Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Horse Slaughter Promoted by State Representative Who Is Also an AQHA Breeder...Coincidence? I think not...

Horse Slaughter - Not the Answer to Overbreeding


February 3, 2009 -- Loxahatchee, FL -- It hasn't even been two weeks since
the inauguration of President Obama, and it seems as if some of our elected
representatives have missed the forward movement of transparency and
accountability regarding lobbyists and ethics. Maybe that is where the rub is: it's
not a lobbyist who is attempting to steer taxpayers' dollars for a personal
agenda, it is a state representative who touts an elected seat.

North Dakota State Representative Rod Froelich and State Senator Joe Miller
have introduced a bill to the state's legislative assembly proposing to
spend $100,000 on a study to determine the feasibility of a horse slaughter house
in North Dakota. There are some startling coincidences worthy of mention.
Representative Froelich's family are longtime quarterhorse breeders, and
according to their website at www.froelichranch.com they specialize
in breeding horses of outstanding color and disposition.

Quote from the site: "Welcome to our 38th annual production sale. The five
Froelich brothers, along with our mother, Barbara, and our nephew, Lance, are
excited to again bring you a consistent group of foals with 'disposition,
color, & conformation ranch-raised in big country'."

Whether Representative Froelich has sent horses to slaughter is a question
only he can answer. Unfortunately, in our country, breeders send horses to
slaughter because of their color; yes, this does exist. For example, two QH
babies named Abercrombie and Fitch arrived at Pure Thoughts Horse & Foal Rescue.
They came with AQHA papers so we called the previous owner, a breeder in
Minnesota who selects for color: "palomino to be exact." According to the
breeder, the two babies were sold to Simon Horse Company in Minnesota owned by
Joe and Ryon Simon who are known killbuyers for horse slaughter. Both horses
were sold because they were red in color, and Fitch's mother was sent to
slaughter because that was her third red baby. This almost takes us back many
years ago to a situation which was referred to as "cleansing."

How many times are we going to look into the pro-slaughter bowl of cherries
and see that the pit is usually someone who stands to gain personally or
financially, whether on the sale of horsemeat or the act of slaughter itself?

Here is an idea for Rep. Froelich: rather than ask the taxpayers to pay for
a study on the feasibility of opening a slaughterhouse in North Dakota
(creating a dumping ground for quarterhorses that do not have the most perfect
conformation, sought after color or greatest disposition), ask the AQHA to
designate funds for genetic studies and education. Even the horse novice
understands the homozygous genes and the possibilities of perfecting color choices.
Another thought would be to take that $100,000 and donate it to a rescue that
saves slaughter-bound horses, and we will take all your not-so-perfect babies
and mares that do not produce foals of the "right" color and place them in
loving homes. It is so redundant to have yet another attempt at promoting
horse slaughter stem from the AQHA arena.

How unfortunate that the AQHA is one of the wealthiest equine organizations
in the US and yet continues to support horse slaughter. Even while the
thoroughbred associations are stepping up to develop solutions to help our equine
athletes retire safely and with dignity, the AQHA (with four times the annual
foal registration of the TB industry) refuses to present and incorporate a
plan for their horses. In addition, the AQHA allows for artificial
insemination, embryo transplant and cloning (their latest endeavor) while the
thoroughbred industry requires live cover. As stated earlier, a major consideration
should be researching methods of successfully producing the most sought-after

Consider these numbers related to the AQHA (2007 US data):

* Quarter horse population: 2,859,851 (Estimated 2007 all-breed
population: 9.2 million)

* AQHA new foals/registrations: 117,830

* AQHA membership: 305,000

* Total owners: 902,453

* AQHA total assets: $111,154,925

* Revenues from registrations, transfers, membership, breeding fees:

* AQHA 2008 new foals/registrations: 140,000 (this should be 140,000,

These revenues and assets are not comparable with any other breed
association, The AQHA charges owners for foal registrations and annual dues. The
majority of QH owners do register their horses as it adds market value to the
horse, and it's required in order to enter the horse in AQHA-sanctioned racing,
shows and events. More foals equal more revenue for the AQHA.

These figures show that annual breeding means huge financial gain for the
AQHA. Excess stock would negatively impact market values, so unsalable quarter
horses go to slaughter to make room on farms for next year's foals. The AQHA
also contributed $9,000 to Senator Larry Craig, who filed a notice of intent
to object on a federal bill aimed towards ending horse slaughter;
subsequently, the bill saw no action in the Senate.

No other breed of horse is sent more frequently to slaughter than the
American Quarterhorse, the real victims of greed in the American horse industry.

If we trace the historical path of this issue in the political arena, the
continuation of horse slaughter has always stemmed from personal agendas or
personal gain. This year, let's try to have humanity as the agenda, do what is
right, and represent the voice of the people.

Pure Thoughts Inc.
National Horse Welfare Organization
Jennifer Swanson
Cheryl Hanna


Dakota Rancher said...

I write this blog with the opionion that most who read it will turn a deaf ear. This is for the few that are still open minded. I agree that horse slaughtering plants do not paint a pretty picture for any horse lover. But I dont agree with the current legislation banning them. The fact is that there is a place in this world for ethical horse meat utilization. I will set up two different scenerios. An old horse that has been disabled either stucturally or by time has the winter to get through. Most horses do not spend there time in a heated barn with water and grain at their nose length. Knowing that this horse will not make a winter outside, is it more ethical to see it struggle to survive all winter only to see it fall to predators. Coyotes and wolves have far less pity on a down animal that humans. They will eat without killing as long as the victim allows. Or, if the horse is found in time, most ranchers will use a bullet to end suffering. In the end the result is the same. Why not let that animal provide some use to its owner(in the form of small compensation) and meat for consumption be it for humans or animals. In the end isn't that what happens anyway? The idea that some horse owners like shipping horses for slaughter is false. But it is for the greater good. The money provided from the sale of this horse allows the rancher to take better care of the remaining herd. This legislation did nothing to stop horses from dying. Its the cycle of life. If anything it has made conditions worse. A crippled or old horse will still see the same demise be it by the horse owner, predators, or the killing floor. Why not utilize what that animal offers to its enviroment. You cannot stop horses from dying people. It's called the cycle of life. I invite all responses from reasonable writers to respond to this blog. Please try to keep your emotions in control and think reasonably.

A dakota horse owner

Lor In PA said...

The ethical thing to do is give the horse a humane end. A well placed bullet is humane, although I would prefer euthanasia by a veterinarian for my horse.

The unethical thing to think is that you - or anyone else - deserves to profit off the death of a pet.

Stolen Horse International


The face of death

The face of death
#396, A kind, gentle Thoroughbred

All that is left

All that is left
I will never forget him...I promise. I am so sorry, #396...I don't even have a name for you...

Why would you take my life? Am I a food source animal?

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