Betty Coulthard responds to critisism of her sending young horses to slaughter

Please note that this response appeard in the Western Producer:

Horse industry in need of saving

 Betty Coulthard is an Alberta horse breeder. After giving an interview to the Producer in August, she was subjected to criticism and threats from people she deems to be animal activists. Here is her response.

 People, please calm down, get the facts and for those who have worked up a lather in a frenzied attack against us, including death threats, please learn reading comprehension.

The statement, “ you need to breed 100 to get two good ones”, does not mean that I or any other breeder does that.

At the panel discussion with the reporter who wrote the Aug. 26 article, many opinions were expressed. This opinion was, to most of us, understood to mean that few horses are super horses.

Consider it this way: 30,000 Thoroughbreds are foaled annually. The Kentucky Derby has a 20 horse gate.

I have had three super individuals. One died early in a promising career for its owner due to bad veterinary advice, one died due to oil company negligence and the third was foaled this spring.

Our average production includes stakes placed, on the winning team at the Calgary Stampede team penning finals, state fair reserve halter, winners at rope, barrel, reining, penning, hunter/jumper, dressage, chuck wagon, countless ranch, pleasure, lesson horses and bloodstock throughout Western Canada and 18 states.

I have never and do not now breed 100 per year, nor anywhere near that number.

One panel attendee has backed out in fear. Of what, we do not know. His life, family,   property, reputation? These are all valid concerns given the threats of the animal activists. Bullying works.

Even if much of this arose from poor reading comprehension, it does not justify the vicious slander, insults, false assumptions, lies and threats. Those slandering us did so by slandering our millionaire sire, White Tie, High Point Champion Almars Secret and mares sired by sires at $10,000-plus fees.

The slaughter ban in the United States is destroying the industry. Prior to our slaughter of 18 head, we had a production sale at a cost of $12,000. There were 2,000 colour catalogues distributed, 500 posters displayed, an on-line catalogue plus other targeted advertising. We attracted 400 people; 393 came for lunch.

All sale horses were led through, groomed, quiet with ground handling done. The sale had a replacement guarantee and we guarantee every private sale.

Just before the sale, my husband broke three ribs and then I hit black ice and rolled my vehicle. Painkillers got us through the sale. After, we were only deeper in debt on the horse side of our operation with feed at record highs.

We presumed the market wanted none of our horses. It made sense to try to cut our losses to save the best of the rest.

The activists have blasted us for not giving the horses away. We had bottomed the sale at $300 and we received flak from owners of our stock, that by doing so, we had devalued theirs.

The activists state we could have euthanized them. It’s more humane, they say. I delivered the horses directly to a modern plant with a proper restraining stock and compassionate handlers on the morning of the slaughter. They were penned separately with fresh water for a few hours. Their end was quick.

It makes no sense in a world of hungry people to destroy the meat of these animals.

I came forward to try to stop this destruction of good horses. Now, we have been cast  by the activists, the very people who have forced us into this corner, as killers of horses, of raising horses for meat.

I despair at the downfall of the industry. We know a breeder with champion stock who cannot make the step to send some to slaughter, yet is on the brink of losing everything and is praying for a miracle.

A local producer with champion horses, with a new indoor arena used by youth riders, is out of business. I have been told of a man who hauled his entire herd to the plant. He then sat in his pickup for most of the day watching until the last of his horses were gone. I know his pain.

Can you accusatory individuals not grasp the sadness and despair in this man’s heart? Can you not grasp the pain that those of us who have cared for our herds and shared their lives on a daily basis , are feeling?

These activists have companion horses. I have a friend with a house-trained rooster in her kitchen. All animals can be made into companions.

After being paralyzed from the neck down at 26 years of age and told I would never walk again, I am no stranger to adversity, struggle or coping with tough decisions.

That is why I am in this fight — to save my horses and the horse industries.

It is wrong that militant lunatics are allowed to cause so much destruction and suffering. To all of you who have accused me of being a cold blooded killer who hates horses, you need to recognize that I made myself, an old, crippled lady, a stand-alone target in front of a bunch of fanatics.

That is the extent I have gone to for my love of horses, to save my horses and to save the industry for future generations of horse lovers. 

