Statements from Veterinarians on horse slaughter:
"Why would the AAEP and AVMA support such an industry? Have they considered the inevitable suffering that the current situation brings about as opposed to the hypothetical suffering that these horses endure if they live?"
- Nicholas H. Dodman, DVM, Diplomate ACVA and ACVB
"From the time a horse is picked up by the killer buyer he is meat on the hoof, and that is the way he is treated. In a journey which can take days, or occasionally weeks, he is jammed into trucks, often where he cannot even stand, and left to fend for himself among a load of other terrified horses. Some of these horses actually have fractures and are in great pain. USDA regulations state that they can go 28 hours without food and water (bad enough) and even this is unenforceable. When the horse reaches the slaughterhouse, death is by captive bolt, and if anyone thinks this always works the first time, we have a film they should see. As a veterinarian I realize the inevitability of euthanasia in certain cases, but to equate the slaughter process with humane euthanasia is the height of hypocrisy."
- John K. Griggs, DVM
"As a veterinarian, I believe that it is my responsibility to treat all of my patients in a humane manner. Looking at the condition of slaughter-bound horses in the videos and photographs taken by journalists, investigators and welfare personnel (over many years), I could never explain to a client or to a child what is humane about their transport, and I would certainly never recommend this avenue of disposing of a horse to a client. If I cannot support these practices to my clients as being humane, how can I stand up as a professional and present them to the public as such?"
- Nena J. Winand, DVM, PhD
"I would like to impress upon you that the AVMA and AAEP may represent me by profession, but they do not represent me on this issue and until they can show you polling of their membership reflecting it, please do not believe that their governing bodies represent the views of the people they claim to either. Accordingly, I urge you to support HR 503 in any and every way you can!!!! Thank You!!!!"
- Kerry Zeigler, VMD
Review of Horse Slaughter Footage
Bouvry Exports in Fort Macleod, Alberta; and
Viande Richelieu in Massueville, Quebec
Dr. Debi Zimmermann B.Sc (Zoology), D.V.M.
Dr. Debi Zimmrmann B. Sc (Zoology), D.V.M. assessment follows a comprehensive review of video footage filmed in early 2010, representing a random day’s operation at two Canadian horse slaughterhouse facilities; Bouvry Exports in Fort Macleod, Alberta, and Viande Richelieu Inc. in Massueville Quebec. During the periods reviewed, 187 horses were processed at Bouvry Exports, and 100 horses at Viande Richelieu.
Dr. Debi Zimmermann B.Sc (Zoology), D.V.M. conclusion is as follows:
Debi Zimmermann B.Sc (Zoology), D.V.M.
April 16, 2010
What is Premarin?…as the name implies, Premarin is a conjugated estrogen product extracted from PREGNANT MARES URINE - hence Pre mar in. It is manufactured by Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, Inc. and is most commonly prescribed for estrogen replacement therapy to relieve hormonal deficiency symptoms associated with menopause. It also is sold under the name Prempro.
There are an estimated 500 PMU farms in North America, with the vast majority located in the prairie provences of Western Canada. About 30 PMU farms exist in North Dakota and Minnesota. Almost all PMU farms are under an exclusive contract with Wyeth-Ayerst.
The mares are kept in deplorable conditions. They enter collection barns in September and remain until March or April. Each mare is kept tethered in a narrow stall with a rubber cup positioned over her vulva to collect the urine flow. The cup is held in place by overhead supports and a partial body harness. The tether and collection apparatus greatly restrict movement and the mare is unable to turn around or take more than a step or two in any direction. If the tether is too short, she may even be unable to lie down comfortably.
Reliable estimates indicate there are at least 50,000 production mares on PMU farms accounting for the annual birth of approximately 40,000 offspring. The byproducts of Premarin production are the foals born to these unfortunate mares. The foals are allowed to nurse and be with their mothers for only three to four months - instead of the normal six-month period. When the time comes for the mares to return to the collection barns, the farmers dispose of surplus foals. Thousands of foals are sent to unsheltered feedlots until they reach a desirable market weight and then they are slaughtered and their carcasses are shipped to Europe and Asia for human consumption.
The conditions the mares and foals are kept in are horrendous. Inspection reports document a number of significant problems - confinement for six months of their 11-month pregnancy, no exercise, no interaction with other horses, inadequate bedding, no grooming and the feet are usually neglected. They are even denied adequate water to keep the urine in a more concentrated stage and, therefore, reduce shipping costs of the urine.
I urge you to share this information with anyone you know who is either on Premarin or is thinking of using a hormone replacement drug. There are many, many drugs on the market that are either synthetic or plant based which give the same results as Premarin. Premarin is the only drug that is animal based.