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Friday, March 9th 2007

11:01 AM


I welcome you to this very heart wrenching blog, and yes to lighten the mood once in a while I will post about success in the never ending war on animal cruelty around the globe. I warn you now this page is not for children, though it is something they must someday learn happens on this planet.This page may scare you or make you want to turn away...but isn't that the problem.....we turn away, we close our eyes and ears...and the message in the form of words is so much easier to accept as something we can do nothing about? The poor souls featured in this journal will of had no such luxury, to turn away, to close thier eyes....no, they had to endour the torture, the barbaric actions of mankind, to them and thier environment. Do you think these things only happen in "other countries?"  , I will expose the plight of British, American and Australian acts of animal  atrosity to rival that of the things going on in "other countries". How I will work this blog is simple, I will post the article in print, with minor graphics, in politeness to those who just can't take the hard core reality of it, these graphics wont be nice, but they wont be a nightmare to see.I will then post a link to the video footage or other pictures that exist, for those who want to know the whole story. It is one thing to hear something is happening, it is quite another to see it, to feel thier pain, watch thier suffering, and finally realize those printed words were never able to truely  capture the honest brutality our fellow man dishes out to very innocent creatures.Where possible I will post the link to the petition to stop the partiular action I am posting about, or post further links to larger organizations who know more.I wish a blog like this wasn't needed, but sadly the killings too great, and thier voices do not speak our language, so I will do my best to represent them here. God Bless all who take the time and heart to visit me here.

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Thursday, March 8th 2007

12:20 PM

Dog Cat Fur. Skin Trade

I posted this message in my personal journal a while back, its a very important message that i truely believe needs to get out, as so many people dont even realize how easy it is to unknowingly buy dog or cat products.So I am reposting from my journal and will update.

Lastnight I watched a very upsetting news program that revealed the Dog and Cat fur trade from China! Now I know you may say to yourself, I would never buy dog or cat fur..but unfortunately when they ship it they label it as other types of fur, therefore you can't be 100% sure what the fur is on tassles, trims and handbags, along with many other items.Cat is being sold as rabbit and dog as fox and other exotic fur types.I personally don't condone the purchase of new fur as I call it, fur from 50 years ago on thrift store items has been long dead and there is nothing you can do for them...but new fur is senselss in this modern age we have excellent faux furs available, no need to senslessly kill in the name of vanity, and now with the dog and cat fur becoming such a big problem, I say ban fur trade all together.It would have been easy to of watched the show, been upset and done nothing...but I choose not to turn a blind eye to the poor creatures plight, as another appalling fact in all this is many of the animals used were once pets, and were kidknapped for the industry!I won't make you look at whats being done to them, as it is very gruesom, but I will leave the links..there is one in particular where a poor raccoon is skinned alive and tossed on a heap, and he is still alive looking around in shock at what has occured..its heart wrenching.Theres footage of a silver fox, not dead, suffering and dying though as they skin him alive.....a pet dog( german shepherd) alive and standing as they skin him then hang him on a meat hook! They are crammed into the smallest cages possible and several to a cage, then thrown off the tops of trucks and busses as if they were a sack of potatoes not live animals! I don't like the video footage, but if I turned away, as many do.....how easy it would be to let thier message be forgotten.I urge you to view the video footage, even though it may break your heart or appall you.... the governments are looking away, we need to take a stand and get legislation passed banning fur trade with china all together.Like I said I don't condone new fur at all, but I know it will continue, so the least I can say is..don't buy from CHINA, if the handbag or accessory has fur on it, and it says china..9 times out of 10 its a cat or dog you just bought.please visit the following links.Sorry it's such a heavy subject today..but this is whats on my mind today.

HOW DOG AND CAT SKINS ARE USED, A German company dealing in cat fur and skins openly uses cat skin products as rheumatism aids. They make bandages, pulse warmers, and a variety of so-called “medicinal” products. Dog skins are also sold in Germany as orthopedic products.Elsewhere, dog and cat skins are not quite so visible. Just as labeling is a problem with fur - especially fur trim, knowing what kind of leather is being used in a product can be difficult or impossible.

