Lifting the US Ban on Horse Slaughter

Dignity and Nobility Again

The slaughter of horses was halted in 2007 in the US by some well meaning people who loved the horse without really understanding the horse or the industry,… like loving elephants but not realizing you cant keep one in your back yard.

The slaughter market has historically established the base price for the equine industry and with that market option gone, the industry collapsed and the horse suffered. following the ban, horses became of soo little value that the once proud horseman couldn’t feed them and he couldn’t sell them because the shipping charges to the auction house were higher than the money he might receive for all 40 head.

So they were turned out onto the back 120 acres to fend for themselves,… or all but given away to neighbors who claimed they could take care of them. The market was suddenly flooded with cheap horses for those who have always wanted one but had never cared for anything larger than the family dog.

then came the news stories,… starving, pitiful, foundered animals,… America is outraged. Then the secondary outrage. Those who rescued a horse suddenly found themselves adopting 5, 10 or 20 more because the need was so great,… but so were the expenses. Soon the kind hearted fellow with 20 acres was the next news story that outraged America,… with 30+ head of horses starving to death on dry lot pasture, and the tearful wife pleading to the news camera that she couldn’t turn them away but was she going bankrupt trying to care for them.

Finally the Humane Society of the United States had to admit that the slaughter ban had failed. Not only were news stories of starving horses playing out in prime time, but thousands of US jobs had been lost to Mexico, where no such ban existed.

But far more heart breaking was the realization that horses were STILL destined for slaughter,… in Mexico. Bought and packaged in lots of 50-100 or more by brokers and shipped by rail south of the border, they were being killed without HSUS oversight. Buyers would pay mere pennies per pound for not just the flawed or aged horse, but for beautiful healthy animals that would balance the weight loss during shipping for the whole lot. standing for hours and days at a time in train cars, without food or water for the entire journey, they were being hustled through chutes to their demise, presided over by other people in other jobs, in other facilities… facilities that I promise you have not one tenth of the reverence and compassion of those in the US.

Finally the ban on horse slaughter has been lifted. Now we learn that an equine processing operation will be opening up soon in the old Rockville facility, and will bring 40+ new jobs back to a hard hit community. HOORAY! The facility will be clean and compassionate and our people will be making their house payments and supporting their families.

Not only will we receive good paying jobs that will bolster our economy and restore our regional pride, but the noble horse will have a market value again, a position of dignity and respect that he once occupied will be restored to him. He will be treated as the valuable and noble creature that he is,… and maybe we will get some of our own value and nobility back in the process.

your input is desired

this is my letter to the editor of our local paper,... the arrival of the new equine slaughter facility has caused an dust up in our community,... this was my explanation to the people,... let me know what you think. this hub will not be up for ever,.. i will delete it after i publish it in the local paper.

feel free to chime in the comments section

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do you think that horses should be slaughtered for thier meat in the US??

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Deb Welch 4 years ago

I still believe the horse has a place in this world besides ending up as dog food. Slaughter houses are cruel. God's animals in many respects are treated as garbage even though they provide food on our table, money in our pockets, joy in our hearts and a learning process on-going throughout the years. We should respect animals, treat them kindly and give them a decent purpose. Your Hub is useful - some food for thought - the old saying goes. Up.

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stclairjack 4 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks Author

thanks for the thumbs up deb welch,... even though you and i might view some parts of the situation differently i appreciate your candor and opinion.

i understand compleetely the intent of those who worked to ban the slaughter of horses but sadly their efforts were poorly placed. the slaughter ban did more harm than good in the long run as i noted above.

its my greatest hope that we as americans learn from this experience and embrace a more whole and well rounded aproach to the plight of animals. the animals in our lives, both those that feed and entertain us, do not need the same rights as humans,... they are not humans. anthropormorphism will not further thier cause,... pitty will not aleviate thier suffering,... animals need the respect that they deserve.

the hindu in india views our slaughter of beef as evil,... the muslim views our consumption of pork as vile,... the korean has no qualms with eating a dog,... from one culture to the next our values are vastly different. in france horse is not only acceptable but in italy it is prized by some,.....

as americans we need to culturaly grow up.

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stclairjack 4 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks Author

i have to pull 300 words from this to get in the letters to the editor section at home,..... edit edit edit! ha!

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stclairjack 4 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks Author

down to 575 words m/l,... an eye on the re-write would be appreciated

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Deb Welch 4 years ago

I knew about the plight of horses in today's world - your Hub was very thorough. You mentioned feeding - oats and hay. I know they graze on grasses. I came up with the idea a few years ago that all huge park areas, estates, & golf courses, etc - cut their acres of grass and toss it away. Why couldn't it be bundled and given to animals to eat as a supplement to their regular food - even for drought areas in every state - animals starve to death. Cattle, other farm animals plus horses eat grass - so - even if they had to add an edible preservative - if they thought there would be a problem.

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stclairjack 4 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks Author

agree,... what the world needs is more people with more ideas on how to make things better for ALL of gods creatures. most of the places you mention do infact just mulch the clippings back in or at best, they compost the clippings and re use them in raised flower beds. the national park service provides a home to thousands of wild mustangs by managing the grazing and thinning the herd as needed. thats how we have adopt a mustang programs. clippings would probably never be feesable as animal fodder because of the fast decomp, and i'm not keen on giving the pharma-chem industry more money to develope any more preservatives. its a shame that these big green spaces couldnt be allowed to grow tall and hayed once a year with the hay being used for stock,... but people like the "look" of neet clipped lawns more than they like the look of nature they praise so much.

thanks for the eye.

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docval3 4 years ago from Houston, TX

Interesting article. I think it would go a long way to send this in to your local newspaper. Might I suggest capitalizing your title and your subheadings? It would go a long way for your credibility. Good content though.

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stclairjack 4 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks Author

thanks so much docval3,... i seldom get the kind of constructive reponse you've submitted me,... most want to talk topic but not shop,.. thank you very much. made the changes per your advice, hope i understood. ha!

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MamaNeedsJava 4 years ago from Undisclosed

Good hub. I'm curious about your choice to repeatedly use the word slaughter. It may be the most accurate choice but it's also emotionally charged. If what they're doing is butchering or meat processing then word variety might give some clarity to the issue.

On another note, in 2004 I was lucky enough to do some extensive traveling in Italy. A butcher, apparently having played this game on Americans before, fed us a delicious sausage before telling us that it was retired race horse meat from South Carolina. His English wasn't great but he did convey that in his opinion a noble animal had been given a suitably respectable end. Considering horses too good to eat is an American point of view that isn't serving us or the horses well.

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LynnIL 4 years ago

WHAT A BUNCH CRAP!!! Horse prices are not made by killing horses. Horse slaughter is only a dumping ground for over breeders. More money is made on live horses, like feed, vet, farriers, on and on. Use your heads. My house is almost at the price I paid for it 25 years ago. Its the economy stupid, as they say. And do you really think that opening a horse slaughter house will stop the abused, neglected and abandoned? NO!!! Horse slaughter is still available and it has changed nothing. You first must stop breeding. It is the law of supply and demand that makes a market. Look at gas prices.

Please show me where the HSUS said the ban failed. What most of you choose to ignore is that all the bills in Congress that would have stopped not only horse slaughter but also the long trips to foreign slaughter houses was stopped by the Pro-slaughter folks by placing holdings on bills and in the dead of night deals to block them by only a few. The ban was over turned by only 3 Congressmen on a committee at the very last moment of a major bill that needed to be past. Everyone knows given the chance to go to the floor for a vote it would not pass as 80% of Americans are against horse slaughter.

And of course you have said nothing about the banned drugs given to horses and stay in the meat. The only way that horse slaughter can make it is if horses are raised for slaughter as we in the US do not have a drug tracking system and the EU will no longer take our horses. Two Canadian slaughter houses have closed their doors to TB's already. The so called unwanted horses will never make it to the slaughter house and will continue to be starved. Sue Wallis who is trying to open the slaughter house in MO said so herself. She will raise for slaughter. It will not stop the unwanteds! It will be a closed market.

Before you send this to a paper to be published you better do some more research from both sides instead of this one sided one or you will look like a real j , well you get the idea.

Stop the slaughter of horses and pass HR2966 and S1176 to keep our horses safe and the horse industry growing.

jennifer 4 years ago

while i do disagree with your stance, it is a well written letter. personally i am concerned about the humane handling of horses as in the past the usda documented numerous violations and that was when horses were slaughtered here. additionally every attempt to improve the transport of horses has been met with opposition.

also there has been documented evidence that some of these "strays" are actually rejected from the mexican border and dumped there to starve and thirst to death. the kind of people who would do that i do not trust to handle anything humanely.

what you dont address, and i am sure it has something to do with word constraints, are the non horse related objections. the impact the slaughter facilities have traditionally had on the communities. the smell, the overloading of municipal sewage lines causing back up in to people's homes, the inefstations of roaches, rats and mice. the lack of financial contribution of the foreign corperations by avoiding taxes. studies have also shown that these plants are accompanied by a rise in crime rates. i am not sure if this is what you want in your community.

jennifer 4 years ago

additionally, with the economy in the state it is in, and we are all taxed enough, it would be irresponsible to spent one penny of federal tax money to inspect meat that we do not consume here. by 2013, the european union will require documentation that all horse meat sold there is free of chemicals such as bute. contrary to what slaughter advocates would have you believe, the idea that bute is dangerous was not invented by radical animal rights activists. the fda, usda and the european union who are not known to be in the pocket of the animal rights extremsits and deemed it unacceptable. by downplaying this issue, proslaughter advocates are mocking the very markets they want as customers. if we (and i have yet to see how the industry plans to adhere to these rules) do not follow the rules because the slaughter industry has decided are silly we run the risk of loosing them as a market. are these new plants going to require their kill buyers to have documentation of the medications, dewormers ect that the horses they pick up from random auctions or craigslist ads? so we spend all this money building and retrofitting plants and then not adhere to the laws of the people we sell to? to me that seems far too risky a venture to bet on.

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Mellony55 4 years ago

First I would like to correct oneof your statements. HSUS is not in charge of oversite of horse slaughter facilities, that is the USDA.

Apparently anti-slaughter advocates do not think that a 40-70% drop in foal production by the leading breed registries is significant. These registries are already seeing the results of this in the decreased number of young animals going into racing and the show ring. I am also curious as to how they plan to force people, both professional and back yard owners, to stop breeding their horses? How do they intend to pay for more rescues? I would rather that my tax dollars go to USDA inspectors that are helping to send food to other countries rather than to support domestic horse rescues. Currently the American taxpayer is paying $75.7 million dollars a year just to fund the Bureau of Land Management to manage 87,000+ feral horses and 5,800 feral burros.

