Video: What do you know about horses and slaughter?

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The above video is Part 1 of the series Horses: Sports, Culture and Slaughter.

Equine advocate Alex Brown has created a new free online video series to give an overview on the controversial issue of horse slaughter in the US.

The three-part series presents a comprehensive overview of the topic, aiming to get viewers up to speed with all the issues related to horse slaughter in the United States.

A horse going through the Olex Auction in Toronto, Canada.
A horse going through the Olex Auction in Toronto, Canada. © Alex Brown

The 55-minute video series is titled Horses: Sports, Culture and Slaughter. Brown said he produced a video instead of a book because he recognised how difficult it was to encourage an audience to buy a book, “and even then, you don’t know whether it is read”.

“My goal is to get this content out there; I figured a free resource, that the audience can watch, might be the way to go.”

Brown has focused on the issue of horse slaughter for eight years. He has not only written about the subject, but has frequented many of the “kill auctions” and other venues related to the issue; much of this content is also featured in the series. He says the goal of the series is purely educational, and has presented it in an unbiased manner.

“I wanted to create a resource that anyone could watch and from which they can learn.  Some of the discourse that deals with this divisive issue is either biased to the point of view of the publisher / writer, or is so visually horrifying that no one wants to watch.  I deliberately stayed away from the gory stuff.  Now I just hope people watch, and it creates discussion.”

Brown has been a horseman his entire life, galloping horses for many top racehorse trainers for many years.  He is also the author of the horse racing biography, Greatness and Goodness: Barbaro and His Legacy.

The first part of the series outlines the current state of horse slaughter, the horse’s role in history, horse cultures, and sport. The second looks at working horses, breeding, and wild horses, and history and arguments over slaughter. The final video in the series discusses how the slaughter system works, with case studies, and interaction with the government.

To view the series, visit: alexbrownracing.com/advocacy
For more information, contact alexbr.brown@gmail.com or call / text: 302 750 0468

In his new video series Horses: Sports, Culture and Slaughter, equine advocate Alex Brown aims to bring viewers up to speed on the horse slaughter issue.
In his new video series Horses: Sports, Culture and Slaughter, equine advocate Alex Brown aims to bring viewers up to speed on the horse slaughter issue.

11 thoughts on “Video: What do you know about horses and slaughter?

  • May 19, 2015 at 10:11 am
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    Horse slaughter is Barbaric. Your horse racing view concerns US antislaughter because well organized proslaughter as you put it is organized because they forge affidavits and illegal haul horses into plants. They illegally paid inspectors to inspect US meat which got them closed. They ran illegally at Dekalb against a judges order. They moved into Canada at the NVF plant and processed there for a year with piles of dead horses with mo bplt marks in the skulls raising questions. No gunshots. Then Dekalb had plenty of crashes on the highways. I live in Illinois I know. 80 percent of the American people including Vets…farriers…trainers and professionels are Against slaughter and you should apologize for your rude remarks on whose against slaughter. We are not HSUS or PETA we are Business Professionals against horse abuse which is horse slaughter. Alex you failed to show the facts. Its slanted amd incorrect. You have your opinion and we will remain steadfast against slaughter. I hope US horse racing will survive you giving the impression they want horse slaughter. It will destroy our racing industry entirely.

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    • May 19, 2015 at 11:59 am
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      I appreciate you watching the series. I think for the most part, we are of the same opinion. I don’t think I state that all in racing are for slaughter. I have worked in racing for many years myself. There are good people in racing, there are bad people in racing.

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      • May 19, 2015 at 3:38 pm
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        We do not need horse slaughter. Illinois suffered for it being here. It left and Our horse Industry thrives. We cannot afford slaughter. US racing depends on people to go to the races to follow the greatest steeds to buy horses and be inspired by racing. If theres the slightest inclination to restart US slaughter the racing industry and many other horse investments will go under. We cannot afford to allow slaughter to drive away new horse owners and people who are truly appalled by slaughter. Will become More Organized out of necessity but for much of the industry’s reputation will be destroyed. When its no longer a secret industry and America detests it.

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  • May 19, 2015 at 10:25 am
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    The issue should be up to the horse owner not the government what happens to our horses. It is so bad that you can not run a horse through auction without the killers grabbing them. The industry has shrunk (in the stock horse industry) to the point of only letting the elite buy a horse. The horse trainer problem is so bad that unless you pay $2,000 a month to a trainer then your horse goes untrained to slaughter. It goes on and on. How many of the slaughter horses carry heavy metal toxins that are fatal to humans? Unregulated horse meat that is controlled by slaughter industry takes the term ownership away from horse owners. Admit it this is no longer a human who cares about horses industry but a huge ripoff of Americas (and elsewhere) horses. I will not ever have another horse if that action seals the animals fate. Get real

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  • May 19, 2015 at 11:29 am
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    Julie, I am not exactly sure what you are saying, but I do appreciate you watching the videos. The point of my videos is whether slaughter continues, or is eliminated, those decisions should be based on facts and full disclosure of the situation.

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    • May 20, 2015 at 6:06 am
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      I was saying that the horse industry is part of the problem. Over breeding horses so they can get the one in a thousand winner (either track, field or show) without looking at the situation. The situation is people cant buy horses without help training them. I know your talking about keeping or letting go of horse slaughter. But the problem is huge. So will the breeders curb the breeding or take some kind of responsibility for the mass numbers they bring in? I was around before horses for human consumption, the horse industry was huge, horses were passed to younger riders. Maybe your just talking about racing. Run em, cripple them and eat them. Am I wrong?

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      • May 20, 2015 at 8:47 am
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        Julie, I think that you would see, from the videos, that I do not advocate for slaughter, and that the issue is very complex. The reality is, horse slaughter has existed, on a factory scale, in the United States, since the end of World War 1. My belief is that it is able to continue because most people do not know the facts about the issue. One of those issues is definitely the breeding side, I agree with that. There is, however, much more to it than that, I think.

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  • May 22, 2015 at 3:38 am
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    Thank you for all you do to stop the horrific and evil practice of horse slaughter.
    Gracias & besos
    Calamity
    Cate Crismani

    Reply
  • May 22, 2015 at 10:27 pm
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    There is another issue concerning the history of the horse. Low demand on horses as companions for the humans leads to the diminishing of breeds of horses. In Norway we have the viking lyngs horse which is a relative to the Islandic horse. The genepool of the breed is marginally sustainable. Much like the Percheron, it is a piece of culture, and there are people trying to protect the genepool and life of this heritage. I was visiting Iceland one year, and they are indeed protecting their gaited fiery pony breed. They had large packs of horses, and were openly horseeaters presenting horsemeat prepared in fancy restaurants. I can’t help but think that the regulated consumption is helping the genepool of this horse, making it possible for the breeders to keep large packs of horses who live a free spirited life turned loose in the wilderness for large parts of the year. Yes, it is sad that more people don’t have a lifestyle that supports keeping a horse for a purpose, but open high quality slaughter system to the most respectful ending of a horse’s life (as little stressful and close to home and as little poisonous as possible) would allow for the breeders to keep a larger genepool at hand.
    Also, I want to add that this information gives me a new perspective on mustang preservation. If it could be that the killbuyers turn loose horses not wanted for slaughter, then it really is important to focus on preserving the packs that have history on the land, and have them as little upset by roundups and harrassment as possible. Old mustang families should be marked for peace and prosperity as bearers of pure horse soul and spirit unspoiled by human need for control and resource.
    I know my comment concerning “proslaughter” is upsetting. I have saved an ex-race horse from slaughter, and I am curious about where horsemeat actually go. I recognise the need for protein and food to support human and pet consumption in the world, and I would like to see education about what the horse meat is used for, who is eating it?? Does horse protein go to mincemeat production or dog/ cat food? Does it get into the ever more popular protein shakes in gyms? Is it fed to fish in the salmon and trout production? Is horsemeat what we send to help in humane disasters in foreign countries? I feel the product is hidden, and to me the Icelandic attitude is more honest and purehearted. They love their horse and it is a part of their culture. They also prepare it and eat it with dignity- not as “poor mans meat”.

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    • May 24, 2015 at 1:21 am
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      You do raise some interesting points in terms of slaughter as a means of demand, to increase the viability of a herd / gene pool. This is, however, very different from the horse slaughter system that is currently in place in the United States, where it is done at a factory scale, using horses that have no vet verifiable vet records etc.

      I would assume that with product labeling laws, it should be transparent in terms of where horse meat is consumed. I know this is also abused, as highlighted by the food scandal in Europe in 2013.

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  • January 13, 2018 at 5:11 pm
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    Alex, check out the facts with respect to North Americas Bison. Very few icons of tje West more honored then the Bison. A healthy populatiion now grows as a result of well marketed Blue Plate Specials. 10% of all horses processed in North America are consumed here. Check out USDA FSIS laws re buying horse meat in Canada and bring it into the US.
    What do we do with euthanized horses that are filled with barbituates. 90,000 horses are culled from the herd annually. The North American herd is 10 Million strong repopulating at a rate of 20% per annum. That a great deal of contaminated water if a needle is the end of life.
    Who dicrates what a vegan eats?
    Who controls what protien you cook and consumes. Why does a single fidget number minority get to dictate what 1 Billion people world wide eat?

    Reply

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