The latest edition of OEF WHOA has a 2 page article (p 48) strongly in favour of horse slaughter. This article completely contradicts what the CBC documentray showed so vividly or the existence of the Canadian Horse Defense Coalition. What do you think of this?

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Well said Sandy - and ... how timely is this !! Alex Brown Racing is sponsoring a YouTube contest that will run from Tuesday, February 10 to Sunday May 10 2009. They will offer a $1,000 prize, to be sent to the horse rescue organization of choice of the winning entry, as of Noon eastern time, May 10, 2009. All entries are to be completed, posted and approved, by Noon on Friday April 10, 2009.
"Horses are not bred for the foodchain
With few exceptions (Alberta Canada and possibly in some parts of the States) horses are bred for sports, work and leisure and not for the foodchain. Horses are humanized and are taught to trust as they serve our needs. Disposing of horses in this fashion after they have served us simply is not the right thing to do." ..."Getting more horsemen and horsemen's groups involved in the horse slaughter issue would be a move forward." (Alex Brown Racing).
God bless him.
Thanks for posting this, the slaughtering of horses is an extremely controversial subject, and it is always interesting to see what others of our community have to say. I had received the WHOA issue as well, and was shocked to see that their outright support for the slaughter of horses- through only a pre-scheduled appointment. Evidently, as previously stated, the employees would be sure to be on their best behaviour. While killing horses for food in itself is not 'cruel', the methods employed at these scaled operations fail too often. Through journalism, I have noticed that the majority of those in favour of commercial slaughter in Canada and the US are stock and halter breeders. The racehorse industry has come a long way in trying to prevent the slaughter of their horses, but the problem has, as of yet, not managed to resolve.
It is interesting to note that horse abuse/neglect cases have actually dropped since the banning of salughter in the US, contradicting the general concerns with removing slaughter from our society.
I myself have 2 meat auction horses- both are friendly and sound, and I routinely compete in the jumpers with them. The sad truth is the majority of horses passing through these plants are sound and otherwise healthy horses. Perhaps many people don't realize, when they sell their horses for under $500 (in hopes of finding a good home), slaughter buyers may be among the first to come out. Just because your horses doesn't pass through an auction ring, does not mean he won't end up in these plants.
If anyone has ever gone to a common kill-buyer auction, you will dead horses slung beside buildings, lame horses being forced through pens, and you will see the beautiful faces of trustworthy souls, forgotten.
Just an update for anyone who hasn't heard. It was discovered last week that Natural Valley Farms (now Natural Meat Company) quietly closed their doors in mid-February. Upon further investigation, it was confirmed by an MP's office that the CFIA closed it due to food safety concerns. Cavel International, who was running the plant, already has a long list of horse welfare, environmental and food safety violations in the US, when they ran their plant in Dekalb, Illinois. The CHDC is checking further to find more information about the violations that caused this closure. So not only was this facility exposed for inhumane treatment of horses, their horse meat products are unfit for human consumption. Isn't it nice that the OEF wrote such a glowing article about this horse slaughter facility? Shame on them!!!

I fully agree with you and some of the other posts on this subject. In my opinion, the WHOA article supporting horse slaughter was highly inappropriate. I agree that the "reporters" must be very naive to believe that a prearranged visit for OEF officials would actually show the usual goinings-on at a slaugther house.

Personally, I am opposed to slaughter (and yes, I am a vegetarian) but that's not the issue. It turns out that I am a member of an organization that I thought stood for the humane, dignified treatment of our equine partners and that organization has, in my opinion, betrayed my trust by publishing such an article.

I did send an email to the OEF, but surprise, surprise, did not receive a reply.

Of course, they would hardly support the notion that the horse community should stop the excessive breeding of horses who will never have a chance at finding a decent home- that might impact financially on the breeders. This over-production of horses is pretty much the same thing as the "puppy mills".

I have owned many horses over a 45 year career- I have always considered it my responsibility to make sure they have a home for life (with me or someone else) and will never ship a horse to a sale or slaughterhouse. It doesn't cost more than one month's board to have a horse euthanised and picked up by the deadstock people.

Basically, as with other companion animals, it comes down to the same issue- there aren't enough homes out there, so horsemen have to stop the indiscriminate breeding and stop shirking their responsibility to make sure that their animals have a decent life and humane death. (Anyone who knows horses well cannot claim that the slaughterhouse experience could be considered a humane one).

Come on people- face up to your responsibilities and do the right thing for these animals who do so much to enrich your lives!
Thanks for posting this. Very good points!

It is a shame that OEF has not responded to their members. I actually did not join this year because of this. I wonder if they will ever address the situation? Perhaps they would be better to advocate the licencing of breeding that support inhumane slaughter.

Cheers! Zoe
ok first we need to put a stop to overbreeding, the race horse industry needs to do better by the horses they breed. What ever happened to getting your vet to provide a quick and painless end to your horses life?
And as far as the point of being killed quickly and humanely!!!! I think you need to do your research these horses are strung up and bled still kicking. Not a humane death in my opinion. No I do not support the irresponsible horse owners that let them starve either. And as far as putting a bunch of loose horses together in a transport trailer, (no food or water)some weak and lame, to be trampled and kicked to death by others on route is a horrendous prospect as well. I think we need to stop breeding and cut the population, have your stallion gelded today.
you might want to follow this website it is very informative-
Great comment by by Dorothy McDonall... there are - in reality "... there will always be horses with nowhere else to go ..."
Same as with unwanted dogs and cats - they also get euthanised. Yes, it is sad.
However, perhaps it would be a better use of energy to look at the source of these animals... where are they coming from - what are their owners--- and what responsibilities can we ask the owners to take to avoid this? If many are from race-tracks, perhaps they should be taking some ownership in this? How can we reduce the number of un-wanted horses in the first place? that is the way I think about it.
I think the first priority should be to manage the methods used to make them as humane as possible for the horses. Like Sandy said, "Not to say we need to stop horse slaughter altogether, since it is an industry that likely will continue to exist, but manage the methods, as necessary".

I also have to agree with Geoffery on the point of improving standards of transportation/handling in slaughter houses first, rather than just focusing on "stopping horse slaughter now", like he said; if we just make it stop here horses will be forced to be illegally transported MUCH farther, and likely to countries with LESS regulations and less humane practices than Canada really it isn't stopping the suffering, its just moving it somewhere else :( The abuse would likely be much worse if it was illegal right now because people would be doing it secretly (and likely people who don't have the animals in mind), now what we can do is try and improve the regulations we have - it's the hope that we DO have!
Of course we want it to stop, but it's not going to happen in a blink and there are horses that are suffering right now as debates go on and legal stuff/petitions etc go through the government.

However, I could never, EVER send my horse to slaughter. Never. That's like seeing them as an object, just discarding them when you're "done with them". They deserve our due respect :)
I agree about making it more humane, and that I cound NEVER do that to a horse.

I still think they should do something to warn people at auctions that their horse has a >50% chance of ending up at slaughter. People should at least be aware. Maybe someone can create 'safe' auctions.
I will wait to get my copy in the mail but sure sounds strange to me. Gail.
I agree that this is a subject that definately has fores and againsts. but I do think that as this is a practice that is going to continue due the the amount (sadly) of unwanted horses out there. that they should make the journey to the end as safe and stress free as possible. they have laws for transporting cattle and sheep etc to the abatoirs so why should this not be the same for horses.

in a perfect world there would be no need to send horses to these places as they would all have forever homes where they are cared for. sadly its not.

just my two bobs worth


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