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H.R. 6598—Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act

Sponsor(s):  Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN)

ASPCA Position:  Support

Update, 9/24/08: Good news—The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act has passed the House Judiciary Committee. It is now up to House leadership to call the bill for a full House vote.

Americans do not eat horse meat. However, tens of thousands of our horses are cruelly slaughtered every year to satisfy the markets for horsemeat in Europe and Asia. Since the last horse slaughter plants in the U.S. were closed in 2007, thousands of horses have been shipped to Canada and Mexico for slaughter. These overseas plants are not subject to U.S. oversight or regulation. Due to overcrowded transport conditions, many horses are injured even before reaching their final destination. Some are shipped for more than 24 hours at a time without food, water or rest, and the methods used to kill these horses once they arrive at the plant can be exceptionally inhumane.

Horses have been our trusted companions and are a historically significant part of American culture. They deserve a more dignified end to their lives than to be slaughtered and served for dinner. H.R. 6598 would put an end to this practice by prohibiting the transport of America’s horses to foreign countries for slaughter.

Unfortunately, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (H.R. 503), the anti-slaughter bill we have advocated for in the past, has stalled in Congress due to political maneuvering. Similar to H.R. 503, the newly introduced Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act (H.R. 6598) would prohibit the possession, shipment, transport, purchase, sale, delivery or receipt via interstate commerce of any horse intended for slaughter for human consumption. Unlike the Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, this bill has the potential to move quickly in the House of Representatives.

Pleae support our beloved John Conyers as he tries to save our horses by signing the petition.

https://secure2.convio.net/...

Along with signing the John Conyer's petition please give your input to the UHC survey
on the problem of unwanted horses.

The Unwanted Horse Coalition is seeking responses to a petition. It was down due to overwhelming response but it should be up again soon. Everyone with an interest in horses is encouraged to respond.

Currently, there are few documented facts about the accurate number of unwanted horses, their age, sex, breed, recent use, value or what happens to them in the long run.

"The downturn in the economy, rising costs of hay, the drought that has affected many parts of the United States, the costs of euthanasia and carcass disposal, and the closing of the nation's slaughter facilities have all made the problem worse. But no one knows its magnitude. That's why the first step toward a solution is to gather and examine the facts.

"Regardless of how horses reached this state, every owner-and the equine industry at large-has a responsibility to ensure that everything possible is done to guarantee the humane care and treatment of unwanted horses," Dr. Tom Lenz, chairman of the UHC said. "Our message now is to please go to [the survey], and provide us with feedback. Answers will be confidential.

Petition link:   http://survey.ictgroup.com/...

Unwanted Horse Coalition
Julia Andersen, 202-296-4031
Director
jandersen@horsecouncil.org

or

Stephens & Associates
Cathy McCormick, 913-661-0910, Ext. 115
cathym@stephens-adv.com

Originally posted to antoinette from NYC on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 06:38 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I would like to add that horses are also (6+ / 0-)

    a significant part of world history as nearly every major society and group used horses for transportation dating back thousands of years. It's only been in the last 100 years or so, since the invention of the internal combustion engine (and the railroad steam engine) that horses have become more of a recreational animal. They are wonderful creatures and should be treated with respect and cared for with love.

  •  Please don't (10+ / 0-)

    It is difficult and expensive to get rid of an unwanted horse.  Feeding them is a significant expense--especially the way the cost of feed has gone with diversion to corn ethanol, and euthanasia entails disposing of a huge carcass--a major undertaking and expense.  Sending to humane slaughter in regulated slaughterhouses in the US was long the accepted solution, unsettling though it is to some of us pet owners.

    Now we have an economy where individuals and families cannot afford to feed their horses, and cannot afford to get rid of them.  I live in horse country and the local paper seems full of accounts of starving, neglected horses.  The owners are in desperate straits.

    I urge you to look beyond your sensibilities--and I admit it feels funny to contemplate a companion animal's being sent off to become someone's dinner--to the actual welfare of horses themselves.  

