Horse News

Horseback Mag Banned from Horse Slaughter Summit

Story by Steven Long ~ Editor/Publisher of Horseback Magazine

United Horseman Prez. Duquette Shows His True Colors

“Due to travel and our court hearing this little gem by Steve Long slipped by so we re-visit it, here.  The story speaks to the core of the problem of ethics that swirl around predatory horse slaughter and the likes of Dave Duquette who support it.  The horse-eaters prefer to operate from underneath their moldy rocks so that the yellow stripe down their back is not visible in the light of truth and honesty.  Must be a terrible way to live.” ~ R.T.

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Horseback Mag Publisher Steven Long enjoying old fashioned Texas BBQ with Author R.T. Fitch ~ Picture by Vicki Long

HOUSTON, (Horseback) – Horseback Magazine had hoped to cover the upcoming pro-horse processing Summit of the Horse in Oklahoma City beginning April 2, however, the fiery tempered president of United Horsemen, the presenting sponsor, has barred this magazine’s first amendment right to cover a news story of interest to all horse owners.

In a posting in response to a United Horsemen press release published at Horseback Online, Dave Duquette wrote to editor Steven Long, “Your lack of integrity and inability to just report (Like your (sic.) supposed to do) and all the assertions you make leave us at the United Horsemen believing you are NO better than Simone and You or your staff will not have access. You can hang out with your friends across the street.”

“We are journalists, not activists,” said Horseback’s Editor Steven Long. “We make that statement to Mr. Duquette exactly like we constantly do to his opponents. The job of reporting is not to make one side or another happy, and I’m certain those who are anti-slaughter are often just as angered by our work as Duquette is.”

In a previous post, Horseback mentioned it was considering covering the Oklahoma City “Summit” in person and was looking forward to meeting its leadership.

“It kind of reminds me of the old Communist Party meetings in Russia where only media acceptable to the party was allowed in the room,” Long said. “We have tried to tell all sides of this story. Looks like one side only wants their story told at the expense of all others.”

Horseback Online has scrupulously posted all of the United Horsemen press releases sent to us. The magazine has, however, corrected numerous misstatements and distortion of fact by the group. It has also pointed out glaring omissions made by its leadership to the press, including never mentioning the ban on phenalbutazone and other chemicals for use in food animals. Horseback has also challenged the outright fabrication by pro-slaughter activists that residues of bute go away over time in animals. In fact, bute stays in the kidneys of animals administered the drug – forever.

“We do it because all horsemen should be aware of that fact which might lead to the implementation of a horse passport system like they have in Europe,” Long said. “We point that out as a public service because I just can’t believe American horsemen want a European type passport system after the overwhelming rejection on the part of horse owners when USDA tried to institute NAIS.”

“We will continue to cover the entire story,” Long said. “And we will continue to print the news releases of Duquette’s group, United Horsemen. Frankly, every time we do it our online readership spikes through the roof because they are so provocative.”

In poll after poll taken by reputable national firms over the last decade, a full 70 percent or more of all Americans say they oppose horse slaughter.

United Horsemen appears to have substantial financial backing from the meat industry. It has become increasingly vocal in the wake of removal of a prohibition against federal funding of meat inspectors in slaughterhouses. Duquette and others have claimed that there will soon be slaughterhouses open in several states to process horses. Thus far, Congress has not appropriated funds for the inspectors.

Sources close to opponents of horses slaughter say literally hundreds of lawsuits are expected to be filed as soon as an abattoir opens its doors.

Duquette, an Oregon horse trainer, recently took the reins of the organization from Wyoming State Representative Sue Wallis, (R).

The summit will draw some of the leading proponents of the pro-slaughter movement such as animal behavior and livestock specialist Dr. Temple Grandin, and industry lobbyist Charles Stenholm, a former Texas congressman.

“We have friends of both sides of the issue,” Long said. “We have deep roots covering the sport of rodeo at the highest level, and almost all of our friends there are in favor of slaughter. We simply offer a friendly forum to our readers, including Mr. Duquette, to voice their opinions. We frequently receive thank you notes from from pro-slaughter advocates for posting their side of the story.”

Horseback Magazine has never taken a position for or against slaughter. We have, however, taken a very strong position opposing the use of the captive bolt gun on horses.

Duquette mentioned Simone Netherlands in his statement. She was covering last year’s Las Vegas meeting of the group for a Nevada independent television station when she was escorted from the meeting room and allegedly assaulted by Wallis.

