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

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.

103 Responses to “Setting the Record Straight on Congress’ Lifting of the Ban on Horse Slaughter”

  1. Brenda Lee says:

    Maybe we need to be putting some effort into finding a more affordable way, to Humanely euthanize… the horses.. I know if I can’t pay the mortgage, a $600 bill to euthanize a horse, is to much…

    I do not believe that slaughter is the answer… It’s to horrific… We should be ashamed of ourselves, for what we have put these animals through, all in the name, of property rights…

    The original problem still needs to be addressed.. Over, lottery Breeding, buy are big time Breeders… Sorry, but that is the cause of all of this, the excess horses are the symptom of… Not the cause..

  2. Lee says:

    I think we really need to start by changing the label of a horse from “livestock” to “PET”

  3. VIckery Eckhoff says:

    Terry Fox, you sound like you’re reading from a United Horsemen press release. The story of horses being set loose in National Forests turned out to be false. It was investigated and the horses turned out to belong to someone who was identified. As for turning old and terminal horses into meat, would you want to eat that? Doesn’t sound like you’ve fully thought this through. And if you read your facts, you’d know that most of the oversupply of horses is due to overbreeding. The low prices occurred as a result of the recession. And if you are equating slaughtering a horse with humane euthanasia, you are misguided. Even the so-called, more humane operations designed by Dr. Temple Grandin do not succeed in knocking out the horses in one shot, which is what is required for the killing to be considered humane.

    As for Phil Derfler, who wrote this update, please stop using the euphemism “processing” for slaughter. “Processing” is what happens when you think things through or color your hair. That’s a process. Or when you apply for a job. Also a process. Slaughtering horses isn’t a process. It’s killing an animal by butchering it. Call it what it is: horse slaughter.

  4. Mbob says:

    I am surprised that a vet would not consider the issue of equine medications routinely administered during a domestic horse’s lifespan. By now, their residual toxicity to humans is well documented and represents a significant hazard to any who consume flesh from a horse, pony or burro treated with it. Analgesics, wormers, etc. are all present in detectable levels in post mortems.

    Plus, slaughter is a costly, ineffective, brutal, “final solution” to excess animals produced by zealous breeders for the racing industry as well as “back yard” breeders.

    A more sinister interpretation of the clandestine re instatement of the slaughter regulations is that captive, formerly free roaming horses and burros who inconveniently occupied federal BLM lands are the true targets for slaughter.

  5. Becky Phillips says:

    People have to stop believing that slaughter here is more humane than it is somewhere else. It can never be humane, no matter where it it is or who does it. Horses must be protected from slaughter AND transport to slaughter!

  6. Janet Y. says:

    While official paperwork required for inspection of horse slaughter plants has not yet been initiated construction of new facilities for horse slaughter has begun. Will the USDA simply refuse to authorize inspections once they are requested? Of course not! I think the American public, the majority of which is AGAINST horse slaughter should be quite distressed over the lifting of the ban prohibiting funding for inspections. I strongly object to having my tax dollars used for this purpose.

  7. Janet Y. says:

    The argument that horse slaughter provides a humane way of disposing of unwanted horses is bogus. The meat is also often tainted with chemicals no human should be consuming. This type of death is anything but humane. We must think outside the box with this problem, and not replace one inhumane way of disposal with another. One option would be to require breeder registration and purchase cost to include an additional amount to go to a universal fund for humane euthanasia and disposal of the carcass.

  8. Kgirl says:

    Those of you that are for the ban must not be in the horse business. There is a need in the horse business for the slaughter houses to reopen. If you would go to an auction you would understand this when you see horses sell for just $5 or sometimes even no sale! There are horses that are out there that are junk or sometimes just plain mean or dangerous and have no where to go. Some people can’t afford to care for them and to take them to an auction you must have paper work and proper shots given to the animals. That puts you in the hole about $50 before you pay the fuel and even take it to the sale. Then you get a charge to send it through the auction! So most people end up in the hole even attempting to sell them. so instead they are setting them loose. So now we have wild horses in civilized communities. But these wild horses know people and are typically mean animals and couldn’t be controlled. SO NOW we have mean wild animals on the loose. Nice isn’t it? O wait… and I forgot to mention that since we are shipping these horses across the border to be slaughtered… we are loosing the profit! This is money and jobs that could be helping our economy! And just an fyi… horse mean is considered a delicacy in Europe. It isn’t just for dog food. So think the whole situation through before you make up your minds.

