Horse News

Horse Slaughter: Equine Advocates Vow Long Legal Battle to Save Animals

By John M. Glionna of the LA Times

Horse slaughter is a predatory, inhumane business, and we are pleased to win another round in the courts to block killing of these animals on American soil for export to Italy and Japan”

Rick De Los Santos, owner of Valley Meat Co. in Roswell, stands in the slaughterhouse where he plans to butcher horses for the foreign meat market. (PAT VASQUEZ-CUNNINGHAM/JOURNAL)

Rick De Los Santos, owner of Valley Meat Co. in Roswell, stands in the slaughterhouse where he plans to butcher horses for the foreign meat market. (PAT VASQUEZ-CUNNINGHAM/JOURNAL)

Animal welfare advocates are preparing for a legal showdown after a federal appeals court this week temporarily banned the slaughter of horses in New Mexico and Missouri, with the activists pledging to continue to fight for the welfare of domestic horses nationwide.

The issue of slaughtering domestic horses has been divisive nationwide, spurring debate in Congress and dividing horse rescue and animal welfare groups, ranchers, politicians and Indian tribes.

The last U.S. horse slaughterhouse closed in 2006, the same year Congress essentially banned the practice by eliminating funding for inspections of those facilities. The funding was restored in 2011, prompting several companies nationwide to seek permission to open plants.

Since then, various courts have issued conflicting decisions on whether horses can once again be killed for their meat.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver on Monday issued a temporary injunction barring the Department of Agriculture from inspecting the plants. That ruling came just days after a federal judge in Albuquerque dismissed a lawsuit by groups that alleged the department failed to conduct proper environmental studies when it issued permits to the slaughterhouses.

“Horse slaughter is a predatory, inhumane business, and we are pleased to win another round in the courts to block killing of these animals on American soil for export to Italy and Japan. Meanwhile, we are redoubling our efforts in Congress to secure a permanent ban on the slaughter of our horses throughout North America,” Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States, said in a statement.

Activists say the government approval is premature in light of building momentum in Washington to continue the ban on horse slaughter.

Humane Society officials pointed out that the U.S. House and Senate appropriations committees have voted to halt all funding for horse slaughterhouse inspections for fiscal year 2014.

Advocates for horse slaughter say there is a foreign market for the meat, even if it’s not a staple on American dinner tables.

Both sides in the battle acknowledged that the latest court order is temporary.

“We don’t know how long the appeals process will take,” Stephanie Twining, a spokeswoman for the Humane Society, told The Times. “If they don’t rule in our favor, that’s the end of the road for our battle in federal courts.”

But there are other options, she said, such as taking action in state courts and pressing Congress to pull funding from horse slaughterhouse inspections.

“We’re not going to give up on this battle,” Twining said. “We’re going to keep looking for other options.”

64 replies »

  1. OMG !!!! Theres that Photo again !!!!!It sends chills up your spine , and makes the blood run cold !!!!!! It is the Photo of DEATH by horror !!!!!!!! I cannot even think of any other photo I cannot bare to even look at, but it gets by surprise everytime !!!!!! at least this time it is associated with a halt on funding for the horror he holds !!!!!!

    Like

    • I agree that’s a horrible nightmare inducing photo. Or is that daymare–since its daytime? Either way–its scary.

      If you haven’t read the pdf from EWA on John Holland’s testimony its well worth your time to read it. It’s a free download. And its not something you can read in one sitting–part one is some 400 pages long. I think part 2 is less than 100. But you can read it and decide for yourself how you feel about it.

      Like

  2. Mr Glionna must be using AP for his facts……last plant didn’t close in 2006 and no one interviewed seems to mention that HCHS is NOT a regulated and qualified bred, born, raised food source for humans.

    At least he didn’t call us “animal rights”; he did call proslaughter “advocates”…..more like proponents, NOT advocates.

    Gotta read the whole thing.

    Like

    • Well, I read the WHOLE thing at LATimes and by krackey, very first words….”Animal rights activists”……jerk!!!! Proslaughter are “advocates”…..yeah, right.

      Like

    • Denise, my understanding is being a proponent and an advocate are indistinguishable terms. I’m not sure what you mean in your second to last sentence? “he did call proslaughter ‘advocates’… more like proponents, NOT advocates.”

      The words mean the same thing whichever side of an issue they are used to describe. Here’s one dictionary definition:

      proponent
      noun
      a proponent of the youth basketball program: advocate, champion, supporter, backer, promoter, protagonist, campaigner, booster, cheerleader.

