No Progress on Planned Horse Slaughterhouse in Rockville

KANSAS CITY – A horse slaughterhouse advocate wants to open a plant in Rockville, Mo.. So far, no progress has been made, and opponents like it that way.

Sue Wallis, a Wyoming state legislator and businesswoman, posted a press release in June stating that a former beef plant in Rockville was in the process of being retrofitted as a horse slaughter plant. But, as the Kansas City Star reports, this wasn’t true. No headway has been made at the Rockville plant.

As the Star reports:

“She goes around to all these places with the promise of jobs and people get all excited and nothing ever comes of it,” said Pat Fazio, who works to protect wild horses in Wyoming and has clashed with Wallis over the years.

Which is fine with slaughter opponents. They say Wallis and her allies have done their best to make the most out of a 2011 Government Accountability Office report that concluded that closing the slaughter plants not only hurt horses but also damaged the horse industry by taking the bedrock out of the market: Slaughter at least provided a salvage rate.

The U.S. banned horse slaughterhouses in 2007. Opponents of horse slaughter point out that the bottoming out of the horse market coincided with the Great Recession, and so the horse slaughter ban is not to blame. Opponents also maintain that stories of mistreated horses during the ban are overblown.

They say stories of abandonments are exaggerated, and that anyone who lets a horse suffer isn’t a good owner anyway. If someone has an old horse that needs to be put down, they say, call a vet and the man with a backhoe. There are also cremation, composting and rendering. Those are options for responsible horse owners, opponents say.

As for horses being like cows and pigs, no, they are not, slaughter opponents add. The cavalry didn’t ride to the rescue on Black Angus. A horse’s place in history and American culture should exclude it from the food chain.


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