DOG SKIN IS OFTEN LABELLED AS;Lamb skin, Mountain Skin, Sakhon Nakhon lamb skin, or even "Special skin"

In a particularly gruesome twist the skins of brutally slaughtered dogs in Thailand, are mixed up with other bits of skin to produce rawhide chew treats for pet dogs.Rawhide chew sticks are a dog’s favourite treat. But chew sticks from Thailand contain bits of skin from a variety of animals - including domestic dogs. These products are sold in retail stores throughout the United Kingdom -- British dog owners may remember that in 2001 chew sticks imported from Thailand were contaminated with salmonella, due to dogs being ill, thousands of boxes had to be recalled from supply from pet shops and stores all over the U.K - and yet these products are still being exported from those countries into the U.K. Dog and cat skins are used for: Rawhide chew toys for pets, Handbags, Shoes, Bed sheets, Car upholstery ,Drums and musical instruments,Small leather goods, Golf gloves, Gardening gloves, “Medicinal” and orthopedic products, Insoles for shoes and boots, Sporting goods

How The Deed Is Done

Massive, systematic cruelty, and extremely inhumane killing methods are used, involving severe panic, trauma and needless prolonged suffering. Dogs are tied up short by a thin wire metal tight around the neck so that they can hardly move, then stabbed in the groin area, blood begins to pour. With every move, the wire cuts deeper into their throats as they struggle in terror and pain desperately trying to escape in a pool of blood. The lucky ones bleed to death before being skinned, but often dogs are alive and fully conscious dying slow excruciating indescribable deaths. As each dog is killed other dogs can hear the screams and cries. All that matters to the killers, is that this method of slaughter causes least damage  to the dogs fur - preserving its market value.German Shepherd dogs are the most commonly killed dogs in China, as their fur resembles the fur of wild animals such as coyote or raccoon - the same courageous and noble breed that guides the blind and does search and rescue, these intelligent and loyal dogs are being bred in huge numbers in the north of China.

Cats fare no better than dogs in China, the cats are killed by being hung by the neck from a piece of rope that tightens as the cats struggle causing them to eventually suffocate. Sometimes the cats are hung from a wire while water is poured down their throats through a hose until they drown. Long haired cats are kept as pets in China, yet ironically an estimated 500,000 short haired cats, mainly ginger or tabby coloured are raised for their pelts, estimated figures are that about a half million cats are killed each season from October to February. Cat fur is hard to distinguish from other furs once it has been dyed - President of a German company prominent in the cat fur trade.

This is one of 2 upsetting videos on the subject

This is the PETA dog cat fur video footage

This is the voices 4 dogs site,a complete informative place.

This helps you to know what to watch for while buying

these are just a few of many sad pictures


Heather Mills site stays up to date on legislation and whats going on


Sign the petition

I do appologize for the horrific nature of todays subject, but this is real, and the only way to help these poor creatures is if we all take a stand and pass it on, so that the chain reaction of people taking a stand can equal thier salvation.

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Thursday, March 8th 2007

11:33 AM


From Asian sheep to African lions to European boars, exotic and native animals are shot for trophies at thousands of "canned" hunting preserves scattered across the US. A canned hunt takes place on a fenced piece of private property where a hunter can pay a fee to shoot a captive animal. Nearly any animal is unfair game, receiving not only a prison sentence on a fenced-in preserve, but also a firing squad.

While most canned hunts on the East Coast are less than 100 acres in size, some in the South and the West are larger. The Exotic Wildlife Association, an umbrella group for canned hunt operators, testified before Congress that its largest member has a 650 acre game ranch.

Prices for a hunt may range from several hundred to several thousand dollars per kill. The Renegade Ranch in Michigan, for example, charges $350 for a Corsican ram, $450 for a Russian boar, $750 for a blackbuck antelope, $3,000 for a buffalo, and $5,500 for a trophy elk. According to its brochure, "Many exotic animals not listed are available upon request. Some shooting preserves charge up to $20,000 for a lion or a rhinoceros.

Either bred in captivity, purchased from animal dealers, or retired from zoos and circuses, these tame animals do not even run when approached by weapon-wielding hunters. Shooting preserves offer guaranteed trophies and advertise as "No Kill, No Pay" The animals are so tame, in fact, that one hunter stated, "Before being `harvested,' African lions raised as pets would amble over and lick your hand." There may be as much so-called sport in shooting caged animals at the local zoo.

