Pages

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A great take on horse slaughter - sent in by an equestrian friend

Jim-
Hope you find this informative, even if it doesn't end up being relevant for your writing. -M.



"Thought this was an interesting perspective...maybe you could post it next to the horse slaughter petition....good way to stir the pot a little.....or better yet....good topic for the newsletter...maybe a great way to get rid of unwanted customers.

On my forum, this was posted by Juli Thorson, writer for Horse and Rider adn some other great magazines. This was a great, eloquantly writtenpost that I think will be a great source for many concerning the ripple effect of banning horse slaughter in the US.


The other day, it occurred to me that if Congress manages to block all routes to slaughter for horses intended as food, the U.S. horse economy would become the first in history to operate without food-salvage value as its floor. Basically, this also would make horses the only form of livestock WITHOUT per-pound salvage value, having the effect of turning horses from assets into liabilities. In turn, this would alter the horse economy's infrastructure so profoundly as to force a new one into being, to replace the one society now finds repugnant.
So, for what it's worth, here are some of the things I can see coming as a result:
* An annual tax per head on every horse we own. This is how the government will seek to fund the equine holding facilities, 're-homing' operations, and disposal stations it will see a need to build as the unwanted-horse crisis continues to build. The Seattle Post Intelligencer just ran an editorial calling for this very sort of tax:
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/347789_erbe18.html
* Mandatory microchipping of every horse. These ID chips will be used for multiple purposes, including ability to track down and fine/prosecute any owner who abandons a horse. As the rate of abandonment accelerates, this will come to pass sooner rather than later.
* Mandatory facilities registration, accompanied by inspections. Horse owners will pay fees toward these measures, too. This already has a name: NAIS, for National Animal Identification System. The general public will buy into this as a way to protect itself against a form of bioterrorism, among other justifications:
http://animalid.aphis.usda.gov/nais/index.shtml
* Mandatory application for and payment of a 'transport voucher,' any time you wish to move a horse to or from your property. This will be used as a way of funding reinforcement of a federal ban against transporting a horse for the purpose of slaughter, once that's been made illegal.
* Federally built, regulated, and funded equine euthanasia/disposal stations (see my first point). Whether people care to acknowledge this or not, every horse eventually ends up as a half-ton carcass that needs to be disposed of somehow. If not turned into usable meat/hoof/hide byproducts, it comes garbage--buried or composted on private property, rendered, dumped in a landfill, or dragged off for wild animals to feast on. I just read a statistic, published in the New York Times, stating that 138,000 fewer horses were processed in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico in 2007 compared to 2006:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/11/us/11horse.html
If all 138,000 head were 'humanely put down' instead, that'd add up to around 75,000 TONS of horse carcasses to be dealt with in some manner. A year. With somewhere around 100K of those in the U.S. How long do you suppose our 'not in MY neighborhood!' society will put up with that before getting the government involved? Especially when you consider that the carcass of a horse killed with barbituates is increasingly considered to be a threat to the environment?
* As an answer to the toxic-carcass problem, a new service provider will appear: The person willing and able to euthanize your horse by gunshot. In my area, such a service is already available, if you know the numbers to call. However, those who provide the service will be forced underground, once those in the general public get wind of it. 'My God--people are allowed to SHOOT horses?! This must be stopped!'
* Federal taxation on every breeding. I don't think I need to explain this one. Just see all the above.
* A resulting horse economy--for good or for bad--that will be unrecognizable to us within 10 years.
On my forum, this was posted by Juli Thorson, writer for Horse and Rider adn some other great magazines. This was a great, eloquantly writtenpost that I think will be a great source for many concerning the ripple effect of banning horse slaughter in the US. "
Update: Now there is a petition out to bring back the slaughterhouses>

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a concept! How dare anyone suggest that an owner be made responsible for horses they made a conscious decision to own.

Death is part of the cycle of life and owners should plan and be prepared to provide a humane death before they take ownership.