Attorney: Horse Slaughter Plant Ready To Go in Three Weeks

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An attorney for Valley Meat Company in Roswell, New Mexico told Bloomberg that the plant could be slaughtering horses in three weeks. A. Blair Dunn said that the facility would ultimately have around 100 employees and could process as many as 100 horses per day.

Valley Meat Company is one of several processors that recently applied to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to resume inspections that would allow them to slaughter horses. Inspections of horse slaughter plants were defunded in 2007, but that measure lapsed in 2011.

The USDA declined comment on the case Friday but had stated earlier this month that if the facility meets the necessary technical requirements and inspectors have been trained it will “legally have no choice but to go forward with inspections”.

Read more at Bloomberg

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  • we’re watching

    We must boycott everything New Mexico. And send letters to the Federal government Senators and Congresspeople in all states your displeasure.

    • nu-fan

      And, along with them, submit your concerns to the U.S. beef association, grocer’s association, all of the fast food restaurants….the list goes on. They have a HUGE stake in all of this! And, they are the ones who the elected officials will listen to. Us? We’re just a bunch of silly animal rights activists in some people’s minds.

    • Geni Geni

      Why don’t you start by contacting President Obama and ask him to secure our border here in New Mexico. We are being infiltrated by Mexican drug cartels and many NM residents are being killed in the process. As much as we all love the equine species, many of us love our neighbors, and their families more. We all have our priorities. What are your priorities?

      • nu-fan

        One doesn’t preclude the other. It’s a shame that your state isn’t doing more on either count.

    • Geni Geni

      In case you haven’t heard, New Mexico IS under the jurisdiction of the federal government.

      • we’re watching

        While I am sympathetic with your plight and the drug cartel problem, I cannot help but care about innocent animals. Your state government has closer communication to D.C. than I would.

  • swiss305

    If they can cancel tours at the White House, they can refuse to fund inspections at a slaughter plant not even open yet. Have they heard that there is Federal legislation pending to outlaw the whole practice? What are they planning to do with the meat since it can’t be put in dog food and isn’t fit for humans in most cases? The most common of common sense would tell the government and the horse slaughter crowd to stand down. What is the big hot hurry to brutally vivisect horses? You really have to wonder.

    • Roisin Smith

      This is being pushed at lightning speed to get up and running because of the overwhelming opposition. Also if this abittoir starts up it will be a lot easier for others to start. Once started the slaughter will not abate.

      This is the trend in government now…get something up and running fast and the public will just throw up their hands and become resigned and desensitized. Where is the Humane Society and others in all this ? Are they working behind the scenes ?

      Their is lots of dedication and money by relatively few behind this. What a shame.

      • Cate Wines, Ph.D.

        The ASPCA and HSUS are just two of the sponsors for the SAFE bill that ziggypop mentioned. They are actively involved in trying to stop this.
        I have recently seen my emails blocked when they are addressed to individuals with a .gov address. They return to me as “domain failure. blocked.” I have been writing emails for months, to members of the Oklahoma and New Mexico legislatures.
        I believe, as you do, that the idea is to push things through at lightning speed and figure the people will just become resigned. That’s what happened in Austria in 1938-ish, after the Austrian people voted to have Hitler rule them. For a couple of months everything seemed wonderful. Unemployment dropped and women got equal rights. Citizens were encouraged to keep only registered firearms (because criminals could be caught easier if all firearms were registered). farmers were paid to grow or not grow certain crops and raise or not raise certain livestock. Health care became a government service The Austrians were dancing in the streets! Then the government took over the farms, forced everyone to work if they wanted to eat, set up 24/7 child care centers that were mandatory for working mothers who almost never saw their children any more, passed a law that all firearms must be turned in to the government. American doctors stopped coming to the University of Vienna to study and Austrian doctors left the country because their government pay was insufficient. Elective surgery had 2-3 year waiting lists and since the best doctors were gone, healthcare became very poor. Suddenly there was a draft for both young men and women and women fought on the front lines just like the men. Only citizens registered with the Nazi government could work and unemployment skyrocketed. That’s how a passive, give-up citizenry ended up without any freedoms. Hitler actually said that moving too fast for people to have time to ponder changes was the way to succeed.
        We need to wake up over here.

        • Roisin Smith

          Well said ! Some day people will wake up and wonder what happened.

        • Genellen

          Cate, last night I watched the movie “Soylent Green,” which in 1973 posited that by 2020, American life would have so deterioriated that human corpses were processed into green crackers touted as being the highest form of nutrition. Your chilling summary of the slide into Nazi horror is a good reminder that we as Americans have stood by dumb and deaf to government atrocities (had there been a draft as with Vietnam, there would have been no Iraq war), and our laissez-faire attitude is just what the powerful are betting on. It makes you wonder–horses now, humans in the future?

        • circusticket

          What are you smoking?

          This is an independent company wanting to open the slaughterhouse. I don’t like it but isn’t it proof that this is still free country, even if we don’t like what some people do?

          • Cate Wines, Ph.D.

            You are a waste of time.

        • we’re watching

          Obviously you have no interest in horses, just bashing the President’s government.

          • Cate Wines, Ph.D.

            Try reading all the posts.

  • Francis Bush

    What has happened in the minds of human beings. Out of due respect the healthy animals deserve more than a cruel death. A few lucky ones could be sent into the west and repopulate the area. It would be fun to see them roam on the range like bison.

