“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."
~Jenqu~

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.
Sincerely,
Ranch Manager
manager_back_at_the_ranch@yahoo.com

Friday, July 24, 2009

Now That You Mention It.........

Let’s Call This Entry:
Now That You Mentioned It

One of our new found friends has so kindly brought to my attention I am using “false” USDA numbers. I suppose it would depend on which anti-slaughter website you are reading. The numbers I quoted in the commentary about the 41 mustangs came from http://equineprotectionnetwork.com/slaughter/19802002.htm. This site has a full listing of weekly head counts for each year from 1980 to 2002 I used only the totals in the commentary.

If you go to The Equine Protection web site containing the page updated 2-23-2007 you will find

1995

109, 225



1994

107, 209



1993

167, 310



1992

246, 400



1991

276, 900



1990

345,700



1989

348, 400



1988

331, 000



1987

275, 700



1986

202, 100



1985

128, 300



1984

105, 300



1983

99, 300



1982

149, 600



1981

219, 300



1980

274, 500



If you happen to pull up the same sites page for 2-16-2006 you find this set of numbers. Sorry I missed copying the 1995 number for this example but you can still grab concept.

1994

109,353



1993

184,320



1992

243,585



1991

236,467



1990

315,192



1989

342,877



1988

300,263



1987

246,505



1986

170,576



1985

143,423



1984

105,300



1983

99, 300



1982

149,600



1981

219,300



The Equine Protection Network should find a set of numbers they like and stick with them. Using three different sets of numbers makes them look “uneducated”. On the upside I have something to write about, poke fun at, and legitimately question. It was even brought to me gift wrapped.
If you happen to look on http://www.manesandtailsorganization.org/stats.htm you will find
this set of statistics which only go back to 1985 but again I think you can get my drift.

Year

Region

State

Commodity

Period

Livestock Slaughter

Federally Inspected (FI)

Head

1985

All States

US

Equine

Jan 1 - Dec 31

128300

1986

All States

US

Equine

Jan 1 - Dec 31

202100

1987

All States

US

Equine

Jan 1 - Dec 31

275700

1988

All States

US

Equine

Jan 1 - Dec 31

331000

1989

All States

US

Equine

Jan 1 - Dec 31

348400

1990

All States

US

Equine

Jan 1 - Dec 31

345700

1991

All States

US

Equine

Jan 1 - Dec 31

276900

1992

All States

US

Equine

Jan 1 - Dec 31

246400

1993

All States

US

Equine

Jan 1 - Dec 31

167310

1994

All States

US

Equine

Jan 1 - Dec 31

107029

1995

All States

US

Equine

Jan 1 - Dec 31

109225

1996

All States

US

Equine

Jan 1 - Dec 31

103687

1997

All States

US

Equine

Jan 1 - Dec 31

87154

1998

All States

US

Equine

Jan 1 - Dec 31

72120

1999

All States

US

Equine

Jan 1 - Dec 31

62813

2000

All States

US

Equine

Jan 1 - Dec 31

47134

2001

All States

US

Equine

Jan 1 - Dec 31

56332

2002

All States

US

Equine

Jan 1 - Dec 31

42312

2003

All States

US

Equine

Jan 1 - Dec 31

50564

2004

All States

US

Equine

Jan 1 - Dec 31

65976

2005

All States

US

Equine

Jan 1 - Dec 31

94,011

2006

All States

US

Equine

Jan 1 - Dec 30

105,835

2007

All States

US

Equine

Jan 1 - Sep 22


I didn’t bother to go to the actual USDA site since it looks as though the actual numbers haven’t been all that important until I brought them up.

Bottom line, if I am bold enough to quote statistics researched them somewhere and saved the research.

Now that you mention it there have been quite a few numbers I’ve run across over the years I’ve been in this debate that vary from site to site or day to day.

