Monday, May 11, 2009

A Pro-slaughter Rant from a "lifetime lover of horses" or Becky Lisles' Lies

In addition to boasting a life-time love of horses, the authoress also confesses to be a 5th generation rancher. Gee, do we know any ranchers or breeders that arent for horse-slaughter?

Oh well, here is the PS BS article; If you click on to the title above you can leave comments to the article. Please do.


Despite good intentions, activists do horses a disservice

BY BECKY LISLE - Idaho Statesman
Published: 05/08/09

Comments (11) | Recommend (2)
There is nothing like an economic slump to demonstrate that the proverbial manure indeed runs downhill. Faced with the increasing need for frugality, people are forced to cut unnecessary expenses, and often, one of those expenses is that of keeping animals - especially horses, since the cost of a single equine's annual feed and care easily tops a thousand dollars.

Prior to 2007, owners needing to get rid of a horse had a number of options, one of which was slaughter. Through well-meaning but sadly misguided lobbying, activists succeeded in closing three operational U.S. horse processing plants, forcing slaughter-bound horses across the borders into Canada or Mexico.

The ethnocentric "reasoning" behind the campaign to end horse slaughter is purely emotional - the captive bolt gun method of slaughter used in U.S. plants has been deemed humane for equines by the American Veterinary Medical Association, as well as by the American Association of Equine Practitioners.

The flooded horse market, coupled with tough economic times, means that unwanted horses have virtually no value, making it impractical to send a horse to slaughter across the border, since the meager profit doesn't come close to covering the cost of transportation.

Other than slaughter, options for disposal - ranging in degree of humanity and feasibility - include finding a new home for the horse, veterinary-induced euthanasia, putting the horse down the old-fashioned way, or, unfortunately, neglect and abandonment.

Anti-slaughter activists naively insist that homes can be found for unwanted horses, when that simply is not the case. Many horses sent to slaughter are unusable, whether the issue is a physical or temperamental one. In the current economy, finding a new home for one unwanted horse is unlikely, much less for the tens of thousands of horses that are sent to slaughter annually. Most individuals do not have the time, facilities or resources to take in a project horse, and rescue facilities are already full to overflowing.

Veterinary-induced euthanasia and subsequent carcass disposal is expensive, especially for someone who can't afford to feed a horse any longer. For all the lip service being paid and effort being made to force this method on horse owners, very few activists are willing to donate the funds. Carcass disposal itself is an issue, because the barbiturate-tainted body becomes biohazardous waste - not to mention that dead horses fill up a landfill much faster than dead dogs or cats.

As far as an owner putting a bullet in Ol' Blackie, the fact is that few people have the gumption or the aim to do it properly. And again, there is the issue of carcass disposal. Let us not forget the recent discovery of horses shot to death on Bureau of Land Management land.

The sad truth is that without other affordable, viable solutions, many horse owners neglect or abandon their horses, leaving the animal to die a slow, agonizing death from starvation. Is this one of the anti-slaughter camp's "more humane ways to deal with an unwanted horse"?

For the sake of actual well-being of horses that have outlived their usefulness for one reason or another, the processing option needs to remain available. Histrionics should not override sound animal science.

Fortunately for anti-slaughter activists, the disaster they have worked so hard to create is not one that they will be held directly accountable to solve. All their grandstanding about equine well-being is not enough to keep horses from being the ones left standing at the bottom of the hill.

Becky Lisle of Bruneau is a freelance writer, fifth-generation rancher and lifetime horse-lover.


Anonymous said...

Actually, she is pretty much correct.

The truth can be painful sometimes, but there it is...

Anonymous said...

I just found this blog and really enjoyed this article. It is so hard for the anti-slaughter people to realize how big this problem has become. I am an equine veterinarian and in the past two years have seen many more cases of neglect, and many more cases of euthanasia because of the anti-slaughter bill. I am sickened to hear how horses are being slaughtered in Mexico - where they do not have USDA regulations on humane slaughter. Plus the amount of time these animals spend traveling. We have a huge problem on our hands. The answer is not to outlaw the shipping of horses to Mexico/Canada. The answer is to reopen the plants here, making slaughter humane again and giving owners this option for disposal of an old or unfit animal.