Most of the people opposed to horse slaughter weren’t around in the 1930s, 1940s and early 1950s when the farm horse population went from 26 million down to 3 million head in 30 years. Most of them went to slaughter — good, young usable horses with nowhere else to go.
But it was not a waste — the meat was needed for many purposes and the hides put plenty of boots on our soldiers. People in those years were not naive about the life cycle of domestic animals.
Some people now seem to think horses headed for slaughter are packed in a trailer and then tortured when they get there. A properly run plant probably takes one to two minutes to dispatch an animal, not as gruesome as some think. Not as bad as an old horse whose body is shutting down from injuries and age. If another solution can be found for a horse, great. But not all will have that option. Disposing of an 800- to 1,600-pound animal is expensive. Horse owners should have an option that pays back for all the money they invested.
The Humane Society should focus on inhumane treatment of animals that still have a function instead of trying to dictate the kind of death they will have. I have had horses all my life. I have put some in the hill pen and I buried some special ones on my farm. It should be up to the owner.
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