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 nowto urge your U.S. senators and representative to cosponsor the SAFE Act.
In a shocking revelation, the U. S. Department of Agriculture just confirmed that it will process Valley Meat Co. LLC’s application for a grant of inspection to begin slaughtering horses for human consumption in Roswell, New Mexico. The confirmation comes just days after furniture giant Ikea removed its signature Swedish meatballs from markets across most of Europe after they were found to contain horse meat.
“Given the current firestorm of outrage over horsemeat entering the food supply in Europe, it is time for Congress to prevent even one more American horse from suffering this terrible fate and stop horse slaughter in the U.S. once and for all,” says Nancy Perry, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Government Relations.
Despite the fact that an overwhelming 80% of Americans oppose the slaughtering of horses for human consumption, Valley Meat will be the first facility to butcher horses for human consumption on U.S. soil since 2007 if its application is approved. Horses are not biologically suited for commercial slaughter and are difficult to stun before dismemberment. They will endure terrible trauma and cruelty if the plant opens for business.
“If the USDA moves forward with allowing the cruel and toxic horse slaughter industry to enter our country, this administration is leading our nation in precisely the wrong direction,” says Perry.
Please Take Action Today!
Please call the White House message line at (202) 456-1111 and urge the Obama administration to stop horse slaughter! Here’s all you need to say:
“Please use your power to prevent any horse slaughterhouses from opening in the U.S. and to prevent the slaughter of our horses in other countries. Horses are not raised for food. This industry is cruel to horses and endangers consumers, who are eating a toxic product.”
Horses are frequently the victims of cruelty and neglect, but their suffering sometimes fails to grab headlines. In honor of National Horse Protection Day, we’d like to share just one horse rescue we’ve had the opportunity to support.
Last month, 13 emaciated horses were found living on a rural farm in Vermilion County, Illinois. The horses were all skin and bones. Two were blind, and a third was found deceased on the property.
Luckily, the Society for Hooved Animal Rescues and Emergencies (S.H.A.R.E) stepped in and began the long process of rehabilitating the horses. As soon the ASPCA heard about S.H.A.R.E’s incredible work, we gave the organization a $6,500 grant to help pay for veterinary care and food for the rescued equines.
We’re so glad to assist S.H.A.R.E in its efforts to help horses! Find out how you can get involved and be a hero for horses by reading our top 10 ways to help equines.
Have you stood up for horses? Tell us about it in the comments!
It’s both sad and gross at the same time. After nearly two weeks of trying to reassure the public that Burger King’s products were safe, the fast food giant just announced that an internal investigation confirmed that burgers containing horse meat have been sold in its United Kingdom locations!
Rumors of the contamination were first triggered by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland after it found horse meat in the frozen beef burgers of several major grocery suppliers in Ireland and the UK. The contaminated meat is from the Ireland-based processing company Silvercrest, which is a subsidiary of ABP Food Group.
"These recent revelations of horse meat in European hamburgers are proof that the predatory horse slaughter industry isn't worried about who it victimizes—horses and diners are all at risk," says Nancy Perry, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Government Relations. “In addition to the inherent cruelty of horse slaughter, the toxicity of horse meat is a big problem. We’ve become increasingly aware of all the drugs routinely given to horses that are dangerous to humans and banned for use in animals raised for human consumption.”
Take Action! This incident happened across the ocean, but horses are at risk of terrifying, inhumane deaths at slaughterhouses right here at home: Horse slaughter proponents are taking drastic steps to re-open horse slaughter plants in the United States! Please visit the ASPCA Advocacy Center to urge U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to reject any application to operate a horse slaughter facility in the U.S.
Guest blog by Nancy Perry, Senior Vice President of Government Relations
Yesterday was the National Day of the Horse, designated by the U.S. Senate in 2004 as a day for “people of the United States to be mindful of the contribution of horses to the economy, history and character of the United States.” This led me to take stock of how our nation is doing when it comes to equine protection. While there have been advances in horse protection, much work remains to be done.
A 2012 national poll found that 80% of American voters oppose horse slaughter. Even though the last domestic horse slaughter plants have closed, the slaughter of American horses has continued in Canada and Mexico. Attempts made this year to resume horse slaughter in the U.S. were thwarted by massive public opposition. Legislation to ban these practices awaits action in Congress.
This spring, media attention focused on the plight of racehorses. A New York Times investigation detailed the tragedies befalling these equine athletes as a result of widespread drugging. Congress quickly introduced legislation to address this root cause of catastrophic injuries, and we continue to press for its passage.
We worked to draft a new piece of legislation to clamp down on “soring”—the practice of inflicting pain in horses’ legs and hooves so severe that they move with an unnaturally high-stepping gait. This new bill was introduced in Congress this year to amend the Horse Protection Act and end soring once and for all.
While New York City continues to allow the shameful and dangerous practice of driving carriage horses on congested city streets, the ASPCA has backed a pilot program to replace those vulnerable animals with vintage, electric cars. This project is gaining momentum but has not yet replaced the antiquated urban horse-drawn carriage. We continue seeking ways to implement alternatives to the suffering of these noble creatures.
Though Congress recognized wild horses as living symbols of the American West in 1971, competition for public land use has threatened the welfare of our last mustangs. In 2004, a backroom deal led to the amendment of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act permitting the sale of these iconic animals for the first time. This exception allowed over 1,700 mustangs to be sold to notorious pro-slaughter buyer Tom Davis (a devastating discovery made earlier this year). Many fear those horses were sent to slaughter, despite the Bureau of Land Management’s policy against such an action. In response to this incident, the agency just announced reforms to prevent such tragedies in the future—but it may be too little, too late. The ASPCA calls for an end to the sales program and a return to the preservation focus of the Act.
In 2004, when the U.S. Senate recognized December 13 as the National Day of the Horse, it called America to action, stating “horses are a vital part of the collective experience of the United States and deserve protection and compassion.” We at the ASPCA pledge to remain committed to this challenge and will ensure you know when and how you can join us in fighting for our beloved horses.