Article Regarding Horse Slaughter in the U.S.

For those of you that have been following the horse slaughter debate in the U.S. there is an interesting article on MSNBC.com this morning.

The article, “Debate over slaughtering horses gains new life; Congress pressed to ban U.S. trade in meat destined for dinner tables“,written by Mike Stuckey, Senior news editor, describes the involvement of the U.S. Government in this issue.

 The emotional debate over slaughtering horses for human consumption gained new life in Washington this week as a House committee approved a measure that would ban the practice nationwide and halt the export of U.S. horses destined for dinner tables in other countries.

It is a very thought provoking article and gives information from both sides of the issue.  I found it to be an informative read for anybody interested in this topic.

9 Responses to Article Regarding Horse Slaughter in the U.S.

  1. Stonesong says:

    Never did I think that I would be as passionate about this issue as I am! Do I want to send my horses off to slaughter, NO, however, I am also a careful horse owner and small breeder that only takes on what I am able to properly take care of. Slaughter is a small part of this huge issue, I really think that we as horse owners need to pause and take a look at the real issue… Over breeding and supply and demand. The fact is that there are too many horses out there and not enough responsible people to take care of them.

    Many “rescues” have popped up all over, most seem to be in need of being rescued themselves! Where is the funding going to come from to take care of hundreds of thousands of unwanted horses that multiply every year? Take the bare basics of horse care, worming should be done every 8 weeks at a cost of about $10/time = $60/year. Hoof care every 8 weeks at $25/horse (if you’re lucky enough to find someone who’ll do it that cheep) $150/year. Just for worming and Ferrier that comes to $210/horse/year, multiply that by 100,000 and you get $21,000,000/per year. That’s not even including feed. Isn’t that frightening?

    I do not believe that all slaughter houses are inhumane the way certain organizations would like us to believe! I would rather not have a need for slaughter houses, however, I believe there is a real need at this time. I think we are making a huge mistake by eliminating them and not having them be governed by federal agencies!

  2. jessica says:

    How is there a need for slaughter? I would agree that there is a need for affordable euthanasia…and ways to dispose of the body (if one doesn’t have access to equipment to bury it).

    I also agree that there are way too many people breeding way too many horses. And that an unfortunate number of owners are woefully unprepared for the time and cost of horse ownership. But I don’t think slaughter is the answer to these problems.

    What I really wonder about with horse slaughter is are these horses actually being eaten by people in Europe? I mean, seriously – they have (hopefully) been dewormed regularly, have been given shots, probably had antibiotics at some point in their lives…all of which generally say “not for use in animals intended for human consumption”..!!

  3. Stonesong says:

    In 2006, the last year the slaughter plants were open, there was over 100,000 horses slaughtered in the US. Who will take care of 100,000+ horses every year, where will the funding come from to pay for the $50,000,000+ to care for 100,000 horses every year? I’ve been to rescues. I have seen the horses who live in misery because their rescuer doesn’t have the funding needed to properly take care of the horses in their care. I really don’t believe that death is the worst thing. I would much rather have a bad day instead of a horrible rest of my life! I would much rather there not be a large amount of unwanted horses, but there are, that is a fact we have to face. I would much rather a body be able to be used to feed others and keep the circle of life going!

  4. jdenzel says:

    While I must agree that there are many irresponsible horse, dog, cat and etc. owners in the world, I could never condone the inhumane SLAUGHTER of any animal! Yes, it will take millions of dollars to continue the care of the horses in their old age, but the ends seldom justify the means! Perhaps we need to do a better job of holding owners responsible for their horses? Having enough acreage to retire horses after their prime (or, in the racing world after they have stopped earning the millions for the owners)would be a start. Or, maybe as fellow horse owners we could all find it in our wallets to donate $10 a month to a reputable rescue farm? Maybe we could buy $2,000 fake tails instead of $2,500 fake tails? :>) Just my opinion!

  5. bollylope says:

    Well said Stonesong. I have listend and read several accounts of horses being turned loose, and left tied to posts at auctions because there is no market for them. I have watched ads in our local paper for horses that are now FREE because the people can not take care of them and there are no buyers. These are older horses that are limited to what they can do. It is turning into a bad cycle. There is not enough space, proper faculity, staff, and money to take on all these unwanted horses. For all the people that have worked so hard and dilegently to get the congress to ban horse meat…. have you also worked as hard to find solutions to see that all the “non usable” horses have good, quality homes and care.

  6. jessica says:

    But, bollylope, that happened even when slaughter existed in the US. This is not new. There have always been horses available for free, and horses abandoned and neglected by their owners. Those interested in reinstating slaughter within the US (remember, horses still go to slaughterhouses, in Mexico and Canada – the slaughter market is not “gone”) are pointing these things out to the media, suggesting that such things are the horrible and preventable consequences of banning slaughter in the US.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Oh for pete’s sake.

    Who are any of us to decided what exactly anyone else should eat? While it may be distastful in the extreme to most of us to eat horse meat, is it not distastful in the extreme for Indians (the Asian variety)to eat cow meat?

    For all you hamburger and steak lovers out there, aren’t you glad that the vegans haven’t taken over? Can you imagine how you would feel being told that you CAN’T have a steak, roasted chicken or heaven forfend…CHEESE and BUTTER?

    I imagine this whole kerfluffle started because some well-intentioned people were shocked over the treatment at *some* slaughterhouses and/or the transport to same. Then wouldn’t the obvious solution be to enforce the rules and regs already on the books for humane treatment or to strengthen those laws if needed? A knee-jerk reaction of the fluff-bunny variety is doing nothing to stop slaughter. On the contrary, can you even imagine how absolutely horrendous the conditions are in a Mexican slaughterhouse? The net effect of the US ban is to condemn these horses to a much worse fate then a quick death in Illinois; there is the aformentioned neglect and slow suffering of being turned loose in an inhospitable environment; or much worse, a long and overcrowded truck ride to Mexico with a long and suffering end I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

    Besides, It’s just plain disingenous to get all bent out of shape over a horse burger while eating your cow burger.

  8. jessica says:

    I don’t have a problem with what people eat or not – I personally would find it distasteful to eat horse, dog, cat, but I certainly wouldn’t tell someone that they could not do so if they so chose. In some central and south American countries, it is normal to eat guinea pigs, which also strikes me as something I wouldn’t care to do (and I imagine it would take a whole bunch of them to make a meal).

    In this country, while horses are “livestock”, most people view them as “companion animals”, on the same order as dogs and cats. Are all the surplus dogs and cats sent to slaughterhouses for the Asian meat markets?

    Are there, in Europe, farms that raise horses specifically for meat? That to me, seems far more logical than sending random horses to slaughter for eventual human consumption. At least one would think that under those circumstances, the industry would be regulated and you wouldn’t be dealing with horses who have been given who knows what medications, etc.

  9. leslie says:

    I don’t eat meat, but I’m not against people eating any species of animal, as long as those animals were treated humanely before and during their deaths. In commercial slaughterhouses, that doesn’t happen. I used to be fairly pro-slaughter, but the more I learn about it, the more I’m convinced that any kind of commercial slaughter of horses is inevitably inhumane. Emphasis on commerical. Family farms with free range meat ponies don’t offend me, but they don’t currently exist.

    I don’t believe that meat horses are raised in Europe. Horse and Hound did a series of articles where they followed horses being transported for slaughter in the EU:

    http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/article.php?aid=264629

    Pretty horrific there, too.

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