What the heck is your point PH? Yes horses were being transported out of the US and slaughtered in Canada or Mexico before the US houses shut down (was it thousands? Hundreds? Regardless, horses brought over the canadian border for slaughter are included in the totals I provided
), but the point is that after the shut down, TENS OF THOUSANDS MORE
were and are being shipped across the borders for slaughter! Horses that could be staying in
the US to at least be slaughtered without enduring the stress of extremely lengthy transport.
are you worried that your minis could go to slaughter? Are they not trained? Not in good condition? Not well behaved? Do you not have a plan for them should something happen to you or your financial stability? If you had to sell are you not willing to do your due diligence to find the best possible home instead of taking them to an auction and hoping for the best?
Faye need not worry about her horse's odds of ending up in slaughter not just because he is a quality animal, but because she puts in the effort required to make him marketable. A trained, well behaved horse in good condition commands a higher value, and thus is more likely to stay off the meat wagon. On top of that, if you put the effort and research into finding a good quality home, the odds are greater that it will *actually* be a good quality home.
That being said, there is always the risk of things going bad. That is a risk you take when you sell a horse - if you don't want to take it, then you don't sell it. Eliminating slaughter has done nothing to eliminate that risk! There is still the chance (how small that chance is is up to you!) that the horse will be starved, neglected, abused...slaughter is only ONE possibility of the things that could happen.
My position has nothing to do with what kind of horses go to slaughter - all kinds go, young or old, healthy or sick, big or small, doesn't matter. The people who owned them
often are the consistent factor - even a high dollar show horse with a bright future can end up heading for slaughter if their owner didn't care enough to market them better.
Slaughter is not an unfortunate necessity because of low value horses but because of low value people
. It's easy to ban the outlet, but it's a bandaid and horses have been no better off - it's the horse owners themselves who have to change, and many just won't
. You cannot restrict the heck out of horse ownership to avoid these types of owners unless you make extremely difficult for the responsible ones as well. Why should we have to pay for the actions of less responsible people? Heck, this problem hasn't even been solved with people and their own CHILDREN. Human rights go both ways - this is unfortunately one of them. Look at the breeding board on here - so many divided debates when someone's mare isn't considered breeding worthy. The health care board, the training board, even on HoFo we cannot agree on what responsible horsemanship is. That is a fact of life, and for the most part it leads to the benefits of diversity, but there is the occasion where someone's definition of responsible ownership is providing the bare minimum of care and training for their horses and then taking them to auction when the time comes to sell - you can't stop them from doing that without affecting everyone.
Herdbound, I'll do a dance the day I see low cost euth and removal clinics around here. The fact of the matter is it is only marginally more affordable for the vet to do it - removal is extremely expensive here now that the rendering plant is gone. It's easier for dogs and cats, but horses are just too damn big. You are right though, in that the expectations for quality meat is forever increasing, but it is a complex issue. Just like other meat animals, there are ways of testing, feedlots for the animal to wait out the needed withdrawl time, as well as research being done on which medications are safe and which aren't, in what amounts, etc. Even with restrictions, there will be new developments that will allow the horses to move through the system just like our drug riddled cattle.
With the current economic mess, Horse meat exports have declined - it isn't a needed commodity like wheat, and people tend to spend more on things they need rather than luxury items during difficult economic times. There are also producers in Europe who are trying to direct buyers towards domestic horsemeat rather than what is imported from North America. If demand for horse meat dies out, then horse slaughter will die out with it. However then what? Will all horses experience a life of comfort and happiness? I personally doubt it, more likely that those 130,000 unwanted horses will still be unwanted, and as I said, a different outlet would be found.