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Your Opinion: Pragmatic approach to horse slaughter

Your Opinion: Pragmatic approach to horse slaughter

July 6th, 2012 by Kristie Scheulen, Loose Creek in News

Dear Editor:

I was wondering when this can of worms would be opened and now that it has the horse slaughter issue needs to be addressed pragmatically and not emotionally.

Maybe here in the U.S. we have not historically eaten horse meat but many parts of the world have. The product coming out of U.S. plants is intended for export.

I don't know if Stephana Landwehr is aware of it but horse slaughter never really stopped with the 2005 closing of U.S. plants - it still continued in Canada and Mexico.

I don't know about Canadian plants but Mexican plants are about as inhumane as they come and the trip across country to get there is brutal.

There are now more horses in the U.S. than there has been at any time in history worldwide. A lot of things have contributed to the large numbers of horses but we have never bred horses just for slaughter.

Horses are no longer work animals but as Stephana puts it they are our partners. From the early "70s until 9/11 everyone wanted a partner in their backyard.

Horses were bred fairly indiscriminately to keep up with the demand. As a result a lot of poor quality animals hit the ground - a lot of horses that needed to be destroyed but were not.

After 9/11 the demand for that backyard partner slowed but a horse can live for 30 years and while breeding has slowed things just don't change.

In 2005 Congress discontinued the funding for horse slaughter plants because of the pressure from PETA and USHS. Plants were closed. Horses still went to slaughter under horrendous conditions.

When this recession and the economy softened many people found themselves in the position of not being able to afford their partners. Horses were left to starve or released on public grounds. PETA has just recently reversed their stance on the closing of horse slaughter plants stating that it caused unintended consequences.

I own eight horses that I do not have time to ride but I would not consider selling them and I would not sent them to slaughter because I can afford not to.

I can fully empathize with the need to reduce horse numbers. Rescue groups are overwhelmed and slaughter plants are needed.