For Horse Lovers Everywhere: The Truth About Horse Slaughter

Guest OpEd by Kim Sheppard ~ courtesy of Animal’s Angels

Don’t be fooled, there is NOTHING humane about Horse Slaughter

One of thousands of horses both domestic and former wild who are sold through auctions and shipped across our borders for their flesh ~ photo by Brandi Turner

There is no such thing as humane horse slaughter at this time. What is stated below can be backed up with absolute evidence or extensive documentation of what actually happens. Please know that as awfully horrific as horse slaughter actually is, the untold suffering many horses go through from point of sale to slaughter is horrific. At the point at which the Kill Buyer owns the horse that is loaded on a large crowded tractor semi trailer, his biggest expense is fuel for the truck not food (or water) for the horses; which often are injured by the time they arrive at their first US feedlot stop many hours later. DOT and USDA Laws are often broken by driving too many hours; as well as drivers not providing horses rest, food and water at required intervals that are set forth in the Transport to Slaughter Act. Since laws are not enforced, Animals that are supposed to be protected suffer *before* the horrific death with the act of slaughter itself, regardless of the country where the horse is slaughtered.

Whether the slaughter house is in the United States of America, Canada or Mexico: intentionally the captive bolt, nor 22, nor knives are used to kill the horse. The heart MUST be pumping in order to pump the blood out of the horse that is hung upside down prior to slaughter. The problem with using captive bolt, 22, or knives in horse slaughter is that unlike with other species of livestock, often several attempts (multiple strikes) are required to render the horse unconscious, resulting in immense suffering of each horse prior to slaughter. This is not only due to the anatomy of the horse’s skull and long neck, but also the natural animal behavior including (flight instinct) in a horse. When a horse is in this extreme fear state, not only does he have explosive strength; but his head continually moves with a range of motion during the multiple captive bolt, 22, or knife strike attempts used to render him unconscious. As many as 4 minutes have been documented that the horse was conscious during and after these injuries. Film has also evidenced a horse on its side, still flailing in the kill box; after regaining consciousness after the injury and horrific pain of a captive bolt or 22 it had already experienced. Once the chains are applied to the back legs of the horse on its side in the kill box, and the horse’s throat is slit: the horse then goes down the production line (now unconscious) hanging upside by its hind legs, behind the horses he saw and heard screaming before him as he smelled their blood before his own death experience. There is NO humane horse slaughter, nor was there when it was legal in the US for the purpose of human consumption. No designs or processes have changed.

On top of that, for a visual, put fly spray, wormer, bute, tranquilizer or other chemicals banned for use in animals for human consumption on a dinner plate. That is what is in tainted horse meat being shipped off to foreign countries and eaten off of their dinner plates by virtue of what the horse has been exposed to in its life~***unlike other slaughter livestock intended for human consumption from point of birth***. It is important to understand that only a minute percentage** of the >100,000 annually slaughtered American horses, mules and donkeys (equines) have *not been exposed to these chemicals (some are BANNED for use in food animals, while others have a 6 month residual period by law). The Phrase “From Stable to Table in Seven Days” says it all. If slaughter were to be legalized in US for human consumption, those poisons still are there, except more tainted meat might possibly stay in the US, instead of ship to European countries.. In some pro slaughter circles, reportedly it has been suggested that our school children eat it (if it were to be legalized for human consumption in the United States).

Just like the environmentally dangerous act of dumping tankers of slaughter house blood onto soils and into water tables, disposal is simply disposal. But it is *not* a solution to a bigger problem~nor are events leading up to slaughter and the slaughter act itself of unwanted living breathing horses people have given away, sold cheaply or dumped at an auction a solution for poor choices and horse management by those in the horse industry~regardless of the country it occurs in. What about USDA inspections? Well currently, just as with law enforcement, there are holes and complacency with regard to enforcing USDA regulations and enforcing prosecution for USDA violations to begin with. Even if there were no USDA violations, a huge problem remains because: what do you then do with a large percentage of >100,000 horses per year that end up in the slaughter pipeline, that also have chemicals in their bodies that are BANNED for use in animals for human consumption? Lastly, Humane Euthanasia is Sedated Euthanasia (as many including myself have sought out and experienced) with their beloved companion animals. Even in this “throw away” society, they would not think of putting a beloved animal into the slaughter pipeline. There IS NO HUMANE horse slaughter. These statements are not based on supposition, but derived from fact and extensive documentation surrounding this issue.