  9. Joan Hendricks says:

    The only people who should be opposed to re-opening horse slaughter plants in the U.S. are those who are also opposed to ALL slaughter plants for ALL species. If a person considers their horse a pet or companion animal, fine. That person should not send his/her horse to slaughter. But that person should not use the law to impose his/her emotional beliefs on those of us who see our horses as no different from other domestic livestock.

    Incidentally, I have been a horse owner most of my life and ride many hours every year.

  10. roxie paine says:

    These tactics are a product of Harry Reid! Don’t you think they are not. He has wanted Nevada wild horse free for years! Why would you open horse slaughter houses if it was not for GOVERNMENT profit? More grazing for cattle on BLM LANDS, which the government governs! This is a travesty! Why do this if we don’t eat them? Don’t send them to Mexico or Canada or any other foreign country. These animals are not “meat”!! They are our pets and our heritage and are NOT for financial profit via the GOVERNMENT BLM!!

  11. Kim says:

    In response to pro slaughter supporters – I do agree that people need options to get their horses humanely euthanized. “Humanely” euthanized is the kill word, please check your dictionary if unclear on what the word means. Humane cannot even be logically used in the same sentence with a one way trip to a horrendous death via slaughter; not even in the US. Do you actually think it is a nice easy breezy ride to the slaughter plant in a Bloomer trailer? Please ! Do pro slaughter supporters understand that the American taxpayers will have to subsidize this foreign horse meat industry which creates a huge total of maybe 200+/- jobs? Whoohoo, that’s a lot of jobs and is really going to boost our flailing economy. Property values around those slaughter plants will increase for sure. Maybe all the pro slaughter people can put their new home on some of that land. I challenge every pro slaughter supporter to go on that one way trip with the horse they’ve condemned to a “humane” euthanasia end to end. Please watch as the horse is packed around for days without food and water from auction to auction while the killer buyer collects their load in the US. Then watch your horse unload from that transport death trap, unless he has to be dragged off by the “huge boost to our economy” work force. Next watch as your horse stands in line for his “humane” euthanasia awaiting his turn for the kill box and humanely applied deadbolt. If you make it through all of that nice humane stuff, then watch your horse hang upside down usually still alive bleeding out. Most horse owners that decide to humanely euthanize a horse are with their horse during the procedure. So, it stands, pro slaughter supporters should be “with” their horse for its humane slaughter procedure.

    I know this is a wild idea but, how about the government funding Vet assisted euthanasia programs and owners taking responsibility to make those difficult decisions — not being paid to send their horse off on the torturous slaughter trail? How about funding of rendering and equine crematory? How about funding rescues? How about payment plans for actual humane euthanasia? Oh no, let’s just implement slaughter, reward irresponsibility, live in a dream world that it’s going to boost the economy…..and not think, “wow, maybe no one has jobs due to all the off shoring”. I remember it well, that was another failed campaign promise. No, the US economy problem has to be the closing of the slaughter plants.

    Snap out of it people!

    It’s hard to believe, but bute just might actually be the smoking gun that protects our American horses from this scourge and anyone who supports it’s money grubbing cruelty train.

  12. Shannon Carver says:

    We need to do what ever it takes to stop horse slaughter, I cannot imagine what goes through people’s minds that think this is a humane way of dealing with our horses, If only the ones that think this is ok could experience what these horses go through. I gurantee you this would come to a stop. Keep up the fight for the most precious animal ever to be alive.

  13. Ruth says:

    I PROTEST LIFTING THE BAN ON HORSEMEAT ITS BARBARIC & i PLAN TO MAKE A STINK ABOUT IT. whatever WE NEED TO DO TO STOP THIS IM SURE WE WILL GIVE IT OUR BEST. SOON THEY WILL WANT TO EAT OUR DOGS SHAME ON YOU OBAMA. This is not humane at all This cant happen its wrong………

  14. Logical says:

    For all those who say horses carried people across the country and plowed our fields, I’m wondering if you’ve ever heard of oxen. They’ve done just as much yet nobody has a problem eating a hamburger. I love horses and always will, but lets get real, they are livestock and should be treated as such. Irresponsible breeding has created too many horses and they are starving to death. People should focus on helping to make humane slaughter houses to keep suffering to a minimum while saving these horses from a long slow death.

  15. Kerrie Barton says:

    It is absolutely disugsting and shameful that this ban was lifted. Why in the world lift it if there is no intention of this practice being continued. Human beings have decided that we are the most important race, ignoring the fact that other living, feeling beings have been placed on this planet to live along side us. You don’t see them torturing and mutilating each other for pure greed. I am absolutely disgusted by our government and the USDA for all of their atrocities inflicted on “food” animals. SHAME ON YOU!

  16. sindy twedt says:

    Yeah… Bring back Horse Slaughter. The last few years have been Hell, on horses and their owners. Hopefully the neglect and starvation will end. Horses are not Pets. They are Livestock. Period.

  17. Connie Brady says:

    You can bet that slaughter houses will open in the good ole
    USA, and soon. And, the USDA will give its seal of approval. Our horses are currently being shipped over the borders to slaughter and all with the approval of the USDA, DOI, and BLM. They turn a blind eye when they don’t want to deal with the public but they attend meetings wherein the subject of opening slaughter houses in the USA is back on the drawing board. You tell me how the BLM is able to round-up our wild horses and have them sell at auction – who do you think is buying? And which direction, Canada or Mexico, are they going? This issue like all others in Washington is based on “who does what, to who, for how much” and this is where “we the people” can’t compete. BUT, WE CAN’T GIVE UP EITHER.

  18. Kat G says:

    Horses are listed as LIVESTOCK in the census of agriculture, not companions or pets, in the world of agriculture a horse is a horse, same as a cow is a cow and a pig is a pig, and animal not a HUMAN (hence the word humane). Whether the horse lovers of the US like it or not, horses have been raised for consumption for generations, just because your heartstrings are getting jerked around by the same old videos and pictures (I’ve looked)doesn’t mean that it happens like that on a daily basis. If you’re humane as you claim, help some HUMANS, lots of children is the USA and worldwide that are being abused and starving. What are your plans for alternatives that are real services to the horses of America, what service are you going to provide??

  19. Suzanne Moore says:

    My plan for real service to the horses of America? Take care of my OWN so someone else won’t have to do it. NO breeding. That should take care of it. Now, if everyone else did that, we’d be fine. Also, the rescues have given many workable suggestions and asked the breed organizations for a little seed money. What response do you suppose they got? None.

    The only suggestions these “horse advocates” will even discuss is slaughter. Now, for people who claim to only be interested in the welfare of our horses, is it reasonable that the ONE and ONLY “solution” is brutal slaughter of young, healthy horses – FLASH! Slaughter houses WILL NOT ACCEPT old, sick, skinny horses! – and send their flesh, loaded with substances absolutely banned in food animals overseas of foreign consumers to eat? No way. No one could be THAT dumb without a reason.

    The census of agriculture may list horses as livestock, Kat G, but that’s only for the tax break. The FDA lists horses as companion animals, and that’s why the majority of horse products are labeled: not for use in horses intended for food purposes. Get it? FDA says horses are NOT food animals, so they don’t require them to be raised under food animal regulations. They don’t require horse products to be safe for humans to eat. Are you following me? It’s against the law to use anything with the “not for use” warning on a food animal. If you do, they are no longer a food animal because they are permanently prohibited from entering the human food chain. I don’t know how much more clearly I could put it. Horses are NOT FOOD ANIMALS!

    Horses MAY have been raised for food for “generations” somewhere, but NOT in the US. In fact, they don’t seem to do that very much in the countries that actually EAT horses. If you’ve looked at the videos, how can you possibly be in favor of such brutality? It DOES happen on a daily basis. Have you ever been inside a horse slaughter plant to see for yourself what happens? NO, you haven’t. You should do that before you shoot off your ignorant mouth. I HAVE been there. I’ve had friends whose horses were stolen for slaughter. I almost had my OWN horse stolen for slaughter.

    Have you seen the brand new video and pictures from Canada? These were shot at the newest, state-of-the-art, Temple Grandin designed, most humane horse slaughter plant in the world. Guess what? Just as bad as an old converted cattle slaughter house. You really need to see this. One poor Belgian horse was shot with a captive-bolt pistol ELEVEN times! Is this your idea of “humane”?

    And about all those poor “abandoned, neglected, sick, old” horses all over the desert southwest? That has been investigated and – surprise! – these horses haven’t been abandoned by their owners. They’ve been abandoned by kill buyers because the slaughter plants wouldn’t take them! They were turned back at the border, so the kill buyers just left them there. Some were left to die without food or water in the heat of last summer in a feed lot in Presideo, Texas. Some of them were stolen, but I don’t know if they ever got back to their owners – where ever they were. This is the way the kill buyers have always treated the horses and they always will.

    Not only that, American tax payers will get soaked not only for the inspections, but for the implementation of a complex, expensive “passport” system comparable to that in use in the EU or no one will accept our toxic horse meat. You STILL for this?

    As for the humans you’re so worried about, what are you doing wasting time posting disinformation on a horse slaughter forum instead of being out there HELPING THEM? What’s YOUR plan? Tell you what, you take care of the people, and we’ll take care of the horses. Seriously, I doubt you actually do anything useful for anyone.

    You want to help the starving? Then stop sending dangerously contaminated horse meat for them to eat, for God’s sake! No one – no one sane, that is – denies the meat is tainted. They just don’t give a d##n as long as they make a profit.

    How do YOU stand for profit from horse slaughter? I’ve never seen anyone advocate slaughter unless they stood to profit from it. What’s YOUR cut?

  20. Kat G says:

    Get over it, people sell horses for slaughter, and people do eat horses and horses are drug free, it’s not my idea that animals have to die a humane death. I know right now where there is 60,000+ horses that have never been CONTAMINATED by anything that would be ideal candidates for a good source. I already profited when I sold out, what else do you want to know?

  21. Orry says:

    Please do not kill horse
    horse has flesh, blood and soUL
    Horses are and have been the friends of human beings for thousands years. Horses are very loyal. Horses do not deserve death penalty after their contribution for their whole life. U are not entitled to Nobel Peace Prize as Obama is advocating horse slaughtering. SHAME, SHOW SOME HUMANITY PLEASE

  22. Ida says:

    I guess you all would rather these magnificent animals be turned out to starve or kept in deplorable conditions since there is no market for the average horse. I am not talking about all the fancy horse farms that seem to have the financial means to care for them. I am talking about this countries Local Joe that has always wanted a horse, gets that horse and well, I’d like to raise a colt, wouldn’t that be cool!! Breeds that mare that foals and then Local Joe does not have the means nor the ability to care for, nor train the animal and it becomes a burden. What are your suggestions to keep this from happening?? Education? Some Local Joes can not be educated.

  23. Rob Burdick says:

    Do you people realize what is happening to horses with out slaughter they are starving,lame,and the price is so low that people who cant afford them own them.I have been breeding horses for 20 years with out a plant its killing us.I know its easy to say breed more responsible but if we cant get rid of useless or lame stock at a fair price we are screwed.They are livestock and are not dogs and cats which you guys try to make them as.People should have the right to choose what they do with there own horses whether to save them or can them.Nobody has the right to hurt people trying to breed better stock.All you bunny huggers have to get in touch with reallity a horse slaughter plant is the only way to go with out one is cruel.

  24. RickW says:

    Closed slaughter houses are not the cause of abandoned and starved horses, nor open ones the solution. Owners who starve and abandon their animals do so in violation of animal cruelty laws and should be prosecuted as such regardless of their circumstances. Replacing one form of cruelty (irresponsible owners who starve/abuse/abandon) with another (slaughter) is not a logical solution, nor one the American people will likely support

  25. Rob Burdick says:

    How can you think that way.In the past five years I have seen myself so many abused and starving horses I cant even count them.It is to easy to say quit breeding thats how some people make a living like me.With out a plant we have cheap horses and people who dont have the means to take care of them own them therefore making more problems.Have some common sense.People have to quit leading with emotions and start using there brain that is the problem with the whole country.Horses are LIVESTOCK and people should have the right to save them ride them or eat them.

  26. Kim says:

    The current economy has changed a lot of business profiles. Your breeding business is not immune. Seems like you need to adapt or switch to attain profitability just like every other business in the US. What your brain needs to understand is that it’s not bloody likely you’ll get the majority of American people to support your pro slaughter campaign.

  27. Mary McNichols, Ph.D. says:

    Mr. Derfler’s attempts to allay the concerns of those who oppose horse slaughter are specious. While Texas and Illinois have laws against horse slaughter (given their horrific experiences as a result of this practice), other states DO NOT. It is therefore imperative that the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (S. 1176; H.R. 2966) be passed. Passage of this bill will ensure that no horse slaughterhouses will be opened in this country, and will ensure that no horses will be transported to a brutal death in Mexico or Canada.

    PLEASE DO CONTACT YOUR SENATORS/US REPRESENTATIVES TO ENSURE PASSAGE OF THIS BILL.

