Stupid Alert: Just When You Think It Couldn’t Get Any More Cruel and Insane for Wild Horses and Burros

“A saying from my work culture simply goes something like this, ‘If you see it, you own it’ and with that being said, I cannot in good conscious pass idly by and ignore a letter to an editor published on a Big AG website, recently.

Mobile Slaughter Units answer to wild horse problem’ (posted below)

Two simple issues are immediately brought to light when reading that headline (of course there are many but to keep it short and sweet)

  1. What sort of demented and twisted soul would write about a concept that is both illegal and cruel?
  2. What sort of editorial staff would consider publishing such trash?

Well, to shed some light on the first question the writer of this article hails from Hermiston, OR which bears the blackeye of being home to Dave Duquette, remember him, lap dog to the now dead Sue Wallis known better as “Slaughterhouse” Sue?  Ole Dave has been trying to legally kill and eat horses for years and the folks in Hermiston have blocked his drivel about attempting to open up such a sick operation in their rural town.  Perhaps this author is the singular friend that Duquette has in town…she talks just like him.

The second question is more difficult to answer, was it for it’s shock value as the rest of the articles are boring and mundane?  Don’t know, but it is not surprising that a horse hating letter would pop up in such publication that in part caters to the welfare rancher and their sympathizers.

None the less, take a second and read the article, if you have the stomach for it,then pass by the page where it is posted and comment directly to the letter at their website.  (Posting comments to the author here will not go to the site)  Mobile slaughter units answer to wild horse problem

I am certain that the poor demented darling who penned this note is all excited about having something published, first time for everything, and that she has told her family and friends how wonderful she is…but for the sake of the wild horses and burros, let’s prove otherwise.” ~ R.T.

Mobile slaughter units answer to wild horse problem

This is the latest tourist attraction for our Public Lands? A horse organ dump ~ actual photo of dump outside of Canadian Horse Slaughter Plant

This is the latest tourist attraction for our Public Lands? A horse organ dump ~ actual photo of dump outside of Canadian Horse Slaughter Plant

The Capital Press and the East Oregonian during the past year have had articles on mobile slaughter trailers. As I read these articles I thought this might be the answer to the surplus wild (feral) horse problem faced by the BLM. They are presently holding 47,000 horses in corrals and feeding them at a cost to taxpayers of $50 million per year. I have advocated that these surplus animals be slaughtered and fed to the poor.

After visiting Iceland and rediscovering how savory horse meat can be and learning how nutritional it is, I propose it be marketed as a health food. These horses exist because of the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971. The BLM is charged with maintaining an Appropriate Management Level which presently is 26,715 animals.

Currently it is estimated there are over 67,000 roaming the land, and they are increasing at 15 to 20 percent per year. These numbers are damaging the range, waterways, grouse habitat and are fouling remote wildlife water holes.

Those animals found to be exceeding the AML should be removed, but holding them in corrals would seemingly be violating the spirit of the Wild Free-Roaming Act. Slaughter is the only logical solution and these mobile units might be the answer.

In as much as the BLM is spending over $1,000 per horse per year it would seem they would see the value of spending the $70,000 per unit mentioned in the East Oregonian article. I could see the BLM leasing these units to enterprising individuals. I can see Oregon Food Bank utilizing one or more of these units since they are always short of meat. Doing the math, it is obvious that it will take a number of these units.

Since these animals do not receive medications they would be an excellent source of an organic health food. In a recent survey 64 percent of respondents say would not eat horse meat but this would indicate that 36 percent might. Winners would be the local fabricators who would build the units and the butcher-operators who would gain steady employment. People who would like to obtain a tasty source of a nutritionally superior meat free of additives could do so.

Those who might oppose a slaughter house in their back yard might favor horse slaughter if it was removed from their neighborhood. These units might also give the wimps in the BLM and Congress the courage to do the right thing.

Carlisle Harrison

Hermiston, Ore.

Please post comments at:

Kenya Agency Revokes Donkey Meat License

By JAMES KARIUKI as published on

Kenyan Agency Gets It Right?”

Remains of a donkey found illegally slaughtered in Nakuru, Kenya on December 10, 2013. PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

A Kenyan environmental regulatory agency has cancelled a license granted to a butcher for allegedly using his premises to slaughter donkeys.

The $173,000 premises in Naivasha, 100km west of Nairobi, was meant for the slaughter of cows and sheep only.

The National Environmental Management Authority (Nema) said the trader had abused the terms of the original licence, and called on the police to investigate him.

The man was also accused of being behind the booming trade in donkey meat.

Nema’s county director Winfred Osumo warned that any licenses issued by his office must be used for the intended purpose only and any changes must be communicated to them first, the facility re-inspected and a new license issued.

“You do not have our officials inspect your designs for a slaughterhouse for cows, sheep and goats then turn to the veterinary department for a donkey license. We have stringent rules that govern handling of various types of meat. The trader must forthwith halt construction until he has clarified the matter to us,” said Mr Osumo.

He added that before a license on donkey meat is issued, one needs to conduct sensitization campaigns among Kenyans since it was a taboo to eat donkey saying: “since time immemorial, people have never accepted and they abhor eating of donkey meat”.

Last week, the license holder announced a joint venture with Chinese traders to put up the slaughter house saying the facility intended to employ 30 people directly and another 100 on casual basis with a planned expansion next year.

A veterinary officer in the county contradicted the agency saying consumption of donkey meat was not harmful to humans and that the Kenya Government has issued trading licenses since 1999.

The regulatory agency said all slaughterhouses in Naivasha would be re-inspected to ensure they conform to the terms of the license.

Click (HERE) to comment directly at the Africa Review

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Pro-Horse Group Releases Paper on Horse Slaughter

From the pages of Horse Talk

Americans Against Horse Slaughter State the Facts

Many American horses go to abattoirs because unsuspecting owners sell their horses to kill buyers, a group opposed to the slaughter trade says.

Americans Against Horse Slaughter has released a “White Paper” looking at the industry.

It acknowledges that while some horses are sold directly into slaughter by what it calls irresponsible owners, many arrive at slaughterhouses through livestock auctions where unsuspecting owners sell their horses to kill buyers, often for minimal sums of money.

“Many of these horses are faithful and trusting pets whose owners list them for sale in ads where kill buyers lurk.

“Despite the closing of US slaughter plants, the buyers continue to purchase and haul as many horses as possible and transport them to Mexico and Canada for slaughter.

“Horses are often acquired by kill buyers without truthful or full disclosure,” the white paper says.

Animals can become difficult to trace after the auction process, making it nearly impossible for law enforcement to prosecute the thieves, the group said.

Kill buyers can earn up to $US1000 a horse, depending on the slaughter plant.

The group also criticised what it said was overbreeding in the thoroughbred horse racing industry and the quarter horse industry.

Click (HERE) to visit Horse Talk

14 Year Old Campaigns to Save U.S. Horses

Letter by Cheyenne Little as it appears in The Union of Grass Valley, CA

How can someone so young get it so right?

Cheyenne Little, 14 years old, and her China

My name is Cheyenne Little, I’m a 14-year-old girl who lives in Grass Valley. You might remember me as the kid who wrote the “More than a little help” article a few months back.

My horse China’s doing great, I’m doing great. But there’s one thing that’s not so great. And I’m asking for the help and support of my community to change that status.

I recently started a petition against the reopening of equine slaughter in the U.S. Before equine slaughter was made illegal in 2007, over 25,000 horses each year were being processed and shipped out of the country for human consumption.

Perfectly healthy, well trained, young horses were being killed. Horses just like China. That doesn’t seem very fair.

Slaughtering horses is a lot different from slaughtering cows and pigs. For one, their skulls are much thicker. When shot they are not actually dead. In Mexico, they are stabbed in the back and wither until paralyzed. Or their jugular veins are cut so they bleed to death.

Worst of all, for the meat to be considered human consumption grade, they must begin gutting the horse within a certain amount of seconds. The horses are still alive when they are hung, sliced open, and gutted. They can feel all of it. There’s currently no way for the horses to be pronounced dead before the allotted time is up.

The conditions that the horses are kept in before being slaughtered is cruel. They are loaded onto trucks and shipped with tons of horses kicking and biting them for hours on end. When they are unloaded, they must stand in manure where their able to smell their friends being taken away, being destroyed one by one.

A common misconception is that racehorses and old crippled horses dominate slaughter houses. That’s not true. Outgrown ponies, unbreedable mares, backyard geldings, and best friends whose owners have moved on to college surround the young, healthy horses in the small corrals.

Horses just like China end up being butchered for 80 cents per pound (2011 rates) and eaten in foreign countries. If China had turned out to be dog food, I would still be looking for my dream horse.

I wouldn’t have known that I was born to become a large animal vet. I would still be looking for a purpose. China gave me one. And right now my purpose is to stop the abuse going on in equine slaughter houses.

My online petition’s goal is to stop equine slaughter in the U.S., but already it’s gone worldwide. People in Germany, Australia, and more are signing it.

My petition is for the U.S., so why are people from different countries supporting it? Because people all over the world think it’s wrong! Horses are pets and best friends. I’ve seen children who are unable to take a step ride a horse for an hour twice a week and be able to walk for 15 minutes after each session.

What horses are used in therapeutic riding? Slaughter horses. Old, worn out, 30-year-old horses that are now just costing money to feed. If that horse had gone to slaughter that kid wouldn’t be able to walk. Slaughter is a cause everyone is fighting against, together. As a community, state, country, and apparently world.

So what am I asking? Please look at my blog at

There’s a link to my online petition where you can sign your name. Then what? E-mail, Facebook, and Twitter out the link to as many people as possible using the share button located on the page. And be sure to check out the blog frequently for updates and to see videos.

Each signature counts and yours really does help. The horses can’t talk so we have to be their voices. It takes just 60 seconds to sign your name and help end the cruelty in the equine slaughter houses.

For more information on ending equine slaughter in the U.S., please be sure to visit my blog.

Simple Math Butchers Horse Slaughter Terrorist Propaganda

OpEd by R.T. Fitch ~ Author/President Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Do the Math and the Horse-Eaters Tank

The God of Horse Slaughter Fanatics

When it comes to the years that we have all been working to ensure that predatory horse slaughter stays out of the United States I rank way down on the food chain of the “Who’s Who in Equine Advocacy.”  There are many more knowledgeable and eloquent individuals such as Jerry Finch and John Holland, and many others, who carried the torch long before my eyes were opened and my heart-broken by the butchering of companion animals for the profit of foreign interests.  But one thing that I do possess is a nose for business and, at the very least, the ability to know what makes a product profitable versus being a dog on the market and it does NOT take a PhD in economics to see that horse slaughter not only tanked in this country but it will never amount to anything, again.

We could take some time and examine the lack of credibility and the total expendability of the disposable non-educated who act as the voice for special interest groups in expounding on the untruths of how wonderful and great eating your best equine friends can be, but we won’t, today.  Likewise we could look at their backers and dig into the why, what, when and where they exploit and perpetuate lies against American horses in order to further another bloody agenda that they hold near and dear to their stone cold hearts but we won’t, let’s save that for desert for another day.

Instead, let’s look at some grade school math that the horse-eaters don’t want the public to be aware of, the truth about why horse slaughter was never successful in the U.S. and never will be.  Remember, the last three plants in the U.S. were owned by foreign companies who collected the money and sold tainted horse flesh to foreign interests.  Virtually nothing went into the local communities and nothing enriched the United States.  Horse slaughter was and will always be a total failure.

But to the math;  yesterday Purdue University released the results of a study they conducted on the impact of equine businesses in the small, mid-western state of humble Indiana and lo and behold they found out that the business of living horses produced in excess of 2 Billion, yes BILLION, dollars in the state over the calendar year of 2010.  What?  I thought the horse industry had crumbled since the crappy little foreign slaughter houses closed, even though more horses are slaughtered now, across the border, than before they were closed.  What could this mean in a state that is not even known for its horses?

Well, its simple folks and this is not something that someone needs a college education to figure out, you just need to be able add two plus two to figure out that a LIVE horse is worth more than a DEAD horse any day of the week.  Any horse, regardless of breed, discipline or disposition, costs money to maintain and by spending that money a variety of businesses profit from the live equines that they support.  Feed stores, Vets, tack supplies, trailer businesses, and the list goes on and on.  A viable and healthy horse sold into slaughter, that is all the kill buyers look for, is a dead-end, no pun intended, for everyone including the horse.  For a few hundred bucks it is the end of the line for the horse and any equine business that supports the industry, full stop.

Lets allow the numbers to talk and only use Indiana’s figure of $2,000,000,000.00 as a base line.

If kill buyers got, lets say, $500.00 per horse, which is very high, to sell them off to a torturous and inhumane slaughter plant how many horses would Indiana have to sell to slaughter to reap the same benefits as dealing with an economy centered around caring for live horses?  Do have any idea?  The answer is 4,000,000 horses.  Yup 4 MILLION horses would have to be sold to slaughter to reach 2 billion in gross sales.

Hmmmm, nationwide the kill buyers are sending about 125,000 horses across the border to their deaths which only accounts for $62,500,000 in gross, really gross, national sales.  Not real spell binding stuff and when the three plants were open they were stealing the dreams from about 100,000 horses a year.  Not a real money-maker and maybe, just maybe the reason there was not a single U.S. owned company was dumb enough to be involved with horse slaughter in the U.S..  Is any of this making any sense?

It probably makes damn good sense to the 75% of the U.S. public that is vehemently opposed to brutally slaughtering and eating America’s best friend but it sure seems to fly over the heads of the minority who have turned killing horses into a fanatical cult which extols bloody barbarism, uses fraud to further their cause, ignores proven science and threatens the food supply of the U.S. if not the entire world.

And for what cause; simple…money and the need to feed narcissistic egos.  There are a lot of emotionally challenged individuals out there and it is a crying shame that they not only have a collective voice, but often times their insane din drowns out the call of the sane.

That is something that we must work on and work on, NOW!

Canada To Tighten Controls On U.S. Slaughter-Bound Horses

Article from the pages of

Alleged Attempt to Ensure Humane Transportation

Canada has tightened controls around horses entering the country for slaughter to ensure they are transported humanely.

Tens of thousands of horses cross into Canada from the United States each year bound for horse abattoirs, with no such plants operating in the US.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has announced new measures to verify that horses are being transported humanely in accordance with its Health of Animals Regulations.

From January 1, 2012, shipments of feeder and slaughter horses entering Canada from the US by road will be required to pass through one of eight designated ports of entry.

Shipments will be accepted only during the the agency’s regular hours of operation.

The designated ports of entry have appropriate unloading facilities for horses and are staffed by veterinarians working for the agency.

No other Canadian border ports of entry will accept slaughter-bound horses, it said.

Imports of other types of horses, such as riding or breeding horses, are unaffected by the change.

All shipments must be presented during regular agency hours of operation to allow for inspection if required.

Slaughter horse shipments require agency veterinary inspections at the border. Transporters must arrange an appointment for inspection at least 24 hours before arriving at the port of entry.

The eight designated ports of entry are listed in the accompanying graphic.

Fringe Horse Eating Cult Feeds Off Food Network Frenzy

(The News As We See It) by R.T. Fitch ~ Author/Director of HfH Advisory Council

“Slaughterhouse” and “Doink” Drop their Drawers Again!

The Duke of Doink and Slaughterhouse Sue

In a recent press release the Equine Welfare Alliance echoed the outrage of the American and Canadian people at the production of a Top Chef Canada episode airing May 16th on the Food Network where the featured “classic French dish” is created with drug tainted horse meat.  Likewise Steven Long of Horseback Magazine covered the story of how a growing swell of Facebook users were compelling the Food Network to pull the upcoming episode.

The Huffington Post has picked up on this disgusting story along with many other news agency’s but right on cue, desperate for attention with butcher cleavers in hand, renegade Wyoming Rep. “Slaughterhouse” Sue Wallis and her clueless lapdog Dave “Doink” Duquette open their bloody mouths and sic their sick minions on the sane animal lovers of North America.

Using the Facebook page from their defunct Horse Slaughter fest, held post-holiday season in January, Slaughterhouse and Doink show their mutual lack of any moral compass by posting the following tripe:

· Summit of the Horse    “The animal rights crowd are using their usual abusive tactics to hammer on the Food Network because they are going to feature horse meat in a show on traditional French cooking. They are attacking their sponsors and the show itself trying to get them to take it down before it happens. We need as many of you to contact them directly to show support. Go to find links. Thanks!”

Most telling of all are the handful of comments coming back from their meager list of brain dead followers: (names removed to protect the mentally challenged)

“So long as the slaughter is overseen by a professional inspector, there is no real threat of abuse. Don’t take traditions and cultures away from people. That’s not right. Why arent these people trying to save all the chickens and cows slaughtered if they are so conscerned about slaughter methods?”

“I asked some of them that same question. They told me it is different cause cows don’t know what is happening to them, lol! I told them they were full of it,they can’t be against one and ok with the other, they are all livestock, horses are no better then cows,or goats ,ect.”

” I sent letters of support to all three…. of all the livestock, pigs are the most intelligent. If any one wanted to use the intelligence card @Billie they picked the wrong type of animal to argue it with. Granted I am not saying horses aren’t intelligent, but pigs win that contest by far.”

“I didn’t know that about pigs, thats pretty cool!”

” Horse Meat….It’s Whats for Dinner!”

This dialog, and initial claim, is why these idiots are their own worse enemies and a tremendous boost for sane and normal individuals; between the bunch of them they can barely come up with a sentence that either makes sense or has correct grammar and spelling.

So, for all of you self-actualized humans out there that don’t refer to the 4th grade as their “Senior Year” you still have time to visit the Food Network’s Facebook page and at the very least get them to publish a disclaimer as to the dangers of the carcinogenic drugs that are present in butchered U.S. horse flesh…they can do that at least…but then again, if there are those that are stupid enough to eat a friend, then the hell with them.

Contact Food Network Top Chef and the sponsors GE Monogram and  Presidents Choice tell them horses are not food, that horse slaughter is cruel and barbaric and should be banned. Urge them to pull this May 16 episode.

UPDATE: President’s Choice not only Sponsors this mess but they SELL HORSE MEAT

Horse meat has long been a tough sell, but it’s time we learned to appreciate its healthy attributes. On the menu: horse meat tartare, horse meat burgers with fresh goat cheese, horse steak with Béarnaise sauce, Wellington-style horse tournedos and, to satisfy your sweet tooth, a nice cream dessert. Chef Dany Carrier.

Horse Advocates Call Foul on Food Network

Eating Tortured Animals Tops Episode’s Synopsis

Chicago (EWA) – Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA) joins its Canadian partner, Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC) in calling for the withdrawal of an episode scheduled to air Monday, May 16 on the Food Network’s program Top Chef Canada.

The program features “French Cuisine” including horse meat and foie gras, angering both horse advocates and animal welfare groups across the globe. The timing of this episode coincides with CHDC’s May Equine Awareness campaign.

In choosing these menu items, the program has completely ignored the cruelty involved in their production. Foie gras is diseased duck liver produced by force feeding ducks using a feeding tube thrust down their throats several times a day until they are too fat to even stand up. The liver becomes hugely swollen in an attempt to deal with the process.

Horse meat in Canada comes from horses that often suffer incredible abuse even before they arrive at slaughter. Beyond this, horse meat is likely to contain drugs that are illegal in food animals.

Last year, renowned chef at Pangaea Restaurant in Toronto, Martin Kouprie, removed horse meat from the menu because slaughterhouses cannot tell him where the horses come from and whether the meat is free of toxic substances. “I cannot in good conscience serve that to my customers,” said Kouprie. “Every ingredient in my kitchen has a story, and if I don’t know that story, I cannot serve it.”

The investigations into two of the major horse slaughter plants in Canada last year revealed horrific conditions and has caused outrage across the world. A recent European Union Food and Veterinary Office investigation into the horse slaughter plants in Mexico revealed numerous serious violations including drug residues in the meat.

North American horses are not raised or regulated as food animals. “Consumers need to be aware of the health dangers of eating horse meat and the cruelty the horses endure before ending up on their plates.” commented John Holland, president of EWA.

“Many Canadians consider horses to be as dear to their hearts as dogs and cats,” adds Sinikka Crosland, Executive Director of the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition. “Companion animals are not likely to be well-accepted as menu items in our country.”

The Equine Welfare Alliance believes that the choice of horse meat was not an accidental social misjudgment, but more likely the result of influence from a well funded public relations effort on the part of horse slaughter supporters aimed at gaining acceptance for the meat and desensitizing viewers to horse slaughter in general. Case in point, The Toronto Observer also ran a story on May 11 defending the consumption of horsemeat.

It is in the best interest of the Food Network and consumers to withdraw the episode promoting food that is dangerous to consumers and cruel to equines. Fortunately, the French have many excellent sauces and dishes to choose from that do not involve cruelty and carcinogens as ingredients.


Contact Food Network Top Chef and the sponsors GE Monogram and  Presidents Choice tell them horses are not food, that horse slaughter is cruel and barbaric and should be banned. Urge them to pull this May 16 episode.

Horse Eating Wyoming Politician Gets It Wrong, Again

(In My Outraged Opinion) by R.T. Fitch ~ Author/Director of HfH Advisory Council

“Slaughterhouse” Sue Wallis Fails at Interpreting Proposed Bill

"Yummmm, horse meat taste good! Slaughterhouse like horse meat!"

With vision clouded by ignorance, narrow-mindedness, prejudice and lack of morals Wyoming State Rep. “Slaughterhouse” Sue Wallis and her main squeeze Dave “Doink” Duquette got themselves so wrapped up in another state’s business that they failed to even read or understand a proposed bill that was voluntarily withdrawn.

Maine State Representative, Gary Knight, had proposed a bill, LD 1075, which would ban the selling of and transporting of horses to slaughter AND contained a provision for a registry that would track ownership of horses that were to be exported from the state and there was a $5,000 penalty for failing to register said horses.

The issue of the registry and associated $5,000 dollar fine became a lightning rod for negative public opinion so Rep. Knight voluntarily pulled the bill.

As reported by the Bangor Maine Daily News:

Rep. Gary Knight, R-Livermore Falls, said he will resubmit the bill next winter. “This will now give me time to create a cleaner bill,” he said, referring to his wanting to remove language that didn’t reflect the measure’s original goal.

Knight said all of the registration provisions will be removed from the next bill. He said they were unacceptable to many in the equine industry.

“I must have received more than 300 angry emails and calls,” he said Friday.’

“Slaughterhouse” and Doink have taken this to be some sort of victory for the bloody horse eaters and have released a communiqué to the seven? (7) members of their fringe horse eating cult extolling the “laying aside” of the bill and commending a 77 year old citizen who not only did not understand the intent of the bill but never testified to begin with.

This is yet another clear example of the perversion of the truth and lack of honesty exhibited by Wallis, an elected Wyoming official, and Duquette, an obscure alleged horse trainer, via their questionable organization the United Horsemen formerly known as the controversial, but better named, United Horsemen’s Front.  (Let’s check that 990)

Inserted, below, is Slaughterhouse’s bulletin and the letter from an elderly main citizen that United Horsemen decided to mislead and victimize, it’s enough to make you vomit.


Good News from Maine…  

Yesterday we received word that the bill in Maine, LD 1075, that would have made consuming horse meat a crime, and prevented transport of horses, was laid aside and will not be taken up again this year.  

