Horse Welfare Activists Rally Against Horse Slaughter


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.

“It is bad and getting worse,” says Simone Netherlands, a natural horsemanship trainer from
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
simply unacceptable.”

Learn more at


  1. Finally, some good journalism on this topic. I learned a great deal, and have to say, I much prefer to hear fact-based, real information about this situation than the idealistic and theoretical argument that horse slaughter will solve all our problems.

  2. I dislike slaughter for meat. I also understand that a lot of people cannot keep their horses anymore. But on that note if I knew I could no longer keep a horse and knew he would most likely end up in a slaughter house, I would just put him down myself instead of allowing him to suffer. I’d rather be faced with the smll cost of a vet or possibly a bullet than have him wind up on a plate in Europe. As for the mustangs it’s their land not the ranchers. I personally do not want to have and explain one day to my child why she can no longer see real mustangs instead of just pictures in a book.

  3. I completely agree. Horse slaughter is not acceptable. The breeder/rancher welfare programs need to be ended. Why should taxpayers be forced to subsidize the over breeding of horses and then expected to agree to slaughter them. This is ridiculous and the few cattlemen and cowboys present in Las Vegas are certainly not representative of the American horse industry. I see no representation of English equestrian sports, Parelli people or the thoroughbred people. The answer is responsibility. Horse ownership is at least a 25 year commitment. I am a life long horse owner. My horses will die of natural causes or be euthanized by a local vet.

  4. Horse slaughter & American culture & values – We don’t eat horsemeat in this country so why produce/sell it to others? The meat is toxic with drugs not approved for human or other animal consumption. Horsemeat was outlawed in pet food in the 1970s. Zoos have mostly phased it out, due to the public disapproval and the toxic substances. Our domestic horses are pets/companions/friends; how could we end their lives this wretched way? If we’re going to slaughter our horses for meat, then why don’t we slaughter our cats and dogs for meat & sell that to Asia too? There is no way to humanely slaughter horses because of their heightened sensitivities and awareness levels and prey animal fear factor. Our wild horses & burros are protected by law. Is there any other food product produced in the U.S. and exported for human consumption that we don’t eat ourselves? Why would we do that when it is wrong on so many levels?
    Here are some horse slaughter videos – all graphic displays of pure torture, in Canadian and Mexican facilities, and in U.S. facilities when the plants were still open.
    To see what these poor souls endure during the transport and slaughter processes – many are injured or killed during transport – those who survive the transport are often butchered and skinned alive. Would you have that on your conscience, anyone?
    No overpopulation of wild horses & burros exists – When is the press going to get it that there are only 20-30K wild horses & burros left in the wild in the ten Western States as opposed to 1-3M head of non-native cattle? Wild herds consume less than 2% of all forage allocated to grazing wildlife and domestic livestock on the public domain. Less than 3% of the nation’s beef is raised on public lands subsidized by the American taxpayer.
    Wild horses and burros are native to N. America by fossil evidence and are wildlife by case law (ie Colvin v. Hodel) and by Congressional designation. Habitat reductions and herd removals have threatened and endangered these species of special designation. Hundreds of individual distinct herds are now extinct on the public lands. America’s wild horses and burros deserve their fair share of their legal Western public lands.

  5. Thank you so much Ms Netherlands for speaking up for the horses. Horses have enriched my life is so many ways. They deserve our respect and gratitude, not the horrible hand that has been dealt them from the likes of Sue Wallis and her cohorts.
    Wish there were more people like you out there fighting for them. I have 13 right now. Many are rescues. They make the best companions, trail buddies. Keep up the good work and know there are many others that love horses completely and truly and not for what we can get out of their dead carcasses. I just hope to live to see the day that the slaughter ends.

  6. Thank you, Horse Channel for the very good article on a very sad subject! One seldom sees information on this topic supported by so many facts.
    There are solutions for at-risk horses that are vastly more reasonable than the brutal slaughter process. I think that people must somehow convince themselves that slaughter is more like euthanasia and less like being butchered alive, in order to justify sending a trusting horse to such a tortured death.
    To even be talking about the possibility of slaughtering horses as a legal industry in this country again is beyond rediculous!
    What we should all be focused on is how to keep kill buyers from shipping America’s horses to Canada and Mexico, and how to rehome or humanely euthanize them.
    A horse, burro, or mule should never, EVER be killed for profit!

  7. Thank you Simone Netherlands/George Knapp and ALL who stand up for these beautiful HORSES. AMazing isn’t it how the AQHA, one of the largest breeders are Pro-Slaughter along with other’s, yet this is never brought up in the discussions of the Pro-Slaughter advocates, so sad that these people consider horses a mere commodity and do not care what happens to them. If there horses that they sit upon only knew what is in store for them once they have tired of them and onto the next. They have no connection what so ever and should not be allowed to even own a horse with that sick and morbid attitude. I guess they would eat their horse too.
    Horse Slaughter Plant’s in the USA is a complete SHAME, to even think of opening them to create a better Horse Industry is a SIN and shameful and heartless. SUe Wallis, to even think of feeding these horses to school children, the homeless and inmates is a complete disgrace from A to Z..Just as SUe Walli’s poems make NO SENCE either does anything she claims she is doing for the Horses and the abudance of…….ALL ABOUT GREED

  8. Thank you so much Horse Channel for this article concerning the ugly institution of horse slaughter. Having had considerable experience with killbuyers and their ilk, the horse traders, this awful business has got to go! It is a most reprehensible “business” from the beginning to the bloody end. Please continue to expose us concerned horse owners about such events as these mentioned in the article. Thank you once again.

