As a local Tama County farmer, I was distressed to read the letter from the Iowa Director of the Humane Society of the United States, Carol Griglione. I believe she failed to address a major need and benefit of having a horse slaughter plant in Iowa.
We can all agree that animals deserve to be treated with respect and have the most humane death possible. From living in rural Iowa for decades, I have seen horses set free from farms and others suffer from improper care and neglect. Humane slaughter with USDA oversight is a viable remedy to the overpopulation of horses that is unfortunately common.
Last year, 110,000 American horses were hauled to Mexico for slaughter and another 60,000 went to Canada. While being hauled over extremely long distances, horses are put under extreme stress before being slaughtered in plants without the humane practices established and governed by the USDA.
A common conclusion we can all agree on is animals destined for slaughter deserve to be euthanized and cultivated humanely. It is very unfortunate that the proposed plant in Sigourney had to alter their plans at the last minute. Under the federal guidance of the USDA, the humane euthanasia of horses could happen in Iowa, just as other animals are put down in humane facilities across the United States every day.