Last night I received a phone call from Clayton Weeks of Mexico, Maine, who had contacted us earlier when he became determined to fight the bill’s passage. He thanked us for our assistance, and for providing information that was very useful in their efforts. Fortunately, the horse industry in Maine came together to put enough pressure on the Legislature to prevent it advancing, so Mr. Week’s testimony was not required.  

Word has it that the sponsor intends to bring a revised bill next year, so Clayton is keeping his testimony ready.  His is the sort of testimony that is far more prevalent than most people realize, and is straight from the heart.  I felt it was well worth sharing….














My heart goes out to Mr. Weeks for the trials and tribulations that he has been forced to endure but even more so for being duped and used by one of the most deceptive and despicable politicians in the United States, Sue Wallis.  It is understandable that she is under investigation for complaints of alleged fraud and currently being sued for alleged assault the negative hits just keep on a rollin for the ole Evil Princess of Horse Slaughter.

And last but not least, shame on the State of Wyoming for not taking action against this loose cannon of a legislator.  Wallis only brings bad press and negative vibes to a state that is already eyeball deep in equine hypocrisy and collusion.

It’s time they cut their losses and run.

More to follow….

EWA Prez Wins One for the Horses in Slaughter Debate

Forward by R.T. Fitch ~ Author/Director of HfH Advisory Council

Horse Eaters Just Can’t Get It Right

Over the past four weeks Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA) President John Holland has been engaged in a publicly printed debate on the issue of predatory horse slaughter with Charles Stemholm in Nebraska’s  North Platt Telegraph.  As most are aware, Nebraska is burdened with a freshman senator that wants to bring bloody horse slaughter to his state while penalizing non-profits who do not take in horses.  The bizarre behavior of  Sen. Tyson Larson is fueled by the fringe, radical horse eating organization, United Horseman, and the deluded Senator has drank from the kool aide of “Slaughterhouse” Sue Wallis and Dave “Doink” Duquette.

John’s four installments in the debate are listed below.  Mr. Stemholm’s articles can be read by clicking (HERE) and are not displayed on this site out of courtesy to him and respect for the horses, it’s just that inane.

Years of research have gone into the comments made by John and this singular post proves to be an online primer and reference to the issue of horse slaughter in the U.S.

We thank you and the horses thank you, John.” ~ R.T.

‘… horse slaughter is bad for the economy, the community and the taxpayer …’

EWA President John Holland

Senator Tyson Larson’s bills LB 305 and 306 are the latest examples of bad legislation introduced in an attempt to bring back the U.S. horse slaughter plants. LB 305 would require the taxpayers of Nebraska to pay for the establishment of an ante-mortem inspection program designed solely at circumventing the Congressional elimination of funding for mandatory USDA inspection of horses killed for human consumption.

LB 306 would make it a crime for a horse rescue to refuse to accept any horse offered to it. These bills are part of a proxy war between corporate agriculture, breeders and what they see as the “animal rights” movement. LB 306 penalizes those working to compensate for over-breeding and is more a vendetta than reasoned legislation.
Larson claims that opening a horse slaughter plant would be good for Nebraska’s economy, but Nebraska already enjoys the second lowest unemployment in the country (4.4 percent).

In fact, history tells us that it would bring only misery and loss to Nebraskans.

I will present evidence proving that horse slaughter is bad for the economy, the community, the taxpayers, horse owners and the horses themselves. American horse slaughter is a dying practice, and spending treasure to resuscitate it is folly.

Ignoring the worst economy in living memory, both [Charles] Stenholm and Larson claim that the closing of the slaughter plants has harmed the horse market and increased equine neglect. I will first prove this is impossible.

A brief history of horse slaughter:

In 1990, there were about 12 horse slaughter plants operating in the U.S. One of these was Central Nebraska Packing in North Platte. Along with plants in Canada and Mexico USDA statistics show they slaughtered a total of 419,133 American horses that year. Both the number of slaughterhouses and horses slaughtered declined steadily through the decade despite no legal restrictions until California banned slaughter in 1998. Nobody claimed that this 77.5 percent reduction caused any problems.

By 2000 there were only three, foreign owned, horse slaughter plants left in the U.S.; two in Texas and one in Illinois. Horse slaughter declined until 2002, and then rebounded slightly to a level just over 100,000 horses a year.

In January 2007 the two Texas plants were closed when the courts ruled that a 1949 law against selling horsemeat for human consumption was still in effect. The Dallas Crown plant in Kaufman Texas had earlier been ordered closed by the town Board of Adjustments because of pollution, but had successfully remained open through legal delaying.
The remaining Cavel plant in DeKalb, Ill., was shut down in September 2007 after unsuccessfully challenging a new state law against slaughtering horses for human consumption. The removal of funding for required inspections had also closed the plant temporarily and the work-around program allowing the plants to pay for their own inspections was eventuallyruled to be illegal. Like Dallas Crown, the plant was also facing massive fines for its sewage discharge.

The key to the issue is what happened after the plants closed; virtually nothing. The plants relocated their plants to Canada and Mexico in weeks.

In the 10 years before the closings an average of 117,121 American equines were slaughtered per year, and in the three years afterward the annual average was virtually the same at 116,867.

Just as many horses are being purchased at approximately the same prices from the same auctions as before the closings. Therefore, any claim that the closures harmed the horse market or caused horses to be neglected is inescapably false.

We have had slaughter available and it failed to protect the horse market from the recession.

Understanding the property rights issue

Using USDA statistics, I have previously debunked the myth that closing the U.S. horse slaughterhouses had any effect on the horse industry or on equine welfare. The statistics show there was no reduction in the number of American horses slaughtered, only a change in where they were slaughtered.

Mr. Stenholm then claimed that slaughter was a “property rights” issue and that horse owners have the absolute right to do what they want with their horses. But eliminating horse slaughter would in no way limit what ordinary horse owners could do with their horses. They could still sell them or euthanize them. It would merely limit the purposes for which someone could buy horses.

The real threat to property rights:

It is the horse slaughter industry itself that has repeatedly destroyed the property rights of horse owners, ordinary citizens and taxpayers. I will show this by revealing a little more of its dark history.

Behind the now closed Dallas Crown slaughterhouse there is a community called “Boggy Bottom.” The community lived with an indescribable stench caused by a mixture of the plant’s gore and a system of misters that constantly sprayed chlorine into the air in a vain attempt to mask the odor.

A nearby hospital was forced to spend precious funds to install an expensive air treatment system to protect its patients from the noxious odor.

The plant also had chronic waste disposal issues and refused to pay its fines for overwhelming the town’s treatment system. At one point they attempted to force the gory mess down the sewer with a pump, causing blood to rise into the bathtubs and drains of the Boggy Bottom neighborhood.

Worst of all, the Boggy Bottom residents were trapped there because the plant’s presence destroyed their property values and they could not sell their homes.

Eventually the Kaufman Board of Adjustments ordered the plant closed, but Dallas Crown won a restraining order and dragged the town to court on each of the violations, literally exhausting its budget. Yes, citizens of Kaufman know about having their property rights violated!

This pattern has become the norm. The rebuilt “state-of-the-art” Cavel plant was never in compliance on its discharge a single month between its opening and its closing. The neighbors awoke one morning to see a huge tank foaming over onto the ground and splitting at the seams.

The Natural Valley Farms plant in Canada (where Cavel relocated) was caught dumping millions of gallons of horse blood into the river and a lagoon as well as leaving mountains of entrails on the open ground causing the earth to become sterile.

Yet despite this grim record, Mr. Stenholm strongly supported Ed Butcher’s outrageous law in Montana. HB.418 stripped away property owner’s legal rights making it impossible for communities like Boggy Bottom to challenge the building of a horse slaughterhouse. Courts cannot block licensing on many environmental grounds, and any injunction requires a hefty bond and threatens substantial financial penalties to challengers.

When Butcher subsequently announced he was going to get a slaughter plant built in the town of Hardin, Mont., the town council studied the issue and immediately passed ordinance 2010-1 to block it!

Finally, there is the issue of the relation of horse theft to slaughter. In the years before California outlawed slaughter, horse theft had been increasing steadily, but in the seven years afterward horse theft dropped by over 84 percent. Horse theft emotionally devastates its victims. If slaughter returns to Nebraska, future victims’ rights will be forfeited.
It seems that Charlie only supports “property rights” for clients of his lobby firm and not as a general principle.

Far from an economic advantage

Mr. Stenholm referred to the USDA statistics that I referenced (to show that we still have as many horses as ever going to slaughter) as “dubious numbers”. He also referred to the 900 pages of horrific images of mangled horses arriving at slaughter in Texas as “dirty pictures”. Those photos were also from the USDA and were exposed under a FOIA request.

Since Charlie apparently favors debating with adjectives rather than facts and images, I will offer a few adjectives to describe the Larson legislation; impetuous, vindictive, feckless, misguided and futile. Those were the five kindest I could conjure, and here is why.

As amended, LB.306 is intended to force HSUS operated rescues to take any horse offered or face misdemeanor charges. Not only is this outrageously unfair, it is impotent because HSUS does not operate any rescues in Nebraska. So that leaves LB.305 and the “several hundred jobs” Charlie says it would bring to Nebraska.

Sorry Charlie! Sen. Larson apparently forgot to do his homework again. The farm bill language that allows states to perform inspections is limited to slaughter operations having 25 or fewer employees, and USDA officials say it doesn’t allow horse inspections at all. In the unlikely event the USDA relents on horsemeat inspections the prize is still just 25 low paying, dangerous, dehumanizing minimum wage jobs.

