Horse Slaughter

LyndaKLyndaK Member
A bipartisan group of U.S. congressmen on Wednesday introduced a bill to prohibit horse slaughter for human consumption, following efforts by several companies to restart horse meat processing in the United States, according to media reports.

The bill would halt the startup of a proposed slaughtering facility by Valley Meat Co. in Roswell, N.M., that hopes to soon begin producing horse meat for export.

The bill also would block the export of U.S. horses for slaughter in Mexico and Canada. About 170,000 horses were sent to slaughter in those countries last year, the Wall Street Journal reported.

USDA has received applications from six companies seeking permission to start slaughtering horses, according to the New York Times, citing documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. Those companies are seeking approval for facilities in Iowa, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Rockville and Gallatin, Mo.

Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Representative Patrick Meehan (R-Penn.) and Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) introduced the new bill to prohibit horse slaughter and export of horses for slaughter.

In 2011, Congress opened the door to the resumption of horse slaughtering in the United States when it let lapse a rider to an appropriations bill that had prevented USDA from financing inspection of horse meat since 2007. However, USDA never restarted inspections.

If you are against the slaughter of horses, PLEASE CONTACT your Senators and Congressman to support the new bill to prohibit horse slaughter!


  • EriNCEriNC Member
    I have some suspicion that the hamburger meat we have been getting in my area is mixed with horse meat. It tastes very different from what I remember 6 months ago. The government is predicting a beef shortage due to the drought in the Midwest this growing season so it wouldn't surprise me.
  • carolinarkansascarolinarkansas hot springs, arkansasMember
    I found the petion in an article of fb.....really easy to sign and send....sent to both senators and representative for my zip code....
  • Thank you Carolinakansas!
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  • Just my opinion, but I think it is perfectly fine to discuss these issues. If someone sees the title of the thread and doesn't want to read about it, then they can move on to something else. It is a horrible truth, but it is reality and if just one person who reads about it wants to help in some way, that is a good and positive thing.
  • I'm so glad to see others stepping up and speaking out. I know I did awhile back and got pounced on for it.

    I wonder why no one speaks of post July when Europe won't accept our horses because we don't use a passport system for them. Why is it no one speaks of the fact that horses by law (FDA)are considered companion animals.

    If the supporters of slaughter don't want to hear about Bute how about frog juice? It's 40 times as powerful as morphine.

    We ridiculed China for sending us poisonous dog food but when we knowingly contaminate the human food chain we're worse.

    To the other poster who complained about their hamburger might I suggest you tell the management of your concerns. If that goes no where buy elsewhere and suggest your friends do also. You can send samples to labs to be tested but they cost big bucks. Call the county. And write your local paper.

    I can't promise this will work and there no guarantees that the soybeans aren't affected by Monsanto but you can try TVP. It's fake hamburger. It's soybeans dressed to look and taste like hamburger. I offer it as a suggestion.

    If all else fails you can switch to ground turkey. You may find your family likes it more.
  • EriNCEriNC Member
    We have stopped buying hamburger and stick to chicken. Chicken is cheaper anyway.
  • Thanks to all of you that have contacted your legislators. And for those who support the slaughter of horses, I do respect your right to express your opinions as well.

    I brought this new bill to stop the slaughter to the Zenyatta forum for several reasons:

    1. Stopping the slaughter of horses is an issue that I am passionate about..not only because of my deep love and passion for horses but also because I work in the food industry and am aware of the medications and drugs that can enter our own bodies that are in the animals that are slaughtered for human consumption...even chicken and turkey. Horses have not been raised for human consumption. For those of you who may have been following the fiasco in Europe where the horse meat was found in beef, I am sure you know that traces of bute and other drugs were found in the horse meat. Many medications that are given to horses have a statement on them: Not for use in animals that are intended for human consumption". This includes wormers, bute and whole host of other drugs, medications and supplements we give our horses. There is strong evidence to support that the antibiotics given to cattle, pigs, sheep and chickens have contributed to the bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics because we are getting some level of these antibiotics in our system when we eat meat from animals that have been treated with antibiotics.

    2. If you advertise a horse for sale, the killers will come and try to buy your horse or pony and will not tell you that they are a killer.

    3. Hundreds of wild mustangs (one of our National Treasures) will be rounded up and taken to slaughter.

    4. Many horses run through auction will end up in slaughter as the killers do not have to identify themselves there either.

    5. The slaughter house will not check to see if a horse is stolen before slaughtering.

    6. Horse theft out of pastures and stables will increase just as it did back in the 70's and 80's.

    7. Irresponsible breeders will no longer feel compelled limit their breedings or strive to breed quality horses and many, many horses will end up at slaughter if they do not perform. Lets face it, a lot of horse breeders across all breeds are in it for the money and if they can recoup some of their losses by sending a horse to slaughter, they will do that. PLEASE NOTE I SAID SOME!

    8. In lieu of the misbranding of horse meat as beef and the drug check fiasco that has been going on in Europe, we can expect export of American horse meat to skyrocket and therefore the price paid for slaughter horses will skyrocket. The killers will become very aggressive in the purchase of horses for slaughter and when they cannot get enough to satisfy their greed, they will resort to stealing as they did back in the 1970's and 80's

    7. Another thing we can expect is a decrease in the number of perfectly, good, trained non-registered grade horses that are available. These horses are more in the price range of the average back yard horse owner. Not everyone who loves horses and wants to own one can afford the ridiculous prices that are put on purebreds and registered horses. For years all of my horses were grades...I could not afford to buy registered horses...they were totally out of my price range.

    8. Another concern that is new is the transportation of these horses bound for slaughter from all over the United States. While the USDA/PHIS has a new law that no horse can be transported within and outside states without proof of a negative coggins, do you really think the killers will obey that law. This will contribute to the spread of EIA and in the event of more EHV-1 neurological outbreaks, this deadly disease can be spread around the country as well.

    9. It might interest you that not all horses are taken in immediately for slaughter. Many are placed on pasture and overfed so as to get their weight up so that the slaughter plant can increase their yields and make more money. This also helps spread diseases that these horse might carry into the community of horses around the slaughter plants.

    10. And finally, horses are among the few species of animals that we have not yet bred out their instincts that kept them alive for all these thousands and thousands of years. They, unlike cattle and pigs and sheep etc, still have tremendous instincts to survive. They panic at the smell of blood...they know they are about to die so their death in a slaughter house is a horrible end for ways much more horrible than starving to death.

    There appears to be people from all over the Unites States that participate on this forum and horse slaughter is "nationwide" issue especially since the USDA has approved a plant to open in the state of Oklahoma very soon.

    So if we are to have any hope to stop the slaughter of horses and the transportation of horses across the borders into Mexico and Canada for slaughter....we must act and we must act now and it must be an effort from people all over the country.

    I thank and so appreciate everyone that takes the time to read this.

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  • RachelRachel Member
    edited March 2013
    its not about keeping their heads in the sand, some people just cant save those horses it takes money and money is not what ppl have, its 300-500 dollars and up to save a horse from auction and what then? some people dont have a place to keep it. sometimes u cant save them all
  • RachelRachel Member
    edited March 2013
    and u dont have to comment on this forum to sign a petition, most people read things on here without even having to comment. they could of signed the petition by now or contacted their senators
  • There are a whole lot, at least 100 or more, people who never, ever post comments but do read these posts and, as Rachel said, will sign petitions without announcing it here. Also, on the blog people post about horse rescues and slaughter and a lot of those people donate for these things and, again, a lot don't announce it.
  • I give as much as I can to rescues, but, to be honest, it is very frustrating when horses are bred over and over to get that one elusive winner and those who breed, train, and race the horses are being less than responsible for their retirees/non racers. Not all breeder/owner/trainers, mind you, but more of them should be doing the stepping up. I wonder if there is simply the assumption, "Oh, well, good luck, fella, maybe a rescue will come along to clean up my mess and take care of you"...just a thought.
  • Horse Slaughter is a gruesome, terrible thing. Years ago, my Dad bought me a Thoroughbred Mare for my Birthday. She was a beautiful girl, high strung, and very smart. She had been foaled at Calumet Farms.

