More horses being shipped to Mexico, Canada for slaughter

Slaughterbound Horse at the Mexican Border. AA Photo.
Slaughterbound Horse at the Mexican Border. Photo courtesy Animals’ Angels.

Long-haul trucks ferried 102,554 horses to slaughter houses in Mexico last year and 39,523 horses to facilities in Canada.

So states a sidebar to an article entitled, “More horses being shipped to Mexico, Canada for slaughter” written by Stewart M. Powell for Hearst Newspapers.

Not sure what to make of the thinking behind this quote:

Longtime Eagle Pass entrepreneur Raul Benavides ships 200 horses a week, collected from auctions across Texas and elsewhere, to grimy slaughterhouses in Mexico in a lucrative, controversial enterprise that he calls ‘a necessary evil.’

As a sideline, Benavides breeds quarter horses. When his most-loved animals grow old and frail, he euthanizes them, buries them on his own ground and marks their graves, rather than dispatching them to Mexico with anonymous horses bought for slaughter. ‘I’m not in favor of seeing horses suffer,’ Benavides explains.”

A necessary evil? Evil yes, but hardly necessary.

Texas has a lot of answer for. The Lone Star State if full of horse slaughter supporters who continue to make money off the suffering and death of hundreds of thousands of horses a year.

The article points out:

Texas, which has banned the sale of horsemeat for human consumption since 1949, has played a central role in shifting the industry from domestic slaughter houses to Mexico.

According to the state Department of Agriculture, Texas horse auctions have transferred the ownership of almost 263,000 horses since 2007, including an unknown number of horses to ‘kill buyers’ who immediately load their purchases onto long-haul trailers for shipment to Mexico to be processed into horsemeat for foreign appetites.

And Texas’ border crossings to Mexico have handled 400,267 slaughter-bound horses during that same period, including horses auctioned in Texas and elsewhere.”

To give you an idea what the so-called regulations in place for these slaughter-bound horses are, we are told this:

Regulations require slaughter-bound horses to be at least six months old, able to stand on four legs and walk onto a one-deck shipping trailer, able to see from at least one eye and able to withstand up to 28 hours en route without food or water. South-bound animals are inspected by Mexican veterinarians working at border collection pens.”

Horse slaughter serves only owners who are callous and irresponsible. Horse care is an expensive proposition. If you can afford to “own” a horse then you are capable of planning and paying for end of life expenses.

Horse cruelty and abandonment occurs with or without horse slaughter, although reports over the years show that these types of crimes actually decrease when it is banned.

Horse slaughter and the export of horsemeat is a highly lucrative business. Many point out that this is why horse slaughter exists. But that is not the only reason – the real reason – this despicable business thrives. Like any business, it is driven by the consumer. If no one wanted to eat horsemeat, horse slaughter would cease to exist. And so would all its related horrors.

8 thoughts on “More horses being shipped to Mexico, Canada for slaughter”

  1. It’s terribly sad that this continues to go on. I also believe that there are many people that do not know the gruesome process of horse slaughter, have never heard of kill buyers or even know that countless American horses are sold across the border for the sake of being killed for their meat. The public should be acquainted with this so that they can formulate their opinions and take action. I’m sure if more people knew, more legislation for horse protection would be put into place and enforced.

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    1. Starry, you’re absolutely correct! Most Americans don’t have a clue, and would be happy to help if they had the knowledge and know-how. That’s the objective of my RIDE FOR THEIR LIVES this month, to spread the word and explain how they can help get these horse protection acts passed and signed into law. The S.A.F.E. Act and the PAST Act have got to pass this year.
      Spread the word! Talk to folks in line at the feed and tack stores, at horse shows, at clinics, everywhere you meet horse people!

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      1. I once wrote an essay about horse slaughter for social studies. I also attend model horse shows and I think I’ll make copies for showers to read next time. :)

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  2. Excellent article. Benavides is quite the hypocrite, isn’t he? It’s not helping our case when the GAO puts out false information, like neglect and abuse cases increased after domestic slaughterhouses closed. Coincidentally, our worst recession hit at the same time. Jobs were lost, hay prices skyrocketed, divorces increased. THAT’S the reason people couldn’t/wouldn’t take care of their horses; it had nothing to do with the banning of slaughter in the U.S.
    In order for good to triumph over evil here, I think we need to turn off the tears, ignore emotions, and deal strictly with facts. Slaughter IS predatory, it IS driven by greed. American kill buyers make a pretty decent income, and the French and Belgians who own the slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico are making millions. My theory is that we’re going to have a tough, if not impossible, time with legislators in Texas and Oklahoma because they’re bought and paid for by cattlemen. Cattlemen tend to believe livestock is livestock, whether it’s cows or horses. It’s all property that belongs to them and if they want to have them slaughtered, they will. IMHO.

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  3. Senator Corynon is not about to help pass a bill stopping horse slaughter, he’s already said he won’t sign any bill because it would stop a horse owner from selling “their property”. All of the crooks in the US senate have their palms greased under the table by special interests of which you can take your pick.

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  4. so that people who see this picture have it seered into their minded and the folks who have a heart can try save them but the real people who need to see these pictures are mia (missing in action) like in texas we don’t have the support of john corynon or ted cruz or eddie berniese johnson either none of their names appear no where on the safe act or any other bills related to helping animals . i personally think they should take a tour of those facailties or my be go to the border and look those horses in the eyes .i dare them to tour some of these places and become part of the real world the rest of us live in. we want their support!!!!!

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  5. Reblogged this on Pass the SAFE Act! and commented:
    Per Tuesday’s Horse;

    “Long-haul trucks ferried 102,554 horses to slaughter houses in Mexico last year and 39,523 horses to facilities in Canada.”

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  6. This is absolutely horrible…but why are these poor animals being photographed Indy ad of helped???

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