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Horse Slaughter Myths and Facts
Equine Slaughter
Tuesday 11th of December 2007 11:58 AM

Myth: A ban could result in "unregulated shipment of horses to slaughter"and horses being shipped longer distances to slaughter.

Fact: Untrue. The passage of The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act will prohibit the slaughter of horses for human consumption, as well as the trade and transport of horseflesh and live horses intended for human consumption. This legislation will terminate any legal option for sending American horses to slaughter within the United States and over the border as well

Fact:Prior to the closure of all three foreign-owned plans in the U.S., over 100,000 horses were being slaughtered in the United States and processed for human consumption. Now, tens of thousands of live horses are transported across the border to Mexico and Canada for slaughter. After these horses are killed, their flesh is shipped to Europe and Asia for human consumption. Their owners are often unaware of the pain, fear, and suffering their horses endure before being slaughtered. 

Fact:The American tradition of loving and respecting horses existed long before there was a United States. Americans counted on horses to build this nation; to plow the fields and to carrying soldiers to battle. Horses are for many people part of their family, and they are considered to be companion animals, just as dogs and cats are.

Fact:  Who eats horse meat? Horse meat is not eaten in the United States,it is exported to serve specialty markets overseas.The largest markets are France,Belgium,Holland,Japan and Itlay.

Fact: How are the horses killed? Under federal law, horses are required to be rendered unconscious prior to slaughter, usually with a device called a captive bolt gun, which shoots a metal rod into the horse's brain. Prior to the closure of the U.S. horse slaughter plants, it was not uncommon for horses to be improperly stunned and conscious when they were hoisted by a rear leg to have their throats cut. With the export of horses to slaughter increasing more than 300 percent, undercover footage shows live horses being dragged, whipped, and crammed into trucks in 110 degrees on their way to a horrific form of slaughter in Mexico and Canada. These horses are stabbed multiple times in the neck with a "puntilla knife" to sever their spinal cords. This procedure does not render the horse unconscious, and is not a stunning method. Rather, it paralyzes the horse, leaving him/her twitching on the ground, unable to move or breathe, and then they die from suffocation (because their lungs stop working) or from blood loss and dismemberment. Conditions in the slaughterhouse—inside and outside of our borders—are stressful and extremely frightening for horses.

A horse's last look before entering the slaughterhouse.

With new laws making it difficult to send horses off to the slaughterhouse when they are no longer suitable for racing or work, auction houses are glutted with horses they can barely sell, and rescue organizations have run out of room.

Some owners who cannot get rid of their horses are letting them starve,others are turning them loose in the countryside.

Kentucky swamped with unwanted horses

There is a lot of controversy surrounding the Myths and Facts of horse slaughter and a few of our members have requested that this topic be discussed.What Myths or Facts do you know? 

I received an email on 2/28/08 in regards to a new petition about reopening the slaughter plants for horse slaughter.

These petitions have been sent by a member of Your Equine Source,
       we have been asked to participate by posting this information in our Blogs.
See links below to sign petitions:

Response 1
Thursday 13th of December 2007 07:24:45 PM
Submitted by: Kent
I feel that horse slaughter should have never been outlawed there are so many horses now that are simply brought to the horse sales and left because the owners can no longer afford to feed them and they are in such poor condition and worth nothing.At least with the slaughter houses open horses that are in poor shape can be brought there and put to death immediately instead of lingering and suffering.
Response 2
Saturday 15th of December 2007 08:01:59 PM
Submitted by: Ashley
I agree with Kent. I think that there should be a mandatory test before anyone can buy a horse and a selection committee that people have to get past before they can breed any horses.
Response 3
Monday 4th of February 2008 05:51:47 PM
Submitted by: Patricia
As an ag teacher, I always ask my kids to look at both sides of the issue. Unfortunately, I think the author of the bill missed the mark. An unintended consequence of this bill "forces" people to use available resources ie: slaughter houses across the borders. Were there slaughter houses still here, this would not be an issue. Do I agree with processing methods? If done correctly, yes. Dragging them out of trailers? Nope. As to the issue that horses are "pets", nope! They are a domesticated livestock animal, and should be treated as such. Proper care and welfare, yes, Rights- NO. I grew up in Holland, and horse meat was no different than beef, and it tasted just as good (gasp!)
Response 4
Friday 8th of February 2008 04:12:07 PM
Submitted by: Sandra Wills
I am for horse slaughter. That being said, I have three wonderful horses, and have been around horses all my life. When I was a teenager my Bay Filly hurt her leg badly and had to be put down. Also, the horse I learned to ride on grew old and was sold to a slaughter plant. I know these things are a fact of life. It is the logical answer for the question of what to do with unwanted, lame, injured, sick, or dying horses. For all those non-thinkers out there who just LOVE horses and consider NO horse "unwanted", let them adopt them and pay the vet and feed and farrier bills. It CAN'T be done. Doing away with horse slaughter will hurt the horse industry...and it already has. Horses are being sold for $20 at auctions today because they aren't worth anything to anyone. The fault is also in poor breeding, too--for example, people own too many horses, they don't plan their breeding, just let them multiply randomly, and produce low-quality, unregisterable, and unwanted offspring. The result is: by banning slaughter and raising a lot of poor quality animals, our country is soon to be over-run with worthless horses and it may get so bad they are just like deer...people can't afford to feed them, so they just turn them out to run wild and get hit by cars. So THINK AGAIN before you just say "I love horses--don't slaughter them!" It is a rising problem, and just because you love them doesn't mean you CAN or WILL care for them when they just need to be humanely slaughtered. Humanely a caring horse owner, Sandra Wills
Response 5
Monday 17th of March 2008 05:42:54 AM
Submitted by: Mel
I think its disgusting and cruel ... the way the outlaws are killin horses through means of cruelitly instead of properly. and the fact that even young horses are being slaughtered at the age of 8months as well is disgracful ... they have so much more potential and life to live they dont diserve to be dead and slaughtered it just wron i hate sslaughter houses there cruel and just plain painful how could sum1 do such awful things to these beautiful beloved animals/pets that have helped us to build what we didnt have to survive
Response 6
Monday 17th of March 2008 09:26:05 AM
Submitted by: Kieann
Wow this issue is a big consern for many horse owners and breeders. I am All for horse slaughter. And no, im no a horse hater, I have 7 of my own that I love and train. I love horses but people dont understand the balance bettween whats right and whats wrong. Breeders are breeding out ragous amounts just to find the "Prefect" horse. Also they say that rescue houses will take all these horses in, well I know for a fact that 3 rescue animal houses have shut down in the past 2 years because lack of funds. I know that hay and grain prices have gone up tramendous prices because I own a feed store. How are we going to be able to take care of our horses, and other peoples if money is in the way. I use to sell horses, but what is the point now? you dont get any money for them. This last winter i took a trip up in the hills and I was riding along when I came across people dumping horses out and leaving them to fend for them selves. All of these horses died, but there was nothing anybody could do about it. I just think people need to realise that shutting down the houses are VERY bad for the economy and the horse industry! I have reserced this topic for over a year now and I feel that many other people need to reasurce before they make a desicion about this prominent issue.
Response 7
Monday 15th of September 2008 04:20:44 PM
Submitted by: katie
i think horse slaughter is sick, horses that are sick can be treated they dont have to die because they are skinny, all of those people who are for slaugherting are sick people, to the person who was around horses her whole life you should NOT be for it you have seen how beautiful and free they are, if we continue to kill them we will have no more horses in the world, this is comong straight from a 13 year old girl's mouth, horses cant speak so someone has to be there voice. Kaitlynn
Response 8
Friday 14th of August 2009 03:54:00 PM
Submitted by: Tommy Lee
Horse slaughter promotes abuse and neglect. Anyone that believe this business is good should leave the US. The Majority of Americans oppose horse slaughter due to these business allow abusive owners to sell the horses they do not know how to train or that dont meet there desired color or size or unsold at the high prices they want. Auctioneers should be held accountable as well for allowing and promoting these illegal business in America. In addition Haulers that ignored laws to haul blind,crippled,and sick horses in double deckers should be held accountable as well. To date yet far late a bill to ban the use of double deckers with horses has been passed yet there is a loophole which allows horses to be hauled to feedlots and rodeos. So little is done to protect our horses Yet pro slaughter people continue to want to reward these criminals and allow horses to pay the price. There are NO unwanted horses just an unsold horse at a bad place by a bad irresponsible owner that continues to spew out lies for profits. To date not the AQHA or any other organization that makes profits from Overbreeding fights to protect horses or even donate to any rescues in the US or Canada. There history and actions speaks for itself. NO MORE SLAUGHTER To add there are many drugs we horse owners used to protect our horses from Worms and other deseases. It clearly states on each package to not used on any animals intended for humane consumption. Our own USDA has also failed to protect people. Shutting down US plants did NOT open mexican and Canadain plants they have existed secretly they knew there day would come to be shut down.. We now must press our elected officals to pass our bills HR503 For more info visit
Response 9
Thursday 12th of May 2011 09:03:37 PM
Submitted by: jeff
For the people against slaughter, where are you when the cow, chicken and hog are being slaughtered? Are you at McDonalds or Kfc maybe you had bacon or eggs for breakfast. Do you consider eating eggs a form of abortion?
Response 10
Thursday 12th of May 2011 09:07:04 PM
Submitted by: jeff
Theres a balance needed for all things a wild gazelle is a beautiful free animal so is a lion should we arrest the lion for murder when he kills and eats a gazelle. we like beef france likes horses your not shutting down mcdonalds for cows

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