Friday, October 30, 2009


A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Tue 27 Oct 2009
Source: KALB-TV [edited]

Louisiana horse owners advised to be on the alert
Horse owners, beware. Agriculture and Forestry commissioner Mike
Strain says a tick-borne disease has shown up in Texas and that horse
owners in Louisiana should be on the alert.

The disease is called equine piroplasmosis, or EP for short. It's a
tick-borne disease caused by microscopic parasites of the red blood
cells. Texas animal health officials say 101 horses at a ranch in
Kleberg County, Texas, have tested positive for EP. The ranch is near
Corpus Christi.

EP symptoms include weakness, loss of appetite, fever, anemia,
jaundiced mucous membranes, swollen abdomen and labored breathing.

Communicated by:

[Readers are encouraged to see ProMED-mail post 20091021.3617 for
information about the disease.

Ectoparasites are responsible for a number of different diseases and
over the years have become resistant to many pesticides. This disease
and the tick that caries it are one such example. It behooves everyone
with animals to be on the look out for ticks. Ticks like certain
places, such as ears, tails, heads, genital regions, mid belly, and
mid back. Those are places an animal has a hard time scratching but is
easy for a tick to get a blood meal. There are other places where
ticks can be found, but these are often good areas to start a search.
Remember, ticks can be tiny so look carefully. - Mod.TG]

[The states of Texas and Louisiana can be located on the
HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map of the US at
Kleberg County in southeast Texas can be seen on the map at
. - Sr.Tech.Ed.MJ]

[see also:
Equine piroplasmosis - USA (07): (TX) 20091024.3675
Equine piroplasmosis - USA (06): (TX) OIE 20091022.3631
Equine piroplasmosis - USA (05): (TX) 20091021.3617]
ProMED-mail makes every effort to verify the reports that
are posted, but the accuracy and completeness of the
information, and of any statements or opinions based
thereon, are not guaranteed. The reader assumes all risks in
using information posted or archived by ProMED-mail. ISID
and its associated service providers shall not be held
responsible for errors or omissions or held liable for any
damages incurred as a result of use or reliance upon posted
or archived material.
Become a ProMED-mail Premium Subscriber at

Visit ProMED-mail's web site at .
Send all items for posting to:
(NOT to an individual moderator). If you do not give your
full name and affiliation, it may not be posted. Send
commands to subscribe/unsubscribe, get archives, help,
etc. to: For assistance from a
human being send mail to:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Old Pro-Horse Slaughter Crap from the Experts in BS, Annotated by An Anti-

The State of the Horse Industry Since the Closing of the Horse Harvesting Facilities

Patricia A. Evans, EdD, Extension Equine Specialist, Department of Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences, Utah State University, Logan, Utah
DeeVon Bailey, PhD, Department of Economics, Utah State University, Logan, Utah
Chelsea Rice, Utah State University, Undergraduate student ADVS Department, Utah State University, Logan, Utah
April Jones, Utah State University, Undergraduate student ADVS Department, Utah State University, Logan, Utah
Karah Shumway, Utah State University, Undergraduate student ADVS Department, Utah State University, Logan, Utah
Scott McKendrick, MS, Coordinator Extension Equine Programs, Utah State University, Logan, Utah

In September of 2007 the last horse processing plant in the United States closed its doors. (HURRAY!) This came about due to pressure from animal rights groups (We are regular people like yourself, only I guess we got more brain or a heart than your types, cause we think with our heads and feel with our hearts, not with our wallets. WE ARE NOT a group of vegetarian or tree-hugging "nuts,...we are red blooded Americans just like you. For Gawds sake we could be your neighbors and like you(s), most of us eat meat, fish, wear leather and even hunt. Some of us even swear like hell and smoke! (lil o' me) We ARE NOT PETA or HSUS, or ALF) opposing horse harvesting.(You call it harvesting we call it slaughter...a pig by any another name is still a pig, poor thing, cause he is on the USDA list of "approved" food-chain animals for Americans to eat. Lucky the horse is not, and we simply want to keep it that way.Surley you have heard of "maintaining the status quo" or "staying the course" like the ranchers cry when we talk about taking away their grazing rights. Why cant we "maintain the status quo" of our officially designated food-chain animals set by the USDA to the benefit of the horse to keep the horse off of that list? Fer Krists sakes do we have to eat everthing that moves?) A state law was passed that forced the Dekalb, Illinois, plant to close and this ruling was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. (For very good reason too, the place was polluting the whole towns water supply and stinking up the neighborhood, among other things.)
Approximately 100,000 head of horses each year were being sent to U.S. horse processing plants prior to their closure. This is approximately 1 percent of the horse population in the United States (Ahern et al., 2006)(And what does that tell you EINSTEIN, about the "soooo many unwanted horses that we dont know what to do with them" claim? Do you realize that it is impossible to "glut a market" based on 1% of its stock? Its Basic Math and if you dont know that you need to go back to school, fool, and quit talking like you think you know somethin' til ya git yersef some edumacation) The groups that fought for the closing of the processing plants do not want horses processed for human consumption. (Duh,the idea is that we dont want them being "processed" at all, for any reason...ok) The goal of this paper is to look at what effect these closings have had on the horse industry.(Absolutely NONE, except that the doomed horses will have to travel farther now to their deaths, and in some back-yard operations in Ole Mexico they have it really bad as they get stabbed to death, barbarian style - Why do we allow our horses to be shipped across the borders to these horrible fates?) This paper will analyze four arguments supporting the plant closures and the present environment due to the closure of the plants.
The main statements by the lead groups supporting a ban on horse processing include:

Argument 1. The United States should not participate in such a cruel, inhumane practice (HSUS, 2008)
Argument 2. The United States should not provide horse meat to satisfy other countries’ needs when Americans do not eat horse meat (Weil, 2007).
Argument 3. Horse owners will be responsible and take care of their horses (Horse Talk, 2007)
Argument 4. Owners have other methods to deal with unwanted horses, such as euthanasia, burial, sell the horse, or send to rescue facility (Horse Talk, 2007)

Let’s take a closer look at these statements.

Argument 1. The United States should not participate in such a cruel, inhumane practice.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) lists two accepted methods of euthanasia for horses: 1) overdose of barbiturate anesthesia, sodium pentobarbital administered with a sedative, 2) physical method of euthanasia from a gunshot or penetrating captive bolt causing trauma to the cerebral hemisphere and brainstem resulting in an immediate painless and humane death (AVMA, 2007).
U. S. horse harvesting facilities use the captive bolt method of euthanasia. As the AVMA states, “when properly used by skilled personnel with well-maintained equipment, physical methods of euthanasia (captive bolt is a physical means of euthanasia) may result in less fear and anxiety and be more rapid, painless, humane, and practical than other forms of euthanasia” (AVMA, 2007). Dr. Temple Grandin, PhD, designer of livestock handling facilities and professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University is an expert in methods of handling animals at harvesting facilities. In an interview on the radio program, “Horse Talk,” from Park City, Utah, Dr. Grandin indicated that done correctly euthanasia by captive bolt is second only to chemical euthanasia in discussing humane methods of euthanasia (Grandin, 2007). Jim Tucker, the manager of the Cavel International horse harvesting plant in DeKalb, Illinois, stated a licensed veterinarian was on site any time an animal was euthanized (J. Tucker, personal communication, November 27, 2007). Dr. Mark Lutschaunig, DVM, Director of the American Veterinary Medical Association Governmental Relations Divisions, indicated the horse processing facilities were highly regulated and a veterinarian was present to record any inhumane treatment (Lutschaunig, 2007). Lutschaunig also stated that the plants employ highly trained personnel utilizing the captive bolt (2007). Dr. Robert Lewis, DVM, American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Representative for the Legislative Advisory Council, stated the AAEP sent a team to the Texas plants and these equine veterinarians deemed the plants humane and the plants are USDA inspected and inspectors are on site (Lewis, 2007). The groups behind the ban, instead of helping the animals they set out to help, have created a situation where horses are neglected due to a lack of options. They have also condemned horses to shipment out of the country to foreign plants with less than humane methods of slaughter.

Argument 2. The United States should not provide horse meat to satisfy the needs of other countries when Americans do not eat horse meat.
The American Horse Defense Fund , which is a fervent supporter of bills now in the United States Congress that would ban slaughtering horse for meat, declared that “foreign-owned slaughter industry need to understand that Americans will never view horse as dinner.” It’s a ringing statement, but “it’s not an entirely accurate one” (Weil, 2007).

Americans have eaten horse meat at different periods of our history, for example during WWII and post war years (Weil, 2007). Beef and pork were scarce or costly so horse meat appeared or was readily available in butcher shops. In 1951, in Portland, Oregon, horsemeat became an important item on dinner tables with three times as many horse butchers selling three times as much meat. Also, in 1973 with meat prices soaring, a butcher shop in Connecticut converted to horse meat selling 6,000 lbs a day. Into the late 1970s, the Harvard Faculty Club served horse steaks as a regular menu item, only abandoned due to rerouting of traffic flow causing delivering problems (Weil, 2007).

The United States has been providing horse meat to many different countries for decades. Before 1979 horses were shipped live on boats to Europe, but due to transport concerns and high mortality, this international transport for processing was prohibited (Stull, 2001). The harvesting plants opened in the United States to process animals in country and ship the meat overseas. Four ounces of horse meat contains 20% greater protein than beef (sirloin) with 25% less fat, nearly 20% less sodium, double the iron and 1 mg less cholesterol. Compared to ground beef, horse meat has 55% more protein, 25% less fat, 30% less cholesterol, and 27% less sodium. For many less developed countries and with the BSE problems in beef, horse meat is a better dietary substitute (Ahern et al., 2006). As stated above the groups supporting this ban indicate that the U.S. should not provide meat to other countries that we do not ourselves consume, but the United States harvesting plants provide products from sheep and beef carcasses which are not eaten by Americans and considered delicacies in foreign markets.

Argument 3. Horse owners will be responsible and take care of their horses so a ban on slaughter
will not result in horses not being cared for.
Horse ownership has many different interpretations and levels of commitment. While many horse owners take very good care of their horses this does not hold true for everyone. While neglect may not be intentional in some instances, it happens. Educating owners to proper nutrition, dental and hoof care can make big changes to the horse’s management. Reports of horses being abandoned are on the increase (Associated Press, 2007). Reported through the Brownfield Ag News for American, “Closing horse processing plants in the United States has led to increased abandonment and neglect of horses in this country and the inhumane death of horses across the border” (Young, 2007). A Georgia Tifton Gazette article indicates rising neglect is evident across the state due to many factors, one of which is the closing of the slaughter houses (Cone, 2007). In Utah’s Department of Agriculture and Food, Terry Menlove, Director of the Division of Animal Industry, reports a larger number than usual of abandoned horses. Because of a lack of places to send older horses, some owners are keeping these horses and the horses starve to death in the field (T. Menlove, personal communication, January 2, 2008). Reported in the Drovers Alert “the number of owners charged with animal cruelty due to neglected horses is on the rise as the price of horse ownership increases. So, the fallout from the closure of the slaughter facilities: More horse are suffering from starvation and neglect” (Henderson, 2008). The Wall Street Journal cites “the number of horses whose owners won’t or can’t properly care for them is mushrooming (Prada, 2008). C.J. Hadley, publisher of the magazine called Range, indicated that “animal lovers with big hearts and no idea what’s required to take care of a horse have shut down slaughterhouses that were needed” (Prada, 2008).

