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Horse Slaughter Bill Makes Progress


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#1 Bumper

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 08:28 PM

I added the link to Quarterflash's Green Grass Initiative thread as well, just wanted to make sure everyone got a chance to see it.

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Western Ag Reporter

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Looks like Montana, the Dakotas and Wyoming are moving forward.

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#2 Serah Rose

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 09:50 PM

whoot!

Ok...can I be glad that there is some progress, but still feel kinda ill about the fact my state could possibly have a horse slaughter plant? I believe in slaughter...but don't want it in my state!? Now that's just so wrong of me. I wonder what kinds of local impacts were made in other horse slaughter states? *off to google*

Edited by Serah Rose, 23 February 2009 - 09:53 PM.

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#3 goatmom

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 09:52 PM

yay.gif Hope it keeps moving forward.

#4 dgRuffian

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 10:22 PM

Well that is just sad.
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#5 rodeoforlife

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 10:43 PM

I believe this is a good thing hope it continues to move forward.

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#6 Bumper

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 10:45 PM

What's sad are the thousands of horses being abandoned across the US since the slaughter ban. I'd rather see one die quickly in a slaughter plant than suffer needlessly from starvation.

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#7 Slip'nSlide

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 10:53 PM

This makes me smile.

The horse market has fallen through the floor and the auction houses are full of starved, crippled, and crazy horses. These animals are being put through ****, being forced to live another day in conditions that aren't fit for any living creature. The ban on the slaughter of horses that was supposed to save them has led to many more suffering a longer more drawnout death.

I see the effects of the ban first hand. I frequent horse sales and see what comes through. I have never seen the number of skinny and sickly horses that I am seeing now, and I have "lived" in an auction house since I was a child. Auction houses are getting stuck with abandoned horses and the overall worth of a horse has suffered. Registered stock that rides well has a top dollar of $400 here in Texas....that's dropped from $1000-$1500 a little over a year ago, and prices continue to decline.
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#8 JettyNJulie

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 10:58 PM

I KNOW that slaughter is a good thing, but it still breaks my heart that horses have to go through that. I have seen some pics and videos that didn't look all that humane, but I guess that is a part of life. I just wish people would see what backyard breeding gets the world. It is bad for the animals, as well as everyone who cares about horses as well. I am up for slaughter, but maybe the need to have some stricter rules and regulations. I don't know... I am no expert by any means, just a someone who wants the best for horses. lol
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#9 Bumper

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 11:22 PM

Most of the videos the show are either very outdated or filmed in Mexico/central America. NOT in regulated US slaughter plants.

We eat cattle, pigs, chickens...horses are just another livestock animal. They raise them for food in Iceland. It's good meat, healthy and lean.

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#10 kitten-kat

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 01:44 AM

:) all I can say is bout time..
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#11 Andi

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 09:57 AM

I can only hope other states follow suit and we bring back the humane slaughter of horses to OUR country and save the horses from horrendous conditions, long trailer rides, starving in a back yard or being turned loose on the range to starve or be killed.

It's about time!!!


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#12 Duns of Impact

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 10:04 AM

This is great news. I hope the bills can keep going forward. I look at it as a posititve in two way: slaughter plants create more jobs & it would reduce the suffering that some of these horses are going through.
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#13 palomino_overo

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 11:05 AM

That's good, maybe the market will come back in a couple of years.

JettyNJulie, Bumper is corect on the video...especially anything that comes from HSUS and PETA. They are both notorious for using old pictures, and foreign video and tying to pass it off as modern everyday occurences in the U.S. They also try to exploit any occurence in the U.S. and make it look like it is normal everywhere in the U.S.

Also please do not say it is "backyard breeding", I hate the term because it implies that anybody that is a backyard breeder is irresponsible. The correct term is "irresponsible ovebreeding". It is also not the only problem either, the economy has a lot to do with it also. With job loss, higher fuel prices that we saw, and the price of hay and feed, a lot of people that use to be able to afford a horse or two just can't now.
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#14 SecretHavenFarm

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 11:17 AM

For those of you who are upset at the thaught for slaughter resuming, You have seen the affect the closing the slaughter houses has had on the horses,it didnt really help them. Why not fight to make it better in the slaughter houses?
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#15 dapplefred5

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 01:07 PM

I didnt have time to read the whole thing but basically are they trying to get horse slaughter legal in several states now? Thanks

I couldnt agree more with it. I don't get how people think its fine to kill all other animals..cows sheep..etc, but not a horse? crazy
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#16 wrangler

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 01:25 PM

We HAVE to write to our congressman and legislatures and SUPPORT the slaughter movement. Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota have ALL seen an increase in horses being turned out on public lands. These horses aren't surviving. They are starving and dying. These horses are used to living lives where food and water is brought to them. Seeking water on their own in thousands of acres is proving to be a difficult task.

I work for the one of the regulating agencies. We are seeing an INCREASE in animal welfare cases and an INCREASE in feral animal cases.

Stopping slaughter was the worst thing horse lovers could have ever done. Horses are now sold for slaughter clear up north and shipped all the way across the country to a feedlot where they wait to be shipped to slaughter in Mexico. Mexico does NOT have to regulate it's methods of humane slaughter.

If we allow slaughter in the US we can regulate it and ensure that the horses are treated in a desirable manner.

We HAVE to support horse slaughter!!!! We HAVE to speak up and make our voices be heard ABOVE the animal rights radicals!!
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#17 JettyNJulie

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 01:31 PM

QUOTE (Bumper @ Feb 23 2009, 11:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Most of the videos the show are either very outdated or filmed in Mexico/central America. NOT in regulated US slaughter plants.

We eat cattle, pigs, chickens...horses are just another livestock animal. They raise them for food in Iceland. It's good meat, healthy and lean.

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#18 luther

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 02:26 PM

Call, write or email your governor, senators, congressmen, local reps & the prez with your views on the matter. You can bet that the other side is doing it.

Here they are;
http://www.usa.gov/C...t/Elected.shtml

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Edited by luther, 24 February 2009 - 02:26 PM.


#19 goldentoes

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 02:34 PM

C'mon bumper- you know there's not really a "ban"- and the number of american horses being slaughtered hasn't decreased. The problems with abandonment and neglect, IMO, have little to do with the slaughter plant closures- they can still be taken to the local auctions and bought by kill buyers, same as always.

I am not for a ban, and I personally would rather have local horse slaughter than shipping them all over creation, I just feel this argument that abandonment and neglect can be blamed on the closures isn't super helpful, because it doesn't make sense to me (and it's very easy for opponents to refute). I think it has lots more to do with the economy than anything, with what looks like more US horses going to slaughter than did when there were operating plants here.

Also, did anybody catch the article about the US vets who inspected some plants in Mexico? It didn't sound that bad, from their report. It even mentioned that the kill box at one plant had been outfitted with a sort of "head cradle" to keep the head and neck stabilized (to reduce incidents of misses)- I don't recall the US plants having those, but find it an interesting improvement.

Edited by goldentoes, 24 February 2009 - 02:34 PM.

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#20 RockyRoad

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 02:39 PM

Ok, those that want to support this, here is some more info - CALL NOW!! Even if you do not live in MT, you can call - the opposing forces are using the "claim" that by passing this bill (it is HB418), people against it will refuse to vacation in the state, therefore affecting our tourism economy. Of course, this is just silly. So please - call one of the numbers below. You can reach Gov Schweitzer's ofc & tell them your thoughts & that you support it & it would not affect your traveling & spending money in MT OR call the number below & they will tell any or ALL of the reps of your support.

The bill to allow a horse slaughter plant in Montana has made it through the Ag Committee and is scheduled to be voted on in the House of Representatives on Thursday 02/26/09. I have a letter that Stan Weaver, President of the Montana Quarter Horse Assn sent out explaining the problems anticipated by PETA and the Humane Society of the United States and if anyone would like a copy, let me know. He strongly urges us as residents of Montana, to encourage our out of state friends to call our governors office and tell them you support this bill even though you don't live here and that you would love to visit our state in the future. So, please call Governor Schweitzer at 1-406-444-3111.


Subject: Made thru the Ag Comm

Here is the update -

Just hung up from Ed Butcher – IT MADE IT THROUGH THE HOUSE AG COMMITTEE 15 for, 5 against (all democrats). Now it goes to the full house, probably Monday or Tuesday –

He thinks wait on the phone call push until after the House hearing the first of the week THEN WE NEED TO GET ON THE CALLS AGAIN. BUT – to their individual representatives and senators, if possible, but the 406-444-4800 number is better than nothing.