    ANY MICHIGAN RESIDENTS SHOULD CONTACT SENATOR STABENOW (D-MI), CHAIR OF THE AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE, TO ENSURE THAT THIS BILL IS BROUGHT TO THE FLOOR OF THE SENATE. SADLY, THE AGRICULTURE INDUSTRY WILL DO WHAT IT CAN TO PREVENT PASSAGE OF THIS BILL–WHICH THEY KNOW WILL BE PASSED IF BROUGHT TO THE FLOOR.

  28. Rob Burdick says:

    You guys ar nuts.The economy is so bad for pretty much everybody,we need jobs,exports horse slaughter would help in that area dont you think.This country is being run by emotions and not common sense.Horses are livestock and I hope will be treated as such.

  29. Chrissy says:

    I have to question the USDA’s letter indicating that perhaps no slaughter houses will open in the near term, what does that mean exactually? If congress lifted the ban then that means they gave the green light to start up slaughter houses in the US and they are. In Florida I was told by horse people that there are at least two that are being built as I speak. I don’t trust this rotten goverment as far as I can throw them. As long as greed runs deep in the pockets of the lobbists and crooked congressmen these magnificant animals have no hope. In order to undo this congress has to step up and once again ban horse slaughter in the us and you don’t see that being done. USDA is a joke. I’ve dealt with them for years and they seem to turn there heads when wrong doing is going on. Inspections are also a joke, why else would so many Americans come down with ecoli in burgers, deaths from food poisionings and massive recalls from producer of vegetables and salads. There aren’t enough USDA agents to do there jobs effeciently. Horse slaughter WILL take place in the US. It’s just a matter of time but it’s going to happen.

  30. rwilymz says:

    My, my, my.

    There’s quite a lot of emotional venting going on here, and virtually no perspective.

    Let me just respond to a handful of the inspidid statements that have been made:

    [[Humane cannot even be logically used in the same sentence with a one way trip to a horrendous death via slaughter; not even in the US.]]

    Are cattle, hogs and sheep slaughtered humanely in the US? Horses are slaughtered the very same way. If it’s humane for the cow, it’s humane for the horse.

    And for the several folks who challenge me to accompany my horse on his [boo hoo] one way death ride, I do that very thing several times a year with each of my sheep. I take them to the slaughterhouse, unload them, hand them over to the handler, and I’ve even gone in the side door when one or two of them were being hoisted up to the rafters by a back leg and having their throat slit.

    Dig it, folks: THIS IS THE WAY WE GET OUR FOOD! Emotionalizing it won’t change anything. To not do this means that we don’t eat. Not all of us, of course, won’t eat. It’ll once again be the poor who suffer the most for our tear-filled ignorance made into policy.

    We have millions of excess dogs and cats in this country that people can’t take care of. We have tens of thousands of horses in the same condition. Despite all the pious pronouncements, it’s not always laziness or irresponsibility behind it, either, so let us please dispense with the melodrama.

    [[Horses MAY have been raised for food for “generations” somewhere, but NOT in the US.]]

    BZZZZZT! Horse was not uncommonly eaten in the US as late as the early 20th century. Horse is eaten in most of the world today. …if/when they have it. Just like [get the barf bag ready!] …just like dog and cat.

    This is another example of the self-righteousness of cloistered American neophytes who believes that as goes the US, so must go the rest of the world.

    Newsflash, folks, in most ways, the US – sometimes including Canada and sometimes including western Europe, but not always – is the lone standout from the rest of the world. There’s 187 nations on the planet. When 1 nation does something one way and 186 does it another, who’s “right”?

    That’s correct: the 186.

    We are not “moral” to take a stand against what the rest of the world does. We are simply different by not doing it. Drop the faux-morality.

    [[Not only that, American tax payers will get soaked not only for the inspections, but for the implementation of a complex, expensive ... ]]

    We’re already getting soaked for so many other things – and for significantly more billions – why on earth would you think this matters? The new FDA food inspection authorization bill, less than a year old, is $500b… b… BILLion for produce inspections because [according to CDC] as many as 3,000 Americans die from food poisoning each year. Food poisoning, in this day and age, is caused by people not being able to follow a recipe. What’s so hard about cooking meat and eggs, and washing produce?

    You could hire those 3,000 people a personal chef for significantly less than the $500BILLion we’ll be spending to make sure those ninnies don’t get tummy-aches.

    [[Closed slaughter houses are not the cause of abandoned and starved horses, nor open ones the solution.]]

    Where have you been? Abandoned horses have ballooned in the last 5 years. Economy? Lack of domestic slaughterhouses? Both can probably take a share of the blame.

