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Texan

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A Black guy from the city supports horse slaughter. From the Ft.Worth Star-Telegram...


Outrage over horse meat is perplexing and even hypocritical

BOB RAY SANDERS
thumb_5130794780.jpg



In My Opinion


My high school band was always invited to march in the Fort Worth Stock Show parade. Of course, so were most other high school marching bands in the county, but we still thought it was special to have been asked.

Because the emphasis was on horses, every band except the lead-off group -- usually from Polytechnic or Paschal high school -- had to march behind mounted units.

And in those days, our all-black band from I.M. Terrell High School jockeyed with Dunbar High to be the last band onlookers would see and hear in the parade, which often had 100 or more units.

It's real tough to march in straight lines behind hundreds of horses. I couldn't avoid all the mess left by the horses, so at times I'd just have to take a deep breath and step in it.

It's just a coincidence that the Stock Show is in town, now that I'm about to step in it again, at least with horse lovers.

I'm on record in this column supporting the right of three U.S. plants to slaughter horses, including one in Fort Worth, and I am perplexed by the outrage expressed by people who insist that horse meat should not be sold for human consumption.

The three plants don't sell horse meat to be eaten in the United States, but they have a lucrative business selling to customers in other countries.

For several years, different groups have joined forces to try to shut down the slaughterhouses, mostly declaring that it's just inhumane to serve up an American horse steak, especially to foreigners. One tack they have taken has been to assert that the Texas plants violate a long-disregarded 1949 state law banning the possession or transport of horse meat for human consumption.

In 2002, an opinion by then-Attorney General John Cornyn held that the law was still enforceable, and Tarrant County District Attorney Tim Curry prepared to do just that. Even the Texas Legislature and Congress got into the act.

In a federal court case naming Curry as the defendant, the slaughterhouses contended that the 1949 law had been repealed by subsequent state law and also had been pre-empted by federal law.

A district judge here in Fort Worth sided with the slaughterhouses and issued a permanent injunction prohibiting Curry from prosecuting the companies under the state law.

Well, last week a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the lower court

The plaintiffs are likely to request a hearing before the entire 5th Circuit and, perhaps, take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

All of this is over horses, many of which are being abandoned and mistreated because their owners can't afford to take care of them.

Interestingly enough, leaders of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, who clearly understand the plight of many unwanted horses in this country, filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the federal suit siding with the slaughterhouses.

Fifth Circuit Judge Fortunato Benavides, who wrote what otherwise might be considered a reasoned opinion, obviously bought into the Western myth of the godly horse.

Here's the opening line of his opinion: "The lone cowboy riding his horse on a Texas trail is a cinematic icon. Not once in memory did the cowboy eat the horse, but film is an imperfect mirror for reality."

That last phrase is probably the most important: "Film is an imperfect mirror for reality."

When the issue was before Congress last year, the American Quarter Horse Association issued the following statement:

"Sending a horse to a processing facility is unthinkable to many. And we respect that view. But for others, it is the best option. AQHA recognizes that the processing of unwanted horses is currently a necessary aspect of the equine industry, because it provides a humane euthanasia alternative for horses that might otherwise continue a life of discomfort and pain, or inadequate care or abandonment."

You would never catch me eating meat from a horse, or a deer or a lamb for that matter, but it's not for me to say that no one else should.

Frankly, I think it is hypocritical for politicians and the public who support this country's booming business in slaughtering animals for food -- chickens, hogs and cows -- to try to shut down three companies because their product is the horse.



http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/news/columnists/bob_ray_sanders/16533327.htm
 

cowsense

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The horse slaughter ban should be a wakeup call for all in agriculture; There are large groups of well financed, very organized fanatics that will stop at nothing to see their ideals pushed onto the public agenda. Believe me, these groups could care less about the welfare of the producers that feed the continent! It's about time that agricultural producers stop infighting and work together to preserve our way of life before it is legislated out of existence!!
 

RoperAB

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Texan said:
AQHA recognizes that the processing of unwanted horses is currently a necessary

Frankly, I think it is hypocritical for politicians and the public who support this country's booming business in slaughtering animals for food -- chickens, hogs and cows -- to try to shut down three companies because their product is the horse.[/i]

Its funny how nobody talks or seems intersested about horses much on here unless its about killing them.

Im a member of the AQHA and they never asked me my oppinion.