Argument 4. Owners have other methods to deal with unwanted horses, such as euthanasia, burial, sell the horse, or send to rescue facility.
While many options have been available to horse owners, more of these are becoming less available and more expensive. According to Dr. Temple Grandin 25 percent of horse owners are low income owners (Grandin, 2007) and according to the American Horse Council low to moderate income families make up 45 percent of horse owners with an annual household income between $25,000 and $75,000 (Ahern, 2006). “More than two million Americans own horses, and more than a third of those owners have a household income of less than $50,000 (Prada, 2008). Any type of disruption of income can tip the scale when it comes to being a responsible horse owner. Many times these owners could count on making a little money at a sale but now the price for middle to lower end horses has severely dropped. Horses that a year ago would bring $400 - $500 now might bring $50 - $100 or might not sell. One auction company stated that “a few years ago unwanted horses may have gone for $200 -$300. Now they are around $50 -$100 (Byrns, 2007). Devin Mullet, owner of Kalona Sales Barn, Iowa, said that for the “first time in my life I’ve seen livestock that has no value” (Einhorn, 2008). This drop in U. S. horse value after the processing plants closure was predicted two years earlier by North et al. (2005, p.14). Due to high feed and hay prices many people can’t or don’t want the burden of continuing to feed a horse and others, including rescue facilities, can’t afford to take on any more horses due to the market and feed costs.

Chemical euthanasia by a veterinarian is a choice for horse owners in disposing of ill or chronically lame horses. This is expensive for the owner. Veterinary cost of euthanasia can range from $60 - $100 followed by the expense of disposing of the body. In many instances, due to environmental regulations, horses cannot be buried on site, but if allowed, the owner may well be looking at an additional $300 or more in costs if a backhoe is required (Ahern et al., 2006 p 7,8). According to Ahern et al., (2006) and North et al., (2005, p. 4) landfills have taken carcasses in the past but some are now banning carcasses or charging a fee. Rendering plants will remove carcasses but some now are charging a substantial fee or will not pick up individual horses (Ahern et al., 2006, p.8).

Rescue facilities across the country are feeling the pinch. The Pittsburg Post-Gazette indicated “every horse rescue and farm animal rescue that I deal with currently has a “no room in the inn” sign on their barn doors. They all have waiting lists” (Fuoco, 2007). The San Antonio Express News indicated that “…rescues struggle with too many horses, too little money and no national standards” (Sandberg, 2007). Dr. Mark Lutschaunig also confirmed there are not enough rescues and retirements facilities out there to handle these horses; most are full and cannot take in any more horses not only due to space but partly due to the expense (2007). Research by Utah State University also shows the similar results. Brian Dees, President of the Georgia Equine Rescue League, stated that “the number of unwanted horses has gone through the roof; the number of requests to take horses off a person’s hand has gone up by as much as 5000 percent”. Dees stated not having the harvesting facilities is one of the worse things that has happened to the U.S. horse industry (B. Dees, personal communication, January 3, 2008). According to Morgan Silver, Executive Director of the Horse Protection Association of Florida, a bigger mess has been created by the closing of the houses before the real problem of excessive breeding was addressed (M. Silver, personal communication, January 3, 2008). Bill Whitman, co-owner of Horse- Angels Ranch, Indiana, indicated contacts to his facility are up four fold. They are seeing younger horses people don’t want to take care of anymore and they don’t know how to deal with them (B. Whitman, personal communication, December 8, 2007). In an article Whitman stated last year “8,000 horses were sent from Indiana to Illinois for slaughter, but now slaughtering horses has been banned. With that avenue closed and more unwanted horses, “it’s going to be a nightmare” (Vierebome, 2007). Kathleen Schwartz, Director and Founder of Days End Horse Rescue, Maryland, said that they get 3 - 5 emails a day from people looking to get rid of their horses which their rescue has to turn away. While she gives them the names of local rescues, she knows they are already busting at the seams (K. Schwartz, personal communication, October 16, 2007). Jenny Edwards, Director of Hope for Horses, Washington, echoes other rescues by saying her rescue is full. She also noted in the past the horses they were involved with were usually in good condition when they received them. Now they are seeing horses that are more sickly which increases time of stay and ultimately rescue costs. Horses that would have gone to slaughter in the past now languish longer in pastures and are in poorer condition when rescues receive them, making it harder on rescue facilities (J. Edwards, personal communication, October 25, 2007). Jennifer Williams, Director of Blue Bonnet Equine Humane, Texas, voiced concerns over groups supporting the antislaughter bill when they say the market will correct itself and then they walked away. Rescues now have to take care of the problem which she felt was very short sighted (J. Williams, personal communication, November 13, 2007). According to North et al. (2005, p.14) “if these horses are not euthanized, caring for each horse will cost rescue facilities approximately $2,340 per year, depending on location.”

Could Americans have known the fallout from the closure of the processing plants?
In a paper published in 2006 prior to the closing of all of the slaughter houses, the predictions were:
The potential for a large number of abandoned or unwanted horses is substantial.
Public animal rescue facilities are saturated with unwanted horses. No funding has been allocated to manage a large increase in horse that will likely become the responsibility of these facilities.
The option of rendering equine carcasses is decreasing. Private land burial and disposal in landfills have negative impact on the environment.
Horse owners will realize a direct impact from lower horse sale prices (Ahern et al., 2006).

In 2004, Messer indicated at that time there was not “enough volunteers, funding, or placement opportunities for all of the unwanted horses” (2004). In 2005, North et al. indicated similar results with the “value of both U.S. horses and horsemeat to decrease to some degree” and that “money would be needed to care for or dispose of unwanted horse that cannot be slaughtered and are not disposed of”. The direct economic impact on the horse industry would be in the neighborhood of $50 million annually ($26 million in lost export revenue and $20-$29 million in increased disposal costs) (North et al., 2005 p. 14).

Where are the supporters of this ban at this point?
The promoters of banning the ethical harvest of horses have played on the emotions of public servants and private individuals who are not only not horse owners themselves, but have reacted and made government and state policy based on emotion with no concern for the reality of the implications of the ban. These same groups are back at the front door of the Nation’s capital now asking for a ban on transporting horses to other available horse harvesting facilities within driving range of the U.S. The horses that are now transported out of the country to possibly non-regulated facilities are the ones that would have gone to U.S. regulated facilities, but are now subjected to increased travel distance and possible cruel euthanasia.

Why have the groups that supported the ban on horse processing not stepped forward to help in the unwanted horse issue? This is a very important question that needs to be answered. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), one of the supporters of this ban, states it is not the responsibility of the HSUS to solve every horse issue (Steever, 2008). But should they help fix a problem that they created? Wayne Pacelle, President of the Humane Society of the United States, has stated that stories of increased numbers of horses abandoned or neglected are concocted by those that oppose the ban on horse harvesting (Pacelle, 2007). The AVMA and many other groups have stated that “the assault by the anti-horse-slaughter industry has, in fact, led to the current welfare crisis.” Mark Lutschaunig states “The reality is, proponents of this legislation have done nothing to address the real issue here, and, in fact, by seeking to ban horse slaughter, they have made things significantly worse” (Nolen, 2008). Dr. Simon Shane reported the current lack of alternatives to humane processing will continue to result in abandonment and neglect. By demonizing regular practices in the livestock industry through misrepresentation, distortion of scientific fact, publicizing sensational and frequently fabricated and manipulated images, the opponents of food animal production appeal to the sentiments and emotions of the public and legislators. Poorly framed legislation may in fact create more suffering among animals than the alleged problems intended to be solved” (Shane, 2008). Shane goes on to say that “we should be aware of the fundamental objectives of HSUS which is to impose a vegan lifestyle on all humanity” (2008). According to Dr. Robert Lewis, DVM, there is no easy solution to this problem. Euthanasia is quite expensive and then there is the issue of carcass disposal. Cremation is very costly. So many avenues are gone now when it comes to disposing of horses including the sale barn (Lewis, 2008).

Many of the rescues are privately funded and funding is always at a premium. Therefore, some are asking why the federal government isn’t providing funding to the rescues, now forced to take on more horses with escalating costs. Others have suggested the paying of breeders not to breed as many horses or paying owners to geld or ovariectomize their horses.

The ban on harvesting horses has put employees at the harvesting facilities out of jobs at a time when the nation is facing unemployment and recession concerns. At the same time, these groups have put tens of thousands of horses in a prime situation for neglect and abandonment. It does not take too much insight to understand if the U.S. harvest facilities remain closed and there is an attempt to stop transportation of horses across our borders the federal government will have to take on a prominent role to ensure that unwanted horses are cared for humanely. This will require money from already overspent budgets to supply patrols at the border in an attempt to stop horses from crossing. The drain on the U.S. economy will continue as other regulations and funding are required to fix the current and future situations that develop to a problem that did not exist. “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” is a statement that seems to apply to the U.S. horse harvesting situation. These facilities provided an export market for unwanted horses amounting to approximately $26 million in value and also provided employment to U.S. citizens, both with limited government involvement. Public policy should not be based on emotional appeals, but rather on hard facts. It appears that no one read nor listened to the facts and now the facts are haunting even those who made the wrong decision.

While not the focus of this paper, questions about what the economic effect of the ban will have on the U.S. economy deserve attention (hay producers, feed mills, tack shops, and the price of horses). It is clear that persons purchasing horses will now need to consider disposal costs for the horse at the end of its useful life rather than anticipating any salvage value for the horse when it is sold. Evidence suggests that horse prices have decreased since the implementation of the ban and indicate that the negative effect of the ban on the industry is widely based.

This paper was an undergraduate research project and was not provided external funding from any sources.

Ahern, J.J., Anderson, D.P., Bailey, D., Baker, L.A., Colette, W.A., Neibergs, J.S., North, M.S., Potter, G.D., & Stull, C.L. (2006). The unintended consequences of a ban on the humane slaughter (processing) of horses in the United States. Animal Welfare Council, Inc. Retrieved December 3, 2007 from

Associated Press. Abandoned horses pose dilemma For ranchers. The Retrieved November 13, 2007 from

AVMA Guidelines on euthanasia (June 2007). Retrieved November 14, 2007 from

Byrns, B. (December 26, 2007). Slaughter ban sparks rise in abandoned horses. The Daily Journal. Retrieved January 2, 2008 from

Cone, J. (December 7, 2007). Horse neglect on the rise across the state. The Tifton Gazette. Retrieved December 9, 2007 from

Einhorn, C. (January 11, 2008). Death across the border awaits horse spared it in the U.S. The New York Times. Retrieved January 11, 2008 from

Henderson, G. (January 10, 2008). Horse exports to Mexico up over 300 percent. Drovers Alert. Retrieved January 10, 2008 from

HSUS (2008). Get the facts on Horse Slaughter. Retrieved January 18, 2008 from

Fuoco, L. Pet Tales: Horse slaughter a needed but unpopular option. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved
November 15, 2007 from

Grandin, T. (October 13, 2007). Horse Talk Radio Program, Park City, Utah. Retrieved November 20,
2007 from

Lewis, R. (December 8, 2008). Horse Talk Radio Program, Park City, Utah. Retrieved January 4, 2008

Lutschaunig, M. (December 8, 2008). Horse Talk Radio Program. Park City, Utah. Retrieved January 4,
2008 from

Messer, N.T. (2004) The plight of the unwanted horse: scope of the problem. AAEP Proceedings, Vol.
50. Retrieved December 3, 2007 from

Nolen, R.S. (January 10, 2008). AVMA: U.S. horse slaughter exports to Mexico increase 312%. Retrieved January 11, 2008 from

North, M.S., Bailey, D., & Ward, R.A. (2005). The potential impact of a proposed ban on the sale
of U.S. horses for slaughter and human consumption. Journal of Agribusiness, 23, 1: 1-17.

Pacelle, W. (June 15, 2007). Abandon the Myth of the Unwanted Horse. Retrieved January 18, 2008

Prada, P. (January 7, 2008). Leaner pastures: as horses multiply neglect cases rise. The Wall Street
Journal online. Retrieved January 10, 2008 from

Sandberg, L. (December 1, 2007). Groups try to save horse from slaughter. Retrieved December 9, 2007 from

Shane, S. (January 16, 2008). The Shane Report: The law of unintended consequences applied to horse slaughter. Retrieved January 17, 2008 from

Steever, T., & Russell, D. (January 10, 2008). Closures lead to increased horse shipments to Mexico. Brownfield Ag. News for America. Retrieved January 11, 2008 from

Stull, C.L. (2001). Evolution of the proposed federal slaughter horse transport regulations. Journal of Animal Science, 79, E12-E15. Retrieved December 5, 2007, from