    • lhartley

      unfortunately, the government is gathering wild horses at an alarming rate, in some cases decimating the populations that are supposed to roam free in horse management areas. cattle and sheep ranchers are forcing the horses off the ranges.

      • nu-fan

        Unfortunately, what you say is too true.

  • Figless

    This must be a very modern facility to be up and running in three weeks.

    • http://www.facebook.com/MaureenTierney51 Maureen Tierney

      No kidding! And humane too, I’m sure in that amount of time you can really get top class facility ready. Geez… is it a shack?

      • 14151617

        Shut down and cited when it was a cattle slaughter house.

        • Roisin Smith

          The owner was out of business because of atrocious conditions as a cattle slaughterhouse. So now the same owner at the same abittoir will slaughter horses instead. This nothing short of outrageous..

          • 14151617

            And Ag Gag laws so no one can report on it

    • dcurtis

      This facility was ready a long time ago, it did not just decide overnight to start slaughter of horses.

      That said, after reading all the negative comments, I will ask a question , again , so far with out any answers. With the hay shortages we have had, which are predicted to continue , the ever raising cost of feed , rescue’s at near full or over full, What is it your plan, to do with all the horses that it doesn’t seem any one wants or unfortunately for some can no longer afford due to unforeseen problems. Why are not all of you at the auctions out bidding the kill buyers where you can buy a horse for next to nothing, why are you not getting all the horses offered on Craigs list for free or very little money, why are you on here complaining and whining , go out and save the horses, by the way I have 3 OTTB’s and that is all I can afford, would I want to send them to slaughter ? no but I have a friend that is a Vet and a low cost disposal available,should it come to that, not everyone has that choice either.What I find worst of all, over slaughter, is the horrible trip and circumstances to and in Mexico, and the long slow death that the starving and abandoned horses are suffering. Slaughter in the U.S. is the lesser of the evils. So let me hear your doable plans for 10,000 plus horse that do not, and can not get “forever” homes, and what do YOU plan to do with them, no passing the buck, you screamed so what are YOU going to do?
      Hook up your truck and trailer cause I can get you a few horses pretty fast.

      • Cate Wines, Ph.D.

        Some of us actually do go to auctions and outbid the kill buyers. I have (being a YOU) personally saved more than 40 horses. I have rescued from an auction, from a PMU farm, from the BLM when they were getting ready to sell a 3-strike mustang for $10.00, from the track when he was injured and from a mini-horse mill. Forty doesn’t even make a dent, but it is what I can do. I don’t just sit around and whine. I lobby friends acquaintances and strangers. I belong to several orgnaizations. I write to groups like the AQHA and beg them to stop their careless breeding practices. I’ve written articles about solving the unwanted horse issue and have had them published. I’ve supported people who have had the cash, that’s CASH, to buy more than a million acres of land for a horse range that the government refused. I’ve offered solutions, a whole list, publlshed right here as a comment to a past Paulick newsletter, that were met with positive feedback by other readers.
        1) For starters, form a national breeding oversight council and appoint a “horse czar” (sort of like the drug czar). Like the Joint Commission is for hospitals, this council would be for breeders. 2) Initiate a fee structure for licensing any breeding stallion of any breed, with significant fines for unlicensed breeding. 3) Regulate back yard breeders. 4) License all horse owners and horses. It’s very common to license dogs; why not horses? 5) Require tracks, trainers and jockeys to contribute a per centage (that could possibly be a tax credit) for the retirement care of TBs and care of failed runners. 6) Offer an incentive to any certified trainer who will take one unwanted horse to rehab/train/refresh and sell to a good home. 7) Allow cash purchase of large (huge) parcels of land where horses can be allowed total freedom. Horses reseed the range they graze. They are ungulates, not ruminators, so their manure contains viable seeds. Horses running on a range area lightly tamp the top soil and prevent wind erosion. Cattle, on the other hand, loosen the top soil as they wander. 8) Chemically sterilize mares of breeding age who are going to be sent to free range. Geld stallions that will free range, hopefully before they are adults and it becomes a much more dangerous procedure.
        I could write ideas for solutions for 10 days, at least. There are others who have written wonderful ideas for solvng the problem. Go read Tuesday’s Horse on WordPress. Follow the organization, ProtectMustangs.org. Check out what the Wild Horse and Burro Association has to say. The solutions are out there; they are viable and feasible. We need the ear of people like you, dcurtis, to help us, not fight against us. We need to ear of the President. How do we get it? I’ve emailed him; staffers answer with inanities. When Obama was a senator, I lived in IL. He and I emailed several times about the plight of the wild horses. He actually responded! He seemed to agree with a few of my solutions and was very positive about preserving the herds. No more. And speaking of wild horses, why not have them managed by Fish, Game and Wildlife? Those horses are wild and they are alive. Fish&Wildlife manages the elk just fine and look what they did for the buffalo. BLM has a conflict of interest. They are for the land, not the horse. Oh, heck!

        • Beachy

          I wish to God I could afford to keep horses, but I’m not just running my trap, as dcurtis would say. I give all the money I can to rescues, and have 8 rescued pets, just not horses.

          • nu-fan

            Thank you and all of the others who have done the right thing and saved so many horses from a horrific tragedy. But, how often can the horse breeding and racing industry keep going back to that same well and expect others to keep saving the horses that are no longer wanted? Isn’t it about time that all those in that industry come to terms with the fact that they must assume responsibility for the many horses that are used and then cast aside when no longer wanted or needed?

