Horse Meat (again)

Two days ago I blogged about Horse Meat Ethics. I discussed the fact that eating horse is considered taboo (in many places), and that slaughtering horses is illegal in the U.S., despite the fact that a) horse is widely eaten in the rest of the world, and b) there seems to be no particularly good ethical reason for treating horses differently from, say, cows in this regard.

Here’s more on the same issue. From the Wall Street Journal:
Horse Slaughter Is Reconsidered

Less than four years after the last equine slaughterhouses in the U.S. closed down, an unlikely coalition of ranchers, horse owners and animal-welfare groups is trying to bring them back.

The group, gathering in Las Vegas this week for a conference called Summit of the Horse, aims to map out a strategy for reviving an industry that slaughtered as many as 100,000 horses a year in the U.S. before it was effectively shut down by congressional action in 2007.

Advocates say the slaughterhouses could bring an economic boost to rural areas and give owners who no longer have the means or inclination to care for the horses an economical and humane way to dispose of them.

“We believe that humane processing is absolutely a moral and an ethical choice,” said Sue Wallis, a Wyoming state lawmaker who organized the event….

One interesting tidbit revealed in the WSJ piece has to do with how it was that slaughtering horses for human consumption effectively became illegal. It’s not that anyone made slaughter itself illegal. Congress just cut off funds for slaughterhouse inspections:

Pressure from animal-rights groups and from undercover videos that circulated on the Internet and showed apparent cruelties in the horse-butchering process prompted Congress to shut off all funds for inspecting equine slaughterhouses in 2007. That dealt the industry a fatal blow, as federal inspections were required by law before the meat could be exported for human consumption….


Hat tip to the excellent Marginal Revolution.

About Chris MacDonald

I'm a philosopher who teaches at Ryerson University's Ted Rogers School of Management in Toronto, Canada. Most of my scholarly research is on business ethics and healthcare ethics.
This entry was posted in activism, agriculture, animal rights, animal welfare, ethics, meat, values. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Horse Meat (again)

  1. Paulette says:

    Would be interesting/entertaining to hear the opinion of the activist groups in Canada pushing for the ban here.

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