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 Love Horses. No one is being rational about this issue. When the economy was good it ended. Now it's bad and there horses everywhere. No breeder should get Government subsidies for being stupid and irresponsible. When our Government is broke and an Estimated 15 million kids don't know where there next meal will come from horse breeders should be the last to get bailouts. There's no easy answer for the surplus horses. That is the truth. But if you think the value of horses will go back up with this "change" your kidding yourself. The economy is Horsesh{| . You need good money to have horses when the prices for hay and vet bills keeps going up and up. Horses will not have the value they once did just has housing will not. Both horses and houses were way overvalued. Without an increase to median income it cannot change. If your horse farm doesn't breed rare expensive horse for the elite your just screwed. I had 6 horses. We are down to four. I almost gave away two great horses but I knew they were going to good homes. The new owners are to call me if they ever need to get rid of them. I will buy them back before letting them go to neglect. We have not breed in years as we felt breeding was out of control even before the mess. You cannot stop people from breeding cheap horses. That's never going to end. But you can educate and attempt to make change. Yes cowboys ate horses and yes some value them only has cattle. To be frank some of the most neglected horses I have seen were on cattle farms. But in the same token I have seen the most loved horses ever on a cattle farm. Some people get the bound between horse and owner. Some still think they are stupid animals. I find has whole working with them over the years that they are smart and rarely dumb. They are sensitive and often misunderstood by supposed even great "horse" people..... Often the behavior from horses is the result of neglect abuse or total lack of understanding horses nature and attitude. I have seen my aunt turn a supposed crazy evil horse into a husband horse with time and care. She says more often then not it's the person not the horse. I have seen a couple wild crazy horses but has a whole that's a huge no. Breeders are just as evil to horses as back yard breeders sometimes. It boggles my mind. Just because you have more money then the backyard breeder does not make you smarter about how you handle "unwanted" horses. If your getting unwanted horses perhaps your breeding program needs to change or maybe you really don't know what your doing if you need perfect well mannered horses form the get go. There is sadly no easy solution. But certainly something must be done to work toward responsible horse ownership. Passing laws and screaming foul isn't helping the horses. In fact it probably hurts. It scares away new horse owners while doing nothing to stop the bad ones.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I think everyone on here needs to get 1 thing right: JUST BECAUSE YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH SLAUGHTER DOESN'T MAKE YOU " OH OBVIOUSLY YOUR NOT A ANIMAL LOVER DER! DER!!!"............. I LOVE HORSES AND I HATE SLAUGHTER how can you assume **** about people when you've never met them? Prolly cause your a der der. There are people who agree with it and hate animals, and people who don't agree with it and hate animals, and people who agree with it and love animals, and people who Don't agree with it and love animals (like me). so quit saying crap you assume just cause you think it should be that way. AND IF THE GOVERNMENT IS TO RETARTED TO MAKE BREEDING LAWS THEN THEY'RE EVEN DUMBER THAN I THOUGHT. Which they prolly are. You can sit and say (er, type) on you dumb keyboard "Oh oh that wouldn't work! that would'nt work! they NEVER gonna do that!!!" BUT I SAY WHY? WHY WON'T THEY DO THAT? Has it ever been tried before? How do you know it won't work if it's never been tried? Quit being a stuck up prick. JUST BECAUSE YOU THINK SLAUGHTER IS OK DOESN'T MEAN OTHER PEOPLE HAVE TO. As a matter of fact, if people didn't share their thoughts no one would know what works best. I WILL NEVER agree with slaughter I think there is a better way to handle this and I already said how: BREEDING LAWS. WHY THE **** NOT? they made a law on everything else. That's all them creeps do is make laws. laws laws laws. I'm sick of people and I'm sick and tired of being here. -runs to boxing room and does 800,000 hooks to blow off steam-