  •  How do we force horse owners to take proper (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miss Blue, marina, pattyp, justCal, Flaw

    care of their animals?  I've read that increased cost for feed and care has led some owners to release their horses onto public land.

    We can't have that either.  I'm not comfortable with horse slaughter, but what's the alternative?

    This space for rent.

    by bherner on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 06:55:17 AM PST

    •  Why can't they give their horses to local animal (0+ / 0-)

      shelters or horse sanctuaries?  Are you telling me that all of these people are making these efforts and are unable to find these places?  And that it is better for horses to be cruelly slaughtered and eaten?

      •  Oh please (5+ / 0-)

        How naive.  

        There are approximately 90,000 horses slaughtered per year.  The rescues in existance cannot handle one-tenth of that amount.

        "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine 4200+ dead Americans. Bring them home.

        by Miss Blue on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 07:04:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There is no need to be insulting. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TX Unmuzzled, Lost and Found

          Using your logic then, they can be put down without being sold can they not?

          •  Cost (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            marina, pattyp, Flaw, WiseFerret, YesBiscuit

            The cost to euthanize runs from $250-$600.  Think about this.  You have a huge segment of the market that cannot afford this along with the cost to replace little Buffy's 4-H horse.  And without the owners of low means, you'll have even more horses going to slaughter.

            Most communities do not permit burial on private property as well.  This means calling a rendering plant to haul the carcass away.  Another expense.  

            Without the option of slaughter, you will find thousands of horses per year starving to death, suffering in fields and barns.  Or being abandoned on the highway as we see with dogs and cats.

            "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine 4200+ dead Americans. Bring them home.

            by Miss Blue on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 07:13:21 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Perhaps you can suggest some alternatives. (0+ / 0-)
              •  I have a few,,, (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                marina, snackdoodle

                I have fought the over-production my entire life.  There are many, many of us in the industry that have worked hard on this for decades.

                It's a slow slog, believe me.  There is no easy answer, and sadly the only solutions all require some degree of breeding regulations.  That is not an easy thing to sell.  Free market without responsibility seems to be the order of the day.

                We have had some success, though.  The standardbred industry in particular is starting to take a strong stand against slaughter.  One large racetrack is banning any stable from competing that sends it's losers to slaughter.  

                Bottom line:  You can't close the slaughter plants UNTIL you reduce the numbers of horses being sent to slaughter.

                "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine 4200+ dead Americans. Bring them home.

                by Miss Blue on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 07:28:46 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  So we need to tax horse purchases for a fund (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              antoinette from NYC

              The government can create a revenue neutral program funded by people who want to buy and own horses -- make them pay for it up front. What's a horse cost these days? If someone can afford to buy a horse, they can damn sure afford to pay for that horse's eventual disposition (and its peers).

              Tax horse purchases, and maybe fewer people will get themselves into this ditch. Tax horse racers. Tax horse racing.

              Jesus people, policy serves a purpose.

              Texas: Our Permanent Lock on the Presidency. Key: 5 points in 4 years.

              by TX Unmuzzled on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 07:32:36 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Don't tax purchases (4+ / 0-)

                Tax breeding.

                Anyone with a viable, breeding-quality animal is already spending fair amounts of dollars on promotion, showing, training, etc.  An extra fee of a few hundred dollars to breed will not stop those with quality horses.  But it will stop mass production, and it will stop most of the crap-to-crap breeding.

                "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine 4200+ dead Americans. Bring them home.

                by Miss Blue on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 07:34:26 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Just one other point. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Flaw

                Believe me, I've been all over this country working in the industry.

                There are many, many folks who have one horse for the kid, or themselves.  With the market in the toilet for several years now, you can purchase a nice horse, trained very well, for under $2000.  A VERY nice horse.  And if you're willing to take an average trail horse, you can find that under $1000.  An unbroke youngster is available for a couple hundred.

