Horse slaughter isn't a necessity

Horse slaughter isn’t a necessity — it’s a cruel practice perpetuated by a dark, predatory industry that is motivated by greed, not compassion (“Horse slaughter: A humane necessity,” Sept. 26, Jeff Klinzman). Whether it occurs in the U.S. or across the border, horse slaughter is a horrific nightmare fraught with pain and terror. Before domestic plants closed in 2007, horses endured long distance transport and the USDA documented horses suffering gruesome injuries in appalling conditions.

It is a disservice to horses to claim that their only options are to face an inhumane death at slaughter or slowly starve. Domestic horse slaughter has never been, and will never be, a solution to abuse, neglect or overpopulation. There are far better options for horse owners struggling to properly care for their animals, including selling, leasing or donating their horse to another owner, therapy program or mounted police unit.

The horse slaughter industry doesn’t “euthanize” old horses, but precisely the opposite: kill buyers gather up young and healthy horses who bring the best price per pound, and ship them across the border to slaughter. Horse slaughter only encourages over breeding and neglect and more than 100,000 horses are sentenced to die every year in slaughterhouses.

Horses are loyal, noble creatures who deserve more dignity than to be brutally slaughtered, and 80 percent of Americans agree this practice should be banned. Urge your U.S. senators and representative to co-sponsor the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, and help put an end to this unnecessary practice.

Carol Griglione

Iowa state director

The Humane Society of the United States

Des Moines


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