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Is the US being overrun by unwanted horses?

December 31, 2010

Americans could be forgiven for believing that the US was being overrun by millions of unwanted horses, the Equine Welfare Alliance says.

"Every sound bite and every article warns of unwanted horses," the advocacy group said this week in a comment piece that suggested journalists needed to be more careful in assessing pro-slaughter arguments.

"Another favorite is to start articles with, 'since Congress banned horse slaughter' or 'because of the slaughter ban'.

"When the unwanted horses are combined with the ban on horse slaughter, it provides a powerful statement in favour of horse slaughter. That is, until you look at the facts."

The alliance says a quick look at the statistics of US horses slaughtered in Mexico and Canada quickly quash the "mythical ban".

"American horses are still filling slaughter houses, just not in the US.

"Many that call themselves journalists happily repeat the statements over and over.

"Perhaps it is the lack of staff and being overworked but the days of actually investigating information before going to print, for many of these journalists, are long gone."

Proponents of horse slaughter never mention the drugs present in US horses that make them ineligible for human consumption, the alliance noted.

"Equine welfare advocates do not deny a rise in neglect but it is not unique to horses. It is prevalent in cats, dogs, livestock and to an extent, humans.

"It is increasing in countries such as Canada and the UK, further proving that there is no correlation to the availability of slaughter.

"The economy has taken a toll and instead of using a little common sense and a bit of research, the slaughter supporters follow and support the baseless claims like lemmings.

"As the 'unwanted' horses are being slaughtered this year, one would think, the 'problem' would correct itself but alas, as we write this, the crop of unwanted horses for next year are being prepped by the breeders that produce them, year after year.

"We are asked to believe that there is no relationship between kill buyers buying horses and breeders breeding more.

Next time you read about how the mythical ban on horse slaughter is resulting in 'unwanted' horses and an increase in neglect, ask the author to give you the data sources that back the statement. Chances are you will never receive a response ..."

The full Equine Welfare Alliance comment piece can be read here.



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