April 23, 2003, 7:01PM
Houston Chronicle Opinions

Row over slaughter of horses

Bill disgraces our love

In the Chronicle's April article, "House enters horse meat debate," about House Bill 1324, which amends Texas law to make horse slaughter legal in Texas, it was mentioned that horse tissue was used for human open-heart surgeries. Unfortunately, it was not mentioned that pig tissue is also available for that use.

Slaughterhouses are still operating and processing horse meat under many false premises. Those who defend these operations say that zoo cats need horse meat, when, in truth, zoos can feed any meat to their animals.

The biggest and main business of the Texas slaughterhouses is the export of meat for human consumption. The fact is that the law in Texas was established to protect horses after World War II. It is still meant to protect Texas horses.

Passing this bill will make transport of horses for slaughter legal, and would require Texas auction houses to have sellers sign a form of acknowledgment. The buyers supply horses from auctions all over the United States.

The Texas Cattle Raisers Association will only check brands that are registered with them. Stolen horses from other states or those not registered with them will still be slaughtered.

HB 1324 has many faults: Making horse slaughter legal will not only be a disgrace to our love of horses, but also a failure of Texas law.

Patricia Sanderlin, Houston