“The greatest deterrent
to freedom are men and women of zeal, well-meaning, but
without knowledge or understanding.”
~Justice Louis Brandeis~

"People are so quick to defend their own agendas, but they so often fail to realize we must protect the rights of all if we are to continue to have any rights of our own."

Ranch meaning, in general, any real world dwelling probably not involving full care board. Kind of a rural voice of real horse owners, trainers, traders, auction owners, rodeo contractors, etc.. all of us who have taken a verbal beating and called greedy ass hats. Back at the Ranch contributors, moderators, subjects, and so on, are pro-horse, pro-owner, and pro-slaughter.
Back at the Ranch was formed by a group of like minded horse / livestock owners. It is a place for us to try to educate, a place to vent our frustrations with the current equine industry, a place to share humor and snark, and in general try to open the eyes of the public who seem to be anti-agriculture.We do have a section for comments of course, and if you would like to email us you can do so directly or through the contact us form. We like to hear from our readers. I hope you enjoy reading our blog as much as I enjoy managing it.
Ranch Manager

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Throw a rock at a pack of dogs...

Just A quick follow up on some of the comments left on the personal opinion piece this week by RH1

Your comments are in red.

Here’s what you had to say……

I would like to commend nearly all respondents on their total lack of guilt in any of this …….if none of you is the least bit complicit, where the heck do all these horses come from and why do we have a problem in the first place?
I have nothing to liquidate, as in the 80s, I am simply making your loss my gain…..or as I said in the previous column….someone has to ride them……seems no one wants the ones that don’t ride. I thought I said all this once. Evidently I was misunderstood. I have singled out a few of my favorites to give a personal….wake up and pay attention nod …….
In 1995, 106,200 head of equine were slaughtered at federally inspected plants (USDA, 1996). Horse slaughtering has been decreasing in the U.S. due to public outrage over horse slaughtering and foreign embargoes on the imports of U.S. horse meat. The 1995 figures represent a decrease of more than 50 percent from a total slaughter of approximately 244,000 equine in 1992 (Bauer, 1993).
I thought we covered this in 41 Mustangs and Now That You Mentioned It …… the 80s liquidation, the good economy and the retention of breeding stock in the 90s producing demand other than slaughter to reduce the need…..
The more than 50% decrease in 3 short years did not result in 137,800 horses being left to starve, nor did it result in 137,800 horses in need of euthanasia or 137,800 carcasses in need of disposal, or 137,800 horses getting dumped off into horse rescues, prior to 1993 they were slaughtering over 300,000 horses annually in this country, we had HALF the horse population we do now, about 14 horse slaughterhouses, and very few horse rescues during that time.
Again we covered in the liquidation of the 80s, the increased demand of the 90s, and so on…….please get up to speed here……or review as necessary….
These horses were merely absorbed back into the horse community through the usual route.
True enough, when there was demand for them in the 90s due a good economy and the liquidation/slaughter/demise/gone from the planet not there to buy them now reduction prior to those years (we had half the horse population we do now). Or didn’t I just say that?????
Slaughter buying is a competitive and predatory business, slaughter buyers compete against regular horse buyers.
Very true and if there is no other demand the horse will be sold on the scale. Demand will only allow a butcher horse shipper/feeder to pay so much a pound. If the horse had other value he would be purchased for something else. We have distinct lack of other demand at this point. Pick your reason and stick with it to avoid confusion please…..
Slaughter buyers will answer classified ads and lie to sellers "the horse is going to a children's riding school" or what have you. This isn't a "service". This is profit driven to fill trucks to get them to slaughter.
This is without a doubt the dumbest excuse I can think of to pass anti-slaughter legislation. Hello……do the math……grab a sip of coffee and educate yourself to the market……or don’t believe everything you read/hear/whatever…….Are these the same people demanding we put warning labels on everything including those telling us coffee pots may be hot? I don’t know any shippers running up and down the road chasing horses in the classifieds. They don’t have to they simply go to the sales. Saves fuel and the pain in the butt lying to the public that way.
If this were a service, then all they would need to do is open a business, put up signs, advertise "we buy your unwanted horses" and that's it. People can sell their horses to them if they want.
Obviously written by someone who has never bought and sold horses…..put a line ad in your local newspaper and wait ten minutes, or the new way….put a wanted to buy ad on Craigs List…….Years ago (in the 80s slaughter/liquidation, happy now?) I did have a wanted to buy ad……….it went a long way toward forming the opinion I have of the average horse owner then and since. This time around I know how many horses offered I have no interest in buying. Bail yourselves out. I have always felt if you want to deal loose horses, feed cattle. It’s really not my thing. But please don’t make out like the public is being “forced” to sell horses to slaughter. I simply don’t believe anyone that naïve can still function as a self supporting adult.
