A recent article in The Journal Standard, “AT THE CAPITOL, You Can’t Change the Facts on HSUS,” authored by Illinois State Representative Jim Sacia, is a clear example of deflection.
Sacia deflects criticism from himself for his pro-horse slaughter stance by pointing a finger at Wayne Pacelle of HSUS (who he refers to as “Big Dog”), alleging misrepresentation of use of donation dollars.
“Spin it any way you want to, folks, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) contributes far less than one percent of the donations it receives to your animal shelters. This is not data made up by Jim Sacia. It comes from credible agencies such as the Center for Consumer Freedom, humanewatch.org, animalallegience.com, dairyherd.com, the local Illinois Farm Bureau offices, and numerous others.
Recently, the “Big Dog” himself, no pun intended, challenged my recent article regarding the fleecing by HSUS of you the citizens, who buy into their swill.
Interestingly, he did not challenge my factual information on the amount of money contributed to them that actually finds its way to animal shelters. Rather, it was an attack on my support for horse slaughter in the United States, which should be termed the humane termination of unwanted horses
Due to the efforts of HSUS and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, horse slaughter was ended in the U.S. in 2007. Before you rejoice, think of what your support for that did.
The same number of horses (or more) are still being slaughtered. We now have a decimated horse market. Horses that previously brought $1000 at auction now bring less than $100. The “killer buyers” are stuffing them in trailers and transporting them more than forty hours to Mexico with little food and water.
In Mexico their end of life is anything but humane. It would sicken you to know the way in which many are put to death. Nearly 100,000 U.S. horses a year face this plight there, but you can rejoice — out of sight out of mind.”
The allegations against HSUS made by Sacia, if true, would indeed be deplorable. But take his charges against Pacelle and company out of the equation, and Sacia’s “rebuttal” still fails to impress. It is inaccurate, full of misleading statements and reeks of image management.
Why is there no mention of the horses that are regularly shipped across the border to Canada?
“According to the USDA’s figures, released in March 2010, 88,276 horses were slaughtered in North America during 2009—a decrease of 38 percent from the decade high of 140,911 horses processed in 2007. From 2001-2009, the mean number of horses slaughtered each year was 97,954. So 2009’s total is below average, but the number of horses slaughtered in Mexico and Canada is historically high, making up for the lack of in the United States.”
These figures did not significantly change for 2010, so why does Sacia contend that all of these horses are transported south of the border? Although he circumvents the brutal “puntilla knife” butchering method used by Mexican slaughterhouses, he is intimating that horse slaughter outside of Mexico is humane by comparison.
Clearly this is a politically Machiavellian tactic Sacia is using to persuade the gullible citizen that the process of horse slaughter is humane in the US and Canada without illuminating the horrors of the captive bolt and rifle and the inadequacies of humane facilities. There is ample undercover footage and verbiage to corroborate otherwise. Those of us who are knowledgeable of the callousness of horse slaughter in Canada, and formerly in the US, cannot be deceived. But what about the general population? The terms humane and horse slaughter are bipolar; diametrically opposed.
Moreover, his statement; “The same number of horses (or more) are still being slaughtered” is simply farcical.
The same number are being slaughtered because the US, in spite of the ban on horse slaughter, is still transporting their horses to these countries for slaughter. Re-instating horse slaughter in the US will not change this number and in fact may exacerbate the situation. One need only look at the change in the horse slaughter statistics since the closure of the plants in the US in 2007 – a 38% decrease! Who is he kidding?
As for the prices of horses at auction it is a direct result of the downturn in the economy; not as a consequence of the ban on horse slaughter in the US. Even when prices were higher the same number of horses were destined for the slaughter pipeline as clearly indicated in the data released by the USDA in 2010.
In conclusion, Sacia continues in the same vein.
“I have been writing weekly articles for nearly my entire eight years in office, I often receive responses. Never have I received more positive responses than my recently published article on the fleecing of you by HSUS. They number in the hundreds from across the entire United States. Finally a negative one and it comes from the “Big Dog” himself — go figure.
“Give your support to area shelters.”
Sacia’s use of HSUS in this article is a prime example of deflection. Support your local shelters and while we’re on the subject, help horses too, support horse slaughter, a humane and well-designed alternative.
Written by JANE ALLIN
Note: State Rep. Jim Sacia took any opportunity available to vote against bills in the Illinois House banning horse slaughter, and introduced bills to overturn the Illinois law finally enacted in 2007 that shut down Cavel International in DeKalb, the last horse slaughter plant operating on U.S. soil, ever since.
Last Minute Addition: To read a mea culpa letter from his wife (including a photograph of Sacia with a horse), go here >>