Coalition Backs Return Of Horse Slaughterhouses

By Jay Gormley, CBS 11 News

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – North Texans fought to shut down the last two horse slaughterhouses in the country a few years back, but now there is a push to bring back the practice of slaughtering the animals for human consumption.

What’s most surprising is the reasons behind bringing them back, and who is behind it.

Two horse slaughterhouses, one in Kaufman, the other in Fort Worth, were the subject of outrage and debate a few years ago, and ultimately the federal government shut them down.

They were some of the last of their kind in the United States; both plants slaughtered horses and shipped the meat to other countries for human consumption.

The mere thought of eating horses still outrages many animal-rights groups.

“The United States has always taken a position that they’ve protected horses. There are certainly countries that eat dogs and cats. So do we start farming out and ranching dogs and cats for human consumption in those countries. I think not!” says SPCA of Texas President James Bias.

Wyoming State Representative Sue Wallis is in Las Vegas at a horse summit with a coalition of ranchers, horse owners, and the American Humane Association.  Wallis wants to bring back a slaughterhouse to her state.

She argues it’s a moral and ethical way to ease horse overpopulation, while providing an economic boost to rural areas.  “The animal-rights organizations have created a road block to a viable economic solution. They took one responsible solution and turned it into a plethora of problems and we need to reverse that course.”

In 2007, the federal government, under pressure from animal-rights groups, cut all funding for inspections of U. S. horse slaughterhouses. Since all inspections were halted, it became illegal to export horsemeat for human consumption.

Supporters who want to bring back slaughterhouses say it may be more humane in the long run. They argue that many horses are crammed into cargo trailers for a long and miserable journey to Mexico where they’re eventually slaughtered.

According the U. S. Department of Agriculture, the number of horses shipped to Mexico for slaughter has more than quadrupled since 2007.

“Sending animals to slaughter in Mexico and Canada is a problem and it does need to be addressed.  But slaughterhouses in the United States are not the answer.  These animals should be sent to housing and these breeders should be held accountable” says Eddie Garza with the Dallas chapter of Mercy for Animals.

Supporters of slaughterhouses say overpopulation has left ranchers without the means to care for their horses and many of those horses are often left to starve to death.

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  • s greer

    The thought we would even consider bringing back a horse slaugher farm is disgusting and any excuse given to consider this is just that an excuse to obtain profit.

  • Silverhawk

    Believe it or not, we are going to need the horses when the oil industry goes berserk. Horses are cheaper than cars and easier to maintain. We need to make room for them to run free and be housed if we can. There would be less crime if the teens and young adults from prisons would take care of horses.

  • DD

    If you can’t feed your horse call the SPCA and donate it or do not purchase one in the first place. IDIOTS>

    • Alisha Finley

      There are already thousands of horses being taken care of by SPCA and other organizations like it and they are having trouble coming up with funds to care for these unwanted horses and millions of tax payer dollars are going towards this. They are a drain on our economy. And as far as don’t purchase one in the first place, many horse owners have run into difficult times because of the effect this ban has had on the horse economy and because of the bad economy in our country in general. Also horses that people can no longer afford are let loose and then continue to populate themselves in the wild. Please educate yourself on the entire situation before jumping to conclusions and calling anyone an idiot.

  • mat

    I support turning coalition members and congressmen, who will do anything to keep big contibutors happy, into soap. Rendered politician anyone?

  • Trish Hoste

    I’ll join your group! These people should be ashamed and consumers of horse meat should be named and shamed, starting with Karl Lagerveld!!

  • DD Smith

    I find this applling, horses are our American Heritage..and it should be kept as such. Over turning this ruling by the Federal govt would be a mistake. Thanks to the human race and the ranchers and breeders of these horses,its your fault for not owning up to your responsibilities for caring for these animals. Shame on you! Your mistakes is costing these innocent animals their lives while in the process all you can see is dollar signs. Such a disgrace!!!!

  • Lisa Eades

    How stupid can America be if they bring slaugherhouses back. The problem is idiots who continue to breed horses. Put a regulation on that and it will help tremendously. As for the treks to mexico and Canada, yes they are horrible (search youtube for the mexican slaughterhouse video on horses and you will see how they end up-not for the squeemish). As for the politicians and fatcats who want to bring them back into existence, of course they do, they are missing all the green they were getting before from the ranching groups and other industry NITWIT groups.

