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Horses deserve better treatment

Date: 5/30/2013

Imagine a Clydesdale galloping in an open field. But what some people don't know is that this horse gets abused every day. Next week it will be shipped off to Mexico to be slaughtered. The meat will come back to the U.S. to be sold. Horse meat should be illegal in the United States because it is a form of animal cruelty, horses can be used for other purposes, and they can get better treatment than killing them and selling the meat.

Animal cruelty happens all over, but especially in horses because of horse slaughter farms, beating them and working them too much. Horse slaughter farms play a big part in horse meat. This is bad news because when horses get shipped out of the U.S. for horse meat, they get more abuse where they are going such as Mexico and Canada.

When horse are killed for horse meat, they "are first stunned with a captive bolt gun and then let them bleed to death. However, the horses are sometimes improperly stunned and are sometimes skinned and bled while still conscious." Also, horses that will become horse meat get "strangled with ropes and are stabbed in the jugular vein to bleed out. Often they have their vocal cords severed with dull knives to muffle their bloodcurdling screams, as parts of its body are removed. Other horses have their tendons slashed to restrict movement, are stabbed in the heart or set on fire."

On Nov. 1 Oklahoma is making horse slaughter legal because eh governor signed a law document on March 29. The people working for the slaughter farms will be packaging and exporting the meat across the thing too. They sell horse meat illegally. "The black market horse meat trade is a gruesome, illegal business that has been freely operating over the last fifty years. Once it is here, it will be much more difficult to get rid of."

"In 2006, these facilities – two in Texas and one in Illinois, all foreign-owned - killed an processed more than 90,000 horses for human consumption." Horses should be used for other purpose such as playing polo, showing, horseback riding and companionship.

Polo is a sport that is played with four men or women on horses. The players hold long sticks and try to hit the ball into the net. The game has four to six periods, each seven minutes long and there are two referees on ponies. Anyone can play it and polo is mostly played in London.

Showing horses is all about getting the horse ready. It is a competition that requires patience, communication and having fun. People show horses either in hand or riding. Riding needs more balance and communication than in hand. In hand is more for teaching a horse and connecting with it on the ground.

When people are riding, they make more of a connection with their horse. Horses can be used for other purposes than to be slaughtered for the sale of their meat. Americans will find all horses to be special and more like a friend to everyone than livestock.

Some horses end up being slaughtered for meat because of disease. However, horses can get better treatment by treating anthrax, through their owners and treating piroplasmosis to make slaughtering not necessary to get the meat for the U.S.

"Anthrax is a highly contagious, mostly fatal disease that affects all animals. Horses acquire this disease by grazing on infected pastures." The bacteria can be found in the soil up to 50 years. Signs that horses have anthrax are chills, fever, swelling in the throat and difficulty breathing. A way that horses can get cured of anthrax is the vet checks its blood sample to see if it comes back positive or negative. The horses' owners play a big role in their treatment. Treating a horse is very expensive and takes a lot of care and patience.

Piroplasmosis is a disease that comes to the horse by tick bites. The signs of piroplasmosis are fever and a different color of urine. There is no official sign that there was a cure, but there is medicine to help it. Horses can get the help they need with treatments and help from their owners.

Meat from horses should be illegal in the United States because it's a form of cruelty. Horses can be used for other purposes and the horses can get better treatment. Seventeen percent of the meat in Europe came from horses in the U.S. The other unwanted horses go to Mexico or Canada.

Stephanie Aucoin

Student at Granby Jr./Sr. High School