The Illinois Leader

Two letters in support of horse slaughter ban

Thursday, April 22, 2004
Americans won't be grilling horsemeat this summer

I am writing in response to a letter written by David Snider [ " Both sides of horse slaughter ban," April 16]. Something I noticed about his comments are that they sound similar to comments made by members of the Horsemen's Council of Illinois.

Mr. Snider states that people who object to the slaughter of horses for meat "do not understand the economics of disposing of aged, injured, [or] bad tempered horses." What Mr. Snider does not seem to understand is that these are not the kind of horses the slaughterhouse wants.

Slaughterhouse buyers are instructed to buy young, healthy and easy to manage horses. Old, injured and bad tempered horses are not economically viable in the slaughter business since aged horses will not yield quality meat. Injured horses may go down in the trailer and be trampled to death. And bad tempered horses will strike out at the other horses and bruise the meat (which is then condemned).

Mr. Snider states that the slaughter option is a "safety valve" and that without it horse neglect and abuse will skyrocket out of control. This didn't happen in California, where we've had a ban on horse slaughter since 1998. According to a statement by Dr. Carolyn Stull of UC Davis in Horse Illustrated (July 2002 issue), horse abuse and neglect has gone down since the horsemeat ban was enacted.

One other statement of note, California rendering plants and landfills have been able to easily handle the number of horses which die of natural causes or are humanely euthanized in our state.

Finally, Mr. Snider doesn't seem to understand that, to most Americans, it is not culturally acceptable to eat horsemeat. I am among many willing to spend the $200 or so to have my horses euthanized and sent to the renderers.

Like the spurious statements made by the Illinois Horsemen's Council, Mr. Snider's comments simply don't add up. Instead of answering to any challenges (and there have been many in this publication), they just keep repeating the same tiresome stuff over and over again.

Duane L. Burright, Jr.
Malibu, CA


Greed at the core of horse slaughter issue

The horse slaughter controversy in Illinois is not about what is right or about the control of unwanted old and sick horses. It is about greed; the greed of the Belgian company Velda, who owns Cavel, and Luc Van Damme, the owner in America.

Because the Belgians find no wrong in horse slaughter for human consumption they come to America to exploit Americans. Americans who don't realize what happens to a horse at their slaughter plant.

Cavel has their "killer buyers" roam the US and buy every horse they can to haul to their house of death. The truth is greed, pure and simple.

Patricia Bewley
Phoenix, AZ