Speech delivered at Rally to Save the Horses and Stop HB 1324
Capitol Grounds,
Austin , Tx , Friday, May 9, 2003
by Mary Nash,
Kaufman , Tx  

I want to tell you the people Iíve worked with over the last few months who have brought this issue to the forefront.  We all owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Skip Trimble and Cile Holloway with the Texas Humane Legislation Network, Pat Dickey, owner of Tonkawood Farm in Marble Falls, Chris Heyde of  the Society for Animal Protective Legislation in Washington, D.C., Susan Hendrix from Austin who has done an outstanding job in arranging media for this issue, Tiff Bartlett who is making a film documentary on horse slaughter, and many, many others too numerous to mention.

I want to introduce my friend, Paula Bacon, the new mayor of Kaufman.  She unseated the incumbent mayor last weekend with 58% of the vote.  

My dog Spot used to visit the Dallas Crown live horse slaughter plant on her  nighttime patrols.  One day I saw a big stick in my yard, but when I picked  it up I realized it had a horseshoe on the end of it, and there was blood on  my hand.  It was a horseís leg from Dallas Crown.  The shoe hadnít been on  long enough to even get loose.  I was appalled, and flabbergasted. This made  no sense.  Why would anybody shoe his or her horse then send him to  slaughter?   Hereís why:  Because people do not realize that their auctioned  horses are going to be slaughtered at Dallas Crown and Beltex.  Their  horses supply a $40 million a year live horse slaughter industry here  in Texas     

Today, I want to set the record straight and clear the air.  When the wind is  from the west and Iím standing in my backyard in Kaufman, I can smell 150  dead horses at the Dallas Crown horse slaughter plant.  I want to clear that  air too.     

For years Iíve seen beautiful, young, fat horses waiting in the Dallas Crown  holding pens, waiting for slaughter.  I thought there was nothing I could do  to stop the madness -- until I learned in February of 2002 that State  Representative Tony Goolsby had asked Texas Attorney General John Cornyn for  an opinion about the legality of the Texas live horse slaughter  plants.     

I was thrilled when I saw this letter, but not as thrilled as when I read  John Cornynís answer last August stating that it is in fact a crime  to slaughter horses for human consumption, even if the consumption takes  place across the ocean.   

Just three months ago, my State Representative, Bloody Betty Brown, responded  to the Attorney Generalís letter by introducing legislation to make live  horse slaughter for human consumption legal!!!   There are only two  live horse slaughter plants in the United States ;  one is located in Kaufman ,   Texas and the other is in Fort Worth , Texas .  How could this happen? WHO in  the GREAT State of Texas thinks this is a good idea?     

Iíll tell you.  Dr. Steve Hicks, a veterinarian from Palestine , Texas .  He  says he asked Bloody Betty Brown to sponsor her live horse slaughter bill.   In fact, he told the House Ag Committee that the horse industry needs  slaughter   so we Texans can have a way to dispose of our unwanted  horses.  But what Dr. Hicks does not want to admit   is that the horses  being slaughtered are NOT unwanted. They are simply for sale.   So, who  buys them?      

Iíll tell you.  Killer-buyers.  Killer-buyers go from auction to auction  picking up any horse for a decent price.  If somebody outbids them and drives  up the price to more than they are willing to pay, they just wait for the next horse.   

And where do these horses end up a short four days later?  On the tables of  wealthy French and Belgians.    Let me give you the names of the 12 Dallas Crown killer-buyers and where they  come from.  Norman Franklin of Ocala, Florida; Brian Jones of Tell, Texas; Dennis Kunz of Willard, Utah; Charlie Nielsen of Council Bluff, Iowa; Jack Reinert of Quinn, South Dakota; Bill Richardson of Whitesboro, Texas; Billy Rowan of New Albany, Mississippi; Leon Spain of Los Lunas, New Mexico; Mitch Stanley of Hamburg, Arkansas; I. W. Ward of Axtell, Texas; Trent Ward of Kaufman, Texas; John White of Decatur, Texas  

Obviously, these killer-buyers are from all over the country.  Yet Bloody  Betty Brown says Texas has more horses than any other state  , and  therefore we Texans need a place to dispose of so many old sick horsesÖ.  Because we have so many horses we need live horse slaughter.     

Now I want to tell you this.    When people say we need a place to take  our old and sick Texas horses, you tell them that not only are these young  and healthy horses, Ö. Tell them too, that 90% of the horses slaughtered at  the two Texas plants are from out of state. We Texans donít need horse  slaughter,   we are just the only state in the union that does it.       

But Dr. Steve Hicks tells me Texans are luckyÖlucky to have the two slaughter  plantsÖ.that it gives us Texans a good way to dispose of our old and crippled  horses.  I asked Dr. Hicks if he was aware that 90% of the horses at Dallas  Crown and Beltex come from outside of Texas .  He said he didnít believe me.   But this is precisely what Dallas Crown and Beltex have told the federal  court.     Ö.So let me get this straightÖ.Bloody Betty says we need  live horse slaughter so we Texans can get rid of a huge number of old horses   Yet the horse slaughterers themselves say 90% of the horses come from  outside the state.  Does anyone else see a problem with Bloody Bettyís  rationale for live horse slaughter???   

 Let me give you some numbers and further insights into my conversation with  Dr. Hicks.  Dr. Hicks and I agreed there are about 7 million horses in the   United States and about 10% die each year, not just from slaughter, but for any reason.  So I  said, "10% of 7 million.  Thatís 700,000 horses that die each year in the   U.S.   Dr. Hicks, what do you think happens to the 658,000 horses that die  each year that donít get slaughtered?"    Dr. Hicks said he thought their carcasses were rotting in the fields.   Rotting in the fieldsÖ.  ??? Now this guy is Bloody Bettyís star  witness before the House Agriculture  Committee!?!?!    This bill is based on faulty logic and inaccurate information.   

Unfortunately, there is someone else who thinks itís okay to slaughter our  pets for human consumption. I spoke to my Texas State Senator, Dr. Bob  Deuell, in his office.  I spoke with him about live horse slaughter. And I  asked him what he would think if we let the Koreans come over here and  slaughter our dogs and cats?  And he said, "Whatís wrong with it?"    Friends, the live horse slaughter bill has passed the House and is now in a  Senate sub-committee.  GET ON THE PHONES!  Your Senators need to hear from  you.  Tell  them to STOP LIVE HORSE SLAUGHTER NOW!!!!  Letís clear the air.  We donít  NEED live horse slaughter in Texas .  We donít need to be the only state that  allows live horse slaughter.  No Texan should tolerate the smell of 150 dying  horses, and no Texan should ever pick up horse legs in his or her front yard.  The fact is simply this: We donít NEED live horse slaughter in   Texas !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   

Mary S. Nash
104 S. Houston St .
Kaufman , Tx   75142


May 9, 2003