  9. Thank you so much for this educational and enlightening article regarding horse slaughter. Many Americans think that because the U.S. has closed it’s slaughter plants that it isn’t happening anymore. How wrong they are…10,000 a month are being slaughtered across the borders in CAnada and Mexico. It is a horrible and barbaric death. The whole process takes 1/2 hour and the horse is conscious during it, absolutely horrible. No animal should die like that, and especially such a sensitive creature that is so special in so many ways. There is a humane death for the horse when it comes the right time, that answer is euthanasia. Thank you again for this article, there should be more on this subject and also of the plight of our Wild American Mustangs in the future.

  10. Horse Channel! THANK YOU for an eye-opening, educational article.
    I have recently become aware of the horrors our American horses face once irresponsible owners are ‘done’ with their friends. How can someone take their friend, who has taken care of them, out of his clean, dry stall, leave him at auction, wondering where they are, when they are coming back to take him home. His owner is long gone, with his few hundred dollars from the kill buyer.
    A few hundred dollars for the life of a friend. No looking back, no giving a second thought as to what will happen to him now.. I don’t think I would want a friend that could treat another being as cruel as this. Who’s to say they wouldn’t sell me out for a couple hundred bucks?
    Horse Slaughter does NOT belong in America. We do NOT eat our horses. Transporting American horses to Canada and Mexico should be illegal as well. Our horses are NOT meant to be for human consumption. The contaminants in everything we give to our horses to keep them healthy are highly toxic to humans. Yet, Canada and Mexico slaughterhouses are sending toxic meat to European countries, China and Japan.
    We need to remember our PMU Mares also. They are kept pregnant ALL of their lives as they stand night and day, hooked to a machine to catch their urine. When they finally foal, that baby is ripped from his Mamma and yes.. sent to slaughter or left to die a horrible death.
    When these mares have done their ‘job’ being tortured all their lives, standing constantly, not able to lie down, be with their babies.. They too, are shipped off to a horrible death.
    We Americans are better than this! Horses are now considered companion animals just like our dogs and cats. We need to be more responsible. When you decide on horse ownership, decide upon it for LIFE. For their life and the joy they bring into you, a loving and caring owner.

  11. Excellent divulgation of pertinent information — light on this issue of horse manipulation and abuse that will lead to better times for horses, men and all life on Earth.

  12. Thanks for the article addressing this issue. There is no need for horse slaughter in this country and for proponents to try to sell it as either humane or necessary is preposterous – it is their greed and lack of respect for life that motivates pro-slaughter individuals. Even the cry of overpopulation points right back to unscrupulous individuals who can directly control the number of horses bred in any given year.
    If I own a business I don’t knowingly overproduce my product if I expect it to maintain its value. Overbreeding is the issue, plain and simple. The fact that these brutal ends are even considered for an animal who has contributed to human civilization to such a degree is despicable at best.

  13. People are just sick. Sluaghter is morally wrong, pyshcologically wrong, and just palin wrong. These people have no respect for life, love, beauty, or ANYTHING. They are a disgrace to humankind and God (or whatever god you believe in, none support killing, right?) This is just disusting. Even some “horse lovers” support slaughter. How can you call yourself a “horse lover” is you support DEATH PAIN CRUELTY DISGRACE BETRAYAL. Really, there are some sick people in this world. I hope none of these people are Catholic because the 5th Commandment is “Thy shall not kill” or support killing.

  14. Of course horse BREEDERS, the reason for over population, support slaughter. (Not that all horse breeders are irresponsible or support slaughter, but a lot do.)

  15. It was nice to read the comments that already exist. No one called antihorseslaughter supporters bleeding hearts, zombies or unrealistic. That was refreshing. It was a shame that more people didn’t drive their elected officials crazy with emails to get those bills passed last year. Pelosi never put it up for vote, so it just sat there. Next year???
    Don’t know why Congress is against antihorseslaughter, guess they are just glad they export something nowadays. Don’t know why anyone, even politically, would want a horse slaughter house in “their” back yard. Nontax paying company that gets subsidies, polutes the land and water with unusable waste products and blood. There’s a lot to be said about comparing the housing market with the horse market. If you have too much, you can get it cheap or no one wants it anymore. Breeders beware, all of a sudden you will be stuck with all those ‘useless/inferior’ products you are producing.
    P.S Let the BLM know what you are thinking.

  16. So many horses are bred for no reason leading to overpopulation. I follow horse racing. I do not believe just because a horse is registered (any breed) they should be bred. When these horses no longer can perform, then look where they go. They do not ask to be born, ran into the ground, and left behind, unloved and unwanted. I think breeding should be regulated. Thoroughbreds, for example. Several non-racers has helped to produce some lower class winners on track but not every horse that steps on a track needs to be bred. This policy would actually strengthen the Thoroughbred lines and produce better horses for the long haul.

    I bought two off the track Thoroughbreds and they are in hog heaven! I have spent more on them than their money worth but their worth to me is priceless! I love them, love them, love them! I only wish I could take more of these precious souls and give them homes.
    People, get the word out for these animals because I can tell ya, there is some people that do want them! I found mine from the website www. Remember him? Anyway tell everyone of these sites or surf the web for them. People will help you get them to your house if you need assistance. Thank you.


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