We really need horse slaughter to be legal in this country again. *Sigh* We wouldn't have half the problems we have now if we had slaughter.
Slaughter for personal consumption has never been illegal in the U.S., Icy. It's only the sale
of horse meat for human consumption that has been banned. Except in CA, where it's illegal to slaughter a horse at all.
I don't think neglect and abuse will stop regardless of whether or not the plants reopen, for the simple fact that some people neglect/abuse out of ignorance, while others do it because they're twisted and evil.
I've always thought the closing of the plants here in the U.S. was a bad thing. If they're reopened, at least the animals wouldn't be subject to those long trailer rides, plus they'd be under U.S. laws and regulations where we could keep an eye on them.
It's no more 'wrong' or 'bad' to eat horse than it is to eat cow, pig, chicken, lamb, etc. It's merely a cultural thing in the U.S.
In the last 60 years we've been conditioned to think of horses as pets, not as food animals. To other cultures, they're seen as food. Neither outlook is wrong, unless it's forcibly imposed on others.