Did you hear the news?! PETA and HSUS are in a spat. But probably not for long - some celebrity like Kim Kardashian (I'll never understand why she's considered a celebrity) will wear a leather cap and then be back in cahoots. However, for now they aren't seeing eye to eye on a very important issue.
Horse slaugher in the U.S.
Remember a few months ago when a bill was passed that reinstated funding for federal inspection of horse slaughter plants? Well, HSUS is totally and 100% against horse slaughter saying that the decline in horse welfare over the past few years, mainly abandonment, has occurred because of economic circumstances. Which is partly true but as www.HumaneWatch.org puts it, "who can predict economic downturn?" On the other hand, PETA is actually the voice of reason in this debate - Ingrid Newkirk, PETA co-founder, recently said to the Christian Science Monitor:
It's quite an unpopular position we've taken. There was a rush to pass a bill that said you can't slaughter them anymore in the United States. But the reason we didn't support it, which sets us almost alone, is the amount of suffering that it created exceeded the amount of suffering it was designed to stop.
I never thought that I would agree with Ingrid Newkirk, not in a million years. However, she hits the nail right on the head. We (agriculturalists) have been saying for the past four years that if there's nowhere to take the horses in the states, they'll just be shipped to Mexico for slaughter and that situation certainly won't be as well-monitored as the U.S. once was. The reinstatement of funding is a good thing for agriculture, for many reasons, which I'll briefly go over again:
1. Horse meat is a delicacy in many countries. The U.S. could once again be a player in horse meat exports to Canada and France
2. The quality of life for horses can improve phenomenally if slaughter plants re-open. No more 30 hours treks to Mexico to be slaughtered in non-USDA plants. Owners, now with an outlet for their unwanted horses, will no longer be cutting brands off their horses and turning them loose on the range.
3. Slaughter plants need manpower to run - manpower comes from men (and women). Men and women who need jobs in a crappy economy. Slaughter plants = job creation.
I definitely side with PETA on this issue, as HSUS isn't about animal welfare improvement. Their goal is to abolish animal agriculture. At least for the moment, PETA is a friend of agriculture (although I'm not sure how long that will last).
To read more of the Humane Watch piece, click here.
Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~
Labels: advocacy, animal rights extremists, animal science, animal welfare, animal wellbeing, horse slaughter, horsemeat, horses, HSUS, meat, PETA