Coulthard horses romp in their pasture near Forestburg, Alta. | file photo

 

38 comments

  1. Karen Barker · ·

    Good grief, this woman is absolutely clueless. She bred too many horses then slaughtered them to save her a$$. The problem is, how do you argue with stupid? You can’t fix stupid, and that is what this woman is, plain and simple.

  2. Beth Schang · ·

    Horse slaughter is, IMO, wrong on so many levels – I read each comment carefully, agree with most, yet also think that one important variable has been missed – the question of just how can the Canadian government even allow US horses into their slaughter-houses for human consumption given that they KNOW about the drugs most likely used for the welfare of these horses, is also “not for use with animals intended for human consumption”? I think the Canadians themselves would be against US horses being fed to them as an unregulated public health hazard. I know I don’t let my children eat food from questionable sources….and that includes some foods approved by our US government regulations.

  3. Tom Cromwell · ·

    Why is it whenever horse slaughter comes up I hear people use the justification as feeding the hungry of the world. Get real — there is not a single hungry person in the world that can afford to eat horse meat sold on the open market.

    1. Reisa · ·

      No kidding, Tom. I gasp when chicken rises to $2.69/lb. Horse meat is $20-$40/lb.! And the QHs that Betty Blowhard breeds? Highest prices for lean QH rump in the EU. Don’t know why she’s selling herself short for what was it, $160 per mare? An average QH yields 300-400 lbs. of meat. She could have her own little gourmet packing business at up to $16k per horse, minus shipping. Oh, but that will never happen. Because then she would have to stop pretending she is a “breeder,” when actually she is a hoarder and a cold hearted killer.

  4. Reisa · ·

    Steffani, why would you buy Betty’s horses? Out of pity? Buying from irresponsible over breeders only encourages them! I was a sport horse purchasing assistant and still work with high quality animals, so my eyes are WIDE open. There is no quality there, and Betty herself says, “You have to breed 100 horses to get 2 good ones.” It’s like horse slaughter bingo.

    She is not even involved in the horse show world, as her horses are not not performance types for ANY sport. Her website is made of long winded blathering about her breeding stocks’ ancestors, which means very little unless the breeding stock themselves are winners. Their progeny are a bizarre cross of race and cow horse type: too long in the body, too short in the legs. Sort of “Dachshund horses.” Unfortunately, I must contradict you: This certainly does create more meat by the pound.

    As for “what the heck can u do”? STOP F&^KING BREEDING, MORONS.

    By the way, what on earth is a “politican”?

  5. steffani kehler · ·

    okay for all u ppl who r bashing betty.. i have bought TONS of horses from this lady.. she does soo much for her horses and takes care of them better then any big breeder i know!!! she is doing what she has to do to live.. i mean open ur eyes ppl… is it better to jus let horses starve?? or give them away to ppl who cant even afford to take care of them themselves??

    i am TOTALLY against slaughter BUT when ur there age.. what the heck can u do. let there horses starve?? or send them to auction?
    she doesnt put MEAT on them.. if ppl would open there eyes and see that they have nice quality

    anyway this is sickening
    u politicans are F*KD

  6. Hi Suzanne,

    You make some great points, and very passionately. Nor do I wish to get mixed in with the animal activists who want even responsible ownership of pets to end. And I eat meat. I come from the ag industry on both sides, and am saddened at farmers losing their home and businesses to factory farms. I very much wish to see the end of factory farms and assembly line slaughter of any kind.

    However, fair is fair. HSUS’s policies are not even close to PETA’s and SHARK’s extreme stance. They were highly instrumental in closing US slaughter plants, and have never stopped campaigning for H.R. 503, which would prohibit shipping out of the US for slaughter. They also took in the horses waiting to be slaughtered, the day the doors closed. http://www.humanesociety.org/news/news/2010/01/fighting_horse_slaughter_011210.html

    SHARK has a lot of web space dedicated to exposing and fighting horse slaughter. Though I’m not sure what success they’ve had, they volunteered their media truck to horse advocates to use during the Vegas Slaughter Summit. http://www.sharkonline.org/?P=0000000528

    PETA does not have a reputation for fighting horse slaughter. However, it was PETA that organized the Canadian slaughter plant protests in October. The organizer only identified herself as Emily Lavender, but she is a PETA employee.

