Talking points about horse slaughter

Beauty was a ‘throwaway’, a horse nobody seemed to want, slaughter bound in a feedlot. 'Well, I wanted her!' says the lady who rescued her.
Beauty was a ‘throwaway’, a horse nobody seemed to want, slaughter bound in a feedlot. ‘Well, I wanted her!’ says the lady who rescued her. A federal bill protecting U.S. horses from slaughter called the SAFE Act is currently pending. Please contact Washington today to support it.

It isn’t right to assume that everyone has heard about horse slaughter and why it exists. We have been working against it for so many years, we sometimes forget that.

So let’s look at some talking points about the slaughter of horses for human consumption, with particular ones relevant to H.R.961/S.2006 (the “SAFE Act of 2019”). There’s also a Take Action section at the end.



Polls taken in 2006 and 2012 confirm that 8 out of 10 Americans are opposed to horse slaughter, regardless of gender, political affiliation, their geographic location or whether they live in urban or rural areas.

Horse slaughter is driven by a demand for horse meat by overseas consumers who consider it a delicacy. It is not a service for “unwanted” horses.

Horse slaughter creates a salvage or secondary market which encourages indiscriminate breeding and neglect by providing a “dumping ground” for unscrupulous individuals.

Horses purchased for slaughter are not old, unhealthy or “unwanted” and could continue to be productive.

Predictably “kill buyers” who make a living supplying horses to slaughter plants are interested in buying the healthiest horses for the production of horse meat.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Guidelines for Handling and Transporting Equines to Slaughter 92.3% of horses arriving at slaughter plants in the U.S. were deemed to be in “good” condition.

Another byproduct of horse slaughter is horse theft. Horse slaughter plants are aware that horses are stolen to be brought to their facilities but they simply do not care.

When California banned horse slaughter in 1998, horse theft fell by 39.5%. In the years that followed, the State saw the decrease in horse theft rise to 88%.

H.R.961 and S.2006

Although horses are not currently slaughtered on U.S. soil due to a recurring federal ban in the annual spending bill for inspections required by law to export their meat, horses are bought and transported across U.S. borders to Mexico and Canada to be slaughtered for human consumption.

Horse slaughter plants in Mexico and Canada see horses as “meat on the hoof” and could care less about their history, medical or otherwise, or how they got there.

Horses receive multiple medications such as steroids, dewormers and ointments throughout their lives barring their meat from entering the human food chain.

Phenylbutazone (“Bute”) — commonly known as the horse “aspirin” and is as common to horses as human aspirin is to humans — is a known carcinogen and can cause aplastic anemia in humans.

Horses treated with Phenylbutazone bars them from entering the human food chain.

Dr. Nicholas Dodman, in a paper entitled “Association of phenylbutazone usage with horses bought for slaughter: a public health risk”, states:

The permissive allowance of such horsemeat used for human consumption poses a serious public health risk.

See also Do Not Use in Horses Intended for Human Consumption: Horse Meat and Its Public Health Danger, by Jessica Rose Sutcliffe.

Kill buyers for the horse meat industry ignore a slaughter horse’s medication history and so do the slaughterhouses — especially concerning Bute — or 8 out of 10 horses who arrive there from the U.S. would be turned away.


H.R.961 / S.2006 (the “SAFE Act of 2019”) is a bipartisan measure that would outlaw horse slaughter operations in the U.S. and end the current export of American horses for slaughter.

Contact your U.S. Representative (H.R.961) and both U.S. Senators (S.2006) in Washington and ask them to cosponsor the SAFE Act of 2019.

If you can’t do it right now, please make a note to yourself, or put it on your “to do” list. It is critical for the safety and welfare of our horses that we all take part. Thank you!

Go here to take action »

The Legislative Process (video)

Join The Horse Fund's Horse on the Hill.
Capitol Dome Fresco, Washington D.C. Can you spot the horses?

The Legislative Process

It can be very challenging yet rewarding to take part in the legislative process, working to shape and enact laws that are just and fair.

You do this every time you take part by contacting your federal legislators in Washington to sponsor or oppose bills pending before Congress.

Learn how it works so you can make it work to the benefit of our horses.


The Library Congress at has a series of videos explaining the legislative process. These videos are informative no matter what level of knowledge or experience you have.

Here’s the first in a nine part series.


We hope you will join us and take action on behalf of horses, giving them a strong and consistently well-informed voice in Washington.


