Saddlebred Yearlings, Simpsonville, Kentucky. WIKIMEDIA.

Some fear Kentucky horses could end up in the slaughterhouse

Some horsemen’s associations suggest that the 2008 recession is giving some legitimate concern to fears an equine welfare crisis looms.

WHAS TV | by Chris Williams (Apr. 29, 2020) — The Kentucky Derby is not the only horse related event stuck in the barn. 

Some horsemen’s associations tell WHAS11’s Chris Williams they’re worried that the stay home requirements by Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear will create an equine welfare crisis and send some horses to slaughter houses.

Association members say what happened during the 2008 recession is giving some legitimate concerns to fears an equine welfare crisis is looming. 

David Mount, the Executive Director of the Saddlebred Horse Association, says, “If you look at the 2008 recession as a benchmark, there was a real equine welfare crisis and we’ve been working with equine welfare agencies and rescue groups to prevent that from happening. But it’s a real concern of ours and that’s one the main reason why we need to get our industry back open.”

Horse owners say the social distancing and other requirements to stop the spread has saddled their livelihoods too.

“When there’s no horse shows, we’re not making any money”, explained Melissa Moore. 

“We can’t sell horses, we can’t supplement our income by going to horse shows, a horse trainer does not make a living by training horses. A horse trainer has got to sell horses to make a living,” she said.

“My worse fear is that these horses are going to end up in a bad situation. There aren’t enough rescue facilities out there to take all of these horses in and because they’re unwanted, they’ll end up in a kill pen.”

During the 2008 recession, people began turning horses loose in the wild or killed them. 

Melissa doesn’t understand why this industry isn’t galloping ahead in these times, especially when Tennessee, Texas and Georgia haven’t missed a step.

“The equine industry is the perfect outlet for social distancing”, she said. “I think, if our governor understood that and maybe came to a barn and saw how it could happen then maybe he would understand and put a plan in place where we could get back to business.”

David Mount says he will present a reopening plan to the Governor next week.

Full report »

Reach out and help

Horse rescues and sanctuaries are going to be the first stop for many of these people when they can no longer afford their horses. The meat man will be their second stop.

The Fund for Horses have been helping horse rescues and sanctuaries wherever we can, and our resources are dwindling fast. Understandably we are not receiving the type of donations we usually receive to replace these funds.

If you have a horse rescue or sanctuary in your area, would you call and check on them and see what their needs are and if there is any way you can help. If you are not in a position to give yourself, perhaps you could do a fundraiser for your local rescue or sanctuary on social media with a link to the rescue or sanctuary’s donate page. We all need to pitch in any way we can, and every dollar you raise will be a powerful help. Thank you.

Fund for Horses Logo

Featured Image: Saddlebred yearlings, Simpsonville, Kentucky. WIKIMEDIA.

5 thoughts on “Some fear Kentucky horses could end up in the slaughterhouse”

  1. Time to focus on the AQHA. It has been known for years AQHA support horse slaughter as a necessary ‘euthanasia’ that over 50% of horses going to slaughter are QH and QH crosses. AQHA continues to support the hundreds of Production Sales every year. AQHA admits that many horses go to slaughter every year but doesn’t propose a solution. Maybe breeding fewer horses every year is a path to the solution?

    Quote from
    AQHA opposes abolishing the option of horse processing until there are other provisions to take care of more than 150,000 horses that meet that end each year. Consistent with positions established by the American Association of Equine Practitioners and American Veterinary Medical Association, AQHA supports the humane, USDA supervised end-of-life process as a much better option than starvation, neglect or inhumane treatment inside or outside of the United States.


  2. “……requirements to stop the spread has saddled their livelihoods too.”
    Really? I’ll leave it at that.


  3. Let’s get something straight right off the bat: thousands of racehorses are going to slaughter now and have been since the inception of this business.
    These pro-horse racing people make it sound like it’s a sudden crisis when it’s not.
    There has and will always be an unwanted racehorse mess as long as this business exists.
    The multi-billion dollar industry does little to nothing to take care of them when they are done maiming them.
    They leave their mess up to everybody else to clean up including most rescue people who have nothing to do with their exploitation in the first place.
    Horse racing’s Retirement Plan for racehorses is dumping and dump them they do.
    Many end up in horrific neglectful situations long before they reach the kill auctions.
    Furthermore, they are the ones solely responsible for this mess.
    The racehorses didn’t ask to be bred for this business and to become a disposable gambling chip.
    You go and pay for your racehorses with your billions in sales and wagering profits made off the bones, backs, and lives of racehorses.
    Stop using this Covid-19 crisis to exploit the racehorses yet again.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mrs Farrell says: Racehorse slaughter goes back many decades. It was going on when I was a teenager in Kentucky and I graduated in 1972. Don’t know how long it was going on before then. Anyway, it is hardly a new issue. We can understand people being fearful about the possibilities of horse slaughter increasing. Perhaps they are worried they will be backed into a corner financially and have no recourse but slaughter. There will always be those people who say they did it out of desperation. Human frailty is always at the root of these atrocities, yet people never have to pay the terrifying price — the horses do.


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