Long-haul trucks ferried 102,554 horses to slaughter houses in Mexico last year and 39,523 horses to facilities in Canada.
So states a sidebar to an article entitled, “More horses being shipped to Mexico, Canada for slaughter” written by Stewart M. Powell for Hearst Newspapers.
Not sure what to make of the thinking behind this quote:
“Longtime Eagle Pass entrepreneur Raul Benavides ships 200 horses a week, collected from auctions across Texas and elsewhere, to grimy slaughterhouses in Mexico in a lucrative, controversial enterprise that he calls ‘a necessary evil.’
“As a sideline, Benavides breeds quarter horses. When his most-loved animals grow old and frail, he euthanizes them, buries them on his own ground and marks their graves, rather than dispatching them to Mexico with anonymous horses bought for slaughter. ‘I’m not in favor of seeing horses suffer,’ Benavides explains.”
A necessary evil? Evil yes, but hardly necessary.
Texas has a lot of answer for. The Lone Star State if full of horse slaughter supporters who continue to make money off the suffering and death of hundreds of thousands of horses a year.
The article points out:
“Texas, which has banned the sale of horsemeat for human consumption since 1949, has played a central role in shifting the industry from domestic slaughter houses to Mexico.
“According to the state Department of Agriculture, Texas horse auctions have transferred the ownership of almost 263,000 horses since 2007, including an unknown number of horses to ‘kill buyers’ who immediately load their purchases onto long-haul trailers for shipment to Mexico to be processed into horsemeat for foreign appetites.
“And Texas’ border crossings to Mexico have handled 400,267 slaughter-bound horses during that same period, including horses auctioned in Texas and elsewhere.”
To give you an idea what the so-called regulations in place for these slaughter-bound horses are, we are told this:
“Regulations require slaughter-bound horses to be at least six months old, able to stand on four legs and walk onto a one-deck shipping trailer, able to see from at least one eye and able to withstand up to 28 hours en route without food or water. South-bound animals are inspected by Mexican veterinarians working at border collection pens.”
Horse slaughter serves only owners who are callous and irresponsible. Horse care is an expensive proposition. If you can afford to “own” a horse then you are capable of planning and paying for end of life expenses.
Horse cruelty and abandonment occurs with or without horse slaughter, although reports over the years show that these types of crimes actually decrease when it is banned.
Horse slaughter and the export of horsemeat is a highly lucrative business. Many point out that this is why horse slaughter exists. But that is not the only reason – the real reason – this despicable business thrives. Like any business, it is driven by the consumer. If no one wanted to eat horsemeat, horse slaughter would cease to exist. And so would all its related horrors.