Congress Blocks Slaughtering Horses For Meat In U.S. - Page 4
 
 

       The Horse Forum > Horse Resources > Horse Protection

Congress Blocks Slaughtering Horses For Meat In U.S.

This is a discussion on Congress Blocks Slaughtering Horses For Meat In U.S. within the Horse Protection forums, part of the Horse Resources category

    Like Tree62Likes

     
    LinkBack Thread Tools
        02-16-2014, 01:43 PM
      #31
    Started
    Quoting kiltsrhott "It is not beneficial to the American public to federally subsidize horse slaughter plants in the US... that provide no revenue for Americans" False- every person who sold a horse to meat at auction makes money, the meat buyers make money, the feedlotters make money, the shippers make money, the slaughter/packers make money, and they all have employees who are paid to work those jobs, so they make money off the eventual sale of the meat to foreign markets and pet food.

    "Pro-slaughter advocates claim that opening slaughter plants in the US will somehow reduce the number of unwanted, abused and neglected horses" Yes, because they will be dead.

    "The overpopulation problem stems from irresponsible breeding practices." Perhaps in part, but as BSMS pointed out, at the time many of our current horses were bred, there WAS a good market and high likelihood they would have jobs and homes, so it wasn't nearly as irresponsible at the time.

    "The USDA documented that more than 92% of horses who go to slaughter are in good condition." I hope so. Unhealthy, poor condition horses are suffering, potentially ill, and not fit for human consumption any more than poorly conditioned cattle or hogs.

    "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." Agreed, but I think I have a fundamental difference of opinion as I see no problem with people raising horses SOLELY for slaughter, for profit, so long as the horses are treated and cared for properly from birth to slaughter. Given that, having it as a side or secondary market really is not morally objectionable to me. Horses are not different than cows, sheep, goats, or hogs in their ability to suffer or feel pain and it is false in my mind to say that it is 'okay' to eat this animal and 'not okay' to eat that one.

    "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"
    True, because there is money in it. Contrary to your first statement.

    "The slaughter option still exists, so any increase in neglect or abandonment can only be attributed to other economic factors."
    Not really- meat buyers used to pay enough that it was worthwhile to get an unwanted horse to auction even with the PITA and fuel factors. Not so anymore. Easier to abandon them.

    "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." Absolutely agree.

    "Having the plant locations within US borders is of no benefit either." Disagree. While you are correct that travel times may still be too long for anyone's comfort, at least in the US we can require animals be fed, watered and rested at given intervals and monitor both the holding and slaughter processes. While the system is given to corruption, at least there is a chance to keep things above board. Out of country there is zero way to enforce humane treatment, and while Canada has decent rules that are hopefully enforced, that is not true for Mexico.

    "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" So, only about 1.5 per year? Look at cattle numbers, that's pretty darned good! Especially if you factor in how many animals they process.

    "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." Which are labeled as such primarily due to the lack of testing (any drug which has not been proven safe is prohibited), which stems from a lack of market ($$) for the pharm companies as discussed previously on other threads.

    "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." The risk of accumulation is only present in some compounds, and vastly overstated by the media IMPO, so I disagree here as well. The major drugs commonly used in horses (Bute, Banamine) are water soluable and clear from an animals tissue in days, so unless the shippers and packers are giving them to the animals, by the time they're processed, they should be 'clean.' That said, as above, the studies to prove that to the FDA, USDA and EU have not been done in the US, or done to acceptable standards.

    "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."
    Eventually beef as well, but as we can't get universal tracking implemented there either, I expect it to be a slow process.

    "..average for euthanasia and disposal of a horse carcass via rendering, burial or commercial composting is only $225...It should not be a huge issue for responsible owners.." Agreed, but responsible owners aren't generally the problem in the first place.

    "When California banned horse slaughter in 1998, the horse theft rate dropped 34 percent." I hadn't heard that before, awesome info!