Let’s talk money and bureaucracy:

LB.305 would create a whole new state bureaucracy to manage an inspection system for an “industry” of no more than 25 workers. Once created, that bureaucracy would cost the taxpayers of Nebraska in perpetuity, and since antemortem inspections require licensed veterinarians, it is probable that the real employment boom would be in this taxpayer funded government boondoggle.

To gauge what this investment might provide in returns, consider the smallest of the US plants which employed between 33 and 42 people. Dallas Crown 2004 Tax filings, exposed during their fight with the town, show they had gross receipts of $12,007,611 on which they paid $5 in federal taxes and gave $3 to charity!

The horsemeat market is controlled by foreign corporations who have a stranglehold on the distribution. An American company would have no choice but to sell to this cartel at whatever price they were offered.

This is precisely what happened in Canada when the Natural Valley Farms plant began killing horses for Cavel’s parent corporation Velda, LLC (Belgium). The plant finally went bankrupt with losses of $44 million dollars and Velda moved on, leaving a financial and ecological wasteland behind them.

There is little in this for the horse industry either. A study by Deloitte Consulting estimated the horse industry produces a $102 billion total economic impact. Horse slaughter accounts for approximately $36 million of this income, meaning it contributes only about 3 cents of every $100 generated by the horse industry. And it gets worse.

Wyoming and Montana both passed similarly ill-conceived laws and have yet to attract a slaughter plant. Central Nebraska Packing has said it does not intend to reopen its horse slaughter operation and it is unlikely Nebraska will attract another plant given the substantial risk that federal legislation could eventually shut it down.

Moreover, it is entirely likely that the European Union will continue to restrict its horsemeat imports on safety grounds, and changes in federal law would put a new US plant under FDA oversight. The FDA bans most common horse medications from food animals and classifies horses as companion animals.

Larson’s bills are just the latest examples of reckless, ill-conceived and ineffective state legislation spurred on by the “animal rights” fear mongering of lobbyists like Charlie.

Slaughterhouses provide nothing positive

First, I want to thank the Telegraph for providing this unique venue for people to hear both sides of this issue. I also want to thank Mr. Stenholm for confirming that there has been no reduction in the number of US horses going to slaughter since the US plants closed. They have simply been shipped to Canada and Mexico for slaughter.

That admission is extremely important because it proves once and for all that the countless articles about horses being abandoned and neglected because of the plant closings were nothing but propaganda.

I said that I would show that horse slaughter is bad for the economy, the community, the tax payers, horse owners and the horses themselves. I have done just that by recounting the dark history of the industry.

I have shown that the horse slaughter plants in North America have provided nothing positive for their communities and that they have caused enormous loss to horse owners, neighbors and taxpayers, as well as posing a threat to the health of the people who consumed the meat. Each of these plants opened with the public promise it would be different and “state-of-the-art” and each became a brutal, foul cesspool.

Charlie promises to “bring back the jobs” lost as a result of the closings. In recent years, America has lost countless jobs in industries ranging from textiles to computers. Of all these, the horse slaughter jobs are the very last that any community should wish to recover. They are demeaning, dehumanizing, dangerous, low-paying jobs with no future and no self-respect.

Is this the career future Nebraska wants for its sons and daughters? Would you brag that your boy landed a job butchering horses? If returning horse slaughter to the US is a good idea, then how does Charlie explain the fact that Texas and Illinois have repeatedly defeated legislation aimed at overturning their state bans?

The idea of establishing a whole new state bureaucracy on the unlikely chance it might create 25 such jobs is not the kind of thinking that put Nebraska where it is today. It is a blind reaction to carefully nurtured prejudice about Eastern “animal rights activists” meddling in Nebraska’s affairs.

But it has not been PETA or the “Animal Rights” movement that has pushed so hard to eliminate horse slaughter. It has been horse owners and lovers along with people impacted by the horse slaughter business. The “animal rights” advocates hold different views than those of us in the equine welfare community. A few animal rights folks even believe that any use of an animal is immoral.

We on the other hand, relish the many amazing jobs equines do for us. From therapy to dressage to racing, we see them as our animal partners. Many of us are involved in these sports and therapies. We simply want our equine athletes treated with compassion and fairness.

We believe that the relationship between Americans and their equines has always been central to the American experience and history and we believe that selling out these magnificent creatures is morally indefensible. We should not be surprised that horse slaughter leads to human misery as well.

The horse business is not a meat industry. If folks like Larson succeed in making it so, then horse owners will inevitably pay a terrible price. Effective medications will become unavailable and our horses will be tracked from birth like cattle.

If Sen. Larson’s horse breeding business cannot produce horses people want to buy without using the state to kill off the current population, then perhaps he should consider another occupation.