Horse slaughter issue complex
Bonnie Erbe’s Nov. 25 opinion piece (“Revival of horse slaughter to cost taxpayers”) leaves a distorted view on the issue of the slaughter of horses and America in general.
First, if the criteria for a law rested solely on a supermajority and not on individual rights, we revert to mob rule.
Second, while I endorse American exceptionalism, even I think our placing inspectors in foreign slaughterhouses is a bridge too far. As an aside, I refuse to use the term animal processing plant.
Third, while most Americans have warm feelings toward horses, dogs and cats, there is no moral or logical reason that everyone must treat these animals any differently than we do cattle, swine or fur-bearing animals.
Those who would impose the extreme animal-rights views of those such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals use these creatures to create wedge issues to drive us ever toward a point where the killing of a dog is treated by law the same as the killing of a child.
Fourth, while I have not read the studies that indicate an increase in violence in areas that open slaughterhouses, I would be surprised if the demographics of such areas are not drastically altered by the sudden influx of labor.
Finally, having known people in the horse industry, the ban on slaughter has broken the back of many small operators. When someone buys a horse for his child, puts it out to board and runs up a bill of several hundred dollars, the stable is the last person to get paid when money gets tight. Currently you often cannot sell a horse at any price, so the stable owners have been forced out of business and many horses have been put down by veterinarians when the slaughter value of the animal might have exceeded $500 and paid the feed and labor cost of boarding the animal.
Master Sgt. David Knight
Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan