Pro Processing

The gross misunderstanding of the unwanted horse issue and humane treatment of horses has caused many horse processing plants to be closed in the past. During the ban of processing, horses were turned out into neighbor’s yards in the middle of the night, taken out back and shot, or loaded up into double decker trailers where they were viscously slaughtered. Recently, the heated topic of whether or not these plants should be closed again has been brought up a multitude of times. The consequences to closing these processing plants include unwanted and abandoned horse rates increasing, losing $220 million per year, and the inhumane killing of horses.herd

Many people can no longer afford to own a horse because of the high expenses. When horse processing plants opened, the value of the horse greatly declined, therefore many horses were bought by owners who did not realize the price for taking care of them had not reduced. As a result, thousands of unwanted horses would be turned loose on highways or in a random pasture left to get hit by a car or to starve.  Also when horse processing plants closed, horses had to endure harsh conditions in double decker trailers where they were transported across the border, particularly Mexico and Canada. In Mexico horses are stabbed at random and left to die until they bleed to death (click here to read/watch horribly sad description of slaughter in Mexico). What most animal rights activists do not realize is how what they had previously achieved was extremely counter productive. Below is a bar graph showing that the numbers of horses slaughtered in Mexico and Canada have greatly increased which is where they are inhumanely slaughtered.

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Banning horse processing will greatly hurt our economy. “A conservative estimate of the total cost of caring for unwanted horses (by animal shelters), based upon 2005 statistics, is $220 million” . In addition to losing 220 million dollars the United States would be losing 26 million, which we earned from selling the meat, and also taxes could be raised in attempt to help keep animal shelters open.Alison LaCarrubba, a veterinarian who heads the equine ambulatory section at the University of Missouri in Columbia, said that the unwanted horse population has risen as the cost of purchasing a horse has dropped, but the cost of keeping a horse has stayed the same”. Banning horse processing has decreased the horse’s value, but it takes up to $15,000 a year to manage a horse and this figure does not include veterinary fees.untitledAlso horses are a livestock animal (U.S. Congress, 2002). Society today expects horses to be treated like a dog or a cat; however, horses are large in body size and are transported, fed, housed, and handled like all other livestock. Therefore, horses, just like cattle, should be able to be humanely euthanized to be processed.
A horse processing plant has many guidelines to follow. They make sure that every horse is used to their fullest potential; a perfectly healthy horse would never be sent to a processing plant. From an owner stand point, we all want to see our horses die without pain and suffering. “The American Veterinary Medical Association reports two accepted methods of euthanasia for horses: an overdose of a barbiturate anesthesia, most commonly sodium pentobarbital, administered with a sedative or a physical method of euthanasia from a gunshot or penetrating captive bolt causing trauma to the cerebral hemisphere and brainstem resulting in an immediate painless and humane death”. Unfortunately, horses end up at processing plants for very distinct reasons. They are either in extreme pain, or sick, or starving, or they can be neglected or insanely wild. By keeping horse processing legal the amount of unwanted horses would continue to decrease, the United States would not only save but make money, and horses could be humanely euthanized.

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