    Don’t you know folks who have 4-H show cows? pygmy goats? What happens when these folks fall on hard times? lose jobs? injur their back and can’t do the physical labor of caring for something bigger than a chicken?

    That’s right: they sell them for slaughter.

    My neighbor had two dairy goats until last year when he finally got head-butted one too many times. He put an ad in the paper, and three middle-eastern guys showed up with a machete and a cooler and the asking price in cash; slaughtered the goats right there, skinned them, packed them on ice and drove off.

    This guy was simply TIRED of having goats; he could afford them.

    Why can you not do the same to a horse? What on earth is the difference, apart from YOUR emotional attachment to SOMEONE ELSE’s horse?

    [[it’s not bloody likely you’ll get the majority of American people to support your pro slaughter campaign]]

    Why is it the rest of the American peoples’ business? Why is it the government’s? I see nothing in the Constitution which grants the government the authority to busy-body us on what we can eat and what we can’t. …and if you see such things in the Constitution, then I’d advise you to lay off the LSD. Same thing I advise judges and legislators and bureaucrats of all stripes, by the way.

    Our system of government was not intended to be used as a blunt instrument to compel blind conformity to the least-objectionable-lifestyle, whether that lifestyle is slaughtering horses for food, gay marriage or abortion. You are free to think slaughtering horses for food is icky. So don’t go to the horse barbecue, then. It’s no skin off anyone’s nose.

    Just like it should be no skin off yours that someone else likes Dobbin Burgers.

  31. Rob Burdick says:

    Slaughter houses is the only solution.Horses are starving and abandoned.I see it almost every day in my travels.I have been a horse shoer for twenty years and see all kinds of these horses.Your the one with out a clue.How does anybody have the right to tell you what you can do with your own property.All your numbers don’t mean crap.It is the only way to get rid of unusable livestock.Yes I said livestock until they tell me different on my taxes that is what they are.They are not pets like dogs and cats.Come on guys have you ever seen a house horse get real.I know what the breeders and ranchers want in our country and that is slaughter.So in all of your stupid polls don’t mean crap unless you ask the people of the industry.Not the non horse owners or the people with a couple.That is only polling the people you want to.

  32. No Horse Slaughter says:

    I’m sorry, but I disagree that SLAUGHTER is better than abuse and neglect.Like what goes on at a slaughterhouse is humane? Surely you jest! There is no “lesser of the evils here; they are BOTH evil!” SLAUGHTER is no better than abuse! But someone can profit from the slaughter….

  33. dakota O'Conner says:

    tell me, why would you slaughter the animal that walked us through history…who was our tranportation even in the pouring rain, sleet and snow? horses! who charged us into battle? (us risking their lifes.) horses! who helped us in the mines? (and died in the mines) horses! who lugged our lumber? (and still do) horses!! who should be loved by a little girl? horses!!!!! horses are the most amazing animals on this planet! why should they suffer for our consumption? i dont know any one who would eat or want to slaughter a horse. i have ask and ever answer was “no”, “never”, “thats sick”, and more! people dont want to kill/ eat horses. we dont eat/transport our abandoned dogs and cats, so why do that to horses? horses are just as loving and trusting as dogs and cats. they arent live stock and cant be treated like live stock. its wrong. i have done everything i can to stop it! by sgining petitions, emails, calling people, and more!! i am AGENST horse slaughter!!!!!!!!!

  34. Christie says:

    If the American public has horse slaughter forced upon them, it will result in the most passionate animal agriculture back lash imaginable. This is not a threat by the way. it is just that consumers do not like the idea that Monsanto is insisting that everyone plant their seedless alfalfa, fruits, and vegetables. Beyond the humane issues, the idea that the meat industry sees nothing wrong with slaughtering horses treated with multiple substances banned in animals for human consumption for years, calls into question the moral compass of everyone who would advocate for the return of this cruel end for horses.

    For the person who said horses are just like cows, sheep, and pigs, I saw this is undeniably false. Sheep, cows, pigs, and goats are short-necked prey animals that cluster when they are afraid. Horses, on the other hand, are long necked flight animals. In order for the captive bolt to be properly placed, the horse’s head must be restrained. This does not happen in any of the pictures or film I have seen. Moreover, horse brains are not placed inside the skull in the same manner that the brains of these traditional food animals are.

  35. Barbara Tucker says:

    Horses cannot slaughtered humainly. That’s all that needs to be said….DO NOT LIFT THE BAN we are better than that…As a country we should not be allowed to export food products we ourselves would not eat. Step forward not backwards.

