Horse Slaughter House Leaves Reminders Years After Closing

Alan Van Zandt as published on

“They would kill horses and the smell was terrible.”

Old Kill Room

Old Kill Room

(KAUFMAN, Tex.) Paula Bacon is a fifth generation Kaufman, Texas resident. There’s a street named after her family and a historical office just off of the city square that belonged to her family.

Bacon is a former mayor of Kaufman and is proud of her community, except for one fact: Her city once was the location for a horse slaughter plant.

“(Kaufman) was perceived universally and just 100 percent as that place that you killed horses,” Bacon said. “It was just a tremendous negative to how people looked at our community.”

Dallas Crowne Packaging operated in Kaufman as a horse slaughter plant for 25 years. It closed in 2007, while Bacon was mayor, after funding for U.S.D.A. inspectors was discontinued.

Aside from the stigma of having a horse slaughter plant in town, Bacon says another problem with Dallas Crowne was its location.

“It’s the first thing you see when you come into our community,” Bacon said. “The fact that it backed up to a neighborhood was really awful.”

Robert Eldridge owns the land right next to the plant with his wife Jualine.

“Kill day was the worst day of all,” he said. “They would kill horses and the smell was terrible.”

Eldridge says it wasn’t a good place to raise a family. He maintains property values in the area have been going up since since the plant’s closure and he is personally investing in the area.

“You could hear them whinnying all night. You could hear them stomping in their corral.”

Bacon and others said there were also problems with waste generated from the plant.

“The plant was putting in the waste water system way more polluted water than was permitted,” Bacon said.

The Dallas Crowne facility has sat idle since 2007. A for sale sign sits out front of the building, but there are no takers…(CONTINUED)

Click (HERE) to read rest of story, see video and to comment

Healthy horses waiting to be slaughtered back when Kaufman's Dallas Crown horse slaughterhouse was in operation ~ photo courtesy of

Healthy horses waiting to be slaughtered back when Kaufman’s Dallas Crown horse slaughterhouse was in operation ~ photo courtesy of

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Video: What Happens When Horse Slaughter Comes to Town

2013 American Equine Summit ~ Paula Bacon

We will be featuring key presentations, everyday during this upcoming week.  The information contained within each is invaluable in fighting the horse-eaters and their propaganda.  Direct YouTube link for Paula’s presentation is:

Videos Released of 2013 American Equine Summit

Update from Equine Advocates

Equine Advocates

April 27, 2013

Video #1: Opening remarks from Jeffrey Tucker, EA Board Member, followed by welcome remarks from Susan Wagner, and speeches from the Summit’s Keynote Speaker, NY Assemblyman Jim Tedisco (sponsor of legislation A.3905) and NYS Senator Kathy Marchione (sponsor of legislation S.4615).

Video #2:   Victoria McCullough and Florida State Senator Joseph Abruzzo.  Ms. McCullough & Senator Abruzzo’s talk is titled “Making the Vital Changes Needed for America’s Horses Starting at the Top.”

Video #3 Patricia Hogan, VMD, ACVS of Hogan Equine.  Dr. Hogan’s talk is titled “Racing and Horse Slaughter – A Toxic Relationship.”

Video #4:  John Holland, President of the Equine Wefare Alliance.  Mr. Holland’s talk is titled “Understanding the Forces Behind Horse Slaughter.”

Video #5:  Ann M. Marini, Ph.D., M.D.  Dr. Marini’s talk is titled “Phenylbutazone and Human Health.”

Video #6:  Jo Anne Normile, author of Saving Baby, Founder of CANTER.  Ms. Normile’s talk is titled “Making Sure the Finish Line Isn’t the Slaughterhouse:  Racing’s Obligation to Ensure the Humane Fate of its Horses.”

Video #7:  Sue McDonough, Cruelty Consultant for the New York State Humane Association.  Ms. McDonough’s talk is titled “Moving Animal Cruelty Crimes to the Penal Law Section of the Criminal Code.”

April 28, 2013

Video #8:  Paula Bacon, former Mayor of Kaufman, Texas who shut down Dallas Crown, the last equine slaughterhouse in the nation.  Ms. Bacon’s talk is titled “What Happens when Horse Slaughter Comes to Town.”

Video #9:  Vickery Eckhoff, writer for FORBES and other publications.  Ms. Eckhoff’s talk is titled “Cheval My A** – Breaking Through Horse Slaughter B.S. with Journalists, Lawmakers and the Public.”

Video #10 Stephanie Graham, Domestic & Wild Horse Advocate.  Ms. Graham’s talk is titled “Update from Oklahoma.”

Video #11:  Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation.  Ms. Kathrens talk is titled “Wild Horses:  On the Trail to Freedom!”

Video #12:  R.T. Fitch, Wild Horse Advocate and Author of the Book & Bog “Straight From the Horses Heart.”  Mr. Fitch’s talk is titled “Outer Mongolia, Wild Horses and the Paradox of Horse Slaughter.”

Video #13:  US Congressman Chris Gibson of New York’s 19th District discusses H.R. 1094, the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act.

Video #14:  Kraig Kulikowski, DVM, P.A.. of Equine Sports Medicine.  Dr. Kulikowski’s talk is titled “Ethics and the Modern Veterinarian.”

Bio   Billy Smith, Teacher & Natural Horseman of Billy Smih Horsemanship.  Mr. Smith did a lecture demonstration with former PMU Mare, Kelli in our outdoor round pen. Due to poor audio, the video is not being posted.

2013 Annual American Equine Summit Unites Against Horse Slaughter

Horse slaughter goes against our very culture…”
EQUINE ADVOCATES LOGOCHATHAM, N.Y., March 27, 2013 –The 2013 Annual American Equine Summit will take place Saturday, April 27 – Sunday, April 28 at Equine Advocates Rescue & Sanctuary in Chatham, NY.  This Summit will unite the equine community’s foremost experts to speak about how to end horse slaughter which, although opposed by more than 80% of Americans, is now legal in the U.S.

Said Susan Wagner, founder/president of Equine Advocates, “Horse slaughter goes against our very culture. The outcry in Europe over horsemeat invading their mainstream food chain is a cautionary tale for what could happen here.  This unethical and unsavory practice exists because a small group of special interests within the horse industry want a way to dispose of inconvenient equines quickly and for profit, rather than take responsibility for them. It’s downright un-American and must be banned.”Some of the distinguished speakers coming from across the country to participate in the Summit include:

  • Patricia M. Hogan, VMD, ACVS (New Jersey): World-renowned equine surgeon will discuss the negative effects horse slaughter has on the racing industry.
  • Ann Marini, Ph.D., M.D. (Maryland): Award-winning physician will discuss her ground-breaking study on the dangers of the drug Phenylbutazone found in horses sold for human consumption.
  • U.S. Congressman Chris Gibson (R-NY): will discuss H.R. 1094, the Safeguard American Food Exports Act (SAFE).
  • John Holland (Virginia): Equine Welfare Alliance President will speak about understanding the forces behind horse slaughter.
  • R.T. Fitch (Texas): “Straight From the Horse’s Heart” author and blogger on the BLM’s agenda to destroy America’s Wild Horse and Burro Herds.
  • Paula Bacon (Texas) Former Mayor of Kaufman, TX and Vickery Eckhoff (New York), writer, on the issues and impact of opening a horse slaughterhouse.
  • Victoria McCullough (Florida), Horse advocate/Chairwoman of Chesapeake Petroleum and Florida State Senator Joseph Abruzzo will discuss how horse slaughter impacts food safety in the U.S. and Europe.

Pam McKissick Uncovers the Truth About Horse Slaughter

“Pam McKissick Without Reserve: Horse Slaughter” Radio Show to Air Locally in OKC on KOKC 1520-AM and in Tulsa on KTSO 94.1-FM This Sunday, March 17

NotOKTULSA, OK–(Marketwire – Mar 14, 2013) – Oklahoma House Bill 1999 and Senate Bill 375 allow USDA inspection of horsemeat… which means the horse slaughter industry can now do business in Oklahoma and horsemeat will be shipped to foreign countries for human consumption. Is that a good idea? The legislators say yes and 80 percent of the voting public say no. So how did these bills get passed? These questions and many more will be answered when “Pam McKissick Without Reserve: Horse Slaughter” airs locally this Sunday, March 17 on Oklahoma City’s KOKC 1520-AM at 9:00 a.m. and Tulsa’s KTSO 94.1-FM at 6:30 a.m. The one-hour show will also stream online at It is available free of charge to radio stations across the country through the Public Radio Exchange (