    Though I disagree with you in several ways, I appreciate your well thought out post. I wish folks like you were the ones voting and writing all these laws as it is clear you actually have put some actual thought and real info into it! Too much of legislation is based on knee-jerk and borderline extreme agendas.
    bsms and kiltsrhott like this.
         
    Sponsored Links
    Advertisement
     
        02-16-2014, 03:05 PM
      #32
    Weanling
    I said I wouldn't come back and argue but I can't help it...

    Quote:
    Really? You think the average slaughterhouse in the US is owned by foreign companies?
    Yes, they are. The three horse slaughter plants operating prior to 2007 in the US were:

    Dallas Crown Packaging in Kaufman, TX. Dallas Crown was Belgian owned.

    Bel-Tex Corporation in Ft. Worth, Texas was French and Belgian owned.

    Cavel International, Inc. In DeKalb, Illinois was also owned by a Belgian company.

    If the plant in NM gains permissions necessary to slaughter horses this would be only one horse slaughter plant owned by a US company.

    Quote:
    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?
    This one sentence of a paragraph quote is not the argument positive for slaughter opposition. It's the fact that the number of US horses going to slaughter has remained stagnant while numbers of unwanted horses has risen. Even with slaughter still readily available as an option for sellers, unwanted horses are still a problem. This proves a disconnect in the theory that the unwanted horse problem stems from a lack of disposal options. It correlates to a downturn in the US economy, not the fact that horses are unable to be slaughtered (because they are still being slaughtered). The market for horse meat is only as big as it is, and we are already flooding it with healthy, registered horses. The number of US horses being slaughtered will not change by relocating their destinations, therefore, the horse overpopulation problem will not be solved by opening plants here.

    Quote:
    Hmmm...I lived 90 miles from Roswell, NM - where Valley Meat operates. Plenty of horses in eastern New Mexico and west Texas!
    Horses directly near the plant may benefit from shorter trips, but I live in PA, nearly 2,000 miles from there. The two slaughter houses in Quebec are much closer in distance to here, and to the New Holland Auction which is one of the largest sources of horses for kill buyers in the US. The states with the highest population density of horses are Maryland, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina, with 15.6 - 5.3 horses per average square mile. There are only 3.7 and 1.3 horses per square mile in TX and NM respectively. That one slaughter house is NM would do little to shorten the trip for most horses. It would actually make for a longer trip for an extremely large population of horses residing in the North East.

    Quote:
    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 work for the department of agriculture. The antibiotics and growth hormones food animals are fed are still a great source of debate but they are not treated with other products that are known direct human health threats. They are raised specifically for food and treated as such. Horses are not. You can choose to believe this or not.

    Quote:
    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?
    I worked for two different veterinarians before landing my current job (a large and small animal vet). Both veterinarians would willingly euthanize an animal if it was requested by the owner, and they had to on more than one occasion during my time working there. They never liked to do it, and would offer to take the animal and rehome it themselves, but ultimately they had to respect the owner's wishes. They were never rude to clients because that is great way to lose business! The equine vet I worked for kept three horses that were unwanted by clients. The small animal vet rehomed more than one dog and kept a cat that a client could not afford to treat after the cat was injured.

    Where I work now, I test the brain tissue of dead animals for rabies. We receive specimens every day (including horses) that were euthanized for reasons of aggressive or otherwise bad behavior and submitted for rabies testing. Most of these animals were vaccinated and ultimately test negative. I know owners are just using the rabies test as an excuse to euthanize an unwanted pet. People also use the service for free disposal. The rabies test in the state of Pennsylvania is a free test and disposal is included. (If anyone from PA is reading this, let it be known that theft of services is frowned upon and chronic submitters are charged disposal fees.)

