Friday, January 11, 2008

End of slaughterhouses in U.S. sends horses to abbatoirs in Canada and Mexico instead

The last horse slaughterhouses in the United States closed in 2007, when state laws and court decisions in Illinois and Texas closed the last three. Now, unwanted animals are auctioned off in the States, only to be sent over the border to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico — just one of the "unintended consequences" of the closings, writes Caitrin Einhorn of The New York Times.

"The slaughterhouse closings themselves may have added to the population of the unwanted," Einhorn writes, after describing the "kill pen" (above in a Times photo by Sally Ryan), the area of an Indiana auction site with horses destined for slaughter somewhere else. "In some parts of the country, auctioneers say, the closings have contributed to a drop in the price of horses at the low end of the market, and the added distance in the shipping of horses bound for slaughter, combined with higher fuel costs, means that some small or thin horses are no longer worth the fuel it takes to transport them."

A chief concern for animal rights activists is the treatment of horses at slaughterhouses in Mexico, where they say workers use inhumane methods to kill the horses. As a result, some groups are pressing Congress to ban the transportation of horses for human consumption and thus end the exporting. Still, the issue divides the horse industry, and the American Horse Council, the national lobbying group, calls itself neutral on horse slaughter. (Read more)

The number of U.S. horse exports to Mexico jumped 312 percent in 2007 from the 2006 level, report Tom Steever and Dave Russell of the Brownfield Network. As of Dec. 20, 2007, 44,375 horses had been shipped to Mexico for human consumption, compared to 10,783 over the same period in 2006. (Read more) For Monday's item on a similar story from The Wall Street Journal, click here.

3 comments:

vicki said...

Then when not support passage of S 311 that will stop the transports?

Anonymous said...

because they (being the government) do not wish to waste anymore money on what they look upon as a seemingly useless action...

vicki said...

anon, the majority in government already support the legislation. The list of cosponsors is growing and a huge majority that aren’t have committed to voting yes for the bill. I was referring to the pro folks that keep throwing the transports in everyone's face. They didn't seem to mind them when the kill houses were open but now they have a problem with it. That's an easy fix. Support S 311 and the transports will stop.