Keeping Our Horses Off the Table

We saw a victory in 2007 when horse slaughter was banned in the U.S. Unfortunately, that victory was short-lived when we saw our horses were still heading for a gruesome death across the border.

Without federal law banning slaughter, horses are still at risk of ending up on the dinner table in Europe and Japan. Luckily, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) and Representative Dan Burton (R-IN) just reintroduced The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act (S. 311 – H.R. 503) in the 111th Congress. 

Hundreds of thousands of horses are sent to slaughter each year and there is nothing humane about their experience. They were pets, companions, show horses, race horses, byproducts of the Premarin industry and some of them were even stolen. Each of them has a story and each of them somehow ended up in an unthinkable situation.

They’re crammed onto trucks and forced to endure being shipped long distances without food or water, and without regard to their condition, or temperament.

If they’re still even alive when they arrive at their destination, their last hours are filled with dread and terror.  Forced through the line, they find themselves the victims of the captive bolt gun, which doesn’t come close to being humane even in the best-case scenario, or the puntilla knife, which only paralyzes them and leaves them fully conscious for slaughter.

The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act would stop the slaughter of our horses for consumption and prohibit them from being exported for slaughter in other countries.

Those who oppose this bill are concerned that there will be an increase in the number of unwanted horses. However, when Cavel International was operating in Illinois, they actually imported horses from Canada to meet demands for horsemeat.

The industry uses the cover that they’re providing a service, when they’re really just preying on animals for a profit.

Horse slaughter is not humane and it is not necessary. Horse owners have the choice to have a veterinarian humanely euthanize their horse or to get paid to do the wrong thing. 

In addition to the Equine Cruelty Act, Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL), Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) have also wasted no time in introducing the Horse Transportation Safety Act of 2009 (H.R. 305) to prevent horses from being shipped in double-deck trucks. Hopefully, this bill will close the loopholes in previous legislation that made it alright to ship horses this way to anyplace but slaughter.

Sign Care2’s petition to end slaughter here.


Rosemary B.
Rosemary B6 years ago

I so agree with Barbcat Kay!!! Thank you!

Annie B.
Annie B.7 years ago

It's so horrible!!! You know, I live in France and french still eat horse meat!!!!! dark ages because I always had horses and I can tell you they are pets... My last one, saved two days before slaughter house has died 3 months ago and was 30 years old!!!
I have been so happy with him and respectful because nobody should forget they where in the mine with us, made war with us, were in the fields with us, so please some respect and compassion would not be too much. Thanks to you all if you have read me. Annie Barbier-Hoffmann from Baron, a little nice village 50kms up north from Paris.

Maya Hiort Petersen

these horses will die at one point or another, would you rather they be just waisted?

Maya Hiort Petersen

What I am trying to say, is that I wish people would use their energy on the root of problems. The slaughtering of horses is not the problem. No one slaughters a healthy horse, they are far too expensive. These horses are not the kind you see grazing happily on sunlit hill.. a little stream gurgling by. This is reality, and the horses being sold for meat are malnutritioned and, in general,mistreated.In many cases, I am sure these poor suffering animals are better off resting in peace, as they say. I wish no more than any of you to stop the suffering of animals, but it is true, life feeds on life. I have never eaten a piece of meat, I chose already as a baby not to eat it, and my vegetarian mother never pushed me (even though doctors threatened her that her girls would never grow right! We're both over 6"tall!) but I really sincerely believe that an animal should be treated with respect and love.. but that it is perfectly natural to eat meat,maybe not for all, but for some. My point is, you should try and get to the source of these mistreated horses, and WHY they are being slaughtered. Fighting for more laws to protect the horses AGAINST abuse of the horses, instead of wasting your energy on this, because you love horse. I know, all girls love horses, even I do! But I think that abusing a horse, or any animal for that sake, is far more wrong than slaughtering one for food. These horses are being used for FOOD! that means something. ´They will die, and would you rather th

Paul C.
Paul Craig8 years ago

Life feeds on Life.

Beba H.
beba h8 years ago

I am so against the slaughtering of horses, I cant even tell you how nauseaus I feel at the the thought!!! There is so much evil in the world that caring people are just overwhelmed at trying to bring justice back for animals---I just hope that whoever is on the side of the evil that enacts cruel laws for slaughter has karma bite them on their **** instantly and cruelty is their just reward in their own life !!!

Lianne Lavoie
Lianne Lavoie8 years ago

Maya, your sarcasm about other carnivorous species being evil because they eat meat are nonsensical. I am a vegetarian, and I've never met a vegetarian who thinks that lions, etc are evil because they eat meat. There's a big difference there: lions have to eat meat. They are carnivores. If they didn't eat meat, they'd die. Humans, on the other hand, do not need to eat meat, and in fact we are healthier if we don't.

Also, I do not care only about the rights of "cute" animals. I care about the rights of all animals. That includes herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores alike. I simply feel that humans have no right to kill other animals for food, because it is not necessary. We are not lions.

Maya Hiort Petersen

Aimee, you are amazing!! You said just like I want to but am too clumsy to put have said it so great!
I agree with you.

Instead, shouldn't you all be putting your energy into helping animals from being over-bred. I wouldn't eat horse meat, but I would rather have it be used thaan waisted away, and I would rather have a horse be put down than starve and be mistreated. There are too many stupid people out there and animals are innocent.

Maya Hiort Petersen

there are so many of you that really thing all carnivores are wrong??

oooooooooooooooh evil lions and dogs, ooooh evil tigers and kittycats!!!!

OOOOOOOOOOOOH EVIL hippos and sharks, aligators and monkeys... snakes and don't forget the venus flytrap plant!!! that eats flies!! that one must be evil too!!!
EVIIIIL craps, and toads, and minks and eagles...

they will all burn in hell for eating meat!!!


Aimee S.
Aimee Sacks9 years ago

It is my understanding many more horses are suffering from closing the slaughter houses than by them remaining open. One of the respondents mentioned this, now they are merely trucked further, starved longer or the owners themselves just let them starve. Especially with this economy, people are running out of money to feed the horses they love. My vet has seen this all over in the territory she covers, and people are willing to give them away...but no one is willing to take them. I have 3 horses and will keep them until their natural death however I would much rather see a horse shipped and eaten then starved slowly to death in its own home (or being left tied to a tree). It is like anything else, 3 million dogs and cats are euthanised every year in this country because they are unwanted. There are simply too many animals and not enough homes. The legislation should be put on the breeders and the industries that encourage overpopulation, and specifically upon irresponsible pet owners who breed just to have a baby or simply do not neuter/spay their animals. It is our stupidity that there are too many horses, just as other animals. I think horse meat should be consumed and not wasted just as other animals, although I would not eat it myself. Some religions are apalled that we eat cows, as we are about others consuming horses, or dogs for that matter. Make it more humane, for all animals being taken to butcher, the cows and pigs suffer too in transport.