January 15, 2012
University of Phoenix
Horse Slaughter, the topic ignites passion on all sides. Anti-slaughter groups see the practice as a tragic end to an animal that occupies a gray area between livestock or pet. Slaughter plants were closed in the United States in 2006 and now the horses are shipped to Canada and Mexico for a far more inhumane end and may be mistreated on the way there. Horses that are unwanted due to various reasons are either shot or turned loose on the U.S. Forest or BLM to die a slow death.
The Horse Slaughter Debate
One of the prime movers, a lobbying group called the Humane Society based in Washington D.C., with 9.9 million members and a $122 million dollar annual budget (Horse & Rider 2007). The prime focus: the closure of all horse slaughter plants in the U.S., and due to the Federal Law or the lack thereof. The U.S. government, in 2006 stopped funding any horse slaughter inspectors in the United States, therefore if the horse cannot be inspected it cannot be slaughtered.
Since the prohibition against using federal funds for inspecting horses destined for slaughter went into effect, horses going to slaughter have to travel 200 more miles and there are no rules or regulations on how the horses are treated while in transport. Horses exported for slaughter to Canada and Mexico increased by 148 percent and 660 percent, respectfully, from 2006 to 2010 (Government Accountability Office -GOA 2011).
So let’s think about this, if there is no longer horse slaughter in the U.S what are we to do with the unwanted horses? I completely understand that people love animals I do to. There is a circle of life, Mother Nature sees to it. As ranchers, stewards of the land and having children, we have certain horses that will never leave the ranch; they will die here just like us. We have had...