose is to make money. If there is a market demand and money to be made there is going to be enough of that product produced to fill that profitable market.

on Jul 12, 2013

vickitobin , So right! Pro slaughter continually claims slaughter is necessary because of too many excess unwanted horses. What causes excess horses? Obviously too many horses being bred. Pro slaughter's solution? Having a slaughter business that BUYs 150,000 horses a year.You know, pays people money to sell them their horse. Yah ,that sure is a good incentive to stop people from breeding too many horses all right. That sure will solve the problem. What? You mean you've been doing this for over 30 years and there are still too many horses being bred. Hmm; just cant figure that one out./ For over 30 years the US has continuously sold on average over 100,000 horses a year for slaughter. Yet pro slaughter has continuously claimed there is still a glut of "unwanted" horses for which horse slaughter is the solution. Horse slaughter hasn't worked. If it had worked, in a few years time there would not still have been any excess horses available to sell to the slaughter market. Certainly not a sustainable 100,000 plus horses a year. Thirty years is enough time to prove slaughter is NOT the answer. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Isn't it time we end this predatory business once and for all and try something new?

Terri Russell (not verified)
on Jul 12, 2013

re Are Many Other Options. Rescues Are Springing Up A You Type Your Post. There's euthanization, There Are Gelding Clinics. This Is Not Helping Any Overpopulation Issue. IT Never Did. Regulation Is No Better In This Country Than Any Other, Just Look At The Facts, PaSt History. The Big Breedrrs Are Still over Breeding. Stop BreDing. Furthermore, They Take Our Food Inspection Taxes To Use On Horse Meat. Its My Money And I Want It Used For Food That We Eat, Not Borse meat.

on Jul 12, 2013

Really.You seem to think anti slaughter are blind to the fact that thousands of horses are sold for slaughter and shipped to Mexico. When All the anti horse slaughter people care about this. That is why for the anti horse slaughter people have been trying to get passed the anti horse slaughter bills passed that would ban ALL horse slaughter, including those transported out of the country for slaughter.As I'm sure you actually know that is what the S 541, the Safeguard American Food Exports Act bills are for. What is beyond absurd is the pro slaughter people feigning concern over the horses being shipped out of country to be slaughtered when they are the very ones stopping the bill banning it from being passed.And by the way, Canada and even the US horses that go to Mexico go to two EU approved plants which must follow EU humane standards, Which are the same as the US slaughter plants. And the canada and Mexico plants are closer to a lot of places in the US then our plants. And horses will STILL be shipped there. When our plants were still open 30% of our horses were still shipped to Mexico and Canada to be slaughtered. Gloria Eighmey

Gloria Eighmey (not verified)
on Jul 12, 2013

Maureen and Jean, .You ask what can people do who no longer can afford their horse? For city horses.If they even had boarded the horse at a low city cost of $250 a month and keep the horse only 5 years they spent minimal of $15,000 If they boarded at $350 for 25 years they spent $105,000 . I think before they went totally penniless. Instead of paying one more months board to enjoy their horse, they could instead use it to have the horse euthanized ,buried or picked up for rendering. Or their meat could be DONATED to Zoos and large animal sanctuaries . But the vast majority of horses are in the rural country areas. .If the horse is put down by a correctly placed bullet to the brain for one dollar, then it is not even required to be buried or picked up. Because then it has no toxic euthanizing medicine in it to poison the predatory animals. As the coyotes and other predators dispose of the horses body in a months time. Just as they do dead deer. Cattlemen do this all the time. You don't really think all the cattlemen bury every cow that does on their property do you ? Vive lived in rural areas surrounded by neighbors who raise cattle . And I know as well as you most are just drug off .The horse can be put down while he is happily and peacefully eating his last bucket of grain. This can be done in his known familiar surroundings with honor, caring and gratitude given the horse. Which is what many honorable ranchers and country people have always done rather than choosing to make some money by allowing their old friend or work partner to be sold to the horror filled slaughter market that GUARANTEES an endless cycle of over breeding. Creating excess horses that supply the profitable horse slaughter business.Its not a matter of no way to get rid of their horse companion and sports partner. Its a matter of wanting to make a little greedy money in the process. The facts and reasoning's given by anti horse slaughter are very substantial and solid. Its not emotion that are clouding anti slaughters logic and judgment on the issue. Its the color green clouding proslaughters judgment. And yes , Even the ones that actually Love their horse .Or what pro slaughter considers sentimental emotional reasons such as believing its right to show respect , honor, compassion and responsibility for a horse they chose to get . Instead of choosing to sell out a partner or friend to a horse filled slaughter death for a little money. Yah that sure is teaching kind of principles and behavior that our county should want our children to form . Yah have and use your friends as long as its of benefit to you in till is not convenient for you anymore. Then it's fine to sell your friend out to a horrible circumstance if you can make a little money at it. Its the same concept , behavior and principle. Gloria Eighmey

