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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Proposal for Freeze Branding Thoroughbred Racehorses to keep them out of the human food chain.

This is my proposal for keeping our thoroughbred racehorses out of the human food chain.  I am going about it from a different angle.   Of course I do not want our horses to go through the horrendous journey to slaughter, but I also do not want children who are fed horse meat by their parents to become sick.  We really don't know what the effects of eating tainted meat are long term, but as with any poison it couldn't be good.  I know people do not want to eat this medicated meat, and I am positive they do not want to feed it to their children.   Would you?
Please read my proposal.   I am open to any suggestions.  But please keep this debate civil.   Feel free to post in the comments section of this blog. 

Freeze Branding Horses Unfit for Slaughter


 Prepared by

Donna Keen

Remember Me Rescue

4100 Conveyor Drive

Burleson, TX 76028



We are all aware of the problem the thoroughbred industry faces with our injured and aging horses ending up at slaughter houses in Mexico and Canada and now very soon in America.   I believe I have come up with a solution to not only protect our thoroughbreds but to save the lives of people consuming tainted horse meat in other countries.  Children who eat horse meat are at the most risk.  Aplastic Anemia is on the rise and horses that have been treated with phenlybutazone are the cause.
Phenlybutazone, (bute), is a substance given to almost every racehorse at some point in his life.  Any horse that has ever received even one dose of bute is banned for life from being slaughter for human consumption.   I personally do not know of a horse that has not ever been treated for a high temperature, a mild colic, or been given bute as an anti-inflammatory.   In asking track veterinarians most agree 90-95% of horses at the racetrack have had bute, making them unsuitable for slaughter.  There are 17 other drugs that also have lifetime bans from slaughter including nitrofurazone, the most common leg sweat and wound ointment at the track.
By placing a small but easily recognizable freeze brand on horses who have received a banned medication I believe we will greatly reduce the number of thoroughbreds that are slaughtered.   At the same time we will put in place a system to take care of them when they become aged, injured, or unwanted. 
The brand will be voluntary and the decision to brand will be made with a veterinarians assistance.  Freeze branding is safe and almost completely painless.
This brand will signify a horses’ meat is contaminated and unsafe for human consumption.  I am currently in the process of registering the brand in counties in Texas where horses cross the border and notifying every Texas sale barn and known slaughter buyer about the brand and what is stands for.  The brand has been registered in New York and applied for in several other states.
Notices and photos of the brand with a description of what it represents will be sent to the holding pens at the border and all known feedlots where horses are ‘fed out’ before completing their journey to slaughter.
The freeze brand we have in mind is the nationally recognized symbol that refers to biological substances that pose a threat to the health of living organisms, primarily that of humans. 
It should be placed on a visible part of the horse, such as a shoulder or a hip.   It shall be as small as possible but be easy to read and recognize.   
To ensure the brands authenticity, the veterinarian administering the drug or prescribing the medication that will make the horse unfit for slaughter will be asked to fill out a form. The form will certify the horse as receiving the drug or medication.  This will rule out any discrepancy to whether the animal is contaminated.
There will be a fee paid to register the certification.   This fee shall be placed in a ‘horse savings account’ and will be used to aid in the rescue, placement, or euthanasia of any horse in need with the brand. 
We will keep a national data base of every horse that has received the certified brand complete with photos, markings, and ownership information at the time the brand was placed on the horse.  The data base will be very user friendly and any horse can be positively identified with a lip tattoo number.
A little about Remember Me Rescue,
The Remember Me Rescue Program was formed by Dallas and Donna Keen in 2008 to assist retired or injured racehorses when their career at the track is over.   RMR has accepted, rehabilitated and retrained over 350 thoroughbreds.  We have three permanent residents and 5-15 horses available for adoption at any given time.
Remember Me Rescue is an approved 501(c)3 tax exempt foundation and operates solely on donations and sponsors.  We have no salaried employees and no paid board members.  
RMR has been very blessed.   Midwest Thoroughbreds donated a 20 stall barn this year.   We now have the capability to provide care for up to 30 horses if the need arises.
Our greatest mission is to provide retired racehorses the opportunity to learn new skills so they will never be unwanted.   Each horse goes through a retraining program including desensitization techniques and basic riding skills.   All adoptions must go through an approval process and adoption contracts are signed on every horse.
Remember Me Rescue has been very successful in helping hundreds of horses to a better fate, but we feel the need to do more.   Too many of our horses are finding an undeserving fate as they grow older or become unproductive.   
We have had overwhelming support from thoroughbred owners and breeders.   Rich Papiese, the leading owner in the country, has offered to be the first to implement the freeze brand by placing it on all of the Midwest Thoroughbred horses.
I hope you too will support us in this mission.   It can change the way people look at our industry by showing we care about our horses before, during, and after their racing and breeding careers are over. 
Please feel free to suggest any changes or additions to this proposal.   It is still in the planning stages and I want to make sure we do not forget anything.
Thank you for your time and please feel free to comment with your thoughts or ideas.   Your opinions will help me shape this program into one that will work.
Donna Keen 



Anonymous said...

Will this brand be available for all breeds?

india2australia said...

'm really confused about this, i can't turn the description into a food chain.. i think there's more than 1 food chain.. so a little help? please list the top predator, producers, omnivores, carnivores and herbivores.

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Unknown said...

Great idea, I'm for it. I want my TB's to be safe if anything happens to me

Unknown said...

Great idea, I want my TB's to be safe if anything happens to me

Anonymous said...

Who would be in charge of the savings account so that the money is protected. How would one prove that they use that money for euthanasia and not cash a check and dump the horse.

Anonymous said...

I haven't done all of my research however I am.confused about the list of banned substances....ivermectin is listed as one on the website given and yet its approved in cattle swine etc. Granted I need to do my own research but I would imagine along with banned substance list there must be a list of substances requiring a withdrawal period and yet I don't believe anyone wants to.come.forward with one....not to be negative but I don't forsee a system requiring registration fees and in other aspects owners time for something that may or mat not happen working out unless it becomes a requirement to administer the drug and the drug can only be administered by which in.turn means more out of.pocket expense for owner to have the vet out for morning.and night bute administration ....