Ground horse meat. Source:

Who eats the most horse meat?

Horse meat consumption was written about in 2017 more than any other in recent times. Trends have changed very little since then. One article in particular caught our attention. It’s by Brandon Gaille.

Gaille starts out with, “Although horse meat consumption is actually illegal in some countries, most notably the United States, it is a widely consumed product in other parts of the world and sometimes a primary part of a household’s diet.” [1]

To our knowledge it is not illegal nor has it ever been illegal to consume horse meat in America. Historically, there has been virtually zero demand.

It is, however, illegal to slaughter horses on American soil. The last three U.S. horse slaughterhouses — two in Texas and one in Illinois and all foreign owned — were shuttered in 2007. Texas and Illinois implemented laws that not only banned the slaughter of horses but also the selling, giving and possession of horse meat intended for human consumption. This, of course, did not stop the slaughter of American horses. Hundreds of thousands of American horses have been sent across its borders to Mexico and Canada to be slaughtered for human consumption ever since.

Gaille states that “The European Union is by far the largest consumer when it comes to horse meat” and “over 200,000 horses every year are slaughtered to create a meat supply in the European Union.” [2]


Horse meat is considered taboo and not generally available in English-speaking countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, the United States,[3] and English Canada. It is also taboo in Brazil, Israel, and among the Romani people and Jewish people the world over. Horse meat is not generally eaten in Spain, except in the north, but the country exports horses both as live animals and as slaughtered meat for the French and Italian markets.


Horse meat is eaten in many countries, including Mexico, Belgium, Canada, Chili, Spain, Iceland, France, Russia, Kazakhstan and many Eastern European, South America, South East Asian, and Eastern countries such as China and Japan.[4]

China produces more horse meat than any other country in the world, creating nearly half of the world’s supply. Historically Russia has the biggest appetite for horseflesh.

Interestingly, Russia has recently committed to spending RUB180 million to subsidize the production of local horse meat. By 2020, Russia expects to increase their horse meat production capabilities by at least 50%.[5]

Italy eats almost the same exact amount of horse meat every year as Russia does and produces 50% of the horse meat that the European Union consumes every year.[6]

Belgium imports more than 44 million pounds of horse meat per year and most of that comes from North America, making them the largest per capita consumer.[7]


Considering the laundry list of prohibitive drugs routinely administered to American horses which bars their meat from entering the human food chain[8], is it ethical that the U.S. continues to send its horses to slaughter? Shouldn’t the U.S. outlaw the slaughter of its horses for human consumption?


If the SAFE Act (Safeguard American Food Exports Act of 2019) or H.R.961 currently pending before the 116th U.S. Congress (2019-2020) becomes law it will ban the toxic U.S horse met from entering the human food chain.

As of this writing, The SAFE Act has 208 cosponsors. We need to reach 290 cosponsors to bypass Committee and move the bill for debate and vote in the House. See Consensus Calendar provision. We still have a lot of work to do. Your voice is necessary.

Go here take action. Please share this with friends and family and on social media.


•  Pending Legislation »
•  How to Have a Productive Call with Your Legislators’ Offices »
•  The Horse Fund’s PopVox Stakeholders’ Page »


•  H.R. 961 on »
•  Banned_Drugs_and Slaughter_Horses_Report PDF, 4 pp (at 8 above)»


•  Giddy up, horse meat is coming to Queens, Tuesday’s Horse, Sep 25, 2012
•  Horse meat trial shines light on key part of international fraud, Tuesday’s Horse, Jul 27, 2017
•  Drugs, racing and toxic horse meat, Tuesday’s Horse, Jun 19, 2019

See also 

Horse Meat Super Bowl Pizza sickens fans, Straight From the Horse’s Heart, Feb 3, 2010

5 thoughts on “Who eats the most horse meat?”

  1. Excellent article and the links to data are very cool. Thank you. FYI, the contacting congress page appears to be having trouble.


  2. Live in Mexico City for 3 years never seen or heard of them eating horse meat. Please check your article.


    1. Perhaps no one realizes that they are eating it. Check this link out:,Mexico%20for%20slaughter%20in%202015.

      While horse meat may not be popular, it doesn’t mean it isn’t eaten in parts of Mexico. It’s like Canada – most don’t eat it, and many consider it taboo, but some places do serve it (Quebec in particular).


  3. It makes my blood run cold.

    The recent expose by ABC 7.30 report of Australian race horses being slaughtered at the abattoir, Meramist in Queensland.

    Meramist is owned by a Belgium company.

    How dare they set up such an abhorrently cruel business in my country.


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