      Like

      • Not in the Human Consumption Horse Slaughter (HCHS) world I have known for the last 8 years…..technical definition use, you are correct; cultural/current community use….never heard a proslaughterer called an “advocate”.

        My point was, it appears the reporter did not do much homework re dates, North American HCHS statistics, country of export or the nuances of the pro and anti terminologies.

        Thank you for you assistance.

        Like

      • One thing that can be done is to put the truth out there every time you comment anywhere.

        The last U.S. horse slaughterhouse closed in 2007, two years after Congress attempted to shut them down by cutting off funding for USDA inspectors.

        At least then the truth is also published.

        Like

  3. Looks like it’d be a good idea to educate Japan and Italy real fast about our drugged horses, the meat of which are not accepted in the EU. There should be no market for unregulated slaughtered animals with no vet records like food-producing animals are required by law to be kept per farm. That alone should make it illegal to sell any US horse meat for human consumption. This double standard is bizarre.

    Like

  4. Quit being a drone and do your own fact checking….oh wait, maybe you can just read Forbes where it’s all done for you.

    activists / advocates – REALLY !!??!!

    Like

    • Way back when there was a discussion on another site where this issue was debated. What I personally took from it–and maintain to this day is this:

      An activist is someone who won’t hesitate to take things to the physical level. Examples–breaking into a lab and releasing animals. You have no idea what drugs those animals are on–and by releasing them you could cause them more needless pain because of no access. Or drilling metal into trees–so that when loggers come in they get hit by shrapnel. Or if you’re at a rally and people start breaking windows, or windows, turning over and setting fire to cars.

      Advocates choose to take the higher ground. We speak for those without a voice. Hopefully in Court but certainly signing petitions. By writing letters ASKING for relief. We do not condone any violence or physical retaliation.

      Like

  5. This is the first time that I have heard reference to export to Italy. This is interesting or more-so puzzling to me considering that I just read an article stating that some fast-food companies in Italy are supporting and promoting “locally” produced and raised food. That along with the closing of the Nestle frozen food plant in France and the decrease in demand for horsemeat in these countries suggests less not more demand for exported horsemeat. At any rate, we will get the SAFE Act passed and that will be that!!

    Like

    • I wondered the same things you do. From what I’ve heard, demand for imported horse meat is down in both Europe and Asia. And from what I understand, Japan does not allow horse meat to be imported, they only import live animals. I don’t believe there is a market for horse meat for human consumption. I’m afraid this is another case of poor reporting and pipe dreams of would be slaughterphiles.

      Like

      • Margaret:
        The Japanese do prefer live ships, versus frozen horseflesh.

        Yes, Ferdinand “disappeared” in Japan. It was assumed he was slaughtered for the meat; much different than being slaughtered in the US (previously), CAN and MEX.

        Like

      • And either way….Ferdinand was put through an undignified death, poisoning the human consumers because that noble horse was given DRUGS….regularly.

        Like

      • the major point is–why in heck do we sell our own horses to foreign owners who take them away from us? Yeah yeah–I know–better for the gene pool and spreading the wealth. But every time I hear an American horse goes to Japan, now China and Korea and other more exotic places, I wonder what that horse did to deserve excommunication? Yeah yeah–I know–it’s all about money. I don’t even like the fact that Darley has a horse farm in about 24 countries now, give or take. I always wonder what the esteemed owner of Darley does with all the thousands of foals he produces annually, all the mares he uses up–just to get a Kentucky Derby winner, which I hope happens so he can stop the madness. Yeah, I know, i’m a curmudgeon and prefer keeping our kids home. It’s a business, it’s a business, it’s a business

        Like

      • Eventhough Kohl no longer has ties with the company–I refuse to shop there. It’s enough that his family has ties to it. Roy Blunt–sure seems like he might benefit from a slaughter plant in his home state. Wonder if that’s why he helped backed this in the first place..

        Like

      • Sorry for double posting the same post–a glitch somewhere.

        That’s why today racehorses are sent overseas with the Ferdinand Clause. This is suppose to ensure that the horse–when they are done with stud service first rights goes back to owner/breeder. I know OF has lots of eyes on the horses in Japan for this very reason.

        Is the system full proof? I don’t know. We can only try. At least some of the bigger tb farms in KY are stepping up to the plate when they hear that one of theirs is in trouble. Baby steps. I know we need bigger steps–till all horses are safe from the threat of slaughter none of them will be safe. But at least a few of the farms are taking proactive steps. Those farms set a wonderful example for others in the industry to follow.

