ASPCA Commends the Maryland Horse Council for Endorsing a Federal Ban on Horse Slaughter in the U.S.

MHC is the first state horse council to join the fight against horse slaughter
November 23, 2015

WASHINGTON — The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today commended the Maryland Horse Council (MHC) for adopting an official policy position opposing the slaughter of American horses for human consumption, and endorsing the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act (H.R. 1942/S. 1214), federal legislation that would ban horse slaughter in the U.S. and prohibit the transportation of American horses for that purpose abroad.

The MHC announced the results of the Board vote at its quarterly meeting in Annapolis, where members voted 28-3 in support of the new policy. MHC’s new position falls squarely in line with the values of 80 percent of American voters who oppose the slaughter of horses for human consumption. While hundreds of horse industry professionals have endorsed the SAFE Act – including prominent riders, barn owners, equine business owners, and horse rescues – the MHC is the first horse council in the United States to officially endorse the SAFE Act.

“It is fitting that the Maryland Horse Council emerges as a leader for other state councils in representing the values of the American public when it comes to protecting our horses,” stated Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA government relations. “Maryland has the largest per capita population of horses in the U.S. and Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski is a long-time national leader in the fight to stop the slaughter of American horses.”

Horse slaughter is a cruel, unnecessary, predatory industry. While there is no domestic market for horse meat, each year approximately 150,000 American horses are trucked to slaughtering facilities in Mexico and Canada to be killed and butchered for human consumption abroad. The MHC’s action represents a turning point in the fight to end horse slaughter and paves the way for other horse industry groups to endorse and pursue passage of the legislation.

“The ASPCA commends the Maryland Horse Council for taking decisive action to support this critical legislation, and we encourage the American public to follow suit by contacting their U.S. senators and representatives and urging their support for passage of the SAFE Act,” said Perry.

To learn more about the ASPCA’s efforts to ensure animals have greater protection under the law, please visit