Its really very simple: the SAFE ACT will never pass as long as certain factors don’t change.
Why you sincerely, albeit naively, may ask?
Because if laws that are already in place that outlaw and ban any type of horse slaughter dealings are NOT being enforced even when they have been in place for several years in only a few states (much easier to enforce), why would anyone think that laws in place Nationwide banning slaughter in the United States, and that also ban the export of American horses out of the country for slaughter, will have any chance of being enforced countrywide?
As it stands now, there appear to be far too many horse rescues in the United States that have a business model that utilizes the threat of horses going to slaughter in order to collect free donation money, they constantly USE that threat, they NEED that threat, of horses being purchased by kill buyers at livestock “kill sales” and horse sales to coax, wring and wrangle “emergency” or “crisis” donation money out of kind-hearted albeit naive peoples pockets to “rescue” horses and keep them out of the kill buyers evil clutches.
In other words, they have a vested interest in laws already on the books, sometimes for many years, NOT being enforced because of a business model that heavily relies on receiving thousands of dollars in donation money annually as the only way to continue to run their operation.
They benefit from that lack of enforcement because people send them free money to keep horses out of the hands of kill buyers.
Some rescues also outbid private buyers that are not kill buyers for horses they can potentially sell/adopt for a higher profit margin, but they usually “explain” to their often naive followers that they didn’t think the buyer bidding was an “appropriate home” for the horse.
When out-bidding private buyers happens, and prices go well above “kill price”, even the most gullible and naive people should question the ethics and legitimacy of a rescue that is spending donation money on horses that are not being bought by kill buyers and thus, horses that truly need rescuing may not be rescued/bought.
This is a reality at livestock ‘kill sales’ (‘food chain animals’ such as cattle, sheep, goats) and sales that are targeted horse sales across the country that operate weekly, the first or second Saturday of the month, special sales every 3 months, or whatever.
Week after week, month after month, the sing-song prattle and chant of the auctioneer can be heard selling horses by-the-head or by-the-pound, cajoling anyone present to bid, bid, all in, all out.
The horses sometimes gracefully walk into the usually tiny sale ring (or “cage’ as is the set-up at some sale yards), being led by a handler, or ridden through to show they are ‘broke to ride’.
Potential buyers may have had a chance to look at the horses before they go through the auction ring if the horses are in a corral, tied to the fence, in a corral or stall at the sale yard, being ridden by riders paid to ride them through the ring and show what they can do.
Buyers can sometimes have a horse ‘trotted out’ on a lead line to look for soundness, they may be able to get a look at the horses teeth for age and condition, talk to the owner that has sadly had to make the decision to sell their horse through a sale as a last resort.
But more often than not at most of the down and dirty, low level sales, the horses slip, slide, and skitter through the gate into the sale ring, often called ‘the cage’, as ‘loose horses’, whether trained or not, wild or domestic, smacked on the ass with a plastic paddle, only to be deflected from the other side of the ring with the paddle to their face to turn them back, by handlers that are jaded, dispassionate, and disassociated to their plight, their fright, their nightmare.
Their faces are a study in terror and horror, their mouths gape open with shrill screams, the whites of their eyes show, and their eyes roll in fear and terror, as they ftantically careen around the ring, looking for help, looking for compassion, empathy, a lifeline, somebody to save them.
In states where the commercial horse slaughter trade and dealings have not been banned, horses are bartered, traded, thrown-away into the commercial horse slaughter pipeline, where they are forgotten by most, but not by all.
Rescuing, pulling, buying, bailing, or whatever one wants to call it does save horses lives in regard to them being spared the one way trip to Mexico or Canada for commercial slaughter, at least for a little while.
It’s “a good thing” when rescues snatch horses from the jaws of death, outbid the kill buyers, and pull them out of the slauhter pipeline with the help of donors providing the money to purchase them, transport them, care for them, rehabilitate them, adopt them out with or without a fee in states where the horse slaughter trade and dealings are still perfectly legal and horse rescues and rescuers at sales featurin horses eally does save horses, buros, and mules the one way trip to hell at commercial slaughter.
