The Positive Impact of the Horse Slaughter Industry

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The Positive Impact of The Horse Slaughter Industry|
Alyssa R. BigonGBUS 2903: Legal Environment of BusinessDr. Anthony GorospeDue Date April 8, 2012
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History of Horse Meat Consumption
The ancient Botai culture in Kazakhstan first domesticated horses 5,500 years ago, and its economy was equine-based. Horses were used for labor, transportation, milk, and consumption. Even at that early time, if the horses did not succumb to the rigors of daily life, work-related injuries, or battle, then they were sold for salvage. The money received from the salvage was reinvested in a younger, stronger horse. The salvaged horse would go to the rendering plant for leather, horsehair furniture, glue, gelatin, cosmetics, or to the butcher for dog food and human consumption.

Soldiers and civilians worldwide consumed horse meat during World War I and World War II. Soldiers needed the extra protein horse meat provided. American butcher shops sold horsemeat for half the price of beef, although consumers preferred beef.

Today’s society still consumes horse meat. In Europe and Japan, it is a staple and in Sweden horse meat out sells mutton and lamb combined. Residents of Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, Iceland, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malta, Mongolia, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom all consume horse meat. Italy surpasses all other countries in the European community in horse meat consumption.

Horsemeat is lean, protein-rich, finely textured, bright red, firm and most of all immune to Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE). Horse meat has become overwhelmingly popular in Quebec, especially Montreal, where the butchers that specialize in horse meat are busier than ever. This new surge in consumption has been backed by the fear of BSE. Butchers who specialize in horse meat in Europe and Quebec are only allowed horse meat sales within their shop. The Horse Slaughter Controversy

Many individuals believe there is a need to ban horse slaughter. Animal activists lobby for closures of horse meat plants arguing they are inhumane and that the horse is a pet, an animal of our history. The horse slaughter industry is maintained and controlled by the same regulations as other meat industries; beef, mutton and other legal meats. A ban on horse slaughter in 2006 drastically changed the horse industry, with many job lost and over population of horses occurred. Opponents convincing Congress to cut funding for horse meat inspections accomplished the ban on horse slaughter.This devastated the animal agriculture sector for what seemed to be sentimental and romantic notions. Americans dining on horsemeat is nearly non-existent as they are treated as beloved pets and iconic symbols of the West. The ban shut down the kill plants, which eliminated jobs of kill plant workers and meat inspectors, as well as an estimated $152-$222 million dollars per year of income to the United States economy.

President Barack Obama signed a law on November 18, 2011 that lifted the ban on horse slaughter. Money was not allocated for horse meat inspectors, although if a plant were to open then inspections will be made to ensure all federal laws are being followed.However, with the ban lifted, it is up to each state to decide whether to open horse slaughterhouses. The ban on slaughterhouses has had unexpected consequences of horse neglect and abandonment. Representative Sue Wallis, a Wyoming state lawmaker, said the ranchers used to be able to sell crippled, unfit work horses to slaughterhouses, but now those horses are being shipped to Canada and Mexico to butchers and fetch less than half the price.

Lawmakers of the same political party have even been posed against each other. Max Baucus, a Democrat Senator from Montana, stated that the poor economy has resulted in sad cases of horse abandonment and neglect, lifting the ban will give Americans a shot at regaining lost jobs and making...
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