Long is an investigative journalist with almost 40 years in the business. He has broken stories regarding the sale of crack babies out of a Texas jail, hawking of stolen Sixteenth Century medical texts by a university librarian, and about prison inmates receiving face lifts, nose jobs, and tummy tucks at taxpayer expense. He is also the author of three books and a winner of the State Bar of Texas Gavel Award for distinguished journalism.

“While it looks as if I won’t be in the room, we will have confidential sources there,” Long said. “Besides, they televise the thing.”

Click (HERE) to visit Horseback and to comment

32 replies »

  1. The goal of United Horsemen is clear. They plan to raise horses as food animals. They have led their mindless followers to believe they have an interest in getting them the last cent from the flesh of horses the mindless no longer want to get them on their side. The truth is coming to light. Raised as food animals no bute problem and a few lowlifes get rich. We need to stop engaging in wasted dialogue with the illiterate of our society and bring their scheme out into the daylight because as Plato noted in the Allegory of the Cave light is the enemy of fear and superstition. Our combined goals should be to inform the American public of the true purpose and plans of the horse/meat industry. The American people will not tolerate this ill conceived plan of evil. Please waste no more time on these reptilian cave dwellers. Bring them into the light and let the truth destroy them. I suggest that each and everyone of you sitdown and write a letter to the editor about their attempt to bring this predatory business to the United States. Today I will have the opportunity to inform a group of law school students. PLEASE spend your time and efforts in a positive way because each person you inform will inform someone else seize every opportunity to inform and educate.

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    • I agree with Faith. We need to let Americans everywhere know what people like Charlie Stenholm and the rest really do for a living. Put their names and faces up all over the country. Get a real bill with cajones passed and signed by a real president with cajones that stops slaughter and transportation for slaughter.

      I would consider a few thousand readers and advocates post messages and send emails to all their friends to write or call the Oklahoma C of C headquarters, and OK Tourism, and say, we won’t even drive to your state anymore. No matter how great a roper Will Rogers was, I won’t be coming to the museum in Tulsa if you are hosting Duquette’s crew.

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    • It’s allso good to understand that Temple Grandin is not a food safety specialist, an equine specialist, or legal expert. Dr. Grandin is a specialist in two things: Autism, and understanding the behaviors of cattle.

      Dr. Grandin is completely surrounded by pro-slaughter people all day, every day. She is naturally highly influenced by her peers, who are highly influenced (and financed) by the Ag industry.

      From my regular conversations with Dr. Grandin, I have learned that she does not consider herself to be pro-slaughter of equines. She sees slaughter as the last possible option for ‘unwanted’ horses, but she believes that IF horses are to be slaughtered, it’s better to slaughter them in the US, where there is [supposedly] an opportunity to monitor the process. (We all know that’s not a solution, but she envisions a ‘perfect’ facility- which is not realistic, based on a long history of the absense of ethics within the slaughter industry.)

      Dr. Grandin applauds all real efforts to save horses from the slaughter pipeline, but she feels that the anti-slaughter community does too little to prevent the ‘necessity’ of slaughter- leaving many American equines without homes and without options. She also recognizes over-breeding as a primary cause of the equine crisis in this country.

      The pro-slaughter community would like to keep hidden the fact that EVEN Temple Grandin thinks that horses should be saved from slaughter when possible.

      The fact about Dr. Grandin and her philosophy about equine slauaghter is that it’s a little like the GAO Report. Both sides can find content that both supports and opposes either position on the issue.

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      • After reading Dr. Grandin’s ANIMALS MAKE US HUMAN, CREATING THE BEST LIFE FOR ANIMALS, I have had a hard time believing that she could support the slaughter of horses. She discusses the needs of various species including horses. She divides grazing, hoofed, herd, prey animals into two categories. The first type including cattle, sheep, and goats are what she calls “bunchers”; the second group includes horses, deer, and antelope and she labels that “flee-ers” (105).

        According to Dr. Grandin, “the biggest challenge of horse welfare is preventing horse behavior problems” (119). She explains that a owner with a horse he can’t ride may attempt to find it another home either by selling it to someone who might be able to work the horse, or just sell it at an auction. The horse might be passed around from buyer to buyer until it eventually finds a home or it might be sold as a slaughter horse. When Dr. Grandin visited slaughter houses, she found what she describes as absolutely gorgeous horses who could not be managed (120). To underscore her point about the way horses should be handled and trained, she quotes from “On Horsemanship” a translation of Xenophon by H. G. Dakyns which stresses the importance of teaching the horse with gentleness, so that the horse is willing (121).

