Some wonder what the slaughter pipeline for horses is.
It’s no exaggeration to say that Arizona is a true horse state. We have a proud history of promoting responsible horse breeding and a thriving equestrian sports community.
Arizona is also home to equine therapy programs for our disabled community, veterans, and survivors of other forms of trauma. The people of Arizona love and revere our horses and understand the central role these magnificent creatures played in the history and culture of our nation, but also our beloved state.
Unfortunately, there is a dark side to the Arizona equine world. Too many horses are victims of theft, fraud, and brutality at the hands of “kill buyers,” predatory individuals who make their profit off the suffering of horses who have been discarded, abandoned, abused, or who simply find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. These unscrupulous profiteers are known to deceive unsuspecting horse owners into believing they will find their animal a good home, when in fact their motives are purely monetary and have nothing whatsoever to do with the welfare of the animals.
There are more than several livestock auctions throughout Arizona, some of which are in the business of buying and selling horses for slaughter. The kill buyers, who get their orders from foreign meat companies, lurk at these facilities and will lie, cheat, and steal to fill those orders.
Kill buyers typically will not bid on the horses that are sick, extremely underweight.They are looking for the ones in good weight, the broodmares, mares that are pregnant or have babies by their sides, stallions, draft horses, even the ponies in good weight .
Kill buyers can not transport sick , underweight or horses with extreme physical issues simply because they are at risk .
Sick horses run the chance of the horses contaminating the rest of the herd.
Horses that are extremely underweight don't bring a good weight price for them so typically a kill buyer will simply pass that horse up.
A horse with extreme physical issues runs the risk of dying in the slaughter truck or at the kill buyer's holding facility and that proves to be too much of a risk for them.
After all, the sad truth is that weight brings money, dead horses bring nothing.
After the kill buyers do their dirty work at the auctions, retired race and show horses, formerly wild mustangs, and discarded pet ponies, are all loaded into crowded trailers for long journeys to slaughter plants in Canada or Mexico, where they die horrific deaths to be served up to diners in parts of the world where horse flesh is considered a delicacy.
It’s an ugly, predatory industry, and one that benefits no one but the kill buyers and the foreign meat companies. People are often shocked that horses are exploited and abused in this way, because we regard horses as our companions and partners in work, recreation, and sport. That’s why more than 80 percent oppose the slaughter of horses for human consumption.
One asks what happens to those poor horses that are sick, extremely underweight , broken limbs, blind and so on.
This is where most rescues will step up and rescue these horses.
Some cannot be saved, some simply have to be euthanized, an act that the rescue's don't take lightly and silently cuss out the former owner that should of taken responsibility of their equine of instead of trying to make a quick buck on the poor horse that gave them their life and soul to their owner.
If a rescue simply doesn't have the funds to save such a horse and only has so much to save the ones that are in true jeopardy to going to slaughter, maybe a sympathetic private party will step up to help the horse or most likely the horse is passed through as a no sale and this where the cosigner of the horse gets the horse back.
This is where we would love to see a change in the way auction houses in Arizona operate. We might not be able to stop the kill buyer , we might not be able to stop horses from being put in the slaughter pipeline .
What we would like to change is that a livestock agent be at each and every auction in Arizona where they can inspect a horse that comes in and put a stop to the most critical .
If a livestock agent was present then horse owners wouldn't have a choice to expose their horses to such a horrific experience .
The horse owners would be held accountable for the condition the horses are in.
Here is where the horse owner could be prosecuted for neglect .
Horses would be inspected to make sure that they are not subjecting other horses to sickness.
Horses would be inspected to make sure they are not stolen.
Overall if the state of Arizona would have livestock inspectors at each auction just think of how many horses would be saved from being subjected of being put through such a horrific ordeal.
The slaughter pipeline all begins and ends with the owner of the horse for that we must recognize.
You too can help save horses .
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