Thursday, February 2, 2012

the guts and glory of horse slaughter

With each article I read, each blog I read, each video I watch I'm starting to change my opinion about horse slaughter.

Seriously... Is it truly avoidable? Will it hurt things in the long run? Is it any different than euthanizing unwanted pets? I think humans have really screwed things up for all animals. But is it better for unwanted animals to stand in feedlots and die? I'm on the fence. Don't yell at me right now. Let this very young developing thought grow and base its eventual decision on my own education, which will come in time. I do not agree with the abuse... At all...
here are some facts to ponder:

horses have continued to go to slaughter plants, despite the cessation of processing nationally. However, due to economic recession following the cessation, extreme doubt in the south, massive fires, etc. hay crops were damaged, water not available and feed prices skyrockted. The already damaged economics made it almost impossible for people to keep the horses they had. The horse market could not keep up or manage the huge influx of horses. In the 80's, the processing plants had an increase of horses to 350,000 a year to balance out the recession. But when this recession hit, even with horses going to Mexico and Canada, it still wasnt' enough to absorb the horses needing a place to go.

" In terms of it being humane, I truly believe it can be done correctly and it can be done humanely. But it requires training, excellent facility design, 3rd party oversight, etc to be possible. Temple Grandin, the foremost authority on livestock behavior stands behind that it can be done humanely and I agree with her. But it will take work to get there.

I think and agree its important to work towards giving people options, but regulating breeding, besides being economically infeasible to enforce, brings the very real question of who gets to decide what "reputable" breeding is. That single question is the biggest hindrance and why in lieu of trying to determine that, that we have excellent animal welfare laws. Some of the best in the world. We simply need the money and bodies to enforce those laws. Right now, many law enforcement agencies have given up because they cannot get the help they need to house, feed and care for those neglected, abused horses. Why? because many rescues who uses to fill that role now focus on buying slaughter bound horses. And with less available homes due to economics, those purchased horses sit in rescue ware housing awaiting homes that may well never exist.

To truly deal with this problem we have to tackle many issues, from humane regulation to processing, stimulating the horse economy by giving a base value back to our horses, regulating non profit rescues and working towards letting the market stabilize. It won't happen over night. Banning domestic slaughter or the transport of slaughter internationally will not improve overall horse welfare because statistically rescue organizations cannot fill the gap or provide the number of homes required to take all the unwanted horses.

And lastly, when a horse no longer has a home and cannot be recycled into a new use (race horse to hunter prospect, retired show horse to trail horse) ...then what? Horses are not dogs and cats who are easily afforded into their elder care, so why not allow them to fulfill an end of life purpose by allowing their use as a food source, even if that meat being eaten internationally.

here is the deal.... we cant avoid slaughter. There are just too many people out there keeping thier colts stallions in hopes that they will catch their big breaks using is sperm to get rich. reality hits, and boom.... on horse can parent hundreds of unwanted animals. Think about it. If a dog bites someone... we euthanize it... if a horse is going to be put on the same level as a dog... BOOM lets euthanize every hors that has ever bit or kicked someone.

I am deeply sorry to those of you I have offended... horses are majestic and kind animals, when treated as such. but there are too many that stand in feed lots and starve every year.

I would raise horses to sustain my family if it were possible.... shit i even think it tastes kinda ok.

before you vote down horse slaughter, realize this... you vote it down and 100 horses will starve to death because no one, not even those resues that try their damdest to save all horses possible, can save these animals.

lets stop breeding animals that will eventually become "unwanted."

1 comment:

Kati Sue said...

Well Hello - i just started checking these blogs again - seems i've missed some things! I love to throw in my two cents about slaughter. I am very pro-slaughter believe it or not, but i agree with you that it should be done humanely. However, so much slaughter is inhumane and no one is throwing fits about the other species...?