A third-generation Oklahoman, business leader, horse owner, rancher and veteran radio personality, Pam McKissick will host a thought-provoking one-hour show and will be joined by three of the most knowledgeable people on the topic who will share their insights and first-hand experiences. Her guests include Vickery Echoff, a U.S. journalist who has published 15 in-depth exposes on the horsemeat trade for Newsweek, The Daily Beast, and The Huffington Post; Mayor Paula Bacon of Kaufman, Texas who actually had the horse slaughter industry in her town along with pollution, crime and economic decline; and she’ll talk to Stephanie Graham one of the more informed horse advocates on what’s behind the rush to slaughter.

Pam and her three guests will give voice to “the other side” and will cover horsemeat in our food supply, life in a horse slaughter town in Texas and why Oklahoma legislature is putting a humane spin on an inhumane industry.

Repeating History: Remember Why Horse Slaughter was Banned

Source: Janet Pearson as published in Tulsa

For a lot of Oklahomans, the undeniable horribleness of horse slaughter is reason enough to maintain the state’s ban on the grisly business.

Eye of the SlaughteredBut of course, meat production is an inherently unpleasant undertaking. Which raises the question: Are there other good reasons to continue the ban?

Apparently leaders and residents of Texas, Tennessee, New Mexico, Oregon and Missouri, among other states, seem to think so.

Evidence from the experience of the two states where slaughterhouses most recently operated is resurfacing and is proving to be persuasive in those states where new slaughterhouses are being proposed. Slaughterhouse plans have been proposed in about a half-dozen states, including Oklahoma, since Congress lifted the ban on domestic horse meat inspections in late 2011, which paved the way for their return in the U.S.

Water pollution, the never-ending stench of blood, waste and offal, wastewater system problems, extensive legal battles and the negative stigma that drives out other businesses are only a few of the long-running problems these communities had to endure, in some cases for decades.

Compelling evidence

Very little horsemeat is consumed in the U.S., which means Americans will be paying for inspections of facilities that slaughter horses for consumption in other countries if any new facilities are built here. Currently, more than 100,000 American horses a year are transported to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico that serve foreign markets. The fact that there is little oversight over these transports, though that’s required by federal law, is reason to suspect there won’t be adequate supervision of new slaughterhouses either.

Aside from the humane arguments against commercial slaughter – which are indeed compelling – there are equally compelling economic and environmental arguments.

In the wake of the federal action allowing horse slaughterhouses, several bills that would repeal the state’s prohibition on the commercial slaughter of horses in Oklahoma are working their way through the Legislature. Other states have been contemplating such facilities, too, but generally the plans have been getting an unwelcome response.

A year ago in Mountain Grove, Mo., hundreds of area residents jammed a meeting room and booed and hissed as proponents of a horse slaughterhouse made their pitch. According to reports, the “egregious” damage done to the three communities that were near the now-closed facilities was persuasive in turning residents against the plan.

Last fall in Hermiston, Ore., residents also united to take a stand against a proposed plant. And this from townspeople who were OK with an Army chemical depot that “stockpiled rockets, bombs and land mines armed with nerve gas and mustard agents,” according to the Oregonian.

Mayor Robert Severson said his town is the fastest-growing community in eastern Oregon, and that the slaughter plant might discourage other new businesses from locating there.

“I’ve had people come up to me and say, “Thank God that you took a stand against the horse slaughter plant,” he said.

Last spring, New Mexico Gov. Susan Martinez and other state officials came out against a proposal to open a slaughterhouse there. And last fall, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill banning horse slaughter in that state.

‘No justification’

Former Mayor Paula Bacon displays outstanding fines and taxes still owed by Belgian Horse Slaughter plant ~ photo by Terry Fitch/courtesy of the Equine Welfare Alliance

Former Mayor Paula Bacon displays outstanding fines and taxes still owed by Belgian Horse Slaughter plant ~ photo by Terry Fitch/courtesy of the Equine Welfare Alliance

But by far the most compelling arguments against the renewed efforts to open slaughterhouses come from someone who knows too well what the consequences can be. Paula Bacon, former mayor of Kaufman, Texas, wrote a letter to Missouri officials last year explaining in agonizing detail what her town endured for more than two decades. City leaders finally pursued legal action and succeeded in closing the plant down. Though the plant has been closed for half a decade, Bacon continues her crusade against them, driven by her city’s dreadful experience.