  7. I received several comments through my email that were responses to this post but they seem to have been deleted as they are no ton here now?

    I would like to respond to “lbjequine” who asked “do you eat beef, chicken, or pork? if so then those animals are medicated, wormed, and fly care too. are they then dammaged meat?”

    Actually NO , I don’t. I am a vegetarian. But regardless, at least there is some control in the food market though I personally am not interested in eating the hormones and other crap they allow in those animals. And secondly, eating horse meat is not a tradition here. Just as we don’t eat dogs either but other countries do.

    And your second post about that you bred champions and then other breedings went awry, just because a horse isn’t “perfect” in conformation do not make them SLAUGHTER bound for crying out loud!!! Just because they can’t go into the showring and that is all you think about, doesn’t mean they can’t have a good life and serve someone with other interests. There are many horses that do other things than show.
    You sound just like another breeder who overbreeds and send the horses off to auctions instead of taking responsibility.

  8. I decline the invitation to your pity party, the games would be depressing, the food would be horse & the loot bags will suck. I find those who feel the need to play the victim card rather then do the right thing & accept responsibility to be quite pathetic. How the hell does an injury or illness that you have justify you sentencing perfectly good horses to death? I fell down my basement stairs, landing on my head resulting in a fractured skull, crushed veins & damaged nerves in my brain, a broken knee & a solid almost black bruise from the base of my head to my hips & in the last 13 years have had headaches that range from painful to debilitating 24/7/365 & am on one form of medication or another that keeps our bank account empty & I have yet to sell any of my animals to a killer to make a buck, so try again. I also believe the pain killers need to be left alone, they’re making you delusional. To say that all those outraged by YOUR actions are slanderous to one horse is in the top 10 of the dumbest things I have ever heard. Another entry to the list is “It makes no sense in a world of hungry people to destroy the meat of these animals.” First of all horse meat is toxic, so you are saying you are all for putting people’s health at stake. Second of all only 16% of the ENITRE WORLD’S POPULATION eat horse meat, somehow I think they will not starve without you feeding your horses to them. There is no way that you are not aware of the toxic chemicals in horse meat that are poisonous to people so by you stating that “feeding the hungry” is more important then your horses being given a real chance at life, you are proving everyone right that money is all that matters to you. Your horses welfare & the health of other human beings fall far below on your list of priorities. You list so many things that have nothing to do with the issue at hand. If you were trying to set the record straight, you need to think before you send a message out that proves us right. Listing so many things that have nothing to do with the issue at hand must have been an attempt on your part to confuse us with babble b/c very few of what you said actually touched on what we are disgusted with. If you are telling us that you are so disabled that you have trouble dealing with your horses, then why the hell do you have horses in the first place? Yet another thing you said that works against you. Here is what I got out of your insanely ridiculous rebuttl”:
    * You’re a victim
    * Your money hungry
    * You’re a victim
    * You refuse to take responsibility
    * You’re a victim
    * You don’t think before you speak
    * You’re a victim
    * You should never be allowed near ANY animal
    * You’re obsession with money means more to you then the lives of your animals & other humans.
    * You’re a victim
    * You are one of the worst liars I have ever seen
    * Did I mention, you’re a victim?
    Your response to this was disrespectful, ignorant & full of sorry excuses. Unfortunately for you, we are all smarter then a skittle so no one is going to read what you have to say & change their outlook on you. You have not succeeded in winning anyone over, in fact your ignorance has failed you. Go back & try again, it’s ok we’ll wait.

  9. “…what did she expect, more customers as they would feel sorry for her??!!!”

    Yes, I suspect that’s what she expects. Right on the money again, Irene. She strikes me as an animal hoarder. She’s certainly not a breeder. I’m unfortunately somewhat familiar with hoarder psychology. No matter how many animal lives they ruin, no matter the distress they cause their community, they continue on their path. Hoarders ALWAYS have a sob story. They work frantically to draw you into their world and warped reality. If they starve animals, it’s, “I try so hard on my limited income.” Yet contacting a rescue or limiting their herd/pack was never attempted.

    Hoarders ALWAYS have inferior animals with genetic defects. Betty breeds Quarter Horses that are too long backed and light in the loin for stock horse/gaming purposes, yet do not have the look of “speed” for QH racing. Even if they do not have what is stereotypically considered a mill, i.e. sick animals in filthy stacked cages, their animals are a far cry from breed standards.

