Saturday, December 6, 2008

Stenholm Confirms Plans to Rebuild Horse Slaughter Industry in the USA

Hot News from Big Mouth Broad Broadcasting;
More Pro-slaughter Propaganda & a Confirmation of killing plans,.

Dec. 6, 2008

Unwanted horses a drain on economy

Experts wonder who will take on the costs of caring for the increasing number of unwanted animals if a proposed federal ban on slaughtering and export for human consumption passes.


The Wichita Eagle

Former Rep. Charles Stenholm of Texas said Friday that the consequences of a proposed federal ban on processing horses for people to eat would further exacerbate an existing economic problem for the growing number of unwanted horses.

"When a horse is unwanted, something has to happen to that horse," Stenholm said during a talk at the Kansas Livestock Association's convention at the Hyatt Regency Wichita. "We don't believe it should be used for human consumption, and we've made that clear.

"But it's private property. No one should tell you what you should do with a horse except to treat it humanely."

In 2006, the year before state laws in Texas and Illinois closed down the nation's final three facilities that slaughtered horses for human consumption, there was a $65 million export market for horse meat, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Now it has dried up to almost nothing.

Horses are now largely taken to slaughterhouses in Mexico or Canada. Horse meat is consumed by humans in countries such as France, Belgium and Japan. Part of the proposed federal legislation would ban transportation of horses to the Mexican and Canadian slaughterhouses.

But Stenholm said the economic fallout has gone beyond the loss of the export market.

He said there are more than 125,000 unwanted horses in the United States. Another 33,000 wild horses roam federal land in 10 Western states and have drained the Bureau of Land Management's budget, he added.

"There's a cost to this," Stenholm said after speaking to an audience of about 350. "There's going to have to be money appropriated from states and Congress to deal with unwanted horses.

"What do you do with them when one turns up on the country road and you're the sheriff? Who pays for the feed? Some people are just letting their horses starve."

Stenholm, who spent 26 years in Congress and is now a consultant for various agricultural groups, said it can cost $200 to $2,000 to have a horse euthanized and disposed. In Wichita, the price is closer to $170.

Jason Kaiser, a Wichita veterinarian, said his Equine Surgery and Medicine clinic charges $40 to euthanize and an additional $40 for a trip charge.

Darling International, the only renderer in the Wichita area, charges $87 to haul off a horse. The two solid-waste transfer stations in Sedgwick County said they don't accept dead horses.

Kaiser confirmed Stenholm's concern about increased abandonment of horses.

"It's been a lot more in the last year, especially with hay prices up and the economy bad," he said.

Kaiser said often people will turn horses loose near Hope in the Valley Equine Rescue and Sanctuary, a nonprofit organization north of Wichita.

"Then animal control has to feed them and find what to do with them," Kaiser said. "No one wants them.

"The horse market is down. Cheap horses are free. There have been (livestock) sales where you just hope someone puts their hand to take the horse for free."

He said he believes the cause of the situation is the lack of slaughterhouses.

"There's a base value for a horse if there is a slaughter," he said. "It would be more humane than to let them starve to death."

Ted Schroeder, a livestock marketing economist at Kansas State University, said the situation is an animal welfare "nightmare."

"It's an emotional issue," he said. "It's hard to be for slaughtering horses. How do policymakers sell that?"

But Stenholm said it's an issue that must be tackled.

He said horse slaughter facilities may start to spring up on Indian reservations. He said he knew of one with definite plans.

"This can't be ignored," Stenholm said. "These are issues that need to be resolved in a less emotional way."

Reach Rick Plumlee at 316-268-6660 or

Click on title above to comment;


vicki said...

He said MAY open. They can open all they want but they can't operate without USDA inspectors. They'll have to amend the farm bill to remove the Ensign-Byrd language or appeal to the Supreme Court. The lower courts have already ruled that fees for inspection is against the law. Opening on an Indian reservation won't work either. Although they are sovereign, federal law trumps their laws.

There won't be any plants opening in the US. Nobody in their right mind is going to open a business or loan money to a business that has legislation pending that will shut them down. In addition, who would insure them for loss of business?

Anonymous said...

Stenholm is a propagandist and will say anything to promote his cause (he's a paid lobbiest for the foreign horse slaughter industry). This man would sell his own grand children to the slaughter house if he thought it would make him a buck. And Vicki's right, anybody who would open up a facility that would be closed in the near future is just plain crazy. Horse slaughter is coming to an end and none too soon if you ask me!

Anonymous said...

Chuckie say
There livestock there so many stupid pepole inthis world i can hardley belive it. Take care of our children and eldery let liviestock be eatten who wants it my neighbor thinks its teribble that icatch and eat fish So many nuts its just shows how stupid anti slaughter pepole are.

Anonymous said...

This is so sad for our country, horses are not like cats and dogs. They have NO feelings of love for man. Those who think so are not in the real world. The bible says-animals were put on earth to serve man, not for man to serve them. There must be a humane way to slaughter horses, and to transport them to slaughter. I don't know about human consumption, but what about all the dogs and cats that eat canned food. Horsemeat in in them

Jolese said...

