Since my post on H.R. 6598, the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2008, I’ve received several comments from those of you in the equestrian community who express concern that the legislation is unrealistic and misguided. Recently, a colleague forwarded a very interesting article by Joe Scott for the St. Louis Dispatch on this very controversial topic. It seems that many feel the problem is rooted in romantic ideals that assert it’s best to protect the horses and save them from the throes of the slaughterhouse. It is argued that many of these horses invariably suffer a much worse fate: being shipped across U.S. borders in horrific conditions to meet even crueler deaths.
Many feel that if U.S. slaughterhouses were still open and regulated by the government to sanction humane killings, the equestrian community would suffer less economic distress. After all, under an operating U.S. slaughterhouse market, horse owners could receive compensation for horses they no longer use due to age, injury, or otherwise. But is that really the best we can do? It’s true that this law prevents owners from easily ridding themselves of horses they no longer deem fit for whatever reason. But, as many of you point out, where is the responsibility?
Practicing responsible breeding is essential as well as demanding standards of ownership. So please, write to your congressmen about the high prices of euthanasia and cremation services. Speak out against over-breeding. Donate to rescue facilities and support organizations like CANTER. This isn’t about whether or not the horse dies—but how it dies. If it cannot be retired or adopted, then humane euthanasia must occur. Please don’t accept the inhumane treatment and slaughtering of horses for human consumption. The animals that work so hard for us deserve better.
Thanks for all of your comments and insight. I realize this affects all of you in different ways and there is no easy solution.
Here’s a link from the Humane Society:https://community.hsus.org/ct/Vd2NUsE12mJ8/