Goal: My hope is that legislation can be passed that will prohibit the sale of horses to slaughter.




Blog #1: I Believe...
horse_jumping-0082.jpg
horse_jumping-0082.jpg

I believe horse slaughter is a problem. A very unnecessary but prevalent problem. This topic is very important to me because my horse was so close to being sold to slaughter, because although she is a Thoroughbred, she is not a runner. If a friend of mine had not purchased her when she did, my horse would be glue. This is the type of thing that makes my blood boil; these horses are not being killed because they were bred and raised to be so, but because they cannot race, or are not capable of being the next Seabiscuit. It is simply a convenient way to get rid of unwanted horses. Why? These horses are perfectly capable of being retrained to do something else. They can become excellent dressage, trail or pleasure horses, if they are given the training. My own horse was trained for dressage; she is definately NOT a runner. Just because a horse cannot run, doesn't mean they're worthless, or cannot make the owner money doing something else.
My hope is that legislation can be passed that will prohibit the sale of horses to slaughter.

Picture:
http://www.dedephoto.com/images/sports%20portfolio/slides/horse%20jumping-0082.jpg



#2: Yay, NYRA!

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nyra-logo.jpg
I found this article, and it's great! Finally! The New York Racing Association declared that owners whose horses have gone to slaughter will be banned from the sport. They are taking on a new anti-slaughter policy following the scandal involving Ernie Paragallo, an owner, who was charged with 35 counts of animal cruelty after his horses were found to be severely malnourished, and bound for slaughter in "kill pens", which are where horses are stored before being shipped to slaughters. Paragallo has been banned from racing, but only given up to 2 years in prison and $35,000 in fines. Only 2 years?! From 35 counts of cruelty! But the point of the article is that NYRA is cracking down on these issues, and making sure the horses are taken care of. I completely agree with this new policy; it keeps the sport integrity intact, and gives a good name to the organization. NYRA is promoting rehabilitation and placement of retired racehorses to good, responsible homes. If the problem is that owners are trying to get rid of "useless" horses while making some money, why not sell them to a trainer? Owners would make a lot more that way than by slaughter...

Source:
"Racing Association Adopts Anti-Slaughter Policy". New York Times. December 11, 2009. December 16, 2009.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/11/sports/11scandal.html?_r=1

Picture:
http://www.edlewi.com/uploads/Clients/nyra-logo.jpg


#3:The Problem

This article gave me chills. The things people do to animals just to earn a quick buck! Although there are no slaughterhouses open in the U.S. any
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DSCF00251.jpg
more, people are still able by law to sell horses over the border to Canada and Mexico. There, the horses are treated brutally. Although sometimes they are killed from a captive bolt, which jabs a rod into a horse's brain, most are just paralyzed by a knife to their spines, making them unable to move but able to feel pain and be conscious to what is happening. They are often beaten into semi-consciousness. How is this legal? The article does a good job of showing both sides of the issue, and examples of each. For example, it argues that "horses are livestock just like cows and pigs, why is it such an issue, as opposed to the other animals?" But for every argument the pro-slaughter side has, the anti-slaughter side has a reply. Yes, they are livestock, but they work closer to humans than the others do, blurring the line between pet and livestock. Yes, people in other countries eat horse meat, but that doesn't mean we should endorse it. And how safe is it anyway, with all the medications owners give them? Yes, there is an overpopulation problem. But is there not also an overpopulation of dogs and cats? We wouldn't send them to slaughter. That boils down to irresponsible breeders. Put a quota on the breeders, don't kill the animals! One of the biggest arguments, and one that is easiest to solve, is a constant argument for everything: they are my property, I can do what I want with them! The solution? Animals are your property, but animal cruelty laws prevent you from torturing your dog. How are horses different?
Pro-slaughter individuals have good points, and it would take some discussion to come up with a good compromise about this issue. But treating horses, or any animal, in the manner that they are being treated in slaughterhouses is wrong. I am not violent, but anyone pro-slaughter better run for the hills.

