By now I’m sure you’ve all heard that the horse slaughter movement in Oklahoma is gaining steam. My apologies in advance to the decent people in Oklahoma whose voices are not being heard, but it appears ignorance is thriving in The Sooner State. This past week The Sequoyah Times released an article by staff writer, Diana F. Dandridge, that can only be considered an exercise in creative writing. (http://www.sequoyahcountytimes.com/news/article_95b1aa8a-7d13-11e2-8654-001a4bcf6878.html) It would seem that fact checking is not a requirement for publishing in that rag. However, Slaughterhouse Sue is posting the link while flicking her bean at the mere idea of being one step closer to the equine version of Auschwitz, so I guess we better take a closer look at it. Quite honestly, I am getting more than a little frustrated reading the same lies and fables repeated over and over without it ever occurring to any of these people to provide actual proof and documentation. I’ve nearly concussed myself from banging my head on the desk after wading through Suey’s affidavit for the New Mexico lawsuit and now this shows up on the radar. So, join me in donning some protective head-gear and let’s take a look at what passes for news in Oklahoma.
Put forth by Senator Mark Allen, Senate Bill 375 would make it legal to process horse meat for export in Oklahoma. It still won’t be legal to sell it for consumption in Oklahoma, but they can get busy slaughtering for export if it passes. Allen is either as profoundly stupid as your garden variety PSA or he comes from the Sue Wallis School of Sleaze when it comes to pulling statements out of his ass and presenting them as fact. “All trainers and horse people are for this bill. The Farm Bureau and Sheriff Lockhart support it”. All horse people? Really? Or maybe just the three kill buyers he managed to track down lead him to make this laughable sweeping generalization. Then you have the Farm Bureau on board who are also OK with gestation crates for swine, battery cages for poultry and basically any other cruel practice that means more money at the cost of more suffering for animals. I have no clue who Sheriff Lockhart is or what qualifies him to be the expert, but we know from the River Ridge Farm situation in Louisiana that sheriff departments aren’t exactly on the side of animal welfare either when there are dollars involved. Still don’t believe me about Lockhart? He actually thinks that passing this bill would mean that people will take better care of their animals and increase the price of horses. I guess he knows something the rest of us don’t and that means Canada and any other country that has horses slaughter have no cases of abuse or neglect ever.
Lockhart goes onto talk about the old PSA fallback position – abandoned horses roaming all over the place. I’m not saying this never happens, but you would think the sheriff that is oh so worried about the situation because he says they have been `bombarded’ by abandoned horses would have some actual hard numbers to quote. Nope. He just says they have dealt with “maybe” 50 in the last four years. Ok, that breaks down to “maybe” 12 horses a year or an average of about one loose horse a month. He thinks that one loose horse a month constitutes a bombardment and warrants a slaughter business that would see in excess of 100 horses a day processed. Naturally, Big Ag asshole, Charles Sloan, of the Sequoyah County Farm Bureau thinks opening a slaughter-house is an awesome idea too and backs up Sheriff Lockhart by talking about all these horses turned out to die horrible deaths of starvation. Strangely, I have driven through Oklahoma and never seen a single loose horse yet this pair of good ole boys would have you believe they have an infestation going on. Again, not a single statistic or documented fact is offered up. Of course not!
To further illustrate what a compassionate guy he is, Sloan goes onto talk about how humane the death would be at the hands of professionals because horse owners would see to it that it is being done humanely. Nevermind that in the decades and decades that slaughter was available in this country, it was never done humanely before, this time will be different because they will be similar to cattle and hog facilities. That’s great to know because horses are JUST like cattle and hogs in both their anatomy and flight responses. *sarcasm* Local vet, Crystal Sampson, thinks it’s great too because she sees all theses horses standing out in fields left to breed and go hungry. I guess it never occurred to her that perhaps stiffer penalties for neglect and abuse would go much further towards addressing that problem. As anybody that followed Dorothy Robertson’s story knows, being pro-slaughter and having it available to you doesn’t mean you won’t still let your horses starve in a field and breed like rabbits.
In an impressive display of slanted reporting, the next `expert’ we get to hear from that is pro-slaughter is Ward Stutz. Ward is the Senior Director for Breed Integrity for the AQHA. That title alone should tell you that he’s about the last person anybody should consult on the issue as I don’t know of another breed association that has less integrity than the AQHA. They’re the ones that have a serious and often fatal genetic disease that they not only allow, but frequently award world championships to the horses that have it and carry it. Who cares if they eventually end up flopping around on the ground like a fish out of water and dying horrible deaths as long as you get your nice belt buckle to show off your crotch separating jeans. Naturally, Ward is all for regulated slaughter, although we’re not sure if it’s because he’s so concerned about horses suffering or if it’s because those meat buyers really like Quarter Horses. Maybe both?
I have to give the writer of this article credit because she truly hit all the pro-slaughter markers in compiling her information. Like so many half wits before her, she pulls the GAO report out of her butt like some prize. I’m not even going to rehash why this is a ridiculous document as we’ve been over and over it, with the last time being in the previous blog entry. Despite it being generally recognized as a joke, the GAO report is the only thing PSAs have to wave around because it’ almost as big of a joke as they are. At least after you have to read all the pro slaughter fables we finally get to hear from one anti who just happens to be a horse trainer and his wife. I guess that little opening statement made by Senator Allen about `all’ horse trainers wanting slaughter wasn’t exactly true after all. How shocking that a politician would tell a lie!
It seems that Senator Allen has taken a page of out Slaughterhouse Sue’s propaganda handbook, because he proceeds to tell us all that there is a drug withdrawal time for banned drugs. “The longest any toxin stays in the body is 21 days. That’s for Bute (Butenafine hydrochloride). There’s no sign of morphine in the system after seven days,” He knows this because he has contacted `top authorities’ that he neglects to name. I’m going to go ahead and guess those authorities are Slaughterhouse Sue and Dave Douchebag Duquette. Allen also says that horses can’t just be dropped off at the slaughter houses, but must go through an auction and broker first. I’m still trying to figure out how that makes it any less barbaric if not more so.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m getting so tired of the same old lies and `experts’ that don’t even know one end of a horse from another, let alone actually like them. What is bothersome about this article is that a reporter that clearly has not followed this issue, takes the word of these people as gospel and puts it out there for the general public to read. Think about it; if you didn’t know a thing about horses or what commercial slaughter really entails, you’d probably wonder what the big stink was about and you probably wouldn’t waste much time digging for the real truth and facts that are left out. That’s dangerous. That’s the kinda apathy that gets these bills passed. This is where we can’t give up. We have documented facts and science on our side and we need to keep educating people what the realities of slaughter are. The person that wrote this piece needs to be taken to school about it. Even if they can’t grasp the idea of certain drugs being banned and tissue residue vs. blood withdrawals maybe they need to hear the one undeniable truth that none of these PSAs ever talk about. The option of slaughter for horses has never gone away. There are kill buyers in every continental state and if that is what you want to do with your horse, nobody is stopping you. There were neglected and starving horses when domestic slaughter was available and there always will be as long as assholes own horses. Just as kill shelters have done nothing to reduce animal cruelty for dogs and cats, horse slaughter will not make somebody suddenly respect their horses and care for them. The only things that will even come close to reducing the suffering and abuse of horses are stiffer penalties and your bottom feeders to get out of the business. If anything, slaughter is just going to make matters worse. Spread the word. Don’t give up.