Currently the estimated number of placements for horses in rescues and sanctuaries is approximately 19,000 and just like everyone else involved with horses, they have seen their overhead increase while adoptions and donations have decreased. By the end of this year we will have sent around 600,000 horses to Mexico and Canada for slaughter since the last processing plant closed in 2007. We have no idea how many thousands of unwanted horses have been turned out on public lands, abandoned, euthanized or simply been turned in the back pasture and allowed to die. To ignore these numbers and facts shows a lack of understanding as to the harsh reality of the current and future situation that horses and horse owners are facing and does not present a realistic solution. Nor does it consider that there will always be horses that become unusable because of lameness, poor disposition or age. Since horses can live well into their 30s, we are talking about a long, long time frame of commitment and cost.

Our choice is to either continue to ship our horses long distances to Mexico and Canada where we have nothing to say about how they are regulated or to open the American processing facilities to operate under our regulations and providing American jobs.

Deedie Fay Cameron 4 years ago

A clean and compassionate slaughter house? Really? There is nothing compassionate about horse slaughter just as there is nothing about horse slaughter that is good for the horse. Also, slaughter is never, ever clean. It has to do with letting an animal bleed out on the floor after being strung upside down while possibly still alive. Ten out of ten horses would suck and it benefits few owners or horses. The benefactors of horse slaughter are breeders who use it as a disposal and people who see it as a way to make money. That's about 20% of the population in this country. The rest of us have evolved and know better. When you know better, you do better.

Jo-Claire Corcoran 4 years ago

WOW, I don't know when I've seen such a poorly written letter with as much misinformation before... unless it was written by Sue Wallis. Please provide documentation of a direct correlation between lack of slaughter houses in the US and an increase in neglect and or abandonment. There isn't any, but I'll give you a chance to try. There is however a direct correlation to the unemployment rate and the increase in ALL animals being neglected and abandoned.

The HSUS has never said that the closure was a failure... it was PETA and they have clarified their statement, they are firmly against horse slaughter.

Thousands of jobs??? There were never thousands of jobs provided by the horse slaughter industry. The last three plants employed a total of around 200 people and the majority of those were undocumented workers, which is proven by the court documents in the lawsuits.

There was a six month study conducted which proved that in TX the majority of the abandoned horses were rejects from the export pens.

Sorry as far as humane goes... no dice, horse slaughter was not humane here in the US and it isn't humane in any country. However, the slaughter plants our US horses are going to in both Canada and Mexico are EU approved plants which must meet the EU humane standards which are actually more stringent than the US. The US standards have not been upgraded or changed since the 1950s.

Bottom line though, horse slaughter is not about unwanted or neglected horses, nor the bottom dollar on the price of a's about food production. Food production of a meat we don't eat and we don't raise in this country for food. Therefore our horses are not raised under the food safety guidelines like we raise our beef and pork etc. We give our horses medications which are banned by the FDA, EU and the CFIA from use in ANY animal intended for human consumption.

As far as registrations being down with the breed registries, part of that is supply and demand, simple economics, when the demand goes down, the supply should go down. However, what it doesn't account for are the foals born which are not registered. That happens every day. Not the right color, etc...

Sue Wallis is talking about plants in 30 states and tribal lands, slaughtering between 200-400 horses per day. If you figure 300 horses per day for 300 days, that's 2.7 million horses.. currently the market demand is only around 150,000 horses per year. Is her goal to eradicate the horse completely, or make it so that only the Romney's of the world can afford horses? That is what would happen if that many horses were killed each year. Of course there would be tons and tons of rotting horse meat because there is no market for that much horse meat. Cant afford to slaughter horses for profit if your only market are poor people in poor countries. Of course this may Sue Wallis's way of eradicating the world of it's poor... feed them poisoned meat and get rid of them.

Even dog food companies quit using horse meat in their products because of the problems and allergies with certain breeds and the products/medications we use on our horses.

Finally please explain to me how cruelly slaughtering a horse gives it dignity and respect?

Connie Nelson 4 years ago

I can't believe you used the words dignity and respect to decsribe horse . check this out if you can stand it...slaughter...

jennifer 4 years ago


the drop in 40-70 percent drop in breed registries does not necessarily mean that there has been a 40-70 percent drop in breeding. certainly some responsible breeders have adjusted their breeding practices to reflect the market, but the numbers you cite only reflect a drop in registered stock. there may be a correaltion between the two but that does not mean on caused the other. i know several breeders who are no longer registering their stock. they are leaving that expense up to the owner. i also know several people who just no longer see a value in registering their horse since they have either no interest or no didposable income to show. i also know several people who refuse to register or join a couple of the major registeries due to the registeries suppoert of slaughter.

in this time when everybody is cutting back, the larger registries have not done an especially great job of conveying the value of being a member to a lot of pleasure owners/riders who are not interested in showing in the overly expensive breed shows.

i would like to know where you are getting your numbers regarding rescue placement? and you numbers on abandoned horses? i have not seen a number on that before. the majotrity of stories i have seen about abandoned horses - aside from the ones abandoned by kill buyers - american kill buyers - end up being majority urban legends. people know a person who knows a person who found a horse....

additionally *if* slaughter was the magic solution to the horse industry, canada would have no neglected or abandoned horses, yet they do. proslaughter advocates just choose to ignore it.

in the past horse slaughter was full of humane violations - and that was when it was done here under outr control. the conditions of horses being transported by american transporters are not humane - nor are they safe. look at three angels from tennessee. two major accidents in less than 6 months. these are aspects of the slaughter pipeline that we control yet do not require them to be humane.

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Mellony55 4 years ago

The processing of horses for meat can only occur in USDA inspected facilities which are governed by the U.S. Humane Methods of Slaughter Act requiring instantaneous insensibility from a single shot. Government inspectors are required to be present and to inspect the animals prior to, and during the kill process. Horse slaughter is exactly the same, and is held to the same high standard as for every other species of meat animal. There is no record of violations or citations issued for the mistreatment of any horses in U.S. horse processing facilities prior to 2007. Much touted mistreatment combined with graphically manipulated and out of context images show either injured horses that were hurt in transport or prior to arrival at the plant—(those injuries resulting from transport violations were prosecuted appropriately)—or they depict alleged events in other countries where U.S. authorities have no jurisdiction over the process.

Horses, like other animals commonly used for meat such as elk and bison may respond differently than traditional livestock such as cattle or hogs, but modern facilities are designed and managed for these characteristics. There is no screaming, no abuse, no being “butchered alive” this is all the worst sort of fallacious propaganda. Horses are killed quickly and cleanly after calmly walking into the chute at a facility designed for the unique characteristics of horses, by professionals trained to use equipment designed especially for the purpose, and under the scrutiny of government inspectors charged with both humane handling and food quality. It is a far better fate than any of the alternatives.

Buck 4 years ago

Horses are livestock all have been and always will be. When you all get the ban on horse slaughter what will you go after next hogs, cattle, sheep and goats? The horse is the first step then on to all the other livestock. Don't tell me that horses are pets I know a lot of 4H kids that have raised a calf or hog and they consider them their pets but when the time comes they understand that they will be on a dinner plate. This is still the good old USA and if I want to sell my horse to slaughter then that is my right just like your right is to not eat horse meat if you don't want to but don't tell me I can't if I want to!! We need a slaughter market for all livestock including horses. If all of you that don't support horse slaughter will give me your address I will send you all the poor and starved horses that people call me wanting me to take and I will send them to your house and you can pay the feed and vet bill to take care of an animal that has no value!! Give me some addresses if you got a hair on your a**. And don't not take care of that horse cause they will lock you up in jail longer than they would if you robbed a bank!!! Wake up people!!!

jennifer 4 years ago

mellony 55

i would ask that you refer to usda studies that were done prior to the planst being close in 2007. are you saying that the usda manipulated their own data to close the plants? with all due respect, isnt that a little black helicopter theoryish?

there are numerous videos from the canadian plants that show horses being shot/ or have the captive bolt used multiple times. they have been reviewed and authenticated by the canadian government. yes, that is canada and not the us, but the methods would be the same. the same videos that temple grandin (who designs slaughter houses btw) has seen and commented on.

you also fail to address the current inhumane treatment that is going on in the transport process which is something that the us has control over. if proslaughter people excuse the inhumane treatment that is currently going on, how are the majority of americans who do not support slaughter supposed to believe that so called humane slaughter regulations would be followed?

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Steve Stapp 4 years ago slaughter is not the same due to it's natural flight instinct and youtube is full of examples...8 sometimes 9 hits with the captive bolt. Knocked out. Waking up while someone is cutting your leg off...that sound humane to you?

This is the most inane reasoning I've ever heard. First of all Jo-Claire is right...just where did you get your so called facts and figures? They are hype you've heard from somebody from AQHA or Sue Wallis herself isn't it?

Elk and bison are not 'commonly' used although some doctors tell heart patients that buffalo is so lean it would be better for them to eat. Some poorly counselled folks think that's why the Europeans and Japanese eat it. Nay Nay...they've been told it will cure ED. Just like Rhino horn is supposed to.

You didn't know that did you? So you want our taxes to pay for inspections of meat that's supposed to enhance a man's virility.

Not me...we have children living with their parents in a car not knowing when the next time they will get to eat or if they're going to be warm this winter, or have clothes to go to school...Shame On YOU!

jennifer 4 years ago


please take a pill and calm down before you have a stroke. the vast majority of americans are against horse slaughter but the vast majority of americans do eat meat and that is not going to change. this is not about cows, pigs and chickens as much as alarmists would like to make it. this is the same type of extreme emotional argument that proslaughter likes to accuse antislaughter of.

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quarterflash 4 years ago

Thank you for your practical, considered opinion. We have to act to reform and regulate plants across the US to see that those horses who WILL be shipped and those who have no other options and are currently starving in our pastures have, at least, a swift end.

Persian Equine 4 years ago

Horse lost it's value because of the ban on horse slaughter industry ??? is that what your saying ???

