The Legacy Racing Forum

Hosted by MaryLOhio

Horse racing news, horse rescue, animal welfare

  • 12157
  • 2499211
  • 85




Started 1/24/09 by KarenND1; 10 views.
In reply toRe: msg 17

From: KarenND1


This is my letter to the editor of The Forum (Fargo's newspaper) published today.

link to letter and comments


House Bill 1496 proposes a $100,000 study to determine the feasibility of a horse slaughterhouse and rendering facility. Slaughterhouses kill horses, while rendering plants boil down and make feed meal and other products out of slaughterhouse and restaurant scraps, dead farm animals, road kill and euthanized animals.

Bill proponents argue that slaughter is needed to control abuse and neglect of aging horses and to stem the tide of “hundreds” of unwanted horses into the wild. If hundreds of horses were being released in North Dakota or abandoned at sale barns, the media would be all over the story.

Witness the recent story about the herd of bison that broke out of their pasture. In most cases, research has found that reports of abandoned horses around the country are simply untrue. When the last slaughterhouse in the United States closed, there was no rise in abuse or neglect of horses.

Slaughter will never solve those problems. Saying slaughter is better than abuse and neglect – that may be so for the small number of horses that are neglected, but not so for the large number of American horses that are slaughtered, roughly 120,000 per year.

Proponents also argue that the horse market has collapsed due to the end of slaughter in America. The end of slaughter may have affected the market somewhat, but the current recession in America directly affected the horse market far more. The market will necessarily correct itself and will create a disincentive to the overbreeding habits enabled by horse slaughter.

Horse slaughter is a business driven by the foreign demand for horse meat for human consumption. Kill buyers don’t simply arrive at the slaughterhouse with horses that “needed to be disposed.” They deliver the contracted number of horses they are asked to deliver. Kill buyers may outbid private buyers and horse rescues at auction in order to obtain the type of horses they want to send to slaughter – young, healthy, in good flesh. They will not simply buy up the cheapest, oldest, sickest horses as proponents would have you believe.

Horse slaughter enables unlimited and irresponsible breeding. If a horse has imperfect conformation, is the wrong color, or has rank behavior due to no handling or training – then proponents can slaughter the animal and try again.

The solution for old or sick horses is no different than the solution for an aging or sick pet – humane euthanization by a veterinarian. Typically the cost to euthanize is no more than the equivalent of a couple of months of keep for a horse. As much as proponents would like to paint it as such, horse slaughter is not a humane end.

Even when slaughter existed in America, horses were routinely trucked long distances without food or water, packed in trailers. Horses arrived at the slaughterhouses injured from fighting or already dead. The captive bolt used to stun the horse was developed for use in cattle and is not as effective on the skull of the horse, causing some horses to be strung up to be bled out and carved up while still conscious.

If you keep a horse, you are responsible for its humane care. It is also part of responsible horse ownership to plan financially for a horse’s final care. To do less, and further, to profit from the horse’s inhumane demise, is unacceptable.

I would suggest the following uses for the $100,000: For those concerned about aging horses and the poor economy, fund euthanasia assistance programs. That could be done without the state’s help, too – by taxing breeders to discourage overbreeding or by taxing horse registrations. The state could also subsidize auctions to dispose of horses receiving zero bids by using humane euthanasia, or the state could promote horse rescue facilities.

It is time for the people to say no to horse slaughter – not in North Dakota, not ever.

  • Edited 2/8/2009 2:22 pm ET by KarenND1
In reply toRe: msg 18

From: KarenND1


Here's the competing letter also published today. The author was one of the people who testified at the ag committee hearing. He apparently owns a training stable.

Get real about cull horses

By: Greg Brokaw , Ashley, N.D

On Jan. 28, The Forum delivered an editorial titled “Horse kill bill isn’t necessary.” But the Forum was wrong in its conclusions. A little research would have revealed that the Texas plant was closed by court action and a new state ban closed down the Illinois facility. Why did the editorial insinuate that the plant closures were due to a lack of profit?

As this debate rages, it has been a popular tactic to insinuate that breeders are raising horses for the express purpose of sending them to a slaughter plant. This is impossible. During the 1980s, more than 300,000 horses were processed annually, and by 2006 the number had declined to 105,000. Not enough proof? Let’s look at what it costs taxpayers to feed a horse:

Taxpayers are feeding 38,000 horses from Bureau of Land Management rangeland in feedlots at a cost of nearly $17.5 million per year, or $456 per year per horse. These numbers represent feed costs. They do not include salaries, maintenance expenses and other costs.

A search of prices paid for cull horses will reveal that the feed cost alone would make raising horses for slaughter a losing business proposition. You should also know that you, the taxpayer, have at least 33,000 more horses on BLM rangeland.

The BLM will allow many of these horses to be adopted by unsuspecting amateurs. The new owners of a majority of these horses realize their mistake and soon look to get rid of them. Some found their way to slaughter, but today many are starving, being dumped on federal, tribal and private rangeland.

In the end, real solutions need to be offered for real problems. It is not enough to discount an idea because it is offensive to some. These same people would probably be offended by a beef or chicken facility but are more than happy to enjoy a steak or a plate of crispy chicken. Moreover, most people would be offended by the manner in which many horses that should be culled actually meet their ultimate demise – malnourishment, inadequate care and an inhumane death from the barrel of a gun (if they’re lucky).

On a positive note, The Forum did get one thing right and are to be commended for stating that reality can be harsh. I tip my hat to them for comprehending the fact that we do not live in Disney World and the problem will not be solved with magic fairy dust.


