Horse Slaughter Answers
Horse Slaughter Answers. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.
Now that domestic horse slaughter is closer to being restored in the United States, the debate about it has resurged. There is strong support for restoring it among those in the horse world and in agriculture. Animal rights groups are strongly against it.
Sue Wallis, co-leader of United Horsemen, which pushed for the return of horse processing, says horses are not caused inhumane suffering in the kill process as opponents claim.
WALLIS: The fact is that horses are processes exactly the same way that all other species of livestock and meat animals are processed. They have always been processed under the United States humane methods of slaughter laws.
Horse slaughter requires the presence of USDA inspectors before, during and after the kill – she says - either with a single bullet or a penetrating captive bolt. If pain or suffering is caused to the animal – processing plants are cited.
WALLIS: If it didn’t work on the first try it would not be approved by the veterinarians and the USDA. It would not be used in plants all over the world and you know these people have zero evidence for what they are claiming.
As for accusations that proponents of horse slaughter are only in it for the money, Wallis says.
WALLIS: Of course we’re in it for the money. That’s the way the American economy works. If you can’t make a living, you don’t continue to own horses.
With the market pulled out from under their feet – she says – horses have suffered from increased abandonment and neglect – and that’s not what true horse lovers want.
WALLIS: Those of us who love horses and want to raise our children and our grandchildren with the joy of horses in our lives understand that in order to have those horse we have to have a viable, economically feasible, normal industry.
Wallis expects it’ll be several years before a normal market for horses returns. Earlier this month, amendments banning USDA inspection of horse meat were removed from the ag appropriations bill, allowing horse processing to resume.
That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.