Well that's exactly the problem isn't it? We're just not willing to go to those lengths for our animals.
And it's not my responsibility to come up with a "solution" because I never said that horse slaughter should be illegal. Just that I will not be contributing to it. I'm not obligated to eat horse meat just because there are unwanted horses out there.
No, that's not the problem. It's not about what lengths we are willing to go "for our animals". "We" are not willing to do that for "everyone else's" horse(s). And why should we (would you?) It's not necessary to lead a horse in by hand to be killed. It doesn't make them die any better. It's certainly not any more humane just because the horse is being lead. It might give someone a "warm fuzzy" because it "looks" nicer, but the reality is that it doesn't make a difference. If I walk a creature to the place it will die, give it a pat on the head, step back and it's killed that is no different than if the next creature rides in on a conveyor belt to the same point and is killed without the pat on the head. Neither one is any more or any less humane. It's been said to death. It's not the killing that's inhumane. It's the system that has to be used for hauling and holding, because there are so few processing centers (not sure if any have opened up recently, but for awhile it's seemed that they are all being shipped to Mexico or Canada). You can get a pig or cow processed within a couple hundred miles or less in most places (at least in the deep South), but horses have to hauled, held, hauled and held before they can reach their final destination, because the majority of people in the US are so hung up on animals being pets that they only care about not slaughtering them, even if it has to result in an even less humane situation for the animals (at least we didn't slaughter them so they could starve or die in some other more prolonged and unpleasant way).
Even the anti slaughter groups biggest point (which is not invalid) is the cruelty of getting the horses to the processing facility. They ignore that by shutting down and making it impossible to have more processing facilities they are contributing to the problem. Even the AVMA (the Vet equivalent to the AMA) realizes the problem and supports having more facilities in the US.
In the words of my CO (and my father too for that matter). "Don't want to hear about problems. Give me solutions".
So I DO have a solution for all the people who want to save all equines in the US from slaughter and all the people who want them to live humanely.
1. Proved me roughly 4 million (4,000,000) contiguous acres of acceptable rural land in the area of the deep South with a subtropical climate (most cost effective and healthy when you can graze almost all year) suitable for raising horses.
2. Provide me with a 501C3 status.
3. Grant me a waiver to provide the meat of horses when they die for use in feeding carnivores and meat eating animals.
4. Provide gov't funds to cover inspections, vet expenses, locating and transporting horses that need to be sent to this rescue facility, a sufficient number of wranglers, etc... (basically create a LOT of civil service jobs for the man power and activities required to operate a facility of this magnitude successfully and humanely).
5. Provide $50 billion ($50,000,000,000.00) in "seed" money to cover the cost of fencing, buildings, equipment, a needed medical facility, etc, etc, etc.... to include housing for the people who work this facility since they'll need to be living at various locations spread out over this massive area in order to do the job.
It will be monumental, but it will allow for all horses to avoid slaughter by being sent here to live out their life and die of natural (or at least relatively natural - e.g. colic- causes.
There's the solution to the problem and even the AVMA will likely support it from the humane position.
Now give the price tag to the American public, especially their political representation and see how far it gets. The 50 billion won't even be the biggest problem. It's the cost of all those new public sector jobs and the expenses of operating it. Granted the sale of the meat from the horse that eventually die will provide a small amount of income (and every little bit helps) but the vast majority will be bourn by the US taxpayer and you find that their love for the beautiful "pet" horses will disappear faster than an August snow fall in Miami. It's easy for people to say they want to don't want something when they don't see the whole picture and it doesn't directly impact them. But show them the whole situation and let them have to pay for the solution and it becomes a different matter.