Horses could soon be slaughtered for meat in U.S.

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by Reader, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. Reader

    Reader New Member

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    The last U.S. slaughterhouse that butchered horses closed in 2007 in Illinois

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/chi-...meat-in-us-20111130,0,6644336.story?track=rss

    Horses could soon be butchered in the U.S. for human consumption after Congress quietly lifted a 5-year-old ban on funding horse meat inspections, and activists say slaughterhouses could be up and running in as little as a month.
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    The USDA issued a statement Tuesday saying there are no slaughterhouses in the U.S. that butcher horses for human consumption now, but if one were to open, it would conduct inspections to make sure federal laws were being followed. USDA spokesman Neil Gaffney declined to answer questions beyond what was in the statement.
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    Dave Duquette, president of the nonprofit, pro-slaughter group United Horsemen, said no state or site has been picked yet but he's lined up plenty of investors who have expressed interest in financing a processing plant. While the last three slaughterhouses in the U.S. were owned by foreign companies, he said a new plant would be American-owned.
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    But White Owl worries that if slaughterhouses open, owners will dump their unwanted animals there instead of looking for alternatives, such as animal sanctuaries.

    Animal rights groups also argue that slaughtering is a messy, cruel process, and some say it would be kinder for owners to have their horses put to sleep by a veterinarian.

    "Euthanasia has always been an option," Pacelle said. But "if you acquire a horse, you should be a responsible owner and provide lifetime care."
     
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  3. krimekat

    krimekat Amazed and Baffled

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    who is going to eat a horse?

    please , , ,
     
  4. not_my_kids

    not_my_kids New Member

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    Who is going to eat a horse? Half my city would stand in line for horsemeat, cuz it'll be cheap, and it'll be meat, something that many people simply can't afford. If you ask me, this says a lot about the state of our country.

    (For the record, no horsemeat for me, I'm not that desperate yet, but if the economy gets much worse...)
     
  5. Linda7NJ

    Linda7NJ Active Member

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    Horses here are often bought at auctions by butchers that load them onto ships, slaughter them and sell them over seas.
     
  6. Herding Cats

    Herding Cats New Member

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    You all know I'm a horse lover. I have two, and have worked with many more. This last July, I saved a horse from starvation, and she's coming along well. That being said, I'd rather see slaughter houses re-open, and under federal inspection, than not.

    Why? Because it's far more cruel to tie a horse to a fence, starve it, and let it die a slow, long, horrible death than to send them to slaughter, where at least it's faster than starving and dehydrating to death.

    Because while I am a bleeding heart animal lover, euthanasia can cost upwards of $250, and then rendering the body/removing it will cost approximately another $250. And that's if you can find a place that will come to you. If not, you will have additional (and higher) costs to ship the body to the rendering plant.

    Yes, of course we would all want the owners to be financially responsible and treat their animals with all the love and respect that is due them. That, sadly, doesn't happen. And when it comes to feeding yourself and your family, or feeding your horse...well, a lot of people won't choose the horse.

    I've seen horses worth $10,000-50,000 given away, some with small injuries that are easily tended but will cost cash to take care of; the owner can't afford it, so it's either give the horse to someone who can, or send them to pasture. But pasture costs, too...and often, the owners stop paying the bills because their financial picture is poor - or they just choose to not have the problem any longer. I could take $1,000 and get a horse worth close to $50,000 right this minute (the email is in my inbox), but he needs a year off from a medical problem. So who wants to pay for a stall and food for a horse they can't use for a year at least? (And just know, I've been thinking about this a lot...but I just can't see a third horse right now.)

    Me? I'll spend my last dime on my critters, cats/dog/horses. I'd go without before I let them go without (and I have). They see the Dr. more than I do. They are my life. But most folks are not like that, and I'd like to see an option other than starvation/dehydration/untreated medical issues kill a horse.

    If that means that we bring slaughter back, I'd prefer that to the alternative. And more: right now, we ship horses to Mexico, and believe you me when I say that the Mexican slaughter houses are not humane, not even in the most flexible stretch of anyone's imagination. If the US brings slaughter back, and it's done under federal control, it will be more humane than any country nearby (and yes, we ship to Canada as well, but they're a bit more humane than Mexico...).

    I have said before, and I'll say it now, that when the US banned slaughter of horses a few years ago, they did not think through the ramifications. As a result, many horses have been starved, neglected, and died in horrible, excruciating circumstances...and that didn't need to happen.

    No, I'd never use slaughter as an option. I've saved a starving horse, though, and believe that slaughter is a far better choice than is starvation.

    (Sorry for the rant, but I feel strongly about the welfare of the animals...and sometimes, hard choices have to be made. This is one of them...and I'd like to see the option back for those who could use it).

    Best-
    Herding Cats
    Chasing a Dog
    Wrangling horses
     
  7. MLE

    MLE New Member

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    Since horsemeat is consumed in a lot of countries: France, Austria, China, and so on, I could see it selling well in American cities with diverse demographic populations. I don't think it would sell well in my small hometown, although I wouldn't have any problem with eating it if it was priced equal to or less than beef.
     
  8. Jack

    Jack New Member

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    I feel much the same as HC, but have additional concerns. I find it abhorrent that we as a society feel that the easiest way out of any given situation is okay. In this country there are very few folks who treat horses as stock, they are for the most part our pets that we may use as part of our hobby, but there are very few horses used as solely 'working' animals. It doesn't surprise me though that people dump their horses in the auctions when the going gets tough though just like they dump their dogs and cats when they no longer want them. Most people who need or want to rid themselves of a horse could find a way to take care of them humanely but they choose the option that is easiest and cheapest for themselves. For the few who find themselves in financial ruin and have to make a tough decision its often the only choice. But I have no sympathy for those who do it because its the easiest and cheapest way to dispose of an animal they no longer want or have use for. In fact I wish there was a way to hold them accountable. If they can afford their iphones and luxury cars they can afford to find a way to dispose of their pets humanely. I also believe that breeders should stop cranking out horses when the market is overflowing with available animals.

    Aside from the issue I have with irresponsible people, I know its a reality and that there are times when difficult decisions have to be made. And while I personally think it is disgusting, we don't eat our pets in this country, I recognize that I can't stop it from happening and that other cultures don't have a problem eating an animal who was once a child's precious confidant or a prized possession. But what I absolutely cannot accept is the inhumane treatment of these horses whether they are slaughtered in the US or not.

    It is a fact that the meat buyers go for the most volume at the lowest price. They don't care about the animal's welfare at all. Once purchased these animals are loaded into a cargo trailer designed for cattle. Many of them are forced down to their knees because they are too tall to stand in the space they are forced into. They are not raised as stock and are not accustomed to being in overcrowded conditions. There are brutal fights and painful injuries as a result. They are not treated for their pain, they are not helped at all. They are not fed or watered while being hauled, and since right now they are hauled to Canada or Mexico its a long trip. If a horse goes down in one of these trailers they are trampled on by the others. Their leg and other bones often broken. If they are unfortunate enough to survive such horror they are forced to their feet to exit the trailer and if they can't they are dragged out alive. It is in every way as brutal and nightmarish as it sounds. And we allow it because if we didn't it would cost a businessman a few more dollars a head to treat the animals with compassion. I wont ever accept that as okay.

    When I contacted my state congressman about it a few years ago I received a response saying that while he sympathized he didn't see any benefit to supporting anything that would raise expenses for those who are hauling these animals to their certain deaths.

    Money, the root of all evil.
     
  9. Peazzzer

    Peazzzer I hate liars. Hate em.

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    Ranchers here are complaining that because horses are no longer slaughtered they are losing money when they go to sell them. Its like a glut of horses has killed the market and pocket books. :waiting: Greed, IMO. Again, money. Sigh...
     
  10. ziggy

    ziggy New Member

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    Needed more than a thanks. It's true that the slaughter houses are MOST inhumane. The horses are treated so cruelly, starved and then a device that is made to knock a cow out is used on them but since they are different, they are not rendered unconscious when painful fatal things are done to them and they suffer while they die. I can't take that kind of thing. I'm from an old school rancher grandfather. The animals can die for our food but by God it will be fast and painless for them; it's not healthy to any animal meat if the animal was in major fear or suffering prior to its death. It has to be so fast they never knew what happened.

    Unfortunately I've seen a horse have to be put down with a bullet to the head. I can say there is a lot less suffering than starvation or even the terror of a slaughterhouse. I wish we would not eat horses!!! If you've ever had much interaction on the farm you will know that cows, chicken and sheep are all a bit dumb, but pigs, goats and horses are very bright. I love horses and can't bring myself to eat one. But if people must, I too would rather the process be regulated and humane.
     
