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Chicago Sun-Times article about Court Ruling on slaughter issue

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  • Chicago Sun-Times article about Court Ruling on slaughter issue

    It's simple.



    March 30, 2007

    BY MICHAEL SNEED Sun-Times Columnist

    It's called pet 'em, whack 'em and eat 'em and it's barbaric.


    • • Translation: Butchering a pet for human consumption should be a crime, and it's been going on at the Cavel slaughterhouse in DeKalb, Ill. It began butchering horses for European dinner tables 20 years ago.

    That was until 8 a.m. Thursday, when common sense took over.
    That was when the controversial plant was ordered to cease killing horses for human consumption by a U.S. district court in Washington, D.C.

    • • Translation: The grisly slaughter of 4,000 pets, race horses, colts, wild horses each month for human consumption in Belgium, France, Switzerland and Italy is over for now.

    • • Further translation: But the plant, the only one of its kind now operating in the United States, plans to appeal. (Two plants in Texas were shut down earlier this year by a Texas court.)

    "It is a barbaric practice, and the shutting down of the Cavel plant is a tremendous victory for humane advocates across the country," said Jonathan Lovvorn, chief litigating officer for the U.S. Humane Society.
    "It is now up to the U.S. Congress to pass final legislation to end this practice for good."

    "Approximately 100,000 horses last year have gone to slaughter under an illegal scheme of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It's an enormous breach of our trust to send companion animals to slaughter."

    • • The Cavel side: "I think it's a terrible decision," said James Tucker, Cavel's general manager. "I think it's a vast disservice to the horse industry and most horse owners.

    "Without this option it means that some people won't be able to dispose of their animals as they see fit -- a small group of people has contrived to shut down an industry."

    Tucker claims the plant will process the meat "we have from horses that were processed before today."

    His concern: "Fifty-five people could be out of work if our appeal doesn't work."

    Hmmm. Fifty-five people who listen to the sounds of frightened animals sliding in their blood. Fifty-five people who watch the agony of man's companion animals being slaughtered to put on a European table.

    • • Background: Congress took away federal funds going to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to inspect the plants because they didn't want horses going to slaughter for human consumption. "The USDA tried to work around that by issuing a rule allowing the plants to pay for USDA inspection," said Lovvorn. "What just happened is the U.S. district court said nope. It is illegal for them to pay the USDA inspectors ... and the plant can't operate without USDA inspection."

    Great job.

    Bravo.

    • • Addendum: By the way, here is a list of gutless state reps who were responsible for tanking the state's Horse Slaughter Ban bill in 2004. If they reside in your district, you might want to send them a message next time you enter the voting booth: Patricia Bailey, Patricia Bellock, Mike Boland, John Bradley, Dan Brady, Daniel Burke, Lee Daniels, Jack McGuire, Charles Morrow, Ed Sullivan Jr. and Arthur Turner voted "No" -- and James Brosnahan, Marlow Colvin, John Fritchey, Paul Froehlich and Calvin Giles were either excused or didn't vote.
    Barbara www.customstockties.com
    Tulsa-QH; Schnickelfritz-Holsteiner; Atikus-Danish Warmblood; Buddy-QH/TB; Winston-Shire; Thomas-Percheron/TB; Mac-Belgian Draft, gone but never forgotten

  • #2
    Personally I don't think the writer knows at all what hes talking about. None of the horses slaughtered were pets, they were livestock the owner sold. I've slaughtered 100's of animals over the years but no pets. And i've had about every species of domestic animal for pets.

    Theres a really big differance between pets and livestock and it has nothing to do with what species an animal is.
    Quality doesn\'t cost it pays.

    Comment


    • #3
      I will say though the writer did an excellant job of making sure people don't change their opinions on the subject.
      Quality doesn\'t cost it pays.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        What I find so terribly ironic in this entire situation is that the slaughter industry basically shut itself down. No animal rights or welfare organizations were responsible; the slaughter industry shot themselves in their own heart. And the USDA supplied the gun.

        So in the end, they self-destructed by breaking a Federal law about paying for the inspections. No emotions; no moral issues; nothing besides they broke the law, plain and simple.

        Whether you regard horses as pets or a food source, it really didn't matter in the end. A law is a law is a law, and the fact is, you can only break the law for so long before it will catch up to you.

        If anything, the anti-slaughter groups are probably incredulous with how this all ended. The slaughter industry imploded, not exploded.

        I find that interesting.
        Barbara www.customstockties.com
        Tulsa-QH; Schnickelfritz-Holsteiner; Atikus-Danish Warmblood; Buddy-QH/TB; Winston-Shire; Thomas-Percheron/TB; Mac-Belgian Draft, gone but never forgotten

        Comment


        • #5
          I agree- the writer has no clue- but i bet he was in the top of his class for descriptive writing!

          Comment


          • #6
            I'd still like to know if the Bison, Elk, and other exotic meat industries will be shut down. They use the exact same inspection system. Is it illegal or not?
            Quality doesn\'t cost it pays.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Rt66Kix View Post
              So in the end, they self-destructed by breaking a Federal law about paying for the inspections. No emotions; no moral issues; nothing besides they broke the law, plain and simple.
              I still don't get it though- the law was about funding. There wouldn't be any US funding for the inspections. At least that's how I read it.

