MADELEINE PICKENS: A PLAN FOR ALL HORSES

by | 11.17.2010 | 12:46am
By Ray Paulick“How do you corral 30,000 horses, having taken them off the range where they lived, and just say ‘night night'?” asked Madeleine Pickens, the animal-loving wife of billionaire T. Boone Pickens and better known in Thoroughbred racing circles as the former Madeleine Paulson, who with her late husband, Allen Paulson, developed one of the most successful Thoroughbred breeding and racing operations of the 1980s and ‘90s. Allen Paulson died in 2000, and she remarried in 2005.

In recent years, Madeleine Pickens has spent sleepless nights agonizing over the plight of the American West's wild mustangs, which have been rounded up and held in pens in increasing numbers over the last eight years by cowboys hired by the federal government's Bureau of Land Management after complaints from cattlemen that the horses were depleting grazing areas. As federal funding for the wild horses was squeezed and the number of people interested in adopting them declined, BLM officials were faced with an unpleasant option: allow the horses to be sent to slaughterhouses or perform mass euthanasia.

The story of these wild horses – “America's animal” she calls them – hit Madeleine Pickens' radar screen at a time when she was putting considerable personal resources of time and money into efforts to end the slaughter of all horses. She studied the issue, then hired a polling company to gauge public opinion on the slaughter of horses for human consumption, finding out that seven in 10 Americans oppose the practice. She then paid for anti-slaughter advertisements in the New York Times, lobbied members of Congress and worked with other groups and individuals. Ultimately, however, those efforts ended in frustration because, she said, the pro-slaughter lobby, assisted by the cattle industry, was simply too entrenched with Washington, D.C., powerbrokers. Anti-slaughter bills passed by the U.S House of Representatives were stopped in the Senate. And she was outraged that so many Thoroughbred industry leaders failed to help.

“I would lay in bed, crying, and say, ‘How can we stop this? What can I do?” she told the Paulick Report. “I'm not a religious person, but a spiritual one, and I swear to God that I prayed for an answer.”

One night, she said, the answer came to her. “Why not buy a ranch and give every horse a home?”

Pickens' plan for a horse sanctuary would be similar to how cattlemen got access to millions of acres of federal land, she said. “This is how the cattlemen got going,” she said. “They got the BLM land attached to their ranches with sweetheart deals. They pay a very low lease for it, and most aren't even using the land now.”

Pickens has a private foundation in the formative stages, a key to which will be tax credits for donors, she told the Washington Post. She met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, where half of the wild horses are held. Pickens isn't prepared to say how much she needs to raise for an endowment to make the plan work, but she is confident she will be able to make it happen. She envisions corporate sponsors, campgrounds and cabins for tourists to come and observe the horses. “There is so much support for this right now,” she said. “It's amazing the number of calls and emails I've received from people who want to help or go to work there.” (Click here to see the official Madeleine Pickens Web site.)

She estimated that she will need upwards of a million acres, and is currently in negotiations on three different properties. She took her plan to BLM officials, who leaked the story to the Washington Post, prematurely, in her opinion. “The story got out way too early while I'm working on the land deal,” she said. “The land people may suddenly say, ‘Ohhh, deep pockets,' and become unreasonable. I'm trying to  be responsible and do the right thing here. I'm very confident that next year this whole thing will be in place.”

Pickens said she felt like someone who's been trying to walk through quicksand the last couple of years and can't seem to get out of it. “Nothing was happening, and you can't believe the idiocy of it all,” she said. “Why do people not get it?”

She grew weary of trying to work for a solution in Congress. “The people in the racehorse industry weren't on board and we had all those cattlemen against us,” Pickens said. “We really couldn't win. I give the people who have been fighting this for so long a lot of credit.

“I think this will work because I came up with a private-sector solution rather than trying to put a bill through Washington where politicians could have their way and destroy it. When the bureaucrats do it, it costs too much and doesn't work. With private individuals, you're not indebted to every group or compromised by lobbyists.”

