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Setting the Record Straight on Congress’ Lifting of the Ban on Horse Slaughter

Posted by Phil Derfler, Deputy Administrator for Food Safety and Inspection Service in Health and Safety
Feb 21, 2017

There has been a lot of talk in the past week about Congress’ lifting of the ban prohibiting federal funding for the inspection of horses, which prevented the slaughter of horses for human consumption for the past five years.  The issue is understandably a sensitive and emotional one for everyone who loves these majestic animals, but it is important that the discussion be tempered with the facts.

While Congress has technically lifted the ban, horse processing will not resume anytime in the near term.  Under the Federal Meat Inspection Act, horses are an amenable species, which means that horse meat cannot be shipped or sold for human consumption without inspection.

To date, there have been no requests that the Department initiate the authorization process for any horse processing operation in the United States.  In the two states where horse processing took place prior to the Congressional ban, Illinois and Texas,  there are laws in place prohibiting the slaughter of horses.  Even if these laws were changed, any processing facility will still need to satisfy a significant number of requirements, such as obtaining  a federal grant of inspection, conducting a hazard analysis, and developing a Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP) plan prior to the processing of any animals.

Category/Topic: Health and Safety

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Paula Denmon
Dec 09, 2011

One comment please: We who love these magnificent animals do not only protest their slaughter on "emotional grounds" as the pro-slaughter group would have you believe. I am posting a letter that I wrote to the Legislators considering this move. I know that a Horse Slaughtering Plant is the "death knell" as far as property values in the area surrounding them go. Many other advocates will post other fact based reasons which prove that the horse slaughter industry should never be allowed in the United States.






To All Legislators Considering the Renewal of Horse Slaughter in the United States

Dear Senators and Representatives:

I would like to add my observations to the well documented information given you by Paula Bacon, the Honorable Mayor of Kaufman, Texas during the period when Texas was seeking to eliminate Horse Slaughtering Plants from our State.

I am a Realtor, licensed in Texas since 1992. Because of my personal interest in horses, and the wonderful space and activities that Texas offers for horsemen and horsewomen, I specialize in equine properties. Typically the properties have 3-30 acres, and a home, perhaps barn, and fencing for horses. The price range that I have sold is $120,000 to $990,000 depending on size, location, and often, proximity to Dallas.

During the early 2000’s as property North of Dallas and Fort Worth became more and more expensive, horse people began looking for more affordable locations for their operations, or just their personal homes with horse facilities. I was certainly happy to help them relocate to Ellis, Johnson, Navarro and Kaufman counties. As I showed properties in Kaufman County, I was completely stunned to find that clients completely ruled out very nice properties at extremely good prices in and around Kaufman, Texas. It has so many things high on the list of amenities sought by horse people: sandy soil, huge, mature oak trees, and good schools, small towns that reflect a rural lifestyle, extremely reasonable pricing, and only 25 miles from downtown BIG D on relatively traffic free highways.

But no one wanted these properties at any price. This was my introduction to the horrible reputation of the Dallas Crown Horse Slaughter Plant.

My clients did not want to buy property in the county. They were worried that they would come home from work to find their horses gone, stolen, and already slaughtered at the nearby plant. Others had heard that the town was “Rough”, teeming with aliens and x-convicts who were the only ones that would do this disgusting work. And some just loved horses, and did not want anything to do with an area close to where people killed them to be food. “Americans don’t eat horsemeat. Why are they here?” they would ask.

I knew that I had to find out about this situation to be able to answer the objections of my clients.

As I began to make myself educated on the subject, I found that there was an effort afoot to close the plant, and it in fact, had been causing problems for the residents of Kaufman for decades. So, I went to see for myself. I have truly never seen, heard, or smelled anything as disgusting and revolting in my life. I started looking for ways to help, and contacted my state representative. He was aware of the controversy and said that he would look into it for me. Of course, it affected his constituents as far as jobs, taxes, real estate value, school funding and etc. After an investigation, he agreed that it was a detriment to Kaufman County, and we would work to close it. The closure took some time and political and legal wrangling, but the plants were closed. Realtors and horse people were happy.