        Like

    • Yes, there is a sharp drop in the number of people who are eating horsemeat overseas – it’s been dropping steadily for years. Yet, just as many tons of horse meat are being exported to those same countries.

      I’m sure you are aware of the ongoing horse meat scandal in the UK, EU and Asia with processed meat products being secretly adulterated with horse meat – sometimes as much as 100%. And they continue to find still more adulterated products. Where did that horse meat come from? All those tons of imported horse meat? Ya think?

      Like

  6. i belirve yge market is china.. and then there goes the American meat export market. i also believe that a target is this country. ship it in …they won’t know three difference…until they get caught. these people are criminally insane…continue to boycott beef until we can be sure of the meat in this country.

    Like

  7. Horse Warriors continue to Battle to End Horse Slaughter! We may be called crazy activists, but then again, what do the horse killers call themselves??? We will never give up!

    Like

  8. I would like to suggest, respectfully, that it might go a long way to convincing Congress to permanently ban horse slaughter if veterinarian professional organizations would STOP supporting slaughter and PROMOTE and support humane euthanasia instead. For the AAEP to be a slaughterphile is not only immoral and uncionscionable it goes a thousand percent in the opposite direction of what veterinarians are SUPPOSED to do which is help horses and prevent suffering. The terror and agonizing deaths horses experience in transit to and in slaughter facilities is well known to everyone here. I have looked long and hard for a veterinarian lo these past ten years to find a horse vet who is anti-slaughter. In my area, they do not exist. Every veterinarian I have talked to cites their professional association, the largest veterinarian association in the world whose members practice equine medicine, the AAEP, as their guide on the slaughter issue. When a huge well-funded organization such as AAEP can lobby along with the so-called Unwanted Horse Coalition in favor of slaughter, because it is composed of professionals who presumably believe slaughter is a fine thing, that membership composition would carry huge weight with elected officials and other government employees who either do not know the truth about slaughter, or don’t care. In addition to changing the official policies of breed organizations that favor slaughter, I believe it is essential – and CRUCIAL – to bring about a change in the pro-slaughter policy of the AAEP.

    Like

    • Sarah, great observations. It raises suspicions in my mind since vets stand to gain (a lot) by promoting euthanasia. It would seem to be a profitable service for them, so why promote slaughter?

      A few years back I had to have a vet put down a client’s old horse. I contacted the vet who had known the horse for years, but as soon as that grand old (cancer-ridden) horse collapsed, that vet was pumping me to cut off his tail! Horrified, I said, NO, to which he replied it was worth about $150. I had hoped for a dignified end and burial for this horse especially, who was much loved, and found this oily enough that I have never used that vet to this day. This wasn’t even my horse! So much for anything like professionalism. This man sits on our state vet board.
      From now on I will ask every vet I have dealings with their position on horse slaughter. Thanks for the prompt.

      Like

    • Really good point about the AAEP – irresponsible of them to promote horse slaughter – obviously bought of with big bucks from the cattle & horse breeding industries – It seems the educated vets DO KNOW, & DON’T CARE – they’re not stupid – they choose to be sheeple -is it possible to get a list of al horse vets & find out which ones aren’t members of AAEP & advertise this & encourage horse owners & caretakers to use these vets instead of ones associated with AAEP? HSUS & others must have budgets & staff who could get the word out.

      Like

      • Unfortunately the anti-slaughter vets have apparently been rather ruthlessly marginalized, disrespected and maneuvered even off of the internet – several start-up veterinarian groups tried to launch websites and even careful as they were about not revealing their identities as being against slaughter, eventually their websites were taken down and they went underground yet again. Asking a prospective veterinarian their slaughter position is something that needs to be done every single time by responsible horse owners.

        What is even WORSE in my opinion is that there is at least one faux rescue organization here in the Pacific NW whose early, post-launch website had on it abundant articles and “options” (“options” being part of their official name) pushing slaughter very, very hard. A friend had a rather nasty e-debate with one of this “rescue’s” founders who simply would NOT answer the direct question one way or another, in writing, whether the organization was pro- or anti-slaughter, but it is interesting that the webmaster later removed the articles and slaughter options. I understand, however, that at least one horse owner who tried to sign up to participate in this group’s “low cost euthanasia clinics” was offered the slaughter option. Perhaps there were KB’s on speed dial for the clinic organizers! I hope I don’t get sued for revealing this second-hand information and what I post here is simply personal opinion and personal experience.

