A slaughter solution. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 07-28-2010, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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A slaughter solution.

I know many threads have been posted on the subject, but I have been reading a lot on the subject lately, and have gotten rather aggravated...I want to ask what people here think of these ideas. And please punch holes in it. :)

1: People will not stop over breeding. It just won't happen.
2: Horse slaughter is conducted in the exact same way all other large animals are processed.
3. The argument about poor conditions during transport was made WORSE by the closing of US plants. Transport is still basically unregulated.
4. Rescues cannot reliably care for all excess, lame, and aged animals. overextended rescues often end up neglecting animals.
5. Even great horse owners can fall on hard times. No slaughter removes an option for disposal of animals, resulting in greater numbers of neglect cases. If someone can't afford food, how can they afford to have the vet euthanize (the "humane" option...dead is dead though), and have the render pick it up or have it cremated?
6. Horses from the US should not be used for human consumption, but can still provide pet food, meat for zoos and carnivore sanctuarys, and other products.

Solution: Reopen the plants, with these regulations.
1. Allow feed lots where practical.
2. Reasonably regulate transport companies. Visually record animal conditions at time of purchase, and purchase location. Large fines to the transport company for injured horses that arrive at the slaughterhouse. (they used to do this anyway) Auction houses could maintain photographic record of each horse that goes to slaughter, before it gets on the truck, for little cost. Send this record to the transport co, or to the USDA, or both. Email is free. I know that there are issues with this, but it can be worked out.
3. Require slaughter houses (consider doing this at ALL slaughter houses) to adjust their killing methods to insure that each animal is actually dead before it is strung up. This can be enforced by the USDA by placing a *secure* camera at the kill site. There are not so many houses that the cost would be probative, and the company can eat the cost of this. Large fines for violations. Doing this would really be rather inexpensive.
4. Extend transport regulations to include border check points. Would cost a bit, but would pay for itself once the industry got back on it's feet.
5. US horse meat is not to be used for human consumption. Perhaps, unless the animal has spent sufficient time on a lot to be deemed "clean". Human consumption horses must be freeze marked at the time they enter the lot. (don't know about this one)
6. Large fines for any regulation violation.


It is more difficult to regulate business, BUT doing so is FAR more effective than other measures. These companies are in it for money, and I think would be willing to cooperate, as I don't feel these regulations would be overly costly or unreasonable. The fines alone would keep things in check provided the USDA made regular checks. Tax money pays for the USDA, and as an important issue as this is, doing their jobs here shouldn't be an unreasonable expense.
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post #2 of 21 Old 07-28-2010, 02:33 PM
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The difficulty, I think, presents itself by the perception of individual people. You will never be able to have equine slaughter without a goodly amount of people screaming abuse.

For example, in videos I have watched, the number of horses people claim are "alive and hurt" is somewhat ridiculous. Individual people without medical, scientific or slaughter experience cannot fathom the idea that an animal WILL move, often for quite some time, even if the brain is technically dead. So where do you draw the line? For slaughter houses to have to wait until each individual animal stops moving entirely would cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars in wasted time. And people would STILL scream "But, it was twitching for 3 minutes!" I have been around the slaughter of many types of animals and I have yet to see the animal that didn't take several minutes to COMPLETELY stop moving - and when you've severed the spine or obliterated the brain, it is OBVIOUS the animal cannot feel pain regardless of it's movements. Hence the origin of the term "chicken with it's head cut off". Unless you BLOW something up, the heart will ALWAYS continue pumping blood for x amount of minutes even if the brain is dead.

I honestly don't believe you could make any amount of changes to make extremists understand or idiots take it seriously. You will always have abusive workers and you will always have PETA fanatics who believe nothing should ever die - ever.



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post #3 of 21 Old 07-28-2010, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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Your point is true. I just can't help but be far more bothered by the growing neglect I'm seeing, every time I go to auction, rather than a few minutes of twitching death.

Still, one wishes there were some way to make this work. It is many millions of dollars worth of industry, hundreds (maybe thousands) of jobs, and far fewer long starving horses.

