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Congress Blocks Slaughtering Horses For Meat In U.S.

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        02-07-2014, 07:28 PM
      #21
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bsms    
    ^^ I think the thinking behind this is: "Don't hurt the horsies!"

    I don't want to hurt horsies either, but I'm waiting to hear of a good alternative.

    Cowboy is our little BLM mustang. He's ridden about 6 times/year, so we obviously do not need him...but as long as I can afford his feed, I guess we'll keep him. I kind of like the little snot, although I wouldn't cry if someone wanted him. But if he or Mia was sick, and couldn't live any longer without pain, and I could have them killed and rendered for dog food or even meat for people (depending on what was wrong), then why not?

    I consider the shipping to be the 'cruelty', not the killing. And we still allow shipping to Mexico...
    Why not? The fear factor alone is enough for me to never send a horse to slaughter. Horses know terror & the way we kill them terrorizes them. No way I could sit home & wonder if my horse has met it's end yet or is in a yard somewhere 'waiting' with a bunch of others for a full shipment or packed into a truck or being chased down a chute while smelling fear & blood.
    If you think that is a fitting end for your horses then that is up to you. If one of mine had an incurable illness or constant pain I would let them go in the most stress free way possible & at home. I have to do what will give me & them the most peace possible. To each his own.
    Chasin Ponies likes this.
         
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        02-07-2014, 08:00 PM
      #22
    Trained
    If it was allowed locally, your horse could be killed in your backyard, and the carcass hauled off to be used for meat. Unhappily, the people who want to "save them" - but who won't put their money where their mouth is - have created a situation where many horses are shipped hundreds and thousands of miles, and then slaughtered in Mexico.

    In any case, I eat beef. That means cattle are slaughtered to feed me. Cattle know terror too, although I doubt cattle or horses understand that they are about to be killed. They just know strange = fear, which is why Mia has been known to go in reverse at high speed after seeing a pink parasol.

    It is the way of the world. Predators eat prey. Omnivores eat whatever they can get, including prey animals. My 85 year old Mom died writhing on the floor of a group home, probably from a heart attack. The people there tried to help her but could not. My Dad was killed in a helicopter crash in Vietnam. Those who die in their sleep are the lucky exception, not the rule.
         
        02-07-2014, 08:13 PM
      #23
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bsms    
    Unhappily, the people who want to "save them" - but who won't put their money where their mouth is - have created a situation where many horses are shipped hundreds and thousands of miles, and then slaughtered in Mexico.
    Although I understand your thinking, the people that want to "save them" have not created this problem. Sadly, "we", as part of the collective set of horses owners, which includes both responsible and irresponsible people, are the root of the problem. We have no one to blame but ourselves.
    Chasin Ponies likes this.
         
        02-07-2014, 08:27 PM
      #24
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PaintHorseMares    
    ...the collective set of horses owners, which includes both responsible and irresponsible people, are the root of the problem. We have no one to blame but ourselves.
    Actually, I have no problem with a horse being killed and then having its carcass taken to the local slaughterhouse for butchering. It is modern society's squeamishness over the ugliness of death and a desire to treat horses differently than cattle that has shut down the option of a local slaughterhouse using the carcass of a dead horse.

    Overbreeding will always happen because horses live long lives. When Mia was bred in 2001, the market was fine. As she nears 14, it sucks, By the time she is 25, it might be good again. The people breeding horses in 2000 for eager buyers had no way of knowing our economy would tank in 2008, or that our policies (IMHO) have kept it in the tank for 6 years.

    Nor do I blame myself for the current market. When my horses were born, I had no intention of ever owning a horse. Cowboy was born wild. There are 3 fewer horses going to slaughter because I own them and feed them - 3 horses whose breeding had nothing to do with me.

    Unless you can predict the economy in 2028 or 2035, you cannot blame others for not anticipating this one. The economy normally goes in cycles, and the 30+ life span of many horses will see some ups and downs.
    Cherie and equinesnfelines like this.
         
        02-08-2014, 12:33 PM
      #25
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bsms    
    If it was allowed locally, your horse could be killed in your backyard, and the carcass hauled off to be used for meat. Unhappily, the people who want to "save them" - but who won't put their money where their mouth is - have created a situation where many horses are shipped hundreds and thousands of miles, and then slaughtered in Mexico.

    In any case, I eat beef. That means cattle are slaughtered to feed me. Cattle know terror too, although I doubt cattle or horses understand that they are about to be killed. They just know strange = fear, which is why Mia has been known to go in reverse at high speed after seeing a pink parasol.