    Hoarders ALWAYS draw the attention back to themselves, in an irrational circle. We’re talking about Betty overbreeding inferior horses, then slaughtering them for $160 a head. Suddenly, it’s about Betty’s infirmity. Well, if you’re infirm, it’s almost impossible to care for horses, particularly that many.

    Hoarders ALWAYS persist in actions that harm the animals, and draw attention to themselves.

    Hoarders ALWAYS need persistent and aggressive intervention before they start coming out of denial. This woman has repeatedly made a fool of herself on an international level, yet continues in the same mindset.

    As hoarders do not have an inkling that they are mentally ill and abusive, they ALWAYS avoid reaching out for help to rescues, etc. They believe they do not meed help, as a normal person would. Note that Betty sent all those mares to slaughter for a very few dollars, then created a media circus. A hoarder would never contact the media to SAVE the animals. Because then they can’t play Victim. They’d be confronted with the fact they’re abusers.

    Animal welfare officers dread relationships with hoarders. It’s never a case of some belligerent so and so you visit once, and seize their obviously abused animals on a warrant. Hoarders take up immense financial and administrative resources, sometimes over years. Many times, judges order medically neglected animals returned to the hoarder once they’ve been treated. There are no laws against over breeding or poor breeding, and obviously none against slaughter.

    The depth of a hoarder’s mental illness and recidivism rate is comparable to habitual pedophile or violent psychopath. Rarely treatable. Even once treated, they return to their damaging behaviors. One theory I particularly like is that they have severe attachment disorders. This means they were grossly neglected by their parents, and try to make this up by “loving” animals. Yet because they don’t know that love is not just a feeling, they neglect animals the same way they were neglected. E.g. if your parents were mentally ill or alcoholic, fed you sporadically and didn’t take you to the pediatrician, you’re less likely to do these things for your own dependents.

    There are several good TV specials on hoarding. YouTube has them. United Animal Nations has an informational webpage about this sickness.

  10. Yes Reisa, it is odd how some people make excuses as Betty. I have been through financial hardship myself for some time now, but like you, I do what I need to in order to stay afloat and it means cutting back on a lot.

    I have never bred anything for several reasons but as long as a breeder takes responsibility of their animals I don’t mind. Bringing loads and loads of horses to a slaughter house means you have done a huge mistake somewhere. And instead of doing the right thing which would have been giving these horses to rescues and other options, the $$$ was more important to Betty , no matter how little she got. She wanted to get what she could and would not give the horses a chance to live.
    I do hope she goes out of business after people find out what she does. Serves her right, what did she expect, more customers as they would feel sorry for her??!!!

    And I bet she had used the slaughter house before this story came out….

    1. G Faulkner · ·

      Irene, I met Betty and she is what youre all calling her, I wont argue that, but,, I got her people who would buy her horses at market, YET, Betty said she’d rather send them to slaughter than to not get what top dollar should have brought, its all about ego too here, it was more important to her, not to have others benefit from her “breeding program” than to get the horses good homes, not even at slaughter price, this disgusted me. I also have to say, and not to excuse anyone from what Betty has done. but Ive been a small breeder, AQHA Member for a long time, yet, this time ive not renewed with them. Ive sent AQHA SIX letters voicing my disgust with their past actions that have in most part, created this glut on the market. when the PMUs were in full swing, a lot ot the farms used papered horses at least on one side. AQHA decided to register ALL of these “opportunities”, they got excessively greedy for FEE money. a massive number of PMU foals were registered flooding AQHAs bank account, they stabbed their own breeder members in the back for the almighty dollar, THEY harmed our industry from the top, it all flooded downhill from there, those of us who saw this cut back immediately, Betty didnt. you also have to understand that in the good years, Betty Couthard did a huge business, her mistake in the good times was, she concentrated on the US Market soley. when the recession hit, it hit south first before coming to Canada, thus, she was without a market and no one even really knew her lineages for her stock up there. She lost ALL sales. it was a downhill slide from there on. she is an example of the worst kind of breeder making ALL the wrong decisions ALL the time. WhenI was there in 2007 her farm was falling apart, painting fences heavily with paint to hold them together, equipment was breaking down daily, she couldnt afford a vet for a horse she was treating that should have been euthenized , yet she regularily ordered Chinese food in. ? I will in close though, remind AQHA that their organization was birthed as a breakaway group of disgruntled members. it can happen again. G

  11. Honestly I can not believe all these excuses….wow….you don’t breed more than you can sell. Period.

    Go get a job and support your horses as most of us do instead of expecting them to support YOU.

