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Horse cloning and horse slaughter fought in the Courts

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Horse cloning and horse slaughter fought in the Courts

From Int'l. Fund for Horses
July 2013

If it is true that death in a slaughterhouse is the ultimate fate of many race horses that have lost their usefulness to a greedy industry, what potential effect—positive or negative — could cloning have on this troubling issue?

Phyllis M. Daugherty has written an interesting article regarding the cloning and slaughter of horses for Opposing Views.

Both issues are being fought out in the Courts.

HORSE CLONING

In a lawsuit set for trial Tuesday [July 16], the federal court in Amarillo is being asked by two horsemen to render a decision that will force the American Quarter Horse Association to register cloned horses and their offspring, arguing that the AQHA is violating antitrust law by refusing to do so.

“A decision favoring the plaintiffs — Jason Abraham of Canadian, Texas, and Gregg Veneklasen of Amarillo — could clear the way for clones to compete in sanctioned quarter horse races at scores of racetracks in the U.S. and elsewhere,” writes Mike Brunker, Investigations Editor for NBC News.

While the public debate rages over the physical effects of cloning, the bottom line is, of course, money. Brunker states that quarter-horse racing is the third most popular form of equine racing — after thoroughbred and standardbred racing — and generated more than $300 million in betting at U.S. racetracks in 2012.

Cloning critics say allowing the procedure could concentrate the genetic pool and undermine efforts to improve the breed. The AQHA states on its website that it plans to “vigorously defend its ban,” arguing that it is a voluntary, private association and therefore retains the right to set rules favored by a majority of its members–86% of whom indicated in a recent survey that they oppose cloning.

HORSE SLAUGHTER

Followers of Tuesday’s Horse will already be aware that the USDA et al are being sued regarding their recent permissions for horse meat inspections in several States which could return horse slaughter to US soil.

There is no mention in the horse-cloning discussion of the impact it could have on the increasing number of horses who are unwanted and end up in slaughterhouses—many of who are reportedly discards of the racing industry.

The USDA has now said it is again ready to conduct inspections should anyone plan to open a horse-slaughter plant in the U.S. It just announced it has issued “grants of inspection” for plants in New Mexico and Iowa and anticipates approval of a Missouri slaughterhouse application within days.

The article’s closing question, in our opinion, addresses the thinking that fuels the drive to breed, use and kill.

If it is true that death in a slaughterhouse is the ultimate fate of many race horses that have lost their usefulness to a greedy industry, what potential effect—positive or negative — could cloning have on this troubling issue?