Pro Slaughter Movement?

From the Desk of Anne St. Michael

“We believe horses are the backbone of American pioneers and in building our industries “

Until ten days ago I’d never heard this term. Jumping into the thick of investigations conducted by Animals’ Angels, Inc., watching videos, seeing photographs, exploring their website, made me want to keep learning. I dug deeper to expand my consideration and to understand more by reading government documents, visiting and reading report after report. I learned about laws I didn’t even know existed and most disturbing of all is the fact that until 2009 I never dreamed horses were being mistreated … not like this and never for food!  Since I have been visiting the social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter, I have been learning a whole lot more from the new Facebook friends I have connected with. This whole new world of “Horses Bound For Slaughter” made me understand that it was time to put on my boxing gloves. Even though I could not look at the envelopes coming to my home (passing them off to be read by my husband), I did sign every petition, and mailed them off thinking (very naively I must add) that the law was passed and the bad stuff had just stopped. Gone away. When I’m wrong … I say I’m wrong.

Not only have I read and recently began writing about this subject, I have absorbed the depth of this struggle. It is overwhelming! Were it not for the dedication of the team of Animals’ Angels getting involved, taking risks, and standing up for the rights of these horses facing the unthinkable, I would have never been here lending my support. In early August, Animals Angels went to the Midwest and conducted a very important investigation into newly identified kill buyers. Their report details the largest horse sale at Kalona Horse Auction, giving us a behind-the-scenes look at the barnyards and the condition of the horses. They filmed disturbing footage of terrified horses passing through an electronic hydraulic gate that each horse must pass through to enter the loud auction ring. They tell about a worker striking the horses with a stick. Plus, earlier that morning, our investigators were almost killed or injured in the parking lot, but miraculously got out of harms way!

I read a good portion of USDA/APHIS report by the title of: “The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Administration of the Slaughter Horse Transport Program”, and I found this information: 

** I learned that just in the horse show world, it is indeed dangerous (investigators get bullied, threatened and even receive death threats) to the few APHIS investigators making rounds, at only 6% of the 462 shows. (they only have enough funding, less than $500,000.00 yearly, to enforce The Horse Protection Act) When they do attend shows, the environment is sometimes so hostile they take guards and sometimes police as escorts. (see pages 5 & 6)

The point I am making is this: If horse shows are sometimes hostile and dangerous, then how much more might they be at an auction where horses bound for slaughter are being sold at an astonishing rate to kill buyers? 

“These spirited animals are companions to us – We owe them a debt of gratitude”

Animals’ Angels conducts ongoing investigations on behalf of horses that have no voice. They observe the conditions, note the violations and track offenders, because frankly, there aren’t enough USDA/APHIS investigators to do the work. The budget for this effort is way too low, and what little rights the horses have are being abused and laws are being broken.

Read all about how these facts are brought to light in the Animals’ Angels September Newsletter. Consider clicking the Donate Button and returning here often for more updates. We appreciate your support because it is all about getting laws passed and Animals’ Angels being there with the horses. Animals’ Angels has no government funding, so it is up to you and me to support this work on behalf of our horses.


23 thoughts on “Pro Slaughter Movement?

  1. These are the people in the trenches that really see what is going on. I didn’t know horse slaughter was going on until ten years ago. It’s dangerous for folks running rescues to go to auctions looking for horses to buy to try to save as many as they can. They don’t dare wear a tee shirt with the name of the rescue on it or they could get jumped or the owner of the auction could tell them to leave. A lot of the larger auctions also have special sales after hours just for the killer buyers. No one else is allowed to bid. The two anti-slaughter bills H.R.2966 and S.1176 will never be passed like the ones before it were blocked by crooked politicians mostly in the senate that are paid off under the table and are given large amounts of money by the lobbyists representing the racing industry, cattle industry and numerous other pro-slaughter organizations. It provides a outlet for the over breeders to sell their culls, while next year they have anew crop of foals so they can pick out a few to keep and send the rest to the slaughter auction.

    • Barbara,

      What a thoughtful response and one I was glad to read. You backup precisely what I believe is happening and is evidenced in all of the data I have been reading over the past two weeks. It surely must be the topic we keep uppermost in our minds, so we will talk openly about this and encourage our family, friends and neighbors to also show their concern and support.

      Thank you for stopping by. You are always welcome and I am most appreciative of your enthusiastic support on these issues. Brava!

    • Horse slaughter is proposed to the public as a way to kill the old, crippled, starved horses of this country. Cows, sheep, and goats are bred and raised specifically for slaughter. Horses are not. As an USDA meat Inspector myself, I know there are laws and regulations for the humane treatment of slaughter animals. Cows that cannot stand are condemned. Sick and severly injured animals are condemned. The conception that the old, crippled and ill horses are going to slaughter is very misleading…intentionally misleading. The young and healthy are the most desirable. I personally do not ever want to have to inspect horses being slaughtered. I will refuse. The humanity of the process can be insured by regulation but it is only as good as the Inspector enforcment of the regs, and we have some inspectors who just don’t give a d*** about the treatment. The industry that wishes to slaughter horses and sell horsemeat are misleading the public and are only concerned for the money they will make. The crippled horse that cannot stand will be condemned. The industry is not going to want these cripple and diseased animals. They wil want healthy, young, fat horses. Horse slaughter was never outlawed in America. It just had such a public outcry that it put them out of business, and USDA quit supplying Inspectors. The laws are still on the books. IF USDA fund Inspection again, it will start again. We need a very large public outcry!!! Yes, there are unwanted horses…educate the breeders..slow the breeding, reduce the numbers, and work toward eradicating over-population.

      • Oh Kay,

        I thank you for your frankness, your candor and your articulation on this sad subject. That you admit there are USDA inspectors who do not give a damn about the proper treatment of the animals/horses has got to be true, because not everyone loves the work they do day in and day out. Fat healthy horses are where the profits are and unless big business is redirected toward making their money another way, I believe in Washington, DC, and State Capitols, some representatives will be getting their pockets lined and will continue to shuffle papers in Senate Committee and Bill S.1176 will take years to get passed. This is a real tragedy.

        It all boils down to making money and while everyone wants money, there has got to be a ethical way for them to do this, put people back to work, but in another industry.

        Education is a must. A public outcry is a must. Breeders must slow down and the wealthy need to stop promoting this trade. Spoilt behavior is no longer acceptable and it’s time for us all to stand up and put our foot down … preferably all at the same time so they’ll hear us and know we mean business!

  2. My heart has been wrapped around this subject for several years now. I have written numerous times to my state legislators and have received nothing but ignorant “canned” responses which indicate there is little concern. Barbara is right on! I do believe there is too much corruption on so many levels.

    • Elizabeth, thank you for your time in sharing your thoughts with us. I’m nodding my head in agreement and believe this is happening on so many levels. The lobbyists are hard at work and the Pro Slaughter Movement is en force and seems unrelenting.

      I wrote to (my) State Senator Barbara Mikulski, and to my delight she responded via email, within a few days. Here is what she said:

      Dear Mrs. ….

      Thank you for contacting me about your concerns over horse slaughter. It’s good to hear from you.

      I absolutely agree with you that we need stronger laws to protect horses. That is why I am proud to be a co-sponsor of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011 (S. 1176). This bill would impose fines and criminal penalties against anyone involved in transporting live horses or horse meat abroad for human consumption. This legislation is especially important to stop the transport of horses for slaughter to Canada and Mexico.

      S. 1176 is currently pending in the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Knowing of your support for this bill was helpful to me.

      Again, thanks for writing. Please let me know if I can ever be of assistance to you in the future.


      Barbara A. Mikulski
      United States Senator

      Pending means it is sitting there being shuffled about. We need to change this and fast. Just my opinion.

  3. No matter when it is your awareness of the innate cruelty of horse slaughter comes into view, your choice to commit yourself to reporting the inherent cruelty of the industry is laudable. The myriad ways that we are fighting horse slaughter, the myriad groups who choose their particular path are all learning daily (or should be) of yet more concomitant atrocities within the horse slaughter industry. Animals’ Angels work has been far more effective than the general public knows, as the organization is goal, not publicity oriented.

    • Thank you Pennell. It makes me shudder and worry for those investigators, but I applaud them, and whereas I wouldn’t go into the field, I am quite willing and able to commit my heart to doing research, promoting, writing and lending my voice to this noble cause. I am in awe of what Animals’ Angels does and know this course is where I am supposed to be just at this juncture of my life. I considered myself blessed. Animals’ Angels has opened my eyes!

    • EponaSpirit,

      I am saddened by the depth of pain and suffering of these innocent horses that I read about in this excellent article. I am thankful for your (links) direction, as I am absorbing as much of this subject, as quickly as possible. Being forearmed is being armed. Information is what we need from all sources in order for us to make a huge change for our intelligent and genuinely beautiful horses. This is top notch!