Many zoos - even the nation's most prestigious - sell their "surplus" animals either directly to canned hunting preserves or to middlemen and dealers who later sell to the hunts. Because baby animals are popular, zoos continue to breed their animals. But space is limited, and for every baby born an adult animal must leave.

Zoos generally claim they do not know what happens to the animals they sell. But some, such as the San Antonio Zoo, sell their animals openly and even include owners of canned hunting facilities on their board of directors. San Antonio Zoological Society board member Betty S. Kelso and her husband Robert own the Auerhahn Ranch in Texas, and have purchased exotic animals directly from the zoo for years.

The official guidelines of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) state, "The AZA strongly opposes the sale, trade, or transfer of animals from zoos and aquariums to organizations or individuals which allow the hunting of animals directly from or bred at zoos or aquariums." But the policy is meaningless since all shooting preserves or dealer middlemen can claim their clients do not hunt animals "directly from or bred at zoos," but rather hunt the offspring of those animals. Moreover, there are more than 15,000 animal exhibitors in the US and only 160 belong to the AZA. The thousands of petting zoos, roadside zoos, and smaller exhibitors have no reason to adhere to the AZA's suggestions.

The following zoos have sold animals either directly to canned hunts
or to dealers who have done business with auctions or hunts:
Buffalo Zoological Gardens (NY),
Busch Gardens (FL),
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo (CO),
Great Adventure (NJ),
Houston Zoo (TX),
Kansas City Zoo (MO),
Lake George Zoological Park (NY),
Lincoln Park Zoo (IL),
Los Angeles Zoo (CA),
Lowry Park Zoo (FL),
Memphis Zoo (TN),
National Zoo (DC),
Oklahoma City Zoo (OK),
San Antonio Zoo (TX),
San Diego Zoo (CA),
San Francisco Zoo (CA),
Seneca Park Zoo (NY),
St. Louis Zoo (MO),
Suwannee Valley Zoo (FL)

Here is a further article on the subject from 2005

Wildlife protection groups filed suit today in the Northern District of California to prevent the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service from allowing canned hunting of three endangered antelope species. The plaintiffs include The Humane Society of the United States, Defenders of Wildlife, Born Free USA, the Kimya Institute, and a number of individuals.

The plaintiffs contend that a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service decision announced last month violates the Endangered Species Act by allowing trophy hunters to kill the three species on game ranches in the United States. The plaintiffs also contend that the rule will undermine conservation efforts for wild populations and set a damaging precedent for the commercial exploitation of other endangered species.

Last month, after a fourteen-year delay, the FWS finally listed the scimitar-horned oryx, addax, and dama gazelle as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. However, on the same day, the FWS published a sweeping exemption that would allow hunters to kill captive bred antelope animals on privately-owned ranches located anywhere in the United States and sell their “trophies” to hunters from the United States and abroad.

“The federal government is trying to create a ‘canned hunt’ exemption to the Endangered Species Act so that trophy hunters can bag endangered animals in drive-thru killing operations,” said Michael Markarian, HSUS executive vice president. “That’s not sport and it’s certainly not conservation.”

Canned hunts have proliferated over the past 10 years, with an estimated 1,000 or more current operations in the United States alone. Hunting guides escort their clients to feeding stations and watering holes where their semi-tame prey is an easy target. The guides handle removal of the carcass and arrange for the taxidermied trophy to be delivered to the client.

The Bush Administration first proposed allowing widespread killing of international endangered species for commercial purposes in 2003, but tabled the proposal after it came under massive criticism from the public, the scientific community and members of Congress.

“This rule is the same wine in a different bottle,” said Carroll Muffett, Senior Director for International Conservation at Defenders of Wildlife, “And it’s as invalid for these antelopes as it is for the other 500 species the Administration threatened with their ‘kill them to protect them’ plan. We don’t get clear skies by increasing pollution; and we won’t save endangered species by killing them for profit.”

Decades of overhunting and habitat loss have driven the three antelope species to the verge of extinction. The World Conservation Union (IUCN) lists the scimitar-horned oryx as extinct in the wild, the addax as critically endangered, and the dama gazelle as endangered. The three species are captive bred and regularly offered to hunters at game ranches in the United States:

  • The scimitar-horned oryx, with its large, curving horns, is an icon of the Sahara desert. JN Ranch in Rocksprings, Texas offers the opportunity to kill one of the endangered animals for a fee of $2,750.

