Open Letter to State Legislatures Considering Pro-Horse Slaughter Resolutions

Mayor and horseFormer Mayor Paula Bacon
City of Kaufman
Kaufman, TX  75142

Dear State Legislator:

You will soon be asked to vote on … legislation regarding the commercial slaughter of American horses of which you probably have very little firsthand knowledge.  No doubt you have heard from lobbyists and organizations who want you to support the practice, but before you do, you should ask yourself why the residents of Texas and Illinois worked so hard to rid their states of their horse slaughter plants. The answer may surprise you.

As a mayor who lived with this plague in her town for many years, who knows what the horse slaughter industry really is and what it does to a community please allow me to tell you what we experienced.  The industry caused significant and long term hardship to my community which was home to Dallas Crown, one of the last three horse slaughter plants in the United States. 

All three plants were foreign-owned, and since the market for horsemeat is entirely foreign, the industry will always be dominated by these foreign interests. The corporations involved in this industry have consistently proven themselves to be the worst possible corporate citizens.

The Dallas Crown horse slaughtering facility had been in operation in Kaufman since the late 70’s and from the beginning had caused problems both economically and environmentally.  I have listed some of the specific issues below.

I will gladly provide you with detailed reports from my former City Manager, Police Chief, and Public Works Director regarding odor and wastewater effluence violations at the Dallas Crown horse slaughter plant in the City of Kaufman..  The reports reference "decaying meat [which] provides a foul odor and is an attraction for vermin and carrion," containers conveyed "uncovered and leaking liquids," there are "significant foul odors during the daily monitoring of the area," and  "Dallas Crown continually neglects to perform within the standards required of them." 

Therefore, in August of 2005, our City Council decided by unanimous decision to send the Dallas Crown issue to the Board of Adjustments for termination of their non-conforming use status.  In March of 2006, the Board of Adjustments voted to order Dallas Crown closed, but the plant was able to tie the enforcement up in the courts until they were finally closed under state law in February of 2007. 

Dallas Crown repeatedly described itself as a "good corporate citizen."  I will be straightforward in asserting that they are the very antithesis of such. 

  • Dallas Crown had a very long history of violations to their industrial waste permit, ‘loading’ the capacity of the wastewater treatment plant.
  • Dallas Crown denied the City access to their property for wastewater testing beginning October 1, 2004 until July 6, 2005 , despite requirement by city ordinance, city permit agreement, and court order.
  • City staff reported that a $6 million upgrade to our wastewater treatment plant would be required even though the plant was planned and financed to last through 2015. 
  • Odor problems resulting from the outside storage of offal and hides over several days persisted not only in traditionally African-American neighborhood known as "Boggy Bottom", but at the nearby Presbyterian Hospital , the daycare center, and surrounding areas.
  • Transport of offal and fresh hides on City and state thoroughfares is conducted in leaking containers without covers.
  • City documents reveal an extended history of efforts to have Dallas Crown address various environmental issues.  Reports include descriptive language including such as "blood flowing east and west in the ditches from your plant," "It has been over 45 days [it had been 59 days] and no apparent cleanup has occurred," "Your system has not improved and subsequently it has gotten a lot worse," "Words cannot express the seriousness" of recent violations and the "adverse effects on the wastewater treatment plant," and "Please be sure trailers are secured before leaving your premises to prevent spills," noting also "bones and blood laying in front of the facility," problems with bones and parts in neighboring yards and the attraction of "dogs and other animals."
  • In response to 29 citations for wastewater violations, each accompanied by a potential fine of $2,000, Dallas Crown requested 29 separate jury trials, potentially causing yet another economic strain to the City’s budget.  We could, of course, not afford to litigate in order to extract the fines
  • Dallas Crown took 11 months to submit a mandatory "sludge control plan" to assist efficient operation of the wastewater treatment plant though City staff requested it orally and in writing many times.
  • The City Manager advised me that the City would have to spend $70,000 in legal fees because of Dallas Crown problems, which was the entire legal budget for the fiscal year.
  • During this period, Dallas Crown paid property taxes that were less than half of what the City spent on legal fees directly related to Dallas Crown violations.
  • Generally, Dallas Crown has the economic ability to prevail, to exceed the constraints of the City’s budget.

Dallas Crown had a negative effect on the development of surrounding properties, and a horse slaughter plant is a stigma to the development of our city generally. I have since learned that these problems were mirrored at the other two plants.  Fort Worth’s Beltex horse slaughter plant also violated Ft. Worth’s wastewater regulations several times, clogged sewer lines, and both spilled and pumped blood into a nearby creek (San Antonio Current, June 19, 2003 ).  Texas State Rep. Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth, whose district includes Beltex, and Rep. Toby Goodman, R-Arlington, fought hard against legislation that would have legalized horse slaughter in Texas in 2003. 

The horse slaughter plant in DeKalb , IL had a similar pattern.  It was destroyed by fire in 2002, and rebuilt in 2004.  It was charged and fined by the DeKalb Sanitary District almost every month from the reopening until its closing in 2007 under a new state law for consistently exceeding wastewater discharge guidelines.  I can provide you with the documentation of those violations.  Like Dallas Crown, Cavel refused to pay their fines for years. 

