Monday, October 29, 2007
Horses, Trailers and Tragedy
Trailer accident in Illinois Some of the new faces at AHDF
Some of you may or may not know, but around 7pm Saturday night a trailer hauling horses turned over near Chicago, Illinois. When rescue teams arrived they found out there were 59 horses in the double decker trailer. The accident allegedly occurred when the driver attempted to run a light and was forced to swerve to avoid hitting a car in front of him. Instead the trailer turned over and hit a pickup truck heading the other way. The accident blocked all 4 lanes of the highway until 1:30 am. In the end 13 or 14 (the number depends on who you speak to) horses died in the accident. According to reports the driver was coming from the Shipshewana Auction in Indiana. Where he was heading is a matter of debate. At one point his destination was listed as a stable. later it was an auction in Minnesota and other possibilities one of which was to a slaughter plant in Canada.
One thing is for certain the wreck directly involved slaughter and the PMU industry. We should never lose sight of what these industries are for and why they continue to profit off of the suffering of others. We cannot let this event go unnoticed or undocumented.
PMU stands for pregnant mare urine. It is the main ingredient in Premerine and PremPro a medication made by Wyeth Industries. The medication is for treating the symptoms of menopause. It doesn't matter that the drug has been linked to a number of side effects like heart disease, cancer, senility, and many more problems. It doesn't matter that there are many other safer drugs that treat the symptoms as well. It doesn't matter that the only way to ensure that a mare can give the urine is to breed her constantly and then hook her up to a collector where she must stand her entire pregnancy. It doesn't matter that there are a byproduct called foals that are alive and feeling animals that basically have no future because they are not worth anything to those that are in this industry. So, they are tossed aside and often end up at slaughter plants because it is the easiest way to rid themselves of this unwanted byproduct. The PMU industry hurts women and their families, it hurts the horses and it destroys the foals that it manufactures like clockwork.
It involves slaughter because no transporter would stuff 59 horses into a trailer in this way if the horses were not already considered dead. This is how they treat the horses headed for slaughter. This truck was not the only one in the convoy, it was one of 4 that were packed like sardines with no concern for their health or safety. Even now the company is trying to get the horses so they can complete their trip to the slaughter plant. It doesn't matter how traumatized the animals are, their injuries or the fact that they shouldn't be moved anywhere yet, let alone loaded again like this. It is all about making a dollar, a profit off of the suffering of these horses. What about the people that were forced to save these animals and see the horrors first hand? Many have said this was the most horrific thing they have ever seen. What about all the dead animals? What about the the horses who were stuck suffering and injured in that trailer for more than 4 hours? It all has a price tag, the price is measured by the pound and is paid with the blood of these horses.
The animals in that truck were around a year old. Because they were draft horses they were heavy for that age, around 1,000 pounds. These are the kinds of horses the slaughter plants love. Young healthy animals who they can get the most meat from. Who cares if they live or die? They are nothing, right? Wrong, I care and so do many other people. The people who were on that scene care, the people reading this care, anyone with a heart cares.
The people who were there that night worked tirelessly and should be thanked for their support, their caring and for being there when the horses needed them. Vets and volunteers worked in dangerous conditions to save these animals. One vet saved a horse whose leg was caught under the trailer when it flipped. To do so he had to work inches from another trapped horse who was struggling and thrashing to free himself. It was dangerous, but it was also hard work because few if any horses were able to walk from the wreck. They had to be put on boards on their side and dragged from the wreckage. Then they had to have first aide care and be moved to a local farm to recover. These are wonderful brave people, yet all their work is about to be undone because there is a dollar of profit to be made off the horses' flesh. How disgusting and disrespectful to those people who worked so hard to save their lives.
On another note the AHDF also received 2 loads of horses this weekend. The Fans of Barbaro were able to save the lives of a number of horses from an Indian Reservation that were going to go to slaughter in Canada. The horses were taken to a person that was supposed to feed them and work with them to make them more adoptable. However, he took the money and did not take care of the horses. The person who arranged the rescue found out and immediately went to remedy the situation and took possession of the horses. Unfortunately, it was too late for one of the mares and she died of dehydration and starvation. However, 14 of these 20 horses are now safe on our foster home's farm.
Some of the horses need some time and attention to bring them back, but some are in pretty good shape. All of the horses seem to be friendly and some are even willing to tolerate some petting. All love the hay and grain they are now getting and the wonderful water that they cannot seem to get enough of. Once they have recovered from their ordeal they will be available for adoption. Most of these guys are coming 2 year olds. We also have a couple of mares between 2-6 and a 6 month old filly. These are pretty good sized horses too, so please consider adopting one. They are going to be just awesome horses with just a little bit of love, attention and food. Visit the AHDF website for more info and for pictures.