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1.27.06-Horse slaughter stats

A steady decline over the last decade is the first thing you notice when you look at the numbers related to horses slaughtered in the United States. This, although, 2004 saw more horses slaughtered than any year since 1998. And I know this is kind of boring, but if you read on this post gets more entertaining, I think anyway.

Click on the graph to the left and you’ll see what I mean. (Graph compiled from USDA Annual Livestock Reports 1994-2004).

Clearly there are less plants in operation today than there were in 1994. The Cavel West Plant in Redmond, Oregon suffered a toasty fate at the hands of animal rights activists in the interim.

Interestingly enough, the DeKalb, Cavel International horse slaughtering plant suffered a similar fate, though it was later rebuilt after having its relocation elsewhere in Northern Illinois rejected a couple of times.

2005 slaughter numbers (Adventures in blogging)

The USDA was quick to respond to my inquiry concerning horse slaughtering numbers.

First, I was quickly thanked for my inquiry to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, which they told me is the NASS in case I was an idiot or a moron or both . . .

(*DISCLAIMER* What follows is a fictional account of a federal employee responding to an email inquiry I sent in, though just how fictional remains a point of “heated debate”).

“But, alas, young, stupid, padawan!” The NASS email-responding team gasped. “The information is easily found if you reference our website, which is, in case you were wondering, www.nass.usda.gov.”

The team reeled back at the utter stupidity of such an inane request.

“How dare these stupid, taxpaying fools waste our precious time with such trite nonsense?” One of the team wondered aloud.

“How dare they indeed. We’ll show them,” a glimmer of hope and anger sparkled in one of the email-responding team, team member’s eyes. She looked around, laughed a bit, and then returned her gaze to the dim, blue shine of her monitor. The others laughed and returned to their own email responding.

She began a frenzy of typing, lips pursed. She had stayed up late many nights, pouring over page after endless page of electronic agricultural statistics, dreaming of this moment. The moment when she could make a complete stranger feel stupid. The joy that would befall her then, oh the joy.

She knew just how to get to the information, about, what was it again? Oh, horse slaughtering, that’s right, she thought. Stupid animal rights activists. She kept typing. This was too perfect.

NASS has information on horse . . ., she typed. On our website . . . at the top of the page click on Publications on the right, the letters were flying off her fingertips now. Click on “Title” click on “L” click on Livestock . . ., her thoughts were almost too fast for her fingers. Slaughter scroll . . ., forget commas now, this was war. To the bottom and click on Related Reports click on Livestock Slaughter — Annual Summary click on the PDF . . ., no commas and random capitalization, she thought, this is gonna be great. She smiled slightly. For Livestock Slaughter Annual Summary 03.04.05 go to page 90.

Whew. She almost said it aloud, she glanced up briefly, her co-workers hadn’t noticed the sweat that had begun to bead on her brow. She read over her response to make sure she hadn’t missed one intricate step. This idiot will never even realize I was being so smug, she chuckled a little at the thought.

As an afterthought she added a few helpful resources and even answered the question about the report for the 2005 horse slaughter numbers directly.

The 2005 statistics will not be published until 03.03.06, she typed feverishly. She added in the references she thought would make the email seem especially earnest and concerned but thought better of the gesture right before clicking send.

She started typing again.

Click on Livestock and seed. Click on Livestock and Grain Market News Portal . . ., I should add LGMNP in parenthesis, she thought smiling. Type horse slaughter in the search box. Good luck with your search.

She added a contact us again line and her signature and clicked send defiantly, happy in the moment.

The actual text of the email response follows in case you were curious:

Thank you for your inquiry to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). NASS has information on horse slaughter on our web site www.nass.usda.gov.

at the top of the page
click on Publications on the right,
click on “Title” click on “L”
click on Livestock slaughter
scroll to the bottom and click on Related Reports
click on Livestock Slaughter — Annual Summary
click on the PDF for Livestock Slaughter Annual Summary 03.04.05
go to page 90

The 2005 statistics will not be published until 03.03.06.

You may also want to review the Agricultural Marketing Services web site http://www.ams.usda.gov. Click on Livestock and seed. Click on Livestock and Grain Market News Portal. Type horse slaughter in the search box. Good luck with your search. Please contact us if we may be of any further assistance.

Marlene Diehl
USDA/NASS/MISO
Marketing & Information Services OfficeCustomer Service

Next update
I know I said I was going to post about the Federal Meat Inspection Act but I got that email and couldn’t resist. I will post about it in my next update, promise.

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