Missouri State Rep Would Welcome Tainted Horse Meat on the Table

Source: Multiple

“The Safeguard American Food Exports Act — would bar horse slaughter in the U.S. and ban horse shipments to Mexico”

Advocates for horses worry that U.S. restrictions against slaughtering the animals in this country soon could come to an end, and one Missouri lawmaker says he welcomes that.

Slaughtering horses isn’t illegal in the U.S. but has been barred by a technicality, in that over the previous two presidential administrations no federal money was appropriated for U.S. Department of Agriculture inspections of processing plants. With such oversight, the meat could not be sold.

The last horse slaughter plant in the U.S. closed a decade ago, but that hasn’t stopped horses from being exported to Mexico for slaughter despite efforts by places like Greenwood Stables and Equine Horse Rescue near Peabody in south-central Kansas, The Kansas City Star (http://bit.ly/2nK408T ) reported.

A measure introduced in both houses of Congress — the Safeguard American Food Exports Act — would bar horse slaughter in the U.S. and ban horse shipments to Mexico, and a Humane Society spokeswoman said recently she expects a “major battle over horse slaughter” this year.

Republican Missouri state Rep. Warren Love says he welcomes that legislative fight. The Osceola rancher considers horses livestock, calls slaughter a form of euthanasia and says the demise of slaughter severely damaged the horse industry. He hopes that changes under President Donald Trump, proclaiming, “There’s a new sheriff in town.”

Trump has not issued any opinion on the matter, though he has called for a repeal of other business regulations.

At Kansas’ Greenwood Stables and Equine Horse Rescue, run by 20-year-old college student Saje Bayes and her mother, Amy Bayes, the tandem has a working relationship with a man who buys horses to resell them to Mexican slaughter plants.

The man lets them have dibs on any horse they think they can find a home for. Last year, that amounted to 700 horses — a fraction of the number the man drove to Mexico.

“The picking is the worst thing ever,” said Bayes, a Newton librarian. “He puts up with a lot from us. He lets us pull horses he would rather we not. He gives us a chance to find them homes. He’s been nice. We’re not friends by any means, and he knows what side I’m on. We just agree to disagree.”

Critics said horses during the road trips to Mexico typically don’t get food or water and must stand in crowded trailers for journeys that can last 36 hours.

Cindy Gendron, manager of the national Homes for Horses Coalition, believes horses clearly are different from cattle, noting that “Americans don’t eat horse meat.”

One reason for that: Drugs that are injected into horses. But horse meat from Mexico has gone to Europe until 2014, when the European Union banned the import after an audit cited inhumane practices at Mexican slaughterhouses. Much of the meat now goes to Asia and the Middle East.

Equine Charities Unite for Worldwide Welfare Action

Source: The Donkey Sanctuary

“With 180 OIE member states now acknowledging the importance of working horses, donkeys and mules, the time is right for coordinated action to implement the standards around the world. “

photo courtesy of The Donkey Sanctuary

UK equine welfare charities Brooke, The Donkey Sanctuary, SPANA and World Horse Welfare today announce their first formal coalition.

Formed specifically to put policy into practice, the coalition aims to advise, motivate and support the implementation of the first ever global welfare standards for working horses, donkeys and mules. These landmark standards were approved by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in May 2016 following advocacy and technical support from Brooke and World Horse Welfare.

This is the first time all four major charities have formally joined forces. Although not law, these landmark changes finally give legitimacy to calls for equine welfare to be improved around the world.

Petra Ingram, CEO at Brooke, who spearheaded the formation of the coalition and will be its Chair for the first year, believes that it’s the right vehicle to bring the standards to life: “A respected champion of change can be the difference between success and failure when it comes to implementation. Our message to countries is: let us help; equine welfare is an ally of humanitarian issues.”

With 180 OIE member states now acknowledging the importance of working horses, donkeys and mules, the time is right for coordinated action to implement the standards around the world.

Chief Executive of World Horse Welfare, Roly Owers, said “We know that horses, donkeys and mules are essential to hundreds of millions of human livelihoods, and it is heartening that the world is now recognising their versatility and importance.

“World Horse Welfare looks forward to working in partnership, bringing our influencing skills and 90 years of practical expertise gained helping equines around the world. The scale of the challenge to help 100 million working animals is so large that we must work together to get them the recognition and support they desperately need.”

As world-leading experts in equine welfare with a combined geographic reach covering the major populations of the world’s working equines, the four UK-based charities will provide a unique resource.

