I guess I shouldn't be too shocked, the owner of the auction house is a known KB (kill buyer) and trader. However, from a business standpoint selling these animals is a bad idea. If the foals go to the wrong person who doesn't know how to care for "orphans" they will die. (These guys got lucky they ended up with a rescue group.) In this economy it is also a bad idea because these babies aren't going to bring in much either, they are too far away from being ridden. These little ones are not going to bring the prices to make an auction any money. They knew that.
Then the real agenda becomes apparent. During the auction the auctioneer stops the auction to give a "lesson" on horse slaughter. His lesson included falsehoods and outright lies. Of course what do you expect from a guy who has been cited by the USDA for violations of the Commercial Transport of Equines to Slaughter laws? This man and his sons who run the Simon Horse Company were noted in the reports FOIAed by Animal Angels 11 times with numerous violations for each citation. However, he also had a little help. In the audience was a lobbyist who collected signatures against HR 6598. If they were at this auction we can assume they were at others in the area as well.
Their lies included that horse slaughter was banned by federal law. It was not, the states where the plants were located banned them and closed them. There is NO federal law banning horse slaughter. They said that South Dakota wanted a horse slaughter plant but couldn't because of the federal ban. This is not true. SD considered a bill to allow the opening of a horse slaughter plant on tribal lands, but the bill was defeated. They said that the only outlet for horses going to slaughter was transport to Canada and Mexico and that is threatened by HR 6598 which was coming up for a vote. This is true partially, the only outlet for slaughter horses is through transport to Canada and Mexico and HR 6598 would threaten that. But the vote is a committee vote, not a full vote. I am sure there will be plenty of debate on it both today and later when it goes to the House floor for a full vote.
The lobbyist and the auctioneer whipped the crowd into a frenzy talking about how horses have no value any more because of the ban on slaughter. They told them that the prices of the horses sold at auction were proof of that. Then they collected signatures on a petition to be used in the fight of HR 6598.
It isn't often that we have a chance to correct wrongs in our lives, but this time we do. Please take a moment to write a letter to the editor of the local papers in the area. I will post their information below. In the letters the truth has to come out. We MUST let those people know that they were lied to. What happened at that auction is inexcusable. They sacrificed those foals for a political purpose. At their age they couldn't have been legally transported to slaughter. Of course as we know the Simons family doesn't put much stock in what is legal based on their record with the USDA. But the good people of MN usually do care and they shouldn't be misled by the lies of people who make their living off the deaths of horses.
BTW, no fines have been levied against the Simons family for their violations of the Commercial Transport of Equine to Slaughter.
Cannon Falls Beacon 120 South 4th Street, Box 366 Cannon Falls, MN, 55009; Local Phone: (507) 263-3991, Toll Free: (800) 263-3991, News Fax: (507) 263-2300; email the editor email@example.com
Minneapolis Star Tribune Editorial Department, Star Tribune, 425 Portland Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55488; fax to 612-673-4359, phone 612-673-4343 or 1-800-775-4344; online form
Pierce County Herald 126 S. Chestnut St. Ellsworth, WI. 54011; Local News: 715-273-4334, Fax: 715-273-4335; email firstname.lastname@example.org or webform
Minnesota Daily (univeristy paper) webform
Points to make
- There is no federal ban on horse slaughter
- Horse slaughter is inhumane and Congress is considering HR 6598, the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2008
- The price of horses is contingent on the economy, horse slaughter doesn't set a "floor" for prices. Even when slaughter plants were processing they didn't buy every horse
- Healthy, young horses go to slaughter (average age of 5), not the very old, they very young, sick, blind and lame because it is illegal and the plants are processing for high price point sales and they want the very best meat possible or their sales go down