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Unwanted horses are sometimes abused and neglected and left to suffer and starve. At the height of the current economic crisis, reports of abandoned horses sent a wave of worry through the ranks of animal welfare advocates. However, this problem has abated and experience doesn’t support the notion that slaughter prevents neglect. California saw no rise in neglect cases after it banned slaughter in 1998. This pattern was repeated when slaughter was stopped Illinois. Similarly, the facts do not support the notion that slaughter is mainly a way to dispose of horses that are no longer fit. When Americans still killed horses for meat, 92 percent of the animals were judged to be in good condition. Indeed, anyone who ever attended an auction where horses are sold for meat would have seen that the animals on offer were generally healthy, strong, and spirited. Some were so friendly they pestered auctioneers for affection.
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