Missouri bill could allow horse slaughter for human consumption

While so many people across the nation are speaking out against horse slaughter, the Missouri legislature is actually close to passing into law, legislation that would allow horse meet production.  The meat would be sold for consumption in other countries.

KOMU.com reports the House passed a bill Monday to pay for federal horse meat inspections. Representatives apparently believe the bill will gain passage in the state Senate as well.

My first reaction to the story was that it must be an April Fool’s joke. No state would take a step back like this. But then I noticed it was published March 30. This issue is certainly no joke. Horse slaughter, the way it’s done for meat production, is extremely cruel.

I also found an editorial on the subject on StlToday.com. The piece calls into question a couple of items in the bill that are either unconstitutional or will not stand up against federal law.

Again, THE most humane means of euthanasia of horses, as is the case for dogs and cats in shelters, is by injection.

Horses are extremely smart and self-aware. As again is the case with dogs and cats, horses have been part of our culture and heritage and have served as our close companions from the infancy of our nation.

Don’t these majestic beings deserve more from us? Is it right to send them to this fate when they are no longer of “value” to someone?

Some have defended horse slaughter by suggesting the over-population of unwanted horses, coupled with the lack of funding to care for them and too few people willing to adopt, would lead to starvation for so many.

My response is in the form of a question. – Then why are so many being bred, to a point where those who become the unwanted face this terrible outcome? I’m pretty sure of the answer. But I don’t think question or the answer or the reality will slow down the breeding.

When most people adopt a pet, they take responsiblity for its care through to the end of its life. When the end comes and we have to say goodbye to the family member, we choose the humane, compassionate way. I don’t think this too much to ask for the horses.


7 responses to this post.

  1. It sounds noble and wonderful to try to stop horse slaughter. I’m a horse lover myself. I’ve owned many horses and have been riding for almost 20 years. But I’ve also seen first hand the result of the close of the slaughter plants. Some people cannot afford to keep their horses anymore, and in this market horse value is practically zero for poorly bred, “backyard” trail type horses.

    You ask: Don’t these majestic beings deserve more from us? Is it right to send them to this fate when they are no longer of “value” to someone? The answer is of course they deserve more – but fact of the matter is many horse owners are incapable or unwilling to provide better care or see their horse off to a better means. Many horse owners with lame, unrideable, or just unwanted horses will not spend money to provide better care, or training, or even euthanasia. They want to get their kill market money for the horse. Many other people looking to buy aren’t interested in buying or adopting someone else’s problems when their money could go towards something sound and useable.

    Thus, as a result, unwanted horses are being abandoned in fields to fend for themselves, or worse yet, let loose on roads. I recently visited a rescue where SEVERAL of the horses there were found free roaming and starving. Unclaimed by owners, these horses were the obvious result of kill plant closings.

    You then ask “My response is in the form of a question. – Then why are so many being bred, to a point where those who become the unwanted face this terrible outcome? ” and the answer to this is very very very simple – HUMAN IRRESPONSIBILITY. (“Oh hey, I have this mare I’ve never been able to handle but she’s got nice coloring – let’s put her out in the pasture with that stallion down the road who’s never done a useful thing in his life, because he’s got blue eyes and see what we get. OBVIOUSLY the pretty blue eyed colorful foal is going to be worth a ton and we’ll make money off it…….” Two years later, there’s another badly conformed unhandled rank piece of crap running around that the owner’s couldn’t pay someone to take away.

    “My response is in the form of a question. – Then why are so many being bred, to a point where those who become the unwanted face this terrible outcome? ” Again – you are assuming that most people are able and wanting to take proper care of their animals. The people who produce these unwanted horses are the exact people that DON’T take care of them properly, either through lack of desire or lack of experience/knowledge. They are the ones that are not interested in pay a vet to come out and euthanize their horse.

    I love horses, but in the end, if the options are seeing the horse sent to slaughter or left to rot uncared for in a field, then I’d rather have the slaughter plants up and running. The whole thing is a TERRIBLE idea, and it all links up with the proposed bill to consider horses as pets, not livestock, and thus regulate them more, including mandatory registration and licensing, just like a dog.

    HORSES ARE NOT DOGS. THEY ARE LIVESTOCK and they should be managed as livestock is managed.


    • Actually they have been clasified under the wrong heading and Pro Slaughter wants to keep it that way for a very obious reason. There are several well known organizations that dispute the claim of over population and these fiends and partners should be classified as companions, because that is what they are.


  2. Posted by katie on April 1, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    are you kidding me.? shame on you for even owning a horse. the thought sickens me… there are to many so send them to a slaughter house? wow, nothing more humane enters your mind? you are not a true horse lover if this is a viable option for you.