Her proposal has been widely applauded, within the BLM and the general public. While her husband, a well-known corporate raider, oilman and philanthropist, has been a highly visible proponent for a plan to make America energy independent, Madeleine Pickens became an overnight celebrity because of her desire to save the horses. The week her plan went public, ABC's World News Tonight named her “Person of the Week.” Some outside of the horse business remembered her as the heroine (pictured, left) who rescued hundreds of abandoned cats and dogs in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.

“I knew people cared, but I was somewhat stunned at the way this story took off like a wildfire,” she said. “It surprised me, but it really shouldn't have.”

A PLACE FOR EX-RACEHORSES, TOO

Pickens said the ranch will not just be a refuge for wild horses. She wants it to be all inclusive for different breeds, and especially ex-Thoroughbred racehorses that often end up unwanted or sold to killer-buyers who send them off for slaughter in Canada or Mexico. There are no remaining horse slaughterhouses in the United States.

“We're going to have enough land where I don't know how we can say no to anything,” she said. “It won't happen overnight. But I want to give the Thoroughbred industry an opportunity to do something here, and to make people feel that they are being responsible for the animals in their sport. I'm going to ask the industry for their support. It's going to be difficult for the racing industry to change their way of thinking. With this, I hope they can say they have an exit strategy for their horses.”

Pickens is still angry over the National Thoroughbred Racing Association's refusal to support recent anti-slaughter legislation in Congress. She was one of a large number of major industry participants to sign a letter written by owner-breeder Josephine Abercrombie to members of Congress stating their support of anti-slaughter legislation and their disapproval of the NTRA's position. “The NTRA had to compromise themselves with Goodlatte (Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte, former chairman of the House Agriculture Committee and now ranking member), who has helped them with gambling legislation but has close ties to the cattle industry,” she said. “By getting behind my proposal, they won't have to worry about the threat of someone like Goodlatte.”

The Jockey Club is another group that has disappointed Pickens. “They register 35,000 horses a year and they say those horses are worth millions and millions of dollars,” she said. “And they come up with some plan where people can give a few dollars when they register a foal and the Jockey Club says they'll match up to $200,000 a year. This is the same old b.s. — $200,000 is a peanut. How dare they say this is all they're going to put into a retirement fund for all the horses who don't make it. It's all part of what makes the system not work.

“In every business it's leadership, and we've had horrible leadership in racing. Will Farish (vice chairman of the Jockey Club and owner of Lane's End Farm, where Pickens retired Grade I winner Rock Hard Ten to stud) can be a good guy. He's head of this and head of that, and people look up to him. But here's a man who won't go against slaughter. Why? Is it because he's from Houston, where so many of the cattlemen are from?”

Pickens, who said she has withdrawn from the racing business largely because of its inaction on this issue, said she thinks the Thoroughbred industry can learn a great deal from how her proposal has been embraced by the public.

“Racing people can learn that they have a chance to endear the public to them,” she said. “They get a few gamblers here and there, but they are in trouble because they seem to have lost sight of the animal who is the athlete. They have too many fatalities and too many injuries that happen in public on national television. When that happens, it exposes the fact they have no exit strategy for the horses.

“Again, there is no leadership. Those who have been in it for a long time have done nothing to endear people to the business. Now they have an opportunity like the BLM has to try and resolve one of their problems.”

I asked Pickens why she is doing all this, what is driving her to take on a project so big?

She told me of how she emigrated to the United States from Iraq in 1969 because she wanted “to come to a new world and do something with my new country.”

But then she confessed to another reason, something that haunted her when she first learned about the horrors of slaughter: “Maybe it's because I'm ashamed that I was in the industry for years and never knew there was a slaughterhouse for so many horses at the end of the day. I'm so ashamed I never knew. And people who know about it and aren't doing anything, they should be ashamed, too.”

Copyright © 2008, The Paulick Report

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  • Beth Kinnane

    “This is how the cattlemen got going,” she said. “They got the BLM land attached to their ranches with sweetheart deals. They pay a very low lease for it, and most aren’t even using the land now.”

