Colorado Horse Rescue: Nine Steps To Solving Slaughter Issue

Nancy Bailey

A Roswell, New Mexico, slaughterhouse won't be bringing any more horses down the pipeline in 2016, thanks to the tireless efforts of Front Range Equine Rescue (FRER). According to World Animal News, FRER spent three years in collaboration with local residents and the state of New Mexico in order to put an end to the slaughter. A court order was issued on February 4 by Judge Francis J. Mathew in Santa Fe.

The Roswell slaughterhouse, called Valley Meat, was originally sued in 2013 by the Attorney General's office, FRER, and four Roswell residents whose health and quality of life were jeopardized by the business.

Hilary Wood, the president of FRER, said it was a step in the right direction.

"We have been working for years through the courts to stop the illegal, inhumane, and toxic practice of horse slaughter. This is a critical precedent in that effort because prospective horse slaughter operations will not be accepted by this state, and, with the support of other like-minded people, we will fight to ensure that no other American state allows the slaughter of horses for human consumption."

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The USDA has documented the abuse that horses suffer during the transport and the slaughter process. Horses who go to slaughter are not raised for meat; they were riding horses, work horses, or pets and therefore subjected to a barrage of medications and vaccinations, rendering the meat toxic.

Wood told the Inquisitr that FRER has stopped the expansion of horse slaughter plants in the United States.

"What most people don't realize is that thousands of U.S. horses shipped to Canada, Mexico (and Japan) when U.S. plants used to operate and that they would still ship across the borders if U.S. plants opened. The plants in Mexico and Canada which are regulated by the European Union (EU) set specific guidelines for horses going to slaughter. USDA would fashion any regulations after those of the EU so it's also a myth that regulations are somehow more humane in the U.S. Unregulated plants are, of course, a horrible nightmare down in Mexico."
"Many of the horses purchased by the killers had someone else bidding on them; that person did not have the winning bid. A lot of horses at the low-end auctions had somewhere else to go other than slaughter if the kill buyer was taken out of the bidding process. I mention this because it is one other component to cutting numbers of horses going to slaughter."

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The group asserts that for every horse sent to slaughter, the horse industry loses tens of thousands of dollars, considering amounts spent during the average horse's lifetime.

There is a multitude of ways to cut down on the numbers of unwanted horses, Wood says. These include the following.

"We're talking about approximately one percent of the entire horse population, many of them not even intended for slaughter at all. After all, we could put a man on the moon back in 1969 when we didn't even have answering machines or remote controls. But decades later with all of the advances in technology and other areas, we are incapable of doing better for horses. Makes no sense to me."

[Image via Front Range Equine Rescue. Used with permission.]