Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in US

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Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in US

Postby Iulus Cofield » Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:19 am UTC

Obama Legalizes Horse Slaughter for Human Consumption

Horse slaughter plants are legal again in the United States. Restrictions on horse meat processing for human consumption have been lifted.

In a bipartisan effort, the House of Representatives and the United States Senate approved the Conference Committee report on spending bill H2112, which among other things, funds the United States Department of Agriculture. On November 18th, as the country was celebrating Thanksgiving, President Obama signed a law, allowing Americans to kill and eat horses. Essentially, one turkey was pardoned in the presence of worldwide media while in the shadows, buried under pages of fiscal regulation, millions of horses were sentenced to death.

Horse slaughter has been prohibited in the United States as funding for inspections of horses in transit and at slaughter houses was non-existent. This worked because the horse meat cannot be sold for human consumption without such inspections. The House version of the bill retained the de-funding language and the Senate version did not. The conference committee charged with reconciling the two opted to not include it. The result is that it is now legal to slaughter horses for humans to eat.

Notwithstanding that 70% of Americans oppose horse slaughter, that President Obama made a campaign promise to permanently ban horse slaughter and exports of horses for human consumption (horses can be sent to Mexico and Canada), that documentation of animal cruelty, slaughterhouse stench, fluid runoff and negative community impact exists, it is taxpayers that will bear the costs!

Wyoming state representative Sue Wallis and her pro-slaughter group estimate that between 120,000 and 200,000 horses will be killed for human consumption per year and that Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Georgia and Missouri, are considering opening slaughter plants.

During these trying times, is the only thing that Democrats and Republicans can agree on is that Americans need to eat horses?

Read more: http://technorati.com/lifestyle/article ... z1fN545LMX


Hummmm.

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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby sourmìlk » Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:23 am UTC

How intelligent are horses compared to other mammals like, say, cows or pigs?
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Mittagessen » Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:32 am UTC

I never understood the objections against eating horse meat (especially if coming from Americans, a crowd consuming vast amount of other animal products). Horses are an animal like any other, neither more cute than some other meat source (guinea pigs) nor more intelligent (pigs, dolphins, wales).

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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Ulc » Fri Dec 02, 2011 11:14 am UTC

Exactly what is the problem here?

Opposing slaughtering horses for eating while eating, lets say, beef, pork, chicken or any other meat whatsoever is extremely hypocritical - it's exactly the same, and there is no issues with "animal cruelty, slaughterhouse stench, fluid runoff" that isn't present in all other meats eaten by people.

Sourmilk - people generally view horses as more intelligent than say, swine. But talking about animal intelligence is rather nonsensical, because we don't really have a useful way to measure it, and thus the results of any tests become pretty much what we expect, because the tests end up biased toward what we want to see - but rats are in pretty much regarded as one of the most intelligent, and we gleefully slaughter those. Pigs are generally also considered quite intelligent - and those get eaten in vast amounts.
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Diadem » Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:01 pm UTC

It's refreshing to see such fair and balanced reporting from a source other than Fox.


Seriously, I don't see the big issue here. Wtf was it illegal in the first place?
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Angua » Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:14 pm UTC

Aren't pigs quite intelligent anyway? Also, most people will happily eat squid or octopus - and those that don't eat them don't generally cite their intelligence as a factor. I don't see anything wrong with eating horse, if you're not opposed to other animals.
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby sourmìlk » Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:17 pm UTC

The only mammals I eat are cow and lamb. But that's mostly due to availability and Kashrut (although the only law of Kashrut I actually keep is the "no pork" law.)
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Decker » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:27 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:It's refreshing to see such fair and balanced reporting from a source other than Fox.


Seriously, I don't see the big issue here. Wtf was it illegal in the first place?

I think it has more to do with the fact that horses are much more a "pet" animal than, say, cows or chickens. It's not so much a health thing as a societal thing.
Also, people generally think horses are pretty, and we all know that only cute animals deserve to live.
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby juststrange » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:30 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:The only mammals I eat are cow and lamb. But that's mostly due to availability and Kashrut (although the only law of Kashrut I actually keep is the "no pork" law.)


No Giraffe? I think thats the next big Kashrut meat. We need to get legislation rolling to let me open up that market.

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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Cathy » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:30 pm UTC

Decker wrote:Horses are pretty, and only cute animals deserve to live.

This.

My first reaction was "Noooo the horsies". My second reaction was "wait, what food is it going into?" My third reaction was "wait, if there's no funding to inspect horses before they're ground up into horsie meat, doesn't that create a regulation issue?"
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Angua » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:42 pm UTC

Horses are eaten in a bunch of countries already, so I don't really see a problem with it.

However, I'm of the view that if I'm going to eat meat (which I do) there's no point in being that squeamish about what animal it comes from (though there is the argument against foods like foi gras which I tend to avoid because I do think it's cruel to stuff a goose that much). I don't eat most seafood because I can't stand the taste, I won't eat endangered animals (not even turtle if it's during the season you're allowed to eat it) because I don't want them to keep being eaten, at least for long enough to be sure they're going to survive the next hundred years, and there is the occasional thing meat that I don't have because I don't really like it either - like duck.

When it comes to cuteness and pets - I figure it just depends on culture - rabbits and guinea pigs are pets to lots of people, and are still eaten, monkeys are eaten in certain parts of the world (though I think I would be a bit more careful about eating that considering that they are so close to humans, diseases have an easier time making the jump), and the idea of dog meat doesn't bother me much either (though I don't think I've ever been somewhere where it is served).
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Decker » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:43 pm UTC

Rabbit I've heard of, but guinea pig? Is that a thing in America or just in everywhere else?
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Angua » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:44 pm UTC

Guinea pig is generally eaten in South America, where they are native too. It's called cavy there. It tastes ok.
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Odd_nonposter » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:48 pm UTC

This is actually good because there was no legal way to dispose of aging or injured horses in some areas. I know it's illegal to shoot and bury a horse on your own property where I live.

People have an emotional attachment to horses. They're not livestock, they're pets. Except in cattle herding areas, they're almost completely useless.

It's not like horses would become factory-farmed animals. The meat is not desirable, they don't reach full size fast enough, the veterinary costs are high, and they're rather inefficient at feed conversion. (They require considerably more hay, which is bulky and low in protein, than other livestock. Feedlots don't want to handle it unless they have to.)
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Diadem » Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:56 pm UTC

I understand why Americans don't eat horses. Meat eating cultures are different all across the globe.

I don't understand why it wasn't legal [to slaughter them]. Isn't that rather extreme?
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby buddy431 » Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:24 pm UTC

Cathy wrote:
Decker wrote:Horses are pretty, and only cute animals deserve to live.

This.

My first reaction was "Noooo the horsies". My second reaction was "wait, what food is it going into?" My third reaction was "wait, if there's no funding to inspect horses before they're ground up into horsie meat, doesn't that create a regulation issue?"


There used to be no funding (by law, that is, it's illegal to slaughter horses for human consumption because we refuse to let anyone inspect them). While it's poorly worded, the article means that the defunding clause was removed from the law, that is, it is OK to fund inspection of horse meat so humans can eat it.

I never understood the huge outcry against horse meat either - they're not even particularly cute. I guess it just is that they're seen as pets, not livestock. Then again, I don't have trouble with other "pets" like dogs or guinea pigs being eaten either. And I keep chickens as pets, which are typically considered livestock. Maybe it's just me.

Edit: Here's a slightly less biased article. The new spending bill doesn't explicitly set aside funds for inspection, but it doesn't explicitly prohibit them, as the old laws did. The Department of Agriculture has confirmed that if slaughterhouses do open, it will inspect them.

It turns out that PETA supports the change - while they consider slaughtering horses in the U.S. bad, they consider shipping them to Mexico worse.
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Arrian » Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:29 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:How intelligent are horses compared to other mammals like, say, cows or pigs?


Anecdotally, I've heard that cows are smarter than horses when both are effectively kept as pets. (That is, when you actually let the cow get out and have some mental stimulation rather than sticking it in the feedlot all day.) They do things like find their way to food and get out of confusing spaces better. Remember, horses are the animals that run INTO a burning barn when they're scared.

I'm with pretty much everyone else, I don't see any big deal about slaughtering horses.

Diadem wrote:I don't understand why it wasn't legal [to slaughter them]. Isn't that rather extreme?


From the article, it sounds like it was de-facto illegal, not de-jure illegal to slaughter horses. There was never a law explicitly saying you can't slaughter horses, the law said that in order to slaughter horses you had to have a USDA inspector check them. But there wasn't any funding for horse inspectors, so without any inspectors there was no horse slaughtering.

