Slaughter news

second_glance
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Sat Dec 28, 2013 7:12 pm

Catalina wrote:On a 5-day work week, that'd be over 30,000 horses. And upwards of $10 million.
Yeah. I think there's some smoke-blowing going on there. He also seems to say he has contracts he can't fill. But perhaps he's misquoted.
Catalina
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Sat Dec 28, 2013 9:19 pm

Maybe and maybe not. $350 per horse would likely be the gross they would get paid, minus presumably taxes and operating cost. And they probably would not have the kill line running 5 days a week, but less. I don't remember how that used to work back when Beltex and Cavel were around.

Gah... I do so NOT want this back.
second_glance
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Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:24 pm

I don't have any other info on this yet -- but saw a bulletin that the New Mexico Attorney General has obtained a Temporary Restraining Order against the plant planning to begin slaughter on Jan. 1.
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Ballerina
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Tue Dec 31, 2013 10:15 am

second_glance wrote:I don't have any other info on this yet -- but saw a bulletin that the New Mexico Attorney General has obtained a Temporary Restraining Order against the plant planning to begin slaughter on Jan. 1.
http://www.abqjournal.com/328789/news/h ... -hold.html
Catalina
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Tue Dec 31, 2013 1:22 pm

One thing that occurs to me (and has me wondering): Is De los Santos with his past history of violations elected to be the fall guy, to give the outfit in Missouri the opportunity to fly below the public radar and get approved?
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Ballerina
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Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:41 am

Message from John Holland/Equine Welfare Alliance

The Year in Review

Happy New Year to one and all!

Dear Friends and EWA Members,
I am constantly reminded of the Chinese curse "May you live in interesting times!" That certainly describes the past year.

As we enter a New Year, a time which should be one of peace and reflection, we find ourselves in a maelstrom of alarm calls over the imminent opening of the horse slaughter plants. But things are seldom as they seem, and virtually never as the AP reports them. So allow me to give my perspective.

The stories invariably quote Attorney A. Blair Dunn as saying the houses are about to open. First it was to be before Christmas, and this week it is January 1st, or January 15th or some other date.

The fact is, that the main reporter on these stories is usually AP's Geri Clausing, the very same reporter who insisted on sighting the GAO report long after we had shown her evidence that it was fraudulent. She also repeated claims last summer that the plants would be opening within a week. So remember what Mark Twain said, "If you don't read the newspapers, you are uninformed. If you do read them, then you are misinformed."

I cannot assign a motive to the fact that Geri appears to print anything Dunn says without the least bit of fact checking, but she does. For example, when repeating his promise to open before Christmas, she should at very least have asked him how he planned to do this when he will not have a waste water discharge permit until at least February at best. There may be an answer, but the question needed to be asked.

Likewise, another local reporter repeated de los Santos' claim to have a contract to supply horse meat to a Belgium country when Sanco (the EU food safety agency) has repeatedly confirmed that meat produced in the US and inspected by the USDA would not be eligible for importation into the EU because the USDA does not have an EU approved program for inspection.

So, what is really going on?

I can only speculate at the answer to that question, but here is my opinion. I believe that Dunn realizes that their dream slaughter plant is fading, and he is focusing instead on establishing damages the proposed operation has suffered as a result of the delays caused by litigation. Remember, FRER/HSUS had to post a bond to continue their injunction that kept the plant closed. Dunn wants that bond money, and to get it he will have to prove damages.

Why do I believe that is the game afoot? In a recent article, de los Santos laid out the number of employees he was hiring, the contracts he had, and most tellingly of all his profit margin ($350/horse). I have been the CEO of one company and served on the board of another, and this kind of forward looking information is highly sensitive in the corporate world. A privately held company would never disclose such information without a good reason.

Knowing this kind of thing would allow one's customers to know exactly how much they could squeeze the company in pricing negotiations, and it would allow competitors to understand the company's weaknesses and vulnerability. It would also tell competitors where to send their own sales forces.