She said the facility caused “significant and long-term hardship to my community,” and “from the beginning … caused problems both economically and environmentally.”

She cited local documentation of “decaying meat (which) provides a foul odor and is an attraction for vermin and carrion,” containers that carried “uncovered and leaking liquids,” and “significant foul odors during the daily monitoring of the area.”

The operator had “a very long history of violations to their industrial waste permit” and denied the city access to the property for required wastewater testing.

Reports from city inspectors found “blood flowing east and west in the ditches from (the) plant,” and noted that cleanup did not occur for nearly two months.

“Your system has not improved and subsequently it has gotten a lot worse,” wrote an inspector. And another: “Words cannot express the seriousness” of recent violations.

“Bones and blood lying in front of the facility” ended up in neighborhoring yards, attracting dogs and other animals.

The legal battles drained the city’s resources, consuming the entire legal department budget of $70,000 one year.

Bacon also relayed similar experiences that occurred at plants in Fort Worth and DeKalb, Ill. All three of the plants are now closed.

“I have mentioned only the pollution issue, but this is but one negative aspect of horse slaughter,” she continued. ” … Behind the privacy fences of these plants, trucks arrived continuously and on those trucks was every form of inhumane violation one can imagine, from mares birthing foals to horses with eyes dangling from their sockets and legs ripped from their bodies.”

“The more I learn about horse slaughter, the more certain I am: There is no justification for horse slaughter in this country. My city was little more than a doormat for the foreign-owned business that drained our resources, thwarted economic development and stigmatized our community. … There is no justification for spending American tax dollars to support this industry at the expense of Americans and our horses.”

Click (HERE) to visit Tulsa World and to Comment

Texas Senate Wants a Slaughterhouse!

by Jerry Finch ~ President/Founder of Habitat for Horses

The Reoccurring Nightmare has Returned

Jerry Finch of Habitat for Horses and R.T. Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation with several of Fitch’s rescued horses, one of which thinks little of anti-horse/pro-slaughter politicians

There is no doubt that a certain breed of human enjoys making beer money from killing horses. Add that fact to the horse owners who have bought the pro-slaughter arguments hook, line and sinker. Between those two, and a few politicians, we have the perfect ingredients for an attempt to do away with the current Texas law forbidding the sale of horse meat and an attempt to open a horse slaughterhouse within the borders of the State.

Do I need to ask for your thoughts on this? Probably not, but I will ask for your attendance at the hearing that the Texas Senate will be holding this Tuesday. We need supporters there, a LOT of them. There are three anti-slaughter speakers – Keith Dane,of HSUS, Paula Bacon, former mayor of Kaufman, home of Dallas Crown and myself, each allowed ten minutes to present our case.

However, anyone attending will be allowed to speak for three minutes, even if it’s, “My name is Duddly Doright and I oppose horse slaughter.” A lot can be said in three minutes and now is the time for your voice to be heard.

This is important, guys. They want this hearing kept quiet so they can sneak this in without raising too much noise. Former Senator Charlie Steinholm, the pro-slaughter lobbyist, will be speaking, filling the air with a million lies about unwanted horses and the safety of horse meat. We can’t let this happen.

Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Affairs

Tuesday, July 10th, at 1pm

Hearing Room EI.028

Chairman Senator Craig Estes

Austin, TX

Join me. Show up and show your support. A lot of pro-slaughter people will be there. We need our side represented. We killed the slaughterhouses once in this state, I don’t want to do it all over again.

More details coming.

Click (HERE) to visit HfH and to Comment

A Stroll Down “Horse Slaughter” Memory Lane

Forward by R.T. Fitch ~ volunteer president of the Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Evil Never Goes Away, It Only Recruits New Puppets

Back in 2005 when the Belgians were murdering American horses in both Texas and Illinois the Wall Street Journal published an article on the subject which the then mayor of one of the Texas towns blemished and wounded by a bloody slaughterhouse took issue with.  That mayor was the well respected and talented Paula Bacon of Kaufman, Texas.  Mayor Bacon’s fight with the foreign scourge that bloodied America’s soil is epic and she will forever be remembered as one of America’s great and iconic heroines. 

That same battle goes on today as even though the plants have been shuttered an elected official from distant Wyoming has reared her ugly head and aligned herself with the very same players that once darkened the American Equine Industry.  Wyoming State Rep. “Slaughterhouse” Sue Wallis has chosen to sleep with the foreign enemy of the American horse and to ignore the voice of the U.S. public while Mayor Bacon bends to no Belgian wallet and to this day stands in defense of the American way of life, the principles that make this country great and the common decency that sets us apart from those who prey upon the weak and helpless. 

Today’s post is a testimony to strength, honesty and commitment; virtues not understood nor possessed by those who center their lives on the killing and consumption of companion animals.

Hats off to Mayor Paula Bacon one of the last, true pioneer women of the American West.” ~ R.T.

Why Belgians Shoot Horses in Texas For Dining in Europe

Grass-Fed Meat Is Superior, But Slaughterhouses Draw Growing Criticism in U.S.


TOURCOING, France — Christian Dhalluin, a butcher in this rural
French hamlet near the Belgian border, dropped some ground meat into
a bowl and mixed it with a spicy mayonnaise sauce to make his
specialty: American horse meat tartare.

“I love America,” said Mr. Dhalluin. “The horse meat from the U.S. is
the best in the world.”

Some Americans would be distressed to hear that. A vocal
antislaughter movement argues that horses have a special place in
American culture and history and should not be killed for food.
Activists have spurred an energetic but uphill effort in Congress to
shut down the last three horse slaughterhouses in the U.S. All are
Belgian-owned and supply butchers around the world.

A U.S. ban would mean that Mr. Dhalluin would no longer be able to
buy the meat that vaulted him to a gold medal in a recent culinary
contest for “best sausage in the category of garlic.”

“Americans do not profit from slaughtering horses,” Rep. John
Sweeney, a New York Republican trying to close down the
slaughterhouses, said in House debate in June. “Foreigners eat our
horses, and foreign companies make money off the sale of meat.”

The revelation three years ago that the 1986 Kentucky Derby winner,
Ferdinand, ended up in a slaughterhouse in Japan, galvanized the U.S.
antislaughter movement — and caused two of the Belgian-owned plants
to take on lawyers and lobbyists. “Toss in Mr. Ed and Black Beauty,
and we have a real public-relations problem,” says

Belgian Horse Killer Olivier Kemseke

, a
Belgian horse-meat dealer whose family owns one of the Texas
slaughterhouses under attack.

Federal law doesn’t ban eating horse in the U.S., but the meat is now
no longer sold for human consumption domestically. It was marketed
during the meat shortages of World War II. A lack of demand later
dried up the domestic market, though horse meat remained on the menu
of the Harvard Faculty Club in Cambridge, Mass., until 1983. The chef
took it off when he could no longer get fresh meat; the steaks were
arriving frozen.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which inspects the horses headed
for foreign tables, says 58,736 horses were slaughtered in the U.S.
last year for human consumption, yielding 13.6 million pounds of meat
for export to the European Union, Japan, Mexico and Switzerland. A
decade ago, there were around a dozen U.S. facilities slaughtering
horses for export. Today, with demand declining, that’s down to just
two in Texas and one in Illinois.

Mr. Kemseke, 33 years old, is the third generation of his family to
be in the horse-meat business. He owns slaughterhouses in New Zealand
and Romania but likes the American quarter horse best. Ample grazing
land means more American horses eat natural grasses, enhancing their
flavor, he says.

n the 1990s, Mr. Kemseke lived in Kaufman, Texas, where he managed
the family’s U.S. slaughterhouse. He loved the ranching town, pop.
6,700, near Dallas. “I had a little cowboy thing going,” he says,
slapping his pants and shirt. “Wrangler jeans, the belt, the boots,
the Western shirt.” He cruised around town in a 1971 brown
Cadillac. “Everybody waved and called my name. I was living the
American life.”

Foes of horse slaughter portray the meat as an exotic delicacy for
foreigners, evoking images of Paris brasseries serving up American
horse meat alongside foie gras and champagne. But many consumers of
horse meat are more like Nicole Chaupin, a French homemaker in a
skirt and sneakers who ordered a small container of Mr. Dhalluin’s
freshly made horse tartare. “It’s good. It’s healthy,” Mrs. Chaupin
said of horse meat, which is slightly redder than beef, more tender
and gamier in flavor.

