Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Horse Slaughter: instead they are turning them loose in the Ocala National Forest

I just heard a disturbing comment from a friend in Ocala. Since the national uproar over horse slaughter caused the closure of the last plants in Texas ,there has been a problem with unwanted horses. It now appears that those horse are being released into the Ocala National Forest. With rising feed cost ( the idiotic plan of using corn for fuel production) some owners must be unable to feed some of these horses and opt to turn them loose. I haven't been able to confirm this report but they were adamant. I will check with other sources and see if this is true, if so it can't be good for the horses ( thoroughbreds) ....they aren't mustangs.


John Holland said...

Dr. Weldon,

The reason you cannot confirm these reports is because they are almost certainly not true. There has been a concerted disinformation campaign all over the country planting these stories. That is not to say important people do not believe what they are saying, but they are almost universally wrong.

Other reports have been intentionally deceptive. For example, a story in Florida said that several horses had been abandoned near the Everglades because of the plant closings. The reality was they were found on an abandoned farm with other farm animals. That fact was conveniently left out.

I am a member of a group that spent thousands of hours researching these stories. You can find the report by googling "Deleting the Fiction". There are two parts which fully document this deception.

The fact is that in January of 2007, before the plants closed, we slaughtered or exported to slaughter 9,975 horses. This January we exported to slaughter 9,944. There was only a brief dip (14%) in the slaughter while the plants relocated their operations. Since there is no decrease there can be no effect.

John Holland

Anonymous said...

My name is Beth and I live in Umatilla, FL right on the border of the Ocala National.

My neighbor is a service manager at a car dealership in Ocala and he told me TWO of his customers, a ranger and a manager of a feed store, told him the same thing.

People are turning their unwanted horse out on all sides of the forest and right now there is a band of about 60 roaming.

Also that he was at the hay store and saw people going in and coming out because the hay was too high- NOT BUYING - Economic conditions are poor at best in some of those areas.

I tend to lean towards there being some truth to this rumor.

Anonymous said...

John Holland YOU ARE A MORON.

These reports are true. I have contacted many rescue groups and barns in the area who know people who have turned the horses loose in the Ocala National Forest and have gone in their to save them.

There is this idea of finders keepers in the forest. If you find a horse it becomes yours and you can take it.

On top of that here is your proof. Rangers are continuously going around rescuing horses that people bring to the fores and tie to trees. I bet if you go in the middle of the night you will find numerous horses.

You obviously do not realize how real the horse crisis is.

There is your proof.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the reports are true. But the biggest problem is NOT because of slaughter houses being closed! There are just as many kill buyers at auctions, they just transport them to Canadian and Mexican slaughterhouses now. If you look into the number of horses being sold for slaughter, there has been no decrease since the closure of U.S. slaughterhouses. I'd be more apt to think the idiots that are abandoning their horses are probably thinking the horses are better off avoiding going to slaughter. Also, killers don't buy SKINNY horses for human consumption, so if the horses were underweight and went to auction they would likely not be bought by killers. And a huge issue is that with the bad economy the market is being flooded with good horses at CHEAP prices and inexperienced people buy them, then realize they require CARE, and don't know what to do with them. Bottom line to me is this is due to the economy!