Tag Archives: “United Horsmen”

Bute – It`s What`s for Dinner!

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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!

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“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.

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“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.”

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“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!

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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.

 

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

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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.

Heads, I Win: Tails You Lose – Myths and Fallacies of the Pro-Slaughter Mindset

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Voltaire, Make my Enemies Ridiculous........

Voltaire, Make my Enemies Ridiculous……..

Written by:  Heather Clemenceau

Artwork copyright: Heather Clemenceau (use with permission only please)

We have a myriad of differing opinions about horse slaughter,  so disagreement is an unavoidable.  Couple that with the innate desire of many people to “win” in cases of conflict and the widespread lack of reasoning skills that plagues us, and the stage is often set for virulent disagreement.    It’s frustrating to deal with unreasonable,  fact-challenged people,  and there is always the temptation to stoop to their level and respond with the same ignorant contempt that they use as a substitute for actual reasons.  So,  when reason goes out the window,  ridicule pulls up a chair.

Centaur - This half-human and half-animal composition has led many writers to treat them as liminal beings, caught between the two natures, embodied in contrasted myths, as the embodiment of untamed nature

This half-human and half-animal composition has led many writers to treat them as liminal beings, caught between the two natures, embodied in contrasted myths, both as the embodiment of untamed nature

There are so many myths and fallacies perpetrated by pro-slaughters that it’s hard to pick your “Top 10.”  Well,  here`s my Top 20,  but I could have gone on for much longer!  While in the midst of perpetrating their own brand of mythology,  it`s ironic that pro-slaughters claim that welfare and animal rights activists anthropomorphize all animals into Disney-esque characters.  Now,  I quite like mythology myself,  but I know the difference between fact and fiction.  While I’ve seen plenty of people give animals human emotions or even claim to know what they`re thinking,  many more recognize that they are animals who need to be with their own kind and be allowed to exhibit behaviours inherent in their species.  So,  for the edification of my readership,  I’ve  included some “real” horse mythological figures;  let’s see if we can all isolate the  “real” myths from the  pro-slaughter myths!

  • Myth/Fallacy #1)

Anti-slaughter advocates all live in the city,  don’t own horses,  are therefore rank amateurs who learn by reading online

This is actually the fallacy of the Hasty Generalization.   Not everyone who owns a horse can or should work in agriculture.  I know doctors,  psychiatrists,  HR Managers,  and others in professional/administrative functions that have never been to a working farm other than to ride their horse(s).  So what?  A lot of them know more than a lot of pro-slaughters,  and they can actually ride too.  These people are the “pleasure owners” who exist in far higher numbers than any other group of horse owners.  These are the people who are really driving the horse industry and injecting most of the money into it by maintaining their LIVE horses.

I also have to ask – have any of these people making these claims ever heard of the concept of boarding a horse?  If all “true horse people” only lived in the rural countryside,  to whom would breeders sell their horses?

  • Myth/Fallacy #2)

An Ad Hominem attack will squelch disagreement:

Abusive ad hominem usually involves insulting or belittling one’s opponent in order to attack his claim or invalidate his argument, because they aren’t familiar with parliamentary-style debate.  I’ve seen this on my own blog  “You’re from the city,  I guarantee you know nothing!”  Of course,  the version on my blog was horribly mis-spelled,  so whenever I’m quoting a pro-slaughter I’ll be fixing up the spelling and grammar unless of course,  I’m using a screen-cap.   Anti-slaughter advocates sometimes do it too – it can be pretty frustrating to cope with redundant ideas over and over again.

While there are a few pro-slaughters who can effectively debate and will take time to formulate their ideas,  they are in the extreme minority.  To see more of this in action,  check out my other post on Slaughterhouse Sue and her requests to her followers to inundate and bully people she disagrees with.  Note that she doesn’t ask anyone to reason with us!  If you’ve spent any time on Facebook,  you’ll eventually clue-into the fact that when pro-slaughters post on a Facebook page or invite someone to their page and find their overall philosophy is NOT accepted – they report the page as SPAM and start arguing with the person!  This happened on the “Kentucky Against Illegal Immigration” page.

  • Myth/Fallacy #3)

Only true vegans can justifiably complain about horse slaughter

I’ve not only heard this one numerously from pro-slaughters but also from diners at La Palette in Toronto.  The animal advocates I know are vegetarian, vegan, or neither. If one feels called to end horse slaughter or pig abuse and still eats fish or uses a leather saddle,   it’s not for me to judge.  Most advocates I know are actually not members of large AR groups; many probably don’t even consider themselves “animal rights activists” – that’s a pejorative heaped on them by people who are worried about others’ (i.e. the 80% or so) legitimate objection to their behaviour.

After spinning for an eternity, even carousel horses want to get the hell off the merry-go-round

After spinning for an eternity, even carousel horses want to get the hell off the merry-go-round

There are, of course, various stock arguments against eating any animals and they can be pressed into service here.  Not only do horses NOT merit being looked at as something to be sold by the pound,  there are of course,  legitimate arguments against using non-food animals in the food chain,  and those arguments aren’t mutually exclusive with vegetarianism or veganism.

  • Myth/Fallacy #4)

There are no true vegans anyway

Glad to see a variation of the No True Scotsman fallacy is alive and well!  Because we know that a “true vegan” would eschew using any byproduct of an animal, and avoid living in a house that was built with any byproducts of an animal,  even if the house was built before they were born!

We are all born into a non-vegan world. Thanks for pointing out the obvious.  Most people take vegan  to mean that there is no consumption or active utilization of animal products and nothing further – no meat,  no leather,  no honey,  gelatine,  eggs, milk  and so forth.  So vegans can feel comfortable knowing that while their grandmother’s ashes are stored in an urn made of bone china,  they can still confidently refer to themselves as vegan.

  • Myth/Fallacy #5)

You must own a horse and work in the “industry” in order to be able to render an opinion

United States - Use of Equids by Function - Click to view original source

United States – Use of Equids by Function – Click to view original source

To get an idea of the ridiculousness of this claim let’s draw an analogy between the ability to critique what goes on in the horse industry and any other subject matter.  For instance,  can you quote the Koran?  If not,  your opinions on Islam are invalid.  Can you quote Karl Marx?  If not,  then you have no right to critique liberalism.  How about Stan Lee?  If you can’t speak eloquently about comics,  perhaps your opinion should not be heard.

Well,  I’ve never been to war,  nor have I met Sarah Palin,  but I have very definite opinions on both of those topics.  Most pro-slaughters who make this claim appear to either be ranchers or breeders or both.  The breeders/ranchers actually represent a much smaller percentage of the horse industry but claim they ARE the industry – in the US they represent 15.9 and 24.8%   Those who use horses for “pleasure” represent 45.7%,  so I hope we can finally put the lie to the myth of who IS the industry.

Slaughterhouse Sue Wallis Does NOT Own A Horse!

Slaughterhouse Sue Wallis Does NOT Own A Horse!

The horse industry includes all businesses that profit when more people own horses. The pleasure horse industry is the largest segment of the industry.   People who own horses as “pets” churn more revenue through to farriers, boarding facilities, tack shops, feed stores and vets because there are more of them.  My guess is that the money I’ve spent on tack, boarding,  and training for my horses is a helluva lot more than the back yard breeders have invested.  The idea that people who don’t own horses cannot contribute to any discussion regarding them, is one that has been regularly parroted by Slaughterhouse Sue Wallis,  who ironically has claimed that she owns no horses.

I will also draw another distinction between myself as a companion horse owner and the slaughter industry – on occasion when I’ve taken my horse to Michigan for an event,  I’ve been required to pull a negative Coggins beforehand.   The shippers who transport slaughter-bound horses across State lines are somehow able to evade this responsibility.  We also read that in Texas,  Federal Veterinarians were obliged to ignore the Coggins entirely. How can we require responsible owners to spend money and time to meet regulations that help to ensure control of contagious disease when the slaughter buyers (who appear to be represented by that teeny tiny 1.2% block) bypass US (and probably Canadian) borders freely, without Coggins testing and very little, if any proof of ownership?

  • Myth/Fallacy #6)

Hitler was a vegetarian too!

So was Einstein in the later part of his life.  And Atilla the Hun rode a horse.  So what?

A centaur with wings is called a pteracentaur

A centaur with wings is called a pteracentaur

I can only ::facepalm:: when people (especially christians who are also pro-slaughter) compare vegetarians to Hitler .Aside from the fact that they seem to think everyone around them is a vegetarian or vegan,  comparing anything that is not a dictator/mass-murderer to another dictator/mass-murderer is a fallacy known as the Reductio ad Hitlerum.   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? They might not have liked animals much either.  People who inject Hitler into conversations 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).  The Nazis also 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.  Don’t do it.  Case closed.

  • Myth/Fallacy #7)

Humane Euthanasia is not humane

No matter how much pro-slaughters present in the way of anecdotal evidence (“I saw a horse that thrashed for hours”) this does not qualify as “data.”  No one is available to examine your claims,  confirm with a veterinarian etc. etc.  Pentobarbitone sodium has sometimes been used for euthanasia WITHOUT being preceded by a short-acting barbiturate or sedative,  and this will actually cause excitement in the horse.  There’s no excuse for a large-animal veterinarian not to know this and take appropriate action.  I’ve seen euthanasia and it is humane.  Do pro-slaughters expect us to believe it’s humane to PTS dogs and cats but not horses?   Can anyone really believe that putting your horse in a truck (even a short distance) and sending it through unfamiliar surroundings such as a feedlot where it must contend with numerous other unfamiliar horses,  then onto its ultimate demise in a slaughterhouse,  is somehow humane?

Rather than relying on the opinion of the talking heads at various veterinary or horse associations,  I think we should go to the actual people who work with the animals.  Veterinarians should put animal welfare at the top of their priorities, not relegate it to an also-ran concern.  The reality is that horse slaughter has never been considered a legitimate form of euthanasia by many veterinary professionals or organizations.  The veterinarians who support slaughter stand out in their field as oddballs who wouldn’t even sell you their own services.  If they can`t demonstrate to their clients why their own euthanasia services are not better than slaughter,  then why enter the field of veterinary medicine in the first place?  And why do you deserve me as a client?

  • Myth/Fallacy #8)

Euthanizing a horse wastes valuable meat

Do you ever get the impression that pro-slaughters are always busy cramming shit down their throats or into their freezers,  because they’re afraid they might run out of food?  They always seem to have a horse stashed in the freezer.   I wonder how they’re even able to focus on riding or ranch work,  knowing that they’re basically riding around on a piece of meat?  The feeling that an animal’s life seems to be best served by providing food for man is a very anthropomorphic centralism.

Anthropocentrism has been posited by many environmentalists as the underlying reason why humanity dominates and sees the need to “develop” most of the Earth.  Anthropocentrism is a root cause of the ecological crisis, human overpopulation, and the extinctions of many non-human species.There is no market for the meat of the slaughtered horse unless you conceal his drug history.  Stop pretending that your horse can suddenly be transitioned into a food animal at the end of his useful life, when he hasn’t been raised as one.

Food safety should be taken seriously,  if not by governments then certainly by the consumer.  Food safety requires that certain protocols are followed with food animals from birth,  quite unlike what happens with most privately owned horses.  It’s immoral to promote an industry that conceals drug contamination and doesn’t make any effort to determine whether any horses are stolen.  Since it seems apparent that no pro-slaughter has ever taken a biology course,  I’ll distill it down for them here.  Just because you can’t eat it and shit it out does not mean that you have wasted something!  All biotic matter ultimately must be broken down into biochemical cycles – this includes all plant and animal life.   The breakdown of biological matter is essential for perpetuation of the carbon/phosphorus/sulphur/oxygen/nitrogen cycles,  without which life on earth would cease.

There is nothing whatsoever unnatural or wasteful about microbes acting upon dead animal flesh – breaking it down into its constituent components;  ultimately this is how soil is created and regenerated and our air is oxygenated.   Everything alive is made from chemicals that are only borrowed from the earth. If you aren’t aware of this process then you really aren’t that connected to nature after all.

  • Myth/Fallacy #9)

Euthanasia is too expensive

It was Centaurus that descended upon a herd of Magnesian mares and conceived the Centaurs.

It was Centaurus that descended upon a herd of Magnesian mares and conceived the Centaurs.

Compared to what?  The cost of euthanasia or any service is a relative thing.  The horse slaughter industry’s spokes-whore (the Wall Street Journal) bemoans how unfair it is that hiring a veterinarian to euthanize and dispose of a horse can cost hundreds of dollars. How expensive is that to a horse owner?  The average cost to maintain a horse for a year is thousands of dollars,  not including the cost of the horse,  which can be significant.  If you board your horse out it’s easily $400 – $600 a month (on the low end) without adding in any other services such as farrier and veterinarian,  and certainly not a trailer or truck.  So let’s not even entertain the notion that horse ownership is for regular people.  Unless you use your horse to plough fields,  you’ve got to be hustling and making some decent change in the private or public sector in order to be able to afford that horse – or be willing to do without a lot of other expenditures.  If you’re already spending that kind of coin for your horse,  $200 – $500 for euthanization/disposal is already a budgeted expense for many people.

Various veterinary colleges and schools offer euthanasia and disposal/cremation starting at around $100.  For anyone who lives in an area where there is truly an issue with disposal,  I wonder why no enterprising individual has thought of providing a rendering service?  What could the constraints be?  While I’m very sympathetic to people who have fallen on hard times/lost jobs etc,  for everyone else I say  – if this is too much,  I have to honestly say that I hope I never need $100 bucks as badly as that pro-slaughter individual apparently does.

