Tuesday, October 19, 2010

American's Told They Have No Right to Know What is Happening on Government Land

(Click on title to go to the article)

BLM Declares Their Land “Non-Public Forums”

An Editorial by the Publisher

The Desert Independent

October 15, 2010

In a response to a lawsuit filed by Grass Roots Horse in a Nevada court on October 14, the Bureau Of Land Management (BLM) revealed that “herd management areas” and perhaps other areas of public lands at their unilateral choosing can, be considered by the government “non-public forums.”

This is interesting news to the rest of us who have considered these lands public, open and freely accessible. It would seem, according to Ken Salazar, Bob Abbey and those they lead at the Department of Interior and BLM, the we, the press, and by extension, you the public have no have no right to know how the government manages your public resources.

The government is controlling the content of the information that reaches you, the public, by prohibiting journalists who may portray them in an unflattering light.

Our interest at this moment is wild horses on public lands. Next year it might be gas pipelines, uranium mining, or nuclear waste storage. The public has a right to know. The government behaves when citizens are watching.

They know that. They know that. They know that.

That is why Ken Salazar and Bob Abbey are fighting in court to prevent public access.

Shame on Ken Salazar.

Shame on Bob Abbey.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Horse Slaughterer - Elected Legislator - Lobbyist?

Good Work if You Can Get It…..

September 17, 2010By Nell Walton Who is Sue Wallis and Why Should I Care? Part III in a Series


Rep. Sue Wallis at the Tennessee State Legislature In a membership communication distributed on January 30, the United Organizations of the Horse (a Wyoming based lobbying group whose mission is to open a horse slaughter facility in Wyoming – referred to as the UOH) applauded the financial support of various organizations and spoke of the attendance of Rep. Sue Wallis and David Duquette at the Simon Bucking Stock Sale in Oklahoma City, OK. Rep. Wallis is an elected state legislator from Wyoming, as well as Executive Director of the UOH, and Mr. Duquette is the President of the nonprofit 501 (c)(3) affiliate of the UOH, the United Horseman’s Front. The Simon Bucking Stock Sale is operated by Joe Simon Enterprises of Lakeville, MN.

In August of 2009, this same Joe Simon (aka Roy Joseph Simon) was found to have committed multiple violations of the Commercial Transportation of Equines for Slaughter Act (CTESA). The Act, part of the 1996 Farm Bill, is intended to assure that equines being transported for slaughter are not subjected to unsafe and inhumane conditions during shipment. Any owner/shipper that commercially transports more than 20 equines a year to a slaughter facility must comply with this law. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is charged with overseeing CTESA compliance. Among other things these regulations dictate that:

stallions and other aggressive horses must be separated from the rest of the shipment
adequate food, water, and rest should be provided to slaughter-bound horses six hours prior to being loaded onto a vehicle

horses should not be confined in a vehicle longer than 24 hours without food and water

An owner/shipper certificate must accompany the shipment (this contains details about the shipper and receiver as well as statement verifying that the horse is fit to travel. Horses must also be supplied with a “backtag” – a tag supplied by the USDA that sticks to the back of the horse)

adequate floor space must be provided for the horses during shipment

In the decision issued by the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) that heard Simon’s case, it was recorded that Simon said he had been in business for over 30 years and estimated that he or his business transported approximately 3600 horses a year for slaughter. Mr. Simon was charged with numerous violations of the Act, ranging from minor paperwork irregularities, to more serious violations; including findings that during transport a horse severed an artery so severely that that blood was visibly running from the trailer (no vet was called, as required by regulations) and another horse sustained multiple fractures of a hind leg and no veterinarian was called, even though the driver attested to the horses “acting up” in the trailer (the horse was so seriously injured it was was euthanized immediately at the slaughterhouse upon arrival.)

In the course of the decision the ALJ commented:

“… I am somewhat puzzled why Complainant (the USDA) let such a large number of violations accumulate before issuing a complaint against Respondent (Simon). Given the importance of the regulations, strongly emphasized by the testimony of Dr. Cordes (Dr. Timothy Cordes, veterinarian and witness for the USDA) and by Complainant’s briefs, it is surprising that years (emphasis added) elapsed between the commission of some violations and the issuance of the complaint. The earliest violations were alleged to have occurred in August 2003, with the first serious violation occurring in November 2004, yet the complaint was not issued until May 2007. Respondent testified, without dispute, that he has not been cited for any further violations since the issuance of the complaint in this case, indicating that waiting for the accumulation of 42 alleged violations before the issuance of a complaint rather than prosecuting promptly is not fully consistent with either the remedial or deterrent aims of the Agency. Thus, Dr. Cordes statement that Respondent had far more violations than any other owner/shipper who had gone to hearing, is necessarily weighed against the fact that it is highly likely that there would have been far fewer violations if APHIS (USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) had taken action when the first violations were discovered.”

When reviewing multiple cases that were adjudicated by the ALJs having jurisdiction over CTESA prosecutions, it was found that this delay in bringing action against violators of the CTESA HAS BEEN THE RULE, rather than the exception for many years. In ruling after ruling, various ALJs expressed their frustration and incredulity that years passed before any formal complaints were filed against horse slaughter shippers, even those with the most serious and heinous of violations. And, the judges were especially frustrated because as these cases were presented as first offenses, they were limited in the amount of penalties they could assign in their decisions.


On April 30, 2010, an editorial was run in www.trib.com, which criticized the UOH’s plans to build a horse slaughter plant in Wyoming. That same day, the UOH released a press release in response. In this release Rep. Wallis said:

“Under the current situation, the only horses that have any value whatsoever are those that are big enough, healthy enough, and close enough to a border to be worth the trucking to Canada and Mexico where they are slaughtered under systems and circumstances we cannot control or regulate. We feel it is far better to do this under US regulation and in situations where we can monitor it…”

Clearly, according to the USDA’s own enforcement action documentation, there IS very little enforcement or monitoring of conditions of horses shipped for slaughter, and severe violations are allowed to continue for years before any actions are taken to enforce the regulations, and, when enforcement is attempted the damages issued are hardly in line with the number and severity of violations. One cannot help but wonder if the USDA does such a poor job of overseeing something as basic as transport, what are its capabilities and priorities as far as overseeing a equine slaughter facility? Plus, the USDA has a difficult time just keeping up with basic safety of the current food supply (as is evident by the nearly monthly news reports of various food-born illnesses affecting large numbers of Americans).

Rep. Wallis went on to say:

“…We cannot let this (or any public expression of misinformation, outright lies, and exaggerations) go unanswered.….You all understand that if we lose this battle over the hearts and minds of the pet owning public, that our entire animal agriculture and horse based livelihoods are lost….If you want to drive change, you have to get out of the back of the truck. That is what we are trying to do. Animal rights organizations like HSUS/PETA create problems, inflame problems, and make money off of problems…we solve problems, and create value out of good solutions. ….”

Rep. Wallis goes onto urge UOH membership to “become an advocate for animal agriculture and for the rightful place of horses within that framework. … Don’t let misinformation go unchecked. .. most of these people are true horse lovers who consider their horses as pets, and who are being emotionally manipulated by animal rights ideologues who have a much darker agenda…..”

In some of her “talking points” Rep. Wallis makes the following assertions:

Without the option of slaughter, and using the meat to feed hungry animals or hungry people, those who can no longer afford to keep a horse, and cannot sell it, have literally no option…you can’t bury a 1,000 lb horse in the back yard like a cat or a dog…..Contrast that viewpoint with the total waste of at least 200,000 horse carcasses per year which, if euthanized with lethal drugs, become no more than a colossal disposal problem with toxic carcasses that cannot even be buried because of fear that it will leach into groundwater.
Actually, in most states it is perfectly legal to bury a horse on an owner’s property, and this method is what most horse-owners utilize when they lose an animal. There is no research or studies to indicate that there is groundwater contamination from the burying of chemically euthanized horses. The American Veterinary Medical Association does say that any chemically euthanized horse carcasses that are left unburied could be toxic to birds and predatory species.

