Texas Loves Horses – for BBQ?

Testimony before Texas Senate Committee
Testimony before Texas Senate Committee

Testimony before Texas Senate Committee

Some thoughts on the July 10th Texas Senate Hearing –

We had a showdown of the pro vs anti slaughter folks in the Capitol in Austin. It was them vs us in a five hour trade of testimony before Senator Craig Estes that produced little more than a stronger polarization between the two sides.

I truly hope that everyone takes the opportunity to watch as much of the video of the testimony as possible – its the July 10th Agriculture and Rural Affairs. The part concerning horses starts around 1:40 (use the slider). Back away from the keyboard so you won’t spill your coffee as Charlie Stenholm tells about rescues starving their horses, that horses can only be sold for $50 and that the captive bolt is humane. Just bare with it. As in any battle, you should know what the other side is thinking.

If you are against the slaughter of horses, I know that it’s difficult listening to the pro side, and the balance of the panels was completely unfair. There were six speakers on their side and three on our side, each given ten minutes to tell the story. To balance it out, however, were a lot of three minute speakers, probably 90% being against.

We, the anti side, offered facts disputing every point the pro side offered. The testimony was, for the most part, based on the facts of economics, not tears. We did good and I truly think we had an effect on the eventual outcome of any decision on establishing a slaughter house in Texas. Senator Craig Estes was the Chairman, and the only person listening to most of the testimony. He was fair and acted very interested in every speaker’s opinion.

We shocked him quite a few times with facts, like the decision of the EU to ban all horsemeat starting July 31, 2013, without a verified passport showing all the medication the horse has had since birth. Skip Trimble shocked him even more when evidence was presented that horsemeat is being transported from Mexico, through Texas to the Port of Houston, a complete violation of Texas law.

Part of my speech, scribbled in at the last minute but not said, was stating that I look forward to the day when this subject is gone, when we can all work together as an industry for the welfare of the horses. Estes brought it up later, and I agree. There has to be an end to this polarization in the industry, when the AQHA, the AVMA and organizations like Habitat for Horses can all sit down at a table and work together in ways to better utilize horses and educate owners.

I was standing in the back of the room next to several of the pro people during the three minute talks when someone mentioned that no one ever rode a cow into battle and made a comment that at least you could BBQ the cow, but no one wants to BBQ a horse. The guy from the AQHA joked, “I would,” to the others, and they all laughed.

There is no working with people like that. There is no middle ground for people that refuse to see a horse as anything other than meat and the anti side as nothing more that a bunch of radical animal rights activists.

Beyond all that, there is a mystery here, something that I have yet to grasp. The Federal Ag bill will have the Moran language attached, reinserting the one that was removed by the secret committee. If that is signed into law by President Obama, then the whole “Let’s build horse slaughterhouses in America,” is over. That’s point one.

Second point – the EU will not accept horse meat from American horses starting July 31, 2013, just over a year from now. The pro side will not offer any comment on this, will not even acknowledge it as a fact.

Considering these two points, why are people willing to spend millions of dollars building slaughter facilities? Why are the pro-slaughter organization pushing so hard to bring horse slaughter back to the states? How, other than completely lie, will they circumvent the EU regulations? Is the goal to build a facility so the BLM can offer a “final solution” to the remaining wild horses?

Further, where is the money coming from? Someone pays these guys to go around the country promoting horse slaughter, and I’m sure they aren’t driving ’82 pickups and staying at Motel 6. There is a lot of money behind wanting slaughter as the end of life option for one percent of American horses each year.

Who is behind all this, and why?

AUTHOR: Jerry Finch
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