  • Myth/Fallacy #10)

The bodies of euthanized horses pollute ground water

Not exactly a myth unless one intends to pass off the presence of barbiturates as being solely caused by euthed horses.  Most groundwater pollutants are created by industrial facilities, power stations,  motor vehicles,  and agriculture.  Farmyard waste,  created by,  you know,  people working in  “the industry” is one of the biggest culprits.  So while people working  in “the industry” are creating the majority of agricultural pollutants,  they want to pass the blame for pollution of ground water to those 90% of horse owners who are euthanizing their animals?  Barbiturates have been used in humans since the 60s as well as in veterinary drugs.  They are highly stable and take considerable time to degrade in the environment,  which means that drugs passed through urine and wastewater plants (which can’t capture it) and dumped by pharmaceutical companies will remain in our environment as a contaminant for centuries,  in both surface and groundwater.

Pegasus became the servant of of the gods. There he was the mount of Eos to help bring the dawn, or was ridden by Apollo to bring the sun. Pegasus also served Zeus by bringing to him the thunder and lightning needed for the thunderbolts. For all his noble services, Pegasus was honoured by a constellation in the autumn sky.

Pegasus became the servant of of the gods. There he was the mount of Eos to help bring the dawn, or was ridden by Apollo to bring the sun. Pegasus also served Zeus by bringing to him the thunder and lightning needed for the thunderbolts. For all his noble services, Pegasus was honoured by a constellation in the autumn sky.

The fact is that most barbiturates were used in humans as hypnotics,  anesthetics,  anticonvulsants, sedatives,  and antiepileptics, and NOT in horses.  Obviously,  landfills should not be located next to aquafers and companies should not use landfills to dispose of pharmaceutical waste.  It’s also inappropriate to euthanize an animal and then leave it lying in a field where it can be predated upon.  Of course,  we have more regulations about disposal of drugs now,  but it certainly doesn’t mitigate the damages that have been done 50 years ago.

Another question I frequently ask of pro-slaughters (you can cue the crickets,  because I’ve not gotten an answer yet) is why they’re not outraged about human burial.  Not that we have much of a choice.  But most people are preserved in formaldehyde prior to burial,  then placed in hermetically sealed coffins.  No state or province in North America requires the “routine” embalming of bodies,  although there are some exceptions.  Formaldehyde is a carcinogen.  Although we are burying more people than horses,  the ability of embalming fluid to contaminate soil or water tables has not been studied thoroughly.  So claims that horses are polluting the environment seem rather extraordinary,  and extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

  • Myth/Fallacy #11)

We can feed the world – starving people,  children, prisoners, etc with horsemeat

This is the fallacy of the false dichotomy.  Just because we have horses does not mean that we should give or sell the meat if toxic.  Slaughterhouse Sue claims horsemeat will resolve all hunger problems in the US,  and her supporters in United Horsemen’s group also claim that it could be exported to Africa and solve hunger in that continent.  Why doesn’t she and the IEBA just create a business proposal to sell horsemeat to impoverished African countries?

The problem with these types of simplistic “solutions” is that they can’t possibly account for all the problems in Africa. Like food distribution problems, government corruption, AIDS, the effects of globalization, overpopulation, gang warfare, coup d’etats, the role of the IMF, and the lowest average wages in the world. 23 million starving – we’d have to slaughter every horse in the US and Canada, plus dogs and cats, every year, and even that wouldn’t be enough to sustain them over time. Most African countries have had aid provided to them for many years, and yet the circumstances never improve for the people. In actuality, the divide in levels of corruption in rich and poor countries remains as sharp as ever, according to the latest Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), government corruption is a primary cause of food shortages in 3rd world countries, so it matters little which foodstuffs are being referred to as a “relief” for hunger.

How many years was horse slaughter available in the US,  and yet there was no real market for horsemeat?  Or were there no hungry people in the US for the last 70 or so years?  Granted,  some people ate horses and currently do.  And some people take Bute despite being warned otherwise.  But to cite Yale or Harvard as examples of horsemeat eating hardly cuts it as an assertion that horsemeat is or should be consumed in the US.

Nobody is seriously feeding starving children with horsemeat. There is no nonprofit organization volunteering to run a slaughterhouse that would exist exclusively to donate horsemeat to the hungry.  No one operating a federally-licensed slaughterhouse in Canada is doing so,  and as far as I know,  neither are the provincial ones.  If our goal is to feed the starving, the grain our horses eat would be a more efficient donation.  So good luck trying to pitch horsemeat in North America.  Remember the frosty reception given to pink slime?  The pink slime marketers are still trying to peddle their propaganda too.

  • Myth/Fallacy #12)

Horse Slaughter is Humane

A lot of pro-slaughters don’t even believe this.  How do I know?  Because they keep writing about how,  “when slaughter returns,  it will be humane and regulated.”  So you mean it wasn`t already?  If not,  why not?  “We’ll make it humane.”  “We’ll  regulate this or that.” This is one of their  most insincere statements yet.   I`d have more respect for them if they at least admitted it wasn`t humane and they wanted to get rid of the bad players such as Trent SaultersDorian Ayache,  who by the way,  has amassed 64 violations within 2 years,  and Dennis Chavez of Southwest Livestock Auctions,  who has a chance of going to prison thanks,  not to pro-slaughters trying to clean up their business,  but to Animals Angels investigatory work.  I have to say that I have NEVER seen a single pro-slaughter ever condemn any of these low-lifes who flagrantly ignore the law.  Au contraire – Slaughterhouse Sue Wallis endorses Chavez – ergo,  she endorses someone who could get up to 11 years in prison!  Quite the recommendation. Again, no surprise when you know that Wyoming ranks as the third-worst state when it comes to corruption!

Pegasi make excellent choices as companions on journeys, able to take to the sky at any sign of danger, and traveling almost as fast on foot as in wing.

Pegasi make excellent choices as companions on journeys, able to take to the sky at any sign of danger, and traveling almost as fast on foot as in wing.

Half of them can’t even say “slaughter.”  They want to speak in doublespeak,  referring to it as “processing,”  or the “equine terminal marketplace,”  or worse – “euthanasia.”  They can’t say it because they know what it is.  Even Temple Grandin thinks such euphemisms are silly.  Concerns about the lack of a humane slaughter process for equines are central to arguments against equine slaughter, and cannot be summarily dismissed simply because an industry association declares slaughter “humane.”  And it doesn’t matter what the AQHA thinks  (appeal to authority fallacy) – I wouldn’t believe them anyway.  They’ve spent at least 30 years promoting halter horses that are of no use to those of us who use horses for pleasure or performance riding.

There is no such thing as “Humane Slaughter” any more than there is “Humane Rape,” “Humane Torture,” or any series of violent acts – how can you bestow humanity where there can be none? Should anyone campaign in favour of “humane” rape as a gateway to no rape?

Dr. Nicholas Dodman is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, and Professor, Section Head and Program Director of the Animal Behavior Department of Clinical Sciences at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine. He is certified with the American College of Veterinary Anesthesiologists (ACVA) and the American College of Veterinary Behavior (ACVB). Dr. Dodman is one of the world’s most noted and celebrated veterinary behaviorists, and is the author of four best-selling books on animal behavior as well as two textbooks and more than 100 articles and contributions to scientific books and journals. With his experience in anesthesiology and his intricate knowledge about the anatomy of the brain, Dr. Dodman is a leading specialist, qualified to assess the stunning of horses in a slaughterhouse environment. He observed the undercover video tape taken at Les Petites Nations given to the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition and these are his comments:

All of these factors contributed to a poor first shot stun percentage, with approximately 40% of horses requiring two or more shots, and one large horse requiring seven shots, to be stunned. Large horses seemed particularly at risk of requiring more than one shot. Whether this is because of the necessity of the operator to reach up high to angle the CBP down or because of the physical size of the horse’s skull limiting the reach of the captive bolt is unclear. Either way, the operator’s stance below horse head level was likely another factor contributing to the poor first-time stun percentage. Many horses who required a second or third shot, and some who were only given one shot to the head, retained muscle tone for some time, with some running in place or lurching from side to side, indicating that some level of consciousness was likely still present as they slowly expired.

My final conclusion, after reviewing 150-plus horse slaughters in this series of videos, is that the process was terrifying for most of the horses and, in many cases, horribly inhumane. In my opinion, only a one-shot stun is acceptable and this is, in fact, what Canadian humane slaughter regulations require (Meat Inspection Act – Part III). It is not acceptable for 40% of horses to require or receive a second shot. At this slaughterhouse, in cases where a second shot was required, most humane standards, in my opinion, were not met.”

Dr. Brian Evans,  Chief Food Safety Officer and Chief Veterinary Officer for Canada,  claims he had no idea that there were deviations from the standard at Bouvry or Richelieu or anywhere else.  No idea,  until he finds out through the media that there’s undercover video.

  • Myth/Fallacy #13)

It’s Biblically appropriate to eat horsemeat

If you think so,  more power to you. But due to all the conflicting passages in the bible,  how can you really know for sure?  In my mind,  this justification is very similar to the Texas Sharpshooter fallacy.  And why question the  “moral compass” of individuals who are not christian or don’t want to eat horsemeat? How do you account for the “moral compass” in individuals from nations that do not embrace the “in god we trust” dogma”? Canadians somehow manage quite well without the pervasiveness of religion, and why not? Morality is not based on the religion  to begin with.  Hammurabi of Babelonia developed a system of law and morality about 2,000 years before the bible was written.

Furthermore, morality is a sense of behavioural conduct that differentiates intentions, decisions, and actions between those that are good (or right) and bad (or wrong) and it is not dependant upon the embracing of any religion. Morality is dictated and embraced by societal mores and moral truths, which exist irrespective of religion. We also know that some Christians are not actually very moral people, and you only have to look at politics to see evidence of this.

  • Myth/Fallacy #14)

Animal Welfare/Animal Rights Activists want to remove all our property rights

OK,  here we’ve got another example of the hasty generalization or slippery slope fallacies.  To start with,  no one has  unlimited property rights. We do not have eminent domain over our own property. Owners of animals have both legal rights and limitations related to their animals’ legal status as tangible personal property.  In most jurisdictions you can’t fill your yard with junk or abandon your car on the side of the road either.

Of course, laws that are enforced that are in the best interests of animals are not often seen as being in the best (economic) interests of exploiters. Those people often proclaim that animals are merely property. As such, any welfare law that sought to accord animals protection therefore impinged on exploiters’ property rights. What many feel is “incrementalism” against their personal rights are accommodations to animals that the average person recognizes should be granted automatically. Therefore, the only people who are in an uproar about the animals that form part of their “property rights” are those individuals who already have a grand-canyon sized gap, philosophically speaking, with most of society – people who are already using ethical standards in the care of their animals.

  • Myth/Fallacy #15)

Bute and all veterinary drugs are eliminated from the animal’s system within hours

The 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

The unicorn appears in the Old Testament as something to both fear and revere. Many writers have speculated that the unicorn inhabited the Garden of Eden, but it is not specifically named. There is a theory that the unicorn perished in the great flood.

The unicorn appears in the Old Testament as something to both fear and revere. Many writers have speculated that the unicorn inhabited the Garden of Eden, but it is not specifically named. There is a theory that the unicorn perished in the great flood.

EU, bute is not permitted to be used for food animals. PERIOD. That simple acknowledgement renders any other discussion on toxicology rather moot. 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.  If bute did exit the system completely,  we would never see this:

Examples of bute found in horsemeat in the EU

Examples of bute found in horsemeat in the EU

  • Myth/Fallacy #16)

Horse slaughter returns the viability of the market

I have personally found that horses are most apt to survive when they are not killed and eaten.  Without the demand for meat,  horse slaughter would cease to exist.  I’d have a lot more respect for breed associations if they promoted

The hippocampus, the mythical sea-horse, which, according to the description of Pausanias, was a horse, but the part of its body down from the breast was that of a sea monster or fish. The horse appears even in the Homeric poems as the symbol of Poseidon, whose chariot was drawn over the surface of the sea by swift horses.

The hippocampus, the mythical sea-horse, which, according to the description of Pausanias, was a horse, but the part of its body down from the breast was that of a sea monster or fish. The horse appears even in the Homeric poems as the symbol of Poseidon, whose chariot was drawn over the surface of the sea by swift horses.

euthanasia with a bullet,  followed by rendering.  Can’t you give horses “at the bottom of the pyramid” a humane death without eating them?  Or perhaps people producing horses “at the bottom of the pyramid” should reduce or stop?  Horses don’t know they’re at the bottom of any pyramid in terms of desirability.  Your average grade horse feels the same fear and pain at a feedlot/slaughterhouse as would any high end horse (not that they end up in feedlots much anyway,  unless they`re stolen).

The problem with a reduction in slaughter, for the AQHA (also known as the “Equine puppy-millers”) and other registries, is that it leads to a drop in registrations. Registries make their money from registrations and from show fees paid only by the owners of registered horses competing in registry-sanctioned events. If the slaughter pipeline contracts, people breed (and register) fewer horses, and the disposal method for all these horses suddenly ceases to exist.  Most breed associations consider their own survival before the welfare of the horse.  It`s interesting to note that there were more than a few Tennessee Walker Horses on the trailer that collapsed in Nashville,  another Dorian Ayache and Three Angels Farm debacle.  Marty Irby,  president of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors’ Association, said an organized program for retiring horses would be expensive.  He claimed that there was no money for such a program,  beyond the money required to  keep the association alive.  Keeping the “association” alive is what is most important to this industry. They do not care about end-of-life choices for horses and readily use the killer buyers and slaughter industry.  Please don’t forget that Canada has slaughter,  as does Spain (over 100 slaughterhouses) and both countries have seen the bottom fall out of the horse market.  Methinks there must be other factors at hand.