In the ensuing years, Kaufman, and the other small communities in this area have flourished. Not only have the property values of the acreage properties gone up dramatically, but planned residential communities such as “Heartland” have given families the option of living in a rural area, close to jobs, reasonable home prices and great amenities like bike and hiking trails, pools, playgrounds and neighborhood schools. I have been fortunate to introduce the area to horsemen and women not only moving within Texas, but from California, Florida, Arizona, and Washington State. They are delighted with the location for their horses; feel safe, and comfortable with their neighbors and happy that their children and grandchildren have rodeos, horse shows, playdays and all of the great experiences of the Metroplex so close.

I would caution that the reintroduction of Horse Slaughter Plants would have significant detrimental effects on the communities that exist close to it. They will put real estate values in the “toilet”. The jobs are low-paying and seem to attract people who do not fit into the life of the community. We have been through this bad situation, and hope never to be faced with it again. I would certainly fight to keep the laws that outlaw them in Texas in effect and would feel sorry for agents that had to deal with them in their area. We would welcome those disenchanted horse people to Kaufman, Ellis, Johnson, and Navarro Counties, and all over North Texas.

Respectfully submitted,

Paula Denmon

Town and Country Girls Real Estate

501 Houston St.

201 E

Waxahachie, Texas 75165

Jessica S
Dec 09, 2011

Don't worry. Slaughter house Sue and her evil pals will find a way to "Slaughter in the next 30 days!"

Carlene Wiser
Dec 09, 2011

Horses are and have been the back bone of this country.. they brought the settlers out West, plowed the fields so they could eat..ferried them back and forth to town for supplies..and was the main means of transportation for the delivery of mail and other valuable things during this time period.. THEN with the automobile and auto farming.. they became a companion to the people who loved to ride and for the men returning from war,,and the child who had both physical and mental disabilities..and NOW you say you want to slaughter them because????? because of what.. the greed and money hungry people that have now occupied our state capital..and the idiots who think horse meat is ok to eat..NO its not OK and it will never be..if we are to try to stay a country of civilized people

LanaGayle Chandler
Dec 09, 2011

Thank you so much for this letter. I and many others have been terribly upset hearing about possible horse slaughter in the U.S. The question now is how can we stop it before it has a chance to get started? This is the U.S. We have plenty of meat for food without killing these beautiful animals that GOD made for riding not for food. Why can't you do something about the 6 million plus wild hogs that are multiplying at a phenomenal rate and threaten farming as well as humans. These hogs cannot be used for anything but food. They sure cannot be used for riding. What if something were to happen to our computer systems...we might need horses like in the old days. You never know. Please write another letter and tell us what we need to do to make sure that horse slaughter does not happen in the U.S. Sincerely, LanaGayle Chandler

Dec 09, 2011

i'm not fooled by this - why the hell would they lift the ban if they didnt intend to re-open those evil slaughter houses again and let foreign companies run them - KEEP CAMPAIGNING !

Elizabeth A. Morgan
Dec 09, 2011

Re: "Horses are amenable species. Their is nothing stopping the shipment of horses across borders to Canada and or Mexico and Trucker's who haul these poor animals falsify records of each animal that is transported.

The USDA needs to make it clear in simple language That Horses are never to be shipped to their death's in either direction.
Their should be clear language concerning those that violate these laws in place, make them accountable to those that supply to over sea's customers the tainted meat they are about to consume could be very dangerous to small children.
Also accountability for those that transport Wild Mustangs across to Mexico like contractors paid by DOI/BLM that were caught in the July 2011 incident in Utah with 17 Wild mustangs that were being shipped from a holding facility were tracked and caught, But FBI is not given enough power to investigate further what these untrustworthy employees have done.

At this point this has to stop.

Domestic or wild these horses deserve better.

Further more domestic horses are according to the FDA considered companion animals and should never be entered into the food chain.

There is growing concern over in Europe for those that consume this tainted horse meat are unknowingly consuming chemicals and metabolites, from pain killers used in horses (Bute) risking their health. So the supply is growing out of favor just for that fact alone. This too should be also to be made clear.

Those in the state of Wyoming are the one's who changed the language of this last bill should be made aware of what they have done be held accountable to those who are benefiting by their misdeeds and promising and cannot ever deliver (Sue Wallis). They are hoping for a facility in their state.
I pray they don't get it.
This joke of a lawmaker in Wyoming is arrogant and appears uneducated on the fact's. The USDA should educated this woman before she poisons some ones child.