Some Americans always have and always will eat horse meat. It is what filled the bellies of our soldiers who won World War II, and kept the families here at home fed throughout the 1940s when there was a shortage of all other meat…
Multiple polls indicate differently. In a variety of polls conducted since 1993, anywhere from 57-89% of Americans have stated that they feel horse slaughter is cruel and inhumane, and the eating of horse meat abhorrent.

One billion people on the planet today rarely get enough to eat, and another billion do not get enough protein and nutrients for health. Ten million children a year die of starvation. From a moral standpoint, can we afford to put any viable protein source off limits?
Currently, as horse meat cannot be transported state to state (the USDA has no operating budget for meat inspectors at horse slaughter facilities) it is hard to understand the even basic feasibility of Rep. Wallis’ argument; unless, of course, there are 10 million children dying of starvation in Wyoming.

Because of the closure of the US slaughter plants in the US in 2007 by state action in Illinois and Texas, the entire horse industry from top to bottom has been deeply affected. What was a 1.2 Billion dollar industry supporting 460,000 full-time direct jobs, and another 1.6 million indirect jobs has been cut in half. There has been a loss of a minimum of 500,000 direct and indirect jobs, and horses that were worth $1,000 are now worthless, horses once worth $2,500 are lucky to bring $750, horses that would have sold for $85,000 to $100,000 are now being liquidated for $10,000 each.

None of these figures could be independently verified and Rep. Wallis did not quote her source. In fact, according to a detailed study done by the Animal Law Coalition, horse slaughter numbers began declining in 1993 and the number of horses slaughtered has been relatively flat and stable (approximately 100,000 per year) since 1997, so the only accurate correlation in regards to economic impact is the number of direct jobs lost when the two slaughter plant facilities in Illinois and Texas closed in 2007.

…The ultimate goal of animal rightists, which is a very, very radical and idealogic agenda, is to end all human use of animals and to eliminate all domestic animals which is to many of us a gross perversion of the moral and ethical underpinnings of our society, not to mention a dangerous, unhealthy, and unnatural way of being.

As no sources or facts were associated with this statement, it must be assumed that this is Rep. Wallis’ own personal opinion.

In a recent article by Chelsea Good, published in Kansas Stockman, Ms. Good attempts to make the case that horse abandonment and neglect has increased dramatically in the United States since the closure of the slaughter plants in 2007:

The American Quarter Horse Association, American Veterinary Medical Association and many animal agriculture groups opposed the forced (horse slaughter) plant closings, claiming there would be an increase in horse abandonment. Since 2007, horse prices have plummeted to the point where many cannot even be given away. The web site wwww.amillionhorses.com tracks print, television and radio news reports about horse neglect and abandonment. Prior to 2007, stories numbered less than 35 a year. In 2008, the group tracked 310 stories. Reports increased 400% from 2008 to 2009, when 1,241 stories detailing neglect and abandonment of horses were published online.

However, again, the argument that slaughterhouse plant closings have increased the incidence of horse abandonment and neglect, does not even pass a basic common sense test, as the numbers of horses slaughtered has remained essentially the same since 1997. It is highly more likely that since 2007, basic market economics have come into play, i.e. the supply has exceeded the demand for horses, due to the world-wide recession and (perhaps) overbreeding of horses. Additionally, the information Ms. Good cites from the website www.amillionhorses.com could not be verified or even located.

So, as one steps through the various position statements and information being distributed by the UOH and Rep. Wallis, it is clear that very little of it is fact-based – most is just hyperbole and rhetoric designed to inflame the UOH membership and people who make their living from livestock and poultry, and manipulate them into helping the UOH push forth its own agenda. And, upon close examination that agenda becomes painfully clear.

One obvious clue can be found in the UOH’s old website under FAQs. On this web page, Rep. Wallis responds to an email she has received from “Sandra I” (location unknown):

“Dear Ms Wallis–maybe I am being naive, but wonder how it is that an elected Federal member of the House, can also be a lobbyist at the same time… I hope to hear from you, as I am curious re this issue. Sandra I.”

Rep. Wallis response included the following statement:

“First of all, I am a State Representative, not a Federal one. I represent a very rural area, and one small town, in Campbell County. In my state, serving in the Legislature is a small, small part of my livelihood. The most we are ever in session in any one year is 40 days. I make my living as a rancher……….” (emphasis added)

In this response, Rep. Wallis fails to address this most pertinent question in regards to the ethics of a legislator also being a lobbyist, and sponsoring legislative bills that promote her own enterprises.

In fact, an analysis of the UOH supporters shows that only a small percentage of the UOH membership is actually from Wyoming (one supporter being Jim Schwartz, the Director of the Wyoming Livestock Board). Most are from other parts of the country, and, Dave Duquette, president of the UOH’s nonprofit affiliate resides and runs a business in Oregon.

It is hard to fathom how the people of Wyoming, nor the powers-that-be that oversee Wyoming legislative ethics stand for this.

As an exercise in impartiality let’s remove horse slaughter issue from the scenario, and replace it with a hypothetical casino project in a hypothetical state. State Rep. Jane Doe decides she wants a casino. There had been a similar situation in neighboring Nevada, where a state legislator had sponsored a successful bill to have a casino built on state property (he was the President of corporation that owned the casino, and profited from it, along with his out-of-state backers). The casino had operated for a number of years. However, it had recently been closed, due to public outcry over corruption in the state legislature.

Despite the controversy surrounding the Nevada casino, Rep. Doe sponsors a bill for her casino, clearly stating her casino will be different than the Nevada casino, hers will be a “fair, family friendly” casino, which will be much better for the gamblers and their families. Rep. Doe says the casino will provide thousands of jobs, and ancillary income to her state, although no facts or studies are used to illustrate how this will work exactly. She finds an individual from another state that is willing to become president of a tax-exempt nonprofit “affiliate” of her casino project. Plans are made for him to operate a “nature park and dude ranch” on the casino grounds, that will be solely dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating abused and neglected children. She uses this as a selling feature to the State Legislature (never mind the fact that the president of this nonprofit has absolutely no experience in rescuing and rehabilitating abused and neglected children, he has had several chilren though, so therefore he is an expert). She also forms a tax-exempt nonprofit lobbying group mainly consisting of out-of-state backers to not only invest in the casino and give Rep. Doe’s activities financial support, but they also work out deals to ship in gamblers from their various states, so that they will have the opportunity to gamble at a “fair, family friendly” casino. Rep. Doe and her out-of-state backers form a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) to handle the income of their “fair, family friendly” casino; exact details on how much of this income will actually make it into Rep. Doe State’s coffers remains undiscussed. Nevertheless, the Governor of Rep. Doe’s state and the State Legislature nod wisely in agreement that Rep. Doe has an excellent plan to help the people of her state and said casino project is approved lickety-split with little to no input from these same people.

Well, as they say, its good work if you can get it.

For more information:









Friday, September 17, 2010

Shipshewana Auction Guilty of Animal Cruelty - AGAIN

I am once again sickened by this report by Animals' Angels. Please click on the link to the full report. There are no graphic pictures. At the end of the report there are email addresses where we can write to the folks in Shipshewana - a big tourist area - indicating our outrage. There is no excuse for the things that are happening at that auction and for vets and local authorities to be looking the other way. Please make your voice heard - they ran a horse with a broken leg through HELL there last month.

I'm nauseous.

Investigation Updates
September 15, 2010
Animals' Angels
PO Box 1056 Westminster, MD 21158


Shipshewana Auction Follow-up Investigation

Last month Animal's Angels returned to the Shipshewana Auction in Indiana, a follow-up to our September 2009 visit. Many of you will remember our documentation of inadequate & cruel treatment of animals by auction employees, and especially the video footage of "Richard" kicking and beating an animal martial-arts style for several minutes. In addition to "Richard" we found the pens dangerously overcrowded with horses in sustained episodes of loud fighting, water and food troughs empty, and handling of the animals unreasonably brutal with many in very poor condition.

