The Truth About Slaughter: Part IPublished by GHC • Jan 5th, 2008 • Category: by Julia, Take a Stand
by Julia, age 14
Here at GHC we can all agree on one thing.
But I’ve noticed there’s some confusion about this issue and some false statements are being passed around. Not intentionally of course, but I thought I’d set some things straight. These are the true facts about horse slaughter.
First off, there were three plants in the US but now all three are closed. Here in the United States people do not eat horse meat but in other countries which include (but are not limited to) Mexico, Japan, and Canada people do. Tens of thousands of horses are shipped over US borders for slaughter in foreign countries. The countries which consume the largest amount of meat are France, Belgium, Holland, Japan, and Italy. But because us GHC members find all countries of the world equal there is no need to judge based on horse slaughter consumption.
When I read a few Loft Book Club stories about slaughter I thought they were a bit exaggerated. I thought no one could do anything that cruel and barbaric. I was wrong. Under Federal law horses must be rendered unconscious before being slaughtered. They are usually knocked out via bolt gun which shoots a metal rod into their brain. Then they are hung by their back legs while their throats are cut open. There are much nastier ways it is done, but I will spare you the details. It’s hard to believe there are worse ways, but unfortunately there are.
Most people believe only sickly poor horses are slaughtered. Actually, unsuccessful racehorses, excess riding camp horses, mares who produce poor foals, and PMU mares are candidates. Basically, any horse with four legs, two eyes, and a tail will do. I also watched a video where the humane society went undercover at a slaughter plant and it stated that some companies will outbid families at horse auctions to get their stock.
There are ways to help reduce the numbers and conditions of slaughter plants. If you own a horse or know someone who does, ask them to set aside some money to have their horse humanely euthanized so it’s guaranteed they won’t be shipped off if they fall ill. The transportation of slaughter-bound horses is just as bad if not worse, but I will have a part II with information on that.
I kept this information as vague as I could while still being informative so I didn’t disturb people troubled easily by this information. I’ll be happy to do further research and answer questions you still may have but I used this website to get my information so I know it’s accurate — Humane Society of the United States: Get the Facts on Horse Slaughter.
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