NY Horseman (not verified)
on Jul 12, 2013

Playing the emotion card doesn't prove anything, though since you brought up, emotions are rampant in the pro-slaughter camp, as they have no verifiable facts and ignore science. Bute is banned in food animals. Banned means banned. How much simpler does it get than, it's not legal to use the human food supply as a disposal system for these drugs?

Horses are classified as companion (not food) animals by FDA. Because of that classification (non food) horses are allowed companion animal medications prohibited in food animals. But you know all that.
Do you really think putting frog juice, cobra venom and the latest performance cocktails into kid's lunches is legal? Shipping your discarded broodmare, so miscarriage-causing drugs wind up in hospital meals? Even USDA admits America's food supply is safer from contamination like happened in EU, because we don't have domestic horse slaughter.

Small, back yard breeders are still breeding horses without a future, as is the racing industry.

You say that horses live 25 years and that's why you need to slaughter them, but the facts don't back that up = most slaughtered horses are - only - 7 years old.

Responsible horsemen - the ones with integrity - call a vet at the end of a horse's life. Communities don't want these plants, or the workers that data show bring skyrocketing violent crime levels, including rape and assault. A horse slaughter plant is a blight on any community.

The facts speak for themselves, horse slaughter does not slow over breeding, backyard breeders and production breeders need to solve that problem or the government will step in and do it for them.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 2, 2013

First of all where do you get your facts? More opinion here than fact. 2nd we need less government and lobbying PETA Humane goofs.

Debbie (not verified)
on Jul 13, 2013

YES MAME I do have emotion, and I am proud of it just wish more would, stop the over breeding Org like AQHA they are out of control and a BIG backer of horse slaughter did you know that was one of the org. that got the three dirty duo's that took out the defunding language behind closed doors, oh yeah, so let's stop this breeding left and right then just throwing them away, IF people own horses just like my two golden retrievers & horses they are a responsibility MINE, OURS would I just throw my beloved dogs to slaughter and we have bye the way just incase you didn't know an over abundance of dogs & cats also, SO what right do we have to do it to horses, please answer that, cause there really is none, there is so much good we all could do millions of idea's that I have but you as you said we need a viable solution YOUR viable solution is toss them to slaughter, torture, how sad you are, instead of looking for ways to fix this issue you would rather endorse the very thing you just complained about an abundance of horses, slaughter allows that it endorsees it, cause NO ONE will change unless that is NOT VIABLE, can you honestly not see that seriously???

Brad (not verified)
on Jul 12, 2013

Processing plants pay for USDA service and inspectors. This isnt a free service provided by the government. Do more research and try again.

B.D. Williams (not verified)
on Jul 12, 2013

Not necessarily. That was one option given to horse slaughter plants before they closed. The USDA still pays inspectors to be trained. travel, and a base salary. USDA reports show that future inspectors will be provided by the government. These types of things can change with every budget. Do YOUR homework sir.

on Jul 12, 2013

Brad, are you not aware of the federal appropriations bill that provides the funding from taxpayer dollars for USDA inspections? When the funding for inspections was removed in 2006 and challenged, the federal courts ruled that It is a violation of the federal meat inspection act for anyone to provide inspections for horse slaughter plants other than the USDA. The plants are not paying for the inspectors, the government is with our tax dollars. So you and the 80% in the country that oppose horse slaughter are paying for the inspections. Who didn’t do their research?

Jenn (not verified)
on Jul 12, 2013

I do not believe 80% of the public is against this. I think 80% of the people polled in an HSUS/Peta Designed poll may be. But there's yet, as far as I know a poll designed in an unbiased manner. Most of the public has better things to worry about than this. Like where their next paycheck is coming from, and how they're putting supper on the table this week.

on Jul 12, 2013

It was not an HSUS/PETA type poll. Lake Research, a very well respected national polling firm, conducted the poll. Similar polls were also conducted in the states wanting to open plants and were overwhelmingly against horse slaughter.