                But if you have to spend $600 to get rid of the hurt/ill/old one you already have, many low-income folks do not have the funds to do both.  And that eliminates a ton of the 4-H kids around the country.

                "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine 4200+ dead Americans. Bring them home.

                by Miss Blue on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 07:50:35 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Economics (3+ / 0-)

                I work at a equine hospital so I'm familiar with some aspects of this issue.  I appreciate all ideas and obvious concerns that people have for the animals that I also love.  But, to answer the question, "What's a horse cost these days?"  In many cases, $0.00.  That's what they are worth and that is what people are being offered for them.  Horses that would have been worth $2,000 a couple of years ago, literally can't be given away today.  It's not so much the cost of purchasing a horse, but the cost of keeping one.  So, I'm afraid that many people that have horses now (myself included) would have a difficult time meeting disposal costs.  The horses that are most at risk of being abandoned, generally aren't the ones that were ever purchased for a significant amount of money.  As Miss Blue has said, the answer is in controlling the supply.  Which is tough.  So, a humane slaughter option is preferable to abandonment, starvation, death by dehydration, etc.  But thank you to everyone for caring enough to comment.  It's a subject that deserves attention.  

      •  There simply aren't enough to take a significant (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marina, pattyp, DemocraticLuntz

        number of animals, just not possible. And how do you fund the care and feeding? It is sad but so are pets that are left to starve in foreclosed homes.

      •  There are doc/cat shelters in every town of any (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marina, pattyp, snackdoodle

        size.  The same can't be said for horse sanctuaries.  

        This space for rent.

        by bherner on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 07:09:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Are you a vegetarian? (0+ / 0-)

        "you ought to be ashamed of yourself, person who loves to tell your 'hat story' with OPOL. Grow up."

        by DemocraticLuntz on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 07:40:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  How do you force someone who is having a (0+ / 0-)

      difficult time feeding themselves? It isn't in may cases a matter of not wanting to as being truly unable to and with no viable alternatives.

  •  Who is this "beloved John Conyers"? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TX Unmuzzled, pattyp, snackdoodle

    Maybe he'll send the horse slaughterers a Strongly Worded Letter™.

  •  Does the proposal specify "for human consumption" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TX Unmuzzled

    and if so, what about horses shipped overseas and slaughtered for pet food?  Or is that not done?  I know it was done in the US after the automobile took hold and horses formerly used for transportation were then numerous.

    "All articles which have been excluded shall be deemed included." - Swan contract

    by YesBiscuit on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 07:09:18 AM PST

  •  I would rather support (6+ / 0-)

    a "humane slaughter" bill than a complete no-slaughter one. At any rate, anyone who eats commercially produced meat (such as myself) really can't justify supporting such a bill. In a perfect world, animal shelters and big animal "retirement" farms would receive enough financial support to take care of all these animals in comfort, and I would gladly pay more taxes to help this happen. But such institutions are extremely expensive to operate. Hell, my local Humane Society barely scrapes by, and all they take care of is small pets.

    Does this internet make me look fat?

    by pattyp on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 07:13:49 AM PST

    •  I hear you (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Miss Blue, pattyp

      By the way, I don't eat any meat although I do have leather shoes.

      •  I've cut down on meat a lot (3+ / 0-)

        Trying to use more meat substitutes like tofu, as well as increase the veggie:meat ratio in my cooking. When I do buy meat, I try to wait for sales on sustainably farmed products. Even on sale they're more expensive, but they're so much better. I've got room for improvement though. So many of the everyday products we use are animal-based, it's hard to strike a balance. Although I'm not opposed to using animal products in and of themselves, I've been trying to limit purchases to earth-friendly products. For everything there's a tradeoff, though - soybeans (to make tofu) are a pretty water-intensive crop, for example.

        Does this internet make me look fat?

        by pattyp on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 07:26:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Serious question: if we don't send horses to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pattyp, CcVenussPromise

    slaughter, are there enough homes in the US for all of them?  Have any studies been done to document this?  

