Food Politics & Unintended Consequences

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Unintended consequences do have a way of marring the best laid plans of mice and men.  Consider those that have come in the wake of the HSUS-led ban of horse slaughter in the US:

 “ 2007 Congress cut off the USDA’s funding for inspectors. Since then, says a study published last month in the Journal of Animal Science, a flood of unwanted horses has been unleashed on the American west.   About 100,000 unwanted American horses turn up every year. And the Journal of Animal Science authors note that the capacity of all the U.S. equine recues and sanctuaries combined is just 13,400.”

“In 2000, virtually no horses were exported from the U.S. to Mexico for slaughter. Last year 50,000 made the trip. American humane slaughter regulations carry no weight South of the Border, so activists trying to save horses from what they considered a cruel death may have guaranteed them something far worse.  And for every American horse that sees a Mexican kill floor, another like it is left to fend for itself, often dying slowly from starvation. In the current economy, some horse owners are left without options. They used to be able to sell their animals for slaughter, but no more. Some can’t afford the $500 it typically costs to hire a veterinarian to euthanize and dispose of a single horse. Instead, many  just “shoot, shovel, and shut up.”

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