During this time, I learned that an estimated $5 million in Federal funding was being spent annually to support three foreign-owned horse slaughter plants!  And when the Dallas Crown tax records were exposed in the city’s legal struggle, we found that they had paid only $5 in federal taxes on a gross income of over $12,000,000!

Moreover, the parent company of Cavel has since moved its operations to Canada and continued to slaughter American horses.  In Canada they have apparently become even more blatant, dumping huge untreated piles of entrails onto open ground and even using a tanker truck to discharge blood and refuse into a local river.

I have mentioned only the pollution issue, but this is but one negative aspect of horse slaughter.  I have subsequently learned of a USDA document containing 900 pages of graphic photos that show the horrors that the horses were subject to.  Behind the privacy fences of these plants, trucks arrived continuously and on those trucks was every form of inhumane violation one can imagine from mares birthing foals to horses with eyes dangling from their sockets and legs ripped from their bodies.

The more I learn about horse slaughter, the more certain I am: There is no justification for horse slaughter in this country.  My city was little more than a door mat for a foreign-owned business that drained our resources, thwarted economic development and stigmatized our community.  Americans don’t eat horses, and we don’t raise them for human consumption. There is no justification for spending American tax dollars to support this industry at the expense of Americans and our horses. 


Former Mayor Paula Bacon
Kaufman, TX
325-665-2043 cell

For more on pending pro-horse slaughter bills in state legislature, read this


41 thoughts on “Open Letter to State Legislatures Considering Pro-Horse Slaughter Resolutions”

  1. The horse slaughter industry is predatory and predictable. Known killer-buyers from around the US buy horses in their home regions and then haul them to plants in Mexico and Canada. Horses are not being moved to slaughter by responsible horse owners or general livestock haulers. The Conyers-Burton “Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009,” H.R. 503, will simply close a loophole via which horses are being sent out of the US for slaughter in Mexico and Canada thus allowing Federal law enforcement officials to bring violators to justice.

    Amending Title 18 via the Conyers-Burton “Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009,” H.R. 503, to combat an egregious form of animal cruelty has precedence. The US Congress has utilized this section of law for numerous animal cruelty provisions including the recently enacted animal fighting legislation.

    There can be no doubt about the cruel nature of horse slaughter. Horses suffer on the way to and during slaughter. In Mexico, some plants still use the puntilla knife to stab the horse to a point of paralysis before actual slaughter. In Canada some horses are shot to death. More than 100,000 American horses were exported to Canada and Mexico for slaughter last year.

    Horse meat is considered a high-end delicacy in Europe and Asia – American horse meat in particular. All types of horses fall victim to the trade including pet horses, work horses and racing horses. Most are young and healthy.

    Americans don’t eat horses and we don’t raise them for slaughter. It’s time to end this trade.

    Rich Russom – Lake In The Hills, Illinois –

  2. You may choose not to eat horse meat, so therefore everyone else must be like you. What’s going to be next saying that it’s not right for people to eat rabbit, or fish. Those animals are also kept as pets. I don’t care if I want to eat horse meat or not myself, for me it’s bigger. It’s about my freedoms slowly being taken away because of other people forcing their opinions and ideas into law. Why can’t people live and just let live. As far as the whole animal cruelty goes not all places and people treat their animals the same. Just because there are cases where there have been issues doesn’t mean that is always the case. If this is so much about animal cruelty then why not put more effort into enforcements to oversee that the horses are being treated well till the time of their death. It doesn’t seem like anyone working towards the eradication of horse slaughter really had a plan with what to do with the unwanted horses. I think some of what is happening now is much more cruel than the horse being slaughtered. I know that horses intended for slaughter are fed and watered. Some especially young ones are started in the feedlots and given a chance at being riding horses. First and foremost really think about your freedoms and ask yourself what all are you ready to give up?

  3. I am disgusted and saddened by these representatives and senators that condone the barbaric act that is horse slaughter.

    If these men and women do not possess the morals to stand against such acts of depravity, then please tell me what they are doing running our government. Please think about what else they are doing, if they are for this brutality.

    Do these men and women really represent United States citizens? Has our country stooped so low that we choose to return this savagery to our land, for the sake of a few dollars?

    Please, remember this when it comes time to vote, because if they can do this, they will condone or look the other way for many other unethical acts.


  4. Do you believe that animals should be treated like this: or like this:

    Animal cruelty is not a right, it is against the law.

    Owning a horse is also not a right, it is a privilege and a luxury. If you cannot care for your horse and that includes euthanizing him when the time comes, then you should not own a horse.

    It’s called, responsibility.

    No one is taking away your freedoms. we simply will not stand by while horses are slaughtered.

    Horses in the United States are not livestock, they are companion animals. If you disagree and you want to eat horse meat, please move to France. They seem to enjoy it.


  5. No Dakota, Montana, and Utah are considering bringing back horse slaughter in the United States. There is no reason except getting money from the suffering of Equines. Who works at horse slaughter plants ? What kind of person can slit a horses throat and skin them alive ? This is what happens because the captive bolt was not designed for horses, they are for cows. I want to know how much money some people receive from the Foreign owned slaughter houses and organizations that want to keep butchering American horses. This is a despicable and very corrupt business. Americans don’t eat horse meat. They are not food animals in the United States. Horses are partners in sports, work, and recreation. Pass these bills and save the horses. Please see the truth behind this, unwanted horses are over bred horses. Horse slaughter can not be an option.

