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Kari Johnson, Published February 02 2009

Horse rendering facility is needed

In response to the articles, opinions and the slew of comments on the Inforum Web page, I thought that I would add my two cents:

First of all, people need to realize that the proposed horse facility would be a rendering plant, not a slaughterhouse. The horses are going to be used for various different animal byproducts, not for meat use or human consumption.

Rep. Rod Froelich, D-Selfridge, N.D., is looking at the bigger picture and the fact that something needs to be done with the abandoned and abused, hurt, old and unusable horses that are being released into the “wild” to fend for themselves. He’s not out to “line his pockets,” as so many are suggesting.

I, too, am a horse owner, breeder, trainer and horse lover, and I see the benefit for this proposal. All of those who think that it is such an easy fix to just simply take care of these horses because they are “pets” need to go out to a sale or out to the Badlands where people are dumping these animals and take a good look at the condition that many of them are in.

I will grant the fact that there are some people who are simply cruel and do not care for their animals as they should, but just as with any other living being, horses get sick, hurt, old and unusable. For all of those horses, what do the bleeding hearts of America propose that we do? Let them stand around and suffer because we cannot do anything for them or take them somewhere that their suffering can be quickly ended and their remains turned into something usable?

As for the plants that have been closed in America because of PETA and other animal rights organizations’ complaints, let’s put this in perspective. Would you rather see horses being put to death in the United States, where there are federal regulations in regard to the handling of the animals, or have them sent to Mexico, where they are led to a slow, cruel and painful death, generally by being paralyzed by a cut nerve and then left to slowly bleed to death.

I realize for those who do not know the hardships of any farm or ranch industry, it is a hard pill to swallow, thinking that all of these sweet and innocent animals are being cruelly “murdered” because they are no longer “wanted” or “useful.” In reality, this process is how America was founded.

So next time you drive by a farm or ranch and see a horse standing in the pasture, think of how that animal will look when it gets old or hurt and is no longer able to get around easily or eat enough to maintain itself. And then think of how many could be spared this pain if we were allowed to dispose of them in a way that benefits them and many other animals, people and industry.