  4. I worry about the investigators. I know they try to be careful but this is a ruthless bunch they are dealing with. I wanted to go to Dennis Chavez’s feedlot alone, on my way to Albuquerque but was advised by Brandi not to esp alone when there was not a sale in progress. These people live off of death and really don’t want anyone interfering with their ugly, secretive businesses.
    Funny, everywhere I go today I am reading comments by fellow Griffiths. Look out we are taking over the world! I was saddened when I googled myself to find that I share the name Morgan Griffith with a very vocal pro-slaughter representative. UGH! I believe it is he who can’t see why the LTH mustangs don’t go to slaughter. Maybe I’m here to balance him out.

    • Thanks for your concern Morgan. Brandi is wise in her counseling about steering clear. It is vital we understand that by joining our voices and continually bombarding our state representatives and Senators about this, that we are displeased and urge they pass into law, Bill S.1176. Phone calls, emails, U.S. Mail, petitions. Perhaps a million woman march on Washington would get their attention? Just pick up your phone, donate to help Animals’ Angels fund these investigations and help get the movie (see my first post) Saving America’s Horses to the red carpet 2013 Academy Awards; this is where most of us can start. We must pray for change but also do something pro-active (as I mentioned) in our struggle to end horse slaughter.

  5. No horse should be slaughtered. I am glad that it seems more and more are becoming aware of this. More needs to be done. No horse should be shipped out of the country to be slaughtered. It’s not enough to ban horse slaughter here in the states. I hope no slaughter plants open. You really have to keep up with all that is going on. I think New Jersey banned horse slaughter, yet Bravo Meat packing is still in business as far as I know, and they slaughter horses. The horse is our friend. The horse helped us travel and build this county. We owe them respect and love. Too many are going off to slaughter..Young ones, foals ripped from their mothers and left defenseless as the mothers go off to slaughter..Well, you must know all this. It’s about time we treat animals with the respect they deserve. Thank you. 🙂

    • Maureen, It’s your passion that fuels Animals’ Angels into doing what they do. We truly feel these innocent horses are victims of the worst nightmare. What is worse was what I read about how this happens in Mexico slaughter plants, and I also found out two nights ago, that the Canadian government allows live horses to be shipped to 2nd and 3rd world countries to be slaughtered and they have absolutely no rules about how it is done. These proud animals are not safeguarded even with the small laws in place. Animals’ Angels needs the support of everyone, no matter how much we can donate in order to keep telling the world what is really going on! Thank you for your heartfelt concern.

      • Thank you for doing all that you do. I am spreading the word and sharing this and letting more people know about Animals Angels. These proud horses do not deserve to suffer and it is true they are not slaughtered in a humane way. There is no reason for this. These animals have helped us and we should return that help with love and respect. There need to be laws not only against horse slaughter but also against shipping them to other countries that do slaughter. Bless you

      • Maureen, This is what we hope to achieve by broaching this subject in a way others will willing read about the issues. When we all spread the word and talk about these matters everyday, then there is the hope of making these changes in order to stop the suffering. Blessings for you!

  6. Bless all who help animals. 🙂 No animal should be slaughtered. They deserve a good life and a death with dignity. I think we show ourselves to be better humans if we show animals love and care. They feel emotions like we do. They will return our love with their love. Bless all who care for animals! Share with family, friends, and those in Congress. :):)

  7. To all who have posted on this topic, THANK YOU.
    It is true that these people who commit these crimes against animals are in a business that most find abhorent, but it is still a business. Animals Angels works to show the inhumane treatment of the animals in this business. These people will try to protect their livelihood, just as all of us would, but most of us would not fight so hard to be cruel to the animals that have taken care of us, and been friends with us.

  8. What we need to do is perhaps alert the media, get more media exposure and support documentarie and films [especially the one Animals Angels posted here on this site] that reveal the plight of the American horse. That really goes a long way to helping these sweet animals. Yes, don’t do doing any investigations yourself alone, that can be dangerous. Getting more media exposure brings more attention to this and the more people know that it’s so NOT the old and the sick but the young and healthy who are slaughtered the faster the slaughter will be shut down..hopefully…Right now we have a problem of horses being shipped outside the U.S. to be slaughtered. That is a huge problem now..

    • Hello Maureen. Thank you for reading and commenting. I agree that the media needs to treat this like hot cakes and we need to organize, educate and combine our efforts, by gaining the media attention and doing what Chris Christie of New Jersey and refuse to allow this in his State. By reposting some of these blog posts and linking back to this blog and to the Animals’ Angels website, donating to Animals’ Angels, and using social media to our best advantage, then we will speak in a louder voice and get this done. Please look for my next post and see what is being done in Texas. My upcoming interview with Neta tells of her vision of thundering Hooves and how it led to the Native Peoples coming together next month to raise awareness. Should be up tomorrow.

      • I look forward to the interview with Neta and what is being done in Texas and all news from Animals Angels. Thank you 🙂

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