Say "Nay!" to Horse Slaughtering

What’s new at the dinner table: “Pass the horse, please.”

By PETER STERN, Driftwood, Texas
Originally Posted 5/21/2007 9:17:15 AM

Well, the battle goes on here in Texas for most people to protect the honor and status of the horse. State Senators and House Representatives are trying to sneak in “end around” legislation that is generated for their special interests to circumvent the recent Federal ruling that closed the two horse slaughterhouses in North Texas. Horse slaughtering may be the new terrorism that Americans need to battle.

Bel-Tex of Fort Worth; Dallas Crown of Kaufman, Texas, and Cavel International of Dekalb, Ill. are the only horse slaughterhouses inside the U.S. Because of basic economics and special interest contributions, most legislators have opted NOT voting to close the horse slaughterhouses. Let’s face it, horse slaughterhouses are good business. Horse meat is sent overseas for human consumption to France, Belgium and other countries, where they are willing to pay top dollar for their horse flesh.

Slaughterhouse owners and their legislators tell Americans that they are providing a needed and humane service of eliminating unwanted, old and sickly horses. The truth is far from that point. There is little distinction made of these categories and of healthy horses. Furthermore, the slaughtering of horse is NOT a humane process as may be seen below. We’ve lost our horse-sense when we let these creature die such horrific deaths.

Sen. Glenn Hegar, R-Katy, inserted an amendment into a bill on the duties and regulations of the Texas Animal Health Commission. It said animals tested by the commission would be exempt from the part of the state agriculture code banning the sale of horse meat for human consumption. Passed around under a veiled amendment to another bill, apparently neither Hegar or other legislators seem to care to make this amendment more public for fear of public outcry.

The provision that Hegar added to Senate Bill 911 before colleagues actually approved that it would allow the sale of horse meat for human consumption, if the animals are tested by the commission. There was no debate before passage of the bill, which was carried by Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls. Only Democratic Sens. Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio and Kirk Watson of Austin registered votes against Hegar’s amendment.


Before shipping American horses to slaughterhouses in Texas, Illinois and as far away as Canada, the horses are placed into over-crowded holding pens often standing in disease-infested muck. Often sick, the horses are crammed into double-decked cattle trucks. Without sufficient room to hold their heads upright, they travel for 36 hours through summer heat or brutal winter cold without stopping for rest, food or water.

At the slaughterhouse, the horse is electrically prodded into the “kill box” to be repeatedly bludgeoned in the skull by a dead-bolt gun with a four-inch nail. Alive, and often conscious, the horse is then shackled by a rear leg, hoisted into the air, its throat slit and body dismembered.

No horse is spared this ordeal. These hungry, dehydrated, fatigued and terrified horses include not only the old, sick, blind and crippled, but the young and healthy, our children’s pets, mares with helpless foals standing at their side, and our wild mustangs.

A positive example: During 1998 California’s Save the Horses Prohibition of Horse Slaughter and Sale of Horse meat Initiative, Proposition 6 makes it illegal for anyone to “possess, buy, sell or export from California any horse where that person knows – or should have known – that any part will be used for human consumption.”

The actual photos of horses being slaughtered are not for everyone’s eyes. To see some of the telling photos and get a real perspective that slaughtering these noble creatures is NOT in their best interests as the pro-slaughtering lobby tells us, go to:

Again, this is nothing more than abuse and it is being inflicted upon an animal that has never historically been considered a food animal, but rather a working partner and friend to man. An animal used primarily for pleasure, work, recreation and sport.

The lies of the horse slaughterers can’t stand up to the graphic footage of the realities.

Help expose horse slaughter and help expose the people like Rep. Hegar who secretly support it for profiteers! This is NOT a humane treatment of horses as is claimed.

Horse slaughterhouses are vile and contemptible options for destroying the horse population by inhumane methods. The pro-lobby for horse slaughterhouses has bought the support of many legislators. Only the voice of the American people can put an end to the torture and murder of these noble creatures.

Texans must contact their Senators and House Representatives to ensure that this anti-horse legislation never gets approved and that the state honor and enforces the ruling handed-down by the federal court.

Say “Nay” loudly and clearly to elected officials. Horse slaughterhouses must go the way of the dinosaurs and so should killing horses in the U.S. for human consumption abroad. It is interesting that two of the three horse slaughterhouses are based here in Texas, where historically cowboys only ride and work their horse partners — NOT eat them.
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Reprinted here with permission.

Peter Stern of Driftwood, TX, a former Director of Information Services, University Professor and Public School Administrator, is a political writer well-known and published frequently throughout the Texas community and nationwide. He is a Disabled Vietnam Veteran and holds three post-graduate degrees. You may contact Peter Stern at:

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