United States Based Horse Slaughterhouses Set to Reopen

Kelly Kruszewski

Horse slaughter is a very dark reality for a majority of horses in America.  Currently, however, there are no horse slaughter plants operating in the United States because in 2005 the Agricultural Appropriations bill yanked federal money used for inspections of horse slaughter facilities in the U.S. Without USDA inspections, U.S. based slaughterhouses cannot operate because the meat may not ship across state lines and the major market for horse meat is overseas. This all recently changed on November 14th, 2011, when a Congressional Conference Committee issued a report failing to recommend the defunding of inspections of horses slaughtered for human consumption. So this has positioned U.S. based horse slaughter plants to reopen despite the fact that horse meat is consumed largely in foreign countries; Americans would be required to subsidize what is essentially a foreign-owned industry.

                The opposition to horse slaughter argues that it’s the ultimate betrayal of American icons and that horses that are slaughtered for human consumption are not raised for human consumption and are therefore not safe for human consumption. Those supporting horse slaughter argue that it’s a humane end to what would otherwise be a life of neglect and cruelty for the vast amount of unwanted horses in America. But the reality is that American horses are not raised for human consumption and since American horses are not raised with the anticipation that they will one day end up on someone’s dinner plate, humans administer a variety of de-wormers, ointments, supplements and medications to them for varying reasons. One in particular being Phenylbutazone or “Bute” which is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug originally developed for treating severe cases of arthritis in horses. Bute is not exclusively used in racehorses or competition horses, in fact Bute it used in pretty much any horse that engaged in any strenuous exercise. Bute is akin to ‘horse’s aspirin’ but it’s also a known carcinogen and its use is illegal in any animal that enters the food supply.  In fact, there are currently no approved uses of Bute in food-producing animals. Additionally, there is no system in the United States to track which medications a horse has received throughout its lifetime making horsemeat consumption a serious health risk.

Approximately 70% of Americans oppose horse slaughter and very few, if any at all, actually consume horsemeat. Supporters of the reintroduction of horse slaughter contend that reopening these slaughter plants will create jobs—but this is not necessarily true. Reinstating horse slaughter means very few, very low wage jobs with horrific daily tasks; in areas where horse slaughter plants operated the business brought in virtually no tax revenues and the standard of living dropped during the time the facilities were in operation in addition to a rise in violent crime in the area.

The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011 would amend the Horse Protection Act to prohibit the shipping, transporting, moving, delivering, receiving, possessing, purchasing, selling, or donation of horses and other equines to be slaughtered for human consumption, and for other purposes—it would essentially put an end to the slaughter of America’s horses for overseas consumption. If the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act is something you think should be passed, you can show your support here.

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12 Responses

  1. If we do not support horses, some day there will be no animals left because they will all be considered food.

  2. All people have to do is drive around all over Texas and look at all the horses that are starving or being turned lose to even suffer more!!

    There are thousands of older horses that have worked hard in there life that have bad things wrong with them and they have to hope they have a owner who can feed them and takecare of them for the rest of there time, if not they suffer for the remaining time and are in terrible pain til they die.
    I have seen this my 45 years of being in horse business and I truly love horses but for me this is a must for many many reasons!!
    .Another thing most people don’t realize horses are being shipped to Mexico and being slaughtered there so the suffering of riding for days in a trailer squashed in with 100’s of other horses is a cruelty much worse than being able to put your old horse to sleep at a slaughter house in the U.S..

  3. “Put your old horse to sleep at a slaughter house”

    You f—ing moron, do you think that’s what happens in a slaughter house. You put your companion animal to sleep in a Vet’s clinic. In a slaughter house, you slit their throats, while still conscious and let them bleed to death and then de skin them.

    What a ignoramus. God I wish I could “put you to sleep in a slaughter house”.

    Also an owner who makes these horses work and earns a profit should be responsible for caring for these horses when they can no longer work or may be euthanize them with the help of a vet.

  4. This is a friendly reminder from the blawg’s moderator that commenting on this blawg carries with it a commitment to civil, respectful dialogue. Disagree as often and as passionately as you like, but please refrain from personal attacks or uncivil discourse.

  5. If you don’t agree with slaughter get your check book & go out bid the meat buyers &be a real hero!!! Anyone can sit behind a computer & talk a big game. Put your money where your mouth is. Get you about 100,000 horses & feed em for the next 10 to 20 years!!!

  6. By the way. The method of killing in the US is the bolt gun. They don’t slit their throats while still alive!! It’s no different then cattle slaughter but you don’t have a problem with stuffing your & your kids faces with McDonalds!!!!

  7. Does anyone know what company is putting in the Horse Slaughter plant in Rolla, Mo. ?? I also heard there is one going in Georgia, any idea what town or company in Georgia?

  8. There are sooo many people that are miss informed about slaughter houses. Please understand that people who work on ranches, like my husband and family, depend on horses and consider them a valuable working tool. They are fed great, because they need to work great. They are not pets, yet are takin care of and respected. With that said, slaughter houses must be kept around. Take a look at the STATISTICS! Look at how many more horses are abused, left to starve to death, turned loose to fend for themselves… It’s mind boggling comparing the numbers from 2005 till now. And just because there was a ban here does not mean it STOPPED. The horses were then shipped to Mexico (not eating or drinking for days in cramped trucks) to be slaughtered. Can you honestly tell me you would rather have that happen then having slaughter houses in the US? Animal Rights activists should probably just stick to taking care of cats and dogs and let the horse industry alone. You are causing much more pain and suffering trying to stop something you only assume you understand!

  9. AMEN!! to lacey Yates. The U.S regulates the way the horses are killed the slaughter houses that are not regulated are the ones out side of the U.S. I have a problem with people who dont understand. listen to the blog by Lacey Yates.

  10. Horse slaughtering is sad, but at time sametime i think that we should open the slaughterhouses back up. If we keep them closed in America, horses will goto Mexico to be killed, where they do it a very bad way. When horse slaughterhouses closed in America, percentages in horses went up, and not a good percentage. Animal curelty started finding more horses abanded, starved, forgot by their owners.
    Unforantly horse slaughtering is sad, but it is one of those things that just have to be done. If we dont there will be more horses sraving each day and more horses abanded. I come from where horses are like pets. In my family we show our horses and present them. Sell them, breed them, etc. They are like big-little kids to us. We feed them correctly and give them good living suitation.
    I mean, look at it this way: We think of killing deer as a natural thing, people do it for activity, the meet, as a sport. I think of it as a way to maintain population. That way they don’t get over populated. We need to do this with horses, so they dont over populate, starve, or have owners that dont have the money to support them.
    I’m sorry, it’s sad. But it’s just a way of life.

  11. you should leave horses alone some day horses could be endangered in mo..and it would be because of you you you. I’m going to hate this . because of you i am running a horses and donkey and zebra rescue and right now i have 100 horses and 50 donkeys 30 zebras . I LOVE ANIMALS AND HORSES MOSTLY :) . I HATE SLAUGHTER HOUSES .
    And you can’t arrest me because the rights freedom of speech by the way i’m also a lawyer.

  12. slaughter houses must be put back in america to put some people back to work and also put money back into to horse economy, i know how hard it is to watch and listen how horses a slaoughtered but they are still animals and they serve our purposes just like cattle do, if you want to feel sorry for horses try to feel sorry for cattle who are bred to be slaugthered, i am a horse owner and trainer. my training business went south since there are so many horses out there and i was good at what i do and i was making enough to feed my family and pay my bills. there is a benefit to having them to open up and put it into balance again. and they would not be lost forever or endangered we just have to keep in balance.

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