Horse Slaughter in the United States?

With a single stroke of his pen Obama signed into law HR2112 that was passed by a bi-partisan act of congress.  Inside HR2112 was provisions for funding the USDA inspection of horse slaughter plants within the United States once again.

5 days after passing the law, President Obama pardoned the two Thanksgiving turkeys, Peace and Liberty, while his youngest daughter Sasha watched on wearing a shirt with horses all over it. Does she know that her father has condemned hundreds of thousands of horses to death at a cruel slaughterhouse?

Horse slaughter has never been humane, and as far as we can tell, will never be humane.  When the slaughter plants were operating in the United States, these photos were taken by the USDA, not of horses being slaughtered, no, just of how the horses arrived at the slaughter plant.  Horses cannot withstand being crammed into large trailers with mares, stallions, ponies and foals all in one trailer with slippery, hard metal floors.  Horses easily slip and fall, and become trapped under the other horses where they are often trampled to death.  You can see pictures, and yes they are graphic, of the horse slaughter transport that USDA released.  If the slaughter plants reopen, this will continue to be acceptable, and common, on US soil.  To see the graphic pictures, click here.

Let’s look at statistics here, is there really a huge overpopulation of horses?  To give you an idea, there are approximately 12,000,000 dogs and cats euthanized last year right here  in the United States.  You probably haven’t heard that number, you have been told 4.5 million, but shelters generally only report euthanasia of adoptable animals.  Sick, injured, aggressive or elderly animals are not counted in that 4.5 million statistic for last year.

In contrast, only 112,904 American horses were slaughtered last year.  That is hardly a drop in the bucket compared to how many dogs and cats were euthanized.  Surely as a society we can step up and say “We will euthanize horses that have no homes.”  Better yet, horse owners can be responsible for their own horse instead of expecting tax payers to pay for their horse to be slaughtered.  The inspection of the horse slaughter plants will cost at least $3,000,000 a year, with almost no return in tax revenue as they are foreign owned companies.  Our tax dollars will subsidies horses being slaughtered!

In the last 22 years, there have been 3.7 million horses slaughtered, the vast majority of those between 1990 and 2000.  That is only 30% of the number of dogs and cats euthanized last year! This is not the huge epidemic that the pro-slaughter groups such as American Quarter Horse Association (who only makes money when people breed and register a QH) want you to believe.

There are between 500,000 and 1,000,000 horses bred in the United States every year.  If every breeder cut back just 20% there would be no unwanted horses in the United States.  With the economy in shambles, that must happen sooner than later.

To see the slaughter statistics by year, click here.

Recently a video was released on Youtube with a confession from a retired killer buyer.  We know it is hard to view all the photos that the USDA released, but we have combined some of them with his testimony with USDA photos.  It is still graphic, so viewer beware.  He stated, among other things, how horses that bite other horses can have their mouths wired shut before they make the long trip.  The USDA report had photos to back it up.  There are many other things that are common practice, watch the video to learn more. Click here.

Canada was similar to the United State’s slaughtering regulations.  Dr Temple Grandin was interviewed by CBC, a Canadian news organization, as to her opinion on horse slaughter.  You have got to watch this video!  It is the least graphic video ever made that tells the most truth through speech.  To watch the video, click here.

Despite what others thought, in 2008 our organization, then known as NorCal Equine Rescue, stepped out of our comfort zone to do what we knew was right.  We did the first ever free euthanasia clinic for horses.  Euthanasia and education are what is going to make the 10% of horses that end up in the slaughter pipeline safe.  There is a huge market for dog and cat meat, but we as a nation do not raise dogs and cats for meat, nor do we raise horses for meat.  More animal welfare organizations need to step up and say “We are not going to let horses be slaughtered!  We will educate people to be responsible.  Do not take your horse to auction yards or give them away when you can no longer take care of them, do the responsible and humane thing.”  To watch the very first news broadcast of that very first ever euthanasia clinic for horses, click here.

Now it’s your turn to help keep horses from the horror of the slaughter pipeline.  So far for this auction rescue we have raised $3,530 towards our goal of $5,000.  We only have until tomorrow evening!  The auction is Saturday night, we an only save lives if we have the funds for their purchase and care.  To help, click here. Or you can Paypal your donation directly:  Thank you!

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