  6. All factual evidence and documentation supports the end of horse slaughter and the export of American horses to slaughter. Thank you, Mayor Bacon, for a “boots on the ground” report of the brutality and economic disaster that horse slaughter brings to any community where it is located. The slaughter plant owners take most of their profit and product overseas, leaving a tsunami of pollution in their wake!

  7. You are obviously so uneducated that I cannot even waste my time trying to tell you about the animal industry horrors because you probably used to work in a horse slaughter plant and are angry because we shut your job down!!!!

    Learn not to be so paranoid by becoming educated some day.

  8. Thank you former Mayor Bacon for this well written and informed letter. People need to hear from someone who has lived with this horror and knows the facts.

    Americans DO NOT eat horses. Nor should we supply rich Europeans with American horse flesh to satisfy their appetite. No horse should suffer a horrific death in a slaughter plant – this is the 21st Century we should have moved past any type of animal cruelty and abuse.



  9. Thank you Paula Bacon, former mayor of Kaufman, Texas for your informative letter. It seems our country is faced with excessive numbers of unwanted or abandoned horses. This I’m told is secondary to failing economics. A 1,200 lb. animal consumes considerable amount of food. Yet problem solving methods exist. Re-opening horse slaughter plants is simply not a resolution. Over population of any species can be addressed without brutal slaughter. Backyard and professional breeders create the over population. Education and problem solving for good of all please before slaughter. SM

  10. Hi
    first of all, this kind of job in a horse slaughter plant is utmost in cruelty..
    who is hired? and not that many were
    employed at the 3 ‘shut down’ slaughter plants.
    approx. 250 total? …illegals perhaps?

    The job should be banned as well as anyone
    doing ‘killer buyer’ job…the cruelty is
    advocated from auction to kill box…hopefully
    the US will outlaw the killer buyer job …

    The US needs to stand by and stop cruelty such
    as this and ban slaughter ASAP…our horses
    need the ‘protected status’ which will give
    us mandatory land for hay and trails and communities to keep horses and will help to retain our facilties….slaughter is eroding
    these rights since developers know horses can
    go to slaughter….lots of developers want more
    density for more money, but horses and horse
    property can go exist….we do not have slaughter
    houses for our dogs and cats do we? YET?
    Is this the way we will go? Also, when was the last time you rode a cow in a parade etc..


  11. I agree…we own not to commit cruelty.
    we are punished for starving animals,
    children, dogs and cat abuse etc..
    There are laws on all of this..

    and sanctuary for them…and euthanisia
    is the correct way to go…As I recall
    someone stated that he euthanized his dog
    and the dog wailed and ran around the doctor’s office?…Euthanasia is the good death.
    Slaugther is the most evil horrible way of
    horses …healthy and fed to be fattened
    prior to the kill – hay that should be going
    to the horses that stay here in the US..
    Even the foreign owned paid for killer buyers
    are purchasing hay to fatten the horses up
    where the meat ends up AGAIN in foreign benefit.
    Leave our hay here for our horses – price
    may drop…since the slaughter situation competes
    for our hay…hmm?


  12. Thanks for trying to take away my freedoms, nobody is taking away your freedom. There is no market for horse meat in the US. We do not eat our horses. Lest there be any doubt, do you think if a buck was to be made, the horse meat would have been shipped overseas? Do you think the plants would have been foreign owned? Yes, there is a plan. Every horse has an owner and that owner is responsible for the care of their horse. They have had years to prepare for the end of slaughter, particularly after the three plants closed in 2007. Two years later and they have done nothing.

    Abusing animals for profit is not a freedom. It is a crime.

  13. Would you people please classifying horses, dogs, cats, and CHILDREN all in the same discussion. They are completely different. Don’t even deserve to be in same sentence in this discussion. Children are human. The other things mentioned are animals. I don’t care if they are companion animals or food animals, they are still animals. God put them here for our enjoyment. Whether it be for food, or play, or companionship. They should be treated in a good, comfortable, humane manner but I get tired of people putting these animals on the same pedistal as people or children. The scary thing is, alot of you people would choose your horse or dog or cat over your own children and that is just sick. If this is the case you don’t even deserve to be a parent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Thank you Paula Bacon for your eye opening letter concerning horse slaughter. I have read many horrifying letters from people in your community, horses screaming, smells so putried it would make you vomit, the wildlife that would run the neighborhoods because of the open pits with rotting flesh, how their property value so plummeted they couldn’t leave town if they wanted to.
    Not only do the horses suffer, but the towns and surrounding communities pay the price as well. Do you honestly believe that a foreign owned company that is making millions of dollars really cares what they do to your neigborhood? They want the wording so precise that no one will be able to hold them accountable for their actions. Rep Butcher from Montana has stated the same thing. What a scary thought. So who will govern them?
    How many of you want one of these horse slaugther plants in your backyard? It doesn’t matter where you put it, it wil affect every surrounding community, just so people can have a dumping ground and convenience so they don’t have to be responsible for their horse(s), they want the rest of us to suffer.
    There are other alternatives. In Arizona there are several places that have euthansia programs so that if you can’t afford to put your horse down they will help. Each state should have some organizations step up to the plate and start doing the same thing. If they have no excess horses to slaugther then there is no need for horse slaughter plants.