To me horses are not pets or livestock. They are business partners and employees.
 

Soapweed

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RoperAB said:
Its funny how nobody talks or seems intersested about horses much on here unless its about killing them.

Im a member of the AQHA and they never asked me my oppinion.

To me horses are not pets or livestock. They are business partners and employees.

You are right, to a certain extent. Many horses do become "business partners" and as "employees" they do get paid board and room. The part you are overlooking is that there are also a lot of horses that don't even come close to being a partner or an employee. They are just horses eating grass, and some of them aren't even all that beautiful for any picturesque value. If they go on to provide meat to someone in France, at least they have fulfilled one useful function.

Just like dogs; sure, there are a lot of good dogs that could be considered "working ranch partners". Some dogs are only good pets and companions, but they hold a value for such a service. But what about wild dogs and town dogs that run in packs and wreak havoc on other livestock? These renegade dogs don't deserve the honor that a good dog should receive.

No one is saying that all horses should be sent to slaughter. If you think a skinny old starving horse is suffering less than a fat horse sent to slaughter, you are wrong. Everyone should have the opportunity to dispose of their unwanted unused horses in the fashion they see fit. The horse slaughter industry should be one option that is available to those who choose to use it.
 

cert

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Soapweed said:
RoperAB said:
Its funny how nobody talks or seems intersested about horses much on here unless its about killing them.

Im a member of the AQHA and they never asked me my oppinion.

To me horses are not pets or livestock. They are business partners and employees.

You are right, to a certain extent. Many horses do become "business partners" and as "employees" they do get paid board and room. The part you are overlooking is that there are also a lot of horses that don't even come close to being a partner or an employee. They are just horses eating grass, and some of them aren't even all that beautiful for any picturesque value. If they go on to provide meat to someone in France, at least they have fulfilled one useful function.

Just like dogs; sure, there are a lot of good dogs that could be considered "working ranch partners". Some dogs are only good pets and companions, but they hold a value for such a service. But what about wild dogs and town dogs that run in packs and wreak havoc on other livestock? These renegade dogs don't deserve the honor that a good dog should receive.

No one is saying that all horses should be sent to slaughter. If you think a skinny old starving horse is suffering less than a fat horse sent to slaughter, you are wrong. Everyone should have the opportunity to dispose of their unwanted unused horses in the fashion they see fit. The horse slaughter industry should be one option that is available to those who choose to use it.

Very, Very well said Soap. I completely agree and in no way could have said it better.
 

Texan

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RoperAB said:
To me horses are not pets or livestock. They are business partners and employees.
Roper, although I don't agree with you, I respect the way you feel about this issue. Because it's your right to feel that way. And I wasn't trying to stir up the debate again. But since you want to...

Contrary to the way you feel, horses are either pets or livestock. They have to be one or the other. Elevating them to human status like you want to do is just asking for trouble in the future with other classes of livestock.


cowsense said:
The horse slaughter ban should be a wakeup call for all in agriculture


cowsense said:
It's about time that agricultural producers stop infighting and work together to preserve our way of life before it is legislated out of existence!!
 

Texan

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On the heels of a Wednesday federal court decision upholding a Texas ban on horse meat for human consumption, both Delta and American Airlines indicated they won't transport the meat to overseas markets, where it generally is consumed.

Meantime, it was unclear whether Texas' two horse slaughterhouses were still processing the product.

"My information now is that the plants are not processing at the moment," industry lobbyist Charles Stenholm told The Dallas Morning News. "It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that if you can't ship the meat, you can't process it."


http://www.texascattleraisers.org/daily%20update/1-29-07/skies_unfriendly_horse_meat.asp
 

Soapweed

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There has to be some way to dispense with old and unusable horses. They are not humans and do not need to be treated as humans. Consider that they might be like deer or elk. Horses are beautiful graceful animals, much like deer or elk. Do we want to have a "hunting season" on horses, like we do on deer, elk, moose, or mountain goats. The equine populaton must be maintained and managed somehow. Instead of this problem being a big expense for all horse owners, with a thriving horse slaughter industry it is at least a break-even situation for the horse owners involved.

As far as taking a horse to an auction, I would rather a packer buyer end up with a horse I don't want as for it to go to a backyard pet project where it is confined to a small corral, with a good chance of not getting enough to eat. Realistically, horses will not live forever. Just because there is a ban on killing horses for slaughter, does not mean they will not die a suffering death.

