Saturday, March 30, 2013

12 Reasons To oppose Horse Slaughter

Although I'm not able to find this on the Animal Law Coalition's web page anymore (I have contacted them and asked if they will repost) a list of twelve reasons why people should oppose horse slaughter was compiled. This information should be used as points of discussion when interacting with elected officials and pro-slaughter advocates (PSA's). Please feel free to disseminate...

1. Americans don’t want their horses to be slaughtered. Lake Research Partners conducted a recent nationwide poll confirming that 80% of Americans, regardless of gender, political affiliation, urban or rural residence, or geographic location, oppose horse slaughter for human consumption. The poll also found that the vast majority of horse owners oppose horse slaughter.

2. Most of the horses sold for slaughter are healthy and usable. Horses who are purchased for slaughter are not old, disabled, unwanted, or unusable. The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed a study done by Dr. Temple Grandin, which found that 92.3% of slaughter-bound horses are perfectly healthy. Instead of slaughter being a solution for “unwanted” horses, it crates a secondary market that enables poor breeding practices.

3. Horse slaughter is inhumane. Equine slaughter should not be confused with humane euthanasia. Dr. Lester Friedlander, DVM and former Chief USDA Inspector, told Congress in 2008 that the captive bolt used to slaughter horses is ineffective.

Dr. Friedlander stated, “These animals regain consciousness 30 seconds after being struck. They are fully aware that they are being vivisected.” The Government Accountability Office has confirmed that ineffective stunning is common and that animals are conscious during slaughter.

4. Horse slaughter is expensive for the American taxpayer. Approximately $5,000,000 was spent annually to subsidize three foreign-owned (Belgian and French) horse slaughterhouses operating in the U.S. until 2007. The meat was shipped overseas and there was no benefit to the American economy.

Current estimates find that $3,000,000 to $5,000,000 would be spent to subsidize private horse slaughter facilities.

5. Communities with horse slaughter plants suffer. Horse slaughter plans cause nuisance odors and chronic sewer and environmental violations. Paula Bacon, mayor of Kaufman, Texas, stated, “My community did not benefit. We paid.” A horse slaughter facility existed in Kaufman until 2007.

6. Eliminating the waste from horse slaughter plants is problematic. Antibiotics given to American horses prevent their blood from breaking down, making their blood and organs unusable for dry blood mill. Communities that have horse slaughter facilities will be required to figure out how to dispose of the blood, internal organs, and waste. This will be substantial, as horses have 1.74 times as much blood per pound of body weight as cows.

7. Horse slaughter does not help the economy. In 2007, horse slaughter plants never created more than 178 low-wage jobs. Many of these positions were held by people who had entered the U.S. illegally.

8. Incidences of horse theft increase near horse slaughter plants. Horse slaughter is demand-driven, and when California banned horse slaughter in 1998, horse theft fell by 39.5%. In the years that followed, the state found an 88% decrease in horse theft.
9. Areas with horse slaughter plants see higher crime rates. When the horse slaughter plant in Kaufman, TX closed, residents experienced a significant decrease in all crime.

10. The FDA does not regulate horses as food animals. Americans do not consume horses and other equines. Horses receive multiple medications, such as steroids, de-wormers, and ointments, throughout their lives. Kill buyers do not know a horse’s medical history.

The FDA bans the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) Phenylbutazone (Bute) in all food-producing animals. Many horses have received Bute, which is a carcinogen and can cause aplastic anemia in humans.

11. It is impossible to humanely transport horses for slaughter. The 2011 GAO report confirmed that USDA/APHIS has not – and cannot – enforce humane transport regulations for equines to be sent to slaughter.

12. Horses are in danger. The welfare of all equines is threatened as long as slaughter remains available.

~"If there are more beautiful, magical and mystical beings in this world than equines are, I have yet to discover them and am not convinced it's even possible for such to exist." – 01/06~

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