Historically, consumption of horse meat in Europe was associated with
poverty and desperation. The practice is believed to have begun when
Napoleon’s troops, fighting the Russians at the Battle of Eylau in
Poland in 1807, ran low on supplies and ate their horses. Horse meat
helped sustain Europeans during the deprivations of two World Wars.

Because horse meat is high in iron and low in fat, European doctors
today often prescribe it to treat anemia.

The American Quarter Horse Association, the American Veterinary
Medical Association and other groups support slaughter, arguing that
there are not enough rescue facilities to care for unwanted horses.
And in Washington, many farm-state lawmakers also want to keep the
slaughterhouses open, in part because closing them might embolden
animal-rights groups and vegetarians to demand a ban on the slaughter
of beef cattle, pigs and sheep. “What is the distinction between a
steer, a hog and a horse?” Iowa Rep. Steve King asked on the House
floor in June. The zebra he ate in Africa last year was excellent,
the Iowa Republican said.

Horses “are not like other animals,” says John Hettinger, a
thoroughbred breeder and auction-house owner in Saratoga Springs,
N.Y. “I’ve seen a Clydesdale without a halter on performing intricate
maneuvers in Madison Square Garden,” he says. “Now, I’d like a
cattleman to show me a cow that can do the same thing.”

Mr. Hettinger, 72, has spent $160,000 on Washington lobbyists in an
effort to ban the slaughter of horses, federal records show. The
thoroughbred auction house he controls, Fasig-Tipton Inc., once sold
Man o’ War, whose racing career from 1919 to 1920 is considered one
of the greatest in American history. “I’ve made my living off
horses,” says Mr. Hettinger, “and this is my way of giving back.” The
Texas plants have spent about the same amount in an effort to
preserve it, according to Mr. Kemseke. The Texas slaughterhouses’
lobbyist, Jim Bradshaw, has made more than $27,000 in campaign
donations to pro-slaughter lawmakers, federal records show.

While the debate goes on, an American Airlines flight takes off every
day from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, headed for Paris’s
Charles DeGaulle airport with a load of horse carcasses in its cargo
belly. After passing French inspection, the U.S. horse meat from Mr.
Kemseke’s plant is driven in refrigerated trucks to rural Rekkem,
Belgium, where it is repackaged and shipped to butchers. Some
especially choosy butchers, like Mr. Dhalluin, come to the plant’s
freezers to pick their own cuts.

Mr. Kemseke uses local horses, too. In a run-down neighborhood in
central Brussels called Anderlecht, famous for its abattoirs, Mr.
Kemseke watched recently as 200 frightened Belgian horses were
unloaded from trailers, kicking and snorting, and tied to iron rails.
Wearing a butcher’s robe, he walked among the animals, lifting tails
and slapping flanks, making notes on a pad about which to purchase
for slaughter.

Horses are slaughtered in the same manner as cattle: with a metal
bolt shot into their heads. The antislaughter activists call this
method particularly inhumane. “If our friends in Belgium want to eat
horse meat, I’m not trying to dictate that they do or not do it,”
says Skip Trimble of the Texas Humane Legislation Network. “But we in
America, who view the horse differently, should not supply them with
our horses.”

So far, economic arguments have prevailed over the emotional appeals
of the antislaughter forces. Mr. Bradshaw, the slaughterhouse
lobbyist, tells lawmakers the Texas plants spend $6 million a year
shipping horse meat with American Airlines and other U.S. carriers.

Even the oversized American flag at the American Legion post that
greets drivers entering Kaufman is paid for by Mr. Kemseke’s horse-
slaughter business. “So they want to close us down?” Mr. Kemseke
says. “Then I don’t know where Kaufman’s gonna get their next flag.”

Write to Mary Jacoby at

Mayor Paula Bacon’s reply:

To the Editor
The Wall Street Journal
RE:  article “Why Belgians Shoot Horses in Texas….”

Former Mayor Paula Bacon displays outstanding fines and taxes still owed by Belgian Horse Slaughter plant ~ photo by Terry Fitch/courtesy of the Equine Welfare Alliance

I read with great interest your recent article on horse slaughter.