I'm curious why slaughter supporters always give credit to HSUS & PETA. How about giving credit where it's due? The 80% is made up of horse owners, industry professionals, horse industry businesses, taxpayers that don't want to see their tax dollars wasted, residents from the communities where the plants will be located, etc. They are against horse slaughter whether or not HSUS or PETA exists.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jul 12, 2013

Actually there was a real life bona fied study done.

Debbie (not verified)
on Jul 13, 2013

Actually, I would bet my life that it is MORE than 80% because I did not take any poll and I am totally against horse slaughter and I am sure there are a lot more of me out there......... SO THERE

on Jul 16, 2013

It was NOT a HSUS/PETA designed poll. You REALLY need to do your homework. It WAS commissioned by the ASPCA, but the poll itself was done by THE most respected polling firm in the country - Lake Research Partners.

Polling 101 Every poll is commissioned by SOMEONE. They pay big bucks to these firms to learn what is REALLY happening. It would be of no use at all to a politician or anyone else if polling firms - legitimate ones, that is - designed their polls to reflect what the person who commissioned the poll WANTS TO HEAR. No one would pay for something like that, lame brain.

These people were carefully selected to form a cross section of men, women, horse owners and non-horse owners.

80% - INCLUDING horse owners were, not just against horse slaughter, but STRONGLY against horse slaughter. Facts are facts.

You also need to stop the recession game. The economy is much better, and not many jobs are being lost anymore. If you lost a job because of the recession, that would have been quite a while ago for the most part. Surely these jobless people didn't buy another horse! And anyway, WHAT does all this have to do with the poll? The selected cross-section of Americans were contacted BY Lake Research and asked a few questions.

You pro-slaughter dopes kill me. You don't have any facts on your side, so you write ridiculous crap like most people are too busy wondering where their next paycheck is coming from. If they didn't have time to answer Lake Research's questions, I'm sure they were free to hang up. GEEZ! How lame can you get?

Gloria Eighmey (not verified)
on Jul 12, 2013

Years ago a court ruling already ruled a plant cannot pay for its own inspections. If the meat is sold out of the state it is slaughtered in USDA MUST pay for the USDA inspections that are required.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jul 12, 2013

No they DO NOT BRAD. OUR tax money pays for inspection of the meat. You need to get your facts straight.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jul 16, 2013

you are right brad some people would have the government also tell you how many kids you can have, what is wrong with our country the bottom line is a horse is a horse not a human

on Jul 16, 2013

I don't know what the number of kids you have has to do with this discussion, but a horse may not be a human, but a horse is NOT a FOOD ANIMAL either, and are not fit for human consumption because of that little fact. Whether an animal is a food animal or not is FAR more than semantics. And you don't even know the difference, yet you are blowing off like you had a clue. Man, am I sick of ignorance polluting the discussions with their lack of knowledge.

on Jul 16, 2013

WRONG! TAX money pays for USDA slaughter plant inspections. YOU do more research and try again.

4doodlebug (not verified)
on Jul 12, 2013

I agree 100%. Why slaughter more horses, Oh I know, make more Gummy candy...wow, what a novel idea...so friggin sad!

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jul 16, 2013

what makes you think a horse is more human than a pig, cow or chicken get real, ive seen a large increase in very thin horses since the ban do you think that is better for horses, many people just let them starve and thats a sad death

on Jul 17, 2013

First - there was NO BAN. We sent thousands of our horses to slaughter in Mexico and Canada when our domestic plants were still running. When they closed, we started sending ALL our horses to Canada and Mexico for slaughter. Try to get your head around this - once and for all THE SLAUGHTER OPTION NEVER WENT AWAY. Is that clear enough, or shall I put it another way? How about we are slaughtering MORE horses now than we did when the domestic plants were open. That work? One more - We have had complete access to horse slaughter since the MIDDLE SEVENTIES, and yet you pro-slaughter parrots keep repeating junk about people starving and abusing horses. Well, IF they are, it's because they do not CHOOSE to send them to slaughter because it is certainly available.

