Horse Slaughter

January 30, 2008

January 30, 2008

When I was Secretary of AgricuIture, the European Union delisted all of our meat packing plants, claiming that they needed to reinspect and recertify them.The real truth wasn't that our plants were in any way inferior totheirs. No! They just had too much meat in Europe and didn't want ours. After about 2 years, they certified 9 of our plants. They were all horsemeat plants. The French just couldn't get enough horsemeat. So -- we resumed shipping horsemeat to Europe.

But, that was 20 years ago. Now -- thanks to our animal rights people, our 3 remaining horsemeat slaughterhouses have been shut down. Animal rights advocates pushed the courts in Illinois and Texas to close them down. Now, they can crow about a big victory, but it is not good for the horses and not fair to the owners.

What do you do with a lame, aged, unwanted horse? What do you do with a young, wild unbroken horse? The cost of feed has doubled. Most horse owners are not the richest in the world. Perhaps they can locate a buyer who will ship the horse to Canada or Mexico for slaughter. With that long distance shipment, the value of your horse may be cut in half. If your horse is too skinny, it may not be of any value at all. Just take it out on the back 40. Shoot it and bury it with the end loader. Themeatier horses will make the strenuous, grueling transit over hundreds of miles to Mexico where the slaughterhouses there are not regulated like ours.

Another option is to just turn your unwanted horse out on the roads or on public land. That's what some owners are doing.

The unintended consequences brought on by the animal rights people result in suffering of the horses and deprives the owners of their rights. I grew up riding horses, and the cruel injustice here is something I never could have imagined.

Until next week, I am John Block from Washington.