In a word, conditions last year were miserable.

Read the investigative report...

After that investigation, Animals' Angels filed complaints with auction owners, local law enforcement, the State Veterinarian, the Livestock Marketing Association and the House Agricultural Committee. The employee "Richard" was fired. All other employees were trained in humane handling practices.

Keith Lambright, an owner of Shipshewana Auction Inc. apologized publicly for the actions of his employee saying, "Shipshewana Auction supports the proper and ethical treatment of animals and in no way tolerates the mistreatment of any animal that enters our facility. Once again, we apologize..." AA Investigators returned last month to see if conditions had improved and if the auction owners had been true to their word.

The Livestock Auction

The morning of the Livestock Auction was already 83 degrees, hot and humid as investigators arrived. The pens were very overcrowded with approximately 300 head of cattle to be sold, mostly Holstein dairy cows. Hopes of improved conditions began to evaporate as investigators also observed that none of the pens contained water or food. Investigators noticed one pen appeared to be designated a "slow pen," a possible improvement if done properly, holding 32 cows that had arrived limping, emaciated or otherwise compromised. A "slow pen" would more likely keep these animals from being trampled than if they were in the regular pens. Several regular pens were extremely overcrowded and as the day went on many of the cows showed signs of heat stress with panting and foaming at the mouth. From one pen a Black Angus bull with a broken left front leg was brought into the alley. Auction employees struggled with the unwilling bull, running him up and around the alleys on three legs to a distant pen. It was soon apparent that Shipshewana's use of the "slow pen" was a way of concentrating the sickest and lowest priced cows in one area, and not a way of protecting or providing care. No water was ever provided here or in any of the pens. Several cows were down and groaning, one with shallow breathing and another panting heavily. Workers walked past these noticeably suffering animals many times without stopping or providing water, though Indiana law clearly states that withholding care is neglect and illegal. Some were emaciated, some stood holding one leg up, trying to move on the remaining three - a condition which should have made them unfit for transport since they were likely to become downers and trampled.
After the auction it took a long time and excessive force to get the completely weakened animals from the "slow pen" to the auction ring and later on the loading ramp and into the upper level of the trailer. One worker pulled the tail and a second pressed what looked like an electric stun gun to a sensitive rib area behind the front leg of a downed cow. This cow and 2 others had been down the entire day. Workers repeatedly pressed the stun gun into the cow's side. Each time the cow would wheel around violently as if hit with very high voltage. She finally rose to her feet very unsteadily and staggered along the alley. From the regular pens investigators noted Longhorns with typically long pointed horns and Holsteins loaded without separating dividers. At this time auction employees began taking notice of investigators. Even though auction activities and loading were not finished, AA decided to leave the premises so as not to compromise their investigation of the horse sale 2 days later. Returning inconspicuously early the next morning investigators found a thin but very much alive horse penned with 2 dead cows. One of the cows was from the "slow pen," and was not a downer, but had stood all day in one place without moving. The letter "S" (for slaughter) had been painted in red on her hips (most likely before she was brought to auction).

Another cow that appeared to have been dead for some time was also in the pen. The horse did not appear to be sick or injured. No water was in the pen. Many empty pens containing no dead animals were available.

The Horse Auction

Investigators arrived early to observe horses being unloaded. No water was in any of the pens as with the livestock auction. Another very bad day for the animals at Shipshewana soon started when a trailer with Michigan plates backed up to the loading dock. The horse inside the trailer was completely down. After several minutes of activity not visible to investigators, the horse hobbled out of the trailer. Her right front leg appeared to be broken and she was in poor physical condition, though alert and compliant. Despite her condition, an auction employee tagged her for sale and took her to an empty pen.

She collapsed within minutes, lying flat out on her side for the next hour. Someone who auction employees identified as the veterinarian arrived, briefly looked at the horse and shocked investigators as they heard him tell a worker to get the horse up. Her leg dangled oddly. Investigators had fully expected the vet would euthanize her where she lay. After an agonizing struggle, she was standing, and investigators were further shocked to see the veterinarian and the auction worker begin pushing the horse down a long aisle, all the way to an exit pen. The horse was
in obvious acute distress. An auction visitor watching from nearby said, "Oh, no! What are they doing to her? Can't they see how much the horse is hurting!" Enormous effort by both men was required to push and drag her because she was not moving on her own. Mr. Lambright, an owner of the auction, came, looked at the horse and seemed upset that his employees had unloaded the horse at his facility. A few minutes later, the trailer with Michigan plates pulled up. To the utter horror and anger of investigators, Mr. Lambright and the vet then forced the suffering horse out of the pen and pushed her into the trailer.

One of AA's investigators confronted Mr. Lambright but he denied all responsibility for the horse and responded by saying, "Ain't my problem. You take it up with the owner!" The investigator did not mince words in speaking to the owner who agreed to have the horse euthanized immediately.

Shortly thereafter the "loose" horse sale started. Shipshewana does not take horses that are designated as slaughter horses to the arena. Instead, the kill buyers gather in the pen area in the back and the horses are sold within minutes. The vet joined the kill buyers here, making fun of horses in poor condition and joking about one horse that was blind in both eyes. Eventually he also joined in the bidding with the kill buyers. Jeron Gold, owner of "Roping J Ranch" and one of the nations main slaughter buyers, purchased many of the horses going through the sale.

Read the full investigative report...

What can you do?

AA is left with multiple concerns about the Shipshewana Auction. While we noted that the overall auction employees' handling of animals had improved (Long pointed wooden sticks were not used to poke animals; the use of paddles and whistling was done well, and no animals were observed being carried by tails or ears;no beating & hitting of animals), it does not 'make up for' or lessen the concerns raised by this investigation.

Despite Mr. Keith Lambright's talk about the "proper and ethical treatment of animals," the improper and unethical treatment of animals was rampant. The issues are grave, involving neglect, abuse and violations of animal cruelty laws and AVMA policy. Animals' Angels is exploring several avenues by which we can respond most effectively. Tourism is Big Business in Shipshewana - Shipshewana's economic engine and the most important industry in the region. In our December 2009 Newsletter, AA noted the area's attraction to half a million tourists annually, "visitors seeking a bucolic step back into the 'good old days'....[and that] tourism industry would likely suffer if visitors discovered their gentle refuge is in fact rife with brutalities that continue at the Shipshewana auction."

Shipshewana offers antique malls, specialty shops, furniture making by one of the largest Amish communities in the country, a water park, hotels, and much more. Shipshewana draws visitors from a 150-mile radius, including Chicago.

Of special interest - the same people who own the Shipshewana auction, the Lambright brothers, also own the "largest flea market in the Midwest," a restaurant, a 154-room hotel, a conference center, an RV park and a $3/day, 500+ car parking lot
(www.tradingplaceamerica.com) It seems the Lambrights, and Shipshewana, risk a great deal in hosting an auction where the ethical and proper treatment of animals is NOT standard practice but is severely lacking. The Lambrights' auction income is likely a fraction of what they make from their other holdings, with the RV park and parking lots alone generating loads of cash - though mere adjuncts to the $35 to $70 per stall 1,000 stall-flea market income (!).

AA plans to meet with the auction owners about last month's investigation. It would help make the meeting more productive if Shipshewana merchants and officials have heard from you, the concerned public. We feel that any of the following message content, conveyed with complete courtesy, would be effective in helping to gain the cooperation of auction owners:
I and my family have come to enjoy our many visits to Shipshewana (if this is something you can say) for business and for pleasure. Mayfest and the Fall Crafters Fair coming up next month are especially fun. We have had concerns about the treatment of animals at the auctions but we were relieved when we read that after one incident, Keith Lambright, an owner of Shipshewana Auction Inc. had all his people trained to handle animals humanely and said publicly he supports the proper and ethical treatment of animals. But, even though Mr. Lambright said the auction, "will not tolerate the mistreatment of any animal that enters the facility," bad things are still happening to animals at the Shipshewana Auction:

In August a horse with an apparent broken leg entered the facility. Accepted at the auction and instead of being properly euthanized on the spot, this mare was severely mistreated. She arrived laying in the bottom of a trailer.Extremely stressed and suffering, she was put into a pen and she laid out flat on the ground. Later they forced her to rise again and moved her from pen to pen. Then Mr. Lambright himself assisted in loading her into a trailer that took her away.