The number of horses slaughtered annually is usually a result of how many horse slaughterhouses there are and their working capacity. The more slaughterhouses and the higher the capacity - the more horses are slaughtered. It's the capacity of the slaughterhouses that sets the number of "unwanted" horses.
Now this one is just “I was not paying attention to anything I read” in black and white (or red and white in this case). WE HAVE NO OPERATING PLANTS IN THE US YET WE KILLED MORE HORSES LAST YEAR THAN SINCE 1995. What part of that did you miss????
The number of horses slaughtered or exported for slaughter is entirely based on foreign demand and the number of horses available in the market place for less than butcher price. No matter which side of the debate this should be simple enough for all to understand and agree with. How to address this we can argue, but let’s get on the same page as to the reason it exists and the factors most influencing the number.
To subject our companion animals to this horror story is shameful. And shame on those of you who support horse slaughter.
Three words for you…. local animal shelter>>>>>>> Yes, society has done a bang up job being responsible with pets too…..
The EU and Canada, and soon, Mexico, are taking strong action to protect themselves against known health risk of US horse meat. They are cracking down, finally, on what the AVMA and the AQHA and the AAEP should have admitted all along - US horse meat can kill.
I haven’t researched this enough to write on it either way. The information I have read states Canada will abide the ruling. The Mexican plants slaughtering for export will abide by it. The Mexican plants slaughtering for domestic consumption will not. There’s comforting thought for those who would like to embrace this as the end of the end. The ONLY plants killing horses not quarantined will be the worst in existence. Our horses will simply be exported for quarantine lots not slaughter which kind of makes pending legislation on the criminalization of transport and slaughter unenforceable, no???
When ONE US bovine was found with BSE, over 40 countries closed their borders to US beef, overnight. The EU takes the safety of its food supply very, very seriously.
Are you aware of how much of your beef supply is imported??? Do you think U.S. cattle producers were lobbying for Country of Origin labeling because they had nothing better to do? Those BSE positive bovines were from Canada……Another was born before 1997 when the animal based protein regulations for feeding cattle were changed. I’m sorry I didn’t mean to burden you with details….you were saying…….
The US Farm Bureau ought to revisit its pro-slaughter stance while the explosion of bad news on drugs in US horse meat has hit the press. With the EU slapping a 180 day withdrawal period on druggy US horses - for starters - it won't look good for the pro-slaughter lobby to fight the Federal ban on selling horse meat laced with drugs that will (even in minute amounts) cause miscarriage to unsuspecting women overseas.
I have read a little on the EU regulations. It could be a chance to write some very important legislation for several reasons, drug withdrawal, transparency for the so-called dishonesty in the industry, stolen horse recovery, humane transport, and humane slaughter to name a few. While you are blaming the US for poisoning the world I would like to remind you the EU imports horse meat and has always imported horse meat from many other countries. None of these countries had any restrictions in place prior to the EU regulations which have been in the works for quite some time now.
Breaking news this week: Ernie Paragallo, wealthy race horse breeder busted for 22 counts of animal cruelty for his puppy mill style horse farm on April 8 - that Paragallo - was just charged with 7 more counts of animal cruelty. Where did police find the latest starving, neglected Paragallo horses? At a slaughter feedlot, of course. Perps like Paragallo routinely use slaughter to avoid taking responsibility - and to stay above the law.
As has been pointed out so often in the past, this happened when all the horse plants in this country were open and there are laws to prevent this ….how many ways do we want to bat issues and news stories like this around…..whichever side you choose to be on you can use these types of stories to push for your side …….but I still can’t think of too many feeders starving their cattle. Which is it a feedlot or a puppy mill racehorse farm?
The top spot and largest population of horse owners goes to Recreational Riders - we are the Real Horse Owners I hate to tell ya. Ranchers somehow think they should have some authority on how horses are treated and used in this country.
That would make them the voting majority in the AQHA would it not????(Them being the recreational horse owners) That would make them the producers, owners, and sellers of the majority of slaughter bound horses would it not?????? That would make them the Backyard Breeders would it not???? ……I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “I don’t need anything fancy, I’m only going to trail ride”. Doesn’t matter if it has to do with paying for training or paying for the horse………. I read the American Horse Council survey too but had a little different take on some of the information you have omitted.