  3. Ok, well to the people that think I’m out of my mind for advocating horse slaughter, I have one question for you…. Now, I’m not a jump up and down for horse slaugther person, but I do realize that it is to some degree a necessary part of the equine industry. Having worked as an equine veterinary techinican for 10 years and having worked with dozens of rescues and personally witnessed first hand the abuse and torture, starvation and neglect that happens to unwanted horses that don’t end up in slaughter I just want to know from you — How is leaving a horse to rot in a field somewhere, unvaccinated, untreated from injuries, left with infected festering injuries, left to starve, or just turned loose any better than sending them to slaughter?

    It’s a very emotional thing to say horse slaughter is bad and cruel and how can I love horses and say that horse slaughter should exist at the same time – but I just personally think it worse to see a horse that had gotten kicked in the shoulder thrown out in a pasture and left for the wound to get infected, the bone to rot, the skin to fall off until the horse is starved, down, and dying before someone takes notice and says “hey, maybe this horse should be euthanized”, all becuase the owner didn’t want to pay for vet care and couldn’t send it off to slaughter. I think slaughter is terrible – but then again, I eat beef – and cows are slaughtered in the exact same way as horses. It would be very hypocritical of me to say we shouldn’t slaughter horses when it’s OK to slaughter cows because I want to eat. So I hope you two numbnuts don’t eat any type of product that comes from slaughtered animals, otherwise, you’re just as ignorant as you seem to be through your posts.

    So please, do educate me and explain to me how it’s better to leave horses rotting in forgotten back lots rather than have them hauled to a fairly quick death instead. And please don’t be so naive and stupid to think that everyone out there should just magically take proper care of their horses – it DOESN’T HAPPEN. Maybe in your fairy tale world everyone loves their horses so dearly and will love them and give them kisses and dump hundreds of dollars into them no matter and keep them forever and ever. In my world, the real world, people are broke, cruel, and neglectful and not everyone will take proper care of their horses.


  4. WHOAA now….I have to say my piece here. I believe the slaughter of cows is inhumane too.

    Certainly we are intelligent enough to know that the slaughter industry is callous to the needs of the animals that they are butchering. If the process was humane maybe none of this would be an issue. Take a look at this very informative video and article on the process our horse go through to get to the dinner plate.


    Now some would say….”oh well…if we had plants open in the states the horses wouldnt go through this because our plants would be humane”….WRONG! The plants that closed in the states were closed because they had major problems. They polluted the communities they were built in. The companies that owned the plants were foreign owned and didnt pay taxes or the fines that were placed against them for breaking laws. They snubbed their noses at laws that were supposed to be in place to protect the animals and the people in the communities that were unfortunate enough to have to put up with them.

    I would also like to add the process of horse slaughter begins way before the horse gets to the plant. It starts when the owner take their horse to action or the local “broker”. They travel in sardine packed trailers, starving, dehydrated, trampled, bit, kicked, heavily pregnant, blind and with broken limbs. Oh you say…but they arent supposed to ship horses that are 3 legged lame…but they do…or blind…but they do. They have to stop for rest…but they dont. Pregnant mares cant be shipped…but they are.

    Horses are not raised for human consumption and therefore they are full of wormers, vaccines, pain killers, fly feed throughs etc. All of these things are dangerous to humans if they consume them. WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO SHIP HORSE MEAT TO OTHER COUNTRIES FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION? WHY? You dont care that the people that eat these horses are contaminated with carcinogenics?

    That frankly, is just as bad as the brutality the horses go through to get to the plant. Its called insensitivity. We are so desensitized to pain and suffering we can’t even comprehend it. We just say oh…well I guess that is the consumers problem. I THINK NOT> I think it is the producers problem.

    This subject goes WAAAAY deeper than to slaughter or not to slaughter. I would also like to add we don’t have an over abundance of horses because the plants were closed in the States. The statistics provided by the borders prove that more horses are going to slaughter now than there were when the plants were open in the states. ANYBODY can take their horse to a local auction and have it bid on by kill buyers. That is simply a cop out for the pro slaughter folks. They know that the average person would not know the truth on this topic if it hit them in the face, because the average person frankly, does not want to do the research to find the truth.

    I have been working on this topic for 6 years. I run a horse rescue. I go to Capital Hill to lobby against horse slaughter. I know the statistics and I know the brutality these horses go through to be “lucky” (as some believe) enough to be slaughtered.

    Its not the “ideaology” of the practice that is the problem, its the “reality” of the practice that makes this a Hot Topic.

    If you have strong feelings one way or the other do some research from the eyes of your opposition and try to get to the TRUTH of this practice. Then you can comment with facts and not with emotion.

    Horses are not raised for human consumption and should not be processed that way. IT’s too dangerous for the people eating them AND the horses being processed for foreign countries that snub their noses at our laws.

    This is a very deep topic and not one to take lightly.

    It’s not as easy as “To Be or not To Be”.

    I guess I can also add that I am a horse lover and a people lover and I don’t want either one to suffer.


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