Tom Lenz, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACT, ASS
December 20, 2010 § 7 Comments
I added the ASS behind his name. It seemed that he needed another three letters to tack on there.
Tom Lenz delivered the keynote speech, entitled “Horse Welfare Wars: When Emotion and Fact Collide,” at the 56th Annual American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Convention Dec. 4-8, 2010 in Baltimore. You can read the article on BloodHorse.com, and the original (exactly the same) article here.
This is my point by point dissection of the idiocy of the speech.
Thanks for Nothing
Lenz starts with his definition of the descriptor “Unwanted Horses”
horses that are no longer wanted by their current owners because they are old, injured, sick, unmanageable, or simply fail to meet the owners’ expectations
This description also describes millions of cats and dogs in North America, but we don’t slaughter them and send their “meat” to foreign countries for human consumption
Lenz believes the closing of American equine processing plants is one of several issues which led to the proliferation of unwanted horses and equine welfare situations. Others include the economic recession which has decreased the market for horses and irresponsible ownership which has resulted in over breeding in some segments of the industry.
What about the fact that the same number of horses have been slaughtered each year since the plants closed?? They are transported to Canada and Mexico. Could it possibly be the fact that it is JUST economic recession and over-breeding?
…a nationwide controversy began as the American public learned that these plants processed horsemeat for human consumption…
If, nationally speaking, people do not agree with the slaughter of horses for human consumption, then maybe that business shouldn’t be operating within our boarders.
Uninformed people with few to no ties to the equine industry care for horses and want to have a voice in how they are treated…
Most people can’t afford to have horses. Just because they are not horse owners, does this mean they shouldn’t have a say? Also, most horse OWNERS disagree with the practice… if THEY also shouldn’t have a say, then who? People who want to make money? Fail.
He said that the team found that the horses awaiting processing were receiving good care, their welfare was not compromised at any time from arrival to time of slaughter, and that the veterinarians determined the horses were being euthanized in a humane manner under USDA veterinarian supervision.
If this is his opinion, and it’s actually based in fact… please explain the proliferation of videos of horses being slaughtered INhumanely. There are also many photos of horses in poor condition arriving at the slaughter houses, as well as ones that have been housed there for a period of time. What about the dozens of skulls and other bones found in piles around back? Skulls with no captive bolt evidence. What about THOSE horses?
…the average price for a mid- to low-end horse has plummeted, due to the high numbers of them now available…
Yes, and that is due to overbreeding! Most cross-breed horses on the market are under the age of 10. They’re not unhealthy (although maybe under-trained), there’s just too many of them. So maybe, instead of slaughtering horses, make it more costly (licenses etc.) to breed. Then “cheap” horses with no specific skill will not be bred in the first place.
He also said that there is a significant increase in abandoned and neglected horses because owners have few options…
People are more aware of the slaughter pipeline, and would rather abandon their horse than ensure it hits that pipeline. The economy has also added to that factor. What I wish is that more people would accept the responsibility for the life of their pet – and that means humane euthanasia instead of abandonment or slaughter.
The general public without a background in horses has only the knowledge that they obtain from the activist groups; the activist viewpoint is usually fairly extremist…
So the “general public” (people who don’t own horses) is too stoopid to get that stringing a live horse up by a chain around its’ leg and slitting its’ throat is maybe not the best way for ANY animal to die? There are lots of animals I don’t own, lets take a fox for an example… Just because I don’t own a fox, and have never owned a fox, and I’m not a wildlife expert, doesn’t make me too stupid to realize that to make that fox-fur jacket the fox probably died a fairly inhumane death at the hands of a human.
“There is no definitive answer,” Lenz said. “In a perfect world, all welfare solutions would be based on science, such as (the horses’) health and biological function (as opposed to emotion). In reality, though, science is often ignored if society believes something is wrong.” Lenz adds that he believes emotions often take over because society views animal welfare as a moral issue rather than a scientific issue, and they tend to be quick to blame when someone is caring for animals differently than they would.
…based on science… Yes, I would love to have some science involved in your “discussion”!!! What about the science of the drugs (ie. Bute – the vast majority of horses have received Bute in their lifetimes, it’s like aspirin in the human world) that are BANNED from all meat animals? What about the science of the environmental disaster the horse slaughter-houses are guilty of? What about the science of the difference between cattle and horses as far as fear /flight response? Yes, please, introduce some fucking science!
Lenz cites one of the simplest solutions to the unwanted and neglected horse problem as responsible ownership.
Finally, out of 1300 words in the article, 15 words make sense.
“We as veterinarians have to take a firm position in the middle, and be willing to make a change,…”
Um, what? A firm position in the middle? What I read from that is “don’t rock the boat, don’t piss off either “side” by taking a stand either way”. Pussy. Fucktard. You are a veterinarian for Christ’s sake! Why don’t you take a stand for the humane treatment of all animals? Because it’s not “just the transportation” that is an issue. Dumbass.