Guest Column: Diverse Groups Ask Congress Not to Fund Inspectors

By Simone Netherlands, Respect4Horses

Washington, D.C. – Last night, November 14, 2011, a Congressional Conference Committee tasked
with reconciling differing House and Senate versions of the FY 2012 consolidated appropriations for
Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science and Transportation, issued a report failing to recommend de-
funding of inspections of equines for slaughter for human consumption. This means for the first time
since 2006, and in the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression, Americans would be
required to subsidize a foreign owned industry that exports horsemeat

served as a delicacy in fine
restaurants in some European and other countries.

Americans don’ t consume horsemea

t. Polls have consistently revealed over 70% of Americans oppose
horse slaughter. “It is outrageous,” says Vicki Tobin, vice president of Illinois-based Equine Welfare
Alliance, “that American taxpayers would be required to subsidize foreign owned businesses that
Americans oppose and that produces meat from animals that are not raised for food”.

Simone Netherlands, founder of Respect4Horses, added, “In this time when the focus of Congress is
supposedly on reducing spending and creating jobs it is a ludicrous measure to spend tax dollars in
order to reinstate an inherently cruel predatory business, from which Americans stand to gain
nothing. Horse slaughter plants operating until 2007 have never created a total of more than 178
jobs.”

And, they are not good jobs, according to Paula Bacon, former mayor of Kaufman, Texas where a
horse slaughter facility operated for years. “Horse slaughter means very few, very low wage jobs,
meaning workers and their families overtaxed local resources like the hospitals and government
services.

This so called business brought in virtually no tax revenues and local governments incurred
substantial enforcement costs in trying to regulate these facilities. The standard of living dropped
during the time horse slaughter facilities operated. Having a horse slaughter facility drove away good
businesses.” Equine slaughter has also been found to increase and abet horse theft in areas where
facilities are located or horses are held for transport to slaughter.

In addition, American horses are not raised, fed and medicated within the FDA and European Union
guidelines established for food animals, making them unfit and unsafe for human consumption.
Equines are given many drugs banned in food animals such as pain killers, steroids, de-wormers and
ointments throughout their lives.

A 2010 study in the Food and Chemical Toxicology Journal showed a drug given routinely to equines
like aspirin, phenylbutazone or Bute, is a carcinogen and can cause aplastic anemia in humans. It has
no withdrawal period. The FDA bans bute in all food producing animals because of this serious danger
to human health. The recent EU FVO reports on U.S. equines exported to Canada and Mexico for
slaughter show banned drug residues and falsified drug affidavits.
(http://www.equinewelfarealliance.org/Horse_Slaughter.html)

The unsubstantiated claims of pro horse slaughter legislators such as Jack Kingston (Georgia) are that
it will solve neglect and abandonment. All we have to do is look at Canada to confirm that this
erroneous. They have had the same increases in neglect cases as we have here in the US.

The often
talked about GAO report states: We cannot rule out the effect of the economy. The demographic of
people who hang on to their horses in spite of their inability to care for them, is the kind of
demographic that does not want to send their horses to slaughter, therefore horse slaughter is not a
soluti

on for that demographic. One could argue that horse slaughter in fact makes people afraid to
sell their horses

to anyone for fear of them ending up in the slaughter pipeline. Even Kentucky Derby
winners such as Ferdinand have ended up on someone’s dinner plate in a foreign country.

In fact, it creates the problems it claims to solve says R.T. Fitch, founder of Wild Horse Freedom
Federation “As a convenient and lucrative means of disposal, Horse slaughter has created an over-
population problem of horses, by enabling irresponsible breeding,

and encouraging a quick turn
around and dumping of horses. Very much like the housing market and the banking industry, the
horse breeding industry is self destructing by saturating the market and horse slaughter is the bail
out”.

Equine Slaughter is a grave risk to public health, it is inherently inhumane and it causes the very
problems it claims to solve. It is fiscally irresponsible for Congress even to consider re-funding these
inspections. The focus should be on stopping the risk altogether by ending the export of American
equines for slaughter for human consumption.

“After all, there is a large market for dog and cat meat as well in China and Japan, does that mean
that American tax payers should foot the bill to pay for the USDA to start inspecting dog and cat
meat?” asks Richard “Kudo” Couto, founder of Animal Recovery Mission.

These equine welfare groups ask Congress to de-fund horse inspections and also protect the welfare
of American equines by taking immediate action to pass the Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011:

Equine Welfare Alliance (EWA)
Respect4Horses (R4H)
Animal Law Coalition (ALC)
Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF)
The Cloud Foundation (TCF)
Animal Recovery Mission (ARM)
Americans Against Horse Slaughter (AAHS)
The Celebrate the Horse Network (CTHN)
Animals’ Angels (AA)

2 comments for “Guest Column: Diverse Groups Ask Congress Not to Fund Inspectors

  1. Carissa Caines
    November 17, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    protect the welfare
    of American equines by taking immediate action to pass the Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011 AND DE-FUND IMMEDIATELY ON THE INSPECTIONS I AS A U.S. CITIZEN DO NOT WANT MY HARD EARNED TAX DOLLARS TO GO TOWARDS ANY INSPECTIONS REGARDING OUR EQUINE COMPANIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. November 17, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    Add me to the list of people who do NOT support cruelty to horses. This is not a political issue to me but a foundational ethical one.

Comments are closed.