Eating Horse Meat is Good for Animal Welfare?

In a speech at the annual conference of the charity, World Horse Welfare, Princess Anne is quoted as saying, “Should we be considering a real market for horsemeat and would that reduce the number of welfare cases if there was a real value in the horsemeat sector? …. I chuck that out for what it’s worth because I think it needs a debate.”

Spark a debate it has, with a multitude of opinions that have immediately deflated the argument that selling horses for meat would encourage people to take better care of them. The most obvious being that the billions of animals eaten each year are not respected or taken care of.

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She continued, “The value of the animal to every individual is slightly different, but if it has real financial value then you look a little bit further ahead in the way you look after your animals.”

Perhaps, but it seems that the majority of people who choose to care for a companion animal like a horse or dog, do so not for future financial benefit, but for the emotional connection they share with their animal.

The Princess’ comments come after the very publicized horse meat scandal in which horse meat ended up in some “beef” products in a number of popular UK supermarkets. Arbitrary designations of which animals are used for food aside, people do have a right to know what’s in their products.

In the U.S., the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act (H.R. 1094/S. 541) would permanently end horse slaughter by amending the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to make it “illegal for horses or their meat to be sold or transported in interstate commerce by anyone who knows that they are intended for human consumption.”

We already have too many abused animals in our worldwide food supply, there is absolutely no reason to add another, especially under the guise of improving animal welfare.

Image Source: Monsieurlementhe/Flickr