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Horses In the News!
November 30, 2011
National Legislative Ban on Funding for Inspection of Horse Slaughterhouses Lifted
The internet and horse communities are abuzz over the news that buried deep in the November 18th spending bill designed to keep the US afloat until mid December, Congress quietly lifted a 5-year-old ban on funding horse meat inspections. The law did not, however, allocate any new money to pay for horse meat inspections and currently there are no slaughterhouses in the U.S. that butcher horses for human consumption. Activists claim that will change quickly anticipating plants could be up and running within 30 days. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) says if, and as, slaughterhouses open it will conduct inspections to make sure federal laws were being followed.
The whole issue is way more complex than it may seem at first glance. It is definitely worth reading a few of the articles to understand the underlying issues. The fact is that the US has never had a comprehensive horse slaughter ban. The closest we have ever gotten to an outright ban was the 2006 ineffective band-aid legislation cutting off funding for horse meat inspections. Although the 2006 measure did effectively close horse slaughter plants in the US, rather than preventing the slaughter of horses, it simply added a new unsavory element: the inhumane transportation of horses to Canada and Mexico for inspection-free, unregulated slaughter.
What is our opinion? We are with PETA on this one — we would like to see comprehensive national legislation not only banning the slaughter of horses in the US but also banning the export of horses to other countries for slaughter. Plus, we would like the legislation to include both civil and criminal penalties for horse abuse, neglect, and abandonment, a problem equal to and possibly more compelling and widespread than horse slaughter, especially during times of widespread economic hardship. In the meantime, we take comfort in the fact that many states ban the slaughter of horses and hope that if horses are to be killed, it is done so as humanely, and with as much accountability, as possible.
Check out some of the headlines (and for a better understanding of the issues- read the articles!)