By the way, neglect and starvation are crimes. Have you reported these thin, starving horses you've been seeing? If not, WHY not? Exactly where are these thin horses? You have pictures?

I can't remember anyone saying horses are "more human" than pigs. That doesn't make any sense. However, horses are not food animals because they are not raised to comply with food safety rules and pigs are.

The FDA considers horses to be companion animals and therefore permits their veterinary medications and universally used over-the-counter equine products such as fly spray to contain ingredients that are expressly banned for any use in any food animal ever. There are no withdrawal periods for banned substances. ONE use and that animal - pig, cow, horse or whatever - can NEVER enter the human food chain. Got that? Under the law, our horses are considered to be "adulterated," and it is illegal to sell adulterated meat for human consumption. Got all this?

Please read this over as many times as it takes for it all to sink in, because I am sick of typing all this over and over and over.... You are either a pro-slaughter troll or dumb as a post. Your choice.

dk
on Jul 12, 2013

Please sign the petition to ban horse slaughter in the U.S.:
http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/ban-horse-slaughter-now

Here is another petition, this one to Stop Horse Slaughter Factory in Missouri:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/925/215/246/stop-horse-slaughter-factory-...

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jul 12, 2013

Is there also a petition for those in favor of resuming horse slaughter?

We do not keep barren cows, they go to slaughter. There is no reason not to have horses also be productive.

My dogs are also working mothers whose pups help defray the cost of all the anti coyote killing laws passed by well meaning but misguided people that have resulted in so many killed but uneaten livestock. (LGD pups/dogs are generally not available from rescue groups.)

There are lots of stolen cattle, but I do not see anyone trying to outlaw cattle slaughter or eating beef because of cattle theft.

Jenn (not verified)
on Jul 12, 2013

That's a great idea. We should start a petition. I'll see what can be done about that.

on Jul 13, 2013

Horses ARE productive in the various purposes they are raised for. If cattle are stolen they are traceable. When there are recalls, they can trace it back to the farm the cattle were raised. Cows do not race for years, have multiple owners and receive medications prohibited in food animals to keep them at peak performance and then get shipped off to slaughter. There is no national tracking system that can prove horses are drug free – no medical histories and no traceability. The food chain is not the place to dispose of any animal. It is for food production and no animal should ever enter the food chain that was not raised for that purpose.

on Jul 17, 2013

There ARE petitions for those who are pro-slaughter. I don't know the URLs, but you can write Sue Wallis. I'm sure she would be happy to direct you to her petitions. However, since you don't appear to own horses, what's it to you?

"We do not keep barren cows." Are you saying that the only horses that are "productive" are the ones that are slaughtered? Horses have a worlds of jobs! They are ridden by policemen in mounted patrols, they are ridden in camps where children can have fun and be in the natural world, up until the Korean War horses fought in our wars - far more horses have given their lives in our wars than people have. During the founding of this country, they were our only means of exploration. They went down in the mines, they pulled our "buses" and ambulances and fire wagons and were mostly worked until they dropped.

Now days they also provide entertainment for millions through performing in many different venues. They provide recreation, sports and companionship. Horses are still working in many jobs in rugged country where vehicles cannot go. Loggers use horses, and some farmers have gone back to having working horses on their farms. One of the most important jobs horses hold today is as therapists. There are many different way to use Equine Assisted Therapy - all kinds of physical therapy, whether a congenital condition or injury rehab, they are invaluable in helping people in ways no other animal can do. They are also in demand for helping people with mental problems like depression, at risk children, or prisoners trying to find their way back into the world. More and more mini-horses are being certified as service animals. Horses are especially helpful for autism. I know of more than one child that had never spoken until they spoke to a horse. Children in chronic pain are greatly helped by regular contact with horses, and so are adults. Probably the newest field where horses are in great demand is helping vets suffering from PTSD. USDA records show that over 90% of the horses that go to slaughter are young, perfectly healthy, sound, and have no behavioral problems. I wonder how many of those healthy, sound horses that have been slaughtered would have made wonderful therapy horses. They are always in demand.

Actually, the slaughter plants will NOT even accept old, sick, crippled, skinny horses. Are you able to understand that these plants are NOT a convenient dumping station for reckless over breeders and irresponsible owners? These plants are in the MEAT business and they want animals that are fat and healthy. They are making HUMAN FOOD.

