Congress Blocks Slaughtering Horses For Meat In U.S. - Page 5

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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

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    02-19-2014, 02:30 AM
I just want to point out one thing... I have a degree in animal science. We learned all about slaughter (how it is done etc)... The problem I see with equine slaughter, is that the animals that are more "desirable" for meat are those that are young (2 yr olds). Younger animals give a better meat "grade" and have more marbling than an old and skinny horse.

So it is a myth that only old, skinny, lame, unwanted horses go to slaughter.

In fact it is going to be your young, fat, unbroke 2 yr old that goes for meat. As for breed preference, I'm sure QH's, or drafts are preferred for meat. The reason being, a quarter horse or draft has a lot more fat and muscle compared with a TB. A meat buyer is going to know this, and bid on animals accordingly.

If they are going to allow horse slaughter in this country- I believe horses should be put down by hand, and not with the machine used to kill cattle. But that is a whole other problem in itself.

The problem with these issues is that it is either "pro-slaughter" vs "against slaughter"... Instead I say we should all agree on a middle ground- if we are going to have slaughter, it needs tighter regulations (as far as safe transport, safe holding pens, etc). Anyone see the movie Temple Grandin? She does have a point about how we manage the animals we are going to eat...

So if these horses are ending up in Canada or Mexico- lets try making it a better trip. For example: the horse transportation and Safety act is still sitting as a bill. Only 6 states have banned double decker trailers for horses. We can do something about this!
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    02-19-2014, 10:23 AM
"The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a new rule on Sept. 7 amending the regulations regarding the transportation of slaughter-bound horses in double-decker trailers.

The Commercial Transportation of Horses to Slaughter Act, passed in 1996, gave horses bound for slaughter some protections, and after Dec. 7, 2006, slaughter transporters weren't allowed to move horses to their destinations outside of the United States in double-decker trailers. The new rule prohibits horses being transported in double-deckers to any point on their way to their final destination."

September 16, 2011

USDA Gets More Strict On Double-Decker Trailers | The Chronicle of the Horse
    02-21-2014, 04:50 PM
The double decker trailer ban is in place, only for horses going to slaughter.

Double deckers are still allowed for moving horses (as long as it is not for slaughter). See the problem? It is not enforceable.

If a double decker is pulled over, the driver just has to say they aren't taking them to slaughter and who is to know the difference? The same with crossing borders into Mexico and Canada. This is a loophole which allows the meat buyers to still use double decker trailers.

As of August 2013, the bill was re-introduced.

Sen. Kirk Reintroduces Horse Transportation Safety Bill
    02-21-2014, 05:12 PM
What I don't get is why no one is organized enough to do things the way they should be done!

Why would/ did they pass something that said slaughter was legal in the U.S. Without FIRST going through the details of what that meant? Like regulating the horses, what they are fed, what they are transported in, how they will be killed, who will do the killing, who will do the inspections, how will we pay for that...

I just don't get it.

Its like buying a new car with no drivers license, when you're legally blind and can't drive anyway. WHAT?!?
    02-21-2014, 05:30 PM
It has been legal in the US all along. It was stopped because Congress pulled the funding for meat inspectors. Since the meat could not be inspected in the US, the slaughter takes place in Mexico and Canada, increasing the distance of transport and decreasing supervision.
    02-21-2014, 06:05 PM
Originally Posted by bsms    
It has been legal in the US all along. It was stopped because Congress pulled the funding for meat inspectors. Since the meat could not be inspected in the US, the slaughter takes place in Mexico and Canada, increasing the distance of transport and decreasing supervision.
I thought that it was made legal within the past few years... I remember a thread on here about the legalization of horse slaughter.

Maybe I am thinking of something else, there have been so many of these threads!
    02-23-2014, 05:46 PM
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Horses go to slaughter simply because of their lack of value and a lack of a better market for that particular horse at that particular time. They are called 'unwanted horses' because most go through auctions and no one wants them, so the low bid of a 'killer buyer' gets them. Everyone else has a chance to buy them, but if no one else wants them, the KB gets them.

When the economy is good, the demand and market prices are high and horses are bred and raised to fill that demand. The problem is that horses take 3 or 4 years from the time a mare is bred by a stallion until the resulting foal is ready to ride and train. Then, some 15 years later, that horse is STILL needing to be fed and cared for whether it has any useful purpose or not. No breeder knows what the economy or market condition is going to be in 5 years, much less 20 years down the road.

In 2005, the market was great. People could not breed saddle horse stock fast enough. The 'Foundationbred Quarter Horse market was so good that entire ranches from Texas to Montana sold their cattle and started raising horses. Auctions were held every fall for weanlings and some averaged over $5000.00 at auction. In 2008 and 2009, many of those same big ranches went bankrupt and hundreds of thousands of horses suddenly had no market at all.

Horse breeding has always gone in cycles. There was an even bigger sell-off of horses back in the early to mid 90s. At that time, over 300,000 horses went to slaughter each year for several years. No one has a crystal ball and no one knows when the next cycle will go up or down. Horses and horse breeders are just along for the ride. It is not fair to vilify breeders because they do the best them can with the market at hand. Their cyrstal ball is no better than yours.

Prices are now coming back up. The breeding herd shrank to a fraction of what it was, but the economy is improving and people are once again looking for good young horses to ride and train. Prices are up significantly in the last few months.

When the market is strong and people are looking for young prospects to train (the horses we call 'project horses'), very few young horses go to slaughter that are not crippled, ugly or ill-tempered. I KNOW! I used to buy a lot of project horses for customers. I always had 2 or 3 people wanting 1 or 2 of them. In 2005, I could not find a decent looking and decent bred AQHA project gelding for less than $2500.00 In 2009, most of them were going to the killer buyers because I and anyone else like me had no one wanting to take a chance on one of them. You cannot blame breeders for this. It is just part of the 'supply and demand' cycle. The supply always dries up several years after the demand dries up and visa-verse.

As for double deck trucks -- I have not seen one haul horses for several years. As a matter of fact, all of the slaughter-bound horses leaving the big local sales in Texas and Oklahoma for more than 10 or 15 years have all been hauled on 53' floor trucks. The ONLY double-deckers I have personally seen were hired by the BLM to haul mustangs into Pauls Valley, OK from Nevada.

Rodeo stock and slaughter horses are about all that are hauled in semis (other than BLM horses). Everyone that hauls them is trying to keep horses from being injured or hauling badly. No one shipping these horses neglects them because pounds and injuries equals dollars. All of the neglect comes at the hands of owners that try to hang on to their horses when they cannot afford them and try to keep from selling them.

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