As feed costs continue to rise, and the bottom line of livestock sales couldn’t get any lower, there is hope looming in the balance today. I read (The Associated Press) that in as little as a month, the use of slaughterhouses could become functional again.
That’s right. The five year ban has been lifted! This ban has taken hold of the livestock industry in a big way, and with the re-implementation of slaughterhouses, the livestock industry should start to see some economic recovery. I don’t believe it will be overnight success, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.
Looking at just the facts, I can say, they are astounding. Though there were four key (anti-slaughter) arguments for the closure of the slaughterhouses, overall they fell short on correcting what they thought was the problem. Just incase everyone has forgotten what the arguments were for this closure, here they are;
1. Unites States should not participate in such cruel, inhumane practices.
2. United States should not provide horse meat to satisfy other countries’ needs when Americans do not eat horse meat.
3. Horse owners will be responsible and take care of their horses.
4. Horse owners have other methods to deal with unwanted horses, such as; euthanasia, burial, sell the horse, or send to a rescue facility.
I can’t help but wonder, how can laws be put in place that were based on emotion? The mere facts alone are overwhelming and speak in volumes, that this may not have been the best decision for all concerned. Yet, it took them five years to figure this one out.
Since the last slaughterhouse closed, neglect and abandonment of horses has been on the rise. There are many rescue facilities that have been/are bulging at the seems to stay afloat and take in every horse they can. But even at that, there is only so much room, so many volunteers, and so much money to go around. And no federal backing has been forthcoming to ensure the care and welfare of these horses at these facilities either. The decision was made, then, they turned their backs and said the economy will fix itself. Well quite the fix we’re in, aren’t we! All those that are in/or closely linked to the horse industry know how it is. It takes a lot of commitment (and money) to take care of the health and welfare of a horse (and that’s just one, imagine several).
The very animals they were trying to help, they ended up putting in greater danger. Placing them in a prime position for starvation and abandonment. Though I’m sure this was not their intent, this was predicted to happen two years prior to the ban being in place. (no one wanted to hear the reality of that though).
Ok, I have to say I’m passionate about many things, and I’m sure you can tell this is most likely one of them. From an economical standpoint, slaughterhouses do effect the bottom line of every person associated to the livestock industry. (ie. Hay producers, feed mills, tack shops, horse prices, and sale barns) The plants are a necessity to the economic stability of the livestock industry.
Since the ban was implemented, horses are kept longer by their owners, until they are so poor, the rescue facilities are having to invest more time AND money to ensure the health of the animal. Sure, there are other means to deal with unwanted horses, but no one seemed to take into account the environmental or economical impact this would have. Ok WE did, but I’m talking the activists and law makers. How’s that emotional decision working out for us financially?
Though the ban removal will have a potentially good impact on the industry, there are still problems with the lift. With the signing of the bill presented by Congress to President Obama, and becoming law on November 18th, there is no funding available for horse meat inspections. That expense will have to come from the United States Department of Agricultures’ already stressed budget. And, to further exacerbate the situation, Congress and the White House, are planning on making more budget cuts, attempting to cut down federal spending.
But recovery is eminent and many are hopeful of the lifting of this ban. So moving forward….
Pro-slaughter activists say they are scrambling to get a plant going — possibly in Wyoming, North Dakota, Nebraska or Missouri. They estimate a slaughterhouse could open in 30 to 90 days with state approval and eventually as many as 200,000 horses a year could be slaughtered for human consumption. Most of the meat would be shipped to countries in Europe and Asia, including France and Japan.
For the full story go here ~ Bottom Line – Horse meat may be back on the menu
Legal mumbo jumbo:
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