“There is no place in America for a domestic or foreign-driven horse slaughter industry. We are not, nor have we ever been a horse eating culture. Organizations like Return to Freedom have decades-long track records of effectively implementing solutions for domestic horses as well as the challenges facing our wild, iconic animals. I feel we are better served bringing to scale these solutions rather than going the route of the cruel and bloody business of roundups, neglect, and transportation to killing floors,” –Robert Redford
Photo by Kristina Logg
“Our wild horses are close to the hearts of almost all Americans, and it seems therefore wholly UN-American to use the solution of slaughter when there are other alternatives.” – Richard Gere
The Ultimate Betrayal
The slaughter of horses for human consumption is a grisly reality that few are aware of. Yet over 100,000 American horses are slaughtered each year to be served as a delicacy in Belgium, France or Japan. Betraying an animal that has served humankind in so many ways flies in the face of our most cherished values.
Advocates have worked tirelessly to keep the slaughter industry out of the United States, closing the last operational slaughter plant in DeKalb, IL in 2007.
Yet the slaughter industry persists in trying to regain its foothold on American soil. We have succeeded in blocking the reopening of plants through litigation and legislation. On January 17, 2014, President Obama signed the 2014 Omnibus Budget bill which reintroduced language to defund USDA inspections of horse meat for consumption. This was wonderful news for America’s horses, since the defunding language would prevent horse slaughter on US soil for the 2014 fiscal year.
Sadly, this tactic does not prevent horses from being transported to Mexico or Canada for slaughter. Urgent action must be taken to insure that this horrific practice ends and that slaughter, the transport of horses for slaughter, and the export of horses for consumption is banned permanently in the U.S.
Pro- slaughter advocates’ say that horse slaughter is necessary to address unwanted horse populations such as sickly or aged horses – that is the furthest from the truth:
- In 2013, the amount of horses sent to slaughter equaled 1% of America’s domestic horse population.
- USDA found that more than 92% of horses sent to slaughter are in good condition and could be rehomed.
- The number of horses considered to be ‘excess’ or ‘dispensible’ would not sustain profits for a horse slaughter industry in the USA and therefore inevitably horse “cash crops” would be bred for slaughter. This will increase horse populations to support investors for an “industry’ of horse slaughter in America.
- Historically, horse slaughter facilities formerly in the U.S. were owned by foreign investors for meat primarily shipped to Europe and Japan.
- 80% of Americans support a ban on the slaughter of horses for human consumption
- America is not a horse meat eating culture
Until the slaughter of American horses is banned — both here and abroad — these noble icons of the American spirit will continue to be treated as disposable commodities by the few who profit from their deaths. To solve the root issues impacting horse welfare today, horse slaughter can no longer be an option.
Take a stand. Urge Congress to pass federal legislation once and for all to prevent horse slaughter from resuming in our country and to permanently stop the sale and shipment of our wild and domestic horses across our borders for slaughter.
From the farm to the battlefield, horses have been mankind’s companions in nearly every human endeavor. Now they need our help.