        Like

    • A couple of years ago, I took my beloved dog to an Oncologist, Alice Villalobos DVM, in Huntington Beach and Woodland Hills, CA. Turns out she is the Chairman of the Ethics Committee for the AVMA where she has done all she can to lead them to support Horse Slaughter.

      Alice advocates for mobile abattoirs for horses and the slaughter of the penned WH&Bs. I have her report and several emails in which, and I am paraphrasing, she says, “Horses should give their final gift of their large, nutritious bodies to provide food for the starving masses.”

      As far as I am concerned she is right up there with Ricky De Los Santos and his minions. Nevertheless, she is has held two forums in the last two years doing all she can to persuade the vets to support horse slaughter. She really likes ending the boredom of all those horses penned up by the BLM and sending that rotting meat to the starving children of the world. I will post her letter on my Facebook page.

      Like

      • OOpps! I posted this twice. Here is Alice’s exact title, ” President of the Society for Veterinary Medical Ethics” and I have posted her astonishing letter on my Facebook page.

        Like

      • Elaine, I am not on FB but gather from your post here what sort of letter you received. For what it’s worth, I used to breed foundation QHs but no longer do, and dropped my longtime AQHA membership and told them I was doing so because of their support for horse slaughter, which was disingenuous at best. Their reply? Tons more junk mail extolling the virtues of membership… sheeesh.

        Like

  9. Sorry to even mention this, but if you google “donkey” “salami” you will find that some Italian salami-type meats are made from donkey and per FOIA data, ALL 15 Twin Peaks sale authority burros (over the age of ten) were sold to Tom Davis. These 15 burros are in addition to our 73 Twin Peaks wild horses sold to him. There is no way that anyone will ever be able to convince me that BLM didn’t know where these horses and burros were going.

    Like

  10. Good ole boy Kennie. So glad he’s gone home to his moo moo cows. May he stay forever on his ranch–that the rest of us will never be bothered by him again. And certainly not Dave Phillips.

    Like

    • Margaret, since Sally Jewell mentioned consulting him in her remarks last week, I think it’s a false assumption he has no authority. A rattlesnake under a rock still carries venom.

      Like

  11. Wonder how much $$$ this guy is getting from Sue Wallis and friends? The video on television showing him saying he is doing the country a favor by opening the plant and he has the most humane way to slaughter the horses through a hole in his dilapidated factory wall, a factory that was closed down so many times in the past for unsanitary conditions…that video left so many salient points out. Well, just by reading the above messages we know there is much evil in this world pointed at animals as well as people, so we have no choice but to keep standing up against these insane and bloodthirsty fiends and keep fighting for our animals.

    Like

  12. This is a comment from a previous article. We all keep wondering WHERE there is a meat market for American Horses. Could this be part of it?

    http://www.offthegridnews.com/2013/10/28/obama-pushing-asian-trade-deal-that-threatens-food-safety/
    Asian Trade Deal That Threatens Food Safety

    You may never have heard of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, (TPP) but the impact of the trade deal on the safety of America’s food could be significant.
    The potential deal between the United States and Pacific Rim nations has been so closely guarded that Congress has reportedly been able to garner only a few details about the agreement.
    If the massive impact of the TPP and TTIP on future agricultural policy in the United States was not a big enough problem to worry about, the details of the second half of the agreement will definitely give Americans’ pause. The policies included in the trade agreement may impact economic markets, Internet freedom, health care, and environmental sustainability as well.

    The 12 countries involved in the proposed Pacific deal are the United States, Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Peru, Mexico and Canada.

    Nohorseslaughter Ortiz
    November 8, 2013 @ 2:57 AM [Edit]
    We ship them to Canada, Fed Ex ships them to Japan
    Foal Sushi Anyone? ~ Live Export of Horses from Canada to JAPAN (To Be Slaughtered)
    http://allhorsesgotoheaven.wordpress.com/2012/10/24/foal-sushi-anyone-live-export-of-horses-from-canada-to-japan-to-be-slaughtered/

    Like

    • Louie, I will investigate the links you posted, thank you. I have read elsewhere about Japan’s (and really everyone’s) ongoing problems with the Fukushima meltdown which has impacted much of Japan’s agriculture and may ultimately take their economy into meltdown as well. I wonder if there is a horse slaughter connection since there is less food production now in Japan? Another thing to research….

      Like

  13. Just want to remind everyone of the three politicians who underhandedly in 2011 started this whole horse slaughter nightmare. Don’t ever forget these names….Roy Blunt of MO, Jack Kingston of GA and Herb Kohl of WI. Use every opportunity you can to bad mouth these three devils.