  • The addax’s unusual, spiraling horns are coveted by game hunters. Wilson Whitetail Ranch in Sabinal, Texas lists the fee for bagging an addax at $4,500.

  • Near San Antonio, Texas, dama gazelles are found at the 777 Ranch where they are “priced upon request.” The 15,000 acre ranch boasts of offering one of North America’s largest herds of exotic animals, guided hunts, first class accommodations, and hunts conducted from “custom jeeps.”

All three receive the highest level of protection under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), prohibiting commercial international trade and requiring both export and import permits to trade in live specimens or their parts and products. While wild populations of the species have declined to the point of near or complete extinction, the numbers of captive-bred antelope have increased; 4,000-5,000 scimitar-horned oryx, 1,500 addax, and 650 dama gazelle can be found in captivity – mostly on game farms - in the United States. In four decades of operation, U.S. ranches that allow canned hunting have never provided any antelope for reintroduction efforts despite widespread knowledge of their critical status.

According to wildlife trade experts, far from helping conserve African antelope in the wild, the new exemption will further endanger their survival by creating a legal market through which illegally hunted trophies could be laundered, providing the opportunity and incentive for the poaching and trade in wild antelope.

More than 20 conservation and animal protection groups submitted comments opposing the exemption when the FWS proposed it last spring.

Canned Safari, Made in USA

Whilst fox hunting has recently been banned in the UK, hunting, in particular 'canned hunting', is still legal in many US states. Some hunting estates, like Rancho La Rama Del Mezquite in Texas, offers a long price list of animals that can be hunted ranging from tha bargain Catalina goat at $180 a pop to the Zebra at $3,000. They even do specials.

Buffalo (Bison) Bull - This is the last bull we will offer this season and he is a monster! Pack your gun and have your taxidermist on standby!!! Priced at $2,050

There's also a gallery available on the site containing grinning hunters with their 'trophies'.

According to a US senator has introduced a bill to ban the transport and possession of exotic animals kept for so-called canned hunting facilities smaller than 1,000 acres.

The legislation says there are more than 1,000 canned hunting operations in more than 25 US states. In some cases, African lions and giraffes can be killed, the bill says.

Here is the link to the Canned hunt of a lion, though the creature dies sadly in this one, I do have to say he gave a bit back to the hunters before going.
Click image below for video

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Wednesday, March 7th 2007

1:17 PM

Fishing Industry

I will be the first to admit I love me some Cod and Chips( Steak fries to the Americans), esspecially being on the NorthEast coast of England! But there is a devastation going on to our waters today that will take a very very long time to right, if ever it can be made right, and this is what I am posting about today!
Trawlers, some the size of football fields, work non-stop across the oceans' fishing grounds, backwards and forwards in a never-ending process which scoops up huge quantities of fish and destroys the sea bed and the creatures that live there. Nets like huge tapering bags are used, and the mouth of the bag can be 224 ft. wide! It is kept open by huge, metal-bound trawl (otter) boards that can weigh tons. They are dragged across the ocean floor and crush and grind to destruction anything in their path.

A variant is the beam trawl, where a long metal beam is fixed to the underside of the net's opening. Flotation devices keep the mouth of the net open and dangling from the beam are 'tickler' chains which drag along the bottom, forcing almost every creature from its hiding place into the mouth of the net.

Between 60 and 80 million tons of fish are caught from the seas of the world each year by trawling. The total for all methods is about 100 million tons. Fish that are too small, non-target species or species with no commercial value are discarded. This can include almost every creature from the sea or sea bed - sea urchins, brittle stars, crabs, dolphins, seals and sea-birds.

As shrimp nets are dragged through the water, they catch every living creature in their path - trapping both shrimp and unwanted fish and sea turtles. Sea turtles caught in shrimp nets are held under water until they drown. Thousands of endangered sea turtles are killed in this way every year.

The ecological balance of the oceans is disturbed when the catch rate exceeds the natural reproduction rate. This is overfishing. All 17 of the world's major fisheries have either reached or exceeded their limits. The North Sea is cleared of a quarter of it's fish every year.

