U.S. Agribusiness lobbying hard for return of horse slaughter

Fund Horse, US Flag and Capitol Dome. Vivian Grant Farrell.
Fund Horse, US Flag and Capitol Dome. Vivian Grant Farrell. Click image to join the Horse on the Hill™ Gang.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Meat peddlers in the U.S. are happy. Why? In a word. China.

While trying to put together some statistics on U.S. meat production and consumption during Meat Out for Mustangs, a meat man made this remark to Tuesday’s Horse, “The meat industry here [U.S.] could care less if the entire English speaking world goes vegan. The demand in China is big and getting bigger. We could never hope to fill it all but we’re damn sure going to try”.

What is China demanding now more than ever? Equine meat.

Horse Meat Peddlers Busy

While lobbying on the Hill, a U.S. Senator told us that it is hard to make an argument against the United States refusing to compete in the world wide market demand for horse meat. Add to horse meat the strong demand in China for the meat of donkeys and the entire equine meat demand is skyrocketing. It is worth millions if not billions of dollars.

The U.S. Agribusiness wants as much of the equine meat market as it can possibly get. Right now its plan is to eliminate competition in N. America is simply this: kill off one; work with the other.

Canada

The horse meat business in Canada relies heavily on U.S. horses coming across its border to do a brisk business — roughly 60% of all horses slaughtered. A big return of horse slaughter to U.S. soil could for all intents and purposes put an end to horse slaughter in Canada.

Indications are that it would be a similar story with Mexico but with a twist.

Mexico

The U.S. Agribusiness lobby envisions working with Mexican horse slaughter plants, not competing with them.

The EU currently have no horse slaughter plants operating under its jurisdiction in Mexico. This is perfect for what U.S. Agribusiness have in mind.

We were told by a lobbyist for U.S. Agribusiness that they are working on a deal with Mexico to do necessary routine inspections of their horse meat. Mexico would send their horse meat to the U.S. The USDA would “inspect” it (meaning they would test random samples), put their seal on it and send it on its way — for a fee. Horse meat sanctioned by the USDA would be worth millions to both countries. We are told their negotiations are firmly underway.

The proposed location in the U.S. for proposed horse meat inspections and export? Right across the border in Texas. How convenient.

This is why there is movement afoot right now in Texas to open not one but two horse slaughter plants, in a State with a long history of killing horses for their meat and shipping it. Oklahoma is itching to get in the game too we are told and they have thousands of wild horses there to dispose of if the Department of Interior gets what it wants in the 2018 Appropriations Bill.

What must happen for the above to be accomplished? By restoring federal funding to the USDA for horse meat inspections necessary for its export, or in other words NOT returning the defunding provision to next year’s federal budget. Horse advocates want that defunding provision to continue.

Current Status

The U.S. House Appropriations Committee voted not to return the USDA horse meat inspection defunding provision to next year’s spending bill. The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee voted to keep it. Next up, the full House and full Senate will vote on it.

Take Action

You can see how important continuing the defunding provision for horse meat inspections in next year’s federal budget bill is and how each one of you must keep calling your U.S. Representative and both U.S. Senators, in particular the U.S. House right now as it is divided almost equally.

Horse meat peddlers are licking their chops. Your call could turn the tide in favor of the horses!

Take action by calling your U.S. Representative.

We have this information because we have boots on the ground in Washington thanks to our stellar lobbyists supported by the Horse on the Hill™ Gang. Join today!

Keep a strong voice for our horses where lawmakers are involved. Make a donation. Matching gift reinstated and active for next 24 hours!

The current budget bill that includes the USDA horse meat inspection defunding provision ends September 30, 2017.

Thank you!

 

Dual campaigns can benefit all NA horses threatened with entering the slaughter pipeline

Galloping horse statuary near Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. Photographer unknown.
Galloping horse statuary near Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. Photographer unknown.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Horse Slaughter) — Dual anti-horse slaughter campaigns launched by The Horse Fund could benefit all NA horses threatened with entering the slaughter pipeline.