And yes, sometimes rescues even have to euthanize horses if it has been determined by experienced horse people in partnership and agreement with their veterinarians with nothing to gain or lose that their quality of life is not good no matter how much in the way of food, supplements, support, medication, and care isn’t enough and the horse has lost the will to live.
They have saved the horse from the one-way nightmare trip to slaughter, and are succeeding in giving at least some horses a reprieve in going to a horrifying death at slaughter.
So yes, it is “a good thing” when people put themselves out there and brave the realIty of going to a sale where kill buyers operate freely and legally dealing horses by the pound or by the head.
They know they can never buy all the horses in jeopardy of making the one-way terror-trip to slaughter in foreign countries, but try anyway to give at least a few precious and innocent souls a chance at a new life, or a dignified death through humane euthanasia surrounded by those that loved them enough to rescue them, and also cared enough to let them go.
These people are the true, honest, and humble angels that often operate behind the scenes with no fanfare, accolades, or praise; and they should be saluted for their selflessness saving lives because it is the compassionate and human thing to do.
All that being said however, a few states have banned and outlawed any horse slaughter dealings at all, including buying horses at sales or from the public with the intention of shipping them out of the state for commercial slaughter for human consumption.
One such state that has this law is California.
The verbiage is at the link below for those that do not know of this law so that they may understand what the law means:
As explained above, some/many of the horse rescues that attend sales regularly, or even deal with the kill buyers at their feedlot, can’t afford for horse slaughter laws being enforced.
They could be called “enablers”, but the most appropriate title is probably capitalists and/or “opportunists” taking advantage of an opportunity to collect tax free money from nice people that are too gullible to realize they are “marks”, they attain free horses using that free money, ask for even more free money for the horses care, maintenance, vet bills (and there are reports of some horse “rescues” ‘saying’ their vet is looking at and examining horses but since vet reports are rarely, if ever, shown upon request by the public, it is questionable if horses are being looked out or if donations sent for that purpose are being used in the way they were donated to be used), farrier bills (at least until they can determine when they “sort” the horses which ones they will sell/adopt, and which ones they will kill/euthanize because their physical and/or behavioral issues will make them difficult to adopt with or without a fee and then just keep repeating the pattern of behavior until enough people get wise and begin to ask questions regarding “where are all of those horses you’ve already ‘rescued’ and are they alive or dead”?
People that are blind followers of rescues that never ask questions and take everything a rescue say’s at face value are usually people that:
- don’t understand or know that horse slaughter dealings are illegal in states like California, and have been for nearly 20 years.
- they want so badly to be a part of the excitment, hype, and glitz that these types of horse rescues offer them.
- they truly think they are helping horses when the reality is that if the laws already in place were being enforced with the help of horse rescues that have a large following, kill buyers would go to ground and they’d have to get into another line of work or risk being arrested on felony charges and going to prison.
- some people want so badly to “belong” to “a club”, “a movement”, “a group”, or “a team” that they will stifle any doubts they may have, they will stop listening to that inner voice or intuition that say’s “somethings not right”, they will “kill the messenger” if anyone tries to point out some problems and things that don’t add up or make sense.
- are not really anti-commercial horse slaughter and are “into” rescue primarily to be a part of a “rescue club” or “be on a team” as an enabler and “cheerleader” for a “rescue” that quite frankly isn’t really anti-horse slaughter.
If the horse rescue really were anti-horse slaughter they’d be helping with the enforcement of LAWS and not using the threat of horse slaughter to gain thousands of dollars in free money donations and acquiring entirely FREE horses they then sell/adopt-for-a-fee, when kill buyers operating illegally are in evidence and have been identified (by the “rescue”) as operating at sales and also at illegal horse feedlots.
For these poor souls, they often are a lost cause because they don’t want to have their impression and image of their favorite rescue shattered by admitting that they are merely being used for their money, their support, their enabling, their “cheerleading”, and their good nature.
However, for the people that really ARE anti-commercial horse slaughter and seek to have laws already on the books enforced, read on and you will be given a simple way to do your part, even from afar, regarding keeping horses out of the slaughter pipeline.
You will also be impacting having those dealing directly, or even indirectly in horse slaughter dealings held accountable.
