Possible horse slaughter stirs up emotion

Horses could soon be butchered in the United States now that Congress lifted a ban on funding horse meat inspections.
Horses could soon be butchered in the United States now that Congress lifted a ban on funding horse meat inspections.

It's a story that stirs up emotion on both sides. Horses could soon be butchered in the United States now that Congress lifted a ban on funding horse meat inspections.

Those against slaughter houses, call the practice inhumane, cruel, and driven by money. However, some horse owners in the Heartland have a different opinion.

Julia Rupke is a trainer and owner. She feels a ban lifted on horsemeat inspection that would mean slaughter houses would open again soon is a good thing. Especially, she says, when it comes to an animal that may otherwise starve.

"Horses are my life," said Rupke. "You have someone that owns a horse and probably never should have had a horse."

While the horses Rupke cares for and trains receive top care, she says many do not.

Fellow owner, Tom Herbert agrees.

"Too often horses are left to starve in the pasture and that happens a lot in our part of the country," said Herbert.

In fact, national pro-slaughterhouse activists believe the ban lead to an increase in neglected and abandoned horses. Herbert couldn't agree more. He says it's one reason why he is happy to see the ban lifted.

"The people who are against these slaughter houses need to go in some of these rescues and see the starving horses," said Herbert.

He says most people don't realize how much time and money goes into horse care. Meanwhile, with the possibility of slaughterhouses opening in just a month - some lawmakers already plan to take action siding with those who feel the practice is cruel.

As for these horse lovers - they do hope people would look for an alternative to a slaughterhouse. They also feel slaughterhouses need to be highly regulated. But, they say starvation is a far worse way for an animal to die.

"Starvation is a slow agonizing death none of God's creatures should have to face," said Herbert.

Some who are against the slaughterhouses predict a public outcry in a city where a slaughterhouse is put in place.

Some members of congress are already making plans to fight the lifting of the ban, siding with those who feel butchering horses for human consumption is inhumane.

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