Submitted by Silver (not verified) on
So, people shouldn't slaughter horses because you don't like the thought of horses being killed. It's O.K to not like the fact that animals die so people can eat, but people are forgetting one thing: Horses are not treated like pets everywhere. In a lot of places, horses *are* eaten regularly, they're food just as cows are food, pigs are food, and chickens are food. You can like or dislike it all you want, but I'm sure people with pet cows don't like the thought of cattle slaughter either. This isn't about whether or not slaughter is "good" or "bad", it's about the fact that there are millions of unwanted horses in the US right now, not nearly enough people to take care of them and keep them fed, and no place for them to go. We can either let them starve, or we can end their suffering. That is the IMMEDIATE issue. The problem with putting legistlation on breeding is that it hurts everyone, not just the backyard breeders. I live in St. Louis where they are in the process of going through puppy mill legislation, and let me tell you: It's the bigger, more responsible operations that are constantly getting checked on and shat on by these laws. Breeding programs that used to raise *quality* animals, animals that were used as hunting companions and show animals, animals whose health was a MAJOR PRIORITY, are having the laws enforced while the backyard breeders out in the boondocks are still doing well and fine. THAT'S why breeding legislation doesn't work. On the rare ocassion where someone who should be caught is caught, it works. But that's only if the law enforcement takes the time to do thorough check-ups and find every breeder in the county to check-up on. Which doesn't happen. Which *won't* happen.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I think everyone on here needs to get 1 thing right: JUST BECAUSE YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH SLAUGHTER DOESN'T MAKE YOU " OH OBVIOUSLY YOUR NOT A ANIMAL LOVER DER! DER!!!"............. I LOVE HORSES AND I HATE SLAUGHTER how can you assume **** about people when you've never met them? Prolly cause your a der der. There are people who agree with it and hate animals, and people who don't agree with it and hate animals, and people who agree with it and love animals, and people who Don't agree with it and love animals (like me). so quit saying crap you assume just cause you think it should be that way. AND IF THE GOVERNMENT IS TO RETARTED TO MAKE BREEDING LAWS THEN THEY'RE EVEN DUMBER THAN I THOUGHT. Which they prolly are. You can sit and say (er, type) on you dumb keyboard "Oh oh that wouldn't work! that would'nt work! they NEVER gonna do that!!!" BUT I SAY WHY? WHY WON'T THEY DO THAT? Has it ever been tried before? How do you know it won't work if it's never been tried? Quit being a stuck up prick. JUST BECAUSE YOU THINK SLAUGHTER IS OK DOESN'T MEAN OTHER PEOPLE HAVE TO. As a matter of fact, if people didn't share their thoughts no one would know what works best. I WILL NEVER agree with slaughter I think there is a better way to handle this and I already said how: BREEDING LAWS. WHY THE **** NOT? they made a law on everything else. That's all them creeps do is make laws. laws laws laws. I'm sick of people and I'm sick and tired of being here. -runs to boxing room and does 800,000 hooks to blow off steam-

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I think everyone on here needs to get 1 thing right: JUST BECAUSE YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH SLAUGHTER DOESN'T MAKE YOU " OH OBVIOUSLY YOUR NOT A ANIMAL LOVER DER! DER!!!"............. I LOVE HORSES AND I HATE SLAUGHTER how can you assume **** about people when you've never met them? Prolly cause your a der der. There are people who agree with it and hate animals, and people who don't agree with it and hate animals, and people who agree with it and love animals, and people who Don't agree with it and love animals (like me). so quit saying crap you assume just cause you think it should be that way. AND IF THE GOVERNMENT IS TO RETARTED TO MAKE BREEDING LAWS THEN THEY'RE EVEN DUMBER THAN I THOUGHT. Which they prolly are. You can sit and say (er, type) on you dumb keyboard "Oh oh that wouldn't work! that would'nt work! they NEVER gonna do that!!!" BUT I SAY WHY? WHY WON'T THEY DO THAT? Has it ever been tried before? How do you know it won't work if it's never been tried? Quit being a stuck up prick. JUST BECAUSE YOU THINK SLAUGHTER IS OK DOESN'T MEAN OTHER PEOPLE HAVE TO. As a matter of fact, if people didn't share their thoughts no one would know what works best. I WILL NEVER agree with slaughter I think there is a better way to handle this and I already said how: BREEDING LAWS. WHY THE **** NOT? they made a law on everything else. That's all them creeps do is make laws. laws laws laws. I'm sick of people and I'm sick and tired of being here. -runs to boxing room and does 800,000 hooks to blow off steam-

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
and one more thing: GO TO THIS WEBSITE AND TELL ME HORSE SLAUGHTER ISN'T CRUEL. http://www.sharkonline.org/?P=0000000528

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
There is also an over abundance of people on this earth.Why not take all the criminals to the slaughter houses and get rid of them then there would be enough money to take care of the innocent animals

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I feel that horse slaughter is just a way for irresponsible people to rid themselves of there mistakes. If you do not plan on being responsible for the life you bring into this world when you breed your horse you have absolutely no business either owning or breeding a horse in the first place and the same goes for the ignorant people who breed dogs, cats... Horse slaughter is a copout for losers!!!

Submitted by Stephanie M Sellers (not verified) on
Petition to Mail Members of Congress, Copy and Mail Today Open Letter concerning passing American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act HR 2966, and to create Bill to cull all breeding incentives and to create a foal impact fee, and to remove horses from USDA. Dear Honorable _____________________________________________, It is a disgrace that in 2007, America closed the last horse slaughterhouse, yet we ship over 100,000 to other countries for horrific deaths. Support HR 2966, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act. Remove horses from USDA list. Cull all breeding incentives and create a foal impact fee. These steps will stop horse over population. Major horse breeders ‘play the sports of Kings’ and send more horses to slaughter than any other group. The Kings of horse breeding make fortunes while sending low performance, injured and confirmation defective horses for horrific deaths in slaughterhouses, then write off their loses. The Kings are financially able to buy more insurance. Do not enable the elite with incentives and write-offs. Make all horse breeders responsible for the horses they create. (1) Remove horses from USDA list, thus omitting tax write-offs on dead horses. (2) Cull all breeding incentives. (3) Create a foal impact fee. These steps are logical. Without USDA horse owners will lose agricultural status and taxes will increase thus creating more funds and omitting horse over population. Problem solved. Phenylbutazone, routinely used in horses, is banned for use in all animals intended for human consumption because it causes serious and lethal idiosyncratic adverse effects in humans, such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. In this lies the merit for a serious lawsuit against our government. Visit the kill floor of one of the horse slaughter plants in Mexico. If you cannot support the above bills afterwards, and take steps to make major horse breeders responsible, please, send me a letter explaining ‘your’ logic. Reconsider your position as a supporter of the King’s men. Most Sincerely, ________________________________________________________________signature and date _______________________________________printed name_________________________phone ____________________________________________________________________________address email_______________________________________________________________________________ Horses as National Treasure, Stephanie M Sellers, website, has links to names and addresses of representatives.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
As a ranches I view my horses as tools. I do love them. But horses were never meant to be pets. They are livestock. I have had my saddle horse for 10 yrs now. Eventually, he wont be able to be ridden anymore. When that happens I will not keep a 1300 lb animal just to feed it. That's ridiculous. No one will want him when he gets to that point...despite his bloodlines. So now I have an option ti take him to slaughter and know that he will be feeding less fortunate people in some other country. That sounds way better to me then just having a worthless horse shot out in the pasture. And what about horses who have been injured? Are some of these people in here willing to take in every special needs horse out there? I know I don't have the time or money to care for a horse that can never be ridden. Also, I do think the horse market will improve because the so called "trash" horses will no longer be in the sale ring. Therefore they will no longer be dragging down the worth of the other horses. Everyone is going to have their own opinions about this, but why is it impossible for people to get on here and just share their opinions? Why is everyone arguing and trying to sway people to believe what they do? The arguments on here aren't going to change anything so what is the point. I see things from both sides but still think this is going to be the lesser evil.

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