Commentary

Horse laws cruel for owners and livestock

Dear editor,

Many times in our nation’s history, we have had good people that saw what they thought was a problem and because of their passion have convinced the lawmakers that something should be done to make it illegal.

Not always, but a lot of the time there are consequences for these that no one thought or cared about.

A few years ago, a group of people that love animals and especially horses, thought it was a travesty that they are being slaughtered.

Regardless of the world as a whole, they thought their own desires and beliefs were what were best for everyone.

With their money and influence, they were able to close all slaughter plants in Texas. What they wanted to do is keep horses from being slaughtered, but that has not happened.

The reality of what has happened is t hat t he slaug hter of horses has slowed, but not stopped, just moved to Mexico.

This is the situation that we, horse owners, find ourselves. Prior to the change in law, the slaughterplantskeptafloor under the price of horses.

Whenever a horse became injured and was not of any possible use to the owner, it could be sold for a time upwards of 50 cents a pound; which means a 1,200-pound horse would bring $600.

Recently, they had a horse sale in Stephenville where there were over 700 sold. Most did not bring over $50. That is a far cry from what they would have brought.

They just headed south to Mexico for slaughter. Not only did they not accomplish what they intended, they have brought about a travesty of economics.

Under the current law, a horse that has no other purpose than to drain the owners for feed and hay expense changes from a $600 asset to a $300 to $400 liability.

For those of us who cannot bring ourselves to pull a trigger on the animal that has been part of our lives, we have to have a vet come out and help with the process.

After we have paid the vet $200, we are left to deal with the carcass. The good people that aspired to help horses would like for you to just keep feeding and let the horse die a natural death.

These horses are called pasture ornaments. That in itself brings on suffering even they would agree is uncalled for.

It does not take a very smart person to figure out that the horse industry is in trouble.

All you have to do is look, watch the news, check the Internet, have e-mail, or go to a horse sale.

Time and again, you see advertisements or e-mails notifying the public that someone has a horse or horses that they can no longer feed and take care of.

They are trying desperately to find someone, anyone that would take the horse off his or her hands. In some cases, this causes good people to become law breakers, because they can no longer afford feed or hay and have no one to take the horse or horses they can be charged with cruelty to an animal.

Added to that, they have cost people their jobs and businesses. Think about what we are faced with today, unemployment over nine percent and an economic slow down of the likes we have not seen in decades

Instead of finding ways to increase employment, we have added to the downturn.

It is time that all of us, who do not look at horses in a sacred way, have our voices heard.

These laws need to be taken off the books and let the economics of the horse industry work. If there weren’t a good use for the horses to be slaughtered, the plants would not exist.

If the good-intending people do not want the horses to be slaughter, they can spend their own money to feed and shelter the unwanted horses.

Their personal beliefs should not create a hardship on everyone else. If you believe in what you have just read, please contact your state representative or senator and make your voice heard.

By expressing my opinion, there is a great possibility that some of the kind hearted people will find a need to persecute the author, but it will not change the facts and how they are perceived by many.

Randy Fletcher
170 CR 317
Rockdale


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2011-09-08 digital edition



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