In what many will surely feel is a contradictory message, PETA is not coming down on politicians for allowing horse slaughter to recommence. In fact, they are thinking of it as an opportunity.
As many animal advocates know, and have noted in the comments of our prior piece on the issue, horses have had it rough in this country even when companies weren’t able to kill them for their meat. The problem was, while they weren’t being slaughtered here, they were still being slaughtered. They were being trucked long distances to Canada and Mexico. Transportation to slaughter is often one of the most difficult parts of being a farmed animal. They are forced to stand for hours on end in crowded conditions with no food or water. Some are even trampled. It can be quite horrific.
PETA had this to say about the issue, “No one wants to see any horse killed for meat or to turn a fast buck, and PETA has always had concerns about the suspension of US slaughter, since it meant more suffering for these sensitive animals, not less. What we feared would happen did: Rather than have a change of heart and stop killing horses, greedy ranchers who deal in horse flesh simply jammed their “commodities” into tractor trailers and hauled the frightened animals hundreds of miles to Canada and Mexico – a journey most did not have to face before – to terrifying deaths in slaughterhouses there.”
Of course PETA isn’t supporting horse slaughter forever. They are just glad that the animals no longer have to endure long truck rides where they are at risk for injury. What they really want is this, “That export loophole still needs to be slammed shut. To reduce horses’ suffering, there must be a ban on exports of live horses together with a ban on slaughter in the U.S., or it doesn’t work, never did, never will.”
So, if you’re outraged about the ban on horse slaughter being lifted, as many of us are, perhaps think of it this way. We can use this bad news to make life even better for horses. Create a law that says no slaughter and no export. Then, we’d really be doing horses a favor.