As I have pointed out before, if this horse slaughter ban goes into effect, it will jeopardize the use of horses on ranches. Many cow outfits will go to using all ATVs, for the sake of efficiency and because they will no longer see any sense in keeping horses around if there is no floor price for old and unused horses. Mark my words this will happen. Horses will become a luxury that only very wealthy people will be able to afford. With a viable horse packing industry, most people that love horses can afford to keep one, because they know when the horse is old, there will still be a market value to the horse. This floor price will allow a nice down payment to be made on a younger replacement horse. This is the way that it should be.
 

RoperAB

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cowsense said:
The horse slaughter ban should be a wakeup call for all in agriculture
[/quote]

Why? The "real"horse industry in North America is stronger than in any other time in history. There is now way more money in horses than at any other time and its not because of Claude Boverie.
 

Faster horses

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Our son-in-law and daughter raise horses, ABRoper, and they
would beg to differ with you when you say the 'real' horse
industry in North America is stronger than any other time.
These young horses aren't worth much. What makes them worth
something is the TIME spent riding them.

Value added, you might say.

You can run at least a cow and a half to one horse in your pasture
and here lately you couldn't sell the colt for 1.5 times what you
would get for a calf. I mean across the board, not the exceptional
ones.
 

RoperAB

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Soapweed said:
There has to be some way to dispense with old and unusable horses. >>

There is.


<<They are not humans and do not need to be treated as humans. >>

You have that right. Horses dont lie, they have no hidden agendas. I have yet to meet an evil horse.

<< Do we want to have a "hunting season" on horses, like we do on deer, elk, moose, or mountain goats. The equine populaton must be maintained and managed somehow.>>

We have wild horses in Alberta that can legaly be hunted <without a liceanse, the year round>which is the way it should be.


<<As far as taking a horse to an auction, I would rather a packer buyer end up with a horse I don't want as for it to go to a backyard pet project where it is confined to a small corral, with a good chance of not getting enough to eat. >

I would rather sell a horse to some town guy who actually reads, watches videos, goes to clinics and or who hires a good trainer than to somebody who thinks that they know all about horses because they run some cows.

<< Just because there is a ban on killing horses for slaughter, does not mean they will not die a suffering death.>>

It does mean that irresponsible breeders and the disposible horse "trainers" will not be rewarded.
Ever have a so called "trainer" look you in the eye with a smile on his face and say that a horse only has three years in them anyway?

<<As I have pointed out before, if this horse slaughter ban goes into effect, it will jeopardize the use of horses on ranches. Many cow outfits will go to using all ATVs, for the sake of efficiency and because they will no longer see any sense in keeping horses around if there is no floor price for old and unused horses. Mark my words this will happen. Horses will become a luxury that only very wealthy people will be able to afford. >>

Well which is it? In other threads the pro slaughter crowd<cant remember if you were one of them >> but they were all hollering that this will take the bottom out of horse markets and that horses will be selling cheaper.
Quads cost about $10,000 around here. These quad cowboy types think nothing about buying new dually diesels to pull there quads with. Then these same types would roll there eyes at the thought of paying anything more than $2500 for a saddle horse :roll:
IMO im happy that the people who used to use horses because they needed them, not because they had any interest in horses. Im glad these people can now use quads.
My friends and or the people that I have sold horses to have no interest in quads for ranch work. If they had to use a quad they would do something else for a living.
Around here Quads are hated for the most part. I dont know of any outfits that would even allow you to drive a quad on their land.

<<With a viable horse packing industry, most people that love horses can afford to keep one, because they know when the horse is old, there will still be a market value to the horse. This floor price will allow a nice down payment to be made on a younger replacement horse. >>

The worst nickle and dimers to sell to for the most part are the ones who drive the fancy new trucks, pulling the expensive alunimun horse trailers. They are the ones you have to watch as far as personal checks go.
You cant buy an acreage around here for under $300,000 and ranches are worth millions. These people think nothing about paying $10 for a beer at the rodeo<Calgary Stampede>. They tend to go on expensive trips, have all the latest stuff but then cry about being hard up and make it sound like they have to do anything for a buck :lol:
 

RoperAB

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Faster horses said:
Our son-in-law and daughter raise horses, ABRoper, and they
would beg to differ with you when you say the 'real' horse
industry in North America is stronger than any other time.
These young horses aren't worth much. What makes them worth
something is the TIME spent riding them.