  • Myth/Fallacy #17)

We’re overrun with wild horses

Where to begin with the BLM?  The organization which consistently claims that it is  protecting wild horses whilst simultaneously working behind the scenes for their eventual destruction. The US government is spending way too much money to keep wild mustangs in holding pens so they don’t compete with livestock on federal grazing lands.

As Ginger Kathrens, volunteer executive director of the Cloud Foundation, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal: ”You would think there are millions of wild horses roaming the West. It’s pathetic how small the herds are, how underpopulated they are.” In the 1.3 million acres of Antelope Valley, 407 wild horses graze alongside 7,700 cows. ”That’s the statistic that’s common to all their management. The pie is so slender for wild horses.”

Past Division Chief Don Glenn has gone on record as saying  that the “simple solution” to the wild horse and burro management problem is “unlimited sale authority.” He opined: “It makes no sense for the taxpayers to put out $75 million to take care of a bunch of old horses that nobody wants. They should be sold without limitation. If folks want to protect them because they’re afraid they’re going to go to slaughter or something, they have every right to purchase them.”  He’s right – why spend that amount of money when you could instead leave them alone or manage them with a science-based approach that treats the horses as the native, reintroduced species that they are.  The BLM barely leaves an area before the welfare ranchers unload truckloads of cattle on the same land and remove the fences around the water holes.

  • Myth/Fallacy #18)

Wild horses have no predators

Considering that humans cannot control their own populations (or choose not to) despite negative consequences, is it really fair to manage other species by killing due to the negative consequences they have on humans?  The cod fishing industry (now decimated) in Atlantic Canada is a perfect example of resource mismanagement. But when it comes to management of practically anything, governments and organizations that try to play God end up acting the fool.

The fates of horses, and the people who own and command them, are revealed as Black Beauty narrates the circle of his life.

The fates of horses, and the people who own and command them, are revealed as Black Beauty narrates the circle of his life.

Alyson Andreason from the University of Nevada Reno presented the findings of her research into mountain lions and their rate of predation on wild horses. She documented much higher levels of predation on wild horses – primarily foals – than had previously been believed.  Her research team found that the lions consumed “more horses than we would have expected.” In the Virginia Range, mountain lions killed four times more horses than deer. This research puts the lie to the notion, perpetuated by ranchers and the BLM, that wild horses have no natural predators, and therefore, the only way to manage them is to round them up and remove them. Mountain lions are hunted throughout the West, as well as removed (killed) by the USDA at the request of ranchers. If they were protected instead of persecuted, mountain lions could clearly play a role in regulating some wild horse populations.

While mathematical ecology is a new discipline, mathematical physics is not – it is peer-reviewed science.  The mechanistic explanation of predator/prey relationships suggests that the machinery of nature functions without us quite well:  In short, the predator-prey paradox and prey-enrichment theories will suffice quite well, in fact, they have worked for hundreds of thousands of years. Both predator and prey species are healthier when left to the devices of nature, whose mechanisms are far superior than anything man could devise.  Predators and prey can influence one another’s evolution. Traits that enhance a predator’s ability to find and capture prey will be selected for in the predator, while traits that enhance the prey’s ability to avoid being eaten will be selected for in the prey. The “goals” of these traits are not compatible, and it is the interaction of these selective pressures that influences the dynamics of the predator and prey populations. Predicting the outcome of species interactions is also of interest to biologists trying to understand how communities are structured and sustained.

The Lotka-Volterra model is composed of a pair of differential equations that describe predator-prey (or herbivore-plant, or parasitoid-host) dynamics in their simplest case (one predator population, one prey population). The model makes several simplifying assumptions: 1) the prey population will grow exponentially when the predator is absent; 2) the predator population will starve in the absence of the prey population (as opposed to switching to another type of prey); 3) predators can consume infinite quantities of prey; and 4) there is no environmental complexity (in other words, both populations are moving randomly through a homogeneous environment.  The model is sound.  We’ve seen this play out in real life  in Yellowstone Park after wolves were exterminated – this was done because wolves preyed upon elk, animals human hunters also wished to hunt. They believed that without wolves to prey on them, there would be more elk and so on for humans to hunt. This was a foolish and short-sighted view, however – the elk population exploded without natural predators to cull the weak and sick, leading to overgrazing and damage to the environment. The herbivores then starved. Fortunately, wolves have now been reintroduced, and the balance between predator and prey has been restored.

  • Myth/Fallacy #19)

The unavailability of slaughter in the US causes abandonment and abuse

The global food and fuel crisis is resulting in more than just people going hungry. Rising grain and gas prices in the US and Canada have made it difficult to continue to afford horses. But slaughter never ended in the US – the business of slaughter just became an issue of geography.  Horses now travel longer distances,  perhaps with the exception of those that are illegally slaughtered in Florida and that little shop of horrors – Bravo Packing in New Jersey,  which serves the big cat market. In actuality,  the rate of slaughter of US horses was only temporarily affected by the closings of the US based slaughter plants in 2007, and the slaughter rate has since returned to its previous levels. There was therefore no mechanism by which these closings could have impacted abuse and neglect.

Slaughter Statistics by Year - 1989 through available YTD (click through to original document at Equine Welfare Alliance)

Slaughter Statistics by Year – 1989 through available YTD (click through to original document at Equine Welfare Alliance)

This article suggests that horses were turned away from a slaughterhouse and abandoned for being too thin,  yet the pro-slaughter faction tells us that slaughter will PREVENT starvation.  What a joke!  A six month investigation by the EWA and other animal investigation organizations determined the predominant source of abandoned horses in the Southwestern US. The findings show that most or all of more than 5,000 horses a year are being abandoned after being rejected for slaughter at the Mexican border.

It simply made no  sense that someone who could not afford to euthanize and bury/render a horse would elect instead to pay for hauling it hundreds or thousands of miles only to turn it loose.  Kill buyers hauling horses to Mexico need a place to dispose of the rejected horses, and the most economical way to do so is to simply abandon them on a deserted stretch of road or in an isolated lot.  Surely the pro-slaughters don’t believe that the KBs are taking them home and nurturing them back to health!

Groups are now in place to verify all abandoned horse article claims made anywhere in the United States. There is a mechanism in place at the EWA to examine future claims of abandonment as they become newsworthy. Any articles or news stories which make claims about abandoned horses, will be checked for verification through police reports, state park services, and all other places that claims have been made about abandoned horses anywhere in the U.S., due to the findings that many reporters are writing false or unverified articles about abandoned horses. The EWA has compiled an extensive study of horse abandonment reports that reads like a Snopes reference – 26 pages of source documentation that refutes claims of horse abandonment,  as reported in various news reports. The Animal Law Coalition also conducted its own extensive study of the metrics involved. It’s findings reveal that abuse and neglect are largely determined by economic conditions. An upturn in unemployment seen in late 2007 appears to have translated into the beginning of an upturn in abuse and neglect in early 2008.

This is not to say that there are no cases of horse abandonment at all – there are no doubt a great many opportunistic,  cruel people who will abandon horses in desolate areas,  but people who commit these types of acts will abuse animals with or without the presence of slaughter!    Face facts – people who neglect or abandon their horses have chosen NOT to send that horse to slaughter.  I would call that a resounding FAILURE of slaughter to control horse neglect or impact the value of horses.

I wonder what the president of the AQHA has to say about these findings since he has released a statement claiming the abandonment of horses as a reason to support slaughter?

  • Myth/Fallacy #20)

The 80% is Bogus!

If you’re complaining about all the AR/AW activists getting up in your business,  then it’s time to acknowledge exactly why there are so many of us – we’re the NORM,  We’re the 80%.  We’re the majority.  There is no secretive, clandestine, Machiavellian worldwide animal rights and liberation movement underway.  We’re “out there” and we’re regular people.  A 2004 Ipsos-Reid poll that showed 2/3 (64%) of Canadians opposed to the practice of slaughtering horses for human consumption,  and ASPCA Research Confirms Americans Strongly Oppose Slaughter of Horses for Human Consumption,  in a poll conducted by Lake Research Partners.

Conclusion:

Discerning which voices to listen to is, as best as I can tell, a function of your degree of expertise in the subject and your innate intelligence, breadth of general knowledge of how the world works and reasoning capacity, which allow you to smell when someone is spoon-feeding you bullshit.  Reasonable, rational people who are not fact-challenged,  understand  even if they do not accept.  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’re going to argue badly,  why do it at all?

The only way any views can be reasonably challenged are by the claim that the conclusion is not true,  the evidence is not true,  or that the evidence is insufficient to justify the conclusion.  The only ways you can have mistaken beliefs is to have faulty evidence – evidence that is  not true or that even if it is true,  does not support your beliefs.

Join the children's letter writing campaign!

Join the children’s letter writing campaign! (Click image to jump to the program at the Equine Welfare Alliance!

Canada’s Horse “Welfare” Group in Dubious Company (Or Reason #189,743 Why We Cannot Trust Unified Equine or the IEBA)

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Canadian and American horses are at risk

Canadian and American horses are at risk

Written by Heather Clemenceau (with contributions from the CHDC)

All Artwork Copyright Heather Clemenceau (use with permission only)

Canada’s Horse “Welfare” Group in Dubious Company

Domestic and wild horses in Canada are at risk of being in grave danger. Back in May 2010, the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition (CHDC) published a paper called “What You Didn’t Know About Canada’s Horse Federations” –  exposing a deceptively named Canadian organization called the Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada (HWAC).

The report included some eyebrow-raising facts including:

  • HWAC’s formation being in response to Canada’s anti-slaughter movement, prompted by the CHDC’s first investigative report, “Black Beauty Betrayed” in 2008.
  • the true purpose of HWAC, which is not horse welfare, but the promotion and support of North America’s horse slaughter industry;
  • proof of HWAC’s affiliation with Canada’s largest horse slaughter plant, Bouvry Exports;
  • HWAC’s founder, Bill DesBarres is a Board member with the Alberta Equestrian Federation, and thus manoeuvred to include all provincial horse federations under HWAC;
  • Bill DesBarres’ reaction to authentic footage obtained from Bouvry Exports in the CHDC 2010 report, “Chambers of Carnage” was to dispute its authenticity, saying: “I’m not convinced that those pictures were taken at Fort MacLeod. These things are produced by people who have a different agenda. They are against animal agriculture, period.”
  • HWAC’s affiliation with extreme pro-slaughter groups in the U.S. under State of Wyoming Legislature Republican Sue Wallis.

South of the border, DesBarres American counterpart and horse slaughter advocate, Rep. Sue Wallis, has been hard at work laying the groundwork for horse slaughter plants to re-open in the US after a 6-year moratorium.  Despite failed attempts at re-establishing slaughter in Wyoming and Mountain Grove, Missouri, Rep. Wallis, the recently-resigned President of the United Horsemen’s group, is refocusing her efforts on alternative locations in Southern Missouri, Oregon, New Mexico, Nebraska, Iowa, Washington, and Oklahoma.  It has recently been revealed that the site of that location in Missouri is Rockville,  a town of less than 200 people,  and the site of a now-closed beef processing plant.  Wallis is counting on the fact that the plant is located in this small town where 50-60 residents were previously employed at the plant,  which was closed by the owners as a result of USDA pressure.  Via a press release from the IEBA,  Wallis announced that “Americans Eat Horses, and the World is Hungry Enough to Help Us Save Them.” If Americans ate horses and there was a buck to be made, horse meat would be in grocery stores long ago. There was nothing stopping the selling of horse meat during all the years they were slaughtered in the US.  Wallis claims horsemeat will resolve all hunger problems in the US,  and her supporters in United Horsemen’s group also claim that it could be exported to Africa and solve hunger in that continent.  Why doesn’t she just create a business proposal to sell horsemeat to impoverished African countries?

The problem with these types of simplistic “solutions” is that they can’t possibly account for all the problems in Africa. Like food distribution problems, government corruption, AIDS, the effects of globalization, overpopulation, gang warfare, coup d’etats, the role of the IMF, and the lowest average wages in the world. 23 million starving – we’d have to slaughter every horse in the US and Canada, plus dogs and cats, every year, and even that wouldn’t be enough to sustain them over time. Most African countries have had aid provided to them for many years, and yet the circumstances never improve for the people. Pro-slaughters think you can throw horsemeat at anyone and they will literally rise up from the grave in good health and prosperity. Wallis’ rejection of food safety regulations would be laughable if not dangerous.  Food safety regulations are to protect humans,  not animals,  and the veterinarian sources she cites are not able to make determinations as to the acceptable limits of drug residues,  if any,  because they are not toxicologists.  The reason she is so irrational on food safety is that if food safety regulations were enforced with  horses, she would not be able to set up her slaughter empire!

Incidentally,  Wallis is running for re-election in Wyoming,  and her professional bio lists her as a “writer” and a “poet.”  Well,  I’ve read her so-called poetry.  IMO, cowboy poetry sucks because they can’t rhyme anything with “saddles.” It’s even worse with Sue trying her hand writing about “Mustang meat-patties” and “BLM Burgers.” I’d rather be hog-tied than have to listen to a Sue Wallis poetry reading.

