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Horse Slaughter and Your Opinion on it

This is a discussion on Horse Slaughter and Your Opinion on it within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Ideas why we shouldn't have horse slaughter
  • Camalot auction horses

View Poll Results: Are you for or against horse slaughter?
For Humane Horse Slaughter 78 86.67%
Against Horse Slaughter All Together 10 11.11%
It Really Doesn't Bother Me Either Way 2 2.22%
Voters: 90. You may not vote on this poll

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    11-15-2012, 08:55 PM
  #21
Green Broke
It isnt the old weak and sick going to slaughter. Its a meat industry, its the young fat and healthy. Also the socalled ban didnt affect the horse industry. Another misconception. The same number of horses are being sent to slaughter as used to be slaughtered here. There has been no change in numbers one way or the other. The horse industry dropped because the economy tanked, and breeders are still cranking them out as fast as they can. I like my horses, I like my chickens, couldnt ever kill any of them. But its still a horse and if I got hungry, oh well. I don't see why its ok to kill a pig, deer, fish or turkey but not ok to kill a horse, still just a critter, and probably cooks up pretty tasty.
     
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    11-15-2012, 09:42 PM
  #22
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe4d    
it isnt the old weak and sick going to slaughter. Its a meat industry, its the young fat and healthy. Also the socalled ban didnt affect the horse industry. Another misconception. The same number of horses are being sent to slaughter as used to be slaughtered here. There has been no change in numbers one way or the other. The horse industry dropped because the economy tanked, and breeders are still cranking them out as fast as they can. I like my horses, I like my chickens, couldnt ever kill any of them. But its still a horse and if I got hungry, oh well. I don't see why its ok to kill a pig, deer, fish or turkey but not ok to kill a horse, still just a critter, and probably cooks up pretty tasty.
I think a lot of us would agree that killing for food is acceptable, but I think most of us agree it needs to be done humanely. And the trip to the slaughter house isn't what I would consider humane.

I was offered some mule meat this summer, but I didn't accept because I just wasn't 'that' hungry. If I were starving and the meat would go to waste~ well, that's different.
     
    11-15-2012, 10:59 PM
  #23
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by smrobs    
This brings up another point. I am a firm believer that not all of the meat needs to be exported to be eaten in fancy restaurants in foreign countries. What's wrong with making horse meat available in supermarkets and/or butcher shops? Now, this is just guesstimation, but I would guess that it would be less expensive than beef, even though there are fewer horses slaughtered simply because of supply and demand. Most people in the US have an aversion to eating horse meat (I wouldn't because I don't like the taste), but I'm sure that people living in poverty stricken areas that cannot afford beef wouldn't complain about having a cheaper red meat alternative.

Especially considering the fact that the price of beef is about to skyrocket due to the drought we've had the last 2 years.


ETA: Also, seeing my avatar made me think of this, why couldn't they add in the BLM Mustang culls to the slaughter numbers too? I know, I know..."But, but, the mustangs are a part of history and they all deserve to be freeeee". However, how much money could our government save if they disposed of those older unwanted horses that are standing in holding pens eating expensive hay year around?

Thank you. The exact point I was trying to make.
     
    11-15-2012, 11:44 PM
  #24
Started
Sorry I haven't read any of the other responses- I've written many, many reports on this subject so I'm just going to put in my 2 sense and leave it at that.

The problem in our country is NOT horse slaughter - it's horse breeding. Slaughter stinks, horses shouldn't have to be killed because we're irresponsible. But until we shape up as breeders and horse caretakers slaughter is a necessary evil. There is a huge difference between livestock horses and companion horses. Slaughter, to me, enables the horse community to be irresponsible.
You'll notice the only people out there shouting slogans and posting 'anti-slaughter' pictures are either children or not horse people! Horse people know the truth, we know the horse community in our country will never take the responsibility for the lives they create and destroy.

