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U.S. Taxpayers to Subsidize Foreign Meat Industry


By Robert Winkler
The Desert Independent

November 17, 2011

For the first time since 2006, and in the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression, Americans will be required to subsidize a foreign owned industry that exports horsemeat served as a delicacy in fine restaurants in some European and other countries.

Americans don’t consume horsemeat. Polls have consistently revealed over 70% of Americans oppose horse slaughter. It is outrageous that American taxpayers would be required to subsidize foreign owned businesses that Americans oppose and that produces meat from animals that are not raised for food.

Additionally, American horses are not raised for food consumption. They are not fed and medicated within the FDA and European Union guidelines established for food animals, making them unfit and unsafe for human consumption. Our horses are given many drugs banned in food animals such as pain killers, steroids, de-wormers and ointments throughout their lives.

In this time when the focus of Congress is supposedly on reducing spending and creating jobs it is a ludicrous measure to spend tax dollars in order to reinstate an inherently cruel predatory business, from which Americans stand to gain nothing. Horse slaughter plants operating until 2007 have never created a total of more than 178 jobs.

On November 14, a Congressional Conference Committee tasked with reconciling differing House and Senate versions of the FY 2012 consolidated appropriations for Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science and Transportation, issued a report failing to recommend defunding of inspections of equines for slaughter for human consumption.

Many equine organizations denounced the agricultural appropriations bill that if passed, would make equine slaughter for human consumption legal again in the US and dump horsemeat that is unfit and unsafe on foreign markets.

And, any jobs they provide are not good jobs, according to Paula Bacon, former mayor of Kaufman, Texas where a horse slaughter facility operated for years. “Horse slaughter means very few, very low wage jobs, meaning workers and their families overtaxed local resources like the hospitals and government services. This so called business brought in virtually no tax revenues and local governments incurred substantial enforcement costs in trying to regulate these facilities. The standard of living dropped during the time horse slaughter facilities operated. Having a horse slaughter facility drove away good businesses.” Equine slaughter has also been found to increase and abet horse theft in areas where facilities are located or horses are held for transport to slaughter.


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