Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Horses -- the other red meat

What does horse taste like? 

That's a question that you, as an American Citizen, probably can't answer.  We just don't eat them.  They're edible, and other countries do, but we don't. 

Our feelings about horses are that they are a special animal; many people consider eating a horse with the same sort of horror that they'd approach eating a beagle or a black lab.  This sentiment is so strong, in fact, that horse meat was prohibited from being used in pet food in the united states in the 1970s.  Horse meat for human consumption was effectively outlawed in the United States by legislation that closed federally-inspected horse slaughterhouses in 2007. 

When we outlawed slaughter for horses in the USA we shifted some of the market to Canada, and some to Mexico, and for many horses, instead of being slaughtered in a regional plant that means a trip of many hundreds or a thousand miles before they're slaughtered, often in cattle trailers that aren't tall enough for the horse to stand upright -- an uncomfortable journey, and certainly the last thing that the folks who outlawed the USA slaughter of horses had in mind. 

What faces many horse owners now is that there is just no good way to dispose of a  horse that is lame, dangerous to ride, or that the owner simply cannot afford to keep any more.   In my area there are several well-publicized cases of horses being slowly starved to death (there are horse animal hoarders) or abandoned.   You take your own horse to a trail, go riding, and find your trailer filled with horses on your return. 

Yes, there are horse rescue groups, but there's just too many horses for them to take.  Would you rather see the horse humanely killed in a USDA inspected slaughterhouse or trucked to Mexico and killed under...  well, brutal would be the word that I'd use -- conditions?  I'm speaking as someone who regularly slaughters
I've been to several auctions in the past 3 months where horses have sold for between $1 and $10 each -- 800 to 1,000lb animals. 

For a variety of reasons I'd like to see horse slaughter return to the USA:  Shorter journey for the horse, local jobs and economy, kindness, and ability to regulate and enforce those regulations to ensure humane handling of the animals. 

And I hate to see the horses wasted.  At current auction prices, many people just shoot and bury their horses directly.  When you can't even get enough for the horse to pay for a happy meal, there's just no incentive to do the right thing when disposing of it.  I'd much rather see that horse go as human food. 

Current article in the Seattle times talking about saving a "horse with a name"
wikipedia article on horse slaughter. 
abandoned horses in Time Magazine
horses being abandoned at boarding stables - the legal view
Rising abandonment rates - USA today
A million horses - lobbying for horse slaughter

Mexican slaughterhouse video.  Gruesome stuff.  You really think this is better than a USDA plant?  These guys want to outlaw export of the horses for slaughter entirely -- leaving horse owners with even less option than they have today. 
Canadian Horse slaughter.  Not quite so gruesome.  They talk about the difficulty in using a captive bolt on a horse -- but compared to Mexico slaughter...

53 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting!

You aren't buying horses for $10 and feeding them to your pigs, are you (perhaps after cooking them)? That would be humane for the horse (if you did it right) and good for your pigs. You'd have to buy a lot of horses at once to make it work - and probably do it secretly, because of consumers' feelings.

Bruce King said...

I thought about buying a horse and eating it. at less than 1/10th of a cent per pound, it's a great food value.

Funder said...

I'm not morally opposed to consumption of horse meat, and I think it's a terrible shame that so many horses go so completely to waste. The current system is truly inhumane though.

The other aspect that no one talks about is drug withdrawal. Many horses at the ends of their lives are drugged, and since it's illegal to eat them, there are no withdrawal times followed. Lame backyard horses headed to auction and virtually any off-the-track racehorse will have been dosed with phenylbutazone (Bute), a very effective horse NSAID. And a carcinogen.

It's not likely that a meal of horse salami will give you tumors. It's just dumb in the same way as eating a fish from a polluted river. But I'd hesitate to work my way through a whole horse carcass or feed it to my dogs or pigs.

Anonymous said...

I remember when I was younger, Mom brought home some mat from the store and said, don't tell your dad this is horse meat. It tasted a lot like beef but a little different also. Dad liked it and it was cheaper than beef so Mom bought more until they no longer sold it. Guess I am showing my age here, but I totally agree with you. I have seen many horses starved because of the economy. People have to put family before pets and have to feed themselves first. Where we are right now has few horses being the suburbs of Philadelphia/Camden area, but I do know that in south Jersey, people are leaving their horses to fend for themselves in the wild. It is sad that after so many years of tender care and being domesticated these horses are now being set free to live in the wild and have no idea how to do it. If they don't want to let humans eat them (for whatever reason they may have ) they should at least let the pet food companies start using them again. Just a sad thing that regulations have done again.
Adele

sheila said...