Curt 4 years ago

No investor in their right mind would even consider investing in this type of operation. The slaughter of horses WILL be banned either by legislation state or federal or it will be prohibited by the FSIS and FDA in the very near future. The presence of a horse slaughter plant in a community will bring crime, pollution and unwanted elements. The thought of 20 to 40 trucks a day with terrified screaming horses would turn the stomach of any decent person. The smell and pollution would be horrible. Special measures would have to be taken to watch for stolen horses. The reason that special measures have to be taken to ensure no stolen horses are killed is because horses ARE stolen and have been KILLED at previous plants. A few bucks and the stolen horse is sent to the front of the line-done no evidence- Statistics have shown that horse theft increased near previous plants. When California banned slaughter, horse theft went down 35%. So the folks of Rockville should throw $laughter $ue Wallis out like we threw her out of Mountain Grove I have driven all over this country for 50 years and have yet to see a dead horse along the highway or even one abandoned.

Jo-Claire Corcoran 4 years ago

Again going back to the most important aspect which every seems to have forgotten and or chooses to ignore. We don't raise horses in this country for food. They are not raised under the food safety guidelines we raise our beef and pork. Do you understand what that means, it means we horse owners give our horses medications which are banned from use in ANY animal intended for human consumption.

What part of that do you people not understand???

Horse slaughter was not and is not humane. The only way to insure one hit per horse, is with a head restraint, guess what, wont work, horses are anatomically different from cattle, They have longer necks and are flight animals, which means, broken necks. Broken necks means ruined meat.... because they cannot bleed out the's already dead, the heart has stopped beating. You see the penetrating captive bolt is only intended to stun the horse not kill it, they need the heart pumping.

Horses are not conditioned as cattle are to travel in chutes and calmly wait until it's there turn. They also have keen sense of smell and smell the blood of the horses before them. Even Temple Grandin says without head restraint it can't be humane.

Now let's go back to what it does to the environment and the community...

The Impact of Slaughter Houses.

Buck... I eat beef, lamb, chicken, etc... but I still know and even a child can tell you this, we don't eat horses in this country.

Laurel D 4 years ago

I understand that you want to keep breeders in business. And with fewer riders than in any generation in history, you need to find other uses for the horses you breed. I just wonder if you can make any profit on the horses that are sent to slaughter. 4-H horse club members are down 70% from 10 years ago. Perhaps it is time for 70% less people trying to make a living breeding horses.

Francy 4 years ago

Some of you back yard gunsels that do not understand ranching, the horse business, the way slaughter prices definitely affect prices of other horses and the agony horses go through on the trip to Mexico..need to shut your ignorant mouths. Lots of old horses get run in a chute and get their brand butchered out of their hip so they cannot be identified, then are dumped on the mountains and deserts to starve to death. We do not send our good old rodeo horses, retired race horses, kid ponies, etc to slaughter, only useless, old, mean, or crippled horses that need sent to "Horse Heaven".

jennifer 4 years ago


are you saying that every horse that goes to slaughter is old, crippled or mean? i am not a rancher, but i do own horses and i know several people right now picking up cheap, broke, healthy rideable horses to take to the kill buyers for a few extra dollars.

do you think that the kind of sick person who would cut a brand off a horse and turn it loose to starve deserves to own a horse? if this is going on, they should be prosecuted for animal cruelty.

Shelly Dunn 4 years ago

It just fascinates me that people who want horses slaughtered, seem to think that by being able to do that on our own soil, will somehow cause hay and feed prices to suddenly drop to a level that anyone can afford, that fuel prices will drop, the housing market will turn around, and good paying jobs with benefits will suddenly be plentiful????

I wasn't aware that the closing of our own plants and having our horses be shipped across the borders to be slaughtered, caused all the problems our country is having???

Buck 4 years ago

The breeding numbers are way down in every horse registry for the last several years check with them. If over breeding is the problem then that does not make any sense to me why there are lots and lots of horses turned loose to fend for themselves and end up starving to death. Horses are consumed in this country by some people you just don't hear much about it.


Where do you get your information where most people in this country are against horse slaughter in this country? I think you should check it out a little closer. The only reason people are against horse slaughter is that they don't understand the need for an outlet for unwanted livestock. What is you answer to unwanted horses? Tell me!!! Give me your address and I will see that you get all the horses that need sent to the slaughterhouse for you to take care of! A blind man can tell that all the rescues are full and can't afford to take care of all the unwanted horses, so what do we do with them. What do we do with unwanted dogs and cats adopt them out right? Well what about the ones that nobody wants or can't find a home for, they kill them. Well who gives a rats a** if a human eats them or the maggots eat them. If you don't want to eat horse meat that is fine don't eat it, but don't try to tell me that I can't if I so choose this is not a communist country yet! Send in all you donations to the humane society so the top end employees have a high salary job, that will really help fix the problem of unwanted horses. Go outside now and start building that fence for all the horses you don't want to go to slaughter and then go to the bank and get a pile of money to keep them and watch that money go down the rat hole!!! You then will be the answer to all the abused, unwanted, old, crippled horses and you will get your name in the record books!!! You are against slaughter so be it, but what is your solution to the problem????

Curt L. 4 years ago

I see that all of the reasonable comments made with real facts did not make the moderators cut. Only the harsh screaming, insulting pro-slaughter ones did. The ones with no facts to back them up. Well that says a lot about the pro slaughter people. I am not a backyard gunsel. I own two farms in two states and I had a real job before I retired.

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stclairjack 4 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks Author

i am un able to moderate this until after 8am central time,.... just now got on here and dug through it all,..... wow.

all i got to say is please play nice,.... i know that both sides are passionate,.... but i require that both sides be civil. i will aprove ALL comments until i feel that some one is being overly abusive or just plain awfull.

i cannot possibly answer every contributor to the comments section,..... please know that i respect others opinions and beliefs,... and even if i think your rude or just plain twacked,... i at least aproved your comment.

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stclairjack 4 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks Author

for those following this hub, you now have the option of voting in a poll

jennifer 4 years ago


wow, you are getting just as emotional as a lot of the animal rights extremists get. simmer down. take a deep breath and count to ten. maybe you need a pill or something...

now i realize that this may come as a shock to you, but there has been a down turn in the economy. a lot of businesses have had to adjust and adapt. its sad, but some people even have to come up with new and better ways to get by in this economy. you can blame the closing of the slaughter plants for all your woes, but the fact is that there are and were a lot of economic factors that are still contributing to the high cost of horse ownership in a tough economy. like it or not very few people today *need* a horse to survive. they are pleasure animals, a luxury item, and when economies get tough, luxury items that cost money to maintain are the first to go. if you cannot afford a horse, then dont get one. neglecting, starving and abandoning a horse - or any animal is unacceptable and should be criminally prosecuted.

you want to compare dogs and cats, ok. lets. the only reason we have an over population of dogs and cats is that some people are still over breeding. when you saturate the market with something - anything - it looses value. basic economics. yes, unfortunately due to selfish and irresponsible people, we do euthanize cats and dogs, however humane euthanasia and slaughter are completely different things. if a horse is so painfully crippled ect, it should be euthanized. if, like a dog, it is so aggressive and poses a threat to humans, it should be euthanized. i have no problem with that. however, the slaughter process as is stands now, is not humane and i am not convinced it can be made humane for horses due to anatomical and behavioral differences.

additionally horses in this country are not raised for food. do you think that horse breeders or the average owner want to submit to the same levels of government oversight of their personal animals that beef animals are subject to? we use products almost daily on and in horses that are not labeled for use in food animals. just one example is bute. i know proslaughter likes to say that the bute controversy is something animal rights extremists invented, but it has been banned, not by the aspca,hsus or even peta, but by the usda, fda and the european union.

oh wow... i am guessing that you are implying that since i do not support inhumane treatment of animals, i am somehow a communist? i am not even going to dignify that level of extremist rhetoric with an response. other than to say that if you really believe that, you may need to spend some time making tinfoil hats....

yes, the answer is to send me all the unwanted horses...(i will let some of you know that was sarcasm). since you brought up the small animal overpopulation issue, is the answer to the problem of cat and dog over population to send all the unwanted animals to the people who refuse to spay and neuter or continue to breed? i thought the proslaughter camp was the rational, fact based, non emotional side?

my issues with horse slaughter are that it is inhumane, but there are a whole host of non horse related issues that i have covered in my posts here that proslaughter people seem to just ignore in this rather sad belief that if we can just slaughter horses, all of our economic woes will be solved. in the past communities that have had horse slaughter have ended up with a mess and proslaughter's refusal to acknowledge this is just more evidence that it will more than likely not change this time around either.

Laurel D 4 years ago

Maybe some of the horsemen who can no longer make a living raising horses should try another part of the business. If you rented horses, gave lessons and coached riders at shows; rather than just breeding, showing and selling, you might create more interest in riding. You might actually create more riders. You might actually create a need for a few more horses. While you are developing people's interest in riding, you could buy a few out-grown horses for your lesson string. You could get some want-to-be owners to share board on a horse. You could help transition horses to new owners until the demand for horses picks up and you need to start breeding again.

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Mellony55 4 years ago

Some people deny that horses are being abandoned in large numbers. Here is a start from San Bernardito county.

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Mellony55 4 years ago

Missouri. I could do this all day without repeating a post. People can even give their horses away now and they often cann't afford to feed them.

syroko42 profile image

syroko42 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Melony 55

horse slaughter is legal in Canada, do they have neglected horses up there or is it an equine utopia.

starving and abandoning an animal is inexcusable and should be prosecuted. there is no excuse for that.

there is also no excuse for ignoring the food safety, municipal impact, increased crime, increase in horse theft ect...ect...ect...none of these issues have been addressed.

i know you so desperately believe that if you can just slaughter horses your life will be complete, the economy will rebound and the world will be sunshine and happiness, but there are so many other issues involved here that you choose to ignore.

stclairjack profile image

stclairjack 4 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks Author

i've aproved all these comments because i think only an insecure hack denies comments,.... but now its my turn.

no one in thier right mind thinks that killing horses in the slaughter market will fix all our problems, and have us all skipping merily down the street with rainbows and butterflies flying out our arses.

no one should starve, neglect, or miss treat a horse,.... period.

the totaly unprepared good samaritan that takes in 30 horses w/ no real understanding of what that entails should be shaken vigorously by the shoulders and then hugged,.... and then helped out of the predicament that thier heart got them into.

the irresponsible new horse owner that "always wanted a horse" and had no clue that you cant keep one on a leash like the dog you "just had to have"..... should be tied to a stake in the sun for 3 hours and stared at by others,.... and then have thier animals taken from them,... and quite possibly thier children based on thier obvious IQ,.... period.

yes verginia, there ARE people in the states who raise horses for the meat market, as there are ranchers in europe that do so as well,... they are responsible compassionate horsemen and women that understsand our place in the universe along with that of our brethren animals. were it not for the equine meat industry, many draft breeds would have died out in the last 100 years,.. the bretton, the belgian, the percheron,... even the much loved clydesdale,.... all were on the verge of extinction after the advent of the automobile and the devastation of ww1,.... the breeders of equine for meat have done far more for the american draft horse than budwiser ever did,.... budwiser sells beer,.... meat equine breeders have saved an entire subspecies.