The coalition’s goal is to share a wealth of professional expertise and technical know-how by jointly developing training resources and working with governments, academics, communities and professionals to help put the standards into practice within the contexts of different countries, cultures and economies.

Geoffrey Dennis, Chief Executive of SPANA, said: “It is very encouraging that there is now international recognition for the working equines that play a fundamental role in supporting the livelihoods of millions of families worldwide.

“Through veterinary treatment, education and training for animal owners, SPANA works to improve the welfare of these vitally important horses, donkeys and mules across many countries. We are looking forward to working in partnership to ensure that the new standards are translated into practical support and action that makes a tangible difference to working animals and the communities that depend on them.”

The coalition’s work will use the skills the four organisations have in welfare assessment training; building capacity in equine owning communities; equipping service providers (including farriers, saddlers and vets) with the skills and tools required to provide affordable quality services. It supports universities in curriculum development, and postgraduate vets with continuing professional development; as well as raising awareness of the importance of working equids to human livelihoods with policy makers.

Mike Baker, CEO of The Donkey Sanctuary, said: “This is a fantastic milestone in global equine welfare standards. Our new coalition will really maximise welfare improvements as we share our skills, resources and experience. Millions of donkeys, horses and mules work extremely hard every day and it will be wonderful to highlight how vital they are for their human owners and communities.”

https://www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk/press-release/equine-charities-unite

New Rule Tightens Canadian Horse Slaughter Imports

Story by Pat Raia as published on The Horse

 “False documentation (has) been a proven fact for years, yet nothing is ever done about it…”

Beginning in March 31, all horses imported from the United States into horse processing plants in Canada must be held in U.S.-side feedlots for a minimum of six months. The regulation is intended to address food safety concerns expressed by European Union (EU) buyers.

While some equine welfare advocates hope the regulation will increase paperwork and decrease profits for exporters of horses into Canadian processing firms, others believe the rule won’t reduce the number of horses exported for processing every year.  

Under the new regulation, exporters must certify in writing that the U.S. horses exported into Canada for processing haven’t received any drugs within the prior 60 days. But said horse welfare advocate Jerry Finch, founder of Habitat for Horses, the horse-processing industry has long had a reputation for falsifying paperwork connected to exported horses.

 “False documentation (has) been a proven fact for years, yet nothing is ever done about it, so any such regulation is nothing more than a PR effort to make the consumer believe they are receiving the very best horsemeat available; like so much of the food supply, the image of wholesome, healthy, and safe food is a far cry from the reality,” said Finch. “The killer-buyers simply sign the form, the buyers for the slaughterhouse sign it, and done deal. A horse bought at the racetrack in Kentucky on Monday will still be in the food chain by Wednesday.”

The Canadian regulation mirrors one long in place at processing plants in Mexico, which did not eliminate the EU’s food safety concerns. After a 2014 audit, the EU’s Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) banned the sale of horsemeat processed in Mexico on grounds that exporters falsified processed animals’ medical and drug treatment records.

An uptick in sales to Russian and Chinese markets resulted, said horse processing proponent Dave Duquette. He expects the same after the Canadian rule become effective.

“All the ban did was up sales to Russia and China–and they don’t have the same welfare (regulations) as the EU or that we do,” Duquette said. “The regulation is a (horse) welfare issue, and it lessens the welfare of horses.”

Tom Lenz, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACT, said that an estimated 5 million horses are processed for human consumption worldwide each year.

“The last time I checked, China was processing roughly 2.5 million horses a year for food,” he said.

Meanwhile, the number of U.S. horses exported to both Mexico and Canada has stabilized between 130,000-150,000 per year, he said.

“I don’t see that changing much,” Lenz said.

In any case, Lenz said import/export rules won’t make tracking the number of U.S. horses exported for slaughter any easier in the future.

“It’s my understanding that starting this year the U.S. Department of Agriculture is no longer keeping track of the number of horses exported for slaughter,” Lenz said. “So, we really won’t know in the future if the numbers are increasing or decreasing no matter what regulations are established on either the Canadian or Mexican side.”

http://www.thehorse.com/articles/38935/new-rule-tightens-canadian-horse-processing-imports

Glimpse into Horse Slaughter – Eagle Pass, Texas (raw video)

Video supplied by investigators from EWA and WHFF


“Quietly and behind the scenes the Equine Welfare Alliance and Wild Horse Freedom Federation have been watching, taking note and documenting more than just the unnecessary roundups of wild horses and burros by the BLM; but also paying attention to where tens of thousands of American horses and donkeys (domestic and wild) disappear to without even so much as a final wave goodbye.  Horse Slaughter has not been banned in the USA instead it has only moved across our borders and both our beloved domestic equines and our protected wild horses and burros continue to end up on the dinner plates of foreigners across the globe.

