House Bill HR 503/Slaughtering Horses (Part II)

By: Joe Brown
By: Joe Brown

“In the subcommittee of commerce, it was very obvious that they had already made up their mind, the majority that they wanted to ban slaughter. The ag committee was very clear they did not want to ban slaughter.”

Dr. Bonnie Beaver is a professor of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M.

“Ninety eight percent of the U.S. public is at least three generations off the farm, so they don’t have a real understanding of the production of any kind of animal.”

The USDA classifies horses as livestock.

“Those who typically work with horses, it’s a non-issue, of course they’re livestock. But many in the public that don’t see them in the many uses horses have now thought of them as a pet. Horses are property.”

Proponents of the anti slaughter bill argue horse owners will still be able to put an animal down.

“Then what do you do with the carcass. Even if you can kill it humanely, what do you do with the carcass, because in many areas it’s illegal to bury, or the landfill, that’s a couple of hundred dollars to take it to the landfill if they accept them and that varies from area to area. You can have them put down by a veterinarian, and then you’ve got a carcass that’s contaminated. Now we can also kill predators that eat that carcass if it’s not buried.”

Opponents to the bill say it will have unintended consequences.

“It’s already happened in certain areas, that there these horses will be dumped out, just turned loose, and ultimately it’s going to be the public that’s going to pick up the cost, just as they have with stray dogs and cats.”

I’m Joe Brown, taking a look at Brazos Valley agriculture, From the Ground Up.

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