Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Interesting exchange between Paula Bacon and Ed Butcher

Publishing this with permission:

Letter received from Butcher

Sorry—this propaganda is the “myth”—no one is trying to get Americans eating horses. This is not being pushed by the “horse slaughter industry”—but rather by horse breeders, ranchers, and other horse people who live in the real world. As a matter of fact when I called the CEO of one of the European companies, he laughed at me and asked why should he invest $5 to $6 Million in constructing a plant in the United States if they were going to be harassed. He has no problem building the plant and operating it according to any reasonable laws in the U.S., but can breed and kill horses for meat in Eastern Europe much easier than dealing with a bunch of U.S. “nut cases”. The horse processing is critical for the American horse industry if we are going to raise horses in the U.S.. Our other option is to encourage Mexico (who also eat horse meat) to increase their slaughter facilities, but as horse owners, we would rather control how the horses are handled by strict regulations.

All business must make a profit to stay in business so quite being such a socialist—governments raise taxes to run business which are usually totally inefficient—it takes money to operate any business, but that is not the driving force behind our efforts to provide a processing alternative.

The Texas mayor’s family whose goal was to run out the processing plant in order to develop adjacent property which they owned. The kind of health issues of “blood running down the streets and clogging drains…” which they are claiming would not be tolerated by any health department in the United States—I cannot believe that you would be dumb enough to ever believe this kind of nonsense if you simply gave it some basic thought!!

The numbers presented in your article are not accurate—first of all there are 130,000 to 150,000 extra horses which have been processed every year for years—60,000 to 80,000 per year are shipped to Mexico for processing which has been increased the past couple of years because there are no plants in the U.S. since 2007. The Indian reservations and government land operators are facing serious problems with horses being dumped off to get rid of them. The sale yards have to lock their gates at night to avoid having alleys full of dumped off horses. This is the true facts—not the nonsense you have attached below. Ranchers simply go over a hill and shoot their surplus horses and let the scavengers feed on their carcass—this is what is going on in the “real world.” Why don’t you pass the facts around instead of this e-mail “shop-worn” misinformation. (I have gone to their original web-sites as well as having received dozens from naïve people such as yourself)—get educated instead of making yourself look foolish to people who understand the issue.


Ed Butcher

Response from Paula:

June 8, 2009

Mr. Butcher:

I take great offense at your spreading such misleading and inane representations of my motives for visiting the great state of Montana . Your misinformation regarding my supposed property holdings near the horse slaughter plant is completely fallacious.

You would have to pass a hospital, a daycare center, a pharmacy, professional buildings, a nursing school, two neighborhoods, a large apartment complex, a city park, a convenience store, a BBQ eatery, several other assorted businesses and offices, the TOWN SQUARE , and more before arriving at my family’s closest property to the horse slaughter plant (P.G. Bacon Lumber Co., “Friendly service since 1896”).

I testified to the Montana Senate Agriculture Committee because the horse slaughter plant was a perfectly horrible part of our community, and in fact, they literally had blood running in the streets at one point. As a result the City of Kaufman was sued by the State and we sued the horse slaughter plant. These are facts of record.

Documents I submitted to the Montana Senate Agriculture Committee are based upon factual information, much of which is excerpted from City staff reports regarding the horse slaughter plant. Reports reference "decaying meat [which] provides a foul odor and is an attraction for vermin and carrion," containers conveyed "uncovered and leaking liquids," there are "significant foul odors during the daily monitoring of the area," and "Dallas Crown continually neglects to perform within the standards required of them."

Still more documents reference, "blood flowing east and west in the ditches from your plant;" "It has been over 45 days [it had been 59 days] and no apparent cleanup has occurred;" "Your system has not improved and subsequently it has gotten a lot worse;" "Words cannot express the seriousness" of recent violations and the "adverse effects on the wastewater treatment plant;" and "Please be sure trailers are secured before leaving your premises to prevent spills" [this predating their 600-gallon blood spill], noting also "bones and blood laying in front of the facility," problems with bones and parts in neighboring yards and the attraction of "dogs and other animals."

I could go on for a very long time with a litany of the horse slaughter plant’s damaging presence in this community and in the U.S. For example, records subpoenaed by the City revealed the horse slaughter plant paid $5 in federal income tax on $12 million dollars in sales on their last tax return, selling to themselves at a loss so that profits only surface overseas. But I fear it would be wasted. Perhaps it is your own inability for what you refer to as "some basic thought" that contributes to your willful denial of available and verifiable facts.

Your disinterest in the facts and fatuous remarks, especially concerning the cruel and predatory practices of horse slaughter is in my opinion, the height of arrogance and poor public service. To put it in the kindest terms possible, you do not understand the issue--though I suspect you could if you wanted to.

Regarding your wanton disregard for facts in evidence in an effort to discredit me regarding property holdings and my motives for going to Montana , I request of you an immediate apology and retraction along with this letter, communicated to all those recipients of your distorted epistle, and to me, as is my legal right. Absent receipt of same, I will be forced to assume you are a lesser man than I had believed.


Paula Bacon

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