Below is simply raw video of what the horses go through as they cross the border from Texas to Mexico in the final hours of their precious lives.  No commentary, no music, no opinions as the footage speaks for itself.  We have simply released it to emphasis the need to act, of things to come and to remind those who participate in this predatory blood business that we are watching and taking names.  Yes, we are paying attention as the victims cannot speak for themselves but we can.  Let the kill buyer beware.  Keep the faith, my friends.  We are paying attention.” ~ R.T.


“Investigators with Wild Horse Freedom Federation/Equine Welfare Alliance spent several days down in Eagle Pass, Texas documenting events prior to slaughter horses being sent to Mexico for slaughter. Video shows horses being loaded for slaughter and them crossing over the border into Mexico, paperwork check by Gov. Official, going to weigh station and trucks coming into pen with slaughter horses.” ~ Investigator

‘Skin Trade’ Donkeys ‘Waiting to Die’ at ‘Horrific’ Markets

by as published on Horse and Hound

“There’s about 700 donkeys coming here to wait to die. There’s no food, there’s no water…”

The ‘horrific’ conditions facing donkeys in markets in Tanzania have been highlighted by welfare groups.

The Donkey Sanctuary’s Alex Mayers and Thomas Kahema, founder of The Tanzanian Animal Welfare Society, recently visited a donkey market in Tanzania believed to be serving the skin trade.

Click Image to View Video

Click Image to View Video

During an emotional video, Mr Mayers described conditions for the donkeys as they waited to die.

“The market is far worse than I expected,” he said.

“There’s about 700 donkeys coming here to wait to die. There’s no food, there’s no water.

There’s very little reaction from the donkeys to the people, they’re very stressed.”

“Lots are showing signs of dehydration and hunger. Everything about these donkeys is really switched off — it’s really hard to see.

“The donkeys are dying every day.”…(CONTINUED)

http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/skin-trade-donkeys-waiting-die-horrendous-markets-613811

Under the Skin: How ejiao threatens the common ass

By Merritt Clifton editor of Animals 24-7

“…donkeys fall into a unique and difficult niche:  that of a species formerly kept almost exclusively in poorer parts of the world as a work animal…”

Click Image to Download Report

Click Image to Download Report

BEIJING––Can demand for a commodity that constitutes only one ten-thousandth of the global market for traditional Chinese medicine really pose what Donkey Rescue World blogger David C. Duncan calls “an existential threat” to barnyard animals as abundant worldwide as donkeys?

This is not about highly endangered tigers,  rhinos,  elephants,  or even pangolins,  all eight species of which were once listed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species as “species of least concern,”  but since July 2014 are all considered “vulnerable” or “endangered” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

This is about the common ass,  domestic animals who until recently were the tenth most abundant species in captivity,  according to United Nations Food & Agricultural Organization data.

Only chickens,  turkeys,  cattle,  pigs,  sheep,  goats,  horses,  dogs and cats (the latter not tracked by the FAO) were believed to be more numerous.

But donkeys fall into a unique and difficult niche:  that of a species formerly kept almost exclusively in poorer parts of the world as a work animal,  abruptly replaced in most uses by motor vehicles,  no longer highly valued for labor,  and therefore suddenly more valuable for hides than alive.

Further,  the demand for the gelatinous substance derived from donkey hides,  ejiao,  comes almost entirely from China,  whose population of 1.4 billion people is so large that even consumption of trivial amounts of ejiao by one person in 10,000 can require the slaughter of millions of donkeys per year.

No wild animal species––indeed,  no animal product,  period––is actually widely used in traditional Chinese medicine,  which is based overwhelmingly on floral and herbal compounds….(CONTINUED)

Read More:  http://www.animals24-7.org/2017/02/26/under-the-skin-how-ejiao-threatens-the-common-ass/

Download Report: https://www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk/under-the-skin/full-report

Feel Good Sunday: Rescued Donkey Acts Like A Puppy

“Okay, time out, folks.  It’s Sunday and all of us deserve a few moments of quiet reflection, a hug, a smile and perhaps even a big smooch.  We can ramp back up for the fight tomorrow morning but for now hug each other and above all, scratch the forehead or backside of your four legged kids and thank the good Lord that you are lucky enough to be able share your lives with them.  They are our motivators and forever friends.  Keep the faith and be safe!” ~ R.T.