        • 7cents

          Great ideas, but who is going to PAY for them? Things that start with “regulate” and “License” all require Administrators. Government Administrators. All such people with those titles require salaries, minions (who also require salaries), lawyers (who want large fees, larger if the word “government” is in there), and lost and lots of paperwork (more minions to file said paperwork, with smaller slaries). Any funds taken in by licensing will be a drop in the bucket compared to the costs.

          I am ALL FOR your #6 idea – I’d have lots of “incentives” coming. I’ve retrained and rehomed a lot of horses in my lifetime, and never yet sent a single horse to kill or auction.

          You do understand that any species under Fish and Game (excepting endangered or threatened species) are subject to a harvesting seasons, right? Do you believe that city hunters shooting horses is a good solution? Would the chemically sterilized mares be safe to consume? Would there be a point in issuing seperate mare/stallion tags? It would be tough to discern them from 200 yards without antlers.

      • Figless

        Government funded Euthanasia, no different than dogs and cats

        • Cate Wines, Ph.D.

          No different from dogs and cats except that dogs and cats are more humanely and gently euthanized and not chopped into pieces while still living. Many shelters that still use gas tranquilize the animals first.

          • Figless

            To clarify I want government funded Euthanasia, similar to the canine and feline programs, horses are pets and should be treated no different, but are viewed as livestock by too many.
            I placed a horse in what I thought was a good home, and it was at the time. Unbeknownst to me they ran into financial problems, the state showed up, took the horses. But they didn’t have a local ASPCA program so they turned them over to a local livestock dealer instead, and you know where they went from there. By the time I found out it was too late, despite my contract clearly stating I would take the horse back. Owners fault, they should have called me, but when I tried to track the horse down the government refused to help me, it was probably too late anyway, but still, just a little cooperation would have been nice, I may have still been able to save him. Had it been a dog or cat I may have had a chance.

        • 7cents

          Actually, A LOT different. Dogs and cats fit in reasonably sized incinerators. Horses are bigger. Quite a bit bigger. They take up more feed and space to warehouse before being destroyed and their bodies are a lot harder to get rid of. Do you really want to have a bunch (remember over 100,000 A YEAR are being shipped to slaughter now) of chemically euthanized horses buried and contaminating ground water?
          As I’ve pointed out before, our government has already “funded” itself to death. There is NO MORE MONEY.

          • Figless

            Government has money to fund the inspectors, and funds a LOT of less worthy programs. $1.3 Trillion went the door in stimulus. The money is there, even privately from some of the ideas raised above by Dr. Cate, been arguing for years for breed registry dollars to be allocated. Cost $200 to register a TB, $75 to register as a NY Bred, cant those fees be raised to $500 each? If they breeder can’t afford that they shouldn’t be breeding. NY can take some of the fallow, foreclosed, upstate NY land and set up a reserve dedicated to NY Breds? It would have the side effect of creating some jobs and preserving green space. It could be advertised as a tourist attraction.
            They are spending a LOT of money studying racetrack safety, but nary a penny on the unwanted horse problem they are in part creating with their subsidies. As horrific as the track breakdowns are, every time it happens I am more worried about the healthy horse that finished last than the one riding off in the ambulance. His future is probably worse.
            As for Euthanasia, specifically responding the comment above, the horses would be rendered, not buried in big mounds contaminating the land, but unlike existing rendering plants this plant would be set up in a humane manner, with the horses sent there one by one from nearby government and privately funded sanctuary, in my perfect world.
            This could be accomplished quite easily, with the right plan and a little bit of government seed money, on a state by state basis. There are volunteers, vet, farriers, civilians, that would donate their time. Like most problems all that is needed is the will of the people and the cooperation of the politicians, the latter usually being the biggest obstacle.

      • nu-fan

        Are you saying that since the location (New Mexico) is so much more convenient, slaughtering should be allowed? Two wrongs don’t make a right. Find the right solution not the one that is the easiest!

      • Geni Geni

        Not sure I quite understood. However FYI, New Mexico is now part of the United States of America.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paula-Esposito/100001620845560 Paula Esposito

        Beautiful. That is exactly what I said. Put their money where their mouth is and stop crying and whining. Do something about it. Just let me tell you, it is not 10,000, it is 160,000 that are slaughtered on average every year and that number did not go down when inspections were stopped here in the US. The only thing that changed is that horse’s suffering increased at least 100 fold. I love what you said dcurtis. Awesome, right on the ball. I do what I can, also, and I keep my animals “forever”, but I also deal in reality. . . I can’t help them all.

        • 14151617

          You have to start by saving one.Stopping the slaughter may be a burden for a little while.But if the Over breeders have no easy disposal stations.Perhaps they will curtail their breeding practices.Why have AI and embryo transplant allowed when there is already a glute of horse.If the numbers go down the price will go up.
          Humans are the problem not the horses.

          • Roisin

            You are right.

      • 7cents

        Yes, but they have no ROOM for a horse in their apartments and suburbs! So they obviously could NOT actualy support one! Board in their area is, of course available, but much too expensive! They do, however, send $10 a week to their rescue Flavor of the Month! I mean, they contribute a whole $40 a month to horses, they obviously deserve to tell the people dropping $800/week at the feed store how to manage their livestock! It all comes back to a problem that that mythical SOMEBODY needs to fix, but nicely and quietly, of course. With flowers, hearts, and rainbows involved in the process.
        I have a sneaking suspicion that there are enough Friends of Barbaro on Paulick Report now to well outnumber actual horsemen and women. And, lemme tell ya, they KNOW EXACTLY what every aspect of the horse industry SHOULD do because they loved Barbaro and he TOLD them, after he died of course.

