Jan 2, 2009
by WLJ

Horse issue offers chance to solve problems

Mr. Crow, While I am not totally certain of the readership base of this publication, I fully realize that my message needs to be directed to the members of Congress, specifically starting with those from the western United States. The issue of the health and welfare of our aging, ever-increasing horse population is most concerning. The solution may not lie in simple economics, but certainly part of it should.

Economics, coupled with the part of the world’s population that is quite satisfied by a diet consisting of edible rations of horse meat, would certainly project to a viable solution to an on-going problem. As cost estimates vary, the latest projections show something in the neighborhood of $26 million of taxpayer money is spent on the existing programs to avoid the humane slaughter of horses. The lead article of the WLJ of Nov. 24, 2008, calls attention to the fact that the existing program is operating in the “crisis” mode as BLM directs the care for the current 30,000 horses under their management. Concern rises with the mention of the additional 33,000 horses still roaming federal lands within 10 states. No mention of the God-knows-how-many unwanted horses are in the hands of the public citizens, with prior slaughter estimates in the area of 80,000 per year. Adoption is virtually out of the question due to the closing of slaughter options for the aging horses.

Economics preclude any simple humanitarian efforts.

As a life-long lover of horses, and a practical, enthusiastic member of the horserelated profession, I find myself as an American more frustrated probably than the wild horses themselves held in captivity. This missive is directed at those that choose to ignore the economics of not only the horse industry itself, but the ever-present challenge of feeding the people of the world. The estimated cost of $5 per day, per horse, could go a long way toward feeding many hungry people. This commitment, plus the meat itself, would seemingly result in a much more practical solution to a “problem” that should have never been a “problem.”

Write, e-mail or call your representatives in Congress and urge the opening of the American slaughter capabilities of horses, and at least the legal transportation for slaughter purposes of the same. Let this movement start with the U.S. government’s existing inventory of captive horses. Create some jobs; create some proteinrich meat.

Troy Plendl Remsen, IA