R.H 1



Thursday, July 23, 2009

41 MUSTANGS......

I don’t know how many of you are old enough to remember the 70s or the 80s. I happen to be old enough to remember both. Velma Bronn Johnston or Wild Horse Annie campaigned for and Congress passed the Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act. I was 12 and thought it was great. I was 12 and thought no horses should ever die. By the time the 80s rolled around I had developed a little different frame of mind.
I came into the business end of horses during the crash of the 80s. The wide spread liquidation of horses. I watched own sons and daughters of household names go to kill. It was a nearly a decade of farm dispersals, and loaded semis. Here is how it all looked statistically. Incidentally
1980 total number of horses slaughtered 274,500
1981 total number of horses slaughtered 219,300
1982 total number of horses slaughtered 149,600
1983 total number of horses slaughtered 398,500
1984 total number of horses slaughtered 105,300
1985 total number of horses slaughtered 128,300
1986 total number of horses slaughtered 202,100
1987 total number of horses slaughtered 275,700
1988 total number of horses slaughtered 331,000
1989 total number of horses slaughtered 348,400
1990 total number of horses slaughtered 345,700
1991 total number of horses slaughtered 276,900
1992 total number of horses slaughtered 246,400
1993 total number of horses slaughtered 167,310
The total number of horses slaughtered per year leveled off and declined after 1995 to around 100,000 or less.
I think this is probably what caused the lack of unwanted horses in the 90s Alex Brown was referring to in his article stating we could get along without slaughter. Well, yes we nearly did for a few years in the later 90s. We were down to killing only around 50 to 60 thousand head a year.
I was selling horses throughout the 90s and it was very, very good for quite a few years. Kind of thought it might be the reward for those who did manage to survive the 80s. The economy was going well, the liquidation of horses had caused a shortage of the good kind, people could now afford to anti up for something nice and nice was kind of scarce. Point is the good economy and the shortage of horses was responsible for the lack of unwanted horses AND the lower slaughter numbers. Not the lower slaughter number……….so on……..
Why didn’t this mass liquidation of horses trigger full court press for congress to change the laws back then? Why now?
Now even traditional meat animal agriculture is studying the effect of an animal’s comfort and humane treatment on carcass quality. Most livestock production associations have implemented their own quality control, packer incentive programs, and fund research programs. A fascinating person who has contributed greatly to these programs and has done studies on horse slaughter is Temple Grandin please refer to her web site and some very interesting reading. "http://www.templegrandin.com/templehome.html" She also kind of shoots down the “uncaring, unscientific, educationally challenged” animal ag stereotype being pushed around the anti-slaughter sites these days so they prefer not to mention her. If the plants were ever going to become more humane for traditional meat animals or horses it is more likely to happen now than during the bloodbath liquidation of the 80s and early 90s.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has published a final rule Dec. 7, 2001 that establishes minimum standards to ensure the humane movement of equines to slaughtering facilities by way of commercial transportation. These regulations address food, water and rest provided to animals. Owner and shippers of horses are required to take certain actions in loading and transporting the animals, and they must certify that the commercial transportation meets certain requirements. In addition, the regulations prohibit the commercial transportation to slaughtering facilities of horses considered to be unfit for travel, the use of electric prods and, within five years, the use of double-deck trailers. The number of double-deck trailers has been reduced in the last few years, being replaced with single-deck trailers.
This was taken from Web site: "http://www.animalagriculture.org/" inaugural issue of The Equine Heath Report which came out in January 2002.
Even those horrible double deck trailers were going to be phased out by the 2007. This ruling became law in Feb 2002. But even with this ruling in place an APHIS prosecuting violators there was a rush to Congress in 2005. Why now?
41 mustangs, 41 mustangs were sold to slaughter. But first Washington had to get its collective butt in a sling. Bear with me because this is going to get interesting. At least it did to me. I have thought all along the lawmakers in D.C. could care less about the actual horses or people involved with them. This issue has been a sell-out to curry favor among the urban/wall street/celebrity factors who so generously contribute to campaign funds. Here is the not so pretty little industry of no consequence we can do away to make us look good.
