We are close to having a horse slaughter plant opening in Missouri. That’s nothing to look forward to. Horse slaughter is a cruel, terrifying end for horses who have served us in work, show and leisure. But even those people who ignore the emotional ties we have to the noble horse can’t deny that slaughtering them for their meat is not a business that belongs in Missouri.
If a horse slaughterhouse opens here, an environmental nightmare will likely follow. A plant that once operated in Kaufman, Texas, polluted local water with horses’ blood and emitted such a foul stench that neighbors couldn’t sit outside and enjoy their backyards. That’s not what people here want, or deserve.
Horses are not raised for food, and they are given a variety of drugs that can make their meat toxic to people. The inevitable health crisis that could result from selling this meat abroad will give all Missouri agriculture a black eye.
The whole system of horse slaughter is unsavory. Horses are gathered up for slaughter from random sources by a tiny, predatory industry hoping to make a buck off of unsuspecting or irresponsible owners. Contrary to arguments you might hear, these “kill buyers” target healthy horses who bring the best price per pound, not the sickly and thin.
Let’s keep the dirty business of horse slaughter out of our state and work to put an end to the practice for good. Urge your legislators to support the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, S. 541/H.R. 1094 to protect our horses.
Amanda Good is the Missouri state director for The Humane Society of the United States. Questions? Contact Opinion editor Laura Johnston.