Tuesday, August 11, 2009

NY - Sheriff Wins On-Line Bidding for Retired (Arthritic) Police Horse: Outbids Killbuyers by a Few Cents!

Steve Lieberman
August 10, 2009

Rockland Sheriff James Kralik loves horses.

His devotion last week cost him $596 for an arthritic Percheron just retired
from his department's mounted unit.

Kralik won the bidding war for Dee, a 1,500-pound black horse whom the
sheriff says he's ridden for years in ceremonial events, training sessions
and for crowd control.

And the sheriff says his maximum would have been $700 for the 16-year-
old horse during the weeklong computerized bidding run by Auctions

The Rockland Purchasing Department put the horse out for bid.

Kralik wanted to make sure he put the horse out to pasture rather than
seeing the beast become dog food.

"There's always the potential meat-packing companies will bid," Kralik
said. "What else would people do with a horse gone lame with arthritis?" (Bloggers note; Alternative to slaughter: E-u-t-h-a-n-s-i-a)

The large Percheron usually lives 18 to 20 years, he said.

Dee will spend her last days on Kralik's Gettysburg property in Pennsylvania,
with three other retired horses and 30 working horses. Kralik is a certified
guide for the Civil War battlefield.

"I wanted the horse because it is a decent, wonderful animal," Kralik said.
"I loved riding her. The horse deserves a good home and that's what she'll
now get with me."

The Mounted Unit took the horse off patrol because she had recently fallen
twice and the officers got scared, Kralik said.

The Mounted Unit patrols high-crime and crowded areas, spending this
summer in Nyack, Spring Valley and Haverstraw. The 10-foot-high cops
on horseback also patrol during parades, festivals and other events as a

The 32-year-old unit has five full-time officers and seven horses. The
Sheriff's Department gives certified training to other mounted units.

Kralik said the department recently donated a horse to Camp Venture,
but Dee's physical condition hurt her chances of being donated as a
riding horse.

The online bidding started at 12:49 p.m. July 30 and ended at 6 p.m.
Thursday, according to records kept online by Auctions International,
which also auctions off surplus items for municipalities and businesses.

The horse's pre-auction bio states, "Dee was diagnosed with front foot
soreness and lameness due to arthritis and signs of lower ringbone on
both front legs. There is some lameness to the right rear hock and the
possibility of some mild neurological problems. Interested bidders should
call to inspect."

For the "1993 Percheron Sheriff's Horse," 35 bids were made, starting with
Kralik's opening bid of $50.

The horse drew four bidders with "jerseyoneauto" and "kralikj" bidding the
cost up to $303 by Aug. 1, according to the Web site.

Then another bidder, "12333," competed until "kralikj" bid $373.

Finally, "123sondaydrivebernvil" bid $400 and went up to $490 until
"kralikj" filed a $500 bid at 4:25 p.m. Aug. 2.

Kralik said he had authorized his bids up to $700. The final price of $596
included fees.

Dee remains at the unit's stables off of Route 202 and will be taken to
Pennsylvania soon to live out her golden years in Gettysburg.

"And the horse was extremely grateful," Kralik said, laughing.

Additional Facts

Click on title above to go to "1993 Percheron Sheriff's Horse" at www.auctionsinternational.com/item.cgi?show_item=48278.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

And the Beat Goes On Re: American Horse Slaughter

From: Animals' Angels
Sent: Thursday, August 06, 2009 9:27 AM
Subject: For Immediate Release

For Immediate Release

August 6, 2009

Animals' Angels
phone: 410-848-3153
fax: 410-848-0213

Undercover Investigation Underscores USDA-documented Brutality

30 month long investigation proves worst-case scenario is ongoing

A thirty month long investigation into the plight of horses who have been sold for slaughter has revealed the worst levels of inhumane treatment. The abuse and neglect of these horses, sometimes referred to as "kill horses," was uncovered during the investigation and is consistent with findings and photographs contained in a 906 page document released by the USDA last year.

The investigation and report by Animals' Angels, a Maryland based animal welfare
organization, confirmed that injuries and inhumane treatment documented by the USDA during 2005 continue. Both USDA and Animals' Angels (AA) documents show horses severely injured, left medically untreated, ill, trampled to death and worse on their way to and at slaughter.

Executive Director of Animals' Angels, Sonja Meadows said their investigations quickly revealed that, "Both government records and our report show that being on U.S.soil was not then and is not now the slightest guarantee of humane treatment."

The slaughter of horses in the U.S., which stopped with plant closures in 2007, continues in Canada and Mexico. Groups advocating the slaughter of American horses have called for the reopening of U.S. horse slaughter plants, saying horses are better protected by U.S. humane laws than by laws in Canada and Mexico. However, during the 30 month long investigation that included repeated visits to auctions, feedlots and slaughter plants, AA investigators concluded abuse and inhumane treatment are inherent to the horse slaughter industry.

"It takes inhumane treatment to make the economics work," said Meadows. "We found the cruelty starts well before horses arrive at the slaughter plant."

The AA report documents available veterinary care withheld from horses severely injured or near death. Undercover investigators were routinely told, 'That horse is going to slaughter anyway,' or the horses are 'just passing through.'

Treatment of horses designated for slaughter ranged from beating horses and jabbing them in the eyes, to using a cable winch to drag downed horses with a wire wrapped around a back leg. Investigators observed horses being injured or killed after being forced into dangerously crowded pens where they were kicked or trampled. Others were found frozen to the ground after overnight temperatures dropped well below freezing. Young and small horses, as well as horses injured or weak were trampled to death in trailers crowded with 40 horses. Workers failed to separate stallions, ensuring fierce fighting in close quarters during transport.

