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I too wonder about the claims by anti-slaughter advocates that animals are slaughtered inhumanely. From what I have read about how the stun gun works, it is supposed to be quick and efficient. In other words, as little suffering as possible to end the animal's life. Just because someone insists that US plants are horrible hell-houses doesn't make it so. I feel more certain that most plants do what the government regulations ask them to do.

On the other hand, if the regulation for slaughter houses is as ridiculous as some of the laws and regulations for other industries it may be over the top. I don't know what the actual rules are, but I'm positive there are those in place to help prevent the suffering of the animals. Goatsong raises a good point, however, that while large companies can afford to follow some of the over the top regulations and still turn a profit most small farms just can not. They most likely do things with much more care than the bigger companies and probably don't need to jump through so many hoops to be responsible and humane.

Goatsong is also right that even though there are laws, people break them all the time. Bribery and corruption are rampant amongst our society, especially within large organizational structures that involve large sums of money (IE government.) Just because there are some bad companies or people who don't follow rules, who are inhumane, etc. doesn't mean we can make a blanket statement about the industry as a whole. It isn't fair to people who are good, treat the animals right, and are just trying to make a living.

Also, some people have stated that "if someone can't afford euthanization then they shouldn't have a horse." Uh...duh. Lol. But my whole point in my earlier post is that people can and will do what they want. Many are irresponsible, lazy, ignorant, etc. So the horses end up in the situation regardless, and they still can't afford to put the horse down, much less feed it. And the horse STILL suffers from starvation and neglect whether the person should have owned the animal in the first place. So again, I will say that we can't force people to step up and be responsible and horses ARE going to starve and die or go to slaughter no matter what.

So again I ask you, wouldn't you rather they be killed here than Mexico? I don't buy that the US is just as cruel as Mexico. No offense to the people of that country, but I've seen some of the horrible things that go down with their animals. Respect for horses is nowhere near as high as it is here, and they don't have issues with being brutal about putting the horse's down. Instead of wasting time freaking out about slaughter being legal here, maybe you could redirect your voice to advocating for better monitoring of slaughterhouses to ensure proper kill procedures are being used. Speak up against corruption within the industry (as in inspectors, government looking the other way when certain slaughterhouses are breaking the rules), and push for harsher penalties for any cruelty practiced.
 

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I didn't know if I really wanted to jump in here or not, but I am going to. When my husband's father was alive he bred Arabian Horse's, in 1998/99 his favorite Mare died after giving birth to a foal. He quit the buisness, but he kept that foal, Prince. A very special horse he was! but in 2009 as winter set in on us and we realized that we were really short on Hay and would not be able to feed the 2 horse's that we had, I decided to sell them. Not bc we didn't want them, but bc it wasn't fair to them to not be able to eat. I couldn't find a buyer for the horses. When I did find a buyer I thought great just in time, bc at that point it wasn't just the Horse's that we couldn't take care of, we were barely scraping by. Then the woman backed out, and wanted her money back. So I ended up sending them through the Auction. Trevor, and Kathy the owners of the Auction came and picked them up. I didn't realize at the time but I know now that they house the horse's they buy at their home and work with them, even train some of them before sending them through the auction. I don't know what happened to the horse's as we couldn't bring ourselves to attend the auction when they were sold. I wanted to tell my story bc around here there are so many unwanted horse's, that I have seen them sold for as little $50 for AQHA registered horse's. Maybe by reopening the Slaughter Plants the horse industry can get back on its feet, and people who breed horse's will be able to ask enough for them to weed out people who can't actually afford them.

