Thursday, September 10, 2009
August 6, 2009
Undercover Investigation Underscores USDA-documented Brutality
30 month long investigation proves worst-case scenario is ongoing
A thirty month long investigation into the plight of horses who have been sold for slaughter has revealed the worst levels of inhumane treatment. The abuse and neglect of these horses, sometimes referred to as "kill horses," was uncovered during the investigation and is consistent with findings and photographs contained in a 906 page document released by the USDA last year.
The investigation and report by Animals' Angels, a Maryland based animal welfare
organization, confirmed that injuries and inhumane treatment documented by the USDA during 2005 continue. Both USDA and Animals' Angels (AA) documents show horses severely injured, left medically untreated, ill, trampled to death and worse on their way to and at slaughter.
Executive Director of Animals' Angels, Sonja Meadows said their investigations quickly revealed that, "Both government records and our report show that being on U.S.soil was not then and is not now the slightest guarantee of humane treatment."
The slaughter of horses in the U.S., which stopped with plant closures in 2007, continues in Canada and Mexico. Groups advocating the slaughter of American horses have called for the reopening of U.S. horse slaughter plants, saying horses are better protected by U.S. humane laws than by laws in Canada and Mexico. However, during the 30 month long investigation that included repeated visits to auctions, feedlots and slaughter plants, AA investigators concluded abuse and inhumane treatment are inherent to the horse slaughter industry.
"It takes inhumane treatment to make the economics work," said Meadows. "We found the cruelty starts well before horses arrive at the slaughter plant."
The AA report documents available veterinary care withheld from horses severely injured or near death. Undercover investigators were routinely told, 'That horse is going to slaughter anyway,' or the horses are 'just passing through.'
Treatment of horses designated for slaughter ranged from beating horses and jabbing them in the eyes, to using a cable winch to drag downed horses with a wire wrapped around a back leg. Investigators observed horses being injured or killed after being forced into dangerously crowded pens where they were kicked or trampled. Others were found frozen to the ground after overnight temperatures dropped well below freezing. Young and small horses, as well as horses injured or weak were trampled to death in trailers crowded with 40 horses. Workers failed to separate stallions, ensuring fierce fighting in close quarters during transport.
Making conditions worse is the issue of stolen horses, according to Debi Metcalfe, founder of Stolen Horse International, Inc., a non profit that operates www.NetPosse.com, a horse theft recovery network that averages 80,000 unique visitors per month. "We have dealt with cases where horses were stolen," said Metcalf. "We later found out that these innocent pets had been slaughtered."
At both Canadian and Mexican slaughter plants investigators discovered horses left in bloody "kill boxes", used to restrain horses as they are being killed, during lunch breaks. According to the report, the horses were "shaking violently as if [they] might fall down." Plant management told investigators the horses 'aren't bothered by it.'
AA investigators documented injured and dead horses at every stop along the horse slaughter pipeline. At feedlots and export pens horses had no food and water troughs were empty. An export facility veterinarian informed investigators horses too weak for transport would be left behind to die in the pens.
"The public has been duped into thinking horse slaughter has ended, but it just moved a few hours further down the road," Meadows pointed out. "It hasn't somehow changed it into something it is not. It is the same terrible suffering it was in 2005."
"By the time the horse finally stands in the kill box at the slaughter plant, it is often not the worst thing that has happened to it since this dreadful journey began," said Meadows
For a copy of the investigative report, click here.
For the PR WEB PRESS RELEASE, click her.
To review the USDA documents, click here.
What can you do?
Please urge your representatives and senators to support the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act H.R.503 / S.727!
Animals' Angels is a 501 (c)(3) non profit organization incorporated in Maryland with fulltime investigators working in the United States and Canada. We work with law enforcement and government agencies to end animal cruelty and to improve conditions for farm animals. We are in the field every week, trailing livestock trucks, visiting markets, collecting stations and slaughter plants.
