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Horse Slaughter

2horsesHorses are majestic, powerful beings that have played an important role in American culture from transportation, to work, to play. Horses have also been a source of companionship and therapy. They are able to form bonds with people and other animals. It is moving to watch a mother horse and her foal frolicking in a field, or a herd of horses galloping over a hillside. These sentient beings have feelings and deserve to be protected.

Horse Slaughter Statistics
According to the Equine Welfare Alliance, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), stated in a recent study that in 2014 146,548 horses were shipped to Canada and Mexico for slaughter to be shipped overseas to European and Asian market. Horse slaughter is illegal in the United States however; transporting horses to foreign slaughterhouses for the purpose of killing the animals for meat is not. More than half of the horses are shipped to Mexico where regulations are especially weak.

Horses sold for slaughter may be obtained from:

  • Race tracks
  • Breeding operations
  • Farms
  • Riding camps
  • Companion animals

Horses are typically sold at auctions in the United States and then transported to foreign slaughterhouses. During transport, horses are crammed into trailers without food, water, or protection from extreme temperatures. Many horses endure these conditions for several days before arriving at their destination. Some die en route, while still others suffer horrendous injuries. In the end, they all face the same fate: a cruel death by slaughter.

Wild Horse Slaughter
Although wild, free-roaming horses are not sold or adopted out by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for the purpose of slaughter for human consumption, a small number of horses acquired by individuals through the BLM have been resold or traded to slaughterhouses.

Take Action to Help Horses

  • Adopt or foster a horse rather than purchase one from a breeder. Visit for a listing of horse rescues and foster programs.
  • Visit a horse sanctuary and meet survivors of horse auctions first hand.
  • Urge your congressional legislators to support bills to ban horse slaughter or the transport of horses for slaughter.
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