Drift Netting
Drift nets hang like curtains from the surface of the sea. Constructed from thin but strong monofilament nylon, they are virtually invisible to all sea life. They can be up to an incredible 30 miles long. The target fish are often tuna but as dolphins tend to congregate where tuna swim, they too die in large numbers. Rays, sharks, sea birds and small whales all become entangled in these ghostly nets.

It is not uncommon for nets to become detached in rough weather and float away to kill large numbers of animals and birds. When weighed down with dead bodies they sink to the bottom but once the carcasses have rotted, they float back to the surface and continue their destruction. Thousands of dolphins, porpoises, small whales, sea lions and walruses are killed by drift nets each year.

After years of campaigning, drift nets were banned by the EU from 1 January 2002 in the Atlantic and Mediterranean. Sadly, the Baltic Sea was exempted after lobbying by Demmark, Sweden and Finland who continue to use this destructive fishing technique with their 350 vessels.

Purse Seine Netting
A purse seine net is suspended from the surface, the bottom of it many fathoms below the surface. The boat pays out the net in a complete circle so the effect is like that of a tube of netting hanging down, surrounding the target shoal of fish. A kind of drawstring at the bottom of the net is pulled tight so the net represents a purse with an open top but a closed bottom. The top is then also closed and the net hauled inboard. Again, tuna are the main target but again, dolphins also get trapped and drown.

Many birds, including razor-bills, cormorants, and puffins, feed mainly on sand eels, sprats and small herrings, all of which are heavily exploited by fishermen. In 1994, overfishing in the North Sea was believed to have caused about 100,000 birds to starve and the problem seems to be worsening.

Commercial fishermen often blame the low numbers of fish on local wildlife and demand ‘culling’ to solve the problem. As a result, seals have been killed in their thousands - 51,000 in Russia and 250,000 in Canada in 1996 and there are similar demands being made in Britain. In February 1999, a proposal was presented to the US Congress by the National Marine Fisheries Service to allow fishermen and ‘resource’ managers to shoot Pacific harbour seals and Californian sea lions along the coasts of California, Oregon and Washington to protect the dwindling stocks of salmon and steelhead and to reduce competition for fish between these pinnipeds and humans.

Before and After A Trawler

Bycatch( everything you see here goes to waste)

Pod of Dolphins lost to Fishing Nets

Here is a video of the bottom trawlers:

Here is the same video in Quicktime format

Here is a small presentation about the problem at hand
mms://a876.v90022.c9002.g.vm.akamaistream.net/7/876/9002/7d711c321c/www.greenpeace.org/download/windowsmedia/interna tional/photosvideos/videos/nafo-bottom-trawling/Bottom_Trawling_in_the_NAFO_area.wmv

here is the same clip in Quicktime
http://www.greenpeace.org/download/quicktime/international/photosvideos/videos/nafo-bottom-trawling/Bottom_Trawling_ in_the_NAFO_area.mov

For more articles and information on the destruction of our seas, check out this GreenPeace link

A final few facts
Wasteful fishing is not unique to the live fish trade. The global industrial fishing fleet has many times the capacity needed to extract marine wildlife sustainably. The unsustainable exploitation of fish and other marine wildlife is pushing ocean ecosystems to the brink of collapse.

Worldwide, some 35,000 legal, high-tech fishing vessels ply the seas.

In the past 50 years, the world’s fish catch grew more than fourfold—from roughly 20 million tons to 90 million tons.

During the same period, the variety of fish species dropped by as much as 50 percent because of overfishing, habitat destruction, and climate change.

Ninety percent of large predator fish species such as cod, shark, and bluefin tuna have disappeared.

Industrial fishing generates about 25 million tons of unwanted by-catch—fish and marine mammals that are dumped overboard, dead or dying.

For every pound of wild-caught shrimp, at least 10 pounds of other sea life, including many fish otherwise sought as edible seafood, are also caught and discarded.

In the 1960s, the average swordfish hooked and landed weighed 266 pounds. Today, massive fishing pressure has reduced the average size to 90 pounds.

Long-line vessels annually set up to 10 billion baited hooks on lines as long as 60 miles. Millions of sharks, hundreds of thousands of sea birds and marine mammals, and numerous endangered sea turtles and other creatures die each year on those hooks.