The HSUS hired a lobbyist from Gt Falls – guess he is good, that is what we will be up against before the Senate hearing. Probably won’t be heard in the Senate for a couple of weeks, we will track it.

Start calling Monday to their reps or adjacent reps - he said if a rep gets four or five from their district, they pay attention. MONTANANS, COME ON!!!

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#21 wrangler

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 03:13 PM

Goldentoes- The increase in cases of neglect and welfare is INDEED an effect of the slaughter ban. I work for the livestock board. I recently surveyed the surrounding state veterinarians in over a dozen states. Everyone is seeing an increase since the shutdown of slaughter plants.

I have had numerous meetings with our brand law enforcement division. They have seen a huge increase in starvation and abandonment cases. This is a HUGE problem. There is a serious surplus of horses in a crappy economy.

I attended a sale two weeks ago and watched sound horses running through and selling for $5-$50 total!!!!!!!!!! The horse auction markets here are shutting down and not selling horses anymore because they price they bring doesnt' cover the stall and feed for the night! The markets aren't making any money on the commission and it ends up being a negative sale. Markets that had monthly sales are now down to 2 a year.

You tell me how everything going on is NOT a product of the horse slaughter ban!!!
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#22 goldentoes

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 03:22 PM

wrangler, there's still no federal ban, just plants that got shut down locally.

What I'm saying is that yes, the plants closed. But if you look at the numbers of American horses going to slaughter, there are MORE going now than were going when those plants were open.

The pipeline to slaughter has not stopped, it's just the location that's different. The total numbers are rising. So to me, it makes no sense to say "lack of slaughter as an option" is the root of the problem- because slaughter still is an option (and a very easy one). There are still kill buyers attending all the usual auctions and doing business as usual except for the end destination. Perhaps the local auctions near you are shutting down because of low prices, but I'm thinking (and reports from local auctions are bearing this out) that they're just buying from different locations. If you look at it nationally, instead of just in your area, the business of sending horses to slaughter is alive and well, even booming.

I'm not arguing that there's not a problem with abandoned/neglected horses, or even that increased availability of slaughter may help (it surely might), just that the cause of the problem is deeper than the "ban" and may have a whole lot more to do with the economy as a whole (I mean, we are in a recession with the unemployment rate rising and costs of basic goods going up, right?).

I am not an anti-slaughter activist, I just don't like making bad arguments.

Edited by goldentoes, 24 February 2009 - 03:24 PM.

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#23 SaddlebredRider

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 03:25 PM

I would say our current situation here in the States is not a DIRECT by product of the ban on slaughter but heavily influenced. The ban was not the sole cause, but it sure did not help. These seven states have the right idea. I don't think you will find anyone to openly say "I like it." but there is a need. All the people who oppose: do you have room on your farms to take a truckload of the slaughterbound yourself? Surely if every anti-slaughter person in America would just take a truckload(how many horses do they put on those trucks anyway??), I'm sure there would not be a need. If you can't do that on your own many acres, can you financially support a truckload for someone else to house for the rest of their lives. While taking in one or two makes a big difference to that particular horse, in any situation, you are going to have to turn your back on many more.

Edited by SaddlebredRider, 24 February 2009 - 03:25 PM.

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#24 Cheri Wolfe

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 08:53 AM

Golden -- I believe it IS a direct result of the slaughter ban but in a different way than you are thinking. The neglect and starving of literally thousands of horses is because of the loss of value. It appears that people will take care of and feed a horse that is potentially worth $1000.00 for slaughter but when that horse is only worth $200.00, they will let him starve, not call a Vet and not take care of problems. It is totally that loss of value that has created the problem. And, the loss of value is because slaughter buyers will only pay a fraction of what they used to because the shipping costs have multiplied by a factor of 3 or 4 times what it was.

Another contributor to the REALLY cheap young and thin horses is the higher cost of feed and fertilizer. Where I live, 'loose' horses used to sell as 'feeders' just like cattle. They brought a premium because they could be 'fattened up' cheaplly on wheat or on alfalfa. Now, wheat costs over $50.00 an acre to put in and the cost of alfalfa has doubled. That, coupled with the unknow factor of horse slaughter hauling bans possibly being passed on the National level, has completely removed horse feed lots from the picture. People that usd to buy thin horses won't touch them now for fear of being 'stuck' with 300 or 400 of them. It used to be common to see that many on wheat pastures out in Western OK or TX. I have not seen a horse on wheat since the US slaughter ban.



#25 goldentoes

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 09:40 AM

QUOTE (Cheri Wolfe @ Feb 25 2009, 08:53 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Golden -- I believe it IS a direct result of the slaughter ban but in a different way than you are thinking. The neglect and starving of literally thousands of horses is because of the loss of value. It appears that people will take care of and feed a horse that is potentially worth $1000.00 for slaughter but when that horse is only worth $200.00, they will let him starve, not call a Vet and not take care of problems. It is totally that loss of value that has created the problem. And, the loss of value is because slaughter buyers will only pay a fraction of what they used to because the shipping costs have multiplied by a factor of 3 or 4 times what it was.


Which also has to do with the economy. I'm not trying to be a pest, really, it's just that I spend a fair amount of time watching what the anti-slaughter people are doing and saying, and the argument that these problems are caused by the ban is one of the arguments which they tend to win, at least in terms of convincing Congressment to sign onto bills. They're looking at the big picture and the numbers, not what's happening in some localities.

The other problem here is that slaughter is totally an industry of supply and demand. If our supply is up, then prices are going to come down. Increasing our supply to the market by adding more slaughterhouses is not necessarily a guarantee that there will be added value for those horses.

From what I know, demand for the product is not really on the rise- except maybe in Japan (where the American slaughterhouse business model wouldn't have much of an impact anyway, as they have strict standards for the product). So if demand isn't going up, and we open more slaughterhouses in the US, there might be a glut of "product" which could keep the base price of what a horse is worth very low (especially if every current proposal goes through- there's what, 4? 5? states considering opening plants?).

Reopening, or opening plants, in the US, probably would not have a huge impact on the Mexican or Canadian slaughterhouses either, as those plant owners have contracts to get horses brought there (and the vast majority of horses slaughtered in Mexico are Mexican to begin with- ours represent a small percentage, if I remember correctly).

I'm just thinking out loud. I'm in that funny place where I would really like to see slaughter of horses end (but for economic reasons and it not being a "necessary evil"- not by ban) but feel banning it would be plugging a drain while leaving the faucet running.


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#26 Bumper

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 10:55 AM

Goldentoes you are correct, using the correct terminology and keeping the facts straight is vital to a strong argument.

The closure of the three operating horse slaughter facilities in the US is one of many reasons for the huge number of excess horses being abandoned in the US. Let's remember, they were being abandoned before the economy tanked. It's just gotten worse.

Opening horse slaughter facilities in the US would give owners a much needed outlet for those horses they can't afford to keep, instead of turning them loose to fend for themselves (and starve or be killed on the highway).

And let's face it, the Anti slaughter groups all did this huge celebration at the closure of those plants because they insisted it would end horse slaughter for US horses. They were dead wrong (pun very much intended). Most of those horses who normally would have gone to slaughter in US plants instead went to Mexico and Canada.

And yes, many Mexican plants have up to date facilities and regulations and inspectors. Thats because they are selling their meat to foreign buyers and THEY insist on those regs and inspections. There are of course other slaughter facilities that are not so regulated that don't sell to foreign buyers, and it would be naive of us to think that some US horses don't end up there instead.

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#27 Cheri Wolfe

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 11:00 AM

Fat slaughter horses here (southern Oklahoma) are up about $200.00 since a new slaughter plant opened just across the Mexican border. It is owned by Europeans and run by EU standards which include use of a captive bolt, no slaughter of sick or injured horses, etc.

Just this past Monday night, thin horses went from $25.00 up to about $200.00 unless they were very nice and headed to a riding home. #1 horses headed for slaughter went up to $600.00. Decent riding horses brought from $800.00 to $1450.00. Almost all of the mares (mostly very thin and under-fed) went to slaughter. A couple that were not ridden through but were said to have been ridden before they were bred brought $200.00 more than the others and went to traders that were willing to try them for saddle horses.

Decent broke saddle horses are always in demand around here. This is so true, that traders from Alabama and one from South Carolina come here about once a month with a trailer load of horses to sell. They say that the shipping costs from their areas to either Mexico or Canada is so high that people around them are literally starving horses to death or turning them out if they aren't decent saddle horses. They say they pick up grade saddle horses for $300.00 or less, tune them up a little and bring them to Sulphur. I bought 2 dude string prospects for the Alabama guy last fall that worked out just great.