Yesterday there was an article quoting Dunn as saying that the New Mexico Attorney General's suit would be a waste of tax payer money because they would have to pay the company over $400,000 a month in damages.

So all of this is, in my opinion, an attempt to hype supposed damages and recoup some of their investment from the opposing groups. Of course, I must admit that I also recall the maxim "Never attribute to deviousness that which is adequately explained by stupidity." With Dunn and de los Santos, that is certainly a possibility.

Most recently, an aide has claimed that a "special committee" (presumably a subcommittee of the agricultural budget conference committee) was planning to take the defunding language out of the Agriculture budget. Since this happened to us in 2011, it sounded completely in keeping with the way things have gone in the past.

However, this time, the Agriculture Appropriations committees in the House and Senate have both passed budgets with the defunding language, and both passed by a super majority.

Conference committees have taken almost unlimited powers in the past. For example it was a conference committee that inserted the Burns "Three Strikes" language into the Interior Budget, and another one that brought us the "Monsanto Protection Act", neither of which existed before the budgets went to conference.

This is all very confusing since we are now dealing with an Omnibus budget which replaces all of the individual agency budgets. I can't claim to know how everything will work as far as reconciliation, but I am assured that we are OK this time.

One way or the other, I believe we are near the end of horse slaughter. There are big things in the wings for the New Year and we have never had such powerful and determined allies in high places. So, without taking anything for granted, we at the EWA are already planning for the challenges in a post slaughter country.

I want to close by saying that it has been a great pleasure working with all of you. Your selfless dedication to the plight of our blessed equines has continued to be my personal inspiration.

Happy New Year,
John Holland
Catalina
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Wed Jan 01, 2014 2:51 pm

That sounds hopeful at least, but let me mention in passing, that EU rules would apply only to Belgium, but not to Russia or China.
second_glance
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Fri Jan 03, 2014 6:25 pm

Judge today extended the TRO against the opening of the New Mexico plant. Story just breaking; don't know yet how long the extension runs.

http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S326 ... sc4X_RDvvp
second_glance
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Fri Jan 03, 2014 6:43 pm

second_glance wrote:Judge today extended the TRO against the opening of the New Mexico plant. Story just breaking; don't know yet how long the extension runs.

http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S326 ... sc4X_RDvvp
10-day extension.

http://lasvegas.cbslocal.com/2014/01/03 ... hter-case/
second_glance
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Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:22 pm

From their FB page:

Front Range Equine Rescue is pleased to announce that our efforts in Missouri have resulted in a win for the horses. Rains Natural Meats has withdrawn its case challenging the MO Dept. of Natural Resources' denial of their application for horse slaughter (they received a water permit which excluded horse slaughter). In response to Rains' action against the DNR, Front Range intervened in the case and, along with the DNR filed to dismiss Rains' case. On December 31, Rains filed to have its claims dismissed, effectively admitting defeat.

No horse slaughter in MO for now!
Catalina
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Sat Jan 04, 2014 3:25 pm

Thank God for that.
interco
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Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:12 am

Thank you to all of those who put pressure on MO politicians and RNM . Many went above and beyond attending meetings, sending e-mails, etc. including A. Busch.
second_glance
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Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:36 pm

Very germane to Ballerina's post on previous page of John Holland's thoughts about what's really going on in New Mexico:

Valley Meat Co. is suing the AG of NM for "slander, harassment and abuse of process":

http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S327 ... ssFK_RDvvo
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Ballerina
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Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:35 pm

second_glance wrote:Very germane to Ballerina's post on previous page of John Holland's thoughts about what's really going on in New Mexico:

Valley Meat Co. is suing the AG of NM for "slander, harassment and abuse of process":

http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S327 ... ssFK_RDvvo
According to Ari Biernoff of the New Mexico Attorney General's Office:

Today's hearing in the case of the New Mexico Attorney General's office vs Valley Meat has just concluded. The purpose of the hearing was to determine whether the TRO should be extended until the actual trial, which could be six or more months away. The outcome today was that the TRO is extended until Friday when the judge is expected to rule on whether it will continue on to trial.