Some 1,000 whales, dolphins, and porpoises die daily in trawl nets. Heavy bottom trawlers destroy delicate ocean floor habitat, much like bulldozers flattening a forest.

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Wednesday, March 7th 2007

12:17 PM

Stop The Slaughter Of Horses

Did you know that there are three slaughter plants in the USA that slaughter horses for Human consumption?

Who eats horses?
The biggest consumers of horsemeat are France, Italy, Belgium, and Japan. Horsemeat, considered a delicacy, is used as an alternative to beef. This hurts the US beef industry. Japan regulates the amount of American beef imported into the country, but these regulations are not imposed on American horse meat. Eating horses has never been an accepted part of American culture.

What kind of horses are slaughtered?
No horse is safe from slaughter. Children's ponies, show horses, family horses, retired show horses, or horses from families who just can't afford them any longer are all at risk of being slaughtered for human consumption. Stolen horses also often end up at slaughter houses. Slaughter is an easy way for a horse thief to make a quick $300-700 on a stolen horse and the evidence is destroyed. 90% of horses slaughtered for human cosumption are young, healthy, sound horses who deserve a better life.

What's the big deal anyway?
Both the transport of horses to slaughter and the slaughter itself is inhumane. Equipment used in the transport of horses to slaughter is designed for cows. Horses often end up trampled and injured, even dead, while being transported 24 hours or more with no food, water, or rest. The equipment used to stun the horse before being slaughtered is also made for cows. Horses are often slaughtered while still consciously alive (2,500 or more horses met their fate this way last year alone).

What can you do?
Contact your members of Congress and ask them to support The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act. This bill will stop horse slaughter for human consumption in the USA as well as the transport and sale of horses across our borders for the purpose of slaughter for human consumption. Ask your Representative to become an original co-sponsor of this bill and help end the suffering of American horses to feed wealthy Europeans and Japanese. The 109th congressional session is over. HR 503, the 2005-2006 bill, did not pass. It will be reintroduced in the 110th Congressional Session! HR 503 passed the House by a very good majority, but was held up by Senator Conrad Burns in the Senate. It was not allowed to come before the Senate for a vote. Please contact your Senators and House Representatives NOW and ask them to support the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act! It will ammend the Horse Protection Act to protect horses from horse slaughter for human consumption, including the sale and transportation of horses for the purpose of slaughter for human consumption.


One of the most baffling issues surrounding the equine world, and one that many Americans are still unaware of, is that every week in this country our young, healthy horses are slaughtered for human consumption overseas. The largest number are Quarter Horses, although Thoroughbred race horses, and even some of our wild Mustangs are routinely slaughtered.
Their meat is processed, freeze packed and shipped to countries like Belgium, France, Italy and Japan, where it is considered a delicacy.

Why does this industry still exist?

Horse slaughter exists in the United States for one reason and one reason only — for the sole purpose of providing horsemeat for human consumption in foreign markets.

Although the number of horses slaughtered declined sharply for a period of years, there has been a recent resurgence in demand. Horse meat is viewed as "clean meat" and a good alternative to beef and other traditional meats because of BSE and other contamination scares. Europeans and Asians who consume horse flesh are willing to pay a high price for American horsemeat, which is described by butchers and purveyors of horsemeat as the very best on the market.

"I only buy American meat, which is red and firm. In butchering terms we call it 'well-structured', the best you can get. Out of a thousand animals, only the American ones are really worth buying. But they don’t eat horsemeat in America. They raise horses for foreigners."

A Butcher in France.

Conseqently, business is thriving for the three foreign-owned slaughter plants operating in the U.S., two in Texas and the other in Illinois. If current trends continue, it is highly likely that demand is only going to increase and so is the slaughtering of our horses.

How many horses are slaughtered in the United States?

According to the USDA, more than 50,000 horses were slaughtered in 2003. With the re-opening of Cavel International in Illinois in 2004, the number rose to more than 66,000, and in 2005, nearly 95,000 of our horses were slaughtered for their meat.

This does not include the approximately 20,000 - 30,000 horses that are exported to Mexico to be slaughtered in their abattoirs , or the thousands exported to Canada.


Together, these numbers represent about 1% of the total number of horses in the U.S., and the entire industry is only .001% of the size of the U.S. meat industry.

