French Investigation Exposes Horrors of Horse Meat

An investigation by a French animal rights group has exposed the horrors horses in the slaughter pipeline are left to face and has raised additional concerns about the safety of horse meat.

The group, L214, joined Switzerland’s Tierschutzbund-Zurich, Animals Angels’ USA, Belgium’s GAIA and Eyes on Animals in the Netherlands to conduct an investigation into the major countries exporting horse meat to France, including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Uruguay and Argentina over the past three years.

With hidden cameras, investigators visited feedlots, auctions, veterinary checkpoints and slaughterhouses and found problems with transport, sick, starving, injured and dead horses in varying states of decomposition. Additionally they found animals intended for human consumption who had been given unsafe drugs, such as phenylbutazone (bute), which is banned for cattle in the U.S. and in the European Union, according to the AFP.

Proponents of this industry want people to believe that slaughter is the only solution to dealing with unwanted horses, and a humane one at that, which clearly isn’t true. Horse slaughter is not about doing unwanted, abused or neglected horses a favor or about supporting equine welfare, it’s about making money and meeting the demand for horse meat.

As for stories about abandoned horses being a crisis, an investigation conducted by the Equine Welfare Alliance found that media reports were not true and that cases of abandonment being reported were due to kill buyers dumping horses who had been rejected for slaughter.

Hopefully, growing public awareness about the health risks associated with horse meat and about the deception on the industry’s part and troubled past involving brutally inhumane treatment of horses, illegal activities, scandals, environmental problems and legal battles will help shut it down.

According to the groups, 82,000 horses were slaughtered in Canada in 2012 for human consumption, while about 70 percent of them were imported from the United States after slaughterhouses were shut down here. That same year France imported 16,900 tons of horse meat from the countries that were included in the investigation. The groups are now urging French grocery stores to help protect horses and the public by not selling horse meat.

As for the U.S.’s role in these troubles, in January the new Agriculture Appropriations bill forbid the USDA from using federal funds to inspect horse meat under the Meat Inspection Act. The bill also includes language that prevents companies from paying for their own inspections, which means there’s no hope for the companies that have been fighting to start butchering America’s horses in the U.S. again.

The good news is only hindered by the fact that the ban on funding will only be good for the duration of the bill and that America’s horses will still be headed across the border for slaughter in Canada and Mexico.

Now, equine advocates are pushing to pass the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, which will permanently ban horse slaughter in the U.S. and ensure that horses are not shipped across the border for that purpose.


Please sign and share the petition asking Congress to pass the SAFE Act.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara1 months ago

The Walloon people in Belgium are blocking the big EU - Canada trade deal as I write. I don't know if it's a coincidence but some Belgians eat horse meat.

Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara1 months ago

The EU has just announced that from march 2017 all horses slaughtered in Canada for EU meat consumption, must be in feedlots for six months in Canada first. Ths si to enure that drugs unfit for human consumption have passed out of their systems.

Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for the article.

Carrie-Anne Brown

already signed, thanks for sharing :)

Mark Donner
Mark Donner2 years ago

Any kill buyers, profiteers and slaughterers who are involved in this dark criminal trade of torturing and killing horses should be rounded up and sent through the slaughterhouse so their serial killer genes do not infect the future. There should be no mercy for them or any animal torturers and slaughterers. I don't care if the despicable human race does these crimes because they think its the norm that they want to breed their tens of billions of spawn to infest and destroy the future of the earth. What the human race does is far, far beyond all ethics and normality. There are the exceptions to the rule who fight this evil, but they are overwhelmed by humanity's unspeakable evil.

Boods ====
Walter F2 years ago

Signed...As a horse lover gladly signed.I didn't open the video the idea of killing and eating a horse is abhorrant.

Jane Williams
Jane W2 years ago

Shut Down the Corrupt BLM
Sorry about the misspelling of the first one.

Jane Williams
Jane W2 years ago

Signed once. Shared many times. I have a few petitions against horse slaughter. This is a cause that is very near and dear to my heart.
Shot Down the Corrupt BLM
I am not computer savvy and cannot promote them myself. They can be found if you Google them. Thank you.

JACQUI GLYDE2 years ago

Isn't it bad enough that they have to kill cows,sheep & pigs just to name a few?
Now the horses,when will it all end.
A nice plate of fresh veges for me,thanks.

Leanne B.
Leanne B2 years ago

Can't watch the vid. Already signed.