Here - you can listen to this while you read this. A little pep in your step.
It seems that horse-slaughter starting up in the U.S. is not as far off as it may have seemed.
Valley Meat Company in Roswell, New Mexico may only be weeks away from accepting horses for slaughter. The plant has submitted its application for federal meat inspection services under the "equine" option according to reports.
There are several positive outcomes from Valley Meat Company re-opening their doors for horse slaughter:
1. Job creation - The plant would create approximately 100 jobs for Roswell area residents and during an economic recession when so many folks are wishing for a decent job - voila! Reopening plants will increase the number of jobs and boost local economies.
2. Exports - the U.S. slaughtered 94,000 horses in 2005, the last full year of horse slaughter before federal inspection funding was repealed in 2007. Without a slaughter plant in the U.S., more than 197,000 horses were exported to other North American countries last year for slaughter. That's double the number from 2007 slaughter exports. What does that mean?
3. Animal Welfare - It means thousands of horses have endured excruciatingly long drives to Canada or Mexico on trains or trucks that aren't exactly the most welfare-friendly. Opening a slaughter plant in the U.S. would prevent thousands of horses from being improperly transported across U.S. borders.
4. Horse meat is a delicacy - maybe not to you or I, but in several other countries around the world horse meat is consumed quite often and is a staple in many diets. The U.S. is missing out on valuable export dollars and that meat by not opening horse slaughter plants. For example, between January and November of 2012, the UK imported ~$80,000 worth of horsemeat into the UK. That doesn't include the rest of the EU, Japan, China or the Asia-Pacific region. In short, this could provide a boost to the total agriculture GDP. Every little bit helps right?
Unfortunately, there are those who aren't involved in animal agriculture or the horse industry (as I am) who wish to quell horse slaughter once and for all. This article reports that four lawmakers from the states of Louisiana, South Carolina, Pennsylvania and Illinois introduced legislation to ban horse-killing for human consumption in the U.S. and prohibit transporting the animals outside the country for slaughter. Furthermore, USDA said it encouraged Congress to reinstate the ban on funding inspections.
This just confuses me - I don't understand why so many people are against a federally regulated and inspected humane slaughter process for horses. If the ban goes through, I can almost guarantee more of this.
Those are my thoughts and you know I'll keep you updated on what's going down with horse slaughter (see what I did there?). In the mean time, what are your thoughts? Think horse slaughter is a good idea?
For more of my posts about horse slaughter check out the posts below: