Recently there has been a lot of talk in the media about the possibility of horse meat being sold in the food market in the United States. Earlier this week news came out that horse meat was found in beef product in Europe, and people began to panic, wondering if the same could happen in America. The New York Times reported the U.S. Department of Agriculture inspects all meat being brought into the country, and it is currently illegal to sell products containing meat from horses. Currently horses are not slaughtered for meat in the United States, but now the news is reporting a possibility of horse meat being introduced to the food market. Because many people have experienced riding and being around horses, this topic has resulted in a lot of controversy.
I do not support the slaughtering of any animal for food, horses included. It does surprise me that people can see eating a cow as ethical, while eating a horse is inhumane. Though slaughtering cows and horses are both cruel in my eyes, introducing horse meat to the food market in the United States would result in more animals being considered food, thus more animals killed each year. ABC News reports Valley Meat Company, a plant in New Mexico, is in the process of having its application for horse slaughter approved by the USDA. Most people are just now realizing Obama removed the ban for horse slaughter in the United States in 2011, making it so it is likely Valley Meat’s application will go through, and horses will be slaughtered in the country.
In a recent press release The Humane Society of the United States president and CEO Wayne Pacelle said, “Slaughtering horses for human consumption is archaic, inhumane, and unsafe, given the medicine chest of drugs often administered to horses and prohibited for human consumption.” The HSUS claims the drugs administered to hoses makes the meat unsafe to eat, and is a puts people’s health at risk. Even individuals who do not believe horse slaughter is inhumane should be concerned about the risks of the drugs administered to the horses that are in the meat.
If the Valley Meat application is approved, horse slaughter will begin to grow in popularity in the country. Even if many Americans do not purchase the meat, it will be exported to other countries. There is a lot of profit to be made in this new industry. Horses are extremely intelligent and loyal creatures, and the abuse and neglect that will occur in slaughter houses in the United States will be very tragic. Supporting groups such as The Humane Society of the United States will help prevent these slaughterhouses from opening. To get more information, read The HSUS Facts on Horse Slaughter.