Friday, March 30, 2007

Last US horse slaughterhouse shut down, unwanted horse problem will worsen

Here's a story that serves as a reminder that good intentions can have some awful consequences.From AP last week:

Kentucky, the horse capital of the world, famous for its sleek thoroughbreds, is being overrun with thousands of horses no one wants. Some of them are perfectly healthy, but many of them starving, broken-down nags. Other parts of the country are overwhelmed, too.

The reason: growing opposition in the U.S. to the slaughter of horses for human consumption overseas.

And that was the situation before the nation's last horse slaughterhouse, a facility in DeKalb, Illinois, shut down yesterday. About 1,000 horses per week were processed to produce meat for human consumption--all of it was shipped overseas. Although Congress has been considering a ban on horse-slaughter, a court ruling on agricultural inspections closed up the Illinois plant.

More from AP:

It is legal in all states for owners to shoot their unwanted horses, and some Web sites offer instructions on doing it with little pain. But some horse owners do not have the stomach for that.

At the same time, it can cost as much as $150 for a veterinarian to put a horse down. And disposing of the carcass can be costly, too. Some counties in Kentucky, relying on a mix of private and public funding, will pick up and dispose of a dead horse for a nominal fee.

But some jurisdictions, because of fears of pollution, ban it. Glue factory? Dead horses aren't used for glue anymore. Shelters? They're overwhelmed with unwanted horses.

Old strip mine areas of Kentucky are seeing growing heards of now-wild horses.

However, in other parts of the country, say where I live, it's not practical to release a horse to live off the land.

What's going to happen to all of these unwanted horses? Some pollyannas think the market will sort itself out. Possibly. However, the way I see it, criminals, whether they are a part of organized crime, or perhaps a group of goofy meth-heads, will offer up there services to "take care" of the problem of unwanted equines. Those horses will be buried (maybe), burned, or dumped in ponds.

Nature abhors a vacuum. So does a free market.

As for the workers at the horse-meat processing plant in Illinois, unless an appeals court steps in quickly to reverse the lower court's decision, they'll lose their jobs.

But the people behind the horse slaughter ban mean well, and to them, that's all that matters.

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sammy said...

ALL HORSE SLAUGHTER IS EVIL!!!!!! so whats so bad about having so many horses? there living beings and deserve a long life. FUCK ALL THOSE THAT AGREE WITH HORSE SLAUGHTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

John Ruberry said...

Sammy....Clearly you have a problem with people.

sheree said...

i dont see a problem with that many horses only if they were cared for. horses do have a right to live but people over breed them and i rather see a horse be put to use as in slaughtered correctly than being starved to death. we should have corrected the way to put down horse not ban horse slaughters