To show how connected this market is to the slaughter plants, killer prices dropped to less than half the exact week the 2 plants closed in Texas. Before the new European owned plant opened in Texas, the Mexican plants paid much less than the old Texas plants. The very week the new plant opened, prices were up $200.00 or more per head. I think the direct links in our area speak to the ties between slaughter and prices. I talked to Vets that told me their horse related calls dropped to a fraction of what they were before the ban. They said that is all tied in to the value loss. People would not treat a horse that could be replaced for less than the Vet bill. It is just as simple as that. It ties in much less to the economy here and is directly related to the value of the horse in question.

Edited by Cheri Wolfe, 25 February 2009 - 11:00 AM.


#28 simply kim

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 01:20 AM

Actually film shot in Canada shows a serious problem with the slaughterhouses and film at the border shows lack of enforcement of rules by both our side and theirs.I am assuming this lack of enforcement on our side is a national security risk but I guess that would just be me.If there is no enforcement out then there is no enforcement in.But then we know that already don't we?Most of the horses going slaughter are neither starved ,crazy, old ,or injured . They just had the misfortune to belong to people who don't have the guts or brains or responsibility to do the right thing with their inconvenient animals. When you discuss the term "crazy" you might consider how darn crazy someone would have to eat the horse and all the drugs most of them have had used on them.Horseslaughter is disgusting,shameful,slimy and totally unnecessary.

#29 Andi

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 10:33 AM

QUOTE (simply kim @ Feb 25 2009, 10:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Actually film shot in Canada shows a serious problem with the slaughterhouses and film at the border shows lack of enforcement of rules by both our side and theirs.I am assuming this lack of enforcement on our side is a national security risk but I guess that would just be me.If there is no enforcement out then there is no enforcement in.But then we know that already don't we?Most of the horses going slaughter are neither starved ,crazy, old ,or injured . They just had the misfortune to belong to people who don't have the guts or brains or responsibility to do the right thing with their inconvenient animals. When you discuss the term "crazy" you might consider how darn crazy someone would have to eat the horse and all the drugs most of them have had used on them.Horseslaughter is disgusting,shameful,slimy and totally unnecessary.



So tell me how to FIX the slaughterhouses? Going off on OPINION that slaughter is disgusting, shameful, slimy and totally unnecessary isn't helpful. Providing answers is.

And please, tell me WHY there are those who think it is such a SIN to sell a horse you no longer want, need, can use or can afford for a couple dollars, even if it IS to a slaughter house? If a person doesn't want/need or able to afford a horse any longer, euthanasia, rendering facility costs, or cremation costs are pretty much out of the realm of possibility. So why is it so "bad" to make back a little of what you put in?

The world isn't always a "feel-good" place where everything is sunshine and rainbows. Once in awhile, you have to let reality seep in. Try it. Sometimes it hurts but hey, that's life!

Edited by Andi, 26 February 2009 - 10:34 AM.

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#30 palomino_overo

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 11:19 AM

QUOTE (simply kim @ Feb 26 2009, 12:20 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Actually film shot in Canada shows a serious problem with the slaughterhouses and film at the border shows lack of enforcement of rules by both our side and theirs.I am assuming this lack of enforcement on our side is a national security risk but I guess that would just be me.If there is no enforcement out then there is no enforcement in.But then we know that already don't we?Most of the horses going slaughter are neither starved ,crazy, old ,or injured . They just had the misfortune to belong to people who don't have the guts or brains or responsibility to do the right thing with their inconvenient animals. When you discuss the term "crazy" you might consider how darn crazy someone would have to eat the horse and all the drugs most of them have had used on them.Horseslaughter is disgusting,shameful,slimy and totally unnecessary.


Facts not opinions....

What is the "right thing" to do with livestock that you can no longer afford to keep?

How crazy is it to eat any meat? All livestock going to slaughter is put on a feed lot for a certain period of time (known as a withdrawal period) to let the chemicals work their way out of the animal's system.

Why is it disgusting? In the U.S. it is the same metod used on all other livestock.
Shameful?
Slimy?
The only statement you made here that you can actually argue is it's neccessity, and you didn't back up that argument.
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