Horse News

Since 2005 AQHA Has Spent Nearly $1 Million to Fight Anti-Horse Slaugther Legislation

Excerpts directly from the pages of America’s Horse Daily

AQHA Admits to Endorsing Human Consumption of Horses

AQHA should change the breed's name from Quarter to "QUARTERED" Horse

“Lately, a lot of time and financial resources have been focused on opposing legislation to eliminate horse slaughter. Since 2005, AQHA has spent nearly $1 million to fight the passage of HR 503/SB 727, bills proposing to criminalize the transportation of horses to processing for human consumption.”

“AQHA members and staff have made countless trips to Washington, D.C., to talk to legislators about this issue. In 2006 and 2007, two Association members testified before the House of Representatives agriculture committee on AQHA’s position regarding a federal ban on horse processing.

Furthermore, AQHA worked at the state level in Texas and Illinois to keep state laws from being enacted or enforced to prohibit processing (i.e. slaughter). In 2008, AQHA, along with other breed registries and veterinary organizations, filed an amicus (friend of the court) brief with the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Cavel Inc., the (horse slaughter) plant operator in Illinois.

Picking out the main course for the next AQHA family BBQ

In an effort to find a constructive solution, AQHA became a founding member of the Unwanted Horse Coalition, whose mission it is to reduce the number of unwanted horses and to improve their welfare through education. We continue to educate our membership on the merits of breeding and owning responsibly.

In an effort to further the Association’s influence in the nation’s capitol, last year AQHA developed the Q-Contacts program, a “key contact” system of industry leaders who develop a strong working relationship with state and federal lawmakers and their staff to advance legislative and regulatory goals of AQHA. At this time, AQHA has 20 Q-Contacts, in addition to a few members of the American Quarter Horse Youth Association who have demonstrated a strong interest in AQHA’s legislative issues and efforts

The initiatives listed above demonstrate AQHA’s commitment to its membership and the horse industry in protecting the market. No other breed organization has been a legislative advocate at the level of AQHA’s commitment.

I am sorry to say that years ago, I was a member of this twisted, perverse and out of touch organization.  It is absolutely appalling!!! – R.T.

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48 replies »

  1. RT I was too, both my geldings are registered quarterhorses, and I kept up my membership until I realized what they were about, no more for me, think of the good this money could have done, the money that is wasted on stupidity, to further their own ends, instead of the horses’welfare; hell, they could fund AQHA rescues w/the money spent to fight anti-slaughter!

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    • Right on, Jan. They could have helped an awful lot of horses. I mean, just how stupid can you be? We have known for years that they were doing this but how dumb is it to post it, in detail, for the entire world to see?

      These people sure ain’t no dang “Scientific Rockets”

      R.T. Fitch Author – “Straight from the Horse’s Heart” The Force of the Horse, LLC 1-800-974-FOTH http://www.rtfitch.com http://www.sfthh.com

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      • And many veterinarians agree with the AQHA! I was shocked. Now it is a questionh I ask any Vet I might deal with be it large or small animal. I won’t give them MY money.

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  2. I do not understand how any legitimate horse organization can be PRO slaughter. Since reading the Horseman’s Council is on the list or a ‘member’ of Slaughter Sue’s organization, I have dropped my membership to the Ohio Horseman’s Council. (ie Whoresman’s Council)
    Its a shame too, they do such good work. I told my local chapter why I was not re-joining, they had no idea there even was such an ugly group.

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    • Just a word of caution, KA. Sue Wallis is noted for distorting the truth and misrepresenting the facts. She has listed many, many organizations on her website that had no idea she was including them in her sordid plans. The Houston Horse Council is NOT Anti-Horse and they do a heck of a lot of good, so maybe your group is clean and green, too.

      I wish that several of those organizations would sue the extra-large stretch pants right off from Sue. Great catch phrase – “SUE SUE!!!” – sometimes I crack myself up.

      R.T. Fitch Author – “Straight from the Horse’s Heart” The Force of the Horse, LLC 1-800-974-FOTH http://www.rtfitch.com http://www.sfthh.com

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    • Extra-large stretch pants… heh heh I sent a copy of the ‘list’ to the Ohio chapter’s president asking if they knew the horseman’s council’s name was on that list. I did not hear a denial or explanation. Something I should pursue I suppose. Thanks for the cautionary tale.

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  3. I read that AQHA hired Conrad Burns? almost a year ago to lobby for them. I bet that million didn’t cover his salary and expense account. AQHA.

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  4. This is why I don’t transfer the registration of my QHs or my appy! Think of how much GOOD that million could have done.

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  5. I’m all for a solution. But giving people money to add even more horses to the population is not one of them. The AQHA giving all of that money BACK to BYBs and hoarders and every other Craigslister online “saving” horses is just not right.

    I do like the idea of AQHA funding retirement farms for hard working, retired service and show horses.

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    • we’re not suggesting AQHA give ANY of this money to back yard breeders,or ANY breeders; we are saying the money would have been better spent funding legitimate rescues and retirement farms, right now the money is spent fighting anti-slaughter so that AQHA breeders, that put at least 100 foals a year on the ground, and register all the babies, can stay in business, there’s no need for so many new horses every year if people start keeping what they have for 25-30 years.
      RT I lOVE “Sue Sue” , that’s too funny!

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  6. Ms. Longley:

    AQHA does not “sponsor” legislation supporting horse slaughter. The Association is against the current federal legislation as there are no provisions in it to care for the 80,000 to 100,000 unwanted horses each year. These bills do not contain funding, land for rescue facilities, etc. Lastly, the legislation is not specific in how the law would be enforced. As it is written now, an owner could be transporting 6 horses to a horse show or sale and be pulled over and their horses confiscated if it is even suspected by a state trooper or whomever that the horses are being transported to purposes for slaughter for human consumption.

    I hope this clarifies the Association’s position for you and that you can agree and assist us with addressing these concerns in the legislation.
    Thank you.

    Barbara Linke
    Sr. Director of Public Policy and
    Competition Administration
    American Quarter Horse Association
    P.O. Box 200
    Amarillo, Texas 79168
    (806) 376-4888, ext. 4714

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    • oh come on if 1000 of your largest QH BREEDERS each stopped 100 foals a year? There you go no more 100,000 horses to slaughter a year. And you know you have more than 100,000 QH foals a year off your top numbers ranches.

      sorry to butt in, then why did you hire Conrad Burns to lobby for you? He is the one who sneeked in a bill to throw away wild horses to anyone almost free! including the meatman! He was the biggest horse hater in washingtondc!

      Why lobby for the slaughter of horses then? why oppose those bill?

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    • What are you paying Conrad Burns for then? How come it was the head of the Quarter Horse Assn. in Montana who gave help and advice to Butcher in his quest to open a sue-proof slaughterhouse there?

      Why are the majority of horses that go to slaughter every year registered Quarter Horses?

      Not only do I not belong to the AQHA any more, I don’t own any Quarter Horses any more either.

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    • It’s all semantics. They aren’t sponsoring any legislation supporting horse slaughter. Of course, they aren’t because there isn’t any legislation to support.

      The usual “unwanted” horse BS. Why should there be a provision in the legislation to care for the “unwanted” horses? Every one of those horses has an owner and it is their responsibility to care for the horse. If the AQHA took the $1M and started a fund, they would have more than enough to help quarter horse owners keep their horses. Remove them from the slaughter trucks and slaughter is just about eliminated.

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      • So why would you need a lobbiest if you were not involved in legislation? What exactly are they lobbying for or against? It is my understanding it involves some transportation issues, trying to get money for rescues and land for them…i don’t suppose its any different than me not supporting the roam bill because it has too many loopholes that are detrimental to the wild horses..does that mean i am anti wild horses..i don’t think so..I want those issus addressed before i support it.

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    • There is only legislation to end horse slaughter and the AQHA actively lobbies against it. Ther letter said “AQHA does not “sponsor” legislation supporting horse slaughter.” That is AQHA doubletalk because there is no legislation supporting horse slaughter.

      There are many solutions that we have posted over and over again. Anti-horse folks don’t want to hear any solution other than slaughter. There is no reason that anyone has to offer any solution. Every horse has an owner and they need to be held accountable for their actions. If a breeder manages their business by culling the excess to slaughter, they are over breeding. Nobody said anything about regulating breeding but if a breeder brings a horse into the world, it is their responsibility to care for the horse. Not mine, not the government’s. If they can’t learn supply and demand on their own then maybe it’s time to start regulating breeding. The AQHA is perfect example. They register in excess of 135,000 foals every year. How many of them end up on slaughter trucks? If they are going to promote breeding to keep the registrations coming in, then they need to provide solutions to care for them. This country has had years to prepare for the end of slaughter. Instead, the anti-horse folks keep whining and trying to find ways around legislation and regulations. It is ridiculous to continue a brutal end of life for horses so the owners of less than 2% of the horse population can continue to be irresponsible.

      It doesn’t matter how the legislation is worded, they will always find loopholes. Many are complaining that 503/727 carries felony charges. I guess some want a law where the consequences are only a slap on the hand. That way, they can keep breaking the law and continue business as usual. ROAM is not perfect but is better than what is happening now. It will stop the unnecessary round-ups and reinstate protections that have been lost. Something has to be done NOW. The horses are being exterminated and if we wait for perfection, there will be no wild horses left.

      Yes, the EU regs that will finally be enforced for US horses should be the end of slaughter but they are scurrying trying to find ways around it.

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  7. If you really want to change things, the best course is to go directly to them with your questions..if you are not a member..then why should they care what you think? I am interested in change..not just blowing off steam..its not helping the horses..I told them i would not be paying my 2 memberships, nor would i breed horses if somewhere down the chain they could end up going to slaughter-that i would rather sell my horses as grade..that as a responsable breeder_I had not bred my stallions or mares in the last 7 years..that is my contribution to solving the problem..thats a concrete solution..For anyone to think for a momment they can dictate what i do with my breeding program..whoever they are..I say..screw you.

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    • In fact-the horses most likely to go to slaughter are the mustangs being rounded up..they are wild and unbroke- indescrimanately breed and only a small percentage are adopted out..are you advocating we get rid of the mustangs as a solution to slaughter? Lets stay focused on real solutions.

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      • Mustangs going to slaughter is moot come July. The only wild equidae that the EU will accept is zebra. It’s on page 3, third paragraph of the EU communication to third party meat producing countries.

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      • Isn’t it a moot point come July for ALL horses? It stands to reason if they won’t take wild horses who aren’t pumped with drugs..they are surely not taking domesticated horses who are. So is there another buyer?

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      • It seems reasonable to me that kill buyers are looking for the cheapest horse available..they don’t care what the breed..mustangs at $25 ahead are the cheapest deal going..2 trailers rolled up to an auction in texas a week and a half ago, bought 10 of the biggest heaviest mustangs with 2 different buyers-the BLM will not give out the names of the parties..were they legit??..we don’t know..its not that far to the border. we know that there will be over 40,000 horses in longterm holding come the end of summer.

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  8. Dear Ms. Linke, you as a spokesperson for AQHA say you are against the current legislation because:
    1) no provisions in it to care for the 80,000 to 100,000 unwanted horses each year.
    2) These bills do not contain funding, land for rescue facilities, etc.
    3) Lastly, the legislation is not specific in how the law would be enforced

    So I ask you why is the AQHA not working to change the unacceptable sections?
    Why not propose ways for proper enforcement. Why doesn’t the AQHA VOLUNTEER funding for rescues, etc. Better yet start your own rescue for the thousands of “unwanted” quarterhorses bred each year. AND if you truly are or have enlisted the “services” of Conrad Burns… SHAME on you!

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    • Just a fact to relate..conrad burns suffered a massive stroke in dec of 2009-he is 74-so he is only lobbying to get into heaven..good luck on that one..

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      • People recover from strokes. I bet he is still able to use his political pull to work for AQHA. I hope he hears those wild hooves in his dreams.

        You know “100,000 unwanted horses” is the number pro-slaughter always use. USDA says about 100,000 Am. horses are shipped to slaughter. That number is actually very small. and getting lower every year. Just think if AQHA got those 1000 QH ranches (use rule changes as incentive to produce less excess foals) there would be room in rescues for that 100,000 slaughtered. And we wouldn’t have that fake “unwanted horse problem at all)

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  9. Sandra, we DON’T know that there will be over 40,000 horses in holding after this summer’s roundups; that is a BLM #, if they are as accurate in those numbers as they are in the numbers they throw out as to horses on the ranges???? somehow, I don’t trust their numbers,

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    • We do know EXACTLY how many have been taken through the calico roundups..We know exactly how many they are planning to take through this summers roundups..what we don’t know is how many are still alive in longterm holding in the scattered sites across the US.

