Polls and studies conducted over the past couple of decades show that 80% of Americans are opposed to horse slaughter.
The term “horse slaughter” refers to the killing of horses for their meat, chiefly but not limited to, for human consumption.
Export for Slaughter
The last three horse slaughter plants operating on American soil — two in Texas and one in Illinois —all foreign-owned — were shuttered in 2007. In their final year of operation, the three U.S. facilities slaughtered more than 104,000 horses for human consumption overseas.
However, American horses are still being sent across American borders to Mexico and Canada to be killed for their meat. Although export numbers have dropped some in the last few years, tens of thousands of our horses are still being slaughtered.
According to available information, at least 1,645,187 American horses have been slaughtered for human consumption from 2001 through 2021.
Updated April 18, 2022 to include 2021 numbers.
Number of U.S. Horses Exported for Slaughter
2001 to 2021
Horsemeat is Dangerous
Horsemeat poses a formidable danger to humans. American horses are not raised for human consumption, and often given numerous substances during their lifetimes banning them from entering the human food chain.
An example. Horses are often treated with phenylbutazone, an anti-inflammatory drug commonly known as bute. Research shows that bute can be toxic to humans, cause bone marrow loss and anemia and is also a known carcinogen. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration bans bute from foods for human consumption.
H.R. 3355 earned good bipartisan support with 215 cosponsors. It is, however, currently buried in a Subcommittee with no sign of being moved out.
S.2732, the Senate version of the bill, has 5 cosponsors. It is languishing in the Senate Judiciary Committee where it has been since September 14, 2021 — without a hint of going anywhere.
Unless we somehow manage to gather ourselves, make a big noise and get our Representatives and Senators in Washington DC to do the following, we fail the horses yet again, and you know what that means.
(1) endorse and cosponsor H.R. 3355 / S. 2732,
(2) bust the bills out of their respective Committees,
(3) get the bills on to the House and Senate Floors for a successful vote, and finally
(4) persuade the President to sign it into law
Failure means the heartbreaking savagery of slaughter will continue to haunt our horses. Slaughter is not humane euthanasia. It is a brutal and terrifying death.
Official Blog of The Fund for Horses