Monday, August 4, 2008

"The Saratogian" Pro-Slaughter Slant

When horses finish last

By: PAUL POST, The Saratogian
Email to a friendPost a CommentPrinter-friendly
SARATOGA SPRINGS - A group opposed to horse slaughter for human consumption plans to protest outside Saratoga Race Course on Opening Day and each Sunday of the 2008 meet.The group, "Friends of Equines, Foes of Equine Slaughter," says that top racing industry leaders, such as commercial breeding farms, need to take a stronger stand on the issue.

Slaughter is no longer allowed in the U.S. since three plants in Texas and Illinois were closed last year, but horses are still being exported to facilities in Canada and Mexico. A federal bill that would prohibit exports, first sponsored by former U.S. Rep. John Sweeney, R-Clifton Park, has passed in the House, but is still in a Senate committee."America is the greatest exporter of horses intended for human consumption," said Christine Jubic of the "Friend of Equines" group. "We want all these people who are claiming neutrality to take a stand."About 1 percent of the estimated 9.2 million horses in America go to market each year, she said. The most famous case, which ignited strong public outcry, involved 1986 Kentucky Derby winner Ferdinand, who died in a Japanese slaughterhouse.

Most of the horse meat processed in U.S. plants went to Europe and Japan.Since those facilities closed, exports to Mexico in particular have risen dramatically - 28,771 to date this year versus 18,344 in 2007.

"When horses were processed in the U.S. the plants were under USDA supervision," said Barbara Linke, of the Texas-based American Quarter Horse Association. "Horses were well-fed and euthanized properly. They were killed instantly. In Mexico, there's no oversight, no regulation. It's worse for them to go across the border."

Numerous equine rescue and retirement programs have taken steps to find productive lives for older horses, everything from mounted police to physical and mental therapy programs. In New York, a state task force has been charged with studying the issue and reporting back to state lawmakers next year.Task force member Jack Knowlton of Saratoga Springs is also managing general partner of Sackatoga Stable that produced 2003 Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide."The very, very large preponderance of horses that go to slaughter aren't race horses," he said.He credited most thoroughbred breeders and owners with leading the fight against horse slaughter.Other prominent groups either support slaughter or have refused to take sides. The Washington, D.C.-based American Horse Council is a major lobbying group that represents various equine interests - racing, breeding, recreation, show horses and veterinarians."We are neutral on the (horse protection) bill because we have members on both sides of the issue," spokesperson Kathie Luedeke said.The country's largest organization of equine veterinarians, the 10,000-member American Association of Equine Practitioners, has come out against the horse protection measure."Our decision to oppose the federal legislation is not because we think slaughter is the best option," said Sally Baker of the Kentucky-based group. "The number of unwanted horses is so large, we don't feel there are enough rescue and retirement programs to absorb them all. We're concerned about an increase in abuse, neglect and starvation, which we've already seen since the plants closed last year."We really think that horse processing is symptomatic of a much larger problem, the unwanted horse population."The situation might only get worse because of the increasingly high cost of feeding and boarding a horse. In some Western states, there have been reports of people simply turning horses loose in state parks or open range land."They're domestic animals, so that's actually more cruel and inhumane than sending them to processing plants," Linke said.

The Quarter Horse Association is also against the federal bill. "It doesn't address what will happen to the 90,000 to 100,000 unwanted horses if they don't go to slaughter houses," she said. "It's not that we're pro-slaughter. The bill doesn't address what options horse owners would have. There are no federal funds available."Equine rescue and retirement groups hope to find enough uses for horses that slaughter won't be needed any more. "Obviously that would be a perfect world," Linke said. "But horses become unwanted for lots of reasons. Especially now, with the economy, we're just afraid that the unwanted horse population is going to continue to grow."

©The Saratogian 2008


CJ said...

Dear Mr Post;

Horse Slaugher: A "Necessary Evil" or UnNecessary Greed?

Your article is complete and utter pro-slaughter GARBAGE! It is
horse slaughter that perpetuates horse cruelty and neglect, NOT lack
of it! It is the SLAUGHTER PIPELINE that leaves seriously injured
sick and suffering horses like the horse "Regret" we have found
standing "on three legs" in a killbuyers* feedlot , suffering
endlessly day after day while waiting to be shipped on a long haul to

If you dont know what a killbuyer is, here is a good description;

"KILL-BUYERS" or "BUNCHER'S" are unscrupulous people who act as
middlemen for the $slaughterhouses. These are the people that will
outbid you at auction while you are trying to buy a cute little horse
or pony for your grandchild, these are the people that will answer
FREE TO A GOOD HOME ads for your horse and will promise to provide
a "forever loving home" to your beloved animal - and take him
directly to $laughter. These are the people that CHOOSE to earn their
living bringing horses, yes, even "good" horses, to $laughter as a
way of life. They travel all over the country and keep 'kill-pens" or
feedlots at various locations throughout the U.S., Canada & Mexico.
These are the people that will keep seriously injured, sick and
suffering horses alive that SHOULD BE, NEED TO BE euthanised RIGHT
AWAY but keep them alive anyways and let them suffer because they
know a horse must be alive and standing "on at least three legs" to
go to $laughter. These are the people that realize and exploit the
fact that there is a BIG demand abroad for horsemeat and BIG money to
be made right here in the good ole' USA supplying that foreign

If horse slaughter were outlawed, there would no killbuyers anymore,
and owners would have to find other, more humane methods to put their
horses down or to find them different homes. The horses would NOT be
allowed or left to suffer for any lengths of time, as IT IS AGAINST
THE LAW to allow any animal to suffer. Moreover, think about this
when they say slaughter is a necessary evil because of all
the "unwanteds" that will "flood the market" if we cant slaughter
them; only 1f the 9.2 Million horses in America are slaughtered.
There is NO WAY that that 1f any PRODUCT can flood a market or
cause a problem for it. The numbers will be absorbed. As for the kind
of horses going to slaughter, studies have shown that nearly 90f
them are young and healthy and sound, and not all of them
are "unwanted." Lots of them are those that the killbuyers have
outbid someone else on, who was looking to buy a riding horse or
a "kid safe" horse for their child. . Many are stolen as is a
lucrative market with little or no regulation. Others are once "Free
to a Good Home" horses that the kill-buyers have taken from the
original owners on the promise that they would give them "forever
loving homes." However, nearly half of all the American horses going
to slaughter are "industry cast-offs." The American Quarter-Horse
Association (AQHA) alone is responsible for producing over HALF of
all American Horses going to slaugher. The Racing Industry is the
next largest slaugher-horse suppliers. Yes indeed folks, bringing
horses to slaughter is a dirty business, motivated solely by the
money to be made, NOT out of necessity to "dispose" of "unwanted"
horses. Before you believe the pro-slaughter claims that slaughter is
a necessary evil for horses, consider that there are many
alternatives to slaughter, like HUMANE EUTHANASIA by painless
injection or even a 25 cent well placed bullet to the head is better
than a slow tortuous ride and a traumatic and painful death in a
slaughter-house. The problem is that slaughter PAYS while the other,
more humane methods COST. Please DO NOT let the pro-slaughter camp
insult your intelligence with this "so many unwanted horses with no
place to go CRAP!" Smart people know its all about the almighty
DOLLAR and nothing else. Just take a look at who is for it and you
will see, SOMEHOW they are the ones also profiting from it or who
would like to profit off it, ...for instance, our own government
now, is standing in line WAITING to profit from it. How many people
know that America is the WORLDS LARGEST exporter of horses to be
slaughtered and sold for human consumption abroad? Did you know that
it is a 29 million dollar industry but only a handful of people in
the U.S. profit from it. Most of the profits go to the foreign
slaughterhouse owners and THAT does not sit will with our gov't or
the pro-slaughter folk in the U.S. , specifically, the killbuyers &
cattlemen who so want our wild horses off our public lands - but they
are also the ones with the most money to lobby congress to keep the
slaughter going. Our gov't is also in CAHOOTs with the cattlemen /
lobbyist as well as now with the Canadain & Mexican governments now
and their slaughterhouse expansions. Our government, that is "the
powers that be,"...would LOVE to expand our own equine slaughter
industry by supplying even MORE horses into the slaughter pipeline by
letting our wild horses go too! There are plans underway right now to
remove all of our wild horses and replace them with BIG GAME so to
generate mo' money not only from the slaughter of our wild ones, but
to generate even mo' money from the selling of big game permits. Dont
believe it? Read all about the "Big Buck Wild Horse Betrayal" here;

It is a plan for extinction of our wild horses since our government
realized what a lucrative market the horsemeat business is in other

How many of you know that due to things like mad cow disease and
horse meat supposed to be "better for humans than beef," that the
horsemeat industry today is rivaling and darn near surpassing that of
the beef industry itself? Its sad but true,...there is BIG MONEY to
be made in the horsemeat market for "smart investors."

