POSTED: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 4:46pm
UPDATED: Thursday, July 12, 2012 - 2:33pm
It’s fair to say that slaughterhouses aren’t very pleasant places.
But they are necessary to put meat on the store shelves for human consumption.
But what about horses?
The state Senate Agriculture Committee began hearings today on the concept of reopening Texas slaughterhouses to horses…for human consumption.
That has been against the law since 1949.
Both sides in this argument can make a case.
But it’s hard to get past the emotions of the issue.
It was one of the most exciting finishes in the history of the Kentucky Derby.
In 1986, a young colt named Ferdinand with the great Willie Shoemaker on board, muscled his way through the pack and emerged the surprise winner.
And that should have ensured a long life and lots of romance for Ferdinand.
And it did, for awhile. But ultimately, he was sold to a Japanese owner.
And when his breeding days were over…Ferdinand ended up as the main course for some rich Japanese businessman’s dinner party.
And the man paid a premium because, after all, Derby winners aren’t cheap.
That’s the emotional side of the subject of horse slaughter, but those in the ranching business know, it can be more humane than the alternative.
The horse slaughtering business came to a halt in 2007 when the USDA cut the budget for inspection, and that means the meat was useless.
At least, it was useless for human consumption, which pays more.
But President Obama signed a new budget bill in November that restored the funding.
And, today, the state Senate Agriculture committee began hearings on the subject, and more to a point, a 1949 law that forbids the slaughter of horses for human consumption.
No decision was made today.