Not all the pretty horses come home

[The] slaughterhouse is not the least expensive way of ending the life of an animal, it is the greediest way. — Comment by tjbtj

Brenda Hemphill of Maine bristles at the criticism she is a “killer buyer” yet she sets out to purchase horses to sell on to slaughter in Canada. This makes her a killer and a buyer. Clearly.

Throughout all the debates, the undeniable facts central to the horse slaughter issue are clear cut: Horses are slaughtered because people like to eat their meat, will pay high prices to do so, and there is money made from it.

Death by slaughter is death by violence. It is not euthanasia. There is nothing, and can never be anything, humane or acceptable about killing a horse for his meat.

Here are a couple of excerpts from the article by Brian MacQuarrie, of the same title as this post, dated March 8, 2010:

. . . . But proprietor Brenda Hemphill, who is called a “kill buyer’’ by critics, is also an unapologetic businesswoman who ships horses to Quebec to be slaughtered for human consumption, primarily in Europe. Hemphill said her business provides an alternative for horse owners who can no longer afford their animals’ upkeep or find them a suitable home.

“It’s common sense,’’ Hemphill explained. “People need to make money.’’

Killing horses for food, a thing of the past in the United States, has continued in the slaughterhouses of Canada as the economy has led more people to abandon their horses. Now, with new horsemeat restrictions set to take effect in Europe July 31, critics expect to see horse traffic pick up through New England – and farms like Hemphill’s – en route to the two slaughterhouses in Quebec.

“People are trying to get as many killed as possible before the mallet comes down,’’ said Dr. Nicholas Dodman, director of the animal behavior clinic at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. “This is not going to starving people. It’s going to the plates of gourmets in the Champs Elysees.’’

We have had some criticism of our campaign to end horse slaughter by getting the EU to recognize that North American horse meat is adulterated because of the drugs routinely given them. We failed to get the boycott we were working for, but the EU did respond with an order of a 6 month quarantine on all horses intended for slaughter. Canada has responded; Mexico has yet to. Then there is Australia, who also slaughter horses and ship their meat to Europe full of drug residues and under no similar sanction.

The Canadian response via the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is a tedious document detailing the drugs given to a horse throughout his life that relies on the honor system. Honor in slaughter? Here is yet more proof that documentation in lieu of the quarantine demanded is not workable.

She [Hemphill] also did not discuss the origins of the horses she sends to slaughter and conceded that she depends on the seller to be honest about an animal’s drug history.

Read full article >>

If you care about animals, your health and the environment, we encourage you to Advocate From Your Plate ™. Go Vegan. For Life.

2 thoughts on “Not all the pretty horses come home”

  1. Susan is 100% correct – over-breeding and greed got us to this point, not the economy. Brenda needs to find another line of work instead of lying to people about finding good homes for the horse they just sold her.

    I wonder what the parents who send their daughters to summer camp in Maine would think if they knew that the horse their daughter fell in love with in July ended up on some gourmet’s plate in September.

    Call you elected officials in DC and let your views be known. HR 503 and S727 need to be passed right now!


  2. Between the drug scandal in US horse meat exports, and the Freedom of Information Act evidence gotten from the US government – showing over-the-top brutality in transport and in the slaughter houses – WHEN SLAUGHTER WAS REGULATED ON US SOIL – the American people have had it with horse slaughter.

    We need to pass the Federal bill banning horse slaughter, and put greedy abusers like Hempill out of business.

    The root problem is irresponsible over-breeding. Greed. Slaughtering the excesses from puppy mill farms and back yard breeders – after the 3 year tax writeoff – just enables more of the same, and lines the pockets of the lowest of the low.

    Ban horse slaughter. Now. This year. No more lies to sellers – “going to a good home” claptrap – no more drug lies to consumers overseas. No more profits to foreign corporations that pay zero US tax on their ill-gotten gains.

    No more wide-awake, terrified dismemberment for 130,000 of America’s companion animals each year – thousands stolen – to feed upscale diners that don’t share our values.

    70-90% of Americans polled want to ban horse slaughter NOW. Enough!

    Congress, are you listening?


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