Show Your Horse You Care on Valentine’s Day

By Robin Foster, PhD, CAAB, IAABC-Certified Horse Behavior Consultant as published on The Horse

“What do horses value, need, and desire most? Friends, forage, and freedom, of course!”

Equine photographer Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation with several members of the rescued Fitch herd ~ photo by R.T. Fitch

Equine photographer Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation with several members of the rescued Fitch herd ~ photo by R.T. Fitch

Valentine’s Day is an occasion for exchanging gifts and celebrating time with a special sweetheart, so be sure to give your equine valentine a gift he or she will truly appreciate.

What do horses value, need, and desire most? Friends, forage, and freedom, of course!1 Most horses have access to a warm blanket and clean stall, but stable management practices can restrict how much time a horse spends with other horses, how often and what type of food they eat, how much freedom they move about, and the activities in which they participate. Below are a few fun Valentine’s Day gift ideas that will help your horse meet her need for friends, forage, and freedom.

Friends—The “Perfect Date” Package

Horses are highly social and generally drawn to other horses. One gift suggestion is to set up the perfect date for your horse with an equine friend. If the date is with a familiar friend, they can be turned out together in a pasture or arena to socialize, and to spend time mutually grooming, playing, or simply grazing side-by-side. If the date is with a new equine acquaintance, to be safe, they should greet each other over a gate or barrier. Exercise caution when first introducing any horses and watch their body language carefully; some horses might kick, strike out, or bite. If your horse has not been properly socialized, or if meeting-up with another horse isn’t possible, then spending quality time with a trusted human friend would be a perfect backup date.

Forage—A “Be Mine” Fruit ‘N’ Feed Bowl

Most healthy horses love to eat! February 14 is also known as the Feast of Saint Valentine, so express your love with the gift of grub. Many stabled horses are fed a narrow diet on a fixed schedule, but under natural free-ranging conditions, horses consume a varied diet and will graze for up to 20 hours a day. A slow-feed haynet is a gift that will stretch-out your horse’s feeding time and has lasting value.

Most horses also appreciate a tasty treat from time to time. They prefer nutritious, sweet-tasting feed, and tend to choose coconut and banana flavors over cinnamon and spearmint.2 Anyone with basic kitchen skills could whip up something special for an equine valentine, such as heart-shaped oat, molasses, and banana biscuits, or a “Be Mine” fruit ‘n’ feed bowl. To prepare the bowl, start with your horse’s regular feed or hay cubes, then mix in sliced bananas, apples, carrots, and strawberries—the distinctive Valentine’s Day ingredient. These treat recipes can be easily modified to meet dietary restrictions.

Freedom—The “Choose Your Activity” Gameboard

Freedom means being able to move without restraint or confinement, as well as having choice about how to spend time in different activities.3 A Valentine’s Day gift any horse would appreciate is extra turnout time, with an at-liberty to run, romp, and roll. Working horses might be especially grateful for the gift of freedom, since certain jobs can be a source of stress.4

For Valentine’s Day, I gave my horse a “Choose Your Activity” gameboard. The idea came from a scientific study in which horses learned to approach and touch symbols on a board to communicate their preference for wearing a blanket, or not; horses were more likely to choose to wear a blanket during cold, wet and windy weather.5 Using the same approach, my horse is learning to choose an activity by touching one of the symbol options. Learning to use the gameboard can take several weeks, but the positive reinforcement training is itself an enjoyable exercise. Activity symbols for “massage” and “carrot-stretches” are on my horse’s gameboard—what does your horse like to do?

Closing Remarks

If your current boarding facility doesn’t allow ad libitum access to friends, forage, and freedom, consider how you can give your horse the ultimate Valentine’s Day gift: Talk to you barn owner about making management practice changes, or even relocate to a different facility. However, if you’re already satisfied that your horse’s needs are met, why not open your heart and give back on Valentine’s Day by spending time a local equine rescue and sharing your love with horses in need?

http://www.thehorse.com/articles/38791/show-your-horse-you-care-on-valentines-day


People Are Killing Millions Of Donkeys Just For Their Skins

Story by as published on The Dodo

Warning: Graphic Content – What they’re used for is such a waste

Marjorie Farabee, Director of Wild Burro affairs at WHFF, and her good friend Miss Abby ~ photo by Terry Fitch

Marjorie Farabee, Director of Wild Burro affairs at WHFF, and her good friend Miss Abby ~ photo by Terry Fitch

For centuries, in rural cultures across the globe, one animal has been an important part of the family, helping to keep farms and villages running.

