Disposable Horses

Proponents of horse slaughter in the United States, including the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), American Paint Horse Association (APHA), American Farm Bureau Federation, National Cattlemens Beef Association and Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) make common cause on an issue that most Americans do not know is still an issue–keeping horse slaughter legal in the United States.

The reason these groups want to keep horse slaughter alive in the U.S. is that it benefits their bottom line; a message that is a hard sell for legislators and constituents who prefer not to think about horses being dragged by chains, hung by a hind leg and bled while still alive, not to mention that the horses are often conscious while being slaughtered.  So horse slaughter proponents don’t talk about such things.  They talk about “horse welfare” and “unintended consequences” and “well-meaning but emotional urban animal rights extremists,” and they get naive or uninformed journalists to parrot their talking points.

The media so far has taken the bait–hook, line and sinker.  Two articles for the New York Times recently beat the same drum for the slaughter industry, using many of the phrases test marketed by the slaughter lobbyists, including “unintended consequences,” “unwanted horses,” “horse welfare,” “animal rights extremists” and “prized as a delicacy.”

The first article, Wild Horses and Hard Choices, by Max Bearak, October 11, 2011, ran on a Times blog, and the second, Slaughter of Horses Goes On, Just Not in U.S., by A. G. Sulzberger (yes, same family) was published on October 23, 2011.

The articles may seem unrelated (the first about wild horses in the U.S. and the second about slaughter) but they share a common source–lobbyists for the horse breeding and slaughter industries.  (They also have in common that they are written by favored sons of the Times dynasty but that is another story).  The truth is that trade in horses is a for-profit business and, like any business, it resists legislation that makes life less profitable for businessmen.  The piece by Sulzberger features a photograph (captioned as “John Schoneberg, a Nebraska breeder who has taken in hungry horses”) that shows Schoneberg hauling on a lead rope with a well-fed looking horse on the other end.  As many comments to the piece note (comments are already closed, hmm), the horse looks like it would rather be anywhere than on the other end of a line held by Schoneberg and who says horses or commenters lack insight?  Schoneberg may have “taken in hungry horses” because he runs horse auctions in Nebraska, as noted in this article in The North Platte Bulletin by Heather James on February 2, 2009:

 John Schoneberg coordinates a bi-annual horse sale in Sutton and buys, sells and trades horses throughout the country.

He said the market remains steady for ridable geldings. It’s strong for performance horses, or those trained for a specific field, such as roping or halter prospects.

It’s the colts, the old and the mares that don’t fare well.

“I would have to say about 90 percent of the broodmares I see go through the ring are headed for slaughter,” said Schoneberg. He said the average killer horse is selling for 10 to 15 cents per pound.

The decrease in value is leading many breeders to get out of the business altogether.

There it is.  It is “the colts, the old and the mares that don’t fare well.”  There are people in this country who profit from the sale of horses for meat.  They distinguish between horses based on their market value, and they want to keep doing this.  It has nothing to do with horse welfare, nothing to do with “abandoned horses” or “unintended consequences” or with any GAO report.

They want to keep killing horses for profit. Do we want to keep letting them?

12 Responses to “Disposable Horses”
  1. Carlene Wiser says:

    These so called educated proponents of slaughter.. need to go and visit. first hand what goes on..they also need to look at themselves in the mirror and wonder if thats what they would like to happen to one of their own friends or family.. as my animals are MY family and MY horses are my friends..SO..next time you think you are all that .. and horse slaughter is OK.. please go and see what actually happens.. If we do not do something to help these animals, we make a mockery of the whole concept of justice.. but then.. you pro-slaughter people are not really interested in justice or morals.. just money.. dont think I have ever seen a Wells Fargo truck coming in behind a Hearse .. have YOU??????????????????

  2. CanAmFam says:

    Right on the mark! Sharing this 🙂

  3. Shirley Smith says:

    No we do not want them to keep killing horses for profit and as long as I live I will be the voice of the horses since thay don’t have one. They deserve to have a life just as well as these people that think they were raised to slaughter and eat (what is wrong with that picture!!!!! They are not throwaways but are our hertiage and were our only mode of transportation years ago. People that think slaughter for horses DON’T have a heart or feelings. IT IS INHUMANE AND CRUEL. HOW MUCH MONEY IS ENOUGH FOR SOME, THINK ABOUT IT. YOU COME INTO THE WORLD WITH NOTHING AND GO OUT WITH NOTHING!!!! STOP SLAUGHTERING HORSES AND BLM STOP THE ROUNDUPS WITH HELICOPTERS!!!! There is plenty of room for all the animals on the lands.

  4. Cecilia says:

    Your article is so acurate. And you are right, you see no info on the media, CBS, NBC, ABC etc… But I try to remind everyone about the bill S.1176 . It is recieving tremendous support to stop the slaughtering 100% Also reminding polititions that say are supporting the bill, we the people are the voters, support S.1176 or you lose my vote.

  5. Pamela Leverenz Johson says:

    NO NO horses deserve better~~this makes me sick

  6. Michele says:

    I suggest you send this to the New York Times editor and ask it for it to be printed in the Opinion section. A printed rebuttal to those articles needs to be made.

  7. I appreciate your pointing out the problems with the one sided media attention pro-slaughter people are getting. I get the distinct feeling that they are not doing any research at all, but rather perpetuating press releases from United Horsemen and other advocates who are very busy contacting people who have no idea about horse slaughter and presenting the lack of horse slaughter capabilities as an alarming problem.

    Anti-slaughter people should be doing the same, not that they’ll get the same reception… Someone wrote an editorial in my local newspaper about the GAO study and its “unintended consequences” as a good reason to allow slaughter again. I wrote a rebuttal, but it was never published or otherwise addressed.

    Perhaps we need an “Occupy” movement against slaughter or have some people bring signs to places that are being occupied, pointing out that this issue, along with “disposing” of the wild horses and burros is part of the same issue of moving public lands and resources into the hands of profiteers.

  8. christina says:

    Nicely written. I shared this on my FB page.

  9. paula peterson says:

    I am sorry but if they are that gung ho about slaughtering horses for profit…and given the ethics these people ovbiously lack, how can anyone believe the they will be honest about the paperwork that will accompany these animals. They will lie, cheat and steal to get their profit. I would have a great deal of trepidation in believing the documents they produce.
    We are not aware of how much bute or antibiotic etc have broken down to by horses systemn and what residual is still there.
    This is just an observation……..we are not dealing we trustworthy people in horse slaughter.
    Having said the above regarding horse slaughter from a consumer point of view,
    The thought of all of this from when I became aware of it……..makes my stomach turn and is truly embarrasing to be a canadian with this A ok here.

  10. Suzanne Moore says:

    Excellent article and right on the money. Interestingly, the Unwanted Horse Coalition – the pro-slaughter organization that fed the GAO almost everything they ended up putting in this “report” has done a study that drew more than 27,500 responses now says well of course it’s the economy.

    Quote: An Unwanted Horse Coalition study that drew more than 27,500 responses showed that indeed, the predominant reason for horses winding up in the unwanted category was because owners could no longer afford them. http://www.nj.com/sports/njsports/index.ssf/2012/02/help_for_horse_owners_is_on_th.html

    Even more interesting is that the first time I saw this site it said that the UHC “studies that drew more than 27,500 responses showed that indeed, the predominant reason for horses winding up in the unwanted category was the economy rather than lack of slaughter.” I WISH I’d gotten a screen shot before this was “updated.

    Oh well, it still has the UHC saying basically the same thing, just not so blatantly contradicting what they told the GAO.

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  1. […] Posted by theandbetween on October 26, 2011 · 9 Comments […]

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