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Friday, April 29, 2011

Black Eye for Maine Harness Racing

A bill to ban the transport of horses from out of state to Quebec for slaughter has been withdrawn from consideration in Augusta, ME. It also bans residents of Maine from selling horses for slaughter. According to the article, Rep. Gary Knight's bill would have The original bill also proposed the registration of horses for export, a registry of ownership for purposes of export, a penalty of $5,000 for failing to register, and the reclassification of horses from livestock to companion animals.

While the bill is being withdrawn now, if no compromise bill is offered, it will be resubmitted excluding the registration requirements.  Horse breeders objected to the bill because they felt they need an economical and 'humane' way to dispose of the horses as it could cost up to $500 to euthanize and bury a horse.

Why does Maine Harness Racing get the bad eye here?  Being harness racing is the only commercial racing breed in Maine, it figures to point the figure there.  Yes, some people in the industry do care about their horses, but others just look at them as a profit center.  I realize Maine breds do not command large amounts of money but if they can't afford $500 to do the right thing, I suggest they are breeding horses that have no business being bred.  As for those who feel slaughter is humane, I would like to know how many of them have gone to a Quebec slaughterhouse and witnessed a slaughter live and in person?