But there is the 20%, mostly breeders from the dark side of the horse community who believe that a horses life is insignificant compared to the almighty dollar. They are bred in search of the next Secretariat or Seattle Slew, only to be sent to slaughter if they cant make the cut. The worst of this lot are the nurse mare farm breeders who must keep their mares pregnant at all times to produce milk for the foals that are race-worthy. To them, the foals are an expendable cost-of-doing-business that are sent to slaughter. Yes, the foals are sent to slaughter. “Pony skin” is becoming a fav with some designers for purses, shoes and bags.
The horse slaughter industry is a rogue, underground operation that attracts the scum of the earth. There is no integrity, there is no honor, and there is conscience. The towns where slaughterhouses operate are rampant with crime, horse theft and stinky air.
The cruelty and inhumanity of horse slaughter is by far the worst kind of violence. The reason horse slaughter was defunded back in 2007 is because horse slaughter was proven to be in violation of the Humane Slaughter Act of 1978 (HSA). Horses are easily spooked, and they will not cooperate with the executioner by holding it’s head still to be stunned or shot. They will fight slaughter with every bit of strength they can muster, just like you or me, many times breaking their own necks in the process. If a horse is shot with a gun or the captive bolt more than once, it is a violation of the HSA. The truth is that there is no protocol from the USDA for equine slaughter. They had previously used the protocol that was developed for cattle, and you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that horse and cattle are not the same. Their necks are much longer, and their brain sits way back in their skull compared to that of cattle, making the captive bolt ineffective 40% of the time on domestic horses, and 100% of the time on wild or untamed horses.
Horse slaughter was brought back in the Appropriations bill last year, and 6 different facilities have filed for permits with the USDA. 2 have been granted thus far, but the operation of horse slaughter is currently tied up in court by lawsuits filed by the Humane Society and other animal welfare organizations.
Who would eat horse meat anyway? Our horses in the US have been declared “companion animals” by the FDA in 1970, which means that we medicate them differently than livestock animals. Almost every horse in the US has been treated with some kind of medication in their life with substances that are harmful, even fatal to humans. These medications leave residue in the muscle tissue years after it has been ingested by a horse, making them unfit for consumption by humans or any other species.
This is why Sen Mary Landrieu and Rep Patrick Meehan have introduced the Safeguard Against Food Export (SAFE) act S541/HR1094. Our horses in the US are not food. Please urge your US Senators and House Representative to cosponsor the SAFE act.