Canadian horse slaughter plant owners are lining the pockets of U.S. federal lawmakers and lobbying them to ensure U.S. horses continue to go to their country for slaughter.

Horse slaughter plants in Canada are scared of the knock on effect it could have on their business if we eliminate all U.S. horses from entering the human food chain.

Ending the export of U.S. horses might very well be the final nail in the coffin of an already struggling Canadian horse slaughter industry and they know it.

Eliminating U.S. horses from the Mexican slaughter pipeline could also harm the Mexican horse slaughter industry causing one or more of their plants to shut down.

If we work together and end the slaughter of U.S. horses, think how many horses would benefit if not a single horse from the U.S. entered the slaughter pipeline. It would put kill buyers out of business, shut down those hideously cruel feedlots and eliminate the nightmare of transport to slaughter for thousands and thousands of horses.

We need to continue to work at the State and Federal levels to do this.

Ready to help? 

Matching Gift Opportunity

One of The Horse Fund’s loyal supporters who has matched many a financial contribution over the years was so impressed with our dual anti-horse slaughter campaigns he has stepped in once again with yet another matching gift opportunity for us.

Make a donation to support one campaign — Join the Horse on the Hill™ Gang — and our generous benefactor will match it dollar for dollar and donate it to the other campaign — Join Our State Anti-Horse Slaughter Campaign — both launched today here on Tuesday’s Horse.

Make a Matching Gift Donation

Please give in your own currency and where necessary it will be converted into U.S. dollars at the current rate of exchange.

Thank you so very much.

THE HORSE FUND

Tracking Canada’s horse slaughter trade from Alberta to Japan

'Breakway' by Robert Spaith was previously situated in the Domestic Terminal Building, but now graces the Arrivals Level in the new terminal. Image source: Calgary International Airport.
‘Breakway’ by Robert Spaith was previously situated in the Domestic Terminal Building, but now graces the Arrivals Level in the new terminal. Image source: Calgary International Airport.

HORSE SLAUGHTER. Source Article: VICE. By Anna Brooks (June 15, 2017) — Walking through the Calgary International Airport, you’ll pass a bronze statue of wild horses running.

Entitled “Breakaway,” the immortalized horses were intended to be a metaphor for Calgary’s spirit and strength.

But there’s another story of horses at the Calgary airport, a story some veterinarians are calling a “huge animal welfare issue.”

For years, animal advocacy groups like the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC) have opposed the transport of live draft horses to Japan for slaughter. In Canada, alongside Mexico and parts of Europe, this practice is legal, unlike countries like the US where horse slaughterhouses are banned.

According to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents obtained by the CHDC and provided to VICE, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) banned shipping draft horses—a breed that can weigh more than a thousand pounds. Canadian Horse Defence Coalition image.
According to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) documents obtained by the CHDC and provided to VICE, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) banned shipping draft horses—a breed that can weigh more than a thousand pounds. Canadian Horse Defence Coalition image.

Horse meat is a delicacy in Japan, and places like Kumamoto specialize in fresh dishes like basashi—horse sashimi. Horse oil is also a sought after beauty product in Hokkaido, where it’s used to treat wrinkles, acne, and sunburns.

Slaughtering and selling horse meat has been outlawed in the US, whereas in Canada, there are four active federal slaughterhouses producing horse meat for human consumption—two of which are in Alberta.

While most of Canada’s horse meat is exported to countries around the world, horse meat is still locally available, especially in Quebec.

While groups like the CHDC had hoped to see horse exports decline over the years, recent data from Statistics Canada show 1,350 live horses exported as a commodity to Japan between January and March 2017, a batch valued at more than $2.6 million.

The number of live horses shipped from Canada to Japan has dropped since January, but prices per horse have increased; according to Statistics Canada, the average price per horse in February 2017 was $1,451, compared to March’s average of $4,136.

