ways to achieve "humane" horse slaughter - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 02-13-2012, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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ways to achieve "humane" horse slaughter

since everyone is either pro or against for a variety of reasons i thought maybe it would actually be worth it to come up with ideas to make slaughter/processing more humane for the equine industry. we can not change peoples minds in what they believe or why they believe it. but we can come up with reasonable ideas to make it efficient and humane for the animals.

KEEP IN MIND THIS IN NOT A DEBATE ABOUT BEING PRO OR AGAINST SLAUGHTER!!! there are already tons of that on the web let alone in this forum. But what i don't see is an actual thread dedicated to coming up with realistic/reasonable ideas to make this industry as humane and efficient and profitable as possible. (profitable in the sense it should pay for itself and be privately run with no help of the government) enless you have ideas or reasons to think tax payers should contribute.

the discussion should range from transportation, housing/buildings, the actual confinement when it is time, where the meat should be stored, how it should be stored, holding pens, where is the meat market demand for this product, is there a way to use it in the U.S.A, is there logical reasons why we shouldn't have a plant in the USA since there are still US horses being slaughtered outside our borders, etc etc.. as you see anything counts as long as it pertains to equine slaughter.

anything that relates to slaughter to make it "better" (the word used lightly)

keep it friendly and educational as well. i will also be using this info for a research paper i am writing. so this info would be greatly appreciated along with reasons why you think it would work would also be beneficial.

thanks :)
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post #2 of 25 Old 02-13-2012, 11:07 AM
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Shoot them. Quickly. And stop cramming the horses in trailers. Hire people to clean holding areas. Keeping the horses calm and relaxed will make the meat better as well. When the animal gets stressed it makes the meat tougher.

I don't know in-detail about the goings-on of US slaughter. But thats where I would start.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #3 of 25 Old 02-13-2012, 11:17 AM
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I think there should be laws on how many horses can be transported per trailer, what types of trailers are acceptable, sizes of holding pens, how long the animal can be there until the deed is done (the sooner the better), proper food and water is provided, and how many animals per holding pen. The deed should be done as quickly as possible, and inspections should be done by an outside party to ensure the company is abiding my the rules.
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post #4 of 25 Old 02-13-2012, 11:20 AM
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For all animals, not just for horses...

Maximum 2 hour ride to Slaughter house (may have to make low density population areas a special case)

All transport to be clean, and have standards as to the space needed per animal.

Operators to be trained in the handling of animals.

Licensed and inspected slaughter houses

Proper holding areas.

Training for all people who carry out the actual slaughter process.

Maybe more but there is a start.

Trouble is legislation has to be thought about and worded very carefully or you could find that your own personal horse transport doesn't meet the criteria.
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post #5 of 25 Old 02-13-2012, 01:48 PM
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2 hour ? I dont see where that comes from, many of us trailer that far every weekend.
Problem is just a basic lack of enforcement. Horses cows pigs chickens, etc from a legal standpoint are all animals going to slaughter, People simply dont care, they will see a report on the news about chickens say "Oh my" and pull into the KFC. People just have zero connection between food and animals. Pass all kinda of guidlines and there just isnt gonna be any enforcement as the public doesnt care enough to allocate tax dollars. As long as the finished product comes out safe to eat.
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post #6 of 25 Old 02-13-2012, 02:10 PM
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I don't see how using a gun would be any better then the captive bolt. Both rely on accuracy and when the horse is freaking out because it just saw the horse before him get killed, it's going to be hard to hit. I think ideal means of slaughter would be heavy sedation(I'm sure there is some kind of sedative that won't contaminate the meat) and then the accuracy of using a gun or captive bolt would be increased.

I also think there needs to be much stricter standards when it comes to horses receiving products labeled(not intended for animals used for humane consumption" Such as de-wormer, and bute,both of which nearly every horse receives.

There also needs to be better standards for transportation. Limit the number of horses allowed in the trailer. Also, as GH said, less travel time. Joe4d, the difference is the conditions in which the horses are transported, I horse in a proper trailer with only a few horses, with plenty of room vs a trailer crammed with 20-40 horses who can't hardly move,and low ceilings. Also when personally trailering your horse you stop every few hours and allow the horses to rest, the horses being transported to slaughter houses are on that trailer until they get to the slaughter house which is often 8-15+ hours.
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post #7 of 25 Old 02-13-2012, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe4d View Post
2 hour ? I dont see where that comes from, many of us trailer that far every weekend.

