March Against Horse Slaughter

Three horses looking straight ahead. Photographer unknown.
Trio of determined looking horses. Photographer unknown.

BY VIVIAN FARRELL

This has been a tumultuous year for horse advocacy at The Horse Fund. So much so that we have barely blogged until just recently. And boy, do we have a lot to tell you.

March Against Horse Slaughter

We will start with “March Against Horse Slaughter”. This was no social media exercise where you never really know who you are dealing with. We took it to the streets — literally. Boy was it eye opening.

Opinions Counted

For the whole month of March we went out and talked to the average American about horse slaughter. We decided to have no preconceived ideas or agenda, just to find out this:— are they for it, against it, no longer care?

Horse Fund volunteers went to 139 US cities in 34 States from the east coast to the west coast. We always had at least two people present, one to talk with people and one to take notes on what was discussed. The note takers were armed with clickers who recorded the numbers of people we spoke with. The total tally was amazing. Close to a million people.

Misinformed Nuts

During this exercise, Leslie and I were in downtown Louisville, Kentucky for three days, before going to Lexington and Frankfort for several days each, talking to people about horse slaughter.

The most surprising of all the responses were from this group of people — the people who looked at us like we were misinformed nuts, telling us that horse slaughter was banned years ago, that horses weren’t being slaughtered in the US any more.

Well, it’s true no horses are being butchered legally on US soil we told them (only because of the continued yearly horse meat inspection defunding in the federal budget), but US borders are still open to the shipment of horses to Mexico and Canada for slaughter, and trucks loaded with horses from the US are being shipped there right now, today and every day, especially Quarter Horses and guess who — the Thoroughbred racehorse — among others. They were shocked. Truly stunned.

Shocking Brag

Not sure why, but what’s coming up below shocked us, although Leslie and I have read and heard it whispered about enough times.

Unwanted and injured racehorses from Kentucky are going to Canada to be dumped at a slaughterhouse we were informed face to face by an admitted racetrack worker. He told us he has hauled a bunch up there himself — from a famous Kentucky racecourse too he bragged.

“You bitches are ****ing stupid if you think you will ever get horse slaughter stopped”, he told us. “Racing and gambling will never let you and they got power you can’t begin to fight. And nobody elected can help you neither. They all owned. You betcha, everybody you think can help you is already owned.”

When you look at the fiasco that was this year’s Kentucky Derby, we can believe it. But foolishly or not, we are not put off. We must stop this. We will stop this.

Closing Borders to Horse Slaughter

It was in April and May, after we gathered the massive amounts of data we had collected, combed through it and analyzed it ourselves, and then had a professional take a look at it, that we arrived at the following conclusion.

Since it appears that we cannot rely on the US Congress to outlaw horse slaughter — and we have been trying since 2001 — we will go back to what we are good at and successful at doing. And that is working at the State level — like we did in Texas and Illinois.

We have a campaign designed and manned for Texas and it will begin at the end of summer.

In the meantime, what about . . . ?

H.R. 961 — The SAFE Act of 2019

There’s a big glimmer of hope. We are not giving up totally on this bill. Never were.

But we realized we just had to have a back up plan to a federal law being passed, because the nightmare of slaughter for our horses must come to a complete end.

We have a whole new strategy for H.R. 961 and pretty excited about it. We will post about it tomorrow. If you can’t wait until then, we have something up on our website now where you can begin taking action. If you are a subscriber, you already know and God willing working on it.

Pension Me Off

I want to retire but I can’t retire until I am thoroughly done with this — the issue that started it all for me 20 years ago with Texans for Horses — horse slaughter. Getting horse slaughter banned in the US would be a swell way to bow out.

Resources

Action Alert — H.R. 961, The Horse Fund »

H.R. 961 — 116th Congress (2019) — Cosponsors  »

U.S. Congress 2019 Session Calendars and Schedules (pdf), Congress.gov Resources »

Horse Slaughter Legislative Timeline — 1998 to present, The Horse Fund (includes State and Federal) »

Died in Committee, Tuesday’s Horse »

 

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.
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

Kill buyers still making a killing selling horses to be killed for their meat

Photograph: Denis Doyle/Getty Images.

MARCH AGAINST HORSE SLAUGHTER — No horses have been legally slaughtered for human consumption in the US since 2007, when the last operating horse slaughterhouse in Illinois was closed down.

In 2017, kill buyers are still making a killing.

Numbers vary, but the general consensus is that approximately 130,000 US horses are slaughtered annually across its borders. It is the job of the kill buyer acting on behalf of these slaughterhouses to supply those numbers. Often this is done at livestock auctions. But they also prey on unsuspecting horse owners and many are also known horse thieves.

Unless something drastically changes, those numbers look to stay the same.

The number of US horses slaughtered may suffer a hiccup or two in the near future.

The new EU mandate of a six month waiting period for US horses crossing the border into Canada before they can be slaughtered for human consumption should diminish the numbers killed when it starts on March 31.

However, we know from previous experience with the Canadian EID — a passport of sorts listing all the medications a horse received in his lifetime but was constantly forged — that kill buyers and horse dealers are very adept at circumventing the law.

And who’s to enforce it?

Horses before the auction at Shipshewana. These were racing, riding, and show horses. But the slaughterhouse buyers were there to bid on the least expensive horses. Source: Animal Angels.
Horses before the auction at Shipshewana. These were racing, riding, and show horses. But the slaughterhouse buyers were there to bid on the least expensive horses. Source: Animal Angels.

In the meantime, our sources tell us that slaughterers in Mexico are scrambling to convert existing facilities and expand others in anticipation of the new EU restrictions concerning Canada when thousands of slaughter horses may be redirected to Mexico.

If thousands more slaughter horses are indeed sent instead to Mexico, a side effect of this will likely be horses turned back at the border.

Horses bound for slaughter and turned back at the Mexican border are sometimes cruelly abandoned after they have already made a long, horrifying journey in all temperatures without food and water, many of them injured, and some of them pregnant and mares with foals.

Kill buyers have been known to tell the transporters to get rid of them because they do not want the expense of returning the horses to the feedlot when most probably wouldn’t survive the return trip anyway. So they are turned loose.

Horses turned loose like this have been rescued when known about but most die a long, agonizing death, as the numerous carcasses that have been found tell us.

There are several kill buyer lists on the internet. If you learn of any, please report them to us anyone on the list below. But do not approach them. They can be very dangerous people.

It is amazing how much these people look like the ruthless killers they are; like serial killers. Very creepy.

KILL BUYER LIST

 Killer Buyers Exposed on Facebook »

Kill Buyers and Horse Dealers in the USA — Equine Rescue Network »

 Known Killer Buyer List — Mary Nash’s Horsemeat Website »

 Kill Buyers of Horses United States — My Horse Forum »

NEW TO THIS ISSUE?

See Animals’ Angels page on Horse Slaughter. Contains video footage. Viewer discretion advised.  »

THE HORSE FUND

See Finding a Home for Your Horse »

See Insuring Your Horse for a Humane End »

OTHER RELATED READING

See Mexican Horse Slaughterhouses | On the Road In Mexico

FEATURED IMAGE
Slaughterbound horses. Photograph: Denis Doyle/Getty Images