Desperate economic times aren't just bad for people--they're terrible for animals, too. The New York Times ran an eye-opening piece this weekend about the cruelties visited on horses when owners come up short on cash and the courageous humans trying to help the horses. It's worth a read.
Even more eye-opening is a blog entry that's been circulating recently in my part of the horse world (I show in the Maryland hunter-jumper world) about a woman who recently rescued a horse from what's called a killer buyer auction in New Holland, Pennsylvania. The auction is s a disgusting, inhumane locale where blind, bleeding and injured horses are routinely beaten by unfeeling "killer buyers" who sell them for slaughter and "processing" into meat. There is no vengeance painful enough for people who make money in the animal slaughter business, as far as I'm concerned. Here's a link to pictures of New Holland, then read the blog entry below, written by a woman who saved a perfectly rideable, gorgeous young horse from a cruel fate, as the inarticulate, uneducated "meat man" tried to talk her out of it:
Rita and I looked at some other horses, but I couldn't get it out of my mind... The locked eyes earlier, the scared eyes in the kill pen, did I really feed this horse his last treat? I decided I would approach him (the meat guy) again.... He had a smirk on his face this time, but was still very mean....I told Rita my plan was to poke holes in what the horse was worth, by asking it's age, and is he registered, etc.... I walked up to the meat buyer who is standing with the broker who sold him the horse... He laughed at me and said "back so soon?" I said "How old is this horse?" Broker said "5" I asked if he was registered broker said "should be, he got a lip tattoo, he's off the track, they don't race sh*# horses, although this one's crazy, and that's why he's here." The meat dealer then said "You got cash? I said "yes, but not 500.00", he said 400.00" I said "350.00" he said "375.00, let me see it" I took the money out and put it in his hand and he said to me "now look, you gotta go get the horse out of that pen, I ain't goin' in there with all those other crazy horses, and I ain't touching your crazy ass horse, and when this horse hurts you, I don't want you comin' up to me next auction cryin' about it, it's buy at your own risk, and you just did, ( as he shoves the money in his pocket) now go get your horse out of my pen, and good luck to you, cause you're gonna need it!" I then heard him mumble under his breath as I was walking away "crazy ass broad."
This one was saved, but hundreds of thousands are sold for slaughter to Canada and Mexico each year. This inhumane treatment could be ruled illegal. Breeders could be regulated and prevented from breeding more horses than there are caring owners to buy them. Any time money can be made off of animals' misery, the market unfortunately governs. I will continue to write about and expose this ugly underbelly of American society until Congress and the president shut down the slaughter industry.
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By Bonnie Erbe