We’ve had some requests for help with form-letter responses received from political incumbents and candidates who are asked about their support for horse slaughter issues. It’s important to counter objections with factual information, and if the candidate is still not swayed by counter-arguments, to let them know that we will not support them when we go to the polls in October.
Here are some responses you can use to buttress objections that horse slaughter is necessary and humane, etc. Feel free to modify as you wish or include other appropriate links:
Contrary to what industry would like the public to believe, horse slaughter is not humane euthanasia. I challenge you to independently research the facts rather than blindly believing the propaganda set forth by those who have a vested interest in the horse meat industry. Go to www.defendhorsescanada.org, click on Investigations, and view the latest undercover footage captured in an equine slaughter house. This can be found by scrolling down to “Pasture to Plate” and clicking. The suffering of these animals, occurring behind closed doors where the eyes of the public are not permitted to see, is a fact that cannot be disputed. A young child would be able to recognize the terror, pain, and prolonged agony that horses in a kill box must endure. What about you?
In response to the question most often presented by those attempting to defend the industry, “What will happen if slaughter ended – where will all the horses go?” – answers exist if we endeavour to find them. Horses can be sold, adopted out, given to rescue centres (of which there are a growing number), or maintained in their original locations until new, appropriate homes are found. In times of crisis, horse advocates have been known to launch hay banks or collect funding to feed horses in need. Cyber campaigns have resulted in seemingly impossible numbers of horses being re-homed, simply through widespread publicity. As a very last resort, old, lame or ill horses can be humanely euthanized by a veterinarian. There are many solutions that don’t involve clinging stubbornly to cruel practices for the sake of profit and breeder/owner convenience.
The horse slaughter industry contributes to maltreatment of horses and the attitude that they are expendable. If horse slaughter were to end tomorrow, a responsible attitude would evolve simply because there would no longer be an easy “out” for those wishing to make fast money off the backs of horses. Breeders would have to think twice before each pregnancy, i.e. are they able to sell the resulting foal, or will they need to spend extra resources themselves on that young horse? With more selective breeding, the price of horses would rise. Horses would no longer be disposable. They would attain the status in our society that they rightly deserve, as companions and partners working alongside their human caregivers.
Some proponents of horse slaughter state that continued monitoring and improvements in the system must occur in order for the process to be humane. Unfortunately, this is not happening nor is it likely to happen in situations where assembly-line expediency and resulting profits are the norm. There have been undercover investigations of four Canadian slaughterhouses in recent years, and the images of suffering behind closed doors do nothing to increase one’s confidence in the system.
The ethnic argument, that we must support cultural habits that include the consumption of horse meat, is moot. This is Canada, and we don’t need to be sending our horses overseas for slaughter (see https://canadianhorsedefencecoalition.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/media_page_jun_2015.pdf). Nor do we need to provide horse meat for other countries whose standards differ from ours. An Ipsos-Reid poll conducted in Canada in 2004 showed 2/3 of the respondents not in favour of the slaughter of horses for human consumption. That’s a large majority. It is clear that Canadians are generally not in favour of killing horses for food.
Were you aware of the fact that live horses contribute vastly more to the Canadian economy than the profits obtained from their deaths? According to information received from Equine Canada and StatsCan, the economic contribution from the live horse industry is a gargantuan $90 billion, as opposed to a paltry $73 million garnered from the bodies of dead horses. Why would anyone in government support the tragic, gruesome and comparably non-lucrative practice of slaughtering horses?
If you want my vote, then stop being an apologist for the horse meat industry.
If you refuse to support horses, then I will respond by not supporting you on October 19th.
Your name and contact information