Vierebome, P. (December 18, 2007). Horse owners need to pony up to responsibilities. The Madison Courier. Retrieved December 21, 2007 from

Weil, C. (March 5, 2007). We eat horses don’t we? The New York Times. Retrieved December 5, 2007 from

Young, (C. October 25, 2007) Let activist groups pay for unwanted horse care. Brownfield Ag News for America. Retrieved December 3, 2007 from

Annals of Equine Transport 2 Slaughter Abuse / Remembering Jack Reinert

United States Department of Agriculture v. Jack Reinert
A.Q. Docket No. 08-0125.
This order shall have the same force and effect as if entered after a full hearing and shall be final and effective thirty five (35) days after service of this Default Decision and Order uponRespondent Jack Reinert unless there is an appeal to the Judicial Officer pursuant to section1.145 of the Rules of Practice applicable to this proceeding (7 C.F.R. 1.145).Done at Washington, D.C. this 19thday of June, 2009._____________________________Marc R. HillsonChief Administrative Law Judge

I wonder if he ever did pay that $48,150 fine?

Click on title above to read whole case;

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Nebraska State lawmakers want to resolve horse dilemma - Suggest Native Americans Get Into Horse-Slaughter Business

By ART HOVEY / Lincoln Journal Star | Posted: Friday, October 2, 2009 1:25 pm | 1 Comment

It's far from the only situation of its kind in the state, but it's a serious one for Fillmore County.

Five of the 35 emaciated horses Sheriff Bill Burgess and his deputies confiscated from property near Shickley in July have died.

County officials already have spent almost $7,500 keeping the rest alive and will need to find a heated building for at least seven of them soon if they expect them to survive chillier temperatures.

Deputy Sheriff Bob Hester, who's supervising the county's care-taking efforts, doesn't like what he's seeing happen to horses there and elsewhere in the state.

In an earlier era, "they helped us to develop and settle this area," he said. "And, unfortunately, animals can't speak for themselves. We have to speak for them and protect them."

Humane treatment was certainly one concern for members of the Legislature's Agriculture Committee Friday as they tried to come up with a solution to the increasing numbers of horses in the state that are falling into the neglected, unwanted and abandoned categories.

But lawmakers are also trying to come to grips with the aftermath of a 2006 federal decision that led to the closing of the last three horse slaughtering plants in the United States and with the emotional debate over whether horses should be treated as livestock or companion animals.

"Death is not inhumane. Starvation and neglect are," Gretna veterinarian Larry Henning said as he testified on behalf of the Nebraska Veterinary Medical Association and in favor of what he described as "humane transport to slaughter."

That point of view - whether the slaughtering is done in the U.S., Mexico or somewhere else - does not pass muster with the Humane Society of the United States, said Don Wesely, spokesman for its almost 50,000 members in Nebraska.

Wesely, a former state senator and mayor of Lincoln, called horse slaughter "cruel and inhumane" and said, "We should be able to find common ground here short of having to slaughter horses in the state of Nebraska."

Sen. M.L. "Cap" Dierks, a committee member and a veteran veterinarian from Ewing, is heading up efforts to find solutions through an interim study. And, as is often the case, interim studies arise from problems that are too complicated to solve quickly.

As the long-standing U.S. practice of exporting horse meat is stymied by federal lawmakers, Nebraska rendering plants have become overloaded with horses that grow old and die in the pasture instead.

Many plants won't pick up any more carcasses or have begun charging hundreds of dollars to come and get them.

"Right now," said Dierks, "the only place I can take a horse to dispose of him is I take him to the pasture. I dig a hole and I shoot him."

At the same time, the typical cost of caring for one horse for one year can easily add up to $1,900 a year, said Debby Brehm, speaking for Nebraska members of the American Quarter Horse Association.

"Whether or not we want to admit it," Brehm said, "the economy comes into play."

Brehm said her organization does not advocate slaughtering horses, but she described it as "a necessary aspect of the equine industry." She also said "transportation should be allowed to existing facilities."

Ross Garwood, Amelia farmer and spokesman for the Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation, said Nebraska should look at various options to what amounts to a slaughtering ban, including consulting with Native Americans about doing it on tribal land.

Tribes are not subject to federal restrictions, he said, and there is "a potential epidemic of unwanted and abandoned horses."

Back in Fillmore County, Deputy Hester said the 30 surviving horses there appear to be on the mend from what had been "walking skeleton" status. "The thing is they're so depressed that it will take time to get them back up."

Thayer County resident Norman Graves is behind bars in Lincoln as he awaits an Oct. 7 hearing in Geneva on animal cruelty charges.

Reach Art Hovey at 473-7223 or at

Posted in Govt-and-politics on Friday, October 2, 2009 1:25 pm Updated: 6:58 pm. | Tags: Legislature,

Click on title above to see orignal article and place for comments;

Friday, October 16, 2009

New Ag Bill Passes Senate: Says NO to Horse-slaughter Plants in 2010

Agricultural Act Passes Senate, Moves onto President
by: Edited Press Release
October 14 2009, Article # 15088

On Oct. 8, 2009, the United States Senate passed the final version of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010 (H.R.2997). The House of Representatives approved the bill the previous day. This bill provides funding for the USDA for fiscal year 2010 and contains two provisions of interest to the horse industry.
GAO Study of Horse Welfare
The conference agreement accompanying this bill directs the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study the status of horse welfare as it relates to the closing of horse slaughter plants in the United States.

The agreement requests the GAO to issue a report by March 1, 2010, on the current state of horse welfare in the US since horse slaughter facilities were closed. The GAO is instructed to consider how the horse industry has responded to the plant closings in terms of horse sales, exports, adoptions, and abandonments. In addition the GAO is instructed to review the impact the closures have had on farm income and state and local government organizations.

USDA Inspection at Plants
The bill also contains a provision prohibiting any funds from being used by the USDA to inspect horse meat for human consumption. While there are currently no plants operating in the in the United States that process horses for human consumption, this bill effectively bars any such plant from operating in the U.S. for fiscal year 2010.

This bill will now proceed to the President for his approval, which is expected.