The really ironic part of all this…..
I didn’t set out to research this subject or the connection. I was looking for something else entirely but I found…….. a little of the Why now?
April 30, 2004, swimming in a sea of red ink (I think we still are) Lawmakers are skeptical of the Bureau of Land Management's proposal to increase the amount of money spent on wild horse and burro management. Western Republican lawmakers and BLM officials say the populations of wild horses and burros need to decrease. Environmental groups say the agency should reduce the numbers of domestic livestock that, like the wild horses and burros, graze on federal lands. Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., chairman of the Senate panel that has jurisdiction over the BLM's budget, is concerned about the agency's proposal. "I think what we should do is put some language in this thing that allows the BLM to sell excess wild horses," Burns said. "I'd prefer to sell 'em to whomever. Maybe some of them will end up going to slaughter."
November 24, 2004, In a reversal of three decades of government policy that protected all wild horses, a provision approved by Congress last weekend would allow some of them to be sold to slaughterhouses. The provision, attached to an omnibus spending bill by Senator Conrad Burns, Republican of Montana and chairman of the appropriations subcommittee with responsibility for the Interior Department, requires the sale of wild horses that have been rounded up and are more than 10 years old or have been unsuccessfully offered for adoption three times.
(The Three Strikes rule)
March 21, 2005, The federal Bureau of Land Management says it is selling wild horses to American Indian tribes for the first time. The BLM has sold 141 horses to the Rosebud Sioux in South Dakota and 120 horses to the Three Affiliated Tribes in North Dakota. More sales are planned in the next several weeks, bringing the total to more than 500 horses.
April 26, 2005, The Interior Department has abruptly halted delivery of wild mustangs to buyers while it investigates the slaughter of 41 wild horses in the West this month. The latest horses killed had come from a broker who obtained them from a Native American tribe in South Dakota. The department is also investigating this month's sale of six wild horses to an Oklahoma man and their slaughter.
Well, that didn’t take long……..and neither did this……
April 27, 2005- A coalition of celebrities, race track leaders and others is pressing for action on legislation that would end or limit the slaughter of wild horses Lawmakers have tried for years to stop the killing of wild horses and burros at three U.S. slaughterhouses that send the meat for consumption overseas. The effort gained momentum last year after Congress replaced a 34-year-old ban on selling wild mustangs and burros with a plan that allows the sale of older, unwanted horses.
I just have to comment on this……If the lawmakers have been trying for years to stop the sale of wild horses to slaughterhouses just what was the 34 year old ban Congress repealed last year banning for “ALL THOSE YEARS”???
And on with the, if a little is good a lot is better idea……
One current proposal would stop the commercial sale of wild horses and burros. A second measure would ban the slaughter of horses in the United States. "When you've got a coalition ranging from (country singer) Willie Nelson to ("Desperate Housewives' star) Nicollette Sheridan, we've got something for everyone," said Nancy Perry, the Humane Society of the United States' vice president of government affairs.
Well, not everyone but who’s really listening to those who have any stake in livestock marketing or production these days anyway? She meant they have something for everyone who is anyone…….
April 27, 2005 - The recent slaughter of wild horses sold by the federal government should give momentum to new legislation that would halt the killing of animals that many consider to be an icon of the American West, Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., said. Nevada has the most wild horses of any state, roughly 19,000, according to the Bureau of Land Management. That's more than half of roughly 37,000 total in the West, according to the BLM's February 2004 estimate. Ensign next month plans to introduce a bill that would ban slaughter of horses for human consumption, Ensign said. A similar bill has been introduced in the House. "The love affair that I have with horses is the same as a lot of Americans have had since the beginning of this country," said Ensign, a veterinarian who as a boy rode horses in the Lake Tahoe meadow where the opening credits of the longtime television show "Bonanza" were filmed. The Humane Society of the United States has been flooded with calls, pleading with the group to save the wild horses, said Nancy Perry, vice president of governmental affairs. "This has been an un-American experience these last few weeks, few months," Perry said today. "Our deep concern has turned to outrage and frustration."
