Navajo Nation Announces Opposition to Horse Slaughter, Halts Roundups

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - 3:00pm
Three chestnut colored horses grazing

“I am interested in long-term humane solutions to manage our horse populations. Our land is precious to the Navajo people as are all the horses on the Navajo Nation. Horses are sacred animals to us.” – Ben Shelly, president of the Navajo Nation

Phenomenal news! Horse-welfare advocates just gained an important new ally in the fight to stop the brutal practice of horse slaughter. As reported earlier this week in The New York Times, Ben Shelly, president of the Navajo Nation, announced that the Nation opposes the practice of horse slaughter and has stopped all horse round-ups on the reservation.

This statement follows two important developments for horses on Navajo lands. In September, a coalition of Navajo elders and medicine people passed a resolution to oppose horse slaughter, and a Navajo Nation chapter opted to suspend round-ups in its territory for fear the horses would be sent to slaughter.

The ASPCA applauds President Shelly’s announcement, which underscores the fact that the inherently cruel practice of horse slaughter is never an acceptable end for a horse.

This declaration comes at a critical time: Congress is considering budget bills that could prevent the opening of horse slaughter plants in the U.S., and a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which also seeks to hamper the opening of plants, is pending in federal court.

President Shelly’s message on behalf of the Navajo Nation confirms the building momentum for the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, which would forbid the slaughter of horses in the U.S. and end the current export of American horses for slaughter abroad.

Please be a voice for horses TODAY: Urge your members of Congress to cosponsor the SAFE Act to end this horrific threat to American horses.

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THANK YOU NAVAJO NATION AND PRESIDENT SHELLY!!! I am white but I can say that white men are the most destructive on Earth!! But I am also a woman therefore I can state 100% that the plague of the few greedy men of all nations always seems to outweigh the rights of all other life forms on Earth! ENOUGH!!! I pray everyday that anyone that harms animals or nature, dies a very slow, extremely painful death with no one to care about them or help them. The human race needs culling!!! Stop population growth now!!!


Thank you Navajo Nation and Pres. Shelly. When we learn we are not the Master of life, but merely one species whose survival is dependent on the well being of all other species, there will be hope. If we do not learn, we will self destruct and this lining world will do just fine without us.

Brenda Robinson

Please sign/share if you're so inclined. Thank you. x


I am so proud that the Navajo Nation have taken a stand to stop a this horrific act. NOW the rest of the so called CIVILIZED nation can step up and do the right thing. We need the set the precedence for the rest of the world.

Jill Mortimer

Delighted to hear these words. Everything possible must be done to save these animals - and also to ensure that they are able to obtain enough food and water all year long.

Casper Johnston

Thank you Navajo Nation for standing up to the stupidity of the US government and the USDA all in the name of corporate profit. This government and US companies have no ethics! We commend you and all that you do. Thank you.

Billie Jean

As long as these slaughter buyers can ship horses to Canada and Mexico - I don't see horse slaughter ending.

debra woods

horses have been everything in the lives of humans. working farms, transportation, etc. horses are proud, beautiful smart and loving animals. they are the picture of freedom. we need to let them live their lives, not destroy them because we can no longer use them for gain.

Gail Heinz

I knew in my heart that the Indian Nation would not go along with the slaughter of our horses, and I am so elated right now!!! These are people who respect nature and all wildlife. I am so proud of them, and I can't thank them enough!!!!

Audrey Barberi

Thank you President Shelly. We need great groups of people to stand up for the rights of our animal friends and helpmates. Please SPEAK UP!! BE HEARD!!