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.

Add new comment




Thank you so much Mr Shelly and the people of the Navajo Nation.


Congress thinks they can do what they want . Think again. we have put these people where they are & if they can't do the right things , see ya !

Jaime Perez

What great and wonderful news this is. Pres. Shelly, is an awesome man for standing up for the horses! They need protection like this. Move all the horses to the Navajo Nation-they will be safe there!!!

Diana Beall

Go Shelly, you're concern is deep, as is for all us horse lovers. There are many people who wish they could aford to purchase a horse, like these horses.

The only reason Nevada Nation should roundup these horses is to help find them a forever loving home. With such high demand to adopt horses, it's a no-brainer.

It makes me sick know this is happening to innocent animals, including dogs, cats, wolves and many wildlife animals.

Keep up the great work. It is very appreciated.

Diana Beal

Marcia Moore

I applaud you, President Shelly! We do not want slaughter houses for horses, nor do we want to send our horses abroad. Slaughter is not an acceptable end. Ending the round ups allows these beautiful animals to run free upon the plains and die a natural death. What we wish for ourselves is also what they deserve. May the Great One, the One that breathes the life force into man, beast, and the winged creature bless you as you extend your hand of protection!

Paul Anderson

That's all well and good. I don't advocate ANY cruelty to animals. However, we have to have a management plan if they aren't going to be culled. Who, after all, is going to feed them? You? Have you seen what happens to wild horses when the food runs out, or there is no water to be found. That fate is also a cruel one. I believe some wild populations are controlled with gelding and re-release. If an animal is dispatched in a humane, responsible manner then that may be a better end than slow starvation. A big question. Most of us just go to the supermarket and buy pet food. Do you ever wonder where it comes from? Factory farms, no doubt. I think local management is a step in the right direction. But we are fooling ourselves if we think all animals can just "live free" in this day and age of population stresses. They will suffer just as horribly if not managed in some way.


Your absolutely correct. A management plan of some kind should be or will have to be in place. But I think when your looking at the slaughter issue, it's a bigger picture than just the roundup of the wild mustangs. I think the picture encompasses the entire horse industry in the US as a whole. I agree changes need to be made and responsibilities need to be owned up to for things to get better for all of our horses. Personaly, I to am not in favor of slaughtering horses at all. I do eat meat I love animals and I respect all life. I do wish that people could find it in their heart as well to respect all life as instead of looking at it like a disposable product which sometimes I think they do, especially with horses, dogs and cats. Check out your auctions and the shelters . Sadly there's the proof.


President Shelly, you are a hero! The Navajo Nation action should be an example to be followed by all politicians to end cruelty to all animals!!!

lLinda Kapica

So, glad to here that the Navajo Nation won't allow the slaughter of horses. A tribe in Nevada are selling wild horses to slaughter houses, big thumbs down to them.

Rosaleen Crotty

The Navajo know what they are talking about! Well done to all who led to this event.