Monday, December 6, 2010
HorseMeat on The Menu at 1st Annual Summit of the Horse?
If Sue Wallis and Friends had their way, it would! Below is a message being sent round today to her Pro-Slaughter Constituants, from The Horse-Slaughter Queen herself;
For today's Summit of the Horse blog we are sharing a reprint of an article written by Dan Pandolfo, a horse breeder and cattle rancher from Northgate, Sask., who says eating horse meat is more respectful than waste or abuse. This was originally published in the Western Producer on September 23, 2010.
There are many perspectives on the problems in the horse industry today. Dan shares one that many of us share.
Our hope is to bring all of the various perspectives together at the Summit of the Horse in Las Vegas to discuss calmly and rationally what needs to be done to restore the horse industry. We will not tolerate protests and obstruction, but if you come to the table with respect and decorum, you will be welcomed. I hope that you can join us!
Sue Wallis, Vice President
Available horse meat a modern reality
I am a Saskatchewan horse breeder and cattle rancher. I read your Aug. 26 article ( "Horse breeding industry faces crisis") with interest and an open mind, and I feel compelled to give a different perspective.
In regard to Betty Coulthard's problems and the emotions spawned by the reality of product demand, I agree that it is difficult to see young horses go to slaughter plants.
However, I feel the same way about a pen of nice fat steers or heifers or a favourite productive cow that has spent her time on earth doing what she was meant to do - turning the earth's grasses and grains into life-sustaining protein.
After all, the relationship between mankind and forage-consuming animals has existed for well over 1,000 years.
Ms. Coulthard's perspective could be suspect to a lot of breeders and horse owners and potential new industry players. Making a statement such as " you have to raise 100 horses to get two good ones" is self-defeating when it comes to getting the public and horse enthusiasts to spend hard-earned dollars on the product of a specific breeding program.
In my program, I think if I raise one poor animal in 10, then I need to correct the problem as quickly as possible. In fact, I have a sales production program that includes a guarantee of a horse's quality, given proper care and animal husbandry is in place in the prospective customer's facility.
The truth about the price of horses is multifaceted. Part of it relates to the PMU industry.Canadian PMU producers were persuaded by the buyer of their product to produce papered stock to eliminate the impression that they were raising horses destined for human consumption. Producers complied.
Supply and demand set the price on the horses, and producers had to sell them to the pleasure and performance horse industry to comply with their contract holder and their own association. The result: a massive number of papered horses of varying quality. It created a glut on the market.
Producing high quality sport horses is a tough game to play. Even the best bred prospects sometimes do not work out as well as intended.
This has left a sour taste in the mouths of many people who invested in PMU bred horses. A number of these horses work out well but a greater number prove to be a poor investment.
Good horses still bring good money. The same is true of all top quality products. And yes, it's true that the market does not bear as much fruit as it did 10 years ago. We are in recession and everyone is included, horse breeders and users alike.
At this time in our history, horses are a luxury. Supply and demand are the dominant factors in this world and probably always will be.
North Americans are foolish and wasteful. Apparently we are so rich that we can, because of an emotional misconception, afford to throw away one of the highest quality red meat sources in the world.
Horse meat is lower in fat and cholesterol than beef or bison. It has higher protein per gram and is also rich in trace elements.
In our culture, obesity is running rampant, causing all kinds of expensive and damaging health issues. Yet we think eating horse meat is a sin, while the rest of the world consumes more than four million horses per year and has lower obesity rates.
This is a ridiculous situation. We have people in our own country who struggle to feed their families a good balanced diet. At the same time we sell our horses to a few fully integrated horse meat market retailers for a fraction of what they are worth on the world market.
I have been told that a 1,200 pound horse, when processed, retails for an average of $ 2,750 per animal. If you figure a yield of 65 percent on the rail, the meat is worth $3.52 per lb.
I have also heard that in some European and Asian regions, the best cuts can sell for up to $40 per lb. Of course, those would be fed horses for a specific market but it nevertheless appears that horse meat is worth a premium to beef in a lot of countries.
We see horses sold in this country for a measly 20 to 40 cents per lb., all because there is no domestic demand.
Yet 4.6 million horses are consumed by humans every year in other countries and cultures. Are we to assume these cultures are ethically corrupt, uncivilized or less intelligent than North Americans are?
The animal rights people have been successful in shutting down the slaughter horse industry in the United States, making U.S. slaughter horses worthless. Integrated retailers are able to buy American horses for the cost of assembly and trucking.
It seems unbelievable, but the anti-slaughter groups and animal rights people are crushing the taxable economic activity of the horse industry. At the same time they are enabling the horse slaughter monopolies in Canada and Mexico to make bigger profits than ever.
Using horses to sustain human life is far more respectful of these animals than to let them starve or put them down and waste their remains.
Bloggers Note: The asshole author said ONE thing right. The PMU Industry plays a HUGE part in the production of so many "un-wanted" horses.