Laws like this show how far removed people are from farming and the realities of life.

Anonymous said...

Personally id be leery of eating a horse that was not raised like a meat-animal, simply because horses, as other pets, get medicated way beyond what meat-animals do. One issue i seem to recall is that a specific painkiller used for horses, called "bute" is toxic for humans and stay in the meat of the horse. I would buy someones old dog cheaply and eat it, simply because i woulndt know what the owner had fed it, and there arent any guidelines, nor agencies making sure the animal arent toxic. (not to mention the issue of tumors, that get prevalent in pets simply because they live longer, whereas most meat animals are slaugthered when they reach an approriate weight.)
so bascially, if its raised and regulated like a meat-animal, id eat it like so, but i woulndt put a pet on my plate.

TCates said...

Horses in the US (esp. OTTB's) are full of drugs very unsafe for human consumption. I suppose if you do decide to purchase a horse and self-slaughter for personal consumption, that it would qualify as a nice note of Darwinism; enjoy the side effects.

I would also love to know what local farms your are involved with - I'd hate to accidentally support your farm. I only buy local meat and produce; while I've never seen your face, I'll be sure to cement the name to memory just in case. Someone unaware of the risks of horsemeat to ones health (moral conflicts aside) isn't someone who's growing/raising practices I could have faith in.

Joanne Rigutto said...

Getting rid of horse slaughter was one of the worse things the animal rights and horse lovers movements ever did to the horse industry.

It's ironic, but the best thing those people could do is to lobby to bring it back.

shane said...

i've eaten horse salami and enjoyed it.

StefRobrts said...

There are a lot of horse lovers now who also feel the elimination of slaughterhouses was a bad idea, but the animal rights people pushed for it, and people who know nothing about horses thought it was a good idea. I think the unintended consequences of it were worse for the horses overall.

It has also made 'rescue' a big opportunity for con men, who buy the horses for slaughter, then offer to let people 'rescue' them out of the kill pen for 4 or 5x the amount they paid for them. Often they tack on quarantine, boarding, transportation fees - a person can end up spending a thousand dollars trying to save a horse that way. Good money for the kill buyer though. There are legitimate rescue groups, but some real scams too, and the horses are caught up in it all.

Anonymous said...

people and their cushy disney feel for all animals. face reality people. good entry and good thoughts.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you. It doesn't seem logical that people are allowed to mindlessly breed as many horses as they want but it is illegal to provide unwanted horses with a humane end.

I also think its funny that some of the other comments on here seem to personally attack you when you didn't say that you want to use these horses yourself. You just state the current situation.

Christy Lee said...

For those of you who are interested in true facts and figures, let me quote John Holland, a senior analyst who has studied horse slaughter and the ramifications for years. This is a great, truthful read. My two cents. There is no humane way to slaughter a horse. NONE. The cruelty is an abomination and anyone who thinks it can be done in a "kind" way is deluding himself!
"September 1, 2010 -The Perfect Time to End the Slaughter of American Horses:
At the moment, the news is rife with stories about the level of equine neglect in the United States, with many of the articles blaming the "unintended consequences" of closing the US horse slaughter plants and calling for them to be reopened. But in reality, we are coming up on a once in a lifetime opportunity to get rid of this abominable practice once and for all. To understand this apparent paradox, one needs to get past unsubstantiated myths to the real forces at play in the market.
First, one needs to understand that it is completely impossible to blame the current glut of excess horses on the closing of the slaughter plants because the closings simply sent the horses over the Mexican and Canadian borders for slaughter. In 2006, the year before the closings, 142,740 American horses were slaughtered, and that number only dropped by 14% the year the plants were closed. By 2008, slaughter was back to the second highest level in almost ten years.
Next, it is necessary to understand what really causes neglect, and that is unemployment. After years of studying the relationship between neglect rates and slaughter volumes, I had concluded that there was no relationship whatever. Then I looked at the rates of neglect in Illinois in comparison with unemployment in the state. The correlation was striking...
What is needed is for congress to pass HR 503/S727, banning the slaughter and export to slaughter of American horses. This action could be placed in abeyance until a trigger was reached of unemployment dropping significantly (perhaps under 8%). The result would be a smooth transition to a much more humane equine industry.
Horse slaughter is not a "necessary evil", merely an evil. Now is our opportunity to resign this practice to the dust bin of American history."
To read the entire article. Use this link:

AareneX said...