    "All articles which have been excluded shall be deemed included." - Swan contract

    by YesBiscuit on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 07:17:31 AM PST

    •  Good question. (0+ / 0-)

      I don't know.  According to Big Blue 90,000 horses per year are slaughtered.

      •  Well *if* there is not enough homes, rescues, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Miss Blue, snackdoodle

        funding, etc to care for the surplus horses, I would like to see them humanely slaughtered for food as opposed to going into landfills.  Likewise, I'd like to see whatever can be done to lower the numbers of surplus horses without infringing on individual liberties to responsibly and humanely raise animals.
        Whew - what a boatload of problems!

        "All articles which have been excluded shall be deemed included." - Swan contract

        by YesBiscuit on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 07:32:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Policy needed: More animal friendly laws (3+ / 0-)

      We need more policy to make having animals easier and more rewarding. For instance, I have a dog I love dearly, but I can only take him with me in the car when I am making virtually NO stops whatsoever. So he's almost entirely excluded from my daily life because I can't take him with me into stores, into casual restaurants, markets, my office building... It's sad. And frustrating. And in the heat or cold, I can't leave him in the car for more than 5-10 minutes.

      How about a tax deduction for pet expenses? A pet tax credit? Better enforcement of humane laws?

      We would have a much better society if animals could be better integrated.

      Texas: Our Permanent Lock on the Presidency. Key: 5 points in 4 years.

      by TX Unmuzzled on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 07:37:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Zoning laws have hurt a lot. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        antoinette from NYC, YesBiscuit

        You go to the PNW and you'll find a horse in almost every backyard.  But in the Great Lakes region, the Mid-West, the East Coast - you have zoning that prohibits horses on anything less than five acres or more, as well as many, many other restrictions.  This just pisses me off to no end.  

        These zoning laws alone have prevented thousands of families from having that one horse for the kid.  Boarding is far more expensive than keeping a horse on your own property.

        "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine 4200+ dead Americans. Bring them home.

        by Miss Blue on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 07:40:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  This is a long time point of contention (2+ / 0-)

        in pet legislation circles:  We can't seem to enforce the laws already on the books so creating new laws would seem to be counter-intuitive.  And it doesn't help that there are extremes at both ends (as in all thing I suppose) who are very vocal with lots of money to toss into the ring.  It's a bit of a mess.

        "All articles which have been excluded shall be deemed included." - Swan contract

        by YesBiscuit on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 07:42:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I would rather mark a dollar from my taxes (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YesBiscuit

        to go for animal welfare than political campaigns.

    •  Not even close. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      YesBiscuit

      There have been many studies done, but I would have to look for links.

      Although anyone in the industry for even a modicum of time can tell you the answer to this one.

      "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine 4200+ dead Americans. Bring them home.

      by Miss Blue on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 07:37:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So then what precisely makes a horse slaughter (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Flaw

        "worse" than animals that Americans do eat (i.e. cows, sheep, pigs; I can see the mammal vs. non-mammal thing, of course)?

        "you ought to be ashamed of yourself, person who loves to tell your 'hat story' with OPOL. Grow up."

        by DemocraticLuntz on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 07:39:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think it is. (4+ / 0-)

          I realize many folks have the emotional issue with regard to horse slaughter.

          I do not share in that.  I did not have a problem with PMU farms who took decent care of their stock and produced a registered quality baby.  The problem was in the PMU farms that were producing garbage, just to keep the mares pregnant, and then dumping those babies on the market every year.  But that problem has basically been solved with the crash of the PMU market.  Thankfully.

          "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine 4200+ dead Americans. Bring them home.

          by Miss Blue on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 07:42:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  This is what I suspected. Therefore, the (3+ / 0-)

        issue of surplus horses must be addressed.  Simply saying "no slaughter for human consumption" does not sufficiently address the problem and something else will have to be done with the surplus.  And that something else may be even less palatable (no pun intended) to those supporting the current bill.