        • 14151617

          No body is telling anybody how to do anything.It is just that horse slaughter is horrible and should not happen and if you don’t want to be the care taker of the life you take on or bring into this world by breeding then don’t buy or breed one.Everyone in favor of horse slaughter should be made to watch the process from beginning to end and then decide if it is a humane operation.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paula-Esposito/100001620845560 Paula Esposito

      If you read up, they have actually sued the US government because of the holdups that have been put on them.

      • dcurtis

        Well as usual , I got no answer for what the plan is to save all the horses, one says she donates to the rescues and that is a good thing and I thank you , but did not address the fact that the rescues are at or nearly at capacity, and I forgot to mention about some of the rescues being in trouble for starving horses. One says she has rescued 40 and she also is the only one who said she does go to the sales, and again that is admirable but as she said, does not make a dent. Not one person said a thing about the hay shortages and high and rising feed prices . I love horses but like Paula I deal in reality, in the here and now, and we can help as many as we can to find good and proper homes, but it just not possible to save them all and as I said the lesser of the evils is regulated slaughter in the U.S And trying to lay blame on the breeding industry does not cut it either, not every horse born is going to be a world champion , and unless you all know genetics better than those in the business , it is a little hard to predict which matings will produce that champion. And the Dr. that was mentioned in an earlier post is Temple Grandin, it would benefit people to read what she has to say on the matter of humane slaughter..

        • Figless

          No, you are wrong, the lesser of evils is regulated Euthansia. There have been plenty of solutions posted, which you predictably ignore. The slaughter is absolutely NOT “humane”.
          This is about livestock dealers, and cheap owners, getting every last dollar out of their horses, that’s all. Any caring human would do the right thing by their horse, I would starve rather that send my beloved dog to a slaughterhouse, same with my horses. If you cant afford the horses, don’t buy or breed one, and if things change do the right thing and put them down humanely via Euthanasia, it doesn’t really cost that much. End of story.

          • dcurtis

            Not need to repeat any thing , read what 7cents has to say on ethanansia, and you failed to address that rescues are full or near full and quite a few should not be in business. You also failed to address one glaring problem HAY Shortages and Feed costs, these problems are not going away because you wish them too, and if not fed right horses develop problems that then require Vet care, more money. And I guess the person that got a horse when they were making 3 figures , should have had the ability to predict he or she would fall ill or lose their job so therefore should not have got said horse, so now the only people who should own horses are the super wealthy with trust funds.

  • blunny

    Its being shipped out of NM by Alien Express Ships

  • Cate Wines, Ph.D.

    Not even looking at food safety issues, this horse slaughter thing is unbelievable!
    And I’d like to know the difference between pit bulls and horses. The whole country was up in arms when NFL quarterback, Michael Vick, was discovered owning fighting dogs and running dog fights. He served 18 months in prison. That was several years ago, yet he cancelled a book signing last week because he was getting death threats still related to the dog fights.

    People were incensed because dogs were dying horribly. Horses killed in slaughter houses by captive bolt die terrible, horrible deaths! Captive bolts often don’t kill a horse. Some are skinned while still alive; some are conscious when their legs are sawed off and their bellies are slit open. That’s more than horrible in my book!

    What’s the history of the pit bull in this country? Did they carry the mail? Did they ever provide nearly the only means of transportation? Did they routinely carry people out of harm’s way? Did they take war wounded off the battle field? Did they charge the enemy? Did they carry doctors who were rushing to emergencies? Did they pull Conestoga wagons during the migration to our western states? NO! They did none of those things. Yet, here we are, condemning horses, the species that did all of it, that helped build the world! We are condemning them to die terrible, indescribable deaths and their meat isn’t safe to be eaten!!!

    It is beyond my comprehension that we were willing to save a breed of dog that many people fear and hate, that has been banned in cities across the country, that has been legally declared a “dangerous breed.” Yet, we are willing to slaughter innocent horses, the species that was a major force in the building of this country, that served with great distinction in our wars, that keeps our children out of trouble, that entertains millions and provides companionship to thousands–a species that is native to North America and has more right to live here than most of us.

    • dcurtis

      Hate to burst your bubble but there are horses that are just as dangerous as a pit bull .And a lot of horses put in the wrong hands can cause a lot of hospital bills.

      • Cate Wines, Ph.D.

        Oh, please!

      • Beachy

        There are occasional, violent, genetic duds, just as with dogs–but more often animals are taught meanness. Fine; euthanize them if needed, just like the dogs. Dr. Cate, this is the problem with horses being designated as “livestock”. And it makes me sick the way livestock are treated–hence why, when they can, a lot of people give up on it and become some form of vegetarian(vegan, or milk/eggs). I find horse slaughter absolutely sickening. Not to mention, your Austrian comparison upwind is apt. :-/

      • Roisin Smith

        Of course there are dangerous horses. However, that is not the point. Many animals can be dangerous and are delt with accordingly.

