Horse News

Duquette’s Hometown Mayor Says Horse Slaughter Stinks

Story by by By ANNA WILLARD of the East Oregonian

Hermiston mayor opposes slaughterhouse for several reasons — especially the smell

As of late, Dave Duquette, alleged president of the anti-horse/pro-slaughter organization United Horsemen, has been touting the prospect of destroying his local community of Hermiston Oregon by opening up a predatory horse slaughter plant virtually right in his own backyard.  With wide-sweeping boasts of acquiring land, in town, and plans to build a multimillion dollar plant for a product with no market Duquette has run into some local resistance from not only the mainline townsfolk but from the very town mayor himself.  Duquette, along with his partner in horse butchering Sue Wallis, is hell bent on acquiring attention and grasping a spotlight, or even a flashlight, with no regard to whether the attention is positive or negative.  But one thing is now glaringly true, we have been saying it for years and now it comes to us in bold print, “Horse Slaughter Stinks, right along with Duquette and Wallis; it’s enough to make you lose your lunch” ~ R.T.

“Slaughterhouse” Sue Wallis and Dave Duquette at their first and last Slaughter Summit of the horse in early 2011 ~ photo courtesy of Summit of the Horse

Hermiston Mayor Bob Severson opposes the horse slaughterhouse proposed in Hermiston.

The potential odor is the thing that troubles him most, he said Thursday. But the mayor said he opposes the idea of slaughtering horses for consumption itself.

“The biggest thing I’m concerned about is, I don’t want anything with odor or anything like that to detract from the community we have today,” Severson said.

The U.S. in November 2011 lifted a ban on horse slaughter. Soon after, Hermiston resident David Duquette, president of United Horsemen, a non-profit, pro-slaughter group, proposed a slaughterhouse at the intersection of Interstate 84 and Westland Road.

In March, Duquette said outside investors and five Northwest American Indian tribes are backing the plan, which would employ 80-100 full-time workers. Neither the investors nor the tribes have been named. Duquette said an anonymous donor gave the 252 acres proposed as the project site.

Severson said he recognizes a problem with neglected or abandoned horses, and with high hay prices and a suffering economy the problem is compounded. However, Severson said he doesn’t think much of slaughtering horses in general.

“To me a horse is a recreation animal or a work animal. We don’t need to slaughter them for food,” Severson said.

According to the Southwest Farm Press, China, Mexico and Kazakhstan are the world’s top consumers of horse meat. About 4.7 million horses a year are produced for human consumption, the paper reported in December 2011.

Severson also said he wants to see concrete information about how problems like odor will be managed.

“I need to know more rather than they just say so,” he said.

Severson said he has not met with Duquette.

Duquette said odor wouldn’t be an issue. Offal would be cooled and disposed of daily and hides also cooled and hauled weekly.

Severson said a slaughterhouse would do nothing to improve the livability of Hermiston.

“I cannot see where a horse slaughtering plant would do anything to improve our community or our image for attracting new business and industry,” Severson wrote in a letter read May 14 to city council in his absence. Severson wrote in response to a letter to the editor from Kaye Killgore of Portland published May 17 in the East Oregonian. Killgore, who described herself as a frequent visitor to the area and with friends here, wrote that slaughterhouses elsewhere can be environmental nightmares, among other criticisms of Duquette’s plan.

The facility would be 20,000 square-feet and process between 100-150 horses per day. The land is also set to be the site of a rescue and rejuvenation facility employing 20-30 people, Duquette has said.

Severson said the city has turned down other facilities looking to place facilities in Hermiston such as a “humus” plant — a waste composting facility to produce fertilizer.

“We opposed other things too, a while back a rendering plant was proposed for this area and I felt the same thing there,” Severson said Thursday.

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35 replies »

  1. Will DD and SW ever get it???? The only ones who want to slaughter horses, seems to be those two, and a handful of their ‘cult’ followers??? They do live in a fantasy world, and think slaughtering horses, can be all rainbows and butterflies, don’t they? I will NEVER understand the mentality of being a pro horse slaughter advocate???? It’s NOT humane. It’s NOT needed. It’s serves NO purpose for horses. There has been so many reports AGAINST the horse slaughter industry, including auctions and the transportation of slaughter bound horses……too many to even count. Which is more humane? Feeding a starving horse, or gently euthanizing one who’s suffering in it’s home, surrounded by people who love that animal, and people that animal trusts. or hauling them packed on a trailer, scared, hungry, thirsty, possibly injured, to be shot repeatedly in the head, while standing in a blood soaked box, then shackled by a hind leg, and swung up into the air upside down, while their throats are being slit to bleed out? Doesn’t it all just make you want to go out and grab yourself a horse burger? NOT!!!!!!!!!!


  2. Thank you so much Mayor Bob Severson for not just saying yes to horse slaughter, which is abuse and inhumane treatment of our horses and a total betrayal! Our great country has been built on the back of horses, they fought in wars with us, and are companions not food. Horses are not breed as a food supply; they are members of our family! Here is a link of another major’s response to what it was like to have horse slaughter in her community!
    Praying that you truly love horses and make the right decision!
    Pam Clark, Arkansas


  3. OMG.. I’m appalled in this day and age that they are thinking of slaughtering horses for food. Once a noble breed that ran free on the open range. To man taking advantage for a work horse to This ?? I will personally BOYCOTT any company that KILLS horses for food. Have any of you seen How they kill them ?? It’s a disgusting and sicking way they lead a horse in Called a captive bolt, it shoots a bolt between the horse’s eyes directly into the brain. WHILE THE ARE STILL ALIVE…. They are NOT livestock like cows…do you ride cows…show them….etc. NO. horses are athletes and wonderful animals. How would you feel if your favorite footballl star or baseball star went to a slaughterhouse. Its is the same exact things. These horses are icons and stars to the public and preformers. They do not deserve to be shot and suffer for at least ten minutes alive while hanging upside down by one leg until they are finally dead.
    Horses are like family, how could you kill family?! This needs to stop, these horses have done nothing wrong to deserve this.


  4. SSW and DD will do anything RT , you are right !!!! What they must realize that the truth is America doesnt want Horse Slaughter and we also will do what we have to , to STOP the horrific Slaughter of our Magnificent Allies and champions ……..


  5. So far, the states that have been proposed for a slaughter plant have fought it off, but if and when any state allows slaughter, that state should be boycotted completely by the 80% of us opposed to slaughter! I mean, totally shun them!! No tourism, no shopping, no supporting anything they do, until they change their minds about slaughtering our beautiful horses! Maybe hitting their pocketbooks would be enough to stop this madness and make it stop, since all else is seemingly not working. Writing our senators, congressmen and representatives is not the answer since most of them dont even get our emails, letters, phone calls, etc. And if they do, we just get a form letter back with a bunch of empty promises and still nothing is done to enact that anti slaugher bill!! If all the anti slaughter people in this country would only get together, we could put an end to it. We desparately need a huge anti horse slaughter protest at the White House to get them to do something about it!!!!


  6. I live 30 miles from Hermiston. It in no way can support a large HS plant. Land yes, facilities to handle not in the least! It would become an enviromental nightmare! There has long been an auction there that openly admits the horses not sold will go to KBs. .Must have been Dave in action all these years?? I do not think the people of Hermiston really understand what they would be getting with a HS plant in their midst.So thank the mayor and keep sending him all the info you can …


  7. Not here, not anywhere. Thank you RT for bringing this to light, you made my day. What really chaps my hide is that Dave Duquette publicly states that the tribes are involved and they are NOT. The truth of this will come out soon enough but the lies are inconceivable. I am grateful that Hermiston has a mayor who cares about the health of his community.


    • actually the Yakima tribe does want a slaughter facility for their horses..hermiston is 100+ miles away…wouldn’t surprise me if the push doesn’t come to locate these on reservations-federal lands..threatening to boycott the hermiston horse sale next door-which brings tons of revenue to the city of hermiston would go far to stop this


      • You’re the first ( in the thread) to bring up the Native Peoples.

        Doink has been hypnotizing them for quite some time with the forked tongue poop. What disturbs me is the Crow Peoples…noble, with an ancient history of the equine. However, the 5 Tribes do not appear to be Nations with a tradition of the horse. What the H*LL do I know.

        I will continue reading the thread.


  8. Finally we are being heard. Now what is DD. going to tell the people who have invested in the land. Give it up SW and DD. You really must have had your dose of looking stupid for one year. Time to cease and desist now. Mayor Bob Severson seems to care about the Hermiston community. Kudos.


  9. It is clear where a lot of the lobbyist influence and money is coming from for the pro-slaughter movement:
    AQHA President Discusses Lift of Ban on Horse Slaughter
    Q: Do you have an alliance with the United Horseman who are currently looking for options of opening up slaughterhouses for horses in some western states?
    A: AQHA does not have an alliance with United Horsemen although AQHA and leadership within United Horsemen HAVE WORKED TOGETHER on the issue of the unwanted horse.
    Q: Is AQHA doing anything specific to help rescue programs that are overcrowded with abandoned horses?
    A: AQHA has instituted programs to help KEEP HORSES FROM GOING TO RESCUE and retirement facilities.


