Get Ready – Here Comes Horse Slaughter!

Here – you can listen to this while you read this. A little pep in your step.

It seems that horse-slaughter starting up in the U.S. is not as far off as it may have seemed.

Valley Meat Company in Roswell, New Mexico may only be weeks away from accepting horses for slaughter. The plant has submitted its application for federal meat inspection services under the “equine” option according to reports.

There are several positive outcomes from Valley Meat Company re-opening their doors for horse slaughter:

1. Job creation – The plant would create approximately 100 jobs for Roswell area residents and during an economic recession when so many folks are wishing for a decent job – voila! Reopening plants will increase the number of jobs and boost local economies.

2. Exports – the U.S. slaughtered 94,000 horses in 2005, the last full year of horse slaughter before federal inspection funding was repealed in 2007. Without a slaughter plant in the U.S., more than 197,000 horses were exported to other North American countries last year for slaughter. That’s double the number from 2007 slaughter exports. What does that mean?

3. Animal Welfare – It means thousands of horses have endured excruciatingly long drives to Canada or Mexico on trains or trucks that aren’t exactly the most welfare-friendly. Opening a slaughter plant in the U.S. would prevent thousands of horses from being improperly transported across U.S. borders.

4. Horse meat is a delicacy – maybe not to you or I, but in several other countries around the world horse meat is consumed quite often and is a staple in many diets. The U.S. is missing out on valuable export dollars and that meat by not opening horse slaughter plants. For example, between January and November of 2012, the UK imported ~$80,000 worth of horsemeat into the UK. That doesn’t include the rest of the EU, Japan, China or the Asia-Pacific region. In short, this could provide a boost to the total agriculture GDP. Every little bit helps right?

Unfortunately, there are those who aren’t involved in animal agriculture or the horse industry (as I am) who wish to quell horse slaughter once and for all. This article reports that four lawmakers from the states of Louisiana, South Carolina, Pennsylvania and Illinois introduced legislation to ban horse-killing for human consumption in the U.S. and prohibit transporting the animals outside the country for slaughter. Furthermore, USDA said it encouraged Congress to reinstate the ban on funding inspections.

This just confuses me – I don’t understand why so many people are against a federally regulated and inspected humane slaughter process for horses. If the ban goes through, I can almost guarantee more of this.

Those are my thoughts and you know I’ll keep you updated on what’s going down with horse slaughter (see what I did there?). In the mean time, what are your thoughts? Think horse slaughter is a good idea?

For more of my posts about horse slaughter check out the posts below:

Legislation to Help Horse Slaughter
Horse Slaughter Funding Reinstated 
Who Are We to Judge Horsemeat?
HSUS and PETA – Lover’s Quarrel 

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~


4 responses to “Get Ready – Here Comes Horse Slaughter!”

  1. I truely hope that this happens. There are just so many benefits. The human slaughter option, less hauling costs or transporting to Canada or Mexico, but the biggest to the equine industry is giving the market a bottom. I don't have any illusions that killer price will be anywhere close to what it was when the last plant closed but at least there will be a start to getting foundation back under the horse market. Thanks for keeping us updated on this issue.

  2. I agree – there needs to be something done and I just don't understand why USDA would encourage the ban of horse slaughter. It doesn't make good animal welfare sense or good economic sense. Rarely do those two go hand in hand but they do now!

    Thanks for reading – I do my best to keep everyone updated!

  3. I honestly don't understand people's thought process behind banning this. It's not like people are raising horses just for the meat, correct? When they are past their prime and no longer useful, why waste them if they can be used for meat? It would be interested to see what these lawmakers propose to do if people aren't allowed to slaughter them yet can't afford to keep them. I wonder (and highly doubt) if they would be willing to pay for that horse. It also makes me mad that USDA is backing up the ban – guess maybe they are trying to play it cool to avoid negativity directed at them about it?

  4. How embarrassing…I'm from SC and I am in the horse business. I usually agree with Senator Graham, but I guess I should write a letter like all the idiots that have no clue about the horse business. Slaughter is the best thing for the business and I am 100% for it. Thanks for the update…I had no clue Senator Graham was against slaughter.