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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It just amazes me how cold and brutal Humans can be towards a majestic animal.

Eileen Kulp

What took Ben Shelly so long? I would have thought that the Navajo people would have been the first in line to oppose horse slaughtering. I know that Navajo people and other tribes value their animals and are thankful people that oppose harming animals in horrific torturous ways. I applaud that he has joined to end this senseless act and hope that he can aquire more Native Americans to join this cause.

Barbara Day

I know my dear friend ( Allen Dale June ) who passed away a few yrs ago who was one of the 1st Navajo Code talkers would be very proud today of his people. Thank You for standing up to saving our horses. I would like to see more of our Native Americans standing up with the Navajo Nation on this matter.

Diddy *_*

Thank you shelly. OMG i'm so happy about this. Horses are such amazing animals they, for heaven sake, do not deserve to be slaughtered.


God Bless You President Shelly!!!


Thanks to President Shelly and the Navajo nation. If we treated our animals with the respect that the indian does we would be a much kinder place.

I. Braune

Thank you, President Shelly. You give the horses the dignity respect and well-being they really deserve. Mother Earth and her suffering animals are in need of caring humans like you.

Joy James

Latest news is that they Navajo Agency doing this did not stop and still is going after the horses. President Shelly needs to back up his words with action.


I hope everyone is aware by now that NN Ben Shelly lied!He HAS NOT stopped the horse round up's and many hundreds of horses were sent to slaughter only days after he said he would stop it. The slaughter round up's are still going on! He has retracted saying he would end the slaughter. He flat out lied to everyone!!!