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Are Horses Still Slaughtered in the US?

I’ve been catching up with responding to comments, which I am so grateful to have in the first place, and I need some help on Ron’s horse slaughter comment. (It’s the most recent one.) I do know that horses are–and will continue to be–shipped elsewhere for slaughter. But –and I could be imagining this because I’ve been very busy–I thought I received an update from some horse advocacy group stating that the slaughter hasn’t actually stopped. I did some research after Ron’s comment and came up with nothing.

Naturally, I want Thinking Critically About Animal Rights
to be accurate, so I’d like to resolve this. I know the claims of HSUS, but I’m not exactly convinced they’ve got their finger on the pulse of what’s really going on. On the other hand, they could be right.

Anybody have any information? I’d appreciate guidance on this issue.

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Horse slaughter is very much illegal in the US now which is why the numbers being truck to Mexico and canada, and the distance they travel has increased do much. Between that and the current high cost of fodder is is going to be a hard winter for a lot of horses out their with under-interested or overwhelmed owners.

    November 29, 2007
  2. I know it's illegal–what I recall is a site that said that despite the fact that it's illegal, it continues. But I guess that must have been early in the game. I'll change the pamphlet if I don't get a confirmation in the next day or 2.

    November 29, 2007
  3. Sorry about my typos. That site may have referred to a temporary injunction that allowed one plant to stay open an extra few months–that has now lapsed.

    November 29, 2007
  4. Ron #


    This article will not definitively answer your question, but it is an interesting read.
    Abandoned horses pose dilemma for ranchers:

    November 29, 2007
  5. Marilyn #

    Slaughtering horses is illegal in several states, IL was the last one this year, KY was thinking about it. But there will be no more horse slaughter houses trying to start up in the US because of their opposition, us, and besides, they have Mexico and Canada which they've already ampted up with some new slaughterhouses.
    It's not illegal to slaughter horses in the states for zoos.
    H.R.503/S.311 will stop all exportation and slaughter in the states for human consumption.

    December 2, 2007
  6. Ondine Terrebonne #

    Unfortunately, there is no federal law forbidding the slaughter of horses in America, with the exception of some individual states who have passed their own laws forbidding it. Even in those states, it is still legal to slaughter horses for zoo meat but not for human consumption.

    The foreign owned slaughter industry is still buying up our American horses and shipping them to Mexico and Canada for slaughter. They have dones this for decades and there was no mention of it in the media. Now, in an attempt to paint slaughter in the U.S. as more "humane", the advocates of horse slaughter are submitting articles to the newspapers complaining about export for slaughter. If they had ever been really concerned, they would have complained before now.

    They are also claiming that horses are being abandoned to starve but if you call the animal welfare authorities and other law enforcement offices where this alleged abandonment occurred, they have had no reports of any abandonment.

    Luckily, the American Horse Protection Act (House Resolution 503 and Senate Bill 311) will outlaw the slaughter of our horses for human consumption as well as the transport of horses to slaughter. At last, American horses will be protected from the brutal transport and death they suffer now, for the profit of a foreign company.

    Everyone who cares about the welfare of horses should call their Senators and their Representative and urge them to support the bills banning horse slaughter that sre in Congress right now. Of course, the majority of Americans want a ban.

    December 3, 2007
  7. To Those Considering the "Horse Slaughter" Issue;

    It is time that America starts to value "things", and I for one think we should start those "things" that are living and breathing, like America's Horses.

    In the 70's we woke up to animal abuse, neglect and extinction as a social problem. America voted for protection and enacted laws that have resulted in better treatment and conservative measures with wildlife and support of domesticated animals the in opening of thousands of humane societies and shelters. We don't eat cats and dogs, we humanely euthanize them when needed or let them died gracefully of old age. Horses should be afforded the same care, given their status in society as pets, entertainers, athletes and our work partners.

    Americans also do not eat horse meat; in fact, every slaughter plant in the country has been closed by local efforts and state law. If the nation, at it's most local level has rejected this practice why in the world should we even consider shipping our animals elsewhere for slaughter? Why must we always let the greed of a few endanger the progress of many?

    Banning slaughter may force a very few people to find new employment, many of those minimum wage plant workers who just may be illegals. Tax on the business profits are irrelevant, because profits line the pockets of foreign corporate owners, not Americans. Shippers will no longer be violating federal law by hauling in double-decker trailers, or involved in the transport of stolen horses. Low-end breeders will be forced to improve their programs, imposing some restraint or find another livelihood. Trainers will have no outlet to hide horses injured in their haste to make a dollar through shoddy training methods.

    And finally those abusing or neglecting animals will naturally continue their nasty business, but maybe be caught and face prosecution under one of the numerous humane laws across the country. There will be no kill pens available to dump these animals in, though there will be sale barns who still accept these for sale with an identified owner.

    People will begin to value their animals, and show care in the handling of them. They will continue to invest monies in training and sustaining their horses, inproving the economic outlook of the industry. Rescues will continue to partner with all segmants of the horse community, and find homes for the few in need. They will not run willy nilly in the wild, released by desperate, law-breaking owners. Without slaughter, given time and a progressive stance, the industry will self correct. With slaughter, we will continue down the same path of pain, corruption, and waste.

    Please, please stop defending this senseless waste of America's horses. Stop slaughter and transport to slaughter responsibly at the national level.

    Mary Jones

    December 4, 2007
  8. "…may just be illegals" — and so unworthy of *any* consideration?

    Those who abuse horses should be caught and punished, but realistically almost certainly won't be as most horses cannot be traced back to their owners. I think that moral stands are great, but should be taken in a way where the actual outcome for the animals currently alive (including people) is monitored and negative effects are predicted, prevented and dealt with as they arrive. So, replace slaughter with a better alternative such as a no kill shelter–as opposed to greater travel to a more horrific method of slaughter or abondoment to starve to death. These things should be actively prevented rather than explained away as someone else's fault, or problem, or ignoring their occurence by not monitoring it. banning a bad practice is free, preventing an even worse one springing up in its place takes some investment of time and money.

    December 5, 2007

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