I am mayor of Kaufman, I have learned a great deal about horse slaughter, and I can say without reservation that the horse slaughter industry causes significant hardship to my community.

You state that “So far, economic arguments have prevailed over the emotional appeals of the anti-slaughter forces.”

If economic arguments had in fact prevailed, then the screen door ought to have banged the backside of Dallas Crown 25 years ago as they departed Kaufman. Instead they have used my city like a door mat.

In January 1986, then Mayor Harry Holcomb said, “Quite frankly, we don’t want you here!” when Dallas Crown came to the City Council with a plan to re-open. With zoning and vested rights they did re-open, but the city manager assured, “if they violate ordinances, we can close them down” [Kaufman Herald, 01/23/86].

Not so, as it turns out.  Dallas Crown has a long history of violating ordinances, as do the other two horse slaughter plants in Fort Worth and DeKalb.  “Dallas Crown continually neglects to perform within the standards required of them,” a recent city staff memo advises, one of dozens of such memos.

But the city doesn’t have the resources to outspend Dallas Crown in legal wrangling.  Recently, after receiving 29 citations for failing waste-water tests 60% of the time, Dallas Crown demanded 29 separate jury trials.

Then Dallas Crown banned the city from testing for 9 months–though it is required by law, signed agreement and court order.  Upgrades to the Wastewater Treatment Plant, which said testing is designed to protect, will cost 2,100 sewer customers $6 million.

A repellent history of violations that includes blood spills, putrid odors, and horse remains in nearby yards continues to this day.

As unwilling host to a horse slaughter plant, I believe my city should have a voice in the economic argument.  In Kaufman, horse slaughter is the reverse of economic development.  Dallas Crown drains our resources, thwarts economic development and stigmatizes our community.

All 3 of the horse slaughter plants in the U.S. employ a total of fewer than 200 people.  They cost American taxpayers $5 million annually in federal funding for oversight, USDA inspections, transport inspections, etc, according to federal officials.  There is no economic justification for horse slaughter.

In your article Monsieur Kemseke, one of a long line of managers who “neglected to perform within the standards required of them” and an owner of Dallas Crown, notes that he paid for the over-sized flag that greets drivers coming into town, and wonders who will buy the next one if Dallas Crown closes.

Kemseke’s cavalier and insincere concern over our financial ability to purchase an American flag perfectly illustrates the horse slaughter “industry” in the U.S.:  Horse slaughter ridicules American values while gouging our resources.  The flag does not make up for the economic and stigmatizing drain that Dallas Crown has brought our community. A $100 flag in the face of the $6 million cost to taxpayers? Perfect. This is the brand of corporate citizen Dallas Crown is to Kaufman, and the kind of industry horse slaughter is to the U.S.

Please. Spare us from any more of this supposed charity.

Paula Bacon
Mayor, City of Kaufman


Dear Horse Advocate: An Open Letter from Former Mayor Paula Bacon

By Paula Bacon, former Mayor of Kaufman, TX

The Former Mayor of Kaufman, TX Gives Tips to Help the Horses

Dear Horse Advocate,

When I was mayor of a city with a horse slaughter plant, the support, information and backing of horse advocates encouraged me, strengthened my convictions— you were essential to me and frankly kept me going. I want to thank you for your advocacy for horses. It is because of you that elected officials feel compelled or wise to support a ban on horse slaughter.

You are receiving this email because of your advocacy and because one or more members of the House of Representatives from your state is a good candidate to support and/or co-sponsor H.R. 2966 banning horse slaughter.  (Click HERE to find the Members that represent YOU)

This week congressional members are in their home districts.  This is an important opportunity for us to speak to members directly rather than trying to work through young staffers in D.C. 

Can you attend a public meeting or make an appointment to meet with the member this week? Also, do you know of other advocates in your state (constituents, friends, relatives of constituents, etc., in the member’s district) who could meet with the member?

It is very important.  We need as many people as possible advocating a ban on horse slaughter to their legislators.  We have strength in numbers.

Please call one of the Congressional member’s local district offices and find out when public meetings are scheduled for the representative. Or call and make an appointment to speak with the member personally this week. At a minimum, would you call, have others call, and speak directly with the member?

