LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2003
Help prevent horse slaughter
THE DECATUR DAILY:
Humane horse slaughter does not exist. The horse slaughter industry has deceived the American people. This is the same industry that has two Texas plants, both foreign-owned. A Belgian company owns Beltex in Fort Worth, and a French company owns Dallas Crown. Both plants slaughter American horses for "gourmet" meat that is then shipped to France, Belgium, Italy and Japan.
The transportation of horses to slaughterhouses is extremely inhumane. Horses are transported in crowded, double-deck trucks that prevent them from standing upright. Some are shipped for days at a time without food, water or rest. Many horses are severely injured or die even before arriving at the plant.
Since American horses are not raised for human consumption, slaughterhouses and their "killer buyers" acquire horses from a number of sources. These included horses that have been stolen, purchased under false pretenses, federally protected wild horses and Premarin foals.
The slaughter method is inhumane. Current methods used do not comply with the 2000 Report of the American Veterinary Association Panel on Euthanasia, and horses may endure repeated stuns or blows, and may remain conscious while being dismembered.
Horsemeat has no export tariff. French and Belgian-owned companies control the product. The United States gets nothing from the export of horsemeat. Why then, we need to ask, does anyone in Congress support an industry that makes no money for our government?
The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act HR 857 will ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption, as well as the trade and transport of horsemeat and live horses for human consumption.
I urge you to ask your senators and representatives to support and cosponsor HR 857.