Supply and Demand Part 1
This is something we’ve had multiple readers ask us to comment on. This post is the first of three, since it was becoming a very long read. It’s a big topic!
Right now there are approximately 9.5 million horses in the United States. Take a visit to an auction house or a horse rescue and it becomes very obvious that not all these horses are wanted. Hell, just take 5 minutes to search craigslist and you’ll be able to find free horses all over North America! As I’m sure most of you know, US Congress recently passed a bill that effectively reopens the door to having horse slaughter plants operating in the States. Many people are arguing that this is the most sensible solution to the oversupply of horses.
Proponents of horse slaughter will often argue that horses are considered livestock and shouldn’t be treated differently from other meat animals. We agree! All other livestock intended to be used as food are required to be treated their whole life with this in mind. Veterinary records must be kept, certain medications must be avoided. Horses seem to be the only animal where people bring a random creature to an auction, with little to no documentation and still expect to be able to add it to the foodchain. Many very common drugs and supplements are not approved for human consumption. This lack of regulation makes horses more vulnerable to theft (by creating a market for horses with minimal documentation, in which the evidence is quickly and conveniently disposed of) and it produces meat that isn’t truly fit for people to eat. People who wish to have the option to sell their horses for meat should have to be mindful of this for the entirety of the horse’s life. Not just when the horse is no longer convenient!
Another of the many issues surrounding horse slaughter is the quality of transport provided to horses destined for meat. Currently a loophole exists in the law that allows horses to be moved in double decker trailers, provided it’s not for the final leg of the journey to the abbatoir. Transport injuries are far more common in this form of trailer, since they’re typically not designed with horses in mind.
***WARNING!*** Do not click on the following link if you if you cannot handle hundreds of very graphic photos of horse injuries. These injuries include, but are not limited to, exposed bone, partially severed limbs and ruptured eyeballs.
Going to this link will take you to a copy of a USDA report on trailer injuries. All of these injuries occured when slaughter plants were still running in the States. Anyone who can make it through all of the photos has a far stronger stomach than I. Anyone who can make it through and then claim there’s nothing wrong with current transport regulations has a very screwed up definition of humane treatment.
Here’s some brain bleach for those of you who need it! So cute!
There’s more to come, including some proposed solutions…