While Congress Implodes, Horses Die

Putting some money where my big mouth is, my friends and I saved a horse from slaughter yesterday but a record number of horses were not so lucky. According to the Humane Society of the United States, a record number of horses are being slaughtered in America in advance of the passage of a law that would ban slaughter for human consumption overseas.

The Humane Society reports: "In a rush to kill as many horses as possible before a ban is imposed, the foreign-owned horse slaughter industry in the United States has reached new decade-highs for the number of horses butchered in a single week - 2,463 during the week ending Sept. 16, the latest week available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and just a week after the U.S. House of Representatives voted to outlaw horse slaughter for human consumption. According to the USDA, 9,163 horses were slaughtered in the four weeks ending mid-September, which included one week with a holiday. This ends the deadliest four-week period - a 79 percent increase over the 10-year average rate of 5,112 -- for horses in the United States since November 1994."

It gets worse. Despite rules that are designed to protect horses during transport, reports the Humane Society, "a cattle truck loaded with 41 horses and one mule overturned September 27 in Missouri en route to the Belgian-owned DeKalb, Ill. slaughterhouse. Seven horses died when crushed by others and nine others were so grievously injured that vets had to euthanize them at the site. Twenty-six survived with serious lacerations, head trauma, and internal injuries."

The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act now is before the Senate after passing in the House last month. If a post-election, lame-duck Senate wants to actually achieve something before it fades into infamy, it will pass this measure and stop the slaughter of horses for overseas consumption. As for our new adoptee, whose name is Hawaiian Boss, we are now going to fix him up a bit, train him to be a riding horse, and then adopt him out to a family that will appreciate and enjoy him for years to come. One person, or more precisely a group of people, truly can make a difference.

By Andrew Cohen |  October 10, 2006; 9:00 AM ET
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This story makes me sick to my stomach that there are civilized people on this planet that can actually dine on the most noble creature on earth!
Almost as sick as the way we protect the right for doctors to surgically kill babies in the womb!!!!!!!!!!!!
Talk about moral confusion!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: j simpson | October 10, 2006 03:33 PM

It i a shame that the horses are being destroyed. However, ther is a problem in the west with the wild horses which are destroying the environment and have an exploding population because they have no natural enemies to keep their population in control. If someone can come up with a solution to this problem, then perhaps there would be no need to destroy these animals that are destroying the lands and the animals that are trying to survive in this same territory.

Posted by: bpins | October 10, 2006 04:15 PM

This, as somebody called it, most noble creature on earth is a thing. It may be a friend etc, but it is for shure not the most noble creature on earth. Or was it humor? Smileys dont come through.

Posted by: Fisch, BN, Germany | October 10, 2006 04:34 PM

"In a rush to kill as many horses as possible before a ban is imposed..." That may be the most pathetic thing that I have heard in a while... people out there are racing to kill horses before it becomes illegal. I have a feeling that these kinds of people would rather move on to the next animal that do not have restrictions on them.

As for that guy who was going so fast to beat the deadline... (sorry for the pun) Who hired this guy? De Kalb? A truck company? A freelancer? Who ever paid for this guy... I hope the bill on the disaster was large. Real large.

Posted by: Oh, to have a Blog | October 10, 2006 07:55 PM

Wait a minute. Andrew, weren't you the one talking about how horses are pets and therefore should be saved? Clearly, all these people who own horses and are selling them to slaughterhouses do not regard them as pets. It's not as if these horses are being taken away against the will of their owners.

I also can't believe the tone of moral superiority you take on this issue, as if the 11th Commandment was "Thou shalt not eat horses". I mean, certainly you can see how people can disagree with you on which animals are appropriate to eat, can't you? Moreover, supposing that horses could be transported and slaughtered in a humane way, can't you see how other people could disagree with you on the importance (or unimportance) of this subject?

Posted by: Huh? | October 11, 2006 05:11 PM

I am imagining a stew, with pearl onions, carrots, mushrooms and some delicious (I presume) horse meat (it's interesting that we have mulitiple terms for beef and pork, but no euphemism for horse meat. Must be due to the long English taboo. But in a feast celebrating Odin, bring on the horse! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horse_meat) I'm thinking, in a nod to the French, of seasoning it with chervil http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chervil, but I also think garlic and potatoes would be good. Unfortunately, my grocery stocks no horse.

Posted by: Dave | October 11, 2006 07:49 PM

Simpson, I bet you are disgusted that we kill cows to eat or hogs or chickens. You're probably even more disgusted that we would actually pull an ear of corn and eat it.

Posted by: Loyd | October 14, 2006 09:20 PM

Mein Gott! The horse meat consumption tide must surely be turning. Along with the formidable Andrew Cohen who opposes eating the horse, we now have Bo Derik, Christie Brinkley and Willie Nelson riding rough shod on human horse consumption. As the French would say, the combined acumen represetnted here est tremendous tre!

Posted by: Dave, again | October 15, 2006 07:54 AM

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