ASPCA Research Confirms Americans Strongly Oppose Slaughter of Horses for Human Consumption

ASPCA urges public support for the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act
February 1, 2012

NEW YORK--The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced in a newly released poll conducted by Lake Research Partners that 80 percent of American voters are opposed to the slaughter of U.S. horses for human consumption. The nationwide survey reveals that Americans oppose horse slaughter overwhelmingly regardless of their gender, political affiliation, whether they live in an urban or rural area, or their geographic location. Further, it confirms that a vast majority of horse owners are also against the slaughtering of our nation's equines.

"The overwhelming majority of Americans are not just against horse slaughter but are intensely opposed to this cruel practice. As more people learn that we are allowing our horses to be shuttled off to a gruesome death all for the sake of foreign gourmands, they are outraged and opposition for this grisly act is growing," said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA Government Relations.  "Anyone who has been to the movies lately knows the price horses have paid by carrying us to war, building our nation, and serving our entertainment and companionship needs.  Americans have a responsibility to protect these intelligent, sensitive animals from being butchered."

Horse slaughter is inherently cruel because the biology of horses makes them difficult to stun and they often remain conscious during their slaughter. In addition, horsemeat can be toxic to humans, as horses are frequently administered drugs that violate the safety regulations mandated for food animals. Furthermore, the majority of horses killed for human consumption are in good condition and could go on to lead productive lives in loving homes. They just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time - and this means that any horse, no matter how loved, is just one bad sale away from the slaughterhouse until we ban this practice.

"As a lifelong horse lover and rider, I believe that horses deserve to be treated with respect, and I recognize that horse slaughter has no place in our country as horses are not raised as livestock here, but as companion animals," said Senator Mary Landrieu, D-La. "I will continue working with my colleagues in Congress and other advocates to ensure that the American people are heard and that we stop this inhumane practice once and for all."

The last U.S. horse slaughterhouses were closed in 2007, and despite the fact that Americans do not consume horsemeat, Congress recently failed to continue defunding horsemeat inspections, making it legal for horse slaughterhouses to reopen. The ASPCA urges all caring Americans to support the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (H.R. 2966 and S. 1176 ), which would prohibit the sale and  transport of horses for slaughter in the United States, as well as across the border to Canada and Mexico. The passage of this critical legislation would end the current export and slaughter of approximately 100,000 American horses each year.

"Using tax dollars to fund this inhumane and controversial practice is a wildly unpopular decision, as our research confirms, and has fueled the fire for a complete ban on horse slaughter," added Perry.

For more information on the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, please visit