What types of horses are being slaughtered? Aren't these old, sick horses?

According to 2001 field studies conducted by Temple Grandin et al., 70% of all horses at the slaughter plant were in good, fat, or obese condition; 72% were considered to be "sound" of limb; 84% were of average age; and 96% had no behavioral issues.
Slaughter plants do not want old, sick horses for obvious reasons.

Where do the horses come from?

Horses are not raised for slaughter as they are not traditional food animals, so they must be bought. Licensed horse dealers, known as "killer buyers," act as middlemen for the slaughterhouses and frequent the auctions where horses are sold. Mass quantities of horses are bought by these dealers at unbelievably cheap prices, who then transport the horses and resell them to the slaughterhouses for profit. Many times an auction house and the dealer will not turn away an unfit animal, because as long as it can live till it gets to a slaughterhouse, they can be killed for their hides. These horses are called "skinners." Slaughterhouses typically have a tannery either on site or nearby for this reason.

A number of the horses who end up at slaughterhouses are stolen, and can disappear without a trace. However, statistics from one of the largest groups that assist owners in the recovery of their stolen horses, Stolen Horse International (netposse.org) show that approximately 60% of stolen horses are killed at slaughter plants.

How are the horses actually slaughtered?

Horses are transported, often thousand of miles, from all over the country to Texas and Illinois in double-decker trailers designed for cattle in all types of weather with no food or water. Often there is not enough clearance for the horses to hold their heads in a fully upright position.

No consideration is given to the gender or the condition of the horses as they are crammed into these trucks. Horses are often injured and some even arrive at the slaughterhouse dead. The ones who survive the ordeal of transportation are held in pens until it is their turn to be butchered. The horses stand in the killing line smelling the blood, sensing the terror ahead. They are electrocuted or speared into the "kill box" where they shake violently, falling, unable to stand from fear.

According to federal law, horses must be rendered unconscious prior to slaughter, usually by captive bolt. With their long necks and aversion to anything approaching their foreheads, many horses require multiple strikes. However, some are improperly stunned, even with repeated blows.

The USDA's March 1998 report, Special Report on Humane Slaughter Methods and AnteMortem
shows the animals can and do regain consciousness after they have been stunned. Therefore some are still conscious when shackled, hoisted by a rear leg, and cut across the throat to be bled out.

Quote from a slaughterhouse worker:

"You move so fast, you don't have time to wait till a horse bleeds out. You skin him as he bleeds. Sometimes a horse's nose is down in the blood, blowing bubbles, and he suffocates."
From the book "Slaughterhouse" by Gail Eisnitz

A major misconception is that animals being readied for slaughter are stunned with a captive bolt in order to make the process more humane. The fact is, the captive bolt stunning mechanism was designed to protect slaughterhouse workers from the flailing limbs of terrified animals and to increase the speed of the production line.

If horse slaughter is banned, where will all the horses go?

The number of horses slaughtered in 1990 was a staggering 350,000, a number that dropped to an all time low of 42,000 in 2002. Between 1992 and 1993 alone, the number of horses slaughtered dropped 79,000. These decreases did not create a glut of "unwanted horses." Society absorbed these horses, and the market remained stable, just as it will when horse slaughter is eliminated altogether.

The phrase "unwanted horses" is a myth created by horse slaughter supporters. The number of horses slaughtered each year is the one used by them to arrive at the number of so-called "unwanted horses" for the same time period. In actuality, the number of horses slaughtered each year is the number of horses the horse slaughter plants have the capacity to butcher and process.

There are many alternatives to horse slaughter. Horses can be given another chance at life through retraining and adoption programs as pleasure horses, with rescues, retirement homes, and sanctuaries. Horses can also enjoy second careers as Mounted Police horses, at riding schools and as therapy horses.

If a horse becomes old, infirm or mortally ill, then the horse should be euthanized by a qualified veterinarian. There are a wide variety of options for disposing of their bodies that range from the costly to economical. These include burial (where permitted), cremation, rendering, composting and landfills.
  Texas A&M, in response to this question, released a special report on composting as a viable alternative that would be both environmentally and politically beneficial, predicting that this could become a big market when horse slaughter is banned. 

If horse slaughter is banned, won't abuse and neglect increase?