    • Have you read the AQHA flyer that describes horse slaughter as humane euthanasia? I will never support the AQHA. There are the same anathema that the American Horse Council has become. After all they did to try to reverse the ban on horse meat in specters listed, they are now denying that they had anything to do with lobbying for the return of horses slaughter. They are hurting for membership.

      What people not familiar with the equine welfare question may not understand is that fields of abandoned horses have only one relationship with horse slaughter. They exist in part because there is horse slaughter, and people are afraid to sell horses, afraid to ask for help, don’t know where to go to ask for help.

      Good thing this mayor knows he needs more than Dave Duquette telling him the horse slaughter facility would produce a bad smell. Dave has proven that he is not a reliable source of information—no where was it more glaring than in his interview on Oregon Public Radio when he stated unequivocally that phenylbutazone is allowed in dairy cattle. Despite months of debate on forums and social media sites, he apparently had not even bothered to check the FDA web site that states just the opposite as he was told again and again. And yet he still insisted that his version was the truth.

      At least we finally have an explanation for the kind of horse man he is or where he gets his brand of horse expertise. Surely China or Russia have their own version of the Wild West where he and his friends could go live out their view of reality.

      People in Kaufman, Texas, had to keep their windows closed and their children inside due to the smell. If I remember Mayor Bacon’s story, the hospital changed its air filter system to get the blood stench out of the hospital only to have the blood smell return a few months letter.


      • Hermiston Oregon also butts up to the columbia river, …after spending years and considerable money to clean up our rivers-the idea- we oregonians- would allow this self serving pig to pollute it and line his pockets with blood money shows you precisely how garbled his thinking is…we horse owners would picket and boycott the hermiston horse sale next door and the yakima indian gambling casino..we will see how cost effective and jhob generating it will be to those entities


  10. The E.U. holds the community of any slaughter facility responsible for all risks and liability. They certainly have reason to be concerned since we all know that U.S. horses are not safe for a human food chain and they are poisoning the people that eat U.S. horses. There is no traceability on the majority of U.S. horses concerning drug histories and the histories that are provided are largely fabricated. The community could be held accountable for all risks and liabilities and charged with terrorism on a foreign country.
    My two mares, Suzy and Echo were stolen by deception from me on April 15th, 2012 and I am being told were shipped. Both mares were not “safe’ to eat as both have had prohibited substances. They don’t care about the humans that are eating our toxic U.S. horses.
    I still do not know where my horses are.

    Vicky Johnson


    • We are seeing more and more horses being stolen. I am so sorry Vicky Johnson that Suzy and Echo have not turned up yet. We should not have to put chips in our horses to prevent them from going to slaughter. Once a crime punishable by death. Lets hope the Mayor in Hermiston will do the right thing. Lets hope a law will pass that prevents all horses going to slaughter.


    • Won’t that lawsuit be just a bundled piece of ka-rap; loose laws, poor enforcement, sleazy humans (slaughter and gov’t side)…let’s see how that works in the international courts…..especially since no one tracks equine food contamination for humans over an extended study period of time. If it wasn’t so sad…it would be a hoot.


    • Hummm interesting , maybe we could sue them………………… Knowingly selling tainted horse meat……….


  11. Sandra you are right the Yakima tribe has tried to get a HS plant but so far No! They claim it’s for the 100s of wild horses roaming their lands.When in fact it’s a failed breeding plan turned loose to fend for themselves. North and South Dakota same thing,because the tribes are exempted from U.s. laws. But if transportation laws are beefed up and enforced it will prevent any plants on reservation land.


  12. Western lawmakers want to elevate the bison as the national mammal. Actually, the bison, the Big Horn and the pronghorn walked across from Siberia. Instead the wild horse should be elevated to be the national mammal, since the origins of the horse and its evolution has been in North America. We should start a petition and may be get more protections for our horses wild and domestic.


  13. Chris, I saw this and thought this might be a pre-emptive strike to prevent the wild horses and burros from being named the national animal. I think the Eagle is considered our national symbol, rather than our national animal.

    By the way, do you think it is merely a coincidence that this story came out right after the story on horse slaughter. Wonder what else they have lined up—???


  14. No wonder Slaughterhouse Sue says they will open a plant in Wyoming. The only place where she will have enough influence will be in her own home town or district where most of the residents are relatives. They have all been so brainwashed that I feel sorry for them. Can’t wait to see how this plays out!


