Tag Archives: “Dave Duquette”

Horse Welfare 2016 – The Year In Review

Standard

2016-rocking-horse-christmas-cardWritten by:  Heather Clemenceau

Because most efforts at altruism are applied to human suffering, when it comes to horses and other animals, we still face the problem of convincing people that the suffering of horses is worth considering at all. Our legal and legislative efforts can be effective ways to achieve goals for the horses, but most campaigns are lower visibility when compared to shelter pets,  and they may only yield results if completely successful. After observing how horse advocacy functions for a few years now (but I am still a relative newbie compared to the seasoned experts who have been advocating for horses for decades)  I want to make the following observations on the year 2016:

To be effective, we must continually find the root causes of systemic problems, such as corrupt or indifferent government officials, hoarding issues, and our often reactionary approach to kill buyer sales programs, which are now entrenched methods of adopting horses.  This is no small feat considering how decentralized horse advocates are – each person is often doing their own thing and advocating for horses in their own way.  As a result, preventative approaches are sometimes overlooked within the movement.   Despite exhaustive work by many people, SAFE Act-type legislation, which could provide the best results for horses in the US, hasn’t passed.

We may best be able to capitalize on shifts in the way people think about all animals and their status in society.  Results in Canada have been achieved when contracts for horsemeat are lost due to the exposing of cruelty and food quality/feedlot issues.  Meat-swapping is also an issue that usually gets a lot of publicity.  The supply of horsemeat already exceeds demand otherwise we would see fewer substitution issues – many people are realizing that they are eating horse unintentionally and this causes them to reconsider buying meat in general.

Unfortunately, 2016 heralded in new administration that is not friendly to animals.  P-E Trump is known to receive advice from conspiracy theorists and the radical far right – it’s true that we have become a “post-fact” world. Knowing this, how can we best advocate for horses in 2017 and beyond? There mere suggestion that there may be jobs to be found in the horse slaughter industry could be incentive enough to resuscitate it in the US, even though it is a poor investment.

“Donald Trump…represents perhaps the greatest threat ever to animal protection policy making at the federal level. His campaign surrogates and the names being floated as possible Trump cabinet picks for the very agencies that oversee such policies include the most ardent anti-animal voices in the country. Advocates for puppy mills, factory farming, horse slaughter, and trophy hunting of rare species such as leopards and elephants would be at the steering wheel of a Trump administration.” ~ Michael Markarian, the Human Society Legislative Fund

Here’s my summation of 2016, with articles arranged in Storify:

The Chemical Horse:

  • Horsenetwork reported that Pfizer Canada has announced it will increase the amount of pregnant mare urine (PMU) it collects from its facilities in the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan in 2016 and 2017. Demand for conjugated equine estrogens declined in recent years following a 2002 Women’s Health Initiative study that PMU drugs were linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. (In 2012, the North American Menopause Society released a position statement that continues to support hormone therapy).
  • Horse tendons are now being made into an anti-aging therapy to rival botox. The popularity of horse oil from slaughtered animals has increased exponentially and is sold extensively on Amazon, eBay and elsewhere.
  • A video released in October showed the appalling treatment of horses at antitoxin and antivenom manufacturing facilities in India.  The facilities draw blood from the horses, many of them multiple times a month with heavy gauge needles, to manufacture antitoxin and antivenom drugs.  The horses depicted in the video (link included below) had festering sores and low body weights.

Live Horse Shipments:

  • Throughout 2016, the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition continued to release footage of live horse exports to Japan and petitioned Atlas Air executives to stop the practice, which does not adhere to IATA regulations.

Anti-Soring Efforts:

  • In August, U.S. Department of Agriculture/APHIS proposed changes to the Horse Protection Act that could stop the soring abuse for good.
  • Anti-soring advocates got the Big Lick kicked out of the North Carolina State Fair

Food Adulteration:

  • In June, a butcher shop in Montreal was caught adding horsemeat to hamburger patties advertised as being entirely made of beef. An investigation by Radio-Canada found burger patties advertised as being 100 per cent beef from La Maison du Rôti, which supplied meat to many hotels and commercial establishments in Montreal.  This is consistent with a study from 2015 that found that nearly 5% of all ground meat products tested in California had horse meat in the product.
  • In Britain, two Britons and a citizen of Denmark appeared in court over allegations that they passed horsemeat off as beef. It took THREE YEARS after the horsemeat adulteration scandal in to get them this far.
  • Britain’s food-policing unit, which was created in 2014 following the horse meat scandal has still not resulted in any new prosecutions despite costing the taxpayer £4m. The National Food Crime Unit (NFCU)  has not brought any criminal charges against anyone.

Wild Horses:

  • Aaron Stelkia of the Osoyoos Indian Band, who has apparently provided no care to feral British Columbia horses, decided to claim them and began rounding them up early in the year.  On the heels of this event, the RCMP in Penticton B.C., at the request of the CFIA, began investigating horse rescuer Theresa Nolet after she treated a free-roaming horse with phenylbutazone, making him unfit for human consumption.  If the CFIA, the RCMP, or the SPCA actually had any concern for horses, they would require the Indian Bands to keep their horses contained and properly fed and medicated.  It’s clear the intent was to harass Ms. Nolet, since the CFIA has no problem importing American horses whose drug history is completely unprovable.
  • DNA genotyping of Alberta wild horses showed a connection to the Altai horse from Russia. These genetic markers permitted the placement of the horses on the endangered list by the Equus Survival Trust in North Carolina. 
  • Forty-five years ago the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 (WFRH&B Act) was signed into law by President Richard Nixon on December 18, 1971. The WFRH&B Act created the sensation that wild horses were to be protected on public land, but as it did not create actual defined parameters it has been left open to interpretation and/or lack of enforcement by the US judicial system.

Decimation of the Donkeys:

  • Now that the West African black rhino is extinct and the elephant is well on its way, donkey skins are the new rhino horn, and just like the rhino, the Chinese demand is unsustainable. To that end, a $3,000,000 slaughterhouse has just opened in Kenya – dedicated and purpose-built to kill up to 100 donkeys a day. China is presently responsible for slaughtering four million donkeys a year for traditional medicinal products made from their skin. Already, countries in Africa are seeing their donkey populations drop at an alarming rate – the appetite for donkey skins has risen to such a degree that a worldwide crisis is unfolding for donkey populations around the world.  In the United States the population of donkeys is estimated to be between 250,000 and 400,000. The US’ wild burro population ranges between 4,000 to 10,000 total on all BLM public lands.  The entire US population of donkeys could theoretically be wiped out in a matter of weeks at the current rate of slaughter.

Cruelty Cases, Horse Seizures, Abandonments, and Hoarding:

  • The infamous Stanley Brothers have been shipping horses to slaughter for quite some time and also have a long history of animal welfare offenses, among other questionable activities.  Boots Stanley, the son of one of the Stanley Brothers, who became millionaires selling horses to be killed, was arrested along with his pal Steven Sadler, for aggravated animal cruelty after slitting a defenseless dog’s throat on the family’s kill lot in Bastrop, Louisiana. Someone who enjoys inflicting pain on an animal may well be a danger to their community soon.
  • “Big Lick” supporter Sandra Darlene Wood will be serving jail time for the crime of Animal Cruelty – starving Tennessee Walking Horses that were seized from her farm on April 6, 2015.
  • Logan Allen, a “horse trainer” who won 1st place in the 2013 Iowa Horse Fair found himself under fire after he posted pics to his Facebook wall of a horse with the caption “bad boy…”  The horse lay on the ground, his legs were bound, his tongue hung out of his mouth and he had been sprayed with a hose,  hence the treatment of the horse was referred to as “waterboarding.”  The dismissal of Allen’s case sends the clear message to those in Iowa that abusing animals is acceptable in the state.
  • The story of Lily, the little pony mare who appeared to have been shot up with a paintball gun and then abandoned at New Holland in Pennsylvania, was a simultaneously uplifting and heartbreaking narrative.  The mare, who was rescued and subsequently endured an eye operation for painful uveitis inflammation and days of dental work, was elderly and in poor condition overall.  In May, Philip Price Jr. of Rhode Island, (previously convicted of animal abuse) was convicted on all counts related to transporting her to New Holland.  He was ordered to pay $13,000 in restitution for Lily’s recovery care costs.  Lily was then adopted by former Daily Show Host Jon Stewart and his wife.  Although her quality of life appears to have been quite low for some time, she knew kindness and care before she died a short time later in Stewart’s sanctuary.
  • In June, officials with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture charged trainer Maria Borell and her father, Charles Borell, each with 43 counts of second-degree cruelty to animals in connection with the apparent abandonment of horses at a 121-acre farm in Central Kentucky.
  • 40 deceased and decaying horses were found on a property near Melbourne Australia. Bruce Akers, was charged with 92 counts of animal cruelty and criminal damage.
  • Another 40 horses (and 15 dogs)  owned by a previously convicted mother/daughter team of animal hoarders were seized from a Virginia property.
  • In July, horse rescuers saved from slaughter several horses formerly owned by the Arnold Reproduction Center, which specialized in cutting horse breeding. A herd of horses bearing the brand of center ended up scheduled for shipment to slaughter, according to social media posts, which the business acknowledged in a statement last week, calling the slaughter designation unintended. Photos posted by the Kaufman Kill Pen Facebook page showed show at least a dozen horses bearing the brand and/or distinctive shoulder numbers, with some described as recipient mares.
  • Several horses that had been seized from the Peaceable Farm rescue in 2015 have again been taken by authorities from New Beginnings Horse Rescue, where they had little or no food and water.  Over 80 horses were originally removed from Peaceable Farm and 11 of those horses went to New Beginnings (the other horses were distributed to other rescues).  It’s been a horrible 2 years for some of the rescues in Virginia.
  • Approximately 550-650 “wild” horses of varying ages, some mares with foals, went up for auction in December when approximately 30 were found starving or eviscerated on the bare dirt pastures of the ranch belonging to the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros in South Dakota. With no plan in place to prevent breeding and insufficient range land for the number of horses, the pastures had been eaten down to dirt. Photos on social media show severely thin horses, some of them dead, with their ribs and hip-bones protruding. Some have grotesque wounds and injuries or wildly overgrown, untrimmed hooves. A few had been eviscerated, presumably by wild animals. Guidestar shows that despite the charity taking in $600 – $700K in donations per year, there were always feed emergencies – this appears to be another hoarding operation with charitable status.  Resources are finite everywhere – uncontrolled breeding with no place to go eventually means there will be a population crash.

Legislative and Public Relations Issues:

  • Of the most immediate concern to animal advocates may be the virtual certainty that a Trump administration will work to reopen horse slaughter in the U.S., to “dispose” of the 45,000 wild horses who have been removed as “surplus” from the  BLM.  Furthermore, in 2009 VP-Elect Pence voted against protecting wild horses and burros on America’s public lands. He opposed the “Restore Our American Mustangs Act,” which was introduced to amend the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971.  Simply because you see a picture of someone on a horse,  it does not make them an advocate.
  • It has been announced that the European Commission is set to adopt stricter regulations on the import of horsemeat from non-EU countries following its latest audit, which found that Canadian horsemeat may not meet EU food safety standards.  Horses destined for slaughter in non-EU countries but for export to the EU, must undergo a minimum six-month residency requirement. It’s unclear how either the slaughterhouses or the CFIA will control for this requirement.
  • The Canadian Horse Defence Coalition met with MPs in Ottawa in October on the dangers of horse meat consumption. The CHDC was registered to lobby with Aaron Freeman of Pivot Strategic Consulting.  The CHDC continues to consult with legal counsel in a continuing effort to explore legal strategies to stop illegally-conducted live shipments of horses to Japan for slaughter.
  • The Canadian Food Inspection Agency suspended the slaughtering license of KML Meats in British Columbia temporarily,  due to the absence of an effective HACCP program.
  • The CFIA proposed changes to the Health of Animals Act and Regulations, thereby recognizing that the transport of animals in Canada is not aligned with those of other countries (World Organisation for Animal Health – OIE) nor do they align with the National Farm Animal Care Council Codes of Practice (NFACC) or international trading partners such as the US and the EU.  Furthermore, transport guidelines, such as they are, do not reflect current science regarding the handling of animals by land, sea, and air.
  • The March to DC on behalf of the SAFE Act took place September 22nd. Thank you to the dedicated people who were able to attend.  Many SAFE-type bills have now died and alternative approaches are needed to make the rest of the US population  aware of the atrocities of horse slaughter.
  • The tall metal fences, chained gates, and decaying metal buildings that were an embarrassment and constant reminder of horse slaughter in Kaufman Texas are now gone.  The old Dallas Crown slaughterhouse was torn down.
  • In Ontario, “horse rustling” has received new attention after two horses, who were temporarily loaned/boarded, disappeared from the same farm and are presumed sold for slaughter.  Sargon, owned by Kim Wilson, and Apollo, owned by Kayla Whatling were loaned to the same individual, who told police she sold Sargon to a kill buyer for slaughter without permission and with a faked EID.

EQUUS Film Festival:

  • The EQUUS Film Festival, dedicated to equestrian-themed film, fine art and authors was subject to controversy in 2016. Noted Equine/Human Chiropractor Dr. Jay Komarek,  declined to accept the Equus Film Festival Award for “Best Documentary” Film citing festival organizers for accepting money from two corporate sponsors,  “Protect The Harvest” and “Farm Paint,”  as his reason for doing so.   The sponsor’s principals are Mr. Forrest Lucas (Protect The Harvest and Lucas Cattle Company) and Mr. Duke Thorson (Farm Paint and Thorsport Farm). Slaughtering and soring horses  do not create a better world for them and were therefore incompatible sponsors for the event.  Clant Seay, a reporter for Billygoboy.com, also had the microphone aggressively grabbed out of his hand by former Sue Wallis buddy Dave Duquette at EQUUS. A positive outcome was that the film “Kill Pen” signed a worldwide/international distribution agreement to circulate the film across the US and Canada, into Europe, and beyond.

 Please read more about these and other headlines from 2016, arranged chronologically, in Storify

 

 

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Standard

inigo montoyaWritten by:  Heather Clemenceau

Unless you’ve been living in a van down by the river, you already know that United Horsemen’s Group collects donations basically to promote horse slaughter. Somehow, UH president Dave Duquette believes this qualifies as a “charity” with the IRS.  Duquette, along with Wyoming Rep Sue Wallis, maintain that there is a growing market for horsemeat in the U.S. although the only example they can cite is the Harvard University’s Faculty Club which had horsemeat on the menu before 1985.

In this latest Constant Contact email to their faithful horde, Dave Duquette is  wah-wah-wahing  about efforts to stop horse soring and tripping in addition to slaughter,  thus ratcheting their usual foolery all the way up by suggesting that horse advocates are comparable to Nazis.  While not everyone appreciates the deep thoughts that ejaculate unfiltered out of Duquette’s brain, if you need some theatre today, click to read his discussion of Mein Kampf while invoking the “N” word.  I’m starting to feel like Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride – “You keep using that word.  I do not think it means what you think it means.”