    This is the most telling phrase of all. I have nothing against cattlemen or the beef industry. But somehow all these ranchers get to use OUR land for next to nothing AND get to make all the rules about what gets to live on it and what doesn’t. And at the same time, with their land cost being nil, the Amercan beef industry can’t seem to remain competitive with Australia and South America, and the latter is losing rain forest day after day to clear ground to raise cattle. It’s ridiculous that the United States should ever have to import so much as one slice of beef. It is also ridiculous that anyone thinks they have a right to lease public land for next to nothing and not have to share it with anyone or anything else.

  • Steve Johnson

    I refer you to an excellent financial analysis of the cost of caring and maintaining retired horses (not just TB’s, but also QH’s, SB’s, et al) in the Thoroughbred Times October 25, 2008 written by Dr. Robert Lawrence, retired Director of the Equine Industry Program, Univ of Louisville. Bottom line, if we maintain half of the foal crops of the above breeds assuming $3500/year for facility maintenance, feed, vet, blacksmith, we’ll need over $400 million for each year’s foal crop (i.e. 50% of the foals), and if these horses live to an average age of 20 years, after 10 years we will be looking at $4 to $5 billion, and, again, twice that amount after 20 years.
    This will require some serious fundraising. After the banks, housing, auto industries are bailed out, looks like we’ll need to hurry and get in line with Congress.
    We are all emotionally attached to our industry, but the finances are the hard facts of life that we cannot ignore.

  • Richard Coreno

    The last paragraph of the story says it all….this situation has been a vicious, dirty secret within the industry for many decades and those with the power to scream, “stop,” and, “we will find a solution,” refused to do so.

    As a sidebar, there will be tremendous bad publicity on the Ohio racing scene at the end of the month if Beulah Park shuts down until later in 2009 and leaves many horsemen with no place to go with their runners. The killer-buyers will be swooping into that dilapidated backside of heavy mud & barns beyond repair and I have a feeling that the track management will look the other way – perhaps with glee – as this sick situation transpires.

  • Please have Mrs. Pickens get information to us at Thorofan (www.thorofan.com). Our Board will review and see if we can help.

    Michael Amo

  • Denise

    “A living horse generates more long term, US revenue than a slaughtered one…. unless, of course horses are bred for slaughter.” Overbreeding, poor training practices and drug use in performance horses contribute to the cruel and untimely death of most horses going to slaughter from the US. If an individual factors in that many horses can live well into their 20’s and beyond, just why is slaughter allowed to be an available option for any horseman?

    And you know what? The majority of horseowners (over 5 million horses estimated to be in the US) do right by their horses in providing a dignified exit from this world. Why is it that approximately 100 to 200 thousand horses among that 5 mil number wind up at slaughter?

    Go get ’em Madeleine! You have more than a few on your side. Next stop, get some hardline leadership in a truly Nationally regulated horse racing industry. Mr. Waldrop, I hope you have a resume ready. Maybe you could work for the AQHA or National Cattleman’s/Beef Association(s). They are always looking for “yes” men.

  • Dina

    Thank you so much, Mrs. Pickens! You are truly an angel!

  • I am absolutely thrilled to see Madeleine Pickens now standing up and offering to help the industry develop an exit strategy for the thoroughbreds that she and her family have formerly enjoyed racing and breeding so successfully.

    Dr Robert Lawrence needs to take a look not only at the costs of supporting former racehorses, but also at the enormous wealth which supports their production. If a plan were developed to support half of the thoroughbred foal crop per year, say 18,000 horses (also roughly the number of thoroughbreds slaughtered every year) at $3500 per year, then that amounts to $63 million per year. A lot? Well, industry participants somehow managed, even in this year of incredible financial distress, to spend $328 million buying yearling thoroughbreds at Keeneland alone. Owners with horses in training at a major racetrack – well, let’s not detail current day rates – but they manage to spend a great deal more than $3500 per year while their horse is financially viable as a racing prospect.

    I think this industry can afford the resources to come up with a plan: I sincerely hope Madeleine Pickens has the energy to overcome its indifference to anything but the cost minimizing exit strategy for its horses.