    • LindleyPaxtonBarden

      Dr Wines, PLEASE don’t compare the plight of fighting pit bulls and their rescue to that of horses going to slaughter–they are the SAME issue, and that is ANIMAL CRUELTY! Pit bulls have no more say in their fighting lives than horses do in their slaughter; HUMANS are responsible for both cruelties. As a rescuer of both abused/neglected pit bulls and abused/neglected horses, I can tell you that NEITHER species deserves what they are getting!

      • nu-fan

        I didn’t quite read Cate’s comments quite the same as you did. What I got from it was why do we get so adamant about the abuse of dogs (pits bulls or others) and not about horses? If the public can be so horrified by what Vick did with his pit bulls, why isn’t the public as incensed when we are seeing the very likelihood that New Mexico is starting up a horse slaughtering facility? My hunch is that so few of the public has any contact with horses but how many of us are dog owners? It becomes a bit more abstract with the former.

        • Geni Geni

          New Mexico received the approval from the United States Government. Contact your Congressman if you have a problem with it.
          Something tells me that you won’t. Weak Weak Weak

          • nu-fan

            Don’t bet on it sweetie!

          • Reality Check

            A lot of folks already have… hence the bill presented by Senator Graham et al. And do tell, why are you such a strident supporter?

          • nu-fan

            Actually, I have wondered the same. What are the motivations of this person being so vehemently supportive of horse slaughter? Perhaps, has some vested interest in this plant starting up again? I don’t know the answers to either but it does have me wondering….

      • Cate Wines, Ph.D.

        “…NEITHER species deserves what they are getting!” Exactly my point!! If we can fight for the pit bulls why don’t we fight for the horses? By the way, I also rescue Rottweilers.

    • Geni Geni

      Meanwhile, ranchers who live on the Mexican border are being targeted on a daily basis.

      The nations limited resources will be better spent protecting it’s citizens. The time has come to make a decision. Which is more important?

      Horses are livestock. In the starving nations on this planet, horses have the potential to save many lives.

      It’s time to stop looking at the situation while wearing rose colored glasses.

      Dog’s have nothing to do with horse slaughter.

      • Roisin Smith

        I suppose the horsemeat will be shipped to all the starving people !!! Free, right ? This horse slaughter will not save the starving people and you know it. If you don’t you are naive. Most of the starving populations are victims of their corrupt governments and constant wars. Putting an end to these problems would do far more than some shipments of horsemeat which would not happen anyway.

        Further, proponents of horse slaughter are in it for the money directly or indirectly.The motives are not alturistic by any stretch of the imagination !!

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paula-Esposito/100001620845560 Paula Esposito

          Aren’t most things done for money? What is your point? You could say for the shear pleasure of killing horses, which would make sense as being a ridiculous reason, but most of the human race is motivated by money-it only makes sense.

          • Roisin Smith

            My point is to the person who thinks the horseslaughter industry will save the starving people of the world. Read the post I was replying to…”In the starving nations of this planet,horses have the potential to save many lives” My bet is the meat will go to the highest bidder which will not be the corrupt governments of the “starving nations”.

          • Cate Wines, Ph.D.

            We will know where the meat has gone when birth defects rise, more women miscarry, more pregnancies end in premature birth, the rates of placenta abruptio and placenta previa go up and aplastic anemia numbers explode! People will die because most horse meat from the US is tainted and unsafe. Do some research, people. Those of you who favor eating horses need to Google butenafine hydrochloride and cortisol. So many of you are so misinformed, culpably ignorant, deliberately being dishonest or are incapable of intellectually digesting the science. Why do you think as of July 1, 2013, Europe will place a moratorium on horse meat from the US, or didn’t some of you know?

      • Cate Wines, Ph.D.

        You, Geni Geni, obviously have nothing to do with understanding the issues. Horses are not livestock to the majority of horse owners. Check the research.

        • 7cents

          Yes, but they are still livestock. You guys all start writing your congressmen to get the horse’s status changed to “pet” and you will see a doubling in the “unwanted” problem when the tax incentives that go with “livestock” are removed.

          • Cate Wines, Ph.D.

            7cents, you asked in another post about my doctorate and my involvement in the industry. I am a retired psychotherapist. I have about 64 years of horse experience in several different disciplines including showing saddleseat, hunter/jumper and in-hand. I’ve owned interests in two racing thoroughbreds. My favorite mount is a Percheron mare. I presently own two mustangs, two OTTBs and am starting a yearling filly. It looks like I may be about to adopt a teen-aged Paso mare that has been badly abused,
            When I lived in Illinois, I was an hour away from the DeKalb Cavell slaughter house. As a member of Stolen Horse International, I periodically checked the animals at that plant and saw more horrors than I can ever forget. As an owner, I had a horse that jumped a pasture fence and got hit by a car. Both front legs were broken. My vet came to the scene with a rifle and shot my horse. He did not shoot him in the forehead, but killed him instantly. Although I worked for a breeder during undergraduate summers, I have never personally bred and never will.
            I am passionate about horses and have seen first hand, the miracles worked by pairing horses and autistic individuals, horses and children with cerebral palsy and horses and military veterans who were blind, missing arms and/or missing legs, and who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. I have seen the positive changes in incarcerated individuals who work with mustangs on the prison farms. I have noted that lower recidivism rate among those men. Lastly, it was my horse that helped me heal after the murder of my youngest brother many years ago. I admire, respect and have great love for the horse.
            Winston Churchill said, “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” (Oh, yes!) Mahatma Ghandi said, ”
            The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way in which its animals are treated. I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man.”
            Thank you for asking. I appreciate your line of thinking and how well your express yourself in writing.

