Thursday, October 04, 2007

Horse: It's What's For Dinner

More of America's finest jobs getting sucked south to Mexico, this time thanks to well-funded America-hating animal rights establishment. We used to earn a good living budgeoning horses to death at close range in this country. Not anymore:

With the only three horse slaughter plants in the U.S. closed, the industry has turned to Mexico and Canada to kill horses for their meat largely for export abroad for diners.

As of this week, the U.S. exported 20,196 horses from Texas for slaughter in Mexico. That's up from 1,109 over the same period last year, U.S. Agriculture Department statistics show.

In an almost literal example of good intentions paving the road to hell, animal rights activists got horse slaughter banned in the US, which means that now, before being slaughtered, the horses have to endure a long, uncomfortable drive to Mexico first. We've made that drive; trust us, it blows.

All this was predictable, according to the man who has quite possibly fallen as low as an elected official can fall:

"The U.S. plants had, certifiably so, the most humane way to end the life of unwanted horses available to those horse owners who did not object to horse slaughter and we turned our back on it," said Charlie Stenholm, a former Texas congressman who now lobbies for the horse slaughter industry.

"Who now lobbies for the horse slaughter industry"? Christ, that's just sad. PhRMA didn't have anything available? The Petroluem Institute wasn't taking applications? It's gotta be hard to keep your head high at cocktail parties when you're introduced as Big Horse Meat's man on the Hill. (Actually, now that I say it out loud, it sounds pretty cool.) Still, if you want to console him, his direct number is (202) 518-6334.

Humane Society video here.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the phone number.


Anonymous said...

Maybe not a bad job for a grad of Tarleton State Junior College?

mary said...

Boy are you misled,
Yes slaughter in Mexico is gruesome but American horses were already shipping there when the 3 plants were open. the alwarmist comments of the injuries in travel - well, do you think it was a nice luxury ride from New holland PA to TX?
Do some homework and stop blindly following the greedy members of the AVMA board - same folks who said who said throwing live chickens in wood chippers was "painless". google it!
here's some good links
I am in horse rescue - I see what is in the kill pens - very different than the surRenders at the MSPCA!
usda states over 90% are in good condisiton. Temple Grandin studis show 80% are under age 10, 74% sound of limb, and 96% had no behavioral issues!

Burro Hall said...

Thanks Mary, that's exactly what I need - homework. I'll start by googling AVMA, so I can find out what it is and stop blindly following it. Will report back. Either way, it sounds like you're killing some terrifically sturdy horses up there. Keep it up!

Mary said...

I am rescuing horses - not killing them.
8 coming to New England this week from kill pen in PA.

Maybe we misunderstood each other, I took your blog as pro-slaughter.
I am not - I am thrilled the plants closed here and I am working hard to get the federal bills passed to stop the transport to Mexico & Canada.
I am not an HSUS member - just a lifelong horseperson who is against this unecessary evil.

M said...

uwtgvthanks for the #

Once HR503/SB311 are passed there won't be any horses going to Mexico unless they try and sneak them in, we'll be watching.


Horse Advocate said...

The AVMA is the "American Veterinary Medical Association" - This org has a PRO-slaughter stance, but the majority of its members (VETERINARIANS) are as ANTI-slaughter as the rest of us!

The "terrifically sturdy horses" you wrote about in your response to Mary are the SAME ONES they have been killing for DECADES. THEY would be Cavel, Beltex, etc.

Your comments closely "resemble" the myths being shared "all over town" by the AVMA and well-paid pro-slaughter lobbyists like Stenholm... Yes, they would be the ones who want to keep butchering our American horses so foreign companies can make their millions by selling their meat overseas!

There are NO jobs going to Mexico because the U.S. plants closed, where do you get that information? There were less than 100 people employed by the horse slaughter industry in America, many of them reported to be working here illegally, and with very high turnover rates (who - in their right mind - would be able to torture and kill horses alive?)

These workers can easily pick up the same type of employment by working at U.S. cattle plants.

By the way - These plants were proven to be an economic "drain" on the U.S. economy, and had multiple environmental violations. In a typical year, they would pay only $5 in taxes, while making millions overseas - what a racket!

The brutal method of using a captive "bolt gun" to hit a horse multiple times (before they collapse while still alive) was designed for CATTLE. This is a huge departure from the anatomy of a horse's head, and sadly that has been proven time and again when a horse does NOT simply "go down" while being - as you called it - "bludgeoned to death."

The horses literally fight for their lives at the plants, many times trying to "escape" their fate. They are terrified from the moment they arrive, and they DO understand what is happening (you know, it's been proven that horses do have highly refined senses).

BEFORE the U.S. plants closed, these horses reached their destination after enduring 100's or 1000's of miles in double-decker cattle trailers (yes, they are illegal - but the kill buyers must have missed that "memo" on the law - along with other laws). Their transportation had been long and brutal right here in the U.S.

We are not animal "activists" but represent thousands of "grassroot" individuals who love horses and have learned the shocking truth about horse slaughter. It was kept a "dirty little secret" and the majority of us (probably 99.9% of us) didn't even know it existed!