    The most common method of carcass disposal in my area is rendering and commercial composting, which are economical uses for carcasses not fit for consumption. People with enough of their own land will bury the animal on-site at no cost to them. If they wanted to slaughter it and eat it themselves, they could, but most people have no desire to eat horse. I know quite a few people who have eaten horse and most have negative opinions on the taste. I live in a rural area where people slaughter their own animals to eat on a regular basis so this is an option that is just not taken. Perhaps better options for useful disposal need to be made available in your area.

    Quote:
    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.
    This is not true.The average age of horses sent to slaughter is only 3 - 9 years old. This only solidifies evidence that slaughter is being used as a secondary market for large scale breeders. Old horses are not the prevalent age group going through kill auctions. Think about it. Most owners who care enough and are financially stable enough to support their horse into their older years are not going to throw their hands up and sell their horse to slaughter for a quick buck as soon as their horse is no longer useful to them. They're going to take their time to find a retirement home for their elderly horse, provide retirement on their own, or have the aged horse euthanized. Adult horses with some experience are also more valuable in the horse market, because they generally have the temperament and the ability to make great amateur show horses, lesson horses, child-safe mounts and family horses. A horse that is 14, broke and has some performance experience will have a much easier time finding a home than an unbroke, 5-year-old with little to no show record or trail experience etc.
         
        02-16-2014, 03:11 PM
      #33
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kiltsrhott    
    I said I wouldn't come back and argue but I can't help it...
    I know, it's so hard to resist!
    Celeste and kiltsrhott like this.
         
        02-16-2014, 03:55 PM
      #34
    Weanling
    Quote:
    False- every person who sold a horse to meat at auction makes money, the meat buyers make money, the feedlotters make money, the shippers make money, the slaughter/packers make money, and they all have employees who are paid to work those jobs, so they make money off the eventual sale of the meat to foreign markets and pet food.
    I can see your point here, but the ones at the top of the horse meat industry money chain are still foreign-owned companies, and small amount of money made here and there by kill buyers, transporters and slaughter plant workers is not enough for me to want a significant amount of our tax dollars funding inspections to keep the plants running. And it has been documented in the past that many of the people doing this work are undocumented or illegal immigrants, or ex-convicts. I'm sorry, but I'm not keen on supporting an industry just to support them.

    Quote:
    Yes, because they will be dead.
    Not necessarily, because, as I said before, slaughter is still an option, even now, and the unwanted horse problem is not being resolved. We could, theoretically, just sell more to slaughter, but all markets are driven by demand for the product. We have already met and exceeded the demand of the foreign horse meat market with our unwanted horse population. Killing more won't help us if the consumers aren't willing to consume any more than they already are.

    Quote:
    Agreed, but I think I have a fundamental difference of opinion as I see no problem with people raising horses SOLELY for slaughter, for profit, so long as the horses are treated and cared for properly from birth to slaughter. Given that, having it as a side or secondary market really is not morally objectionable to me. Horses are not different than cows, sheep, goats, or hogs in their ability to suffer or feel pain and it is false in my mind to say that it is 'okay' to eat this animal and 'not okay' to eat that one.
    This is an interesting view on the topic, and I might agree with you if the AQHA was operating in this manner. The large scale breeders that sell surplus to slaugher first try to sell as many horses on the pleasure market as possible. The unsellables are then shunted off to slaughter for a last bit of profit. These animals are not being raised for meat. They are raised for pleasure and performance and are treated as such until it is decided that selling them per pound is more lucrative.

    Quote:
    Not really- meat buyers used to pay enough that it was worthwhile to get an unwanted horse to auction even with the PITA and fuel factors. Not so anymore. Easier to abandon them.
    I still don't see how relocating the horses' destination will increase the market value of horse meat. The European consumers ultimately set the price. They will only pay what they are willing to pay for the meat, and if we start slaughtering more horses it will only offset the balance of supply vs. demand which will lower the value of horses sold for meat. This is basic economics here.