May I suggest that you choose and be ready with 3 major points, keeping your message simple and straightforward. You may want to thank the member for past support, and then to mention that…

  • Recent polls show 80% of Americans support a federal ban on horse slaughter.  Results crossed gender, political affiliation, urban and rural areas and geographic location. In our current political climate of divisiveness, a horse slaughter ban has broad political consensus.
  • The cost to taxpayers is millions annually, yet the market is foreign as are plant interests/ownership.  In these difficult economic times taxpayers would be forced to subsidize an un-American market with foreign interests and ownership that pays almost nothing literally in taxes and that represents a very small number of dangerous, minimal pay jobs, and which Americans do not support. This makes no sense.
  •  99% of horse owners choose to euthanize rather than having their horse butchered; horse slaughter is not a service offered to mom & pop horse owners.
  •  Horse slaughter is not a service or euthanasia. According to the USDA, only 4% of horses at slaughter are 10 years old or older;
  • The slaughter market encourages abandonment. Recent events in the news show horses rejected at the border are being dumped by kill buyers.
  •   Bring a copy of Trent Lott’s recent article on horse slaughter.  Lott is a highly respected former Congressman. Your lawmaker is the perfect audience for Lott’s message.
  •  If you have children’s letters, please share copies with the legislator; they are often very effective.

Practice your message aloud, anticipate concerns from your particular congressional representative.  A concise, effective rebuttal may be simply, ‘That makes no sense when you consider that…’ Stay COOL. Emotional doesn’t help us.

Remember to thank the legislator for past support and that you and thousands of voters look forward to him/her co-sponsoring H.R. 2966.

Thank you for your invaluable help. I apologize for not being more timely. All the same, Good luck! Please email me back with updates or if I can help you with any information.
Best regards,

Paula Bacon

“Write me, personally, for Paula’s email address at”~ R.T.

Texas Mayor Paula Bacon Kicks Some Horse Slaughter Tail

by Vickery Eckhoff, live on Forbes

Paula Bacon Tells It Like It Is!

Every small-town mayor is bedeviled by something. For Paula Bacon of Kaufman, Texas, it was Dallas Crown, which slaughtered horses next door to her friend Mary Nash’s 40-acre farm off Highway 175.

Dallas Crown was shuttered during Bacon’s last term in office after a 20-year legal battle over environmental violations that constantly overwhelmed the city’s wastewater plant with horse blood and discharge. But news that horse slaughter plants may be returning to the U.S in 2012 has Bacon speaking out about what one horse slaughter plant with 46 non-unionized employees can do to a small town of 6,700 hard-working people.

“You’d be better off with a lead smelter plant and sexually-oriented businesses,” says the fifth-generation resident, citing environmental issues along with the stigma attached to horse slaughter.

Bacon, whose family owns P.G. Bacon Lumber Co., (“Friendly service since 1896”), offers a cautionary tale for any town thinking that horse slaughter will benefit their communities.

“Five million dollars in federal funding was spent annually to support three foreign-owned horse slaughter plants: Dallas Crown, Beltex in Fort Worth and Cavel in DeKalb, Illinois,” claims Bacon. “When Dallas Crown’s tax records came to light in the city’s legal struggle, we found they’d paid only $5 in federal taxes on a gross income of over $12 million. They liked to say they were good corporate citizens. But it is my belief they were more like corporate thugs.”

Life In A Slaughter Town

The twice-elected Bacon has plenty of gruesome stories to share, dating back to the ’80’s, when the Belgian-owned Dallas Crown put in a pump to force horse blood through the city sewer system and burst the pipes. Within hours, horse blood backed up into residents’ bathtubs and bubbled up through city streets.

Then there were the out-in-the-open offal piles, ever-present flies, vultures and stench lingering inside the Presbyterian hospital, daycare center, churches and, of course, people’s homes. Yet despite a litany of gothic horrors in the community, Dallas Crown’s violations and operations continued unabated until February, 2007. That’s when the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals finally shut it down, citing a 1949 Texas law making horse slaughter illegal that had somehow been buried and forgotten.

The decision brought to an end the constant lawsuits, injunctions to cease and desist and legal bills. “During that time, legal expenses consumed 20% of the town’s property tax revenue. That floored me,” says Bacon, describing the day she pulled the city manager’s records while he was out of the office and tallied up the bills.

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