As far as eating horse meat, yes I would. When you are broke and hungry I think you will eat what you can afford. I remember reading a story in School once I believe from France, where a boy bought horse meat to feed the dog. Also as mentioned above when we sold our horse's it was due to lack of funds at the time, I would much rather have put them in my freezer, and ate for a yr or two, than to not know where they are, or if they were killed/not. Don't get me wrong, yeah we kept them for pleasure, but of all the different outcome's which is the worst possible sinario? We raise beef, pork, chicken, waterfowl, and goats, I wouldn't think twice to put any of them in my freezer if I couldn't sell them, and couldn't take care of them, that is why I raise livestock in the end to feed my family, And at the end of its useful life, that is what a horse is, LIVESTOCK. Just my :2cents:
 

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I really don't know how I feel about this issue yet. I can certainly see how some good things can come out of this bill passing, as others have mentioned, but I also agree with HoosierShadow in a lot of ways. What bothers me most is the idea of slaughtering animals that were bred, raised, and trained to be companions. In this sense horses are different from cows, pigs, sheep, etc. in this country. If horses were raised specifically for meat, as some draft breeds still are in France, I would feel much more comfortable with the idea of horse slaughter.

What bothers me most is not the idea of killing horses, but the throw-away culture that exists in the horse (and many other animal) industry. The idea of people dumping their ex-racehorses (some with very successful careers) bothers me. The idea that people continue to breed so many horses when the market is so terrible and finding homes is so difficult bothers me. The idea that people bring home animals that they are not willing or able to care for properly bothers me. Like it's been said before, we as people don't take responsibility, and the animals suffer.

I personally would not want to eat horse meat and wonder if it was a retired racer, an outgrown children's pony, or someone's riding horse that they sent to auction because they could not sell them and could no longer afford to care for them.

My dad's horse, May, was a rescued from a situation of extreme neglect. When the organization that we adopted her from went back to pick her up, the whole herd was gone. She was later pulled off a truck that would have taken her to slaughter. She was completely blind, starved, and also pregnant. In my opinion, transporting an animal in that condition to slaughter is not acceptable.

I do hope that for all animals, we continue to strive to make slaughter as merciful as possible, and that we fully understand the responsibility we have to the animals that give us our livelihood. Maybe having legal horse slaughter will create an additional push for careful and humane treatment in transport and slaughter.

(I also want to thank you all for not going to pieces over this touchy subject. I may not agree with all of you, but I'm happy that we all have a place to share our feelings on the subject. Hugs!)
 

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(I also want to thank you all for not going to pieces over this touchy subject. I may not agree with all of you, but I'm happy that we all have a place to share our feelings on the subject. Hugs!)
Yes! This is great getting to discuss this topic without any mud flinging and name calling! I enjoy debates like this, in which people politely share their opinion and everyone learns something. I truly enjoy hearing other people's opinions, weighing them against each other and then learning from them. We all have our own individual opinion on this topic, but we are all respecting each other. Very nice. :grouphug: :thumb:
 

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KatieT said:
I really don't know how I feel about this issue yet. I can certainly see how some good things can come out of this bill passing, as others have mentioned, but I also agree with HoosierShadow in a lot of ways. What bothers me most is the idea of slaughtering animals that were bred, raised, and trained to be companions. In this sense horses are different from cows, pigs, sheep, etc. in this country. If horses were raised specifically for meat, as some draft breeds still are in France, I would feel much more comfortable with the idea of horse slaughter.
What bothers me most is not the idea of killing horses, but the throw-away culture that exists in the horse (and many other animal) industry. The idea of people dumping their ex-racehorses (some with very successful careers) bothers me. The idea that people continue to breed so many horses when the market is so terrible and finding homes is so difficult bothers me. The idea that people bring home animals that they are not willing or able to care for properly bothers me. Like it's been said before, we as people don't take responsibility, and the animals suffer.

I personally would not want to eat horse meat and wonder if it was a retired racer, an outgrown children's pony, or someone's riding horse that they sent to auction because they could not sell them and could no longer afford to care for them.

My dad's horse, May, was a rescued from a situation of extreme neglect. When the organization that we adopted her from went back to pick her up, the whole herd was gone. She was later pulled off a truck that would have taken her to slaughter. She was completely blind, starved, and also pregnant. In my opinion, transporting an animal in that condition to slaughter is not acceptable.

I do hope that for all animals, we continue to strive to make slaughter as merciful as possible, and that we fully understand the responsibility we have to the animals that give us our livelihood. Maybe having legal horse slaughter will create an additional push for careful and humane treatment in transport and slaughter.