    Again, Thank you Paula Bacon for your first hand experience and sharing it all with us. I’m so sorrry you all had to endure such a nightmare in your homes where you should be safe.

  15. My animals are my four legged children and I love them every bit as much and more
    than I care for most people.

  16. My animals are my four legged children and I love them every bit as much and more
    than I care for most people.

  17. Who are you referring to as a redneck? those that love animals as much as people or those who refuse to put them on the same level as humans?

  18. Thank you Paula Bacon for a concise, all-informative reporting of the reality of horse slaughter.

    The Conyers-Burton bill to ban horse slaughter, HR 6598, “The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2008,” passed out of the Judiciary Committee, Sept. 2008 with a majority vote. It passed the Budget Committee. On a technicality, it ended up in the Agricultural Committee.

    The Ag Committee had no jurisdiction in passing or stopping the bill. However, we in anti-slaughter knew this bode the death knell for the bill. For over the many years, with a majority co-sponsorship to pass a bill to ban horse slaughter, the Ag Committee has managed to halt, block the bills from progressing. And by devious means. Adding amendments at the 11th hour that the voting Legislators knew nothing about, blocking for further study, the Chair of the Ag Committee with the power to stop the bill, favors….and more and more, ad nauseum. But (!) the excuse in September was the economy. The beginning of our financial crisis. It was said, the economy took precedent over any other bills. But Congress appeared to continue running the government. Committees stayed in session debating bills, passing or vetoing. But no, HR 6598 needed to come to a standstill.

    And who is on the Agricultural Committee? A few Congressmen who have managed to stop all ban-horse-slaughter bills…most notably, Bob Goodlatte (R-VA). And he is a good buddy with the main, high-power, High-paid, lobbyist for pro-slaughter and the foreign-owned horse slaughter plants, former Congressman, Charles Stenholm (D-TX).

    HR 6598 was immediately reintroduced early in the 111th Congressional Session (1/14/09) as HR 503, “The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2009.” Again, the possibility of it being passed and ending horse slaughter was great…and pro-slaughter knew it. Then the band-wagon to bring horse slaughter plants into not one state, but three. And again, the reason for the great need for horse slaughter in the U.S.: “Unwanted Horses.”

    The fallacy of “Unwanted Horses” has been pro-slaughter’s mantra forever. Even when well-researched and documented data disproved, did not support an excess of “Unwanted Horses.” However, this is now pro-slaughter’s trump card.

    The economy is in the dumps, and this is a bonanza for pro-slaughter! Now they have the best excuse to dump all our “Unwanted American Horses” to the butchery of slaughter…and again, make a profit.

    Horse slaughter has always been only about making money. The foreign-owned plants in the U.S. have made millions. And pro-slaughter in the U.S. profits Big Time. All the organizations that support horse slaughter are also making money from the slaughter of our horses. To name a few: AQHA, APHA, AVMA, AAEP, NCBA… It is all about GREED.

    Horses are sold to the meat man for dollars per pound of LIVE HORSE WEIGHT. The more healthy and robust the horse the better- And one horse can bring $30,000!! “Unwanted Horses??”

    And now the states that want to open horse slaughter plants have an extra justification for the sacrifice of American horses: increased state revenues. Our horses helped to settle America. Do they now have to spill their blood to help heal the economy of The United States of America?

    All the slaughter houses are now closed in the U.S. The last was Cavel in Illinois, closed in 2007. Yes, the horror was the same for Illinois as Texas. Closed windows could not shut out the screams from Cavel nor the stench. Pollution was rampant. Numerous attempts were made to reopen Cavel, but failed.

    How much of the taxpayer’s money will continue to go into funding foreign-owned slaughter houses so those overseas can profit and consume the “delicacy?” How much more of taxpayer money will go into fighting the slaughter house, if opened…and funding the polluted clean-up?

    A bill to ban the slaughter of our American horses will happen. I join with the thousands of others to not stop until horse slaughter stops. An American Tragedy, America’s Dirty Little Secret, will be no more.

    Ronnie G.

  19. Sir,

    I am pro slaughter. Having said that, you sir make the most compelling argument of anyone on here so far. The only reason I am pro slaughter is to stop the starvation and disease of the unwanted horses. You say the fact is there are no unwanted horses and this is simply inaccurate. There are unwanted horses but most of that is due to irresponsible ownership. Too many people have horses that don’t need them. I would rather see a horse go to slaughter than to starve to death after being turned out. If we can comeup with a way to save all horses then I am for it but the fact is the rescue centers are full and are not able to take in any more horses. Our Government is already providing for thousands of wild horses to prevent them from starving. Until we get the horse population under control there needs to be something that can be done. I agree horse slaughter isn’t the option but for all these people turning them out, that isn’t the option either. Fact is also that in this economic state, you can’t givethem away. When we can find somewhere for all the unwanted horses to go then I will be totally against slaughter. Until then, am I suppose to watch them die a slow drawn out miserable death?


  21. Slaughter does not “stop starvation and disease” responsible ownership does. It takes about the same price as a normal months care of a horse, for an owner to use humane euthanasia and render or bury a horse carcass.
    Mrs. Pickens stepped up to the plate for the “Wild Horses” and the Government simply mismanaged the funding. All that money would have gelded a lot of horses. No stud no buds…it’s that simple. You just have to work a little harder to help the horse in times like this….slaughter is never a good deal for OLD DOBBIN…humane care is.

  22. Of course children are human…the writer is talking about the vulnerability of an animal or a child that due to age, and status, cannot take care of, or fend/protect themselves….nobody put animals above children in that letter, the point is that responsible adults do not misuse or abuse or benefit from those that cannot protect themselves….like children, the old , the infirmed or defenseless animals. What is scary is you blanket assumption of what people you don’t know would do or not do…followed by the conclusion that they should not be PARENTS!!!

  23. Why can’t people live and just let live? That’s what I ask all the time. Man does not “need” to eat meat to survive. Factually, it is an unhealthy dietary choice. We should be focusing on feeding people – not animals. It takes 6 – 8 times more grain to feed an animal for a pound of protein than what man could receive directly through a plant based diet. Animal agriculture is known to contribute 18% of methane gasses into the environment – We do not “need” leather, or “meat” to survive. Free the animals – Stop the killing – empty the cages… Go Vegan.

  24. I know for a fact that if a buyer gets a horse he thinks is worth saving they try to find it a new owner. We got one such mare when I was a kid and she turned into a great 4H mount for me and her new owner.

  25. When it comes down to it it is more important for people to be responsible parents then responsible owners. With no horse processing plants there are to many unwanted horses. Good horses do not go to slaughter. A killer will recognize a good horse and know they will be able to sell it for more to a person then to a plant. The only horses that make it to slaughter are the ones that are no good for anything else and will never be good for anything else. I have wonderful horses that I can’t sell because people can’t sell and make any money off of the usless ones. Opening a processing plant in the US would create jobs from the plant it’s self and help keep those who depend on the price of horses from either training or breeding to be able to earn a living. I just went to sale where 2 horses were not sold and the bid was at $10. NOT a typo ten dollars and no one bid on them. So what is to happen to those horses? They will go some where to starve or freeze or meet a slow painful death rather then going to slaughter. No one is going to pay $200 to put a horse down and then another $200 to have it shipped off. They will more likely set them loose or put a .35 bullet in it’s head a bury it. The US needs at least 1 horse processing plant. As Americans we should have the option to sell our horses to anyone we want.

  26. PETA is uneducated. I have never heard of them helping anything. Like when they feed hay to all the deer during the winter and they all coliced and died, or when they saved the ducklings from easter put them in a pool and they all drowned? Now they closed the horse packing plants and the horses are starving and being let free to die horrible slow deaths and people can’t earn a living doing something that is a part of our american heritage. You are the one in need of and education .

  27. Honestly can’t say anything different than all that has been laid out in this message. It’s all horrifying to think you feel it necessary to kill horses for no reason. it’s murder and it’s wrong. Stop this cruel and totally senseless slaughter.

  28. In response to your statement “Our Government is already providing for thousands of wild horses to prevent them from starving.”

    The 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act mandates that wild horses and burros be managed on 47 million acres of public lands on 303 herd areas.

    More than 200,000 wild horses and burros have been removed from public lands since 1971.

    Since 1971, wild horses have been zeroed out from 111 herd areas representing over 19 million acres.

    Over 6 million head of private livestock enjoy subsidized grazing on public lands.

    BLM’s private livestock grazing program encompasses 214 million acres of public lands, costs over $130 million to manage annually, yet only provides 3% of our national beef supply. The current fee to graze private cattle on public lands is $1.35 per animal unit month (AUM), the equivalent of $0.06 per acre per year, or about 1/10th of market rates to graze cattle on private lands.

    Private livestock outnumber wild horses and burros at least 200 to 1 on public lands. (note: some livestock may not be grazed year round)

    In 2008, less than 5% of BLM’s wild horse and burro program budget was allocated to herd management on the range, with the remaining 95% allocated to captures, holding and placement.

    The main cause of degradation of public lands is livestock use, not wild horses. Cows graze within a mile of water, while wild horses are highly mobile, grazing from five to ten miles from water, at higher elevations, on steeper slopes, and in more rugged terrain. A congressionally-mandated study by the National Academy of Sciences found that, in one year, livestock consumed 70% of grazing resources on public lands, while wild horses and burros consumed less than 5%.

    If the BLM released the horses back onto the lands that were allocated for them and kept the livestock off there wouldn’t be a need to feed them. The Government would like the public to believe they are helping the horses exist when in fact they are helping them to become extinct.