In reply toRe: msg 19

From: KarenND1


Yet another published letter from Zac Cyrus, Tolna, ND

In response to Jeff Larson’s letter “Horse slaughter proposal is wrong” in the Jan. 28 Forum: I believe there is no reason why some horses shouldn’t be slaughtered.

Just because some horses may have names does not mean anything. Some ranchers could give their cows names, but would that save them? I also do not understand why horses should deserve better treatment than any other animal. It is true that every animal serves a purpose, but every animal’s life also comes to an end sometime. Why not utilize the horse’s body to feed the hungry people in this world?

Where would a horse sanctuary be? What would happen when the sanctuary fills up? The slaughtering of old, crippled, useless horses keeps the number down so we don’t have to worry about overpopulation of horses. If everyone kept every horse and never sold them to be slaughtered, we would be short on hay, which would also cause cattle populations to go down.

Not all horses serve their owners. There are stubborn horses out there that won’t listen to anyone. I agree, a young, healthy horse should not be slaughtered, but no one wants a horse you can’t do anything with. Who would want to pay for feeding a horse and not gain anything from it? Not to mention housing the horse until it passes away.

The sanctuary idea might not be good for animal lovers, but think about it. The horses that would go there are already almost dead or have some kind of disability. What is the use in saving them? I believe we should have a system set up to only slaughter the useless and old horses


From: KarenND1



UPDATES: ND packing plant: Help with funding EVERYONE VIEW


I just got a call from Rod’s (Froelich – bill sponsor) brother.  He is helping with this proposal.  He is going to be emailing me information later on tonight or tomorrow that I can post on here for you all to read.  He said that one thing they are considering is processing the meat in ND, then sending it to Canada for Canada to then export overseas (since US cannot do so).  He also informed me that a large amount of the meat that is being processed in Canada is being shipped BACK into US to zoos and other wild animal parks to feed the wild animals.  Apparently horsemeat is a BIG part of the diet for these animals (affordability, a smaller amount is needed to the required nutrients of the wild animals vs beef or other animal meat...). 



Good Morning, I'm pasting in an email that I received this morning.  Anyone who can, please type up a letter of support and email it to Rod so that he can show the ND legislature that there is already lots of support from areas other than ND!  I'm heading out for the day (got some appointments and such), but i'll be back this evening and will check in....

Here it is: 


Here is Rod's email up at the state legislature. The hearing for this bill is set for February 5th it is refered to HB1496.

Haven't had a chance to visit with him tonight, however if you want to post his address and have people from around the country send in letters of support that would be great. My thoughts are if we can show support from outside of North Dakota our state legislature would be more inclined to look into this.

On another note; if we could show these people that through a grass roots effort that money can be raised to start a plant it would go along ways.

There is a small beef plant closed down in central North Dakota. This plant could be a good starting point.

Feel free to post this info where needed.

Our ranches web page is

I'll stay in touch


Kelly Froelich


Karen's note

I checked out the bill sponsor's website, Froelich Quarter Horses - in 2008 they had their 38th annual production sale at which they listed for sale 84 "units" or horses. 39 of them were studs. Froelich's website has a link showing how colored coats are determined. it also states "...many of you have joined us in ranch roping and have seen firsthand the dedication our horses give each task. Whether it is pulling calves to the branding iron or taking an evening pleasure ride, Froelich horses are continually proving their versatility. These are the exact reasons we continue the tradition our father, John J. Froelich, began when he bought his first Quarter Horse in 1948." So sad that once those horses are done with roping and cutting and branding and showing and being the apple's of their owners' eyes their only rewar...[Message truncated]
View Full Message

From: really920


Thanks Karen.  For everything.
Msg 23 of 65 to GuestGuest 
In reply toRe: msg 21

From: KarenND1



The Bismarck Tribune published your letter today. Thank you very much!

They also published mine, and another anti-slaughter piece by a mini-horse rescuer from Mandan, ND.



From: Guest


Good!! Someone called soon after I sent the email to Bismark Tribune.

I think Thursday the 5th. She said she would send me a paper.!!

Now I wish I had made it longer!!

I just figured, well at least someone at the paper would read it!!


In reply toRe: msg 24

From: csantovena


I emailed all the Representatives in North Dakota about the slaughter house opening and this is what horse slaughter supporter Representative David C. Monson responded to me. All of you are welcome to circulate and share what he wrote.


What do you think happens to an old horse that is at the end of its life and is in pain with arthritis? Does a magic chariot come down from heaven and carry it away? No, it dies a slow and painful death or is euthanized by a vet. If euthanized, what then? Take it to a landfill? Incinerate it to go up as smoke? Why not make it into something useful? Pet food for some dog or cat that is equally loved by some owner is needed at reasonable prices. Dogs and cats eat meat. They were made to eat meat, not corn or grain. Get reasonable. Furthermore, these horses are not all loved pets, either. Some are feral horses left on the prairie to multiply with no natural enemies like wolves, cougars, or bears to kill and eat them. They are left to starve to death and die a slow and awful death. Slaughtering a horse is much more humane than the alternatives. Once the horse is given a quick blow to the head, the rest is over. It is not like crows and vultures picking the eyes out of a dying struggling horse that lingers for hours or days in pain. Please get real!



From: Guest


Such a typical response from the pro-slaughter people.

Bottomline, this guy needs to be voted out of office.

In reply toRe: msg 25

From: OutofShadow


Hey Guess what I just found out about Rep. Monson. He wants to make hemp legal and grow it. Can you believe that. And he is a high school principal. What are those people up their thinking?