The U.S. horse slaughter ban has had a huge impact on the equine industry. Attention Getter and Preview: To slaughter or not to slaughter, has been a controversial question for years in the American equine industry. On September 7 2006, congress passed the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, abolishing horse slaughtering in the United States. The U.S. horse slaughter ban has had a huge impact on the equine industry. Originally designed to stamp out cruelty that the horses in the industry were enduring, it is now a question of whether it only caused more harm.
Also where to put the surplus of horses and the impact they have other equine is raising concern. Transition: To understand how it has made such a huge impact, it’s best to first understand why it was put into action. Body MP 1: The main reason this act was established is pretty clear in its name, horse slaughter prevention. a. According to the Humane Society of the United States, “[the act] was designed to stop the slaughter of nearly 100,000 American horses annually in three foreign-owned slaughter plants in the United States” (Drummond 2006).
. The reason they wanted to stop the slaughter was to stop the cruelty horses experience in this industry. a. When a horse was sent to be slaughter it was sometimes a path of cruelty. Horses would be shoved onto a trailer, often times way past capacity so the driver could get more money. They would travel long distances unable to move and were withheld from water.
Often times they were beaten and forced to live with untreated wounds, in unsanitary conditions. Uncover investigation led people to realize what was actually happening in the industry.
Transition: Now this isn’t a problem, there is no more slaughtering in the US. But it means more live horses to tend to, ultimately leading to the biggest impacts this ban has on the equine industry. MP 2: Where the surplus of horses will go is the biggest impact. a. “The AAEP estimates an additional 2700 rescue facilities would be needed in the first year of the ban to care for the thousands of surplus horses” (AVMA Jan 15). That would mean that each of the 50 states would have to build 54 facilities. Audience Adaption: In Illinois that would mean roughly one for every two counties.
With the price of feed and hay going up drastically due to droughts and ethanol production are these organizations really going to be feasible? Not only is that the question but is it humane to force some of these animals live? Take a totally blind horse for example, would it be humane to force it to live, how will it be able to find food and water? b. According to the American Veterinary Medicine Association, “The costs of euthanasia and environmentally safe carcass disposal can run as much as $400 and may be more than some owners are willing to pay” (AVMA Jan 15).
Before this act the owner could actually make a few hundred dollars by selling the animal to a processer. Now some owners just abandon the animals or simply let them starve to death. c. Expert Opinion: An equine enthusiasts and an opponent to this act states, “That being able to process the animal would put value back in the economy, set people to work and provide an export product” (Yates 2008). According to American Veterinary Association, “In 2005, U. S. horse meat exports were estimated at 18,000 tons with a value of 61 million dollars” (AVMA Oct 15).
These points aren’t the only financial negative to this act. d. With thousands upon thousands of surplus horses the price of the stock itself is dropping. Ranchers and horse raisers aren’t able to get the money that their horses are worth because potential horse buyers have so many other options. Transition: But don’t worry equine enthusiasts haven’t let the ban stop them. MP 3: Ranchers and equine breeders have found a way around the ban and have decided to export the horses out of the country to Mexico or Canada. According to Scott Yates of Capital Press, “With the last three slaughter plants in the U. S. forced to close, horses are now being exported to Mexico and Canada to the tune of about 90,000 head in 2007. That is a 312 percent increase compared to the previous year” (Yates 2008). b. Okay so you might say good, we are still able to get rid of the unwanted horses in an economic way and no horses are being slaughtered with cruelty in the United States.
While this is true, it has been proven that slaughtering facilities in Mexico are much more cruel than their American counterparts. c. Expert Opinion: According to the American veterinary medicine association, “especially troubling is the treatment of the horses once they cross the border into Mexico. The Humane Society of the United States released a video showing the brutal stabbing death of a fully conscious horse at a Mexican slaughter facility” (AVMA Jan 15). d. So are we truly stopping the cruelty to horses?
Sure we may feel better that it isn’t happening on our own soil but we are still the ones sending them off to their uncertain fate. e. This point has recently become an issue. a. Mike Stuckey of MSNBC news reported on September 24, 2008, “The emotional debate over slaughtering horses for human consumption gained new life in Washington this week as a House committee approved a measure that would ban the practice nationwide and halt the export of U. S. horses destined for dinner tables in other countries” (Stuckey 2008). b.
If this law is passed that would mean that no horses would be slaughtered and no horses could be exported for the use of food, which will lead to an even larger increase in the number of horses in America. Conclusion Review: The U. S. horse slaughter ban has had a huge impact on the equine industry. I wasn’t here today to sway you one way or another on the ban. I just wanted to inform you of some of the consequences and impacts it has on the equine industry. We learned that it was put into place to stop the cruel slaughtering of horses on American soil.
Then we found out that the problem hasn’t really been solved, horses are experiencing more cruelty than ever with longer rides and harsher deaths once they reach their final stop in a foreign land. There is also the issue of a huge surplus of horses that need care and are affecting the quality stock being raised across the country. Final Comment: Now that you understand the ban and its impacts. I leave you with this final thought. To slaughter or not to slaughter? That is the question!
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