I also don't get the connection to your dogs. What are you talking about? We ride our horses too - is that what you mean? My horses are NOT pasture ornaments. I trail ride and do dressage. I'm not as young as I was when I spent seven hours in the saddle on competitive rides, but I still can ride and I DO ride. Now, is that relevant to anything at all? They are MY horses and what I do with them has nothing to do with this discussion.

"There are lots of stolen cattle, but I do not see anyone trying to outlaw cattle slaughter or eating beef because of cattle theft." Okay, folks, I've seen a lot of crap that makes no sense at all, but THIS, this tops all. All cattle go to slaughter, whether they were stolen or not. Horses are NOT go to slaughter anyway. Are you nuts? We horse owners do NOT have in intention of our horses EVER going to slaughter. Are you at all familiar with the word "love." We love our horses. They provide us with wonderful companionship, friendship, they permit us to ride them on trails, all kinds of competition, dressage and just about anything else we ask of them - including therapy. I'm not sure I'd be here today without my horses. They are my partners, best friends and members of our family. When they are stolen and brutally butchered, it causes heartbreak that you apparently cannot understand.

Another problem is that horses are NOT food animals and they are not raised to meet food safety regulations. Horses are considered to be companion animals by the FDA, so the makers of horse veterinary medications and universally used over-the-counter equine products such as fly spray to contain ingredients that are expressly banned from any use in any food animal EVER. There are no withdrawal periods for banned substances - ONE use and that animal - pig, cow, horse, what ever - can NEVER enter the human food chain. That is the law and I didn't write it.

Under the law, our horse meat is adulterated and it's unlawful to sell adulterated meat for people to eat.

The closer you and your horses live to a horse slaughter plant, the more your horses are in danger of being stolen. I've been there, done that.

Texas had two horse slaughter plants - one in Ft. Worth and one in Kaufman. That puts them less than 70 miles apart, and I and my horses were in Dallas - right between them. Ir was a nightmare. The horse theft situation was so bad that the state of Texas stepped in and tried to implement some programs to help horse owners protect their horses. Nothing worked except shutting those houses of horror down. Before that happened though, many, many people lost their beloved horses to the worst death any horse can possibly suffer. Four of my own personal friends had their horses stolen and butchered, and my beloved horse escaped by a hair's breadth. My friends nearly lost their minds - they were absolutely inconsolable - as I would have been if the thieves had taken my horse. Humans can have a bond with horses that doesn't happen with any other animal. Maybe the fact that we put our very lives in their care each and every time we mount up forges a very special relationship..

If you have never loved a horse, you will never understand.

dk
on Jul 12, 2013

I am against the USDA opening up inspections for the proposed horse slaughter plant in Gallatin, Missouri, or in any other city or county in Missouri or in the United States. Horses in the U.S. are not raised for human consumption.

They are our friends and companions, and as such horses are treated with drugs like cats and dogs to a wide variety of vaccinations, bacterins, topical and oral treatments that are not approved for human consumption. We use gloves with topical treatments such as Surpass, because we don't want equine drugs touching our skin, let alone consuming them.

It's not economical to raise horses for slaughter in the U.S., because it takes a whole lot more money to feed a horse than it does a bovine (or cow), for example. The USDA has no business inspecting a horse slaughter plant that by default will be receiving horses that are not fit for human consumption. The horses they will be receiving have not been raised drug-free for human consumption. That's a fact.

As a grower of corn, wheat and soybeans, the USDA's reputation directly affects many. The European Union, which is where most of the horse meat would go, has a zero tolerance for Bute (Phenylbutazone) , which is routinely given to horses in the U.S. It is estimated that 90% of horses in the U.S. have been treated with this drug, not to mention all of the other drugs.

There is no way to test for all of these drugs on every horse destined for slaughter. If you don't believe me, then keep reading. We had a horse at one of the Universities that was sick and on the premises of the University, and it took two days for us to get the test results of one test. Many tests would need to be run on each horse, and there is no way to do this in a timely fashion.

Most of the horses destined for slaughter are young or middle-aged, and in the prime of their lives. Two that have been rescued from slaughter have gone on and are now showing at the Morgan Grand National level.

Horse slaughter has no place in America.