The plants NEEDED to close in our great country, as this "sends a message" to those who have a vested interest in this grisly so-called "business" - We do NOT want our horses killed for their meat!

The next step? Well, that one is a "no-brainer"...There are two viable Bills in Congress - S311 / HR503 - that will not only ban horse slaughter in EVERY STATE of the U.S., but will also BAN TRANSPORT of horses over borders.

Seems like a "no-brainer" to me - Now let's get on to the next step!

Anonymous said...

Instead of consoling Charlie Stenholm have folks call their Congressional reps to enact HR 503 and S. 311 that will ban slaughter in the USA and the transport to slaughter out of the country.

You might also add a word to the AQHA who registers over 130K horses every year and sends over 60K of those horse to slaughter. If they didn't make money of their registration fees, do you think they would be encouraging overbreeding and condoning sending the "culls" to a painful and traumatic death.

An America loving animal rights activist.


ValerieJP said...

I can certainly tell by Stenholm's statement, he really has the welfare of horses in his heart. He has spun many stories for the horse slaughter industry, and he's still spinning his evil web of lies and deceit.
Two years ago, this man was telling American horse owners that "People in other countries eat horse meat, and people in other countries are hungry." But in truth, people who are hungry in other countries, will never dine on horse meat. It's only for fine gourmet dining served at $15-25.00 @lb. The blood of our horses is worth billions of dollars to the horse slaughter industry.
He also told horse owners that the horse slaughter industry is here in America as a favor to us, by providing a disposal service for our unwanted horses. He didn't mention the stolen horses sent to slaughter, and he certainly didn't mention the fact that the horse slaughter plants were also importing thousands of horses from Canada to the U.S. for slaughter because they didn't have enough 'unwanted horses'. The numbers of those Canadian horses were added to the so called "unwanted horse" statistic. But most of these horses are gathered from auctions all over the U.S., where kill buyers, contracted by the slaughter plants, set out to purchase as many horses as they possibly could, outbidding other buyers who would have given these horses a chance at a new life, instead of going to a certain death. These horses were unlucky victims merely just by being a horse for sale, and purchased by a waiting kill buyer acquiring his truckload of horses for the slaughter plant to meet the demand for horse meat, and consumed by wealthy diners abroad.
Not even in the U.S. facilities is horse slaughter humane. It's a cruel and torturous death. No one with a sane mind can look at the videos of the U.S. slaughter of horses, and call it humane. It doesn't take a veterinarian's license to see how terrified those horses are, as they're butchered alive. Any veterinarian with a license should have it revoked if he can call this humane, and I would never let a veterinarian who says it is, anywhere near my horses.
If Stenholm really was so concerned about the horses going to Mexico to be inhumanely slaughtered, why didn't he have any concern about them until now? What about the 11,080 horses the U.S. horses exported to Mexico in 2006, or the 7,821 horses in 2005? We have been exporting horses to Mexico and Canada long before the slaughter plants in the U.S. closed their doors, and their deaths were just as inhumane as they are now at the Mexican plants. Stenholm neglected to mention them. Didn't their suffering matter too?
But the U.S. horse slaughter plants are closed now. They were closed through state legislation, instead of the passage of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act. The legislation in that bill is the only thing that can stop our horses from export to Mexico and Canada for slaughter. If Congress would have stepped up to the plate and passed this legislation sooner, our horses would be safe from slaughter here, and over the border as well.
Congress can still stop the export of these horses. Since the horse slaughter industry no longer is in operation in the U.S., Congress should pass this legislation as soon as possible to spare the horses from slaughter over the borders.
And if Charles Stenholm really cared so much about the horses, especially since his horse slaughter industry has already closed their doors and shut down, he wouldn't turn his back on the horses, but instead he'd be right at the front lines, demanding Congress pass the AHSPA.
Then maybe we could believe he did have at least a slight bit of compassion and care for these horses. But truthfully, I don't think he gives a rat's ass about them at all. He'd rather sit back and just let the horses continue going over the borders to slaughter, while he enjoys hearing himself say "I told you so".
We've gone this far without him, and we can finish this without him too.
It's only the horses that matter, and everyone needs to contact their Congress members and ask them to co-sponsor and pass the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act - as soon as possible!

Judy said...

I think there has been some misunderstanding with the original post. It happens so many times when posts are witty and dripping with scarasm. I think the original poster is very much against the slaughtering horses in Mexico or anywhere are 9 out of 10 Americans. Shutting the US slaughter houses before passing the legislation that will ban the transport of horses to slaughter may have been a political ploy. It's not that unreasonable to believe, as the cattle lobby is HUGE and scared to pieces that if we ban the slaughter and transport of horses, next we'll be coming after the cattle. That is just ridiculous. Cows are raised as food, horse are not. Big difference. So now the plants are closed and the horses face a much crueler and more inhumane fate in Mexico. There are Mexican videos circulating everywhere and people are horrified at the brutality and cruelty. I'm afraid that the polititions will now say, "See how horrible it is? We need to open the US plants back up because as bad as that was, it's not as bad as Mexico". We will lose all the ground that we gained. WE NEED TO GET THE LEGISLATION HB503 and S311 PASSED NOW!!!!! If polititions think we will go away, back down, shut-up, roll over or stop our fight, they are very stupid and very wrong. We voted them in and if you continue to disregard the wishes of the, na, na,,na,na,na...hey,hey,hey,

Burro Hall said...

People, People - Bridle yourselves! This is a blog read by 36 people a day, most of them relatives of mine, where my wife and I pass along egocentric musings about life in Mexico so our families won't worry that we've been executed by coke lords. We often employ a device the Mexicans refer to as "humor" - I'm not sure what you call it in English, but you don't appear to be the right people to ask. We are in no way affiliated with the Burro Hall of Fame.

As for my personal equestrian bona fides, I have been on a horse once, 24 years ago, while attempting to impress a girl, but came away from the experience somewhat spooked by the creature's brain-to-body-mass ratio. (Put another way: big animals scare the shit out of me.) Still, I like animals generally (here are some cute pictures of our dog and cat - neither of which eat horsemeat), loved "National Velvet," and try to avoid using glue whenever possible. Two days ago, I met a guy who was Antonio Banderas's horse-riding stunt double for the flim And Starrnig Pancho Villa As Himself. I interviewed Charlie Stenholm about a farm bill once, but otherwise don't know the man. I didn't think I had to specifically spell this out, but I think bashing horses' brains in is a bad thing.

Not only that, my mother owns a horse! In fact, you're probably here because she posted this link on or something. Unlike me, she would love to engage you in a highly detailed discussion over which horse advocacy groups hate killing horses more than others. Email me at burrohall @ and I'll send you her unlisted phone number.

Cheryl said...

Charlie Stenholm makes lots of money working for the horse slaughter industry. It isn't about horse welfare for him at all; yum... it's about all the money he makes trying to keep horse slaughter "alive".
Did you know it wasn't until this year that the government outlawed double decker trucks for the transport of horses to slaughter? Imagine horses traveling for 24 hours and unable to stand up correctly since double deckers were originally intended for cows and pigs. Imagine the terror of 2 mares this past summer actually giving birth on the slaughter house floor ? ( yes, with the heavy persuasive techniques of a USDA agent, the mares and foals were rescued ) Imagine the horror for a race horse whose only mistake was not running fast enough on a truck crowded with other horses heading to a slaughterplant and then watching other horses cry out in agony as the captive bolt is retracted 9 times before it hits its final target? And worst of all .. imagine being strung up by one hind leg still very much conscious while his neck is cut and his breath makes bubbles in his dripping blood? That is the humanity of US slaughterhouses??

sharon said...

It is our goal to stop the transport of horses to Mexico and Canada for slaughter. It was our goal to stop the transport before the people of the states homing the slaughter house stood up and said enough! I can't blame them, I couldn't stand to have that in my state, in my town. If the electe officals would listen to the people of this country the transport would have been stopped last year, but many people passed big dollars to keep this horror alive in America. Horses have been transported to Mexico for slaughter for as long as I can remember, this is nothing new, it is sad that we are allowing our animals to see this fate. Stopping the slaughter, stopping the transport for slaughter that is the goal and as always been.

ValerieJP said...

Burro Hall,
You have to admit that the slaughter of horses is not humorous. And I have to admit, I didn't expect to come back here and laugh. You do have a good sense of humor. I enjoyed reading your post...and I appreciate the laugh. Thanks. I'm bridled up now, but I do think I'll pass by this way again.
(and hopefully the AHSPA will have passed legislation) oops...I just couldn't hold that one back. But hey- we're fighting a war, and you did pick a subject that really hits a raw nerve. But it does sound like you're on our side for the horses, so I won't continue with any further rants here about Stenholm. (Even though he is a horrible man)...okay, that's better now-
But really, thanks again for your humor. It was a nice surpise.

Burro Hall said...

The door's always open, Valerie, come back any time. I was going to write a thoughtful essay the decisive role horses played in the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs, and the irony that, half a millenium later, the descendants of those horses are facing execution at the hands of the descendants of the Aztecs, but then Stenholm came along with the most pathetic job description I've heard in years and ruined everything.

I'll be happy to throw the awesome power of this blog behind the AHSPA, though I can't imagine this will be a front-burner issue in my home district in Brooklyn. The only time those folks ever see horses is when the police are breaking up a riot.

Anonymous said...

I didn't send this to any equine site. I only sent it to two friends and I don't think they sent it on. This was found by people probably googling "horse". But you can see how passionately we all feel about this very disturbing subject.
This is why Razz will live out her retirement at Anita's where she will get only the best of care and all the love I can give her.
I know you don't want to enter this hornet's nest again, but with youe investigative abilities, if you happen to discover anything about this subject in Mexico, please either put it on your blog or e-mail it to me.
Remember, we are not a bunch of crazies, but rather, people who care very much about these magnificant animals!

Love, Mom

Burro Hall said...

I'll take your word on the crazy, despite all the evidence to the contrary. I doubt this silly blog would be in the first 100,000 things that come up on a google search for horse, but just to be safe I'm going to try to avoid that word in the future. Instead, when I want to say "horse" I'll use the word "Mexico."