Letter from S Lloyd to Minister Terry Redman Regarding his decision to approve the slaughter of Horses for Human Consumption in W.A:
Dear Mr Redman.
Before you ignore this as another “Please don’t eat the pretty ponies because we love them” letter, I beg of you to grab a coffee, sit down, and actually read what I am about to say – I promise it will only be full of hard facts that you should take into serious consideration while deciding whether or not the legalization of horse meat for human consumption in WA (and Australia as a whole) was a good or bad move.
Firstly, let me bring to the forefront, the dangers of having horse meat on the shelves.
The health risks. Even oversea’s markets are slowing down rapidly as the health risks involved in the market of horse meat is being found out loud and clear, take a read of this article.
Let me bring to your attention these two snippets.
“Add to that the dangers of American horsemeat from the toxic drugs given to horses here as established in a recent study published in the peer reviewed journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology,
Association of phenylbutazone usage with horses bought for slaughter: A public health risk, and, said Holland, “it would make no sense and, in fact, would be irresponsible for legislators to promote horse slaughter with this bill”. The bill was then sent for “summer study”, essentially withdrawing it for the session.
“The demand for American horsemeat may soon plummet and end altogether, especially in the European market. Indeed, the second largest grocer in Belgium and Holland pulled American horsemeat from the shelves. ”
What is Phenylbutazone?
Commonly known as “Bute” within the horse industry, it is THE most single used drug for Equine health and wellbeing – it is a painkiller and anti-inflammatory drug used in 98% of Race Horses and 95% of recreational horses – staggering yes?
It doesn’t come in just one form, here is a list for you to browse over.
“Causes serious and lethal idiosyncratic adverse effects in humans. Sixty-seven million pounds of horsemeat derived from American horses were sent abroad for human consumption last year. Horses are not raised as food animals in the United States and, mechanisms to ensure the removal of horses treated with banned substances from the food chain are inadequate at best.”
Another article for you to read.
But it’s not just the drugs, but diseases as well, as is brought forward in this snippet of information in the above reading.
” Equine Infectious Anaemia in horsemeat”
It’s not a drug, but a disease. EIA, Equine Infectious Anaemia, and the “virus reproduces in the liver, spleen, kidneys, heart, cardiovascular system, and other organs in the horse’s body. When an infected horse dies or is destroyed, lesions can also be found in the lymph nodes, and even in the nervous system.” What does Mississippi State University recommend an owner to do with these horses? “Should a horse be identified as positive, the owner has three options. First, the horse can be humanely destroyed; second, it can be sold for slaughter; or third, the horse can be quarantined.”
In other words, the horsemeat that is being eaten could be taken from an infected horse.”
And a little closer to home.
“If you eat horse meat, you should be concerned about the deadly Hendra Virus. Transmitted to people through tissue or secretions of infected horses, either by injection or orally, it has a high incidence of mortality. Australian veterinarian hospitalized on 8/26/07 for infection contacted while performing autopsy on infected Thoroughbred.”
Australian’s have already died from Hendra Virus Mr. Redman, and the fact is, many more could die from it through ingesting diseased meat.
But Wait, there is more!
Aside from the use of worming agents and pastes in our horse’s to keep their worm count down (which I might add, is not accepting in any regulation drugs/medications allowed to be given to animals heading for human consumption), you have the problem of how many worms a horse can be host to.
Example: If a human has a worm count of 1, then a horse has 100,000 – nearly double that of a cow.
Here it is, in writing.
Secondly, let me discuss with you the means horse’s are slaughtered for human consumption.
The Captive-Bolt Gun. This weapon is not a humane option for equine’s because the gun was originally designed for the Bovine brain and skull which is different to the skull and brain of an Equine. Not to mention, of how different the two species of animal react in situations – a horse is a flight animal, and is far more highly strung than that of a cow, making current abbitors unsuitable for the slaughter of horse’s.
Let me draw to your attention a few snippets from that above link.
“In a study conducted at Hanover University, EEG and ECG recordings were taken on all animals to measure the condition of the brain and heart during the course of slaughter and stunning. EEG readings showed that although the animals were apparently unconscious soon after stunning with the penetrating captive bolt, they were experiencing severe pain immediately after stunning.”
“Due to the inherent differences in skull structures of bovines and equines, each species reacts to the captive bolt differently. The brain of an equine is further back in the skull compared to a bovine. The equines regain consciousness and are not insensible to pain shortly after they are shackled and hoisted. Therefore, they are very much aware of being butchered alive.”
“The use of the penetrating captive bolt gun does not meet the AVMA Panel’s criteria regarding “loss of consciousness and death without causing pain, distress, anxiety, or apprehension.” Unlike bovines (which the penetrating captive bolt was designed for) equines possess different skull structures, are flight animals, and attempt to flee the ‘knock box’ or ‘kill chute.’ That being the case, it takes numerous attempts before the animal is properly stunned, if this is achieved at all.”
I know, it’s easy enough to ignore these facts when they are in writing, so I urge you to take the time to sit down and have a look at this site (I hope you haven’t eaten recently).
~ This horse is shot deliberately in the shoulder by a captive bolt to make the horse lift it’s head, causing a great deal more stress and pain.
~ The same horse as above is already down in the kill chute, is hit not once, but twice by the bolt
~ Another horse panics, falls over and struggles to regain footing and then paws at the chute while waiting for the captive bolt gun to be fired. Extreme an unnecessary stress.
~ Horse is hit with the captive bolt gun, goes down, but is still conscious and partly sits back up again.
~ Continued on from Video 4, showing the ‘shot’ horse in extreme distress, shaking it’s head from the wound and pain, is then finally shot again.
~ “Horse’s do not know what is going on” – clearly showing the strong flight response and stress during the process in the kill chute.
~ Still evading the bolt gun, clearing showing extreme signs of stress (white of the eye showing etc) while looking up at the slaughter-house work man.
(If this hasn’t made you absolutely sick by now Mr. Redman, I will be very, very shocked. But wait, there is more…)
~ Same horse finally shot, then shot again, and shot for a third time.
~ Horse dropped from the box still struggling for a few seconds before finally stopping.
~ Horse being bled out, while mucles tense and the head his arched back – alive or dead? These reactions are from a horse that is still very much aware of what is happening.
I think I’ve made my point about the Captive-Bolt Gun, yes?
Now, I know there have already being three horse’s slaughtered in WA and the meat is already being sold, and I did hear those horse’s were shot using a .22 Rifle instead of the Captive-Bolt Gun. A step forward? Not so much. When horse’s are held to be shot, they need to be extremely still to get a clear, clean shot to the forehead so they are rendered unconscious and killed instantly, instead of minutes later. I have some more video footage to show to you, so again, I do ask of you to sit for a few minutes and have a watch of these disturbing images.
Part I of III:
Part II of III.
Part III of III.
Clearly a .22 Rifle cannot do the job humanely as well, am I correct?
In short – both these methods are not humane in the slaughter of horse’s for human consumption, and when any animal is brought to a slaughter house, it’s welfare and the humanity of how they are ‘slaughtered’ is suppose to be top of the list, yes? Obviously it is not. Now I understand this footage is not from Australian slaughterhouses, but Mr Redman, let’s face facts here – it is done the same the world over, in the north, in the south, in the west and in the east. It’s all the same, just different locations.
So, with everything laid out on the table in front of you Mr Redman, I do believe I have made a very strong case that should ask, beg and plead of you to reinstate the ban of horse meat for human consumption within WA, IE: making it illegal again, and to also fight for this same legislation throughout our entire country.
Thank you for your time.