If you have any questions regarding this bill please contact the American Horse Council, 202/296-4031.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

"Galloping" to the Rescue w/ a Gallup Poll

So we have been telling our representatives in Congress that most Americans are against horse slaughter,....but what have we to prove to them that what we are saying is true? And with so many organizations against us with so much lobbying power in DC - isnt it time for us to actually PROVE to them with cold-hard facts that what we are saying is true..... how then, can they continue to ignore us, "the will of the people?" Isnt it time for a Gallup poll? I wonder.....could we compel them to do it and if so, how much would it cost?

Click on title above to go to the Gallup Poll site; Maybe if they got enough emails from us they would consider doing an "American Horse Slaughter" poll - maybe they will do it for free? Doesnt hurt to ask.

Update: I received an email from an anti-horse slaughter advocate who thinks taking a National poll at this time would be risky for our cause. Her concern was that with all the pro-slaughter propaganda floating around, that people will believe the hype and come out on the pro-slaughter side. I am thinking, based on my own experiences with talking to people on the streets about it (while handing out flyers) that most people arent even aware that American horses are being slaughtered for human consumption abroad, and when they find out they are appalled and are definately against it "like eating our cats or dogs" they likein it. These "clean slate" minds outnumber by far, I am sure, the ones that have been tained by the pro-slaughter propaganda and who have already made up their minds. I think NOW is the time for a reliable National poll. What say you?

World Horse Welfare Submits Petition to EU Commission

2009 October 6

World Horse Welfare has handed its petition to the European Commission calling for the end of the long-distance transportation of horses to slaughter.

More than 130,000 people in Britain and the Continent supported the Make A Noise petition, which was handed in to the EU in Brussels on 30 September.

Currently, 100,000 horses are transported long-distance across Europe to slaughter every year in inhumane conditions, causing exhaustion, dehydration, injury and stress.

The charity’s director of campaigns and communications Jo White said: “The demonstration of public support for this campaign has been overwhelming.

“It’s an issue that people are very passionate about, mainly because it’s a totally unnecessary cause of suffering on a huge scale.

“Every time we undertake a field trip to gather evidence and monitor the practice, we witness many incidents of pain and distress — which must and can be stopped.

“Hopefully, the petition will be the catalyst for change. The regulation urgently needs to be amended if welfare is to improve.”

By NICK RUTHERFORD | Horse and Hound | Story URL

Click on title above for article;

Mary Alice Pollard
Cornwall's Voice for Animals

Monday, October 5, 2009

Pro-Slaughter Sues' Pro-Slaughter Friends

Click on title above to see all of Pro-Slaughter Sue (Wallis') pro-slaughter friends who have organized themselves under the auspices of caring about horses...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pro-Slaughter Sue Speaketh - Defendith her Position, er, ah, well, tries to, anyways

Pro-Slaughter Sue's ( a breeder of quarter-horses, defends her "honorable" pro-slaughter position. Below is in reply to an anti-slaughter advocates inquiry regarding her pro-slaughter stance;

".... Though I have not personally witnessed the slaughter of horses, but I have witnessed all sorts of other kinds of processing plants, I know what happens there, and I have butchered almost all of the meat our family eats myself. I also have visited with a number of the veterinarians who went on the American Association of Equine Practitioner’s (AAEP) trip to inspect the Mexican horse processing plants. They were very impressed by the professionalism and the handling of the animals in both an European Union inspected plant, and in a Mexican government inspected plant. One fact that you should know is that currently ALL US horses that go to Mexico for processing, go to an EU inspected plant, without exception. That is the only way they get over the border. They are transported in specially designed trucks with all rounded corners, and the truck is sealed as it crosses the border and the horses have been inspected, and then a government/EU inspector breaks that seal at the processing plant. The horses are handled gently, and are only moved with flags, no hotshots, no abuse of any kind. At the plant, they are humanely killed—quickly, painlessly, and with an absolute minimum of stress to the animal—the AAEP vets were able to watch everything, go anywhere they wanted in the plant, and take pictures. The horses are not terrified. They are not abused. They do not witness the procedure happening to other horses. There is no screaming. There is no “coming back to consciousness while they are being cut up.” All sensation ends in less than 30 seconds. The veterinarians watched a good number of horses be killed, and reported that it was all done very well. Here is a link to the report in the Journal of American Veterinary Medicine Association from March, 2009, Horse slaughter conditions in Mexico explored by American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) group.

Even at the Mexican government inspected plant, which of course, only processed Mexican horses, the veterinarians reported that the facilities were not quite as good, but that they did use a capture bolt mechanism, and that all of the horses they watched be killed there were killed humanely.

Because of these professional reports, and my own experience, I have concluded that the horrific videos of horse slaughter that are being smeared around the internet are either a:) a completely fabricated hoax designed to emotionally manipulate people like yourself who truly love and care for horses; or b:) filmed at some back yard “mom and pop” butcher shop that is completely unregulated, even by the Mexican government.

For most of us involved in agriculture, we believe that it is our moral and ethical responsibility to care for the animals we own. To us, a very humane death in a processing plant is far, far preferable to a miserable, and prolonged, and painful death of starvation and neglect. We would never allow this to happen to our horses. So, if we have a horse that we cannot use, or cannot sell, then the only honorable option is to put that horse down…to humanely kill it. We know that once a horse has been humanely killed, for whatever reason, for mercy or for processing, that once the horse is dead all legal, moral, and ethical obligations to the welfare of that live animal ceases. We believe that whatever happens to the carcass is entirely the right, responsibility, and prerogative of the owner. Period. For animals that have been trusted companions, loyal partners, and pets, this will generally mean a respectful burial or cremation depending on the owner’s philosophy and resources. For others the most appropriate option might be delivery to a rendering plant or a landfill. Rendering plants reduce animal carcasses to oils and useful by-products such as soap, glycerin, lubricants, inks, cleansing creams, shampoo, glue, antifreeze, explosives, and paints. Most small animal shelters utilize rendering plants for carcass disposal, as do livestock producers who occasionally have carcasses unsuitable for processing. Because horses are traditional food animals in most of the world, there is a viable export market for horse meat. Many horse owners either need, or wish to recoup the monetary value of their unusable horse, or a horse they can no longer support, and are comfortable with this solution; especially if they can be assured that their animals are humanely killed.

