Jan Swan Wood: More processing updates, ranch rodeos, roughstock rodeo
September 6, 2013
I've sure been enjoying the cooler weather lately. Seeing as how I'm not a corn plant or a cactus, I thrive at the cooler temps. I think it's sure given the livestock a break from the flies too. The nice rains that some areas got have really perked up the country. Some folks have water gaps to fix again, but I doubt they're complaining too loud. Too muddy to hay anyway.
On the horse processing front, the latest news includes this from Aug. 2 in Albuquerque, N.M. U.S. District Court judge Christine Armijo has delayed the opening of the processing plants in New Mexico and Iowa by issuing a restraining order to prevent the plants from starting up. Another hearing will follow within 30 days when she has made her decision. Of course HSUS is pushing for a permanent injunction that would prevent processing from ever resuming.
Federal Magistrate Robert Scott ordered the animal rights groups who won a temporary injunction against horse processing to post a bond of $500,000. The bond hearing was Thursday, Aug. 8 in Albuquerque, N.M. Valley Meats of Roswell and Responsible Transportation, Sigourney, Iowa, were ready to start processing the week the injunction was instated. Attorneys Blair Dunn and Pat Rogers, representing the processing plants, said that it should be much higher to cover the estimated $1.5 million in losses in revenue per month that the injunction brings the plants. The $500,000 would not nearly cover the of retrofitting of the plant and the battle that Valley Meats has been in since they started this fight over a year ago. The bond is a drop in the bucket for the heavily financed HSUS and FRER organizations with their stable of lawyers and high profile donors.
These animal rights people want to stop all the slaughter of horses world wide, yet have not come up with a viable solution as to what to do with them if we don't. A March 2013 Business Week article shared 2012 figures for the horse dilemma. In 2012, the U.S. exported 197,442 horses for slaughter in Canada and Mexico, more than double the 2007 number when U.S. slaughter plants were shut down. In 2006, the three U.S. slaughter plants processed 104,899 horses.
A University California-Davis study determined the cost of keeping a horse in a rescue facility at $36.48/day/horse. There are 14,000 horses in registered, non-profit rescues in the U.S. and many more thousands in other "rescues." Of course, some of those rescues are so badly run that the horses starve and die for lack of care.
All of the horse protection advocates say that those horses can be "adopted" out or put in rescues. Seriously? There simply isn't the capacity in the whole nation to sustain that number of horses. Considering that horses can live 30 years or more, that's a lot of money over that lifetime. Let's say a horse lives another 20 years once he's in a rescue and that the cost will not increase, which we know it will every year. In 20 years, it will cost $72,960 to keep that horse alive. Who's going to fund that? HSUS? No way.
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In Washington, there's bills that would end the transport of horses to slaughter anywhere. The bills are called the S.A.F.E. Act (Safeguard American Food Exports) and were sponsored by Mary Landrieu and Lindsey Graham and are HB 1094 and S541. Make some phone calls, emails, whatever, but make some noise about this travesty of our rights as livestock producers. It's a foot in the door to stop all transport of anything living, so wake up and smell the coffee folks. Your senators and congressmen need to know that there's a lot of opposition to this.
On Friday, Aug. 16, there will be a ranch rodeo at White River, S.D. The Calcutta will start at 6:30 and the ranch rodeo at 7 p.m., central time. There will be stray gathering, rescue race, calf branding, ranch bronc riding and, new this year, kid's mini bronc riding for ages 7-14. There's a 10 team limit. You can find out more from Bill Adrian at 605-685-8105. Don't forget, White River's Frontier Days rodeo is that same weekend.
The Eastern Wyoming Ranch rodeo will be Sept. 14 at Lusk, Wyo. It's a WRCA sanctioned event so will be held to their high standard. For more information call Andrew Wasserburger at 307-334-3417.
The Lewellyn, Neb., WRCA Ranch Rodeo was won by Jolly Ranches/Lord Ranches of the Kit Carson, Colo., area. This is their first qualification to the WRCA finals in Amarillo, Texas, in November. Congrats you guys!
The seconnd Annual Austin Janis Rough Stock Extreme will be held Sept. 6 at the Lower Brule Arena, Lower Brule, S.D. There will be saddle broncs, barebacks and bull riding. The Calcutta will be a 5 p.m. and the performance at 6, central time.
Well, I'm going to call this circle ridden out. I've ridden the corners and the draws, and that's all I've found for now. Have a great week and send me your events.