Read full article for more »

Take Action Canada

Prime Minister

Contact the Canadian Prime Minister and include in your personal message that (1) you are opposed to the live shipment of horses for the purpose of slaughter for human consumption and (2) to please see that existing regulations against the live transport of draft horses are enforced.

Health Minister

Contact the Health Minister who oversees the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and politely deliver the same message as above.

Please share everywhere. Let’s do this in numbers on behalf of these horses. Thank you.

Related Reading

Horses are still being shipped live from Canada to Japan to make specialty sashimi; Tuesday’s Horse; April 2017

Montreal’s mayor announces news rules for horse drawn carriages

A horse-drawn carriage rides in Old Montreal Wednesday, May 18, 2016 in Montreal. Montreal mayor Denis Coderre announced there will be a one-year moratorium on the carriages following recent accidents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson.
A horse-drawn carriage rides in Old Montreal Wednesday, May 18, 2016 in Montreal. Montreal mayor Denis Coderre announced there will be a one-year moratorium on the carriages following recent accidents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson.

MONTREAL, Canada — The horse drawn carriage (calèche) business in Montreal has a checkered history something it has in common with every other city who operates this type of business.

Last month, Montreal’s Mayor Coderre imposed a one year ban in order to assess the situation and give them time to unveil a new plan for the industry next spring that will create “optimal conditions for the horses” only to have it reversed by a Quebec Superior Court justice.

Now Coderre is prepared to table (introduce) a set of guidelines on how the horse drawn carriage business can ply its trade.

CTV reports:

Montreal will table new regulations to protect the welfare of horses working in the city’s controversial horse-drawn carriage industry, Mayor Denis Coderre announced Wednesday.

Coderre said the rules will include limits on how long the horses can work and in what temperatures.

“I think the horse is part of our history, part of our heritage, and we have to make sure that we protect, first and foremost, the horses,” he told reporters.

Last year, Coderre tried to place a one-year moratorium on the popular tourist draw after several accidents involving caleche horses were caught on camera.

That decision was later reversed after a Quebec Superior Court justice ruled the carriages should be allowed to continue operating.

In an executive committee meeting earlier Wednesday, Coderre said the new rules would limit the horses’ working days to nine hours and prevent them from working at temperatures over 28 C. They will also have to be seen by a veterinarian at least twice a year.

The bylaw will be tabled Monday and is expected to be adopted in August.

In the long term, Coderre said the city would consider building new stables for the horses.

Coderre’s announcement was quickly panned by some animal-welfare advocates, who have been calling for a total ban on the carriage rides.

Read full article »

No matter how well intentioned, Coderre’s regulations are welfarist and will not improve the lives of the horses in any substantial way. Most importantly of all, however, they will do nothing to remove the threat of accident resulting in injury and death.

Just last month CBC News reported on two carriage horse accidents in a single day within an hour of each other:

Witnesses say the horse pulling the second carriage tripped and fell on the ground. (Marie-Maude Pontbriand/Radio-Canada)
Witnesses say the horse pulling the second carriage tripped and fell on the ground. (Marie-Maude Pontbriand/Radio-Canada)

Two calèches were involved in two separate accidents in Quebec City Saturday afternoon, near the Château Frontenac.

In the first case, the driver appeared to have lost control of his horse, according to a spokesperson from the Quebec City police.

The driver was sent to hospital with minor injuries to her legs.

In the second incident, witnesses told Radio-Canada, CBC’s French-language service, that the horse pulling the second carriage tripped and fell on the ground.

The family riding in the carriage at the time was unharmed.

Neither horse was injured, but they were given Sunday off to recover from the incidents.

Wow. A whole Sunday off.

But how do you regulate accidents from happening? You cannot. It is proven that horse drawn carriages must be banned from operating in high traffic areas because horses spook and run causing mayhem potentially injuring themselves and others, possibly even death.

* A calèche is a two-wheeled one-horse vehicle with a seat for the driver on the splashboard.