UH cites the famous “First they came…,” prose, usually attributed to Pastor Martin Niemöller, who goes on to list the groups the Nazis came for, but says he didn’t speak up because he wasn’t part of that group.  Niemöller himself barely made it out of WWII alive, so it’s an appropriate cautionary tale.  But Nazi analogies are almost never acceptable, unless in reference to actual, systematic mass torture, murder or genocide. And in this case, it’s downright asinine, because nothing we advocates have done is remotely comparable to what happened in Auschwitz in 1945. Is Duquette really likening us to Dr. Mengele, who performed experiments on live, fully conscious human beings to determine just how much pressure it would take to crush a skull?Angry mob

It’s not the first time I’ve seen some of the more prominent members of UH compare us to Heinrich Himmler.  One of Duquette’s biggest fangirls, Willing Servants’ Theresa Manzella, is under the impression that everyone around her is a vegetarian or vegan, which is un-godly according to her.  Furthermore,  she cites Hitler as a vegetarian,  perhaps to further her thought process that vegetarians are also Nazis.  People who inject Hitler into conversations about godliness would do well to start by googling the phrase imprinted on the belt buckles worn by the Nazis. It says “Gott mit uns” (God with us).  No, the Nazis were not atheists – one important Nazi slogan was ‘Kinder, Kirche, Kueche” ( Children, Church, Kitchen).  In any case, comparisons to Nazis are irrelevant in this example; it is also similarly fallacious to use the Nazis as an example of what might be wrong with Christianity.

Comparing anything that is not a dictator/mass-murderer to another dictator/mass-murderer is a logical fallacy known as the Reductio ad Hitlerum.   In other words – you don’t get to call people Nazis just because you want to inflame or incite. Hitler’s vegetarianism was not a foregone conclusion but so what if it was? What if he was also left-handed, or a Taurus? Is that somehow a significant or relevant argument? Not eating meat, or being left handed does not contribute to their ideology to slaughter millions. What about Stalin or Pol Pot? Maybe they ate meat?

Reductio ad Hitlerum is also closely associated with Godwin’s Law, which is an internet adage named after Mike Godwin who actually wrote a short article about it for Wired Magazine back in 1994.  Although the article was more about the power and danger of memes, it’s worthnazi-jokes-hitler-memewhile reading for anyone interested in discussions on invalidating an argument or logical fallacies.  The law was derived from the days of Usenet,  which pre-existed the internet as we know it, and states that  “if you mention Adolf Hitler or the Nazis within a discussion thread, you’ve automatically ended whatever discussion you were taking part in.”  It means that, as a discussion gets longer it tends to get more heated; as more heat enters the discussion, tensions get higher and people start to insult each other over anything they can think of.  Godwin’s Law merely notes that those tensions eventually cause someone to find the worst insults that come to mind – which will almost always include a Nazi comparison as a desperate last measure to insult someone before leaving the argument completely.

Hitler and the Nazis have a very special place in the pantheon of monsters. inigo_montoya Duquette doesn’t realize how offensive this massmail is – “Godwinning” your argument just makes you look like a desperate fool, but “invoking the Holocaust” is completely polarizing while also being a deeply offensive comparison.   It’s uber-offensive because while some things might approach it in terms of scale, nothing else is like THE Holocaust in terms of genocide, eugenics, racial superiority or totalitarian regimes. In addition to that,  most Jews are offended when people claim something is as bad as the Holocaust or the Nazis,  because they are justifiably offended when perpetrators of relatively minor evils are compared to Hitler. So, by invoking the Holocaust, perhaps we can assume that Duquette and United Horsemen’s Group are culturally insensitive to these observations about Nazi references and have realized that they are at the end of any factual discussion.  I think they are also quite desperate – you might say that they are begging for money just like those rescues they abhor!  Therefore,  they know that they have nothing germane to add and are now flaming us and flinging shit up against the wall to see what will stick. Anyway,  any person that can go so low as to over breed a sentient living being and then say, the colour is wrong, it’s too slow, it’s too old, and send it off to a horrific death for a pittance probably shouldn’t be dropping the “N” word on others in the first place.

I honestly wonder what the Anti-Defamation League would think of United Horsemen’s analogy.  Sun Tzu once said: “All of warfare is deception. One must pretend to be weak while one is strong, and pretend to be strong while one is weak.”  When your opponents invoke the Holocaust, they would be under the impression that they had won the argument, and lower their defenses. That is when you strike.

Slaughterhouse Sue Asks Supporters to Slaughter Horses for IEBA War Chest

Standard

cowboy-on-horseback

Written by:  Heather Clemenceau

Slaughterhouse Sue Wallis is busier than a one-armed paper hanger these days – asking for “donations” to be made to her for-profit company so that the hauling of horses can continue.  Our favourite slaughterphile hopes to build her “war chest” by attempting to “crowdsource” funding from some of the cheapest people on the planet – people who would sell their horse to a slaughterhouse rather than providing humane euthanasia.  Sue really throws her hyperbole engine into high gear when she says thatWe take “bare bones” to a high art form.

In a Constant Contact massmail designed to spam everyone with her tales of woe, Sue writes:

As we edge towards a return of humane and regulated horse processing here in the United States, the hysterics and abusive bullying tactics–not to mention outright domestic terrorism in the destruction of property and threats 1184823_499213163504366_582353102_nto families–of the radical animal rights groups funded and driven by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) gets worse and worse.

Now much of the struggle has been hauled into the courts, litigation being a favored and especially lucrative activity of HSUS wherein they are able to fund their nefarious activities with deceptively raised dollars and way too much taxpayer money.

The cost of intervening in these lawsuits on behalf of the horse industry is shooting up astronomically!

Thank goodness, we are working with teams of dedicated attorneys who are providing more free and reduced services than most would ever expect. They have my undying respect and gratitude, and I’ll bet yours, too.

Nonetheless, we must fill up our war chest to have any hope of success. To do this the IEBA Board of Directors and I have developed a multi-pronged fundraising campaign that starts TODAY with your help.”

If you read the rest of this communication, you’ll see a lot of words and phrases not normally associated with Sue Wallis.  Terms such as:

Innovative

Cutting Edge

Potential to add value

Convenience

Humane

Scientifically Sound

Rigorously Enforced

Highest Quality

Verified Safe

Pure Products

Wallis’ latest pitch is that she wants slaughterphiles to tick off some box at the sale barn, which will designate the proceeds of the sale of a horse to the International Equine Business Association (IEBA).  So, true to form, she’s asking for blood money to seed a for-profit business to commercialize and exploit horses.   We know she has at least $183 in the war chest pot, donated by a supporter who sent a perfectly healthy but arthritic horse to slaughter. So she plans to go up against HSUS with donations accumulated from the suffering of horses sent to slaughter.  By soliciting gifts,  Wallis’ is essentially panhandling,  something she claims horse rescues do,  except she is doing it without the actual rescue aspect.  So many United Horsemen’s members are critical of any and all rescues simply because they ask for donations – how is this different?

Shady Lady Ranch I think Wallis recognizes that she’s not going to get the big donations via this stream,  so she’s come up with some combo golf/clay pigeon shooting event she has named the “Rope, Stroke, and Poke.”  I think there’s a “choke” option in there too, which makes me think that Sue missed her calling – instead of writing poetry she should be writing ad copy for the Shady Lady Ranch in Nevada.  I’ve read her poetry,  and I can honestly say she’s about as good at poetry as I am at pole-vaulting.

Unlike some of the other dubious, multiple versions of her grassroots horse slaughter enterprise, this one is a business, so whatever is donated must be declared as income, and sadly, no income tax receipts will be provided for any horses slaughtered for the IEBA.  Indeed, the IRS would qualify the contributions of money gleaned from slaughtered horses as gifts rather than donations.

Following is the IRS publication 526 that discusses Charitable Contributions:

  • There is certainly no law against a for-profit business owner asking anybody to provide a gift or grant to the business without the expectation of returning the item. A person can ask a relative to “donate” money to keep a business afloat, or attempt to raise supporting gifts of materials or cash in a variety of ways. Also, some private and public entities provide for-profits with taxable business grants that are, technically, donations.
  • However, the word “donation” does have a common usage as a specialized term. Nonprofits ask for donations to support a cause and have special status with the IRS that makes those donations tax-deductible. A for-profit business that accepts a donation would not be able to provide the same tax-deductible benefit.
  • While it is the case that a for-profit business can accept donations, it has to be careful not to run afoul of a state’s laws against soliciting the public for donations without registering with the state attorney general. If a for-profit business is asking for “donations,” it has to at least make it clear that the business is not a nonprofit.

As a for-profit business, the IEBA claims that it offers various services, including such services as legal resources for those “persecuted” by anti-slaughter advocates, otherwise known as “terrorists” in Wallis parlance.  Along with the other “services” the IEBA will provide to members is “crisis mitigation and reputation management.”   I might suggest to Sue Wallis that perhaps she should join people like Mel Gibson and Lindsay Lohan, and employ the services of a good reputation management firm, because she needs some real “black hat” techniques to clean herself up online – the Sue Wallis brand is a lightening rod for bad publicity….

When this organization flops, there’ll be another new organization all loaded with the requisite donate buttons.  The deception here happens when you have all these different groups,  such as United Horsemen,  United Horsemen’s Front,  Unified Equine,  United Organizations of the Horse,  and now the IEBA all producing the same drivel that is “substantiated” by each.  It gives a false impression of credibility that does not exist except when you have multiple entities all supporting each other all over the interwebs.

Wallis has in fact made has made the commercial exploitation and slaughter of horses one of her number one goals in all she publishes, says and does.  Horse slaughter is all she ever writes about, with the only exception being 155the selling of shares of cows for the purchase of unpasteurized milk.  How is it that a politician, who seems to spend every waking moment lobbying to change laws that will benefit her financially, doesn’t incur and ethics investigation.  Isn’t using one’s privileged position as an elected official for their own benefit, an ethical violation?  Or does no one really care about ethics in Wyoming?

Wallis has always claimed that United Horsemen had no money.  Apparently no one in the horse business or ranching business has any money.  The official story about their infamous truck raffle was that it didn’t make any money either.

Wallis claimed that only 302 tickets had been sold. Then,  about a year after the original tickets had been sold, a truck had yet to be awarded and an announcement from Sue Wallis stated that (still) only 302 tickets had been sold, that the drawing would be in January (2011) and that tickets were still available. The description of the truck, however, was given as a plain vehicle having a retail price of $11,000 less than the original ticket purchasers had been told would be awarded. According to the prosecutor, Campbell County Attorney Jeani Stone, money from the raffle was turned over to “organizers,” that Wallis did not personally benefit, and that the truck was given away. But Wallis was the primary organizer, and she was the Vice President of United Horsemen, the organization holding the raffle. Is Stone suggesting that Wallis did receive the money from the raffle? Stone also announced there were 147 raffle tickets sold. But Wallis said 302 were sold. What happened to the other 155 tickets? That is at least $15,500 unaccounted for.  Anyway, it seems that the fiasco that ensued from the truck raffle was totally swept under the carpet.

pants-on-fireI’ve seen agricultural sites asking their readers to send Wallis cheques, and she has reportedly received donations from Big Ag as well as cattlemen’s organizations.  But you have to wonder how many large donations she would have received from these groups, since she doesn’t have any investors or a business plan.  But all of this is artfully dodged whenever she describes the achievements of any of her organizations.  We read online as she described renovations being done on the Rockville Missouri meat plant to convert it to a horse slaughter facility.  This was a plant that she didn’t even have title to and could not even purchase if she had the money, as ownership was tied up in litigation.

Obviously, the Wyoming State Rep is spending too much time downwind of cattle farts….

It’s highly doubtful that Chevideco is interested in investing in her business schemes, since they’ve always said they wanted a turnkey operation, and they made this evident at Mountain Grove Missouri, which they toured with Wallis.  Beyond the ethical question, the townspeople definitely didn’t like the idea of a foreign company coming into their town to kill 400 horses a day and send butt roasts and briskets back to Europe or wherever.

Dave Duquette’s proposed $3 million “restoration” facility,  that would apparently employ 30-40 college students and an indoor,  equine-assisted therapy centre for handicapped individuals is suspect as well.  If it actually happened,  they’d basically be doing what rescues accomplish, which in theory is great,  but the idea of a rehab and slaughter facility on the same site?  “Sorry dear,  you won’t be able to ride Sassy anymore.  We processed him into burgers yesterday.”  Very therapeutic.

Wallis and Dave Duquette’s “restoration” program for horses entering the slaughterhouse stream is,  IMO, more likely to be a way for them to claim that horses that are already slaughtered are alive on their tax returns and itemized as expenses. Think about it – who is going to be auditing them at any time to determine that all these horses that they are supposedly rehabbing are actually alive?  It’s rather like claiming an income tax deduction or exemption for dependents that you don’t actually possess!

And according to the company’s own literature, the plant would not be for old or sick horses. “Abused, abandoned, neglected and starving horses will be made healthy prior to processing,”  So that phrase puts the lie to the claim that slaughter is needed for old and sick horses.  It’s been a while since we’ve heard about the “Do Not Slaughter” registry.  But Wallis has said herself that If your horse did turn up at one of their proposed plants (and they can find the entry in their Excel spreadsheet) you have two or three days to pick the horse up,  AND pay their costs.  Nowhere have I ever heard of someone having to pay to retrieve stolen property.

Ever wonder why you can’t find Wallis’ charities on Guidestar?  I’ve looked for them.  As a non-profit, they must provide full public disclosure…… And since a 503(c) is not allowed to conduct political

Sue Wallis and Dave Duquette use this pic of a dead Spanish horse in their printed propaganda claiming it was a horse that American Advocates had starved?

Sue Wallis and Dave Duquette used this pic of a dead Spanish horse in their printed propaganda claiming it was a horse that American Advocates had starved?

lobbying, perhaps a review with the IRS should be undertaken.  Having said all that, you must have the same impression that I do –  that even Wallis’ non-profits are intended to be a profit centre for her.

Horse meat is the only meat product (and I use that term loosely) that is being produced by non-farmers collecting salvage animals from questionable/undocumented environments with untraceable histories.  Nevertheless, it seems that Sue Wallis conducted a marketing survey and found a whole 350 people in the entire United States who were interested in eating horsemeat from undocumented animals:

Awhile back we did a marketing survey and about 350 of you from all walks of life and all across the country responded to say that you were interested in purchasing cheval (horse meat)”  She found a whole 350 people upon whom to base her entire business model.  Oh and If you would be willing to sign an affidavit that says you would like to buy and use “cheval,” please email her so that she can send you the paperwork to include your name on a joint statement.

Sue gets a geography lesson here from a Facebook followers.

Sue gets a geography lesson here from a Facebook follower.

Really odd approach.  Sounds like something you would be doing in order to qualify to become a medical marijuana recipient.  She needn’t bother – finding only 350 people who might eat your product is hardly worth the effort.  That’s not even a niche market,  Sue.

