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.
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