The pro-horse slaughter contingent has pulled out all the stops to try to get Congress to fund federal inspections that would allow commercial horse slaughter for human consumption to be legal once again.
Former Rep. Charles Stenholm, now a paid lobbyist for the horse slaughter crowd, has authored an article published here in support, of course, of the return to the U.S. of commercial horse slaughter for human consumption.
Vicki Tobin, co-founder and vice-president of Equine Welfare Alliance, had this to say to Mr. Stenholm’s misinformation:
Mr. Stenholm, we certainly welcome opposing views but to support your views with pure fiction is an insult to the intelligence of our Congressional members and the American public. You are a paid lobbyist representing special interests in the meat industry, not horse owners and certainly not the American public that overwhelmingly opposes horse slaughter.
Closing the [U.S. horse slaughter] plants did not reduce or end [horse] slaughter. The same numbers of horses are being slaughtered [now as before the U.S. plants closed]. So to attribute neglect or abandonment to closing the plants is absurd. The kill buyers and auctions are still in business. The kill buyers will only buy the number of horses needed to fill the demand [for horsemeat]. If there are excess horses, it has nothing to do with the availability of slaughter. To reduce the horse population, you must reduce the number of horses being produced. Slaughter has not and will never control the population. Why aren’t you asking for breeders to breed responsibly and not produce more horses than the market can bear?
You claim the U.S. lost a $65B business when the U.S. slaughter plants closed. Not true. It was not a U.S. business. The profits and products [from horse slaughter when it occurred in the U.S.] were shipped overseas. Horse slaughter takes jobs away from the horse industry. Trainers, tack and feed suppliers, veterinarians, etc. don’t make money from dead horses. There was a total of 200 jobs between the three [horse slaughter] plants [when they operated in the U.S.], of which, 85% were filled by undocumented workers.
The jobs in Mexico and Canada were not taken away from the US, they were always there. The U.S. still shipped over 775,000 horses over the borders during the time the U.S. plants were open. (I don’t recall you complaining about the long distance hauls over the borders then. Why was it okay then but now it is one of your favorite talking points?)
All major veterinarian associations recommend humane euthanasia for ending a horse’s life. None of them state that they should be slaughtered. The documented abuses in the slaughter plants and the slaughter pipeline disprove your comments. The GAO report on horse slaughter and the Canadian investigations disprove your comments.
Also, your claims the horsemeat from U.S. horses is safe, is simply at best unsubstantiated and at worst blatantly false. The U.S. does not raise or regulate horses as food animals and to say otherwise is pure propaganda. The recent EU report detected banned substances in U.S. horses and every one of the horses were accompanied by falsified paperwork stating they were drug free. The standard tests do not detect bute residues. In 2004, the USDA ran a pilot test at Cavel [horse slaughter facility in Illinois] and did indeed detect bute and then switched back to the standard test.
If you can’t afford proper care for animal, be it a horse, dog or cat, you shouldn’t own one. Yes, horses are very expensive and if you can’t afford the cost of one month’s care, [about $225], to humanely end your horse’s life, you can’t afford to own a horse.
Go here for more on the June 15 vote on the appropriations bill and how you can help make sure commercial horse slaughter for human consumption remains illegal in the U.S.
And for more on the mis-information from the pro-slaughter crowd….