Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Horse debate ongoing

The idea of reopening horse processing plants is causing controversy across the nation. Finding an agreeable alternative is proving to be difficult. "In 99 cases out of 100, people have options," said The Humane Society of the United States president and CEO Wayne Pacelle. "Any time someone gets an animal, they have an ethical responsibility to care for that animal." He said if they can't, then they should try to adopt the animal out. If that doesn't work, they should try a sanctuary. If that doesn't work, the next step is euthanasia administered by a veterinarian. He said there are few people in a situation where they can't find a horse a new home or euthanize it humanely. Charles Stenholm, senior policy advisor for Olsson Frank Weeda, P.C., said Pacelle and Holland want to end an industry that gives good jobs to more than 500,000 people. He said it should be up to individuals whether or not they want to send their horses to a processing plant. "We should be asking the right question of all horse owners," said Stenholm. "Would they rather receive $500 or more for an unwanted horse or pay $500 or more to euthanize it and dispose of it?" He said it's important for non-horse owners to understand that the issue is not humane treatment. "All of us believe horses and animals should be treated humanely from birth until death," he said. "Horses are private property. Why does Wayne believe he has the right to speak for every horse owner and not just those who never want their horse to go to a processing plant? Isn't that what the Constitution has something to say about - private property rights and protection of minority rights with actions governed by the majority? Let's have a real debate and let the people of our states and nation decide."...more

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