        She also refers to a time she decided to show her own horse King as an astronaut in a costume class and describes the process she used to desensitize him.

        Therefore, I thought perhaps she has agreed to design a horse slaughter facility because she saw thought that since it was going to be done anyway (in Canada) that this is possibly her way of having a say in creating a facility that might be more humane than it would be if it were designed by someone who was either ignorant or unconcerned with the nature of the horse.

        It’s just my opinion, but I think she would be more motivated less by money than the ability to have a position of influence.

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  2. Anyone who claims to be college educated , and claims that Horse Slaughte ris Humane has wasted the College trip and the money it took to pay for it.!!!!!

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  3. This doesn’t surprise me. THey are afraid of anyone with conflicting views as it might start swinging people away from their views. Is there any way someone could sneak in? These people are disgusting. I hope everything blows up in their faces and I literally would love to see it.

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  4. As a freelance writer I find this situation to be offensive on several levels! However, I remind myself who we are talking about – and just shake my head. Considering the people involved, I didn’t find it surprising besides the fact that their attitude is once more made public. Guess that’s a good thing afterall!

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  5. Faith and Rob, you are so right. Everybody that comes in contact with these low lifes should know their background and their intentions and what they do for a living. Just as all killer buyer’s names should be put in the spotlight so they are disgraced from society. THe sooner that all these low lifes are shown to be who they are, more people will want nothing to do with them and, hopefully, they will not be able to find work anywhere close to a horse, if at all. This would be their just rewards. Anyone that follows this disgusting view needs their heads examined. I just hope God will finally start paying these people back for their atrocities.

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  6. Louie,

    Advocate implies someone who speaks on behalf of someone or something else. Activist implies that someone has gone beyond speaking on behalf of someone or something. Whether the activism is god or bad depends on your point of view.

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  7. Steven Long has stated on several occasions that he neither supports nor opposes horse slaughter. Dave must not keep up.

    No one likes being deceived. If a reporter thinks he’s not getting the whole story, he will leave no stone unturned until he gets the story. At least, in the day when reporters actually did their own research and used different sources to confirm their stories.

    Faith and Rob are right. We need to focus on outing these people.

    Remember, that H. B. 1996 and Senate Bill 1720 have language in them that deny wild horse and burro advocates the ability to sue the government on behalf of the BLM’s inhumane management which has been now authenticated by a federal judge, not just alleged by wild horse and burro advocates.

    This is important support for every advocate to include in protest of this legislation.

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  8. Louie,

    I agree. We must be both as the situation calls for. However, our actions should be lawful. We need to use our energy and resources in ways that will get the results we want for our horses.

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  9. Christie, I was just having a bit of play with words. I see how they are used to keep people from speaking up or speaking out.
    I suspect that an “Advocate” often becomes an “Activist” when he seriously becomes a problem and impediment to those who have an agenda

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  10. Is freedom of the press not an issue here? Can they really invite some press, but disallow any journalist who might show both sides of the issue? This is a public event, paid for by a non-profit. It seems like this decision could be challenged.

    What incredible cowards these people are. So insecure in their own positions that they can’t imagine how they’d handle any negative press that might appear if a fair-minded, unbiased journalist covered their event.. These folks stand on very shaky ground.

    (I have an idea on how we can win this battle in ten minutes. Arrange for Dave D. to speak to Congress. Not only can he not represent himself well in the written language, but he is also unable to speak intelligently. His house made out of sticks would tumble before ten words were out of his mouth.)

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  11. Go undercover.

    And the NAIS was completely different from European type passport system. I would welcome the passports if that’s what it takes to protect US horses from slaughter. NAIS required you to report “co-mingling” of horses basically any time your horse left your property – for traceback in the case of disease outbreak. The passports merely designate whether a horse is eligible or not for human consumption based on the medications you or your vet give the horse.

    Bring on the passports and see how many US horses will be eligible for human consumption. I would think this is the last thing pro-slaughter wants. Very few out of the US horse population would be eligible, the killers wouldn’t be able to fill their trucks as they have been.

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  12. Like your synopsis on Temple Grandin. I read one of her books and then threw it away. Having a deep love of books I never throw them away, I made an exception for Temple.