Not only do millions of people depend on donkeys for practical purposes — many donkeys are seen more and more as smart and loyal pets.

But this friendship between people and donkeys is increasingly threatened by a growing trade in something you’ve probably never even heard of: “ejiao,” (also known as “colla corii asini” or “donkey hide glue”) a kind of gelatin made from donkey skin — and demand for ejiao is killing literally millions of donkeys per year.

A new report from The Donkey Sanctuary in the U.K. shows just how massive this emerging global trade really is. At least 1.8 million donkey skins are being traded each year — but it could be between 4 million and 10 million. The trade is difficult to track and until now hasn’t been studied at such a large scale.

“Our report reveals the shocking scale of this global trade and how it’s causing a chain of welfare issues for the donkeys at every step, from sourcing to transport and finally to slaughter,” Mike Baker, chief executive of The Donkey Sanctuary, told The Dodo in a statement.

“Ejiao is a medicine with ancient roots and has been promoted as a product worthy of emperors,” the report says, explaining that traditional herbalists in China claim that ejiao can increase libido, slow aging and prevent disease. But ejiao has not been recognized as having medicinal properties by western medicine.

dead-donkeysThis belief means that donkeys are becoming more valuable for their skins, and therefore harder for rural families to afford. Even the loyal donkeys families already have are at risk. It is becoming more common for donkeys to be stolen right out of a family’s yard and slaughtered for their skins.

While exports of donkey skins come from South America and Asia, the largest source is in Africa, where donkeys (many of them stolen) are rounded up in “donkey markets,” where they are often packed together and left without shelter from the hot sun and without food or water, while they await slaughter.

Often, after the skins are removed, the bodies of the donkeys are burned.

“The market is far worse than I expected,” said Alex Mayers, program manager at The Donkey Sanctuary, from a donkey market in Tanzania last week. “There are about 700 donkeys basically coming here to wait to die. There’s no food or water. The donkeys are very stressed. There are lots of signs of dehydration and hunger.”

But there is hope.

Some countries have already taken action and banned exports of donkey skins, making their donkeys much safer. This includes the African countries of Niger and Burkina Faso, and Pakistan, in Asia.

The Donkey Sanctuary is calling for a stop to the trade of donkey skins worldwide, so that the damage already done to donkey populations and the people who depend on them can be assessed.

overview-mapIn particular, we urge other countries affected by this trade to follow the lead taken by Burkina Faso and Niger and ban the slaughter and export of donkeys for their skins,” Suzi Cretney, public relations manager for The Donkey Sanctuary, told The Dodo.

Cretney said that raising public awareness about where ejiao really comes from could help consumers make better choices.

“We are asking countries to follow the lead by Burkina Faso and Niger to end the slaughter and export of donkeys for their skins because it could help thousands, if not millions of donkeys — their welfare, and their real value supporting people’s livelihoods is at risk,” Baker said.

“This has to stop,” Mayers said, standing by a pen packed with donkeys awaiting their fate. “This absolutely just has to stop.”

To get action alerts about how you can help save these donkeys, join the campaign.

Click (HERE) for video and graphic photos!

https://www.thedodo.com/donkey-skin-trade-2230693220.html

Feel Good Sunday: Clydesdales Help Purina Deliver Surprise to Horse Shelter in Need

Source: Purina Mills TV

“Annually, many Americans wait to see the ultimate and final “Big Game” of the year which just concluded in our own backyard, here, in Houston.  But also there are many who may not be football fans but annually look forward to the next installation of the heart tugging, mini-sagas put forth by Budweiser featuring the gentle giants of the equine world, the Clydesdales.  This year, the fans of horses were disappointed when Budweiser benched the ponies and went a totally different direction and suffered poor reviews on their attempt to document immigration history.  The result was a lose/lose on both-sides with Bud slipping in the ratings and the Clydesdales fans left without a horse fix, so we are here to help correct that oversight, today.

We issue a “tissue alert” in advance and would also like to add that we are not endorsing any one horse rescue but instead tipping our hats to all of the fine organizations out there filled with good folks who donate their time, their money and their lives to the effort of finding good forever homes and futures for equines in need.  There is no need to identify them as you already know who you are and we love each and everyone of you bright points of compassion, caring and love.  May you have a wonderful ‘Feel Good Sunday’ and never give up the good fight.  Keep the faith!” ~ R.T.