Friday, October 12, 2007


Normally Hooflinks is used for alerts, news and updates. However, today I am posting an editorial. I normally put things like this on my blog on My Space, that seemed to be the appropriate venue, while this blog was supposed to remain professional. However, I have spent the last few days responding to editorials on many news agencies websites, to reporters, to the public and many more. (BTW, do NOT send me a stupid email and ask me "what do we do with the poor abused horses". Order and read our book if you want to know. I am SICK of pro-slaughter idiots emailing me and making me worry about any animals, not just the horses, they own.)

Those of you that know me can recognize that I am not being my normal reasonable and diplomatic self. That is because I am tired of the stupidity. I am tired of the ignorance and I am tired of the attacks on our horses. To me it seems like someone named October the month to pick on horses and if I find that person I would like to strangle them.

First we have the issue of the horses heading to Mexico and Canada. Then we have the issue of the deaths of wild horses while in governmental pens at the Palomino Valley Center holding facility. There is of course the normal dumping of horses at this time of year, aggravated in some areas by the lack of hay due to drought. Then normal stepped up gathers of wild horses off our public lands and the unexplained deaths of horses at Nellis Air force Base (I know this happened last month, but I am still waiting to hear a reasonable explanation for the deaths and the mistreatment of the horses on that facility that came out when the information on the deaths surfaced.) We also have universities "disposing" of their "surplus" (read irresponsibly bred) horses.

As for the issue of the horses going to slaughter. I have heard some rather stupid comments lately. I have heard people that are anti-slaughter saying that perhaps we did the wrong thing in closing the plants in this country before we banned the transport. I already addressed this in another post here and won't go into that again. I will say this though, why is the method in Mexico considered so much more terrible than the method used here?

(CAUTION: graphic descriptions coming so do not read further if you are easily disturbed. It is also not appropriate for young people, so please make sure you don't have children reading over your shoulder.)

The puntilla knife takes several stabs to sever the spinal cord, it took several hits from a machine that was designed to crush through skulls to finally hit the animal properly. Once the cord is severed the animal can no longer feel below the cut. However, they can and do regain consciousness with the bolt gun and they DO have feeling in their body. Both methods are bloody, disgusting and horrific to watch. In both methods the means of death comes from bleeding to death or drowning in their own blood. I know we like to believe that we are so much more humane, but tell me what method is more humane to you? To me they are both disturbing and both equally wrong. America is supposed to be a world leader and we should be a shining example of the right way to do things from democracy to human rights and humane treatment of animals.

(End graphic material)

I am more concerned with the amount of time they are on the truck, the fact that our USDA inspectors are not enforcing the humane transportation laws (see the Animal Angels report on the AHDF website), that the horses are in terrible conditions before heading to the slaughter plants, that taxpayers are still being forced to pay for inspectors at the borders and for the holding facilities for these slaughter bound animals, and that transportation of these animals could make recovering stolen horses even more difficult. For these reasons we MUST see the federal bills passed and then we must work to improve the lives of the horses in this country with stricter humane laws that extend to equine as well as other pets.

While I am at it I want to address that idiotic thing about this being an emotional issue. Darn right it is! All humane issues are emotional. Look at how people responded when they heard about the Michael Vick dog fighting case, they were emotional and wanted to protect the dogs. They wanted that man to lose his job and go to jail. When we hear about abused children we get emotional and laws get passed to protect them. We should be emotional, when we lose our emotions and compassion we are no longer human. However, we shouldn't let our emotions overrule our intelligence and common sense. We can use our emotions and let them motivate us to protect the dogs, the children and the horses. I can assure you that I have enough motivation for the next 100 years. When you think you can't take anymore get mad and you will be able to continue. Just don't allow your anger to provoke you into stooping to their level. If you are getting that down or that ticked email me. I will listen to your rant and you can get it off your chest and move on, sort of like what I am doing here. (Yes, I did threaten to throttle a non-existent person at the beginning of this post. I am well aware that nobody really name October the month to pick on horses.)

Ok, I am going to get off my soapbox now. I am surprised that I managed to keep this clean considering how ticked off I am. Again, pro-slaughter folks, don't email me. If it makes you feel better to know that you can get to me I guess this has made your day. (Of course, I can get just as worked up about people not using spell check or text books with typos or people who cut me off in traffic, so I guess you didn't win that great a victory.)

Now, let's all get some rest and wake up refresh because if October really is pick on horse month we have a long month ahead of us.


April said...

Great blog there. Regarding the Vick thing your right its good people get emotional to protect the animals. But in my opinion they are going overboard with it. I mean the NFL is taking all his money which is good cuz look at the dog firghting place it was a mansion (its here if you wan to see it but they are now taking down old High school jerseys I mean come on. He has no more money and is going to jail, now he has no more past either. Just my two cents.

Anonymous said...

Excellent editorial. You are right on the money.

Horses are not food animals in America so there is no need for kill houses.

Please call your elected officials and ask they they support and cosponsor HR503 & S311, NOW!

bullie2000 said...

The trouble with the entire legislative part is that there already exists a federal statute that makes equid slaughter illegal. The Humane Slaughter Act of 1958 stipulates that any animal being slaughtered must be made 'insensible to pain,' id est, unconscious with ONE BLOW.

This does not happen, and the equids regain consciousness thirty seconds after being stunned - if this happens at all. That is supposed to give the workers 30 seconds to shackle and hoist the horse, pony, donkey, mule or foal and let it suspend upside down with all the body weight being borne by that one leg. That is incredibly painful for them.

Additionally, they are conscious and fully aware they are being vivisected. The trachea is cut first so the workers do not have to hear the screams.

ALL of this is a violation of a Federal Statute!!!! Instead of enforcing the Humane Slaughter Act of 1958, which has been amended twice - most recently in 2002 - Congress has instead stupidly decided to amend the Horse Protection Act to accomplish the criminalization of horse slaughter, when there is already a statute that does that.

They should enforce the Humane Slaughter Act, and amend the Horse Protection Act of 1971 to ban the exports of our horses by land, air, sea, train, or walking them across the border in New Mexico.

I see ZERO leadership for this legislation. All of the horse welfare organizations are working on it, but both bills have stagnated. There was mention of wanting to 'wait' until January 2008!

Here is the analysis of the Humane Slaughter Act of 1958 with contributions from former Chief USDA Inspector Dr. Lester Friedlander, DVM, and Vivian Grant from the International Fund For Horses. Lester told me how long it takes for the horses to 'wake up' and Vivian found the link to the study done at Hanover University in Germany.

The people who decided to amend a bill for something that is already a felony are idiots. I hold them responsible for the death of every single equid since the 107th congress.

Great job Shelley!!!!