October 3, 2011

R.T. Fitch 

  OpEd by Vicki Tobin ~

  VP of Equine Welfare   Alliance


Slaughterhouse” Sue Wallis is a Stranger to the Truth

Sue Wallis recently released talking points for supporters to use with their legislators. Talking points should be concise but more importantly, accurate. Apparently, Sue Wallis did not get the memo on the latter. Not only are they inaccurate but she can’t keep her lies straight, particularly when it comes to numbers. It is not wise to disprove your own statements. She not only shoots herself in the foot but continues reloading and shooting over and over again.

Take special note that once again, the issue of food safety is completely ignored. Feel free to share this in your conversations with legislators! My apologies for a plain document in comparison to the slick PDF from Wallis. I thought content was more important than esthetics.

Today, more than 300,000 horses in America have no where to go, living out the last of their days to die painful death of starvation and thirst.

There are no statistics to substantiate this outrageous claim. And even if it were true, less than 115,000 horses are slaughtered each year so there would still be almost 200,000 horses that “have nowhere to go”. The foreign meat business only buys the number of horses needed to fill the demand, not the number of available horses. This point is worthless and a clear message that horse slaughter will not solve any problems that may exist. Slaughter is for food production and not the place to send horses “that have nowhere to go”.
Note to self Sue, don’t refute your own arguments in the same statement.

The Government Accounting Office (GAO) report of June 2011 indicates that any U.S. appropriation riders and bills that seek to eliminate humane horse processing in the U.S. offer ZERO solutions.

Horse slaughter hasn’t provided any solutions and is confirmed with your first talking point. So you now have two talking points that say nothing and offer nothing. The GAO report also recommended banning horse slaughter.

The GAO report reveals that a lack of horse processing in the U.S. has exacerbated the suffering, and increased abandonment, neglect, pain and misery for horses nation-wide.

Anyone that reads the GAO report will quickly discover that there is no data to prove the closure of the plants can be attributed to anything and what role the economy played since it tanked one year after the closures. The GAO even stated that.

Full Analysis: http://www.equinewelfarealliance.org/uploads/GAO_Response-final.pdf

Executive Summary: http://www.equinewelfarealliance.org/uploads/GAO_Exec_Summary-final.pdf

AVMA and AAEP both agree that gunshot or captive bolt are humane methods of euthanasia. Carcasses of horses euthanatized chemically can contaminate the environment, and pose a significant risk of poisoning of prey species.

Both veterinarian agencies recommend ending a horse’s life by humane euthanasia administered by a veterinarian and both describe euthanasia as a veterinary procedure. We have never heard of a veterinarian ever recommending horse slaughter to end a horse’s life probably because the medications they prescribe make the horses ineligible for slaughter. Approximately 800,000 horses die or are euthanized every year without the sky falling because of contamination. The point is unclear regarding prey species since just about every animal on its own scavenges for food. There have been no reported incidents of prey or non-prey animals that became ill from a buried horse. Furthermore, the carcass can be cremated, composted or rendered in addition to burial. Slaughter is not a disposal service, it is a foreign meat business.

Reestablishing horse processing in the U.S. would revive a $112 Billion industry.

What industry – the meat industry or the horse industry? In either case, this is a totally false statement. The horse industry is a $39B industry [direct and indirect] and the revenue in overseas sales from U.S. horses that went directly to the foreign owners was $65M [not billion]. If Wallis is referring to the horse industry, horse slaughter represents a mere 3 cents on every $100 earned. In addition, there is no mention of the increased costs to the taxpayers for litigation costs to force the plants to pay their fines, devalued property values to the surrounding areas, tremendous costs for wastewater issues caused by the plants and financial tax loss to the communities resulting from the lack of being able to attract new businesses and jobs.

Reestablishing horse processing in the U.S. would revive $1.9 Billion in tax revenue.

Tax revenue on what? It’s easy to throw around large numbers when you don’t say what they represent or the source of the information. It must have slipped her mind that the foreign owned plants paid next to nothing in taxes in the U.S. Dallas Crown, as an example, paid a total of $5 in 2004.

Reestablishing horse processing would boost all businesses related to the horse industry from feed companies, saddle makers, trailer manufacturers to hay growers, tack stores and more!