    Years later, due to divorce, I had to sell her, so I put an ad in the paper; the Internet wasn't around at that time. I was careful, I thought I picked the best person that came to see her. The man I chose came nicely dressed in a sport coat, he offered me the same money as someone else, but his rig looked lovely, and he seemed very sincere. I thought I had found exactly the right person for my girl to go to..

    Several weeks later, I learned this man was a kill buyer, he had sent my beautiful girl to die in an Illinois Slaughterhouse. I wonder to this day how any one could have looked at her beautiful face then cut her to pieces. I pray that she somehow didn't suffer.

    Fast forward to 2010. I came to Louisville to see Zenyatta run; I had followed her entire career. She didn't disappoint, Zenyatta ran the race of her life. I thought a lot about how brave Zenyatta was on the drive back to Michigan. Even though she looked hopelessly behind, she swung out in the stretch and went for it. Courage indeed.

    I decided that I would somehow make Kentucky my home. As time passed, I kept yearning to be in Kentucky, but how would I pull this off? I thought about courage, then I thought about how when the odds looked so stacked against her, Zenyatta went for it. Courage. So I moved 400 miles to Kentucky, to a town where I knew not one person, to a new life. I began to explore the area, and lo and behold, there was the famous Calumet Farm right in front of me. Calumet is on busy Versailles Road, so I turned around, and stopped literally before one of the gates. I got out of the car and stood looking at that red gate, then my eyes took in the fields, the white fences, everything. I stood and cried my heart out for the beautiful mare that started her life right here, but had it end brutally in an Illinois slaughterhouse. I think standing there somehow helped to heal the pain I have felt over what happened for many years, I somehow felt I had validated her life by just being where it began.

    Fast forward to 2013. Now I live near Old Friends; I have put in bulbs in the Horse Cemetery, and this year will be working on adding more perennials. My Girl didn't get a chance to be buried with love, and surrounded with flowers, but I can make sure others do. I think of my girl a lot when I am in that Cemetery, it bothered me at first, but the sounds of horses nearby is soothing, and it now seems so very right for me to be there this year. Courage. Thanks Zenyatta, for showing me that no matter what the odds, you just go for it, and give it your all.
  • Pattycakes, Your story broke my heart! I am so sorry that happened to you and your poor girl, but you did the best you could. How wonderful that Zenyatta was able to change your life as she did. It never ceases to amaze me the power that Zenyatta has had over so many people, so many beautiful stories! How wonderful what you are doing at the Horse Cementery. This touches my heart and makes me cry.
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  • edited March 2013
    Thank you to all of you that have posted common sense posts on this very serious subject. I, with the help of many other horse lovers, owners, etc. helped to get the IL slaughterhouse closed DOWN. We actually stood in the way of trucks trying to bring horses in. We had help from some great politicians that were against it and they even joined us there!
    Here's the problem: We are talking on a TB industry forum, we are either owners or fans or both, and the problem is that this industry is in the breed breed breed constantly every damned year of any mare that is available. I have been contacted by more stallion "reps" because I have one of the remaining winning Metfield mares. They are astonished that she has only had 2 foals! We have kept every single horse we have had, we have a couple old mares and geldings and they are our dear friends! They are loved and cared for until its their day to go to Heaven.
    So I counter the stallion reps with, "What is your farm doing regarding the overpopulation and ultimate slaughter of hard running innocent horses?!" I get a bunch of nothing from them. NOTHING. Maybe a couple of pass the bucks or mumbles. This industry truly STINKS as far as the care for horses. There are plenty of folks who want to breed but there are only a few that will step up to care for them afterwards, truly putting their heart and soul into it. How can we eat our companion animals is just beyond any words I have. And as addressed in previous posts, its not the gentle euthanasia, it is brutal for these poor horses. And what really makes me shake my head, is those with rose colored glasses on that say "oh, it's GOOD for mares to be pregnant EVERY year"! Really?! Ask Rachel Alexandra that. My mare has not been pregnant every year, and she is as healthy and beautiful as ever.
    May I bring up Ferdinand, a KY Derby Champion and BC Classic winner? This makes me ill, I was young and I picked that gorgeous red colt to win and he was not the favorite and he won! And the owner would not even LET other offers to take him happen, he demanded Ferdinand to be slaughtered. The story of the great Exceller is also one to remember. But these two are just two that were very famous. EVERY horse should count. There are TOO MANY horses being bred! Not every one wins so where do they go? And no, I don't agree with breeding Zenyatta every year either. Sorry.
    I also stopped eating any/all red meat, only have chicken or fish. After seeing a video, it was more than I could take as a God fearing, animal loving person. I also urge you all to contact everyone that you can get in touch with your state's government. Perhaps if they were made to spend a day at one of these murder houses, they probably would think differently.

    LyndaK, many, many thanks to you for your knowledge, your concern and we really need more people like you in this world!
  • I'm ashamed to say that I wanted to pass this thread by. Not because I didn't feel terrible about the horse slaughter, but because I told myself there wasn't anything that I, as an individual could do to differ the outcome. And I didn't want to read anything sad. Well, in all conscience, I couldn't pass it by, and I'm glad I read every single post. For the horses who have died under such inhumane conditions, for those who might still yet, and for Pattycakes little girl who died in an Illinois kill house, and whose memory has haunted her to this day, I pledge I'm going to call my state legislators, as well as those in the Federal govenment and voice my anger, and lend my support of any bill that stops horse slaughter and the transportation of horses to other countries for that purpose. As someone who professes to love horses I can do no less, and hope to do more.
  • Let me clarify that statement because I am one that has said that on more than one occasion.

    When I make this statement I am speaking from a reproductive standpoint. I am speaking from readings of what vets have reported. We are all entitled to our beliefs.

    As a kid the stat was for every four years you bred a mare you could expect three foals. One year the mare would not get into foal. I cite La Ville Rouge as a great example of this stat.

    There are obviously exceptions to this rule. And RA has significant issues reproductively. What to do vs what not to do is a huge question. I think many vets are in consultation with this--some of whom we may never hear about. I also think Mrs. Banke has some choices and is also consulting with the breeding staff about how RA managed last year. I choose now to wait and see. I know in all likelihood that any chance for a breeding this year is not in her best interest. About next year or the following one I have no idea. I'm not privy to her condition or the consultations taking place.

    What I do hope is if RA is retired from breeding--that Mrs. Banke will consider moving her to KHP or Old Friends. Not because Stonestreet is incapable of caring for her--that isn't even on the radar. Rather the draw RA could bring to Old Friends could bring in much needed funds for many of the horses.

    Please be careful how you quote me. I do not much like things being taken out of context. It causes many people needless grief and confusion.
    And what really makes me shake my head, is those with rose colored glasses on that say "oh, it's GOOD for mares to be pregnant EVERY year"! Really?! Ask Rachel Alexandra that. My mare has not been pregnant every year, and she is as healthy and beautiful as ever.
  • carolinarkansascarolinarkansas hot springs, arkansasMember
    those for us that can....we can contribute financially....but it is easy to sign petitions and let your representative know that slaughter of horses is simply not acceptable...each drop of water will help erode the problem...
  • I would urge every horse owner to contact your Senators and ask them to stand with Senator Lindsey Graham and support this bill stopping horse slaughter and getting it passed.

    I would urge you also to contact the United States Department of Agriculture and demand that they have protocols in place to protect the general horse population from the spread of diseases such as EIA and EHV1 as these killers will not obey laws that each horse that is transported across state lines has to have a valid within 30 day vet health certificate and a negative Coggins and be immunized against West Nile, EWT and Flu and Rabies.

    I would urge you to contact your state governor, state agriculture departments and demand that they take all necessary steps to protect horse owners and the general horse population in your state.

    The price for horse meat will be sky high so as to satisfy the export market. So if you have a horse to sell, do not run it through auction as the killers do not have to identify themselves. If you have a horse for sale, find out what the commodity price is for horse meat is per pound. Estimate the weight of your horse and multiply it times the price per pound and then double it to set your selling price....if you do not want to sell your horse for slaughter. Keep in mind that when a killer comes to look at your horse, he or she does not have to identify themselves and they will be looking at your horse as to what price it will bring at the slaughter plant.

    If you are in a financial situation where you can no longer keep your horse or know of someone who is in that situation, please know that every state has horse equine rescue associations that will take your horse in and it will not go to slaughter.

    And prepared that as the horses that can be bought for slaughter slowly dwindles to a very low inventory, the killers will come into your pastures and barns and steal your horses. The slaughter plants will not ask for proof of sale, will not try to determine if the horse is stolen and will pay no attention to any freeze branding or check for microchips.
  • I think that this post from another concerned anti-slaughter advocate says it best:

    Susan Rudnicki
    6 minutes ago
    Sir—I hope you do not imagine yourself any sort of investigative reporter, for you have abjectly failed in reporting this story.
    Horses in the US are uniformly treated with drugs BANNED for use in food animals. The use of Phenylbutazone, a anti-inflammatory which causes aplastic anemia in humans, is especially common in racehorses whose owners deem them no longer a worthwhile investment. ONE DOSE of this drug disqualifies an animal for use as human food, and there is no allowable withdrawal period. Most sport and pleasure horse have also received in their lives wormers, pain meds and a raft of other drugs clearly labeled “not for use in food animals” It is MUCH more than a political scandal, or a “need for humane “processing”—notice how they always avoid “slaughter or killing” in the texts supporting this business? I am shocked with your blithe dismissal of a subject you do not seem to have investigated very deeply. Where is the profit, by the way, in skinny, abandoned horses? The meat is sold by the pound and a poor yield is a poor payoff.

    American horse slaughter plants were driven to close by the horrific conditions endured, not only by horses, but by the towns where these plants were located. Business prospects withered, sewerage systems overflowed with blood despite complaints from municipal authorities, great dumpsters of offal, hides and bones stood in the open attracting vermin, taxes were not paid by these European owned, taxpayer subsidized outlaw abattoirs, and the only people who would work in such soul numbing operations were illegal aliens and former convicts. If you doubt me, check the reams of documentation accumulated by the little town of Kaufman TX which endured this horse slaughter blight for decades before finally shutting it down. The documents by USDA are on-line.

    The horse slaughter industry is driven by demand overseas and overbreeding schemes in the US by breed registries using slaughter as a culling mechanism for overproduction. Members of these associations are advised to support slaughter. The breed registries counsel how to shelter income with the loss write-off from horses not deemed perfect. It is the puppy mill counterpart in the horse world. There are over 900 pages of FOIA (freedom of information act) documents compiled by our own USDA of slaughter plants showing horrific abuse of horses in the slaughter pipeline, from animals arriving with legs ripped off in shipment to eyes dangling to pregnant mares sprawled on the killing floor with the foal cut from their abdomen as they are still writhing. “Humane processing”, eh?? All of these just mentioned conditions are a violation for slaughter for human consumption. Whether you are concerned about the welfare issues—which many here are clearly not—the contamination of the meat supply is of great import. Phenylbutazone was once used experimentally for humans till it was found to cause cancer. The great majority of the horsemeat exported from Mexico and Canada is contaminated by this drug and others—it is not tested and the medication tracking of horses in not done. Do not put great store by the EU Equine “Passport System” either, as there has been ample evidence the system is corrupt, passport numbers being traded on the black market and the oversight is full of holes.
    You have given the media the desultory black eye it often deserves for being completely unscientific and biased. Susan Rudnicki, Los Angeles, CA

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