If you've read a newspaper in the past few weeks,you may have seen an article making it sound like the state of Kentucky is being inundated with starving, lame horses with nowhere to go now that the Texas slaughter plants have at least temporarily shut down. These articles have painted a pretty ugly picture of Kentucky horse owners. Now the Humane Society of the United States has a response to those articles, which they claim are manufactured "news." You can decide for yourself, but here's the HSUS spin on things:
WASHINGTON, March 16 /-- At the annual meeting of the Kentucky Animal Care and Control Association today, the organization's president, Dan Evans, surveyed the membership about the situation. None reported an increase in abandoned horse reports or sightings.
"The notion that Kentucky is overrun with unwanted horses is absurd," said Pam Rogers, Kentucky State Program Coordinator for The Humane Society of the United States, who was at the meeting. "We are a state of horse lovers...These claims made by the horse slaughter industry's lobbyists have no basis. This is just plain rumor mongering."
The reports surfaced after a federal appeals court decision closed down two horse slaughter plants in Texas. Equine welfare experts report that the horses bound for the Texas slaughter plants are now being shipped to a plant in Mexico to be killed. The only horse slaughter plant still operating in the United States -- in DeKalb, Illinois -- is importing horses from Canada for slaughter, underscoring the point that there is no surplus of horses available in the United States.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that 92.3 percent of American horses going to slaughter are healthy and in good shape -- not starving or neglected animals.