Plymouth Rock is a 19-year-old black Percheron and he is lucky to be alive.

The horse was set to be auctioned off to slaughter when Carol Kirshenbaum, animal lover and founder of Quack’ Corner, a group that helps rescue stray animals, found him.

His leg was fractured and his back was injured from his years as a carriage horse.

In his sorry state, Kirshenbaum saved him from possibly being sold for horse meat and, seven years later, he’s still going strong.

He’s actually one of my riding horses,” Kirshenbaum said.

She describes him as majestic.

A bill in the state legislature looks to prohibit the slaughter of horses and sale of horse flesh for human consumption.

Sponsored by Assemblyman Ronald Dancer (R, 12) and Assemblyman Gilbert Wilson (D, 5), the bill would make it illegal to slaughter a horse and sell it for human consumption. Violators would be fined.

Congress created a federal ban on horse meat consumption in 2006; however, that ban was lifted in the fall of 2011.

Currently, there is a federal bill called the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act in the works to once again ban horse meat. Until then, Dancer hopes that New Jersey can pass a state law against it and serve as an example to other states.

“We don’t need to be taking horses from the stable to the table,” Dancer said.

There is already a law regarding dog meat for human consumption in the state. The current plan is to also insert horses into the law.

“I think it’s very important right now for states to be proactive,” Dancer said.

New Jersey, which named the horse as its state animal, has a great affinity and history with the animal, says Dancer.

“I understand over in Europe that’s a different culture but I’m trying to do everything I can to not take horses from the pasture to the plate here in New Jersey,” he said.

Violators of the proposed law can receive civil fines between $500-$1,000 for each horse slaughtered or carcass sold for human consumption.

Although Americans are not known to eat horse meat, many cultures across history have enjoyed its taste.

“If you reactivate the slaughterhouses, even with other animals, not even horses, do it humanely,” she said.

The bill goes to a vote in Trenton on Thursday.

Contact Don E. Woods at 856-451-1000, ext. 418 or dwoods@southjerseymedia.com.
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