American horses are exported to Canada for slaughter

American horses are exported to Canada or Mexico for slaughter

While Wallis has previously moved around, working under the guise of several organizations, most recently Unified Equine LLC (which apparently no longer has a web presence apart from its Facebook page), she is attempting to re-brand herself by creating yet another organization to further her pursuit of horse slaughter in America: The International Equine Business Association. (IEBA).  This organization now includes Belgian monetary backer Olivier Kemseke of Chevideco, an international horse slaughter corporation and Canadian Bill DesBarres, of the ironically-named Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada. (HWAC).  Chevideco, the owner of the Dallas Crown horse slaughter facility, owes the City of Kaufman, Texas numerous fines for the environmental grotesqueries of their plant.  HWAC is also public representative of Claude Bouvry, owner of Bouvry Exports in Alberta – Canada’s largest horse slaughter plant.  Bouvry is also owner of many large horse feedlots in Alberta, Shelby, Montana and Fallon, Nevada.  As such, we are confident in asserting that these three individuals do not represent the horse industry – they represent the meat industry!

The last few months have been busy for the aptly named “Slaughterhouse Sue” Wallis.  Not content merely to confine herself to arranging duplicitous business enterprises, she has been given her walking papers by the town of Mountain Grove, MO, she has crumbled under pressure on a radio program, written endorsements for feedlot owners under investigation and slaughterhouse owners who have had their operations suspended for cruelty violations.  In 2011,  she was the subject of an ethics enquiry in her own state by an animal activist.  On the United Horsemen’s page on Facebook, she has started calling anti-slaughter legislators in Congress “socialists,” after a press release announced the cancellation of the 2nd Summit of the (Dead) Horse event.

Consumer research firm Neilsen found that in March 2011, a typical Facebook user was on the site for a staggering 6 hours and 35 minutes at a time.  I suspect Sue Wallis spends considerably more time on Facebook than the typical user,  or even the typical politican,  who tend to be quite observant of commentary from other Facebook users and constituents.  A selection of Sue Wallis’ Facebook posts taken from various sources reveal that any individuals who express concern for the environment,  drug contamination in food,  or animal welfare are likely to come under fire.  Once Wallis tires of battling animal welfare groups on Facebook,  “sics” her United Horsemen’s minions on other Facebook users she doesn’t like or who have challenged her.  In another incident,  Wallis exercises questionable judgement when she once again asks her minions to “reach out” to a woman who has slaughtered her own horse and crawled nude inside the carcass to pose for pictures.  Some photos featured in the website even showcase the woman posing with the horse’s heart,  as if she is about to consume it.  Even posters on the United Horsemen’s page feel the distaste at her request.

Sue Wallis asks United Horsemen followers to "reach out" and support the right to commit horse necrophilia.

Sue Wallis asks United Horsemen followers to “reach out” and support the right to commit horse necrophilia.

"Slaughterhouse" Sue asks her followers to harass people who disagree with her.

“Slaughterhouse” Sue asks her followers to harass people who disagree with her.

Sue Wallis asks Facebook followers to harass this email account holder (email account has been partially redacted for privacy)

Sue Wallis asks Facebook followers to harass this email account holder (email account has been partially redacted for privacy)

One wonders how the whiny, finger-pointing Wallis can regularly travel away from her constituents in Wyoming, to further her own business interests in other states.  When objection to her plans reached critical mass in Mountain Grove Missouri, Wallis was given a “get out of town card,” after she hatched the bizarre claim that the local YMCA director received death threats from “animal rights activists.”  Of course, the Director himself denied that any such threats were made by anyone – he even told the investigating police that no one had threatened him.  But this is not what the followers of the pro-slaughter faction wanted to hear, so the fabricated story of death threats was made to cover-up for the truth that they were kicked to the curb.  Sue Wallis left town with the following advisory: “Discussion’s over.  Make all the noise you want.  We’re going into business.” Should we be surprised that  Wyoming ranks 48th out of 50 states in terms of corruption risk. 

Despite a published agenda for the radio program, Wallis’ snake-oil showmanship was exposed in a radio broadcast that featured, among other guests, Wayne Pacelle, President & CEO of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), leading to her public meltdown  and abrupt departure from the show.  She claims that she was ambushed, which seems surprising – who agrees to speak on a radio program with the belief that there will be no other guests, and with the pre-program guest list posted online?

Greasewood and the Sandwash Basin Horsres

In a move that was not only ill-conceived, but couldn’t be more ill-timed, Sue Wallis pointed her slaughter house interests towards New Mexico, after failing in Missouri.  New Mexico is the home of the infamous Chavez Feedlot, where horses are shuttled from many points in the U.S. to slaughter plants in Mexico.  In March 2012, Animals Angels exposed horrible conditions there where horses that were rejected at Mexican plants, were returned to the Chavez feedlot and left to die.

Wallis then went on to urge the New Mexico Governor that “instead of charging (feedlot owner Dennis) Chavez with negligent mistreatment or animal cruelty, and trying to ruin his business…if these groups really cared about horses they would be honoring and applauding him, as we do, for providing care and sustenance to horses that would otherwise have no chance of survival.”  Read the entire letter  The problem is that Mr. Chavez has established a clear pattern of abusing horses, as can be seen from a USDA Freedom of Information Act inquiry.  Additionally, he is now the subject of an animal cruelty investigation which revealed profoundly disturbing footage of severely emaciated horses, unable to rise, expiring on his feedlot without the humanity of euthanasia.  Chavez didn’t provide “care” or “sustenance” to any of these animals in the video, as they were too weak to rise to eat or drink and remained prostrate on the ground.  As if that was not going to be embarrassing enough for her, she then tried to discredit the investigators in her comments.

In another humiliating incident for slaughter advocates, New Mexico slaughter plant owner Rick De Los Santos,  who has lost his license to slaughter cows due to humane violations, now wants permission to slaughter the quintessential flight animal – the horse.  Mr. De Los Santos’ explanation of the reason for which he has had to lay off his entire staff  at Valley Meats is not credible either, yet certainly pro-slaughter advocates are not constrained by adherence to facts.  However,  never one to miss an opportunity to promote a pro-slaughter agenda,  Sue Wallis’ Unified Equine Facebook page boasts a recommendation of Mr. De Los Santos that makes me concerned for my own cranial integrity – yes,  I’m about to *facepalm* yet again.  Not content to merely make recommendations for those businesses and individuals who have been sanctioned or fined by various US government agencies,  Slaughterhouse Sue is well-known as a politician who glorifies those who are employed in any capacity in the slaughter industry – including many kill buyers,  lauded for sainthood.  Someone should explain to her that many of these so-called heroes have incurred fines to the tune of $100,000 or more in the course of their saintly occupation.