As for the population, it comes down to math. There are hundreds of thousands of horses being born every year in the US. Let me just use one example- The racing industry have 30,000-40,000 foals born each year!!!! Can you even imagine that many horses?! The successful ones may race until they're 6-8 years old if they're lucky enough to avoid serious injuries before their racing career is over, or if they're lucky enough to be rehomed before they're broken on the track they can become useful members of horse society. But their useful lifespan is limited due to their poor start in life. These 30,000-40,000 horses could all potentially live 20-30 years!! That's estimated 900,000 TBs alive in the US at any given time - assuming their lifespans aren't cut short (which they all too often are). Now add in the backyard breeders who may or may not even be producing anything of any honest quality. Our country is left with millions of broken, imperfect horses.
Now add in EVERY other breed! Add in the minis and you'll be flabbergasted.
There are more horses being created each year than there are homes for the horses. This is the issue!

So clearly there needs to be an outlet for this massive amount of unwanted horses. This to me is a major betrayal.
These horses are NOT livestock. In Canada and other horse-eating countries, horses that are meant to be used for meat are born to be meat, they are raised like cattle in large populations with little human contact. They never have human companions, they never know us as friends. They are livestock, born and raised to be meat. When they are slaughtered it is no better nor worse than when we slaughter cattle.
It's different for our horses. Our horses were born in loving arms, eagerly awaited by their owners. They're taught to be horses by their parents and taught to be steeds by their humans. Even if they are competition horses or broodmares or working horses or lesson horses - just about every horse in the US has known affection. They have come to see humans as someone to work with, work for, enjoy the company of, and just be our companions. So I personally see it as a massive betrayal to send these animals to slaughter.

There will always be inevitable situations where people can't keep a horse. Whether it be unforseen expenses, a crippling accident, or simply not the right fit between the human and the horse.
But we owe it to our companion horses for them to be assured a safe home until the day they die. Even if they break.
I work at a horse rescue - so my views may be tinted ;) but today we got a stunning phone-call, but it's one we get all too often. I won't go into details, but the gist of it was 'I have a horse, he got kicked by a pasture pal and won't be able to be ridden for 3 months, I'd like to trade him for a sound one'. This just proves to me how disposablehorses have truly become. If a horse who will be laid up for 3 winter months is going to be gotten rid that's appalling.

But all of this sadness truly comes back to the massive overpopulation. Horses wouldn't be disposable if they were worth more. Value is based on need. If someone can get a young, sound, fairly trained horse free or cheap - why wouldn't you? Why wouldn't you throw out your broken horse and get the newest model?

We honestly need more people like those I've met on HF - people who are committed to their horses. You all have given me some hope for us all :)
If more people would take responsibility for the horses in their custody less horses would suffer this unfortunate fate. If more people thought about the consequences before breeding. If big industries cut their numbers down, just by 30% you'd be amazed the population difference. If more people kept their retired horses. If more people found good homes rather than dumped at auctions. All of these things need to be fixed before slaughter can be gotten rid of.

Now here's another interesting controversy - pet food. Right now, horses for human consumption slaughters don't exist in the US - but there are plenty of pet food companies out there. Human consumption slaughters won't take - ponies (not a standard size steak), grays (melanomas ruin meat), underweight horses (obvious) and only limited amounts of draft horses (as it seems only Japan likes the extra marbled meat of drafts). But pet food doesn't matter. In fact for pet food the horse doesn't even need to be alive when they arrive at the slaughter house. They don't care what drugs or chemicals the horse was exposed to. Think about Big-lick TWHs who have caustic chemicals schmeered on their bodies, drugs injects, all sorts of nasty chemicals on those poor animals - when they're slaughtered they sure aren't going for human consumption. Now think about this - do you want your dog or cat eating those chemicals/drugs?
Personally, I think pet food industries need to be fixed before we start fussing with human consumption - that, at least, has standards.

