Senators Keep Horses on the Menu

If your horse ends up going from the stable to the table, blame your U.S. senator. Thousands of horses continue on their way to Canada and Mexico for killing and rendering because the Senate has stalled again on passing the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act.For several years, Congress has supported the act, which would prevent the export of thousands of U.S.-bred horses to Mexico, Japan and Canada for slaughter. However, 2007 closed without the Senate passing its version of House Bill HR-503.

PhotobucketIn fact, Senate Bill 311 may be DOA unless Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, drops his legislative “hold” or if 60 senators sign up to co-sponsor S.311 for a vote.

In Colorado, only Rep. Diana DeGette, a Democrat, signed on to co-sponsor HR-503, passed by the House, and neither Sen. Ken Salazar, a Democrat,  nor Sen. Wayne Allard, a Republican and former veterinarian, has indicated his position on S.311.

A lot of the horse meat is sold overseas for human consumption. Animal activist groups have charged that horses are inhumanely disabled in Mexico (viewer discretion advised) and processed while still alive.

In October, Colorado Confidential noted that the issue of horse slaughter has two sides: Horses are considered pets, but there are too many unwanted horses, both wild and domesticated.

Horse shelters are not necessarily a long-term solution as highlighted by a recent forced closure of a Larimer County horse rescue shelter because the owner could no longer afford adequate care for the animals.

The Humane Society’s horse slaughter fact sheet notes that more than 70 percent of Americans favor a ban on horse slaughter for human consumption. However, will senators be listening to these constituents in 2008?

Photo: This wild colt trapped by the Bureau of Land Management faces an uncertain future.

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Leslie Robinson

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