Photograph: Denis Doyle/Getty Images.

Kill buyers still making a killing selling horses for their meat

MARCH AGAINST HORSE SLAUGHTER — No horses have been legally slaughtered for human consumption in the US since 2007, when the last operating horse slaughterhouse in Illinois was closed down.

In 2017, kill buyers are still making a killing.

Numbers vary, but the general consensus is that approximately 130,000 US horses are slaughtered annually across its borders. It is the job of the kill buyer acting on behalf of these slaughterhouses to supply those numbers. Often this is done at livestock auctions. But they also prey on unsuspecting horse owners and many are also known horse thieves.

Unless something drastically changes, those numbers look to stay the same.

The number of US horses slaughtered may suffer a hiccup or two in the near future.

The new EU mandate of a six month waiting period for US horses crossing the border into Canada before they can be slaughtered for human consumption should diminish the numbers killed when it starts on March 31.

However, we know from previous experience with the Canadian EID — a passport of sorts listing all the medications a horse received in his lifetime but was constantly forged — that kill buyers and horse dealers are very adept at circumventing the law.

And who’s to enforce it?

Horses before the auction at Shipshewana. These were racing, riding, and show horses. But the slaughterhouse buyers were there to bid on the least expensive horses. Source: Animal Angels.
Horses before the auction at Shipshewana. These were racing, riding, and show horses. But the slaughterhouse buyers were there to bid on the least expensive horses. Source: Animal Angels.

In the meantime, our sources tell us that slaughterers in Mexico are scrambling to convert existing facilities and expand others in anticipation of the new EU restrictions concerning Canada when thousands of slaughter horses may be redirected to Mexico.

If thousands more slaughter horses are indeed sent instead to Mexico, a side effect of this will likely be horses turned back at the border.

Horses bound for slaughter and turned back at the Mexican border are sometimes cruelly abandoned after they have already made a long, horrifying journey in all temperatures without food and water, many of them injured, and some of them pregnant and mares with foals.

Kill buyers have been known to tell the transporters to get rid of them because they do not want the expense of returning the horses to the feedlot when most probably wouldn’t survive the return trip anyway. So they are turned loose.

Horses turned loose like this have been rescued when known about but most die a long, agonizing death, as the numerous carcasses that have been found tell us.

There are several kill buyer lists on the internet. If you learn of any, please report them to us anyone on the list below. But do not approach them. They can be very dangerous people.

It is amazing how much these people look like the ruthless killers they are; like serial killers. Very creepy.


 Killer Buyers Exposed on Facebook »

Kill Buyers and Horse Dealers in the USA — Equine Rescue Network »

 Known Killer Buyer List — Mary Nash’s Horsemeat Website »

 Kill Buyers of Horses United States — My Horse Forum »


See Animals’ Angels page on Horse Slaughter. Contains video footage. Viewer discretion advised.  »


See Finding a Home for Your Horse »

See Insuring Your Horse for a Humane End »


See Mexican Horse Slaughterhouses | On the Road In Mexico

Slaughterbound horses. Photograph: Denis Doyle/Getty Images

13 thoughts on “Kill buyers still making a killing selling horses for their meat”

  1. I help a group that tries to find homes and pays for the Arabian horses that kill buyers offer sale before they are to ship to Mexico. It amazes me how many of these beautiful horses are thrown away, many of them stolen or bought under false pretenses by the kill buyers.


      1. Join Arabian rescue groups. I have saved quite a few over the last few years. Some are registered and are wonderful horses! Everyone can help in some way. Home offers, donations and sharing them on facebook can really help these poor forgotten horses.


  2. Why would EU put time restrictions on slaughtered horses in Canada from U.S. but not do the same in Mexico? They know we ship horses to Mexico too and they all have drugs in them. Doesn’t make sense Mexico will ramp up the slaughter houses to get more horses from U.S. when EU should be putting same time restrictions on horses from Mexico as from Canada.


  3. Until legislation is in place to hold irresponsible horse owners/breeders accountable for their contribution toward the overabundance of unwanted horses who end up in the slaughter pipeline, this nightmare will NEVER end.


  4. I’M a Canadian I believe the Canadian should refuse American horses for human consumption because the horses are raise for meat but they are from people who doesn’t their horses it’s easier to get rid of the horses instead taking their responsibility.


  5. I know that various breeds are acquired by the kill buyers but the horseracing industry thinks nothing of disposing of its ‘much loved’ horses when they’re no longer profitable.
    SHAME on the horseracing industry.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so right. They kill them on the track and if they survive that but not good enough to breed or too injued to race send to slaughter.

      And countless Quarterhorses too – America’s Horse. Shame on them too.


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