May 19, 2005, The federal Bureau of Land Management will announce Thursday it is resuming sales of wild horses with protections to prevent the animals from being sent to slaughter, the agency's director said Wednesday. The agency suspended the sales last month after discovering that 41 animals rounded up from Western rangeland had been sold to an Illinois slaughterhouse and processed for meat. In addition, Ford Motor Co. will pay to transport up to 2,000 horses to Indian reservations and locations run by non-profit organizations. The company will also oversee a "Save the Mustangs" fundraising drive to help groups that adopt the horses pay for their care. Wild horses are "a beautiful symbol of the Wild West" and an "icon" for Ford, said Jon Harmon, a spokesman for the company whose Mustang sports car has been a flagship brand since 1964.
Psst…..It was the Sioux who sold 35 of the 41 to slaughter remember?????
Anywayyyyyy…….
May 20, 2005, House lawmakers voted Thursday to end federal wild horse sales and brushed aside promises of new protections the government put in place this week to prevent animals from being resold for slaughter. A 22-minute debate pitted gruesome images of horses butchered to make a buck against horses left to starve on public lands or penned up in government corrals. "The very notion that the wild American horse will be slaughtered as a food source for foreign gourmets has struck a chord with the American people," said Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., who proposed the sales be ended. The vote was seen as a victory for animal welfare activists. But it might not last long. When the amendment reaches the Senate, Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., plans "to throw it out." "I'm in the livestock business, and I've bought and sold horses all my life," Burns said Thursday. "Basically, the marketplace works."
Well, may not so much in this case……..
May 29, 2005, The Senate must have been horsing around last year while Sen. Conrad Burns, R-Mont., slipped a dubious provision lifting the 1971 ban on sales of wild horses into a spending bill. After it was discovered that the sales sent 41 horses to the slaughterhouse, the House voted this month to reinstate the ban, which can be supported on solid grounds. First, there are only 27,000 wild horses and 4,000 wild burros on government land in Western states. Allowing the sale of these animals could endanger the species.
Six months ago they were whining about the increase in the budget to keep the overrun they had in holding pens. Are they “endangered” or hoofed rats which are overrunning the range and costing the taxpayers to feed????? Guess that 10,000 head (lost?) between April 27, 2005 and May 29, 2005 made a BIG DIFFERENCE.
But that was solved in the same debate……. (and this really hurts because I love my Ford trucks)
A compromise could be reached if philanthropists follow the lead of Ford Motor Co., which has set up a donation fund to save these horses. Such action could ease the concerns ranchers have for securing their lands and taxpayers may have with the costly price tag of protecting wild horses.
Now that doesn’t exactly mean will and did but……you get the idea.
June 9, 2005 - The House agreed to ban federal funding for inspectors at horse slaughterhouses and border inspection sites on Wednesday, adding another potential layer of protection for the Nevada's wild horse population. Last month the House agreed to ban the Bureau of Land Management sales of wild horses after the government discovered dozens had been bought and then resold to slaughterhouses that sold the meat to foreign countries. Sales have resumed, unless the Senate agrees to the same ban, but the BLM has implemented stricter guidelines and consequences for those who buy horses and do not intend to care for them. But Wednesday's amendment, approved 269 to 158, offered by Rep. John Spratt, D-S.C., and Rep. John Sweeney, R-N.Y., aims to end horse slaughter for human consumption overall.
And tying it all up in a neat little bow……
June 25, 2005 - Horse protection advocates said Tuesday that they'll oppose a proposal aimed at boosting adoptions of wild horses unless Congress also bans the slaughter of any horses in the U.S. Leaders of the Humane Society of the United States and other groups said they favor part of the proposal introduced by Nevada's entire congressional delegation Monday to impose a one-year waiting period on the transfer of ownership for wild horses sold through a relatively new sale program at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. But they said other provisions in the bill would undermine protections for the mustangs unless the bill is accompanied by the slaughter ban, which has passed the House and is awaiting action in the Senate.
And as the old saying goes the rest is history…….it and lots more of the Catch 22 that is the BLM Mustang Management is available at "http://www.wildhorsepreservation.com/"