Both parties are to submit their proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law by Wednesday. EWA and other equine organizations have provided and will continue to provide all possible assistance to the Attorney General's office. De los Santos did not testify, though Dunn called him. Dunn had not placed him on the witness list, and the AG's office objected to his being called. Dr. Blach, who testified at the discharge permit hearing, also did not testify.

All in all, we are cautiously optimistic.

John Holland
Equin Welfare Alliance
second_glance
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Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:34 pm

http://www.aspca.org/blog/breaking-news ... year-horse

The prohibition of inspectors for horse slaughter plants cleared both House and Senate. It's in the bill both houses will vote on. Not likely that an amendment on this issue would be brought up now.

"Advocates fought hard when the Agriculture Appropriations bill was being considered at committee level, winning votes in both the House and Senate that amended the bills to prohibit funding for horse slaughter inspections. And tonight, we finally know that this horse slaughter funding limitation is intact! Congress is not expected to make any changes to the bill text at this stage of the game, so the writing is on the wall for any efforts to open horse slaughter plants in the U.S. Both chambers are expected to pass the bill, and the president is expected to sign it into law, later this week."



http://www.aspca.org/blog/breaking-news ... year-horse
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Ballerina
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Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:46 pm

Was just getting ready to post the above. Terrific news. Now to get the Safe Act into law.

If you feel strongly about doing away with the slaughter of American horse in other countries (Canada, Mexico, and shipped overseas), please contact your reps in Washington urging them to support the Safe Act.
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Ballerina
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Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:53 am

More on this latest slaughter news -



http://www.equinewelfarealliance.org/up ... ughter.pdf

January 13, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts:

John Holland
540.268.5693
john@equinewelfarealliance.org

Vicki Tobin
630.961.9292
vicki@equinewelfarealliance.org

Omnibus Budget Will End Chances of Horse Slaughter Plants Opening in US


CHICAGO, (EWA) - The omnibus bill pending before Congress this week contains language that will end the possibility of proposed horse slaughter plants opening in New Mexico and Missouri. The last three plants were closed in 2007 under state laws, and Congress had defunded required inspections which made it impossible for them to open in other states until 2011.

In 2011, the GAO produced a report claiming that these closures had caused a dramatic increase in the rate of abuse and neglect. This report was used by members of a small conference subcommittee to justify stripping the defunding language that had been placed in the 2012 House Agriculture budget but not in the Senate version. The GAO report was later discovered by EWA to have been falsified.

The new defunding language contains not only defunding, but also a stipulation that funding not be restored until and unless the Food and Drug Administration makes a determination that meat from American horses can be made safe to enter the food supply. The FDA regulates which drugs are safe in meat animals as well as their withdrawal times. The FDA currently categorizes horses as companion (non-food) animals. Such a determination would most probably require a reduction in the drugs available to treat horses and an increase in the required tracking of such treatments as is currently done with meat animals.

Defunding language was passed by both the House and the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committees in 2013 with super majorities, but neither budget reached the floor for a full vote. Last week with key support from Vice President Biden and congressional leaders, the defunding language was put into the omnibus bill.

"Victoria McCullough was the one who made this happen." explains EWA President John Holland, "It was the fact that Victoria, an accomplished international equestrian and CEO of Chesapeake Petroleum, was spending her own fortune without regard for any personal gain that I believe gave her the credibility to accomplish this."

In a conversation with EWA, McCullough asked that her gratitude go out to the many friends of horses in government who helped her, including VP Biden, Frank Biden, State Senator Joseph Abruzzo, Sen. Tom Harkin (IA), Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz (FL), Rep. Tom Rooney (FL), Senator Mikulski (MD), Senator Mark Kirk (IL), Senator Dick Durbin (IL), Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Jessica Feingold-Lieberson and many others.

The success of this effort surprised many in Washington, since this budget has uncharacteristically little in the way of riders. Separate legislation will be needed to be passed to stop the export of US horses to Canada and Mexico for slaughter.
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Le Beau Bai
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Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:53 pm

Going to play devil's advocate here but surely if there was a specialized plant designed for horses within the US (so no shipping to another country) that would be beneficial in a way? We all know that there are too many horses being produced, so instead of letting them starve or languish in a field somewhere it would be more humane to send them to slaughter? At the end of the day is a proper, humane (which is obviously the key here, with it being done with someone who knows their job properly) death the worst thing in the world if they have no prospect of a home?

I'm only saying because at the moment within the UK & Ireland at the moment where there are literally so many horses starving to death and nobody to own them. We have 'equine approved' abattoirs here to help handle the issue and also some of our native breeds (eg: Dartmoor ponies) are used for lion food in zoos and you can buy a New Forest pony for less then £40 because they are only worth meat money.

The current estimate in Ireland is that there are approximately 20,000 unwanted horses there who have no market value http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/ ... -1.1654044

Of course the real issue is over-breeding, but in the short term, something needs to be done.

And there is an interesting article here from the British Horse Society http://horsetalk.co.nz/2014/01/14/keepi ... z2qOdBzIJh
With so many unwanted horses roaming Britain, horse lovers are inevitably tempted to try to take matters into their own hands. However, Lee advises horse owners to think twice before rushing to the “rescue” and suggests that a more pragmatic approach may be necessary.

“Let’s lose the view that good welfare always means keeping animals alive,” Hackett says.

“We can’t afford to think like this any longer. Finding a horse a new purpose or new home so we can avoid putting them down really is not always the best solution. “Humane euthanasia is far from the worst fate that can befall a horse. Just ask any one of The British Horse Society’s 200-plus welfare officers who are constantly on call to help horses suffering and in distress.”
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Catalina
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Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:10 pm

Le Beau Bai wrote:Going to play devil's advocate here but surely if there was a specialized plant designed for horses within the US (so no shipping to another country) that would be beneficial in a way? We all know that there are too many horses being produced, so instead of letting them starve or languish in a field somewhere it would be more humane to send them to slaughter? At the end of the day is a proper, humane (which is obviously the key here, with it being done with someone who knows their job properly) death the worst thing in the world if they have no prospect of a home?

I'm only saying because at the moment within the UK & Ireland at the moment where there are literally so many horses starving to death and nobody to own them. We have 'equine approved' abattoirs here to help handle the issue and also some of our native breeds (eg: Dartmoor ponies) are used for lion food in zoos and you can buy a New Forest pony for less then £40 because they are only worth meat money.

The current estimate in Ireland is that there are approximately 20,000 unwanted horses there who have no market value http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/ ... -1.1654044

Of course the real issue is over-breeding, but in the short term, something needs to be done.

And there is an interesting article here from the British Horse Society http://horsetalk.co.nz/2014/01/14/keepi ... z2qOdBzIJh
With so many unwanted horses roaming Britain, horse lovers are inevitably tempted to try to take matters into their own hands. However, Lee advises horse owners to think twice before rushing to the “rescue” and suggests that a more pragmatic approach may be necessary.

“Let’s lose the view that good welfare always means keeping animals alive,” Hackett says.

“We can’t afford to think like this any longer. Finding a horse a new purpose or new home so we can avoid putting them down really is not always the best solution. “Humane euthanasia is far from the worst fate that can befall a horse. Just ask any one of The British Horse Society’s 200-plus welfare officers who are constantly on call to help horses suffering and in distress.”
By the time you build a plant that does provide truly humane slaughter of horses, it would be cost-prohibitive and therefore not financially feasible, much less being of commercial interest. Even the current inhumane slaughter methods providing zoo meat did not generate enough profits to be of commercial interest, and that without any additional building/equipment expense.
second_glance
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Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:36 pm

As some feared, Senator Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) isintroducing an amendment to the omnibus spending bill (about to be taken up in the Senate; it has already passed the House) that would reinstate horse slaughter in the US. If the amendment fails, he says he will introduce a standalone bill.

http://kfor.com/2014/01/16/oklahoma-sen ... ts-in-u-s/
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