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Editorial: Slaughter ends, Horses overrun the streets!

I am not food!
I am not food!
Laura Leigh

(I am editing this article because it appears that it is not understood that the title is a "snarky" comment to the pro-slaughter and panic driven posts I have been reading on Facebook. The title in no way reflects a reality and therefore is clearly labelled: "Editorial").

As word spreads that Canadian slaughterhouses will no longer take US horses for export, and that the slaughterhouses in Mexico have followed suit, rumors are flooding over the internet all weekend.

Conversations range from rescues asking for funds to take in the thousands and thousands of horses now at risk, to announcements from pro-slaughter factions that we must now open slaughterhouses for horses on US soil.

Most brokers that sell horses into the pipeline are saying that they feel this is a temporary setback and are awaiting the new paperwork regulations. Some of them are engaging the "rescue" community to sell horses during the "down time" to continue to create revenue. They are also very aware that smaller markets in Asia are still viable. They see this as an inconvenience.

The truth is that around 125,000 American horses are sent to slaughter for export (annual). That means that about 2,500 horses a week are in the "pipeline" at one time nationwide. This number does not reflect a sudden crisis of unmanageable proportions. This number does not reflect a number that must be absorbed weekly by the "rescue" community. This number represents what is currently stalled.

Instead the new regulations will limit a market driven by "supply and demand." The offshoot will require responsibility on the part of owners to find other options, (like calling a vet to euthanize). It will require breeders to breed less. It will require those that manage horses on reservation land to begin to utilize birth control options. It will require arrangements for Virginia range horses.

The knowledge that the European Union (EU) was not going to accept horses (US export) has been a known factor since June when they issued guidelines, formally. The guidelines clearly stated that no horse product (human consumption) without following the "passport system" of paperwork documenting animals have been drug free, and owned by the seller, for 6 months will be accepted.

One of the more well-know proponents for the slaughtering of US horses is an organization called "United Horsemen." This organization makes a claim to represent the "horse industry" and industry "professionals."

Please remember that the EU published these guidelines in June, yet the organization claiming to represent professionals call the actions at the export slaughterhouses "unexpected and unannounced." If this organization is supposedly representative of an "industry" don't you think they would have been aware of the most significant pending regulations to the slaughter of horses that is the most basic focus of his organization?

This organization that supposedly represents an "industry" then goes on to say that opening slaughter plants in the US is more important than ever. Again, how does this logic serve any industry? If there is no market why would you rush to create another outlet to produce a product you can not sell?

I am including his "letter to supporters" below:

As many of you are already aware, there has been a major disruption today in the international trade of U.S. horses going to Canada and Mexico. This is the result of an unexpected and unannounced European Union action. Little official and accurate information is available on a Friday evening, nonetheless, United Horsemen, a 501c3 nonprofit whose mission is devoted to the well being of horses and horse people, and its executive team is working through our international networks, as well as governmental and industry contacts, to get to the bottom of this situation. We will provide continual updates and information as it comes available, and work with all of you to make sure that our network has accurate and reliable information.

Bear in mind that reestablishing humane horse processing in America is a viable solution needed more than ever with the news of this situation. As always, United Horsemen continues its work to restore much needed balance in the horse markets and horse industry, while profoundly improving the state of horse welfare.

We call upon all of you, as members of United Horsemen, for your much needed support in our efforts on your behalf and on behalf of the U.S. horse industry.

Warm regards,

Dave Duquette
United Horsemen

In this writer's opinion what we have here is an example of denial. This group has even proposed that we create a US market and feed the poisoned meat (it is poison) to prisoners and school children.

It is highly unlikely that an American mother will give her child lunch money to buy a "my little pony" burger possibly laced with a carcinogen as a bonus.

Even if the new passport system is launched it will only be a matter of time before falsification of paperwork occurs and animals laced with the banned substances hit the market. The Asian market is too small to handle an irresponsible "American industry."

It is time we recognize the truth, in America horses are NOT a regulated agricultural product. In America we do not eat horses.

If an industry purports to represent a product than it is more than time for that industry to face the facts.


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