Texas Mayor Paula Bacon Kicks Some Horse Slaughter Tail

by Vickery Eckhoff, live on Forbes

Paula Bacon Tells It Like It Is!

Every small-town mayor is bedeviled by something. For Paula Bacon of Kaufman, Texas, it was Dallas Crown, which slaughtered horses next door to her friend Mary Nash’s 40-acre farm off Highway 175.

Dallas Crown was shuttered during Bacon’s last term in office after a 20-year legal battle over environmental violations that constantly overwhelmed the city’s wastewater plant with horse blood and discharge. But news that horse slaughter plants may be returning to the U.S in 2012 has Bacon speaking out about what one horse slaughter plant with 46 non-unionized employees can do to a small town of 6,700 hard-working people.

“You’d be better off with a lead smelter plant and sexually-oriented businesses,” says the fifth-generation resident, citing environmental issues along with the stigma attached to horse slaughter.

Bacon, whose family owns P.G. Bacon Lumber Co., (“Friendly service since 1896”), offers a cautionary tale for any town thinking that horse slaughter will benefit their communities.

“Five million dollars in federal funding was spent annually to support three foreign-owned horse slaughter plants: Dallas Crown, Beltex in Fort Worth and Cavel in DeKalb, Illinois,” claims Bacon. “When Dallas Crown’s tax records came to light in the city’s legal struggle, we found they’d paid only $5 in federal taxes on a gross income of over $12 million. They liked to say they were good corporate citizens. But it is my belief they were more like corporate thugs.”

Life In A Slaughter Town

The twice-elected Bacon has plenty of gruesome stories to share, dating back to the ’80’s, when the Belgian-owned Dallas Crown put in a pump to force horse blood through the city sewer system and burst the pipes. Within hours, horse blood backed up into residents’ bathtubs and bubbled up through city streets.

Then there were the out-in-the-open offal piles, ever-present flies, vultures and stench lingering inside the Presbyterian hospital, daycare center, churches and, of course, people’s homes. Yet despite a litany of gothic horrors in the community, Dallas Crown’s violations and operations continued unabated until February, 2007. That’s when the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals finally shut it down, citing a 1949 Texas law making horse slaughter illegal that had somehow been buried and forgotten.

The decision brought to an end the constant lawsuits, injunctions to cease and desist and legal bills. “During that time, legal expenses consumed 20% of the town’s property tax revenue. That floored me,” says Bacon, describing the day she pulled the city manager’s records while he was out of the office and tallied up the bills.

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27 comments on “Texas Mayor Paula Bacon Kicks Some Horse Slaughter Tail

  1. Bravo Mayor Paula Bacon, I did an in depth report on horse Slaughter a few years ago , The horror stories of what happens to a Town or city where horse slaughter shows up are devastating , not only because it is what it is in the first place, it is everything Mayor Paula Bacon has describe already, but the effect it has on every person that is associated with it ….Its devastating consequences to the Community in-which it inhabits linger for ever…… Its grossness is debilitating to even a person with the strongest constitution and mind…… There is no need to elaborate to anyone here , because all of us are are wll aware and unbareable on its traumatic effects ….. I have not mentioned the experience for the Precious Equine cause i cannot bare to say , but with every aspect of my being it is the most mental and physical disgusting way for any animal to ever have happen , Slaughter for an Equine is the worst cause it was never ever meant for them, they are so sensitive to anything that even touches their skin , that alone is enough for me……………………… the pain for them is unthinkable………………….

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    • Yes, Arlene, and their mental anguish even more excruciating, I imagine. I always appreciate you speaking from the depths of your heart in support of our horse friends. Researching and writing that report must have been so gut-wrenching for you.

      And I agree with everyone else here who is asking Paula to tell her story over and over to as many people as will listen until the messages gets through.

      It only makes sense that when something is as morally bankrupt as horse slaughter is, the corruption would show itself in all sorts of horrendous physical ways. The stench of avarice, deception, hypocrisy, treachery, and barbaric cruelty will always stink to high heaven. Or should I say hell.

      And it is to those unholy traits that we are speaking when we say: “Thus far and no farther.”