  • Not a PETA member

    So, Mr. Johnson, your solution is to do what exactly? Continue down the same path we are on now? We can’t afford a solution so let’s just give up? Why don’t we spend millions of $$$ instead to convince Americans that it’s OK to slaughter horses, or maybe we can follow the lead of European countries and Japan and start eating horses like they do. We eat cows, pigs and sheep so why not put horses on the menu?

    I’m sorry, but that study by Dr. Lawrence sounds like some b.s. that was ordered up by the same fools who won’t do anything about this just so they can justify their inaction.

    YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM, MR. JOHNSON. IT SEEMS TO ME THAT MRS. PICKENS IS TRYING TO BE PART OF THE SOLUTION.

  • Tiffanie Duncan

    Madeleine Pickens and her husband are national heros for doing what they are doing here!

    Any person who speaks out against this wonderful woman, her husband or their plan for the horses obviously has a vested interest in not finding a solution, because of only one thing that can ever motivate someone to want to continue this cruel practice, and that, my dear friends, is GREED$$$$

    So if you hear anyone being negative about this real solution, do not be fooled by their doomsday talk of being over-run with buzzards for they are only worried about their wallets, forget them! If you hear your representative or senator is against ending the slaughter of OUR horses, make sure you do everything in your power to get them out of office as quickly as possible because there is a reason they are supporting the continuation of this brutal practice and believe me when I say, it is not because they are worried about buzzard populations!

    May Mr. and Mrs. Pickens be blessed for what they are doing now and always!

    Tiffanie in Washington State (private rescue with currently 1/2 of my herd – OTTB’s)

  • Faith

    Will Farish can start leading and respond to Madeleine. We all know he has read this article. If Mr. Farish and his son are the unspoken new “leaders” of the industry, I could see them doing a excellent job, but it’s going to be tough and they must start communicating with substance. I have Faith. Ahh the days of Dinny, the public stayed in line and information trickled down.

  • Words can never express my gratitude to Mrs. Pickens. She is bold enough to tell the truth about why legislative efforts fail time and again to protect our horses from the abomination of slaughter. And she has the heart and courage to act on her beliefs. May God protect her every moment of every day for hearing their cries and being their angel on Earth.

  • Marilyn J Wilson

    Thanks to the Pickens, esp., Madeleine!

    Such a miracle!

  • Chuck Wagon

    Madeleine Pickens is a true Godsend for the horse industry. Thank you with all my heart. And shame on the racing industry and the vet. associations for not being against slaughter.

  • A. E. Loder

    I am a horse breeder that has always bred with care and a purpose. I have seen the market soften somewhat however good horses always have a market so I know I will survive. What makes me sick and what makes me so furious at the people who think that slaughter is so terrible and have worked to end it is the hundreds of horses within a 15 mile radius of me that are starving to death RIGHT NOW. As I write this and it is 23 degrees outside I KNOW there are horses that have had nothing to eat, no shelter no hope of anything but a long, agonizing death. Their owners can’t or don’t feed them, can’t or won’t spend the $100 per head to have them humanely put to sleep and then the additional money to have them picked up so the horses are STARVING TO DEATH. At one time these horses would have gone to the sale barn that is about 15 miles from me and been sold, maybe to killers, but they would have had a relatively short amount of suffering. I’m sure that is makes everyone that comes out against slaughter feel very righteous and humane but the FACTS are that the slaughter ban has been a cruel, horrifying thing to happen to horses. It is another example of people with good intentions that haven’t a clue about what the real ramifications are to their actions. Please look at the big picture, we have to make the tough choices for the betterment of the creatures and the planet of which we are stewards.