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Steve Stapp 4 years ago

I would like to see the backup for your "saving an entire subspecies" comments. I think it would be interesting.

stclairjack profile image

stclairjack 4 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks Author

google it,... by breed to see the effect that mechanization and ww's 1&2 had on draft breeds,...






then you may also "google it" to assertain the effect that breeding for meat has had on the draft breeds since then. while it is true that in the last 30 years with the green movement and a flourishing economy that draft breeds have made a comback,... there would have been virtualy no gene pool from which to revive from had the equine meat industry not saved the breeds.

syroko42 profile image

syroko42 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

wow... i guess if we could all develop a taste for endangered animals we could save them all....panda burgers anyone? fried bald eagle?

stclairjack profile image

stclairjack 4 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks Author

not to seem heartless,... but historicaly man has endevored to perpetuate species that have benefitted him/her,... and we dont much mind the demise of those who do otherwise.

it is part of the burden of being the highest species that the human race has only now begun to grow into,.... the concept of protecting and perpetuating somthing that does not directly benefit our wallets or stomaches or egos,... the idea that we might find value in the existance of something simply because it exists at all,.... its a very new idea in the human heart over the history of mankind.

none the less,... in a cruel world such as ours, economics trumps nearly all,.... if thier is money to be made at it,... it will happen.

best case scenario, we influence the hearts of men so that all things might be done with the dignity and respect that each of our fellow creatures is entitled to.

Buck 4 years ago

Very well said Stclairjack I'll bet not many of the anti slaughter or pro slaughter people knew those facts about the draft horse.

Jennifier what if you all wanted to stop the killing of dogs and cats who would feed and take care of them, they are the real pets not horses? Besides the dogs and cats don't live as long as a horse and does not cost as much to feed them. You are right no one and I mean no one should starve an animal or not take care of it. If you can't take care of it get rid of it but who is going to take the horses, cattle. sheep, goats & hogs that nobody wants when they have no value. All livestock has to have a value of some sort or there will be starvation, abuse and neglect if people can't afford to take care of them adn can't even give them away!!!

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syroko42 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia


i have worked many years in small animal rescue - mostly with spay/neuter outreach and education programs, as well as professionally volunteering my time as a veterinary technician in low cost spay/neuter clinics and while there have definitely been some successes in reducing the numbers of animals dumped at shelters to be killed, it really will not change until people change. people need to realize that pets are a privilege, not a right. if you cannot afford an animal, you do not get one. if you cannot afford the medical costs associated with breeding your animal, you do not breed. the vast majority of rescues are cleaning up the mess that irresponsible people make. that is not the topic at hand though.

buck, to be completely honest with you and whoever else reads this... i used to be proslaughter. i was a animal science major and all my profs said that horse slaughter was an unfortunate yet important part of the industry. i used to tisk and repeat that to my "less informed" friends and shake my head. this was when slaughter was happening. about a year and a half ago something happened that made me start really looking it to it and what i found is that there is a lot of propaganda ON BOTH SIDES. the more researched - going back to original documented sources, the more questions i had about how humane slaughter is for horses. at present, the technology just isnt there. even temple grandin is not convinced that horses can be slaughtered humanely. when i would ask proslaughter people about my concerns, i was either largely ignored or ridiculed for daring to even question the need.

i have economic concerns... sue wallis estimates it will cost between 2-6 million to build of retrofit a plant for horses. thats a whole lot of money. it is a fact that the majority of our horses have been given bute at one point or another. it is a fact that bute has been banned in food animals for but the us and europe. it is also a fact that proslaughter people gloss over the safety concerns of it and pretend that it is something that was made up by fringe activists.... now we spend all this money building plants here and there and the eu is cracking down on documenting what is in the meat it imports in 2013. so then what? i have seen NO ONE address how the slaughter industry plans on adhering to these regulations. so we spend all this money, dont adhere to the regulations of the market we want to exploit and they decide that our meat isnt safe for import. then what? is the demand in asia and elsewhere enough to compensate? additionally, due to a global recession, the european consumption of horse meat is on the decline as it is a delicacy and when in a recession, delicacies are unaffordable. so then what? we have wasted a whole lot of tax money for a market that does not exist.

are we going to start breeding horses purely for meat? are horse breeders willing to subject themselves to he same scrutiny that our other food animals are subject to? do you think the average american horse owner is willing to be subjected to government over sight of their pleasure horses? to move to a european style monitoring of the medications/supplements we use in our horses? i sure as hell dont want more gov't in my life...

i have municipal concerns. google kaufman texas. the residents there talk about the stench, the rats, mice, and roaches. they talk about municipal sewage systems overwhelmed to the point that there was blood backing up. whenever the foreign owned plant was cited, they just wasted the towns money in litigation. the paid 0 dollars in taxes. the plant was a financial drain. property values dropped and crime rates increased. these are raw numbers. straight data. when i hear proslaughter people dismiss what happened there and to a lesser extent other plants, it tells me that they have no intention of making sure it does not happen again.

proslaughter is so fixated on killing horses as being the answer that they (largely) ignore any of the concerns than anyone brings.

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Deb Welch 4 years ago

I only had one last comment. I always wondered what kind of a person would work in a slaughter house? Are they desperate, cold inside,don't like animals, enjoy death or what?

stclairjack profile image

stclairjack 4 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks Author

syroko42-..... no matter which side of the argument one comes down on,.... the paragraphs you just wrote were the best yet. well stated from your POV. I have a lot of doubts myself,.... but to be honest,.. and I always try to be honest,....

I live in a community that is so hard hit in not just the "new" struggling economy, but we've been struggling financially here for years,.... this part of the Midwest is drying up and blowing away,...

there are a great many here that quite frankly don’t care if its a job killing kittens making fur purses for Hindu shepherds in Bangladesh,.... we want jobs,... period. I wrote this article from that POV.

do I understand the cruelty of horse slaughter???...... yes.

do I understand the hypocrisy within the industry???.... yes.

do I understand the idiocy of the flawed business model you just so deftly pointed out???..... yes.

but people are being evicted from their family land here,... we are loosing 100 year old homes here,... we are growing pot on the back 20 to make the payment on the farm.

we are not loosing our 2nd lake home or our luxury SUV,... the banks are taking our worthless 2bd 1bth homes and our 10 yr old truck,... NOT because we over extended ourselves,.... NOT because we lived beyond our means......because we committed the unpardonable sin of loosing our jobs.

they closed our plants, shut down our factories, took away our livelihood.

we sold our valuables when the "antiques road show" style pawn brokers came to town,... we sold the extra car,... we’ve plowed the front yard and gardened in self defense,... we sold the cattle to pay taxes,... we lost our house and rent a hovel with a leaky roof,....

we couldn’t sell our horses,... we loved them,... we grew up with them,... and they were worthless anyway,... but we couldn’t feed them,... and couldn’t keep them in the yard of the small rental we moved to in town when the bank took our house that 4 generations had been born in,... so we shot them and buried them on the family place before our tractor was repossessed.

if this sounds a bit mellow dramatic,..... I don’t care.

the folks where I’m from are good people trying soo damn hard just to keep their heads above water. if the devil rode up on a black horse and promised jobs killing puppies to make waterproof shoe covers for Sherpa’s in Tibet,.... we'd take the job.

we just wana work. we want to BUY our kids school supplies instead of standing in line to pick up free ones from the optimist club. We wana let our sons and daughters pick out their shoes this fall instead of signing up for them and wondering what color or style they might get from the lovely people in the next town who donated them slightly used. We just want our grandkids to be able to live in the same town they were born in without having to move away to get work…. But many of them aren’t born here any more either,…. Our little country hospital is dying too,…. The biggest employer in my small town is a hospice group,….. How appropriate.

I work in long term care now,…. And to be brutally honest,… I’d rather kill horses all damn day than continue to be a part of the human chattel industry,… but that’s a whole other subject.

sorry I ranted. -jack

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stclairjack 4 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks Author

p.s...... syroko42,.... you should stick around the writing community,... dont just sign up to leave a comment on one topic,... you write well,... grow here.

please dont judge writing ability by my last comment,... that was a steam releasing rant,... thats different, ha!

jennifer (syroko42) 4 years ago


i must return the compliment. your response is one of the most honest and heart felt comments i have read and i feel for you, i do. the whole country has been hit hard, but i do not have a doubt in my mind that you guys have been hit the hardest and you are the heart of this country. i am tired of seeing banks and big businesses that were bailed out on our dime (whether you agreed with the bail out or not) still finding ways to screw people. i am tired of seeing people being rewarded for not wanting to work while others scrape and find a way. i belive this whole country is frustrated, and to be completely candid, i dont think the worst has hit us. i am afraid that its going to get really bad.

our repersenatives are too busy lining their own pockets and dividing us up as a nation - getting us to fight each other so we dont realize what they are up to - to actually do anything that would be helpful.

this is a very emotional issue - both sides are so acromonious that we forget that there are real people on both sides here. what i wish - what i truely wish is that horse people would come together and fix this industry without slaughter. horse people are some of the most ingenious people on the planet. i am convinced that given duct tape and hay string we could fix anything. to be completely honest, i believe the plants reopening is inevitable - that doesnt mean i am not going down fighting though - well because i believe it is right but not just for horses.

yes i care about horses and i do not want them to suffer, but what i really fear is that small towns like yours are being used by a larger front for a foreign industry that is going to decimate your town. big money comes in with big promises, but if and when something goes wrong, you guys will be where you are now, or worse. i do not belive that it is right for an industry to come in, like they did in kaufman and negatively affect the town and be a drain on the city and its people and not even pay a dime in taxes. i believe that they are preying on you and small towns like yours. i dont trust the people at the top of this scheme for a lot of reasons and if you pay attention, i think you will smell a rat too.

dont apologize for the rant, jack. you have nothing to apologize for. despite being on opposite sides of this issue, i dont think that we are too far apart in thinking at all. if i wasnt in ga and you were up there in mo, i bet id love to have a beer with you.

