There’s no way to “pretty up” horse slaughter

There is no one who can tell you what time it is quite like R. T. Fitch. In his article excerpted below, “Mud, Blood and Horse Crap: There’s No Way to Pretty Up Horse Slaughter”, Mr. Fitch tells of his haunting visit to a horse slaughter plant.

Like Mr. Fitch, I too visited a horse slaughter plant. Unlike him, I did not see the killing. I never made it out of the parking lot. I spewed up beside the car outside the Beltex horse slaughter plant in Kaufman, Texas from the sounds and smell alone.

The investigator who had taken me there somehow got me back into the car. As we left, I saw the doomed horses through the cascade of tears I was now using to wipe the sick from my mouth. I got to leave in one piece; they did not.

What I remember most, and what I can still hear to this day, are the screams. In a lifetime around horses, I have never heard a horse make a sound like that. Until my dying day, I will never forget the screams, and I will never stop fighting against horse slaughter. – Editor

Horses in a pen awaiting slaughter for human consumption.
Beautiful, healthy horses wait in a pen to be slaughtered for human consumption. The last horse slaughter plant on U.S. soil closed in 2007. State legislators like Sue Wallis and Ed Butcher are working to bring it back. Only you can stop them. Get involved with an organization like ours and work to bring a final end to the slaughter of America's horses.

Mud, Blood and Horse Crap: There’s no way to “Pretty Up” Horse Slaughter

Written by R. T. FITCH

    Looking over the back fence of the Dallas Crown plant, in Kaufman Texas, I saw, heard and even smelled more than I will ever want to experience again and that is coming from a veteran of two armed conflicts and a former military medic who is no stranger to blood and gore. It was more than my senses could bear and I will be forever soiled by what I witnessed.

    There is no soap that can cleanse my mind of the stench, erase the sounds or wipe away the visions of blood, it just does not exist. Even work, toil, activity and time will not make the nightmares go away as they have become embedded into the very fiber of my being…there’s no escape.

    I won’t ever forget seeing that young, healthy Paint run up the passageway to the “room” where we couldn’t quite see in the window. I only caught glimpses of the horse through the cracks in the fence as he was driven to the door of the building. It wasn’t a pretty scene with a worker with a stick whacking at the horse to move. Then the silence and the sound of the captive bolt gun, the screams from the horse as the bolt missed it’s mark and did not stun; then the chain from the hoist being wrapped around a rear leg as the screams intensified.

    The wails began to gurgle as the horse started to inhale his own blood as his throat was cut while hanging upside down. Still the chains rattled as the squeals died away and then silence as the illegal immigrants carved away at the horse’s warm body.

    Soon, on the conveyor belt that ran out of a hole in the building’s side, came the bloodied hide of the beautiful paint and burned into my memory is the vision of his pelt, complete with proud mane, fall off the dripping end of the conveyer belt into a waiting dumpster with a sickening, wet, “plop” while a cloud of disturbed black flies rose up like a small thundercloud from inside the dumpster and then dove back upon the fresh, bloody meal.

Read full account here, including Mr. Fitch response to the callous lies of the likes of Sue Wallis and Ed Butcher.

R. T. Fitch is the author of “Straight from the Horse’s Heart.”

13 thoughts on “There’s no way to “pretty up” horse slaughter”

  1. RE: MISSOURI HORSE SLAUGHTER BILL. This is the page from Kinship Circle. I’m adding it to a lot of posts on slaughter, because I want it to reach the widest audience possible. My OUTRAGE isn’t just about the bill itself, but the underhanded and downright dangerous tactics by the opposition.

    The page was apparently hacked and unavailable for a time, but has since been restored – who knows for how long. What happened to them should be illegal. I hope someone is recording those harassing phone calls & caller IDs.


  2. If people saw what was happening, this would never continue. The question is “How do you get people to read/look at what is happening. Whenever, I bring up the subject of horse slaughter, common responses are “Oh, please don’t talk about that”, “What do you expect people to do with all the unwanted horses”, The vets say its humane”, and all the other nonsense these ignorant people spew!!! I am involved with the polo community. I approached the director of the Polo Training Foundation about the possibility of setting up either a rescue for polo horses, or some kind of fund to help “unwanted” polo horses. He told me that a polo horse was the owners property, and therefore the owner could do whatever he wanted with the horse when it was no longer suitable for the owners needs. If there were people that wanted to rescue polo horses they could do it on their own. When I tried to comment on his remarks, he gave me the old “you must be a vegetarian” line. These comments were made, as I was showing him an 8 year old registered TB polo mare that I had pulled from a killpen in New Holland, PA. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this mare!! She had obviously played polo recently, as her mane was roached, tail clipped, and had on shoes that are commonly used on polo horses. She must have been too slow, or maybe she didn’t turn fast enough during her last game!! This unwanted, useless, lame, sick, dangerous, old mare, is now being retrained by a nationally known dressage trainer and judge. This trainer was so impressed with this useless/wanted mare, that the board, training, farrier and veterinary care were offered for free. So, I don’t know what we can do to convince people to wake-up and acknowledge the cruelty that is happening every minute of every day to our horses. Those of us that have compassion for living things, must keep putting one foot in front of the other, and march on with this battle. Remember, we cannot save them all from slaughter, but know the joy of the one you saved. Mourn those we cannot save, it is a eulogy to their being. DO NOT LET THEIR DEATHS BE IN VAIN..


