Tuesday, August 25, 2009

They Shoot Horses Don't They?

What is the effect of a "compassionate" stance towards animal cruelty? One state recently banned the slaughter of aged horses. Which state: Birkenstock-wearing, granola-eating, lotus-sitting California or pickup-driving, gun-toting, big buckle-wearing Texas? Brace yourself, but my local paper is reporting on the adverse effect that Texas's ban on horse slaughter is having on horse ownership.
Aside from the recession, the middle and low end of the market have been particularly hurt by a steep drop in the floor price historically created by U.S. slaughter facilities, whose buyers paid $500 to $600 for Texas horses that had outlived their usefulness.

But after the 2007 ban on horse slaughter — one of the country’s three plants was in Fort Worth — the floor dropped to $200 because of the expense of shipping to Mexico, where processing is still legal, said Rusty Addison of Lipan, who operates the monthly horse auction in Stephenville. (More than 27,000 U.S. horses were exported to Mexico for slaughter this year through Aug. 8; that’s nearly three times the total for all of 2006 but down 5,300 from the first eight months of 2007, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.)

Raising the cost of "disposal" decreases the supply.

An anonymous comment points out that I got the facts wrong. I had thought the ban was due to legislative action but, in Texas, it was due to a judicial decision. This story indicates that in 2007, the Society for Animal Protective Legislation (SAPL) won its case upholding an existing but unenforced law that banned the horse slaughter. The affected facilities existed only in Illinois and Texas. So my digs at my fellow Californians was unwarranted.


  1. CA has had a ban on all horse slaughter since 1998 so your digs at the people of CA we're a waste of blog space.

    What 2007 ban? No such ban was passed in 2007. The three plants were shut down by individual state laws. A 1949 law in Texas was upheld and a new law was passed in Illinois.

    If you want the prices of horses to increase, address your blog to the breeders that continue producing excess horses. The cost of trucking are not an issue. 2008 saw the second highest slaughter counts since 1995. If the cost was an issue, the counts would have decreased, not increased.

    Nice try, though.

  2. Is there a source for either side of this?

  3. Seems there are alot of uneducated economist writing and pointing the finger at everything but not realizing they have the slightest facts of reality.
    Horse slaughter rewards irresponsible people and has promoted theft, abuse and neglect as we are still seeing thru the exports to Mexico and Canada. America is not only messed up in our economy but also the way we treat our animals and responsiblity towards them and others.
    This is a busines that had and is still operating under a false Image. These were never old or sick horses. Matter of fact there was a $50.00 fee for horses under market weight. This is a business generated by greed and demand.
    America needs to ban the exports now with our national bill HR503.

  4. Where do I start? I'll start with the obvious based on the blog author's comments. You apparently lack knowledge of the equine industry of the past, it's current situation and the nature of the IRS tax code. But I digress. As posted by respondents’...you don't understand the history, nor the legalese that is the current state of "PAID" horses sold for human consumption horse slaughter...which essentially melts your blog post irrationality. Which begs the question...why did you post this irrational milk toast opinion (of course I'm assuming that you have bogged an opinion)?

    The closure of the last three "PAID" for sale of horses for human consumption horse slaughter has not cured the cause of the disease: arrogance, disrespect and poor capitalistic acumen reamins formost in the formula. Evaluate the insanity that is the equine business model and I might begin to pay attention. Until then, if you blog based on proslaughter, anti-horse stupidity you become a part of the continuim that is horse slaughter, dog/cat disposal in the first place. While you are at it, investigate WHY the traditional US meat industry supports this abortion. It's a competitor. I think our beef, poultry, swine is some of the best in the world (if not the best). But corporations have slip sided inspection, policy and paid off legislators and ultimately influences the problem(s) that are our current food inspection system.

    I say clean it up. Bring back local meat markets/butchers and farmers markets. Don't throw horses into the mix. They are a luxury item in 2009. But I suspect you'll consult with an antihorse, proslaughter "human" before you get it.