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stclairjack 4 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks Author

sadly i dont drink beer,... i've been told many times over the years that were i to take up beer i'd be a far more pleasant person,... but then i divorced him. ha! i prefer rum, straight up in a double shot glass, with Dr Pepper on the side.

we all tend to view ALL outsiders with a raised eyebrow here,.. the town which the company plans to come to neighbrs my area,... close enough for me to drive to for work,... but then the entire community of 150 will be busting doors for those jobs so i'll stay home in a job i detest. the old beef prosc. facility there posses's its own seperate waste water system,.... a feature that the buyers thougt highly of i'm sure, given thier track record. its rhumored by oppostion that they will bring in illeagals to work there but they'll have a tough time of it if they try,.... its unique country out here,.... just one county line over here or there will make a big difference depemding on the subject,.... illeagals will NOT be tolerated,... they'll get burned out quietly and the FBI will be the only agency able to cover it,... cause the local law will smile and buy the matches,.....

yes,.... this company may ineed think they will "use" the small rural area that they are planning to "carpet bag",..... but rest assured,... they'll get used in return,... and used up if they try anything the locals dont like.

were a poor and starveing people,.... but we have a code that we are willing to starve for.

find me on facebook.!/jacque.miller.16

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TheJAG57 4 years ago

Your poll does not work. How many times have you voted on your own poll to make the numbers more in your favor? Here are my remarks, not that you will read them, but because the facts are there and you can't deny them, you can however, remain ignorant.

Although we are certainly going through rough economic times and no one denies that we have an overpopulation problem of horses, you are undoubtedly aware that the abandoned and starving horses are not the ones going to slaughter for the simple reason that their owners chose to abandon and starve them INSTEAD of sending them to slaughter.

Kill buyers are buying up the healthy, fat and young horses all over the country, because they get a higher price per pound for that type of meat. Thus they leave the meek, weak and injured, the truly unwanted, for society. Please read the USDA reports that clearly state that 92% of all slaughtered horses are healthy and in the prime of their lives.

The option of horse slaughter has in fact encouraged the quick dumping and turn around of horses, encouraged immoral lottery breeding practices and it helped create the overpopulation problem we now face today. Together with the state of the economy, the over abundant supply of horses is the reason for their decrease in value. The horse industry is in fact self destructing because of over breeding. If we could successfully curtail over breeding then horse values would have a chance to rise again.

We continue to breed over half a million horses each year in America encouraged by millions of dollars in breeding incentives and tax incentives. Basically one can write off a horse within 3 years, while his lifespan is approximately 25 years and even a dead horse is a tax write off. We currently send about one hundred thousand (100,000) to slaughter, which is actually less than 1 % of the current total population of 9.2 million horses in America. 1 % can hardly be considered an unmanageable amount if they were not to be slaughtered, but humanely euthanized or adopted instead.

It seems to us that if you truly cared about the welfare of horses, like you say you do, that you would perhaps take active steps to convert some of the millions of dollars in breeding incentives into funds for humane euthanasia and gelding and perhaps even help for horse rescues and sanctuaries. It is rather apparent by your actions that you care more about the welfare of the horse slaughter industry, than the actual welfare of the horse.

An end is inevitably coming to the horse slaughter industry, because of the fact that the meat is highly dangerous to humans. Phenylbutazone is banned for use in any animal intended for human consumption, because it causes serious and lethal idiosyncratic adverse effects in humans. The known carcinogen even in very small doses can cause bone marrow suppression, cancer, birth defects and early alzheimers disease.

You are undoubtedly aware that none of the horses going to slaughter are actually intended or bred for slaughter, they are mainly riding horses, race horses, injured performance horses, and pets. The United States (as well as you personally) is now in fact consciously responsible for poisoning unknowing consumers who are under the impression that the meat is healthy. In this lies the merit for a serious lawsuit against our government.

I have not elaborated on the intense suffering of the horses in this letter, as you have made it abundantly clear that your heart is not open to understanding it. However, with the position you hold, comes a moral duty to be fully and completely educated about the issues you are deciding upon. It is your responsibility to your constituents and in the case of a federal bill, to all citizens of America, that you visit the kill floor of one of the horse slaughter plants in Mexico, (since that is where most horses will be going after July 31st) in order to gain full understanding of what it is that you are promoting. Without ever having done so, it is immoral and hypocritical to continue to claim that horse slaughter is humane and good for the welfare of horses.

The notion that we can treat the horse with this much brutality and cruelty after it gives us his all for the duration of his life, is not only heartless, it is an example of western crudity and barbarity. In addition, it is downright un-patriotic to so soon forget on whose back we built this country.

We gain nothing by it. The slaughter plants are foreign owned and profits go abroad. Isn’t it time to find solutions to the problems we create, without compromising our humanity? Perhaps even more than this, it is just time to stop creating problems.

The final statement: you are proposing horse slaughter facilities that are going to damage my property values and everyone else's. The water table CAN NOT be replaced; the streams, lakes and rivers CAN NOT be replaced that will be the final resting place of the huge vats of blood that will be made from all of these slaughtered horses. Please stop with your ignorance, you are going to hurt people on purpose because you refuse to do the right thing. How insanely selfish, and sadly - you are hurting yourself too.

stclairjack profile image

stclairjack 4 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks Author

TheJAG57- I applaud such passion and enthusiasm this early in the morning,... wow. you should read on through the comments section to fully understand the POV from which this was written. none the less, your comment has been approved despite your condescending attitude.

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TheJAG57 4 years ago

Sir, your poll is not working. I tried to tell you that. Something is wrong and it is not tabulating the votes against horse slaughter because I was in here less than seconds ago; and it was more than 50% against horse slaughter. I do not feel sorry for you. My son is a single parent struggling to survive. He has to move where the jobs are. It is not easy. You have a job taking care of human beings, which could be the only kindness they will ever receive. You are not satisfied with what you have - same old story of people who want more and will destroy in order to get more - but will not do what it takes to make the right choices. I do understand your hardship, but I promise you, you have it good compared to my family and others that I know. Your reasons do not add up to being relevant to the facts. I hope you begin to realize that. Other wise, you will encourage many people to lazily determine the destructive fate of those around them - for the very reason they did not listen to facts and understand that there are better ways and much more prosperous ways to handle horses. Just when did horses mean so much to you after you lost you own? I had to bury my puppy about a month ago, someone killed him. But, that doesn't make me want to take all the puppies and slaughter them. There are many more puppies than there are horses. In less than one year, those horses that you are thinking about slaughtering will be gone; no more to slaughter unless you go to the black market and steal with them. If you believed in slaughter, why didn't you send your horses to slaughter for the money? That is right. You don't believe in slaughter. So why are you writing this article? Attention and of course, possibly money from the newspaper. What are you thinking? You can not start off doing something you don't believe in and force it on the tax payer; and expect good results. Think before you give in to pressure to write a pro-slaughter article for anyone! Thank you.

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stclairjack 4 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks Author

wow,... such self confidence is commendable. One can tell that you speak with authority and passion, kudos to you on that point.

A) you do realize what poetic license is? Hyperbole? The pseudo story presented in the comment you are refereeing to is fictional meant to represent the general plight of those in my part of the world,…. I assure you,… I am most certainly NOT in a pissing for distance contest in re; to monetary or emotional misery with you,… or anyone else for that matter.

B) the poll seems to be working from when I checked 5 minutes ago,…. But I did not include the poll in this article at the first,… it was an after thought. Many who have posted here or read the article would have had to come back to vote,…. I only included the poll yesterday afternoon. Sorry it doesn’t reflect the numbers that wish it to reflect just yet,…. Be patient,…. With your kind of zeal I can see where that would be problematic,…. But I have faith in you. fox news can make a poll reflect what it wants,.... i cant,... just have a drink and wait.

C) my job in long term care is not the one I would choose for myself but it is the one available to me,… it pays the bills but only the bills,…. My second job pays for groceries,… and my side work pays for gas.

D) I am a single MOM raising a fantastic young man who hunts fishes, says yes ma’am and no sir. He gets in fights at school because he doesn’t let bullies pick on other kids,… he struggles with his grades but never his conscience,…. I’m proud as hell of the life I’ve managed out of the ashes of stupidity, admittedly both mine and others.

E) if it makes you happy this article will probably never get published in the local paper because the assistant administrator at my work place would have me fired for my opinion on the subject,…. And I cant afford to loose my primary job. I have a code I’m willing to starve for,…. But I wont starve my son for it.

F) getting paid to put an article in the paper????????…………....... that’s the best laugh I’ve had all morning,….. Thanks for that,…. I needed that! This is a county with a total population of 9000 m/l,…. the paper has a circulation of 1500 at best,…. The office publishes 4 papers within the area,… total circulation,…. Perhaps 3000,…. Getting paid to contribute to the paper is laughable. it’s a 12 page rag that publishes 4 pages of church notes, 1 page of obituaries and 3 pages of legal’s to inform the world of who is getting foreclosed on or divorced.

Peace -jack

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Jamie DeHart 4 years ago from Dowling Park, Florida

Some of you need to get a life and stop trolling.

I am 100% behind humane horse slaughter. I would ask that anyone on the fence about the issue please educate yourself. Look at both sides of the issue. Those of us who support slaughter are not heartless. We love horses. They are wonderful forms of livestock.

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Steve Stapp 4 years ago

Dr. Temple Grandin has pointed out there are humane solutions to the problem of unwanted horses, while humane euthanasia (a side note: Euthanasia and Slaughter are two different things. Euthanasia is humane) is an option in those cases where the horse needs to be put down. If people are willing to devote the money and resources necessary, birth control including low cost gelding would help cut down the excess horse population. (There is only one facility currently offering that service. Raising awareness about overbreeding, finding jobs for older horses, establishing a "horsefinder" that like would help owners network to find homes for horses they cannot care for any longer, establishing hay banks and allowing hay to be harvested on land that the government pays farmers to leave unplanted, allowing in place rescue, creating horse parks, or imposing surcharges on stall fees at tracks and horsebreeding to cover the cost of humane euthanasia. In effect, the solutions relayed by Dr. Grandin are (1) stop the overbreeding, (2) find ways to care for horses in need. And the best way to do that? Ban the slaughter of American horses for human consumption. The availability of slaughter creates a salvage or secondary market that encourages the overbreeding.

