Written by Jennifer OConnor
After a 5-year hiatus, Congress has restored funding for U.S. inspectors to oversee horse slaughter, opening the door for horses to be killed and butchered in the United States for the first time since 2006.
No one wants to see any horse killed for meat or to turn a fast buck, and PETA has always had concerns about the suspension of US slaughter, since it meant more suffering for these sensitive animals, not less. What we feared would happen did: Rather than have a change of heart and stop killing horses, greedy ranchers who deal in horse flesh simply jammed their “commodities” into tractor trailers and hauled the frightened animals hundreds of miles to Canada and Mexico – a journey most did not have to face before - to terrifying deaths in slaughterhouses there.
As PETA documented years ago, that ride means horses crammed together with strangers who bite and kick, slippery floors that mean foals and pregnant mares fall and are trampled, and horses who, being taller than cows but often shipped in cattle trucks, must ride the whole way with their heads bent to their chests. That export loophole still needs to be slammed shut.
To reduce horses’ suffering, there must be a ban on exports of live horses together with a ban on slaughter in the U.S., or it doesn’t work, never did, never will.
Remember, industries that breed horses for profit—horseracing, rodeo and the carriage trade—are largely to blame for this crisis since they have created the tragic overpopulation of horses.
force breeders to take some responsibility for the horses they use up and then
discard by signing PETA's petition to the Jockey Club calling for the club to establish a retirement
fund for registered thoroughbreds.
spent 40 years saving horses from the sale. As a horse trainer I bought horses by the pound and made them into viable riding mounts. Not just marginally - I made show horses, trail horses, school horses. I passed on more horses lucratively positioned within the horse industry (back when there were lucrative positions), by training horses into more viable jobs - to keep them from slaughter. I could have made more money, could have made more of a career, by training well bred, expensive horses, but I did not. I gave my life to allowing horses to be the best they could be. If you are posting a negative comment regarding slaughtering horses in this country - I defy you to comment. If you have not done anything to save these horses you should be ashamed. I tire of do-gooder criticism of those of us who have not only saved hundreds of horses from slaughter but have sacrificed our lives and the lives of our families to save discarded horses. And believe me there are many of us. Many of us that know the realities these horses face. Horses slaughtered in this country are much better off than those slaughtered in Mexico. Is it good? Is horse slaughter right? Not necessarily, but better here with PETA watching over the proceedings than in Mexico, where there is no oversight. Before you comment on what should be done – tell me what HAVE YOU DONE. Have you saved any horses? Have you retrained any to work (and horses love to work), at a job which they are well suited? Have you gone to the sales and watched the many hollow-eyed, puzzled and terrified horses running through the arena for buyers to bid on by the pound? The young, the old, the crippled – with terror in their eyes –looking for a human to save them? If you cannot answer yes to this question – donate MONEY to your local horse rescue. Otherwise you are simply a phony.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.