Slaughter horses herded into a pen to await a brutal death for their meat for overseas consumers. ABC News.

Horse Slaughter Fact Sheet

FACT. Horse slaughter exists to supply the human appetite for horse meat and no other reason.

Horse slaughter is not about controlling the “unwanted” horse population; a way of getting rid of sick, diseased or mentally disturbed horses; preventing horse abuse, abandonment, theft or similar crimes.

Horse slaughter exists solely to provide horse meat to its consumers.

In the US virtually every major veterinary organization is pro horse slaughter. They are the ones who coined the phrase “unwanted horse”.

The quote below clearly shows what their attitude is. Oh, and it just so happens that animal agriculture including slaughter facilities employ a significantly high number of veterinarians.


“Market demand for horsemeat for human consumption is almost certain to continue and may grow in the foreseeable future. It is therefore proper and necessary that we continue to work with national and international groups to provide humane care for horses intended for slaughter and maintain as much consensus and practicality on these issues as possible.”

— Journal of the American Veterinary Medical
Association, April 15, 2000.


This statement is wicked and highly irresponsible considering that veterinarians more than anyone must know that horses are not raised or treated as food animals and therefore not regulated as such. Horses are given numerous medications throughout their lifetime — prescribed by these very people — that bars them from entering the human food chain. Horse meat has tested positive for dangerous toxic residues.

Veterinarians must also be aware that there is no such thing as humane slaughter. And it is impossible to make it so particularly with fast moving production lines that are typical of a slaughterhouse.

Perhaps certain pre-slaughter conditions may be improved slightly but that in no way minimizes the terror and brutality of the slaughter process itself. This approach is called “welfarism” and gives the appearance of accomplishing something for animals when in actuality it does not.

FACT. A ban on horse slaughter increases the homeless horse population and reduces abuse and neglect.

USDA statistics show that over 92 percent of horses slaughtered are in good condition and able to live productive lives.

In California, where horse slaughter was banned in 1998, there has been no corresponding rise in cruelty and neglect cases. Horse theft dropped by 34 percent following it ban.

In Illinois, when its plant was shut down for two years, horse neglect and abuse decreased in that state.

Most horses who go to slaughter have wound up in the hands of killer buyers because of uncaring, irresponsible owners.

FACT. No country slaughters horses more humanely than another.

What an outrageous statement for the pro slaughter movement in the US to make.

Undercover footage from inside horse slaughter facilities in the US, Canada, Mexico, Japan and Australia have shown time and again the horrific practices that go on.

Many horses remain conscious or return to consciousness while they are shackled and hoisted by a rear leg so their throats may be slit and they can be bled out. Employees have been seen whipping horses in the face as they writhe in agony. Mares have been allowed to give birth on the kill floors. While shackled bellies have been slit open so the unborn foals can be ripped from their bodies then are stomped or beaten to death. These are just a few sickening examples.

The USDA recently released photos of horses with broken bones protruding from their bodies, eyeballs hanging by a thread of skin, and open wounds, all taken at former US horse slaughter plants.

FACT. Horse slaughter is a brutal and terrifying way to end a horse’s life. It is not euthanasia.

“Euthanasia” means a gentle, peaceful death provided to prevent suffering.

Horse slaughter means a brutal, terrifying death full of pain and suffering.

Horses should be humanely euthanized by a licensed veterinarian. The vast majority of horse owners (as high as 99%) already use humane euthanasia for elderly, sick or injured horses.

FACT. Most horses slaughtered are in good condition.

In fact, 92.3 percent of horses arriving at slaughter plants in this country in recent years were deemed to be in “good” condition, according to the US Department of Agriculture’s Guidelines for Handling and Transporting Equines to Slaughter.

The horse slaughter industry makes a greater profit off of healthy horses and therefore purposely seeks these type of horses out. For this reason, most slaughterhouse middlemen — called “kill buyers” — will not take horses they can’t make money off of such as sick or skinny horses.

FACT. Horse owners – not the government – will always be responsible for the care of their horses, with or without slaughter.

The assertion that horses currently going to slaughter would become the financial responsibility of the federal government if slaughter is banned is simply false.

Horse owners, not the government, will always remain responsible for the care of their horses.

Owners who no longer wish to keep their horses or can no longer afford to keep them have the option of selling them, rehoming them via adoption, placing them in a sanctuary, donating to a therapy or in the extreme euthanizing them.

FACT. Private property rights will not be compromised by a federal ban on horse slaughter.

The slaughter of horses facilitates the violation of property rights by encouraging the theft and selling on of an individual’s horse when he is stolen and sold for a profit via the meat man.

In fact, numerous domestic horses are stolen out of pastures and barns every year for the horse meat trade.

When California banned horse slaughter in 1998, the horse theft rate dropped 34%.

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