San Antonio Express-News, June 19, 2003
Letters to the Editor

This slaughter different

Re: the June 6 letter "Horses unwanted, too":

Euthanasia of unwanted dogs and cats in San Antonio cannot logically be compared to horse slaughter for human consumption.

First, a female dog or cat can produce 20 or more babies per year. Generally, horse owners plan their breeding programs. Gestation lasts 11 to 12 months, and a single foal is the norm.

Second, there is the money. Selling a horse at auction is the equivalent of trading in an old car on a new one. No one abandons his trade-in on the street. Abandoning pets or dropping them off at shelters cannot be compared to selling a horse at auction.

Owners consigning horses for sale may not realize that slaughterhouse buyers may be among the bidders.

Horse slaughter for human consumption is a high-dollar industry that harvests young, prime horses and rejects the old, lame or sick, since foreign markets demand tender young meat. Texas slaughterhouses exported the meat of 42,000 horses in 2002.

Jean McLane