The American Veterinary Medical Association has approved three methods of humane euthanasia of horses: 1. Bullet; 2. Capture Bolt; and 3. Overdose of barbiturates. Of the three the captured bolt mechanism is the most reliable and certain. Our old vet who takes care of our horses will give a horse a lethal cocktail, wait until they start to go unconscious, and then puts a bullet in their brain because he has seen far too many of them not go down with just the drugs, and they flail around and suffer, so he makes it certain. But, you really have to know what you are doing to kill a horse with a bullet. It has to be very, very precise and in exactly the right spot—many, many people trying to do the “right thing” for their horses have been dismayed and emotionally traumatized because they were trying to honorably shoot their horse that they are emotionally attached to, and have to shoot them over and over and over, and they still don’t die.

So, for me, personally, providing that the horse that I have sold is not suffering (in which case I would put them down immediately here on the ranch), but if they are dangerous, untrainable, or otherwise unusable my myself or others, I would much prefer that they go to a US processing plant where I know it would be regulated by both the US government and the EU food safety systems, and would be humanely handled. It does not bother me, in fact, it suits my ethical view point that the carcass would be utilized very thoroughly to feed people, to feed other animals, and to produce many, many useful by-products. Other options just result in 1200 pounds of toxic waste and a disposal problem, and for people who make part or all of their living from horses, a complete and total financial loss. A humane processing option does provide some residual, salvage value that can be reinvested into productive, useful livestock. As it is, there is simply no market at all for unusable horses. Consequently the value of all horses, 98% to 99% of them that would never see the inside of a processing plant, and yet the value of all horses has plummeted by 30% to 80% nation-wide.

Basically what we have done by closing the US plants is take what used to be a valuable asset—something that you could take to the sale and get much needed cash for if you lost your job, or lost your home—and turned it into a very expensive liability with no options.

Another point that I would like to make is that no jurisdiction in this, or any other country, can let one specie reproduce to the point that they are destroying their resource base for themselves, and every other living creature, and are starving and dying—not feral dogs and cats, not deer, or elk, or bears, or wolves. And yet, this is sadly, exactly what is happening with the wild horses and burros on our public lands.

I really appreciate that you took the time to write and ask. I don’t think many people outside of the rural, agriculture world have heard, or understand our view point, or that we absolutely, unequivocally have the well-being of all horses in our hearts. Because I suspect that many people have exactly the same questions and beliefs that you do, I am going to post your question, and my response on our “frequently asked questions” page on our website."


Sue Wallis
Founding Leadership Team
United Organizations of the Horse

Friday, October 2, 2009


A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Wed 30 Sep 2009
Source: KRQE News 13 [edited]

3 horses die at special-needs ranch
State veterinarians are investigating possible causes of death after 3
horses died mysteriously at a therapeutic riding ranch in Albuquerque's
South Valley.

[The owner] and her partner are special-education teachers who run
Chocollate New Mexico, a riding-therapy center that works with physically
and mentally challenged kids. "Children and adults that have been totally
nonverbal have started speaking," she said about the therapy results. The
animal interaction often works wonders for children with autism, she added.

But on Saturday [26 Sep 2009] something terrible happened at their home and
ranch. "I went out to feed, and our 18 month old miniature was dead," [the
owner] said. A few hours later a 2nd horse collapsed and started thrashing
violently. A vet euthanized it on scene after the horse bloodied itself
smashing into a metal trailer. On Sunday [27 Sep 2009] a 3rd horse died the
same way although this time it happened in front of several children.

Dr Flint Taylor of the New Mexico Department of Agriculture said 3 sudden
horse deaths in one place is a definite concern. "We can never rule out
anything until we rule it out," Taylor told KRQE News 13. He said disease
does not seem the likely culprit. However it is possible a toxic weed may
have somehow gotten onto the property or into a hay bale, Taylor continued.
"The animals that actually eat hay from that part of the bale and not from
another part will be affected while others animals on the premises may not
be affected," he said.

Necropsy results should be back by the end of the week. As for the
possibility of widespread tainted hay, Taylor said he has not heard any
recent reports of animals with similar sickness.

[The teachers] still have 5 horses but said it will be a challenge to keep
the program going. They're now facing thousands of dollars in veterinarian
bills and are not sure how they will pay them.

[byline: Ian Schwartz]

communicated by:
ProMED-mail correspondent Susan Baekeland

[A number of toxic plants grow in the Albuquerque area. Horses and other
animals normally avoid some toxic plants unless, during times of drought or
overgrazing, there is nothing else for the animals to eat. Toxic plants
baled into hay often are a source of toxicity because the animals are
forced to eat it since they cannot avoid it. Further information about the
clinical signs might help to identify plants that could be responsible. -

The state of New Mexico in the south western United States can be located
on the HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map at
. - Sr.Tech.Ed.MJ]

[see also:
Undiagnosed deaths, equine - USA: (FL) 20081010.3217
Undiagnosed horse illness - USA (Arizona) 19990202.0148]

ProMED-mail makes every effort to verify the reports that
are posted, but the accuracy and completeness of the
information, and of any statements or opinions based
thereon, are not guaranteed. The reader assumes all risks in
using information posted or archived by ProMED-mail. ISID
and its associated service providers shall not be held
responsible for errors or omissions or held liable for any
damages incurred as a result of use or reliance upon posted
or archived material.
Become a ProMED-mail Premium Subscriber at

Visit ProMED-mail's web site at .
Send all items for posting to:
(NOT to an individual moderator). If you do not give your
full name and affiliation, it may not be posted. Send
commands to subscribe/unsubscribe, get archives, help,
etc. to: For assistance from a
human being send mail to:

Thursday, October 1, 2009

NC Horse Council to Get New Equestrian Park

Study shows equine industry has a solid kick: $1.9 billion
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
By Jonnelle Davis
Staff Writer

Financing secured for equestrian center (May 14)

WENTWORTH — The equine industry isn’t recognized as a major force in the state’s economy but should be, according to study results presented Tuesday night to Rockingham County residents.

