As many of you are aware, the dream of slaughtering horses in New Mexico died a quiet death over the past few days. So far, there has been no comment from Slaughterhouse Sue and very little acknowledgement from the her band of halfwits. Apparently, Holy Mother Theresa Manzella is out there still trying to figure out how to phone the USDA, while others have decided to bust out their mad literary skillz and start writing the Secretary of Agriculture, Thomas Vilsack. Lucky for us, they are proud of their efforts and post them up for approval from their fellow horse eaters. Since the UH members didn’t really pay much attention, I thought I would do my good deed and post up the letter for your reading enjoyment. The one I have for you today is courtesy of Ole Suey’s pocket veterinarian, Kim Houlding of Iowa. Sadly, the good doctor doesn’t really believe in paragraphs, so I’m going to try to break this up into bite sized chunks for y’all.
“As you know this has been a very tough summer for crop and livestock producers. Many cattle and hog producers are liquidating herds because they have no feed, or areas have been burned. Cattle and swine at market will bring a dollar amount, even if the glut of sales has depressed prices. Hay producers have no hay. What is available is often poor quality and VERU expensive. Three years ago, hay was $3.00 per bale. The last I bought before the drought was $6.00 per bale. Acres of pasture have been destroyed by wildfires, along with many head on animals. Much hay and pasture acreage has been diverted to corn and soybeans as more lucrative crops. This puts erodible ground into row crop production and harms the environment with erosion….”
– Do you know why cattle and swine will bring a dollar amount at market despite the high feed prices? Because they are staples of a North American diet. They are primarily raised for human consumption, horses are not. At any rate, I’m not entirely sure how not slaughtering horses is to blame for the price of hay and now the harming of environment due row crop production. Pretty soon I’m sure they will be blaming cancer and the common cold and not slaughtering horses too..
“The problem with horses is that they currently have no value, as the floor value of a horse was determined by slaughter price until 2007. Now horses can’t be given away. Horses taken to auction get no bid and are shot. Euthanasia is $100 or more, plus the trip-the drug has doubled in cost, sometimes on back order. The license for a veterinarian to administer, order stock the drug is now nearly $600. In addition, a vet must have a state license, driver’s license, sales tax permit, state DEA license. The cost for carcass removal in Iowa, where you used to live, is $350 the last time we had one taken away. They won’t take them if they were killed with toxic pentobarbital. Burial requires earthmoving equipment, which costs about $300 per day to rent and you need someone who can operate the machinery. Then you have toxic drugs leaching into the water supply. If left on the surface (illegal), protected birds of prey may be poisoned, as well as scavengers. So the best way to get rid of an unwanted horse is by slaughter, but the plants are closed.”
– Ok, so if we can slaughter all our horses, that means this vet doesn’t have to pay for a license? Does that mean if slaughter re-opens that nobody will ever choose euthanasia again? I keep asking this without getting an answer but, WHO values their horse according to meat prices? If that is the type of horse you are breeding, you need to go out of business. I see the good doctor has pulled out the good ole contaminating the water supply argument of which there has been no proof or studies. Funny, how they don’t seem to mind burying family members at a few thousand a pop and contaminating the ground water with all the embalming chemicals used. They tell you `but they are in caskets!’. Well, last time I checked, caskets break down over time too. Don’t believe me? Go look up pictures of New Orleans after Katrina and see what popped up out of those graveyards….BTW do these people not realize that rendering horses is still legal and most vet clinics will be able to direct you to a rendering company? Oh right! This is a vet writing this boo hoo letter…
“Due to the urgency of the conditions, and the dire need for removal of horses that have no feed, I urge you to use all haste to reopen packing facilities. Horses now get trucked into Mexico, may get rejected there, only to be shot at the border or turned loose on the range to fend for themselves. This is a very distressing situation, and USDA must do whatever they can to assist the balance of trade. (Horses don’t get prion diseases like mad cow or scrapie. Horse meat is highly desired in some markets-bringing a premium over beef and pork.) “
– The horses that are rejected at the border aren’t going to be accepted into the domestic slaughter pipeline either. They may not get Mad Cow or Scrapie, but they are contaminated with banned substances and the do get trichinosis. Yes, horse meat is highly desired in some foreign markets and the profit from slaughtering them domestically goes straight overseas with their carcasses.
“Iowa has a large number of horse producers, and your old home state would appreciate you having the courage to stand up and do what is right for the people and horses of your state and your country. This in no way affects those who would not choose to repurpose their horses, as they can keep theirs, but it restores that option for those who feel they need to remove horses and have no other way. Thank you for your consideration of this urgent matter.”
– Do you want another little fun fact about Iowa? It is home to Rep. Steve`Crazyass’ King. Iowa is one of the states that bows to Big Ag and has shown to have no regard whatsoever for animal welfare. It absolutely affects those of us that choose not to slaughter our horses because our horses can still be stolen and those that are responsible breeders of quality animals, don’t want their horses to fall into the hands of those that think that’s a viable option when the horse is no longer needed. Since so many PSAs, especially those that run rescues, like to lie about their beliefs, no horse is safe if domestic slaughter becomes a reality.
I’m not sure what offends me most about this letter; the fact that it is written by a veterinarian or the fact that she attempts to blame all the ills we are currently facing on the lack of horse slaughter. She is either grossly misinformed or is just that stupid. There has been no reduction in the amount of US horses being slaughtered since 2007. The main difference is where that is happening. If people were truly concerned about the welfare of horses, they would ask for tighter regulations and enforcement on shipping horses as well as border controls. Contrary to what all of these bottom feeders think, owning a horse is not a right nor should it be. If the economy has hit you hard and you can’t afford to feed your animals, STOP breeding them or collecting free ones. Get out of the business until you can afford to be in it. Preferably, stay out of the horse business if you need meat prices to set the value of your stock because you’re a huge failure. Why is this so hard for them to grasp?