I am shocked by this poor example of journalism. The fallacies listed here are huge. People are reading this stuff and believe it’s been researched and that is it the truth.
I am a volunteer in horse rescue and I am well versed on the issue of horse slaughter.
Congress did not pass HR 503 last September. There is NO federal ban on horse slaughter. The House of Representatives did pass HR 503 in September of 2006 with the 109th Congressional session. However, the Senate adjourned without addressing the bill, and it died with the session. Another bill was introduced, HR 6598, in July of 2008, but did it not come to a vote and died with the 110th Congress. The good news is that today, Representative Conyers re-introduced the bill and hopefully the Senate and the House will address it during the 111th session.
So, as I noted, there is no federal ban on horse slaughter and it is still very much an option. Anyone, at any time, can visit a local livestock auction and sell their horses to meat buyers. The horses are trucked into Canada and Mexico, suffering intensively along the way and then are inhumanely killed for high end restaurants overseas. You’ll find kill buyers almost everywhere – New Holland in PA, Sugarcreek in OH, just to name two of the big auction houses.
I attend livestock auctions regularly, and the kill buyers are happy to cough up a couple of hundred bucks for horses they can take to slaughter. If you are conscienceless, this is the way to go.
Euthanasia is the humane alternative, and it is not prohibitively expense. It costs about $350 to have a horse euthanized and the body removed. This is about what it costs to keep a horse in food, farrier and vet care for one month. So, if you can afford to care for your horse for 30 days, you can afford to have him humanely euthanized.
This is screaming to be corrected: Congress passed H.R. 503, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, last September. Previously nearly 100,000 American horses were slaughtered annually for foreign palettes. You need to let your readers know that HR 503 was not passed. I’m shocked that this was not researched before the article was printed.
Additionally, not only are horses still going to slaughter, but more than 100,000 were slaughtered last year. I believe the total comes to about 120,000 for 2008, although the numbers are still rolling in.
There is a well known kill buyer in California named Manny Phelps who recently stated that January of 2009 will be a banner month. According to Phelps, more horses will be shipped to slaughter this month than ever before. He is quite literally, making a killing. And so are his many counterparts.
(See Jan 5th post: http://synthia1.proboards99.com/index.cgi?action=recent)
You also quote someone saying this: "It's really a problem. There is no salvage value at the end of the line." Why should there be a “salvage value” on a horses life? Horses are not viewed as food source animals in the USA. 80% of American’s are opposed to horse slaughter. Most horse owners view their horses as members of the family and would never knowingly allow their horses to be slaughtered, especially for overseas human consumption.
There is no “salvage value” on cats and dogs. Perhaps we should start slaughtering them and supplying their meat to countries in Asia and the Pacific that enjoying dining on dogs and cats. It would sure solve the shelter problems that are also rampant with the poor economy.
Sound appalling? It certainly is. And it’s no different for the horses.