With all that said: what can we do about it?!
Here's my idea. It would only work if everyone does it, if it becomes the norm. Micro-chip horses, all of them. Every horse owner, everyone who's ever loved that horse should be able to put their information on that horse's database page, those that really love them will keep it updated. When someone is looking to rehome the horse they could call anyone on the horse's 'page'. If a horse shows up at auction someone could make a boat load of money going horse to horse and calling people up seeing if they'll pay more than kill price to get that horse back.
This won't save all the horses- but it could make a difference in a few. It'll make a difference for the horses who were loved. IDK about you but I know 2 horses that I've loved are out in the world, not owned by me - but I'd love to have my name on a list if they ever needed a home.
Of course this is a wild-eyed dream and would require someone with some serious business sense and a good amount of computer know-how to make this database exist and work. But microchips are cheap and we could have them implanted with their regular vaccines. It could even be tied to registrations that horses have. However they do it, I don't care. Just make it so horses are track-able, so that horse can find his way to the people who loved him.

I'm sure there's a number of other ideas out there that, if implemented would save the lives of so many horses - but something needs to happen. Our beloved horses can not continue to be so disposable, regardless of if slaughter is an option or not. We shouldn't need a place to 'throw out' used up horses. We shouldn't have so many horses that they have no value.

That's my 2-cents. I probably won't have the heart to keep up with this thread, I honestly think about this subject more than my heart thinks I should.
But please look into fixing the pet food industry (particularly Bravo Packing in NJ) and please look into mirco-chipping and please if you're thinking of breeding look at all the horses in dire need of homes before creating just another life in need of a home.
horsecrazygirl and BlueMonday like this.
     
    11-16-2012, 01:57 AM
  #25
Yearling
I am pro HUMANE horse slaughter. I still don't like it.but its for the best. It hurts to see all of the horses with out homes. The way I see it to many people have financial issues so in turn they can't afford to keep horses. If the funds were given back then jobs would be crated the economy would improve and there wouldn't be that much of a need for horse slaughter. But again humane. And we also shouldn't have people breeding for no reason. If horses need to be eaten then they should be raised like that. Minimal human contact. Horses in genral are eagerly awaited. If you don;t believe me go look at some of the threads for the bred mares.
But cattle in general im quite sure the only reason there birth would be awaited as eagerly would be because there is one more to add to the herd. After all every rancher knosw whats going to happen to all those steers.
     
    11-16-2012, 07:50 AM
  #26
Started
I am on the fence... I am pro slaughter but not to our old friends, if that makes any sense. A horse that has been my partner and loved by me is not going to kill. He will be euthanized and buried, I don't feel the need to get the last $ out of his hide. IMO the transportation is the worst part and even regulated it falls between the cracks as being enforced.
     
    11-16-2012, 10:32 AM
  #27
Started
I guess I wanted to add just one thing to my novel I wrote earlier :P
Horse Slaughter, no matter how humane - should NOT replace equine-birth control. Which it currently is in this country. I'm sure we've all heard this before "just cause it has working girl and boy parts does not mean it should breed!"
Raising live stock for meat is fine, but we don't use horse slaughter for that- we use it to dispose of all the horses we can't stop ourselves from creating.
If you follow the auctions you'll notice it's mid-aged healthy horses going to slaughter. I just watch the most beautiful Belgian, street-carriage broke find his way to a kill buyer for $25 my fingers are still crossed a rescue will find him before his truck leaves on monday. There are 2 Beautiful young Appaloosas, young broke to ride, rode through W/T/C in the pen at the Camelot auctions this week. Why?! Why are horses that good at an auction?!
This is one of them:

Can you believe That horse is at an auction?! There's also several pregnant donkeys this week.

Horse slaughter is not a way to fix our issue with over breeding. Unfortunately it's a band-aid it enables the public to make those mistakes. The horses suffer for our lack of self control. Unfortunately the horses suffer even more if we don't kill all those extras we can't care for anymore.
horsecrazygirl likes this.
     
    11-16-2012, 03:27 PM
  #28
Weanling
I don't believe its a band aid, and you really think people will just magically stop breeding if this outlet were taken completely away? NOPE!

Think of the millions of cats and dogs being euthed (many GASSED) a year.. people know about this and still do not spay and neuter. Hell my friend never got around to spaying her husky, who now has a litter of puppies by her roomates PUG... they have the money to spay, they just don't give enough of a ****e to actually get it done, and now this weird ass mash of puppies will have to suffer for it.