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      • Not really, Sandra. We know exactly how many the BLM “told” us they captured. Observers were not allowed at the round-ups every day. We don’t even know if the death counts are accurate. The only numbers we have are what the BLM has released. If they are as accurate as their population counts….

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  10. These are the statistics from 2009: The QH population is down…62,518 from 2008(that does not reflect horses over 25-who are considered deceased) New registrations(foals) are down 22,144 for 2009, the only state that rose was Mass. they were up 6 horses. International and canada were up..damn those foreigners..

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    • With AQHA registrations are down, yet their prices to register are way up. High enough they have a million dollars to spend in washington dc. Most QH foals are not registered. The QH big ranches breed in extreme excess. They cherry pick the best, sell and register them and send their overproduction/rejects to slaughter.

      They meaning AQHA should take a look at the other largest pedigree/show ‘clubs’ and see how they deal with breeders, over production.

      I think if aqha started to require a pre-registration at the time of breeding and published those numbers. People whould be shocked at how big those numbers are. Like the TB studs list how many times they are bred.

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      • The kill buyers are in this for money..there is no value in a foal for them..so foals are not sold to a killer simply because it would cost more to process than the value recieved. Several thousand dollars are invested in a foal to get it to 2 years of age..the idea that recouping 100 t0 200 dollars by sending over supply-excess to slaughter is a ridiculous business premise and if the breeding farm did- they would soon be bankrupt.QHs are not bred for one disipline..so if they don’t make conformation for halter-they can go roping cutting pleasure hunter jumper 4h..they didn’t become the worlds most popular horse because they were over bred..it is because they have so many areas they can compete in, many qhs that are bred for race end up as barrel horses and rope horses..I have no doubt some ended up in slaughter houses..If you are the worlds largest breed..statistical anyalasis would indicate that

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  11. No, we really don’t, no outside observer is allowed to stand there and count exactly how many horses came in everyday to every trap site and how many of those made it to Fallon and how many are still there. These are all BLM numbers, and I don’t trust their addition. There is disagreement as to how many horses have actually died since the roundup happened, and how many were actually taken in the first place. We have no idea of how many foals have been born, as they are not counted until they are weaned; EXACT numbers, not from BLM, are really not available at this time; I don’t think BLM really has any scientific, supportable evidence of how many horses are actually still out in the wild, and all the roundup numbers are guestimates, we won’t know how many horses have actually been taken off the range. Part of HerdWatch is to see if we can get more accurate numbers, because right now, the only numbers available are provided by BLM, and I don’t believe they are accurate.

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    • Technically speaking there have been observers there every week..an accurate count could have been made..herdwatch will be counting horses out on the range..these complexes will be difficult to get accurate counts..certainly better than the Win Equus modeling done now..so what is it you are thinking-more than 40,000 or less..you don’t think there will be 40,000 horses in holding at the end of this year? It is alot easier to count the horses removed already and in pens..and how does that number change their attractiveness to kill buyers-which was the point of my statement.

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      • All I am saying is that unttil people get out in the field and actually count the horses, be they on the range, in short-term and longterm holding areas, there is not an accurate count of the horses and where they are, except in some situations. Matt and Ginger do know exactly how many horses are in the Pryors. McCulloughs Peaks horses, Sand Wash Basin horses there’s a pretty accurate idea, because people go out and photogragh and name them. Calico was such a huge area, no one knew exactly how many horses were out there. I don’t know if there’s 37,000 horses in long and short term holding currently, that’s a BLM number and they don’t have very accurate records.
        As far as getting into long term holdin pens, I think it’s being worked on, but I don’t know how it will work. SAme with the Indian Lakes Facility in Fallon NV. they will be closed to the public(US) after 6-10, it’s privately owned, even though the horses are not. What will happen to those horses then?