In fact, instead of panhandling online, I think Wallis should “crowdsource” a little business acumen and perhaps turn her eyes to becoming a medical marijuana farm rather than spamming everyone with her tales of woe, and trying to sell shares of horses and cows.  I’m sure medical marijuana would grow quite well in Wyoming.  People will actually want to give you money for that, Sue.

John Holland, of the Equine Welfare Alliance wrote that “One survival strategy of prey animals is to synchronize their birthing so as to overwhelm their predators. Sue has adopted this strategy with her spontaneously created facts. She spews so many at one time that at least a few have a good chance to get past us unchallenged.”

And shame on anyone who sends a horse to slaughter and donates the money to this unscrupulous organization. If you can afford to donate a few hundred bucks to Sue Wallis,  you can afford humane euthanasia for your horse.  That’s all.

 

United Horsemen’s Members Skewered By News Satire!

Standard

3d-cvr-suckerbait-350Written by :  Heather Clemenceau

I think most of us are familiar with the Onion – a fabulously satirical online news agency – it preceded such great shows as the Colbert Report and the Daily Show.  They’re famous for various spoof polls that people often take seriously, because the people at the Onion are very astute at simulating journalistic style.  On occasion, entire countries have been spoofed by the Onion, including Russia,  Iran, France,  China, and Singapore,  who have often quoted them entirely and published their articles as real news.

Well, closer to the horse slaughter issue, a few of our gullible pro-slaughters have been taken in by a similar report, and it’s hilarious.  It’s a whole other level of entertainment when your adversaries believe implausible stuff!  It really makes you realize why many of them cannot grasp complex issues involving horse slaughter – like the testing of meat for example.  Remember the claim that bute is out of the horse’s system in 21 days? It’s almost pointless explaining why you can’t take a litmus test strip and swab any part of a horse to come up with a positive or negative drug test.   They just seem to lack the critical reasoning skills or a basic scientific education necessary to distinguish fact from fiction or pseudoscience.  Alternatively,  you can also choose to believe that they knew it was fake,  but some of them are just disingenuous pieces of shit who are happy to pretend that actual satire is true just to manipulate their audience.  Which is worse?  Could they be that gullible though?  Oh yes, dear reader, they could be, and they are………Dave Duquette better put on his fire-retardant suit,  because he’s about to get flamed!  I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to exercise my schadenfreude muscle,  and this is the perfect moment!

A few days ago I saw an article pop up in my Google Alerts about horsemeat.  It was published on the UK site “The Daily Squib,” which appears to be an Onion-style parody.  Within seconds of reading it most people will rapidly conclude that it’s a spoof, and a very funny one at that.  However, our friends at United Horsemen have embraced this story,  despite all objective reasoning to the contrary,  as fact.  You can read the article here,  but I’ve included a graphic of the story that has so convinced the UH group that they can still find a market for horsemeat in the US and that Wayne Pacelle of the HSUS has just got his comeuppance………

The Daily Squib

united Horsemen spoof

The most unintentionally hilarious comment accompanying this article!  Yes,  you CAN make this stuff up!  But, 29 People forwarded this? Did they realize it’s satire or is everyone taking it seriously?

Even Dave Duquette has been forwarding this spoof tabloid article around as well, and by reading the comments, you know he really believes it too!  The informationally challenged pro-slaughters are so eager to see horsemeat in the marketplace that their susceptibility to the thought now knows no ideological boundaries.

I mean,  this article is so obviously a parody on the horsemeat adulteration scandal in the UK,  one wonders whether Duquette and some of the others would be as quick to believe that Sarah Palin had joined Al Jazeera, or the White House was installing a retractable dome.Falling for the conspiracy  Judging by the number of people forwarding this herp and commenting on it, there’s a good number of UH members afflicted with brain cells as crispy and burnt as a McDonald’s fry left under a heat lamp.  Here’s one such comment:

“So, it this thing was allegedly “grown”, then how did a horse burger just show up all of a sudden? I mean, wasn’t someone checking it each day to see how much bigger it was? Weren’t tests run on it as it grew? Did someone just plop a small chunk of horse meat down one day and then came in early each morning to add to it to make it look as if it were growing?”

There’s a sucker born every minute, and apparently many of them wind up at United Horsemen’s group.  I bet that Duquette et al believes in everything that suits them about horses because they have lied to themselves so much.  Not only that,  but they are so used to publishing untruths that scrutinizing the source never even occurred to them.

Redneck Tales from Wyoming

Standard

silly horseWritten by:  Pageant Queen Honey Candy Mae (Government name:  Heather Clemenceau)

I have to admit that on rare occasions I do indulge in the occasional reality show, if only to remind myself that I am poorer, and more refined  than anyone currently seen on reality TV. But what’s with the preponderance of “southern reality” shows on TV?  The earliest incarnation, I think, would be the regular feature on The Carol Burnett Show with Mama’s loveable but dumb southern family.  We’re just getting rid of Jersey Shore, which of course isn’t southern, but it’s being replaced by Buckwild, which seems to build off of the popularity of Duck Dynasty, Toddlers and Tiaras,  Swamp People,  and Hillbilly Handfishin’.  (I almost typed “handfisting” which is probably a more accurate title because it’s what they actually do on this show).  Anyway, It really looks like redneck TV rules the airwaves.

As far as I can determine, the origins of the term redneck actually go back to the 1930’s in a number of disputes in West Virginia. A large group of unionized miners marched south to Logan horse laughCounty, to pressure the mine owners there to allow their miners to become unionized. To identify themselves, the miners all wore red bandannas around their necks. The publicity associated with the battles and the subsequent court cases created the term red-necks, and at that time they were viewed as the good guys in the conflict. Originally, the term came from the later 1800’s in southern Georgia and Alabama to refer to sharecroppers who worked in the fields thus getting a sunburned neck. They were called ‘rednecks’ as a term meant for hard working people.

If you’re a horse person you may have experienced the feeling that we’ve also been watching  another Wyoming-based reality show that nobody can turn off despite shitty ratings.   Wyoming Rep “Slaughterhouse” Sue Wallis’ IS a redneckian soap opera, which sometimes bears more than a passing resemblance to southern reality TV.  Recall Sue Wallis’ radio interview on the Sasha Show, the one where she hung up after 10 minutes.  Who watched this same behaviour from Honey Boo Boo Chile on Dr. Drew?  When he started asking her questions that she didn’t like, Honey Boo Boo did what everybody should do when Dr. Drew starts asking you questions: pretend to be asleep!  But eventually, Honey Boo Boo woke up and said that she hates being on TV and hates it when fans come up to her. Sue pulled a very similar tactic on the Sasha Show when she bailed after being asked stuff she didn’t want to answer, and without so much as a goo’bye  to her United Horsemen fangirls and boys.

I  actually have a strong aversion to discrimination and racism, so nowhere am I going to mock racial issues.  While I am mocking perceived cultural differences, I do not, implicitly or explicitly advocate that “rednecks” are inferior to anyone else.  But prominent rural people like Sue Wallis and many of her supporters do act like ignorant rednecks and add fuel to the stereotype.  So nobody write to me that I’m a racist – but I am going to have some fun at the expense of horse eaters using the Redneck Dialectizer, which hilariously converts everyday English to Redneck,  Swedish Chef,  and Elmer Fudd dialects,  and the Honey Boo Boo Name Generator.  I’ve translated specific message points and soundbites made by Sue Wallis,  Dave Duquette,  and our favourite Canadian slaughterphile Bill DesBarres into “Rednedian” speak,  and they make no more sense than they did in their original English.  Unfortunately,  there is no application that can translate “Dumbass” to “Common Sense.”  So grab yerself a glass o’ moonshine and half a laugh at their expense.

Who remembers this one?

horse laugh2“If yo’ had lived in mah shoes on over these last few years yo”d knows thet it don’t matter whut ah say o’ doesn’t say “they” will make sumpin up.It is all a Saul Alinsky style campaign t’make it a varmintal attack on a sin’le indivijool instead of a broader problem effeckin’ ev’ry houn’dog ownin’ fambly an’ business in th’ U.S. ah igno’e it. It is irrelevant. Once yo’ unnerstan’ thet simple corncepp, it is purdy easy t’figger out whut is gwine on, as enny fool kin plainly see.”

“We wanted a state thet was suppo’tive of our effo’ts, an’ th’ folks in Missouri is 100 percent on board wif whut we is tryin’ t’do an’ how we is tryin’ t’do it.”

Train-wreckiness at its finest – a ridiculous comment coming out of Missouri,  being made more ridiculous courtesy of the Dialectizer….

“We haf not spoken t’him direckly, but it is mah unnerstan’in’ thet th’ YMCA direcko’ received death threats t’his fambly, an’ to sponso’s of his o’ganizashun, We haf heard direckly fum other community members thet they have received thrett upin’ letters jest fo’ publicly expressin’ their suppo’t fo’ th’ projeck.”

So many eloquent quotes guaranteed to live on in infamy…..

“Th’ Mo’an amendment does NOT deal wif th’ real issues of starvin’ horse laugh3houn’dogs, o’ th’ demise of th’ houn’dog as a valued domestic animal as indicated by th’ mo’e than 70% drop in numbers of houn’dogs available fo’ pleasure, spo’t, an’ wawk, no’ does it deal wif all of th’ problems thet haf happened t’th’ houn’dog wo’ld as a direck result of HSUS ackshun on account o’ 2007.”

“Ah jest came acrost this hyar on a diffrunt group. Seein’ th’ graph is purdy startlin’. Really makes it hit home how seriously close we is to completely losin’ houn’dogs in our lives.”

Who can forget the Jascha Lottin incident and Wallis’ appeal to her followers to support this horse killer?

“Varmints hoominely kill an old houn’dog, butcher it t’use th’ fine meat, an’ decide t’have some fun wif it, an’ take pitchers.” “Hey yo’ Oregonians…howsabout retchin’ out t’these folks? No doubt they is bein’ hammered by idiots. Let’s give them some suppo’t.”

“Friends, between drought, wildfires, no opshuns, an’ an animal rights driven obstruckive federal ajuncy, we face a mighty grim winter…”

Shooting fish in a barrel…..

horse laugh4“All drugs haf wifdrawal periods, an’ thar is scientifically established time periods which enny meat animals muss be held af’er medicashuns befo’e they kin be processed.  Shet mah mouth! In terms of bute, specifically, ev’ry race houn’dog in th’ country has t’have their blood tested fo’ prohibited drugs. Common smarts on th’ track is thet bute will clear th’ system in two o’ three days an’ thet yo’ kin be purdy much guareenteed thet thar will be absolutely no vestige of th’ drug in seven days.”

Sugar Britches Wonderful (Government Name:  Sue Wallis)

“In 2011, th’ Houn’dog We’fare Alliance of Kinada (HWAC) intrydooced th’ fust indestry audit fo’ houn’dog processin’ plants. Th’ meat indestry is subjeck t’audits by th’ govment fo’ grub safety, hoomine transpo’t an’ han’lin’, an’ audits by buyers t’assure produck quality fo’ their cestomers. We wawk closely wif th’ Kinadian Grub Inspeckshun Ajuncy (CFIA) an’ corntinuously lobby fo’ adharnce t’regulashuns. We provide outretch via th’ web site, articles an’ media releases an’ participate in houn’dog indestry cornferences an’ events t’promote houn’dog we’fare prackices at all levels of houn’dog produckshun.”

Yep – “Slaughter is a wonderful option…….”

“In reality, houn’dog slaughter is an opshun thet c’d potentially put an ind t’much abuse an’ negleck of houn’dogs, an’ solve th’ problem of whut t’do wif th’ unwanted houn’dog.”

Boo Bear Daring (Government Name:  Bill DesBarres)

“No rodeo event in Oregon corndones, o’ cornducks, houn’dog trippin’. redneckOregon has comprehensive laws in place t’proteck animals. This hyar bill was mighty unnecessary. It was nothin’ mo’e than a fust step by HSUS t’ban all ropin’ of all animals in our state.Houn’dogs is livestock, an’ eff’n this hyar bill had become law, it’d haf set th’ precedent fo’ makin’ it illegal t’rope a cow. Af’er all, they’re both livestock — whut’s th’ difference between houn’dogs’ legs an’ cows’ legs?”

Darlin’  Doodle (Government Name:  Dave Duquette)

It all starts to look and sound the same doesn’t it?    And “Darlin’ Doodle?” That’s gonna stick.  You can count on it.

Horse Welfare 2012 – The Year in Review….

Standard
white arab greeting

© Heather Clemenceau

Written by:  Heather Clemenceau

Horse advocates have had a busy year working to prohibit the importation or exportation of horses for slaughter for human consumption. Horse protection groups released many damning reports of abuse and drug contamination,  and took aggressive legal action to discourage slaughter.

Undercover footage helped support our position,  and numerous investigations were publicized.  Citizen advocates monitored illegal trucking activities and for the first time,  retrieved horses directly from slaughterhouses. Pro-slaughters proved,  via their own (in)actions,  that slaughter does not prevent starvation.

We were also aided by the improved sensitivity of testing protocols in the EU,  which continued to reveal drug contamination of horsemeat,  a finding which is continually met with silence by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency,  although the subject of drug contamination is making its way into the food webs.  We’ve told restaurants in both Canada and the US that we don’t want horses on the menu.

Horse killers,  kill buyers and their enablers did not have a good year – several were charged with felonies.  Slaughterhouse Sue and Dave Duquette were unable to open any of their proposed slaughterhouses, despite performing an endless kabuki dance around the true status of the plants.  Duquette also forgot to send a cheque to renew his own domain name on the web and subsequently lost www.daveduquette.com to a pro-horse HSUS site.

We’ve grown more media  savvy too,  with PSAs and billboards getting the message out.  We are mobilizing via different social media platforms to petition lawmakers. Numerous examples of “horse hoarding” received publicity as well,  with advocates rallying to promote horse adoptions through the increased use of Facebook groups.  We’ve also demanded that horse killers and those who fail to protect horses and humans be justly punished.  However,  despite our best efforts to keep Senate bill 1176 and House resolution 2966 active,  they both died without ever being brought to a vote.

The challenges in 2013 will be even greater,  as the EU moves to ban importation of North American horsemeat and the full force and effect of the ending of the slots program in Ontario are felt.  HWAC,  Equine Canada and the FEI are also launching “prototype” chipping programs,  ostensibly to ensure compliance with 2013 EU regulations.  As we fine-tune all our programs and advocacy efforts,  we look forward to a most challenging year,  but no doubt one filled with hope that we might be seeing the final death throes of the horse slaughter industry.  Happy Holidays indeed!

Read the entire chronological recap on Storify:

horse welfare 2012

 

Happy New Year

What We’ve Got Here is Failure To Communicate…..

Standard

Failure to CommunicateIn September,  Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced that Dr. Brian Evans,  who was making some sort of lateral move (perhaps closer to the door?) was being replaced by Dr. Martine Dubuc Chief Food Safety Officer and Dr. Ian Alexander Chief Veterinary Officer.   Of course,  no announcement from the CFIA can ever be made without the requisite statements about Canada having a “strong food safety system founded on sound science and aligned with international standards.”  Yawn.

Of course,  statements such as these seem contradictory when it’s realized that,  even though it apparently takes two people to replace Dr. Evans,  the CFIA is slashing jobs and budgets  elsewhere.  In April of this year,  Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair`s website foretold of the impending doom,  when he wrote that Less food inspection could mean another tainted food crisis, more serious illnesses or worse.  Over 100 food inspectors,  hired after the listeriosis outbreak (which Ritz mocked) in 2008 will now be slashed,  which puts us at the pre-listeriosis levels in terms of staffing.  In total,  the CFIA will be jettisoning 308 jobs.

Malcolm Allen, NDP Critic for Agriculture and Agri-Food, wrote that “These cuts put Canadians’ lives at risk.  We could have another listeriosis crisis on our hands. People could get sick, or worse, they could lose their lives.”  A new food safety report released by the Conference Board of Canada says rates of food-borne illnesses in Canada are higher than the United States. Canadians suffer more often from salmonella, e. coli, campylobacter and yersinia than Americans, according to the report prepared by the Centre for Food in Canada.

Dr. Brian Evans being interviewed by CBC

Dr. Brian Evans being interviewed by CBC

Horse welfare advocates have no experience with these two replacements for Dr. Evans,  who seems to be perpetually unaware of serious horse cruelty infractions occurring within his purview.  Even though he appeared to be forthright on the CBC video No Country for Horses, he is confronted about cruelty issues and accusations that the inspectors working in Bouvry and Richelieu were ordered to ignore their own rules.  If you`re watching the video – check out the horse at the 1:55 minute mark – this horse is ineligible for slaughtering because it is exhibiting stereotyping behaviour,  – compulsive shaking of its head.

Of course,  now that we have two new people replacing Dr. Evans,  you might think that the organization might be a bit more responsive in issuing food hazard alerts,  yet it was revealed that the CFIA waited nearly two weeksto issue a public health alert after learning that beef from an Alberta plant was contaminated with a potentially deadly bacteria. Even then,  it was not the CFIA that discovered the contamination,  it was the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Agency that made the discovery.  The plant with the contamination problem – XL Foods,  has been suspended from operations for shipping 890,000 pounds of contaminated beef to the US.  Looks to me like this has the potential to become the next listeriosis crisis,  as foretold by Thomas Mulcair and Malcolm Allen.

Unfortunately,  government inability to respond quickly to threats and challenges also doesn`t bode well for our horses.  Most everyone in Ontario is familiar with the backstory here – seeking sources of funding to address a $15-billion deficit, the Ontario government decided to terminate a program that sent $345-million from slot-machine revenues to tracks and horsemen in 2011. The decision will result in the loss of up to 60,000 jobs, according to the draft of a government-commissioned report prepared by McKinsey & Company. By comparison, General Motors announced plans in June to shut down a consolidated line at its plant in Oshawa, Ont., a move expected to cost 2,000 jobs in June of 2013.

A week ago I sent a copy of a CHDC action-alert letter reflecting the concern for up to 13,000 racehorses being slaughtered with prohibited drugs in their system, to both Dr. Martine  Dubuc and Dr. Ian Alexander,  Dr Evans’ replacements.  I figured that if you can’t interest them in the cruelty angle,  at least try to get them to commit to following their own meat hygiene guidelines.  I asked them to clarify how the CFIA intends to ensure that no racehorses enter the slaughter pipeline during this period of crisis when breeders, owners and trainers begin to offload their animals.

These drugs could include:

Table 1.  Therapeutic Medications Routinely Used and Identified as Necessary by the Veterinary Advisory Committee — (Racing Medication and Testing Consortium [RMTC] draft list of therapeutic medications, 2005) 

1. Acepromazine 17. Dipyrone 33. Omeprazole
2. Albuterol 18. Flunixin 34. Pentoxifylline
3. Aminocaproic Acid 19. Fluprednisolone 35. Phenylbutazone
4. Atropine 20. Fluphenazine 36. Phenytoin
5. Beclomethasone 21. Furosemide 37. Prednisolone
6. Betamethasone 22. Glycopyrrolate 38. Prednisone
7. Boldenone 23. Guaifenesin 39. Procaine Penicillin
8. Butorphanol 24. Hydroxyzine 40. Pyrilamine
9. Cimetidine 25. Isoflupredone 41. Ranitidine
10. Clenbuterol 26. Isoxsuprine 42. Reserpine
11. Cromolyn 27. Ketoprofen 43. Stanozolol
12. Dantrolene 28. Lidocaine 44. Testosterone
13. Detomidine 29. Mepivacaine 45. Triamcinolone
14. Dexamethasone 30. Methocarbamol 46. Trichlomethiazide
15. Diazepam 31. Methylprednisolone 47.  Regumate
16. DMSO 32. Nandrolone 48. Dermorphin

Instead,  what I received back from Dr. Alexander was this:

Dr. Ian Alexander letter

Dr. Ian Alexander letter

As you can read,  it completely misses the salient points – those being that racehorses,  the ones who are now being declined by Bouvry and Richelieu for complicated drug issues that do not pass muster with the CFIA`s own meat hygiene manual for horses may be entering the food chain,  and what was the CFIA going to do about it?  As form letters go,  I`ve seen more articulate letters to Santa Claus.  To knowingly send a horse to slaughter for human consumption when that animal has been administered non-permitted drugs is a federal offence.  This concern cannot be over-emphasized, as illustrated in a U.S. study performed on 18 American racehorses who were sent for slaughter after receiving phenylbutazone, Dodman et al, 2010 Association of Phenylbutazone usage with horses bought for slaughter: A public health risk.  Food and Chemical Toxicology 48:1270-1274.

Phenylbutazone, an anti-inflammatory drug, is a carcinogen and even tiny amounts can cause aplastic anemia, particularly in children.  Clenbuterol, a bronchodilator that is used in the racing industry not only to enhance breathing but to build muscle, can cause symptoms of acute food poisoning (gross tremors of the extremities, tachycardia, nausea, headaches and dizziness).  Not only that,  but how do the CFIA plan to explain away the existence of dermorphin (frog juice) in horses sent for slaughter in Canada?  And why does it seem as if the racing industry can detect drugs in horses more expediently than can the CFIA?

I swear I would last a maximum of one week in a government job – I couldn’t stand the obfuscation.  “Processing”  is something you do to a roll of Kodak film,  not to horses!  With talk like that,  Dr. Alexander is about as credible as Bill DesBarres and his BFF’s  Slaughterhouse Sue Wallis and Dave Duquette.

Horse Sense vs. Non-Sense – 10 More Enduring Myths From The Pro-Slaughter Posse

Standard

Written by:  Heather Clemenceau

Art © Heather Clemenceau

© Heather Clemenceau

© Heather Clemenceau

I’ve always had a interest in debunking false lore and hoaxes.  Usually  I’ve spent my time debunking pseudo science,  near-death experiences,  and alien abductions,  but the same flaws in thinking/rationalizing that lead to those belief systems can be found elsewhere.  And the pros don’t disappoint!  They continue to be dogmatic in their approach and persist in their beliefs even after shown evidence to the contrary.  Perception and reality are not the same animal.

1. We don’t have a right to tell other people/nations what to do/eat

When it comes to North American horsemeat,  the EU is certainly going to tell us what to do

– their expectation is that North American horsemeat will fall in line with their protocols,  not ours.  And countries frequently DO tell other countries what to do when it comes to prohibited trade or financial transactions.  Although I’ve heard this argument frequently on Facebook,  I’ve also heard it on the street and seen it in newspapers in Toronto – many of which seem to be linked to the whole La Palette horsemeat “promotion” that seems to be happening in Toronto – many foodies claim they should be able to eat whatever they want.  Frighteningly,  they even claim that if animal is enroute to slaughter,  there is,  accordingly to them,  no reason to treat it humanely.

© Heather Clemenceau

Do we have an obligation to avoid negligence or breach of duty?  Do we have a duty or obligation to protect people,  even if they do not live in North America,  from eating something they shouldn’t eat, or something they don’t know they are eating?  We also have a legal liability in many cases, even if the person assumes harm – these are basic consumer protection laws.  There is a branch of law referred to as “product liability.”  In the US and Canada the claims most commonly associated with product liability are negligence,  liability,  and breach of warranty claims.  Even if there is no negligence, i.e.- insufficient or faulty testing,   public policy demands that responsibility be fixed wherever it will most effectively reduce the hazards.  The CFIA and Agriculture Canada  and their counterparts in the US, can anticipate some hazards in the form of drug or parasitic contamination,  and guard against the recurrence of others,  while the  public cannot.

How many plaintiffs have sued tobacco companies for harm and won, despite the warnings?  Over time,  tobacco companies,  scared of the issue of product liability,  retreated to 2nd and 3rd world countries where they advertised heavily to the brown people who either didn’t understand the dangers or whose governments were not active in protecting them.  Ironically,  this is where some of the Pros suggested the next markets might lie……….and they sound quite a bit like Big Tobacco when they suggest it.

I’m not suggesting that horsemeat is the “new tobacco,”  but despite what many pros claim about people having the “freedom” to eat whatever they want and assume the risk,  that’s a myth,  and we must put the remains of that myth in the shredder once and for all.

2. Rescues are looking for any opportunity to steal horses

There are good and bad rescues out there.  Some rescues need their own rescues,  and others

© Heather Clemenceau

are run by thinly-veiled animal hoarders.   However,  I have honestly never heard of a rescue going onto a property and stealing someone’s horses without the benefit of the law behind them.  Don’t the pro-slaughters realize that rescues operate in conjunction with sheriffs,  who can also seize debtors goods?  Most people believe that animals in need are generally seized too late rather than too early or without merit.  Another oddity I’ve noticed is that if a rescue goes under and its animals are seized,  it’s “just desserts” according to the pro-crowd,  but if a horseowner starves his animals and they get seized,  it becomes a “property rights” issue that must be defended against.  How hypocritical.

When the property rights fanatics at United Horsemen heard about Nancy Skakel and her Shagya arabs,  they looked up long enough from their feedbags to pull some quantum moronics.  They strongly suggested,  or outright claimed that the rescue(s) had stolen Skakel’s horses,  when her neighbours should have made it their civic duty to help her by pulling down her derelict buildings,  even though she was trying to run them off her property.  Then they went on to try and ingratiate themselves in the White Salmon and Goldendale communities.  Skakel had had run-ins with the law since at least 2005 as well as with her neighbours,  who over time,  simply got fed up with her.  She couldn’t  pay her bills but kept breeding more horses,  while letting them run loose on roads for at least 5 years.  She also admitted to letting her prized stallion lay in his stall for four days until he died with no veterinary care or humane intervention after he was kicked by a horse.

Yet Duquette is outraged that  the “animal rights” folks have these horses,  even though she was charged.  This is one of the dumbest public displays of stupidity by Duquette and company ever, and that’s really saying something.   I for one am thankful that they continue to out themselves in yet another display of dumb-fuckery.  I have no idea if Duquette actually went in and repaired Nancy’s property, but if he really wants to make a difference,  why not promote any of the low cost gelding clinics in Washington,  promoted by the National Equine Resource Network?  Oh, never mind.

© Heather Clemenceau

3. Transportation is Heavily Regulated so horse injuries are minimal

The horses photographed by Animals Angels at Dennis Chavez’ feedlot obviously arrived there in terrible condition.  Had Animals Angels not documented the horses flailing on the ground unattended and without humane euthanasia,  how would the laws against such cruelty have been enforced?  Who loaded those animals on the trailers and how long were they there before they collapsed in the dirt on Chavez’ feedlot?

© Heather Clemenceau

The civilians tracking Three Angels and Terri’s Farms did so in order to document their chameleon operations and egregious avoidance of transportation laws.  A mere two months after the FMCSA ordered the closure of Lebanon, TN based Three Angels Farms because of flagrant safety violations, the agency was issuing another notice to Terri’s Farm under charges that it was operating as a chameleon carrier.  Terri’s Farm was shut down before any other serious accidents could occur (thanks to the efforts of private citizens and truckers), but chameleon carriers can go for much longer without being caught, often with serious consequences. If the FMCSA is so concerned with safety, shouldn’t they be doing more to prevent this?

The Animal Law Coalition contends that commercial transportation of Equines to Slaughter Act is unenforceable:

GAO has also confirmed that USDA/APHIS has not – and cannot – enforce transport regulations for equines sent to slaughter. 9 CFR Sections 88.1-88.6. Changing a few words here and there in the regulations will not make transport of equines to slaughter humane.  USDA/APHIS allows the kill buyers and haulers to fill out and provide the documentation – which is routinely missing, incomplete or inaccurate – relied on for enforcement. It is impossible to enforce regulations when the information to determine violations is supplied solely by the kill buyers and haulers, the very people USDA/APHIS is supposed to be regulating.

A 2010 Office of Inspector General report confirmed APHIS lacks the resources and controls to enforce regulations for humane transport of equines to slaughter. Not only is the information relied on for enforcement supplied by the kill buyers and haulers, APHIS continues to approve of new shipments to slaughter by kill buyers or haulers that have outstanding unpaid fines for violations of humane regulations. The current regulations do not give APHIS the authority to refuse approval. 

OIG also found there is no  adequate system for tracking the information, such as it is, that is supplied by the kill buyers and haulers about the horses. It is very difficult to track what happens to the horses, meaning enforcement is virtually non-existent. Also, APHIS often does not receive any information from kill buyers or haulers. OIG noted in 2011 that for the past year or more, APHIS had not received the required paperwork, owner/shipper certificates, from kill buyers or haulers for any horses sent from Texas to Mexico.

On top of that, APHIS only has two agents to try to enforce these regulations. Your agency is hamstrung by its own regulations and cannot assure humane transport of equines to slaughter. There is every reason to think your agency could not even begin to assure humane transport of horses within the U.S. to newly opened slaughter facilities. “

Lastly,  this compilation of both deliberate and accidental injuries to horses in transport was made thirty-six months after making a Freedom of Information Request of the U.S.D.A.  regarding violations of the “Commercial Transportation of Equines to Slaughter Act,” the documents were received. The 906-page FOIA includes almost 500 separate photographs of severe and alarming  cruelty of horses due to the horse slaughter industry that happened on U.S. soil. (EXTREMELY GRAPHIC) http://www.kaufmanzoning.net/favideo/demo_video.flv (EXTREMELY GRAPHIC)

4.  Slaughter operations are a desirable type of employment and anyone should be happy to work in any of them.

I guess your answer depends on what your definition of “desirable employment” is.  I can think of at least 100 different types of work I’d rather do,  some of them possibly not legal either,  which would be preferential to working in a slaughterhouse.  I’ve always wondered why we haven’t seen Mike Rowe (of Dirty Jobs fame) filming a segment in a slaughterhouse.  I’ve seen film of him in a sewer,  but perhaps there are some jobs that are just too dirty for Mike………

The slaughter industry’s effect on physical environment, human health and on the high rate of injuries to workers has been carefully documented by scholars.  Slaughterhouses are also the source of human suffering as well.  The process of killing a living creature day after day creates overwhelming emotional dissonanceThis study – “Slaughterhouses and Increased Crime Rates: An Empirical Analysis of Spillover from ‘The Jungle” into the Surrounding Community, Organization and Environment,” by Amy Fitzgerald PhD,  analyses population/jobs/crime data of 1994-2002 in 581 non-metropolitan counties to analyze the effect of slaughterhouses on the surrounding communities.

The findings of the study indicate that slaughterhouse employment is strongly correlated with an increase in arrest rates, arrests for violent crimes, rape, other sex offences, vandalism, arson, robbery, assault and disorderly conduct in comparison with other industries. The study documented increases of 130 per cent increase in violent crimes in Finney County, Kansas and a 63 per cent increase in Lexington, Nebraska. The Canadian town of Brooks, Alberta, witnessed a 70 per cent increase in reported crime. Particularly telling is the fact that the arrests in counties with 7,500 slaughterhouse employees are more than double than in those where there are no slaughterhouse employees. This strongly correlates the existence of a ‘Sinclair effect’ unique to the violent workplace of the slaughterhouse, a factor ignored previously in the sociology of violence.  Here’s a bit more about Sinclair,  “The Jungle,”  and Dr. Fitzgerald’s study.

The effects are not explained away by claiming that the workers are immigrants and therefore “undesirable” elements, nor by claiming that the workers are lower class,  hard drinking people,  social disorganization,  poor populations,   etc because people working in low paid, dangerous,  blue collar towns with high unemployment do not show the same patterns in crime.  The study examined towns that focused on ironworks,  metal stamping,  and other industrial operations,  with low pay, dangerous conditions,  and routinized labour as comparables, and found no similar spike.  The unique work of killing and dismembering animals in slaughterhouses has resulted in the types of crime which Upton Sinclair referred to as “the jungle” in the community. Dr. Fitzgerald and her colleagues state that “we believe that this is another of a growing list of social problems that need explicit attention.”  To me,  the answer seems obvious – such employment is likely to lead to the worker removing animals from moral consideration,  as a coping mechanism for what they must do on a daily basis,  which often leads to removing humans from moral consideration as well.

Of course,  there’s also the explanation that slaughter operations attract psychopaths to begin with,  and I think that’s true in some cases.  I’m not a psychiatrist,  and I don’t play one on TV,  but the Rubashkin family,  who ran Agriprocessors,  a former kosher slaughterhouse,  seems to have attracted more than their share of potential psychopaths.  Agriprocessors was cited for issues involving animal treatment, food safety, environmental safety, child labour, and hiring of illegal workers.  In November 2009, Sholom Rubashkin was convicted of 86 counts of financial fraud,  including bank fraud,  mail and wire fraud and money laundering.  In 2010 he was sentenced to 27 years in prison.  I don’t believe that the Rubashkins ever slaughtered horses,  and although slaughter can never be a socially acceptable concept,  there seem to be ever-present trends with slaughterhouses – moreso than with other industries which rely heavily on manual labour.

If anything,  slaughterhouses have been thoroughly studied by a small number of scientists and sociologists.  In the US,  and to some degree in Canada,  like other divisions of agriculture, slaughterhouse workers are typically people living in low-income communities. In recent decades, an influx of Latin American workers has been seen across the country, partially due to active recruiting by the corporations. Today, approximately 38% of slaughterhouse and “meat”-processing workers were born outside of the U.S.

Many employers knowingly hire undocumented workers in an effort to satisfy the extremely high turnover rate of the industry, which often exceeds 100% annually.   In some cases, they provide incentives for current workers to recruit family and friends and even help new workers to create fake social security cards. Undocumented workers are constantly faced with the threat of deportation – either by their employer or by federal raids.

Pity the poor employee who works in at “at-will” state in the US – they can be fired at any time at management discretion. The threat of termination discourages workers from reporting safety concerns, injuries, or other serious issues. Long hours,  repetitive stress and motion,  and under-reported injuries.   As a result, workers are conditioned to accept a hazardous and demeaning work environment if they want to remain employed. How do you like the idea of working in a slaughterhouse so far?

Any mass-production industry that has slim profit margins,  which emphasizes high-speed,  often with dangerous mechanized and manual labour, is never a good outcome for animals or people. An alternative to the slaughter factory,  for people that must eat meat and wish to do so from a position of somewhat greater humanity or ecology – is the mobile slaughterhouse.  We need to see more of them.  Still wouldn’t want to work at one though………..

5.  Every carcass is tested for the presence of drugs

We know that this isn’t true because the CFIA have told us so.  This is the perception by the general public and certainly that of La Palette restaurant in Toronto and possibly other chefs as well,   despite repeatedly being informed to the contrary.  “….the CFIA’s rate of phenylbutazone testing on horse carcasses is an abysmal 0.152%(143 samples taken on 93,812 horses in 2009).  If this is the frequency recommended by United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization, then I am shocked.  I don’t think I’d trust the CFIA to run the “Guess My Weight” game at the local fairgrounds.

According to the CFIA’s own website “In addition to randomly sampling horse meat for chemical residues, the CFIA conducts targetted testing based on clinical observation of animals, before stunning and slaughter.The CFIA employs veterinarians and supervised, trained inspectors in each horse slaughter plant to identify any animal that, based on its appearance or history, may have been treated with phenylbutazone. The meat from these animals may be held until testing is performed and no residues are found. Animals are also examined post-slaughter for signs of conditions such as arthritis, which can indicate they may have been treated with phenylbutazone.“ I wonder what visual inspection protocols they have for clenbuterol,  dermorphin,  and Lasix?

IMO,  the above is not a testing program.  I’ve performed organizational compliance audits that had profoundly higher sample populations, in companies that did not produce foodstuffs.   Canada needs to pay as close a scrutiny to horsemeat testing as the US does with athletes – something is terribly wrong when more runners and cyclists are scrutinized and suspended for positive drug results than is our food.   Now that the CFIA is downloading inspection of food to manufacturers and distributors,  how would this affect horsemeat,  especially in the climate whereby the EU is demanding more accountability and traceability,  not LESS?

Shamez Amlani,  owner of La Palette restaurant in Toronto,   told the Toronto Star he is “confident there will no longer be a glut of horses in Canada that could compromise the safety of the horse meat.”  Note to Shamez – if the product you’re serving in your restaurant has to sit on a feedlot for six months in order that the drugs given to it degrade, then that should give you pause.  Also, a recent Forbes article disagrees with Amlani’s logic, explaining, “Bouvry Exports and Richelieu Meats, two Canadian slaughterhouses, recently stopped accepting U.S. Thoroughbreds—the only breed whose drug records can be traced.”

However, if the 2013 EU regulations put a severe crimp in Canada’s horsemeat exports,  La Palette and other Canadian establishments will be left serving the “pharmacological” variety of horsemeat that simply isn’t good enough for EU consumers.

6.  Horsemeat is organic

This is really a recurring theme amongst chefs who should know better but don’t!  According to the CFIA,  there are stringent requirements (if you can imagine the word “stringent being used in the same sentence as “CFIA”) for suppliers to satisfy before they can call their products “organic.”  This isn’t just a Canadian thing either, we have to have standards that harmonize Canadian provisions for the production, certification, identification and labelling of organic products with international ones such as the Codex Alimentarius Commission.  Since the vast majority of horses are raised by private individuals who don’t ascribe to any of these requirements, it should be self-explanatory that horsemeat doesn’t meet the definition of “organic.”

Also,  if horsemeat and its byproducts are so “organic,”   why was Natural Valley Farms,  a horse slaughterhouse in Saskatchewan, charged with discharging blood into rivers?  Slaughterhouse Sue Wallis,  who occasionally fronts as a Representative of Wyoming,  is constantly chirping about the usefulness of all things horse slaughter-related,  including the blood,  which,  according to her,  is a valuable commodity.  I guess NVF didn’t get the message…….

7.  Environmental damage by horse slaughterhouses is vastly overstated

From a US perspective,  one of the best “go-to” persons is obviously former Kaufman Mayor Paula Bacon,  who is more than willing to provide documentation from the Public Works Director,  former Kaufman City Manager, Presbyterian Hospital,  the daycare center,  and the Police Chief to support her claims about Dallas Crown,  which had a very long history of violations to their waste permit.   The city was even fined by the TCEQ for the plant’s failure to comply with backflow regulations that meant horse blood and waste backed up into sinks, toilets and tubs. When the plant finally closed, the city was left with nearly $100,000 in unpaid fines.

Dallas Crown consistently denied the City access to their property for wastewater testing despite requirement by city ordinance, city permit agreement, and court order. City staff reported that a $6 million upgrade to the wastewater treatment plant would be required even though the plant was planned and financed to last through 2015. There were numerous examples of offal and hides being transported through main thoroughfares in containers without covers,  as well as problems with bones and and other body parts in neighbouring yards,  resulting in 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. The cost to litigate against Dallas Crown consisted of 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.

The  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,  which seems unbelievable given Slaughterhouse Sue’s claims about the value of equine blood.  The horse slaughter plant in DeKalb , IL had a similar pattern. It was charged and fined by the DeKalb Sanitary District almost every month.  Like Dallas Crown, Cavel refused to pay their fines for years.

The US slaughter plants were clearly a nightmare in many respects, but Canada hasn’t escaped scrutiny either.  Even Henry Skjerven,  a board member of Natural Valley Farms Inc., recounts its ultimate decline and fall in the Western Producer in April, 2009.  You can read the complete accounting here.

© Heather Clemenceau

“Most notable was our failure with the CFIA. Natural Valley used precious resources, time, money and people in challenging CFIA staff and regulations. The final result? CFIA removed the company’s operating licence in early 2009. Natural Valley Farms died the day the decision makers chose to kill horses. It took months to implement and hundreds of thousands of dollars of cattle producer’s investment to make that change. But horse slaughter never brought a single minute of profitability to the company.”  Even though NVF management were kicked to the curb,  the government didn’t want to see the cessation of the business.  They offered the plant to the Carry the Kettle First Nations with government assistance – this report was prepared for the Carry the Kettle First Nations.  This CHDC report was instrumental in the Band’s rejection of this business offer.

8.  The BLM does not sell horses to slaughter

One thing I can’t figure out is this –  if you have millions of acres of vacant land and there’s 100 miles between towns, why on earth can’t they put all those wild horses out there?  What really happens to wild horses and burros after they “disappear” into the paper chain of a government agency?  And what happens to them after they have been sold once or twice to different buyers who are no longer restricted in whom they may sell the horses to?

In the US,  wild horses and burros are supposedly protected from the slaughter pipeline by the 1971 act of Congress “Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act.” The act states that “wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death.”

The most incriminating evidence against the BLM consists of  a letter to Attorney General Janet Reno, current and former employees of the Federal Bureau of Land Management have accused bureau officials of falsifying financial records, taking part in schemes to sell wild horses to slaughterhouses and obstructing Federal investigations.  Much of the letter sheds new light on published reports that bureau employees took part in schemes to sell federally protected wild horses to slaughterhouses, then tried to obstruct Federal investigations of their involvement.  At least 36,000 formerly wild horses,  adopted through BLM programs,  are unaccounted for.  Also,  under the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act (WFRHB) the  BLM can implement the “Final Solution” for the horses:

“[a]ny excess animal or the remains of an excess animal shall be sold if–
(A) the excess animal is more than 10 years of age; or
(B) the excess animal has been offered unsuccessfully for adoption at least 3 times.”

Currently, a wild horse or burro must be offered for adoption at 3 specific satellite or adoption events before qualifying for sale under subsection (B). Wild horses and burros sold in this way are called 3 strikes horses. Animals sold under this provision lose the protections of the WFRHBA. The BLM cannot claim a lack of knowledge in what would happen to the horses.

The BLM has sold pro-slaughter horse trader Tom Davis at least 1,700 wild horses and burros since 2009, agency records show — 70 percent of the animals purchased through its sale program. Like all buyers, Davis signs contracts promising that animals bought from the program will not be slaughtered and insists he finds them good homes. By his own account, he has ducked Colorado law to move animals across state lines and will not say where they end up. He continues to buy wild horses for slaughter from Indian reservations, which are not protected by the same laws. And since 2010, he has been seeking investors for a slaughterhouse of his own.

“Hell, some of the finest meat you will ever eat is a fat yearling colt,” he said. “What is wrong with taking all those BLM horses they got all fat and shiny and setting up a kill plant?”

Some BLM employees say privately that wild horse program officials may not want to look too closely at Davis. The agency has more wild horses than it knows what to do with, they say, and Davis has become a relief valve for a federal program plagued by conflict and cost over-runs.

In the following video,  watch Trent Loos and Bill DesBarres incriminate themselves discuss the semantics with respect to American wild horses coming to Canada for slaughter.  Mustangs end up in Shelby Montana (feedlot) where they go to Canada,  and according to DesBarrres (who says leprechauns are mythological?),  they are no longer BLM horses because they’ve received a new “nationality” once crossing into Canada.  I see what you did there Bill!  So the minute a wild horse crosses from the US into Canada,  it surrenders it’s “nationality” and the problem of disappearing wild horses is solved!  Watch the clusterfuck of confusion at the Horse Slaughter Summit once they realize that they’re engaged in a battle of semantics………

Government organizations can no longer plead ignorance when selling horses under their control to kill buyers.  Earlier this year Big Bend State Park agreed to sell 11 of their park horses to a known slaughter buyer from Presidio, Texas for a total  .25 cents a pound.  Nevada Department of Agriculture has offered estray horses for sale,  before they are taken to auction,  where they are likely to be sold for slaughter.  23 horses that were to be sold for slaughter by the Nevada Department of Agriculture were subsequently rescued.  And the Salt River Horses are classified as “feral” – they are not protected by the government – they can be rounded up and shipped off to slaughter houses for human consumption overseas.  Some of the most highly trained,  “bomb-proof” horses may also have been sent on a one-way ticket to slaughter – 60+ Texas Prison horses  – sold at  a public auction, their most likely destination, a Mexican slaughterhouse notorious for unspeakable cruelty.  The state of Nevada is the legal owner of all wild horses in the state except those on public lands.  Nevada will now be making their horses available at a September livestock auction where they will be sold by the pound.

9.  BSE (Bovine spongiform encephalopathy) was invented by animal activists to distract the government from noticing that extraterrestrials are invading the US!

Did you get all that?  Never in a million years did I think cruising around the United Horsemen’s Facebook page would yield this gem of a declaration!  This poster,  who doesn’t know much about animals,  certainly nothing about horses,   but insists that it’s every man’s right to own an exotic big cat,  must be a member of the Truther Movement.  He really knows how to bring the crazy – that fringe should be on a surrey!  Technically,  this isn’t even a “myth” because not even the other United Horsemen’s posters will let this shit go unchallenged!