  11. mimimama5

    mimimama5 One Crazy mama cowgirl

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    Im on both sides of this debate myself. Ive personally seen animals standing in dry lots starving to death because we have a hay crisis going on in my region. We were in drought all summer, and the hay that was cut is poor and very expensive. I have 2 horses myself and the same hay I was buying last year is double the price and half the quality. I think slaughter is a viable option. I hate the idea of my beloved friends being treated inhumanely in any way. I would need to see really strict usda laws and enforcement on the process. I know it is wrong for a horse to suffer, or any animal for that matter. I dont want to watch good horses starve to death either though. Its a complicated issue. i know slaughter plants will help restore the value of the horse marker. I dont care about that, mine arent and wont be for sale. However some trainers and breeders work very hard and have a great passion for their job, who am I to say that what they are doing isnt a valued practice and that they shouldnt be fully compensated... All i can push for is regulation and safe humane treatment of the animals at every point in the slaughter process
     
  12. BetteDavisEyes

    BetteDavisEyes All the boys think she's a spy...

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    I don't see it at youtube, but there was an episode of "All In the Family" where Archie Bunker unknowingly eats horse meat.
     
  13. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    There was a documentary on the subject of using horses for food. I saw it on cable a year or two ago. That's where I learned what ziggy says above, that the bolt guns used to kill cattle only stun horses and insure that horses die a painful death.

    Does anyone know the film I mean? I can't seem to find it using google.

    Everyone should have to watch it before we legalize the slaughtering of horses again. I appreciate herding cats' point that euthanasia is better than leaving horses to starve to death; but if we're going to legalize slaughter, then we can damn sure make it as humane as possible.
     
  14. Quiche

    Quiche New Member

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    My sister's have horses, and the cost of hay has tripled in the last couple of years. Between the gas prices and weather oddities there hasn't been a good deal in a long time.

    My thought is first-- eww, no thank you, I certainly don't need meat that bad (I'll have a bowl of beans instead, thanks). Secondly-- what's next? Cats and dogs? :tsktsk:
     
  15. BetteDavisEyes

    BetteDavisEyes All the boys think she's a spy...

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    Apologies for the self-quote, but I located video of this episode of "All In the Family". Warning: Might be offensive to some.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IURjNZ9YIxk
     
  16. Wise Old Owl

    Wise Old Owl Retired WS Staff & Founding member of AFKBPOFPOPL

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    Down here in the Banana Republic we've had several cases over the past few years of horses being slaughtered (down in south Miami Dade and the western sections of both counties). Horses were being slaughtered for their meat (these were "pet" horses that the killers snuck onto the property to then butcher them. Evidently, the meat on the black market does quite well. Me? No, I would never eat horse meat but the population down here seems to pose a demand for it.

    Just last week - they busted an actual slaughterhouse down in Miami. NASTY, NASTY, NASTY!!!! All kinds of animals and very inhumane ways of killing them. It was so bad, that the authorities were worried about "ground water contamination" with all the blood run-off! :eek:
     
  17. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    Has anyone here actually tasted horse meat? I was surprised to learn that people in Europe and elsewhere eat it by choice. In history accounts, soldiers and explorers seem to eat horse only when they are starving. Of course that may be because they need the horses for work, but my impression was that the meat wasn't very appealing.
     
  18. LunaticFringe

    LunaticFringe I know you're out there...

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    I'd eat my toenails first.
     
  19. Nova

    Nova Active Member

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    You know, these vague posts really burn my backside!

    How am I to know whether you would eat your toenails first because you find the idea of horse meat repulsive, or because you find your toenails so delicious?

    Sheesh!





    (Just in case: this post is a joke. Of course I knew what LF meant.)
     
  20. Kat

    Kat Kind words do not cost much

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    I won't eat it but I don't any meat, poultry or fish. Not an ethical choice but a personal one because of health issues. (oh and textures I'm a picky eater to say the least).

    I don't have a problem with this. JMHO.
     
  21. Irish Frieke

    Irish Frieke New Member

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    Nova, I have. When I was growing up in Belgium, we had a horse butcher in the same street. Fresh meat was only available every 2 weeks or so, but he had smoked meat and other treated meats.
    I can actually say horse meat saved my life, well not actually saved my life, but helped me overcome a dangerously low blood pressure when I was about 18. Apart from medication, my GP told my mother to serve me horse meat (preferably filet) and as "blue" as I could stand it.
    It is actually very tasty meat, completely different from beef, but can be an acquired taste.

    My mother actually has eaten cat in her life. But then this was in 1943 when people in Antwerp were starting to get really hungry. In a city of about half a million people, not many wild cats were left and some domesticated cats went that way as well. No pigeons were left in the city either.
     

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