Horses are indeed being transported to Mexico and Canada as they always have been. What Obama has done is to allow refunding of inspections which had been defunded prior, forcing the slaughterhouses to close. The inspections will cost US taxpayers millions while we subsidize foreign owned slaughterhouses that provide us with nothing in the way of jobs or revenue. Only international companies like Cavel have access to the foreign horse meat market. In the past these foreign plants have notoriously employed illegals and ex cons and provided no more than a handful of lowest paid jobs to US citizens. The communities near the plants lose property value, and deal with issues of water and air pollution among others. Our horses were still transported to Canada and Mexico throughout all of the years the US slaughterhouses were in operation, and that won't change. Many breeders who were forced to cut back on their breeding operations will now be resuming their breeding programs, because slaughter of horses encourages irresponsible breeding, and in fact, serves to subsidize it.
By 2013 the European market is anticipated to be requiring strict regulation of the animals slaughtered for human consumption. Any US horse to ever be slaughtered to provide meat for human consumption will be required to have veterinary records from birth on after documenting all medications, vaccines, dewormers, etc. administered, and all diseases or injuries treated. Since certain drugs such as bute, for example, have no safe withdrawal time established, and the metabolites are found in the tissues indefinitely, any horse having ever been given bute will not qualify for the European horse meat market. The Asian market is likely to follow suit, since our contaminated horse meat is currently being fed to their unsuspecting children and producing diseases like aplastic anemias and cancers. Our horses have not been monitored the way animals used for human consumption should be in order to assure safety of the meat being exported. All of us horse owners may find ourselves subjected to strict regulations, required veterinary control over administration of all vaccines and drugs used on our horses, and loss of many of the freedoms enjoyed at present if all US horses are seen as part of the food chain, whether or not we ever intended our own horses to end up at the slaughterhouses.
Those who neglect and starve their horses will not be able to provide the necessary documentation so that their horses, along with the many feral horses, will not even qualify as candidates to be purchased by kill buyers fulfilling foreign meat contracts.
So, none of the over-breeding and equine overpopulation issues will be solved, and the over-breeders can flourish while the taxpayers and the throw-away horses suffer for it. We haven't benefited anyone but those who need to clean up their acts or be put out of business.
Horse slaughter is not a necessity, and there are viable alternatives that provide for humane euthanasia, environmentally beneficial and safe recycling of carcasses, and will ultimately need to be incorporated anyway as the foreign market for our tainted horse meat dwindles, as well it should.
Here is an excerpt of an article from the IFH on new regulations to meet the requirements of the European Union regarding the monitoring of quality of North American horse meat for export.....................
"......While the current system may be inadequately implemented, this initiative is only the first in a series of new regulations that by 2013 are expected to generate an electronic database with full medical histories wherein the EID is to be an implanted microchip in each and every horse destined for slaughter. Any horses flagged for banned substances will be considered ineligible.
How then will the current enforcement of these regulations develop to guarantee this happens? It is doubtful the U.S. will comply or adopt any formal procedures to provide sufficient information for the completion of a Canadian EID.
In any case, the market for North American horse meat may be on the verge of collapse.
Many European importers have promised customers that they will no longer purchase from the North American supply chain. This stems in part from the realization of the extreme cruelty of the slaughter pipeline in North America and Mexico, as exposed by GAIA, a respected animal welfare in Belgium, and Animals' Angels USA,13 together with the growing awareness that horses in North America are not subject to the restrictions that apply to food animals....."
Here is a partial listing of drugs banned for use in horses to be slaughtered for human consumption. The FDA website has a full listing................. http://www.vetsforequinewelfare.org/prohibited-drugs.php