Jenn (not verified)
on Jul 12, 2013

There is actually a way to test for drugs in horse meat and they do test for those drugs in the EU. Are you aware that cattle are also given ivomec and banamine and antibiotics? Or do you not eat meat? You and I will just have to differ on the fact that they're our friends and companions. They're livestock. Yes, they're easy to develop an emotional attachment to, but that doesn't mean they aren't still what they are. There's not enough grass to sustain every unwanted horse in the US. Plain and simple.

on Jul 12, 2013

So what makes them livestock? Because their big? I'm So tired of hearing how horses are just livestock. Live stock are animals that are raised for food. Horses ARE NOT and never have been RAISED for food animals in the United states like cattle, hogs, chickens etc. They are pets, companion and sport partners that simply due to bad luck and being at the wrong place at the wrong time get sold for slaughter. These Young, healthy, trusting horses are betrayed, terrified and slaughtered for the greed of a few. Just because pro slaughter apparently lack the human decency to see the difference doesn't mean that there isn't one . And why are they unwanted? Because people breed too many because the excess can be sold for slaughter . That is not unwanted. It costs a lot of money to breed and raise a horse. If people cant sell them they will stop breeding more horses than the live horse market can support. As long as there is a profitable slaughter market it garrenties the over breeding of horses . As for wild horses .The BLM requested government report just confirmed what the wild horse advocates have been screaming for years.

Jenn (not verified)
on Jul 12, 2013

And people have stopped breeding. Are you involved in the horse industry as a way to make your living, or do you just love horses and own one or two? i'm well aware of the costs. Probably more aware than you.

Gloria Eighmey (not verified)
on Jul 12, 2013

So why would it matter if someone made there complete living from raising horses or not. Or if they raised and trained a few horses for money but had a regular job also. Or if they only had a few horses and made no money from them. Those billions of people who just own a few horses are what really makes the horses industry. With out them it would be no horse industry and the breeders would have no one to sell there horses too. (except the couple percent that are sold to slaughter every year.It seems like pro slaughter believes the only people that should have a say in horse slaughter are the very ones who stand to profit by it. Im not saying that all or even most breeders don't care if the horses they raised go to slaughter or not as long as they can make some money and then that opens up the door for yet more horses to be bred. A lot care deeply about the horses they raise. But there are also many that simply care about making profit and if they can breed more horses because there is a slaughter market then they are for it. In reality it is the people who stand to profit by slaughter that you can't believe the reasons given for slaughter. And that includes those who make there entire living by breeding horses.For they are the ones who have the financial motive to just keep repeating all there deceptive propaganda in there deplorable attempt to disguise themselves as being humane horse welfare advocates in order to sell the purely profit driven horse slaughter industry to the American Public. It makes as much sense to believe them as it would have to believe the slave traders reasons they might give of why slavery is needed and such a good thing. You simply can not blindly believe the very people who stand to financially gain from horse slaughter.

A.M.B. (not verified)
on Jul 13, 2013

Anyone who owns horses is aware of the costs of owning horses, whether they have one... or one thousand.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jul 14, 2013

Every person that ever thinks about buying a horse should be made to read the book Black Beauty and understand that horses are beautiful , smart, and carried us in war and been companions and even therapeutic for disabled children and they are very different then cattle . Race horses are intelligent and beautiful what a crime these rich owners who don't care can do this ! Sad our government is killing our beautiful wild mustangs! Sad that some not all are heartless and so brainless they think their they are doing horses a favor being pro slaughter! If your pro slaughter go to Mexico and watch them kill a horse and skin him package him for foreign people to eat and keep in mind those Mexicans will be over here on our US soil doing it the very way they so it in Mexico don't fool yourself and its a long drive from say Ca to Missouri ? Come on !!!!!

Jake (not verified)
on Jul 16, 2013

Your definition of livestock differs from mine. Horses have been used as a food source for thousands of years.
Also, if you truly care about the grassland management, then all the wild horses that the BLM manages should be exterminated as an invasive species.

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What's My View From The Country?

As a fulltime rancher, opinion contributor Troy Marshall brings a unique perspective on how consumer and political trends affect livestock production.

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Troy Marshall

Troy Marshall is a multi-generational rancher who grew up in Wheatland, WY, and obtained an Equine Science/Animal Science degree from Colorado State University where he competed on both the livestock...

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