Actually,  quite a few UH posters jumped all over this post,  trying to correct the poster,  who believes that prion diseases were “invented” by animal activists,  or that they don’t really exist,  or that Hansel and Gretel was a story about a REAL encounter with a witch……….or something like that.  Too bad the poster can barely take a break from the hysterical responses to read what was written in response to his claims.

Actually,  this claim about BSE isn’t that much different that what you might read from your average garden-variety conspiracy theorist who believes that,  because it’s posted on the intarwebs,  it must be true – it’s all a clandestine government plan created by the Freemasons and the Bilderbergs,  who were responsible for assassinating Lincoln,  poisoning us with chemtrails,  and destroying the World Trade Center.  Our brains have been poisoned by vaccinations for diseases that don’t really exist and fluoride in your water for teeth which were actually implanted before birth by the military-backed Electronic Banking Industry, (in cahoots with HAARP and David Icke) in order to slowly release mind-control substances,  produce schizophrenia,  steal your dreams,  and imprison everyone in Russian thought-control labs where we will be anally probed by Sumerian-speaking alien reptile kings,  who are in league with Big Pharma to invent new diseases such as ADHD,  HSV,  and HPV.  Yeah,  I know the type,  I argued debated with them like forever on the internet.  And you can’t learn ‘em either,  because they don’t use critical thinking skills and cannot recognize or discern facts from fiction!  All you can do is sit back with a bemused expression,  and “watch that fringe and see how it flutters……”

The idea that prion diseases in cattle were caused by insecticide was originally floated by a self-educated farmer by the name of Mark Purdey who is quoted by our conspiracy theorist.  Purdey himself never claimed that animal rights activists had anything to do with BSE,  nor extraterrestrials,  which is just a crazy embellishment on the part of our writer.  Purdey was an intelligent eccentric who claimed that organophosphates contribute to BSE, or in humans,  known as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease,  or vCJD or nvCJD.  I think Purdey had honest intentions,  but like so many “fringe” ideas,  conspiracy theorists glom onto them and distort them for their own misguided motivations.

A British inquiry into BSE concluded that it was epizoonotic and was caused by cattle,  normally herbivores,  being fed the remains of other cattle in the form of meat and bone meal,  which caused the infectious agent to spread.  One theory is that it may have originated with sheep with scrapie that were processed in the same slaughterhouse.  Prions will not disappear even if the beef containing them is cooked.

10.  I am the Shedrow blogger

As most readers here know,  the Horse Farts Anonymous Facebook page was forced to go undercover because,  turnabout wasn’t fairplay  to them when the Shedrow Confessions blogger exposed them using the very site they originally created to mock the anti-slaughter advocates.  You know what they say about payback.  But don’t worry Pros,  I’m not gonna threaten y’all with lawsuits or anything like that……

"Ana Renza" claims I am shedrow blogger

This is one enduring myth!  As Shedrow herself describes,  the pros’ “logic” in arriving at the conclusion that we’re one and the same person  is based on Shedrow making an initial posting (I think she called it a poke) on the Naughty Mendy blog with a Canadian IP  proxy.  Of course,  I am one of the few Canadians the pros ever heard of who also had a blog (even though I’ve never posted on any of the pro blawgs),  so they proceeded to block me and every other anti-slaughter Canuck they could find on Facebook – just in case their hypothesis was actually wrong.  Just more naivete about Canada – thinking that we all use the same IP!  We’re got more total area than the US too – go here pros to learn more about Canada – a country where there is more than one anti-slaughter blogger!

Anyway,  all this was done on the suggestion of Mendy Tobiano’s “techies.”  I’m not sure how even the stupidest techie could arrive at that conclusion,  unless of course,  they’re also the type of neanderthal that’s still using a stick to scratch a record of their horse kills on the limestone walls of their cave.  Of course,  the mass blocking of my Facebook profile by all six pro-slaughters did absolutely squat because I never write to them or communicate with them except if they show up on my blog,  on a third-party site,  or in a site where pros and antis are posting together with the acknowledgement that both parties will behave with respect towards the other.  And I block non-friends from sending any communications  to me on Facebook,  so it’s not like any of them can write to me either – no drama mama here.

rumours about me and shedrow

Although, by not allowing them to write to me I sometimes feel that I am missing out on a lot of primo blog material!

Whoever Shedrow is,  he or she is able to continue to read their comments unaffected – because the pros don’t know who to block!

On the rare occasion I post comments from pros who are not actually part of the pro-slaughter movement  – Slaughterhouse Sue,  Dave Duquette,  Bill DesBarres,  politicians,  public figures, etc.  I block out their names.  But since I’m being named here,  I’m not going to give them any such courtesy – you’ll understand why I’m sure.  Quid pro quo. Some of these comments are pretty strange,  I’m beginning to suspect somebody slipped Naughty Tobiano an acid tab just before she wrote the comment below.

Lastly,  I’ll leave you all with this,  courtesy of the Humane Society of Canada:

Who profits from the lives of horses destined for recreational markets?

  • • Certain breeders, private horse owners, auction marts and transporters
  • • Manufacturers, distributors and merchants for horse trailers
  • • Fuel companies (we believe that more fuel would be consumed through the widespread and frequent hauling activities of private horse keepers, as opposed to gas consumption by large transport trucks that move many head of horses in one trip to a feedlot, auction, or slaughterhouse)
  • • Hay and straw farmers, grain growers and merchants
  • • Thousands of farriers
  • • Thousands of large animal veterinarians (diagnostics, treatments, hospitalizations, surgeries, transport fees) and the people they employ
  • • Medical supply companies, distributors, and merchants (X-ray machines, centrifuges, etc.)
  • • Laboratories (blood, tissue, and wound samples, etc.)
  • • Equine therapists and acupuncturists
  • • Pharmaceutical companies (dewormers, immunizations, liniments, medications)
  • • Horse supply companies (manufacturers, distributors, and merchants for blankets, tack, fly spray, ointments, fly masks, linament for rubdowns, bandages, wraps, grooming supplies, buckets, feeders, hay nets, etc.)
  • • Manufacturers, distributors, and merchants for fencing and shelter materials
  • • Boarding stables
  • • Horse trainers
  • • Manufacturers, distributors, and merchants for equestrian show jumps & training equipment manufacturers
  • • Bed and Bale (B&B) businesses
  • • Trail riding camps
  • • Trail riding outfitters
  • • The sport horse/eventing industry (upkeep, training, events and entry fees, special bits and bridles, plaiting of manes and tails, advertising, media, food venues)
  • • Creators, publishers and merchants involved in horse books, calendars, magazines, posters, toy horses
  • • Artists, sculptors, photographers, cartoonists, framers, galleries.
  • In addition, huge show jumping events such as those held at Spruce Meadows hold widespread public appeal and attract international competitors. The facility employs over 70 full-time people, and its record attendance on a Sunday in 2002 was over 57,000. More than $5 million in prize money has been awarded toward this horse event by businesses and donors.

Bute – It`s What`s for Dinner!

Standard

When I first saw this gem of a conversation,  it really called out to me.  It needed a response.  Looking at it,  I just couldn’t believe the wealth of material it offered.  It was/is overwhelming.  That noise you just heard dear reader?  That is the sound of neurons withering. The more I read these types of  posts the more I realize that I’m in need of some kind of prophylactic.  Once again we are venturing down the path of rejecting or banning any science that happens to conflict with the pro-slaughter personal philosophy, politics,  prejudices,  or paranoia.  These snippets of posts truly indicate that for every complex problem,  there is an answer that is clear,  simple,  and wrong.  I hope I never feel so compelled to respond to another bute posting by a pro-slaughter – their continual claims about bute are kinda of like saying “She Bangs” is William Hung’s best song.  It’s also his only song,  and if you’ve heard him sing,  you know he shouldn’t give up his day job!

Thank you to the lone anti-slaughter proponent who used reason and logic to counter these statements.  Thank you Shedrow,  for your excellent treatment of these same passages,  as you always do.  Props to you both!  I applaud you both as “Warriors Against Claptrap.”  I thought it might be interesting to “tag team” the comments of individuals who want to make scientific claims,  but can’t quite subject themselves to the same scrutiny that real scientists do every day.

Most of these arguments put forth by the pro-slaughters are really a form of science denialism.  Here’s one of the best quotes on scientific denialism (this is a real movement BTW) by Martin McKee,  an epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.  He studies denialism,  and has identified six tactics that all science denialists use.  “I’m not suggesting there is a manual somewhere, but one can see these elements, to varying degrees, in many settings,” he says (The European Journal of Public Health, vol 19, p 2).

  1.  Allege that there’s a conspiracy.  Claim that scientific consensus has arisen through collusion rather than the accumulation of evidence.
  2. Use fake experts to support your story.  “Denial always starts with a cadre of pseudo-experts with some credentials that create a façade of credibility,”  says Seth Kalichman of the University of Connecticut.
  3. Cherry-pick the evidence:  trumpet whatever appears to support your case and ignore or rubbish the rest.  Carry on trotting out supportive evidence even after it has been discredited.
  4. Create impossible standards for your opponents.  Claim that the existing evidence is not good enough and demand more.  If your opponent comes up with evidence you have demanded,  move the goalposts.
  5. Use logical fallacies.  Hitler opposed smoking,  so anti-smoking measures are Nazi.  Deliberately misrepresent the scientific consensus and then knock down your straw man.
  6. Manufacture doubt.  Falsely portray scientists as so divided that basing policy on their advice would be premature.  Insist “both sides” must be heard and cry censorship when “dissenting” arguments or experts are rejected.

Sound familiar?

Here we go!

.

“So here is a big question for all people out there. Bute. Although I’m not sure I heard it mentioned too much before the AR’s realized that the horse slaughter ban was not working and there was indeed going to be a push for horse slaughter to come back. Now as I see it “Logically. I get the fact that it’s something that is not to be put in the food chain. It’s not about that. It’s about a withdrawal time. Now Anti’s will say “there is no withdrawal time for bute” And technically they are correct. There is no DOCUMENTED. And I stress the word “documented” over and over again. a withdrawal time for bute simply does not exists in horses because. It has never been tested for. And really that makes sense. Why test a drug in a animal that there is no slaughter for human consumption for in your country at the time. But it doesn’t mean it does not have a withdrawal time that can be discovered. Cattle have a withdrawal time for all the same drugs. So it’s not a the drugs that lingers in the blood stream for the life time of the animal. I also like to say re treating of the animal is needed which would also lend itself to the concept that the liver of the horse purifies itself of all the drug that is ingested. See I think once a withdrawal date is figured out it would be extremely simple to work around the problem. A simple quarantine would do the trick. 30 days in a feedlot for example. what do you think?”

I think you’re guessing,  that’s what I think.  It’s the metabolized compound that can kill youThe doctors and veterinarians who attempted to refute Dr. Marini et al’s study expected pro-slaughters to accept their supposition even though it exemplified an argument from ignorance,  which started out as an appeal to authority.  How did this happen?  Sue Wallis and Dave Duquette asked everyone to accept the word of a veterinarian who is an expert in his own field (body scoring),  but who is commenting on a field outside of his area of expertise. Dr. Henneke supports the assertion that bute exits the system completely.  So what?  He’s not a toxicologist.  When you want to discuss the Henneke scale,  Dr. H is one guy to call.  Similarly,  if Einstein makes a suggestion about relativity,  you’d better listen. If he tries to tell you how to ride a horse,  you can tell him to keep his day job.  Read Dr. Marini’s response here.

In a survey, 96% of respondents said they used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to control the joint pain and inflammation in horses, and 82% administer them without always consulting their veterinarian. More than 1,400 horse owners and trainers were surveyed to better understand attitudes toward NSAIDs.  Additionally,  99 percent of horses that started in California last year raced on bute, according to Daily Racing Form.

In the US, Canada, and the EU, bute is not permitted to be used for food animals. PERIOD. That simple acknowledgement renders any other discussion on toxicology rather moot (not “mute”). There are no safe levels for known carcinogens,  which is why it’s pointless to discuss to what degree bute is or is not eliminated from the tissues. Harm is assumed.  Discussions of toxicity or “safe levels” are reserved for non-carcinogenic effects. Non-carcinogens are assessed with a different type of dose-response study than that for carcinogens.

Furthermore, the “precautionary principle” is recognized in international law, and it of course stresses that the absence of scientific certainty about a risk should not bar the taking of precautionary measures in the face of possible irreversible harm.

.
“commission a study, and petition the fda, usda, cfda and the eu to change their laws and there you go.
k so would they? what loops would you have to jump through?”

The cost of most of the basic and translational biomedical research in the U.S. is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Unfortunately, the NIH budget has been stagnant for the last few years.  Who will pay for this study?  A proper study on the health effects of consuming bute may have to follow participants through their lives for 20 years or so.  And you would have to conduct a study of current horsemeat consumers,  because no epidemiologists will subject non-consumers of horsemeat to a study of contaminated food unless they were already typically eating it,  because that would be unethical,  as it would be unethical to ask people to start smoking so you could study them.

There are over 8500 references to bute on the Pubmed database.  Are you suggesting that we don’t yet have sufficient data?  If you have anything less than a study of this calibre (20 years or so) then you may as well be publishing the results in the New England Journal of “Who Gives a Rat’s Ass.”

.
“No need to worry much about what will be approved and for what withdrawal time. Markets demand issue free food sources. A quick test of the animal to show it is substance free and it gets the stamp on its butt and off it goes. First nations have 100,000 animals that are good to go till the rest of the market gets in line. Its like sports testing , what ever happened before is mute as long as the test comes out good. Export operations have other countries to deal with other then the US so why would they even consider trying to convince any of them that this or that is safe. I always wondered why the pro people just don’t give the AR’s a win on the bute issue and move on. Trying to convince anyone that any chemical will be OK come a certain point is a tough sell.”

The gold standard for testing drug residues is liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Chromatographic techniques are used in order to separate compounds, and mass spectrometry to identify them.  You need equipment and/or a lab in order to conduct a test of this quality.  Again,  where would this equipment be housed?  Furthermore,  you would need to test a helluva lot more animals than the CFIA currently tests,  which is somewhere around 1% of all animals slaughtered.   Currently Canada relies on the EU to catch our errors and omissions.  Wonder how long they will tolerate that?

Speaking of sports testing,  it’s interesting to note that a competitor for the Tour de France (in France, where they serve horsemeat) came under scrutiny after testing positive for Clenbuterol. It was suspected that he ate contaminated meat, although I don’t believe anything was proven.

I think Canada has just found a way to win at the Olympics in 2016! Who is the host country in 2016?? Next time we host the summer Olympics is the opportune time to eliminate a good chunk of competitors from France, Kazahkstan and Kyrgyzstan this way. Go Gerry Ritz! Team Canada all the way!

.
I think the study would have to come from the USDA or FDA to be recognized, wouldnt it? I cant see them accepting a commisioned study by an intrest group.”

For a minute there I thought he wrote “inbred” group – you know how you scan through something when reading quickly?  Here’s the thing,  science trumps politics any day.  Science SHOULD inform politics,  but unfortunately,  that doesn’t often happen.

Karl Popper wrote about the scientific method and what makes a good study.   It is possible for “special interest groups” to conduct legitimate studies if all the correct procedures are followed.  If you have a theory that metabolites of bute are harmless or that withdrawal times could be established,  then you must start with your theory and create your study from there.


“But to get it done right now you need to figure something out you know what? What if you tested after they were hung? any part of the horse can be tested then and could you not put a horse to different uses. Say if she has bute she’s fertilizer…, kind of a deal.”

So you’re going to leave these horses at the bleed rail while you send a sample off for the liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry tests?  Of course that will seriously mess with your production scheduling.  It would be a logistical nightmare,  because although mass spectrometry tests are quick (relative to other tests) you must either have a lab (with trained technicians) on the premises or you must send your samples out to a lab or university.  Meanwhile,  your horses are still hung up (literally) on the bleed rail waiting on the results.

“Another question…sorry again for my lack of knowledge here. When I do toxicity tests on paint samples, I

liquid chromatograph-mass spectrometer

This is not a photocopier – it`s a liquid chromatograph-mass spectrometer

get info based on certain test parameters (3-5 depending on what the part is used for in the car). I also send a paint sample to the state lab. They do studies to see how long certain chemicals in the paint stay in the body…all a result of lead-based paints they used 60+ years ago. Why couldnt a simalar process be put in place for this bute stuff? If they know how long it lingers in tissues, they can put a hold on the animals until that time frame is expired, then do a drug sample of the horses as they process them. It might be a little bit of a bugger to start off, but within a couple of weeks, it would flow like a well oiled machine….if you’ll pardon my pun! Hehehe”

Please don’t apologize for your lack of understanding.  We’re pretty much used to it by now.  It’s your mantra really,  isn’t it?  I’m honestly glad you’re not in charge of the food system,  what with your analogy that testing meat is comparable to testing paint samples.

“If you had a stream line way to test a carcass. would that not be the surest fire way to do it? of course I don’t know what the test would be.But I would think a quick test ought to be developed. It’s not that it’s a impossible situation. You just got to figure on how to get around it till you have a system in place to work it right. the inspectors have been refunded and slaughter (should) be back. I think this is something that needs a thought.”

I’ve just described how it would be.  It has been developed.   And I’ve got news for you,  You’ve all been “getting around it” for years and it’s come home to roost,  hasn’t it?  Getting around regulations is hardly a  “best practice” for a business now,  is it?  Getting around rules gets you in deep shit,  just ask Enron.

“I think if you had a sure fire way you’d havce a premium. If food saftey is a issue you pay your safest countries good dollar and give a premium.”

“I like the post above that allowed for the non-buted horses to be sold for human consumption and the positive ones for commercial application. Still using the animal’s carcass in a positive manner. No one ever said human consumption was the only viable market.”

And you send the pharmaceutical grade horsemeat to the poor countries?  According to the EID,  they’re all “non-buted” aren’t they?  What are the other “viable markets?”  Dog food isn’t one of them,  since collies and other breeds of dogs are sensitive to ivermectin wormers.  The only proper thing you could do with the carcasses is throw them away, incincerate them,  or mass compost them.  Keep the skins,  hair,  hooves, and process them into other by-products.  Not sure the cost of killing the horse would make the sale of these by-products cost-effective either.  Or you could simply euthanize them,  which is what happens to 90% of all horses that die in the US and Canada each year.


“EU isn’t the only market for horses; Asiatic countries count for a great deal if the market. And since we have been giving Bute for decades and slaughter has only been banned 5-6 years for human consumption, why is this an issue now? Test the meat like they always do, always have done, always will do (just like beef, pork, poultry) and move on.”

“don’t forget south american market as well for horse meat! caribbean nations love their horse meat as well.”

I see that the milk of human kindness overflows.  I thought Sue Wallis was going to donate horsemeat to “underprivileged countries” that had billions of starving people? And those markets haven’t caught on yet.  So,  like other big corporations who have poisoned unsuspecting citizens of 2nd and 3rd world countries,  let’s dump this shit on these brown-skinned people who haven’t yet caught on.  This poster clearly believes in that old saying “Caveat Fornicata – Let The Person About To Get Fvcked Beware.”

“I don’t have a problem with anyone being against slaughter, it’s just that not many are willing to offer up a better idea in place. They are going to have to die. That’s just real life…so what do we do with them?”

90% of horse owners already have this one figured out.  But there are many suggestions,  this list is not comprehensive either:

Many solutions have been proposed, most supporters of the GAO report stopped reading when they got to the part where it recommended a slaughter ban –

  • Ban slaughter and a transport to slaughter.
  • Enact an export fee of around xx.xx dollar value on any horse leaving the country, where xx.xx is a sum that is significant enough to deter illegitimate export but not financially restrictive on actual horse owners.
  • Distribute the money collected to be used for gelding clinics, funds for retired racehorses, owner assistance programs, hay banks, grants for adoption, care of seized horses, euthanization clinics, and PROSECUTE offenders who neglect and abuse. Horse registries should collect a breeding TAX which again, is distributed to cover the above. Although it’s not a major source of donations right now, bequests also help occasionally. And never forget that education is key to responsible ownership.
  • Enterprising business people SHOULD see an opportunity for composting/rendering of horses, perhaps on a mobile basis. Without slaughter, people might start actually TRAINING their horses instead of dumping them at an auction. Obviously, the availability of slaughter is not a preventative for abuse, case in point – the largest neglect case in Texas’ history took place at a property owned by a vet just outside of Dallas, when Dallas Crowne and Beltex were open.
  • I would also like to see offspring that are approved in order to be accepted into a breed registry, which is what the warmblood registries require – when was the last time you saw a warmblood on a feedlot?
  • The fact that breed registries show a decline is positive, but since horses live an average of 20 years, it will take several years to see the effect of the decline. Bouvry and Richelieu have already published an accounting that states that they will no longer accept TBs, ostensibly because of the drugs and the fact that most racetracks have invoked no-slaughter policies. We don’t sell cat and dog meat at the end of their lives; breeding of cats and dogs and irresponsible ownership still plague us, because no solution to horse slaughter is without problems. Animal ownership is never without problems, because there are always going to be people who aren’t willing to look after their animals, and the presence of slaughter does not change that. Certainly slaughter is problematic, no?

What everyone is whining about is not much different (aside from the fact we are dealing with sentient animals) from what happened to the Airline industry in the US after September 11. Demand for air travel was reduced after the terrorist attacks, while at the same time use of the internet made it possible to book travel plans and compare the prices of the various airlines – this FORCED the airlines to compete on a cost basis. Then of course the airlines experienced dramatic fuel costs and had to cut back on amenities that had been taken for granted for decades. The industry wasn’t expecting any of this and certainly wasn’t prepared, but they were COMPELLED to act or cease to exist. The cessation of horse slaughter would compel similar reaction from individuals, breeders, and others in the industry. You can’t fix slaughter with all the current players. The Trent Saulters and Dorian Ayache’s will always be around, causing transport accidents and morphing into new business entities, running from the law and avoiding paying their fines. The industry is hardly made up of the most outstanding citizens.

The point is that, despite the best laid plans, people, governments, and organizations tend not to react until a problem reaches critical mass – that’s human nature unfortunately. Of course, necessity is the mother of invention, right? Lastly, I’m not buying any claims made by Wallis, Duquette or DesBarres.

“ll for whoever wants to open the plants it’s up to them nobody else. Again it’s a choice. If some one wants to choose to open a slaughter plant it’s there deal. If they do humanley and do things all properly it’s there decision. Simple.“

Let me drop a fat “no” on that one.  It’s the government’s job to regulate chemicals and toxins,  and citizens have an expectation that this will be done with adherence to the “precautionary principle.”  The public has a legitimate concern that chemicals used in drugs,  commerce, and foods,  will be prudently evaluated for unreasonable risk. Risk is a function of exposure and hazards presented by a chemical over its lifetime. Unreasonable risk adds consideration of technical, economic, and societal impacts. Canada is implementing a law that requires screening of chemicals in commerce to ensure that the government identifies, evaluates, and takes appropriate action for those chemicals posing the highest risks.

“Yes it is about choice…., that is what AR’s want to do take away your choice. You really haven’t understood this page at all have you? It’s simple AR’s are lying to push there agenda down every ones throat. we explain it to people why they are lies. The more I talk to you the more I understand you don’t care about folks choice to do what they deem right. Your more about controlling the slaughter issue. we discussed bute allot of good examples were given to get around Bute and you bring up Marketing…, Now is that a real reason to stop slaughter? don’t think so. Cause it is the owners of the plants choice to do it correctly If they wanna take the chance that the market may not be there later. Where does that concern you? It doesn’t. But because you are a anti you make it your decision to try to push beliefs on any body who will listen.., that’s not going to work here. If you don’t like the way the page is run don’t comment it’s not hard to understand really.”

Gimme a break!  (shoutout to Nell Carter)  Reasonable, rational people who are not fact-challenged,  UNDERSTAND,  even if they do not ACCEPT.   No one cares if you ACCEPT the response,  only that you UNDERSTAND the response.   Blaming the messenger never changes the facts,  because a fact cannot be insolent – and you have no right to be offended merely because you don’t like or agree with said fact.

If you are going to argue badly,  why bother to do it at all?  Too many people are merely mimicking what rational discussion sounds like to them.  For the only ways any views can be reasonably challenged are by the supported claim that (1) the conclusion is not true, (2) that the evidence is not true, or (3) that the evidence is insufficient to justify the conclusion. The only ways you can have mistaken beliefs of any sort is to have faulty evidence — evidence that is not true or that, even if it is true, still does not support your beliefs.


Anyway,  this has been another instalment of “Simple Answers to Simple Questions.”  The bute ship has sunk,  so please stop re-arranging the deck chairs.

 

Slaughterhouse Sue and Bill DesBarres – The IEBA Emperors Have No Clothes!

Standard

The Emperor Has No Clothes

Written by:  Heather Clemenceau

For those of you who have forgotten, Hans Christian Andersen’s fable about The Emperor’s New Clothes involves an emperor commissioning two tailors to make him a set of clothes. According to the tailors, who set out to dupe the Emperor, the new clothes will be invisible to anyone who is either incompetent or stupid. And so the emperor parades about naked rather than admit to being incompetent or stupid, all the while being applauded on all sides by sycophantic courtiers and subjects. Everyone pretends to see the remarkable clothes. However, a child cries out, “he hasn’t got any clothes on.”

Whether clothing or facts – the invisible and non-existent look very much alike.

Show your compassion - kill horses now!

Show your compassion – beat the rush! kill horses now!

This parable is of course very similar to the viewpoint that Slaughterhouse Sue Wallis and Bill DesBarres,  and the rest of their sycophantic followers in the United Horsemen’s Group and the Horse Welfare Association of Canada maintain – that everyone who cannot see their viewpoint must be an idiot or a knuckle-dragger of single-digit intelligence.

Like the Emperor,  Wallis and DesBarres aren’t wearing any clothes (unfortunately, some visuals you can’t unsee,  but if all else fails,  perhaps a little steel wool and industrial bleach might be in order?) and to that end,  she and Bill DesBarres have aligned themselves with professional lobbyists who will task themselves with the responsibility of convincing the gubbermint that Sue and Bill are indeed  splendid “emperors” for the pro-slaughter cause!  And if they can’t convince everyone,  they’ll just attempt to force through pro-slaughter legislation no matter what the 80% have to say about it………. Wallis’ “brand” is underfire and she’s been publicly shamed on many issues.  Recall that after Sue Wallis was summarily kicked out of Mountain Grove Missouri,  she threw all her toys out of the pram and huffed,  “Discussion’s over. Make all the noise you want.  We’re going into business.”  To that end,  Wallis has apparently contracted with a couple of lobbyists who can pitch horse slaughter in a way that she and DesBarres are apparently unable to do (anyone who has followed my other blog post on Wallis knows that she is suffering from “hoof ‘n’ mouth” disease).

Organization Structure - IEBA Gang of Five

Organization Structure – IEBA Gang of Five

T. Howard Mains, Co-President – Tactix Government Consulting Inc.

Howard Mains is a maple syrup farmer who has made his entire career one of downplaying the risk of pesticides, herbicides, and dioxins in food, promoting Big Ag over organic farming, while making sure that government policies are aligned with the corporate objectives of companies such as Dow and Monsanto.  He has “developed and implemented several product defence strategies,”  which basically means that he makes his living defending the products of Big Ag and Big Chem by lobbying the government to convince them that products like herbicides typically containing dioxin, such as 2,4-d,  otherwise known as Agent Orange,  isn’t really all that bad. Mains is part of a group of American and Canadian lobbyists who assert that reviews by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, confirm that pesticides in approved uses pose no health threat.  Now,  I’m not in a position to claim what exposures to pesticides are or are not “safe,”  but dioxins are among the most toxic chemicals ever made by man;  they are chemically very stable and therefore break down extremely slowly in the environment. Furthermore,  dioxins bioaccumulate – they collect in fatty tissue, and become concentrated in animals higher up the food chain. This fact is not in dispute.

Howard Mains organic food tweet - threatened by organic food?

Howard Mains organic food tweet – threatened by organic food? And who are the “Toxic Terrorists?”

Most people are familiar with the most dangerous form of dioxin used during the Vietnam War – defoliant Agent Orange. War veterans exposed to Agent Orange have developed chronic  lymphocytic leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease and non-Hodgkins lymphoma and diabetes. Many children of veterans exposed have been affected by their parents’ exposure to the chemical and show a wide range of symptoms.  But one doesn’t need to have been exposed to a massive overdose of dioxin in order to gain the attention of the Canadian Cancer Society;   acting on the precautionary principle, the British Columbia and Yukon branches of the CCS have called for a moratorium on the cosmetic use of pesticides.

howard mains - public scientifically illiterate

Howard Mains – public scientifically illiterate

As a consumer (and a scientifically literate one at that),  I can tell you that I no longer trust any government agency,  particularly the CFIA,  which,  as we know,  has been using the EU as a dumping ground for toxic horsemeat. The CFIA is hardly transparent or accountable as any Canadian horse advocate knows well enough by now, and the knowledge that Mains has or will be lobbying them on his own or on behalf of the IEBA (International Equine Business Association) as a front for Slaughterhouse Sue Wallis is hardly comforting.   Curiously,  Mains appears to be silent on the issue of Phenylbutazone and Clenbuterol recently found in horsemeat that originated from Canada,  and the use of non-food animals in the food system.  Perhaps we haven’t heard from him on the issue of horsemeat (yet) so long as payment from the IEBA or Sue Wallis is a prerequisite.  Slaughter Spin-Meister Sue may not actually have any money to pay lobbyists or invest in her slaughter empire,  even though she has maintained that she is actively engaged in renovating slaughter plants that she doesn’t actually own.  What could possibly go wrong?

Explain these canines?

Explain these canines?

