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The Horseburger Fight

Animals  (tags: cruelty, horses, horseslaughter )

- 4450 days ago -
They would rather see them slaughtered than saved


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Gwen H (66)
Monday April 9, 2007, 9:56 am
This is why we continue to fight horse slaughter because we know the truth!

Use of the captive bolt causes extreme pain. In a study conducted at Hanover University, EEG and ECG recordings were taken on all animals to measure the condition of the brain and heart during the course of slaughter and stunning. EEG readings showed that although the animals were apparently unconscious soon after stunning with the penetrating captive bolt, they were experiencing severe pain immediately after stunning.

Horses regain consciousness approximately 30 seconds after the captive bolt is applied. Due to the inherent differences in skull structures of bovines and equines, each species reacts to the captive bolt differently. The brain of an equine is further back in the skull compared to a bovine. The equines regain consciousness and are not insensible to pain shortly after they are shackled and hoisted. Therefore, they are very much aware of being butchered alive.

(Source: Dr. Lester Friedlander, DVM and former Chief USDA Inspector.)


Rebecca S (160)
Tuesday April 10, 2007, 6:55 am

Unless this is an excessively lengthy article, would you please post the text here? I don't care to register to the Chicago Tribune if I don't have to do so. Thanks!!!

Gwen H (66)
Tuesday April 10, 2007, 8:59 am



The horseburger fight

Published April 9, 2007

Pigs, cows and chickens are just pork, beef and poultry, and most Americans are OK with that. But a horse is a horse, of course, of course. We don't eat them; we don't let our dogs eat them; and if the Europeans want to eat them, it looks like they're going to have to eat their own.

"Horses are icons in American culture," says Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, which sued to shut down the U.S. butchers that supply horse meat to eager gourmands in places such as France and Belgium. "They took us into battle, provided us with transportation and even carried our mail. They shouldn't be sent to slaughter to be dismembered for overseas consumers."

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In their long battle to stop the slaughter of American horses, animal rights advocates have evoked images of Seabiscuit, Barbaro, My Friend Flicka and Mr. Ed. But DeKalb's Cavel International -- the country's last remaining horse meat plant -- was defeated by a far less emotional argument. The U.S. Department of Agriculture failed to follow bureaucratic procedures when setting up a fee-for-inspection program, a federal judge ruled. The plant was recently closed, perhaps for good.

Mounting public pressure has reduced the number of horses slaughtered in the U.S. from 300,000 in 1990 to about 100,000 last year. Horse lovers would rather see unwanted animals euthanized at home than shipped off in crowded trucks to be herded into a "kill box" and rendered senseless with a "penetrating captive bolt" to the skull. Euthanasia and disposal can cost hundreds of dollars, but sending an animal to slaughter generally nets the owner about $400.

The American Veterinary Medical Association has declined to support the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, saying the methods used by the plants provided a humane way to deal with aged horses that might otherwise be neglected or abandoned. The slaughterhouses argue that the bill would hold them to a different standard than the corresponding link in the hoof-to-hamburger chain. It's a fair point.

Congress tried the back-door approach in 2005, refusing to fund the salaries of the USDA veterinarians who inspect the facilities. But the slaughterhouses cut a deal with the USDA to pay for the inspections, and the butchers were back in business.

Horse lovers were outraged. Former Rep. John Sweeney (R-N.Y.) called the action "a direct defiance of congressional intent." To which we can only say, if Congress intended to ban the slaughter of horses, it should have banned the slaughter of horses outright. Attempts to pass such a bill continue to come up short. But there's more than one way to ... oops, bad metaphor.

We'll admit to some ambivalence on this. Suffice it to say, the U.S. slaughterhouses are probably history, bill or no bill. Chalk up a victory for the People Who Don't Eat Icons.

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