Making conditions worse is the issue of stolen horses, according to Debi Metcalfe, founder of Stolen Horse International, Inc., a non profit that operates www.NetPosse.com, a horse theft recovery network that averages 80,000 unique visitors per month. "We have dealt with cases where horses were stolen," said Metcalf. "We later found out that these innocent pets had been slaughtered."

At both Canadian and Mexican slaughter plants investigators discovered horses left in bloody "kill boxes", used to restrain horses as they are being killed, during lunch breaks. According to the report, the horses were "shaking violently as if [they] might fall down." Plant management told investigators the horses 'aren't bothered by it.'

AA investigators documented injured and dead horses at every stop along the horse slaughter pipeline. At feedlots and export pens horses had no food and water troughs were empty. An export facility veterinarian informed investigators horses too weak for transport would be left behind to die in the pens.

"The public has been duped into thinking horse slaughter has ended, but it just moved a few hours further down the road," Meadows pointed out. "It hasn't somehow changed it into something it is not. It is the same terrible suffering it was in 2005."

"By the time the horse finally stands in the kill box at the slaughter plant, it is often not the worst thing that has happened to it since this dreadful journey began," said Meadows

What can you do?

Please urge your representatives and senators to support the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act H.R.503 / S.727!

Animals' Angels is a 501 (c)(3) non profit organization incorporated in Maryland with fulltime investigators working in the United States and Canada. We work with law enforcement and government agencies to end animal cruelty and to improve conditions for farm animals. We are in the field every week, trailing livestock trucks, visiting markets, collecting stations and slaughter plants.


Sonja Meadows
Executive Director
Animals' Angels USA


Click on title above to go to the Animal Angels website where you can find links to the documents mentioned above;


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

New EU rules may end slaughter of American Horses (NOT)

Isnt it amazing that we have to rely on the rules and regs of foreign countries to take this issue seriously; these new regs may slow the slaughter pipeline down, but I doubt it will stop it. Plus, I am sure the devious, diabolical and greedy bloodthirsty killers will find a way around ANY law. Strict enforcement will be needed if this new reg is to really effect them. What r the chances of that? ha ha ha dont make me laff ....just like the anti-horse slaughter laws they passed in California waaaaay back in the late 90's,....ha ha ha So how come California horses are still being sent to slaughter? ha ha ha lack of enforcement is why.

CHICAGO, (EWA) - The European Union (EU) and Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) have announced that the rules on slaughtering horses for human consumption are about to change radically due to concerns regarding contaminated horse meat.

The new EU rules will become effective in April, 2010, requiring that either the animals have complete health records showing they have not received banned substances or a 180 day quarantine for the horses. Claude Boissonnealut, head of the CFIAs red meat programs, has indicated that Canada will likely abide by the 180 day quarantine.

Equine welfare advocates have warned of the contamination of American horse meat for years. Substances banned from food animals range from wormers to phenylbutazone (PBZ), the "aspirin" of the horse world, and even include fertility drugs that can cause miscarriages in women. "PBZ is a known carcinogen and can cause aplastic anemia (bone marrow suppression) in humans", says EWA's Professor of Neurology, Dr. Ann Marini, MD/Ph.D.

But the list of contaminants is not limited to conventional drugs. "Some of the garbage 'treatments' that are given to performance horses included iodine-peanut oil injections along the spine, anabolic steroids, cocaine, amphetamines, opioids and even snake venom", explains Dr. Nicholas Dodman, DVM at Tufts University. "None of these are helpful to the horse and some, in the short or long term, are positively harmful."

The new rules will mean that horses coming from auctions and other sources in the US will have to be kept drug free on a feedlot for half a year. Producers estimate that feeding horses that long will more than double their cost, making them less competitive with horses from other sources. And that is likely to be only half their problem.

EWA member Christy Sheidy, of Another Chance 4 Horses, routinely rescues slaughter bound horses from Pennsylvania's New Holland auction. Sheidy warns, "Outbreaks of diseases like strangles and shipping fever will be inevitable. Left untreated, many horses may die before they can be slaughtered." Treating the horses would restart their quarantine time.

In recent years, European authorities have cracked down on horse meat producers within the EU, requiring a "passport" system that specifically documents whether a horse has received such substances. Owners must state that their horses are intended for slaughter.

USDA statistics show that in 2008 the US exported 56,731 horses to Mexico and 77,073 horses to Canada for slaughter, resulting in the second highest slaughter total since 1995. Diners abroad have no idea whatsoever what dangerous chemicals they are eating in the American horsemeat that is shipped from plants across our borders.

In an interview with EWA, Henry Skjerven, a former director of the Natural Valley Farms operation in Saskatchewan, Canada, said: "Unfortunately, North America, US and Canada, were never geared for raising horses for food consumption. The system as it stood when we were killing horses was in no way, shape or form, safe, in my opinion."

Skjerven went on to say, "We did not know where those horses were coming from, what might be in them or what they were treated with. I was always in fear - I think that it was very valid - that we were going to send something across there [to the EU] and we were simply going to get our doors locked after we had some kind of issue with the product."

Skjerven's plant began killing horses in September of 2007 for the Velda Group in Belgium following the closing of their Cavel slaughter plant in DeKalb, Illinois. Natural Valley's horse slaughter plant was closed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in January of 2009, over health issues.

Unlike Canada, horses going to Mexico are killed in two types of slaughter plants. The three largest plants export the meat to the EU and will fall under the same new rules. Mexican authorities have yet to announce whether their smaller plants, that provide meat for domestic consumption, will be required to follow the new rules.

"We don't need to eat horses. Horses are for riding, jumping and doing a whole lot of great things. They're not food", concluded Skjerven.