          • nu-fan

            Thank you for your very enlightening story. It should put to shame those who have not had a fraction of the experience you have had; and, too easily want to go the easy and, perhaps, profitable route (for them) by slaughtering horses.

          • 7cents

            Thank you for your response. Your reply was one of the few I have ever seen from a person who has personally helped the horses they could, without IMMEDIATELY following with a plea for “donations”. I am very, very jaded by the “rescues” who go to auction after auction to “rescue” (sorry it is “BUY”) horse afte horse then go all over the internet begging for money to support their purchases

            I also agree with you on many points. Horses are great for therapy and inprison programs. I really think horses are great, period. Here in NM horse care standards are……low. I have uite a few “refugees” who fod their way down my driveway, in addition to the racehorses I train. I am fortunate that my clients are good about letting me rehome their hoses when the racing careers are over, though I have had to occassionally feed one out of my own, thin pocket while trying to find a safe home for it.

          • Cate Wines, Ph.D.

            Look up my FacebooK page if you ever need a hand rehoming a horse. I am very involved in rehoming on a national level. No charge to you to list a horse with my networks.

          • nu-fan

            But, they are not bred for consumption–if you really want to get technical about it.

      • no moral compass

        Starving nations eat horse meat? Asian nations eat dog, cat and rat. Why aren’t we capitalizing on these tremendous food sources of which we have millions of pounds ready for rendering to feed starving nations? Why do we exempt these animals from the butchering process? Why aren’t we making big bucks off of Fido in a can or Fluffy Flakes? This is just another attempt by some low life to make some money off an animal’s agony. Think it’ll be a humane place? Or a new version of Sinclair’s “The Jungle”?

      • Reality Check

        Meanwhile your state can and should do more. Stop looking to the feds to solve your problems. They aren’t going to. Get armed and get your state/local offices filled with people who are willing to stand up against the illegal activity.
        Horses ceased to be considered livestock long ago. How they are taxed (livestock/pet/luxury item) varies from state to state. They are not raised for the purpose of consumption. The people in starving nations won’t get anything from this if it goes forward. It will be sold on the open market like everyone else. But hey, you seem to be okay with putting meat that contains things that we don’t even know what it will do to a human in the food chain. Hey let’s save the starving with meat that may kill them anyway! Great idea! SMH

  • ziggypop

    It is imperative the people contact their representatives and senators and tell them to support the SAFE ACT, which protects not just our horses but our FOOD supply. The meat processors in Ireland have admitted they have been using pork and horse for fillers for over a year. Our USDA is not any more responsible with their inspections, obviously, with all the e coli recalls of US meat.

    There is no time, as the AG GAG, puppy mill, who are also the horse slaughters backers of cattlemen and quarter horse association, American Farm Bureau, and ALEC, are flush with cash to start the brutal slaughter of our horses.

    • Roisin Smith

      In Celtic culture it was taboo to eat horse. It looks like all that has been pushed aside for money.

  • In tears

    This has given me a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach knowing how terrible these horses will suffer. Kind horses that had good lives, many quarter horses because of body weight. Only true way to stop slaughter is to stop over breeding and offer free humane euthenasia for unwanted animals. This is happening cause the president signed the bill to open plants. I am actually shaking thinking how these horses will suffer.

    • Geni Geni

      Meanwhile, the vast majority of beef consumed in this country is treated the exact same way.
      Bon Appetit.

      • Reality Check

        Ah yes the mentality of well so and so did it too so it must be fine. Really? It needs to stop before it starts for a variety of reasons and what would be put in the food chain in very high on the con reasons. We all know that the processing of all animals needs cleaned up. Let’s not add to the list. This guy was already shut down for environmental reasons as well as animal cruelty in his cattle plant. Think he and his ilk will be any kinder to the horses? Yeah, right.

      • nu-fan

        And, in my location, a cattle slaughtering plant was closed last year for being inhumane in the way it treated the cattle. But, then, California might be a “tad” more progressive in thought than New Mexico. By the way, your “Bon Appetit” is not very original.

    • 7cents

      But you, with your stallion who’s had at least 1 colt sold for slaughter (by your own admission), are not contributing to the overbreeding? Have you gelded your stallion, or a re you still breeding him?

  • Barbara Wood

    It is an evil plan and must be stopped. It goes against common sense, concerns for health and care for animals who depend upon us. It is disgusting, and I will not visit these states if it passes. These people who are pushing it should go visit one of these plants to determine if they would want that in their backyards.

  • In tears

    How as horse owners can we work together to put up a web site or get the news media to stir animal lovers into action? Is there one of you that reads the Paulick Report capable of doing this and getting donations from readers willing to work with you. I would
    I have just finished emailing every gov rep in Pa. I am sure I will receive a form letter yesing me to death. This hits me hard on the heels of finding out one of my stallions colts was sent to slaughter before giving the time needed for growth before racing cause his owners could not wait another year.

  • Stymie

    Y’all might want to be aware that thousands of tons of horse meat are being shipped into the U.S. illegally. Sources and end users to be revealed soon.

  • 14151617

    Contact your congress man an support the bills to stop horse slaughter.It is easy to do and only takes a minute.Raise your voices for the voiceless.If you want to see some crazy people go to ok against HSUS SCAM on facebook.

