For The Love Of Our Horses
by Tessa Aliece on Thursday, March 17, 2011 at 2:20pm
When I hear stories about horses that lost their lives to the hands of humans at slaughter plants, my faith in humanity vanishes.
When I browse Craigslist and see all the free horses, the horses that are young, broke to ride, friendly… and will ship to slaughter that Friday, I cannot believe human animals are so cruel.
When I see people looking, for horses they sold long ago and cannot find, I pray for those souls.
When I hear humanity and slaughter in the same sentence I want to scream… because humanity and slaughter can never ever fit in a sentence together.
When I receive letters, thanking me for my input but assuring me that livestock, including horses, are checked before slaughter for any drugs in their system, I cannot believe the stupidity. It is not possible to check every 100,000 horses slaughtered in Canada each year for Bute, (Phenylbutazone, a anti-inflammatory drug commonly used to help with treatment of lameness) de wormers given every 3-6 months, annual shots and any other medication given to horses for health issues. And it is known that they only check about 15% of horses that enter the slaughter pipeline.
When I see stories about PMU foals and mares, I cannot believe it. Mares, bred back to back to produce urine (PMU= Pregnant Mare Urine) that is used to make hormone replacement drugs for women. Drugs such as Premarin, PremPro and PremPhase are taken by millions of women every day. These mares are forced to stand in ‘pee lines’ for most of their lives. “A mare normally stays pregnant for 11 months. Six to seven months out of their pregnancy, they are confined to very small stalls and hooked up to pee lines. In the pee line, pouches are attached over their urethra to collect their urine. While attached, the PMU horses cannot turn around, lie down or even groom themselves.
Some mares are forced to stand for the entire 6 or 7 months.
These mares are usually deprived of water, so that the urine will be as concentrated as possible. The average horse usually lives for about 20-30 years. PMU horses don’t usually live this long. Liver and kidney diseases are very common among these horses. When they can no longer stand in the pee lines, or become unable to get pregnant, they are sent to the horse slaughter plants.
Now comes the light bulb moment!
What happens to all the foals that are born to these mares? The unucky ones, that are not rescued, are sent to slaughter. Most of these colts that go through the slaughter are supposed to be at least six months of age.
Some of these foals are sold for their skins. There is a high demand for “pony skin”. It’s a shame that these poor, innocent creatures have to die so that someone can wear pony skin shoes.”
As if that isn’t heartbreaking enough, then there are the undercover videos taken from Bouvry and Richelieu, two of Canada’s most well known slaughter plants in Quebec and Alberta:
And if that isn’t enough to raise your voice to end Horse Slaughter, what about all other animals that are slaughtered for human consumption?
Food Inc has the answers to that:
Despite all this sadness, I have found faith in humanity again. How?
A few weeks ago, ten horses left Camelot Auction in NJ to fill a kill buyers quota. They were purchased privately during the auction and shipped soon after. Camelot Horse Weekly is an amazing FB page, where several people network out the 20-50 horses in the feedlot each week, to try and find them homes. Until a few weeks ago, not a single horse has left Camelot Auction for slaughter since November 2009.
One of the horses in the feedlot, a beautiful mare named Dove or #747’s description read that she had been calling to her friend in the other pen. The comments came up on her photo, asking who Dove’s friend was so that they could be saved together. The grave news came that Dove’s friend, #748 or Truffles, had been one of the Camelot ten and had been shipped.
This caused a huge uproar.
To think of poor Dove, calling for her friend, in a strange place. Dove got saved by an amazing woman who had just lost her pony- two hearts, healing together.
Then a miracle happened. I burst into tears when I found out, as so many others did as well. The meat buyer, who had purchased the ten souls from Camelot, was bringing them back. The auction owner bought them back. And Truffles would be back for us to network her out to find her forever home.
With all our hard work, the Camelot Ten, ten lives almost lost, plus all the new feedlot arrivals from that week’s sale all made it to their new homes. And Truffles was saved by Dream Catching Meadows Rescue, were she now has a stall right across from… Dove. The two have been reunited and we all hope that’s where they will stay ❤ Together ❤
Besides that happy ending, closer to home, a few weeks ago, J & M Acres Horse Rescue picked up a mare they dubbed Duchess. For the poor gal at least deserved a nice, noble name. Duchess was extremely thin, with pancake feet and lice. We also found out she happens to be my little boy’s mom. Duchess is looking so much better and is lice free and her feet have been done. Another happy ending in progress, once she finds her perfect home ❤
And, in Alberta, Rescue Mamas “Since mid December 2010 until today. We have saved 32 lives. 22 of them have found great homes 🙂 4 are kinda spoken for but not 100 % yet and 6 need homes :)”
And so many more success stories world wide. Like the groups who are saving animals in Japan, and Egypt.
So, throughout the sadness that happens everyday, good things are happening. Small things, like saving one life at a time, become a big thing with the reward of light in their eyes when they know they are safe.
People like Rainbow Bridge Detour who step in and give these animals a safe, pain free pass to Heaven’s gates, Camelot Horse Weekly who networks out the lives in trouble. Rescues like Rescue Mamas, J &M Acres Horse Rescue, BC Interior Horse Rescue, Circle F Horse Rescue, Foal Quest, New Stride Thoroughbred Retirement Facility, The Responsible Animal Care Society, B.C Rocky Mountain Horse Rescue, B.C Standardbred Horse Adoption Society, Prince George Equine Rescue, Horses For Adoption In Canada, Sand Forever Friends Rescue, Dreamcatching Meadows Rescue, The BC SPCA and many more private rescues that save as many as they can. And then the people, each and every one of them, who network these horses out, donate, adopt or sponsor, all making a difference.
And especially to Sarah K Andrew for taking her time to take beautiful photos of the feedlot horses of Camelot. With Sarah’s amazing talent and breathtaking photos these horses are seen how they should be seen, Diamonds in the Rough. Thank you, Sarah
And the Members of Parliament who are for the bills to stop horse slaughter, to stop the transport of livestock across boarders, fight for better animal laws and try to protect our wild horses.
Thank you, all of you.
And to every animal, that has died a inhumane death at the hands of our fellow humans, R.I.P. One day, this madness will end.