  • Elmer

    I have not read one logical argument against bringing slaugherhouses back. If you are so fond of the horses, buy them before they go to Mexico and spend your own money on their upkeep.

  • terissa curtis

    Just an fyi: most people supporting the slaughter house movement arent politicians. it has nothing to do with $$. slaughterhouses need to be brought back. the problem isnt people overbreeding horses. Or people buying horses they cant afford to take care of. people owned the horses they could take care of and give what they needed. when the economic crisis hit, people could no longer afford them. they could afford to put them down either. and they couldnt give them away because noone else could afford to take care of the horses. horse rescue groups already have to many on their hands and cant take in anymore. anyways, most slaughterhouses were not the root of all evil. most got rid of the animals in ethical and humane ways, like euthanasia. what you saw was the wort of the worst because thats what animal rights groups wanted you to see. bringing slaughter houses back to US is a logical solution and with proper guidelines can be a very positive thing. so before you go and speak, make sure you know whats going on, not just what you think is going on.

    • Erin

      Very well said terissa! These anti slaughterhouse people need to see what a horse starving to death looks like.

  • Joe

    PEOPLE, OPEN YOUR EYES — SUPPORT HORSE SLAUGHTER. I have owned and trained equines most of my 58 plus years of life and am very familiar with the economy and the expenses and work involved in breeding, training and providing for equines. With that said, I think I am qualified to state a knowledgeable opinion on the subject. On this post and every other post relating to equine slaughter, I see all sorts of numbers, ideas and opinions, mostly from individuals, most obviously, who have nothing more than an inflated fantasy of the equine species in their head. All one has to do is look around to see the so called “rescued” animals standing around in the cold rain, often injured and in pain, with nothing to eat, their bones showing covered only by a desiccated skin. Authentic equine rescue organizations are all presently overwhelmed with the volume of unwanted and/or abandoned horses and most have closed their doors to new rescues. As far as some of these posters intimating people over breed to make money on surplus horses is a mere absurd statement. To this person, I can only say you have not looked at the price of feed or hay within the past 4-to 5 years. Horse slaughter is a necessary avenue to maintaining healthy, successful equine ventures in the United States.

    • NE Texan

      Bravo! I am PRO horses AND PRO Slaughter houses in Texas
      There is no dignity for a horse to die of old age. God made man to manage all the other living things He created. Horses are cattle and no part of them should go to waste. I personally would rather it go to dog food. Slaughter houses provide a service to our farmers and ranchers. The flooding of FREE horses to a good home has unsuspecting families taking on a feed bill that they are not prepared for, causing family menmbers to go hungry. Horses are defnately not domestic pets. They are transportation, sporting competition toys, Grandchildren treats (occasionally), ranch workers trained livlihood,etc. None of these horses should not be allowed to give back when they aren’t capable of doing their duty or benefiting their owner if only to care for and love something, as long as one can afford to do so.
      58 yr old cowgirl and lover of horses and VERY thankful to no longer be an owner. God bless you all to love horses enough to allow them the management the owner chooses.. Thanks for allowing me to vent!

    • shari welsh

      Horse slaughter is cruel and pushed by cruel lying predators whom exploit horses for profit. Slaughter house Sue Wallace and her phony humane group are really backed by cattle ranchers and robo breeder who cruelly breed and exploit all animal s they can including horses.

      • Betsy Weathers

        Anyone who knows about and loves horses will want slaughter to be brought back to the United States. It is a way to take care of horses that would otherwise starve to death or suffer with injuries that are not always treatable. Horses live a long time and people can not always afford to keep a horse and take care of it forever when it has become unusable any longer or just plain gotten old. Rescues are swamped and turning horses away. There is no place to send unwanted horses. There just plain is not enough homes for all of the unwanted horses and it has totally killed the breeding of even good quality horses because there is no longer a “horse market”. All of the people who don’t want horse slaughter to come back should go “adopt” at least 25 horses themselves so they can help alleviate this burden then. Let them get an idea of what it is like to feed, worm, shoe or trim, pay for vet care and house that many unwanted horses for 20 – 30 years without being able to use them. They might just change their minds about slaughter then.

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