Target: Members of Congress
Goal: Ban the dangerous and inhumane production of horse meat for consumption in the United States
The United States has not been home to a horse slaughtering plant since 2007, when Congress approved a bill that prevented the Department of Agriculture from inspecting horse meat for human consumption. However, horse meat production in the United States could soon be a reality again as a plant in Roswell, New Mexico continues to push for approval to reopen. As the effective ban on horse slaughter expired in 2011, the USDA will soon have no choice but to reinspect the plant and allow it to continue operations if it passes inspection. Urge Congress to reinstate the ban on this dangerous and torturous form of meat production.
Consuming horse meat poses a serious risk to human health, as horses are not bred or raised as food animals. Often treated with myriad medicines throughout their lives, horses produce meat filled with chemicals whose effects on the human body can be virulent. And because horses are powerful animals bred to run at signs of danger, leading them to slaughter is a challenge. Handlers must stun, beat, and otherwise abuse these animals before brutally killing them. Often, horses sent to slaughter are completely healthy animals that could enjoy decades of life before succumbing to natural death.
The horse slaughter industry only cares about one thing: profit. It should not be allowed to operate on United States territory. Urge Congress to ban this inhumane practice that threatens both human health and animal welfare.
Dear members of Congress,
The horse slaughter industry has not been allowed to operate on United States soil since 2007, when an appropriations bill forbade the USDA from inspecting horse meat for human consumption. However, a horse slaughter plant has been pushing to reopen in Roswell, New Mexico. The Valley Meat Company has been attempting to reopen this plant for years—and a lapse in legislation that ended the effective horse slaughter ban means that they likely will be able to soon.
Horse slaughter endangers both human health and animal welfare to a grave degree. Because horses are not bred as food animals, slaughtering them for human consumption carries a host of risks. During their lifetimes, many horses are given de-wormers, fly treatments, painkillers, and other medicines on a daily basis. Little research has been performed on how these chemicals affect the health of people who eat horse meat; what we do know about such medicines indicates that they are dangerous for human consumption.
Horses also suffer tremendously on the path to slaughter. Unlike cattle or pigs, horses are strong, powerful creatures with a strong fight-or-flight response. They often struggle violently against slaughterhouse workers, leading them to be beaten, stunned, and otherwise abused. There is no humane way to contain horses for slaughter. The industry is an inherently cruel one.
I urge you not to allow horse slaughter to occur on U.S. soil yet again. Reinstate the ban against this dangerous and cruel practice before the horse slaughter plant is permitted to reopen.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Francisco Javier Arias Vargas via Wikimedia Commons