Value added, you might say.

You can run at least a cow and a half to one horse in your pasture
and here lately you couldn't sell the colt for 1.5 times what you
would get for a calf. I mean across the board, not the exceptional
ones.

Before 1950 can you name many people making a full time living training or showing? There were a few but nothing like today. Every year the industry just keeps getting bigger and bigger.
Look what the average non pro spends today on books, videos, clinics, tack, etc. compared to years ago.
There are more saddle makers and tack stores around here than what there has ever been in the past.
Just in my area the cow outfits are being sold off and replaced by horse trainers. Im surrounded by horse trainers! There are clinics being done everywhere.
Today like in no other time in history, way more people have way more bucks to spend on their horse passion. Because of this the market for good horses just keeps going up. People are spending more and more for breeding stock and for well trained horses.
Look remember how we were talking about the Angus breeders? Horses is all about promotion. The people that I know who are doing really good in horses are the ones who really promote their horses.
 

Faster horses

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I would agree with that. I just didn't think far enough I guess.

We are good friends with Stan and Nancy Weaver.
They are real successes in the horse industry. Along with
promoting well, their horses are good and Stan and Nancy are
great people.

However a lot of folks don't have the numbers they do
in order to have their own sale and that compromises
the 'promotion' part.
 

Mrs.Greg

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I don't know I find it hard to believe that our horse market is good. Greg and I went to a dispersal sale just before Christmas for a guy that has REALLY well bred quarter horses,he couldn't hardly get a bid on a bunch of them ,ended up taking alot home,some of the wiened colts went for under $200,it was sad,this is his livleyhood. Gregs brother raises Appys,has a name in the Appy world and he says the bottom has fallen out of the horse industry.
 

Soapweed

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Mrs.Greg said:
I don't know I find it hard to believe that our horse market is good. Greg and I went to a dispersal sale just before Christmas for a guy that has REALLY well bred quarter horses,he couldn't hardly get a bid on a bunch of them ,ended up taking alot home,some of the wiened colts went for under $200,it was sad,this is his livleyhood. Gregs brother raises Appys,has a name in the Appy world and he says the bottom has fallen out of the horse industry.

And it is all because of banning the horse slaughter business. :x
 

RoperAB

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Mrs Greg
So how are those people training, showing or promoteing their horses? If they are just breeding good horses, its not enough.Why look at people who are not making a go of it for ideas? Why not look at the ones who are doing very well at it? Why can some make a go of it while others cant. If somebody doesnt think his horses are worth much then why would a buyer think any different?
Faster Horses
There are all different ways to do things. Believe me I know that it can take big bucks to make money with horses. Thats the way everything is for the most part, not just with the horse industry<example cattle>. But there are other ways.
Years ago I bought a three year old, grade mare that was headed for slaughter. I put her through Parellies level 1&2. I advertised her as a "Parelli level 2 horse" and gave her away for $2500. The reason I said gave her away is.#1 The second person that looked at her bought her on the spot. The first person wanted a more expensive horse. Because the horse was a grade horse with no papers she wasnt sure if it was type of horse she wanted to be seen riding at her stable. #2 reason is that since this time I have seen other Parelli horses selling for way more money. #3 I sold that horse right away but my phone rang for weeks later because of all the people who were interested in buying that Parelli mare. This really surprized me because at that time I figgured that unless it was a barrel, reining or rope horse that it wasnt worth anything except maybe to a 4-H kid. I certainly did not think any "grade" horse was worth more than $2500! But I was wrong.
In Alberta as far as im concerned the biggest market today is baby boomers who live in urban or sometimes on acreages, that are for the first time in their life getting envolved with horses or that dont really have a lot of experience with horses. These people dont show or really care about performance horses. These are recreational riders who have 9 to 5 jobs. Pats program is designed for this type of person. Somebody who is looking to have fun with their horse. People who are looking for a safe way to get involved with horses. People who dont have the time or experience to really get into showing or more advanced horses.
Pat Parelli has the best video coaching program around for this type of person. Well I dont know if he is the best but he is definately the most promoted and the best known.
Okay put yourself in the shoes of the baby booming horse buyer with little actual experience with horses. For her to go out and buy a green colt to put it through Parellies course might be a little to much for her. Not everbody has the time or experience to do this. To buy a Reiner or Barrel horse would be to much and just a waste.
Hey, but then you see a Parelli level 3 QH for sale for $6500. Thats a great deal because its going to be much easier and safer for you to go through the levels with a horse thats already trained in the levels. Your working in Calgary and $6500 is small change to you. Now you can buy that horse, watch the videos through the week after work. On the weekends you can live out your dream of having a horse and start playing at building your horsemanship in a safe way thats pretty fool proof and laid out for you so chances are every weekend your going to feel like your making progress, so your going to be smiling from ear to ear.
But anyway thats one way that a breeder could get more bucks for his horses and all its going to cost is some time. Parellies program is easy. I know I can make good money with very little capital selling Parelli horses. Im not currently doing it because to be honest I would find it very boring doing Parelli. But I know I could buy colts for next to nothing and within a year have them for sale as certified Parelli level 3 horses. I dont have to spend money promoting myself or the horses because Pat Parelli already has them promoted for me.
But anyway thats one way that a breeder could get more bucks for his horses and all its going to cost is some time. Parellies program is easy.
 