    So horses coming in from the U.S is dragging down your meat prices? booohoo! Feel so sorry for you, NOT! Hopefully we can eventually make it illegal to ship horses for slaughter across the borders, believe me , we are trying.

    And the meat that should not be wasted as you state Betty, it is not going to any hungry people anywhere! It is going to Europe (most of it) to fancy restaurants! So stop pretending you kill your horses for some starving people somewhere (which still is not a good excuse, send them something else to eat if you feel the need to).

    And like Sandra is saying, you stop breeding when the market goes down. You must have seen your numbers in sales dwindle? All businesses has suffered in this economy, we just have to find other solutions, and sometimes, that means go outside to get a job to keep your own business going.

    You just bred too many horses, more than you could care for. Don’t breed them if you can’t feed them.

    1. Right on, Irene. I’m a musician and singing teacher, and am in despair as Arts funding and spending gets slashed in BC. Am I going into debt, frantically printing more teaching materials and upgrading my piano? Of course not! I’m diversifying in order to survive. Piecework.

      How much more is the onus on people who are responsible for other living creatures, to diversify and explore a career change. I’m fortunately responsible only for myself. This would be a ridiculous time for me to get pregnant. It’s a ridiculous time to breed low-end animals you not only can’t sell, but don’t have the means to market or support.

      Betty Coulthard is a horse miller, and an unsuccessful one. I wonder how heavily she relied on slaughter in the years before this sad saga emerged?

  12. Lori Schmidt · ·

    I would love to know what a “proper restraining stock” is for a horse. Maybe your poor horses got “individual attention” while they were slaughtered, this however is not the case with the production line mentality of all the rest that meet this cruel end. I feel sorry for every person that may have received the meat from them because I am pretty sure that they had received some sort of medication in their lifetimes that made them a hazard to anyone wanting to eat them. How many foals did you put on the ground this year? and how many do you expect next year? Shame on you.

  13. I have 5 horses. 1 QH stud, 3 mares & a gilding. I bred a few out side mares but mostly my own. I didn’t breed every year. When prices went tits up I GAVE AWAY 1 of my colts for Barter work. My Ferrier got 1 for a bill & the rest went cheap TO GOOD HOMES.
    We don’t have alot of money, we live soly on what my husband makes. I now have 2 horses that are OLD or lamed up from hitting a knee on something. These horses are still rideable to a degree. When we are at wits end trying to make ends meet, my horses are still here & God knows, we’ve nearly lost our place many times!!! I might go hungry but my horses are fed!
    I have a friend that’s got a few horses, They can’t keep there heads above water, they FIND ranchers that will winter their horses for them or even use them in summer for the horses keep.
    MY FATHER IS paralized from waist down, He managed with help to save what he had. The popular Breeders I bought my stud from are old now. It’s getting tough for them to care for all they have but I promiss you, THERE’S NO WAY IN HELL EVEN ONE OF THEIR HORSES WILL GO TO SLAUGHTER!!!!!!
    There are sooooooo many places that these horses of yours COULD HAVE WENT.
    My Stud is worth thousands. I wouldn’t get that now but if he had to go I know he’d get a great home with a rancher. NONE of my horses are going to slughter!
    If you think that your being crippled is an excuse, you can forget that also. My father & many other cripples that I know make a good living. POINT PROVEN!

  14. Betty paints herself as a terrific businesswoman and discriminating breeder who is the victim of a bad economy. She ignores the fact that according to the AQHA, the 2009 spring North American QH foal crop was 140,000. Could there possibly be a market for that many QH’s? Hell, no.

