Here we go again.
Horse slaughter is dead. Long live horse slaughter.
These ridiculous ideas keep getting published over and over.
Do reporters do anything other than report opinions? How about some fact checking or simple reasoning? Oh, right. It’s the editors; you don’t have the time.
In this case it is how banning horse slaughter is hurting people’s business. Again. I suppose we will have to post this information ad nauseum until people figure it out.
HARVEY, N.D. — Kent Opdahl is waiting for the rebound in the horse market, but he isn’t holding his breath.
Opdahl’s life in the world of horses was turned upside down when Congress in late 2006 passed legislation that ended federal inspection of horse slaughter facilities, and horse slaughter in general in 2007. In 2011, Congress reinstated funding for the inspection, but bureaucratic obstacles and political opposition have prevented plants from opening.
Five years ago, Opdahl had 120 horses and a growing business. He made a good part of his family’s living from the sale of quarter horse foals. After the de facto ban, he’s seen his numbers drop and their value decline precipitously. He’s turned his prime focus from horses to truck gardening, and has doubts that the industry will ever return to the way it was.
The slaughter of U.S. horses is not dead. It simply moved across U.S. borders to Canada and Mexico. Therefore the absence of horse slaughter is not affecting business, because it is not . . . absent.
Reports say 140,000 to 150,000 U.S. horses are slaughtered for human consumption every year. That’s the same, possibly even higher, than when horse slaughter was operating on U.S. soil.
These numbers are arrived at by government agencies. Who knows how accurate they are. For argument’s sake, let’s say they are very close.
These numbers do not include the horses who arrive dead at the slaughter plant for instance, are not slaughtered and therefore plant management do not record them in their books. They likely skin them and tan their hides. Most horse slaughter plants have a tannery in operation somewhere nearby.
These numbers do not include horses smuggled across the border. The number of horses slaughtered from this source we are told by a previous horse slaughter plant worker do not get counted, for obvious reasons.
All of this harping and moaning that the U.S. needs to bring horse slaughter back, that horses are being abandoned and neglected; individuals do not have a place to dump their horses when they have used them up and make extra needed bucks; the price of horses has plummeted and they are having a hard time selling them; we have some answers for you.
Before we get to those, here’s a quick, little reminder. The slaughter of U.S. horses has not stopped; it just moved.
Now, try these on for size.
Poor economy; drought; wildfires; hay shortage; hay prices — feel free to join in any time — overbreeding; irresponsible ownership; bad planning; bad business practices.