    It is the way of the world. Predators eat prey. Omnivores eat whatever they can get, including prey animals. My 85 year old Mom died writhing on the floor of a group home, probably from a heart attack. The people there tried to help her but could not. My Dad was killed in a helicopter crash in Vietnam. Those who die in their sleep are the lucky exception, not the rule.
    Killing at home then using them for meat (human food) will never happen here because it isn't cost effective & there are no inspections in that scenario. I have no problem with what happens to after it's already dead, it's the getting dead part I have a problem with.

    One of my vets is also an inspector at a slaughter plant for hogs & cattle. His job is to make sure no abuses occur & cull apparently ill animals. He is also pro-horse slaughter for the reasons most pro people state-to end human induced long term suffering.
    He also said that horses should not be slaughtered the same way cattle are because horse don't behave like cattle.

    Here's his thoughts on the subject: Most cattle (& hogs) are used to being in tight groups with the same cattle for most of their lives. They are frequently ran through chutes for treatments & what not, they follow the leader, they seldom fight with each other for space, they are sometimes moved from ranch to ranch in the same group in tight quartered trucks. All things they have experienced before, usually.
    They are not pets used to human handling the way most horses are so they readily move away from people & follow each other. The captive bolt is made to easily reach a cows brain when in a steady position. A horse with it's long neck clamped will not stand still like cattle making a good aim difficult.
    He said that due to the nature of cattle & their upbringing they seldom show fear at the time of death.
    The best way for horses would be like they do in some other Countries, one by one out of sight of others. But that will never happen here because time is money & production line killing is cost effective.
         
        02-08-2014, 03:13 PM
      #26
    Green Broke
    I don't know if the market will ever be "good" again...
         
        02-15-2014, 10:27 PM
      #27
    Trained
    Killing any animal at home and then taking it to the slaughter house for processing is not in keeping with USDA standards. The animals must be taken to the site, inspected while alive, and then inspected again after they are killed. The inspector must be on site during the slaughter. This is true for cattle and hogs, and it will no doubt be true if horses are slaughtered.

    Wild game can be processed at a processing place if it is presented to them dead; however, the meat cannot be sold. It is for your personal use only.

    If you want to eat your horse, you are going to have to do the processing yourself, from pasture to freezer.
         
        02-16-2014, 08:44 AM
      #28
    Super Moderator
    Actually, a horse can be killed at home and processed just like wild game meat if a private processing facility will accept them. There are actually no laws that would prevent them from being killed and processed at a local facility as long as they were labeled "Not for resale". We take live bison in to a small family owned facility and they come back with each package stamped "GAME", the "date" and "Not for resale". Beef and pork are just stamped "Beef" or "Pork", the "date" and "Not for resale" and wild hogs are stamped like the bison with "Game". I asked them last year if someone wanted to bring in a horse, if they could or would process it. They said there was no law would not let them process it for its owner. They said they have been asked but will not process them because they feared a massive backlash from the public and the radical animal rights nuts. This family owned facility has processed animals for us for over 20 years and they tell us that they wished they could process them without fear of arson or ???. There are no inspectors at this plant or any other plant where meat is not packaged for resale.

    So far, no private plant has done this in Oklahoma. One plant said they would process horses for private individuals but then changed their minds.
         
        02-16-2014, 12:55 PM
      #29
    Weanling
    I'm probably jumping into the shark tank here, but I just want to be the devils advocate and point out a few things.

    It is not beneficial to the American public to federally subsidize horse slaughter plants in the US. It will cost millions of taxpayer dollars to fund inspections for foreign-owned slaughter plants that provide no revenue for Americans and only a handful of low-paying and dangerous jobs that have previously been filled by illegal immigrants and ex-convicts.

    Pro-slaughter advocates claim that opening slaughter plants in the US will somehow reduce the number of unwanted, abused and neglected horses, but this is not the case. The overpopulation problem stems from irresponsible breeding practices. Slaughter becomes a secondary market that encourages over breeding. Large scale breeders are known to breed for quantity over quality in the hopes that a handful of their stock will become successful. The excess animals produced that are unable to be sold are shipped off to slaughter for a small profit. More than 70% of American horses going to slaughter are registered Quarter Horses. The USDA documented that more than 92% of horses who go to slaughter are in good condition. It makes sense that the AQHA would support slaughter as a side market for Quarter Horse breeding, because they profit from the registration of these surplus animals. Much of the propaganda you hear advocating in favor of funding and legalizing horse slaughter in the US is driven by those who would benefit from it financially. They are feeding the public partial truths in the hopes that legislation will swing in their favor. It also makes sense that horses in good condition are more likely to go to slaughter. Kill buyers are paid by the pound and healthy horses mean more money.