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      • Dear Blessusall, Thank You !!! I will never forget the first time I saw one up close , I knew then they were the most beautiful thing i had ever seen. and they will always be………..They are such a wonderful gift to all of us…… I did the report for another site, it was sent to Washington Dc , I thought that i already knew about horse slaughter, i had no idea the horror i would uncover, heart,, soul and mind wrenching, My papers were so tear drenched i had to recopy them many times,. i could feel their pain…If only these people could read what i read and see what i watched , there would be no Slaughter , of that i am sure, My passion for the horse and his plight is embedded in cement .. I will not ever stop trying to stop the needless slaughter of horses… or the needless Rounding up of the Mustangs either, It is is all Greed and nothing else… Pure Greed !!!

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  2. Another BRAVO to Mayor Bacon. Keep this foul practice out of your town….keep it out of our country! If I had my way, it would be banned to the ends of the earth.

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  3. From all of the information that I have garnered about the Horse slaughter industry, it resembles a parasite that lives and literally drains the blood from any community that it is allowed to enter

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  4. Dear RT Fitch,

    Your daily updates on this issue is exceptional. What I want to say after each post is that you must find a way to persuade the AG LOBBYISTS (read: Ranchers, Cattle Industry leaders, etc). and relevant Congressmen to find a reasonable middle ground for the horses to remain on the land. You will need your OWN LOBBYIST. If you ARE the Lobbyist, go to DC and speak to the Congress first hand when they have open sessions on this issue. Never mind what the law says. Congress is refusing to observe legislative protections for Wild Horses and Burros and anti-horse slaughter initiatives. It’s all about the $$$$$ as you know. Use your amazing energy to good purpose.

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  5. I am a believer that the wild horses have a right to roam wherever they like because it is first their land and first their home and not ours and certainly not the land or home of any human being who lives today. They should be given food to help them through the Winter, not poison, not traps, not bullets, not bows and arrows, and no inhumane round-ups. Horses should be absolutely and totally protected by the United States Government and harming them in any way should be a Federal Offense that should be swift in execution and lead either to the death penalty or to a 25 year imprisonment that cannot be retried a second time. Horses are a precious part of our heritage. People who do not love horses should learn to love them. Without the aid of horses, many of our wars would have been fought like a bunch of lame ducks. They have given their lives for our causes, our freedom, our greed, not causes that have benefited them. We owe so much to horses and they ask for so little. No Slaughter Houses for Horses!!!

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    • Spoken beautifully like every American should feel !!!!! Hence the Roam Act !!!! It was written and passed by Congress unanimously , then torn apart…………….. by greedy evil people !!!It

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  6. http://www.sdsucollegian.com/2012/01/11/columnist-horse-slaughter-reasonable/
    Columnist: Horse Slaughter Reasonable
    By Andy Jensen on January 11, 2012
    On a rather nice November day I was looking over my Facebook page where several of my “Ag” friends had posted links. No, not to YouTube, or about some boots they may want to purchase, or what ring they just got from their boyfriend, but about the re-opening of horse slaughter. My eyes got bright, what are they saying? Have our prayers been answered? I clicked the link, and in big letters it read: Congress Lifts Ban on Horse Slaughter. This was it, just the thing that the equine industry needed.

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  7. After reading this persons report I cannot help but wonder is this person really a Journalist???? Did this person really do research before they opened their mouth and out came this horror??????I would like to know how any mind can be so one sided and yes stupid?????????? How Many Times must it be said Slaughter was never meant for horses ??????????????? Horses are our allies , I have in-depth read everything i can about Slaughter and believe me it is the most gruesome thing I have ever read !!! I cannot believe that people think this is the answer????????? My friends are my awesome beautiful friends to whom we owe everything good to , My friends are gifts of beauty , poise trust power and gentleness and pure magic and forgiveness ,innocent beauties that will give of their serves and themselves without question i am Appalled at this persons article…………………. and cannot believe they could take such a horror so lightly…………….. Totally uninformed……………………..with no compassion…………………….