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      • We should be able to get the information on the number of horses removed from the range with a FOI request of the(helicopter) contract payouts, as they are payed by the head(less foals).
        When I talked to Dr. kane after the calico roundup finished..one of the questions i had for him was the long term holding situation, the numbers, and where the horses were being held, and my desire to visit those facilities..i was told they were working on that…at first i was told they didn’t have those numbers, then i was told they were recorded in a data base and not readily available..and that also refers to foals that die. They have been hit with alot of FOI requests as they well should be

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      • There is a post somewhere about checking @ fallon about a certain colt, tag # *****, it was let’s say a yearling gray colt, when the powers that be checked the #, it came up as a 3 yr old sorrel gelding, so simply put, I don’t trust BLM, their tracking system, how they pay their contractor, any of it, the numbers are skewed and they don’t have the information that’s been requested; all during the updates they provided during the roundup, numbers didn’t jibe, many questioned it even then.
        During Cloud’s roundup, people were there every day , they knew exactly how many horses were up there, and how many horses were brought in, that Cannot be said for Calico.
        ALso, Premarin foals are sent to slaughter, my neighbor took 3 yearlings to a sale last month, he got $75 for the 3 of them, total, I’d like to believe they went to some little girl, but i just don’t think so,

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    • I think the number paid to the round-up contractors will be closest to the actual number rounded up. Less the horses killed before they made it into the pens and not counting any foals. I don’t think blm even knows how many they have, though they are starting to use the tag numbers. Microchip and the ‘pass through’ readers would be easier for blm.

      They have been using those bar code-microchip readers at racetracks for years and years. Keeps track of where any horse is 24/7.

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      • and I reply to myself, every single animal under their care should be freeze branded. They must learn to get a handle on working with and ID of many animals.

        Every horse in their system should have a picture taken at round-up. There are large and exotic animals handlers who can keep track of each animal, the blm needs to get modern asap.

        here the BLM can use this CURRENT Special Forces care of horses manual and easy to see that they say NO MOLDY HAY -NO FEEDING SAND-4 feet of bunk feeder space per anima, so they don’t kick each other !!l. MORE THAN ONE WATER SPOT or very large water with space between each animal.
        sorry for the caps, I want the BLM to start acting like professional animal caretakers. get the PDF manuel here, it IS a good basic care and pack animal manuel http://www.fas.org/irp/doddir/army/fm3-05-213.pdf

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  12. Vicki, did I hear right when someone said to keep a watch for geldings on the USDA shipping export list? That is where they disappear off of the radar. I thought that is what I heard on a radio show with Equine Welfare Alliance people. What about Mexico?

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    • Hi, Louie. Yes, we have people checking the USDA lists but from the investigations there are many horses unaccounted for. I have one investigation, by Valerie James-Patton, posted on my website – it’s toward the bottom of the Investigations page. There is more going on but we have to verify info, etc. before we can release anything. It takes a long time…

      The BLM numbers change every time you ask them. They’ve also been moving horses to Palomino. We have tried everything to get into long term holding but they refuse saying it’s on private property. We pay for their care but then no one can see them. Last year the BLM was quoting 33,000 horses in holding and then when Salazar announced the Salazoos, he said 32,000. So what happened to 1,000 horses?

      They have no accurate numbers. They said there was 3,150 horses in Calico but stopped the round-up at 1,922. They claim to have left 600. Even if that was accurate, their population count was off by 628. The people that have been back to Calico several times have yet to see one horse. They ended the round-up because they couldn’t find any more horses. No doubt, that was yet another herd zeroed out.

      Between the cattle ranchers, the Ruby pipeline and mining, the wild horses will be gone. That is their goal and another few large round-ups and it will be a reality. The horses remaining have low numbers and aren’t viable to continue the herds. We must pass ROAM before Salazar gets the Salazoos. That will be the end of our wild horses.

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  13. Is it possible for Herd Watch to get into those long term holding areas to get an accurate count of the horses confined? Even if the horses are on private property they belong to the Public.

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    • Even if we won the law suit, the adoption would have still taken place. The horses being gelded are for the adoption. The law suit was to address the horses in long term holding.

      I also have an update on Calico. The observers finally found horses – a total of 72.

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  14. Fish and Game can check someone’s freezer for game if they get a warrant. Seems that we should be able to get a warrant to check for our horses.

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