    On the subject of slaughter, and we are talking about slaughter for Human Consumption don’t be fooled. I am 56 years old, live on a ranch and I have been blessed to have had horses my entire life, I speak for the horse all of them! I wonder if you really know what is involved in the slaughtering of a horse. The following is a condensed version of what takes place:
    First of all horses are “flight” animals which means their first reaction is to flee especially when they are forced into the “kill boxes” with hot rods and then hit in the head 5-6 times with a “penetrating captive bolt gun” a device that was designed for bovines who have a completely different skull structure. When they are finally “stunned” enough they are hung up with hooks shoved through their hocks (back legs)and bled out slowly. Humane isn’t it? Quick and painless? Then there’s the atrocities these poor horses go through just to get to their “quick and painless” death. They are crammed into double decker cattle trucks that aren’t tall enough to accommodate them and driven thousands of miles non stop without food or water-they don’t need to be fed or watered do they. There are mares in foal, there are mares that have no choice but to foal in the trucks (what do you think happens to them?), there are weanlings (most die on the way), horses with broken legs, horses with legs that have been ripped half off from over crowding, horses whose eyes are hanging out of their sockets, just a few examples of the humanity in slaughtering a horse.
    So when I read the pro slaughter posts all I can think of is you must not know how it’s done or you wouldn’t be for it because if you did know and you still were in favor of slaughter than that would make you a inhuman, in my eyes. Slaughter isn’t for the “unwanted” or “surplus” horses, the slaughtered horses are shipped to Europe, Japan, and Belgium, slaughter is for profit pure and simple. Americans don’t eat horse meat and most Americans won’t profit from the slaughter but like before the foreign investors and the American Politicians that are helping them will.

    I am a woman and a horseman. A true horseman looks for the soft eye, the try, the give, the trust. A true horseman would never betray that trust. Slaughter is the worst betrayal a horse can suffer. Think about it.

    “The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
    M. Gandhi

  29. It’s not about your freedom it’s an opinion! Get real! Throughout time the horse has served humans, has the rabbit or fish ever gone to war, plowed a field, carried your belongings and you when you couldn’t walk? We who love horses and have had them in our lives forever cannot “live and let live” because our horses need us now more than ever. The whole animal cruelty-are you kidding me? Have you read any of the posts on how they are slaughtered? I suggest you read mine and some of the other posts and inform yourself. They aren’t treated well at all until the time of their death-far from it they are treated horribly. You know horses are fed and watered? You think feedlots start young horses-are you on CRACK? They get 49 cents a pound for them! Who told you that a killer buyer? Did he also tell you this?
    They are forced into the “kill boxes” with hot rods and then hit in the head 5-6 times with a “penetrating captive bolt gun” a device that was designed for bovines who have a completely different skull structure. When they are finally “stunned” enough they are hung up with hooks shoved through their hocks (back legs)and bled out slowly then skinned alive. Humane isn’t it? Quick and painless? Then there’s the atrocities the horses go through just to get to their “quick and painless” death. They are crammed into double decker cattle trucks that aren’t tall enough to accommodate them and driven thousands of miles non stop without food or water-they don’t need to be fed or watered do they. There are mares in foal, there are mares that have no choice but to foal in the trucks (what do you think happens to them?), there are weanlings (most die on the way), horses with broken legs, horses with legs that have been ripped half off from over crowding, horses whose eyes are hanging out of their sockets, just a few examples of the humanity in slaughtering a horse. Yeah, you’re right they are treated well.

    Like I said read our posts on the details of horse slaughter and then bitch to us about your freedoms! If you don’t like what you read – don’t read it.

  30. Dear Anonymous,

    Being a horsewoman my entire life, I have bred, shown and simply had horses as pets. I have gone to many auctions throughout California and witnessed the cruel and inhumane treatment the ‘killers’ inflict on horses right at the auctions. I have cried, gotten physically ill and called the local animal rights authorities to have charges filed against these savage and soulless men. I have personally bought champion, papered show horses out from under them and saved perfectly good show horses from slaughter. You are sorely misinformed if you think only ‘useless’ horses make it to slaughter. I tracked down the previous owners of one beautiful mare I bought…a sweet family in Texas whose three children rode the mare throughout their show careers and had grown up and gone off to college. This husband and wife thought they had sold her to a nice man for his family and were shocked to find out that I had rescued her off a feed lot waiting to be sent off to slaughter.

    The answer to management concerns for horse owners who are no longer able to pay for their animals is not supporting foreign interests that horrifically abuse our environment, our horses, and legal systems while paying nothing to local civic entities and preying on an ill-informed society by generating misinformation about statistics and alternative answers.

    Come on, you can think a little harder than “As Americans we should have the right to sell our horses to anyone we want.” Really? That’s what you got? So then we, as Americans, have the right to fufill our greed and lust by purchasing or breeding any horse we want and then when we are done with that horse we have the right to mistreat, abuse, neglect and kill it in anyway we see fit? And then society is supposed to feel sorry for those owners and asuage their pain by giving them an easy way out by reinstating slaughter houses? All in the name of “It’s the humane thing to do for the horses?” Do you really think the slaughter system is a kind and quick death for horses? I think the horses (and many intelligent humans) would disagree with your reasoning! Have you watched the videos? I have…what the horses endure from transportation, starving, abuse, neglect and just plain torture is the making of your worst nightmare.