By: Heart of a Horse

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stclairjack 4 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks Author

steve- i agree with nearly everything youve posted here,.... these concepts are already in place in many areas,.... i dont know of a single equine vet in our area that doesnt offer low cost gelding to clients that need it,... its one of the least invasive and safer procedires that the vet can offer. safe for the horse at least,... god bless the vet and the farier,.. they need it at times. ha!

hay banks, use of public lands, horse adoption, horse parks,.... these things exist and are a credit to our species in carring for another,... should they exist on a greater level? yes,... will they as if by magic if congress pushes a bill through,... no,.... good works are done by people, not governments for the most part.

i do agree that the availability of the slaughter market does tempt some to over breed,.... in the same way that the pork market collapsed a few years back,.... but thats another subject. instituting standards for meat horses like those for beef will curb that,.... those standards are comming,.... weather the anti-slaughter ciommunity believes it or not,... weather the slaughter industry likes it or not,.... theyre coming.

beware,... what happend to the pork industry few years back could just as easily happen to the horse industry within the niche of the slaughter market,.... wasnt prety for family farm pork producers,.... wouldnt be prety for family horse producers iether.

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Steve Stapp 4 years ago

Different argument...people are not going to run out to the meat market to buy horse meat just because it's there. If they have a choice of beef or horse meat which do you think they'll choose? Trigger or Mr. Ed were not food animals. That's what sticks in most folks minds.

Hell and entire industry was devastated just after WWII because of a cartoon character named Bugs Bunny. Up until that time rabbit was a food staple. People raised them on rooftops in NYC.

Any idea how many folks don't know the difference between the fish called a dolphin and the mammal called a dolphin (Porpoise)? I can't tell you the number of times in my life people I have sat down in a restaurant with and saw the fish on the menu and looked up and asked if they would be ordering Flipper.

Blind folded our palette's tell us it's chicken yet it is rattlesnake.

With all that in mind why put an animal through the inhumane process when we as American's aren't going to eat it. The EU is reconsidering our horse flesh for it's toxicity. We do have options. Not everything has to be about money.

stclairjack profile image

stclairjack 4 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks Author

in a world where hunger is a real and present threat for many every day,.... it astounds me how America has no real appreciation for the luxury of our high moral tone re; our dinner plate.

you have condensed the entire argument to its essence my friend,.... we have an "ewe" factor in this country re; horse as a food animal.

Americans are UNIQUELY attached to horses, we revere the horse as some kind of spiritual blood brother,... it symbolizes our freedom,... it is a status symbol to own one,… John Wayne rode horses, and fired a gun, …. In one capacity or another, one half of the populace in this country has embraced the gun,… the other the horse.

Some one in this comments section sarcastically referred to eating eagles,… well,… we eat turkeys, by the 1000’s upon 1000’s,… they were an indigenous bird of the Americas that was nearly extinct by the turn of 1900. The Missouri dept. of conservation was the first program in the nation to restore the American wild turkey to its glory,… the program being soo successful that every state in the union has modeled its conservation depts. After the Missouri program in one way or another. its from that very bird that the gene poole has been developed to creat the butterball we all prize. (as long at its neetly dressed, labled "free range" in order to ease our conciences, and wrapped in presumably sanitary plastic) Now ask your self this key question,…. If these animals were not A) valuable as meat and B) valuable to those who hunt,….. Would they have been saved? Probably not. They would exist in zoos at best or in books at worst.

Perhaps the BEST thing that could happen to the horse in the USA is to finally be embraced as a meat animal so that it could have a firmly established monetary value.

I agree with you,… not everything has to be about money,… but if you want a money centered society such as ours to pay attention,… it has to have a monetary value.

i may come off as heartless,.... i'm not,.... but i am practical to the point of Machiavellian.

Luka 4 years ago

This article written by this author is almost too funny, if it wasn't so pathetic, not to mention poorly written. Will I get every half-wit, knuckle-dragging, cave-dwelling, inarticulate, cousin-marrying pro-slaughter twit on my back if I say I can only wish such a beautiful noble, dignified end to all your lives too, in the same manner that you wish for horses, then yes, that's what I wish for!

stclairjack profile image

stclairjack 4 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks Author

well luka,.... that was certainly sensitive.

must say though,.... it did make me giggle,... and i always need a good giggle….. Even if it’s a sadistic dark giggle.

btw,.... we get "kind, caring, and compassionate" ends to our lives in long term care,..... the horse is put down,... the grandfather is kept alive Joseph Mengela fashion just because his continued respirations create jobs for nurse aids, dieticians and pencil pushers. The horses fear, discomfort and pain are brief,… the old woman with no family left, trapped in a distorted world of dementia is imprisoned in her body until we run out of ways to keep her in it.

I envy the horse.

jennifer 4 years ago

i dont think that the majority of antislaughter people are saying that people overseas cant eat what they deem culturally acceptable. of course there are extremists on *both* sides... personally, while there are a lot of aspects to other cultures i enjoy, respect and find interesting, there are a whole lot of cultural norms that i do not wish to see here. i will also throw this in though it may not exactly fit here, poor starving people overseas are NOT eating horsemeat. it is an imported delicasy... last i checked poor starving people cant afford such luxuries. i am nowhere near as poor as the average poor person in other countries and i certainly cannot afford kobe beef....

it seems that the majority of antislaughter people are saying that they do not want our tax money used to create an industry here that, we as a general population do not eat and is unsafe. sure there may be some boutique sales, but enough to support a slaughterhouse in every state? i doubt it - especially if we loose europe as a customer. anyone remember ostrich and emu?? they were supposed to be the next red meat. healthier, easier and quicker to produce.... yeah. i still know a handful of people in south ga that have emus and ostriches just hanging around...

i know i am rambling - got a lot on my mind - but be wary. the same people who are dangling quick solutions and jobs ect will be the same ones that will be in the position of either having to enact massive restrictions on the meat they sell to protect a foreign market - either by breeding it themselves to adhere to the cattle regulations - and really why shouldnt they? if meat is meat, shouldnt the same regulations be used? this will pretty much eliminate private horse owners from being able to use slaughter as a dumping ground. as a private horse owner, do you want to have to be able to account for every chemical, dewormer,medication and supplement you give your horse? i dont, but thats just me. i am not a fan of big government in general.

Bud Bell 4 years ago

Anyway you slice its still the same! Your killing horses for meat. Whos next old people. USA makes the most idiotic laws then turns them to work for ever makes the most money! I new born colt is worth more dead than alive. $0.47 a pound! You got to be kidding me. So it creates kill jobs! Let your kids know YOUR KILLING horses. Not humane! Its killing a creature who help make this country! Now its job is done we kill it. Any vets feel the same way?

Paloma 4 years ago

Hasn't it finally become transparent to say these horses are unwanted is just a ploy to diminish them? Maybe unwanted by one person but not necessarily another. And the answer to "what are you going to do with all the unwanted horses" is so obvious it is ridiculous. If you want to stop the "overage" of horses, then you STOP OVER BREEDING HORSES. Unfortunately, this "overage" is exactly what the pro slaughter wants because they need the "overage" to justify slaughter. So you can bet your bottom dollar there will be no efforts to stop the over breeding. This is about making money and off loading responsibility. Even Wallis' and Duquettes " proposed rehabilitation center is nothing more than a holding pen. Fatten 'em up and shove 'em in to the box. Kaching Kaching.

If you can't afford a horse, don't buy a horse. No different than anything else. Know what your financial responsibility will be. This economy has put a lot of people in a tailspin and the rescues are scrambling to keep up. But this is no excuse for returning to slaughter houses. It is time to do the right thing and stop sending horses to slaughter because we don't want to step up to our responsibility.

Wallis, Duquette and their groupies are in this for the money, plain and simple. They are not interested in horse welfare. Even the pretend rescues are, in reality, holding pens. It is about money and not taking responsibility PERIOD.

jellybean 4 years ago

I for one and for horse slaughter. We could feed for more people in our country. I am a hunter, a fisherman and have no problem killing animals for food whether it horse, cow, chicken or duck, etc. They are animals!! They don't have the same rights as humans. I find it amazing that we can abort 1000's of babies and no one is in a huge up roar, but we talk of horse slaughter and the world goes mad. What a sad society we live in!

Laurel D 4 years ago

Livestock does not equal food. It just means your inventory, your stock, is live, out in the pasture, not on a shelf. We get our value out of hogs and cattle and chickens and many other forms of livestock from the food they produce. We get our value out of horses when they work for us.

Laurel D 4 years ago

Your poll gives a false choice. I am against horse slaughter, but not because they are more "noble" than the creatures we eat. Horses are not raised under the food safety protocols that are required of meat animals. They are also quite difficult to slaughter humanely. It cannot be done properly if done quickly on a factory line basis.

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Steve Stapp 4 years ago

You are correct Laurel D.

Jack the horse would find no value as the slaughterhouse. Kill buyers won't pay more than $50 per horse at our local auction. Open the flood gates and the price would plummet even more.

Ban the slaughter of American horses for human consumption. The availability of slaughter creates a salvage or secondary market that encourages the overbreeding. Dr. Temple Grandin

I believe Dr. Grandin is the ultimate authority. It's her life and passion. She knew slaughter was inevitable as the human species has chosen to be omnivores. We can do quite nicely without meat, in fact by some accounts better. But as it wan inevitable she made it her life's work to make it as humane as possible for the animal. She didn't get involved with horses until later, after all we don't eat them and slaughter had been shut down. It wasn't until she was invited to Canada that she started her studies and came to the conclusion noted above. The nature of the animal makes humane dispatch of a horse near impossible.

Becky Bruce profile image

Becky Bruce 4 years ago from San Diego, CA

although I understand where you are coming from this is basing the death of an animal on economics. Since when did humans get the right to use the slaughter of any species to make money and stabilize the economy we created? Regardless of my opinions, this is still a great hub and full of information I know is true, although painful to hear :(

Mel 4 years ago

Reading through these comments is very disheartening. To many people have an opinion on something they know nothing about. I'm not talking politics here people I'm talking the horse. People don't put abused horses next to the highway nor is that where they put the dead ones. The whole situation stems from over breeding without a doubt but you can't ask a house to suffer starvation and natural predators (wolves in my state) for the rest of their lives rather than a few days of hardship. I think there are more people fighting to save these unfortunate horses than there are fighting for starving children.

stclairjack profile image

stclairjack 4 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks Author

mel- you noticed that too?,..... yea.

stclairjack profile image

stclairjack 4 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks Author

go ahead,.... let me have it,.... but i couldnt resist

Mel 4 years ago

Just an fyi beforrwexe anybody calls me heartless the horses grazing in my yard (five of them) were bought by me right off the slaughter truck. They were some of the man eating est things I ever trained point being if you are not packing them into your yard and actively doing something with them, what gives you the right to a say so?

stclairjack profile image

stclairjack 4 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks Author

absolutely mel.

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Mellony55 4 years ago

"Since when did humans get the right to use the slaughter of any species to make money and stabilize the economy we created?" Since the first caveman traded a piece of meat to another caveman for some item.