R.H 1

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Form Dictates Function - Equine conFORMation

Form dictates function, like begets like, or my personal favorite from an old "Dad always said" ad in the Quarter Horse Journal, “the best way to keep the dinks out of your colt herd is to keep their mothers away from your stud”. All references to the quality and conformation of horses.

This horse was used as an example of horses with nothing wrong but still sent to slaughter. He is not the type of horse I want to address in this blog. This type of horse obviously should never have been born. Another popular blog will expand about what is wrong with this horse. Belittle its breeders, owners, and anyone else who happened to come in contact with it, that would be pointing out the obvious as far I am concerned. It’s also pointless. This horse and his backyard owners are not going to impact future generations of horses and horsemen.
We read about descendants of one great sire or another yanked from the pens moments before loading on the slaughter truck. Those good names in a pedigree should guarantee the offspring will be quality horses with a bright future.
Most successful breeding programs are built around promotion within their specific breed and event. Racing, showing, and other events should sort out the best of the best. Only offspring of extremely talented, superbly bred, quality individuals should be used for breeding. The tricky part of this statement is quality individuals. Buyers, producers, breeders, judges, trainers, and promoters, seem to have developed the ability to look past some pretty obvious conformation faults if the right point earnings, pedigree, and promotion/owner are attached to a horse. The availability of genetic testing has even made it possible to pick a color.
There’s an old saying to the effect of no feet, no legs, no horse. It is true and it won’t be rewritten no matter how many points a horse earns in the show pen. A horse by very nature of physiology must remain ambulatory to be healthy and comfortable existing as a horse. That’s how important his legs and feet are to him.

This Halter colt has a lot of eye appeal and some pretty impressive parents.

Small boned, extremely upright forelegs ending in a teacup size hoof. It almost makes me hurt to think about the force this colts skeletal structure will endure as these upright bones deal with the shock from his hoof contacting the ground. His hind legs, while they will bear less stress through his lifetime, are really no better structurally. His hind leg is almost perfectly straight from stifle to hock and hock to the ground, causing his rear stride to be very short and abrupt. The combination of extremely straight legs and delicate bone will more than likely compromise this colt’s soundness at a much earlier age than normal.


This filly has better bone in relation to her size.
She is the foreleg other extreme of the first colt. She has too much angle in her pasterns. This will stress the joints, tendons, and ligaments. In the performance aspect she will more than likely have more knee and lower leg action than a more correctly conformed horse. She will have a better chance of remaining sound over the course of her life than the first young horse. This filly’s sire is an Equistat leading sire of pleasure horses.


The expensive show tack will not make this young horse any less sickle hocked. She is the rear leg opposit extreme.
The sickle hock occurs when the cannon bone comes out of the hock joint behind center and too great an angle. Both will compromise the future soundness and movement of the horses. This young filly is royally bred. She is slightly calf kneed but not to the extent it’s worth mentioning at this point. She is otherwise a fit, pretty, and well presented filly. She is also offered for sale by well promoted program.

Notice the difference in height of this bay gelding's elbow in relation to his stifle,
his hock height compared to his knee, and the length of his rear cannon compared to the fronts. The point of his shoulder is very low in his chest. While the combination of all of the above make this horse stay low in front which is very important in the rail disciplines, it also shifts his center of a balance. This shift forward in balance severely compromises this horse’s handiness. Again he is offered by a world class pleasure horse program.

I also came across this interesting bit of misinformation in an article about conformation faults.



This horse is sickle-hocked, where the hind legs are carried too far in underneath the body.
This conformation is actually desirable in reining horses, who have to almost sit down in their reining patterns and also in Tennessee Walkers, who take such large strides with their hind legs in the show ring.





Seen from the back, this horse is cow-hocked, where the hocks are close together.
Generally speaking, this is considered a fault, although in draft horses cow hocks are a desirable trait as it is thought this helps them pull loads.



*These faults may be considered desireable by a person who doesn't know the consequences of such faults or a person who doesn't care about the consequences but generally speaking a good horseman does not desire faults. Especially those that can and often do lead to future unsoundness.


http://equisearch.com/ Has a series of interesting articles as well as several of the Horse & Rider conformation clinic article series.

The industry professionals all seemed to agree on structural correctness as the most important factor in selecting horses. Well aligned joints, correct angles, short cannon bones attached to strong squarely made hocks and knees of equal distance from the ground. So with all this information how did we come up with the not so correct but well promoted horses above? Or the “desirable” faults mentioned in the clip taken from the same site as the opinions of correctness repeatedly voiced by industry professionals?
Form and structure are directly responsible for function and performance. We’ll work our way up from the legs but the legs are the foundation. We can go nowhere without them.

R.H 1


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I Guess The System Was Working....

Sugar Creek Auction Fined $162,800 for equine violations
http://www.farmanddairy.com/news/sugarcreek-auction-fined-162800-for-equine-violations/11351.html


Leroy Baker Jr., owner and operator of Sugarcreek Livestock Auction, has been fined more than $162,000 by the USDA for violating equine transport laws.
I don’t know Leroy Baker and have not been to Sugarcreek. I have heard about it many times over on horse forums of all types. Last winter I was involved in debate discussing an Animal Angels Rescue article about how officials “just looked the other way and did nothing” about the deplorable conditions at Sugarcreek. Guess the officials working on this case should have let her in on their investigation so she could have gotten those images out of her head. (Images of a horse she didn’t buy.....that is.)
Order of events
Baker has been in the business of buying and selling horses since 1985 and Sugarcreek Livestock Auction regularly shipped more than 1,000 horses per year to slaughter plants in Texas, according to USDA.
USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) filed a complaint against Baker in March 2008, alleging he violated the Commercial Transportation of Equines for Slaughter Act.
The allegations spanned 2003-2007 and included not completely and properly filling out required owner-shipper paperwork for horses shipped from the auction facility; not contacting USDA officials to report horses that died during shipment; incorrectly identifying stallions as geldings and not separating them from the rest of the shipment; and not handling blind or injured horses “expeditiously and as carefully as possible.”
USDA also claimed multiple loads of horses were missing a written statement that indicated the animals had been rested, watered and fed for at least six consecutive hours prior to being loaded and transported.
In total, the claims pertained to some 1,345 horses hauled in 35 loads to slaughter plants.
USDA said the allegations applied not only to Baker, but also to any truck drivers who hauled for him and failed to fill in the paperwork.
Rights
USDA documents indicate Baker never responded to the allegations, which waived his right to a hearing on the matter and, by fault, admitted guilt.
USDA subsequently filed cease and desist orders against Baker, which required him to stop violations of the equine act.
The agency also fined Baker $162,800, which was to be paid by mid-February. To date, that fine has not been paid, and Baker says he can’t afford to pay it.
USDA public affairs specialist Madelaine Fletcher said if the debt isn’t paid before it’s 180 days delinquent, Baker will be responsible for paying it, plus additional fees of up to 30 percent. There are a number of other penalties that can also apply, including seizing income tax refunds, economic stimulus payments or any federal payment, Fletcher said.
Fighting back
In December, Leroy Baker filed a petition with USDA asking them to reconsider their decision, which was denied because he didn’t respond within the allotted time.
Baker says 95 percent of the allegations are false and he questioned why infractions of the transport act weren’t brought to his attention sooner.
“I wanted to know why, if there was a problem, they waited five or six years to do anything,” Baker said. “If there’s something wrong, you fix it now.”
“They’ve got their paperwork all mixed up, and their investigator doesn’t even know what is going on. They’ve got me going to two different [slaughter plants] with the exact same load,” he said.
“They’re bogus charges.”
Photo proof?
Baker said he’s been shown photos that USDA is using to prove certain claims, but even those photos show inconsistencies.
For instance, a fat horse with a short tail shipped from Sugarcreek was claimed to be emaciated when it arrived in Texas 12 hours later. However, photos of that horse taken in Texas showed it with a long tail and with identification tags in different places than when the horse left Ohio.
“Now you tell me that’s the same animal,” Baker said. “If there’s a mix-up or if a horse is injured once it gets [to the plant], that’s not my responsibility.
“Everybody who gets stopped for bank robbery says they didn’t do it. But if I did wrong, I will admit it and pay for my troubles.”
Animal rights
Baker, whose auction facility is frequented by animal rights activists and animal rescuers, said he’s aware that horse slaughter isn’t popular with the American public. He defends it anyhow.
“What’s worse, slaughtering a horse someone can’t or won’t care for anymore, or letting it die painfully?
“I tell the animal rights people if you want to buy all the horses in the world, go ahead. But don’t prolong their agony.”
This article originally appeared on this website.
http://www.farmanddairy.com/news/sugarcreek-auction-fined-162800-for-equine-violations/11351.html
by Andrea Zippay Thursday, March 5, 2009

