Sue Wallis, a Wyoming state representative and the most visible booster for horse slaughter in the United States, took it on the chin the other day in Missouri, as local residents strongly opposed her proposal for a horse slaughter plant near the Mountain Grove community of nearly 5,000. There were about 300 angry residents who packed the town council meeting at the Mountain Grove Senior Center and wanted nothing to do with such an enterprise in their town. They knew that profits would be slim, and that they’d also be getting too large a share of pollution problems, reduced property values, and animal cruelty bound up with this industry.
The community's resounding rejection of the proposal put the lie to Wallis’s prior claim that “the folks in Missouri are 100 percent on board with what we’re trying to do and how we’re trying to do it.”
Kathy Milani/The HSUS
Some people want to become firefighters, to help people in the developing world, to open up a legitimate business, or to serve their country, in one form or another. As for Sue Wallis, she just seems to want to help kill horses. It’s hard to know at any given time whether she is operating as an elected official, a rancher, an investor, or a prospective manager of a slaughter plant. For her, it seems that all roads lead to an equine abattoir.
The message Sue Wallis got the other night came from local people who were being asked to live with a horse slaughtering plant in their midst, and it was consistent with what we know of public opinion on the issue. In poll after poll, the majority of Americans―urban, suburban, and rural―have signaled their disapproval of horse slaughter, especially for sale of the meat in the global marketplace.
Representatives of the horse slaughter industry need to stop their excuse-making for horse owners who abandon their animals, or who only want to profit from them by selling them to a kill buyer. The horse slaughter business is predatory, cruel, and marginal. Even communities trying to attract business want nothing to do with it, despite the efforts by a handful of politicians who see just a bundle of tissue, sinew, bone, and hair rather than living, feeling animals who have played no small role in the history of our nation.