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16 Nov 2013 - Horse Slaughter - No; Yes; No!

The on-again, off-again processing of U.S. horses and the export of the horse meat to foreign countries where it is a part of the human diet is off again. It is a controversy that has been in and out of courtrooms since 2006. That was the year Congress reacted to emotional pleas from movie stars and groups like PETA and HSUS and passed a law that denied USDA funding for meat inspectors in horse processing plants, effectively ending horse slaughter in this country.

In 2011, Congress restored the funding and three plants in New Mexico, Missouri and Iowa geared up to resume horse processing. But the Humane Society of the United States filed a lawsuit to stop the resumption of horse processing and USDA did not approve the first permits for the plants until this summer. Early this month, a judge in Albuquerque dismissed the HSUS lawsuit and the Valley Meat Co. of Roswell, New Mexico was ready to resume processing again. But HSUS filed an appeal and three days later the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver granted a temporary injunction to bar the USDA from assigning the meat inspectors and so Valley Meat is on “hold” again.

As I have discussed before, it is a very emotional issue; HSUS President Wayne Pacelle said “Horse slaughter is a predatory inhumane business and we are pleased to win another round in the courts to block the killing of these animals on American soil for export to Italy and Japan. Meanwhile we are redoubling our efforts in Congress to secure a permanent ban on the slaughter of our horses throughout North America.”

What HSUS never talks about is what do we do with the growing number of unwanted horses in the United States whose owners simply turn them loose on farms, in parks and forests because they can’t afford to dispose of them properly. So, horses are left to die of disease, starvation or predator attacks. Is that a better end than processing in a plant that is monitored and inspected by USDA meat inspectors? I don’t think so.

Again, here is my suggestion to HSUS. Why not do what your TV commercials to solicit funds promise, that their dollars will go to help local animal shelters care for unwanted animals. Instead of spending millions of dollars on expensive attorneys in the court room, if you really mean what you say, then use your multi-million dollar war chest to establish farms to care for these horses, at no cost to taxpayers. My guess is H… will freeze over before I hear that from HSUS!

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.