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  13. Banning a particular press source or journalist is rather cowardly. They are doing much more damage to their already deplorable image by keeping people out. This tells me they would never stand for 24/7 video auditing via a 3rd party in a horse slaughterhouse plant. As for Dr. Grandin. Here web site and her YouTube videos of her teaching students or giving lectures is very informative and interesting. I am indeed VERY grateful for her work in the factory setting for the animals that are bred for food, even though I have not eaten dead animals in about 15 years. HOWEVER…so far…I have YET to find ANY instructional videos or papers, articles, reports or teachings from Dr. Grandin on HORSES. Zip, nada, ziltch, no where to be found. Now you can find her commenting on undercover footage in Canada and how bad it is in those videos. But you find NO work of her own where she is teaching about humane horse slaughter with videos in factories or articles on how to or what can go wrong or that humane horse slaughter in factory setting is possible. She grew up with horses and showed quite a bit. I highly recommend the movie Temple Grandin. TURNS OUT….Temple used to sneak into factory farms to study the facilities and get a handle on how they were run and meet the people running the place. I KID YOU NOT. Watch the movie and then watch it again with the commentary turned on. So would you call her a humane slaughter advocate? Or would you call her a humane slaughter activist? 🙂 Just sayin’.

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  14. – If United Horsemen is not propagating misinformation to cause members of the well meaning horse community to come to erroneous conclusions which they then pass on as though they are facts….then what is the reason they deny access to someone in the press ? – If United Horsemen’s philosophy is not infiltrated with telling half-truths to serve a biased agenda, then why deny access to the press ?
    – Is United Horsemen fearing a public backlash, thus denying the press ?
    – Or is it simply the fact that a highly successful journalist reaching thousands of horse folks across the nation – reporting the truth on current events such as the agenda of United Horsemen does not cater to unsuspecting horse owners, therefore posing a threat to their plan ? – With Duquette’s suggested financial backing by the AG industry to bring back abattoirs to slaughter horses, why is he shying the publication thereof?

    It is EDUCATION. Reaching the masses, so people know what is going on. It is a black mark against humanity when an industry of the dark ages (not subsisting by necessity, but by exploitative, profit-driven agendas) is promoted. Human history is full of inspiring stories of those who achieve the impossible. Not of those driving the suffering and injustices against our horses. If United Horsemen was so proud and confident in their mission – their fear of the press is a clear indicator that things have to be hidden from leaking to those who could change their mind and counter their proposed plan. Those of us who believe in the worth of each horse, can continue that education. Those who believe in the good fight, where truth is King – Higher caring people who work on the bases of facts, investigations, unshielded exposure of reality. To teach that all animals, all horses, are fellow creatures that must be protected responsibly and loved, not exploited, is the basis for peace – kindness does not exploit animals; one cannot defend and be kind to them by promoting embellished versions of a horrific reality in the name of food, greed and profit. I believe in teaching core values of respect and compassion, and am proud to say I am not in need of a shrink, nor am I a rabid animal nut as Duquette of United Horsemen has called those he fears. Teaching respect, dignity and compassion is a powerful way to make the world a more just place and there is nothing wrong with that, in fact, it is the only way, a reminder that we have a responsibility, and our efforts belong to that cause.
    Many people have no common sense, continuing to cause the problems for which animals pay the ultimate price in a system that lacks oversight, sufficient funding for quality control, inadequate, sub-humane procedures which have proven to be evident in the past… I find it disturbing that in this time of age the standards of the AG industry have sunken to all time lows, simply denying the exposed problems, violations and health threats in regards to horse slaughter. One wonders why not grab that problem by the root and change the course?
    Why is United Horsemen pressing horse slaughter instead of promoting a restriction to the irresponsible over breeding that dooms over this country? It is not profitable.
    The only reason we have excess numbers of horses in the US is because NO ONE seems to want to regulate the out-of-control mass production “foal mill” breeders, who individually produce hundreds of foals every year, to hopefully get that small handful of “shining stars” who can go on to win in reining, cutting, reined cow horse, hunter, etc, futurities, and also racing, etc. The rest are discarded at the kill sales, where they are bought by the pound and shipped to slaughter. Then there is also the area of the horse industry who start long yearlings-early- 2-year-olds in heavy, hard training in order to get them ready for the 2 and 3 year old big $$$ futurities and for racing. Many of these horses get crippled up during training, and maybe are too broken down by 3, 4 or 5 years old to be good for anything except for breeding (perpetuating the problem) if they are well bred enough, (and it is a death sentence for a gelding who is crippled because they can’t even be bred), and the rest go to kill sales.
    The bottom line is that these breeders, trainers and owners do NOT want to pay to humanely euthanize and dispose of the horses body (which is expensive), so horse slaughter allows them to keep operating irresponsibly and not have to pay for their excesses and bad training practices that cripple horses at a young age. It’s a racket, and we as taxpayers are forced to pay for these callous, irresponsible people to operate their businesses at the expense of the horses paying with their lives with a horrible death.