    • Not coincidentally, the home of Darth Vader (aka the dark side, privatize everything….DICK CHENEY) and one disgusting human. I’d call him a weasel, but that would be an insult to weasels. There is nothing more dangerous, destructive and repulsive than an evil human.

      And I hope Dick is reading this.


  15. prior to ecco-terrorists burning it down..there was a slaughter plant in central oregon..operated by the “French”..I donot know much about it..but they didnot process the amount of horses..that dave is talking about and it did not generate alot of publicity..arounhd the same time-they burned down..the empty BLM corrals in burns oregon..there may have been a connection as that was when they were allowed to slaughter wild horses…and it may have been happening there


  16. Vicky Johnson please accept my total sorry for the loss of your horses. To this day some people do not think that this is happening. I pray that they remain safe until you find them. I hope the mayors and the governors of all of these states are finding time to read all the blogs. I would never support a state in any way, shape or form that allowed the slaughter of horses for human consumption. If the land was donated why not look to other tourism aspects. The West is still very historic and fun to visit. Thank God for Mayor S, he and his trustees had better see the light because once these devils get planted in your community, YOU WILL NEVER GET RID OF THEM!
    These companies are like a disease. The sad part of all of this is that these are FOREIGN COMPANIES that want to own these houses of horror. I say send all of these low life investors packing and out of our country. Once I finish here, I am going to send along an email to Mayor Severson..I know we hate what our Legislators are doing, but that is going to be the only way to save our horses from slaughter. If your guy or gal supports slaughter get a group together and picket their office. Call the news media and bring all the supporting pictures of horse slaughter that you can. If we must shame these Legislators, than so be it. Ask them straight out, “Will you be willing to feed your family the first steaks out of the place? And who by the way will cook it,
    your wife? Not in any life time that I would see!!!!


  17. Kathryn in Ireland… sadly micro-chips fail to deter horse thieves or return stolen horses to their rightful owners. Plenty of horses are micro-chipped and tattooed, but once a stolen horse falls into the hands of the killers, they are usually gone.

    Once a stolen horse has been slaughtered, there’s not much owners can do except try and be repaid the meat value of their companion or competition horse and good luck with that.

    Animal Law Coalition says it better than I can:

    “Another cost to communities is horse theft. Slaughterhouses know horses are stolen and brought to slaughter. Because horse slaughter is driven by a demand for horse meat in some foreign countries where it is a delicacy, horse slaughterers look for the healthiest horses, not abandoned, abused or neglected horses. The USDA confirms more than 92% of horses sent to slaughter are healthy.

    At DeKalb, for example, stolen horses, many times the healthiest, would be placed at the head of the line; there were no checks for brands or tattoos. The employees admitted knowing they were likely stolen.

    When California banned horse slaughter in 1998, horse theft fell by 39.5% and in the years that followed, the state noted a nearly 88% decrease in horse theft. What does that tell you about this sleazy, brutal practice?

    Assuming states take steps to protect citizens from horse theft, it could well mean auctions must be monitored for possible stolen horses. It could mean horses will be held for a period of time to allow owners to reclaim those that are stolen. It could mean a micro-chipping or other identification program. This means more regulation, more enforcement costs. For the taxpayer.

    But it probably won’t work. In Texas prior to the closings of the U.S. slaughter houses, the state assessed the slaughter houses $5 per horse to fund a program to stop what was a growing problem of horse theft.

    $3 of this fee was allocated to the Texas Southwest Cattlemen’s Association (TSCRA) to perform brand inspections. $2 of each assessed fee went to Texas A&M University to fund programs to teach owners how to protect their horses from theft.

    But the TSCRA found virtually no stolen horses prior to slaughter. The program was little more than free money for TSCRA and Texas A&M University.”

    Americans need Congress’ help to stand up to the predatory foreign slaughter corporations. We are the 80% who want horse slaughter banned. We need real world penalties that protect our property rights and deter criminal conduct in the slaughter underworld.

    If a poacher cuts down a tree on another person’s land, the owner can get restitution of triple damages in many states.

    How about horse poachers pay three times the horse’s full market value, plus punitive damages for emotional suffering, plus a surcharge to cover the cost of law enforcement and the court system?

    The predatory horse slaughter industry needs to start picking up the tab for its bad behavior. Better yet, Congress needs to pass a Federal ban on slaughter.


  18. Thank you all so much for your expertise and committment to solve this horrible problem. I live in Pendleton, 23 miles from Hermiston. I am using my real name. Unlike David “DuPuke” I have nothing to hide. I am 1000% against horse slaughter. I will be a foot soldier in the area to help stop this madman and that revolting woman from Wyoming from destroying Umatilla county. Oregon needs to join all the decent states that have banned HS!


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