In response to the Summit of the Horse organized by horse breeders and supporters of horse
slaughter plants in America, horse protection organizations came together in Las Vegas as well on January 4-5.
Arizona and founder of Respect4Horses. She spoke at the horse protection
organization’s press conference at on Tuesday Jan 4th, at the Enterprise Library in Las Vegas.
Respect4Horses and over 20 other animal rights and horse protection organizations contend that
the slaughter of horses for human consumption is not only a brutal and barbaric practice, but also
a practice that would endanger people’s health and well being. The drugs that are commonly used in
horses, such as phenylbutazone (bute) and dewormers, which the European Union has found to be
carcinogenic to the human body. The drugs can cause cancer, Alzheimer’s, liver disease and birth
Currently, in spite of the new European Union rules, the USDA reports that thousands of American horses per
month are still crossing U.S. borders to be slaughtered by stabbing and
shotgun methods, in Mexico and Canada.
The ban on horse slaughter H.R. 503 and S.727, would have made the export of horses for the
purpose of slaughter for human consumption illegal. The bill in the 110th congress had 167
co-sponsors in the house and 28 co-sponsors in the senate but was never voted upon.
Horse advocate groups agree with the pro-slaughter organizations that there is an
overpopulation of horses, but say that the problem is caused by overbreeding, not by the closure
of horse slaughter plants in America, as the number of horses slaughtered hasn’t changed and is
determined by the demand for horse meat abroad.
Why do breeders continue to breed even while the horse market is so over-saturated? “Just like
the housing industry over saturated itself and collapsed, the horse breeding industry is self-destructing and bringing down horse values, and horse slaughter is their bail out,” says
She further states, “We are distraught that over 30 million dollars in breed incentives will
again be distributed to breeders of race horses and Quarter Horses this year, which further
encourages irresponsible lottery breeding practices.”
Respect4Horses proposes to turn at least parts of these funds into gelding funds, humane
euthanasia funds and funds for horse rescues, as opposed to breeding incentives.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) estimates it has nearly 12,000 more wild horses on its
lands than the range can support, however at the same time the BLM is leasing grazing permits to
allow over 3 million cattle to graze on these same lands. BLM representatives will also be
attending the Summit of the Horse. There are currently more wild horses in holding facilities than
there are left in the wild.
Respect4Horses states that the overpopulation of wild horses is a myth and that there are
currently only 25,000 wild horses left who are in fact in danger of extinction if the BLM does not
stop their aggressive roundup schedule for the coming years. Reports from horse advocates claim
that as soon as 2 years from now, America will not have any genetically viable and untouched wild
horse herds left.
“We do not want our tax dollars spent on these expensive, inhumane and completely unnecessary
roundups of our national treasures,” states Netherlands. “To even think of slaughtering them is
Learn more at Respect4Horses.com