I’m not going to debate the yes or no of this article. We have all attended badly run auctions. We have all been to good auctions.
Some things I find curious……..
Countering claims of increased abandonment and abuse from those with a pro-slaughter agenda, anti-slaughter activists repeatedly state this will not happen because animal cruelty is against the law. There are laws to prevent this.
When pushing anti-slaughter legislation these laws are ignored so we must do away with all involved in the auction to slaughter system. The laws don’t work and are ignored.
So which is it?
I am also curious how long it will take before the APHIS photos used as evidence to prosecute this case surface on some rescue web site or anti slaughter forum or blog as “proof” nothing is being done. It’s a tactic that’s been working pretty well so far.









Monday, July 20, 2009

Pro-Horse / Pro- Horseman

There has been an ongoing battle between those who are anti slaughter and those who are pro slaughter, or pro horse. I view myself as Pro horse, and was recently taken to task by the moderator of an Anti Slaughter forum for it. Those on the "Anti" side are just that. Anti slaughter. And those on the "Pro" side, are...well, what are we, exactly? Are we FOR slaughter? I'm not for slaughter, any more than I am for euthanasia, or for the use of a gun, if you know how to shoot. What I AM for, is what is in the best interest of the horse, and the rights of each horse owner to make those decisions when the time comes. Thus, my choice of the term "Pro horse". The problem with Slaughter is that it has become an issue...."A dirty secret" according to the Anti Movement. Something we've hidden away. This is not true. Slaughter is part of the Equine Industry. It was never an issue before, nor was it a secret. We simply didn't realize it was something we were going to have to defend. To those who have been involved with horses for any length of time Slaughter is something that is part of the industry. Those who understand its place, also respect it. As in every industry, there are those who abuse it and that is unfortunate. But for the rest of us, it provides the base market price for our horses, and that is not a bad thing. A horse that has value is often times a horse that is taken care of. And a horse that is taken care of is a horse that is worth more money. The slaughter market also provides horse owners with a way to recoup some of their monetary investment should they need to do so. Now, I know, this is something that some do not like to discuss, but if we're going to face the facts and deal with reality, we need to deal with this. There are cases where, if the price of a horse cannot be recouped, another horse cannot be purchased. There are a lot of horses in need of a home, and to some of us, it seems unfair to deprive them of one because some people feel the only option any horse owner should have available is euthanasia. Most of us who have grown up with horses are aware of how things work if you take your horse to a sale. One of three things will most likely happen. 1) You will bring him back home because he doesn't sell, 2) A private buyer will buy him, or 3) a dealer, or kill buyer will buy him. In the case of option 3, most of us stills realize this does not guarantee a trip to slaughter. Many dealers as well as kill buyers often re-sell the horses they buy to private clients. And yes, some of the horses do in fact go to slaughter. It's a fact of life. Those of us who are Pro horse know we can give our horse a better chance of finding a new home if he is well broke, well mannered, and well cared for. Most of the good ones DO end up finding a place to go. In this economy, not all of them do, and that's a shame. We can only hope that with education and a better economy there will be less of them. Those horse owners who act in an irresponsible manner are an embarrassment to all of us, and we do have laws that deal with them. We should be very vocal about having those laws enforced. When people like these are prosecuted, and not allowed to own horses, we all win, especially the horses. We should be just as vocal in our wish to remain the person to decide what decisions are in the best interests of our horse, if we are responsible, knowledgeable owners. As the person providing the financial upkeep and daily care for our horse, we are the ones who know what is best for him in our unique situations. Since no one else is involved in the day to day decisions during our horse’s lives, what right do they have to interfere in end of life choices? As long as we are Pro horse, that is our right.
By: R.H 2