Recently I shared a story about thoroughbred race horses that were being killed after losing horse races. When you hear about something like this and the other animal brutal animal cruelty nightmares that continue to plague Puerto Rico, you ask yourself how could this happen?
In the latest horrific example of stupid human behavior, Federal authorities are investigating the injury of 20 thoroughbred horses who were injured during a four day voyage from Florida to Puerto Rico on a boat. Apparently the container used to ship the animals was not designed to carry horses, but shorter animals like cows.
The shipment's double-decker cattle trailers are notorious among animal rights activists who complain they force horses to stand in painful, crouched positions. "It is bad enough on a road surface, but considering the turbulence on an open ocean, it boggles my mind," said Keith Dane of the Humane Society of the United States.
The president of the island horse owners association, Hector Gonzalez, and an attorney for the export company, Hiram Pagani, said the complaint is groundless and that none of the owners took issue with the horses' health upon delivery.And why in the world would anyone want to send horses in a container designed for cattle? The transportation of the horses by boat was promoted as a cheaper option by Hector Gonzalez of the horse owners association.
In March, he sent a memo to owners that said the Florida company (contracted for the shipping) would charge them US$750 per horse, about half the cost of airfare. The memo, obtained by The Associated Press, described the sea-bound trailer as a "more economical and safe alternative."
I believe that Mr. Gonzalez should be asked to resign from the island horse owners association for saying something as stupid as what he did, and if the investigation proves that he knew about the use of the cattle trailers, he should share in any animal cruelty charges that occur. The willful cruelty of animals to save money is a sickness which needs to be punished to help prevent further abuses.