Downer cows were not given care or even water- water was not provided in any of the pens at either the livestock or the horse auction! A bull with an apparent broken leg was at the auction-Failure to provide care, including water and food, is neglect and illegal in Indiana (Indiana Code 35-46-3-7) Also, employees used a stun gun repeatedly on downer cows to get them loaded onto a truck going to the slaughter plant- we worry what this says about the safety of our food supply, as well as the humane treatment of animals.

Under the circumstances, with the way animals are treated at the Shipshewana Horse & Livestock Auction, we no longer wish to make Shipshewana a
destination, nor can we recommend that our friends do. Other places with offerings similar to Shipshewana, but without the animal cruelty issues are much more attractive.
We are contacting you hoping that the local community will do whatever is necessary to make things right so that we are able to return to your otherwise family-friendly community.

Contact Information

Northeast Indiana Fund (economic development)
Mark Becker, Executive Director

Shipshewana Town Manager
Mike Purophone: 260-768-4743

Shipshewana Retail Merchants Association Phone/Fax (260) 768-7589 director@shipshewana.com

Indiana Office of Tourism Development
phone: 1-800-677-9800fax: 317-233-6887

LaGrange County Economic DevelopmentKeith Gillenwaterphone: 260-499-4994 kgillenwater@lagrangecountyedc.com
LaGrange County Convention & Visitors Bureau Beth Thornburg: Executive Directorbeth@LaGrangeCountyCVB.org

JoDee Hooley: Group Marketing jodee@LaGrangeCountyCVB.org
(800) 254-8090 Shipshewana Fall Crafters Fair
UPCOMING Oct 7-9phone 260/768-4008

Please contact some or all of the above organizations. By raising their concerns, you will help animals receive humane treatment. Forwarding to friends and family, especially to anyone living within a 150 mile radius of Shipshewana, Indiana, will add a firm boost to these efforts.
As always, thank you for helping us be there with the animals !

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

United Organizations of the Horse Illegally Posing as a 501 C 3 Charitable Institution

Sue Wallis article number 2 by Nell Walton

The United Horseman's Front is listed at as a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit charitable corporation under category "Animal related / (Animal Protection and Welfare (includes Humane Societies and SPCAs))" established in 2009. Dave Duquette, owner of Duquette Quarter Horses in Hermiston, OR, is the president. The United Horsemen's Front was registered as a nonprofit corporation in Oregon in November of 2008.

The US Internal Revenue Service defines a 501(c)(3) charitable organization as follows:
To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates....The organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests, and no part of a section 501(c)(3) organization's net earnings may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. ...

However, despite exhaustive research, there apparently has been no reported or recorded evidence that the United Horsemen's Front has participated in any equine rescues or rehabilitations to date.

During the course of the research, the activities of the group were in fact found to be exceedingly puzzling, especially when reviewed in light of the above mission statement.
In July 2009, during an interview with Michelle Brence of the Oregonian, Duquette said:
"... he (Duquette) used to average $300,000 in annual horse sales, with most fetching $10,000 to $15,000. "Now I'm lucky to sell two or three horses a year," he said. "A horse I could get $20,000 out of in the last few years, I probably couldn't get $5,000 out of now."

Ms. Brence also reported that:

"...the Duquettes and others have formed advocacy groups to push a proposal they're calling the H.O.R.S.E. Act of 2009 (short for Humane and Optimal Restoration and Sustainability of Equines) to reinstate USDA inspections. Horse meat could be exported to China, Mexico, France, Italy and other countries where it's consumed by people. ... But Dave Duquette, who lobbied for the proposal in Washington, D.C., last month, remains confident. "Everybody we talked to was very supportive of it," he said. "There are a lot of Republicans that will be on board, but there are a lot of Democrats that will be on board, too."

Absolutely no indication or discussion of how the United Horsemen's Front is fulfilling its nonprofit mission of animal protection, humane treatment and welfare.

It seems that much of the energy of both the United Horsemen's Front, and the United Organizations of the Horse is far more focused on other issues. In many press releases the United Horsemen's Front and the UOH make the following statement:

"The UOH seeks to unify all like-minded equine associations and individuals in support of its mission-to promote the humane care and management of horses, and the continued viability of the equine community in the United States of America."

As no clear definition is given of who and what exactly makes up "like-minded equine associations and individuals," one must attempt to make deductions as to who these groups and individuals might be from some of Mr. Duquette's (and Rep. Sue Wallis') public statements.
For example, in an exchange on the United Horsemen's Front Facebook fan page

(http://www.facebook.com/pages/United-Horsemens-Front/261616654545> who is on what side of which isle???? If you believe the dribble and rediculous rants of RT Fitch then maybe this page is not for you. There has been much posted and written about Sue(Wallis) and I that is simply A.R. bull that has no factual meaning. Instead of attacking this group maybe do the research on who these scammers are. Makes me wonder who your protecting, there is an obvious scam going on and doing the see no evil thing makes you look more suspicious than maybe you think. If you believe in climate change then great, Sue (Wallis) or anyone else that doesn't should not be chastized by you or RT. I believe it's a natural occurring change and Al Gore made alot of money SCAMMING the public."

(R.T. Fitch is a blogger at http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=omaglqdab&et=1103686005163&s=152&e=001vB_Jp7o2suWujbUMXozLaspboaryxkPtx0x8-odPSmOLys84eV7do8wZB8gBRK9CeWNaKZLEWoSl2eQAPUaorjXypDmhaYfuySmqiQ3rEqCgUbLDZElMew== who has been extremely critical of Mr. Duquette and Rep. Wallis. The A.R. abbreviation stands for animal rights.)
Mr. Duquette also spends much of his energies repeatedly criticizing Wayne Pacelle, CEO and President of the Human Society of the United States (HSUS), which seems odd, given Duquette himself is the president of a group dedicated to animal protection and welfare. However, the United Horsemen's Front and the UOH have their own particular interpretation of what the HSUS and other animal welfare groups' true mission is:

"The animal rights radical agenda (NOT to be confused with legitimate and responsible animal welfare proponents, which we all are) offers no solution except pushing for what is essentially a welfare entitlement program for animals-Medicaid and food stamps for horses so that every old, dangerous, unsound, unusable horse is maintained at public expense for the rest of their 25 to 30 year average life span. What they propose will create a mechanism to shovel taxpayer dollars directly into the pockets of animal rights organizations (HSUS/PETA) so they can continue to pay six figure salaries and put more of their budget into pension plans than to actually help any animals. Last year HSUS spent less than 1/2 of 1% of their almost $100 Million dollar budget on direct animal care http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=omaglqdab&et=1103686005163&s=152&e=001vB_Jp7o2suVZ_rnx5v-45-S_SHDrexeMhx5TK7ZWZ4X58HlTMyRoN_p-LE1lOag6Sshwulxlat3DulvW6aqYFa2NkfaOMSfLDLG0QjXtjpAXjDz7OebAqQ== ..." (from a UOH press release in April)
No sources are given as to how one can apply for Medicaid and food stamps for horses (unfortunately). And, the accusation in regards to the HSUS budget expenditures cannot be verified on any charity research website (Charity Navigator, Guidestar), nor the website listed in the press release.

So, in light of these statements, one can only gather that "like-minded equine associations and individuals" consist of those that do not challenge Mr. Duquette's or Rep. Wallis' "facts", plans or behavior in any fashion whatsoever.

Rep. Wallis is up for re-election on November 11, (after winning the Republican primary in her district by only 177 votes).

It is beyond disturbing that on August 30, of this year, Mr. Duquette, president of a 501(c)(3) charitable organization specifically forbidden under Federal law in participating in any campaign activity for or against political candidates, was listed by the Wyoming Elections Commission as the Chairman of the United Organizations of the Horse Political Action Fund


Rep. Wallis is, of course, the Executive Director of the UOH.

This series will conclude with a final article on the questionable relationship the UOH has with horse slaughter buyers and a recap and review of the facts.

More information:




Tuesday, September 14, 2010

United Organizations of the Horse - Not for the HORSE At All

"We will probably work up to the point where we're killing 20 horses a day."
September 13, 2010By Nell Walton

Who is Sue Wallis and Why Should I Care?

The statement in the headline was made to a reporter from the Wyoming Tribune Eagle in late April of this year, by Wyoming State Representative Sue Wallis of Recluse, WY.

On March 9, Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal signed into law a bill that enables the Wyoming Livestock Board to send stray, unwanted or feral horses to slaughter. Prior to this legislation, the Board could only send such horses to public sale. This bill (http://legisweb.state.wy.us/2010/Enroll/HB0122.pdf), was introduced into the Wyoming House on February 11, 2010 by Rep. Sue Wallis, and was signed into law less than 30 days later.
Upon review, many parts of the bill are quite troublesome (even aside from the fact that horse slaughter is an extremely controversial issue in the US). In the section in regards to the due diligence required for a Board inspector to determine ownership of an "estray" horse, the horse "cannot be held for more than 10 days" before being sent to slaughter. Under this language, an inspector could make the decision in 1 hour that the horse was a stray or feral and make the arrangements to have the horse sent to the slaughter facility. Additionally, it states that "the board shall provide meat from estrays disposed of by slaughter....to Wyoming state institutions or to nonprofit organizations......" meaning among other things prisons, schools and state run health facilities.

Even more troublesome is the fact that Rep. Wallis is also the Executive Director of the United Organizations of the Horse (UOH), which is diligently working towards the development of a horse slaughter plant in Wyoming. The UOH website states that it is a "mutual benefit nonprofit organized primarily to work in the political arena and is registered in Wyoming" (i.e. a lobbying group). The Wyoming Secretary of State's records show that the UOH was incorporated in November of 2009. According to a press release on April 24, 2010, the UOH is also negotiating to take over ownership of the Cheyenne Stockyards facility which currently belongs to the Wyoming Livestock Board. Plans are to turn it into an "intake and rejuvenation" facility for stray, feral or otherwise unwanted horses, where they can be evaluated for usefulness, health, and other criteria (i.e. adherence to federal regulation in regards to slaughter). If a horse fails this triage, it will be sent to the UOH slaughter facility.

So, we have the following scenario:

Rep. Wallis is a Wyoming elected state representative

Rep. Wallis is also the executive director of a lobbying group, whose purpose is to promote horse slaughter in the State of Wyoming

Rep. Wallis was also the sponsor of a Wyoming HB 122, which enables the Wyoming

Livestock Board to send stray or feral horses to slaughter

Rep. Wallis' bill HB 122 was brought to session and signed into law in less than 30 days time, with little to no time for public comment, according to the recordU

Under Wyoming legislative ethics law (W.S. 9-13-106), very clear distinctions are made as to conflicts of interest for state legislators, and, states that any legislator "...shall not make an official decision...if the has a personal or private interest in the matter...." So how was it that Rep. Wallis was allowed to sponsor and lobby to get a bill passed within the Wyoming House in about 3 weeks, when there was such a clear conflict of interest?

Also, under "Organizational Structure," on the UOH's web page it lists two other affiliated corporations: 1) The United Horsemen's Front, which categorizes itself as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational charitable organization and 2) Unified Equine LLC - "a Wyoming limited liability company under which all humane horse processing and related businesses are operated."
However, Unified Equine, LLC does not stand up to scrutiny. The Wyoming Secretary of State currently does not have a Unified Equine, LLC listed as either an active or inactive corporation in the State of Wyoming, and it would be of interest to see if such an organization has or will have Rep. Wallis as a paid employee. The United Horseman's Front is listed at www.guidestar.org as a nonprofit corporation under category "Animal related / (Animal Protection and Welfare (includes Humane Societies and SPCAs))" as a 501(c)(3) charitable group established in 2009. It's President is Dave Duquette, owner of Duquette Quarter Horses in Hermiston, OR.

......... Mr. Duquette and his organization will be further addressed in tomorrow's edition.

More information:



Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bad Economy Bad Times For NW Pa. Cats

GERRY WEISS, Erie Times-News ERIE, Pa. (AP) ¯ There is reverence in this room.For the difficult task performed. For each cat or dog, treated with calming compassion until the very end.

The euthanasia room, tucked away inside the Humane Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania, has little in it. The walls are bare and painted light purple. An examination table is placed near the middle.

A staff member, wearing long rubber gloves, removes the animal from one of the clinic's cages and carries it into this room.Another worker often apologizes to the cat or dog, and then injects it with a dose of Sodium pentathol.

The animal is dead within three or four seconds.But on Thursday at the Humane Society, one animal was followed by another, and another, and another.

Officials said 20 cats were euthanized that day, 15 of which were healthy and at the shelter for less than two weeks.

Euthanasia, predominantly of cats, is soaring at area animal shelters — a crisis, officials say, brought on by a drop in adoptions and a sharp rise in drop-offs of stray and abandoned cats that local clinics are calling an epidemic.

For more, please click on this link:


Please spay and neuter your cats..

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Real Fix for Retired Racehorses

The Real Fix For Racehorses - It should start on the front end...before racing begins. This is an excellent article written by a central PA riding instructor for the Pennsylvania Equestrian.
The Real Fix for Retired Racehorses

by Bob Wood, Special to Pennsylvania Equestrian - August 2010

“Racehorse Retirees Face Happier Futures” was a recent headline in the Pennsylvania Equestrian. The report of 200 racehorses saved yearly by this recent effort is a positive rescue direction. The sad truth is that the vast number of raced Thoroughbreds have no future. As great as 200 saved a year sounds, it's a drop in the bucket of abandoned Thoroughbred racehorses. Furthermore, this kind of positive news often takes the focus off the true scale of the problem.

Having retrained many TB racehorses over many years, I feel the rescue/adoption solution has never and will never address the vast number of horses raced and discarded. The practical answer to this problem is to deal with the challenge of a second career before their racing days begin, not afterward. The focus must be on the underlying first causes of their unadoptability, because there will never be enough rescue stalls to provide more than a token post-career solution. We therefore must increase their adoptability to the average person wanting to own a horse by making them easier to retrain after racing.

An inventory of the racehorse skills set reveals a horse that knows how to run fast, turn left, and stop within a half mile or so. They scare the average potential horse owner to death. Their fundamental lack of early basic training makes them unusable as riding horses later in their lives. They do not know how to stand still when mounted, they are unfamiliar with the full weight of a rider in the saddle, or the feel of a rider's leg against their barrel. Most are, as a result, ticklish when they are first mounted with a riding saddle, if you can mount them at all in any conventional sense. They end up in a second career job market with no real marketable skills, and often with the additional handicap of a minor injury, a mental scar like cribbing or weaving, or manners that few average riders can endure. All this could be made easier after race retirement, if time were taken at the beginning of their training to build the foundation of a second career skill set when they are most open to learning.

Please click here to read the rest of this article:

Monday, August 2, 2010

Will the US Congress Fund the Export of Poisoned Horse Meat?

NCSL passes resolution to lobby for reinstatement of funding for USDA horse inspections

The following press release was issued in response to the resolution passed by NCSL. A copy of the release from Sue Wallis is posted below this release.

July 31, 2010



Vicki Tobin

Valerie James-Patton

Lobby Group Will Urge Congress to Fund Export of Tainted Horse Meat

CHICAGO, (EWA) - The National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) has passed a resolution calling for the reinstatement of USDA inspectors for horse meat.

