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.
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.”
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