              Was the judge in this case ruling on the "intent" of the law? Or the letter of it?

              I guess I will have to go re-read it the law itself.
              "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

              My CANTER blog.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Rt66Kix View Post
                What I find so terribly ironic in this entire situation is that the slaughter industry basically shut itself down. No animal rights or welfare organizations were responsible; the slaughter industry shot themselves in their own heart. And the USDA supplied the gun.

                So in the end, they self-destructed by breaking a Federal law about paying for the inspections. No emotions; no moral issues; nothing besides they broke the law, plain and simple.

                Whether you regard horses as pets or a food source, it really didn't matter in the end. A law is a law is a law, and the fact is, you can only break the law for so long before it will catch up to you.

                If anything, the anti-slaughter groups are probably incredulous with how this all ended. The slaughter industry imploded, not exploded.

                I find that interesting.
                Not exactly.

                The ones that made "ban slaughter" the current "cause of the moment" went looking for an angle to use and found it and sued about it, now are taking credit for it:

                ---"the shutting down of the Cavel plant is a tremendous victory for humane advocates across the country," said Jonathan Lovvorn, chief litigating officer for the U.S. Humane Society. "---

                Can happen to any industry, that if you look long enough, someone, somewhere is not doing something quite right and those wanting to use them as "cause celebre" will hunt for that and use it.

                Why ban a whole industry, why not right what is found to be wrong, that is my question.

                Comment


                • #9
                  To say that the horses slaughtered weren't pets, may be incorrect. They may be livestock, but they are not "food animals" in the US. I can guarentee you that not one of those horses were bred to become food. No one in this country has a horse breeding program that focuses on breeding a horse for the leanest cuts of meat. Many of those horses were people's companions or competition animal. Many of those horses were owned by people at some time in their life, who sold them to what they thought was a good home, and never dreamed that a horse they bred, trained or competed would be slaughtered. Many horse owners buy into the notion that it is only the old, or lame that are slaughtered. Many of those horses had previous owners or breeders that if they had known they were in danger of slaughter, would have bought them back and tried to find them a decent home. Look at Champion Lodge's breeders, the TB that just went thru Centennial who's previous owner bought him back after being notified of his situation, and the horse that someone (the breeder) is searching for that went to NH.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    [quote=county;2328551]None of the horses slaughtered were pets, they were livestock the owner sold.[quote]

                    So when does a horse stop being a pet, and become livestock? When it goes into the auction ring? When it steps onto the trailer?

                    When I worked with the slaughter bound trailer wreck in MO last September, some of the horses were not tame. They were difficult to catch; difficult to halter and lead. Obviously they weren't "pets." They were, what I would call, livestock.

                    But at least half of them WERE what I would call "pets." They were as easy to handle as my horses. Were polite for medicating; stall cleaning; hoof picking; saddling; riding; etc. Obviously someone, at one point or another, had NOT treated them as "livestock." They were accustomed to humans loving on them. In my definition, that means they were treated more as pets than livestock. Their interaction with humans was very different from the other horses on that load.

                    Theres a really big differance between pets and livestock and it has nothing to do with what species an animal is.
                    But ALL species are entitled to, and deserve, humane treatment. I think it's a gross exaggeration to say that no "pets" were ever slaughtered. There's no way of getting real numbers of pets versus livestock.

                    As I said earlier, when does a pet become livestock? When it's outlived it's usefulness to the owner? When the owner can't pay for it any longer?

                    Oh, and I do eat meat. I buy it locally from a meat company who slaughters with bullets, using steers and hogs from local farmers. They haul them there in stock trailers, and it's maybe a 1 hour drive, if that. It's done humanely.
                    Barbara www.customstockties.com
                    Tulsa-QH; Schnickelfritz-Holsteiner; Atikus-Danish Warmblood; Buddy-QH/TB; Winston-Shire; Thomas-Percheron/TB; Mac-Belgian Draft, gone but never forgotten

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      When does an animal stop being a pet? When the person that owns it no longer wants it to be. I've had lots of pets in my life and never got rid of one till it was dead. Some people don't do it that way when there no longer want it they sell it. The new owner is not obligated to see it as a pet.
                      Quality doesn\'t cost it pays.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Bluey View Post

                        The ones that made "ban slaughter" the current "cause of the moment" went looking for an angle to use and found it and sued about it, now are taking credit for it
                        Well, honey, if the slaughter industry hadn't broken the law, then there wouldn't be any weak spots for their enemies to exploit. Duh...

                        I find it interesting that you are blaming the people that blew the whistle on the law-breakers. Right is right; wrong is wrong. No one, not even your beloved slaughter industry, is above the law.

