Pictures of horses in killpen sought

Horses held in a pen awaiting export for slaughter. Photo by Kathy Milani for HSUS

HORSE SLAUGHTER — We are looking for 2 or 3 stills of horses in kill pens or similar situations linked to the slaughter pipeline — nothing too graphic — for a horse slaughter documentary maker.

The images need to be as large as possible, and clear and sharp, preferably taken by a professional photographer.

Contact us a Thank you.

Featured Image: Kathy Milani, HSUS.

Australia considers the live export of horses and donkeys for slaughter

AUSTRALIA (Horse Slaughter) — The Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources have indicated they are fielding inquiries from exporters seeking to ship horses and donkeys from Australia for slaughter in overseas markets.

The issue was raised in response to questions posed by Victorian Senator Derryn Hinch at recent Senate meetings.

In response to the Senator’s question DAWR staff confirmed they are preparing advice for the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources to consider extending the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System to include horses and donkeys.

Dr. Narelle Clegg, DAWR assistant secretary regarding animal exports, stated that ESCAS applies only to livestock so the live export of horses and donkeys could not currently be controlled by ESCAS.

Dr. Clegg indicated that they had received inquiries only and that no formal application has been made.

The DAWR is not aware of any live export of horses and donkeys from Australia for the purposes of slaughter.

BLM’s proposed 2018 budget includes provision for unlimited sale of wild horses

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), tasked with the management of America’s wild horses and burros on public lands, released its proposed budget for 2018 which includes a $10 million reduction for its Wild Horse and Burro Management Program and the ability to conduct sales without limitation. View Budget Justification Document (pdf, 11 pp).

In the overview section of its justification document they state:

The BLM also proposes to address the explosive cost growth in the Wild Horse and Burro Management program.

The BLM then calls for a $10 million reduction in spending on its Wild Horse and Burro Management Program stating:

The consistent growth in annual costs for the program is unsustainable and constrains the Bureau’s ability to effectively address competing uses of public lands, as the number of animals on the range and BLM holding facilities grows.

To accomplish its proposed $10 million budget reduction, the BLM suggests:

As such, the budget proposes to give BLM the tools it needs to manage this program in a more cost-effective manner, including the ability to conduct sales without limitations.

In a BLM press release they make it even clearer stating its 2018 budget plan would allow for the humane euthanasia and unrestricted sale of “excess animals.”

The unrestricted sales of excess animals of course opens the door to slaughter.

In its budget justification the BLM discusses further funding decrease methods:

The remainder of the funding decrease will be achieved by reducing gathers, reducing birth control treatments, and other activities deemed inconsistent with prudent management of the program.

The proviso “other activities deemed inconsistent with prudent management of the program” could meaning anything and is dangerous language.

The BLM have demonstrated throughout its history that their idea of wild horse and burro management is to get rid of them any way they can.

The motivation is of course this recurring theme — “competing uses of public lands”.

This is a problem the Department of Interior and its Bureau of Land Management have created for the wild horses and burros. Not the other way around.

There are so few remaining wild horses and burros.  In the vastness of America’s public lands, how can they possibly be troubling anybody? They cannot.

No one who has witnessed their destruction over the decades would think there is a federal law protecting them.

“Competing uses” is chiefly — if not entirely — about the ranchers grazing their livestock on public lands, particularly the corporate billion dollar “welfare” ranchers who are leasing these lands for a song and now using their clout on the Hill to destroy what is left of America’s free-roaming wild horses and burros. They are the ones making the loudest and possibly the only noise on “competing uses”.

There’s more. These factions who favor the “unrestricted sale” of wild horses are doing so in anticipation of the return of horse slaughter to U.S. soil in 2018.

Take Action

Contact your federal lawmakers — including your Representatives and both U.S. Senators — and tell them you oppose the Bureau of Land Management’s 2018 budget proposal that would allow them to sell America’s wild horses and burros without limitation and ask that this language is removed.

This is an instance where your lawmakers must hear from you directly. Call them or use their online contact form. However, calls are really most urgently required.

Calling and Contact Forms

If you know your U.S. Representative and two U.S. Senators, call them via the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.

Or use the Senate Phone List or House Phone List to find their phone numbers. These lists also provide a link to their website which hosts their contact forms.

If you do not know who represents you in Washington, use the links below.

U.S. House

Find Your U.S. RepresentativeYou will need your zip code +4.

U.S. Senate

Find Your U.S. Senators.


Your call should sound something like this:

• I am opposed to language in the BLM’s proposed budget for 2018 that allows the unlimited sale of our wild horses and burros which exposes them to slaughter.

• I am opposed to language that the remainder of the BLM’s funding decrease will be achieved “by other activities deemed inconsistent with prudent management of the program”.

• Please see that this language is removed from the BLM’s 2018 Budget.

Note: If you have signed a Petition, that is not enough. Please contact your lawmakers directly. Thank you.

Wild Horse War Chest

Please donate to help us fight hard in Washington D.C. for our wild horse and burros. Every dollar you give is enormously helpful in these critical times. Thank you!

Captured Mustangs. Google search result. Unattributed photo.

Racing through the slaughter pipeline — Remember Ferdinand and Exceller

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — U.S. horse racing has an increasingly worsening reputation regarding the treatment of its racehorses chiefly because of the egregious use of illicit drugs and the tragic stream of breakdowns and deaths of racehorses. A recent trend is the alarming number of breakdown and deaths of racehorses as young as two and three during training before they ever make it onto a racecourse. See Patrick Battuello’s site “Horseracing Wrongs” for details.

Some attempt to point out that not all horse racing is as evil as what goes on in the U.S., that in other racing jurisdictions around the world they train and race their horses in a cleaner, more ethical fashion whose horses consequently suffer fewer breakdowns and death.