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  8. Making it perfectly clear the above comment is for the article written by Andy Jensen, columnist…………………. Not the Wonderful article so excellently written by Mayor Paula Bacon……………………..

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  9. Arlene, any comments you make have validity because you have first-hand knowledge and experience. I have seen letters in several of the blogs from people who have had their community invaded by a slaughter plant. So far, I haven’t seen even ONE that would want them back.

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    • ABSOLUTELY Louie, these people who lived nearby are the best ones for comments, all of them will tell you the horrors they have experienced , it is unbelievable , the first hand info i got from these people, is never ever would they live in a town that has a horse slaughter plant,the crime rate goes up, gruesome crime !!!!! Nobody has mentioned what happens to the people who work there, they are totally desensitized eventually, tell me who would want to work there in the first place??????????? what kind of person???? To put a horse through this is unthinkable pain and terror knowing that these horses are flight animals ,who are so sensitive to touch they can feel a fly land on them, who are very social, and depend on each other, my God they talk to each other, I know this first hand, when they hear one is in trouble they cannot bare it, they scream with terror for each other , what in the world is wrong with some people, have they all gone MAD???? There is absolutely no gingerbreading up Horse Slaughter, it has never had its place and never will !!!,

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  10. There should be a stipulation that anyone who is in favor of Horse slaughter plants must be willing to live in the town where one is located….preferably right next door.

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  11. Thank you Mayor Bacon.

    I seriously doubt the killers will take heed. Keep trying to get the word out….not that the killers will ever truly respond with a point on point rebuttal.

    Mayor Bacon, did you ever receive death threats?

    Anyone notice how quiet the killers are lately on the blogs and press releases? I have. Something is up advocates…something is up.

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  12. i tried to post the exact comment i made here above , they would not post it heres why

    The Collegian January 12, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thank you for reading and participating in the discussion.

    At The Collegian, we do not approve comments that personally attack the columnist. If you see that your comment does not appear, that is why.

    Thank you,
    The Collegian editorial staff

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  13. Louie, Me also thinks that, Tried rephrasing my comment still would not accept it ,,,,,, Darn I really wanted to engage him with the real truth …………………..Would have really liked a hot debate with that guy !!!! he is in lala land ………………..would have liked to bring him back to reality…………….

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  14. Also tried to post the real horse slaughter facts would not accept those either a real one sided Man…………….. and site….He only wants to hear his own unrealistic rantings…………

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  15. Wanted to share this beautiful story from Vivian Grant (tuesdayshorse) these stories all true are many….most untold

    Fire survivor and a possible Olympian: A horse named Neville
    Posted on Jan 13, 2012 by Vivian Grant

    Cross-posted from the New York Times

    Written by MARY PILON

    Neville cheated death — twice, Boyd Martin said, referring to the time he purchased Neville (the horse was an unwanted Thoroughbred headed to slaughter)and then the fire. It’s a miracle. Photograph by John Haner/NYT

    AIKEN, S.C. — The horses’ straw beds were ablaze, with the rest of the barn, when two men rushed in against the flames and black smoke to try to save the 11 horses inside.

    “It was horrific,” said Boyd Martin, the trainer. “Basically, you could see some of my horses burnt to death.”

    Six were dead. Four others escaped. Neville Bardos, a chestnut gelding and the last living horse in the barn, was found in a corner. They heard him gurgling.

    Neville’s throat and lungs were scorched from smoke inhalation, and other parts of his body were burned.

    From that scene about seven months ago, Neville, who competes in the multidiscipline sport of eventing, has managed a competitive comeback that defied any prognosis from doctors, his owners and others in the equestrian world. He was the top American horse at a prestigious competition in England just three months after the fire, and has had strong showings in several other events.

    Now Neville is among three finalists for international Horse of the Year, to be given Friday by the United States Equestrian Federation to the “horse that has excelled above all others in equestrian competition.”

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  16. THE REST OF THE STORY

    Neville, with his thoroughbred pedigree, a name borrowed from an Australian gangster and socks of white on his right front leg and right back leg, may earn even more international fanfare later this year: he is a top contender for a berth in the Summer Olympics in London, where Britain’s historic affinity for equestrian events will give the sport an unusually high profile.