The NCSL is a non-governmental lobbyist organization which serves the nation's 50 states legislators to advocate and lobby for the interests of states before Congress and federal agencies. The resolutions NCSL passes are not binding and merely allow them to lobby on behalf of the states.

Representative Sue Wallis (WY) who is vice chair of the NCSL's Agriculture and Energy Committee, went on record asking that she be allowed to slaughter horses to feed Wyoming children, the poor and prison inmates without having the meat federally inspected for consumer safety. The Wyoming livestock board responded quickly by stating in no uncertain terms that "horse slaughter is not an option."

The Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA) strongly opposes the misuse of tax payer dollars to fund inspections for an industry that is not needed or wanted by the overwhelming majority of Americans.

US horses are not raised as food animals and as such, receive numerous substances on a routine basis that are prohibited for use in food animals. Our country does not track horses and has no mechanism to remove horses from the food chain that have received prohibited substances.

Horse owners were vehemently opposed last year at an attempt to implement NAIS, a national tracking system. Considering that less than two percent of the horse population ends up on slaughter trucks and represents only three cents on every $100 earned by the horse industry, the cost of implementing a national tracking system to accommodate an insignificant percentage of horses makes absolutely no fiscal sense.

In the NCSL release, as with most pro horse slaughter communications, there is no mention of the known drug issue in American horses. "It is a travesty that legislators would even consider reinstating inspections knowing that there is no way to guarantee consumer food safety" said EWA's Valerie James-Patton.

A recent survey of horse owners by the publication, The Horse, revealed that 96% of horse owners give their horses at least one of the banned substances on a regular basis. A peer reviewed scientific study by Drs. Marini, Dodman and Blondeau that was published in the scientific journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology, revealed 100% of the slaughtered Thoroughbreds traced in the study had received the carcinogen phenylbutazone. It should be noted that these tainted horses were shipped to the European Union for human consumption while the USDA was supposedly inspecting the horse meat. Another study in CA of Thoroughbreds revealed a 99% usage.

"Instead of wasting valuable legislator's time on this nonsense," commented EWA's Vicki Tobin, "a better use of time and donations by these pro horse slaughter groups would be to address why excess horses continue to be produced every year and start working on solutions. Continuing to slaughter the victims of irresponsible breeders and owners, is only going to perpetuate the problem, not correct it."


Equine Welfare Alliance is a dues free, umbrella organization with over 120 member organizations. The organization focuses its efforts on the welfare of all equines and the preservation of wild equids.



NCSL Release
July 31, 2010

Sue Wallis
307 680 8515 cell
307 685 8248 ranch

National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) adopts new policy resolution calling for USDA inspection of horse meat.

The policy resolution was passed at the annual Legislative Summit held in Louisville, Kentucky on July 25-28, 2010. The policy was first reviewed and passed by the Agriculture and Energy Committee, and then passed at the Business Meeting of the 45 states in attendance. Policies which receive a super majority vote of more than 3/4 of the states attending give NCSL staff in Washington, D.C. the authority to lobby Congress on behalf of the position of the states.
USDA ante-and post mortem inspections are mandatory if an animal is to be sold as meat, and the animal must be slaughtered in a USDA-inspected facility. Federal appropriations law contains a prohibition on allowing federal dollars to be spent on salaries for inspectors who inspect horses before or after slaughter, making it impossible for operations that want to process horse meat within their borders to market this meat. Inspectors also cannot respond to a voluntary, fee-based inspection request to inspect horse meat. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) believes that these provisions unduly restrict states' action regarding horse slaughtering facilities within their borders. Therefore, NCSL calls upon Congress to remove these restrictions in existing law, and not insert similar provisions in subsequent appropriations bills or other legislative vehicles.

The closing of horse slaughter facilities in America has decimated the equine industry, and has curtailed the ability of states and tribes to control the numbers of excess and abandoned horses on their lands. Documented reports indicate an increase of 400% in the number of starved, abandoned, and neglected horses between 2008 and 2009 alone. This has resulted in unprecedented state budget increases and taxpayer costs at a time when states cannot afford unnecessary expense. It has severely impacted the livestock industry as a whole, and by eliminating the salvage value of horses has significantly reduced the market value of all horses. The loss of markets for horse meat for pet food, for the maintenance of zoo animals, and for byproducts has greatly impacted these sectors. The loss of horse products for export has eliminated more than $42 million dollars of direct income for an already struggling sector of the livestock industry, not to mention millions of dollars in indirect costs because of the loss of value of individual animals. Given the current state of the horse processing industry, it is particularly important that the federal government not restrict access to inspection.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Dairy Cows Abused Routinely - And Unnecessarily

Animals Angels has done another investigation – this time into the fate of dairy cows. I have to say the article really hit home with me. Every week at New Holland Livestock Auction you can see dairy cows on their way to the slaughterhouse. The very painful part of seeing them is that they are carrying huge, milk laden udders and no one offers them a bit of relief. They obviously suffer horribly on their way to slaughter. Isn’t there a better – a humane – way?


(From the above line)

A few personal words

I remember quite clearly my first encounter with a so called "spent" Dairy Cow. I looked twice to see, was she really a cow? She was bony, and yet an absurdly huge udder mounded up from where she lay. It was July 2006 and she was panting heavily, unsheltered in the hot 98 degree sun in a far corner of the auction property.

She looked like nothing was left of her yet she was alive, her eyes expressive. Her bones poked up from her skin like tent poles. She was foaming from the mouth, her knees were bleeding, and milk dripped from her enormous udder.

She suffered quietly, like all "Dairy" Cows do. The auction workers joked about her appearance and referred to her as "Cheeseburger." One worker said to me, "These are all going to -----," naming a national fast food chain. I gave her water. Later that night, she was relentlessly shocked with an electric prod to make her rise and struggle horribly to get to the sale ring where she sold for $50.

Hours later, as sick as she was, she was loaded onto a double deck truck to be, I am sure now, injured further as she was shipped for immediate slaughter. It is exactly 4 years later. She was not unique but the first of hundreds to be encountered at auctions nationwide. But she was the first and in my mind she stands out unforgettably.

Since July 2006 Animals' Angels has worked to alleviate the suffering of "Dairy" Cows. We can achieve much better treatment and conditions for all of these animals. Much of the investigating, documenting, filing of complaints, first & second rounds of meetings, is already done or in full swing. We have the ability, a good body of work and certainly the will. The time to dedicate a High Priority Campaign to "Dairy" Cows is now.

This month's newsletter focuses on the "Dairy" Cow, her life as it is and how we can bring about the widespread and enduring change needed to make right conditions for these animals.

Yours truly,

Sonja Meadows

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Refuting The Crazy Arguments Supporting Horse Slaughter

Sue Wallis and her ill-advised group the United Organizations of the Horse (UOH) are again spreading their manure across the public press trying to make us believe that they are doing horses a real favor by slaughtering them. Here is a recent press release where Sue offers talking points to her horse slaughter supporters. My italicized words here refute the craziness she is spreading. I own horses. I volunteer at a rescue and have for three years. I fail to see how sending our companion animals to slaughter can ever be construed as a “good solution.” This is a purely profit driven group, with no sense of ethics or humanity. Please read on…note the words that are not italicized come directly from the UOH’s cited press release found here:


Yet another blast from the press. No matter where you live you are probably seeing this kind of thing every day. We are seeing a real upsurge right now in Wyoming because of our press releases about the Unified Equine Programs, but if you live in Missouri, or Tennesse, or Montana, or anywhere else where horse people are trying to find a good solution...you are no doubt seeing far too much. The press loves a controversy, and we are an easy, dramatic story. We need every one of you to stand up, speak out, and counter these attacks.

Seeking a “good solution?” For whom, the horse or the irresponsible owners/breeders?

We cannot let this (or any public expression of misinformation, outright lies, and exaggerations) go unanswered. We must speak with many voices. I have become too much of an easy target, and while I'm happy to share talking points, etc., it will be much better and more effective if it comes from other voices. We really need mainstream agriculture and horse people who understand to tell your story. You all understand that if we lose this battle over the hearts and minds of the pet owning public, that our entire animal agriculture and horse based livelihoods are lost.