  • Denise

    To A. E. Loder:

    WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! You are just plain wrong. I’m sure someone will come here and post words more eloquently than I, but in the meantime:
    (1) Humane euthanasia (and slaughter ain’t even close…it’s strictly disposal providing tainted meat to humans. No production records required like beef or pork) and feeding your horse is a part of ownership responsibilities. If you can’t afford that, then you shouldn’t own a horse.
    (2) SLAUGHTER IS STILL AVAILABLE! Why are these horses starving????
    (3) If you have knowledge that horses are starving, why haven’t you called the authorities? It’s against the law to starve any animal. Why haven’t you gotten together with other community horse owners and offered to help? Maybe you have done this already.
    (4) Research shows that starving an animal has no correlation to the availability or unavailability of horse slaughter. It has almost 100% to do with owner psychology and education. And again, slaughter auctions go on everyday in the US.
    (5) Because starving an animal may or may not happen does not justify horse slaughter. The logic that it is the lesser of two evils is your opinion and a fallacy of logic. Those acts are equally horrifying. In fact, I think horse slaughter is more horrifying for the horse than starving to death in a field without grass, shelter, water, etc. And that happens EVERYDAY in the US. And the double-decker cattle tractor-trailers just continue to roll, even as we speak. Horse slaughter is NOT a necessary evil. It’s a BUSINESS and a slimey one at that: liars, cheats, theives, profiteers, criminals peddling pain and cruelty at the expense of one of the US’s most dedicated servants.

    I’m sure others can add more.

  • Steve Johnson

    Paulick Report response,

    I came in this morning to read my Paulick Report and saw Mr Notapeta Member’s comments to his pain regarding my statements concerning the overproduction of horses in our country. First of all, Mr. Member, I, too, am empathetic to your painful dilemma of what to do with the thousands of horses for whom we do not have placement or homes to care for them. That’s why I wrote the response. I have lived with, cared for, trained, doctored, medicated, slept with, cried over, cursed, lied, and bragged about my client’s horses, and my own horses for more than 30 years. My wife has said more times than not that I love the horses more than her.
    If you are reading into my response that I am, “… giving up…”, then you, obviously, don’t understand the points I raised. Generally, my point is this – we are the managers and caretakers of these animals, and as such, need to be responsible to provide and manage for them throughout their lives. We need to provide for them or place them – we will never, “…give up…” on them. We are their caregivers from the beginning to the end. If we cannot humanely and properly care care for them, then euthanasia is indicated.
    My solution is this:
    1. Identify the problem –
    a. It is a fact that we have well over 100,000 horses being retired each year for whom we cannot provide adequate care.
    2. Gather the data –
    a. 450 rescue missions are currently operating at maximum capacity
    b. The minimum cost to care for a retired horse is $3500
    c. We need to raise $400 million each year to care for the new crop of retired horses
    d. We need to generate $400 million for each previous crop of retired horses
    3. Solutions –
    a. Generate $8 billion in 10 years ($20 billion in 20 years)
    b. Euthanasia
    For you, Mr Member, to say that Dr Lawrence’s article was ordered up, “… by the same fools who won’t do anything about this….” sounds like a poor soul in so much agony that he has lost rational, logical thought. Dr Lawrence is a retired university professor who has spent a lifetime teaching, observing, and advising the horse industry about our economic facts. He’s seen it – he’s reporting it.
    For you, Mr Member, to say that I am part of the problem sounds more like a chickadee jumping up and down chirping on the sidelines chastising the world around him instead of trying to be a mature, focused leader who can assimilate all of the inputs. My position is quite clear – I am identifying the problem while trying to remind those of us in the industry to focus on alternative solutions. As I said, “… the finances are a hard fact of life…”. This is reality, face it, Mr Member. Stand up straight, square your shoulders and face the facts that Dr Lawrence has presented. They are painful, I agree.
    If you or Mrs Pickens can acquire the facilities (1 million acres), raise the capital ($4 billion by 2018 and $8 billion by 2028), then you are the true heroes and angels. I will applaud you. Otherwise, I welcome your alternative solutions. Dr Lawrence gave us the facts. I feel your pain, bro – think positive, give me solutions, not ad hominem chirping.

  • LCM

    Just today there was an announcement from Glencrest Farm here in KY, that offered breeders stud fees of $5,000 or a “foal share” if they didn’t want to pay the stud (foal share means the stallion owner gets 1/2 of the foal).

    Let me make this clear. IF A BREEDER CAN’T AFFORD A STUD FEE OF $5,000, HE/SHE CAN’T AFFORD TO BE BREEDING THOROUGHBREDS!!!