The N.C. (Pro-Slaughter) Horse Council, along with other state agricultural and equine leaders, presented findings from the Equine Economic Impact Study. The study, which surveyed horse owners, participants in equine events and related businesses, revealed that the industry has an annual economic impact of $1.9 billion .

“That’s a very substantial number,” said Mike Yoder, an extension horse specialist at N.C. State, during a town hall meeting at RCC.

The study also showed that horse owners spend $1.4 billion annually on goods and services. Ninety percent of those purchases are made within the state.

Yoder said the state’s equine industry, which also includes donkeys and mules, is diverse, dynamic and growing.

“At $1.9 billion annually, we are a solid agricultural commodity in North Carolina, and we need to remember that,” he said. (But no $$$ for rescue and/or re-hab, or to support anti-slaughter legislation)

Recommendations from the study include the establishment of an equine industry commission to advocate for the industry.

There are bills in the state House and Senate that could fund such a commission, said Rep. Nelson Cole, D-Rockingham, who attended the meeting.

The N.C. General Assembly commissioned the study in 2007. The results come at a critical time for Rockingham and Guilford counties.

Rockingham County is preparing to build the first phase of its equestrian center — the Horse Park of the South. N.C. A&T is a partner.

Rockingham County is hoping to pump life back into an economy that has been hard hit by the loss of the tobacco and manufacturing industries.

A&T officials want to grow an equine program still in its infancy. The university has a 21-credit-hour certificate program in equine management but hopes to offer a major one day, said Rusty Miller, equine program coordinator with the school’s department of animal science.

Phase one of the horse park costs $6.8 million and will include 300 stalls, four outside show rings and classroom space for A&T. It will be built on 155 acres at Barnes Street and U.S. 29 in Reidsville.

When done, the horse park’s total project cost will be about $14 million.

So far, the project has received $1.5 million from the Golden Leaf Foundation and $2.4 million from the General Assembly. The county, the city of Reidsville and the Reidsville Area Foundation also are helping pay for the initial phase.

Rockingham County Manager Tom Robinson said he’s gotten calls from businesses interested in opening in the county if the equestrian center becomes a reality.

“I think we’re going to develop a lot of friends once we break ground,” Robinson said Tuesday.

The meeting attracted about 75 people, including Garry and Lorrie Hutchens. The couple own eight horses and live about three miles from where the horse park will be built. They say they welcome the business traffic the park is likely to bring to their side of town.

“I’ll be there myself watching the horse shows,” Lorrie Hutchens said.

Contact Jonnelle Davis at 627-4881, Ext. 126, or

CommentsConfirmed myNR members may comment on this article. Memberships are free, and it only takes a few minutes to create your profile. Click "Submit Comment" to sign in or register for a new account. New members must validate their email addresses in order to comment.

Inappropriate content? Please notify us.

Submit Comment

BeachwalkSeptember 30, 2009 - 10:53 am EDT
N.C. Horse Council.?
No agenda there.

"establishment of an equine industry commission to advocate for the industry."
To put it another way; Lobbyist, who will go to Raliegh and beg for more of your tax money to keep it running.

Reply to this comment IlliteratiSeptember 30, 2009 - 11:14 am EDT
Interestingly, there's a horse farm for sale in the county for a million bucks that already has 3 barns and an indoor arena. The county could buy that and have money left over from the existing funding to make it suitable for public events. Of course, it isn't in Reidsville, where Tom Robinson and his buddies live...

This whole project is a nice present for a few select people in Rockingham County. They claim it'll add a whopping 12 jobs (minimum wage probably) and allegedly attract other businesses around it. Considering the speed at which commercial property is going vacant, that's unlikely.

In the meantime, the western half of the county continues to be ignored and is seeing increasing numbers of empty storefronts and vacant houses. Don't worry about us over here, Tom, just take our taxes and build your fancy pony palace at our expense.

Reply to this comment ravencottageSeptember 30, 2009 - 11:32 am EDT
maybe A&T can have homecoming concerts there

Reply to this comment Local ManSeptember 30, 2009 - 12:51 pm EDT
For those who see opportunity they will prosper. Let's work hard to not let the others hold us back.

Reply to this comment IlliteratiSeptember 30, 2009 - 2:03 pm EDT
I see opportunity, but I also see another, more prudent, taxpayer-friendly way to get there. Did you even look at the property I linked to? It suits this project to a T, and it offers a great opportunity for ancillary revenue for the county besides horse-related events. The buildings could be rented to businesses for off-site meetings and retreats, or weddings and family reunions. The property itself, with a stocked pond and trails, could be a jewel of a county park and a destination for people from other areas. Near HWY 220 makes it convenient to GSO, W-S, and High Point, as well as being a pretty straight shot to Roanoke and Lexington (where the other horse center is located).

The arena seats 700 people, has fancy "Hollywood" lighting, public bathrooms with showers, offices, lounge, and more. This property is probably better and much more versatile than anything that our tax dollars are about to build in Reidsville. And it's only a million dollars, which would leave the county with several million to retrofit it accordingly.

Reply to this comment Local ManSeptember 30, 2009 - 10:08 pm EDT
The property you mention is certainly a good investment since it's value will certainly rise after the Horse Park of the South is built. One problem though the hotel owners in Rockingham County have agreed to put up a sizable amount of the money over the years via the ocupancy tax. There are no hotels in Madison. The hotel traffic is certain to go to Greensboro and Martinsville.This also sends much needed tax dollars which you would use to reduce the tax burdon outside the area and even the state. Sewer infastructure for hotels and resturants could also be a problem.

Reply to this comment DanvilleSeptember 30, 2009 - 3:32 pm EDT
IM looking forward to the center!! But they have been breaking ground on it for 6 years? Whats up with that?? With 600 stalls and 155 acres they should consider adding an adjacent (horse) race track on the property. "Colonial Downs" in Virgina is a blast!

Reply to this comment IlliteratiSeptember 30, 2009 - 6:14 pm EDT
Hm, could we have betting? And slots? If yes, then I could be convinced to be more excited, especially if the revenue went into the county coffers and our property taxes went down!

Reply to this comment Submit Comment