My essay on Horse Slaughter - Page 7 - The Horse Forum
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post #61 of 100 Old 03-12-2012, 11:31 AM
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"What IS a hypothesis that defies proven economic theory, is that moving the slaughter plants killed the horse market."

As a rule of thumb, the fewer slaughterhouses, the further a horse will need to be taken to get to one. Distance = money. If a horse suitable for food is worth $500 to the plant, but it costs $350 to get him there, then the buyer can only pay $150 without going broke.

"The demand for US horses for slaughter remained constant."

Since it has become more difficult to provide horses for slaughter, that suggests the demand might rise if it was easier (cheaper) to slaughter them.

What boggles my mind is that anyone who cares about horses would think it is better for horses to be hauled to Mexico and killed than kept in the US and killed under US laws...

"It took many breeders several years of poor demand, caused by the economic downturn, to scale back breeding sufficiently, and they're breeding too many horses for the market to sustain."

What year? Horses live a long time. As I understand it, in 2003, the horse market was booming. A horse bred then is now 9 years old. Now the market sucks. We're discussing horses, not light bulbs.

No one WANTS to breed too many horses. No breeder benefits from that. The costs to produce a foal is largely fixed. If you overbreed, then you get less money while still spending the same/horse - and no one wants that. But a horse bred in 2000 is still a prime horse for meat. It takes 5-15 years for the horse market to adjust the supply for the demand.

"It doesn't help that AQHA encourages overbreeding with their policies and incentives..."

Anyone who overbreeds for 'incentives' will be out of business before they can impact the market.
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post #62 of 100 Old 03-12-2012, 11:44 AM
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I agree with BSMS. The buyer at the auction or farm has to cover costs and overhead and then ship it to a feedlot where it stays for at least a month and then they have to cover thier costs and ship it to the plant. thats a lot of cost for a horse that's worth so little. Another aspect that effects price is the processing capability of the plant. If a plant can only process 200 head per day then that's all they'll buy regardless of how low the price is. The demand for horse meat is better than the supply mostly due to the capacity of the plants. If there were more plants then the capacity would go up and the supply of horses would ease causing prices to go up on the live end and the demand to be met on the meat side.

Another thing that refutes the theory that breeders are using the slaughter market to rid themselves of culls is the fact that buyers won't even buy anything under 800 lbs for slaughter. That means a breeder has to feed a mare for a year and a foal for two more before he can sell it for $50. I know a lot of horse breeders and while some of them are not as smart as others they are ALL smarter than that.
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post #63 of 100 Old 03-12-2012, 01:46 PM
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Transportation distance to a slaughter facility affects the cost to deliver the horse; most shippers charge by the mile. Further distance to haul the horse = less profit on eventual sale of the horse. Less profit per horse pushed a lot of small operators out of the business; and the only way to make this a viable financial transaction is with a tractor trailer load, further depressing the on the hoof price of a horse for slaughter.

A breeder would be better off financially to shoot and bury their culls than to raise them to a marketable weight for slaughter. What is the most likely scenario is that they held on to stock for years hoping the market would improve, or failed to accurately predict the future market, as bsms has described, and then turned to slaughter as a last recourse when they had more stock than they could feed. Breeders are by definition optimists and wishful thinkers. They are also often hobbyists. It's a mistake to assume they respond to market pressure in the same way a widget manufacturer does.
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post #64 of 100 Old 03-12-2012, 05:58 PM
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Would any of you guys mind if I used some of your comments about horse slaughter for my own informative paper? The paper is about a policy in the U.S. regarding horse slaughter and why healthy, registered horses are being sent to slaughter when they could be placed into homes that accept them. It also is going to include a question regarding the fact that while horse slaughter would create many jobs in the U.S., it is still going to piss some people off. The economic pluses from slaughter are astronomical, however, this would require much regulation by the government to keep people happy. Now to me, this is exactly fine. (the previous sentence is the one I am referring to.) I am still working on my thesis, so don't butcher my questions. I have a lot regarding the issue. Also if you would like to help me by pointing out very informative articles on horse slaughter statistics regarding the economic take on the subject, it would be greatly appreciated!

I too am in college, and I too am a freshmen. The difference is that my teacher forces us to do mass amounts of research. Crimson88, you may have had a high GPA, but quite frankly my dear you lack the fine tuned research skill of "wallowing in complexity", and the basic grammatical knowledge to write an effective paper that will allow people to look at the subject, not your grammar.

Try free-writing the next time you write a paper; I will explain to you what it is. Free-writing is accomplished by turning off your computer screen, or just covering it up, going into your word processor, and simply typing. Type about your subject, do NOT look at the screen, and type for a straight 5 minutes AT LEAST. When you are done, go back and read what you have written. You will most likely find a basic thesis question in the free writing, and will often find questions that you know you can research. Also, utilize your college database. Search for peer-reviewed articles, as these contain information that has been proven by a board of professionals to be true. Next, when you look at your source articles, look at their sources! They found their information somewhere, and you need to look up their sources as well. Not only to make sure that the source is credible, but because you can find information in their sources that you will want to use in your source. I know it sounds like a lot of work, but that's college.

