Your Reading List

A complete horse ban is needed

If we really want to get these ‘sickos’ who slaughter horses
for meat-sale profit off the street, the only real, long lasting solution is an
outright ban on  breeding and
ownership of any class of horse in North America by anyone–
unless you are a card-carrying member of the Amish community.

The value of or need for the original, four-footed
equus-type horsepower has been steadily declining since the first

internal-combustion engine was developed more than 120 years ago. We no longer
need horses.

If the figures from animal welfare groups are correct (and
it would be hard to believe they would be exaggerated) Canadian horse slaughter
plants process about 100,000 head per year. And that is not a one-time deal.
That is year after year. So to me, year after year we have 100,000 head of
unwanted horses being produced somewhere, that end up on the kill floor of
horse plants.

And I’ve haven’t run into one commercial ranching operation
over the past 25 years in the ag reporting business that raises herds of horses
just for slaughter. (I wonder if that has anything to do with the economics?)
So again I am assuming the majority of these slaughter horses are coming by
ones and fours from the beaten to the nubs, two-acre paddocks of hobby farmers
and acreage owners who “really love horses, but no body rides them anymore,” or

“we bought a new motor home and want to do more traveling, so we don’t have
time for them” or “geez, they are expensive to keep”.

When you look at the whole meat industry, I find it
interesting to note that beef animals, pigs and poultry all go to packing or
processing plants. Horses, however, go to “slaughter” houses. Horses are slaughtered.
Apparently they skip the packing and processing stage and are just slaughtered. 

According to animal welfare/rights groups who are usually
able to present crystal clear, well-documented video footage, many of these
animals are tortured before being slaughtered. I am sure that is a common
practice in the beef processing sector too. I watched a high quality video the
other day of someone trying to pickup a crippled beef animal at a packing plant
with a front end loader. And if at first you don't succeed, try, try again.  I’ve heard that most “packing plants” have a secret
room where employees can go at lunch time for the always popular forklift

flipping of downer cattle competition. It is usually in the same area as the
cockfighting pits. It is important to keep workers entertained and happy.

If you’ve guessed my comments are somewhat sarcastic, you’re
correct. As long as so called ‘horse lovers’ are producing boat loads of
unwanted horses there is a need and a value for horse processing plants. Even
well-cared for working horses come to the end of their day at some point, or
circumstances change for well-meaning horse owners, and the animals have to go.

The point is what do you do with these animals, otherwise?
If they are not processed, do you let them run wild on the Canadian
prairie?  Since people are farming
there, maybe we should just have drop locations at National Parks. There is
a lot of vacant land there no body uses. Let them live out the rest of
their natural lives running free in Banff, or Grasslands or Riding Mountain
national parks.

Horse processing plants need to be – and I believe are –
properly managed, and properly inspected to ensure that animals are humanely
cared for and handled right up to the final moment they are bolted. No system
is perfect, so we need to always work to improve.

Rather than trying to close these plants, animal
welfare/rights groups should be putting their resources into promoting horse
spaying and castration programs, and educating hobby farmers about the
misconception that every acre can support five easy-keepers.

If critics can reduce the flow of these unwanted horses to a
trickle, these horse slaughter people may not disappear, but at least then they
will stop murdering horses and get back to the core business, which is
supplying kittens to lucrative Communist fur coat market.

 

-30-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

About the author

Field Editor

Lee Hart

Lee Hart is editor of Cattleman’s Corner based in Calgary.

Comments

explore

Stories from our other publications