Dead horses don’t eat, Sue. Unless someone is planning on sending their horse to auction with new tack and a new saddle or buying a new trailer for the hauler, none of those businesses will make one penny from horse slaughter. They stand to increase revenue if a horse is alive.

Reestablishing horse processing will create more than a thousand jobs immediately in hard hit states and tribal economies.

More outlandish numbers. The three slaughter plants employed a total of 200 employees, of which approximately 85% were undocumented. All other infrastructure is still in place – auctions, haulers, feedlots and kill buyers. The same number of horses are being slaughtered as when the plants were open. The only job loss and tax revenue can only be related to the 30 or so jobs held by American citizens when the plants closed.

States such as Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, and Wyoming have taken active steps to encourage horse processing industries to enhance their struggling agriculture economies. Congress should not be standing in the way.

The waste of tax dollars for studies into opening plants as well as legislators time working the bills is all for naught since U.S. horses cannot meet food safety requirements of the consuming countries or the FDA. The amount of horses that might meet EU food safety laws would not sustain a plant financially. It would be bankrupt the day it opened its doors.

The National Conference of State Legislatures, Nat’l Assn of Counties, Nat’l Congress of American Indians and more than 230 equine and agriculture organizations across the nation have submitted strongly worded resolutions calling on Congress to restore horse processing.

The opposition to horse slaughter is holding steady at 75% or more. It is clear that the proponents of horse slaughter are a small minority but have the deep pockets of the meat industry behind them and have been monetarily successful in keep the legislation to ban horse slaughter from moving forward.

Members of HSUS, ASPCA, AWI are not involved with animal agriculture or animal husbandry, so…why are we listening to what they believe is “best” for horses?

Another outrageous statement. Sue Wallis does not have access to the membership data and doesn’t have a clue how many are horse owners or involved in the horse industry. Not only does the overwhelming majority of the horse industry oppose horse slaughter but more and more meat producers are finally realizing what supporting horse slaughter is doing to the reputation of the U.S. meat industry in regard to food safety.

People in the horse industry never had the opportunity to voice their commonsense, factual reasoning to keep horse processing in the U.S. before the 2007 ban instigated by HSUS.

Factual reasoning must begin with facts and Wallis has none. People in the horse industry spoke load and clear ensuring the funding was removed for horse inspections. Perhaps what she meant to say was that the voices of the industry and Americans were not heard when Harry Reid via Conrad Burns snuck the 3 strikes language into an appropriations bill on America’s wild horses and burros without the benefit of a hearing or notifying anyone.

HSUS created today’s dire circumstances for the 300,000-plus displaced horses across America, and yet they do nothing to help with their $150 million.

Actually, it is organizations like Wallis’ that have created the “dire circumstances” by not addressing over-breeding and responsible ownership. Horses slaughter is as much available today as when the plants were open so it is obvious that horse slaughter has already been proven not to work.

The ban on horse processing is an infringement on private property rights and has been found to be unconstitutional.

Wrong again, Sue. The constitutionality of banning horse slaughter has already been heard in federal courts. The laws prevailed proving your statement false. Owners are sending their horses to auctions to sell them. When horse slaughter finally ends, they will still have the right to sell their property. This is a tired, emotional, over-used argument with no basis.

The animal rights organizations use unscientific, emotional propaganda to manipulate Congress.

Au contraire. We have provided peer reviewed published papers, data from the USDA, studies comparing official state reports of neglect to official unemployment records and several papers with a thorough analysis of the issues with sources that can be verified. As evidenced in these talking points, you have provided no data, no sources, no analysis and numbers that you throw around that keep changing in each communication. Aren’t you using emotional propaganda by trying to scare people into believing they won’t be able to sell their horses or promising jobs that never existed nor will exist?

These so-called non-profits pay no taxes, create zero jobs, and offer no solutions, while doing everything they can to advance their anti-animal agriculture, vegan agenda.

Aren’t you a so-called non-profit? Are you paying tax? How do you rationalize being a 501(c)(3) and lobbying instead of doing charitable work? Aren’t you proposing an agenda that 75% of the country opposes? The organizations you are bashing not only offered solutions but have implemented them. Ignoring them doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

Click (HERE) to download Wallis Talking Points

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