    The only reason this is even a topic of conversation is because of the greed of foreign interests. There are laws already in place to protect the rights of animals. There are laws in place to protect the environment from greedy, non-conforming, polluting corporations. Slaughter houses historically blatantly broke all these laws and got away with it because of the expense of the legal battles to close them down.

    THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ALREADY SPOKE. We already voted to ban slaughter houses in America. Who does it really benefit to reverse those laws? The horses? The poor people who own them and can’t take care of them? The cities where the slaughter houses are located? The taxpaying masses? NO…NONE OF THESE ARE BENEFITTED. The only ones who benefit are the foreign corporate interests and the few soulless lowlifes that earn a measly living feeding their greedy system.

    If the government redirected all the money it spent (or was forced to spend) on the horse slaughter industry via studies, legal actions, code enforcement, regulations, etc. and spent that money on humane management assistance (i.e., financial assistance for euthanasia and burial, or subsidized rescue programs and gelding assistance) we could be proud Americans knowing our country was working pro-actively for a civil and kind nation. This path allows us to hold our heads up high knowing we are walking our talk, living our lives with honor and dignity as we honor all of God’s creatures.

    Foreign countries allow the legal killing of domestic cats and dogs for meat and pelts while providing no regulations for the humane care of these animals until they are slaughtered–sometimes barbarically being skinned alive. America does not allow such horrific treatment of our domesticated friends. Horses are much smarter and are incredibly spiritual animals. How we treat them is indicative of the soul of our consciousness as a humanity. We are supposed to be leading the world in humanity and peace…sometimes that means we must make the hard choices instead of vying for the easy way out. Anyone can kill…it takes an intelligent and committed society to create long-term humane solutions that work for everyone.

    Instead of slaughter houses the Government could:

    –Crack down on Breed Organizations that allow owners with stallions with obvious conformation flaws to continue breeding. Instill mandatory gelding for stallions that produce navicular, or other performance weaknesses, in their off-spring.
    –Provide financial assistance for owners who are impoverished to geld or euthanize horses
    –Provide tax credits to farm owners who house and shelter rescue animals.
    –Subsidized feed farmers

    There is always a way. It may just take a little more ingenuity and a lot more conscious care. I think we all deserve a little more than flippant assumptions and easy solutions. It will make us better people and a better nation.

  31. I was privy to a meeting of a Chinese delegation that is interested in building a horse slaughter facility in either Conrad MT or Hardin MT. Senator Butcher was the presenter at the meeting in Hardin MT. I am the newly elected mayor of Hardin MT. I am not an animal rights activist. But, I am all about the humane treatment of all animals, and humans. I have done some layman research into horse slaughtering facilities and am appalled at the findings–keeping in mind that some of these were activist propaganda. However, I found that the letter you forwarded to our State Legislators, confirmed my fears about allowing a horse slaughtering facility to be built just outside of our town to be unnerving. I would be grateful for any further insight you could PERSONALLY supply.

    -Kimberly A. Hammond

  32. Ms Hammond ~ I hope you will believe me when I say that there is no way even “animal rights activists” – which I am NOT – could exaggerate the horror of horse slaughter. It is beyond exaggeration. I lived in Dallas, Texas when Dallas Crown was in full swing. Dallas is not that far from Kaufman and is even closer to Ft. Worth. Everything you may read about the ghastly nature of these facilities is true.

    Not only that, everything you may read about the horrible conditions horses face in transportation in cattle trucks which are not tall enough for them to keep their balance, where they may go for DAYS without food and water and then get to the facility – where the real horror begins – is also true. The captive bolt used to stun cattle is in no way suitable for horses. Even with docile cattle the gun must be pressed firmly against the skull to ensure proper stunning. With horses that instinctively toss their heads around when confronted with danger this is just impossible, causing them to have to endure repeated attempts to stun them, when the law allows for only ONE. Even so, horses are quite frequently improperly stunned, and regain consciousness during the butchering process. I have seen videos of this very thing, and it is horrible beyond belief.

    Also, since we do not eat horses in the US, no horses are raised for this purpose. So they must be acquired in other ways. In Dallas in those days, horse theft was an absolute epidemic. Hardly a day went by without hearing of another theft. We were terrified. I had my horse freeze branded, which probably saved his life when our stable was hit and the horse stalled next to him and the one across the isle were taken. It was a nightmare.

    That’s how I came to visit Dallas Crown. I was helping my friends in their desperate attempt to find their horses before they were killed in this brutal and merciless manner. What we saw at Dallas Crown sickened us. My friends were going absolutely crazy at the thought of this happening to their beloved horses. Sadly, we did not find the horses. It was all just too easy for the thieves to dump the horses at the plants – no questions asked.

    Please, do not let anyone convince you that this would be “good” for your town or that slaughter is a “humane” alternative for so called “unwanted” horses. The “unwanted horses” excuse is a MYTH. My friends wanted their horses – desperately.

    And now, of course, we have the fact that Europeans have finally awakened to the contamination of horse meat from the US because horses are not classified as food animals here, and are not subject to the rules concerning banned substances in food animals. One drug in particular – phenylbutazone, aka “bute” – is a drug used as commonly in horses as aspirin is in humans. It is also a banned substance in food animals. Given this, NO American horse could be considered safe to eat because we do not document these things in non-food animals. The EU will begin enforcing these rules in April, 2010. The killer buyers may find ways to “get around” the requirements – i.e. forged papers – but that will not change the fact that they are selling Europeans meat that is not fit for human consumption. You don’t want any part of this, I know.