That may well be true. However, whether this is factual in whole or in part, there is one issue that all of horse racing has in common and it is this — the slaughter of its racehorses.

Jane Allin is unrivalled in her research and reporting on horse racing in N. America. Several years ago, Allin wrote a report called “Racing Through the Slaughter Pipeline” which we have published on our website.

We republish below Part 1 of “Horse Racing Through the Slaughter Pipeline” entitled, “Food for Thought”.  We invite you to read further than Part 1 via the links provided following this excerpt to get an insight into the bloodiness and death endemic to the so called “sport” of horse racing.

Racing through the Slaughter Pipeline
Part 1: Food for Thought, by JANE ALLIN

 *  *  *

“Graceful and sleek, the beautiful bay racehorse was used to the thunder of applause as she swept past the grandstand – not the sound of a rifle. The seven-year-old mare had raced at courses up and down the country, nostrils flaring, long neck straining and mane flying in the wind as she approached the winning post. However, earlier this month, her career ended unceremoniously with one last outing – to the slaughterhouse.  She was led into a 12 ft square metal stall and killed with a bullet fired from the ‘meat man’s’ .22 rifle into her brain.  No more crowds, galloping hooves up the home straight or champagne corks popping.  That single shot was the last sound she heard.” [1]

 *  *  *

FOR DECADES horse racing has been touted as the “Sport of Kings”, resplendent with charismatic beauty, energy and awe-inspiring competition of humankind’s most celebrated and noble companions.

What once began as a sport that captivated the masses in pursuit of exhilarating recreation and honed the excellence of horsemanship required in battle has now become but a mass-producing genetic assembly line in an absurd quest for racing excellence fueled by greed.

The consequences of this development are not pretty.

The multi-billion dollar racing industry cultivates the fallacious impression of retired racehorses living lives of luxury, grazing in fields of Kentucky bluegrass, serving as pampered family pets or well-provided-for riding horses and the like.

In reality the vast majority of thoroughbreds (2 out of every 3) coming off the track, regardless of their health, are either euthanized, abandoned or slaughtered for their meat.

Most of these are young, healthy horses who simply have not met their owner’s expectations or injured during the grueling task of training and racing while pumped full of drugs. [2]

Only a small number of the whole are considered good enough for breeding which is primarily reserved for only the best in the industry. For thousands of Thoroughbreds that do not make the grade, whatever the reason, the end is both terrifying and brutal.

Intentional or not, the horse racing industry now subsists as a principal tributary of the slaughter pipeline ― a confluence where magnificent bloodstock race for their lives toward the equine version of the river Styx ― the river that separates the world of the living from that of the dead.

[2] Allin, Jane; “The Chemical Horse,” Int’l Fund for Horses

• Read more . . .

Part 1: Food for Thought  |  Part 2: The Racehorse as a Commodity  |  Part 3: A Convenient Alternative  |  Part 4: Racehorse Slaughter Knows No Boundaries  |  Part 5: Darkness at the End of the Pipeline

 *  *  *

Remember Ferdinand. Remember Exceller.

Two former U.S. horse racing stars who met their deaths in foreign slaughterhouses drew major attention to the fact that racehorses were being slaughtered not only abroad but also at home. They were Ferdinand and Exceller. Ferdinand was slaughtered in Japan and Exceller was slaughtered in Sweden.

The New York Times reported Ferdinand’s tragic demise this way:

Victories in the 1986 Kentucky Derby and the 1987 Breeders’ Cup Classic figured to have earned Ferdinand a cushy retirement when his racing days were over. Instead, his life apparently ended in a grisly manner, in a Japanese slaughterhouse in 2002, according to the racing industry trade magazine The Blood-Horse, which will report his death in its issue dated July 26. It is believed that his carcass was used to make pet food.

The Exceller Fund tells us this about the brutal and terrifying end of Exceller’s life, handed over to meet his grisly fate by someone he had bonded with and trusted.

Best remembered as the only horse to beat two Triple Crown winners, he [Exceller] proved his quality on a global scale by winning graded or Group 1 stakes on both sides of the Atlantic.

Exceller stopped being Exceller when breeder interest waned. At that point, he became just another horse. His final destination was similar to that of an estimated three million American horses from 1986-’96.

Anne Pagmar, who led him to slaughter, said Exceller knew what was going on. He smelled blood and expressed fear. Tied off and hung by a single hind limb, fractious horses thrash while their executioners bludgeon and bludgeon. They are alive when their throats are cut and they are bled to death.

One American horseman, when told of Exceller’s last walk, said, “They have to die sometime.”

Not everyone has grown cold. Christine Picavet galloped horses after coming to America from France, and one of those horses was Exceller. She went on to become a noted artist and she painted the horse twice. She still bears the scar of a playful bite. When she heard Exceller’s story, she struggled for words describing his generosity and kind disposition. Then, in tears, she apologized, begged for time to compose herself and put the phone down.

Take Action Against Horse Slaughter

There is something you can do in memory of Ferdinand and Exceller and all horses brutally slaughtered for human consumption.

Write or call your U.S. Representative and ask them to co-sponsor and use their influence to pass the SAFE Act — H.R. 113 — that bans horse slaughter and closes the export to slaughter loophole for all horses including racehorses. Go here for more information on how to help.

The 142nd annual Run for the Roses, better known as the Kentucky Derby, which takes place in Louisville, Kentucky. The race for 3-year-old Thoroughbred horses began in 1875 and takes place annually at Churchill Downs.

Photo Credit: Here They Come (c) Dave Black


See also “10 Dark Secrets From the World of Horse Racing” here »