As we are all well aware, the biggest reason for slaughter given by the PSA brain trust is that it is a way to deal with `unwanted horses’. According to them, slaughter keeps all these mystical beings from wandering the streets and becoming a menace to society and a drain on our tax dollars. Of course PSAs like Naughty Tobiano want us all to believe that kill buyers are just super nice guys trying to earn a living. They would never send good horse that had a use to slaughter. Instead, they just hang out at sales and pick up all these unwanted horses and `recycle’ them for a new purpose. Doesn’t that just make you all warm and tingly inside?
Do you see the horse above? He was slaughtered at Les Viandes de la Petite Nation January 8, 2013. He was anything but unwanted. His name was Backstreet Bully and he was originally bred and owned by Adena Springs and raced under Stronach Stables. As many of you are aware, Adena Springs is owned by Frank Stronach and they have been leaders in the movement in finding new careers for retired racehorses. They have an entire division devoted to retired racehorses and have taken this commitment very seriously. Backstreet Bully wasn’t a great racehorse but he was graduate of their program. Here is the write up about him from the Adena Springs Retirement Program prior to him being sold:
“Backstreet Bully is a kind 4 yr old, 16hh OTTB chestnut gelding. He was retired from racing September 2008. He is a solid loving horse with tons of puppy dog personality. He’s got a great sound mind, willing attitude and is very well mannered; he just loves to be loved. He has been ridden both english and western walk, trot, canter and hacks out quietly both alone and with company. We have started basic Parelli training with him. Backstreet bully will make an excellent pleasure horse. He has no vices or bad habits. He trailers, cross ties, clips and is never a problem for the vet or blacksmith.”
Somewhere along the line, something went badly wrong for Backstreet Bully and he ended up in a kill auction. Details about what happened are still coming out, but every effort was made by Transitions Thoroughbreds and Adena Springs to save this horse. This is a quote from Transitions on their Facebook page about what happened at the sale:
“He was pointed out to me at the auction by an employee thereof as she knew I was there to buy tbs – I tried to buy him – my bid was not taken, perhaps not seen – I tried to buy him after from the kill buyer and was told no – he was meat only. He was not eligible for slaughter and it begs the question of why the very person who does the paperwork on every horse running through that auction would specifically point him out to me and describe him so that I could bid on him at that sale to buy him would do that if he was meat only as that would be something she would need to put on that kill sheet. He was NOT announced as meat only either in the sale ring. I tried to stop it again, I got no response, I contacted his connections who ARE on my list of people who most definitely do NOT want their horses going to slaughter and they took immediate action. His faxed drug records clearly proved he was not eligible. Everybody knows that all tbs have most definitely had at least bute amongst other drugs if they have raced – he was not eligible and he was killed for nothing!!”
I’m still trying to patch together all the details from various postings I have seen, but I do know this much….this was not an unwanted horse and this was not a horse that should have been slaughtered for meat or any other reason. This horse was still alive when his drug records were faxed to the slaughter-house. The slaughter-house was well aware they were in possession of a horse not suitable for slaughter for human consumption and that there were people wanting to bail him out. Remember, PSAs tell you it’s all about not wasting the unwanted horse’s meat. Well this horse was far from unwanted and he was most certainly not suitable for human consumption, but Les Viandes de la Petite Nation went ahead and slaughtered him anyhow just because they could. What purpose did that serve? The response of the CFIA vet in attendance at the slaughter-house, after she was informed of this horse’s drug status was “We (LPN) would have a lot of horses here and what would we do with them all?” I gather that statement was in reference to how many horses they have that are not suitable for human consumption. What DO they do with them all?
I have no personal connection with any of the people involved with Backstreet Bully and his sad end. If they choose to come forward and fill in some details, that’s great but I will leave it up to them. They are heartbroken over this and I don’t know what more they could have done. I haven’t seen the name of the person who adopted Backstreet Bully nor do I know if it is the same person that dumped him at this auction. What is important is that despite the fact that this horse should have never been at that sale in the first place, he seems to have been slaughtered out of spite. People tried hard to rescue this horse. They tried to buy him in the ring, they tried to buy him before he went on the truck. They informed the slaughter-house, backed up with vet records, that this horse should not be in a slaughter pen and they still went ahead and did it just because they could. Yeah, kill buyers are great guys and slaughter is just for horses that nobody wants. Rest in peace, Backstreet Bully. We won’t let them forget you any time soon……
*UPDATE ON THE NEVADA 34*
Word has it that Dorothy Robertson took a plea bargain today. She plead guilty to 5 counts and will get community service for each count and do 30 days in jail total. That’s not even close to enough punishment for a third time offender, but at least it’s something. I’m away for a few days but will update more details when I get back. Have a great weekend, everybody!