  3. I think the key here is responsibility in all areas, including end-of -life issues. Racing, rodeo, eventing, and other potentially dangerous horse sports are not going to disappear. And yes, horses get hurt and sometimes die, and people get hurt and sometimes die.

    Our responsibility and the responsibility of the bodies governing horse sports is to make and enforce rules that do as much as humanly possible to ensure the safety of all involved. There will never be a guarantee of no harm, nor can there be. Nobody can guarantee that in their own backyard.

    Here’s a link to an organization that’s trying to provide a good retirement for top-name racehorses. Read up on the “Ferdinand Clause”, and the movement to help prevent horses that go to Japan for breeding from suffering his tragic fate.

    At least the TB racing folks seem to be ahead of the curve in supporting rescue, rehab, retraining, and rehoming OTTBs. Their are a number of rescues for OTTBs, and the movement is growing – slower than many would like, but at least there’s some progress.

    Now the QH industry and other “breed/color specific” folks need to follow suit. We need to reinforce what a “negative image” can mean for their industry. And they need make binding rules (not the loose “goals” they now have), and live up to providing the best possible life, transition, and humane end for the horses they bring into this world and benefit from.

    There are so many issues regarding equine welfare that I often feel overwhelmed. That’s when I go out to the rescue and love on our sweet ones, then come back and pick up where I left off.


  4. Reply to Andrea.

    Just like with any other animal. Horses are no different. They don’t just show up! Except in the wild (and as we know there are not many out there), they are bred for use by humans. The solutions are so simple it almost makes you weep with frustration. Controlled and responsible breeding. Both the QH and TB industries would benefit immensely if they would breed quality horses with speed, stamina, agility and soundness, instead of horses who can perform or run fast then break down at 3 or 4. They should ensure horses are taken care of during their careers, knowing they will eventually need to “retire.” Then people would happily acquire these horses because they are still sound and can enjoy life. Quit giving them injury masking drugs and steroids so transitioning to a second career isn’t such a nightmare. Again, these horses would’t be so lame or broken all they can be are yard ornaments. Too easy to dump them in a slaughterhouse. Have a gelding incentive program. Give mare’s a season off to let their wombs rest. The list goes on and on. You know if I know this, they must know this. They do not want to change. They wants to breed 1000s and 1000s hoping to get the next Triple Crown winner or champion reining horse. The rest are “throwaways” who have not asked to be born then destroyed cruelly so someone can eat them. I personally don’t care if racing dies, and no, if the economy picks up, racing will not improve because the people in control cannot see past their greed.


  5. Anit-saughter representatives have publically visited at least one plant. How many pro-slaughter advocates can say the same? In my opinion, these people have no credibility until they prove they have personally witnessed the horror of horse slaughter – seen, heard, smelled, and tasted it in the air. And not at a plant that has been “sanitized” for their visit. They should go on an unannounced RCMP raid in Canada.

    Once they swallowed Hitler’s “Big Lie” dehumanizing segments of their population, it was easy for WWII Germans to support something they claimed to know nothing about. To this day, many refuse admit they knew anything about the horrors of concentration camp extermination, and even deny the holocaust. I personally knew such a woman.

    If people can be convinced to treat their own species this way, what hope is there for horses and other animals?


    1. Or, if our own country will treat it’s animals this way what hope is there for us? 
      Right… That’s the underlying notion whether we go for that this time around or not. But really WE couldn’t, ultimately do not, care less because we care more about the animals then we do ourselves.

      Then again…
      We ARE just coming out of that very hopelessness now, but with a new administration we are free to try and change things again! We are still so gunshy, I think. 


        1. I predict that as Wyoming pushes forward we’ll see the beginning of some solutions. Not because they do it right- or perfecty right, as it should be done- but because Wyoming sometimes surprises us that way! ;)

          However, we aren’t at the end yet. And Wyoming is where the fight is.

          Wouldn’t it be great if racing just dissappeared too?


          1. Andrea, I believe it will end, because there is no way to “pretty up” horse slaughter. Slaughter is the violent death of a living being. The people behind it are totally out of touch with the physical and psychological make up of horses, or they would not even consider death by slaughter as accpetable. All of the “feel good” ideas that Sue Wallis & Co are coming up with are nothing but a big public relations exercise aimed at getting acceptance so they can make money off this atrocity. It has absolutely nothing to do with the well being of these horses. There are some I suppose who will fall for this massive ruse. Insofar as horse racing, it is coming to an end because of the arrogance of the people running it, and their massive denial. Look at the Triple Crown, the only thing racing really has left as a showcase event, and two of the tracks that host it are on the brink of shutting down.


            1. If the economy picks up racing will again too, don’t you think?

              Also, how do you address the numbers of unwanted animals?


  6. OMG< This literally tore my Heart to pieces, What kind of a monster can do that to Gods most beautiful gift to us, My QUEST to save these Beautiful Gifts will go on until everyone of them is FREE to Roam Like it was intended to be… As the tears stream down my face , I can almost feel their pain…………. And yet they offer to us their undying trust………..and look to us for help………. and offer their service without hesitation………Those of us who love them must find an answer and a way to stop this horrific and devastating thing………….God please help us save them………………….


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s