What Happened to Horse Slaughter?
Since around noon on Friday, October 12, the majority of horses in the US have finally been safe – at least from the threat of slaughter. Both the Canadian and Mexican plants received orders from the EU (European Union) that they will not accept meat from US horses.
Although rumors are flying all over, we do not know the real reason nor do we know if this is a temporary or permanent stay of execution. The EU should issue a statement early in the morning on Monday, October 15. The important word here is “should.”
Mexico is still slaughtering US horses for the Russian market. While that is only a small percentage of the former number of horses slaughtered, a few horses are still being accepted at the border and trucked to the slaughterhouse.
There is absolutely no way that the Russian market is big enough to accept the number of horses caught in the slaughter pipeline. The demand for US horses in Russia is simply not that great, plus many other countries are more than willing to step in should the EU slaughterhouses in Mexico close. Mexico also has a market for horsemeat, but they have around 4 million of their own horses that are quite capable of supplying enough for their market demands.
No one knows for certain, but best estimates are that between 5,000 to 7,000 US horses are now stuck in the pipeline while everyone waits for word from the EU. Everyone, including killer buyers and feedlots, were caught totally by surprise. We are receiving reports from feedlots, holding pens and auction houses that loose (slaughter) horses are being held.
Important fact – in every state, it is against the law to deny equine food, water and care. It is against the law to turn horses loose or to abandon them. In every state, the person in “care, custody and control” is the person who will be charged with the criminal act if any of these events occur. If you witness such an event – CALL LAW ENFORCEMENT!
Don’t waste time contacting Habitat for Horses or your local horse rescue. You are the witness, make the call. If they need assistance, any number of equine organizations are willing to step in, but know that equine rescues cannot step in and take charge of any horse without legal action being taken first.
Habitat for Horses will not be paying money to any killer buyer for any horses. They bought into making blood money off the bodies of dead horses and we will not relieve their financial disaster by sticking donated money in their pockets. Any money we receive will be spent buying hay, transporting and finding places for the horses. If we find any horse being denied feed or water by any auction house, feed lot or killer buyer, we will inform law enforcement and ask that charges be filed against them.
Please be aware and cautious when donating your money to any organization. In this situation, there will be a lot of scam artist popping up with heartbreaking stories of pipeline horses that “must be saved.” I cannot recommend enough that you deal only with equine organizations recognized, approved and accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, the only organization for accreditation of equine organizations in the United States.
These GFAS approved organizations, with the help of the ASPCA and HSUS, can and will do everything in our power to aid and assist all equine caught in the pipeline. If this is the complete end of the slaughter of US horses for the EU market, it is a day of celebration. It is also a worst case scenario where once again, those that care have to step in and clean up the mess made by those who created it.
I hope everyone pays close attention to the reactions of the breed associations, mainly the AQHA and their brother organizations, the Farm Bureaus, the Cattlemen’s Association, the horse racing industry and all those who have so strongly promoted horse slaughter to see how quickly they step in with their millions of dollars and offer assistance.
Mass breeding will have to stop or the dollar value of registered horses will drop to zero. None of them will be able to use horse slaughter to cull their horse herds. While the next few years will be difficult for the horse industry, if they act as they should, the end result will be a slow increase in the value of all horses.
Another guaranteed reaction will come from the BLM and King Salazar, because their plans to slaughter 45,000 now captive wild horses was just erased from the option list.
There is a scene from “Casablanca” that so well portrays what is happening to horse slaughter in America right now. Rick’s “American” bar was just closed by the Germans.
Rick: How can you close me up? On what grounds?
Captain Renault: I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
[a croupier hands Renault a pile of money]
Croupier: Your winnings, sir. Habitat for Horses recently lost 100 acres of grazing land needed to feed our rescued horses! Your help is desperately needed! Without this land we can not rescue other abused and neglected horses. Please donate today.
Habitat for Horses recently lost 100 acres of grazing land needed to feed our rescued horses! Your help is desperately needed! Without this land we can not rescue other abused and neglected horses. Please donate today.