    Like

  14. We can stop horse slaughter in our country-but will we ever convince Asian countries? I have come to the conclution that these people will eat anything-just my observation~~~http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzWV1VcCB_A

    Like

  15. US equines are not bred, born, raised and butchered as a US regulated food source for humans….no matter where the country of their death.

    THESE are FACTS and something that any antislaughter advocate can put into writing to any state or federally elected official…..especially those elected representatives from heavy agricultural states. KEEP sending those letters with the fact these animals jeopardize the US meat industry and do NOT meet production standards for US meat. PERIOD.

    The illegitimacy of US equine flesh for consumption is worse than hiding downer cattle for US consumption or export; in fact, many countries for export won’t take cattle over a certain age, if at all. China just bought our (US) largest swine producer.

    Horse slaughter is nothing more than a dirty disposal business (akin to crime) for thieves and over producers/irresponsible owners.

    This gets sooooo old.

    Like

  16. EVIL!! There is nothing about slaughter of horses that could be considered anything other than EVIL!! NOBODY should be subjected to such horrific treatment. Even the most wretched criminals are not treated this way. Why?? Because it ranks as the WORST, horrific, torturous, excruciating, sadistic thing any evil mind could think to do to any living being!!
    We OWE the horses, burros, donkeys, mules – ALL Equine – BETTER! They are the ones who contributed vast amounts of help, power, transportation, work, and more to human kind all through the ages.. and this is the thanks they get?? Absolutely Outrageous!!

    Like

  17. They ought to all move to Canada or Mexico where they can slaughter horses and leave our American horses alone! They are not welcome to open slaughter plants here in the USA 80% of the public do not want their tax dollars going to open horse slaughter plants here it the USA, when will they get it!

    Like

  18. First, if more than 80% of Americans are against horse slaughter, why is Congress even considering it? $$$$$$$$$$$$ What happened to doing the will of the people and NOT of the special-interest groups? Second, if the only argument on the pro-slaughter side is that “there’s a market in other countries”, then we should also slaughter our dogs and cats and send them to China and Korea! There’s a “market” for all kinds of animal food in other countries. Does that mean that the U.S. has to stoop to that level and kill everything we have for money? We are so “anti” dolphin and whale slaughter, dog and cat slaughter, etc., etc., but as long as we’re getting paid, we’ll slaughter our own horses! What the hell sense does that make?

    Like

    • I have been wondering for a long time how we got the 80% figure and where these alleged believers are? If every one of them gave $20 to rescue groups, we might be able to save more. If every one of them wrote letters to editors and congressmen, we might be heard more effectively. Who in heck are these 80%? All I know is that it is US, all of us contributing to this blog and presenting this blog who are doing the fighting. I really am tired of hearing the 80% fallacy and do not take any comfort in it.

      Like

    • The reason Congress is pro slaughter is called “crony capitalism.” What this term, which in WaDC has become less of a pejorative term and taken on the glam, means is that nearly every politician wants to crawl into the money pot; they want to do this together and will fight it out later among themselves to see who can grab the most (IMO that’s the definition of elections). The lobbying money is simply too great for these public-trough feeding swine to pass up. Everyone by now should have received, read and comprehended the memo announcing that people go to WaDC to get rich beyond avarice. IF they “cared” or had consciences, or truly represented the majority of their constituents, the foreign AND domestic big-money lobbyists would have been sent “packing” long ago (one would hope as victims themselves straight to a meat PACKING plant under Code of Hammurabi principles!!). The US is anti dolphin and whale slaughter but has been completely ineffective in stopping it because we have unholy relationships with so-called “trade partners”. Dogs and cats are still brutally slaughtered, even skinned and vivisected while still alive, in certain east Asian countries that are our “trade partners” and rather than take the only moral and ethical stance possible in the face of such cruelty, the powers that be here in the US collectively turn their backs. Again, the ultimate financial rewards of turning blind eyes to the incredible suffering are just too great.

      Like

  19. We must never give up or stop protecing these magnificent animals! No good comes out of horse slaughter. With all the facts and truth of this brutal business on our side, we can only hope and pray common-sense and justice will prevail. In the meantime, we must continue being their voice…the voice of compassion, respect, loyalty and admiration for such incredible creatures.

    Like

  20. I hope you receive many ME, TOOs to your statement above, Arlene. I’m in it to the last breath, and I don’t care if they call me activist, advocate, soldier–as long as they know I am in this fight with all of you.

    Like

Care to make a comment?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.