Friday, April 9, 2010

GAIA fights horse slaughter

Several years ago the United States outlawed the slaughter of horses. This praiseworthy step was one in the right direction for a better and more compassionate world for animals. Unfortunately this did not deter the belgian meat industry, nor did it stop all people in the US who were willing to have their horses slaughtered (more evidence that things like horse races aren't about the horses but about $$$?).

My country is one of the last countries out there where people still eat horse meat, something frowned upon by other countries such as England for decades. Now, the Belgian animal rights group GAIA (Global Action in the Interests of Animals) is fighting back hard.

They recently released undercover footage of the suffering that horses must endure during the long transports and the appaling slaughter conditions in Mexico or Brasil(and the US ain't much better by the way).

Watch the video(available in english):

As you can see: Animals are being transported across long distances without access to water or food. They are abused and suffer, and of course die an agonizing death for nothing.

Animal rights group GAIA has made headlines with this new campaign, which can only be a good thing. The more people see what animals go through, the better... (It is a pity we can't make people care though)

Here is some background information from the GAIA website about the footage and horse meat ending up in belgian supermarkets(in dutch):

Suffering of horses for belgian consumption

Belgische paardenvleesbedrijven zijn verantwoordelijk voor de zware verwaarlozing en mishandeling van tienduizenden paarden. Deze bedrijven, die eigenaar zijn van paardenslachthuizen in Zuid-Amerika en paardenvlees uit Zuid-Amerika verhandelen aan supermarkten in Belgiƫ, houden die wanpraktijken in stand.

In brief: Belgian meat companies are responsible for the serious neglect and abuse of tens of thousands of horses.

De meeste paarden, die in Mexico worden geslacht, worden vanuit Texas in de Verenigde Staten naar Mexicaanse slachthuizen vervoerd in dubbeldekkers. Die zijn in Mexico verboden. In Texas worden jaarlijks duizenden paarden vanuit de hele Verenigde Staten verzameld op een plaats die eigendom is van Bel-Tex, een tak van het Belgische paardenvleesbedrijf Multimeat

Most of the horses being slaughtered in Mexico are being transported from Texas. Horses from all over the US are being gathered there on land owned by Bel-Tex(part of the belgian company Multimeat).

GAIA made a campaign site informing consumers here
It is all in dutch, but if you want to read it, use google translate.

I hope this new campaign will help put an end to some of the suffering that animals must endure daily. Only time will tell if it has a positive effect.