    But let’s look at that number another way. About half the horses on kill trucks are QHs. 96,000 horses are slaughtered in Canada annually. That would make roughly 48,000 QHs destined for slaughter, from birth. An adult QH fetches about $500, at meat price. Over half ship in from the US. Where, let’s face it, the best quality QHs originate, and competition is fierce. Not to slag Canadian QHs. But credit where it’s due, they are an American breed.

    Betty Blowhard, if your product is that cheap and easy to obtain, and the competition so tough, where do you get off presenting yourself as a businesswoman whose occupation is breeding QHs for competition and pleasure? Even the supremely successful King Ranch, origin of the QH, occasionally ships to slaughter. Between these numbers and the staggeringly poor quality of your horses, how could you hope to compete on the open market?

    1. Hello Moderator,

      Would you kindly send me a private message to let me know why I show up as two different people on this blog? Wouldn’t be surprised if I did something like register twice! Thanks.

  15. sandra longley · ·

    Betty, my suggestion to you as a cure for your slaughter blues..being forced to fill your freezers with the meat of your slaughtered foals and eat every one of them..tell me their names and stories about how you delivered everyone when it was born and how it nuzzled you and wanted affection and looked at you with big trusting eyes and nickered when you walked into the barn, while horsemeat is dripping off your chin.

  16. Shelley · ·

    What this woman doesn’t get or conveniently forgets to mention, is that the same number, or more horses are going to slaughter from the U.S., so that business has only shifted from there – not ended. I guess what her real concern is that there is a greater percentage of U.S. horses of the number that go to slaughter in Canada, than in previous years. The U.S. is therefore cutting into her, and other irresponsible breeders’ chances of sending more Canadian horses to the slaughterhouse. That is obviously a fair chunk of her business, in the end. The demand for slaughter horses may be less in Canada now that over 50% of horses come up from the U.S. What crocodile tears – what a crock!

  17. shari welsh · ·

    Horse slaughter is a cruel and predatory business , Betty is just interested in money, money, money. Betty wants people to eat her horses, these people will do anything for a buck, get a job Betty-quit torturing animals for profit.

  18. Anne Buxton · ·

    What a ridiculous series of statements. I sincerly hope this woman is no longer breeding any horses, for she is a menace to equines. I’ve been in the horse business for 35 years, and the thought of sending one of my horses to the killers has NEVER crossed my mind. Don’t breed a bunch of bad horses if you can’t afford to take care of them, or euthanize them if necessary. The scary thing is, people that aren’t in the horse business might listen to this woman’s trumped up excuses for killing her horses for money. Slaughter is not an option, and the slaughter ban certainly isn’t hurting the horse industry in the United States. The economy may be hurting the business, but the slaughter ban can only help, by ensuring that people breed less horses with more quality.

    1. lbjequine. · ·

      I am sorry but I have been in the horse world for a long time too.
      And I have seen too horses that are both exeptional breeding, conformation and temperment, both are worl champions in many disaplines, therefor you would think they would produce exceptional off spring…. wrong. these two were bred 3 years to see what they would produce and all three foals were disasters, confimationaly wrong, and nothing to take to the show ring. even thier temperments were wrong, hard to handle, harder to train.
      so to rights don’t always make another right.

      1. lbjequine, you’re right about that. You can never guarantee how a breeding will turn out. As is proven on a large scale by TBs whose parents were major stakes winners, and the offspring show no speed. This is the reason TB breeders produce 24,000 foals every spring, and only 12 make the Kentucky Derby. Roughly 50% of TBs go to slaughter because breeders refuse to take responsibility when a horse isn’t be a big money winner. Or a horse goes lame, becomes infertile, etc.

        The onus is on the breeder to plan and finance for these contingencies. A dog breeder friend of mine bred a litter that were all fine dogs, but the breed just wasn’t popular enough. She called out to her network to find good homes, and actually gave some pups away. The rest, she kept. It’s up to any breeder to provide the resources for a humane life, from birth to death.

      2. lbjequine, I responded to your comments further down as I didn’t realize how this forum worked.

        There are many uses for horses other than showring, I have yet to see one born with such temper it can not be trained…most of hte time it is the handler that is not capable, not the horse fault.

        You should be prepared to take care of the ones who are not born champions (few are) and be responsible for them, should it be in regards to finding them suitable homes or supporting them YOURSELF. If not , DO NOT BREED.

