OpEd by R.T. Fitch ~ Author/President Wild Horse Freedom Federation
Backroom Politics Plague U.S. Horse’s Future
In 2006 Congress decreed that the USDA would no longer have the funding to send inspectors into the three remaining, foreign-owned, horse slaughter plants in the United States. No inspection, no sales and the states of Texas and Illinois were quick to follow with legislation to prohibit the slaughter of American horses for human consumption with the backing of over 70% of the U.S. public. In May of this year, Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia, with full disclosure, on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives received the votes to add the de-funding amendment only to have it secretly and covertly removed, behind closed doors, by a small committee of U.S. Congressman.
While the pro-horse equine advocacy movement works to be transparent and above-board it appears that the anti-horse coalition uses collusion, threats, misinformation and backroom politics to subvert the system of checks and balances and worse; disregard the will of the voting, American taxpayer.
In a time when anti-horse terrorists are carrying a banner saying that things are tough for the equine industry they add more expenses to the Ag Appropriation bill while saying the closure of U.S. Slaughterhouses is why the equine industry is in a slump. There is no mention that slaughter is still an option across our borders and that as many and often times more horses suffer the cruel fate as when foreign slaughterhouses were open in the U.S.. There is no parallel drawn to the fact that the economy has tanked since 2008 and for most of the world domesticated horses are a luxury and not a requirement by most Americans to sustain their day-to-day life. Instead, it’s all about the foreign plants being shut down and nothing about the over-breeding exhibited by such registries as the American Quarter Horse Association.
Stepping up to the plate to misrepresent the facts and allegedly to hide their special interest backers are the disappointing Congressman who subverted public opinion and worked in secret to strip the de-funding language from the bill.
Cole said numerous horse owners in his district are “pretty unanimous that they want the means to deal with an excess population.”
He said opponents of domestic horse slaughter “are letting their hearts overrule their heads.”
Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., was one of the members of a House-Senate committee who worked to strip out the amendment.
“We wanted to allow horse slaughter again in America because of an unanticipated problem with horse neglect and abandonment,” he said.
He said horse abandonment and abuse in Colorado rose to 1,588 in 2009, up from 975 in 2005.
“The number of horses exported for slaughter really just offset whatever Jim Moran thought he was going to save from slaughter,” Kingston said.
He said horse slaughter has never really stopped but simply moved to Canadian and Mexican plants.
“But we can’t monitor horse slaughter in a plant in Mexico or Canada. And so we don’t know if it’s being done humanely or not because the USDA obviously doesn’t have any jurisdiction there,” Kingston said.
“Along the way, these horses are having a rough transit. USDA does not have the jurisdiction over how the animals are treated along the way,” he said.
The bulk of Americans and pro-horse advocates obviously don’t see eye to eye with the good Congressmen.
“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,” Netherlands said.
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. 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.”
Americans don’t consume horsemeat. 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”.
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. 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.
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”.
Horse Welfare Organizations wonder why breed associations continue to reward millions of dollars in breed incentives each year, while refusing to use some of that money as funds for horse rescues, funds for gelding, and funds for humane euthanasia.
“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.
- Revival of Horse Slaughter to Cost Taxpayers (rtfitch.wordpress.com)
- Simple Math Butchers Horse Slaughter Terrorist Propaganda (rtfitch.wordpress.com)
- Pro-Horse Slaughter Monsters: Are They Worth Any Notice? (rtfitch.wordpress.com)
- Horse Slaughter Fanatics Alleged Victory Rings Hollow in America (rtfitch.wordpress.com)
- Obama Urged to Keep ” No Horse Slaughter” Campaign Promise (rtfitch.wordpress.com)
- Video: Confessions of a Horse Slaughter Kill Buyer (rtfitch.wordpress.com)