Any responsible horse owner will realize that horse slaughter is a vital part of the horse industry. Focus should have been pointed towards humane hauling to processing plants and humane means of ending their lives, not on closing it down. This was an extreme choice that was fueled by extremists. That is never a good thing. Slaughter is a more humane option than a horse starving in someone's back yard for a year or more with over grown hooves and no vital care. Slaughter needs to be reintroduced in the USA for the sake of millions of horses. Don't let your "bleeding heart" tell you it's wrong without knowing the simple facts first. There are dangerous, old, sick, and starving horses that would have a better end with this option.

TerryW said...

What the horse slaughter industry doesn't want us to know is, their business is already illegal. And it'll only take a day in court to prove it.

Stenholm is a Pimp for foreign horse slaughter companies and Texas killer buyers. If they dare try to license a new slaughter facility in the U.S. it is time to file a lawsuit (the minute they file for a business license) to challenge them on the legalities of the unregulated animals they intend to slaughter for human consumption.

All horse owners know the various medications their horses receive, most of which state on the label 'do not use in horses intended for slaughter/human consumption'. Once used that horse is now illegal to be slaughtered for food. Bute for example, there are no approved uses of bute in food-producing animals. It's limited to use in dogs and horses only and in horses it's limited to those not intended for slaughter. So, any horse that's been given bute, it's illegal to process it for food. In the EU any horse that's had bute in it's lifetime is not eligible for consumption - ever.

The horse is the only animal in the U.S. where food safety regulations - illegal banned food animal drugs are completely ignored by the USDA, FDA, AVMA... and ignoring this fact doesn't make it legal, it's not (and they know it).

The slaughter of unregulated horses for human consumption will LOSE in court because we have laws that strictly regulate all animals that go to human consumption.

There is no way to regulate animals that are brought to the slaughterhouse from unknown origins, picked up here and there from various places, no medication records, no nothing, just the cuts and bruises on their bodies and the fear in their eyes.

Horses aren't raised in herds for their meat, they're not raised in factory farms, they're not raised in feedlots. They are owned by individuals, usually several individuals over their lifetime, not a farmer/rancher raising food.

There is no control over medications that have been given to any single horse that is slaughtered for consumption, and every single slaughtered horse would have to be tested for illegal drug residues and of those found positive, the meat would have to be destroyed as well as any meat it may have already been mixed with. Doing this would kill slaughterhouse profits, not to mention subject them and their suppliers to fines and prosecution.

My friends it's time to get serious with the drug issue because it's the only way to legally stop Stenholm, Sacia, and anyone else on the horse slaughterhouse bandwagon.

Anonymous said...

There is no reason to put down any horse just because people say its unwanted.People that say that don't truely understand the meaning of a horse.

My horse stop a snake from bitting me.I have also seen my horse cry.They do have feels the same as you and me.

Horse is no different from a dog;Horse be taught tricks and to dance just like a dog.Can dog food is not mad out of horse meat;since 1971 do your research.

Slaughters houses have been closed now for 2 yrs.Just because times are getting a little hard they want to start slaughter houses again.We all know what kind of laws that were broken;while these plants were open.

They said, if they are reopen;that they will change the way they put horses down.But we can't say that,it will not be different.Its seems that very bad and cruel things has happen before;no one can not say it want happen it.

God created all animlas;it does not say in the bible to slaughter them.

I Love my horse now and for ever.With horse being shipped to slaughter alot.I'm worry that she might get stolen;because slaughter is still going on.

I have a 40 yr old mare;yes times are hard;but she will never go to slaughter no matter what the cost.

Lindy said...

Anonymous March 2nd

Your personal interpretation of the Bible is very wrong! It does not say that animals are here to serve us but that we are to offer them protection and look after them.

It is very selfish attitude to think that animals are here purely for us. We share the planet with them. They have a whole range of emotions and it is mindless and ignorant not to recognise their qualities or that they are entitled to live their liives as much as we are. They have an interest in living their lives albeit different lives from us, but nonetheless they are entitled to live their lives as nature intended! Remember that old thing - nature?

Lindy said...

Jolese, there are a lot of people that are unwanted too, do you think we should kill them too?

first option for some people: kill them

thought process: zero

Learn about the intelligence of animals and their qualities and how they live their lives! In a lot of cases it is better than how we live ours! Look how they can bond with their young, partners families, if we let them that is. They are not inanimate objects for us to do as we please with!

Oh and instead of talking about bleeding hearts, I think you need to find yours!

Anonymous said...

Most horse owners agree that horse slaughter is needed to obtain balance. There are several good posts here already that clearly explain why.
I own 6 horses and I do large animal rescue. The rescues are full, the foster homes are full and the vets of those places are putting animals down. In what way is that different?
Horses are killed by vets every year whether you like it or not. We do not have to prove any reason to do so, in fact there are owners putting them down just because they can no longer feed them right now.
I have too many horses on my place because of the upset to the industry, horses are worthless right now. I am not at the point of putting them down, but I will if I have to. The sad thing is that viable horses no longer have an option of being rehabbed or cared for, it's all first come first served now and what that translates to is the old grey mare who has laminitus and colics every other day and who just needs to go over the Rainbow Bridge is held here on the planet through heroic measures wasting valuable resources while young horses are put down becuse there is no where for them to go. I have seen foals sold at auction for $5!
If you think that no slaughter means that less horses are put down, you are mistaken.