The past five years there has been a ban on legal horse slaughter in the U.S. I didn't realize it'd only been for that short time, I thought it had been decades. Of course slaughter has occurred, horses have been sent to Mexico or Canada.
I never, ever want to send an animal I have loved dearly to the slaughter house, nor do I want to place an animal in a situation where I won't know it's fate. I want to keep my horse for life, if I can but I know realistically that a lot of people can't do that...who knows something drastic could happen in my life and I wouldn't be able to continue to keep my horse. Life changes and if someone is faced with a job loss, foreclosure, and supporting their family...pets will go by the wayside. Hopefully that person will find a good home for their horse or find a rescue to help them. Unfortunately others can't stand to part with their horse and many are left to starve on the sparse pastures we have here in Colorado.
So this blog is about questions.
Will legalizing horse slaughter prevent slow, cruel deaths to horses?
Will it create a better slaughter house environment compared to the slaughter houses in Mexico that horses were exported to?
If there are local slaughter houses will there be regulations on the transport and slaughter practices?
Will a rancher or horse owner, down on their luck, be more likely to sell, give away, euthanize or send a horse to slaughter?
Is horse ownership verified before some of these sales to slaughter houses?
Do we need to worry about our mustangs? What about our herds of horses in the fields?
This is a tricky issue from many angles.
I eat meat, I eat cows, lambs, pigs, etc. Other countries hold the cow sacred. Other countries eat dog and cat meat. Where do you draw the line? Who are we to say but animal can be killed for food and what animal cannot? Is it the type of animal that is most distressing? Is it the endangered status (um that ones a no brainer I think!)? Is it how the animal is killed (quickly vs. bleeding out)? If an animal is humanely taken care of and then humanely killed I don't find an issue with it, in general. But, I could never eat a dog, cat or a horse. I just couldn't. The thought makes me sick. But I have to remember that same thought is one Indians have about eating cows, it makes them sick.
I do strongly believe though that these auctions with under nourished horses that have obviously been neglected should be fined, the sellers tracked down and persecuted....no animal should be starved or mistreated like that. Sure maybe the horse will be killed quickly just like cows in a slaughterhouse but can we really advocate the inappropriate treatment at any time, of any animal, no matter it's fate?
These questions really make me sick. I love horses and would never want to have one of mine or ones I've known killed for meat, even if it is done quickly and humanely. Period. But what about all the other horses?
What are peoples opinions?