Arguments against Horse Slaughter as A Means to Control Excess Horses
Where Would All the Horses Go? from The Blood-Horse June 28, 2003
"The pro-slaughter forces seek to minimize the problem by stating that less than 1% of horses wind up being "processed" (their word). However, by making this (true) assertion, they show that their concern about 'where would all the horses go?' is essentially bogus. The percentage of increase in the overall horse population would be extremely small. There were approximately 350,000 horses slaughtered in the United States in 1990. This was down to about 40,000 in 2002. Did this drastic reduction in the number of horses slaughtered result in dramatic increases in neglect and cruelty to horses? Certainly not; no one ever claimed that. As a matter of fact, between 1992 and 1993 the reduction in the number slaughtered was 79,000 (responding to market forces), twice the number which would be saved if slaughtered ended completely tomorrow! The idea that a system that ceased to slaughter 79,000 horses in one year would face disastrous condition is somewhat under 40,000 ceased to be slaughtered now is ludicrous.
"Another question asked is 'what would be done with all these dead horses? It is estimated that the horse population of the United States is about 6,900,000 and that somewhat less than .07% of these horses wind up in slaughterhouses annually. A simple answer to the question of what is to be done with them when they die is that this is a totally insignificant increase, and that they should be disposed of in the same way as the ones not presently sent to slaughter, the overwhelming majority of the horse population...
"The claim of the pro-slaughter forces is that their concerns are humanitarian and unrelated to financial concerns. There are those who would disagree with them; for example, Pernell Hopkins, a police officer specializing in equine investigation, who for two years ahs monitored Pennsylvania horse sales that sell to slaughter. Officer Hopkins states in a letter published in the June 2002 edition of The Horse that slaughter encourages neglect, and that 'Money is the only objective of selling horses to slaughter. Those of us in the trenches have seen enough.'
"The logical proposition goes this way. We have a potential perpetrator (one who might abuse a horse) and a potential victim (the horse). The answer offered by the pro-slaughter forces is to kill the potential victim so that the potential perpetrator can't perpetrate! Comments here are unnecessary..."
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