This is in response to an opinion expressed by Kathy Luedtke printed Sunday, June 10.

I’ve invited Ms. Luedtke to an open public debate on the issue of humane horse harvesting, which she has declined.

Had Ms. Luedtke attended the seminar, she would have received facts addressing her environmental concerns about humane horse harvesting.

Her first argument: “Historically, horse slaughter plants have had negative environmental impacts on the land on which they operate. Horse blood is a whole different waste product, of which they have yet to find a way to dispose of; that will impact waste water treatment plants and the communities they serve.” I offer the following documented USDA facts: In January 2011, there were 867 USDA inspected plants slaughtering livestock. 34.1 million cattle were slaughtered, 110.9 million pigs were slaughtered and 2.16 million sheep were slaughtered, all without any negative environmental impacts, but yet the animal rights movement (ARM) would like the American public to believe that it is impossible to harvest 150,000 horses without negative environmental impacts. (http://usda01.library.cornell.edo/usda/current/LiveSlauSu/LiveSlauSu-04-23-2012.pdf)

Ms. Luedtke later states “Check out what happened in Kaufmann, Texas, where the last U.S. plant was located...” Despite Ms. Luedtke being wrong, as the last plant operating was Carvel in Ill., yes, please do check out what happened in Kaufman, Texas. You’ll need to do a little digging for the real story as it is fairly non-dramatic. The facts behind the “blood in the streets”story is that a tanker carrying the valuable by product of blood, which is used in many household products, suffered a broken valve which allowed blood onto the streets, and was cleaned up within two hours. End of story. An unfortunate mishap, but hardly a devastating environmental crisis.

Chemical euthanasia is the only humane manner of euthanasia according the ARM. This contradicts the views of the AAEP and AVMA, which approve the bullet, the captive bolt, as well as chemical euthanasia as humane. Lets talk about the environmental impact of 6-8 semi loads per day, of horse carcasses, turned toxic waste by chemical euthanasia. Burial regulations are very strict and many land fills won’t take them as the barbiturate has been found in soil samples 30 years later. The lethal barbiturate has been proven to survive the rendering process and is making its way back into the pet food chain. Why isn’t the FDA and EPA all over this atrocity? I leave that to your speculation, and offer the following articles for consideration: Moles Must Be Rooted Out http://www.hpj.com/archives/2011/dec11/dec5/1130LoosTalesMRsr.cfm and Rice and Beans Anyone http://www.hpj.com/archives/2011/dec11/dec12/1207Loos TalesMRsr.cfm.

Ms. Luedtke’s second argument: “Horse meat is not ensured to be free of carcinogens.” It’s as free of carcinogens as any other meat eaten despite the best efforts of the ARM’s attempts to prove otherwise. Therein lies the great deception. If the ARM is allowed to set a precedence against human consumption of horse meat based on bogus science, you can bet they’ll take the very same argument to beef, chicken and pork.

In reality, the animal rights movement is not about dealing in the facts concerning the welfare of animals, or finding actual solutions to the problems we face concerning the unwanted horse. The entire animal rights movement is designed to eliminate animal ownership and agriculture all together. The current focus is to try to convince the American consumer that meat processing is abuse and eating meat is unethical. To those arguments, I suggest you consult your Bible, specifically Romans 14:1, and offer this video: http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/Inside-a-Slaughterhouse-Video

The GAO report shows horse values are down by 20 percent and neglect is up by 60 percent. The ARM has failed American horses miserably. While well run rescues, such as Willing Servants are an asset to a community and provide additional choices for owners, eliminating humane horse harvesting as a valid choice for livestock owners has been devastating on horse welfare and the horse industry, not to mention, an attack on our Constitutional liberties and God-given rights. God gave me dominion over my animals and placed it on my human heart to be a humane and responsible steward, which is what separates me from the animals; a moral conscience. Honestly, I don’t need, and will not tolerate the atheistic, animal rights movement’s attempt to replace my moral compass.

If you want to be part of the solution, join Willing Servants and the United Horsemen’s Organization.

Theresa Manzella