Horse based livelihoods are generally based on live horses, not dead ones. And as a “mainstream horse person”, I don’t want there to be any chance my horse ends up in a slaughterhouse. There is nothing humane about slaughter. The horses are terrified. They smell the blood and as they wait their turn to be slaughtered they hear other horses being killed screaming. The slaughterhouses are not designed to properly restrain a horse’s head. They are designed for cattle. With their long and agile necks and their instinct to avoid the killer, they dodge the captive bolt hammer being swung at their heads. It often takes repeated blows to stun the horses and then they are frequently cut apart alive. It’s heinous beyond words.

Humane euthanasia is a fatal injection kindly administered by a veterinarian. The horse dies peacefully and painlessly. The owner can attend the death and have peace with their choice. Euthanasia and body removal costs on average the same as one month’s care does for a horse. If you can’t afford that you couldn’t afford the horse in the first place.

Sue Wallis and her cronies at the United Organizations of the Horse often claim to love their horses and often say they personally wouldn’t have their horses slaughtered. Isn’t that speaking out of both sides as your mouth?

And anyway, since when does anyone deserve “salvage value” on a companion animal? I own two horses and two cats. I couldn’t sleep at night if I even contemplated sending one of them to slaughter so I could get $200 bucks in meat money and save the $300 it would cost me to have them humanely euthanized.

If you want to drive change, you have to get out of the back of the truck. That is what we are trying to do. Animal rights organizations like HSUS/PETA create problems, inflame problems, and make money off of problems...we solve problems, and create value out of good solutions.

The key sentence there is “create value out of good solutions.” How is slaughter a good solution for the horse? Slaughter rewards irresponsible breeders – it allows them to breed and breed, and those horses that aren’t up to snuff (be it thoroughbreds, paints, quarter horses, etc) can be “culled” and sent off to slaughter. Not only do they get rid of the inferior horses they’ve deliberately chosen to put on the ground, they can get a few bucks for their refuse. Slaughter also rewards horse thieves, and even in this day and age they still exist. It terrifies me that my horses could be stolen and sold for slaughter. The thief pulls up, loads horses out of a field and bingo, he’s just made a couple of hundred bucks on my beloved companions. Check out
www.netposse.com . Sadly, it happens every day. And it can happen so fast…But the UOH wants to create “value” out of someone’s refuse or the theft of someone’s companion animals…

Here are some points:

1. We, the horse owners and people who make all or part of our living with horses, are the people who care. We are the people who clean the stalls, pay the feed bills every day, are responsible for the care of our animals, and make the hard decisions when necessary.

I am a horse owner, and I assure you I care very much! I pay the bills to have the stalls cleaned, the horses fed, the vet and farrier visits and believe me, when the hard decision needs to be made my vet and I will be there and I will not be looking for salvage value. As a horse owner making the hard decision, I will grieve their loss but I will never send them to a cruel fate so that I can make a few meat dollars. Never. They’ll leave this earth painlessly and knowing they were loved and very much valued.

2. There are fates far, far worse than slaughter. A quick, painless death in a slaughter plant is far preferable to a slow and agonizing death of starvation. Nature is cruel. Death in the wild is often brutal, prolonged, and horrific. Imagine being eaten while still alive as is the fate of many horses turned out to fend for themselves.

We’ve been over the slaughter plant death, and quick and painless it is not. Check out this website:
http://www.animals-angels.com/index.php?pageID=563. Animal Angels has done repeated investigations into horse slaughter houses and humane it is not. Additionally, turning out horses to fend for themselves is abandonment and it is against the law. Anyone abandoning any animal should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Once again, UOH is advocating for the criminals. Sue wants to help ‘em out and pay them for the animals they would abandon and neglect. Why would we reward criminal behavior? Isn’t that creating value out of crime?

As far as the wild horses go, which Sue now elects to term “feral” horses (and compares to pigs!), nature will run its course as it does with all species. Horses are prey animals to mountain lions, bears, wolves, coyotes, and worst of all, humans. Wild horses age and on occasion fall sick or get seriously injured…the predators do their job and thin the herds and make use of the body. It may seem cruel, but this is the way of the animal world. How is it better to remove the wild horses from their land and send them off to the slaughterhouse? I guess it’s better in the UOH world, because one again we are creating value. How sad that America’s wild horses have become a target for the profiteering horse slaughterer’s dressed in sheep’s clothing. I think it could be reasonably argued that removing wild horses from the wild is taking the food out of the predator’s mouths. Isn’t Sue real concerned about the “hungry?”

3. Without the option of slaughter, and using the meat to feed hungry animals or hungry people, those who can no longer afford to keep a horse, and cannot sell it, have literally no option...you can't bury a 1,000 lb horse in the back yard like a cat or a dog.

Slaughter is still very much an option. It may not be happening here in the US, but go to any horse auction and you’ll see meat men buying up the cheap horses to fill their trucks to Mexico and Canada. The meat does not go to hungry animals or hungry people and Sue knows that good and damn well. Horsemeat is sold in Europe and Asia for anywhere from $20 to $40 a pound. I don’t know too many hungry folks who can afford that. The reality is that horse meat is viewed as a delicacy, but even the elite European diners are becoming enlightened and appalled about horse meat and demand is falling.

Since the cost of a month’s care costs the same as a humane euthanasia, if you couldn’t afford to kill it humanely, you couldn’t afford to feed it, and you never should have had the animal in the first place, or else you made really bad decisions and didn’t have it humanely euthanized when your funds to feed it were apparently drying up!

4. Some Americans always have and always will eat horse meat. It is what filled the bellies of our soldiers who won World War II, and kept the families here at home fed throughout the 1940s when there was a shortage of all other meat. You could find it on the menu at the dining room at Harvard until the late 1980s, you can still find horse sausage in Scandinavian butcher shops in the upper mid-West. We have been contacted by gourmet chefs, and local food aficionados who want access to a high quality meat, that is very nutritious (50% higher in protein, 40% lower in fat than beef), from well cared for animals that have no disease concerns like mad cow. You can find horse meat on the menus of our closest neighbors in French Canada, and Mexico, and many people have taken the opportunity to enjoy it while traveling abroad. 72% of world cultures consider it just another protein source. China consumes the most, followed by Mexico, then Italy, Belgium, France, all the Scandinavian countries, Russia, Japan, Korea, Tonga, Mongolia, Canada-and since the U.S. is full of people from the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Africa, there are quite a few people who would welcome the availability of a good wholesome meat at an affordable price. While considered a gourmet dish in some parts of Europe where the best cuts are expensive, in by far the majority of markets around the world, with Iceland being a perfect example, horse meat is affordable and about half the price of beef.

I’m skeptical about cheap horse meat Sue…perhaps because of all the crap you’ve already distributed? And do you realize how long ago the 1940s were? But let’s discuss horse meat for just a few moments, at any price. American horses are medicated regularly. They are given Bute (horse aspirin, essentially), dewormer, and a host of other drugs and vaccinations. Bute is a well know carcinogen and it, along with many other horse medications, is clearly labeled NOT for use in food source animals. Unless a horse has been raised solely for meat purposes, the vast percentage of them have been administered drugs that are highly toxic to humans. This is one of the reasons the European Union is now becoming very concerned about the horse meat entering their food system. Read more here:


Sue may term horse meat “nutritious” but I call it toxic poison.

5. All animals, including horses, take nature that we cannot use and turn it into nature that we can use. Try drinking the water that a pig drinks, or surviving on the food that a cow or horse eats.

Not sure the point here…I’m trying, but I don’t see it…

6. It is our core belief that people have a right to use animals, and a responsibility to do so humanely. We subscribe to the same moral and ethical foundation as our Native American friends, that all animals are sacred and must be harvested with dignity and gratitude, but that the most horrific crime is to waste their sacrifice. Contrast that viewpoint with the total waste of at least 200,000 horse carcasses per year which, if euthanized with lethal drugs, become no more than a colossal disposal problem with toxic carcasses that cannot even be buried because of fear that it will leach into groundwater.