    This is a perfect example of irresponsible stallion owners trying to create a market for a certain horse THAT DOESN’T EXIST….IT MUST STOP. I hope Mr. Greathouse stops to think about the horses HE is creating and whether they are really commercially viable, especially in this market…….GET REAL.

  • Denise

    To “Steve Johnson”:

    A very simple response to your proposition and points:

    Many horses are brought into this world or collected without thought to their ethical demise or final disposition. Many people “speculate” on horses lives that can very well live into their 30’s with proper care, without regard or committment to same’. They then in turn feed off that gravey train that is temporary (involvement, not committment) ownership (auctions, breeders, trainers, owners, pinhookers, kill buyers, et al). Not much unlike the stock market broker churning their wares with no regard to the purchaser or in this case the horse.

    I believe Mrs. Pickens is trying to provide some type of solution and some breeders/owners are trying to do right by the horses. In the meantime, stop breeding or buying horses that are probably not part of any long term strategy or committment. Stop breeding or buying just because you can, unless you are committed. What’s the difference? When it comes to the metaphor of breakfast, the chicken is “involved”; the pig is committed.

  • Pam Byerley

    I don’t believe it is the fact that horses are put down in slaughter houses, I believe what those “people with good intentions that haven’t a clue about what the real ramifications are to their actions. Please look at the big picture, we have to make the tough choices for the betterment of the creatures and the planet of which we are stewards.”

    A.E. Loder”
    are in fact in an uproar about are the ways the horses are slaughtered. If hanging a horse, who is still alive and skinning him after the spike or hammer they used to whack him soundly in the head didn’t exactly work..then I guess I am one of those lost people also. Brutality is the key word here, not slaughter although that is a nasty word too. As for the horses standing in the pastures starving to death, then the OWNERS should have to bear responsibility and a call to the SPCA from someone concerned is about all it takes..and the horses, dogs, cats, birds even ELK or whatever is being abused or neglected will be taken and either brought back to health, placed in homes that care or euthanized if they are past the point of rescue..but not a slaughter house….oh yea and the owners will pay stiff fines and have to go to court and/or jail for their neglect. So I disagree with Ann. I stopped at a vet clinic on the way to buy feed one day because I saw a bull Elk who was so skinny that he could barely stand. It outraged me and I stopped in, said can you please call the SPCA for me..and told them why, they did and guess what the next time I went by the Elk was gone….I stood as the Vets called the SPCA and I believe they went out, collected the Elk and that is the end of the story for cruelty for that animal, it just takes one call, the morale to this story is don’t look out the window and pine for the animals to be slaughtered or euthanized because the neighbors don’t take care of them, ..get off your ass and call someone with authority to come and do something about it and promote making the slaughter houses, if this is in fact a really necessary thing to do, at least conform to a humane way of putting the animals down before being hacked to pieces!
    Pam Byerley

  • How can any rational person “think slaughter is more horrifying for a horse than starving to death in a field without grass, water, shelter, etc” ?? That kind of hysterical babbling does not help solve the dilemma of finding answers to the problem of unwanted horses.

    It is unfortunate that too many people, who are not truly knowledgeable about horses nor well informed as to costs, holler about the evil of slaughter. What I write here is not likely to convert them, but it may help them “get a grip”.

    I have been around horses most of my life – that is close to eighty years. I love them for the great creatures they are and the noble characters of many I’ve known. Even so, I must and can accept that some must be put to death. It does not matter if it is called slaughter, humane destruction or some other euphemism. They must be killed because they are sick or injured beyond the capacity of veterinary care or because nobody can afford to keep them as pets or lawn ornaments. In the current controversy we are concerned only with the second type.

    If none can afford to keep them or wish to keep them, what other course is open other than death? The cold water of reality should awaken all to the fact the actual issue is how it is to be done. Starvation is unlikely to be favored by anybody save one.

    Consequences often trump intentions; even good intentions. That absolutely applies to the law that closed slaughterhouses in the USA. Instead of regulating the means and methods, it created a transportation business to uncontrolled countries. It is never too late to admit that error and do the right thing.

