FACT. Horse slaughter exists because of the human appetite for horse meat and no other reason.
Horse slaughter is not about controlling the "unwanted" horse population; a way of getting rid of sick, diseased or mentally disturbed horses; or preventing horse abuse, abandonment, theft and similar crimes. Horse slaughter exists solely to provide horse meat to the consumer.
In the U.S. virtually every major veterinary organization is pro horse slaughter. Of course, animal agriculture including slaughter facilities employ a significantly high number of veterinarians. The example below shows you where their thinking is. This is indeed wicked considering they know that horses are not regulated as food animals and are given medications — prescribed by these very people — that permit them from entering the human food chain.
“Market demand for horsemeat for human consumption is almost certain to continue and may grow in the foreseeable future. It is therefore proper and necessary that we continue to work with national and international groups to provide humane care for horses intended for slaughter and maintain as much consensus and practicality on these issues as possible.”
— Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, April 15, 2000.
These ideas are still very much current. Not every veterinarian group, however, supports the slaughter of horses. There is a group adamantly opposed called Veterinarians for Equine Welfare. Learn more at their website.
FACT. A ban on horse slaughter decreases the homeless horse population and reduces abuse and neglect.
USDA statistics show that over 92 percent of horses slaughtered are in good condition and able to live productive lives.
In California, where horse slaughter was banned in 1998, there has been no corresponding rise in cruelty and neglect cases, while horse theft dropped by 34 percent after the ban.
In Illinois, when the plant was shut down for two years, horse neglect and abuse decreased in the state.
Allowing one's horse to starve is not an option in any state. State anti-cruelty laws prohibit such neglect.
Most horses who go to slaughter are not unwanted, but instead wind up in the hands of killer buyers because they are in good health and will bring a good price per pound for their meat.
FACT. Horses are not slaughtered more humanely in U.S. plants than in other countries.
Undercover footage from inside horse slaughter facilities in the U.S. demonstrated how horrific these plants were.
Many horses were conscious when they were shackled and hoisted by a rear leg to have their throats cut. Employees whipped horses in the face. Mares were allowed to give birth on the kill floors.
The USDA recently released photos of horses with broken bones protruding from their bodies, eyeballs hanging by a thread of skin, and open wounds, all taken at former U.S. horse slaughter plants.
We should not allow our horses to be subjected to this tremendous cruelty inside — or outside — our borders.
FACT. Horse slaughter is a brutal and terrifying way to end a horse's life.
"Euthanasia" means a gentle, painless death provided to prevent suffering.
Horse slaughter means a brutal and terrifying death,full of pain and suffering.
Video evidence taken in countries like the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Great Britain and Japan demonstrates time and again that cruelty is inherent to horse slaughter and is no way — no matter how it is conducted — to end a horse's life.
When no other option exists, horses should be humanely euthanized by a licensed veterinarian. The vast majority of horse owners (as high as 99%) already use humane euthanasia for old or ill horses.
FACT. Private property rights will not be compromised by a federal ban on horse slaughter.
Allowing horse slaughter actually facilitates violation of property rights by encouraging the conversion of private property when horses are stolen and sold for a profit.
Many domestic horses are stolen out of pastures and barns every year for the horse meat trade.
When California banned horse slaughter in 1998, the horse theft rate dropped 34 percent.
Further, private property rights do not grant owners the unfettered right to abuse their animals. Every state has anti-cruelty laws that mandate protections for animals.
Without horse slaughter, owners still have ample legal options of reselling, donating, or euthanizing their horses. The costs are approximately $225 — the amount of one month's keep for a horse.
FACT. Most horses who go to slaughter are in good condition.
USDA documents that more than 92 percent of horses who go to slaughter are in good condition — and do not need to be put down.
Some 900,000 horses die annually and are safely disposed of by means other than slaughter, and the infrastructure can easily absorb an increase in numbers.
Rendering, incineration and burial are all options for the remains disposal, depending on local laws.
Conversely, the operation of the horse slaughter plants are proven to have a very real negative environmental impact, resulting in violations of local laws relating to the disposal of blood and other waste materials.
FACT. Horse owners – not the government – are responsible for the care of their horses, with or without slaughter.
The assertion that horses currently going to slaughter would become the financial responsibility of the federal government is simply false.
Horse owners, not the government, will always remain responsible for the care of their horses.
Owners who no longer wish to keep their horses and who cannot sell or place their horses in a new home have the option of sale, rehoming via adoption or placement in a sanctuary, or humane euthanasia.
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