As often happens, Funder and I agree.

I don't want to eat horses, but it is a shame that such a large meat animal is usually wasted--euthanasia fills the carcass with toxins so that it cannot even be buried safely unless the water table is very far beneath the surface.

Christy Lee: it is generally accepted in vet text books that a properly placed bullet is effectively instant and painless to the animal. It's not a pretty death, but if a person is interested only in the comfort of the animal, then prettiness takes a distant second place. If I thought that I could be accurate when the time came, I'd choose that option for my own horses. I'm not sure I could be, and an inaccurate bullet is not painless, so I'll be obligated to go with the toxin route.

I'd be happy if we could legislate and enforce humane transportation laws. The line at the slaughterhouse goes quickly compared to the long and inhumane ride to Mexico or Alberta.

catherine ritlaw said...

Oh, God. Horse meat is contaminated with drugs and chemicals banned from humane consumption. There is no humane slaughter. It was inhumane done here. Many horses were butchered alive and conscious!Please read this statement from a slaughter inspector/vet.
http://www.manesandtailsorganization.org/captive_bolt.htm
Transport to slaughter was brutal. Many horses had their eyes gouged out, were trampled, starved and beaten on the way to the plant.There is no humane horse slaughter and no safe horse meat.Americans do not eat companion animals.
Americans do not eat companion animals.

SHANNON LACK said...

wow what is next our dogs and cats. You sick ignorant people. Where do you draw the line? Hell lets just eat our children too. Just such a mass starvation and shortage of food in this country not!

Victoria M said...

Great information here! I enjoy reading your posts.

Anonymous said...

Christy Lee, of course it is possible to humanely slaughter a horse.

One obvious way that springs to mind: shoot it in the brain with a powerful bullet. E.g. a .357, .223, etc.

No brain, no pain.

Also, it looks like if cattle are on bute, you need a 45 day withdrawal period until you can eat them. I'd guess the withdrawal period is as long for a horse.

So the bute is a problem, but it is surmountable.

Finally, I'm monstrous enough I'd say that we ought to be rendering our humans into animal feed. There's no reason to let all that protein and fat go to waste.

Anonymous said...

You really should study your facts before posting. They outlawed the use of horse meat in pet food back in the 1970's because it was making dogs sick. But hey, you want to eat it? Bon Appetite'

Toby69999 said...

Being that humans are so arrogant,IGNORANT,unnatural & careless that claim no responsibility to all THEIR faults i say just send them to the slaughter house. I can't stand people anymore! USELESS!!!

Anonymous said...

Abonymous...


Dairy cattle and beef are FOREVER prohibited from entering the food chain at ANY TIME if they have been given bute. Perhaps you should read the laws a little more carefully. God, the author of this blog is an idiot.

Suzanne said...

Anon, you are wrong on several counts:

No, it is NOT possible to humanely slaughter a horse in the "assembly line" method which is needed to make a paying proposition out of slaughtering them.

To my knowledge, cattle are NOT permitted bute, but if they are, it needs investigated. Bute would not be the first banned drug that has been illegally used in food animals.

It is necessary to understand the vast differences between horses and cattle and how misleading it is to compare the two in any way. Not only are there great differences in temperament, the digestive processes are totally different. For instance, cattle may be wormed with ivermectin - banned for use in horses that are used for food - because they are ruminants. Notable, ivermectin can NOT be used in non-ruminating calves. Nor can the ivermectin marketed for horses be used in cattle.

So, IF bute can legally be used in cattle, that does NOT mean it can be used in horses. It has been proven by independent studies that horses retain bute indefinitely. This can cause serious problems because some people are extremely sensitive to this drug. That's why it was removed from the human market long ago.

As far as I'm concerned, you can eat anything you want. That doesn't mean it should be a commercial project. Poisoning yourself is one thing. Poisoning others is quite another.

Bruce King said...