Here’s what you do:
The next time you are on a California horse rescues Facebook page where they are reporting in “real time” from a horse or livestock sale, at the first mention of “the kill buyers here” or “we’re going to be bidding agasinst the kill buyer”, get on the phone and also on your computer/smartphone and do the following:
- contact the California Department of Food and Agriculture via phone at and via email at:
916-654-0466 (Sacramento) General Information
916-654-0462 (Sacramento) Public Affairs
If you are using a TTY/TDD (Text Telephone) dial 1-800-735-2929
If you are using a TRS (Telephone Relay Service) dial 1-800-735-2922
FAX: 916-657-4240 (Sacramento)
Address: California Department of Food and Agriculture
1220 N Street
Sacramento, California, U.S.A. 95814
Hours: Office Hours: 8:00am – 5:00pm | Voice Mail Hours: 5:00pm – 8:00am
and report that “such-and-such horse rescue” (provide their name) is at “such-and such sale” (provide the address and phone # of the sale by Googling that information and also send the Dept. of Ag screenshots of the horse rescue attending the sale publicly identifying kill buyers as being at the sale) and you want a Dept. of Ag officer to go to that sale immediatly, make contact with the horse rescue that has identified the kill buyer/s at that sale, and have them point out the kill buyer/s that are at the sale and have the officer/s make contact with that kill buyer and speak with them regarding their intentions.
2. contact local law enforcement (usually the Sheriff’s office for whatever county the sale operates in – Google that information for the NON-EMERGENCY line.
Here is a link that lists the law enforcement agencies in California:
http://www.usacops.com/ca/) and report the same (also send them screenshots of the rescue publicly identifying kill buyers at the sale they are currently attending) as what you’ve reported to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and demand that the Sheriff’s office send deputies or other law enforcement officers to that sale immediatly, make contact with whatever horse rescue has reported kill buyers at the sale, and have the rescue identify the kill buyers so that law enforcement can make contact with those kill buyers and determine their intentions and perhaps open an investigation into illegal activities.
3. Contact the California Attorney Generals office and the Secretary of States office that are in charge of over-seeing non-profit rescues and charities operating in their state) via phone at and via email at Report Crime:
https://oag.ca.gov/report-crime and report that a horse rescue is at such-and-such sale yard (give the contact information for the sale yard and make sure you send the AG’s office and the Secretary of Staes office and also law enforcement screenshots of the horse rescue identifying publicly that kill buyers are at the sale) and demand they investigate the sale yard where kill buyers have been identified by the horse rescue as being in attndence buying horses they then are being reported by the horse rescue that they are exporting them for slaughter out of the country (a felony).
4. If horses are on the sale grounds that have been consigned to the sale, or are at the sale yard being bought in the parking lot are identified as being in a neglected and/or abused state, the animal control for that county where the sale yard is being operated NEED to be called and emailed (Google the contact information for whatever animal control is located in the county where the sale is being operated) and demand that animal control goes to the sale, makes contact with the horse rescue that is identifying horses in neglected or abused condition, and have animal control get the horse rescue to identify those horses to them. Animal control also needs to insist that the sale yard explain WHY they have not turned in complaints and reported owners that bring horses to their sale that are in neglected and/or abused condition that either were consigned to the sale, or had them on the sale yard grounds even if not consigned to the sale.
5. Contact the sale yard management that you already have the contact information for and apprise them of the fact that a horse rescue attending their sale has publicly identified kill buyers operating illegally at their sale yard and that law enforcement has been notified , including screenshots of the public announcement by the rescue that kill buyers are at the sale yard, and are hopefully on their way to take a report from the horse rescue, and also from sale yard management regarding alleged illegal activities occurring at the sale yard at the sale/auction.
The same agencies can be contacted, including screen shots, whenever a horse rescue reports that they were at the kill buyers feedlot, that they “work with kill buyers”, or anytime they mention kill buyers operating in Caifornia that they are aware of.
Horse rescues that aren’t striving for enforcement of laws on the books banning and outlawing horse slaughter dealings in that state are suspect as to their motives from not reporting illegal activities and need to be questioned and possibly investigated regarding why they aren’t seeking to have the laws enforced, and instead appear to be actually dealing with kill buyers that are breaking the law.