Jeez, it has been proven that offering low cost spay/neuter has cut these numbers in half in areas that offer it...so why isnt it offered everywhere? Evidently many vets don't even seem to care other wise they would offer. People don't follow BS ordinances... And I pay enough money to keep the animals I have (because I am a responsible pet owner), so the last thing I need is the goverment taxing me, or charging me to keep my pets/ horses.. the irresponsibles find away around liscensing and what not anyway, so all these things would do is hurt the people WHO ACTUALLY give two hoots and pay and register their stock ect...

In a perfect world there would not be over breeding..but since we do not live in a perfect world, we have to have solutions to this overbreeding of horses, and that is slaughter. If we just went out and chemically euthed all of the unwanted horses, think of the enviromental impact that would have. Those chemicals leach into the soil creating a bigger problem, and a bunch of wasted meat that SOMEONE could be using.

Slaughter is not a pretty thing, but for the bigger picture its nessesary. If you don't believe in it, then keep that old horse til his dying day, or pasture that outlaw, or dead lame youngun, that's your choice to do so..but some of us (as sad as it is) cannot afford to keep an unsound (in body or mind) horse around.


Currently I have ONE horse that is a lifer- she has earned her place. The other two? Time will tell, but Im sure at some point they will move on.. if either of these two were to become pasture sound only say tomorrow, yes I would haul them to an auction to salvage at least a little money for them given they are sound enough to trailer ( I have other animals to feed and bills to pay). Does that make me irresponsible, or a bad person? If you say it does, what about the fact that my horses get quality and costly hay and custom mixed grain, fresh clean water everyday, farrier care on a scheduled and timely manner, vet care when needed ect ect ect.. the buggars are taken care of pretty darn well.. oh and the fact that I wont keep more horses than I can afford to properly take care of..

I know people who have about 14 personal horses..twoish that are broke and rideable, they wont get rid of any of them (unless to approved homes- those are far and few) because they are anti slaughter..which is their call..but they are constantly on the brink of financial woes because of it.. they take excellent care of their horses don't get me wrong (none of them want for food or nessesary vet care, shelter ect, but regular dental and hoof care have gone out the window), but their rose colored views IMO have kept them hindered and that's irresponsible because the majority of those horses are SCREWED if anything ever happens to them. The cost of upkeep on useless horses is keeping them from training and building a future for the few good (young and older) horses they have on the property.. oh and these are people who stopped breeding when the horse market died..
     
    11-16-2012, 04:49 PM
  #29
Foal
I completely agree that transporting horses to Canada and Mexico is a bad situation. I am curious about how to make horse slaughter humane. How would that be accomplished?
Do you think that slaughter would be needed if people bred their horses less so there were not thousands of unwanted horses?
     
    11-16-2012, 04:55 PM
  #30
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by peppersgirl    
I don't believe its a band aid, and you really think people will just magically stop breeding if this outlet were taken completely away? NOPE!

In a perfect world there would not be over breeding..but since we do not live in a perfect world, we have to have solutions to this overbreeding of horses, and that is slaughter. If we just went out and chemically euthed all of the unwanted horses, think of the enviromental impact that would have. Those chemicals leach into the soil creating a bigger problem, and a bunch of wasted meat that SOMEONE could be using.

Slaughter is not a pretty thing, but for the bigger picture its nessesary. If you don't believe in it, then keep that old horse til his dying day, or pasture that outlaw, or dead lame youngun, that's your choice to do so..but some of us (as sad as it is) cannot afford to keep an unsound (in body or mind) horse around.


Currently I have ONE horse that is a lifer- she has earned her place. The other two? Time will tell, but Im sure at some point they will move on.. if either of these two were to become pasture sound only say tomorrow, yes I would haul them to an auction to salvage at least a little money for them given they are sound enough to trailer ( I have other animals to feed and bills to pay). Does that make me irresponsible, or a bad person? If you say it does, what about the fact that my horses get quality and costly hay and custom mixed grain, fresh clean water everyday, farrier care on a scheduled and timely manner, vet care when needed ect ect ect.. the buggars are taken care of pretty darn well.. oh and the fact that I wont keep more horses than I can afford to properly take care of..

