Animal Writes
3 May 2001 Issue
Horse Slaughter: What You're Not Supposed To Know About America's "Dirty Little Secret"

1. Approximately 90,000 American horses of all ages and condition are slaughtered annually for foreign consumption. In 1996 38 million pounds of horse meat were exported with 76% going to Belgium. An estimated 4-5 million horses have died since 1980. This is the work of a small number of lowlifes making profit from the almost indescribable suffering and abuse of horses, the vast majority of which were trusting pets and companions.

2. Horse slaughter is inhumane and cannot be made otherwise despite USDA claims. Videotapes taken in 1994 and 1996 at the Texas plants confirm that repeated blows were necessary and the horses were seen writhing in agony. One bleeding animal required repeated blows to the head to render it unconscious. The "captive bolt" method of stunning may work well on feeder livestock but not on agile horses where an absolute minimum of 10% are tortured and require repeated bludgeoning. The only humane method for horses is lethal injection which renders the meat illegal for human consumption. Such meat is suitable for pet food and fertilizer.

3. By law horses destined for human consumption abroad cannot be slaughtered in the same facilities as feeder livestock. There are currently 3 US equine slaughterhouses; one of which in DeKalb, IL has announced plans to relocate to Canada after a year long citizen protest. All equine slaughterhouses are foreign owned and operated by Belgian companies such as "multimeat" and "Chevideco." These foreign owned slaughter houses are parasitizing America.

4. About 1/3 of the horses slaughtered are purebreds with about 10%-15% being former racehorses. Foals as young as 6 months have been sold to "killers" at auction. The majority are neither old or decrepit. Tens of thousands of foals of "Premarin" mares are sold to slaughter at 2-4 months of age. There is absolute proof from rescue groups that about 95% of these horses if given proper nutrition and veterinary care are rehabilitated and make excellent pets and recreational animals.

5. Horse meat brings $15-$20 on the foreign markets. This combined with fears from "mad cow" disease has fueled the US horse "slaughter pipeline." This has also produced an almost exponential increase in stolen horses which is fast becoming a major national problem. Many horses sent to slaughter are obtained by fraudulent means.

6. Regulation of horse auctions is a travesty rife with corruption and bribery. Dead, dying, sick and gravely injured animals are accepted into auction daily in violation of state laws. Veterinarians have been documented as certifying animals fit to travel that were so infirm that even the "killers" declined. Despite claims of the USDA hundreds of rescue groups are weekly documenting and photographing widespread abuse and animal cruelty at these livestock auctions and in transport.

7. The US horse community is divided on the issue. Some groups either actively or passively support slaughter. These "rotten eggs" include the following: The horse racing industry; many western "cowboys;" some veterinarians; the American Horse Council, blabber for the slaughter industry; a number of so called "humane" (lame) societies especially but not limited to those in the South and Midwest. Those opposed to equine slaughter include all people of conscience and ethics and about 90% of informed Americans.

8. Equine transport cannot be effectively or efficiently regulated by the states or the Federal Government. Condemned horses are forced to travel tremendous distances (sometimes 2-5 days) without food, water or relief) to the 3 (soon to be 2) US equine slaughterhouses or to Canada. Transport
is done often in illegal double-decker cattle trucks where the upper level urinates and defecates on those below. These are unsafe and totally unsuitable for horses to be transported any distance. The infamous Temple Grandin report endorsed these cruelties and was so outrageous and irrational that it resembled a report by Shirley Temple. Horses unlike feeder livestock tolerate long-distance transport very poorly. State regulation of equine transport to slaughter is pathetic.

9. The "Commercial Transport of Equines to Slaughter Act 1996" is a Federal abomination written by the horse killers which legalizes the inhumane transport and slaughter of horses. Besides, whatever the Government regulates it screws up royally. NO MORE GOVERNMENT REGULATION OF EQUINE TRANSPORT TO SLAUGHTER...THERE MUST BE ERADICATION OF THE INTERSTATE AND INTERNATIONAL TRANSPORT FOR SLAUGHTER OF EQUINES.

10. Horses are not regarded or bred as a food source in America where consumption of horse meat is overwhelmingly condemned and outlawed by statute in TX & IL. Horses are taxed as nonfood animals. Horses are domesticated companion animals used for recreation, sport, work, entertainment, and pleasure. Polls indicate that anywhere from 80%-93% of Americans oppose horse slaughter for any reason. California outlawed horse slaughter for human consumption in 1998.

11. THE US IS EXPORTING HORSE MEAT WHICH HAS NEVER BEEN PROVEN SAFE FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION. On this point alone the USDA should be sued and the exportation of US horse meat stopped. Trichinellosis outbreaks in Europe from consumption of horse meat are not uncommon. An indeterminate amount of exported horse meat and horses sent to slaughter in Canada are diseased. All of these horses have been exposed to veterinary pharmaceuticals unique to equines whose safety for
human consumption has never been proven or evaluated. Despite meat inspection the potential health risks to the international community are a very compelling reason to prohibit the export of any horse meat from the United States.

12. Citizen protest and petitioning and not legislative initiative are responsible for the closing of 11 equine slaughterhouses in America which numbered 14 less than 10 years ago. Citizen initiative also enacted California's Proposition 6 outlawing as a felony horse slaughter or the transport of horses for that purpose. The PA State Legislature almost passed a "Three Legged Horse" bill (HB 590) last year, once again proving that horses are smarter than politicians. The bill may be reintroduced this year by these brain-dead politicians.

13. The temptations of money and the presence of foreign-owned slaughterhouses pillaging the American economy are responsible for triggering a cascade of abuse from "stable to table" refractory to legislative regulation or intervention. Continuation of foreign exploitation of our resources is economically stupid and immoral. All Belgian imports, especially chocolates, candies, household appliances should be boycotted.

14. The abuses and cruelties will only increase as more and more US equine slaughterhouses are forced to shut down or relocate. No one except the equine slaughterhouse owners, "killer" buyers, the criminal auction owners, and the USDA dispute the facts. All else having failed miserably, Federal action is mandatory and the sooner the better. The interstate and international transport of horses for slaughter should be expressly forbidden, as well as the export of horse meat from these foreign-owned companies since the disease potential to humans is ever-present and cannot be dispelled.

15. There are no reasonable or compelling justifications for equine slaughter. It is both unchristian and un-American. Almost all the official studies on the topic have been funded and supported by the proslaughter degenerates.

HERE'S WHAT YOU CAN DO: Write your US congressmen and Senators and demand a federal law prohibiting the interstate and nternational transport of all equines for slaughter under felony penalties. Send letter snail mail or fax to the attention of the "Administrative Assistant"
in your senators' or congressman's office. Write letters to the editor of your state's online newspapers, exposing horse slaughter and demanding publicity and state and federal action. Lobby your respective state representatives to support a bill criminalizing horse slaughter like California Prop. #6. Check out the following website for information applicable both to PA and your area: 

Equine Placement Network
P. 0. Box 232
Friedensburg, PA 17933
Ph & Fax- 570-345-6440
[email protected] 

Equine Advocates, Inc:
Susan Wagner, President and Founder
P.O. Box 700
Bedford, NY 10506, U.S.
Phone: (845) 278-3095

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