As sponsors of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, we take issue with Christa Weil’s views on the horsemeat industry (Op-Ed, March 5). The horse slaughter industry in the United States has nothing to do with feeding hungry people and everything to do with animal cruelty. The facts are these:
¶Most horses that end up slaughtered are bought by buyers acting on behalf of slaughterhouses. Many of these horses have been stolen or were surrendered to buyers who promised to care for them but who sell them to slaughter instead.Last September, the House voted 263 to 146 to pass this legislation. Congress ran out of time before the Senate could act.
¶The transport and subsequent slaughter of these animals is brutal. They are often crammed into trucks built for cattle and pigs and subjected to starvation, exposure and abuse. At the slaughterhouse, improper use of the stunning bolt frequently results in horses’ being shackled and dismembered while still conscious.
¶Every year, 100,000 horses are slaughtered at foreign-owned slaughterhouses in the United States to satisfy the palates of wealthy diners in Europe and Asia.
We urge our colleagues in the House and the Senate to take up the matter again and put an end to this barbaric practice.
(Senator) Mary Landrieu
(Rep.) Jan Schakowsky
(Rep.) Ed Whitfield
(Rep.) Nick Rahall
(Rep.) John Spratt
Washington, March 6, 2007