      3. Suzanne Moore · ·

        That’s true, but it has NOTHING to do with your responsibility to the horses you cause to be born. Your responsibility starts when they are born and continues until they die – hopefully of old age, or having been put down by a vet. There is NO EXCUSE for doing anything else. Period.

        The breeder from whom I bought my Morgan made me promise that, if I didn’t want him or couldn’t keep him for whatever reason, I would LET HER BUY HIM BACK. Many Morgan breeders have this stipulation because they CARE about the animals they breed and don’t breed more than they feel they can place. If they can’t place a few, they KEEP THEM.

        It’s called “responsibility.

  19. OH! We heard your kind of defending yourself, comments, over and over! We, are just fade-up of seeing, people abusing and profiting, on life itself. I don,t profit off, a horse,s skin, and never did! We all work, hard for a living, but we use our hands, our minds, our hearts. We don,t sit back, and use, & abuse a horse, to get through life. You people think, its easy to see innocent creatures, going to death, for no reason, at all… If you can,t feed them, don,t breed them! tks

  20. Your morals are inconceivable glad you are Canadian not American my father who served along side the canadian royal air force and the RAF stated there were differences, now I truly believe he was right ours is a moral question yours is an excuse. This is the 21 century there is such a thing as genetics, use it, do not over breed. I will pray for your soul.

    1. No need to be jingoistic here. The US can afford to play holier-than-thou since it banned horse slaughter on its own soil yet still sends its horses to abattoirs in Canada and Mexico, or in some cases, abandons its horses by the side of anonymous roads like roadkill. As one US auctioneer said in the Channel 13 report from Indiana when questioned about auction horses being transported to Canada for slaughter: “that’s another country. I have nothing to say about what’s done in another country”. A minor but deadly hypocrisy there, don’t you think? And Canada and Mexico play lapdog to the US’ preening of its morality–all the worse for them. The heinousness of horse slaughter transcends national boundaries: we’re all guilty so don’t make it about national loyalties. It’s about horses abandoned, transported and eviscerated alive, or left to languish until death is their only reprieve. It’s about them.

      1. Suzanne Moore · ·

        There IS a lot of truth in what you say, Cynthia. These poisonous horses ARE our responsibility. But it seems the animal ag people who mistakenly think we want an end to ALL animal ag are the ones with the deep pockets to lobby our law makers. We are only individuals, and they are not listening. I eat meat, but the fact is, our horses are NOT safe to eat and there is NO way to “humanely” slaughter a horse.

        I think it’s abominable that our government sits back while thousands of our tainted horses pour over Canada’s border. However, I’ve been fighting this for over 30 years – as have many others – but we are not rich.

        And, just for the record, I have NEVER seen ANYTHING from PETA, HSUS, SHARK or any other “radical animal rights activists” do a damn thing to try to stop horse slaughter. Since their agenda is the extinction of all domesticated animals, they probably WANT slaughter of horses to continue.

  21. equusprimus · ·

    You are NOT saving the horse industries by having your own excess horses slaughtered. What you fail to accept is that YOU BRED TOO MANY HORSES FOR THE MARKET, you created your own excess. Market economics is quite simple, actually. Production needs to meet demand, if it exceeds it, business goes down the drain because you have EXCESS product which goes unsold and if other producers do the same, you have low market prices too. If production does not meet demand, you will be profitable with higher prices but your revenue will not be maximized because there is not enough output to go around.

    And these business decisions, including the choice to breed, do not happen in a vacuum. Regional and national economic conditions must be taken into consideration, that’s part of running a business. It’s no different than the business query you ask yourself when you consider whether you will invest in a new piece of equipment or a new building — these things must be supported by significant future revenues. But when you are seduced into breeding for another “great one” because you happen to own a “million dollar stud/great broodmare”, well, that aspect should never have been the overriding consideration in the first place.

    Just like all the markets, yours has been affected by the economic downturn. Do you refuse to see that this recession affects your business? Do you think the horse business should be exempt from the downturn? Do you believe the market “should” be the same as it was in 2005 or 2007, just “because”? Well, you are wrong if you do and you must quit living in a fantasy land.

    Your problem with EXCESS production is because of a poor decision to breed when a market downturn was ready to occur. It is exacerbated because nearly all QH breeders made the same mistake. Breeding animals for sale is more like the lottery, a game of chance, than say, producing consumable essential widgets or providing a basic non-discretionary service.

    Further, why do you claim that to “waste” the horse meat is a shame when so many people are hungry. HELLO! Are those horses you sent to slaughter all “pure”? Did you raise them for slaughter, as food animals? If so, well, then the rest of this will not apply but I am pretty sure, these horses were raised as sport, companion, riding horses and NOT as meat animals. Had you medicated them with bute or antibiotics or steriods for any injuries or illnesses, ever? What about wormers, fly spray? If you did — and the odds are OVERWHELMINGLY strong that you did because North Americans do not just let their animals run wild with no care — then YOU ARE NOW ALSO GUILTY OF PROVIDING TOXIC “MEAT” TO CONSUMERS. Did you even think about this? How ethical and moral do you think it is for you to send harmful product to innocent humans who might not realize what they are eating? It’s bad enough to slaughter your own stock because you couldn’t seem to put the brakes on the breeding even when the market was diving. But this, putting humans in harm’s way, well, it’s pretty despicable.

    1. lbjequine. · ·

      do you eat beef, chicken, or pork?
      if so then those animals are medicated, wormed, and fly care too. are they then dammaged meat?

      1. Lori Schmidt · ·

        Livestock destined for the food chain have strict regulations in place to make sure they do not receive prohibited substances in their lifetimes before reaching slaughter. The beef pork and chicken industries have strict controls in place to make sure that the meat being processed meets the strict guidelines and requirements, the horse industry DOES NOT. Even so chicken, pork and beef are still pumped full of hormones and antibiotics which are probably the cause of so much sickness in our society today, but they are not illegal …. yet …. the fact of the matter is that horses are not raised to be eaten.

      2. Lori is correct in her answer to you lbjequine.

        And actually I do NOT eat meat. And the rest of this country does NOT eat meat,just as we do not eat dogs. So we do not slaughter dogs and should not slaughter horses either. What is the difference???

  22. sandra longley · ·

    I have been a horse breeder for 40 years, I quit breeding 7 years ago when I saw the market going down..where were you? Why should your horses suffer for your stupidity..You bring disgrace on the rest of us, and the responsable breeders..someone could have helped you place them..give them away..what you got for foals from slaughter would’nt pay for your pamphlets..How dare you try to excuse what you did. My stallions and mares may live the rest of their lives with me supporting them and never produce another foal..because I understand and accept that they had nothing to do with the economy, and I have a responsability to them. You should be banned from any breed association

    1. G Faulkner · ·

      I had to post something here, I came to Alberta with my wife from the US, to gather an awesome breeding herd to take back south. I found out about Coulthards “plight” and offered to take horses off her at reasonable prices, I even went out there to help with chores she was behind on. while there, I witnessed a foal that had her hide stripped from WIRE off 3/4 of her hind leg, she wouldnt get a vet and was administering salve and bandaging, I do some of my own vetting also but I asked her the sense of trying to deal with such a severe injury, and not put the foal down. she said ” well she might be worth something for a brood mare? ?? I also helped to get it out there that she was trying to sell the horses as she was already running loads herself to Ft Mcleod for slaughter. People did come back wanting to buy horses but, Bettys response to me was, “id rather sell them to slaughter for less money, than to have someone benefit from my hard work and not pay what I feel theyre worth”. I was so disgusted that I left their farm very early the next morning as I couldnt honestly face her and not say something negative to her. My wife and I are breeders in California, and as you and the economy we haven;t bred for two seasons now. as you, we love our horses, they arent just income. I agree that this poor “crippled womsn:” should be banned from breeding anyting anytime anywhere. G.

  23. […] link: Betty Coulthard responds to critisism of her sending young horses … Related Posts:A young man wants a job ! | Offield Farms The next four years I was working as a […]

  24. Alpha Mare · ·

    “It is wrong that militant lunatics are allowed to cause so much destruction and suffering. To all of you who have accused me of being a cold blooded killer who hates horses, you need to recognize that I made myself, an old, crippled lady, a stand-alone target in front of a bunch of fanatics.”

    Sounds as if it could have come straight from the mouth of an old broodmare, doomed to slaughter by the very people she describes. Don’t it?

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