Dec 09, 2011

When such a request is made, what is the USDA's planned response? How will you pay for the inspection of the meat, the food safety budget was cut 35 million dollars and it is estimated it will cost 5 million in addition spending to inspect horse meat. An animal which is not raised in this country for food and is not raised under the food safety guidelines. How will you justify taking away even more money from guaranteeing the safety of food raised and eaten in this country to inspect this meat? An inhumane practice in the least as testified to congress by your former inspectors and in reports filed by your inspectors when horse slaughter was available previously.

Dawn Flint
Dec 09, 2011

Now I see why there was talk of Sue Wallis wanting to get a federal grant!

Linda Giron
Dec 10, 2011

Thank you for you statement. I hope this means you won't approve Sue Wallis's (R-WY) effforts to reinstate horse slaughter in her state. She has a slaughter plant ready to take on 30,000 held mustangs and with her sneaky ways plans to profit from this. How can we be certain that current slaughterhouses won't just start slaughtering horses without obtaining the proper requirements? How can we feel confident in our government?

Maggie Frazier
Dec 10, 2011

Considering the ecological results of having slaughter plants in the US previously, I would think that would be a very large deterrent to starting up these operations. These plants were all foreign-owned, thus all profits went to owners in other countries, rather than here in the US, doesnt seem a good idea to allow them to start up again. This doesnt even address the horrific cruelty to the animals.
Sure to hope somewhere theres a little common sense, rather than a rush to appease certain lobbyists.

Ellen Goodman
Dec 10, 2011

I'm very pleased to learn that USDA regulations will prohibit the resumption of horse slaughter unless regulations for amenable species are changed. Thanks for this valuable information. It's a great relief for those who admire and love horses.

Betty Hirte
Dec 10, 2011

I hope horses are never slaughtered again or eatened in the USA! I wish people would understand horses are friends, pets,performers,comapnions and part of my families! I some parts of the USA people are illegelly slaughtering horses and selling the meat to people who are horse meat eaters. I think that is disgusting! This whole slaughtering of horses is disgusting!

Jill Stingley
Dec 10, 2011

I am reading this and understand what you say about requests to initiate authorization of processing of Horse meat. However, There are enough of us here that are not happy with government and government run operations that we have a watch dog committee in place to watch you all as there seems to be a bunch of you in Washington that like to hide the facts.
Jill Stingley

Dec 10, 2011

Who do you think you are kidding? In this country money talks. You cannot tell us, the American public, that if someone offered enough money, the USDA would not jump through every hoop fast enough to open a slaughter plant.. Please do not insult our intelligence. The fact is, we are a step closer to slaughtering thousands of horses than we were a month ago. If any horses were ever given bute, that makes the meat unfit for human consumption. Do you and your cronies really think that these kill buyers will ask if a horse has ever been given this drug? These kill buyers only care about how much money they can make, and they will never ask. They also do not care how these sensitive creatures become so terrified that they scream and endure so much pain. I hope you can sleep at night knowing that you and your cronies are responsible for the increase in horse thefts which are bound to occur as a result of this. Do not try to make this seem less than it is. The truth is Obama lied to the American public,and signed the bill allowing this to happen, after promising that he would continue the ban on horse slaughter.. The public can no longer trust our politicians, and you are just another example of sugar-coating what has happened. We will fight this.

Kathy H
Dec 10, 2011

Correct Me if I'm wrong...but wasn't the Texas law put on the books in....1949 ????

Judy Abernathy
Dec 10, 2011

Are current rules being followed for other meats? I think not. Does the public really know what MSM is? Horses are an amenable species? why are they even in the slaughter-who/what is eating them? I trust the FDA,Meat Inspection dept.the HCCP about as far as I can throw them.

Pam Sourelis
Dec 10, 2011

Thank you for this partial clarification. But, then, what exactly did the legislation do?

Leslie Britton
Dec 10, 2011

I understand but we want a ban on exporting horses to Mexico and Canada for slaughter - We dont want any of our horses to suffer the long journey. We want full protection for our horses from slaughter> If the Mexicans, Europeans and Canadians want to eat horse let them eat their own stop preying on ours

Tina James
Dec 10, 2011

Common sense should tell you that you don't slaughter, and tortue the horse. The horse has carried us in battle, plows the fild, carries our children safely, and gives people of all ages and disabilites a chance to recover and progress from the disease. The race for us, comfort us, and to the Goverment, SHAME ON YOU.