    • Geni Geni

      Ask your Congressman to focus their attention on border security. First things first.

      • Reality Check

        They are entirely separate issues and handled by diffferent agencies. This administration has no desire to tighten up the border. They are focused on other things.

        • circusticket

          This administration has done more than the previous one to secure the border. More money spent on border agents. More illegals deported by a long shot. Look up the numbers.

  • nu-fan

    Figure out who the stakeholders are that may not approve having this facility open up. Write to them–NOW! I’ve already sent two emails this morning; time is pressing. Will follow up with snail mail. Start writing. Anyone from New Mexico: How about writing etters to the editors of your major newspapers or get your local SPCAs involved?

    • 7cents

      And, what should we New Mexicans write in our letters? – “Please do NOT allow horse slaughter here, in our state. We MUCH PREFER to see useless, unwanted horses shipped to the horrors of Mexican slaughter plants so that we may continue to believe ourselves Superior to actually using the carcass of a dead horse and distance ourselves from the reality of the horse surplus in our country.”

      • nu-fan

        I would hope that there are some in New Mexico who are capable of intelligent thought.

  • S

    What if they changed the slaughter method, a fast painless death then would all of you be so appalled by the idea of the slaughter of horses?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paula-Esposito/100001620845560 Paula Esposito

      In all actuality, a properly placed “bolt” is the fastest and most humane way to kill a horse, cow, pig, dog, human, etc. The problem is the properly placed part, which as we have gone on about endlessly, horses are flight animals, very difficult to get them to hold still ( I know of a large farm here in Ocala, no longer in operation that used to put down it’s old horses by putting an X on their head in the proper location, leave them loose in a field and shoot them. It was effective and painless.) They have the same problem with cows and pigs with being hit with the bolt many times and being processed still kicking. It has to do with proper training and instilling empathy in the person holding the bolt, which may be hard to find after a person has killed animals endlessly day after day with a quota to make. Anyway, there is the Doctor *her name escapes me) who has designed many new innovations to make slaughter as humane as possible. Hopefully these plants will implement her ideas and designs and the most important one she requires is surveillance cameras-that goes a long way to keeping people in line.

      • Cate Wines, Ph.D.

        Horses have thicker bone in the forehead area and their brains are located further back in the skull. Most vets would never advise shooting a horse in the forehead. Rutgers University School of Veterinary Medicine, for example, advises that if there is an urgent need to euthanize a horse by gunshot, it be done by aiming just under and behind the ear, angling downward toward the opposite jaw.

        • 7cents

          Ok, so, if a plant is set up for horse slaughter, why the blot not be set to shoot in the method you describe?
          I know quite a few vets who will tell you, in no uncertain terms, that you can quickly and effectively kill a horse in the proper spot on the forehead. Most vets will also tell you that a properly placed shot is often quicker than chemical euthanasia. I, personally, have seen some chemical euthanasia’s that were horiffic, with the horse’s body trying to fight off the chemicals.

          • Roisin Smith

            How painless and peacful the killing is depends to a large extent on the skill of the vet. I have been there for my dogs and one had a bad time because the vet. was incompitent. Needless to say he was off my list in a NY minute. Also have been present with horses and have not seen the problems you describe…again a good vet does a good job !!

          • 7cents

            I have WORKED in the horse industry since I was a child. Show horses, breeding farms, and racetracks. I have probably witness, over 30 years, more euthanasias than the average person. It is NOT all the vet’s ability. Oftentimes a horse’s system just fights the drugs. PEOPLE are the ones who equate gunshots with violence, not animals.
            Dogs are not horses. I have never seen a dog react badly to euthanasia, and they generally sedate them heavily first. Some vets do not like to sedate horses much first as they say that will, actually, cause bad reactions by slowing the rate of the euthanasia drugs hitting the system.

        • 7cents

          What, may I ask, is your PhD in? Are you an industry proffessional?

      • Roisin Smith

        Hopefully !!!
        There has never, never been humane slaughter and never will be. Have you ever wittnessed slaughter ? I seriously doubt it. Her name is Temple Grandin and her efforts in Canada were not very successful.
        Who will review the surveillance, somebody involved in the business ??

        • Roisin Smith

          I posted prematurely, sorry.

          I have witnessed slaughter and it is horrific. I can tell you the people on the kill floors are in the business of killing and show no consideration or compassion, how on earth could they ???

          All these feel good terms such as humane and even euthanisia are just that, feel good terms. They have no bearing on the real world of slaughter.

          I can hardly believe how the term euthanasia is being bantered about now in connection to horse slaughter. The meaning of the word is being totally perverted.

      • Reality Check

        Temple Grandin and the facility she worked with in Canada was CLOSED due to ANIMAL CRUELTY.

        • dcurtis

          Hmmm I looked that up and Forbes did an article on her and a Canadian plant, that did not follow all she laid out for safety, such as non slip flooring and the chute used, did not say it was closed down, and Temple did point out the flaws. And I am not sure how you close a person (Temple) down.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paula-Esposito/100001620845560 Paula Esposito

          Not because of Temple Grandin, if you do your research. The Canadian plant did not follow her recommendations. So stop spreading untruths.

          • Reality Check

            Did I say because of Temple Grandin? No I did not. Point your fingers inward on that untruth accusation. Let me type this slowly for you – The facility she worked with was closed due to animal cruelty. She had already been there and advised them what to do. The point here is that not even she could make this work. Those cameras proved that. Get it now?