Unified Equine Promotes a business that has been suspended for humane violations to cattle

Unified Equine Promotes a business that has been suspended for humane violations to cattle

The Governor of New Mexico, Susana Martinez, has asked the USDA to deny Mr. De Los Santos and Valley Meats’ request for a permit.  In addition, New Mexico Attorney General, Gary King, has stated that “a horse slaughtering plant in Roswell is a terrible idea. Such a practice, while not illegal, is certainly abhorrent to public sentiment, and I strongly suggest it be abandoned.”

More defeat dogged Sue Wallis and United Horsemen counterpart, horse-trainer Dave Duquette, when it was announced that the 2nd Annual Summit of the (Slaughter) Horse, a conference designed to convince the general public that eating pets is a good thing, would be “rescheduled” to sometime in January of next year.  That’s not a rescheduling in our books; that’s an outright cancellation.

In 2011,  Patricia Fazio, PhD, President of the Cody-based Wyoming Animal Welfare Network, filed charges last year that alleged that Sue Wallis, a Wyoming State Representative, attempted to defraud horse slaughter supporters out of $30,000 in a bogus truck raffle and that Sue Wallis had sponsored and voted on bills in which she had a financial interest.  Although the truck allegations were dismissed the remainder of the investigation is still running at full throttle against the embattled Wyoming State Rep.

From a Canadian perspective, DesBarres’ association with Wallis and Kemseke earns him a blazing refutation as a representative of Canadian horse owners and horse groups. Together, the  alliance of Wallis/DesBarres/Kemseke maintains that horse slaughter is necessary in North America in order to deal with the numbers of homeless or “unwanted” horses – the IEBA is a soapbox upon which they stand to deliver their dubious claims to an unsuspecting public.  The reality is that slaughter is not an end-of-life solution, but one that fulfills a demand for horsemeat in the EU and Japan – a lucrative demand that has filled the pockets of foreign plants such as Belgian Chevideco, who apparently expect taxpayers to fund the costs of their business enterprises as well as any environmental clean-up that may entail.  Typically,  Chevideco invests no money of their own, and pay imaginative accountants good money to circumvent paying taxes while on U.S. soil;  Dallas Crown continued to bedevil the town of Kaufman despite efforts by Mayors Paula Bacon and  Harry Holcomb and the Kaufman City Council.  By virtue of his connection with the IEBA, DesBarres and HWAC are actively endorsing and supporting individuals and businesses that have flouted the law, often with disdain for taxpayers.  So long as the criticism is going to rain down on these three (and it surely is) I suggest that they consider building themselves an ark.  The more I read about the whole slaughter enterprise,  the more I realize I’m in need of some sort of prophylactic.

Paint Horses

The IEBA is now offering a “Charter Membership” which includes, among other “benefits,” “Legal defense network and protection from activist attack.”  Much of their mission statement and purpose was developed in lockstep with United Horsemen and the Cavalry Group, both extremist pro-slaughter organizations.  Horse owners, please be advised that this group, in order to implement its business plan and charter, will stipulate that you have your pleasure horses and pets tracked from birth to death, all to satisfy foreign countries’ appetites for horsemeat, whilst lining the pockets of Sue Wallis, Chevideco, and Bill DesBarres and the Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada.  The statements made by both Wallis and DeBarres constitute a logician’s nightmare.  Neither Americans nor Canadians will withhold humane veterinary care of our horses just so we can ethically say they are “healthy and safe” to eat so we can sell their bodies at the end of their lives.   Myself,  I will never apply for membership in my provincial organization again,  nor will I purchase liability insurance from a carrier that indirectly endorses slaughter.  I will obtain liability insurance from my own insurance carrier.  We, the compassionate horse people of Canada, must use our time productively to get Bill C-322 passed!

If you find any of the above information unacceptable to you as a horse owner or advocate, please be aware that the Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada is allied with the following business partners – please let them know that you hold them all to a higher standard than that maintained by an alliance with the Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada,  the International Equine Business Association, and Sue Wallis:

Provincial Organizations

British Columbia
Horse Council
Orville Smith
President
Lisa Laycock
Executive Director
27336 Fraser Highway
Aldergrove, BC
V4W 3N5
Phone: 604-856-4304
Fax: 604-856-4302
Toll Free: 1-800-345-8055
Email
Alberta
Equestrian Federation
Dixie Crowson
President
Sonia Dantu
Executive Director
100, 251 Midpark Blvd S.E.
Calgary, AB
T2X 1S3
Phone: 403-253-4411
Fax: 403-252-5260
Toll Free: 1-877-463-6233
Email
Saskatchewan
Horse Federation
Terry Fagrie
President
Mae Smith
Executive Director
2205 Victoria Avenue
Regina, SK
S4P 0S4
Phone: 306-780-9244
Fax: 306-525-4009
Email
Manitoba
Horse Council
Geri Sweet
President
Bruce Rose
Executive Director
145 Pacific Avenue
Winnipeg, MB
R3B 2Z6
Phone: 204-925-5718
Fax: 204-925-5703
Email
Ontario
Equestrian Federation
Allan Ehrlick
President
Deborah Thompsen
Executive Director
Suite 203
9120 Leslie Street
Richmond Hill, ON
L4B 3J9
Phone: 905-854-0762
Fax: 905-709-1867EmailToll Free: 1-877-441-7112
Email
Quebec
Fédération équestre du Québec
Dominique Chagnon
President
Richard Mongeau
Executive Director
4545 Ave Pierre de
Coubertic CP 1000
Succursale M
Montreal, PQ
H1V 3R2
Phone: 514-252-3053
Fax: 514-252-3165
Email
New Brunswick
Equestrian Association
Deanna Phalen
President
Suite 13
900 Hanwell Road
Fredericton, NB
E3B 6A2
Phone: 506-454-2353
Fax: 506-454-2363
Email
Nova Scotia
Equestrian Federation
Helen Smith
President
Heather Myrer
Executive Director
5516 Spring Garden Road
4th Floor
Halifax, NS
B3J 1G6
Phone: 902-425-5450 Ext 333
Fax: 902-425-5606
Email
PEI
Horse Council
Ken Smith
President
Joy MacDonald
EC Representative
POB 1887
Charlottetown, PE
C1A 7N5
Phone: 902-964-2379
Email
Newfoundland
Equestrian Federation
Chris Gallant
President
34 Circular Road
St. John’s, NF
A1C 2Z1
Phone:709-726-0826
Fax: 709-777-4558
Email

Mailing address:
Horse Welfare Alliance of Canada
Box 785, Cochrane, Alberta
T4C 1A9

Bill DesBarres: Tel: 403-526-1070 Cell: 403-529-7237
http://horsewelfare.ca/contact

Please support Pro-Horse Initiatives at the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition:

Please support Bill C-322 to end horse slaughter in Canada

Please support Bill C-322 to end horse slaughter in Canada

www.defendhorsescanada.org

All artwork copyright Heather Clemenceau (use with permission only)