Killer buyer whines about decline in horse meat industry

This article describes Pat Houde as a horse buyer. Houde is. A horse buyer for slaughter plants aka a “killer buyer.”

Houde doesn’t like the new Canadian Food Inspection Agency Equine Identification Document (EID).

CFIA crafted the EID in response to the EU directive that horses intended for slaughter must be quarantined 6 months prior because of the illegal substances that makes their meat toxic to humans.

Cross-posted from

BY DANIEL WINTERS, Feb. 11, 2010

Horse Meat Industry In Decline

Pat Houde, a longtime horse buyer from Elm Creek, said he believes the liability for equine carcasses that are condemned for meat use should rest with the original seller whose name is on the declaration.

“I’m not liable. The person I buy it off is liable,” he said. “If I buy it off of you with your declaration papers on it and send it off to the plant, I’m not responsible.”

Houde said in his view European animal rights groups whose ultimate goal is a total, global ban on horse slaughter are behind the new law, and the CFIA was just trying to keep up with “politics” there.

“The horse business is finished. There’s not many horses left anyway. Nobody’s keeping any horses, they’re worth nothing — just like cattle,” he said.

“In five years, you might not see a horse around. If there’s one, you’d have to pay a fortune for it.”

The last slaughterhouse on U. S. soil — in Illinois — was closed in 2007. Reports of unwanted horses being abandoned on public lands have skyrocketed, especially as the battered economy south of the border leaves many casual horse owners without the means to care for their animals.


Houde said the volume of horses destined for slaughter flowing up from south of the border has dropped too. Owning horses will soon be an option only for the wealthy, he said.

With no meat market left in the U. S., the bottom has fallen out of horse values. Before the ban, when the meat price was 75 cents/lb., a good saddle horse was worth $2,000. Now, even the best might bring only $900.

“Nobody can raise a horse for $900. Years ago, I sold some of my good bulldogging horses that got crippled on me and I got $1,000 apiece for them. Now I couldn’t get $150 for them,” said Houde.

He advocated a “pony tax” on all horses that would go to feed unwanted, abandoned animals until they die of natural causes, if the public really wants slaughter removed as an option.

“What do you do with a horse? I’ve had some horses that won me thousands of dollars in the rodeo. When he was done, I put him on the truck,” said Houde.

“I’m a businessman. When I buy a horse, I own (it); he don’t own me. I’ve seen a lot of horses where the horse owns the person.”

The latest statistics show that Canada has about one million horses and more than 200,000 owners. In 2008, some 111,000 horses were processed, the majority of which went through a slaughter facility in Fort Macleod, Alta.

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8 thoughts on “Killer buyer whines about decline in horse meat industry”

  1. We are fortunately rapidly approaching the day when disrespectful, hateful comments about any creature, such as the ones about “worthless” horses in this article, will no longer be reported without reflection or substantiation (a cash prize should go to the first news organization that publishes photographs or other evidence of so-called “abandoned horses” on “public land”).

    Mr. Houde’s lament, and the superficial article by Mr. Winters that features it, reveal one crucial fact that should not be lost in these exchanges. The horse meat industry is in decline, has been in decline for some time and would have died a natural death long ago if it were not for the greedy processors and suppliers (and the wealthy lobbyists and trade associations that are locked in a grisly dance with them) who refuse to see the writing on the wall. These “businessmen” (as Houde describes himself) continue to prop up a dead market that was manufactured in the first place by suppliers who have been lying for years about a “consumer demand” that does not exist. As Houde himself says “The horse business is finished.” May it rest in peace.

    The article also contains an interesting edit. Mr. Houde is quoted as saying “When I buy a horse, I own (it); he don’t own me.” What he probably said (before his choice of pronouns was partially edited–the “he” after the semicolon was left unchanged) is “When I buy a horse, I own him; he don’t own me.” If Houde truly believes a horse is merely an object like a desk or a chair, he would have said, “When I buy a horse, I own it; it don’t own me.” So this self-described horse buyer, who talks so callously about horses as no more than objects to be bought and sold, found it impossible to call a horse an “it,” even as he profited from a practice that seems to have left him bitter and confused. Human lives too are wasted by this continued barbarism in the name of “business.”


  2. Such disrespectful, immature and hateful comments about any human being, no matter how offensive their behavior may be, is NOT representative of the many credible, respectable and forward-looking individuals involved with animal welfare in the United States by any stretch of the imagination.

    Violence begets violence, toward both humans and animals. If it is peace and kindness we seek towards all creatures, human and non-human, then please act accordingly in order to fulfill this desire.


  3. But, how can all this be happening due to a slaughter ban in the US when there is NO SLAUGHTER BAN in the US. I wish we had a ban, but we don’t, and nothing at all has changed – so far that is – the new EU rules haven’t seemed to concern anyone, yet. The same meat men are buying horses, they’re just shipping them to Mexico and Canada instead of Texas and Illinois.

    How can a non-existent ban affect anything?


  4. Lets put Houde on the slaughter truck and make sure scum like him get whats coming to them. What a cowardly cruel ignorant moron.


  5. Karen, I agree with you,that piece of garbage. My horse can own me all he wants. These KB’s are the worst and need to be brought down for what they have done to our horses. Now to stop the BLM monsters from any more harm done to the innocent.

    I would like to find something for the horses that would not hurt them but taint the meat all the way.


  6. I say let’s put Houde on the truck as I am ‘done with him’. What other disgusting means of ‘business’ is he going to get into now that the horse meat trade is dwindling?


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