    The right thing is to gather funds, not the multi-millions it must cost to keep them alive, but to meet the cost of paying for administration of drugs now used to destroy sick and injured horses. That cost is a practical, reachable figure. It could be brought more within practical range if the FDA is convinced to allow veterinarians to use the cheaper, faster chemical than those now mandated.

    Of course, the carcass could not be used for human consumption. Isn’t it only the very idea of eating horsemeat that has so many up-in-arms? This answers their objections. It still puzzles me why many are so concerned with what other people choose to eat.

    A horse has no plans for tomorrow. It does not have concern about the things that are constant concerns of humans. The kindest thing we can do for a horse is not to let it die from hunger, thirst or exposure. When there are so many who cannot, practically be given that protection, destruction is the only kind and sensible answer.

    At some time, any owner may have to decide if his horse must be put down. The condition of the horse may make it seem an inescapable decision, but there can still be hesitation. A miracle may happen and turn things around. Believe me, a miracle is what it would take, still it is a tough call. I know from experience; most recently last Sunday, when it was my melancholy decision to put down a lovely, six-month-old colt.

    So, I don’t lightly argue it is better to destroy the unwanted. I know it is the right thing to do, if it is done the right way.

  • Denise

    A horse starving in the field has a slight, very slight chance of being saved;a slaughtered one has no chance in hell. You may “rationalize” that it’s a quick death, but that does not minimize the violence inflicted on the horse. I hardly call my reasoning “hysterical babbling”.

    AND I WILL REPEAT…WHY ARE HORSES STARVING TO DEATH? SLAUGHTER IS STILL AVAILABLE! And the KBs don’t buy starved horses that much any longer. They don’t need to because so many owners are DUMPING perfectly healthy horses. Because those owners don’t want the care expense any longer. Isn’t that an ethical position on something that didn’t ask to be brought into this world and can live into their 30’s! Just have to love the human animal. “…destruction, kind and sensible answer….put down a lovely, six-month colt.”????? Do you mean chemical or bullet euthanasia? As to the colt, I hope there was some medical reason for the euthanasia. If you want to be kind…euthanize humanely and slaughter isn’t humane for horses and no one would take Dr. Grandin up on her truly dedicated humane horse slaughterhouse Mr. Redmond. Why is that?

    And stop with essentially the “dumb animal” spittle…all animals have a will to live and frequently know when it’s time to die. And, who died and annoited you King?!

  • Comment Number 21 really makes my point about hysterical babbling. Inability to recognize the words used are synonyms for death leads some fervid imaginations to wild
    connotations. It is not possible to have a calm, courteous discussion with anyone of that mindset.

    I never try the impossible.

  • Denise

    No, Mr. Redmond….you prove my point that anyone who rationalizes horse slaughter as a necessary evil is part of the problem, not part of the solution. And the “starving horse in the field” argument is one of the sorriest excuses in that myth perpetuating, self-righteous mindset that thinks slaughter is necessary and somewhere along the line has benefited from it. You, sir are not the arbitor of calm, rational discourse by virtue of your self appointed importance of opinion. Dismissing my points as irrational and emotional and using the outrageous/over the top term “hysterical babbling” is an attempt to dismiss my side of this contentious argument…you are no better than those you accuse of not possessing the emotional maturity to discuss this serious problem under the guise that you possess some superior intelligence and mastery of self. And by the way, you with your condescending, “I know better than you” attitude started this exchange. I won’t be bullied or stand idlely by while people like you bully horses, no matter how superior you feel. You are below serious, results producing discourse. And you’d better start working on your debate skills because slaughter of US Horses will end some day; in spite of people like you, and Waldrop, and Goodlatte….and on and on.

  • Susanne Soban

    Dear Madeleine,

    thank you so much for your help. The poor horses. It is really very, very sad.
    But you have the possibility to help :-) It´s wonderful.

    A lot of people in Austria watch the story about these mustangs.
    We all hope these horses can survive.

    I wish you all good things of the earth and a lot of luck for your project.

    (sorry, my english is terrible).

    with best regards from Vienna, Austria
    Susanne Soban and Galiwar (my horse; Shagya-Arabian)

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