Sunday, February 22, 2009
Controversy looms over horse slaughtering resolution
By KSNW News
updated 3:15 p.m. ET, Sat., Feb. 21, 2009
WICHITA, Kansas - The Kansas House will vote Thursday or Friday on a controversial resolution about horse slaughtering. The resolution would send a message to federal lawmakers that they don't want the practice limited.
It was about a year ago that Gracie Royle adopted a Tennessee Walker named Jada after Jada was rescued from being sent to slaughter.
"There's that myth that only the old and unformed and frail go to slaughter -- she certainly was none of those," Royle said.
Royle is adamantly against slaughtering horses, saying she believes it is cruel and inhumane. There is no longer any horse slaughtering plants in the United States. Still, horses are sent to slaughtering plants across the border to Mexico or Canada. A bill currently being debated in Congress would outlaw that practice.
"I don't think anyone with anything other than an incredible denseness of callousness could say that it is appropriate to put our horses through terror and through horror and through significant injuries before we end their life," said Karen Everhart, who opposes Kansas Resolution 5004.
But on the other side of the issue is a majority of Kansas agricultural organizations and horse organizations, including the Kansas Livestock Association, the Kansas Horse Council and a number of horse owners.
"The problem that happens is we are just saturated with old animals that have nowhere to go and people stop feeding them and they're of no use and they end up suffering and dying," said Jill Wickham with Singletree Stables.
Wickham owns Singletree Stables and agrees with Kansas Resolution 5004 that says the elimination of domestic slaughter plants has increased the number of abandoned and starving animals. The resolution opposes the Washington legislation, saying issues with humane handling and slaughter should be addressed through regulation the process -- not banning it.
"I'd rather see one horse live and have a good life than 10 that suffer for 10 years of starvation out there by themselves," Wickham said.
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