Source:
"Horses to the Slaughter". Salon Media Groups. June 30, 2009. January 05, 2010.
http://www.salon.com/environment/feature/2009/06/30/horse_slaughter

Picture:
http://www.kaufmanzoning.net/


#4: Solution!

I've known about this website for a while, and even considered purchasing a horse here. CANTER is an organization around the country where owners can send their racehorses when they are no longer able to race, or if they are just not big winners. The horses are given a vet check, a test ride and then are posted on the website, with a description and special needs or requirements. Although not an article, I thought this website is one of the many solutions to this issue. People who need to get rid of their racehorses, for whatever reason, can give them to this non-profit organization and know that it will be sold to a home where it will be retrained and loved. Best of all, there is no fee to the owners! And the prices for anyone interested in buying? Cheap. Most horses on the site are priced at $500-$2,000, which, taking into account the ages, health and earnings, is ridiculously inexpensive. Just an option for horse owners who can no longer afford, or do not want, their horses anymore.

Source:
"The Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses"
http://www.canterusa.org/

Picture:
http://www.tasregistry.com/links_page.htm

canterusa1.jpg
canterusa1.jpg




#5: Progress, although not recent

This article is dated 2007, but it's still important. The House of Representatives voted to reinstate a law that would prohibit the sale of any wild horses or burros (donkey) for slaughter.
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wild_horses.jpg
Although this does not include domesticated horses, it is still a huge milestone in the fight to end horse slaughter. It says that 5,500 or so horses are adopted each year, but if you notice photos of wild horses, they are surviving on their own. They must be, otherwise the government wouldn't bother spending so much money and resources to round them up and ship them around. Further down in the article, it says that horses over 10 years old are sold for "commercial purposes" for $10 if they are not sold at three auctions. That, to me, means they are sold abroad for food. Which is slaughter. What happens to the ones under 10 years? They are probably adopted mroe often, seeing as they are still young and can be trained and taught. But younger is not always better. Sometimes it pays to have an older, more experienced mind in such a big animal. I am not sure whether this bill has become law yet, but I hope it is or will be.
Now, I don't think that it is any better to slaughter cows, pigs, chickens, or sheep in this manner. I disagree with anyone who would treat any animal in the ways I have read about. Although horses are livestock too, they have developed into more of a pet than livestock, unlike the others. I am willing to be anti-inhumane slaughter, for any animal, but that is not the point of this blog. The point of this blog is to discuss and expose the problems in the slaughter business, as it pertains to horses.

Source:
"House Votes to End Wild Horse Slaughter". CBS News. April 26, 2007. January 8, 2010.
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/04/26/politics/main2731732.shtml
Picture:
http://biology.usgs.gov/cro/ScienceInYourState/Wyoming/images/peaks%20herd%204.jpg




#6: Legislation: S. 727



This bill was introduced to the Senate in early 2009. Called the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act, this bill will prohibit the sale or transport of horses to slaughter. I think this is a great bill, and I support it. The article then goes on to describe the horrible conditions the horses have to endure in the trailer and in the slaughterhouse. It also tackles the "unwanted horse" myth; the myth that says that there are too many unwanted horses, and that slaughter is a "humane" way to get rid of them. That is not true, according to the artice. At auctions, there are plenty of people bidding on horses, but the "kill buyers", people who purchase horses specifically for slaughter, outbid them. That doesn't seem fair to me. Shouldn't horse owners, who want to keep the animal alive and give it a home, be able to do so? But I disagree with one thing the article said. It said that a horse owner has two options when they need to get rid of their horse: pay to re-home it or euthanize it, or be paid to send it to slaughter. But if you re-home it, the new owners pay for the horse. That amount, in a private sale, is equal to or greater than the price paid at an auction. I've heard of horses going for $50 at an auction, but in a private sale that same horse can be worth $500. Who would send their horse to slaughter with statistics like that? Ten times the amount in your pocket, and you're saving a life.
What I liked about this article most was that at the bottom, it listed ways to make a difference, like donating your horse to a riding program instead of selling it at an auction, where kill buyers inhabit most. I totally agree; take care of your horses! They depend on us, so take care of them!

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salebarn.jpg

Source:
"Horse Slaughter Prevention". Animal Welfare Institute. January 11, 2010.
http://www.awionline.org/ht/d/sp/i/11222/pid/11222

Picture:
http://www.thehorse.com/images/content/salebarn.jpg



#7: Watch what you're taking
FOAL.jpg
FOAL.jpg

If you're at the age where you're starting to go through menopause, please watch what drugs you're taking. The drug Premarin is made using the urine from a pregnant mare. These mares are impregnated, and made to stand in stalls with urine-collecting devices attached to them. At the eleventh month of the birth (average pregnancies for horses are about 12 months), the mares are taken off the line and put in the pasture to have the foal. They are put into a herd with a stallion, so they quickly become pregnant again. The foals are taken away at a few months old, whether they are weaned or not. Once the mare is pregnant again, she is put back on the line. The stalls are narrow so the horses can't move and remove the machine. One company, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, is responsible. I'm not telling women they can't have the hormone drugs, but please choose another brand! There is urine in it, would you want to eat it?? Plus, this article explains several health risks involved with the drug, including stroke and breast cancer. This article gives ways to help too, like spreading the word about this industry and contacting legislators about anti-slaughter laws. I suggest this too; if enough people back a cause, legislators will follow, lest they get booted from office.
I found this on www.drugs.com about Premarin:

" Premarin should not be used to prevent heart disease or dementia, because this medication may actually increase your risk of developing these conditions."

If you still want to take medication for menopause, I'd suggest a different one.

Source:
"About Premarin". United Animal Nations. January 11, 2010.
http://www.uan.org/index.cfm?navid=75

Picture:
http://www.bed-breakfast-accommodation-dumfries-galloway.com/FOAL.JPG



#8: Help Out!

People seem to have the idea that if a horse is not useful to their owners, they should just be dumped. The country has taken a stand against this happening to cats and dogs,
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BO_BEO.jpg
so now we need to step it up to include horses, and all animals. No animal deserves to be treated how some have been treated. It is disgusting, and totally unnecessary. These animals haven't done anything wrong, they are not stupid. People seem to forget that animals to not speak English, they do not understand you when you speak. To best work with an animal is to communicate in their own language, the one they know! For example: if my horse was a few feet away from me and I wanted my horse to walk forward, I could stand there all day saying "walk" or "go", but she wouldn't do a thing. She doesn't understand. But if I shift my weight towards her hip, and direct my energy that way, she will walk forward. Animals do not have a specific language like humans, they rely on movement and direction of energy. So it is easy for a human to get frustrated when a horse doesn't understand, but it is YOUR fault! Think of it this way: when you give your horse a command, you're asking a question. If they do not understand or do not "answer", you phrased your question wrong. Owners get frustrated with
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DSCF2979.JPG
their horses, think they are useless, and sell them to get a new one. People want a humane way to get rid of their horses, but how about finding a home for it? Find a child just learning to ride, a child your old pony can care for and teach and be loved. Or a horse with severe arthritis? Many people adopt old horses to keep their horses company.
This article has excellent ways to help stop slaughter and neglect. It mentions Premarin, too! They also mention things no other article I've found has, like preparing in case of emergencies or theft, so your horse isn't stolen and sold to a slaughterhouse. Number 10 on the list is planning an option ahead of time, in case you need to sell your horse. Something like a "pet trust" is a pretty good idea; a saved amount of money to care for your horse should something happen to you and you are unable to pay. So, bottom line is be responsible. Horses are not toys or cars that you can just get rid of when they break or you don't want them. They are your responsibility, and they are all worth something.
Help Stop Horse Slaughter!!

Source:
"Top 10 Ways to Help Horses". ASPCA. January 12, 2010.
http://www.aspca.org/fight-animal-cruelty/horse-cruelty/top-10-ways-to-help-horses.html
Pictures:
My horse, Cleo