  1. In fairness and the interest of keeping things accurate. I misread Mr. Holland's one in nine statement. He said one in nine horses who die each year die by slaughter. Which makes the total killed 11% of the number of animals dying, not 11% percent of the horse population.

    Where he is getting the figure of a 10% natural death loss in a large animal population annually is a mystery. Using this logic all we have to do is stop breeding any horses for 10 years and they would cease to exist in any form in the US.

    I am also having trouble with Kathy's Regu-Mate residue in slaughtered broodmares causing spontanious abortion in women. Having been involved in training, buying, and selling, not breeding (mostly geldings to boot) I am not all that up on the broodmare aspect of things and the few times I have been associated with Regu-Mate it was to supress cycling. So in my simple country mind Regu-mate residue strong enough in a "broodmare's" meat to cause abortion in a pregnant women eating the meat would make also cause the mare to "abort". Which would make her open and therefore not a broodmare. If Regu-mate is used to bring a mare into heat by using and then stopping, the withdrawal in the mare's system must be significant or she wouldn't be forced into anything by its withdrawal.

    Anyone familiar with Regu-mate uses and effects please feel free to inform or correct me. But until then I am lumpig that statement in with John's 10% percent natural death loss or "where did you come up with that"?

  2. Thank you for addressing those. I really hate it when I can't verify information that is given as fact. If anyone can give some facts and credit for the information let me know at manager_back_at_the_ranch@yahoo.com If there is no accredidation for the "facts" don't waste your time. Thanks :)

  3. Hmm, what happened to all the posters?
    Keep up the good work.

  4. LOL I think they’re all still stuck on the opinion piece posted on Tuesday. That's the other thing I’ve noticed about the anti slaughter side they can’t seem to move forward lol.

  5. This info came from the Bestpet Pharmacy..
    Withdrawal periods:
    Meat and offal... "21 days"
    not permitted for use in lactating anamials producing milk for human consumption.

  6. http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Science/2005_Red_Book/index.asp
    Since I actually have horses to feed & work, I didn't take the time to look for a newer version (or, I admit, read all this). Summary: no discernable residues found.
    My understanding of how "it was": Slaughter houses bought from reputable dealers who usually held the horses for a clean-up time anyway.
    New EU rules just bring back the old ways and takes the newbies out of the loop. So I suppose these folks will "get religion" as the failed backyard breeders and trainers (John H & Fugs come to mind), who found a new way to scam the unwitting "I luvs horsies" set and join forces or come up with some other idiotic scheme.
    My opinion, by the way.

  7. It does seem there is a problem with moving forward! It's also unfortunate that the message on that blog was completely lost because Slaughter was addressed. It was a really good blog. I'm glad you've addressed some of the comments. I'm always amazed at some of the things people come up with. Keep up the good work!

  8. horse slaughter promotes abuse/neglect


  9. It takes inhumane treatment to make the economics work," said Meadows. "We found the cruelty starts well before horses arrive at the slaughter plant."
    This is a good article, and has been discussed by some of us. But Slaughter in of itself does not promote Abuse and Neglect. Many horses that have been abused and neglected end up at sales, and then go to the plants. It is our job to demand that the laws already on the book are enforced to their fullest so that these horses are saved BEFORE they even get to the Sale Barn. We fail these horses when they are returned to abusive, neglectful owners, or even worse, when they are not removed in the first place. Their arrival at the Sale Barn, and placement on a truck bound for Slaughter, or in a Feedlot is not the place to begin our fight.