Horse owners react to the likely return of U.S. slaughterhouses
Posted at: 03/05/2013 6:25 PM
By: Mark Mulholland
MOREAU - At 26-years of age, Tigger the horse enjoys a pretty good life at the Haven Oaks Farm in Moreau.
He's one of about 25 horses at the farm these days in various stages of life and career. There's the recently retired Inherit the Gold a graded stakes winner on the NYRA circuit for Jim and Sue Hooper.
Inherit, like many of the horses here are family to the Hoopers. They can't stomach the thought of slaughtering them. Especially to eat.
"The thought of it just sort of sickens me. I can't really relate to that type of mentality to think of horse meat for any type of use," said Jim.
"I'm very disappointed to see it coming back," added Sue. "It's the process in and of itself that is inhumane."
Slaughter houses that process horse meat for human consumption have been outlawed in the U.S. since 2007. But that ban, which came about through a rider on a Congressional appropriations bill, is about to be lifted after a meat company sued the U.S.D.A.
Congressman Paul Tonko, who represents Saratoga Springs, home of the famed race course, said, "I do not support horse slaughter for human consumption, period... I reject sending horses to slaughtering facilities in the United States."
But it doesn't appear that there's much that Congress or anyone else can do about it.
Which frustrates Sue and Jim Hooper.
"There is a need to deal with these unwanted animals. But this is not the answer," said Sue.