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paula-Esposito/100001620845560 Paula Esposito

            Reality check, you did not state that in your comment. You were trying to do the usual slant of bending the facts to make them look the way you want them to. ie of bad mouthing Temple Grandin. If you are an animal lover, you would not be opposed to what DR Temple Gandin is trying to do, which is to make as humane as possible the slaughter of all animals. It appears inevitable that slaughter wil be allowed in Okahoma so whether we oppose it or not, lets not shoot the messenger as in Dr.Grandin and what she is attempting to do. The Canadian plant did not install cameras or do what she wanted done, but here in the US we could have more say in all that.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paula-Esposito/100001620845560 Paula Esposito

            Also, I guess she did make it work because her attention caused the plant to be closed which it probably would not have ever been had it not been for her attention. Get it now? Did I go slow enough for you and explain it well enough? Just because someone doesn’t share your opinion does not mean they are stupid or slow-get it?

          • Reality Check

            Paula, do not decide for me what I’m trying to do. At no point did I bad mouth Temple Grandin nor did I say what she is doing is wrong. You can try to rewrite history all you want but the plant was closed – the cruelty was caught on video. It’s all over the internet, lady. I’m not sure if you have issues with reading comprehension or what and I don’t really care. I guarantee you my animals are very better cared for than you could ever imagine. And for that reason, I advocate personal responsibility and not giving those who choose not to use it a cheap/easy/disgusting way out of it where the only one paying the price is the animal. We, as responsible horse owners and members of society, we cannot put these animals in the food chain. You cannot honestly tell me you believe that the kill buyers will ask for a factual, detailed history on all horses, hold the horses that have received meds that require a withholding period and diligently pass on all this information to the slaughter house? Come on! It’s not going to happen or even close to that. I grew up in a farming family and have spent a fair amount of time around the stockyards for both cattle and horse sales. It is not nearly as simple as you think and I assure you the plants will not be any better than what they can get by with… to think otherwise is being wishful and naive.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paula-Esposito/100001620845560 Paula Esposito

            As I have stated before, I never sell a horse, dog, rabbit, cat, or chicken once I have acquired it. It will stay with me for life. However, I do not think, in all REALITY, that anti slaughter advocates are going to win this battle. So, it would be best to deal with the issue at hand. If you all are going to stop it, start buying up all the auction horses and giving them good homes. Put your money where your mouth is. I don’t like slaughter but, in my opinion, it is not going away. My husband works for a breeder of 2 year old sale t-breds and he couldn’t care less what happens to those horses, as long as he gets them sold and makes a profit. How are you going to change that opinion? I can tell you stories of irresponsible breeders-I don’t know how you are going to change them-the bottom line for them is the dollar. That is how they make their living. I don’t think he really cares what happens to them in the end (actually I know he doesn’t) so how you gonna change that?

          • Reality Check

            Now you’re starting to get it. It’s not the people that run out of money/have financial issues that do this. It’s the jerks that don’t care what happens to them. The guy/gal with no money will do w/o to feed theirs. The guys that have are content to let them die – a la two Louisiana TB farms. So part of the solution is having the associations reward (incentives) for good behavior – geld or spay. Part of the solution is the pressure from the media – after all many involved are in it for the ego and negative light is not what they seek. Strengthen laws across the country that make animal neglect/abuse much more “painful” for the perpetrator, including jail time and I’d love to see a registry of animal abusers as many just set up shop elsewhere. And don’t make it easy for them to disgard them – like this. If they don’t have any place to go with them, many will opt to not make more, regardless of breed or discipline. (Heaven knows in every breed/discipline there are entirely too many bred that should never add to the gene pool.) They will know they have to be responsible for their actions by caring for/feeding the ones they don’t get sold… which in your guy’s case means, get another vocation. Most of us with horses have a “real” job that supports our horse habit, right? I give it to the TBs as so many are trying to make a difference. The hoarders collect and neglect but we’re not gonna change them. Most have a mental disorder, but that doesn’t get a pass in my book. I disagree though… I do think the anti-slaughter folks will eventually win. They have public opinion on their side – and that matters to the pols.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paula-Esposito/100001620845560 Paula Esposito

            He doesn’t need another vocation. He is rich and this is his business. I am talking about after they are sold-it doesn’t matter to many breeders what happens to them. He is basically small time but you know there are those foal mills out there. Huge farms with lots of money churning babies out year after year. They do not geld horses going to 2 year old in training sales. Looks bad for buyers if a horse is gelded. There is no way anyone is ever going to control breeding and selling. I am talking not about neglected horses but horses that end up at the auctions, unwanted. There are so many. You people would have to go to every auction and buy every single one of them if you want to end slaughter.

  • dispute92

    The thing that needs to be done is exactly what another poster said. Get this news out via social medium. Many of us have called or senators/congressmen…etc… We have called our 3 here in NY. Bill are passed because these elected officials don’t read them or the money end of passages. Fighting with each other won’t solve it. Actual action, might not either but it IS our only hope. The slaughter needs to stop!

  • Roisin

    So what do you think is done with all the horses euthanized at all the race tracks ???

    • 7cents

      The bodies are generaly dumped in landfills. One track, out here in NM, puts the bodies in w/ the stable refuse (used wood shavings, straw, manure) and they say w/ the heat of the shavings and the manure (plus the fact that it’s summer when that meet runs) the bodies are kind of incinerated.

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