        "All articles which have been excluded shall be deemed included." - Swan contract

        by YesBiscuit on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 07:44:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The Unwanted Horse Coalition (3+ / 0-)

      is working on it.

      Joined under the American Horse Council.

      [It] grew out of the Unwanted Horse Summit, which was organized by the American Association of Equine Practitioners and held in conjunction with the American Horse Council's annual meeting in Washington, D.C., in April 2005.

      Its purpose was to develop consensus on the most effective way to work together to address the issue.

      In June 2006, the UHC was folded into the AHC and now operates under its auspices.

  •  Thank you. Support the other petition too (4+ / 0-)

    I believe we have to simultaneously address the situation of unwanted horses.

    Along with signing the John Conyer's petition please give your input to the UHC survey
    on the problem of unwanted horses.

    The Unwanted Horse Coalition is seeking responses to a petition. It was down due to overwhelming response but it should be up again soon. Everyone with an interest in horses is encouraged to respond.

    Currently, there are few documented facts about the accurate number of unwanted horses, their age, sex, breed, recent use, value or what happens to them in the long run.

    "The downturn in the economy, rising costs of hay, the drought that has affected many parts of the United States, the costs of euthanasia and carcass disposal, and the closing of the nation's slaughter facilities have all made the problem worse. But no one knows its magnitude. That's why the first step toward a solution is to gather and examine the facts.

    "Regardless of how horses reached this state, every owner-and the equine industry at large-has a responsibility to ensure that everything possible is done to guarantee the humane care and treatment of unwanted horses," Dr. Tom Lenz, chairman of the UHC said. "Our message now is to please go to [the survey], and provide us with feedback. Answers will be confidential.

    Contact:

    Unwanted Horse Coalition
    Julia Andersen, 202-296-4031
    Director
    jandersen@horsecouncil.org

    or

    Stephens & Associates
    Cathy McCormick, 913-661-0910, Ext. 115
    cathym@stephens-adv.com

  •  Honestly (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Flaw

    I'd rather the horse be used to feed someone than just waste it.  Also, its not like horses are a native species to the United States, they are an introduced species that have very few predators.

    Early Voter: Mark me Down for That One, Biden and Boccieri

    by marcvstraianvs on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 07:48:20 AM PST

    •  I'm getting tired of this argument (3+ / 0-)

      they were here, died out, eaten, whatever. They've been here over two hundred years, are part of the eco system, replaced the roaming buffalo, and the only reason I have encounted for the argument that they pose a problem is from cattlemen due to competition the horse poses for cattlemen -- and people have controlled horses for millenia. We're their predator.

      The horse's other natural predators, wolves and cougars, get killed by us.

      •  Well (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        snackdoodle

        Its the valid scientific argument.  Introduced species are not a part of the natural ecosystem, just like wiping out predators isn't a part of the natural ecosystem either.  And comparing horses to bison is akin to saying ok, we wiped out passanger pigeons, lets replace them with european starlings.

        Early Voter: Mark me Down for That One, Biden and Boccieri

        by marcvstraianvs on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 08:05:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Horses aren't posing a problem (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          antoinette from NYC, snackdoodle

          BLm mismanagement has.

          •  How do you propose (0+ / 0-)

            Controlling the population of a non-native species with little in the way of natural predation?

            Early Voter: Mark me Down for That One, Biden and Boccieri

            by marcvstraianvs on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 08:12:02 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The extent that we (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              snackdoodle

              their natural predator, have controlled them has been as a response to pressure by cattlemen. Under the Bush administration that control trippled.

              The control we engage in has not been properly studied.

              One arguement I'm in favor of is to euthenizing upon capture if there's a serious problem of drought and such.

              Why keep these beautiful wild beings, extremely intelligent, anyone who's adopted can tell you they'll teach your domestic a thing or two, plus they become very attached and loyal to their human, why keep them penned for months as the BLM management does and then euthenize?

              We have also messed with their genetic diversity without full understanding.

              •  I don't like having to do it (2+ / 0-)

                I just think its a necessary evil when we are dealing with a species that has little to no natural predators for population control.  We have hunting seasons for deer, elk, etc for the same reasons, once we wiped out the predatory base of an ecosystem it fell on our shoulders to do something about it.

                I separate wild horses for ones being bred for show and racing purposes.  In those cases, there need to be much tighter restrictions in place, from breeding laws to the processing on unwanted horses.

                Early Voter: Mark me Down for That One, Biden and Boccieri

                by marcvstraianvs on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 08:29:38 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  We can have either a catch or shoot (2+ / 0-)

                  season, a bag limit. I understand. And it's also meat.

                  Overbreeding domestics? I hope this current down market weeds out a good many of them.

                  And I also hope research proves that Premarin is not necessary and althernatives prove best.

                  The best of the best are bred in limited editions. As it should be.

                  I took extra careful consideration to breed only one mare last year and skipped this year. And I'll ad some high dollar breeders have done the same around here.

                  Only my very best mare was bred to only the very best I could afford. He was in California. She was east at the time. His booking was for only 10 mares. Could have been less in my opinion. Even for a great champ. I was confident my gal would pass. She did. And I've got a cream of the crop filly from her with exceptional markings. American Paint. The breeding as it should be. Two years old now. And not for sale, even though the stallion owner has had the most requests ever for this one and to name my price, than for any of his other get.

                  As it should be in my opinion.

                •  One thing we ight do is stop killing their (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  CcVenussPromise

                  natural preditors. We only want wild and untamed in theory as in zoos and Yellowstone. We continually mess with the balance of nature and then wonder why it isn't working out very well.

        •  Bison perservation (2+ / 0-)

          Retired executive honored for a life of preservation efforts at the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in Oklahoma.

          Sanjayan, the lead scientist for The Nature Conservancy worldwide, came to honor Williams and to see the preserve.

          Story: A bison's best friend

          I live a few miles from Tallgrass.

  •  People can not get rid of horses now (0+ / 0-)

    They are giving them away for free on Craigslist.  It costs at least $100 a month per horse for hay and more if you have to rent land.

    Horses live up to 25 years with a useful life of about 18.

    Zoos were one of the larger purchases of domestic horse meat and their prices have gone up because now they compete for beef.

    Humanely putting down a horse costs upwards of $200 and that may not include disposal in the landfill.

    As a horse lover (I bought my first when I was 5) I think we need the slaughter houses back, maybe with more oversight or smaller operations.  I don't like sending the meat overseas either.

    Oh and when I was young we used to call it the glue factory.

    •  We need rendering plants back (0+ / 0-)

      the original glue factories not the slaughter house.

      Rendering plants take carcasses.

      Vets and organizations can collect donations for euthenizing on site, where the horse resides, and arrange for disposal. This has been started on a very small scale in California.

      See the Norcal Equine Rescue here. I think it's good model.

  •  Extra Horses (0+ / 0-)

    This diary begins with a false premise: "Americans don't eat horses."

    Given the chance, there are many of us who would.  I grew up in the West with horses all around. We used 'em for working cattle, getting in and out of high mountain pasture with sheep, and for fun at gymkhana, rodeo, horse shows and just riding around.  Never really gave much thought to eating them.  We also rode bulls, roped calves, raised them for show in 4-H, and we ate them like popcorn.

    When I moved overseas I had the chance to eat horse steak in Geneva.  Brilliant!  The best piece of meat I have ever eaten.

    Americans don't eat horse because we have been deprived of the opportunity.  We need to manage our abandoned horse problem with the same lack of sentimentality we use to cull deer or manage cattle herds.  You'll note I didn't say "wild horses" because there is no such creature.  They are all descendants of escaped or abandoned stock brought to North America by Europeans.  Shoot 'em, eat 'em, or feed 'em to the dogs.  

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