U.S. horse slaughtering okay'd by Obama, Congress

Mechele R. Dillard's picture

Horse slaughter houses will again be opening in the United States, but the outcry from activists may not come as loudly as one would expect.

Horse slaughtering is again on the table in the United States.

Funding for inspection of horse slaughter houses was ended in 2006, which basically shut them down. This was done with the idea that more horse rescues would follow. However, that is unfortunately not what happened.

Patty Livingston, a horse rescuer in Bethlehem, GA, and president of the Georgia Equine Rescue League, spoke with 11Alive News in Atlanta about the controversial move of putting horse slaughterhouses back in business in the United States, supported by Congress and President Obama. The bill was sent to the president this month; he signed it on Nov. 18, allowing the slaughterhouses to get back to business in the U.S.

But, Livingston indicated that, horrible as it seems, it is the best of the options out there right now. "In 2006 I actually voted to shut them down, not knowing what that was going to mean for our horses," she said. The collapse of the economy led to more horse abuse, Livingston indicated, and abandonment has increased—as much as 60 percent in Colorado, she said, leading to rescue groups becoming overwhelmed and unable to deal with the problem of abandoned and abused horses in the United States.

Slaughter houses in Canada and Mexico have continued to demand horse meat since the U.S. slaughter houses shut down five years ago. So, many old and abandoned horses have been taken across the borders for slaughter—under less humane conditions, Congressman Jack Kingston (R-Savannah) pointed out to 11Alive News.

"In those facilities, particularly in Mexico, the USDA has no jurisdiction and we don't know what kind of facilities they are, if the horses are treated humanely," Rep. Kingston said.

Rep. Kingston did vote to allow horse slaughter houses to reopen, as did various Congressmen from both sides of the political aisle, allowing the bill to be signed by President Obama.

Surprisingly, some horse rescuers, like Livingston, do support the move as the lesser of the evils.

"The cruelty that they endure now is ten times worse than they ever endured when we had slaughter houses in this country," Livingston explained to 11Alive News.

There are over 9 million horses in the United States today; just over one percent, approximately 125,000 are slaughtered each year.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
i am 13 and trying to get my entire middle school to sign a petition that if i am lucky enough i can actually send to the pres. or congress i am not going to sit and complain, i want to take action. i have been a horse lover all my life and if yall want to take care of the "bad" horses then humanely uthanize them. U r trying to tell me that cutting off their heads is better? try telling ur kid (if you heartless people even have them) that those beautifull amazing creature you see on tv or on the internet are about to be slaughtered.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
i am 13 and trying to get my entire middle school to sign a petition that if i am lucky enough i can actually send to the pres. or congress i am not going to sit and complain, i want to take action. i have been a horse lover all my life and if yall want to take care of the "bad" horses then humanely uthanize them. U r trying to tell me that cutting off their heads is better? try telling ur kid (if you heartless people even have them) that those beautifull amazing creature you see on tv or on the internet are about to be slaughtered.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
i am 13 and trying to get my entire middle school to sign a petition that if i am lucky enough i can actually send to the pres. or congress i am not going to sit and complain, i want to take action. i have been a horse lover all my life and if yall want to take care of the "bad" horses then humanely uthanize them. U r trying to tell me that cutting off their heads is better? try telling ur kid (if you heartless people even have them) that those beautifull amazing creature you see on tv or on the internet are about to be slaughtered.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
A few years back, my family sold a well-bred paint mare and her foal to a man for $600. This mare later became a competitor in the national mounted shooting competition. Imagine what this mare would have brought our family if horse slaughter was still available and the market hadn't taken a dump. I hope this will bring horse sales back up to the price they should be! Thanks Obama, bout time you did something good for our nation!

Submitted by Stephanie M Sellers (not verified) on
Go to Horses as National Treasure with Stephanie M Sellers. Wake up, America! We are paying the Kings of Horse Breeding millions of dollars each year in write offs on dead horses and enabling them with rich breeding incentives to create more horses. From these horses, less than 93% are champions. That is how the line to slaughter develops. Our own government grows it! Stop the madness. Stop the cycle and force breeders to be responsible! Our ailing government debt should not be paying over-indulged arrogant indolent breeders millions of dollars. Read the facts at Horses as National Treasure. Mail the petitions today and stop the Sport of Kings!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
YOU ARE NOT ANIMAL LOVERS AND SHOULD NEVER BE ALLOWED TO HAVE ANY ANIMALS

Submitted by Camelotfarm (not verified) on
Un-bury your head from the sand. WHO do you think should PAY to care for unwanted horses? How bout this, I load up about 20 head and drop them off at your place, all FREE. Just need the address......Oh, yeah, you can't afford them.....then WHO should?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I feed about 30 animals right now,7 of which are not mine.They come to my house because they know they will get fed.The people who took the responsibilty to have the animals in the first place should take of them until they die of old age.If you're ignorant enough to let an animal starve then YOU should be the one to be taken to slaughter.

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