    Bottom line; horse slaughter is NOT humane and cannot be made humane. The public needs to understand that politics and greed cause corruption and fear of the press such as BLM has repeatedly demonstrated and now United Horsemen follows that example. So I ask that you keep sharing the below; send it to blogs, editors, magazines, friends, horse centers, 4-H groups, feed stores… Approach those who do not know yet why the preacher of some gospel can’t handle the press to report the very tune he sings to his followers.
    To learn the truth go to “Saving America’s Horses A Nation Betrayed”, an award winning feature documentary film that unravels and unveils the true facts of this extremely complex and controversial issue.
    “Saving America’s Horses A Nation Betrayed” combines independent research, investigations, undercover video and compelling interviews; shot against the backdrop of America’s beautiful countryside; a “masterpiece tour-de-force” documentary film that also provides a platform for the voices of over 50 of the top equine welfare experts and organizations that have united through this WFLF project to protect America’s wild and domestic equines from cruelty. “Saving America’s Horses A Nation Betrayed” is presented by Humanion Films and IMA Studios and is a sponsored project under WFLF, a CA 501 (c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization.

    Education is power. Do your part and counter the motto of United Horsemen, which seems to be: “Why tell the truth, when a simple lie will do ?”

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  15. http://www.animalwelfareinstitute.blogspot.com/2012/01/awi-press-release-face-of-horse.html
    AWI Press Release: The Face of American Horse Slaughter: Shady Dealer Shifts Species but Modus Operandi Remains Unchanged
    Washington, DC (January 23, 2012) – Some politicians in Washington feel that restarting a horse slaughter industry on American soil is a good idea. We’d like to offer a small window into how the horse slaughter industry currently operates, as shady players make deals amongst themselves while duping innocent people into giving up their horses to be butchered. Read on…

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  16. If they were in any way a profesional organization and if their motives were truthful, then they would not only let ALL press and ALL people even of opposite opinions in the conference, they would also encourage open conversation, and they would let some of us speak at their conference as well.

    The reason they are so afraid of us is because they KNOW they are not speaking he truth. They KNOW that they HAVE to say that they care about horses and horse welfare, because otherwise they would be vilinized.

    You can have a reasonable and open minded dialogue and find solutions with someone who speaks the truth, but with someone who’s core motivations and principles are based on the lie of: we care about horses and their suffering, when practically they would sell their grandma to slaughter if it made them a buck, well there is no dialogue possible and they feel threatened by anyone who might be able to expose their lies.

    You either give a hoot about horses, or you give a hoot about how much money you can get out of them. Claiming to care about both really makes them look like little immature kids who think they can get away with their lie without getting cought.

    Everyone knows that I peacefully attended and covered the summit of the dead horse last year and that there were no problems whatsoever until Sue Wallis saw the evening news. She assaulted me because of how threatened she felt by the news coverage, she could not contain her anger about it. The same thing is going to happen this year, it wont come out in their favor. But Ill be smart and bring an attorney and some body guards with me this time.

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    • Dear Simone , Beautifully said , I am hoping that all will go well ,I am happy you will be attending, with a Lawyer and some body guards …….These people are heinous liars, the truth or opposition is never welcome in the company of liars who have no simple truths to tell, only lies and greed will exist in that room…… You will represent the truth they arnt going to be friendly………………………..

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  17. What a bunch of cowards. They must have a lot to hide. Also, DAVE DUCKETTE there is a difference between you’re and your. Learn it.

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  18. Duquette’s message to Long reads like an angry child. It is neither diplomatic in structure nor does it read in an adult manner….it reads like I said, an angry child…..I am still reeling from reading that Duquette is a HORSE TRAINER!!! And an advocate of horse slaughter!!!!! How do those even fit in the same sentence????

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