Slaughter is back, thanks to the powers-that-be: politicians, horse brokers, the meat industry, et al. The Iowa plant, Responsible Transportation LLC , sits about 60 miles from my house.
Of course, slaughter has been an option for horse owners all along. Your ‘livestock commodity’ was just taking a longer, more clandestine journey. Over 100,000 horses have been hauled to Canada and Mexico annually since the U.S. banned it in 2007. Read Before Horses Die.
So, which is better for the horse?
— 1,000 miserable miles in a transporter followed by death?
— 100 miles followed by death?
If we must have slaughter, give humane treatment a chance. That’s something we might be able to regulate here. Not so, abroad.
If the slaughter plants and their investors ultimately prevail (They’ve been hit with restraining orders and lawsuits which may delay or defeat their operation), let’s work to demand transparent oversight and humane treatment.
Slaughter opponents gain only limited sympathy by blasting us with graphic images of suffering equines. They’d do well to offer sensible alternatives. Right now:
- There’s no reasonable solution to the huge problem of unwanted horses (Suggesting they all be rescued and adopted is naïve considering the current shape of the equine rescue world.)
- There’s no breeding regulations or limitations. Anyone can breed a horse; anyone can own a horse. We don’t have to register them. We’re barely held accountable for their welfare. Horse production continues unabated, without any consideration to what might happen to that foal in two or three or 10 years.
High-end thoroughbred breeders, futurity investors, and backyard breeders – they’re all guilty of running the faucet and overflowing the tub.
As a society, we demand more accountability from dog owners and breeders.
Do you see any slaughter operations for dogs?
A simple analysis perhaps. But until changes occur at the faucet end, we’ll continue to have gruesome solutions to horse overpopulation.
Want some rose-colored glasses?
Here’s how Reliable Transportation, the Iowa slaughter company, sees it:
Our mission is to improve the quality of life of the unwanted horse population …We believe it is our responsibility to restore the value of the horse industry. In doing so, the quality of life for the entire population of horses within the United States will improve.