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RoperAB said:
But I know I could buy colts for next to nothing and within a year have them for sale as certified Parelli level 3 horses. I dont have to spend money promoting myself or the horses because Pat Parelli already has them promoted for me.
But anyway thats one way that a breeder could get more bucks for his horses and all its going to cost is some time. Parellies program is easy.

The one commodity most people are shortest of is "time". The second commodity most people are short of is "money". We are in the "now" generation that demands instant grafification.

Just because "Joe Blow" has what Joe Blow considers a "Level 3" on the Parelli scale horse for sale, doesn't necessarily mean that the horse is that qualified.

If I was a wage-earner city person wanting to buy a horse, and not all that experienced, I would look for a gentle older horse that already had a lot of miles on it. A novice can't just watch Parelli's videos and be an instant horse trainer. That all comes with experience. A green rider and a green horse equals a final color of black and blue. :?

With no meat market on used up horses, good breeders that have always had a profitable market for their young horses will no longer have a viable business. No matter what the commodity, cattle, horses, sheep, or a business on Main Street, no one can stay in business if they don't sell their end product for cost of production plus a nominal profit. The whole horse industry is going to go kapoot in a hurry with this stupid slaughter ban in place. Our troubles are only beginning.
 

Aztumbleweed

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Really good posts Soapweed and the rest. We use horses daily couldn't use a quad on this place if you wanted to at least if you wanted to accomplish your tasks. I have let a couple of horses live out to the end because they were exceptional animals. On the other hand I have hauled quite a few to the auction knowing full well they would go to slaughter. They are tools and when they have gone beyond usefull to me they are still usefull to feed people in other country's. I haven't eaten a horse but I have threatened to B.B.Q. a few.
 

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Soapweed said:
The one commodity most people are shortest of is "time". The second commodity most people are short of is "money". >>

Wouldnt it make sense to have less horses that were worth more money because of the time you had in them instead of having more horses that where worth less than what you have in them?

<<Just because "Joe Blow" has what Joe Blow considers a "Level 3" on the Parelli scale horse for sale, doesn't necessarily mean that the horse is that qualified.>>

Joe blow videos himself with the horse doing the criteria in the booklets. Sends the video to a PNH instructer and gets the horse certified for a modest price.

<<If I was a wage-earner city person wanting to buy a horse, and not all that experienced, I would look for a gentle older horse that already had a lot of miles on it. >>

But your not and if you knew anything about Parelli you would understand why most Parellibots would not be interested in that type of horse.

<<A novice can't just watch Parelli's videos and be an instant horse trainer. That all comes with experience. A green rider and a green horse equals a final color of black and blue. :?>>

Well if somebody is in the horse business, breeding horses they darn well should be horseman enough to get through the Parelli levels.

<<With no meat market on used up horses, good breeders that have always had a profitable market for their young horses will no longer have a viable business. No matter what the commodity, cattle, horses, sheep, or a business on Main Street, no one can stay in business if they don't sell their end product for cost of production plus a nominal profit. The whole horse industry is going to go kapoot in a hurry with this stupid slaughter ban in place. Our troubles are only beginning.>>

If somebodies profit margin is that small I dont know why they are in the horse business in the first place.
 

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