Urging Congress to Bring a Permanent End to Stop Horse Slaughter
The horse slaughter ban expires October 1, 2018, leaving the fate of horses in limbo. Horses were never brought up in the United States for human consumption. A prohibition took place in 2007, when the last slaughterhouses in Texas and Illinois were closed. However, several loopholes regarding cross-border trade still allow these practices. Sadly, most Americans aren’t aware of the practice and the controversy surrounding it. Leaving animal rights advocates with the responsibility of raising awareness.
Groups like the Equis Save Foundation offer a much-needed alternative for neglected and unwanted horses. Rescuing horses from slaughter have become part of their mission. However, these groups need help. Not only through donations, but, to raise awareness in order to urge Congress to act.
Horse Slaughter Is Inhumane
Slaughtering horses is different from the painless act of euthanizing other animals. It’s senseless, cruel and can be avoided with policies and societal changes. To avoid laws the U.S auctions a middleman, known as “kill buyers”. Who purchase sick or unwanted horses. For profit, the horses are shipped to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico. Reports from the Humane Society, show that there have been over 100,000 horses sent this way. The conditions during transit and at the facilities are appalling. Horses are kept in overcrowded pens without food or water while suffering through extreme weather conditions. More tragically, devices used to kill the horse do not always work effectively. Leading to paralyzation or stunning of the animal. In other words, the horse is still alive and able to feel the slaughter process.
Animal & Food Safety
Horses aren’t intended to be consumed. Health concerns arise due to the medication and food the horse is fed. Since there is not well-established supply chain and verifiable tracking it is nearly impossible to tell which animal came from where. This, in fact, led to the 2013 horse meat scandal in Europe. Horses were slaughtered at the same facilities as cows, which caused cross-contamination in the meat. Some packages thought to be beef were even found to be 100% horse meat.
Overseas there is a cultural gap with the practice. We take a different stance here. Over 80% of American voters are in favor of banning horse slaughter altogether. Moreover, rescue farms take the unwanted animal and find it a better home. The problem is large and requires more awareness and help.
For more information on how to slow feed your horse or how you can rescue a horse in Montana, contact us at any of our two locations: Bozeman and Livingston. Always remember: Ride a horse. Safe a rescue.