Dec 10, 2011

A HACCP, please no more lies. In this economy let's quit hoodwinking the american public. Regulations have been in place at every equine ie slaughterhouse that existed both in the U.S. and Canada yet those regulations were routinely and repeatedly ignored. Those privately owned plants left behind millions of dollars in environmental damage, a 6 billion gallon container leaking blood, body fluids, the human carcinogen bute and numerous forms of bacteria from infectious disease disease including infected wounds, strangles, etc. to contaminate the local water aquifers and properties. This does not even include the cost and risks to U.S. citizens' health for which the federal and state governments would be liable for knowingly exposing its citizens to these risks simply for the financial benefit of a select group of private investors. Look at what happened to property values near the slaughterhouses in the US and tell me you have the right to do this to american homeowners. The initials plan is to increase taxes to the tune of $3-5 million dollars for USDA inspectors. In my opinion this its unfair taxation and should be challenged as a violation of our constitutional rights inanticipation of the billions of dollars equine slaughterhouses will cost U.S. future generations in taxes for the benefit of private corporations.

Karen Harris
Dec 10, 2011

Okay. well folks still contact your congressional representatives, and President Obama and express outrage for the inclusion of anything horse slaughter related. S1176 HR2966

Kim Eichelberger
Dec 10, 2011

This response sets NOTHING straight, and is nothing more than a poor attempt to appease fears that rightfully exist, particularly for those of us who have a clear understanding of the issue. I find this response insulting,and not to play master of the obvious here, but I am not alone. Morevover, not one argument that is used to defend horse slaughter holds water with perhaps the exception that it would be better than suffering, but that assumes that 1) It would be the choice that is CHOSEN, and 2) We have plants where horses are slaughtered "humanely", which is a joke. Even Dr. Temple Grandin says that the humane slaughter of horses is a challenge. The idea that somehow openning horse slaughter again will somehow improve the market for horses confuses me - roughly the same number of horses are slaughtered now (just not on our soil) as were before the ban, which clearly puts the much larger blame on the tanking of the American economy. Furthermore, it's less than 1% of the total horse population so how did such a small percentage somehow bottom out the market? The argument in support of slaughter based on market values would have to assume that a much greater number of horses would go to slaughter than do presently, which I don't see happening and see no precedent for. [And yes, I've read the GAO report (all 68 pages), and even that doesn't cut it with any real argumentation - I know high school debaters that could make that document look like a joke.] I like the "horse processing will not resume anytime in the near TERM" - as if this makes it better. We are not fooled, and we know this is an important first critical first step towards slaughtering our horses. We also know it won't really help our equine population. Unfortunately, abuse and neglect will continue regardless of the slaughter option. I could write a dissertation on the issue, but the bottom line is that slaughter (or "processing", as if using that word changes what happens) is not a panacea for what is hurting our horses at present, it only compounds these factors.

Sheila Gaston
Dec 10, 2011

Ok, so why was the ban lifted if there is no intent for horse slaughter to start up again in the US. People are outraged because we should not have to fight this fight again! The ban should not have been lifted!

Lisa G.
Dec 10, 2011

Deputy Derfler,

There has been a lot of talk because a significant amount of people are shocked and dismayed to learn horse slaughter might return to the USA on a large scale. That talk won't go away even though I (we) appreciate your comments.

If and when a request comes in, how long do you estimate it will take to satisfy the requirements? If an existing slaughterhouse decides it will start to take horses, how much will that shorten the licensing period?

Many of us are concerned that millions of dollars was removed from the food safety program and that funds needed to protect the food we do eat will be diverted to this ill-begotten funding issue. What do you say to those concerns?

And finally, if a request does come in, or already has come in since this blog was posted, will we be able to find that out, and if so, what is the process?

Kathy Smith
Dec 10, 2011

My greatest concern is that the facilities and methods of processing cattle in slaughter houses is not appropriate for horses. It seems that different "kill" methods are needed, and likely different facilities, so that neither species has to suffer unduly. Especially horrible if the same facilities are being used.

cathleen lambert
Dec 10, 2011

Horse slaughter is cruel and needs to be stopped!