We slaughter cattle, hogs, sheep, chickens and other animals everyday & sell the meat. Agriculture is one of the largest economic forces in the world and animal agriculture is a major part of it.

jennifer 4 years ago

if we wait to address issues until all the starving children of the world are fed, then it will be a long time before anything is addressed. should humane societies for small animals close until we live in utopia? should education funding be stopped until all children are fed? after all what good is spending money on education if children are suffering... what about alcohol? should no one spend extra money on alcohol or tobacco until all that money is sent to starving children? should i stop going to movies? what about the money spent in the horse racing industry? or the money the AQHA spends on promoting breeding. surely if we have a surplus of horses, they can spare that money to give to help starving children..... to assume that some of the people who are advocates for horses are not also helping the homeless - children or adult, volunteering their time with sick humans, donating time and/or money to a host of other problems that need addressing is a little presumptive.

if jack had written about starving children or abortion i am sure there would have been ample comments on those stories as well, however the article written was on the topic of horse slaughter and its effects . the "floor" was opened for input and input has been given on both sides.

mellony 55 - yes, exactly. we slaughter those animals because they are raised under the supervision of the usda and fda as FOOD animals. horses are not. they are not bred nor are they supervised as a food animal would be. the average pleasure horse owner - which the vast majority of horses in this country are - is probably not going to be happy with the same governmental oversight that our food animals get.

as the law stands now, there is no extra room in the budget to fund horse inspections. the same group of inspectors that are stretched so thin that they cant protect up from ecoli on spinach is now going to have to add horse inspection to its duties. i would rather they focus on the safety of food we eat here, not that is shipped over seas as a delicacy.

Mel 4 years ago

If this was a perfect world you wouldspend your money somewhere better than a movie. Just saying. And its not AQHA spending money on breeding ads it's the members. As far as living pets with food and what not nobody shows up every time I doctor a cow to make sure I'm giving her the proper drugs and there isn't anybody going through our bovine meds making sure those are legit either. They do that crap in feedlots people but where are they before the feedlot? Another ranch just like mine. Back to horses did you know it costs a hundred dollars to euthanize a horse? And you can't eat it afterward so why waste the meat that could easily feed a family of four for 6 months Plus? Plus the main reason the cattle get tested for illegal hormones is because of the growth hormones. When was three last time you gave your pleasure horse growth hormones?

jennifer 4 years ago

so mel, in your opinion, how should we spend our money?

i have 7 horses. i am aware of the cost to euthanize them. i took that cost in to consideration when i took responsibility for them. no one forced me to become a horse owner. i made that choice on my own free will and in doing so and being a responsible horse owner i consider end of life decisions as well.

you realize that even when slaughter was legal, a very small percent of all horses ended up there. current estimates say about 1 percent go now so even if 10 times the current estimate went prior to horse slaughter being stopped that is still 90 percent no going to slaughter. thats a lot of meat wasted. is your goal, mel, to have every horse in this country be slaughtered? additionally, while it could feed a family of four for 6 months as you estimate, i am just not sure there is a market in this country for that much slaughter and if you think that poor people over seas are consuming imported meat that is considered a delicacy then we will have to redefine poor.

i havent given my pleasure horse growth hormones, but i have given quite a bit of bute and whether you agree with the usda,fda or the eu, the fact is that is a banned substance. banned not by me or aspca or peta or any other extreme animal rights group, but by the very groups that are supposed to keep our food safe. their job is to determine what is safe for consumption. not my opinion or your opinion, but what they have researched. sure laws change all the time - goventment agencies are fall from infallible, but until they address the bute concern, the majority of our horses are not legally fit to eat and i imagine that if/when they look in to it, a lot of other medications we commonly use in horses will be deemed unsafe.

as a rancher, do you still follow the law even without someone standing over you?

Mel 4 years ago

If there isn't many horses going to slaughter what the hell is all the arguing about?

jennifer 4 years ago

i dont really know. good question. hardly seems like enough to support an industry. besides the plants were on their way out on '07 when the legislation to defund them passed.

Mel 4 years ago

Ps if you read my earlier comment every horse I own is a slaughter horse so obviously I don't want every horse to be slaughtered but there is the inevitable unwanted horses out there.

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mer1138 4 years ago

"do you still follow the law even without someone standing over you?"

Jennifer, doing what is right, especially "without someone standing over you?" Is what gives us, the "half-wit, knuckle-dragging, cave-dwelling, inarticulate, cousin-marrying pro-slaughter twit"(s), (thank you Luka, ever get off concrete?), our character. Doing what is right, for ourselves, our children, it's what we do. We are, like our Appalachian brothers and sisters, the steel workers, the auto makers, anybody who has actually been on the wrong end of our "beloved government's " programs, we do what's right simply because it's right. Is killing horses right? Is killing anything right? I can't honestly answer that question, however, I refuse to starve. I refuse to see my children starve. BTW, I'm a single dad who has lost his job due to "down sizing". Oh, and a long time friend of Jacks. If all I have is a slaughter house to work in, that's bloody well what I'm going to do. I am a horse lover, never had one of my own because we couldn't afford it, but I got to ride my granpa's horses, and I would rather see them go down for a reason, ie. the dinner table, than to be wasted because some limp-wristed, never been off concrete, never had a real blister twit says it's a bad thing.

Yeah Jack, I'm ramblin', but I make no appologies for our, "half-wit, knuckle-dragging, cave-dwelling, inarticulate, cousin-marrying pro-slaughter . . ." kin folk, the kind who go to war to preserve our rights for concrete dwellers to mouth off about things they know little to nothing about. So step up people, a few new slaughter houses are not going to solve the nation's problems, but neither is the ignorance going on in Washington, D.C., if you have a better idea how to create jobs, we would love to hear them.

Mel 4 years ago

For sure. Gotta do what you gotta do.

jennifer 4 years ago

mer 1138

i am a little confused since you addressed this to me then quoted Luka. i have done no name calling during this conversation. i cannot speak as to whether or not luka has been off of concrete, but i can tell you that i have.

additionally my question was do you follow the law when no one is standing over your shoulder. you changed to "do you always do what is right". similar questions on the surface, but not the same. if your family is starving, would it be "right" to steal an unattended horse to send to slaughter for a quick hundred? some would say that is right. illegal, but right. is speeding to the hospital with an injured loved one right? technically its still illegal. there are many times where doing what is "right" may not be what is "legal", but that is another discussion all together.

if i had the answer to the jobs problem, i swear i would not be sitting on it. like everyone, i have ideas... the first would be to get the government as much out of the way as possible. there is economic growth in the country - in pockets where business and industry are encouraged. i would also make sure that money spent would be on american jobs and businesses, not on a front for an overseas company for a product that we do not have a domestic market for. i would see that we spend our tax dollars wisely in this country developing products that we use, we sell and we buy, right here in this country, that the corporations are good stewards of the towns they are near and that they pay proper taxes to the local, state and federal departments - like we all do. i would streamline the tax code so that businesses could spend the money they use on tax attorneys and cpa's on growth and specifically jobs. i would also make sure that these jobs go to american citizens, not unskilled migrant labor working for practically nothing.

i am sorry that you lost your job to downsizing. i know as a single father you work hard to make sure you take care of your children. my farrier is in a similar situation and is an ardent supporter of horse slaughter, as two of my guys were directly saved from slaugher i asked him how much he would get selling them to a kb. he said maybe a couple hundred for both. then i asked him if he would rather me send my two guys with him for a couple hundred or continue to pay him to come trim for 45 a piece. you can only kill 'em once. when it comes to my guys, he is antislaughter because my horses are worth more to him alive than dead. no, i havent changed his mind about slaughter entirely, but i appreciated that he and i can have a dialogue about this with out it getting ugly.

what are your plans if you *dont* get one of the 50 jobs this plant claims they will offer? what are your plans when they hire people who will work cheaper, "under the table", longer hours in dangerous conditions without any legal recourse like they did in the horse processing plants before they closed. the same foreign company that did that, and worse is part of this. what will you do when the european union no longer buys our meat due to our refusal to acknowledge their concerns about bute ect. what are your plans when this plant dries up like the horse slaughter plants were doing in 2007. they had already begun processing fewer and fewer horses.

i pray for you guys out there. i genuinely do. and i dont mean that in the "i pray they come to see my point of view" way either. i hope things turn around in this country and soon or we are all in for it - and that is going to take us all working together, not name calling, not allowing politicians to divide us in to smaller parts fighting against each other.

stclairjack profile image

stclairjack 4 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks Author

please cut mer1138 some slack, he likes to defend his friends,... and i think he has a dictionary and a thesaurus hidden somewhere up his arse,... i can say this because i know him, and when he reads this later he will laugh too.

jennifer 4 years ago

i have no doubt hes a nice guy. i have friends on both sides of this issue. :)

Buck 4 years ago

It all boils down to you can't fix stupid and all the city concrete walkers that have never stepped in horse sh*t should have no say in our way of life and what we want to do with our horses (livestock). Let them stay in the city where they belong and we will take care of the ranch!


tmbridgeland profile image

tmbridgeland 4 years ago from Small Town, Illinois

I have eaten horse. It was very good, a lot like good beef. I'd eat it again given the chance.

I have to admit, I don't understand the people who seem to raise horses up on a pedestal as if they are some magic, noble creature somehow different from cows or chickens. I like horses, like keeping them, riding them, looking at them. I like the cows I have worked with too.

Some people just can't accept that every animal has to die sometime. Whether it is in a slaughterhouse or in a back pasture somewhere, that horse will DIE. If the slaughterhouses are needlessly cruel, then advocate for reforms. Regardless, the animal will die.

Our choices are not some ideal horse utopia where no animal ever suffers, and crude, 18th century-style slaughter.

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Steve Stapp 4 years ago

How about Phideaux? You gonna eat him too?

Mute point now...Sue Wallis got caught and the Missouri plant is now a dead issue.

tmbridgeland profile image

tmbridgeland 4 years ago from Small Town, Illinois

What's a Phideaux?

I guess what puzzles me is the people who want to tell other people what they can eat.

Steve Stapp 4 years ago

French for Fido, and you can eat whatever you'd like if you raise it and kill it. Maybe you got a house cat mm mmm mmmmmmm

tmbridgeland profile image

tmbridgeland 4 years ago from Small Town, Illinois

Okay. You are fine with it if I raise it and kill it. Even a horse. Now, can I pay someone else to do these things for me? I do raise some of my food, but not the large animals. Typically I just buy the meat. Morally, it's the same. I have lived in a few different countries, and eaten whatever they eat. Not dog, but I don't have a problem with it.

I guess I still don't follow you. Why should I have to raise and kill everything I eat? Doesn't make sense. I am not a farmer. I pay farmers to take care of these things. They pay me to take care of what I do.

stclairjack profile image

stclairjack 4 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks Author

i must admit,... thats a new one on me as well,.... we're only allowed to eat meat if we raised and killed it,.... the "uncle Ted" aproach???

gone be a bit problematic for the concret dwellers.

Steve Stapp 4 years ago

No you cannot. The butcher and the meat has to be inspected by the USDA otherwise they can be held accountable when the toxins in your horse meat make you very very sick or even dead.

stclairjack profile image

stclairjack 4 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks Author

the butcher and meat do not HAVE to be inspected by the USDA if i am butchering my own animal that have raised for slaughter or purchased for slaughter,.... if i puchase or posses an animal and take it to butcher shop that specializes in large animal proscessing then yes, the shop will be USDA inspected, but the animal will not, it will have been up to ME to invetsigate the life trail of that animal for the last 6 months for meds or even longer depending.

this holds true for the pig i might raise in the back yard or the steer i might feed out on the back 20,... it also aplies to a feral hog i might shoot hunting, or a deer i might shoot hunting,... it aplies to any large animal that i might A) butcher myself or B) have butchered by a shop,.... that includes horses if i so desire.

some in the green movement aplaud small butcher shops that keep our protien in a definable traceable smaller circle from our homes,... they sing the praises of being closer to our food sources rather than happliy purchasing a plastic wrapped piece of god knows what to go with our geneticaly modified and pesticide covered pre-pakageed mixed greens.

the home butcher method or home town butcher is the BEST way to KNOW your food source,.... and they should be embraced.

Steve Stapp 4 years ago

This is very true as you are now paying for a service not a product. The exchange of money for an un-inspected product makes is a legal matter Here in Florida we have a law against the slaughtering of horses with the exception that you do it yourself and consume it within your own family.

Sell it and Richard Couto and the police will be all over you. See Animal Rescue Mission.

stclairjack profile image

stclairjack 4 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks Author

at the current price of horse one wonders why more of us arent embracing equine protein,... there is no such law in MO that i know of that prohibits a butcher for hire from proscessing a horse should a client wish it and pay for it,... its sad realy, how complicated we've made our food suply chain in this country,... i know that we've enacted laws to protect the masses from disease and sickness,... but it seems we've done so at a very steep price. just sayin,... peace

Steve Stapp 4 years ago

Just what do you know of the price of horse meat? Are you buying it in MO? Richard Couto of ARM fame is buying Florida horse meat undercover for about $4.00 lb. Not so much cheaper than good beef. He says that's way below the average price from other states where the black market is operating because it has become so prevalent here in Florida.

Question is why on earth would anyone sink low enough to put an animal through an admittedly heinous demise and not save or gain anything? Treating an animal inhumanely is about as low as the human species gets.

No matter what any of you say, and some of you will just for the sake of arguing, I seriously doubt any of you will be running out to the market to purchase Flicka Fillets.

stclairjack profile image

stclairjack 4 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks Author

"the price of horse meat" has no etsablished market,... there is no national or regional market for it in the US,.... there is a nitch market for it in some ethnic comunities, which implies the nature of its elevated price,.... therefor asking me what i know of the price of horse meat is akin to asking me what i know of the price of sex toys in antarctica,... admitiedly nothing.

i have been around, owned, worked with, bought sold and traded horses my whole life,.... there have been more than one that were worthy of nothing more than BBQ sauce,.... if that makes me too pragmatic for some then so be it.

if your famed friend can buy horse undercover,..... no,.... i'm not even going to picture that,..... oops,..... too late,..... now i have visions of 007 slyly pinching a black market horse meeat trader,.... maybe barney fife,.... one bullet in his gun, catching the evil butcher that was selling the poor unsuspecting aunt bee a flicka fillet,.....

i'm stunned that we pour millions of dollars, tears, and hours into such things in this country when our millitary veterans are sleeping under bridges and our big shot football coaches are raping young boys,....

just stunned.

Steve Stapp 4 years ago

Steve Stapp 4 years ago

Just 2 post back you mention "at the current price of horse" you say there is no established market price. Make up your mind. An established price in a black market it what the consumer will bare.

My famed friend makes these buys accompanied by USDA agents with hidden cameras.

2 weeks ago I posted "Not me...we have children living with their parents in a car not knowing when the next time they will get to eat or if they're going to be warm this winter, or have clothes to go to school..."

It would seem at this point you are tilting just to be tilting.

stclairjack profile image

stclairjack 4 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks Author

ok,... i will admit that the posts of all involved here tend to to tilt in the wind like marco polos windmills at times,... my own included,.... however, i will try to explain if not deffend myself,...

A) in refering to the price of horse i mean the "on the hoof" price,... the price per animal one might expect to pay at an auction house,.... the "on the hoof" price is in NO WAY reflective of the prepared in plastic wrap price you might find in a meat market,... elsewise cattlemen would be swimming in more $$$ than Exon and Wall street.

B) i apreciate that you admirabley posted earlier that "we have children living,... in car,.... next time they will get to eat,.. warm this winter",..... etc,.... and in that sentiment you and i would seem to be in total agreement,....

sometimes my statements are not aimed directly at YOU specificaly,... they are merely a comments directed at our over fed lavish self indugent culture in general.

C) the idea that government agents are using hiden cameras to catch people selling horse meat rather than the other 1000 things that would seem more pressing to even the smallest of mind,.... still staggers me.

you and i are not adversaries,.... i would guess that we agree on many MANY things,.... and that the things that sepperate us are far outweighed by the thing that connect us.

i like SPIRITED debate,... you have provided that in spaids. -jack

Steve Stapp 4 years ago

I agree Jack with a couple of exceptions...It was Don Quixote who tilted with windmills and Richard Couto of ARM is a self made zillionair who does not take government money but uses his own and the money of donors. Our government in reality doesn't care about humane treatment of animals, if they did they would abolish the wild horse and burro program operated by the BLM.

It has been fun...

stclairjack profile image

stclairjack 4 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks Author

my bad on the don quixote,... oops,... and yes indeed,... the government doesnt give two whoots in a beer fart about the welfare of animals,.. 4 or 2 legged,... they only care about what the people will vote on and fund,... we get the government we deserve in the end. peace -jack

EmpatheticAdvisor profile image

EmpatheticAdvisor 4 years ago from Montana


I stopped reading the comments about halfway through.

I just recently joined hub pages so am late to the conversation.

I really appreciate you being brave enough to post on this but basically the rest this for the naysayers. After reading it though you will see I support your position on the issue.

To all those that have negative comments about horse slaughter, how many of you have owned or own horses now?

I do and have for over 30 years. I love all of them very much. I used to get joy out of raising colts and selling them to people that I thought wanted to train and ride them. Unfortunately the broke horse market is tied to the loose horse slaughter one.

When I decided to get into breeding REGISTERED AQHA horses, I had to buy the babies because I could not afford to buy the parents who cost upwards of $3000- $4000 a piece. I had to spend anywhere from$800- 1750 for a baby and grow it up and then hope it didn't get hurt and crippled or have something else wrong with it making it not suitable to breed.

But I felt the investment was worth it, thinking that when the time came and I had my herd in production, that the genetics I selected for, good bone and hoof, conformation, color ( red, blue & grulla roans, and steeldusts) disposition and eye appeal, that it would pay off because of what I had to pay for the babies myself.

No low and behold, here comes the slaughter ban Now my investment is worth pennies per pound instead of $$ per head. So I cut my production as much as I could considering I have 2 registered studs. One stud can and is running with 2 old gelding because he can get along with them. The other, I have to keep at least one mare with him, so that is one colt a year.

I have 10 beautiful roan fillies that would make some one nice riding mares, but because of the market, no one wants fillies registered or not because they can get green broke geldings for $250/head. I remember paying $2500.00 for a green 3 yr old and I thought that was cheap.

I have a pasture where I have put my open brood mares and plan on sitting on them until they get old and die or the market comes back and the colts are worth something again. Their genetics are irreplaceble but there is no market for the colts.

So those of you that don't have anything to do with livestock, don't tell me what you know or read is fact.

Any type of animal processing is traumatic to both the butcher and the animal. Any kind, because it involves the death of a living creature. And processing malfunctions do happen as do mistakes during surgery.

Not to get biblical here, but all this boils down to the devil messing up Adam and Eve in the garden, thus setting humanity on the path of death for man to eat.

No we in the US do not eat horse meat, but some one somewhere does. We are so short of jobs and economic advance in the US that any reasonable opportunity to provide economic stimulus should be welcomed.

As for the BLM, I KNOW for a fact having lived as a kid close to the Litchfield, Ca and Palomino Valley, NV BLM wild horse corrals that there are literally thousands of unwanted wild horses that are just kept there for the duration of their lives at the TAXPAYERS EXPENSE.

Want a way to cut the deficit ASAP? Sell and process these unwanted horses, put the proceeds in the Treasury's piggy bank and then put to good use the hundreds of thousands, no probably millions now that the TAXPAYER spends right now feeding these horses.

I KNOW, I was there, I saw it and so can you if you want to go there too. Do you guys KNOW for a fact what you are saying? I do.

So don't tell me how all of this does not tie into animal welfare etc and so on yada yada.

I am usually a very reasonable person and am willing to look at the many different perspectives surrounding an issue, but the fact that this horse slaughter issue cost me money really sets me on edge. I do not appreciate having to work a 2nd outside job because somebody else cut my business venture off at the knees. So now I have even less time to spend with my horses than I used to.

stclairjack profile image

stclairjack 4 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks Author

thanks for posting EA

loseraspie profile image

loseraspie 3 years ago from USA

To the idiots who support Horse Slaughtering do y'all consider poking the horses eyes out humane?

stclairjack profile image

stclairjack 3 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks Author

i will approve the comment, but i dont have to dignify it with a reply

LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 2 years ago from Australia

I knew nothing about this issue until reading this hub today ... but I live in Australia.

So please tell, what's the update? Two years on, what's changed?

stclairjack profile image

stclairjack 2 years ago from middle of freekin nowhere,... the sticks Author

two years down the road, the impediments to horse slaughter have been lifted but the processing plant in our region was killed by other factors,... most notably the legal woes of the property owners,.... nation wide the issue has faded into the back ground noise of the 24 hr news cycle,... but the horse market has not truly recovered,... its just readjusted to the new norm.

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