Letter: Slaughter of horses, the ultimate betrayal - East Valley Tribune: Letters To The Editor

Letter: Slaughter of horses, the ultimate betrayal

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Posted: Friday, December 9, 2011 9:00 am

Candidate Barack Obama in 2008 pledged to keep the ban on horse slaughter permanent. In November 2011 he and our lawmakers broke that promise.

Americans are proud of their war horses, rodeo horses, old west horses, racehorses, show horses, carriage horses, and pleasure horses, horses for the disabled and the trusted horse they buy for their grandchild. The bond between horse and owner is strong. Then times change; the horse becomes old, sick, lame or otherwise unwanted. How soon we forget the relationship we had with him. Instead of offering him a humane end to his life of service, we load him up and take him to the slaughterhouse to make a final dollar off of him.

Do you know what happens to this magnificent loyal horse now? The ultimate betrayal by man begins. He is led to a holding pen until it is his turn. He is then forced into the kill shoot. He is a prey animal and is very sensitive and fearful. He thrashes and screams when some low-paid worker tries to shoot a bolt into his brain. If he is one of the few lucky ones, the bolt will disable his brain; it does not kill him immediately. Whether or not he is disabled, the process will continue. He is alive and possibly conscious when he is hoisted into the air by a hind leg.

Sometimes horses are cut into pieces while they are alive and screaming. There is no compassion or humane treatment in the kill room.

Arizona's Chief Veterinarian, Dr. Perry Durham stated in an interview that Americans have eaten horse meat for years and the cost of euthanasia is too high for owners. Are Americans and veterinarians willing to have this kind of blood on their hands? Do we not have the ability in this country to do the right thing? Can't the Department of Agriculture, drug companies and veterinarians work together to offer affordable euthanasia and care of remains of horses? The drugs are generic and decent jobs could be created. The Veterinarian's Oath states in part ("I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health and welfare, the relief of animal suffering")... Americans do not want to be served horse meat on their plate. It is time to come up with a humane solution supported by the American people.

Call your legislators! Tell them to stop the slaughter of horses in the United States and stop the auction and transport of American horses to foreign countries for slaughter.

Sharon Stanley


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