In the knock-me-over-with-a-feather department, the co-founder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) told the Christian Science Monitor the radical animal rights organization favors the return of horse slaughter to the U.S., saying the five-year ban has created more inhumane treatment and suffering of horses than slaughter itself had done.
A funding bill recently signed into law by President Obama clears the way for USDA inspections of slaughter plants.
“It's quite an unpopular position we've taken,” said PETA president and co-founder Ingrid Newkirk. “There was a rush to pass a bill that said you can't slaughter them anymore in the United States. But the reason we didn't support it, which sets us almost alone, is the amount of suffering that it created exceeded the amount of suffering it was designed to stop.”
PETA's position is opposite that of many other animal rights organizations.
It is based on the increasing number of horses that have been shipped to slaughter plants in Canada and Mexico since the 2007 U.S. ban. In 2010, about 138,000 horses were shipped to foreign slaughter plants, compared to 104,899 horses slaughtered in the U.S. before the ban, according to a GAO report.
PETA favors reinstating U.S. slaughter plants at the same time it wants a ban on the shipment of U.S. horses to foreign countries.
“It's hard to call (ending slaughter ban) a victory, because it's all so unsavory,” Newkirk told the Monitor. “The (funding) bill didn't mean any horses were spared, but it does mean the amount of suffering is now reduced again.”
This position by PETA is going to have individuals and organizations on both sides of the slaughter issue scratching their heads and reassessing their stance.
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