    If you feel like reading more on the topic, see here: Horse Slaughter: Revealing The Truth, Part Five – The Money Trail | Habitat For Horses

    The fact of the matter is, the demand for horse meat produced by the US and the numbers US of horses going to slaughter is driven by the demand for horse meat in other countries, not our own needs for disposal of unwanted horses. "Horse neglect and abandonment cannot logically be attributed to the closure of you.S slaughter plants because the number of U.S. Horses sent to slaughter has not decreased since domestic slaughter ceased in 2007. Horses are still being sent to slaughter, across our borders in Canada and Mexico. The slaughter option still exists, so any increase in neglect or abandonment can only be attributed to other economic factors. Any downturn in the horse market is clearly related to the economic downturn that began the same year that the last slaughter plant closed and continues today. Historically, all animals—dogs, cats, horses, and even farm animals raised for food—face greater chances of neglect in a poor economy" In short, the number of neglected animals is directly correlated to the economy. The number of horses sold to slaughter has not increased in relation to the increasing number of unwanted horses. This further proves that the market is driven by demand, and not supply. Opening up more slaughter plants will not solve our unwanted horse problem. Educating breeders, discouraging careless over breeding (even in times when the economy is good) and doing what we can to improve our current economic situation will help revive the horse market and reduce number of unwanted horses in the future. The slaughter plant in Illinois was importing horses from Canada for slaughter prior to 2007 so not all horses slaughtered in the US were even our own.

    Having the plant locations within US borders is of no benefit either. Large horse population centers are in coastal regions, while slaughter plants are generally located in the mid-west. Unwanted horses from the east and west coasts must still travel long distances before reaching the slaughter house. Property values surrounding horse slaughter plants suffer a decrease and in turn the local economy suffers. Property values plummet for many reasons but pollution is one of them:

    "As with Dallas Crown, Beltex had a non-unionized workforce. OSHA records revealed that since the plants' inception in 1977 until its last inspection in 1997, Beltex had committed 29 violations of which 28 were deemed serious. OSHA records show that an ammonia leak occurred in 1996, but no one (fortunately) died or was permanently disabled. In 2000 the facility "accidentally pumped blood into the creek" and "in 2001, they were notified that waste water was flowing into adjacent properties and into the creek."[5]

    Of particular note, the Sanitation Group of DeKalb, Illinois, where Cavel International was located, identified the incomparable hazard associated with the discharge from horse slaughter facilities.

    "This hazard is uniquely acute for horse slaughter because of the wide range of drugs given to horses that are clearly labeled NOT FOR USE IN HORSES INTENDED FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION."[6]

    These noxious drugs are not only present in the meat intended for human consumption overseas but also in the waste water and sludge produced during processing. This runoff has the potential to contaminate down-stream water intakes, including groundwater used for human consumption, and can enter the food chain via sludge distribution on crops."

    This brings me to my next point. Unless the horses being sent to slaughter are raised for human consumption they are likely to contain bio-accumulated compounds in their flesh that are detrimental to human health. It is documented that certain drugs deemed safe for horses cause serious illness in humans, including aplastic anemia and cancer. Because these toxins make their way into water supplies and food sources in locations near horse slaughter houses, and the meat unfit for safe, human consumption is then sold for human consumption overseas, I see this as less of an animal welfare issue and more of a human health issue.

    Regulation on the meat used for human consumption in European countries is being addressed by their own governments. In December 2014 mandatory origin labeling will begin on all unlabeled meats sold in Europe and further legislation is expected to require any US horse slaughtered for human consumption to have veterinary records documenting all medical treatments, vaccination, and dewormers given throughout the animal's lifetime. If this is implemented, any horse administered any product not safe for use in animals used for human consumption will not be eligible for slaughter. Any horse given Bute or some common dewormers at any point in its lifetime will be included in this. It is expected that the demand for horse meat imported from the US will decline with these new labeling laws in Europe and whatever further action is taken to reduce the amount of tainted meat sold to their public. Asian countries are expected to follow suit within the next few years. This further emphasizes the importance of finding other ways to address our horse overpopulation problem.

    I also read that the national average for euthanasia and disposal of a horse carcass via rendering, burial or commercial composting is only $225. This is much lower than the average monthly cost of keeping a horse. It should not be a huge issue for responsible owners looking to dispose of unwanted horses to cough up the money to have their horses humanely euthanized and properly disposed of. Despite this number, there are movements towards other, cheaper methods of euthanazia becoming available. Some veterinarians are already trained to euthanize via single gunshot wound. I have already seen this occurring in Pennsylvania, as I work in a veterinary laboratory that only accepts deceased animals for pathology evaluation. Many of the large animals submitted for testing have been euthanized via gunshot.

    One important benefit of a ban on horse slaughter is a decrease in horse theft. "When California banned horse slaughter in 1998, the horse theft rate dropped 34 percent." This makes sense because thieves can make a quick buck stealing a horse and reselling to slaugher. Once the horse is slaughtered evidence of the theft is destroyed. It's a crime that is both lucrative, and easy to get away with.

    There are more arguments in addition to these that logically support an opposition to horse slaughter that are not invented by whiny, tear-jerking animal rights organizations. These are economical and human health facts drawn from unbiased studies. I'm sharing this with you so you can see the other side of the horse slaughter argument in a bit of a different light. You can choose to ignore it, disagree with it, or not believe it. I'm not here to argue, just throw something else out there for you all to mull over.
    Celeste and equinesnfelines like this.
         
        02-16-2014, 01:31 PM
      #30
    Trained
    "It will cost millions of taxpayer dollars to fund inspections for foreign-owned slaughter plants that provide no revenue for Americans and only a handful of low-paying and dangerous jobs that have previously been filled by illegal immigrants and ex-convicts."

    Really? You think the average slaughterhouse in the US is owned by foreign companies?

    "Sappington is the livestock buyer for Valley Meat, a company that used to keep busy slaughtering cattle for beef. Then came the droughts. Without enough feed, New Mexico ranchersí herds withered, and by early 2012, Valley Meatís business had dried up. The plant decided to reconfigure its kill line for horses. Itís ready to become the U.S.ís first functioning horse slaughterhouse in more than six yearsóif Washington signs off on the plans."

    A Slaughterhouse for Horse Meat Waits in New Mexico - Businessweek

    "Horses are still being sent to slaughter, across our borders in Canada and Mexico. The slaughter option still exists..."

    Yes, with lower sums paid to sellers, and with long trips ahead for the horses. I'm also less trusting of a slaughterhouse operated in Mexico. In what sense is this a positive argument for banning slaughter in the USA?

    "Large horse population centers are in coastal regions, while slaughter plants are generally located in the mid-west."

    Hmmm...I lived 90 miles from Roswell, NM - where Valley Meat operates. Plenty of horses in eastern New Mexico and west Texas!

    "Unless the horses being sent to slaughter are raised for human consumption they are likely to contain bio-accumulated compounds in their flesh that are detrimental to human health."

    I don't believe it. Sorry. I'd bet my horses living in my backyard have had less strange things fed to them than the average chicken, yet I eat chicken.

    "I also read that the national average for euthanasia and disposal of a horse carcass via rendering, burial or commercial composting is only $225. This is much lower than the average monthly cost of keeping a horse. It should not be a huge issue for responsible owners looking to dispose of unwanted horses to cough up the money to have their horses humanely euthanized and properly disposed of."

    Try calling a vet and telling them you want to kill a horse because you don't want to own it. See what reaction you get. And around here, their carcasses are then hauled to the city dump. Why? Why not use them for food?

    "In December 2014 mandatory origin labeling will begin on all unlabeled meats sold in Europe and further legislation is expected to require any US horse slaughtered for human consumption to have veterinary records documenting all medical treatments, vaccination, and dewormers given throughout the animal's lifetime."

    If so, the European market will dry up. Maybe others will open up. If not, the lack of demand will shut down horse slaughter.

    "The overpopulation problem stems from irresponsible breeding practices."

    No. It exists because a breeder in a good market produces an animal that will live for as much as 35 years, and there will be a couple of bad markets during that 35 year lifespan. When Mia was bred in 2000, there was a good horse market. Right now, I'd be hard pressed to give her away. Fortunately for Mia, she is likely to be with me for as long as she lives without pain. But she is a sweepstakes nominated mare, bred during a good market when there were plenty of buyers.
         

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