"The use of horses as pet food was outlawed because it was making dogs sick..." I don't think that's true, but I'm open to any backup that you have for that statement. Horse meat is used as pet food in many different countries with no ill effects.

People delivering horses to the auction are now being required to provide signed statements that they've owned the horses for 30 days or more (I'm guessing for withdrawal period purposes), and that the horses are not medicated; announcement was made at the toppenish auction I attended about 3 weeks ago, and I'm sure that every other auction is doing the same thing.

Regarding dairy and beef cattle and bute -- care to back that up with a link to the appropriate law or regulation?

Anonymous said...

It just shows the ignorance of the writer of this blog and anyone else considering eating domestic horses that are FULL of toxic drugs. Bute is but one of more than 60 drugs that should never be given to any animal destined for slaughter. FACT - Bute never leaves a horses body, there is no weaning off period - look it up, it is common knowledge!
It is a proven fact that most all horses sent to slaughter are not old, past their prime or whatever other lies the pro-slaughter movement wants to lay on them, most of them are young, well trained, well bred horses, not the skinny, sick or old horses.
Breeders need to stop over-breeding! The economy is down, people are not buying horses like they did years ago - the breeders need to recognize that and act accordingly. Horse breeders are no better than puppy mill operators, continually breeding when the same breed of dog is dying in a shelter each and every day. Pure bred, registered Quarter Horses are one of the most common breeds of horses sent to slaughter, nothing wrong with them, just over-bred by callous, greedy breeders that just need to stop and get a REAL job.
Anyone that chooses to eat toxic, drug laden horsemeat, good luck to ya! I am sure that horse is coming back to bite you in the ass later....bute is a well known, well documented cancer causing, bone marrow degrading, miscarriage inducing drug not meant for human consumption in any form.

Christy Lee said...

You are guessing wrong Bruce. There is NO withdrawal period from Bute. NONE, ZIP, ZILCH!

Bruce King said...

Regarding humane slaughter: The conversation about how the horse is rendered insensible or killed for slaughter, is a red herring in my opinion. Horses are killed every day by their owners for a variety of reasons. that's something that can be tackled in regulating the slaughterhouses. Right now there IS NO regulation by the USA of horse slaughter because it's being done in other countries. I'd rather see it be done here so that we can regulate practices that are of concern.

(manes and tails, a horse rescue organization - NOT an unbiased source by any means, in their link, states that a 9mm or .357 shot is a humane and instant kill for a horse. http://www.manesandtailsorganization.org/captive_bolt.htm They also make the statement that "...Carbon Monoxide – this method saturates the tissues and leaves residues thereby making the meat inedible.", which is both misleading and incorrect. CO2, Carbine Dioxide) is the gas that is often used in slaughter to render animals unconcious, not CO, and CO is widely used in meat packaging and GRAS (generally recognized as safe) for that use.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/19/AR2006021901101.html
)

The slaughter issue is a red herring by folks who would like to end all horse slaughter by any method, even those that horse rescue operations admit are humane.

Bruce King said...

Christy Lee: You've made that statement twice. Please back it up with something other than your opinion. I'm not an expert on drugs or withdrawal periods -- and I'm guessing neither are you. So please do provide a link to the appropriate reference or regulation.

Christy Lee said...

Here Bruce...chew on this: "The United States Food and Drug Administration released a document in 2003 establishing that phenylbutazone (Butazolidin, or Bute) is not fit for horses intended for the food chain. According to the document, Bute is a carcinogen, as determined by the National Toxicology Program. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) recently released a document establishing revised guidelines or horses intended to be slaughtered in slaughter houses in Canada. In that document there is a list of substances that are not permitted for horses intended for the human foodchain, regardless of when the substance is ingested. No quarantine period for these substances. They are simply banned. Bute is on that list."

Bruce King said...

That's interesting, Christy -- now provide the source of that quotation. There are withdrawal periods for bute, and I quote: "Past recommendations for slaughter withdrawal were of a minimum 45 days for the first dose, with another five days added for each day of therapy beyond the first."
http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com/dvm/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=485115&sk=&date=&pageID=2

If horse owners are juicing their animals with stuff that is carcinogenic and harmful, what does that say about them?

Jeannie I AM ANTI-SLAUGHTER said...

