What is a Kill Pen?

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I may get a lot of backlash from this article,
Some of you may be shocked .
Some of you may know exactly what I am talking about .
It’s simply what is a definition of a Kill Pen for horses ?

Kill pen horses. It starts with a picture and a cry for help. You see a beautiful horse in an advertisement and a plea for salvation. “Can anyone save him?!” He has a bail amount of $850+ and a deadline hanging over his head with a ship date. You want to cry for him. You find a way to scrape together the cost of bail, quarantine, and shipping, and extra board, and you bring your new boy home. You feel good because you saved a life from being loaded onto a truck headed for a Mexican slaughter house. .........Or did you? Let’s start at the beginning.

Where do kill pen horses come from? Kill pen horses come from local livestock auctions, Craigslist ads, free-bee ads, and even websites like Dreamhorse if a horse is being under-valued enough. There can be many reasons a horse ends up there: bankruptcy, sudden hardship on the farm, death in the family, etc. The horse is taken to the auction usually because it’s highly time consuming to sell a horse privately. Nobody actually “puts” a horse in the kill pen, and they’re not sold at auction specifically to kill pen brokers. They’re just....sold....to the highest bidder, whoever that is. The kill pen brokers scour the auctions and internet looking for horses to fill a weekly quota they receive from processing plants in Mexico and Canada.

All of this is very normal...Very “business-as-usual”...and has not changed much in the past several decades (with the exception of a few Dept of Agriculture laws putting restrictions on the age and health of animals to be shipped for processing.) However, very recently, this corner of the horse industry has seen a sudden surge in profits with the advent of a new trend called “Feed Lot Frenzy”.

In the past, a public person could approach a feed lot and offer to buy their stock privately, if they wanted to, before it was shipped to Canada or Mexico. It was not uncommon to purchase a horse from a kill pen for a few dollars over meat price. The broker got his money back plus a little extra for his trouble, and he would always take that money back to the auction and replace the purchased horse easily enough. However, in recent years, the meat brokers have begun to capitalize on the idea of selling horses to the public for a much larger profit than they would ever make from the slaughterhouses. Higher profits mean less money out of pocket. Since 2015, the price of “kill pen horses” has tripled .

“Who cares what they make as long as we’re still saving a life from a horrible death.” This statement actually DEFENDS the kill pen scam operation, even though you may not realize it. This is where the game begins. Since 2015, meat brokers have learned that they can not only charge whatever they want for a horse in their pen, but that people won’t even argue the price nor take the value of the creature into consideration if they believe it is in danger. Many unhandled, greenbroke, injured horses are being sold for top dollar where they would never have sold on the open market for such ridiculous prices. In 2015 and 2016, brokers were only paying meat prices for their horses they purchased at action. They would turn around and sell it to the public and double their prices, and if the horse didn’t sell publicly it could still be sent for processing. This is not the case anymore. Kill pen buyers have learned that they can purchase ANY horse for ANY price and sell it from their lot at whatever price point they choose. This means that they are no longer paying meat prices at the auction, as was disclosed in a conversation with a kill pen administrator. “Some horses cost more because they were more expensive at the auction.” This is where the game gets dirty.....

What if I told you that the kill pen horse you’re about to buy will never go to Mexico or Canada? This is a business math problem. It’s economics. Mexico and Canada do not care about the horse’s training or its purpose or how pretty it is. They only want the meat.

Here’s how it works: The kill pen buyers have a quota that is given to them from a contract with the slaughterhouses that they must fill. Let’s say, for example, that this week Mexico is asking for 100 head of horses. In order to keep their business, the kill pen must provide the processing plant with 100 horses or the plant will seek their supply elsewhere. Economics 101. So, if the slaughter pen sells 50 horses to the public during the week, he STILL needs 50 horses to complete his order or risk losing his business contact. He will send 100 horses to Mexico whether you buy them or not, BUT remember that we said that he actually paid MORE for most of the horses that are offered to the public? He won’t sell those to Mexico. In fact, the horses that are now being offered to the public for sale on the internet are SURPLUS horses called “riders” that the kill pen has purchased specifically to sell to the public, NOT to the slaughterhouse. (Note: Rider doesn’t mean the horse can be ridden. It’s just the term they use for a horse that’s suitable to sell to the public as a pet, including minis, donkeys, foals, etc). They will never be offered to the slaughterhouses because he would take a loss on them. The horses DO have a shipping date on them, but they will not ship to the slaughterhouses. They said the horse is shipping...they just didn’t exactly tell you where...you just assumed. The kill pen will make sure that piece of information is left off and let you assume. In fact, they even list horses with shipping deadlines that are illegal to ship for processing, but they don’t want you to know that either because they you won’t buy it if it’s not in danger. The evidence against this scam is overwhelming.

Welcome to the world of used cars for horses. “Kill pen horses” who do not sell will be shuttled to another sale lot or auction in another town somewhere where they can be sold as saddle horses to someone else. If your inventory doesn’t sell at your lot, ship it to a different one...or grant it a magical extension because we have a few buyers on the hook. They have a huge network for selling horses at their disposal. Facebook is only one part of that network. The kill pens create a false emergency, fleecing the public into thinking that the pretty horse is going to die if they don’t buy it, when the truth is, he’s just being put on a truck to go to another sale lot. So where does he get the other 50 horses for quota?

“Saving is a life is saving a life”. Not quite. Not every horse that goes to slaughter is offered to the public for sale. You never see the un controlled , the bronc ponies, etc. You are only ever offered the eager, mostly pretty willing, workable horses, babies As we’ve already discussed, the horse that is being offered to you by the kill pen is not in any actual danger of being slaughtered as this practice would end up costing the brokers hundreds if not millions of dollars in loss every year. You may think that, regardless of price, at least it stops the horse from being shuttled around from sale to sale. That is true, but we need to back up and see where these “riders” come from. Remember that Mexico has a weekly quota of 100 horses it must receive. If you purchase 50 horses from the kill pen, it doesn’t mean that only 50 horses will ship. Mexico and Canada have deadlines. They have a product to produce. If they do not receive their stock, they will buy from another kill yard. They are not granting magical extensions for the public to buy their quota out from under them. They have clients, too. 100 horses will ship every Monday morning, regardless of how many get “rescued”.

You didn’t actually save anything. In fact, buying a kill pen horse at the prices set by the feed lot actually results in MORE horses in the kill pens purchased by kill pen brokers. The horses you are being offered are SURPLUS. There is a common misconception that when you purchase a kill pen horse, you are buying a horse that was already on the lot going to slaughter. This is what they want you to think. However, your horse was not part of that shipment and never was. You are buying a horse that was EXTRA...in addition to...that shipment, purchased specifically to sell to you, the public...as a fundraiser. The broker takes the proceeds from the sales of rider horses and goes back to the auction or the internet and buys 3-4 more  horses to fill his quota that you as a consumer will NEVER SEE!

This way he doesn’t have to put out any money of his own to buy the real slaughter horses. You just handed it right to him! He sold one horse and goes and buys 3 or 4 more that no one will ever have the chance to rescue. Your horse was never going to slaughter, however, the next four horses he buys with your horse’s money are for his quota, and they are definitely going with no chance of being saved. Buy 1, condemn 4. He just figured out how to get the horse community, many of whom are adamant against slaughter, to not only completely fund 100% of his slaughter operation, but to pay for his inventory on top of it.

I could go on and on . This article is public on the web.

It’s simple if you fall for the Kill Pen Bail Buy out we’ll need I say more ?

Don’t be fooled. Spend your money wisely.

Save a life by all means , however give it to your local rescue that is actually going to an auction , bidding on the horse over paying for that horse just to get the horses away from the Kill Buyer or Kill Pen Broker .

Where you can lay eyes on the horse . Where you can get up dates on the horse and where the horse can get medical help if needed and evaluated and adopted into a loving home.

Don’t be FOOLED! Take a stand . If people would not feed into the lies and manipulation of a Kill Pen then maybe just maybe more horses that are in jeopardy of going to slaughter would be saved .

Rescues can’t do it without your donations and support .

When you give your money to Kill Pens then the Kill Buyer fills his quota faster !!!

Help support us today and everyday when we actually save a life .

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For The Love of The Hoof
Seligman, Arizona
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