Big Ag lobbyists like Howard don’t really seem to like vegetarians/vegans or people who want to live more organically or off the CAFO grid.  That’s not to say that organic foods don’t come with some of their own issues,  because of course they do. But Howard Mains thinks that anyone who doesn’t fall in line with Big Ag, CAFO  thinking must subscribe to repeating scary campfire stories about chemicals and must by default be an anti-technology, anti-business, anti-progress ideologue whose diatribes are not based on science. The science actually proves that dioxin has been found in milk, cheese, beef, pork, fish, chicken, and other animals, as well as soil and sewage sludge.  According to the FDA,  although dioxins are environmental contaminants, most dioxin exposure occurs through the diet, with over 95% coming through dietary intake of animal fats.  Agent Orange was widely used in Ontario on Crown land up until the 70s. 

Howard Mains doesn’t discriminate only in favour of herbicides either.  In a Power Point presentation of his own creation,  Mains states:

“The current scientific evidence indicates that the general public need not be concerned as levels of BPA present in food do

Children's letter writing campaigns exploit children,  but this is OK Howard?

Children’s letter writing campaigns exploit children as “enviro-terror lobbyists?”

not pose a health risk. ”   I’m not sure what “scientific evidence” Mains attributes to this reasoning,  since there is plenty of evidence that Bisphenols exert detectable hormone-like properties  and the Pubmed database contains over 3,000 references to Bisphenols. Endocrine disruptors cause developmental,  neurological,  and immunological effects in both humans and wildlife.

Although Mains appears to be loathe to acknowledge it,  casual use of phenoxy herbicides are directly correlated with environmental hazards.According to the Canadian Environmental Law Association, “Pesticides have been either associated with, or more often, are suspected as contributing to, impaired cognitive development in children, increased rates of cancer, brain tumours, asthma, and immune system problems.” Pesticides have been linked to breast cancer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas. A study by the Stanford University’s School of Medicine indicates Parkinson’s disease is linked to home pesticide use.

Toronto’s former Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Sheela Basrur, states, “The use of lawn care pesticides is a public health issue of growing concern. When risks to human health are unnecessary or uncertain, the wisest course of action is to substitute alternatives rather than incurring risks that may prove unacceptable in the long run.” The World Health Organization estimates that 220,000 people die every year from pesticide poisoning and three million people are poisoned. You have to connect the dots here – when governments are lobbied to accept the use of products that are not in the best interests of its

Gerry Ritz - Most Popular with Lobbyists!

Gerry Ritz – Most Popular with Lobbyists! @lobbywatcher collects and consolidates tweets to see whose doors swing open the widest to people paid to influence government policy.

citizens,  lobbyists have to accept some of the blame!

And although Slaughterhouse Sue and her United Horsemen’s followers are quick to complain about children’s anti-slaughter letter writing campaigns,  Howard Mains has no qualms about employing children in his own Power Point presentations minimizing the impact of pesticide use.

Mains was also involved in a NAFTA Chapter 11 dispute against the former Quebec NDP Environment Minister Thomas Mulcair and the Province of Quebec when it came to banning sales of herbicide 2,4-D.  Mains represented Dow AgroSciences and Monsanto,  who are perpetually concerned about the economic issues surrounding a ban of their products,  against the Province of Quebec.

The Dow AgroSciences case against Quebec was the result of changes to the province’s Pesticide Management Code, first tabled in July 2002, banning the use of several pesticides for residential lawn applications. Mains,  representing Big Chem,  challenged (or bullied?) the government to “prove that 2,4-D did not pose an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment, provided that the instructions on their label are followed, as concluded by Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency decision on the re-evaluation of 2,4-D.”  Although the Government of Quebec had the right to regulate the sale and use of 2,4-D,  they were LOBBIED and coerced to back down to Dow and Monsanto in this example.  Mains was also part of a group of people working within the landscaping industry who had lobbied Quebec’s National Assembly to take 2,4-D off of its list of banned products.

For this and other reasons, a recent report released by the Union of Concerned Scientists gave Dow and Monsanto a stern talking-to about what the term “sustainable agriculture”  actually means, and why what they’re doing isn’t it.  Research also suggests that pesticides such as Roundup may also be linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma.  Unsurprisingly, Roundup/glycophosate wreaks havoc on beneficial insects, amphibians, and birds who are foolish enough to try to exist in their natural habitats. Take note,  Howard Mains.

Keep Calm..........

Keep Calm……….and try not to lose your shit

Knowing that most disease is idiopathic – without known cause or mechanics,  it behooves governments to utilize the precautionary principle.  Researchers investigating the long-term immune effects of dioxin have found that exposure to dioxin during development or while nursing diminishes the capacity to fight infection later in life. The study, published in Toxicological Sciences, reported that mouse pups born to pregnant mice that were exposed to a small amount of dioxins had fewer white blood cells that normally kill the flu virus and more of a different kind that increases lung inflammation.

The study entitled, “The aryl hydrocarbon receptor affects distinct tissue compartments during ontogeny of the immune system,” aimed to identify the critical windows of exposure where fetuses are most sensitive to dioxin’s harmful effects. Pregnant mice were given a dose of 1,000 ppt dioxin either during pregnancy, lactation, or throughout pregnancy and lactation. After dosing, mothers and pups were kept dioxin-free. Researchers then infected mothers and pups with a non-lethal dose of the influenza virus.

“These results illustrate how dioxin exposure in the womb, and/or during nursing, can permanently impact the development of the immune system. They also reaffirm the significance of the impacts of early exposures to harmful chemicals which can result in long-term changes that affect normal biological responses later in life. One notable aspect of this study was that changes in immune response were observed even though the pups were exposed a few times to a low-level dose of dioxin. This means that short-term exposures (as opposed to long-term, continuous exposures) can have significant long-term impact, especially if these exposures occur during important early developmental stages.”

True to form,  any lobbyist defending 2,4-D,  pesticides,  or even phenylbutazone use, would claim that much of animal research isn’t translational to humans.  I guess that’s why research shows that cell phone microwaves cause long term memory loss in rats or phenylbutazone use can cause serious side-effects in horses,  but neither of these things harms people.  Evidently,  we are of a different,  more bullet-proof mammalian stock.

Thank you Sir,  may I have another?  Certainly,  dear reader;  this brings us to our second IEBA co-conspirator,  Steve Kopperud:

Steve Kopperud, Executive Vice President – Policy Directions Inc.

Steve Kopperud is executive vice president of Policy Directions Inc., a Washington, DC government affairs/specialty communications company specializing in animal production agriculture, nutrition, agribusiness, biotechnology, animal health and welfare, food, farm policy, trade and ag research and human health-related issues.  Kopperud was senior vice president of the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), for nearly 18 years prior to joining Policy Directions. Kopperud considers himself an authority on “animal activist assaults on animal agriculture and food technology.”  He coordinates the Washington, DC-based Farm Animal Welfare Coalition (FAWC), a national coalition of farm, ranch and input organizations involved in livestock/poultry production.  Kopperud again continues along the theme of scientifically unenlightened consumers as “liabilities” along with the ever-present threat of animal and environmental activism.  Steve has made it his life’s mission to protect Big Ag and biomedical research from animal rights and environmental “radicals.” I daresay,  if Slaughterhouse Sue ever decides to leave her semi-literate poet hubby for a guy in Washington,  Steve would be the ideal partner – he hates anyone who strives to preserve the environment as much as she does!

From the AFIA's latest propaganda "meating."  They're not referring to human vegetarians either.

From the AFIA’s latest propaganda “meating.” They’re not referring to human vegetarians either.

In his capacity as VP of the AFIA,  Kopperud wrote:

“AFIA’s goal is to ensure this rewrite of programs touching AFIA members most directly is rational and economical, while ensuring basic income protection for farmers, a future for appropriately funded ag-research, a continued priority on  federal programs promoting exports, a rewritten conservation title that puts arable land back into protection, a permanent disaster program that keeps the feed industry in the delivery system and public recognition that the “demands” of animal rights groups are self-serving and out of touch with feeding America and the rest of the planet.”  Holy crap – that’s one sentence – it’s a tragedy when bad things happen to good sentences!  Note to Steve – when the “demands” are made by increasingly larger and better organized groups,  you can be sure that those “out of touch” groups are actually becoming the norm.  Corporate accountability is the way of the future.  Get used to it.

Kopperud is regularly quoted by Humanewatch followers of Rick Berman.  Suffice it to say the Humane Society of the United States has been on his radar screen for many years. He writes:

“The greatest sin of HSUS is its arrogance. The organization and its leaders honestly believe because they deem a practice to be “wrong” or “unacceptable,” the world must stop and embrace that definition.”  Steve is hard at work countering ethical vegetarianism,  because anyone who cares about the planet,  the environment,  and animal cruelty is anathema to the organizations he represents.  So again,  he is the ideal foil to Slaughterhouse Sue in that you can count on him to downplay,  ignore,  and spin any of the well-known issues that animal welfare advocates have about horses and horsemeat.  Assuming that the IEBA truly gets off the ground and doesn’t get spun into some new business entity by Wallis,  it will be Kopperud’s role to oppose and marginalize any persons or any groups who promote horse welfare.  Indeed,  he believes that animal abuse does not exist in any food production system.  As we know,   Big Ag in various States in the US seeks to make it a crime in MN, Iowa and FL to document by camera or video even illegal agricultural activity. These bills supported by Big Ag  (Monsanto specifically in Iowa) and were obviously unconstitutional, self-serving and though thankfully defeated. If Big Ag wants to win the “food movement” back, trying to toss people in jail for documenting even illegal dangerous activity where our food is made is not the way.

What happened to Snow White when she ate the poisoned apple?

What happened to Snow White when she ate the poisoned apple?

Kopperud targeted much of his remarks against HSUS for its work toward the U.S. horse slaughter ban.  “The unintended consequences of this national campaign to ban horse slaughter waged by HSUS is that we now have over 110,000 neglected and abandoned horses in this country. There has not been one word from any activist organization as to how we will care for these  animals,” Kopperud said. “HSUS, with their leader Wayne Pacelle, is a very savvy organization. ” HSUS frustrates the lobbyists because they won’t come out to play.  Kopperud and the rest of the lobbyists want HSUS to be in the shelter business, which is why Rick Berman and Humanewatch constantly rag on them re: shelter donations.  If HSUS would just “know their place,”  the people the lobbyists represent could just continue to breed too many dogs for the market just like the AQHA overbreeds for the market. Not to be out done,  Kopperud also blasted the Quizno’s sandwich shop chain for its recent move to sell products from crate-free pork and free-range eggs as part of a green initiative, saying the firm caved in to pressure from PETA on these issues. Kopperud wants all animal-exploiters to work together.

Lobbyists and the Fortune 500 companies they represent would like to deny you your free speech rights as well.  In a letter to Consumer Reports, Kopperud has defended the industry’s rationale behind food disparagement laws, claiming that they “do not repress free speech, but rather compel a speaker to think twice about opportunistic or false statements and the damage such rhetoric can do. . . . Food disparagement laws, as tools to make more honest our national discussion of food safety, are the ultimate consumer protection.” The AIF speaks more bluntly in literature aimed at farmers: “Animal rights activists . . . threaten the survival of today’s farmers and ranchers. . . . It’s time to fight back! . . . ”

Lead by lobbyists,  the food industry has worked quietly state-by-state while avoiding a controversial national debate. So far, thirteen state legislatures have approved product disparagement laws–Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas. Other states are considering similar measures.  Do you believe that,  based on Sue Wallis’ alignment with Kopperud,  she would really implement CCTV in horse slaughterhouses?  I wouldn’t bet a kidney on it and I don’t give a shit what Temple Grandin thinks will happen either.

Further, Steve Kopperud, coordinator for the Food Industry Dioxin Working Group is afraid the media will have a field day with the EPA limits. And then what might happen? “You will have a whole lot of folks running in circles saying there’s nothing safe to eat, it will scare the crap out of people.”  Boy,  it doesn’t take much for the food industry to freak out over potential government action!

Members of the The Food Industry Dioxin Working Group (hint – they will not be advocating on your behalf):

American Farm Bureau Federation
American Feed Industry Association
American Frozen Food Institute
American Meat Institute
Corn Refiners Association
International Dairy Foods Association
National Chicken Council
National Grain & Feed Association
National Meat Association
National Milk Producers Federation
National Oilseed Processors Association
National Pork Producers Council
National Renderers Association
National Turkey Federation
Pet Food Institute
United Egg Producers

What do all these individual issues have to do with horse slaughter?  Lobbyists for horse slaughter will do for horse slaughter what they are trying to do for CAFOs – normalize them or portray them as animal-friendly mom and pop establishments,  employing  “best practices,”  animal welfare, and professional business ethics,  while they are nothing whatsoever like that.  Always remember that it costs them money to adhere to standards,  just as it would cost a lot of money to slow down the dis-assembly line of horses or any other animal,  as an attempt to make the process more “humane.”  It costs money to implement and audit CCTV cameras (not that they want anyone to see what’s going on to begin with),  otherwise,  the industry could have done it already!  The horrors of horse slaughter and drug contamination will be downplayed or proclaimed to be non-existent. There is no traceability in Canadian or American horses and no way to guarantee horses are drug free – not that either of those issues matter to lobbyists for Slaughterhouse Sue and Bill DesBarres.  Lastly,  if lobbyists are pitching drug-tainted meat to sell to consumers,  well,  that in my opinion is some pretty dirty lobbying.

Gerry Ritz Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Gerry Ritz – Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Does Canada even take food safety seriously?  Apparently not,  what with Gerry Ritz’ comments at the listeriosis scandal whereby he joked that 22 people had died – On September 17, 2008, Agricultural Minister Gerry Ritz made national news when comments he made on an August 2008 conference call with government officials were made public. Ritz was quoted as saying, “This is like a death by a thousand cuts. Or should I say cold cuts.” Then, when told of a death in PEI, Ritz said, “Please tell me it’s (Liberal MP) Wayne Easter.” Ritz apologized for his remarks, but various groups called for his resignation. Jack Layton responded by saying, “Canadians are dying because of the mismanagement of our government… there should absolutely never be that kind of humour…. It illustrates the government is not taking this matter as seriously as they should.” A spokesman for Prime Minister Harper released a statement saying Ritz’s comments were tasteless and completely inappropriate. Stephen Harper refused to seek Ritz’s resignation.

This is a moral and ethical imperative that both Canadians and Americans must address without delay in their respective countries  The Europeans have been well-justified in placing restrictions on Canadian and American-produced meat products, such as hormone-laced beef, Ractopomine-treated pork, and chlorine-washed chickens. It’s time for them to stop imports of drugged-up horses, where the food safety case is even more obvious,  at a time when Canada is cutting back funds for inspections to pre-listeriosis times. Civic action, such as all our efforts-to-date,  has helped to transform the policies of some of the world’s biggest corporations.  Canadians don’t want their horses butchered, shrink-wrapped, and air freighted to Europe.   It’s a barbaric, unsafe, discredited business.