Scientific study, backing a description of "dead", probably wouldn't work huh? Or maybe a guillotine method of killing. (tounge in cheek... but it could work...)

Last edited by Kaioti; 07-28-2010 at 02:47 PM.
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post #4 of 21 Old 07-28-2010, 03:10 PM
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They would probably still twitch even if beheaded. If I am correct, the twitching comes from the nerves dying. Its sad but I would much rather see slaughter than starvation. It sounds extreme but that seems to be what is happening.
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post #5 of 21 Old 07-28-2010, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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True. I was just thinking it would be harder to make the "alive and in pain" argument it its head was off. They always say that the captive bolt method isn't 100% effective because it could hit in the wrong place or fail to do enough damage to actually kill.

And I don't think it is extreme, and think it is humane and fair.

What is extreme is watching a half starved, crippled horse being dragged down the auction house isle by three men.

Last edited by Kaioti; 07-28-2010 at 03:26 PM. Reason: sp
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post #6 of 21 Old 07-28-2010, 04:57 PM
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It's a shame not more think like you do Kaioti!

One also has to wonder about the pain tolerance of prey animals. I was recently watching a very disturbing video of a wild African dog essentially eating an antelope type creature alive - they go right for the tender "teat" area and just disembowel them. The animal is alive, blinking and turning it's head while this dog completely disembowels it. In this instance, the animal is blatantly alive for quite some time as a major organ would have to bleed out and there's nothing painless about that and yet it makes no real attempt to get away once it's stomach has been opened and has no expression of "pain" on it's face - it actually looks sedated and calm.

Quite frankly, I agree though. Even with slaughter as it WAS, I think that is a FAR better method then what we have now. An animal taking 5-10 minutes to die is a lot better then taking 5-10 months to die, no matter HOW you look at it.

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post #7 of 21 Old 07-28-2010, 05:09 PM
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Well yes, y'all would think so, since you're nothing but sadists who enjoy hurting all the pwetty horsies. Evil, evil people!

I'm much better than all of you because I don't eat ANY meat (but use leather tack), buy ONLY organic veggies, and love my fur babies!

My family eats meat, but that's okay 'cause they're my family and wonderful, not like the rest of you horrible, evil people!

I can't imagine how ANYONE could eat a precious, speshul, magickal horsie!

Y'all make me SICK! Only sadists, abusers, and pedophiles work in slaughter houses, or think that murdering horsies is okay!

I feel SORRY for your animals and hope somebody like me comes and takes them away from you! It's OBVIOUS you have no love or empathy for animals, and when you die you're going to hell and I'll be glad!

Just thought I'd throw that out there for all the bleeding hearts so they don't have to post it.

Kaoiti, the only objection I have to your proposal is not using horse meat for human consumption. That's a large carcass full of meat, so like cow, pig, goat, lamb, etc., I can't see any reason not to eat it.

Why waste all that meat on animal food? Many people have no objections to eating horse meat.

Last edited by Speed Racer; 07-28-2010 at 05:14 PM.
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post #8 of 21 Old 07-28-2010, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Kaioti View Post
Still, one wishes there were some way to make this work.
Some countries have made it work... Iceland is the best IMO. But their methods probably wouldn't work here because we don't use our horse meat locally. Slaughter plants here have to push horses through fast in order to get enough meat for each large international shipment.
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post #9 of 21 Old 07-28-2010, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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The reason for not using them for human consumption is because most horses receive wormers, antibiotics and other chemicals that contaminate thier bodys. Whereas cattle and other animals are more often given different drugs which are less harmful. There is no practical way to determine which have recently recived these chems, and the time between sale and slaughter isn't long enough to clean them out. At least that is how I understand it.

That is why I think feed lots would work sometimes, plus it would increase weight in many animals. I don't know how cost effective this would be since they would have to be on lot for longer that 4-8 weeks, and would not be able to be fed super high protien/fat/sugar feeds.
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post #10 of 21 Old 07-28-2010, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you Mikolij. I wonder about their reaction to pain too. I wonder if they reach a threshold and their brain releases seratoin or a similar chemical to calm them through it so they don't hurt themselves more.
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