  36. Curt says:

    Wow, I really want to eat a horse. I wonder what they taste like?

  37. BRING IT BACK TO USA says:

    The death of an animal is often not something anyone wants to cause however, since slaughter has been closed I have seen more horses that were thin, and many more starved. Yes people see them as pets and some see them as food. I believe that an animal is used until it has no chance at quality life and looking at four walls or never having that interaction or training is a dis service to an animal. When they are no longer able to be a benefit I would sooner feed and train a young horse and see the horse honored by a death that was swift. I think that to die of old age or starvation or lack of care is not an option and if I can give a horse a life that would otherwise never get trained in its place well give me the young horse to train and I will kiss my old, lame, horse that dont fit good bye/ into the barn to get auctioned and if so be it killed. I will also take that money and buy a younger horse that would get shipped to Mexico or Canada and bring it home train it love it for the next 18 to 20 years. I tell my son to eat ever bit of meat I put on his plate because an animal died for it to be there. Point blank they are going to die any way they may as well be in good flesh and die in a chute and get ate verses sit in a lot and get starved untill the organs shut down.Or get uthenized and let to rot, sooner make a dog fat than to starve both. I take in rescue horses and home what I can but honestly I did that when slaughter was still open and I feel like not having slaughter plants has slowed my chances at finding homes for horses. Come on Bring it back here where we can at least regulate how its done. Put the plants in the middle of no where or hell load them on a ship. Honor them in death by eating every stitch. We have Thousands of people going hungry in this country and many horses going hungry put them together. A milk cow needs milked and eggs need to be ate cows utilize ground that would otherwise be un-farm able. Its not always about the bottom dollar and yes someone will profit but all you animal lovers still drive cars, what about all the pretty birds and fish that have died because of oil spills? IT DONT STOP YOU FROM BUYING GAS. What About putting up a Christmas tree? Could have been a home for a family of birds? What about that piece of paper you write on? What about all the soy tofu ect? let me tell you that more ground opened up for farming has given less place for wild animals to find habitat read up on the lesser prairy chicken. God put us here to have dominion over the land and the animals. Manage them and care for them that is what is rite. No money is not the end goal but at least slaughter is swift and the animal never has to recover, It would honor me more to be ate than to be put in a nursing home to rot in the horses instance a life where it looks over a fence wishing for feed or water. Or interaction there is simply not enough money or resources to feed every animal till the day it dies of old age. Lets Be realistic. Bring horse slaughter back to the Us instead of across borders. BTW that is even getting better as it is more regulated but its still a long haul.

  38. BRING IT BACK TO USA says:

    BTW TO THE PERSON WHO WANTS A FOAL. COME ON THAT IS HALF THE PROBLEM. BUY A HORSE THAT IS ALREADY TRAINED AND YOU CAN LEARN ON PEOPLE NEED TO WAKE UP, HECK TAKE A DRIVE AND DONT LOOK AT THE FANCY BARNS LOOK ON THE BACK ROADS LOOK ON CRAIGS LIST LOOK. HORSES ARE LIVESTOCK I OWN THEM I DRIVE THEM I RIDE THEM I LOVE THEM AND GUESS WHAT I WOULD EAT ONE.

  39. josie Wolfe says:

    I love horses but I have had cows and sheep I have loved and yes even a pig. I BELIEVE in horse slaughter. There are horses all over starving to death because there is place to go with them. It is no different than eating a COW. We need horse slaughter those who don’t want it need to be feeding the horses the BLM is going to go broke feeding so called wild horses who are now being born in corrals. I think the slaughter of any animal needs to be humane and strictly supervised.

  40. Robin Wright says:

    Thank you for your facts.

    These are ours: As avid horse advocates we have promoted petition after petition and had many thousands of people sign them. Some of our good congress people have sponsored legislation to enact a nationwide ban on slaughter and transport to slaughter of our horses that was co-sponsored by several hundred US Representatives and many US Senators. Time after time this bill has not made it out of committee for vote due to special interest groups support of congressional committee members. Time after time we contact government officials and Congress and this communication is met with canned responses. Please recognize that we cannot stop our campaign to end horse slaughter until a law prohibiting this action is on the books. We will not and cannot go away.

  41. Terry Torreance says:

    Why does the slaughter horse program only have 1 person Joey Astling to enforce the Commerical transportation to slaughter of equines, 9CFR 88, for over 160,000 horses going to slaughter last year? Why don’t the USDA put some teeth in the regs and actually punish the violators of those Regs? This program needs to stop. Horse slaughter needs to be banned because the USDA does not have the personel to properly monitor & enforce 9CFR 88. The persons who violate these regs are repeat offenders multiple times.
    When will abuse stop?

  42. maryann says:

    Why on this earth would you want to reopen a slaughter house for the horses… that is animal cruelty , the way they are killed, the meat is toxic to humans , if the horse was wormed or given butte….. so why do you want to do such an evil thing to these beautiful animals…. horses are not to be eaten…… dont lie to us anymore you guys just want to kill to make money….

  43. Eddie Wood says:

    As I mentioned in my first comment, why can’t the government created a reserve for these horses somewhere, hiring people to maintain the grounds, feed and have on staff vet care for them, it would create jobs, and save the horses from a cruel and inhumane death.

    My God, Obama spends millions upon millions just taking a vacation…Use that money to save these animals.

    It’s that simple!!!

  44. Pamela Wollert says:

    Please do not allow this horrific act. We’ve needed to move to humane practices for centuries and just when the U.S. has made baby steps here and there, we do something horrible and barbaric again. Our government is not listening to the ever growing movement to less consumption, healthy, humane practices, compassion and empathy to all living beings. It’s made me become closer to being a vegetarian over the years. I eat less and less meat and only buy organic as so very many I’ve met like never before! When I read the quote from a rancher spokesperson stating they need something to do with old or incapacitated horses!! Oh my gosh, what about using your wealth to humanely put to sleep and cremate my husband said. How cruel to speak of a living being as an item for disposal. It’s all about money and I’m ashamed of this country if we pass this step as well!

  45. Kristen Walker says:

    Is it true that a horse slaughter facilitie is 60 days from opening in New Mexico? I am just sickened that this will resume in this country again. This is not something that the American people support, these beautiful highly intelligent animals are not raised for food and are given a bevy of vaccinations and medicines through out their lives. If you can not stop it for its true sickening brutality how can you support selling toxic tainted meat. There is so many reasons that this is intrinsicly wrong, just because there is money to be made by the slaughter of innocent animals does not mean as a country we need to participate in it. Maybe we should open up dog slaughter plants too? There is a large market for dog meat oversees as well.

  46. elaine sisung says:

    PLEASE STOP THE DANCING AROUND AND PUT A STOP IMMEDIATELY TO THE SLAUGHTER OF HORSES. TOM VILSACK NEEDS TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE NOW…..

  47. Reality bites says:

    What pro slaughter advocates fail to understand over and over and over again is that the MAJORITY of American people will never ever support their horse torture cruelty financial gain for the insane slaughter facility campaign.

    Here’s a tip – support Vets, clinics, rescues, crematory, rendering, transport services, advisement services, equine drug research/companies, compost services, breeder council services and a host of other viable humane solutions

  48. Lynda B. King says:

    The horse industry and the private horse owners need to know what precautions the USDA is going to require to protect the killers from spreading infectious diseases such as EIA, EHV1- neurological in to our horse populations.

    There appears to be nothing to safeguard the slaughter of stolen horses.

    Since horses are not raised for human consumption, what mandatory drug testing will be done.

    The USDA is NOT protecting the horse industry or the horse owner or the horse (from a cruel death) or the consumer of horse meat.

    Is that not your JOB?

  49. Dana says:

    In regards to the possible opening of horse slaughterhouses, We need to remember that horse slaughterhouses are NOT intended for the purpose of euthanasia/disposal of unwanted, aged, sick horses. They are solely for the slaughter of horses for their meat which in turn sends profits into the hands of the buyers and the slaughterhouses. A horse that is at the end f its life or sick beyond rehabilitation can be put down by an owner or vet at any time as has been done for hundreds of years . As caretakers for these magnificant creatures that is OUR responsibility and should remain as such.

    The slaughterhouses lead to rampant horse theft. Horse theft is greatly under reported so we cannot gauge the numbers on either side.

    Horse meat is NOT consumed widely enough in the US to be profitable to ANY state that has
    A horse slaughter plant. The UK is banning imported US horse meat. Horse meat in no way can be certified as safe to eat because they are not raised as a food source and are loaded with
    Contaminants from dewormers, anti-inflamitories, vaccines, antibiotics and performance enhancing drugs.

    I urge you to consider upholding the horse slaughter ban.

    As Ghandi said “a nations morality can be judged by the way it treats its animals”

  50. Catherine neumann says:

    New Mexicans don’t want a horse slaughterhouse in our state. We should have a vote on this controversial and disgusting business!

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