Animal Equality’s Campaign to End Horse Slaughter


Animal Equality has launched an international campaign to put an end to the slaughter of horses for humane consumption.

This is an industry that has been marred by public health and animal abuse scandals. Yet consumers have very little information about this practice. With this campaign, Animal Equality is raising public awareness about the reality of this trade and the need to permanently ban the slaughter of American horses. 

Animal Equality has investigated the slaughter of horses in Mexico–as well as in Italy and Spain—finding that these animals were often killed while conscious. These horses unnecessarily and unjustifiably suffer.

While 85% of US citizens oppose the slaughter of horses,1 most people don’t realize American horses are still being killed for their meat in Mexico and Canada.

The slaughter of horses in the US occurred as recently as 2007.2 The practice has since dissolved when Congress took away funding from USDA inspectors to oversee horse slaughterhouses. Only USDA-approved meat can be commercially sold–meaning meat from horses would be prohibited from selling.

The US shifted focus to transporting horses outside of the country’s borders in an effort to continue profiting off their meat. Every year, nearly 30,000 American horses are transported to Mexico and Canada to be killed for their meat.3,4 From 2001 to 2020, the US sent over 1.6 million horses to be slaughtered by these countries.5

During transport, the horses rarely have access to food or water for more than 24 hours at a time. The trucks they are transported in are typically designed for smaller animals. This small space creates an increased risk of injury as horses are naturally fight-or-flight animals. Weaker animals are unable to escape bites, kicks and other injuries as they try to avoid the more dominant animals inside the cramped truck.

Many horses arrive at the slaughterhouse suffering injuries, weight loss, fatigue, dehydration and shipping fever–a respiratory disease associated with long-distance transports. 

Animal Equality has investigated the slaughter of American horses in Mexico–finding that the animals were often killed while conscious causing them unnecessary and unjustifiable suffering.

Like the dogs and cats that many of us live with, horses are sentient beings that deserve protection. Their transport across countries and their slaughter are cruel and incompatible with the respect they deserve.

There is currently no permanent federal ban on the slaughter or exportation of American horses. The US public clearly considers it too cruel to kill horses for human consumption, so why do we continue to profit from this cruelty by contributing to their slaughter? This hypocrisy must end.

Animal Equality has started a signature collection urging the US Government to protect these animals and put an end to their mistreatment. 


SOURCES:

1Research Shows the Overwhelming Majority of Americans Oppose Horse Slaughter: https://www.aspca.org/about-us/press-releases/new-research-shows-overwhelming-majority-americans-oppose-horse-slaughter

2Horse Welfare: https://www.gao.gov/products/gao-11-228

3Horse Slaughter Statistics: January to June, 2022: https://canadianhorsedefencecoalition.org/stats/#:~:text=HORSE%20SLAUGHTER%20STATISTICS%20January%20to%20December%2C%202021

4U.S.-Mexico Livestock Trade Weekly Roundup: https://mymarketnews.ams.usda.gov/filerepo/sites/default/files/2953/2021-12-31/541632/ams_2953_00097.pdf

5US Horse Slaughter Export Numbers: https://tuesdayshorse.wordpress.com/2021/07/06/from-2001-to-2020-the-u-s-sent-2m-horses-across-its-borders-for-slaughter/



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