Tell Maine Horse Slaughter is NOT a Humane Option

Since Congress reinstated funding for horse slaughter inspections, the pro-slaughter industry has been moving swiftly to get this predatory industry going in the U.S. again, but some states are taking action to stop it.

Maine is currently considering legislation, L.D. 1286, which would ban the possession, sale and transport of both horses and horse meat that are intended for human consumption, both to and through the state, and will ensure that slaughterhouses can’t set up shop there.

An estimated 1,500 horses are shipped through Maine every year to two slaughter houses in Quebec, according to Maine Friends of Animals (MFoA). Banning horse slaughter in Maine would close this route to Canada.

“Horse slaughter is bad for the environment, bad for human health, bad for communities, bad for workers and certainly bad for the horses. No animal that has served mankind so long, so well, so nobly, and in so many capacities, deserves such a fate. It is time to end Maine’s complicity in the practice of slaughtering horses,” said Robert Fisk Jr., president and director of MFoA,

Slaughter proponents like to argue that these horses are old and lame and have nowhere else to go and that it’s a humane alternative to allowing them to suffer from abuse or neglect. However, numbers from the FDA indicate that more than 90 percent of horses that wind up in the slaughter pipeline are in good condition. Their only problem was belonging to someone who decided to take the easy way out, instead of exerting the extra effort it would take to place them, or paying for euthanasia.

There is nothing humane about this industry, from auctions and transport to the slaughter itself. Investigations conducted by the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition have uncovered some of the brutality found at slaughterhouses. One worker attempted to stun a horse, which is supposed to render them immediately unconscious, 11 times, while others were heard whinnying and moving after repeated attempts. Under the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act only one single blow is allowed.

Slaughtering horses in Maine, or anywhere in the U.S., also does nothing to address the problems of abuse, neglect and overpopulation – it only provides incentive to keep breeding, which just perpetuates the problems and allows a few greedy individuals and foreign-owned businesses to make a profit off of the suffering of these animals.

Horses are also not raised for human consumption. There are currently 379 drugs commonly used on horses that are banned by the Food and Drug Administration for animals that are slaughtered for human consumption, according to the Animal Welfare Institute. A study published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology highlights the fact that at least one of the drugs regularly given to horses, Phenylbutazone (bute), is not only toxic to humans, but a carcinogen. Unfortunately, there is currently no way to track them.

Fisk suggested a number of alternatives to slaughter that include

  • supporting new and existing horse rescue facilities
  • retraining and placing unwanted horses
  • reducing over breeding
  • approaching secondary horse industries to assist financially
  • increasing public education regarding horse ownership
  • developing and maintaining resources to assist horse owners with feed and veterinarian care
  • as a last resort, humane euthanasia, part of responsible horse ownership


Please sign and share the petition asking Maine’s lawmakers to pass legislation banning horse slaughter.


Photo credit: Thinkstock


Jeaneen Andretta
Past Member 5 years ago

Signed! America is really reaching for a new low with horse slaughter. Bad enough we torture and slaughter cows, pigs, lambs, baby cows for veal, we really do not need to go even lower with horse slaughter.

Yanula Pengenika
Yanula P5 years ago


Nancy Pentz Currey
Nancy currey5 years ago

I DO NOT know what this world is coming to! Have we not done enough damage to animals? And yet here we go again, this is seriously just so, so terribly sad and wrong. Why can't people see that what they are doing is just awful, I guess I just don't understand how some people think....or sleep at night for that matter. Awful, awful, awful.

Alicia v.
Alicia V5 years ago


Carrie-Anne Brown

signed, thanks for sharing :)

Karen Gee6 years ago


Waheeda S.
Waheeda S6 years ago

What is wrong with everyone?! Why are people so inclined to kill everything that moves?

Mark Donners
Mark Donner6 years ago

This kind of atrocity happens all the time in Canada under Harper. But it's the kill buyer criminals in the US who send them there. Animal abusing criminals are just drooling for a chance to unleash their psychosis right here in the US..and they must be stopped. that includes political liars like Obama who covertly made horse torture and slaughter legal in the US.

B Jackson
BJ J6 years ago

Has the entire world gone crazy with abuse & killing?? What the hell is wrong with people?

N R C6 years ago