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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby BattleMoose » Fri Dec 02, 2011 2:36 pm UTC

Can't find any kind of reference for it or citation, but remember reading that the main issue why horse meat consumption was illegal, was because horses were for the most part of human history a very strategic military resource. It would be catastrophic if the civilian population decided to eat the countries horse stock, especially before a war. Even during WWI and WWII horses across the UK were requisitioned for military service, and is probably true for most of the belligerent nations. And horses were used extensively during WWII.

It makes so much sense, but cannot find any references supporting this, oh well.

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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Vaniver » Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:12 pm UTC

Yeah, also not seeing a problem with this (besides the economic distortions involved, but artificially low water prices are for another thread!).
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Jessica » Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:45 pm UTC

I'm against this, because the law forced Americans to slaughter in Canada (and Mexico). This law takes away business from a superior country, and that is bad.

On a less stupid note, it doesn't really make sense to not do it, but I know that America has a soft spot culturally for horses.
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby SummerGlauFan » Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:16 pm UTC

I honestly did not know it was illegal to slaughter horses. That said, I can't see many companies doing it, because frankly how much horse meat are you likely to sell in America?
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:21 pm UTC

Was part of the issue that there was no regulation on horse meat, so it was outlawed? I can't imagine horses are bred for meat consumption, so my guess is those that are sent for slaughter are going to be sick and old anyhow, which... seems problematic.
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby podbaydoor » Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:45 pm UTC

Apparently part of the push for this move came from cases like where an owner couldn't afford to feed his horses, couldn't get anyone to buy them, and couldn't slaughter them, so they starved.
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Triangle_Man » Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:48 pm UTC

SummerGlauFan wrote:I honestly did not know it was illegal to slaughter horses. That said, I can't see many companies doing it, because frankly how much horse meat are you likely to sell in America?

Little to none, given that people tend to place them in the 'domesticated pets/cute fuzzy creatures category' and treat them as such.

I mean, we've got stories such as Black Beauty, that Spirit movie that came out a while ago and a certain TV show that has been taking the internet by storm, all of which seem to re-enforce this image (although making a connection to the TV show is now causing me to think 'This meat tastes like Rainbows and Magic' over and over again, although this just marks me as having a morbid throught process).

And all of that being said, I don't see why a culture that condones the eating of some animal flesh condemn the eating of animal flesh for any other reason then 'adorableness' and societal values. BattleMoose may have stumbled across another reason for this; horses were used for military service, so people didn't want to eat them. However, even though we no longer use horses for military purposes, we still hold on to those old habits and come up with new reasons to justify it (they're 'cute', for example). I think that this idea is called 'action driven by traditional rationality' or something similar to that and it can also be used to explain why we hold on to certain religious or other societal beliefs and the like.

So yeah, that's my take on it...

Edit - Also what PBD said.
Which is to say, no big deal at all.
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby quantumcat42 » Fri Dec 02, 2011 5:07 pm UTC

Anyone else enjoy the juxtaposition of the OP and OP's avatar?

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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Triangle_Man » Fri Dec 02, 2011 5:12 pm UTC

quantumcat42 wrote:Anyone else enjoy the juxtaposition of the OP and OP's avatar?

That's actually what set off my 'This Meat tastes like Magic and Rainbows' line of thinking.

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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Dec 02, 2011 5:24 pm UTC

podbaydoor wrote:Apparently part of the push for this move came from cases like where an owner couldn't afford to feed his horses, couldn't get anyone to buy them, and couldn't slaughter them, so they starved.

Why can't horses be put down?
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Sizik » Fri Dec 02, 2011 5:34 pm UTC

podbaydoor wrote:Apparently part of the push for this move came from cases like where an owner couldn't afford to feed his horses, couldn't get anyone to buy them, and couldn't slaughter them, so they starved.


If I were in that position, I'd consider poisoning the horse and saying it died of illness/natural causes.
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Jessica » Fri Dec 02, 2011 5:36 pm UTC

My understanding is a lot of people were just letting them loose to fend for themselves.
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Dauric » Fri Dec 02, 2011 5:36 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
podbaydoor wrote:Apparently part of the push for this move came from cases like where an owner couldn't afford to feed his horses, couldn't get anyone to buy them, and couldn't slaughter them, so they starved.

Why can't horses be put down?


... They can, and are.

The change in the bill is that the current bill restores funding to inspections for human consumption, where the original bill has specifically excluded funds from being spent on inspection of horses for suitability for human consumption.

It has nothing to do with humane euthanasia of horses.

My parents had to put down one a few months ago.
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby nitePhyyre » Fri Dec 02, 2011 6:03 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
podbaydoor wrote:Apparently part of the push for this move came from cases like where an owner couldn't afford to feed his horses, couldn't get anyone to buy them, and couldn't slaughter them, so they starved.
Why can't horses be put down?
If you can't afford to feed them, maybe you can't afford the vet bill? Or the shotgun shells?

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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Iulus Cofield » Fri Dec 02, 2011 6:04 pm UTC

quantumcat42 wrote:Anyone else enjoy the juxtaposition of the OP and OP's avatar?


That's why my only response was "Hummm." I can't justify not slaughtering horses. It still makes me sad.

Dauric wrote:
Izawwlgood wrote:
podbaydoor wrote:Apparently part of the push for this move came from cases like where an owner couldn't afford to feed his horses, couldn't get anyone to buy them, and couldn't slaughter them, so they starved.

Why can't horses be put down?


... They can, and are.


Indeed. I have seen horses put down. It has to be done by a vet. There may be some sort of restriction that it can only be done if the horse is mortally injured or ill, I don't know. You can also bury them on your property, I have also seen this done.

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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Dec 02, 2011 6:05 pm UTC

I'm obviously having some kind of disconnect here. PBD said,
podbaydoor wrote:Apparently part of the push for this move came from cases like where an owner couldn't afford to feed his horses, couldn't get anyone to buy them, and couldn't slaughter them, so they starved.

Which I took that to mean there was something in place that was preventing people from having their horses put down? But that's a totally separate deal?
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Arrian » Fri Dec 02, 2011 6:08 pm UTC

SummerGlauFan wrote:I honestly did not know it was illegal to slaughter horses. That said, I can't see many companies doing it, because frankly how much horse meat are you likely to sell in America?


I can totally see a couple famous French chefs in New York featuring "cheval" on their menus creating a fad. Or a report on the high levels of anti-oxidents or some such bringing the popularity up to somewhere like buffalo or ostrich. I don't see Cub selling horse flanks any time soon, but I could definitely see specialty stores or even Whole Foods selling it in the right circumstances.

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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Dauric » Fri Dec 02, 2011 6:09 pm UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:Indeed. I have seen horses put down. It has to be done by a vet. There may be some sort of restriction that it can only be done if the horse is mortally injured or ill, I don't know. You can also bury them on your property, I have also seen this done.


I think the italic applies to any veterinary euthanasia.
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Falling » Fri Dec 02, 2011 7:03 pm UTC

There are also many rescue operations that will take horses that cannot be cared for. The whole "we have to eat them because we can't afford their care" sounds like a totally bullshit excuse to me.

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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Dauric » Fri Dec 02, 2011 7:09 pm UTC

Falling wrote:There are also many rescue operations that will take horses that cannot be cared for. The whole "we have to eat them because we can't afford their care" sounds like a totally bullshit excuse to me.


I know that Colorado Horse Rescue takes in unwanted horses but they also have problems with people that just don't take care of the horses that they have to bring in Animal Control agents to confiscate them. Think of cat hoarders but with half-ton animals.

Of course in neither case would these animals be fit for consumption.
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby The Reaper » Fri Dec 02, 2011 7:20 pm UTC

So do we know where I can buy these hamburgers at?

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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Triangle_Man » Fri Dec 02, 2011 7:28 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:
Falling wrote:There are also many rescue operations that will take horses that cannot be cared for. The whole "we have to eat them because we can't afford their care" sounds like a totally bullshit excuse to me.


I know that Colorado Horse Rescue takes in unwanted horses but they also have problems with people that just don't take care of the horses that they have to bring in Animal Control agents to confiscate them. Think of cat hoarders but with half-ton animals.

Of course in neither case would these animals be fit for consumption.


Seems logical enough.

But why do people accumulate so many animals in the first place if they can't take care of them?
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Re: Slaughtering horses for human consumption now legal in U

Postby Jessica » Fri Dec 02, 2011 7:29 pm UTC

Falling wrote:There are also many rescue operations that will take horses that cannot be cared for. The whole "we have to eat them because we can't afford their care" sounds like a totally bullshit excuse to me.
I was listening to the radio last night (on CBC radio 1), and they had an interview with a proponent for this bill. He said that the rescue operations in the united states are currently full of animals as well, and they have no more stalls.

ninja edit for Triangleman: Hoarding.
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