The UOH believes “people have the right to use animals.” I take exception to that, and don’t try to sugarcoat slaughter by calling it harvesting. We harvest crops, not horses. Call it what it is…slaughter. I believe all animals deserve to be treated humanely, including food source animals. Horse slaughter is not death with dignity and gratitude. As far as the comment about the total waste of 200,000 horse carcasses per year, it sounds to me like Sue is suggesting that none of us should be allowed to humanely euthanize our horses. That, is going to far!

7. One billion people on the planet today rarely get enough to eat, and another billion do not get enough protein and nutrients for health. Ten million children a year die of starvation. From a moral standpoint, can we afford to put any viable protein source off limits?

So toxic horse meat is a viable protein source? Perhaps Sue means a profitable protein source? Of course viable is defined as “capable of being done with means at hand and circumstances as they are.” And that’s exactly what slaughter does. It doesn’t consider the safety of the consumer. It’s killing them toxic as they are and shipping them off to those Europeans diners without a second thought. Out of sight, out of mind. Cha-ching!

8. The system being proposed in Wyoming will guarantee every horse a good life, and where appropriate, guarantee them a decent and humane death. Once dead, what happens to the carcass is no longer an issue of animal welfare.

Tell me again how this is decent and humane? Tell me again how that toxic carcass is no longer an issue?

9. Under the current situation, the only horses that have any value whatsoever are those that are big enough, healthy enough, and close enough to a border to be worth the trucking to Canada and Mexico where they are slaughtered under systems and circumstances we cannot control or regulate. We feel it is far better to do this under US regulation, and in situations where we can monitor it.

We’re back to creating value and ignoring humane behavior. Let’s reward those over breeding their horses. Let’s reward those stealing horses. Value and again, cha-ching!

10. The system being proposed in Wyoming is being designed by world renowned scientist, Dr. Temple Grandin, who has transformed the beef and pork slaughter industry from a humane standpoint. We will do it right, under regulated and inspected circumstances, and it will be continuously monitored by a third-party video audit system to ensure that no horse is abused and that all guidelines for the correct and proper handling of horses are always complied with. This will be an open and transparent process that anyone who chooses to do so, can see exactly what we are doing.

Yeah, I bet it will be an open and transparent system, Sue. That’s going to cost some serious money and you guys don’t want to spend it, you want to profit from the killing of horses. Have you done any research at all on the criminal element that comes to town with the slaughter house? Have you done any research at all on the environmental impact to the towns where horses have been slaughtered? Perhaps you should read what about the environmental hell visited on Kaufman, Texas by its former Mayor, Paula Bacon, found here:


And after reading that, you would do this to your state, your community?

11. Because of the closure of the US slaughter plants in the US in 2007 by state action in Illinois and Texas, the entire horse industry from top to bottom has been deeply affected. What was a 1.2 Billion dollar industry supporting 460,000 full-time direct jobs, and another 1.6 million indirect jobs has been cut in half. There has been a loss of a minimum of 500,000 direct and indirect jobs, and horses that were worth $1,000 are now worthless, horses once worth $2,500 are lucky to bring $750, horses that would have sold for $85,000 to $100,000 are now being liquidated for $10,000 each. These hard, cold facts all have a very human face in livelihoods lost, in families no longer able to raise their children in a horseback culture, in diminished tax bases for communities.

The poor economy, plain and simple, has driven the horse market down drastically just as it has affected most segments of the economy. This compounded by the fact that horses are actually a luxury – not in the least cheap to own and care for let me tell you – and luxuries are one of the first things people give up in a bad economy. Add the excess breeding by many of the industrialized Quarter horse and Paint horse farms and you end up with horses of no value. A clear mind can see this easily.

12. The animal rights radical agenda (NOT to be confused with legitimate and responsible animal welfare proponents, which we all are) offers no solution except pushing for what is essentially a welfare entitlement program for animals-Medicaid and food stamps for horses so that every old, dangerous, unsound, unusable horse is maintained at public expense for the rest of their 25 to 30 year average life span. What they propose will create a mechanism to shovel taxpayer dollars directly into the pockets of animal rights organizations (HSUS/PETA) so they can continue to pay six figure salaries and put more of their budget into pension plans than to actually help any animals. Last year HSUS spent less than 1/2 of 1% of their almost $100 Million dollar budget on direct animal care. See http://humanewatch.org.

I’ll offer a solution or two. Stop rewarding people for breeding out the wazoo. Stop rewarding thieves. I volunteer at a horse rescue weekly and see the types of horses going to slaughter. Both of my horses were rescued from slaughter and they are wonderful, sane, young horses. The USDA says that 92% of horses going to slaughter are just like my horses. So give up on the old argument about aged, unsound and dangerous horses. Let’s face it, the butchers and diners don’t want old meat. They want it young and healthy!

13. Remember, animal consumption is socially legitimate. Only 2% of the population are true vegetarians, another maybe 5% think they ought to be but don't manage to do it...that is only 7% of the population at most. If we allow the animal rights argument to prevail, than there really is no difference between the heinous and awful crime of killing a horse to use for animal food, (as will be the main use of horses harvested in Wyoming), or human food...and the heinous crime of killing a cow, a pig, or a chicken. The ultimate goal of animal rightists, which is a very, very radical and idealogic agenda, is to end all human use of animals and to eliminate all domestic animals which is to many of us a gross perversion of the moral and ethical underpinnings of our society, not to mention a dangerous, unhealthy, and unnatural way of being.

Okay, Sue, let’s follow your logic. If 7% of the population doesn’t feel good about eating meat, then how do you rationalize that even conservative estimates show that 80% of the American public is opposed to slaughtering horses? It’s very simply because we don’t view horses as food source animals. I am very much a meat eater. I consume meat daily. Beef, pork, chicken, fish – I eat it all. I don’t and never will eat a companion animal. Call me weird if you will, but I simply don’t eat pets. And obviously a majority of Americans feel the same way I do.

14. Those who oppose the eating of horses have never been hungry. Hungry people don't care where their meat comes from, they just want to survive.

They won’t survive long on horse meat…

15. Claims that horse meat is full of drugs that cannot be detected is nothing more than a red herring. The same kind of controls, safe guards, and testing protocols used to ensure that our beef, pork, and chicken is safe and residue free can be applied to horse meat...if it is produced and processed here in the U.S. where we have the ability to regulate and inspect it.

Oh Sue, you are so in denial. How can you sleep at night advocating to sell poisoned meat to unknowing consumers? You love horses…sure you do. You love the cha-ching, cha-ching! You say ” The same kind of controls, safe guards, and testing protocols used to ensure that our beef, pork, and chicken is safe and residue free can be applied to horse meat. It sounds very much like you are actually working to create an new industry in America – breeding horses for meat? I don’t think it’s going to work, because people like myself, the people who own and truly care about horses don’t want them to be food source animals. They are no different from our cats and dogs, but perhaps if you think really hard, you can figure out how to make a few bucks off all the shelter animals we euthanize each and every year. Put on your thinking cap, Sue. Many third world countries love to eat dog and cat. Seems like the path you are starting down with this drivel you are feeding to the American public.

The United Organizations of the Horse is a group of legislators and their cronies who believe they know better than the American public. It’s time for the real horse owners and true horse enthusiasts to stand up and say no more! Americans do not want companion animals slaughtered for human consumption! The UOH is a small number of Americans looking to exploit American horses. They do not know better than you and I. As a horse lover and owner, I very much resent these holier-than-thou know it alls who think they are better informed than I am and are trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the non-horse owning public.

Please contact your Representatives and Senators and ask them to co-sponsor and support the Senate Bill 727 and House Bill 503 which will end the killing of our American horses and their transport out of the country for the same. Horses are not food source animals!!!

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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