Horse Slaughter

STATEMENTHorse slaughter exists to supply the human demand for horse meat and make a profit from it, and for no other reason.

TRUE. 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 for its customers.

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. By the way, it just so happens that all of animal agriculture, including slaughter facilities, employ a significantly high number of veterinarians.

“Market demand for horse meat 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 consistently tested positive for toxic residues dangerous to human health.

Veterinarians must also be aware that there is no such thing as humane slaughter. It is impossible to make it so particularly with fast moving production lines typical of the 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 type of argument is called “welfarism” and gives the appearance of accomplishing something for animals when in actuality it will not.

STATEMENTA ban on horse slaughter would increase abuse and neglect.

FALSE. 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% following its ban.

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

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

STATEMENTHorses are slaughtered better [i.e. more humanely] in some countries than others.

FALSE. What an outrageous statement for the pro slaughter movement 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, their throats slit, and 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, the bellies of pregnant horses 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.

STATEMENTHorse slaughter is euthanasia.

FALSE. Horse slaughter is a brutal and terrifying death full of pain and suffering.

Euthanasia is a gentle, peaceful death provided to prevent suffering.

The vast majority of horse owners (as high as 99% in some States) already exercise humane euthanasia of elderly, sick or injured horses conducted by a licensed veterinarian.

STATEMENTMost of the horses slaughtered are in good condition.

TRUE. 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 out these type of horses. 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.

STATEMENTIf horse slaughter is banned, the government will have to take care of the horses.

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 them to a therapy or in the extreme by euthanizing them.

STATEMENTPrivate property rights will become compromised by a federal ban on horse slaughter.

FALSE. Horse slaughter is a predatory business and in reality encourages the violation of  private property rights by promoting the theft and sale of domestic horses by meat men working on behalf of slaughterhouses.

In fact, numerous domestic horses are stolen out of pastures and barns every year for the express purpose of selling them on to slaughter.

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