A Ban On Horse Slaughter Does Not Provide A Solution

New Jersey A2023 and S1976 may be coming up soon for a vote in the New Jersey Senate.

A Ban On Horse Slaughter Does Not Provide A Solution
A Ban On Horse Slaughter Does Not Provide A Solution
National Animal Interest Alliance

New Jersey –-(Ammoland.com)- As is the case with most animal interests, the debate surrounding horse slaughter is complicated by the lack of knowledge most of us have about the subject.

When Congress failed to renew the funding for the inspectors in the horse slaughter plants in 2007 (at the urging of the Humane Society of the United States), they did so over the objections of many leaders in the horse industry who recognized the tragedy that was about to befall not just the industry, but the welfare of the horses themselves.

The vast majority of people who own horses are middle class, and cannot afford to keep those animals that they can no longer use or support in a poor economy.

Within months, and for five long years, horses that could no longer be sold because there was no market for them, they were abandoned, left to starve in barren fields, or turned out on public lands. Those that were sold for slaughter were shipped to Canada or Mexico, where there are no regulations, inspections, or oversight. In June 2011 the GAO released a report detailing the situation, drawing a straight line from the closing of the USA Processing plants to the horse welfare disaster that ensued.

The bottom has fallen out of the horse market and it is the horses that end up paying the price.

It is to their credit that Congress reconsidered their mistake, and voted to reinstate the funding for the inspectors this year. Currently there are plans to build and open state-of-the-art plants in several states. New Jersey is not among them, so a ban on the plants is an artificial move with no real outcome. The transport of horses for slaughter for human consumption and the transport of horse meat for human consumption is unenforceable and quite likely illegal. It is not the purview of the states to control interstate commerce; that falls solely to the federal government.

As currently written, transportation within the state would be enforced by NJSCPA agents who are also cited as the direct beneficiaries of the proposed fines! This could lead to severe harassment of responsible, tax-paying horse owners. How can it be determined what the final destination of the horses or the meat will be? The processing is the same, whether winding up as food for pets, circuses or zoos, or people.

If those bills were to pass and could be enforced, it would not just create a welfare crisis for horses, but would bring it home to New Jersey. What would happen to the hundreds of horses that are currently sold weekly throughout the state to dealers that may or may not sell them for slaughter? Horses are livestock, and are sold frequently throughtout their long lives. Once they have reached the end of their days, slaughter is quick and painless. We owe that swift end to them.

Horses have long been a desired source of protein for cultures around the world, and even in the U.S. It is wasteful in the extreme to allow a good food source to go unused, particularly while there are people going hungry every day. The ban on tranpsort of horse meat is nonsense. If it has already been processed, what difference does it make if it is also transported?

The AVMA regards the captive bolt method to be humane, quick, and painless. Chemical euthanasia is not reliably as quick, can be painful and renders the horse unusuable after death. Not only is that wasteful, but the disposal of these large carcasses that are full of chemicals will create an environmental nightmare, filling our ground water with unwanted toxins. Cremation or burial are not feasible options for the vast majority of owners.

Creating a ban is a simple reaction to a complicated question. The one element it does not provide for is the most important: a solution. If the State bans the one humane outlet for unwanted horses, what will it replace it with?

  • Will it donate State lands and State monies to pay for the thousands of hourses that need a place to live?
  • Will it offer financial aid to families that cannot sell their horses, but cannot afford to keep them?

There are no solutions offered in these bills, only bans on the only available solution at this time.

Finally, this is an attempt by HSUS to try to create a crisis (a glut of unwanted horses in need of a solution) which they can then capitalize on with more rhetoric and distortions to attract more donations from caring but misguided citizens. That is a tactic they are using across the country. Please do not fall for their devious tactics.

We need to be focusing our attention on the actual welfare of horses, not some emotional appeal that makes the situation worse. We need to be working to restore the vitality of the horse industry at every level. Finally, we need to continue to do our part to feed the hungry in the world, not to deny them a food source. Please send a message to your State Senator and ask him or her to oppose A2023/S1976 when it comes to a vote in the Senate. You can use the talking points and express them in your own words.

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The Mission of NAIA is to promote the welfare of animals, to strengthen the human-animal bond, and safeguard the rights of responsible animal owners and professionals through research, public education and sound public policy. Visit: www.naiaonline.org

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8 years ago

What a diaper load…Slaughter houses won't take sick and crippled animals…they have to euthanized them moment they arrive. They cannot be slaughtered. We can't utilize the meat in this country because of the same care we give our dogs and cats…i.e. de-wormers, vaccines etc all of which carry the verbiage Not for use on animals for human consumption. Secondly statistics have proven that abandoned horses has not increased to the loss of the slaughterhouses. It's because of the economy, and there is always someone who will take the animal and either give it or find it a new home. I… Read more »

Fonda Ghiardi
Fonda Ghiardi
8 years ago

How can any organization that claims their mission is to promote the welfare of animals and to strengthen the human-animal bond put out an article promoting the horse slaughter industry? This article is so full of false statements it would take a full page to correct them. The bottom line is why are breeders producing more horses when there is no market for them. How many businesses continue to produce a product they can't sell? American taxpayers should spend $15 million a year for veterinarians to inspect toxic meat so the Belgian owned companies can continue to make a profit… Read more »

8 years ago

Oh come on. If you are going to do an article defending horse slaughter at least do your research. Pulling in the AVMA and misrepresenting euthanasia? Call your horse doctor up and see how they EUTHANIZE? No wonder nobody takes you seriously. You act like complete boneheads. This release only helps groups like H$U$. Horses are good to eat? Not sure about you slick, but I gave mine Bute this morning and that is a substance banned completely from mean. Every horse I have has had bute and I am sure everyone I know has given bute to their horses.… Read more »