    Quote:
    Disagree. While you are correct that travel times may still be too long for anyone's comfort, at least in the US we can require animals be fed, watered and rested at given intervals and monitor both the holding and slaughter processes. While the system is given to corruption, at least there is a chance to keep things above board. Out of country there is zero way to enforce humane treatment, and while Canada has decent rules that are hopefully enforced, that is not true for Mexico.
    While there is some truth to this, I do work in agriculture, and I can attest for the fact that our current regulations for the welfare of our own food animals is not very well enforced. Agriculture is usually one of the first departments, on a state and federal level, to suffer the effects of budget cuts. Agriculture, right now, is extremely under staffed and it is not possible, even if there were sufficient staffing, for our eyes to be everywhere. Even within US borders food producers cut corners at the expense of the animals' well being on an alarmingly frequent basis. There is evidence that the slaughter houses in Mexico show some discretion on what horses they allow through to slaughter. Injured and ill horses are often rejected and this was discovered when abandoned horses, originally destined for slaughter in Mexico, were found loose within our own borders. In all honesty, slaughter is slaughter. It's not a pretty way to die no matter how you look at it. If it's being done in mass numbers, no matter where it's occurring and what regulations are in place, it's going to be ugly.

    Quote:
    Which are labeled as such primarily due to the lack of testing (any drug which has not been proven safe is prohibited), which stems from a lack of market ($$) for the pharm companies as discussed previously on other threads.
    This is also true, and I'm sure many of the drugs on the laundry list of things that are not approved for human consumption are in this category, but Bute is the biggest one. All of the horses in our barn have had Bute at some point in their lives, and this one is not labeled as such for lack of testing. It is labeled not safe for human consumption based on findings that it is really not safe. "Phenylbutazone was originally made available for use in humans for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and gout in 1949. However, when combined with paracetamol and many other household painkillers even in the smallest doses can cause irreversible liver degradation proving fatal in many cases.[citation needed] It is no longer approved, and therefore not marketed, for any human use in the United States.[3] In the UK it is used to treat ankylosing spondylitis, but only when other therapies are unsuitable."

    The EFSA has done studies that found Bute in the meat of horses used for human consumption, hence why it has been banned for use in animals raised for food in the UK. Bute remains in the animals blood stream for 5 days after it's been administered and can remain in the flesh for much longer. Ex-race horses tend to test positive for traces of Bute in the flesh than others, but it is a real concern. It's not true that bute is water soluble. Even if it were that wouldn't change the concern for its effects on human health:

    According to European Pharmacopoeia:
    "PHENYLBUTAZONE
    Phenylbutazonum
    C19H20N2O2 Mr 308.4
    DEFINITION
    4-Butyl-1,2-diphenylpyrazolidine-3,5-dione.
    Content: 99.0 per cent to 101.0 per cent (dried substance).
    CHARACTERS
    Appearance: white or almost white, crystalline powder.
    Solubility: practically insoluble in water, sparingly soluble
    In alcohol. It dissolves in alkaline solutions."

    I do have to thank you, Shapie, and BSMS for participating in a good healthy debate too! I do like to hear views from the other side as well!
         
        02-16-2014, 05:32 PM
      #35
    Trained
    If Toyota builds a car plant here in the US, do workers in the US benefit? And the only slaughterhouse currently up for opening is US owned.

    If it can be opened, then others can open. Where will they open? My guess is it will be based on the availability of cheap horses. The cost of shipping the meat to Europe or Japan would tend to encourage a coastal plant to open. There is no rule saying that all slaughterhouses can only open in Oklahoma or New Mexico - although the coastal states tend to be more liberal politically, and probably more likely to refuse a business license.

    Vets and killing: I had a dog with a megaesophagus. He was not in pain, but he barfed 3-4 times a day. I had taken him in for a couple of days until his owner could be found, but his owner didn't want him and neither did anyone else. 13 months later, I called some vets to see about having him killed. Maybe that makes me a bad person, but 13 months of living in dog barf was my personal maximum. When the 3rd vet in a row refused, saying it wasn't ethical, I said I'd take him out in the desert and shoot him - and hope I didn't miss. Only then did the vet agree to do the job humanely.

