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The Horse Slaughter in the US for Human Consumption Debate Continues

Supporters of horse slaughter in the United States put forth many arguments to support their position. But if you look at the facts, you'll see the truth: the slaughter of horses for meat is not only unnecessary and inhumane, it is also harmful in many ways.

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Transport of horses for slaughter

One concern about the welfare of horses destined for slaughter is the long distances the horses are sometimes transported to a slaughterhouse. In 2013, 32,841 horses were slaughtered in Italy; of these, 32,316 were transported from other EU states. 44 ) to prohibit the shipping, transporting, moving, delivering, receiving, possessing, purchasing, selling, or donation of horses and other equines to be slaughtered for human consumption. Transport of horses for slaughter.

Although the department of transportation has officers at enforcement points to ensure the proper transportation of horses, it has no jurisdiction beyond transportation. France and Belgium.

According to a 2007 daily mail article, 100,000 horses were transported annually into and around the European Union for human consumption in France and Belgium. In 2011, Belgian and Dutch consumers learned about equine-slaughter-related cruelty in North and South America.

Statute Hr 503 passed in congress (See bottom of this page for our Original article on this).

If you love horses please contact your senators about saving them from slaughter. I am editing this review because the horse slaughters have been shut down. Now we need laws where horses cannot be transported in double-decker trucks to go to slaughter in Canada and Mexico.

The facts about horse slaughter in America


April 10, 2012 (Larkspur, Colorado) — through its own investigation, front range equine rescue (FRER) has discovered that Valley Meats co. , 3845 Cedarvale rd. , in Roswell, NM, has applied for inspection of horses to be “custom slaughtered” and “processed” for human consumption. According to the facts uncovered, the facility has been involved in extended discussions with the Denver office of the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

On November 23, 2005, in response to the horse slaughter inspection ban, the three existing horse slaughter plants in the U.S. , namely Beltex, Davel, and Dallas Crown, collectively petitioned the USDA for emergency rulemaking under the administrative procedures act (APA). Under this abbreviated process, an agency may adopt a more immediate regulation upon supporting facts and evidence that the normal rulemaking procedure is unable to address the problem.

Is horsemeat safe for human consumption?

US horsemeat companies have been shipping approximately 150,000 horses a year, to Canada and Mexico to be slaughtered for human consumption. (This may now be out of date.) The U.S. now faces the issue of whether to permit or prohibit domestic horse slaughter for human consumption. The most conspicuous options for the current legislature would be to accept horse slaughter and avoid the details; embrace it and enhance its standards for humane methods, the environment, and export; or adopt an affirmative horse slaughter ban, such as the safeguard American food Exports Sct of 2013.

Hr 961 claims to prevent human health threats allegedly posed by the consumption of equines raised in the united states. The bill is based on the claim that horsemeat is tainted and unsafe, the assertion being that because the source animals are not raised commercially for food, they may at some time have received drugs such as phenylbutazone that might present a health threat to humans consuming the meat.

If passed into law, the act would declare horsemeat unsafe and ban the sale of horses to slaughter and of horsemeat for human consumption. April 2013: the white house released a budget proposal for 2014 that would once again prohibit federal funding of horse meat inspections.

Horse Slaughter in the US is Not Euthanasia

Horse slaughter is not humane euthanasia. While “euthanasia” is defined as a gentle, painless death provided in order to prevent suffering, slaughter is a brutal and terrifying end for horses. Horses bound for slaughter (who may include pregnant mares, foals, and horses who are injured or blind) are commonly shipped for more than 24 hours at a time in crowded trucks without food, water or rest.

What about USDA inspections? well currently, just as with law enforcement, there are holes and complacency with regard to enforcing USDA regulations and enforcing prosecution for USDA violations, to begin with. Even if there were no USDA violations, a huge problem remains because what do you then do with a large percentage of 100,000 horses per year that end up in the slaughter pipeline, that also have chemicals in their bodies that are banned for use in animals for human consumption?

Lastly, humane euthanasia is sedated euthanasia (as many have sought out and experienced) with their beloved companion animals. Slaughter is not humane euthanasia. Horses suffer horribly on the way to and during slaughter. The current patchwork of state laws on horse slaughter – including statutes prohibiting slaughter in Texas and Illinois where the only domestic horse slaughter plants operated until very recently – is insufficient.

3 percent of horses sent to slaughter are sound and in good health. 80 percent of Americans oppose horse slaughter. And horse slaughter is not humane euthanasia. A lot of people think, well, it's just the same, and I'm sure our veterinarians here note that being shot with a captive bolt or rifle is not the same as being humanely euthanized.

Horse slaughter is big business

In 1998, Californians made history by passing proposition 6, the first successful state initiative to ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption. California, the state with the largest equine population, as well as the nation’s biggest agri-business state, said “no” to horse slaughter.

Not many people realize slaughtering horses for meat has been big business in the U.S. for generations. Yet in recent decades, public sentiment, matched by state and local laws, has risen against the practice, and in 2007 the last three u.

Businesses like Brito's arose out of a change in federal law. In 2005, the U.S. Congress, using an appropriations bill, prohibited the use of federal funds for inspection of horsemeat at slaughterhouses. At first, the three big slaughterhouses that handled horses, two of which were in Texas, hired their own inspectors.

Unwanted Horses and Horse Slaughter FAQ – The Other Side of the Debate

This legislative action has created an unwanted horse problem and may result in horses being abandoned, abused, or neglected. Horse owners have fewer options to dispose of horses that are no longer wanted because they are old, sick, unmanageable, or fail to meet expectations.

Pro-slaughter advocates continue to claim that slaughterhouses mainly kill feral and unwanted horses that have no other options when records clearly show that:

  • 70% of slaughter horses are quarter horses.
  • 16-19% are racehorses (thoroughbreds for sure, we don’t know if this includes standardbred harness racers).

Rescue, rehoming, and euthanasia are preferable options for unwanted horses; unfortunately, there are more unwanted horses in the united states than can be accommodated by these options. According to the UC Davis survey, when it came to transitioning horses back to private ownership only 26.

Transport over these longer distances raises animal welfare concerns.

Q: Why aren't unwanted horses handled the same way as unwanted dogs and cats?

A: there are fewer options available for horses because of their body size and nutritional requirements. Dogs and cats can be kept in larger numbers in facilities because they require less space per animal.

Original article as posted on Jan 23, 2012:

Obama Legalizes Horse Slaughter For Human Consumption in the USA

Pony slaughter plants are legal again in the U. S. Limitations on pony protein processing for human consumption have been lifted.

In a bipartisan effort, the House of Delegates and the U. S. Senate approved the Meeting Panel report on Spending Bill H2112, which among other stuff, funds the United States Office of Farming. On 18 November, as the country was celebrating Thanksgiving, President Obama agreed on a law, permitting US citizens to kill and eat horses.

Essentially, one turkey was pardoned in the presence of worldwide media while in the shadows, buried under pages of economic regulation, millions of horses were sentenced to be executed.

Pony slaughter has been prohibited in the U. S. as funds for inspections of horses in transit and at slaughterhouses were non-existent. This worked because the pony protein cannot be sold for human consumption without such inspections. The House version of the bill retained the de-funding language and the Senate version didn't. The conference panel charged with reconciling the two opted to not include it. The result's that it's now legal to slaughter horses for humans to eat.

Notwithstanding that seventy percent of Americans oppose pony massacre, that President Obama made a campaign promise to permanently ban pony massacre and exports of horses for human consumption (horses can be sent to Mexico and Canada ), that documentation of animal cruelty, slaughterhouse stench, fluid runoff, and negative community impact exists, it is taxpayers which will bear the costs!

Wyoming state representative Sue Wallis and her pro-slaughter group estimate that between 120,000 and 200,000 horses will be snuffed out for human consumption every year and that Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Georgia, and Missouri, are considering opening slaughter plants.


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    • December 31, 2013

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    • May 18, 2013

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    • Joseph Rivera
    • May 7, 2013

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