The TTT above stands for Tough Topic Thursday. While I will probably not be able to write one of these every week, I will address topics as I come across them. You are more than welcome to email me topic suggestions.
This week, I am going to be addressing my stance on horse slaughter in the US. Please note what I just said, IN THE US. This is not my opinion on slaughter as a whole. I think all horse lovers will tell you that they are vehemently against slaughter, and I am certainly one of those people. HOWEVER, I support horse slaughter within the US, and here's why.
We would be able to regulate how the horses are put down. As of right now, out of the 100,000 horses that enter the slaughter pipeline each year, a small amount of those horses go to Canada, where they have regulations on how horses are put down. The rest, go to Mexico. In Mexico, while bolt guns are occasionally used, most slaughterhouses use a knife to sever the spine, resulting in paralysis but not death. Those horses are then allowed to bleed out while still very much alive. It is considered a mark of honor and strength to be able to paralyze a horse with one blow from the knife in Mexico, but often it takes many more.
We could set up economic rewards for slaughter alternatives. This would include setting a maximum price slaughter houses can pay per horse (to limit economical gain from selling to a slaughterhouse). It could also include banning slaughter buyers from auction, and setting up a program by which owners receive a small guaranteed payment for selling their horses through certified non-slaughter auction houses, or even for bringing them to approved adoption facilities.
We can regulate the living conditions by which the horses are transported. Right now, horses bound for Mexico are packed in mass cattle trailers, nowhere near tall enough for an average horse. Horses become injured, give birth, become diseased and die in these tight conditions for hours at a time without food or water.
I recognize that this plan has flaws, and would likely cost quite a bit of money to put into place. I also recognize that there also has to be reform on the breeding and overpopulation end of the problem if we ever wish to eradicate slaughter entirely. However, right now the fact is that horses ARE being sold to slaughter, whether it is illegal in the US or not, whether we like it or not. I would prefer to have control over how those horses' lives end than ship them off to somewhere that I know it will be horrible.
Thank you for reading. I'm more than happy to have a discussion on the topic on my Instagram (@dappled_grey) or here in the comments section. Any hateful or explicit comments will simply be deleted.