Local Reaction to Horse Ruling

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ASHLAND, Ore. — A federal judge’s ruling in New Mexico is re-igniting the debate over what to do with the estimated hundreds of thousands of unwanted horses in the United States.

Late Friday, a U.S. District Judge ruled that a six year old ban on selling horses to slaughter houses should be reversed, and at least three U.S. meat processors could begin taking in horses as soon as this week.

Several animal rights groups, including the U.S. Humane Society and local horse rescue organization, admit there is a big problem with too many unwanted horses in this country, but they say sending them to the slaughterhouse does not solve the problem.

“So, for us, you can start killing off horses in the United States for slaughter, and that will just kind of hide the problem, which is unwanted horses,” said Ruth Kennedy, the Equamore Foundation V.P.

Kennedy says there are about 150,000 unwanted horses in the United States every year. She says education of horse owners is the solution.

Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson is joining with actor Robert Redford to fight the court’s ruling, which rejected a suit by the U.S. Humane Society to block the slaughter of unwanted horses.