American horse slaughter ban left out of 2012 agriculture appropriations bill


HorseIt’s not what the 2012 agriculture appropriations
bill does say that has animal welfare advocates concerned. But what it doesn’t say
is stirring controversy.

Since 2005, no federal money could be used
to inspect horse meat, effectively ending the horse slaughter industry in the
United States. The new appropriations bill, which passed the House of
Representatives on Nov. 17, no longer includes that restriction.

The horse industry is divided on the issue of horse
slaughter. Proponents argue that domestic slaughter plants are more humane than
foreign ones, and horses don’t have to travel as far to get to them. They also
suggest that the horse market needs kill buyers to keep prices up. Opponents
say that commercial slaughter is inherently inhumane for horses, that horses
are not raised as meat animals and are therefore contaminated with chemicals
that are harmful to humans, and that a domestic slaughter industry increases
the incidence of horse theft.

According to surveys, approximately 70% of
Americans are opposed
to the practice of slaughtering horses for meat. There is no viable market for horse meat in the United States, but when the slaughter industry existed prior to 2006, the meat was exported to parts of Asia and Europe where it is considered a delicacy.

Several states had looked into working around the
former ban to open slaughter houses, including Wyoming, Montana and Nebraska,
among others.

“For the first time since 2005, the de-facto ban
on horse processing has been taken off the table,” Congressman Adrian Smith
(R-NE). “While we have a long way to go, responsible processing represents a
vital first step in reversing the unintended consequences to blame for the
dismal state of neglected horses and their frustrated caregivers across our
country. Reinstating a humane, accountable, and legal management tool is good
for horses, good for owners, and is good policy.”

Agriculture appropriations was only one part of the
Agriculture, Commerce-Justice-Science & Transportation-HUD Appropriations
Bill, which also included a necessary resolution to continue to fund the federal
government through December 16. It could not be amended after being approved in committee. Because of this, some members of congress who
have historically opposed horse slaughter voted the appropriations through.

“Funding the
government and paying our bills are the primary responsibilities of Congress,”
said Jim Moran (D-VA). “This legislation, while imperfect, is responsible in
that it keeps the government up and running while the remaining appropriations
bills await final consideration.

I ultimately supported this appropriations bill, I have serious objections with
the conference committee’s decision to remove House-approved language
preventing horse slaughter, language that had been in the bill for the past
five years and I authored this year.

“I am committed to doing
everything in my power to prevent the resumption of horse slaughter and will
force Congress to debate this important policy in an open, democratic manner at
every opportunity. Now, more than ever, it is crucial that Congress pass
the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (H.R. 2966) to permanently prohibit
the slaughter of American horses.”

To contact your representatives regarding the
American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, click here.

To contact your senator, click here.


  1. Do not believe for one second that all of Congress and its committees were not ‘aware’ of this being pushed through. It’s how they operate.
    It is all about money, like the New York Times quoted years ago and like many of us have been yelling. The only way to stop horse slaughter is to make it profitable not to or by stopping horse over population.
    Horses are not breed for consumption and logically should not be under USDA. But they are so let’s move on.
    The best way to stop horse over population is to cull all breeding incentives (crazy expenses paid to indulged breeders who utilize slaughter to rid of horses that don’t make champions) and then create a foal impact fee. Gradually, horse slaughter will stop because of what they really want – MONEY. Let’s give it to them.
    Put your time and money where your heart and logic lives and send fax or petition to Congress today.
    Most Sincerely,
    Stephanie M Sellers
    Horses as National Treasure – petition site

  2. I am disgusted and outraged. Our representatives are apparently being paid off to ignore the outcry of the majority of the country. All the countless phone calls, emails, and petitions were for nothing, and it is a crime against humanity and against these horses. Go to the Humane Society’s website and view videos of horses being slaughtered if you think it’s humane. Mares giving birth on the slaughterhouse floor, horses still conscious strung up by their hind legs bleeding out. This should be illegal!!!

  3. Don’t like horse slaughter one bit. I suggest if it is to be , then there needs to be regulations insurring safe and humane transport, appropriate care up to the point of slaughter. No more over packed trucks etc..
    Wish there was a better solution for the number of unwanted horses.

  4. OK first of all what I am about to say is because I LOVE horses ok. Now horse slaughter could be a good thing tens of thousands of horses are starving to death each year. It’s not fair but its true. Horse slaughter should be opened but with restrictions, such as young horses and healthy horses should not be allowed to be slaughtered. Mean, old, crippled horses or the horses that are left to die each year should be killed quickly and painlessly. There should be no farms of horses for slaughter, but if you had horses would you want them to die slowly and painfully? Because chances are if you can’t afford to feed your horses you can’t afford to shell out 300 dollars to have them put down. You could shoot them, but why not let some small good come out of the bad. Anyways I have 8 horses and want to train and help them but sometimes the horriable sounding ideas are the ideas that could be the good ideas. Sorry to any people I have affened. God Bless to you and all horses.