K. Isaiah Black
Dec 10, 2011

Horse slaughter is an emotional issue here in the USA just as the National Anthem is; for the simple reason that one cannot think of the USA without seeing the powerful companion to whom we owe the character of our nation; we would not be who or what we are, without knowing in our hearts that the domesticated horses are safe; and the wild ones are running free. That there is wording in your statement here that even hints at the possibility of harm to horses should be completely eliminated. Your statement here should read, not now, not ever; under no circumstances will it ever even be considered. In fact, it would be well to suggest to the slaughter houses that they tear down their facilities and think about a real day job. Thank you for reading this letter. Sincerely, Kimme/ Horse Rescue Advocate, Santa Rosa Valley.

victoria berry
Dec 10, 2011

why in the world would President Obama sign such a rotten thing? Why, why why...we have been fighting for so long to acknowledge that horses ARE NOT just things...they deserve this country's respect for all they have done for our soldiers, our country and our families. Why even consider signing such a thing? and the BLM we need new blood in there...way over due...way over due.

Erika Widener
Dec 10, 2011

No equine slaughter in USA not ever!

Audrey Reynolds
Dec 10, 2011

90% of Americans are opposed to Horse Slaughter period...!! There was a huge push by ALL the humane agencies to get the slaughter houses banned in the U.S. We understood that a total ban of the slaughter of American horses would follow. It is just unconscionable to me that 3 congress members of a committee can vote yes, the president can sign and they think it's horse slaughter business as usual. This is a president who was a cosigner on the anti slaughter bill before he ran for office in the White House. It has been prove that nothing about horse slaughter in humane and we Americans will not tolerate this disgusting industry much longer. Oh and did I mention what about cutting federal spending?? Funding of horse slaughter inspection will INCREASE FED spending. Americans don;t want that either. Its about time this govt represented the people and not the minority groups who spend alot of money lobbying for soemthing thats not even morally or ethically right.

Margaret Anderson
Dec 11, 2011

Do NOT allow the slaughter of horses for human consumption in the United States.

Glennis Roseberry
Dec 11, 2011

I understand that... What I find utterly disconcerting is we have businesses in the midwest who are ready to open a horse meat processing plant which would force the issue, force the USDA to provide unfunded inspectors, and put high risk horses in the cross-hairs. The loss of that amendment leaves things very much in the air. Urge your Congressional representatives to support HR 2966 and S 1176!!

Suzanne Moore
Dec 11, 2011

What about the food safety laws? As you know, horses are not raised as food animals here. The FDA regards them as companion animals and does not require the manufacturers of horse products to submit data on drug clearance times as is required for food animals.

The majority of horse products - both prescription and over-the-counter are labeled "Not for use in horses intended for human consumption." None of our horses are "intended" for human consumption, and absolutely none of them should ever be considered safe to humans to eat.

The EU has already found banned substances in our horses in both Mexico and Canada. They have insisted that both Mexico and Canada implement the passport system, and have stated that if we are not on a program comparable to the passport system by Jan. 2013, our horses will no longer be accepted for slaughter. What then?

Of course, it is unconscionable to send horses to slaughter for human consumption without a strict traceability system, but Americans are strongly opposed to such a thing. We cannot have it both ways. Frankly, I believe Americans would find a way to get around ANY law that attempted to regulate horse slaughter. Horse slaughter has always been a shady business, filled with criminals who would steal a horse in a moment - in fact many of the horses that go to slaughter ARE stolen. The pro-slaughter advocates like Sue Wallis have made it plain that they "disagree" with the food safety laws and have no intention of obeying them. Wallis even insists that phenylbutazone is safe after 30 days!

The US cannot continue to knowingly export contaminated horse meat to consumers overseas. What is the plan? Is there a plan?

Ann Lawrence
Dec 11, 2011

Well I do not trust this at all. We get lied to all the time--Obama lied --he said he would ban horse slaughter--it was a campaign promise--and now it's been broken--so that's a lie. Next, there will be a new state of China in the west --50 square miles--they will eat anything--dogs/goats/horses. BLM has 40,000 FEDERALLY PROTECTED WILD HORSES in holding--and they say --oh no --we won't send them to slaughter --but EVERY ONE KNOWS BLM LIES LIKE SONS OF BITCHES---EVERY GD WORD THEY SAY IS A LIE. So why should I believe this report? THE GOVERNMENT LIES--they want us to shut up and go away--but vote for them and send them money. Get where I stand??

Dec 11, 2011

Then why lift the ban at all? If it's going to be that costly and time consuming, why bother. That still does not solve the problem of the killers transporting the animals to Canada or Mexico the purpose of slaughter. It seems to me that if the politicians spent more time creating jobs for the owners of these animals so they could afford to feed them, there would be fewer of them ending up in the slaughter pipeline. Once again, jobs are the answer. Imagine that!

Dec 12, 2011

If we do not allow the slaughter, then they are shipped to Mexico, treated like pigs and goats, hung from their feet alive to have their throats slit and bleed out. If we do it , it is regulated and humane. There are lots of horses out there RIGHT NOW the owners have no money for vet, feed or hay and the horses are starving. what is so d*** majestic about that? I LOVE my horses, would not eat one if I were starving, but that is not the point. What is best for horses is.I would much rather have one humanely slaughtered than sent to Mexico.

jami bishop
Dec 12, 2011

BECAUSE WE ARE SICK AND TIRED OF SEEING STARVING HORSES, with no outlet for unwanted, discarded, old and cripple horses to go. how can the animals rights people contiue to hurt these animals with such stupid reasoning behind there way of thinking. most of them dont even own horses. IV been a horsemen all my life and love horses myself, but the slaughter houses are extreamly important to the REAL HORSE INDUSTRY.

Dec 12, 2011

Another point, the proponents of horse slaughter talk about how the plants will bring money into the communities but the plants were all owned by foreign companies and I will bet the investors they are talking to are foreign. Also Jamie the domestic slaughter plants do not help the welfare of horses if you look up the facts and statistics you will see this. The same number of horses went to slaughter through US auctions in 2010 that went to both domestic and foreign in 2007 the last year our plants were open. Do not be fooled when the domestic plants were open a good number (33,000 in 2007) of horses still went to Canada and MExico. Bad economy, ignorance, hoarding and apathy are responsible for starving horses and the majority of horses we see abandoned and starved would not be sent to auctions by their owners for that would require them to spend money and time for which those kinds of people are not inclined to do. I am a vet tech and see neglect all the time and know these people and how they think.

Dec 12, 2011

How many of you actually own horses? Have you withnessed the devastation that we have gone through since the ban on US slaughter facilities. Horses have never had it so difficult as now. The prices unfortunatly are set according to 'meat' price. That means, whithout a meat market, the horses prices have dropped to ZERO! How can horse owners afford to feed and properly care for them when their is no value put on them? It is called supply & demand. There is a need for slaughter. This will increase the value, making it better for horses all around. They are animanls, people! Livestock-that is right! I love my horses, but they are not my 'pet', they have a job. Some times it is to lounge in the plush pasture or work the cattle. there are too many 'abused' horses and the only way to fix that is by educating on how to become a responsible owner. When a 1200 lb 'pet' become agressive, mean it is not pretty. They have a use, and it is not to rehabilitate all of them. They are livestock. Support this and you will see changes for the better.

Prometheus Alexandra
Dec 12, 2011

The ban was only FIVE years old. I can't remember that far back...were there horseburger stands on every street corner then? The near-zero consumption habits will not change, so lets end that argument. I don't remember horses going through absolute hell before slaughter was banned. On the contrary, the average horses quality of life has never been worse than it is now. So lets end that argument as well. Also, I'd rather have the jobs and plants in the country where they can be of help, instead of Mexico where the conditions are worse. I believe most anti-slaughter people are not horse owners themselves, are not involved in any part of the horse economy, and are only reacting to this with emotion. And about horse theft...protect your property people! This could happen at any time for any reason and its up to the individual to do everything possible.

