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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. It is no longer approved, and therefore not marketed, for any human use in the United States. 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:
C19H20N2O2 Mr 308.4
Content: 99.0 per cent to 101.0 per cent (dried substance).
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!