To the horror of animal rights supporters everywhere, a week before Thanksgiving President Obama signed into law an agricultural spending bill that allows for the restoration of the American horse slaughter industry. Congress was faced with a choice between lifting the domestic slaughter ban or banning the export of horses for slaughter, and they chose to keep the slaughter on domestic grounds – however there was a reason U.S. plants were closed in the first place. The Humane Society reports that U.S. slaughterhouses have a history of excessive abuse and cruelty, and USDA statistics show that 92 percent of horses slaughtered for meat are “in good condition and able to lead productive lives”. Read on to learn more about this horrific industry – and why we shouldn’t allow it on US soil or support the exportation of horses to foreign slaughterhouses.
Horse slaughter was never banned outright in the states, however a bill passed in 1996 banned the inspection of horse meat, effectively halting the horse slaughtering industry on US soil. This bill had its consequences, however – according to The Washington Times, “In 2010, about 138,000 horses were exported [many to Canada or Mexico] for slaughter”.
The 2007 bill prolonged the horses’ suffering as they were loaded into over-crowded trailers and shipped long distances to slaughterhouses, and even though the new bill eliminates this journey, it doesn’t make it morally sound or acceptable to slaughter these noble animals in the first place. Horses are smart, sensitive animals, the conditions in slaughterhouses are abominable. and industries that support the overpopulation of horses (such as racetracks) shouldn’t be encouraged to breed horses and make a quick buck by selling them for meat.
Lead photo by Marilyn Peddle