Came off the top of my head, it's a starting point and there is a great deal of difference loading up and trailering good healthy fit horses to a trail ride or a clinic, than lame, sick or sorry to a slaughter house.

As I say legislation as to be very careful, or you end up with the law of unintended consequences, but my main point remains, live animals should be shipped short distances on their final journey, the longest part of the journey can be done on the hook.

Check out this link for some ideas

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post #8 of 25 Old 02-13-2012, 02:50 PM
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There are several things that can be done to making horse slaughter more humane, come to that, for any animal going into the food chain!

1) Ban double decker wagons for all bar sheep and pigs.
2) Limit the number of hours that an animal can be travelled without stopping, and watering/feeding them
3) Horses can only travel together without a partition if it is a mare and foal or, feral horses and with the latter the number travelling together should be limited and the amount of room should be so they are not crammed together.
4) Holding pens at slaughter houses should provide food and water. The number of horses in each pen should allow for freedom of movement for them.
5) No horse may be destroyed within the sight of another.
6) A humane killer should be used by a trained marksman.
7) If a price was put on the value of a horse being exported then that would stop the export to Mexico so the value of each horse should exceed the price they are fetching for meat.
8) All slaughter houses should have the chance to open their doors for say, a day a month to kill horses. This would stop the distances animals have to travel.
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post #9 of 25 Old 02-13-2012, 03:38 PM
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and thats what happens with starting points. People that dont know the whole story throw out numbers, Other people like clueless politicians pandering for votes grab those numbers. Next thing you know they become laws. Of course slaughter house people will simply ignore them, and the basic law abiding people like us get stuck with more and more restrictions. Sorta the same model as gun control, criminals simply ignore the laws.
Are you ready to have to pull your horse trailer into check stations every day so a inspector can say they approve or disapprove ? Are you ready to sudenly have extra taxes and fees involved to pay for those inspections? Do you really think they will do anything but make it a burden on the rest of us ?
Laws and regulations seem to always lack common sense. The law gets written and supposedly followed, common sense after the fact doesnt help.
No way I would support laws or regulations. They WONT work.
Fox hunter, for example, the majority of your points are examples of laws with good intentions that get passed and screw things up.
2. Limit number of hours ? what s the limit, who decides ? who enforces ? who's guidelines, PETA's ?
3. Crammed together ? care for a legal definition of crammed? Thats a subjective term, some people might think me putting a 16 hand horse in my trailer is crammed others think its ok, crammed is a subjective verb.
4. Whats a holding pen ? whats freedom of movement, for how long ? what about a stall at a dressage show ? I say a 12 X 12 stall is no freedom of movement, others keep their horses in one over night, again no way to quantify your verb,
5. Whats within sight ? horses have great eyesight. what happens when a horse breaks its leg on a trail ride, everyone has to leave me? how far ? what distance ? who decides?
6. Trained ? to what level ? I trained soldiers all the time, many of them still cant hit a barn wall from the inside. who sets the standard ? who tests them? who pays the salaries of all these marksmen trainers ? What do they practice on?
7. Prices are set by the market, not government intervention, that's called communism, didnt work out so well for the most of the world.
8. I dont really follow the logic.

My point being lots of laws are passed with good intentions, and the unintended consequences arnt anticipated. Public perception and choices at the market place will have a greater effect on these corporations that laws,
Several examples in the news recently where big corporations like Mcdonalds, KFC, and Purdue chicken has changed the way animals were treated before and during slaughter.
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post #10 of 25 Old 02-13-2012, 03:49 PM
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I forgot the name but have heard of a place that takes in horses who are in need to either be put down or have no better future...what they do it pick them up, haul them to their property. They let them loose in a very large pasture and let them have a happy few days or weeks out just being a horse with other horses and in that batch they go out and humanly euthanize them. That way they spend the last of their days happy in a pasture just being a horse... I think this is an amazing thing for someone to do. If I had no option for Oliver and he had to be put down or I couldn't find a good safe home for him I would consider this.

Just throwing it out there
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