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“Mom, why is Black Beauty in the back of that semi?” Truths of Modern Day Horse Slaughter

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  1. Introduction
  2. The horse slaughter industry
    1. Horses not acquired legally
    2. Three slaughter houses in the United States owned by other countries
  3. At the slaughter house
    1. Federal mandate: Horses must be rendered unconscious before slitting their throats
  4. Conclusion: The battle to end horse slaughter
  5. Work cited

The Black Stallion, Mr. Ed, My Friend Flicka, all reminders of the American icon that has been so closely tied to our past. Horses have served humans throughout our American History, carrying us on their backs through the Wild West, tiling our fields, pulling wagons and carriages, even carrying our mail. Their past has lived on with us, echoing in our memories, as we still keep horses to enrich our lives and provide companionship. Though these animals have never clearly been raised for human consumption, American horses have been killed to be used for human consumption to countries such as Japan, Belgium, France, and Italy. Race horses, show horses that just could not make the cut, wild horses, and family horses all have fallen prey to the horse slaughter industry.

[...] At the slaughter house, the suffering continues of course, as the horses are left in the trailers for long amounts of time, packed shoulder to shoulder with other horses and left to stand in their own feces and urine. They find no relief from the cold or water during extreme heat; they are simply left until unloading time. When they are unloaded, many sick horses that have gone down are trampled to death, and other are brought off the trailer by means of ramming them with fiberglass rods, electric prods, or workers poking and beating them in their most sensitive areas, such as face and neck. [...]

[...] In the horse industry, theft is something that plagues us all in the back of our minds, as we struggle to come up with more identity devices for our horses that exceed the standard branding or micro-chipping. Even if a horse does possess these identifiers, sometimes it its too little too late as horses are killed at slaughter houses usually within twenty hour hours of arrival, making it nearly impossible to find and recover a horse in that time. Three foreign owned slaughter houses in the United States have been responsible for killing horses for human consumption: Beltex Corporation in Fort Worth, Texas; Dallas Crown in Kaufman, Texas, and Cavel International in DeKalb, Illinois. [...]

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