Guess that something is posted on the internet makes it true data?:confused:
I would call so much linked to "opinion pieces".;)
Oh well, that didn't last long. :)
Fifteen horses (1.5%) that arrived at the slaughter plants were not fit for travel (Table 3). Seventy-eight horses (7.7%) of the 1008 horses had severe welfare problems. Ninety-two percent were in good condition.
Three percent (30 head) of the arriving horses were skinny and emaciated and 1% (12 hd.) were foundered or had obvious leg injuries. The body condition score of these animals was 1 or 2 (Henneke et all 983).
Hopefully Temple Grandin is a acceptable source....
It's too bad those in favor need to resort to lies to get what they want. I do give props to those in favor who have managed to convince our elected officials that the horse meat industry will thrive due to the surplus of "old, emaciated horses"... sigh....:sigh:
I have yet to see a comment by a politician stating we need slaughter so the thousands of over bred Quarter Horses and used up Thoroughbreds can easily be disposed of.
I was also surprised to learn how little regard cattle ranchers have for their horses:
Conversely, R-CALF USA, an organization representing about 5,000 family cattle ranching operations, has filed a brief supporting Valley Meat’s legal case. Bill Bullard, its chief executive, said his members needed horse slaughtering facilities to humanely dispose of the horses they used in their businesses once they became old or incapacitated.
God forbid they should actually let a retired old cow horse live out it's days in a pasture on the thousands of acres they run cattle on. Nope, that precious grass is only for the cows. :no:
ETA: I didn't read every word of the links but maybe he meant owners oversees fed their dogs/cats fresh horse meat, instead of it coming in a can.
Re: the breed, I believe it has to be ID'd on the EID... will go try to find a reliable source of that document that you can peruse.
Here ya' go:
EID and passport info, EU
As of July 31, 2010,*an EID (Equine Information Document) is required for all horses presented at a processing facility in Canada. The document will require an owner-signed declaration to verify the accuracy of the information and include details, dating back 6 months, on the animal's health and any administered medications. A number of medications are no longer permitted in horses being processed for human consumption. For complete details on the*EID, the list of non-permitted drugs, and equine description terms, visit the CFIA web site.
[If you actually go to the link and click on the words 'CFIA web site', you'll get taken to the actual website. I'm sure you can't argue with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's own website as a 'reliable, unbiased source', now can you?]
IF you will look at this document, FOIA from Beltex of a USDA Owner/Shipper Certificate, [below] you will see that the person dropping the load of horses at the plant indicates what breed/type the horse is.... Again if the person filling out the form can't be expected to accurately know the horses breed, they can't then know that the horses are clean of banned drugs.
Well, to guess at a breed is easy.
To sign that the horse was not given illegal drugs or not waited long enough for withdrawal can be come back to the trader when the horse is tested and shows positive.
A BIG difference there.
I still say, what breed any one horse there, from thousands, may have been is speculation.
How many grade horses out there get a Coggins where the vet guesses at the bred and that is perfectly legal, knowing that no one can possibly know with many of them?
I think that people stating that skinny horses don't go to slaughter; from the above quote some do, and this was from a period where there were plenty of heavier horses to be found at auctions. I'm sure that is not the perferred state of things, and it seems more auctions are refusing horses with seere welfare issues (per AA's website).
As far as breed identification, the EU requires someone to fill out the declaration, and apparently this often is the trader. The trader can spend the time to make sure the drugs are out of the system, but that doesn't mean his identification of the breed is going to be any better after 6 months in a feedlot than it would be the day he/she purchased that animal.
In addition, I keep reading how ALL TBs and SB's MUST have had bute and other chemicals, so if it is a TB or Standardbred on the form (if correctly IDed), it must have had drugs.....how many of each breed actually hit the track? What about all of those at the farms or those used as riding horses? I agree that those with tattoos are suspect, but the drama and exageration is a bit much (often from both sides).
Call me cynical but I find it doubtful that with the new plants being opened in the U.S. that anything truly will change in the moving, handling etc of horses bound for these plants. Its still a numbers game and with the new budget cuts looking to hit, it is even more doubtful there will be any funding available for inspections of the plants.
I've been told the KB's aren't buying either skinnies or small ponies or donks from New Holland or Crowley's in MA because they take up too much room on the truck for what they get for them at the plant. Likewise, they won't buy greys any more, because they've had too many of those refused due to melanomas.
