USA Today article on Over-Crowding of Horse Shelters

I found this story through a link in the Yahoo message boards. The USA Today article titled “US Shelters Saddled with Unwanted Horses” by Oren Dorell discusses the repercussions of the closing of slaughter houses in the USA:

For decades, horse farms sold unwanted animals to slaughterhouses that shipped the meat overseas to places such as France and Japan, where horse meat is an accepted meal, even a delicacy. In 2006, close to 140,000 horses were sold this way, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.

But last year, under pressure from animal activists, courts in Texas and lawmakers in Illinois made butchering horses for human consumption illegal. That forced the shutdown of the last three horse slaughterhouses in those states — and the USA.

Although it remains legal to ship horses to Mexico or Canada for slaughter (in 2007, about 80,000 animals followed this route), there is a move in Congress to close that off as well. Breeders and ranchers say such a move would destroy an important export market they need to stay afloat.

The article goes on to discuss the overcrowding of US Shelters with unwanted horses, as well as horses being simply turned loose to fend for themselves.

I know we have had a post about this earlier (see “Over-Breeding; What Do We Do?”) but I thought the fact that this story made a national newspaper was interesting. 

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