    Slaughter demographics:
    "A more detailed study of the demographics of horses deemed unwanted would show the horse industry where it needs to focus its efforts. As an example, former racehorses are often singled out as examples of unwanted horses when their racing careers end and they are not candidates for breeding or other athletic endeavors. However, there are undocumented estimates suggesting that fewer than 10% of the horses that go to slaughter are Thoroughbreds. So just how many of the 100,000 plus horses that went to slaughter last year in Canada and Mexico were former racehorses? What is the average age and sex of these unwanted horses? Why were they unwanted? Are they purebred or grade horses? We need answers to these, and other questions, to be able to understand the source of the problem and to work toward reducing the number of unwanted horses."
    https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Re...-Feb-2012.aspx

    As for drugs in the system of horses...I'm ex-military. I"ve been vaccinated for anthrax more times than I can count, and smallpox and yellow fever and the list goes on. I've eaten MREs courtesy of Uncle Sam, and I'm certain THOSE are pretty unnatural! Come to think of it, a lot of the Mess Hall food didn't look very natural, either! Guess it would take a lot to bother me...
         
        02-16-2014, 06:37 PM
      #36
    Super Moderator
    Finding a market for the meat that returns a good profit is one of the biggest negatives - the demand in Europe is declining with supply tending to exceed demand and not helped by the scandals last year when it was found that horsemeat was being illegally used in many 'ready meals'
    Our individual perception of the safety of banned drugs is irrelevant - the use of Bute in any livestock bred for meat has been banned worldwide for a long time and regardless of what I think or want the chances of it being reversed is unlikely.
         
        02-16-2014, 07:41 PM
      #37
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bsms    
    If Toyota builds a car plant here in the US, do workers in the US benefit? And the only slaughterhouse currently up for opening is US owned.
    As a taxpayer, I do not have to subsidize Toyota. If someone wants to set up a horse slaughter facility, why can't they pay their own inspectors? I pay enough taxes as it is.
         
        02-16-2014, 07:47 PM
      #38
    Trained
    As a taxpayer, you pay for food inspections.

    You also pay for OSHA inspectors in Toyota plants. In Arizona, you get to pay inspectors to check your Toyota for exhaust emissions. You pay taxes to inspect safety complaints against Toyota. You pay taxes to check Toyota's compliance with zoning regulations. You pay taxes to supervise Toyota's compliance with labor laws.

    If we allowed slaughterhouses to pay for their own inspectors, they would. Gladly.
         
        02-16-2014, 07:52 PM
      #39
    Trained
    Like I said, that is enough tax for me.
         
        02-16-2014, 08:10 PM
      #40
    Trained
    I agree. I thought I owned my home until I had to pay my property taxes each year out of pocket. I now figure I rent it from the government...
    Celeste and kiltsrhott like this.
         

    Quick Reply
    Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.
    Message:
    Options

    Register Now

    In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

    Already have a Horse Forum account?
    Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

    New to the Horse Forum?
    Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

    User Name:
    Password
    Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
    Password:
    Confirm Password:
    Email Address
    Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
    Email Address:

    Log-in

    Human Verification

    In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


    Old Thread Warning
    This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

    Thread Tools

    Similar Threads
    Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
    slaughtering hogs Bearkiller Farm Forum 3 11-07-2011 01:38 PM
    Selling Horses For Meat mrhonorable Horse Protection 7 02-07-2011 01:00 PM
    Meat Goats/Goat Meat Consumption ilovemyPhillip General Off Topic Discussion 30 10-20-2010 04:11 PM
    QH congress dizzynurse Horse Talk 5 08-01-2010 01:52 PM



    All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:02 PM.


    Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
    Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
    Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0