To the Editor:
As a resident of Maryland I have a lifetime of appreciating and supporting our state’s diverse equestrian industry.
As the director of Gentle Giants, I have saved many horses at auctions being sold to slaughter. These are healthy horses that go on to become wonderful companions and riding partners.
Unlike the predatory, profit-driven horse slaughter industry, I see horses for what they really are — kind, trusting, and noble animals that have stood by us loyally throughout history.
Horse slaughter is an inhumane, terrifying, and painful death for an animal that has been raised as a companion, rather than for food. It is a death that is an ultimate betrayal of the bond between horse and human.
From long distance transport without food or water, to the slaughter process itself where horses endure repeated agonizing blows to the head, the entire process of horse slaughter is fraught with suffering.
It was no better when plants operated in the U.S. The USDA reported horrific cruelty, failure to enforce regulations, and appalling injuries.
Horse slaughter does not benefit horses, nor does it benefit the equestrian industry. It is a deceit fueled business selling the tainted meat of domestic pets to unknowing foreign consumers for the profit of foreign owned slaughterhouses.
It does not benefit Americans or our horses.
Gentle Giants is committed to saving draft horses from slaughter, abuse, and neglect, and we will keep fighting for them because horses deserve better than to be brutally slaughtered.
We commend Sen. Barbara Mikulski for co-sponsoring the Safeguard American Food Exports Act, and hope she will continue to stand up for what is right and demand language that defunds American horse slaughter in any current or future legislation.
Christine Hajek, president and founder
Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue