TUCSON – Horses could soon be slaughtered for human consumption in the United States. After a 5-year ban, Congress will now allow horse slaughterhouses to reopen.
The ban was supposed to protect horses, but many say with the poor economy, horse abuse and abandonment have soared.
The horse is part of American culture, especially, out here in the west. But in other countries, horse meat for dinner is part of the culture. “Most countries where they assume a lot of horse meat is because it’s 50% less than beef,” said Dave Duquette, president of the non-profit and pro-slaughter group United Horsemen.
Rescue groups say horses are a companion, a responsibility, and if you can’t afford to take care of the horse you should euthanize it. “I don’t know any other animal that has done what the horse has done for our country and for humans. For them to be put on a meat hook and slaughtered is just a disgrace in my book,” said Karen Pomroy, Equine Voices Rescue & Sanctuary.
Unfortunately, a lot of horse owners cannot afford to euthanize and dispose of their horses, so they’re cutting them loose in the desert to starve. Others feel that sending the horse to a slaughterhouse is more humane in comparison, and other parts of the horse will go toward products we all use.”All of it is utilized and recycled, nothing is wasted, and what a more respectful way to terminate the life of an animal that has served you well,” said Barbara Jackson, owner of Vaquero Feed.
Right now America has more than 9 million horses and about 125,000 of those are slaughtered every year in other countries like Mexico and Canada. Some argue that it would be more humane if that was done here in the U.S.
Both parties recently voted to reopen America’s horse slaughterhouses. President Obama signed the bill 12 days ago.
In an email, PETA says there should be a ban on the export of live horses, even if that means opening slaughterhouses again in the U.S., which we could see in as early as 30 to 90 days.