Tiffany P
Dec 13, 2011

The devastation in the horse market is caused by the ECONOMY not because of the ban. When the economy crashed, unlike most companies the horse market kept breeding and breeding like nothing changed. Being a responsible owner is making the life ending decision of your animal most likely euthanasia, not sending your old or injured horse off to auction/slaughter for $50 thats just greed. This whole overturning of the ban was about greed for a tiny few who make money off this abuse. American horses are being slaughtered right now as I type this, around 140,000 were sent over the boarders in wheres the supply and demand? It doesn't make a difference! I've been to auctions and the kill buyers buy up all the healthy,fat young horses not the sick ones and even outbid good homes. These are all excuses by people in the horse "business" meaning the breeding business and for everyone thinking the US slaughter houses will be more "humane" think again, there is plenty of evidence to show it was just as bad. I own 2 horses by the way and they were both saved from slaughter. SUPPORT S1176 HR2966

Terry Fox, DVM
Dec 13, 2011

I own a mixed animal practice and horses make up a fairly large percentage of our business. When horse slaughter was allowed, many owners of old and terminal horses could sell them to "killers" at a horse sale. Because of our humane handling laws, most of these horses were put down in a humane manner. Since the ban, many people cannot afford to have them humanely put down or they cannot shoot them themselves. Also a back hoe to rent for burial is about $250.00. Given the costs, many horses were set loose in the National Forests and parks to die often in a very inhumane way.
While I consider horses a "food" animal about as much as a dog would be and yes they are, in some parts of the world, I do see the need for people to have options about getting their unhealthy horses humanely euthanized. The ban on horse slaughter was actually a disservice to such a majestic animal.

Dec 13, 2011

I do not believe it. why lift the ban if there is no intentions to slaughter. don't kill the horses! its wrong to sell them just to be killed. I did own horses and they're wonderful animals full of spirit.. not dog food or glue. thanks

Russ Burns
Dec 13, 2011

I have watched for years as the public has taken horses and turned these proud and magnificent animal into submissive pets. Few people take the time to study and understand horses before they claim themselves an expert. These are the same people who are horrified that someone can seek an efficient end to a horses life. There is nothing wrong with using a horse as food for another being, that is part of nature. Always has been and always will be. But this is a country based on personal rights and choices. You are free to choose how end a horses life.
You should be able to use him to sustain other life, though the slaughter market, chemically kill him, or let him die a natural death. It is small and insignificant part of a horses life. It is the rest of the life of the horse, that matters to the horse, not the ending.

Tommy Lee
Dec 13, 2011

FYI Terry Fox so called DVM you need to stop rewarding irresponsible people who abuse and nelect them. IF they cant afford to pay for euthanisia and burial then brother they do NOT need to have them.. Being the Organization that you are sponsored by which is either the AVMA or the AAEP which calls slaughter humane euthansia is totally wrong. You people fail to educate yourselfs to reality and business. Horse Slaughter is a business its nothing more.. they do NOT care for the welfare of the horse as its a speed line of slaughter.You are only a exhaust of hot air for irresponsible people that do NOT promote or donate to any horse rescues in the US. In fact the AVMA nor the AAEP have a of helping. They rather give free vacines out to rescues to get their personel information for their own use. We all know Tom Lenz as he went on vacation to Mexico to promote horse slaughter in central mexico the only EU plant there. Yet Tom Lenz failed to travel to Jaurez a NO EU compliance horse slaughter plant. The AVMA and the AAEP knew this plant was violently inhumane. While horses went there before and after the Texas Plants closed. You people are a bunch of rewarding criminals yourselfs.. For example Leroy Baker of sugarcreek an Ohio Auctioneer that is protected by AG from being arrest or paying his large fines of $162,000 to date..

Erin Schwiesow
Dec 13, 2011

Clearly horses are not better of after the closing of the slaughter plants. In part that is the economy, but also the loss of the bottom dollar to the market. Slaughter of any animal is not pretty, neither is death. I do not believe it is a dis-service to horses to slaughter them. In fast, I believe shooting them full of drugs and letting the entire carcass go to waste is more of a dis-service. Not to mention euthanasia drugs are also known to have a certain percent of horses that react violently(close to the same percent that do not go down in one shot with the captive bolt). People love horses, including me. That doesn't mean I want you or anyone else telling me how to kill them, nor who to sell them to. Allowing a plant to open here will help the horses, the old the lame and until them they over supply of young and healthy horses. The horses will not be shipped across the border on long trips, and slaughter can be regulated here.

