Horse Slaughter - An American Disgrace, Not a Necessary Evil
The three foreign owned slaughterhouses in
the US, Dallas Crown and Bel-Tex are located in Texas.
Cavel (a slaughter house destroyed by fire in 2002),
rebuilt and returned to operations in DeKalb, Illinois.The
slaughter plants in the U.S are shut down due to passage
of Ilinois Public Act 095-0002 an amendment to the
IL Horse Meat Law on May 24, 2007 outlawing horse slaughter in Illinois,
and the U.
S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling upholding the legality of 1949
Texas Horsemeat Law.)
Unfortunately horses are still being shipped to Mexico and Canada, that
is why we must pass Federal Legislation making horse
slaughter illegal in the United States and the export
of horses to foreign countries for slaughter illegal.
- Export to Foreign Countries: The argument to regulate slaughter in
the U.S. so as to prevent the export horses to a
foreign country where the slaughter act is not regulated
and is even more barbaric, is not valid.
We do not legalize and or regualte a practice/act
that is repulsive to American Culture so as to prevent
the unregualted practice in a foreien country. It
is not a valid argument. We would not legalize Human Trafficking
in the U.S. because it is worse in other countries.
- Law will be Violated: If we outlaw horse slaughter people will
find a way to violate the law.
If we followed this argument, we would not
have any laws on the books. Passage of legislation
results in honest people following the law. Dishonest
people have since the beginning of time found a way
to violate the laws. We have a criminal justice system
because people will alwasys find a way to violate
- Property Rights - We have laws regulating what we can with
our property. Passage of the the American Horse Slaughter Prevention
Act is in line with American Culture.
If given the opportunity, Americans would overwhelmingly vote to outlaw the slaughter of America's horses. The pro horse slaughter forces have depended on the secrecy of horse slaughter. In recent years, in large part due to the Internet, the existence of horse slaughter has been revealed to the American public and to horse lovers and owners.
Previously the anti-slaughter forces were dependent on horse publications to cover horse slaughter-which happened about as often as a solar eclipse. When the issue was covered, the articles were typically pro slaughter. Mainstream media only covered the issue when there had been a horrific accident involving horses being transported to slaughter. Thus the horse industry's "dirty little secret" has been allowed to continue for over 20 years. The result has been the cruel slaughter of over 3 million of our noble American horses in the past 2 decades to satisfy a foreign taste for horsemeat.
The Thoroughbred racing industry has now come out against slaughter and is actively working to oppose legislation that would legalize the slaughter of our horses. The CA Thoroughbred industry supported CA's Prop 6 in 1998, which made the slaughter of CA's horses a felony.
The American Horse Council, AHC, long pro slaughter, has now adjusted their position to neutral, due in large part to the Thoroughbred industry opposition to slaughter. The vast majority of state horse councils remain out of step with the position of horse owners and still remain pro slaughter. Their attempt to remain neutral or to oppose anti-slaughter legislation based on their concern for the welfare of unwanted horses is a lame attempt at damage control.
Recently many of these pro slaughter organizations have taken the step of supporting horse welfare organizations as an option for unwanted horses. That is a step in the right direction. Yet, very few of these state horse councils are working to enforce laws on the books against cruelty to horses. If anything they support laws with vague and ambigous language that will make the successful prosecution of abusers nearly impossible.
The AQHA remains pro slaughter, stating that owners need the option of slaughter, and describing slaughter as humane. The word slaughter and humane in the same sentence is an oxymoron. The American Paint Horse Association testified in favor of horse slaughter legislation in TX in 2003.
Probably most disturbing of all is the American Association of Equine Practioners, AAEP, support of horse slaughter. Who would ever believe that a vet would support the cruel slaughter of our horses?
Pro slaughter forces point to anti slaughter advocates as animal rights activists. Up until the time many of us choose to speak out against horse slaughter, we are professionals in the horse industry, or lifelong horse owners. We are part of the horse industry. The pro slaughter forces use the term animal rights activist to discredit and dismiss our arguments against the slaughter of our horses.
TX Rep Betty Brown stated on the Texas House Floor on May 24, 2003 ,
"..and the question now is, do we want the animals rights people to set ag policy for our State from now on? Or do we want…. or do we want the people that are involved in agriculture and agriculture related industry in our State who deal with this issue all the time and know the most about it, for them to make the decisions about the future of ag policy in our State."
Excuse me Ms. Brown, since when did Fasig-Tipton, Breeders Cup, Ltd., and Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, TRF become animal rights activists and not,
"people who deal with this issue all the time and know the most about it"?