California banned horse slaughter in 1998. California has experienced no increase in abuse case, and even noted a decrease 3 years following the ban. During the 4 years that Cavel was closed, Illinois saw a noticeable decrease in abuse and/or neglect cases. Texas, which had the only two slaughter plants in 2003, had among the nations highest rates of cruelty and theft.

The conclusion is clear – horse slaughter does not decrease abuse and neglect but actually encourages it.

The above article came from this website

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Sunday, March 4th 2007

12:31 PM

Senseless slaughter of Dolphins in Japan

Each year from October through March, in small towns across Japan, thousands of dolphins and small whales are confined and brutally killed. These slaughters take place in fishing towns including Taiji, Iki, Ito, Futo and Izu. During those months, Japanese fishermen herd whole families and pods of dolphins, porpoises and small whales into shallow bays and mercilessly hack them to death. Most of these small cetaceans are sold as meat in restaurants and stores, while some are destined for a life in captivity.

In addition to the small cetaceans being massacred on the beaches, Japan kills approximately 100,000 more marine mammals (primarily Dall’s porpoises and also dolphins) in its fishing industry. This killing must stop!

The fishermen in villages like Taiji, go out in small boats to known dolphin migratory routes. Positioning their boats strategically, they space out to form a line and wait for the dolphins. When the dolphins arrive, the fishermen drop long metal pipes into the water, and by banging on the pipes they create a wall of sound. The sound interferes with the dolphins' ability to navigate - it disorients and panics them. The dolphins swim away from the sound, and the fisherman maneuver their boats herding them into a small shallow bay. Once in the bay, nets are drawn across the mouth of the bay to keep them penned in.The fishermen usually injure a few of the captive dolphins with a spear thrust or a knife slash - dolphins will not abandon these wounded family members.

Trapped in the shallow water, the dolphins mill about trying to stay as far from land as possible until the next morning. In the morning, the fishermen draw the nets in, forcing the dolphins closer to shore where they kill them by stabbing and slashing them with knives and hooks. The dolphins thrash about for as long as six minutes each as they slowly bleed to death, turning the sea literally red with their blood.

After the massacre, the bodies of the dolphins are taken to a slaughter house to be butchered. The meat is severely contaminated but is sold without warnings in supermarkets in Japan - supermarkets often owned by US and European chains.


The Japanese Government is Poisoning its Own Citizens

Dolphin meat is sold in stores through out Japan. Some of it is labeled correctly as dolphin meat, and some is mislabeled as whale meat. What is never included on the label are the levels of mercury, methyl mercury, cadmium, DDT and PCBs. One or more of these contaminants pollute almost all of the dolphin meat for sale in Japan. That it is sold for public consumption at all is a disgrace; that it is sold without the Japanese government warning its citizens that eating dolphin meat is hazardous to their health is irresponsible and negligent.

In 1999, an international team of scientists working in Japan analyzed 130 samples of whale and dolphin meats and reported their findings to the International Whaling Commission. They analyzed the samples for mercury, methyl mercury, cadmium, DDT and PCBs. Their summary shows that not only is dolphin meat often disguised as whale meat, it is almost always contaminated:

24 of the samples of whale meat were actually dolphin or the kind of small whales slaughtered in Taiji. More than 91% of the samples from dolphins and small whales, exceeded the limits for one or more pollutants. One sample had more than 1,600 times the maximum permitted amount of mercury. Tetsuya Endo, a Japanese scientist and the lead scientist on the 1999 project, believes that the high concentrations found in the samples "may be enough to cause acute mercury poisoning " and that "the products should be taken off the shelves immediately."Other studies have come to similar conclusions. Harvard University biologist, Dr. Palumbi, who assisted in joint Japanese and Harvard research, wrote a letter to Japanese officials requesting public health warnings and an immediate ban on sales of contaminated meat: "We believe that Japanese consumers are receiving inadequate and, in some cases, inaccurate information about the cetacean products they purchase. As a result, such consumers are unwittingly consuming highly contaminated and potentially dangerous cetacean products."All of the studies clearly show that dolphin meat is not safe, and that the mercury contamination is particularly dangerous to fetuses and breast-fed children if the meat is eaten by their mothers. Yet the Japanese government allows this contaminated food to be sold without warning, even to pregnant women.

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