Friday, March 30, 2007

Horses reprieve from slaughterhouse only temporary: UPDATED

Let me it clear that I don't celebrate the slaughter of horses. However, I view horses as animals, not as furry people with hooves.

Commenter Mark in the earlier horse post perfectly sums up my opinion on the issue of the killing of horses for human consumption:

This is all animal rights activism. It has nothing to do with the claims that horsemeat is unfit for consumption or any claim of barbarism. Horses are animals that some people like to eat. So are cows, pigs, and chickens. Yes, horses are cute and friendly and all that. I grew up around them and I love horses too. But the fact remains, they are animals. They can be sold or given for slaughter at the owners wishes just as a cow or pig.

Yesterday, America's last horse slaughterhouse closed down, pretty much due to the efforts of some well-meaning activists. However, the horses they "saved" face a new date at a Canadian meat processing plant.

From the Chicago Tribune, free registration required:

Colleen O'Keefe, the Illinois Department of Agriculture's Division manager of Food Safety and Animal Protection, said she could not be certain where the horses that won a reprieve this week would end up. But they likely would be trucked to other slaughterhouses in Canada now that court rulings have indefinitely shut down the last three horse slaughterhouses in the United States, she said.


If would-be rescuers still want to help other horses, they should contact horse shelters that operate just like rescue organizations serving dogs and cats, O'Keefe suggested. "There are plenty of horses in Illinois that need homes."

The Hooved Animal Humane Society in Woodstock was one organization that scrambled Thursday to line up 100 stalls offered by area horse-lovers. However, the five-barn facility has about 30 horses already awaiting adoption, many of them victims of abuse or neglect.

As I stated earlier today, nature abhors a vacuum. And do does a free market.

And I'm sorry to say, the animal shelters can't absorb over a 1,000 equines a week.


Here's another story on unwanted horses straight from the source, Kentucky, the Shelbyville Sentinel News:

"That market's (horse meat) basically gone," said Shelby County Animal Shelter Director Monica Robinson. "They're not going to make back what they need to, to cover the cost of feeding those animals and the expense of hauling them."

Robinson said the overpopulation of horses has become a problem statewide. Horse retirement homes are full, leaving no place to go for some of the animals.

The local shelter is seeking a home for one horse that was recently picked up on an abuse case. She added that Boone County has spent the past year searching for a rescue group to take in two elderly horses.

Along with overpopulation, horse prices have taken a nosedive in recent years. Statewide, stories have surfaced of packed auction houses, as well as ballooning numbers of horses either starving or being set into the wild.

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