Anti-Horse Groups and GAO Muddy Facts on Horses
HOUSTON – The horse-flesh back of the Fitch’s Magnolia home is considered “family”.
No question about it.
“All four of these guys were throw away horses,” said Terry Fitch as she kissed a nuzzling gelding.
Even the possibility their “friends” could some day reach a dinner table in Belgium or France has spurred a need for the Fitch’s to fight.
By withdrawing funding for USDA inspectors five years ago, Congress effectively shut down American-based slaughter houses processing horse meat for export.
But in the latest budget, that money slipped back in and opened the door for what equine advocates call, “the renewed butchering of an American icon.”
“It breaks your heart, it’s repulsive,” said Terry, R.T.’s wife. “We can humanely euthanize our horses. We don’t do this to dogs and cats.”
But a good many folks don’t see it that way.
At a recent Austin county livestock auction, ranchers told FOX 26 News that without a slaughter market for what they called “marginal animals”, many horses were simply starving because of drought or because financially hard pressed owners are unable to feed them.
A report by the General Accounting Office came to a similar conclusion, noting that since the cessation, tens of thousands of American horses have been shipped to Mexico and Canada for slaughter.
Even People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is supporting the return of for-profit American horse slaughter as the lesser of two evils.
“The amount of suffering that it created exceeded the amount of suffering it was designed to stop”, PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk told the Christian Science Monitor.
R.T. and Terry Fitch contend that if decency doesn’t work to save horses, maybe science will.
Many American horses, they claim, are treated with anti-worm and anti-pain medications containing cancer-causing agents.
“The drugs we give to these animals is carcinogenic to human beings. We are better than that. We shouldn’t be poisoning foreigners with our meat. Animals were not raised for slaughter in this country. If they want to eat horses let them raise their own animals. These are companions here,” Terry said.
While horse slaughtering plants have been located in Texas in the past, state law now prohibits the re-opening of those operations.
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