Also, my GPA isn't the best, but that is because I go to a school where each class requires at LEAST 3 hours of out of class work for every in class hour. That is the average time you should be spending on out of class work. This is why college is a full time job-it takes a lot of time. So use your time, do your research, and read, read, read!
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post #65 of 100 Old 03-12-2012, 06:07 PM
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You may use anything I've written.

There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill
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post #66 of 100 Old 03-13-2012, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by cowgirl928 View Post
Also if you would like to help me by pointing out very informative articles on horse slaughter statistics regarding the economic take on the subject, it would be greatly appreciated!
Here are some articles that may be useful, hopefully they aren't too old (anything pre 2008 gets a bit dated) however sometimes older papers are useful for illustrating background etc

(121 pages, have fun with that one heh)

Also, excellent point regarding the ratio of time spent in class to time spent out of class; 1:3 is exactly right and sometimes more! So for every 10 hours spent in the class room you are looking at 30+ in addition before and after class, a full time job for sure!!

All the best to both of you

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post #67 of 100 Old 03-14-2012, 10:26 PM
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post #68 of 100 Old 03-18-2012, 02:50 PM
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The one thing I could write was essays but in order to do so I had to do a lot of research. It was written initially as the words flowed, then edited for conciseness. All the facts need to be included so your essay would become a book. A good essay isn't about personal bias but about getting the reader to think about the issue. I don't appreciate your condemming Canadian plants. They aren't the main issue, there are the truckers, the loaders, the auctions, the owners. Why are the horses having to endure long inhumane trips - because all the do-gooders closed all the American plants. I'm not seeing that in your essay.
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post #69 of 100 Old 03-19-2012, 12:01 AM
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I started to slightly cry as I read this for I have seen the actual work of slaughter houses for horses.

I'm very tired, so I am not going to write anything fancy or elaborate, but I am just going to mention a story involving horse slaughter.

A knife in the fence, where once a healthy gelding resided, was what she saw. The town seemed like any other day, but there was an underwhelming sense of sorrow.

Giddy, the first horse this girl had ever owned, was gone. The sound of his joyous neigh ceased to exist. The hoof prints in the sand no longer to be seen, but instead trailer tracks covered the road. This girl was not the only one to feel the sorrow that had become upon her, but many other horses had also been taken by this stranger in the night.

The police came quickly but with a systematic essence that loomed whenever they talked. The policeman asked for only one thing, which was a picture in order to identify the horse, so the girl, in an attempt to help her furry friend, gave the only picture of Giddy that she owned. That picture never was returned, but what was returned was news. Giddy's trailer had been found on route to Mexico, along with the other horses, but Giddy had died along the journey from a blunt force hit to the head. This girl never rode horses again.

This story is what happened to my mother in a town that I spent many years living in. Also, I have seen the regular slaughter house industries that process regular livestock, and it is absolutely horrific. Why throw in another animal into that mess? Also, we are in an economic downfall, and horses are going to continue to be unwanted until this ends. Most people are having trouble feeding their own families.

By the way, I do not think that just sending animals to death in order to set things in balance is a way to fix the actual issue. Horses are going to become one messed up species in livestock if this becomes common practice. They make chickens grow so quickly that they can barely walk. Many slaughter houses wash their meat with ammonia. Also, Mexico is having such horrible issues right now that horse slaughtering is the least of their worries.

Anyways, before I write a 2,000 word essay, I'm going to sign off, but before I do, I am going to leave you guys with two of my favorite quotes.

"Nature is cruel, but we don't have to be" - Associated with Temple Grandin

"A dreamer is one who finds his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world." - Oscar Wilde.
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post #70 of 100 Old 03-19-2012, 10:30 AM
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Horse4Ever, your mama's story is my nightmare. I live in fear of my beloved partners being stolen in the night and treated like that. It would break my heart. The only thing worse to think about, in my opinion, is of something happening to one of my two-legged loved ones.

I've met Temple Grandin, heard her speak, and respect the sweeping good changes that she has helped bring to the livestock industry. She is a good teacher for those of us who own animals, both pets (companion animals) and livestock. I think her quote that you referenced is the essence of good animal husbandry - we need to know what makes our animals tick and what keeps them healthy and free of fear and stress for as much of their lives as is possible. This is my mantra.

So, for me, it's not a question of whether or not there should be slaughter. It is whether or not we can improve humane handling with understanding and compassion and respect for the animals for the 99.999% of their lives before that final ugly moment of death.
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