On and above that, many from the public sector, as well as experts are not comfortable with others (regardless of the country) eating meat tainted with chemicals that cause health problems including cancer. Chemical warfare itself is designed on that very premise and therefore morally there are repercussions for a nation to knowingly ship off tainted meat intended for others to eat, regardless of whether or not we choose to eat it. The humanity that a society has can be seen in how it treats its animals; its actions show the potential for cruelty or mercy on its very people.

 

34 comments on “For Horse Lovers Everywhere: The Truth About Horse Slaughter

    • I hope a copy of this has been sent to the AAEP who said (after inspecting a plant) that it was, indeed, humane. I was so disgusted with them.

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      • They will say anything, if money is involved, especially money going into their pockets, they will say and do anything. Hasn’t that been shown over and over and over. It’s redundant! These people have no heart, no compassion, only a non-stop ka-ching, ka-ching,….it’s sick and disgusting that these so called humans have any connection to a living, breathing, FEELING, being.

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  1. Remember Ms Leigh is out on the range again and needs help with funds.

    I gave mine last night and hope others here and through other social connections will get friends and family to donate to Wild Horse Ed.org through PayPal. I know we are all hurting, but I know I’m doing better than those beleaguered wild equines and the doomed equines on their way to slaughter h*ll.

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    • One comment, here. The reason that we set up a “Field and Fuel Fund” through Wild Horse Freedom Federation is that we are days away from getting our 501(c)3 determination letter which will make your donations tax deductible. Once received at WHFF Terry simply sends it over to Laura’s other account. Although we are all about paying our legal staff, we added this service in an effort to further help us keep Laura in the field by adding a tax incentive. So that is why all that has been arranged…at WHFF your donation will be tax deductible by the time you do your returns, next year…so keep good records.

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      • Likewise, please be advised that your donations are handled with the utmost care and consideration. We are and will continue to be transparent to a fault as we are inviting a third party auditing firm in, next year, for the purpose of certifying our book keeping for grant applications and additional funding. Terry has been at this for many years and she is tight right down to the last penny and requires an expense report from Laura with receipts, there’s no hanky panky when it comes to Terry and book keeping…I know as she manages all of our personal funds and never allows me near the checkbook…wonder why that is?

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      • Cause RT you and me could do a whole lotta damage to the checking account and not keep the receipts. I’m like you in this way!

        Good for Terry because that’ll be needed.

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  2. Thank You RT, I will be printing and mailing to reps in Ohio and surrounding States, also back up emailing to all……..Just the word alone sends Horrible chills up my spine, the near mention of the word me want to BARF, How can this barbaric, archaic, totally disgusting act ever still be in exsistance?????? It is Caveman mentality, it is at least mass murder of the SADISTIC kind, there is no place for the word or the action in a humane society, the ramification for the people performing it are sure to devastate and cause them mental illnesses,,,,,,, it is so sick a practice that it should be abolished to the depths of hell, never to be heard or spoken of again

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    • you are so right. it doesn’t stop here. the racing industry is currently forcing young, undeveloped horses to run in speed tests to attract buyers. the babies are filmed doing their very best under whip and dropping dead with their precious hearts exploding. others sustain compound fractures and kept running on the stump; the break sounded like a rifle shot. this is criminal animal abuse our rich breeders are doing . utterly heineous. please complain to any racing outfit you can think of. the video is at; PETA Undercover Investigation Juvenile Racehorses forced to run in deadly speed tests. these are called shows under saddle. again mankind amazes me with the evil .from horses everywhere-thank you.

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  3. People tend to NOT want to hear this or know about it. They turn away and not watch. They don’t want to be upset. The Horses have NO choice. That’s why WE cannot turn away from this issue.

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    • You are so right, Louie…whenever we run something on horse slaughter our daily hits tank. People don’t want to know, it is too horrendous and painful. But it is what it is and it needs to be addressed. It is absolutely unspeakable violence pure and simple.

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    • You are so right. The pain we feel is nothing compared to what the horses are going through. Yes horse slaughter is unpleasant business, but we can’t turn a blind eye or it will ever end. Keep up the good fight to stop the injustice to America’s horses, Louie and RT!

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  4. I’m sure most of you have seen the list of Member Organizations collaborating with United Horsemen to bring back horse slaughter to the U.S. If not, here it is:
    http://www.savingamericashorses.org/Unwanted_Horse_Coalition_Member_Organizations_WFLF_Resource.pdf

    While some are predictible, I find others shocking. I’m not going to mention any names, but I’ve looked into a number of them (including several that have received “outstanding charity” awards, and are very well-funded). I discovered their “public face” (on websites and Facebook) is in direct opposition to their suuport to re-open the plants. People who aren’t aware that their chosen charity is in league with UH should be informed of what I consider “double dealing”, so they can decide for themselves whether this particular organization is a good place to praise and send their dollars.

    The entire UH “Proposal” is predicated on profits derived from horse slaughter, and nothing else. “Kill horses to ‘save’ horses!” I have yet to hear that the organization itself has take any action to support, or even investigate, other avenues to help neglected, abused, abandoned, or “unwanted” horses or funding possibilities. Note: A number of individuals involved with UH have helped horses in peril, including Mustangs. I thank them for caring and can only hope that, when the time comes, these animal are given the kindness and respect they deserve … a “good end”.

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    • Unwanted Horse Coalition is an off-shoot of American Horse Council; United Horsemen/United Organizations of the Horse is more than a little different.

      UHC does have orgs that are definitely antislaughter.

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      • Denise, you’re correct. Organizations on this list take different positions on slaughter, and I’m sure there are those that oppose it. I believe this list was once directly linked on the UOH (and maybe the UH) website, but SS/DD took it down, contending they and other supporters might be subject to harrassment. UH asked their members to contact those on the list to find out if they wanted to be removed. How many were contacted? No way to know or compare, since the list is now only available to UH Members.

        Many of these Organizations committed themselves (and, I assume, their Members) to the AHC Welfare Code: http://www.horsecouncil.org/WelfareCode.php
        These are noble goals, but how many have been put into practice, and by whom?

        Note: I found the same list with a URL which included “savingamericacash” and an extension from UH or UOH. I believe their only position on “Saving America Cash” is either by euthanizing or, preferably, sending our Mustangs, mules, and burros to slaughter.

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    • Unwanted Horse Coalition is an off-shoot of American Horse Council; United Horsemen/United Organizations of the Horse (SS and Doink’s groups) is more than a little different.

      UHC does have orgs that are definitely antislaughter.

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    • Dear PG. I think just because an association “belongs” to that UH thing, I don’t believe that they are Pro Slaughter. I think some idiot in the office thinks “Wow, this would be a good organization to belong to.” They don’t always read the fine print (or not so fine) I belong to the USDF and the USEF, and I have never heard or read in their communications, that they approve of slaughter.
      I will be contacting them, however, just to make sure that they realize what is what.

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  5. Anyone watching the Shanksville, PA Memorial Service?

    Salazar is there and didn’t remove his good ol’ boy cowboy hat for the opening prayer. Man! that guy really irritates me…weenie!

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  6. Every single person in the US, Canada and the World needs to know the TRUTH. With the help of these words from Kim Sheppard, we need to spread it as hard and fast as we can. Come on everyone, let’s go!

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  7. Stop this insanity for these horses sakes. We Americans along with so many others inter ationally want horse slaughter stopped. The government needs to listen to the people and act upon our wishes now. Or you should all be booted out of office.

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  8. Let any of them endure that just once and let’s see how quickly it would be banned. No animal deserves that, but it just seens to be the norm. So sad that manktfinds this accept

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