Tuesday, January 29, 2008

American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act

There is a bill before Congress that will stop American horses from ending up on European dinner plates. Seems pretty reasonable doesn't it? Why would Americans want their horses eaten by the French? Why should American horses suffer the terror, pain and panic of transport to Canadian or Mexican slaughterhouses that sell horse meat for human consumption? Because people who make money off of horses say so, that's what the debate has come down to. Powerful lobbyists for the very industries that profit from horses are campaigning to keep American horses crossing the borders. In the past couple of weeks, newspapers across the country are running stories about the increase in horse abuse and neglect cases since the American slaughterhouses were closed last year. In an obviously coordinated effort, reporters are being used to mislead the public.

The industry hacks argue that it's too costly to feed horses because of the high price of hay. It costs about $400 to humanely euthanize a horse and dispose of the remains. Because of those costs, horse owners are starving their horses. They claim that shipping unwanted horses to slaughterhouses would solve everyones problems and gosh, people would even make money. Are we that greedy and morally challenged?

Horses occupy a unique place in our society. Many horses live as companion animals, loved and cared for by a human family. Many other horses are used by the entertainment and gaming industries. They exist to make money for their owners, basically they are slaves. Then there's that screwy world of competitive riding, the horse show circuit, where a horse could end up either a beloved companion or a sad, neglected working animal. It's this dichotomy that dictates much of the legislation affecting horses. The industries throw money, lots and lots of money at the politicians, who in turn rarely act in a manner that favors the animal or the companion animal lover. Horses continue to suffer, while seemingly reasonable excuses are offered to the horse loving public. In the case of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, the big money interests are trying to convince the American public that it's in the horse's best interest to allow shipping to Mexican and Canadian slaughterhouses. Americans will soon believe that horses will starve and suffer terribly if they don't end up on the dinner table of Pepe Le Peu.

Wake up and stand up! Contact your Representatives and Senators, let them know that the fate of horses is more important than the money going into their campaign coffers. Tell them to vote to pass the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act.

5 comments:

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