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Horse Slaughter Coming Back To US

Courtesy of Denis Doyle, Getty Images.

The first-ever Summit of the Horse is being held in Las Vegas this week for the main purpose of discussing the controversial proposal of bringing back regulated horse slaughter to the United States.The wild horse population in the western U.S.  is out of control.  The number of wild horses exceed the number of acreage available for them to roam.  Dozens of ranchers and horse breeders are attending this summit to argue, of course, against the idea while federal officials have already given their disapproval.

I remember writing a college paper about the topic of horse slaughter for meat in Canada.  If I recall correctly to my research, horse slaughter was not held to the same level of the beef and pork industries.  Horses were being kept in unsanitary conditions in which garbage trucks were bringing in random loads of garbage.  The horses were eating in between plastic  and other random items — not normal feed for livestock.  Horses are a much more active and leaner animal than say cattle.  Therefore, they are harder to bulk up and more expensive to feed.  Hence the term “hayburner”

At the conference yesterday, Bob Abbey, the Director for the Bureau of Land Management said he doesn’t feel a horse meat industry is a practical solution.  His agency has promoted the adoption of wild horses and has even given wild mares birth control to keep the population down.  He also said his agency plans to continued those alternatives.  Hopefully those solutions will start to bring the numbers down.

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