    Suzanne Moore

  33. If either of you want to get rid of some horses and you don’t care how, you can certainly send them to slaughter. Slaughter is just as available as it always was. Same meat men, same auctions. The ONLY difference is that the horses are shipped to Canada or Mexico. But what do you care whether they go to Canada or Illinois, Mexico or Texas?

    In truth, I’m really starting to wonder about all these anonymous pro-slaughter rants. Surly, no one who is actually involved with horses can be so DUMB and UNINFORMED that they don’t already know this. I wonder if all you anons are just a few people posting pro-slaughter propaganda all over the place. You all sound just alike, post the same old disinformation, and never, NEVER mention the new EU rules about contaminated meat and the fact that NO American horse can be guaranteed not to be tainted. What ya plan to do about that, Anon? Whoever or Whatever you may be.

  34. I am with a group that tries to buy the horses out of the KB pen after the auction. He is ruthless. He does not give a rip about the horses only how much money he can squeeze out of our group because we love horses. It’s all about the all mighty dollor. He takes sick, injured and dying horses. We pay sometimes #400.00 for a horse and then pay to have it put down and taken away which is another $250.00. Month after month we jump out our butt to do this for the love of horses. Kill buyers are bad people who have no heart PERIOD!!!

  35. “God put them here for our enjoyment.” What a perfect example of human hubris. God did NOT make animals for us to “enjoy.” That is the most arrogant comment I’ve ever heard. Humans ARE animals, you idiot. We have a superiority complex that is not only killing our fellow creatures, it’s killing the very planet we all live on.

    What ever God’s reason for making ANY of this certainly wasn’t for us to use other creatures any old way we want. He put us in charge, all right, but I’m sure he expected us to TAKE CARE of the animals, not abuse them on a whim. I don’t think it’s wrong or unnatural to eat other animals – they eat each other after all – but the slaughter MUST be HUMANE. And it is not POSSIBLE to slaughter horses humanely, especially with transport and slaughter plants specifically for CATTLE. It does NOT work for horses and it never will.

    Humans DO have mental abilities – supposedly – that the other creatures don’t have, but that only increases our RESPONSIBILITY to the others that are helpless against our fire power. Responsibility, ever hear of that?

  36. That was a myth that for years I believed. The myth that no good horses go to slaughter. What about those that are stolen for the money from selling them to the slaughter houses. I have lived near Ft. Worth for over 25 years. There was a huge problem with horse stealing when the Beltex plant was open.
    I also was conned into believing that they were humanely euthanized just as good as the vet you just aren’t there and they are “Recycled”. A good point for someone who can’t afford to pay the vet to euthanize or even worse the disposal. Yes that does happen.
    I am not arguing that there are too many horses but the big organizations are just as responsible for that as the irresponsible owner. Big breeders are responsible as well. They hide behind the guise of “We only have horses with good breeding”. Well who do they sell them all to? The public, which some indeed become irresponsible owners. How about the summer camps that buy camp horses in the spring and then sell them in the fall because they don’t want to feed them over the winter? If they would “KEEP” the ones they have then there wouldn’t be a market to supply them with more.
    What about in America we don’t own the plants, we don’t eat horse meat and more than likely noone has mentioned this but how many of the workers at these plants are “LEGAL” US citizens.
    Now our US horses get to travel not 20 miles or 300 miles but 1500 or more miles without water, food and proper trailers to haul them in.
    I think that if anyone pro slaughter had to watch the torture, watch a mare foal while en route or at the holding pens (I can only imagine the carnage of foaling in an overcrowded trailer with a bunch of scared horses), or see the foals “Born” on the slaughter line floor. Yes while mom is bleeding to death, what do they do with those babies? HELLO, endure living next to one of these plants to smell the stinch and hear the horses scream, occasionally have bones or “leftovers” dragged into your yard by a stray dog, endless possibilies, they might would change their mind.
    I have put an ad on Craigslist saying I would take unwanted horses and only got a minimal response. Bottom line is everyone thinks their horse is worth top dollar until they get in a situation that they can’t keep them any longer. There are plenty of people out there that will take the unwanted horses. If the big breeders really cared they in fact wouldn’t breed. If they are held accountable for the horses they breed perhaps they would have to take them back when someone can no longer care for them. I guarantee a few years of this they would no longer want to keep breeding. Of course they will find a way to get around it.
    Bottom line is our country should make it illegal for them to transport “Out of the country”
    SUPPLY and DEMAND will take care of it. STOP THE DEMAND and you will stop the SUPPLY. Who would want to eat meat that was tainted with the bute and other drugs they are given at auction and before.
    We have made great strides but now need to focus on the countries who eat the horse meat.
    There are so many levels to this problem but people are definitely becoming more away.
    For anyone who thinks any horse person is an idiot for not knowing about horse slaughter, it has been carefully disguised by vets, farriers and breeders. Just make it a point to get the word out.

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