IF, you knew anything about HORSES, they are born with an uncanny sence of feeling danger. They want to flee..Just like a MOTHER has the 6th sence when something is wrong, it is a natural instinct. Except for the fact that anyone can put their picture and post anything with out true education, you have no clue. Ah, atleast I can lay my head down on my pillow at night knowing I am filled with compassion. Instead of working on the real issues of over breeding and the Race horss being used at 2 years of age before their legs are developed, you too are looking for the easy way out and like the other people are looking for the big buck and 5 mins of fame. We could put all the truths right onfront of you and you would still not get it, cause you either have it or you do not, compassion and a sence of right and GOOD....Horses are still used in dog food, there is a plant in New Jersy called Bravo Paking..Amanda Sorvino and Grandad Paul Sorvino (movie Star)have been fighting them

Jeannie said...

Harmful to HUMANS...not to the horses..Bruce King and the other meds are the ones that do not leave ahorses body. Google, med used in horses

Anonymous said...

http://www.kaufmanzoning.net/ This is the best website for getting oneself educated on horse slaugther and the realities of it.

Anonymous said...

http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/features/horseslaughter-123.shtml Another good read.

Christy Lee said...

Posted links, and they are not showing...

Anonymous said...

Horse owners juicing their horses! Seriously man, educate yourself!
Do you think all those sport horses performing and making money for their owners, getting injuries in the process should not have pain medication?? Bute is a NSAID, so commonly given to horses it is called the aspirin of the horse world.

I challenge you to find one racehorse that has not beeen given Bute, and by that I mean I horse that has raced, not just the breed!
Better yet, go pick up a package of wormer for horses, read the package and take note of the section that states "not intended for animals destined for food" Do you propose that horses not be treated for worms??

Here is an unbiased document I can only hope will help inform you, but I have my doubts. You seem to just be set in your completely wrong opinion, which is sad. However, I can say it is people like you that energize those of us that do care about animals and human health, so thanks for that!
http://www.equinewelfarealliance.org/uploads/Food_and_Chemical_Toxicology_Manuscript-FINAL.pdf
(oh and just so you know - this is a link from the Equine Welfare Alliance, it was not written by them)

Christy Lee said...

http://www.paulickreport.com/blog/keeping-bute-out-of-the-foodchain/

Bruce King said...

I've gotten a number of comments from folks with links to this or that horse rescue operation. Typically they're one line emails "Please read this!!".

I'm no longer going to publish that sort of link. Write your opinion, say what your point is, and then provide a link to anything that supports or backs up your opinion and I'll post that.

Take the time to make your point and back it up. I get that many people are emotional about this, and I've published enough of that here to show that point. Now move on.

airspace1 said...

This Must be a Pro slaughter writer that only support his own agenda which is pure ignorance..
Knowing there are drugs in horses like wormers, brute and steriods..
Horse slaughter also promotes abuse and neglect which is against the law..
This article and writer should be jailed and fined.
I can surely bet he or she has never donated to a horse rescue in there lifetime..

Bruce King said...

Lets see what the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has to say:

"The AVMA and other AHSPA opponents contend that the assault of the anti-horse-slaughter coalition, led by HSUS, on the federally regulated horse slaughter industry has, in fact, led to the current welfare crisis. Unwanted horses fared much better when they were transported under government supervision to U.S. regulated facilities and humanely euthanized, they say. (Cavel International Inc., the foreign-owned operator of the Illinois slaughter plant, is appealing the state ban to the U.S. Supreme Court.)

"The reality is, proponents of this legislation have done nothing to address the real issue here, and, in fact, by seeking to ban horse slaughter, they have made things significantly worse," said Dr. Mark Lutschaunig, director of the AVMA Governmental Relations Division. Opponents of the federal ban say its supporters should instead focus their energies on addressing what to do with the some 100,000 horses relinquished by their owners each year to slaughter

http://www.avma.org/onlnews/javma/jan08/080115a.asp

Anonymous said...

This is why I continue to read... I thoroughly enjoy watching you make people mad by stating facts. Also, I would believe most of the people getting mad are horse people.

So why would they approve of giving their horses these chemicals to begin with? You are suggesting a much more efficient process for ending these animals life, so why do these people disagree? I still have not heard a viable option from any of the haters for how to fix the problem. idealism.

Funder said...

Jeannie, the slaughterhouse in NJ was underground, unlicensed, totally illegal. It has nothing to do with humane horse slaughter. And Bruce isn't a horse owner - why on earth should he work on ending futurities or overbreeding or any of that? He has his own priorities.