H.R. 961 — The SAFE Act of 2019 (banning horse slaughter)
Goal: 290 Cosponsors. The U.S. House of Representatives currently has 435 Members.

S. 2006 — Companion Bill of H.R. 961

Instructions on How to Take Action »

Thank you!

H.R. stands for House Resolution.
S. stands for Senate.

H.R. 961 & S. 2006 — Take Action Kansas and Kentucky

US Capitol Dome and Flag.

US Capitol Dome and Flag.

H.R. 961 — The “SAFE Act of 2019” & S. 2006

A big hello and welcome to the horse loving citizens of Kansas and Kentucky.

Are you ready to take action and help get us the necessary cosponsors to blast H.R. 961 (The SAFE Act of 2019), out of Committee and onto the House Floor for a vote? Right now H.R. 961 has 160 cosponsors. Our target — 290!

Below are the U.S. Representatives from the States of Kansas and Kentucky. The ones who have already cosponsored are marked with a big YES.


District 1: Roger Marshall [R]
District 2: Steve Watkins [R]
District 3: Sharice Davids (D) — YES!
District 4: Ron Estes [R]


District 1: James Comer [R]
District 2: Brett Guthrie ([R]
District 3: John Yarmuth [D] — YES!
District 4: Thomas Massie ([R]
District 5: Hal Rogers ([R]
District 6: Andy Barr [R] — YES!

If they have not cosponsored, you know what to do. Contact them now and ask them to please cosponsor this important bill that protects people from being exposed to toxic horse meat and horses from slaughter.

Here’s a link that walks you through it without leaving Tuesday’s Horse.

S. 2006

Please note that H.R. 961 now has a companion bill in the U.S. Senate — S. 2006, so contact both of your U.S. Senators too while you are there. Please note that this is a bipartisan issue.


Share this on Twitter. Popular hashtags are #HR961 #Yes2SAFE #HorseMeat #FoodSafety #NoToxicHorseMeat

Last updated 7/18/2019 3 pm EST

H.R. 961 — Take Action Indiana

US Capitol Dome and Flag.

US Capitol Dome and Flag.

H.R. 961 — The “SAFE Act of 2019”

A big shout out to all you great horse loving Hoosiers!

Are you ready to take action and help get us the necessary cosponsors to blast H.R. 961 (The SAFE Act of 2019), out of Committee and onto the House Floor for a vote? Right now H.R. 961 has 155 cosponsors. Our target — 290!

Below are all of the U.S. Representatives from the State of Indiana. If they have already cosponsored they are marked with a big YES. As of this writing, you will see there is not a single, solitary YES.


District 1: Pete Visclosky [D]
District 2: Jackie Walorski [R]
District 3: Jim Banks [R]
District 4: Jim Baird [R]
District 5: Susan Brooks [R]
District 6: Greg Pence [R]
District 7: André Carson [D]
District 8: Larry Bucshon [R]
District 9: Trey Hollingsworth [R]

• Source: — H.R. 961 Cosponsors by State in Alphabetical Order.

Citizens of Indiana, if you have already contacted your U.S. Representative to cosponsor H.R. 961 please contact them again! Remind them that this is not only about protecting America’s horses from slaughter but also people from exposure to horse meat full of toxins dangerous to human health. More below.


For those new to the process, here’s a link that walks you through it. Should take about 10 minutes. If you already know who represents you, it will be even quicker.

Please note that this is a bipartisan issue.

Magic Number — 290

We need a minimum of 290 cosponsors to take advantage of the Consensus Calendar Rule which we can use to move the Bill onto the House Floor for debate and vote regardless of Committee assignments.

As of this writing, H.R. 961 has 155 cosponsors. We gained 4 in one week. Well done!

Horse Slaughter & H.R. 961

H.R. 961 is not just about eliminating toxic horse meat from the human food chain, as important as that is. It is also very much about eliminating the slaughter of American horses on U.S. soil and transporting them outside the U.S. for the purposes of slaughter.

The language is quite specific. Under SEC. 3. PROHIBITIONS it reads:


“(3) the knowing sale or transport of equines or equine parts in interstate or foreign commerce for purposes of human consumption is hereby prohibited.”.

Read full Bill text here »


Share this on Twitter. Popular hashtags are #HR961 #Yes2SAFE #HorseMeat #FoodSafety #NoToxicHorseMeat

Last updated 6/19/19 7:56 a.m. EST


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