RSS

Tag Archives: thoroughbred

Backstreet Bully

Image

Yet another so-called “unwanted” horse who lost his life in the kill box at a slaughterhouse. The maddening part about it is that this horse was very much wanted. Numerous people tried to save him from the kill auction and later from the slaughterhouse itself. Adena Springs wanted him back and he had a safe home waiting for him. His breeder was willing to do the right thing for him. He was NEVER intended to be sold for slaughter. He was, in fact, completely unfit to be slaughtered for human consumption. As a former racehorse, this Thoroughbred had been given Phenylbutazone and other drugs during his life. That alone should have disqualified him for slaughter. The tattoo on the inside of his upper lip proved his identity. The slaughterhouse was provided with copies of his drug history. They did not care. They killed him anyway. What happened to the meat from his carcass remains open for debate.

An investigation has begun but officials from LPN (Les Viandes de la Petit Nation) in Canada aren’t revealing much to the public. Not every carcass is even tested for drug residues so there is no guarantee that Backstreet Bully’s remains were examined. If they were tested, it’s quite simple for the plant to get a negative test result from a carcass of a horse that was given Bute. They pull test samples from the fat tissue, knowing full well that Bute is deposited in the muscle tissue and not in the fat. The kidneys, which show the highest concentration in horses dosed with Bute, are typically not tested because they aren’t sold as food. It would be nice to know which parts of Backstreet Bully were tested after they had finished butchering him…

Part of his story can be found in a recent article in the Toronto Star. (Link provided below). The following is a first-hand account from Mindy Lovell of Transitions Thoroughbreds, one of the people who tried to save his life:

“Many of you have read the article on the front page of the Toronto Star about Backstreet Bully. He HAS had the last word and although it will never bring him back, he represents a drop in the bucket of the many horses that head to slaughter that clearly illustrate the massive flaws in the horse slaughter industry. I stood on that catwalk at OLEX that day asking Jonathon Lalonde to buy that horse. He refused – he claimed he was “meat only”. I did not believe that so I asked again. He repeated the same thing. That designation was never made on that horse and that has been proven. He lied. He was quickly backed up by Tracey Thompson-Hoogeveen that runs NYNE and promotes the sale of his so called meat horses. She also heard him state that as she was standing there as well. She also claimed she saw it written on the EID or kill sheet as it is commonly known. It was not. She repeated it numerous times. I was not the only one that heard her make these claims. I did not believe a word of it. Tracey also knew that there was a very good chance that I could identify that horse and have his drug records produced clearly indicating he was not eligible for slaughter. She knew because I told her that point blank and then I asked her what she thought would happen should that be the case. She did nothing but stand behind her lie. Did both Jonathon and Tracey know that racehorses are in general not eligible for slaughter due to the excessive drug use? Yes, they did but “they all do it” as in send them to slaughter regardless. There was ample opportunity to stop it. He could have been pulled off that truck in Ottawa along with the other horses she was intending to broker for him on NYNE. If things went true to form, he would have off loaded along with all the others and then re-loaded to head to the plant. It could have been stopped – easily. It was not. He was “just a horse” and the thoroughbred people that love and admire these horses and fight for them so much are “just a joke”. I kept trying. My calls and messages to both of them were ignored – she was “too busy”. Backstreet Bully never won the Queen’s Plate or the Kentucky Derby, nor did he make millions of dollars on the track, in fact only a few thousand but it did not matter to those of us that fought to save his life up until the very end. He was NOT “just a horse” in our eyes and he is only one of many. To add further insult to injury, we asked to have his halter returned – the leather halter with the brass nameplate on it reading Backstreet Bully and that simple request has never been honoured.”

–Mindy Lovell

Transitions Thoroughbreds

What was done to this horse and many others before him is an absolute outrage. He was unfit for slaughter and everyone involved in the process knew this but did not care. It makes no difference to them if the meat is filled with toxic drug residues. They aren’t going to eat it. They will sell it to the unsuspecting Europeans. LPN actually claims that it can trace the animals it slaughters from the farm up to the time they arrive at the plant. That makes very little sense considering the fact that they kill hundreds of thousands of horses from the United States where horses are not raised for food. I highly doubt there are too many farms breeding horses specifically for slaughter in Canada either. They are killing Thoroughbreds, Standardbreds, and thousands of other horses used in competitive disciplines. Drug use in racing and other equine competitions is standard practice for many owners and trainers. Many of the drugs and other substances that have been banned for use in animals intended for human consumption are used on a daily basis at racetracks and elsewhere. That is the last type of meat anyone in their right mind would choose to eat. If the consumers had any idea what was really in their horse meat, they might lose their appetites…

There was NO reason for Backstreet Bully to die. He had a home waiting for him and years of life left in him. He had numerous people trying desperately to save his life. Those involved in the horse slaughter industry refused to allow anyone to save Backstreet Bully. The auctioneer ignored Mindy Lovell when she attempted to bid on the horse at the Ontario Livestock Exchange auction (OLEX). The kill buyer who did buy him falsely claimed the horse was sold as “meat only” and one official at the auction mentioned that the auction might decide to designate all the Thoroughbreds as “meat only” at the sale. That would mean that only kill buyers would be able to buy them. Private individuals and equine rescues would be unable to bid on them. Quite ironic. The equine advocates are actually trying to help by taking the unfit horses out of the food chain and instead of gratitude, they get nothing but attitude from the auction all the way to the slaughterhouses.

As a final insult, LPN has refused to return Backstreet Bully’s leather halter with the brass plate bearing his name to his breeder. It is difficult to imagine what use they could possibly have for his halter at the slaughterhouse. Why not return it? Perhaps because it is a tangible piece of evidence? Proof that he was slaughtered there. Proof that LPN took the life of yet another Thoroughbred racehorse even though they had proof the horse was not fit for human consumption. The truth of what happened to his carcass will come out sooner or later as the investigation continues. The horse slaughter industry is all about the money. If it is proven that Backstreet Bully was slaughtered for human consumption despite being given Phenylbutazone, it may cost those involved in this nightmare far more than they ever imagined.

Link to the Toronto Star article:

http://www.thestar.com/news/investigations/2013/03/29/star_investigation_ottawa_refuses_to_say_whether_drugtainted_horse_meat_entered_food_chain.html

 
 

Tags: , , , , ,

Deputy Broad: Gone but Not Forgotten

Taken at Mountaineer Racetrack in 2010

On July 11th 2011, Deputy Broad was entered in what would be his last race at Mountaineer Park. He did not run well. 48 hours later, he had been handed off by his trainer, Danny Bird, and soon found himself in the hands of a kill buyer by the name of Fred Bauer. Deputy was never run through an auction ring. There was no chance for a rescue or a private individual to save him. On July 18th 2011, Deputy Broad arrived at a horse slaughter facility in Richelieu, Canada as part of load sent there by Bauer. Deputy was processed on July 19th, 2011. Stable to Table in 7 Days…

Danny Bird had told people who asked about the horse that the animal was nasty and didn’t deserve a home. This is the exact opposite was what the horse’s previous connections said about him. Others said Deputy was a good boy and had the makings of a show horse. Even if the horse did have an attitude, it was probably caused by rough handling by people with little intelligence and poor horsemanship skills. That still would not have made it impossible to retrain him or find him a home. There are many other trainers who could have worked with him if given the chance. I have yet to come across a horse that could not be retrained if handled properly and I’ve been through over 200 of them. No matter what his attitude may have been, Deputy Broad deserved better than the cruel and inhumane death that he received.

At the plant in Richelieu, he faced the same barbaric death as the other horses who were there with him. They are slowly forced to walk up to the kill box. If the horses don’t want to go in there, they are typically beaten or shocked. Once inside the box, they face either a gun shot to the forehead or the captive bolt. Neither option is humane. For a gun shot, the person shooting must hit a tiny spot centered on the horse’s forehead between the eyes and the ears. Not an easy shot if the animal is standing still. When the horse is flailing and trying to escape, a perfect shot would be nearly impossible. The captive bolt was designed for cattle and is meant to stun the horse into unconsciousness. It often fails for the exact same reason. When it fails, the horse remains conscious while it is hanging from the ceiling and being dismembered. This is not a death I would impose on the worst of criminals. What exactly was Deputy’s crime? Not running fast enough? Being too expensive to feed?

Humane Euthanasia usually costs between $200 and $400. Is that really too much money to spend on a horse that earned $39,993 during his racing career? I am aware that the horse’s earnings would be divided between owners, trainers, jockeys, etc. Still, I don’t find it unreasonable to set aside $400 so that the horse can be euthanized if he is fatally injured. If the racing industry would set aside 10% of a horse’s lifetime winnings, that money could be used to help with the animal’s care when its racing career ends. They could also add a fee onto the entry fee for each race so that even non-winners would have something set aside for them. There should be plenty of possibilities. I’m sure that there were still many possibilities for Deputy Broad but his trainer was too selfish and pig-headed to look into them.

Deputy had a very nice pedigree. I have no doubt that he could have been retrained for another career in any number of other disciplines. I have seen ex-racers go down many different paths. Just a few examples: Made A Champ – Halter, Showmanship, and English Pleasure. North Texas – Barrel Racing and Trail Riding. Regaligan – Pony Club mount and Show Horse. Mo Dixie – Trail Horse and 4-H Project. Runnin4daborder – Trail Horse and Broodmare. There are always other options if the owner/trainer will bother to look. Even euthanasia would have been more humane than being tortured and then dismembered.

Sadly Deputy Broad was not the first horse to be slaughtered for food and he will not be the last–not until there is a horse slaughter ban throughout North America. This savage practice must be outlawed in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. As it stands at the time of writing, there are no USDA approved horse slaughter facilities in the U.S. but it was banned on a state level in the two states where the plants were located. USDA funding of the meat inspections was stopped on a federal level but that would not prevent the owner of a horse slaughter plant from paying for the inspections. The horses from the U.S. are now being shipped alive to Canada and Mexico to be slaughtered across the borders.

The Thoroughbreds are not the only breed that ends up at the slaughter plants. There are many others. However, one thing that sets the Thoroughbreds apart is their lip tattoos. If it were up to me, I would require the employees at the horse slaughter plants to catalog the tattoo numbers of the Thoroughbreds that arrive for slaughter. The list would be given to the Jockey Club and other horse racing associations. It is easy enough to find out who a TB’s last trainer was. If the horse arrives at the slaughter facility within six weeks of its last race, the penalty should be a permanent ban on that trainer at any and all racetracks in the U.S. If money is the only thing these soulless savages care about, then maybe taking away their livelihood will get their attention.

Please understand that I am not lumping all the trainers in together. There are many trainers at the tracks who treat their horses like their children. They will put their horses well-being ahead of their own. Unfortunately the money-grubbing scum are not smart enough to follow the example of the better trainers… I do not expect the trainers from the track to be responsible for every horse that passes through their barns for the entire lifespan of the horse. What I expect is for some of them to take a little time to look at their options instead of throwing away a horse’s life as if it were a Kleenex.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on August 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , ,