Breaking: Congress Moves to Ban Horse Slaughter in the U.S.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - 1:30pm
Red horse looking straight ahead

Join us in supporting The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, introduced in Congress yesterday by Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Representatives Patrick Meehan (R-PA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL). This vital legislation will stop the transport of American horses to slaughter in Mexico and Canada, as well as permanently prevent it from occurring here in the United States. Please ask your Members of Congress to cosponsor the bill and help usher it to passage!

We’ve known for years that horse slaughter is an exceptionally cruel practice—whether it happens in the U.S. or elsewhere. Due to their biology and their psychology, horses cannot be slaughtered in a commercial setting without tremendous suffering and fear. 

We also know that horse meat is not even safe to eat! Horses are fed de-wormers and other toxic drugs that can cause terrible reactions—including death—in people who eat their tainted meat. Consumers in the E.U. are just discovering the dangers they have unwittingly been exposed to, and the scandal grows daily.

In spite of this mountain of damning evidence, the USDA is currently processing an application for a horse slaughter operation here in the United States. Roswell, New Mexico, may soon become ground zero for horse suffering.

The ASPCA has worked closely with federal legislators and other advocacy groups to develop the SAFE Act. This bill will stop the pain and the suffering of equines caught up in this grisly business. Please visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center to take action now to urge your U.S. senators and representative to cosponsor the SAFE Act.

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June Wright

Stop the horse slaughter, I can't imagine U.S. condonning this.. it's so sad and shameful.

Lisa Interrante

We need to end having any part in horse slaughter and make better laws agains over breeding and ownership and care of our horses. The answer is to reduce the number of births each year, NOT slaughter what we have. Thank you!

Robin Bodurka

I hope congress knows that the world is watching. These monsters who murder, torture, and give toxic meat to children have been exposed. There is no going back. Anyone who slaughters a horse is explicit in abuse, and poisoning innocent children. They are nothing but criminals, and we have to demand they be prosecuted.

J Sparrow

Ban it


Stop this!!!! This is horrible along with other animal cruelty!!

Monika Courtney

There are numerous reasons why Oklahoma or any other state should not open horse slaughterhouses:

1) Horse slaughter plants devastate communities in which they are located, economically, environmentally, socially. The consequences of horse slaughter include loss of other business development due to stigmatization of the community; plummeting property values; increased vermin due to rotting flesh; horse blood backing up into bathtubs (horse have 1.76 time more blood per pound than cattle and it cannot be sold There are numerous reasons why Oklahoma or any other state should not open horse slaughterhouses: 1) Horse slaughter plants devastate communities economically, environmentally and socially. Consequences of horse slaughter include loss of other business development due to stigmatization of the community; plummeting property ...values; increased vermin due to rotting flesh; horse blood backing up into bathtubs (horse have 1.76 time more blood per pound than cattle and it cannot be sold any more due to toxins); dramatically increased crime rates. All this happened in Kaufman, TX until Kaufman’s residents managed to close it down, after a protracted fight that lasted 25-years; 2) The meat of American horses is toxic because of substances routinely given to them, such as phenylbutazone (bute), a carcinogen banned by FDA in any meat-producing animals and that can cause aplastic anemia in children even in minute quantities in animal substances; 3) As of July 31, 2013, there will likely be no market for American horse meat as the European Union (which imports 80% of the meat of North American horses) has implemented strict regulations preventing its importation of adulterated horse meat. A “passport” will be required, proving that each horse has never been administered bute or many other substances. Such a passport system would be virtually impossible to implement; 4) As 80% of Americans adamantly oppose horse slaughter (as per the January 2012 poll conducted by Lake Research Partners), Oklahoma would suffer devastating economic consequences due to boycotts of its tourist industry and other industries as well; 5) Because of their natural flight instinct, there is no way to “humanely” slaughter horses. These animals are subjected to extreme suffering due to gross violations in a most predatory industry, with much improper conduct by employees and a lack of supervision and code.

For all these reasons, horse slaughter is unacceptable. See the below FOIA request on Cavel (former plant in DeKalb, IL) that was submitted by Animals' Angels last July. The FOIA contains transport and humane violations. This is a link to the newsletter that contains links to the various reports.

I hope you check the above link. It exposes what most Americans do not know nor do they want to.
It is the horrific reality all horses face. 80 % of Americans oppose horse slaughter. The current meat scandals expanding all over the world are a reminder that horse meat is not fit for human consumption, and even the recent EU passport systems are no guarantee for food safety.

The predatory measures in which this horrid business has been conducted, are not morally nor ethically feasible. Serious infractions within have shut down the last plant in IL. in 2007. There is no humane way to slaughter horses, unlike cows, as they are flight animals. We must find a different approach, as no horse slaughter plant takes "skinny, old horses", that is a myth/propaganda created by the pro side. Evidence of hundreds of such "skinny old horses" continue to be found - abandoned in the TX desert, as they are rejects by plants.
The serious health hazard of adulterated horse meat has been cleverly played down by those who push for this outrageous agenda to gain financially. The sub-humane cruelty of horse slaughter which has been documented for years has shocked Americans to the core. Horses suffer, from the get go: At the auctions, in which they are treated like unfeeling commodities, no water/food, often seriously injured/hurt, no medical assistance - then during transport, again no food/water, only to arrive at their destinations either dead, seriously hurt or sick. This is not the 21st century value of a modern nation who claims to be moving forth.

America does not want Oklahoma or N.M. as a sore spot on their map promoting this predatory industry.

Monika Courtney

Lies Uncovered - Scam exposed. 60 sec spot
See now on Youtube, Facebook and Vimeo

Katia's latest clip is powerful - as the current plans by Skye NcNiel and others in Oklahoma seem to become set in stone, please share this asap - thank you.

Carol Goigh

Ban it!

Monika Courtney

Anyone supporting horse slaughter in the US because one believes that horse slaughter would be more “humane” in this country than in Mexico because, purportedly, Mexican plants do not abide by American standards of “humane” slaughter. This is not true. Please understand that the Mexican horse slaughterhouses are “EU approved,” which means that they use the “captive bolt” method of killing horses which was used in this country and would be used again if horse slaughter begins again:

Also, please do know that the method of killing horses by captive bolt is completely inhumane whether in Mexico, Canada or the US. Please see the following affidavit from Dr. Lester Friedlander, DVM, former Chief Inspector, USDA, one of many articles that he has written about the inhumane way that horses are slaughtered via the captive bolt:
“Affidavit to Members of Congress:

February 29, 2008
Lester Friedlander, DVM
"Distinguished Members of Congress, my name is Dr. Lester Friedlander and I am a former USDA Veterinarian. I am refuting the testimony of Dr. Bonnie Beaver, DVM, that the captive bolt is a humane procedure of euthanasia for horses. The captive bolt does not meet the humane method of slaughter, as described in the 1958 "Humane Slaughter Act." Head restraints are not used in the slaughter of horses and therefore do not comply with the Statue. The captive bolt is used in cattle, due to the fact the cow's brain is more anterior than the horse's brain and the penetration of the bolt is more effective. Horses are not, and cannot be restrained, during horse slaughter. I have seen several video tapes of horse slaughter where the horses have to be struck with the captive bolt several times. No head restraints were used; to do so would cause these flight animals to break their necks. During these multiple times of striking the horses head with the captive bolt, the horses are in pain and suffering. It is important to know that the captive bolt does not kill the horse, nor was it ever intended to. The horse must be exsanguinated to be suitable for human consumption. As the captive bolt is not a proper instrument for the slaughter of equids, and these animals regain consciousness thirty seconds after being struck, they are fully aware they are vivisected. Ergo, the use of the captive bolt for equids is a violation of the Humane Slaughter Act of 1958. I ask you to support HR 503 and S 311 in the best interest of horses"
~Lester Friedlander, DVM”

Monika Courtney

The Veterinarians for Equine Welfare White Paper on the Captive Bolt can be found at:

In addition, please do understand that while proponents of horse slaughter contend that opposition to the practice is based on "emotional" grounds, the fact is that horse slaughter devastates communities in which plants are located in economic, environmental and social terms. Consequences of horse slaughter include: loss of other business development due to stigmatization of the community; plummeting property values; a horrific stench; increased vermin due to rotting flesh; horse blood backing up into bathtubs (horses have almost twice as much blood as cattle per pound of body weight, and due to the toxic substances routinely administered to horses, it may not be used as fertilizer as it had previously been); dramatically increased crime rates.