Could USDA horse slaughterhouse approval be good news for wild horses?

When the U.S. Department of Agriculture closed slaughterhouses that processed horse meat in 2007, the adoptions and sales of wild horses took a sharp drop and never recovered.

Beginning in 2005, the BLM allowed the sales of wild horses at least 10 years old that had been passed over for adoption at least three times.

That was a peak year for adoptions and sales, at 6,661 combined. By 2008, sales and adoptions dropped to almost half of that at 3,564, according to the BLM.

Adopt a Mustang written on the hind quarters of a wild horse. BLM image.
Adopt a Mustang written on the hind quarters of a wild horse. BLM image.

These quotes are from an article written by Steve Timko entitled, “Could USDA horse slaughterhouse approval be good news for wild horses?”

The answer to that is a resounding “no”, especially if they end up in one.

But let us go back to the quote.

First of all just to clarify, the USDA did not close horse slaughter plants in 2007. State laws closed them. The federal government taking money away from the USDA to pay for inspections of horse meat so it can be sold for human consumption kept them closed and others from opening.

Next, I do not trust any figures released by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), nor does any other sensible and informed wild horse and burro advocate. The BLM’s numbers have proven to be massaged and manipulated to suit their purposes. I see no reason for exception here.

Whether BLM decline in adoption figures are accurate or not, how is killing more horses for their meat going to reverse that?

At any rate, the BLM program for the public adoption of wild horses has typically been seen as a big failure over the years. Whether BLM decline in adoption figures are accurate or not, how is killing more horses for their meat going to reverse that?

Most importantly of all is this constant lie by pro-slaughter that when horse slaughterhouses closed on U.S. soil, the slaughter of U.S. horses stopped, causing all sorts of problems. We know that it did not.

The yearly rate U.S. horses slaughtered in Mexico and Canada for human consumption has increased to a reported 160,000+. This fact negates arguments stating that the closure of horse slaughter plants in the U.S. is increasing abuse, abandonment, neglect and flooding the market with cheap horses.

Timpco points out in his article:

The U.S. General Accountability Office noted in a 2011 report that the USDA ban on horse meat slaughterhouses had the side effect of expanding the horse slaughterhouse business in Mexico. U.S. horse exports to Mexico increased 660 percent to Mexico after the ban and by 166 percent to Canada, the GAO report said.

The economy nosedived and the U.S. was declared in “full recession” in December 2007. Other dire terms such as suggesting the country was “in depression” followed suit.

At the same time, hay prices began to go up. Droughts, wildfires and shortages saw them skyrocket. More hay was reportedly being exported making less of it for sale at home.

As anyone who has ever cared for a horse or looked into the costs of ownership knows, the least expensive part of the proposition is buying the horse. It is the feeding, healthcare, upkeep, maintenance, training and transportation that challenges a horse owner’s budget. A low price for a horse can be misleading especially to a first time owner, and potentially dangerous for the future welfare of a horse to be sold cheaply.

Horse slaughter encourages overbreeding which floods the market with cheap horses, always has, and always will. It is a simple case of supply and demand, an economic concept a child can grasp.

The BLM is full to overflowing with thousands and thousands of wild horses they have needlessly rounded up, pressured by politicians acting on behalf of corporate friends, “welfare cattle ranchers”, drillers and miners.

Who knows how many wild horses there are or even where they are with any confidence. Whatever the actual numbers, one thing everyone can agree on is there are more wild horses in long-term holding than in the wild.

How is slaughtering more domestic horses going to help the BLM adopt out or sell more wild horses? It is not. The only thing slaughtering more horses will do is fill more bellies with horse meat.

Source article >>

10 thoughts on “Could USDA horse slaughterhouse approval be good news for wild horses?”

  1. Ronnie – thanks for calling Rep. Steve King, IA, for what he really is – a demented, evil man. Not too many Americans know that about him. Still, it’s hard to believe his amendment got out of committee without any debate whatsoever. Thankfully, the Farm Bill failed, but as we know the pro-slaughter group gained strength. The USDA still wants to appease both sides. I don’t know how they could grant the license while the waste water issues and permits are unresolved. Shouldn’t the USDA look at the big picture and issue the license after local permits are given?


  2. I would have to say that seeing that over 6,000 horses which were adopted before horse slaughter was shut down and the number of horses now being adopted, tells me that there was a very real possibility that those horses were adopted for one reason, their meat. And the recent conclusion by researching advocates that hay is the real reason owners must give up their horses tells me that we need to suggest other ways to get them forage other than hay to keep them with their owners. After all, they are herbivores. Moringa Tree may just be the alternative or Leucaena leucocephala. If hay is the main reason these animals are pushed to slaughter, think outside of the box and determine how other forage material could be used to save their lives.


    1. High price and shortage of hay is not the only reason but a big contributing factor. Horse ownership is expensive and when you lose income people get frightened and desperate and sometimes make uninformed decisions they regret. Instead of exporting more hay than they keep in the US for horses and livestock, the powers that be should make an adjustment. That would be a big help.


      1. Agreed. Anything other than giving us the first option to keep our hay in our Country would be certainly something that should be addressed and soon. Great article, thank you for the “enlightenment” which is always welcomed.


  3. “Horse slaughter encourages overbreeding…….”
    That is exactly100% Correct!…..
    Some folks happily Breed anything with 4 legs…Believe they will profit…
    We need to stay on the path of showing consumers of horsemeat (on a global scale).that what they’re eating is unsafe…Hard working Families Need to know…Kill buyers are Liars and Thieves


  4. Domestic horses are treated with drugs and with current public disclosures of this fact, it could discourage some horse eaters. Realizing that wild horses are not likely affected by these dangerous drugs, the wild ones may appear to be a better and safer “product” in which to target their customers? This puts the wild horse and burros in more jeopardy.

    The ONLY way is to stop, end roundups and all slaughter. Get rid of BLM and Interior Dept.




  6. Thank You for all your insight and keeping us all informed … I am just totally disgusted when this was all happening way back when I said to my self there is NO WAY our Gov. would endorse this in this country, with all that happened in Europe with the food ….. AND here we are now, what I have learned and educated myself on this is CORRUPTION in every level of our Gov. the voice of the people is GONE, that’s pretty obvious, I never ever thought I would say something like this but I am ASHAMED to be an AMERICAN this use to be a country to be proud of not now…. The people who have the power to stop this horse slaughter will NOT hear us, and they KNOW it is about MONEY, SUPPLY & DEMAND, period….. OMG I could go on and on and on, I feel like I am washed out just sickened in the pit of my stomach…… THEY ALL will regret this IF this does happen it will backfire and I hope it is a HUGE BACKFIRE because they all asked for it, the company’s who want this Pro Slaughter, and some of our corrupt pocket lined politicians…. I will say GOOD>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.. From this experience I have become very very cynical… Imagine that???


    1. Money rules Washington, DC. Corruption. Lobbying…Big money into pockets of those running for office. Morality, integrity, justice, does not exist except in a few of our legislators, & they are outnumbered & over-shadowed by the more powerful legislators with the pocketed $$$ & outside Power Brokers. Elected, they need to follow those who financed them. Big Ag is is a huge Power Broker. Big Ag $$$ is in the pockets of our elected officials. Big Ag rules so many of our states, a very large portion of our country. Look how far pro-slaughter, all animal killing Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) got with the Farm Bill. Yes, he was halted, but it is mind-boggling how such a demented & evil man got so high-up in our country’s politics. But all said, I have faith that truth & justice prevails. It just takes more time & work by advocates & moral politicians.


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