All the governments "ducks are in order" to expand the horse-
slaughter pipeline. It Started not long ago with the creation of our
governments "Security and Prosperity Pact" we have made with Canada
& Mexico as part of the "North American Union" created for MUTUAL
PROFITEERING off of anything they can squeeze a dollar from,
including off of the blood of our American Horses, wild and tame.
Read all about the unholy alliance here;

We are even building a SUPER HIGHWAY that leads directly to those
places in Canada & Mexico to make it easier for the killers to mass-
truck the horses to and fro - much to the chagrin of the peoples whos
lands they are taking through EMINENT DOMAIN to do this, and you can
read all about that story here;

So dont believe the hype people, when they tell you horse-slaughter
is a "necessary evil." Dont let them insult your intelligence. Do
your own homework and you will find,. its all about unnecessary

Christine A Jubic, Johnsonville, NY
aka "MuleKist"

Megan from Missouri said...

To the further detriment of the treatment of horses and the equine industry, H.R. 6598 passed the House Judiciary Committee by voice vote on September 23, 2008.

We, the equine industry, did not stand up and fight when Congress distorted the definition of the horse from livestock to pets. We did not stand up when Congress stripped away federal funding for inspectors of slaughter plants. We were not loud enough when Congress decided to make horse slaughter for human consumption illegal.

Now Representative John Conyers is trying to pass a bill to make it illegal to transport our horses. The same horses we have dedicated our lives to caring for.

This bill, misnamed the “Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2008,” should correctly be called the “Anti-Horse Care and Transportation Bill.” If this bill passes, and you or I decide to transport our horses without proof of where we are going, we “shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years or both.” Do you want to be pulled over and subject to arrest every time you decide to go trail riding?

The equine industry is simply not being as loud and as heard as the animal rights activists who are not only destroying our way of life, but putting our horses through needless suffering. Animal rights activists may have decent intentions, but they do not truly understand our issues.

Through their “good intentions” they are:
 Preventing viable protein source from being exported to nations that want it,
 Destroying a whole industry and jobs of American workers,
 Banning a major export,
 Causing over crowding at rescue facilities who –all together- can only handle a maximum of 7,000 horses (we’re talking about over 100,000)
 Causing needless suffering of the influx of horses that have been abandoned, neglected, and left to starve slowly, or that have been set free to be a hazard on U.S. highways due to recent legislation, and
 Making our animals financially worthless.

We are letting the animal rights groups obliterate an honorable way of life. They have shattered the lives of good and decent people who had dedicated their lives and resources to the well being of these horses.

Basic economics will show you that when you take away the base value of a market, the product loses value. I went to a horse sale in Montana last October. Horses that should have easily brought six or seven thousand dollars barely brought four or five hundred dollars. Equine professionals and your average horse owner can NOT survive such loss of value. Your average person cannot throw away money on expensive grain as the value of their product diminishes with each introduction of terrible legislation. What are people supposed to do when Congress takes away their freedom of options?

Horses are part of business plans and they have jobs. They require time, fuel, maintenance and equipment. When horses can no longer perform their job, they should not be “set free” to starve and destroy private and federal lands. That is genuine animal cruelty. Horses deserve the respect to be put down in a quick, humane, REGULATED way. Euthanizing them only means over dosing, and if they have an allergic reaction that pain can be worse than slaughter. If you do not like how the slaughter was performed, fix the real problem, the regulations.

Have Americans decided to let Congress legislate what we eat? To everyone who is against horse slaughter for human consumption, I want you to know that your hamburger, your bacon, your chicken nuggets, and your ice cream are endangered foods.

Do not think that it’s impossible either. The equine industry thought such bills were so ridiculous that they would never pass, so we did not worry about it.

Look at us now.

We can not allow this to become worse! Join the United Horsemen’s Front at to get legislative updates on equine issues.