Bear Witness to the Facts

Recently, I’ve received emails saying that I should have been clearer about the non-relationship between abattoir closures in the US in 2007 and the phenomenon of horse abandonment.  (I don’t know about that.  I thought my Primers on Horse Slaughter on this blog and published on The Stablewoman Gazette clearly showed that there was no relationship.  But I tend to live in my head, so I may be wrong about how clear my writing was.)

So, according to the US government’s Government Accountability Office (GAO) report:  ”The total number of US horses sent to slaughter in 2006, the last full year of domestic slaughter [the last abattoir closed in late 2007, thus not giving a full year's numbers. my italics]…(gives) a total of 137,688 horses.  Taken together, the 137,984 US horses that were sent to slaughter in Canada or Mexico in 2010 is approximately equal to the total number of horses slaughtered in 2006.”  GAO Report

Again, look at the numbers:  (2006)  137, 688    (2010) 137,984   A difference of 296 equines. For 2011, go to the EWA site; they always update their stats.  Now the GAO is no friend to horses, which perhaps is as it should be.  It is an agency which, in this case, was mandated by the US government to study the distaff side of the US horse industry, so it must be objective and neutral on the subject under its scrutiny.  We can safely say, then, that its figures are accurate as far as numbers legally recorded by authoritative agencies can be–especially since, if you collate numbers gathered by non-governmental, industry-specific, and advocacy groups, the numbers are readily corroborated (at least on paper).

The report is flawed, however, in other respects, and I invite you to read the Position Paper co-authored by the EWA and the Animal Law Coalition (ALC) called:  An Analysis of the GAO Report on Horse Welfare:  Disturbing Omissions and Cover-up.  (visit the EWA site)

See…a difference of 296 equines.  As a horse advocate, I cry for one just as I do for ten, for tens of thousands.  They are all precious to us.  But in terms of keeping the record straight and arguing from a strong position, the numerical difference is clearly insignificant.  Most importantly, it refutes the pro-slaughter argument that the closing of US abattoirs increased horse abandonment.  It didn’t; there is no such relationship.  People have always abandoned their pets (illegal, to begin with); people have always overbred horses; and those specific pathologies are social phenomena unrelated to food slaughter.

 

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Said the Spider to the Fly (Revised for the Farmers)

C‘est plus fort que moi…I just can’t help myself.  It’s been a very busy day (thanks to so many of you who’ve been in touch, expressing your support and love of horses).  In the interim, I’ve been trying to read the report mentioned in Where’s There’s Smoke…(there’s usually fire) .  I must say the report is well-produced, very professional.  So far…so far, one argument in favour of horse slaughter caught my eye.  I was impressed. It was just the kind and quality of argument I would hope to make (to a different end, of course).  It nearly stumped me…nearly.  And you may not know what my favourite colour is, but you know this much about me:  I never met an argument I didn’t want to arm-wrestle with.  

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Where There’s Smoke …

Since the CHDC announced the temporary shut-down of La Petite Nation slaughterhouse, their blog has been afire.  Now some time ago, I had heard what I thought were rumours about “drug-free” horse farms in Western Canada; in one case, I knew it wasn’t a rumour because the info came from an excellent source (“where there’s smoke…there is fire).  But, with all the other research I was doing, I didn’t delve in to the matter the way I should have.  I’ve got a lot of questions about such a practice,

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Wild for Life Fact Sheet

This is an excellent fact sheet produced by Wild for Life Foundation Equine Protection Program, Katia Louise, filmmaker, Saving Our Nation’s Horses and the Animal Law Coalition, Laura Allen.  Facts that Refute the 7 Most Common Myths about Horse Slaughter.  It’s already made the internet and social media rounds but I thought I’d post it here for good measure.http://savingamericashorses.blogspot.com/2012/02/facts-that-refute-7-most-common-myths.html

 

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Don’t Take My Word for It: Numbers Don’t Lie

As I’ve said again and again:  don’t take my word for it.  Do the research yourself.  So many Quebeckers are vehemently against horse slaughter but they haven’t got the time to do the research.  So here are a few facts (and, all of these have already been listed under my Primers on Horse Slaughter right here on my blog.  If the link doesn’t work, go to My Categories under Primers for Horse Slaughter).

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When Reporters get it Wrong…

Boy, they really get it wrong!  Jacques Laramee, NH horseman and horse advocate, nearly ate his steering wheel yesterday while he listened to a Radio-Canada talk show yesterday called, “Bien dans son assiette” with interviewer, Claude Brunet.  Jacques put his social media into high gear, and Radio-Canada got an earful of comments.  You have to wonder what Brunet was thinking when his only guest was a kill-buyer.  Maybe Brunet had to fill the time slot in a hurry; maybe he did do some research but the cat peed all over it, so it was illegible; maybe he was on work-to-rule so decided doing research would be too time-consuming.  I’m just say’n….

You’d think with all the brouhaha over the Huffington Post bringing to Quebec its tag cloud of bloggers that real journalists would sit up, straighten their ties, and be even more fastidious in their work than usual.  Apparently, Mr. Brunet missed that memo.  The long and short of it is that (call me crazy) a kill-buyer is not the best source of information on the subject of horse meat as a safe food source for human consumption.  After all, horsemeat is his, um, bread-and-butter, his livelihood.  It’s like inviting a white slaver or a cocaine dealer to talk about the safety and economical value of their stock-in-trade.  Hey, maybe the show was meant to parody the horsemeat industry, you know, like Jonathan Swift’s essay on solving the problem of the Irish starving in the 1700s by suggesting they eat their babies…maybe Brunet was having a bad hair day…maybe…. Hell, this one’s a real head-scratcher.

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