New Research Shows the Overwhelming Majority of Americans Oppose Horse Slaughter

ASPCA hosts “Have a Heart for Horses” week from February 7-11 to urge Congress to pass the SAFE Act to permanently ban horse slaughter in the U.S.
February 7, 2022

WASHINGTON, DC – The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today released new data from a national poll conducted by Lake Research Partners that reveals 83 percent of Americans oppose the slaughter of U.S. horses for human consumption. Opposition to horse slaughter has remained strong and even increased slightly since prior polling in 2012, and this opposition extends across political party, race, gender and regardless of whether the respondent lived in a rural or urban setting. 

Despite Congressional efforts that shuttered horse slaughterhouses on U.S. soil in 2007, tens of thousands of American horses continue to be shipped to Canadian and Mexican slaughterhouses that supply other countries with horsemeat. A bipartisan group of federal lawmakers is working to close this legal loophole with the introduction of the Save America’s Forgotten Equines (SAFE) Act (H.R.3355/S.2732), which would permanently ban horse slaughter in the U.S. and end the export of American horses for slaughter in other countries.

"In an era of rare political bipartisan agreement, this research confirms that the overwhelming majority of Americans remain strongly opposed to horse slaughter," said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA Government Relations. "The ASPCA is working resolutely to provide support for horses in need, but we cannot fully succeed while the slaughter pipeline remains open because it directly impedes the rehoming of horses. This new research makes it clear that now is the time for Congress to finally end this shameful practice in America by passing the SAFE Act to keep our equine athletes, work partners, and trusted friends safe.”  

Last year, approximately 23,000 horses were exported for slaughter, and research demonstrates that there exist far better options available for every horse sent to slaughter. The slaughter industry will only be stopped if Congress acts, and when they do, research published in 2017 reveals that 2.3 million Americans have both the strong interest and resources to adopt a horse. With the equine industry and equine shelters working together to increase adoption of horses in need of homes and provide safety net programs to help keep owned horses in homes, it’s clear that every horse in need can be helped, if given the opportunity.

In addition to overwhelming public opposition to horse slaughter, many equine-related industries and interest groups have joined in to help end horse slaughter. The ASPCA recently partnered with a diverse group of equine industry stakeholders, including The Jockey Club and the U.S. Trotting Association, on a joint letter to members of the U.S. House and Senate, urging them to pass the SAFE Act.

“The slaughter of horses for the purpose of human consumption is wrong on every level” said Mike Tanner, CEO of the United States Trotting Association (USTA). “The USTA wholeheartedly supports the SAFE Act, and the protection that it will provide to Standardbred horses at all stages of their lives.”

In honor of Valentine’s Day, the ASPCA is hosting “Have a Heart for Horses” week from February 7-11, urging the public to contact their members of Congress and ask them to pass the SAFE Act to ban the cruel practice of horse slaughter once and for all. To take action to protect horses, please visit

To learn more about the ASPCA’s efforts to ban horse slaughter or support the SAFE Act, please visit