Paul Dieterlen is the unusual veterinarian who doesnâ??t have a pet. But Dieterlen, who retired recently from overseeing the
meat-inspection division within the State Board of Animal Health, says that if he had one, it would be a horse.
So it might seem counterintuitive that Dieterlen believes the ban on slaughtering horses needs to be lifted.
The practice was done away with for good reasons, he says. Old, arthritic animals were being trucked hundreds of miles to
the few horse slaughterhouses operating in the country, often with little water, food or rest. (Dieterlen isnâ??t aware of slaughterhouses
having operated in Indiana, ever.)
Now, though, instances of horse neglect are on the rise because owners canâ??t afford the hundreds of dollars needed to euthanize
their animals and dispose of the bodies.
â??It leaves us with an intolerant problem,â?? he says. â??What do they do with them?â??
Indeed, it isnâ??t a small problem in a state where horses are popular with people from exurban types to the racing industry
to the Amish, who still use them as draft animals. The Indiana Horse Council estimates Hoosiers own more than 200,000 horses.
Thatâ??s nearly twice the population of Hendricks County.
Montana is considering opening the door
to slaughterhouses. Dieterlen thinks an alternative would be for animal welfare groups to help raise money for euthanasia
Anyone have a better idea?