Paula R
Dec 13, 2011

Of course it would be a wonderful world if every horse lived until it's late thirties and was never lame. The reality is that people loose jobs, hay prices can soar, droughts happen. Horses are an expensive luxury and are the first to stand in the back starving to death when times are tough. I for one think a humane slaughter and use of a 1000 plus pounds a flesh is a much better use than a year or more of slowly starving to death, to fall and rot in the back yard. People that cannot understand the consequences are kidding themselves. If people who oppose slaughter truly wanted to help with the horse over population and help end or at least slow down the amount of horses slaughtered they should offer to financially help or start gelding programs, and help privately fund sanctuaries. Until then, they should quit compounding the problem without thinking of the ramifications of their poorly thought out solution!

Dec 13, 2011

Slaughter of any animal for food consumption is not, nor should it be, a dumping ground for unwanted animals that were not purpose raised for food. Animal agriculture for food consumption is supposed to be a highly regulated industry to protect the consumer. Horses are not raised as food animals in the US and are frequently given substances which are banned for use in food animals, meaning that once they've received one dose of a banned substance, they are forever ineligible to enter the food chain. Period. Those are the laws - both our own FDA and the EU. None of this is being tracked in the US as it is in countries that do have separate populations of horses used for food purposes, because we do not raise horses for food. When folks talk about dumping horses that are unfit for human consumption into the slaughter pipeline, what they are really saying is that having a meat price for their cast off horse is more important than food safety and the consumer's right to purchase a safe food product. This is very revealing as to the mindset, ethics, and morality of the pro-slaughter community.

As far as the "ban" on horse slaughter, in truth there never has been one. People have always been free to send horses to slaughter and have continued to do so in approximately the same numbers for the past 5 years. Prior to the defunding of US horse meat inspection, horses were slaughtered in the US, Mexico, and Canada primarily. After the defunding, they were slaughtered in Mexico and Canada, both of which have EU certified plants similar to the ones we had in the US. The cruelty that was documented in the US plants, is no different than that which has been documented in Canada and Mexico.

Horse slaughter is a predatory industry that is profit driven. It has nothing what-so-ever to do with horse welfare or providing any assistance to the horse industry. In fact, 99% of the horse industry manages just fine without it. What we need is a true ban on horse slaughter. We need to pass S.1176 and HR 2966 and end this insanity once and for all.

Natasha D
Dec 13, 2011

It amazes me to hear the "industry stakeholders"--along with the AVMA--making self-serving statements in support of each others' agenda: squeezing every last penny out of each pound of horseflesh. Follow the money trail: each professional horse association wants to recoup as much of their financial investment, and that means a high dollar for a "disposal" fee justified by viewing the horse as a mere product. Quarter Horse, Arabian, Racing Stables associations are pro-slaughter--it's about the money! Feigned concern and empty words about the welfare of the horse are designed to confuse the ill-informed. And the most malicious of their arguments is blaming the horse advocates and rescues and humane groups for the poor state of so many horses! The economy has affected pet owners in our country, and the fact that horses live longer are more costly to keep than a gerbil HAS resulted in this heartbreak. Any responsible horse owner either provides for his companion or attempts to find a solution that will benefit his companion. Euthanasia is a dreadful decision but one the guardian has the right to make. And the cost is not much more than the cost of maintaining a horse FOR ONE MONTH! There are carcass disposal services that will pick up the dead companion--no need for a backhoe. Plus many vets with a heart do discount this service for special circumstance. Back to point: horse slaughter is not a solution to the plight of horse neglect--responsible breeding and ownership is. And the enforcement of anti-cruelty laws already on the books is essential! Horse slaughter benefits only the profiteers and harms most, the horse. I am for the Horse, and that means I am against horse slaughter.

Courteney Griffin
Dec 13, 2011

There us nothing humane about horse slaughter there are videos that were taken in the shlaughter houses here in USA of horses that were hit 11 times with a captive bolt gun and then was finally shot to end its suffering! 99 percent of horses that are slaughtered are only stunned by the captive bolt gun then are hung up by a single back leg and there throat cut to bleed to death! There are even reports of mares in foal being hung and the foal being cut out of the mare and tossed in to the trash sometimes still alive! This should never have happened and should not happen in the future! Horses are not raised for Slaughter and any one who thinks so should never be able to be around a horse much less experience what it is like to be loved and trusted by a horse!!!!!