Here’s a way to boost Idaho’s economy: start slaughtering horses for human consumption. It might seem odd, but it could happen. The U.S. Congress recently passed a bill lifting what was effectively a five-year ban on slaughtering horses in the country, and Idaho just might be the place to do it!
According to the Times-News, some Idaho horse trainers and owners are gleeful at the prospect. No ban could mean an increase in the value of horses, they say. Horse rescue shelters, however, are obviously concerned about this. Legal horse slaughter could be an easy pathway to getting rid of unwanted animals, and could even lead to unnecessary breeding and irresponsible horse ownership, they say.
Horse veterinarian Dr. Melinda Roche, seems to side with the optimists on the issue. From the Times-News:
While people don’t want to see horses killed, Twin Falls licensed equine veterinarian Dr. Melinda Roche said sometimes it is the best option for an older or injured animal.
It’s become a monthly routine for the county sheriff’s office to call her to inspect a suspected abused or starving horse, she said.
“I think this bill will improve horse welfare,” she said. “It didn’t stop horse slaughter. It took away the value of the horse. Once people weren’t getting any money from them, the abuse and abandonment went up.”
The debate rages on! And it’s likely to be a debate that will land squarely in Idaho. Sue Wallis, vice president of United Horsemen, said Idaho is often considered an ideal spot for horse slaughter houses, due to its agricultural base and high number of abandoned horses. So get your forks ready, folks, because horse meat, and the great, impending debate, is headed for the Gem State!