Horse slaughter ban lifted in U.S. after report on unintended consequences
WASHINGTON — Members of Congress who decided to end the prohibition on domestic horse slaughtering relied heavily on research provided in June by the General Accountability Office, Congress' auditing arm.
Photoview all photos
NewsOK Related Articles
BY THE NUMBERS
Horses slaughtered in the U.S.
• 1990: 345,900
• 2000: 47,134
• 2004: 66,183
• 2006: 104,899 (last full year of domestic slaughtering operations)
• 2007: 29,767 (last operations close; congressional ban on USDA inspections in effect)
Estimates of U.S. exports of horses for slaughter:
• 2004: 23,782
• 2007: 78,061 (last three domestic slaughterhouses closed)
• 2008: 99,049
• 2009: 109,487
• 2010: 137,984
At the request of top members of the subcommittees that oversee spending for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the GAO looked into the effects of the ban — in place since 2006 — and released a report entitled “Horse Welfare: Action Needed to Address Unintended Consequences from Cessation of Domestic Slaughter.”
Though there are some shades of gray, the report clearly connects the ban to an increase in abandoned horses, a drop in prices for some horses and a dramatic increases in exports of horses for slaughter.
“Horse welfare in the United States has generally declined since 2007, as evidenced by a reported increase in horse abandonments and an increase in investigations for horse abuse and neglect,'' the report states.
“The extent of the decline is unknown due to a lack of comprehensive, national data, but state officials attributed the decline in horse welfare to many factors, but primarily to the cessation of domestic slaughter and the U.S. economic downturn.
“Abandoned, abused, and neglected horses present challenges for state and local governments, tribes and animal welfare organizations.”
According to the report, horse prices have also declined since the ban — and the recession — “mainly for the lower-priced horses that are more likely to be bought for slaughter.”
News Photo Galleriesview all
- 21543Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 10852Oklahoma tornadoes: Woman meets the military officer who shared the clothes off his back
- 8707Oklahoma tornadoes: Thunder reverses the role, takes a turn at cheering on the community
- 8666Finding Addyson – One family's struggle in the Moore tornado
- 8648Hobby Lobby argues case before federal judges
- 7837Blake Shelton's "Healing the Heartland" televised tornado benefit set for Wednesday at Chesapeake Energy Arena
- 7718Story behind the photo: Family members describe desperate search for one another after EF5 twister