Bruce, horse owners who use bute aren't bad people - it irritates the stomach, like all NSAIDS, but otherwise it's not harmful to horses. It's overused, but so is ibuprofin in humans.

Any horse owner desperate enough to run a horse through auction will sign any piece of paper you want. Individual owners like to believe their precious pookie is going to a loving 4H home, large breeders dumping unsold stock just don't care what happens, and the kill buyers really don't care where the horses came from. Nobody's breeding horses for food, because the prices are too low, so nobody's using best practices for food animals.

Christy lee said...

Here is the link that you requested, Bruce:
http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/CVMUpdates/ucm124078.htm

Bruce King said...

Funder -- the same is true for many animal owners at auctions. Our current system of selling animals at auction provides anonymity for the seller, and I'm certain that animals have entered the food chain that shouldn't have via auction.
that's one of the reasons that I think that an animal ID system that allows you to track where an animal has come from is a good idea, even though their are vocal opponents to any animal ID system.

Funder said...

Yeah, as much as I hate the idea of NAIS, a working ID system would really help auction buyers. Still, NIMBY - I don't want to register my horse and goats with anybody!

Anonymous said...

Airspace - wow. So if someone writes a controversial thought they should be fined and jailed?

You obviously disagree, why don't you thoughtfully put it in writing so we can see you point of view, and not the stalinistic views you hold.

Barry

Valerie said...

Bruce, IN OTHER COUNTRIES horses are RAISED as livestock and they AREN'T given the toxic chemicals that we routinely give our horses (our pets) here, which is why horse meat is no longer used in pet food here - as it is TOXIC to pets! Why don't you truly educate yourself on a topic before you start spouting off about something you obviously know nothing about. You stated "What faces many horse owners now is that there is just no good way to dispose of a horse"; that is a COMPLETE LIE! I have put a horse to sleep as that was the responsible thing to do, he was our much loved companion for many years and once his health deteriorated to the point of suffering as his owner and protector it was our job to call the vet and have him HUMANLY euthanized. I have never owned a rank/mean horse, but I've know people who did and they knew the responsible thing was to put a bullet in the horse's head to protect anyone from being injured. A person who is starving a horse is not doing it because slaughter isn't an available option, they are doing it becuase they can't afford to feed the horse and don't know what to do - having slaughter available in the US wouldn't change the percentage of starving or abused horses in this country at all. The reason slaughter is promoted is due MONEY and human greed; the AQHA promotes slaughter because the more horses that are breed the more registration fees they receive. There is no withdrawal period on many of the drugs we give our horses on a routine basis, meaning that once they have been give that drug they are not EVER intended to wind up as a meal for humans or pets. But again greedy aholes step in and they are going to lie through there teeth about the horse not having received anything. Don't you think that if a kill buyer buys a horse for $50 and can sell it to a horrific death (watch the youTube videos - I can post a couple good links for you) for $600 that he won't hesitate to lie on a form when there is no penalty for lying. I'll tell you another thing, a starving horse has a chance - he is not dead and many a horse has been rescued and brought back from starvation. A slaughtered horse has no chance. Many people have had their prized horse or family pet (horse) stolen right out of their pasture by people looking to make a quick $ - can you imagine the horror of finding out that your beloved animal was sold to slaughter - you admit is gruesome. When slaughter occurred here in the US there were PLENTY of cases of horrible abuse and injuries. The USDA has released those photos and reports under the FOIA. WE DO NOT WANT OUR HORSES TO BE IN DANGER OF SLAUGHTER HERE OR ANYWHERE, THEY ARE NOT LIVESTOCK, THEY ARE OUR FAMILY! That would be like eating grandma. Like every responsible horse owner, I worm my horses regularly (every 6-8 wks) and every wormed states "not intended for horses destined for slaughter", I use bute (a Non-Steroid-Anti-Inflammatory-Drug)to ease my horses discomfort when he is sore (just like people take Ibupropen), I give Penicillin when there is infection, antihistimines for allergies, etc, etc. Answers to the problems, stop breeder incentives, have fees for every registration that go to legitimate horse rescue organizations and to fund retirement, stop breeding inferior horses, get the economy back on its feet (which by the way horse people contribute GREATLY to the economy - farriers, vets, feed stores, tack stores, grooming supplies, supplements, drugs, etc, etc,- every horse makes a significant contribution to the economy). The breed associations refuse to recognize that right now there is no market, yet they keep incentivizing people to breed more horses.

Carl said...

build a horse slaughter plant on a Native American reservation?

Trish said...

To me, it seems infinitely more cruel to leave unwanted horses to starve to death than it is to send them to a slaughtering facility. At least that is relatively quick. With adequate water, it can take a horse months of suffering and torment before it finally starves to death. People seem to think that there are enough rescue operations to take in all these unwanted horses, but there isn't. And shipping them thousands of miles to be butchered in Mexico or Canada is cruel as well, plus a waste on resources (think of all the gas burned to get them there). If people can't afford to care for their horses any longer, they should be able to send them to an inspected, regulated, US slaughter facility, especially since the market in horses has dropped and its hard to find someone else to take on your hungry animals that you can't afford. I've butchered my own animals as well as hunted for game, and am convinced a relatively rapid death is more humane than drawn out suffering. And for the record, I own my own horses, and care for them well.

Anonymous said...

In China and Korea they eat dogs so should we start eating digs here,too?
In California the slaughter and transport to slaughter of horses has been outlawed and there is no increase of cases of abandoned or starving horses since then.In fact,the selling of horses to slaughter for profit actually gives the incentive to breed more horses,not less.And many people are now afraid to sell or give away their horses out of fear that they will end up on the slaughter truck so it actually increases the cases of horse neglect.
Horses are used as therapy animals or they carry us on their backs.Horses trust humans and as a thanks they get loaded on trucks;little ponies with large draft horses and then unloaded where they can smell the blood and death.They often arrive with broken legs and necks and open wounds.
By the way,ask the people of the communities that had horse slaughter plants and they will tell you of pools of decaying blood and carcasses and entrails rotting outside and what-not.They needed years to clean up the mess after the plants closed.
The whole idea is just so wrong on so many levels.

Anonymous said...

The problem that should also be addressed here is the over breeding of horses that goes on in this country! Check out how many thoroughbred, Quarter horses, Appaloosas and paints are registered in this country every year. How many of those horses end up in good homes and how many end up going to slaughter. Not to mention the back yard breeding that goes on with on count on how many unregistered horses are born every year in this country!!

Anonymous said...

Funder - you are incorrect. Bravo Packing is still in operation. Look it up, they have a website, and they do still kill horses for zoos etc...
Beyond that, not all people that send their horses to auction are desperate, unfortunately, like you, they are uneducated and clueless of the facts.

dinkleberries said...

Wow, Bruce, you found a hornets nest!!!!
I only see too much emotion and not much common sense in those against horse slaughter. I have certainly never heard that horse meat was making dogs or cats sick in the '70's. and a quick google search reveals nothing of the kind.
I'll end with a quote from Shakespeare:

"Your worm is your only emperor for your diet:
We fat all creatures else to fat us.
And we fat ourselves for maggots."

Sark said...

I greatly dislike the implied connection between "if we dont let them slaugther, theyll just abandon/starve/other horribleness them instead"
Whatever happened to euthanasia for pets? and responsible practices of spaying/neutering as a natural part of ownership of PETS? because in present day america, that does seem to be what horses fall under.

Often this blog tries to be a voice of reason for responsible husbandry of animals, For instance, Bruce himself repeatedly brings up the notion to not buy into "fads" in livestock (emus, kangaroos, goats ect.) unless there is a market. Likewise, why breed your horse if:
1, Theres a surplus on the market.
2, you are unable to sell the subsequent offspring.
3, your horse is NOT the best damn horse ever, ensuring the value of the stock.
A great deal of the horses that are being starved ect, seems (to me atleast) to be bred and neglected, and subsequently sent to slaugther by people who should bother doing research, rather than look for an easy outlet for their back-yard bred horse.

I personally have no moral qualms about eating an animal, if the animal in question was raised for consumption and regulated and kept for consumption. Much as i would want to put good safe and LEGAL beef/pork/chicken on my plate, i would want the same if it came to Emu,Ostrich/Kangaroo/Horse, heck even Guinea pig/Whale if i ever go to the respective countries.

(I wrote an anonymous post higher up, but if im gonna keep having an opinion, i might aswell have a name to go with it.)