Animals' Angels USA
For further information on horse slaughter investigations, go to
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
by Jerry Finch and R.T. Fitch
So out of the clear blue sky the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) decides to round up the small, yet internationally famous, wild horse herd in the Pryor Mountains, MT while the public screams stop and they refuse to listen. We think that there is something that does not smell, or taste, just quite right, here.
It would be a real stretch of imagination for us to question the integrity of a government agency, like the BLM, simply because it has repeatedly violated federal law, laughed at our law makers and thumbed it’s nose at the will of the American people while failing to live up to one of it’s prime directives; that of protecting our national treasure, our publicly owned wild horses on publicly owned land.
No, we wouldn’t do that.
Nor would we cast aspersions on a company that holds the rights to explore for uranium throughout the Pryor Mountains because it’s parent company is owned and operated through a convoluted trail that points to a middle eastern firm with dubious connections where the company officers/advisors are already in trouble with world-wide trade commissions for stock scams and multiple other violations of law.
Gosh, the thought never entered our minds.
But we do raise our eyebrows at the fact that when this uranium mining company begins to make sounds that it may want to conduct aerial seismographic surveys over the Pryor Mountains the BLM suddenly deems it necessary to round up all of the wild horses in the area for an alleged much needed gather, something that they have not done in over a decade (the American public is banned from their public land during the round-up, something to hide?). And why, because of over grazing and the horses, allegedly, are suffering for it. All of this in light of the fact that it has been graphically documented that the horses are in good health, the area is not over grazed and the BLM’s own studies are riddled with multiple errors and if challenged in a court of law could be found to be illegal.
Yes, we do have a problem with this, and so should you.
So let’s step behind the bar, mix-up this entire concoction up and see what we come up with. Yum yum, we bet it tastes pretty special to some people but to others it will have a distinctive odor about it.
First, let’s mix in one part BLM, the agency that is charged with protecting our wild horses yet indiscriminately decides to conduct deadly stampedes to corral and then sell them off for next to nothing to killer buyers who truck them down to the brutal slaughter houses in Mexico where they can make a ten-fold profit; tasty little morsel, there. (Let’s ignore the fact that they now have over 30,000 wild horses confined and living in pens that they wanted to kill, last year, yet they continue to gather more)
The next step is to pour in equal amounts of a company called Skyline Uranium Corp. formerly known as Uranium Mining & Exploration Projects that is owned by a parent company referred to as Fortress Financial Group, Inc. which engages in issuing prepaid debit and credit cards and was formerly known as the Great West Gold Inc. which itself was recently acquired by Moneyworx, Inc. through a reverse merger transaction while the company officers work on the staff of one of the biggest law firm/companies in all of the United Arab Emirates. Phew, did you catch all that?
Now pour in a generous amount of the U.S. Federally owned Pryor Mountains, formerly rich in uranium and gold , and shake vigorously.
Don’t forget to crush in some tree hugging do-gooders, strain out a few wild horses and garnish it with just a slice of bribery and then pour this concoction over a heaping pile of ice cold elected officials, wow…what a drink; a true recipe for collusion and corruption. One that is already in the glass and being toasted by the covert, limited parties involved. Mighty tasty, eh?
Now we are not postulating, here, that imbibing of this beverage is either right or wrong; but we do think that because you, the American public, is paying for the bar tab you should at least be aware of what you are paying for, it’s only fair.
If this tastes good to you, then pull up a stool, take a sip and lose your soul.
If it smells like horse poop to you, and it should, pick up the phone, hammer on the key board and let your opinion be known. Maybe it’s time to swear off the booze of collusion/corruption and get back on the wagon of proper ethics. Such a move will not only be good for your mental health and pocketbook but it will save the lives of thousands of wild horses living on your land, land that belongs to the American public.
Push the glass away, and make a stand. The horses are counting on it.
Keep your change, the tip is on us.
Jerry Finch – Founder/President of Habitat for Horses, writer
- ► 2010 (14)
- ▼ September (2)
- ► 2008 (14)
- ► 2007 (10)