July 5, 2010 – CHICAGO (EWA) – The recent appointment of Dr. Douglas Corey to the top spot of the Washington lobby group, The Unwanted Horse Coalition (UHC), has made their loudly proclaimed stance of being neutral on the contentious issue of horse slaughter difficult to swallow.
Corey follows Dr. Tom Lenz, former head of American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP). Both Lenz and Corey pull no punches on their enthusiastic support of horse slaughter. The two veterinarians with close ties to animal agriculture refer to horse slaughter as an end-of-life option that is needed. Regrettably, with the UHC parent group, The American Horse Council, this front for unscrupulous breeders and the meat industry, often has the ear of Congress and is considered a respected and respectable humanitarian organization.
The daring hypocrisy of both organizations is stunning and Corey’s own words prove it. Few equine rescue organizations are members of the UHC, shunning the prohibitive cost of membership to join. Rescue groups, dependent upon donations, would prefer to spend their funds on feed and hay.
The Unwanted Horse Coalition is controlled by breed associations who happily send their culls to slaughter, the horse racing industry which happily disposes of tens of thousands of healthy races horses after their career is over and the livestock industry whose sole purpose is selling meat on the hoof.
During his testimony in 2008 before the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security for the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2008, Cory said, “Because of the large population of unwanted horses in the U.S., the AAEP believes that the processing of unwanted horses is currently a necessary end-of-life option and provides a humane alternative to allowing a horse to continue a life of discomfort and pain or endure inadequate care or abandonment.”
To the AHC and UHC the word “processing” is a benign mask for the horror of a horse’s final hours in a slaughter house.
Corey further insulted prospective horse owners by stating “many of the individuals that adopt horses are not financially secure enough to adopt and provide proper care and feeding for a horse.” Corey didn’t offer an explanation as to why owners and breeders that are financially secure choose to send their horses to slaughter rather than provide proper care.
Both Corey and Lenz are well aware of the labeling on horse medications, “not intended for use in food animals.” They are also well aware that animals given those medications cannot be slaughtered for human consumption and yet, they continue to support horse slaughter.
The European Union recently placed tight controls on the import of American horses because of the wholesale use of dangerous drugs in their everyday lives.
During his testimony on behalf of AAEP, Corey blithely claimed the closure of the US horse slaughter plants resulted in “increased equine cruelty in the form of abuse, neglect, and abandonment.”
That is a ludicrous statement. If there are increases in abuse, neglect and abandonment, it is has nothing to do with the closure of the plants. Closing the plants did not stop or slow down the number of horses slaughtered. In fact, 2008, the year Corey testified, had the second highest number of horses slaughtered since 1995.
The same number of horses laden with FDA and European Union banned drugs are flowing across our borders to slaughter plants in Canada and Mexico. All the while, Corey and Lenz still blame the closure of the plants instead of those that are causing the overpopulation of horses.
Actions speak louder than words and consistently appointing outspoken slaughter proponents to head a “neutral” organization speaks volumes.
The Equine Welfare Alliance is a dues free, umbrella organization with over 110 member organizations. The organization focuses its efforts on the welfare of all equines and the preservation of wild equids.