(I also want to thank you all for not going to pieces over this touchy subject. I may not agree with all of you, but I'm happy that we all have a place to share our feelings on the subject. Hugs!)
I don't want to talk about this anymore, simply because it's an upsetting issue. I see horse neglect and abuse all over my facebook and horrible pictures <yet great outcomes for many of those!>, and right now everyone is in a 'stand up and fight' mood so I see it x3.

While I respect everyone's opinions. I still will not agree with horse slaughter in the US for 'foreign' consumption. I will not agree with horses being crammed into trailers hurting, starving, and terrified all becaue people are too ignorant to be responsible for them, just so some foreignor with a fat wallet can get the pleasure out of their meat.

Opening the slaughter houses is not going to make the matter ANY BETTER. I don't know why people assume it will, and people can assume away. People are still going to neglect those animals, people are going to be able to be irresponsible breeders, and now even the chances of ex racehorses could be in more jeopardy than when the plants were closed to horse slaughter.
Horses will always get neglected and abused. Same with other animals.
But opening these plants is just a slap in the face, saying 'Hey, mistreat your animals, be irresponsible breeders, because we'll take them off your hands when your finished!'

And yes I do think hefty tax for animals being shipped out of the states for human consumption should be put in place. Especially when there has been a BAN on it happening here. If it's not legal here, they shouldn't condone it for over the borders either.

Anyway, I am not going to get into this anymore. Mentally, thinking about those horses, it's definitely a touchy subject. I see the efforts my friends make each day to try and save horses from slaughter, and see all the undercover stuff, and again, I will never ever agree with it. Never.
 

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This is a very touchy subject. But I am for the slaughter houses. I remember before the slaughter houses were banned, you couldn't find a good, trained horse for less that $2,000. Now you can pick up good horses for $500 or less. And if they are just going to starve to death, they might as well be used for something. I'm not going to get into it any more than that. I respect each and everyones opinion, whether I like it or not. But I do have one question...

HoosierShadow said:
IMO as far as any registered animal goes, there should be something in the form that states the owner is taking 100% responsability for that animal, and if the animal is ever found to be in neglect, that person should be responsible and if not, they can never register another animal in their name, and it sure would be nice if there was a law put in effect, but I know court costs, etc. to enforce these laws could be hard. But it wouldn't be hard for the registries to enforce this. What are they losing? A potential neglectful breeder? Sure you don't have control over what happens to an animal after it's sold, BUT you are the breeder, so by breeding and creating this life, you are always responsible for that animal.
As a breeder, I sell a registered doe to someone who promises to take good care of her. And they do. But something comes up and they sell the doe to someone else who doesn't take good care of her. I am responsible, because I am the breeder? What if the original buyer doesn't even let me know they are selling the doe? I wasn't given the chance to buy her back.

Am I understanding you correctly?
 

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I think it is interesting to observe why we have conflicting feelings concerning this. What is our minds telling us. It is mostly because we struggle slaughtering an animal that does not serve humanity best for food when there are others that do. It is a working animal for mankind and a horse wants to serve man-cows want to eat grass. It would be a shame to use Elephants for meat too even if they could feed a whole village. If there are starving people-then sure.. eat the elephant, horse or what ever but each animal should be used best for what they were created for. In India, there are religious reasons behind why people do not eat cows but not all people in India are this way. I am quite sad that too many people have horses and do not consider the care and cost of them and then.. they end up starving. We know of several horse rescue places too. One place in Oregon matches abused horses with troubled abused kids. It is a rehabilitaion rescue for both people and horses and the results are wonderful.
 

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A horse is too intelligent, noble. loyal, workable and personable to be used for food. There are obvious reasons why we get emotional over this. There are a variety of animals with different purposes created for man to use and be responsible for with good stewardship.
 

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Goat Song said:
Hoosier, you are correct in saying that the horses have a cruel death. All animals do at the big slaughter houses. over 40% of the time, animals do not die until they are eviscerated. That's going through being skinned, scalded, and then cut open, before they finally die. This is for cows, hogs, chickens, turkeys, and now horses. It's cruel, yes. But there is no way around it.
Do you have any proof of this?

Have you actually been into a slaughterhouse?