I know people who have about 14 personal horses..twoish that are broke and rideable, they wont get rid of any of them (unless to approved homes- those are far and few) because they are anti slaughter..which is their call..but they are constantly on the brink of financial woes because of it.. they take excellent care of their horses don't get me wrong (none of them want for food or nessesary vet care, shelter ect, but regular dental and hoof care have gone out the window), but their rose colored views IMO have kept them hindered and that's irresponsible because the majority of those horses are SCREWED if anything ever happens to them. The cost of upkeep on useless horses is keeping them from training and building a future for the few good (young and older) horses they have on the property.. oh and these are people who stopped breeding when the horse market died..
You make some seriously good points.

I do believe it is a band-aid for a serious problem that needs to be fixed. But I don't believe that ending slaughter would fix the problem. Closing slaughters just leaves horses a longer trip to their inevitable fate, or left in public parks tied to trees to starve to death.
The problem, like for cats and dogs, does need to be fixed. You're right we don't live in a perfect world - but not all countries have the same issues we do - how do they do it? There are government regulations, there are standards with which horses need to be held to in order to be bred. I personally don't think our government should need to regulate those things - but someone has to do something to fix this issue.

Here's my proposal - Foals born should be micro-chipped just like I explained before. When the foal is grown and used up - when the horse has gone past his/her useful lifespan - if the owner no longer wants to or is able to care for a used up horse (which first off feels like a betrayal to me) they can call the past owners of the horse to see if any wants to have the horse back. If none do they go back to the breeder. I don't know the details on how to make that happen I'll leave that up to some technical genius. The breeders would most likely euthanize the horses given back to them. Which would be sad for the first batch. But the breeders will gradually realize, as more and more of their precious foals who they watched enter the world are dumped on their door steps, used up and broken, only left to be euthanized - they will get the point. If not for the emotional reasons but for the cost- the cost to euthanize and bury a horse is extreme, especially in some states where you can't legally bury a horse, they need to be cremated. This way, at least, the horses die in loving arms - not slaughtered blindly by humans they once trusted.

I'd also like to add vets are REALLY stepping up on this issue- more and more are refusing to euthanize healthy horses, they're helping owners accommodate for horses' issues. A horse in someone's back yard does not cost much to keep up, my draft and pony together cost $300 a month on average, calculating in farrier - not vet as that varies too much. That's not horrific.
We honestly owe it to our companions not to throw them in the trash when we're done with them. It's different if it's a horse you've just bought who freak accident got permanently injured. But if you caused the horse to be unusable or if you have used the horse for the majority of their life, you owe it to them to promise them a peaceful end of life- even if it iseuthanasia. They deserve to die in comfort, not afraid and betrayed. I realize this isn't possible in every situation, but if the majority of people made this possible - then the rescues actually could pick up the rest. But right now rescues like mine are taxed. We have NO money, NO volunteers, NO time, but every day we get calls for more horses!
If you can afford to keep a sound horse - you can afford to keep the horse who has served you for the past 8 years. I personally, don't care about what show level you can't reach on your old horse - deal with it, wait a couple years until they pass and buy a new horse. Or better yet, I know a 16 year old girl who came up with the best solution: when your horse can no longer compete at your level, but is still good, lease them out to newer, lower level riders and use the money to lease or buy a better horse for yourself. Chances are if you choose to the leaser will want to buy your old horse, or you can keep them for free until they pass. Most horses can be taken for a relaxing walking trail up till the end of their lives - so there'll be people who want to enjoy them.

If there is a will, there is a way - find that way to protect your animals. We all owe it to them. The rest who don't have people to love them like we do can go to rescues or be slaughtered - but I guarantee if people started stepping up and being responsible slaughter numbers would drop dramatically. All it takes is for each person to make the responsible decision.
horsecrazygirl likes this.
     

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