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).
- Allege that there’s a conspiracy. Claim that scientific consensus has arisen through collusion rather than the accumulation of evidence.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Use logical fallacies. Hitler opposed smoking, so anti-smoking measures are Nazi. Deliberately misrepresent the scientific consensus and then knock down your straw man.
- 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.
Here we go!
“So here is a big question for all people out there. Bute. Although I’m not sure I heard it mentioned too much before the AR’s realized that the horse slaughter ban was not working and there was indeed going to be a push for horse slaughter to come back. Now as I see it “Logically. I get the fact that it’s something that is not to be put in the food chain. It’s not about that. It’s about a withdrawal time. Now Anti’s will say “there is no withdrawal time for bute” And technically they are correct. There is no DOCUMENTED. And I stress the word “documented” over and over again. a withdrawal time for bute simply does not exists in horses because. It has never been tested for. And really that makes sense. Why test a drug in a animal that there is no slaughter for human consumption for in your country at the time. But it doesn’t mean it does not have a withdrawal time that can be discovered. Cattle have a withdrawal time for all the same drugs. So it’s not a the drugs that lingers in the blood stream for the life time of the animal. I also like to say re treating of the animal is needed which would also lend itself to the concept that the liver of the horse purifies itself of all the drug that is ingested. See I think once a withdrawal date is figured out it would be extremely simple to work around the problem. A simple quarantine would do the trick. 30 days in a feedlot for example. what do you think?”
I think you’re guessing, that’s what I think. It’s the metabolized compound that can kill you. 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 EU, bute is not permitted to be used for food animals. PERIOD. That simple acknowledgement renders any other discussion on toxicology rather moot (not “mute”). There are no safe levels for known carcinogens, which is why it’s pointless to discuss to what degree bute is or is not eliminated from the tissues. Harm is assumed. Discussions of toxicity or “safe levels” are reserved for non-carcinogenic effects. Non-carcinogens are assessed with a different type of dose-response study than that for carcinogens.
Furthermore, the “precautionary principle” is recognized in international law, and it of course stresses that the absence of scientific certainty about a risk should not bar the taking of precautionary measures in the face of possible irreversible harm.
“commission a study, and petition the fda, usda, cfda and the eu to change their laws and there you go.
k so would they? what loops would you have to jump through?”
The cost of most of the basic and translational biomedical research in the U.S. is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Unfortunately, the NIH budget has been stagnant for the last few years. Who will pay for this study? A proper study on the health effects of consuming bute may have to follow participants through their lives for 20 years or so. And you would have to conduct a study of current horsemeat consumers, because no epidemiologists will subject non-consumers of horsemeat to a study of contaminated food unless they were already typically eating it, because that would be unethical, as it would be unethical to ask people to start smoking so you could study them.
There are over 8500 references to bute on the Pubmed database. Are you suggesting that we don’t yet have sufficient data? If you have anything less than a study of this calibre (20 years or so) then you may as well be publishing the results in the New England Journal of “Who Gives a Rat’s Ass.”
“No need to worry much about what will be approved and for what withdrawal time. Markets demand issue free food sources. A quick test of the animal to show it is substance free and it gets the stamp on its butt and off it goes. First nations have 100,000 animals that are good to go till the rest of the market gets in line. Its like sports testing , what ever happened before is mute as long as the test comes out good. Export operations have other countries to deal with other then the US so why would they even consider trying to convince any of them that this or that is safe. I always wondered why the pro people just don’t give the AR’s a win on the bute issue and move on. Trying to convince anyone that any chemical will be OK come a certain point is a tough sell.”
The gold standard for testing drug residues is liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Chromatographic techniques are used in order to separate compounds, and mass spectrometry to identify them. You need equipment and/or a lab in order to conduct a test of this quality. Again, where would this equipment be housed? Furthermore, you would need to test a helluva lot more animals than the CFIA currently tests, which is somewhere around 1% of all animals slaughtered. Currently Canada relies on the EU to catch our errors and omissions. Wonder how long they will tolerate that?
Speaking of sports testing, it’s interesting to note that a competitor for the Tour de France (in France, where they serve horsemeat) came under scrutiny after testing positive for Clenbuterol. It was suspected that he ate contaminated meat, although I don’t believe anything was proven.
I think Canada has just found a way to win at the Olympics in 2016! Who is the host country in 2016?? Next time we host the summer Olympics is the opportune time to eliminate a good chunk of competitors from France, Kazahkstan and Kyrgyzstan this way. Go Gerry Ritz! Team Canada all the way!
“I think the study would have to come from the USDA or FDA to be recognized, wouldnt it? I cant see them accepting a commisioned study by an intrest group.”
For a minute there I thought he wrote “inbred” group – you know how you scan through something when reading quickly? Here’s the thing, science trumps politics any day. Science SHOULD inform politics, but unfortunately, that doesn’t often happen.
Karl Popper wrote about the scientific method and what makes a good study. It is possible for “special interest groups” to conduct legitimate studies if all the correct procedures are followed. If you have a theory that metabolites of bute are harmless or that withdrawal times could be established, then you must start with your theory and create your study from there.
“But to get it done right now you need to figure something out you know what? What if you tested after they were hung? any part of the horse can be tested then and could you not put a horse to different uses. Say if she has bute she’s fertilizer…, kind of a deal.”
So you’re going to leave these horses at the bleed rail while you send a sample off for the liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry tests? Of course that will seriously mess with your production scheduling. It would be a logistical nightmare, because although mass spectrometry tests are quick (relative to other tests) you must either have a lab (with trained technicians) on the premises or you must send your samples out to a lab or university. Meanwhile, your horses are still hung up (literally) on the bleed rail waiting on the results.
“Another question…sorry again for my lack of knowledge here. When I do toxicity tests on paint samples, I
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?”
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.