Given the commonly-cited statistic of 1% to 2% of horses winding up in this pipeline at all, I don't think we need to solve the "unwanted horse" problem by attempting to re-boot a dead industry which has all the public attraction and viability of Japanese whaling.
Breeding is way, WAY down. The economic bubble, now burst, has resulted in a "correction" (hate to put it that way!) to the equine overpopulation problem and the prevalence of cellphone cameras and YouTube has made it possible for anything "unsightly" to go viral literally overnight.
So what needs to happen from here is for people to tend their own house and keep it tidy, not a return to more of this. The wheel is turning in the direction of horses being recognized as companions and pets, not "livestock" for consumption.
With regard to the EU situation right now, that sounds like it has the stamp of international organized crime all over it. I'm betting that this market has tanked so severely that even Mexico and Canada are going to be unprofitable soon. It's not like they can be making much margin even as it is.
As for all the arguments that horse, squirrel, possum, and your dear departed Uncle Ralph are all "protein," I don't think the world is quite that hard up for food just yet. Especially with the birth rate falling through the floor all over the industrialized countries.
As far as handling of the horses, etc., that is where people have a chance to make a difference; fight for laws that cover those things, demand follow-up with complaints, etc.
Everyones excuse to the above is "but we tried it before and it didn't work perfectly, so it won't this time either!!!!!!" I find it ironic with horse people that that is an acceptable excuse; we won't ever use that excuse with our animals (Fluffy wouldn't do it or is slow to make changes, so I'm going to give up because it will never get better no matter what".....um, yeah, right).
As to the idea that things will be done better in 2013 simply because it's now 2013... why is that an absolute? What's the incentive and where will the $$ come from to enforce the regulations? Seems more likely that they will start up the way they left off... UNLESS there are incentives not to and enforcement of whatever regulations are put into place... if there's $$ to enforce in the first place. There hasn't been in the past, when the economy was better but hey maybe ya'll know something I don't.
Add in that the demand for the meat might be falling, thanks to them trying to slip it past unsuspecting consumers [via mislabeling] and not only getting caught but getting caught with Bute tainted meat... that came from Europe where they supposedly don't allow any in because they have passports to verify clean horses... With all that said, I can't see how the consumer would then want more of that meat, or any of ours that is less traceable or verifiable to be free of banned drugs.
As for TB and STBs who are on farms or riding horses... most of them started out racing. Not all of them, but most. And riding horses and breeding horses get drugs too.
A tattoo only shows that the horses was cleared through a starting gate or was at some point destined to be on a track... they are not tattoo'd at birth, nor is a tattoo any proof that they ever raced. However, a tattoo certainly doesn't mean anything about what drugs they may/may not have had.
The market has curtailed itself and severly dropped.
Example...American Saddlebreds...stallion reports 2010 just over 1000 filed. 2011 was just over 450 and many of those were for ONE mare..
Quarter Horse have also stated reduced by 30+% for stallion reports. Those reports are necessary for breeders to fill or it will cost them a LOT of money to register foals
TB breedings are down and some states now have their facing groups refusing to take entries from trainers who have dumped horses knowing they are going to slaughter.
The anti slaughter groups refuse to go on tours. As for ranchers...please tell me what is KIND and LOVING about a rancher who turns the old horse out on those thousand of acres...Dry winter...no snow to eat (which is not great for a horse anyway especially when they have not been bred as wildies...therefore small and able to subsist on limited feed. Or...they now are STARVING and in a weakened state are brought down by coyotes, cougars, wolves etc and eaten ALIVE.. Slaugter EVEN if two bolts are used is over in 7-10 seconds. Eating aliver can take up to TEN MINUTES... with the horse SCREAMING.
Get the picture....
Jenn..you need to come out west. Cattle are brought up to the ranch for feeding during the winter. They don't just "go where the deer and the antelope play" on thousands of acres when it is 40 F below.
A quick death for an old horse is kinder than losing weight...suffering the cold and trying to find dried grass under feet of snow.
Oh brother; you and your pro-slaughter peeps still shoveling the "slaughter is better than starvation" pablum?
How about just telling the truth?
1.) People want a convenient way to dispose of their horse(s)
2.) The meat, cattle, and livestock industry want to slaughter horses to protect their "slaughter rights" for other animals.
There? Wasn't that easy?