It really does take a village of people that truly are anti-horse slaughter UNITING WITH OTHER LIKE MINDED INDEPENDENT THINKING PEOPLE to make sure laws are enforced, and if the horse rescues that use the threat of horses going to slaughter in states where the horse slaughter trade and dealings are illegal won’t do it, it is up to courageous, caring, compassionate, independent thinking horse lovers that are anti-horse slaughter to do it on behalf of ALL of the horses that have no voice and can’t protect themselves from evil and being subjected to the horror that is the horse slaughter pipeline.
It is also high time that horse rescues that appear to be capitilizing on the threat of kill buyers dealing in illegal horse slaughter buying horses they then ship to slaughter outside the US to collect donations and also free horses are questioned regarding their practices and why they don’t instead do all of the above listed pro-active things themselves in order to expose the illegal horse slaughter trade and dealings in their state where it is illegal.
They also should be investigated and forced to identify exactly where the many, many horses they have “rescued” using donation money are at this very moment and why more and more and more horses go into their facilty, but the numbers leaving their facility that are being reported by them clearly don’t match up to the greater numbers they have acquired with donation money.
At the link below is the 1-page short form information page and questionnaire that can be sent to animal rescues that potential donors and supporters want answers from BEFORE they become donors and supporters in order to make sure that the animal rescue shares their ethics, ideals, and principles:
Short Form Information Page and Questionnaire For Animal Rescues
People that are enablers that in fact appear to be more interested in being a part of the “rescue club” and less interested in the enforcement of laws that PROTECT horses from inhumane commercial horse slaughter (that many people fought long and hard to get passed into law) need to understand that horse slaughter is nasty and horrific, and this issue is NOT ABOUT THEM, ITS ABOUT THE HORSES, WHATS BEST FOR THE HORSES AND THAT ENFORCEMENT OF LAWS IS WHAT IS BEST FOR ALL HORSES, NOT JUST THE ONES “RESCUED” FROM INHUMANE SLAUGHTER BY HORSE RESCUES USING DONATION MONEY.
Everyone needs to make a choice;
is it more important for you to belong to a “rescue club”, “a team”, a “party-barn-rescue” that appears to be capitilizing on the threat of horse slaughter in states where horse slaughter dealings are illegal, and also being a follower that asks no questions so you don’t get ostracized, bullied, false reported on to government agencies in order to shut you up and attacked by the rescue and their enabler-followers?
Or are you the person whose bottom-line position is the well-being of ALL horses, even if it means going against the grain, even if it means not “belonging”, and even if it means taking a stance that isn’t popular and could lead to you being bullied and attacked because you’re taking the road less traveled?
Are you also willing to do what it takes to have laws be enforced that many people fought long and hard at their own expense of time, money, losing friends, rocking the boat to get on the books in the first place??
Only you can make that decision if you are REALLY anti-horse slaughter, so think long and hard about what kind of person you are, choose wisely, and BE THE VOICE FOR INNOCENT HORSES THAT CANNOT PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM THE EVIL THAT EXISTS that allows for laws to be broken over and over again, even by those that profess to be anti-horse slaughter but whose actions appear to speak more loudly than their words.
Only when like-minded people are committed to STOPPING commercial horse slaughter will there be a good fighting chance that laws like the SAFE Act have a chance of being made LAW in order to protect the innocent souls of ALL horses being subjected to the terror and cruelty that IS commercial horse slaughter.
People need to decide if they are going to be a part of the problem, or a major influence of being a part of the SOLUTION because when those whom deal in horse slaughter and/or are enablers of illegal horse slaughter dealings in states where it is illegal realize they are being scrutinized by those that are 100% AGAINST HORSE SLAUGHTER, there will be a far greater chance of laws being enforced, people not participating either directly or indirectly in the horse slaughter trade, and many more horses will be saved that horrendous and cruel end – and perhaps then the SAFE ACT truly will have a chance of becoming the law of the land.
WHAT KIND OF PERSON ARE YOU – an enabler or a advocate for ending horse slaughter? – only YOU can decide.