Horse News

Former mayor of Kaufman, TX Pens Letter to Colorado regarding Horse Slaughter Legislation

by Mayor Paula Bacon

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Horse slaughter

Dear Colorado:

I am writing because Id like to congratulate you for having legislation introduced that
will protect your environment, towns and cities, people and budgets from the entirely
negative impacts of horse slaughter.

I was the mayor of Kaufman, Texas, where one of the nations last horse slaughter
plants was finally closed in 2007, and I think it is important and that you would want
to know what horse slaughter is and what it does to a place.

Let me explain that as a mayor whose city, in Texas where horse slaughter has been
declared illegal, we served as nothing more than a doormat for this unworthy industry,
I would like to explain specifically why it is important to consider carefully the effects
of its many destructive impacts.

Horse slaughter supplies an unregulated meat product, horse meat for human
consumption overseas, with an appalling record and a wholly negative economic
impact in its host communities. Why environmental impact? It is because the plants in
all 3 locations in the U.S. operating before closure, violated industrial wastewater
regulations as much as 100% of the time.

The costs, fines and necessity to build a new, multi-million dollar wastewater
treatment plant despite a lack of population growth calculated into planning, are alone

The photo you see here is of an overflowing plant pre-treatment tank. Horses
commonly receive drugs clearly labeled as, not for use in food animals. Some say
drugs and the lesser amount of fat in horse blood affect treatment of sewage, for both
the plant and the Citys treatment.

In addition to violations to environmental regulations, horse slaughter thwarted
economic development, created significant financial burdens directly indirectly and,
once our dirty little secret was learned, establishing a broadly negative reputation
for my community. It is not good at all to be the place that slaughters peoples pets
and companions for consumption overseas.

In terms of jobs, horse slaughter is poor pay for dangerous work. The year the plant

closed, our crime rate fell by 34%. Positive development is replacing the impacts of
horse slaughter.

Some would say that horse slaughter is a necessary evil, or a service. That is simply
not true. The USDA stats reported that over 92 percent of horses sent to slaughter are
in good to excellent condition, less than 10 years old, and without behavioral
problems. The conditions and treatment of these horses prior to slaughter are horrific.
In a document covering the plants operation for just 11 months, the USDA released
900 pages, made up almost entirely of photographs documenting terrible injuries–this
is an understatement.

Years after the plant was closed, there were still calls–such as the couple contacting
me about horses they had taken to auction. They realized too late that their mares
were bought by a self-described killer buyer who takes horses to slaughter. Other
times there were calls from people whose horses had been stolen. The motto of the
horse slaughter plant, From the stable to the table in four days.

Given the facts behind this cruel practice, Veterinarians for Equine Welfare
unambiguously assert that horse slaughter is in no way euthanasia, but a predatory,
cruel business for horses and for people. I hope sincerely Colorado is able to avoid
hosting horse slaughter.

Powerful proponents of horse slaughter have tried pushing some state legislatures to
pass laws, even promoting taxpayer-subsidized horse slaughter. Please know that tax
returns subpoenaed by my City showed that the horse slaughter plant paid next to
nothing in federal income tax ($5 on $12 million, for example), nothing in sales tax,
and have never paid many hundreds of fines totaling as much $916,00.00. The
Colorado horse slaughter ban would save Colorado from this kind of exploitation.

I hope Colorado can see its way clear to support legislation that will ban horse
slaughter, and value the towns and cities, budgets, environment, and reputation. This
is one of the easier decisions for lawmakers, it is quite simply the all around, right
thing to do.

Paula Bacon

4 replies »

  1. The Halls of Government are filled with Elected Officials who have long since sold their honor.
    The best disinfectant for corruption is sunlight.


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