Many have asked what’s the difference between a horse, cow, pig or any other animaI slaughtered for food. I have some of my own opinions I would like to share with food animal producers.
U.S. Horse slaughter is not just a question of is it right or wrong on an emotional level, it is unconscionable for human food safety, for the welfare of the horses, and to the integrity and honesty of real food animal producers.
The majority of horse owners don’t have a clue of food animal production since they never intend to eat them. I could go on and on about the medications given to horses that are either not allowed to be administered to food animals or that require withholding periods but I am not a food animal producer and not educated in food animal production. No thought is even considered by horse owners, about withholding medications as it may exclude the horse from the food chain. If the horse has a ‘bad’ day, maybe a little of something; bute, Ace or whatever, will make it feel better. I have been a horse owner a good portion of my life and know that almost everything that I have given my horses is labeled not intended for use on animals used for human consumption.
The majority of horse owners don’t even keep veterinary records since they don’t consider their horse a food animal. U.S. veterinarians are typically only required to keep records for two years so it would be difficult to even re-create a lifetime drug history for any given horse.
Have you ever actually considered what is and isn’t a ‘food’ animal? I don’t know of any other species of livestock in the U.S. where the majority of that species is bred, raised and kept as ‘non-food’ animals and then allowed to magically transpose into a food animal without any regulation or oversight concerning the wholesomeness of that food. Seriously – over 9 million NON-FOOD animals (est. U.S. horse population) and the BOTTOM 100,000 plus are ‘transposed’ into food animals at the stroke of a pen! That’s all – a stroke of the pen. Horse dealers in the U.S. are allowed to fabricate or create a drug affidavit, immediately after they acquire a horse and ship it for food within a few days. The drug affidavits they create are not U.S. documents and aren’t even required or kept by any U.S. regulatory agency. The drug affidavits typically state “to the best of my knowledge or belief” and that gives the horse dealer an escape for declaring the horse drug free, with no consequences. This is not the same as taking a cow out of a herd. This is like taking a cow out of a laboratory that has been used for scientific experiments and putting it on some ones plate for further evaluation. It is estimated that 10% of the horse population comes to the end of their lives each year or over 900,000 horses. The majority of responsible owners provide a humane death for their horses or approximately 800,000. The remaining 100,000 is collected or acquired by horse dealers as they scavenge the country at auctions and entice other individuals to seek out and con horse owners with stories of a good home for their horses. They don’t care if the horse is stolen by deception, wholesome for human consumption, or unfit to travel. As long as they can get their hands on it and sign that drug affidavit, they are going to make some money and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, APHIS and Vets all turn a blind eye to unwholesome animals entering a foreign human food chain. They honestly don’t care what that horse has been treated with for its entire life.
The U.S. FDA has NO food animal requirements for U.S. horses exported for slaughter – NONE! Fair trade agreements don’t mean anything. Those countries that actually raise horses for food and are regulated and inspected should be outraged. Food animal producers should be outraged. Food animal producers in the European Union where horsemeat has infiltrated beef ARE outraged. It is hurting their bottom line and may for a long time to come. Why is one species allowed carte blanche to the food system and the others are not? The horse slaughter cartel and the corruption it runs is affecting the entire meat industry. The horse slaughter cartel has convinced the food animal producers that horse owners are ALL radical animal rights activists and are attempting to eliminate all use of animals. Really, does anyone believe that EVERY horse owner is a radical animal rights activist? Does anyone believe that ALL horse owners want to stop being able to use their horses for sport, fun and pleasure riding? We are tired of the ‘radical horse slaughter cartel’ bashing of all horse owners and the majority of the U.S. population as ‘radical animal rights activists’ for being opposed to the criminal conspiracy of the horse slaughter cartel .
Food animal producers – you are being dupped! Dupped into supporting a criminal conspiracy that is terrorizing a foreign human food chain with adulterated food animals that infringe on other real producers markets! Perhaps even your own, given the European (and more), horsemeat scandal. What happened to honesty and integrity? The majority of horse owners and the majority of the American people are requesting and pleading with everyone to stop the slaughter of U.S horses. We don’t eat them and the foreign corporations that are slaughtering them have no concerns about their welfare or wholesomeness for human consumption. They have never promised to buy even one horse and could stop buying any at any time. Horse owners should not be asked or required to attempt to conform to any foreign food animal regulations that will cost the entire horse industry a lot of money. To put it lightly, food animal producers have been reluctant to comply with food animal identification requirements ( http://www.farmtoconsumer.org/news/news-15may2009-2.htm )and it is absurd to defend the slaughter of U.S. horses that we don’t eat, that would require food animal identification and additional costs on the entire horse industry. Horse owners aren’t going to slap an ear tag on their horses. Most owners will have to call the vet and pay a vet charge in addition to micro-chipping and fees they will charge for a system to record and track them. That is 9 million chips and vet calls for a system the majority will never use. There is no logic for food animal identification and tracking of U.S. horses. How will they record or track the location of U.S. horses? Most horses change owners several times within their lives and travel around. Who is going to keep those records and who is going to pay for it? Seriously, very few will ever be identified ‘for’ food if U.S. horse owners are allowed to decide and the records aren’t falsified or fabricated. Then we will be stuck with a regulatory system that costs horse owners a lot of money that no one uses.
Food animal producers, it is in the best interests of ALL involved to support your own industry with honesty and integrity and leave U.S. horses out of the foreign food chain, that is also being dupped into believing they are wholesome…… it is terrorism.
Keep shining the light.
I miss my girls…..