I find that most people who spout this sensationalism about how 'cruel' slaughterhouses are, how they are skinning and gutting animals that are still alive, have never been into a slaughterhouse at all! It is ignorance and misplaced emotion that breed these rumours.

I used to send 70 wethers per week to slaughter, I was there to watch them killed and processed. They were handled quickly, firmly but humanely in the holding yards, mainly without the use of dogs but any dogs that were used were well trained and muzzled. I used to drop them and within 3 hours they were gone.
They walked up the ramp reasonably calmly, the guy at the top gave them a rub on the head or neck (my boys mostly were friendly and inquisitive and always looked for a bit of a pat) and then touched them lightly on the back of the head with the electrical stunner, they were instantly asleep, then their throats were cut and they were hung up to bleed out. They never felt a thing. I believe it was very humane and I could not have asked for a better end for my boys.

Here in Australia there are strict rules about how the animals are allowed to be killed and I would imagine it would be the same there. Any abbatoir (slaughterhouse) that did what you say wouldnt stay in business. Also even if you didnt take into account the ethics of it all, it would be so hard to skin and gut an animal that was still alive, as it would be kicking around on the hooks and moving all over the place.

I have no doubt that there are small, isolated incidents of animal abuse in abbatoirs, but I believe (and have proof, here in Australia anyway) that these are few and far between. The majority of abbatoirs do a quick, humane and very good job.

When it comes to horses, the more it is legalised the more controlled the slaughter process will become, and thus the more humane it will be for the animals.

I myself do not believe that it is wrong to slaughter a horse; over time and in many places worldwide, horses have been bred for meat purposes only. In saying that, over time and in many places worldwide, goats have been bred for companion purposes only. Over time and in many places worldwide, cattle have been bred for work purposes only. It is not fair to any of the animals to play favourites. As much as I love my creatures I would send all of them to slaughter if I had no other option. I know it is done humanely, and if I can get a little bit of money, rather than paying for them to be injected, I will go with that method. Look at it this way, someone loses their job, cant afford to feed their horses anymore, no one wants to buy them, perhaps they can send three to the slaughter house, get $100 each for them, buy some hay to feed the two they kept, and it gets them through until they find another job. Certainly I would do that than pay $500 per horse to have them put down by a vet.
 

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packhillboers said:
A horse is too intelligent, noble. loyal, workable and personable to be used for food. There are obvious reasons why we get emotional over this. There are a variety of animals with different purposes created for man to use and be responsible for with good stewardship.
I believe my own individual goats are too intelligent, noble, loyal, workable and personable to be used for food, however I would not deny other people the option to use them for food.

Responsible and good stewardship can also include using them humanely for food.

Waste not, want not :wink:
 

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All animals have purpose. It's just always good to consider how they best benefit mankind before jumping to the conclusion that all are good for food. A horse has always been known for the puropse of working for mankind. Some have been used for food in diverse times of need but when we have a choice, why eat the fastest, hardest working, loyal creatures when there are dumb rabbits and cows to eat first.
 

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Some animals have more of a desire to serve and help man. Few cows will come to your rescue when you need them to. A Rabbit will NOT be able to rescue you if you needed it to. There are thousands of horse, dog and other loyal animal stories that tell how they will risk their lives to save a human and have. There is even a chance that a goat would but it's a slimmer one than a horse. Our lead goat came charging full speed at the buck when it saw it trying to bang at me. She just kept yelling at him to 'stop trying to hit the human.' She is too loyal to ever be on our dinner plate here at our home. Don't ignore what your heart tells you about animals. Some deserve to be used in a way more sensible than a fancy dish in a restaurant or home.
 

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I object to the 'dumb cow' comment - I believe cows are very smart! :p

I get cranky when people tell me sheep are dumb too :)

I had a cat save me from a snake once when I was a kid - but if there was a use for all those cats in shelters that get put down ... again my personal view is waste not want not.
 

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Well, there is obviously a surplus of horses out there that are not serving any purpose at all other than rotting away or being pasture ornaments, costing their owneres money who can't afford them. Most of the horses that are truely useful and needed are in a home somewhere and not at risk of slaughter. I realize there are many well trained horses or horses with potential (young, unbroke) that also may make it to slaughter but if there were that many homes available they would find one. There have been far more "good" horses sent to auction and slaughter (in mexico or canada) since the ban after it caused the market to go down the toilet. Hopefully once slaughter houses open back up here things will even out and get back to normal with the unfit going to slaughter and decent riding horses finding the homes.

Also, many horses would just assume eat grass and be wild. You have to socialize them a lot for them to be human companions. If people spent as much time and money training their other livestock as they do horses, they would seem much more personable as well and less like "food".
 

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keren said:
I object to the 'dumb cow' comment - I believe cows are very smart! :p

I get cranky when people tell me sheep are dumb too :)

I had a cat save me from a snake once when I was a kid - but if there was a use for all those cats in shelters that get put down ... again my personal view is waste not want not.
My steer is the first to let me know when the hot wire isn't working. The horses could be in the pasture for months with the hotwire off and never know...lol.
 

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Well.. people .. we can't make a cow do what a horse does nor can we hope to slaughter a horse and get the thick hide out of it like you can a cow. You cant put a saddle on a sheep and work it hard like you can a horse. You also can not sheer a horses hair and expect to get wool blankets out of it. I am all about stewardship towards animals and giving each creature its fair due for its best use for mankind. Some animals are just best to eat over others. They produce quickly and give back to us in the way of food and clothing. We just have to be responsible for what is given to us. We have a duty to take care of the animal kingdom in a way that fits what they are designed best. I think these reasons are obvious but some go to extremes on both ends of not eating any animals at all or that all animals can be used for food. I don't think this is an (either/or discussion) but rather to just to make sense of our responsibility of stewardship in caring for animals and people.
 

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sorry about the dumb cow comment. There are some cows that are smarter than other cows but I have yet to see a cow that is smarter than a horse. Horses know this. I have yet to see a sheep that is smarter than a dog. Dogs know this.
 

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packhillboers said:
Well.. people .. we can't make a cow do what a horse does nor can we hope to slaughter a horse and get the thick hide out of it like you can a cow. You cant put a saddle on a sheep and work it hard like yjou can a horse. You also can not sheer a horses hair and expect to get wool blankets out of it. I am all about stewardship towards animals and giving each creature its fair due for its best use for mankind. Some animals are just best to eat over others. They produce quickly and give back to us in the way of food and clothing. We just have to be responsible for what is given to us. We have a duty to take care of the animal kingdom in a way that fits what they are designed best. I think these reasons are obvious but some go to extremes on both ends of not eating any animals at all or that all animals can be used for food. I don't think this is an (either/or discussion) but rather to just to make sense of our responsibility of stewardship in caring for animals and people.
We have a duty to take care of the animals...period . As long as they are healthy, happy and treated humanely I think that adding any other requirements ( such as using each species only for what one believes its best use is) is highly personal and getting very much away from the point. The way one person thinks an animal should be used or cared for is different than the next. Who are you to make the rules or define an animals purpose?
 

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One thing I heard some of you say is that horse rescues couldnt do their job with this now legal.

I don't understand how this will hinder their work - they will continue to rescue horses and rehabilitate them. But it will actually help them. They can focus on the true worthy horses (the ones with the greatest potential to be good horses and adoptable - not all horses are 'noble' and 'companions' etc some are down right aggressive and mean or have issues in their head - ie crazy horses). To me rescuing every horse isn't possible anyway - so it weeds them down to the ones that are going to best benefit from their resources. If no one can afford to adopt them or care for them after adopting you are back in the same situation and rescues are I am sure overflowing.

Kudos to all who have rescued a horse and help in that effort. But in all honesty I feel that not all horses should be rescued

Ive been around horses my whole life - I so enjoy their pleasure. I owned one, and hope to possible again in my future. But I doubt I will rescue one, to many variables Im not willing to deal with.
 

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Firelight,
You are right .. no one can make these rules. I don't make these rules. I don't make any rules. Some Rules in life just happen to be already in place. I am done .. you all just carry on with it.
 
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