                        No need to be upset with whatever group called attention to their illegal inspections. Why shoot the messenger?
                        Barbara www.customstockties.com
                        Tulsa-QH; Schnickelfritz-Holsteiner; Atikus-Danish Warmblood; Buddy-QH/TB; Winston-Shire; Thomas-Percheron/TB; Mac-Belgian Draft, gone but never forgotten

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          BTW my livestock is very easy to handle be it horse , cow, sheep, or hogs. They get excellant care and love every day. But there not pets their livestock, people seem to think sometimes theres no differance between pets and livestock. Its the same as with people I know, some are very good freinds and some are just people I know, still others I have no time for. There all people but theres a really big differance in the ones who are good freinds and the ones I have no time for
                          Quality doesn\'t cost it pays.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            County, I have no reason to doubt you about the care and handling of your animals. I've not seen them in person, so I wouldn't make any assumptions one way or the other.

                            I still feel it's presumptuous of you to state that no pets were ever slaughtered. I guess by your definition that when an owner decides, "OK, my horse is no longer a pet; he's now livestock" then perhaps I can understand why you feel that way. I can't imagine "downgrading" a pet to livestock; that seems pretty coldhearted to me.

                            I also agree that a new owner doesn't have an obligation to treat an animal the same way a previous owner did. Which is why I can not sell or give away my horses and other pets. I would lay awake at night and worry where they are, and how they are being treated.

                            But then I'm told I have a heightened sense of responsibility...
                            Barbara www.customstockties.com
                            Tulsa-QH; Schnickelfritz-Holsteiner; Atikus-Danish Warmblood; Buddy-QH/TB; Winston-Shire; Thomas-Percheron/TB; Mac-Belgian Draft, gone but never forgotten

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'll bet the farm not one horse sold to a slaughter house is regarded as a pet to the person selling it. No doubt theres many horses slaughtered that were a pet to someone at some time. But not by the person selling it to slaughter.

                              Myself I've never sold a pet, some people do but thats there choice.
                              Quality doesn\'t cost it pays.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Rt66Kix View Post
                                Well, honey, if the slaughter industry hadn't broken the law, then there wouldn't be any weak spots for their enemies to exploit. Duh...

                                I find it interesting that you are blaming the people that blew the whistle on the law-breakers. Right is right; wrong is wrong.
                                I know this court decided that, but again, the law was to

                                "ban using taxpayer funds to inspect horse meat, which would stop horse slaughter in the United States because federal law requires the inspection of all meat. " (from an AP news story from a while back)

                                Again, if they were paying for the inspections themselves, how were they breaking this law?

                                I'm confused at how the court reached this conclusion unless they were talking about the intent/spirit of the law and not the letter of it.

                                And I actually am kind of wondering what county is wondering about how this effects other meat industries that pay for their own inspections, or how it can be legal for bison but not for horse.

                                I know I don't have the background to successfully argue with an appeals court, and maybe they know something I don't?
                                "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

                                My CANTER blog.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  BTW I've been told by many many differant people I'm one of the most responsable horse owners they've ever seen. I think the animals I've rescued over the years agree.
                                  Quality doesn\'t cost it pays.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Different people have different motives for posting on slaughter threads. My motives are sometimes to spread information, to defend the cause of humane treatment of animals, and sometimes because I just can't resist feeding trolls.

                                    I believe that Bluey posts so vehemently, if not coherently, because her/his ox is being gored. Follow the money. I would think the same thing about county, but surely he must (?) realize that his presented personna and method of delivery is so off-putting that he's probably done more to promote the anti-slaughter movement than just about any so-called slaughter proponent who posts here. There are some posters (pro-slaughter) who really believe that they present the truth, but don't try to impress us with guerilla tactics or the Chinese Water Torture method of constantly repeating themselves. Those people have my thanks.

                                    Instead of trying to promote my position via COTH, I'm going to work on getting the borders closed. I'll continue to put my money where my mouth is--in donations to rescues, animal welfare groups, and in caring for the rescued horses who already live with me.

                                    Have fun y'all.
                                    Barbaro Cultist, Metabolic Nazi

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      ROTFLMAO, The exact same thing is done by many many anti slaughter people on every thread.

                                      BTW follow the money? Can you explain that and where exactly do you get your facts? Or do you bother with them at all?
                                      Quality doesn\'t cost it pays.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Caffinated- RainyDayRide posted a link to the ruling on the thread about the appaels court decision. Basically, the slaughterhouses and USDA violated the law by knowingly changing the inspection process for horses without following the law requiring an Environmental Impact Study before implementing their new procedures. The slaughterhouses were allowed to pay for their own inspectors for Bison and the like, because they are considered "exotics" not livestock. Horses were listed as livestock and under FSIS guidelines must be USDA inspected. The slaughterhouses/USDA then "arbitrarily and Capriciously" moved horses over to the "exotic" side, covering the "pay for their own inspections". They did so, knowing the law requiring an EIS study, but basically just decided to do it without regard to the law. The court felt that they were not allowed to just violate the law because they didn't want to lose their financial profit.

                                        The courts did not rule on 2 of the other complaints regarding the lack of input period from the citizens, because the violation of the first situation was so blatent and required that they be shut down, so any ruling the court made on the other 2 issues would be a moot point.

                                        Comment

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