    “If Neville had just gone on to live in the backyard, that itself would have been a miracle,” said Martin, who assumed his horse was fated for a life of grazing — if he lived at all. “But now he’s bound for the Olympics and is a real contender.”

    Martin’s parents were Olympians — his mother a speedskater and his father a cross-country skier. Martin and his wife, Silva, are competitive riders and trainers whose horses split time between stables here in western South Carolina and in West Grove, Pa. They moved to the United States from Australia in 2007, five years after they purchased Neville for $850. He was a slow racehorse.

    “He was headed for slaughter for dog food,” Boyd Martin said.

    While some racehorses peak in their younger years and move on to breeding, equestrian horses tend to be older and require complex training. Neville’s sport, eventing, is an equine triathlon: a rider and his or her horse compete in a cross-country obstacle course, show jumping and dressage. Although many top equestrian horses started their competitive careers on the track, it can take years to train one to perform well in all three eventing disciplines.

    Neville’s early results were poor. In a 2002 event, Silva Martin fell from Neville when he was spooked by a fence. It took 15 minutes to catch Neville so he could complete the course.

    “I was hoping he would calm down and chill out a bit,” Boyd Martin said. “Definitely not in his genes.”

    Though Neville did not chill out, he did improve in competition. In 2006, he won an international title in Melbourne, Australia. In 2007, he placed fourth at a top international event, the Fair Hill C.C.I., and the next year was ninth in another, the Rolex Kentucky C.C.I.

    In 2010, after Neville placed 10th and was the top finisher among American horses at the World Equestrian Games, Martin began to prepare him for the Olympics. Neville was based at True Prospect Farm, which specializes in training eventing horses.

    At 12:30 a.m. on May 31, Boyd Martin was awakened by his ringing cellphone. The barn was on fire.

    Neville was taken to an emergency facility affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, in Kennett Square, Pa. Over the next several weeks, he was treated by one of the most accomplished teams of horse doctors in the world — some members of the same team that treated the racehorse Barbaro with great acclaim after he broke down at the 2006 Preakness Stakes.

    “It became clear he was the sickest horse there,” said Dr. Samantha Hart, a veterinarian who treated the five surviving horses that night.

    A breathing tube was inserted in Neville’s nose. He was given antibiotics and intravenous fluids. He underwent treatments in a hyperbaric oxygen tank to speed the healing of his lungs.

    “Basically, his whole open airway was burnt,” Dr. Hart said. “Breathing is an important part of his being an athlete. We thought this would greatly limit his ability.”

    The Martins largely abandoned any hope that Neville would compete again. “We were happy he was alive,” Boyd Martin said.

    Little was left of the barn. Gift baskets of carrots were sent to the surviving horses. A fund-raiser at the Whip Tavern, down the road from True Prospect Farms, raised $6,800 for three stablehands and riders who lost many of their possessions in the fire. (The cause of the fire remains undetermined.)

    Meanwhile, Neville’s condition improved — so rapidly that his handlers said they sensed that he was not content to graze in the yard.

    “You could tell he was a bit anxious,” a stablehand, Lindsey Taylor, said. “Little by little, we started moving him into short workouts. He just wanted it.”

    About three months after the fire, Neville placed seventh at the Burghley Horse Trials in England, one of the world’s most prestigious equestrian events.

    “Neville cheated death — twice,” Boyd Martin said, referring to the time he purchased Neville and then the fire. “It’s a miracle.”

    This weekend, Silva Martin will ride Neville in a dressage competition in Florida in an effort to hone his skills in his weakest of the three eventing disciplines. By July, the Martins will know if Neville has earned a spot on the United States team in London, where the Summer Games will commemorate the 100th anniversary of equestrian as an Olympic event.

    Neville, now 12, appears to have few remaining scars from the fire. Doctors have deemed him physically recovered, although sirens startle him, as does smoke.

    “I guess we better be careful around that torch,” Boyd Martin said about the Olympic flame.
    A version of this article appeared in print on January 13, 2012, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Fire Survivor and a Possible Olympian: A Horse Named Neville.

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