  5. Good 70% of americans dont have an unwanted horse.
    If you dont want a horse slaughtered humanely at the
    End of its priductive life buy it andfeed it

  6. We don’t raise cattle from birth to trust us and not to hurt us.. to allow us to ride them and share amazing experiences and often decades of a mutually satisfying relationship. When you take an animal like a horse that is so reactive and fearful when put into horrendous situations, especially horses that have trusted people for their entire life, and condemn their last days to pain and terror, thirst and hunger, and finally a terror pain filled death, there is a reason to question your humanity. And For What? A few hundred dollars? After years of service? Why not a bullet to the brain, quick, pain and terror free? Why not the MERCY of a veterinarian’s visit? Why would anyone be SO greedy as to inflict such horrors on a horse? Days of cramped travel that comes to an end that no human being should wish on a species which has only served mankind.. in wars.. in agriculture… and now for companionship and enjoying our country’s beautiful places in forms of recreation that would not be possible in any other way.? SUCH A LACK OF MERCY TO ONE OF GOD’S CREATURES FOR JUST PLAIN GREED will be answered for. I hope it will not take long for those who have condoned this to HAVE to answer!

  7. If you are the small precent that think horse slaughter will fix the problems over breeders and the Associations created think again. David D of Nebraska a pro slaughter advocate has his goals to allow horse slaughter in America again. He claims it will bring jobs, taxes and value to horses.. hahaha yeah right.
    1. Before horse slaughter was haulted by pulling the funds to USDA inpectors. Which American tax payers were forking $5 Million dollars a year for Foreign profits.
    2. These plants did NOT pay gross income taxes or export tariffs as MOST Americans are required too.
    3. David claims it will stop abuse and neglect. RIGHT it sure didnt before 2007. According to USDA Freedom of informations Acts. It promoted abuse and neglect.
    4. Horse slaughter is merely a reward for irresponsile people.
    5. Pro slaughter Advocates have lied to others that if horse slaughter is stopped Beef, Pork, and poultry will be next.
    6.Fact Pro slaughter Advocates have NO HISTORY of promoting or donating to any horse recsues in the US.
    7.Davids states that allowing a third party to micro chip horses on a NO SLAUGTER POLICY will protect horses.. DUH isnt this what the SouthWestern Cattle Raisers Associations were paid $3.00 per horse slaughtered in Texas to do and failed because the scaning for chips would take to much time and slow the slaughter lines.
    8.David also fails to mention these plants operated illegal for years you would think any Pro slaughter Advocate that supported slaughter would make sure they would be legal to operate in any or that state. HECK NO..
    9. Pro slaughter Advocates do NOT care for the horse its all about the buck. Horses were going to Mexico and Canada long before the illegal business were shut down.
    10. Dont be fooled by pro slaughter Advocates 90% Breed horses or are haulers and auctioneers that need each other to exist. Most break laws and are ignored until exposed and busted like Auctoneer Leroy Baker of Ohio Sugar Creek Auction. Leroy has been fined over $162,000 dollars and to date has NOT paid a single dime.. David does not menton that..
    11.David claims Anti slaughter folks are not horse owners Bullcrap. If he really would tell the truth it would hurt his goals.
    12. Sue Warus of Wy, has teamed up with David D to lie to the public and waste elected officials time when elected officials need to work on more respectable jobs that American Colleges provide education too.
    13. Im sure there will not be a college course to slaughter a horse in the future..
    14. Most jobs from a horse slaughter plant will promote jobs to illegals as they did in the past.
    15. I dont see David or Sue accepting applications for the plants to make sure there is a experence horse killer around..
    16. killing horses will NOT be humane its a fast procedure.

  8. When the number of starved and neglected horses skyrockets, when you find starving horses dumped in the ‘wild’ and on Indian reservations, when debilitated, ill, or terminally ill horses are allowed to suffer because the owners cannot afford veterinary care for them or even to feed them, then you will know why slaugterhouses are a necessary evil.

  9. Get real. Horse slaughter house’s don’t want the sick/old/starved/lame horse’s, they want your 5-11 yr olds, fat and able to run to the slaughter shoot. Since the horse slaughter houses’s have closed…. the breeding continues, the horse buyers who don’t have a clue how much it takes to care/maintain a horse…. seem’s that is the same thing they said WHILE IT WAS OPEN. Horse slaughter house’s can’t take the sick, with or without the inspectors, chemicals that are harmful to humans have most likely been given to the horse, even in a small dose. Kill buyers aren’t going to take the time to feed them for 6 months, they’re going to want to ship immediately. Horse slaughter plants will not improve the USA economy but it will pollute the lands and water around it, while millions of dollars will go unpaid and ignored. Why do you think Canada kicked that slaughter house OUT of Canada???? Now it wants to plant it’s dirty, unpaying tax feet in the USA.
    Tex/Ill know it isn’t the way to go, that’s why they KICKED THEM OUT!!!!
    Unfortunately, there will always be people that will abuse/starve and generally be as cruel as they always have been, slaughter house’s won’t change that.

  10. Mike – I disagree with you. The answer is gelding and education. I work with rescues and find that the vast majority of horses who end up in situations like you write about are either uneducated about what it takes ($$) to care for a horse, are too egotistical to admit they need help and ask for it before it gets so bad, view their animals as commodities to be ignored and thrown away or the like. The problem is PEOPLE and you want the horses to pay the price?

  11. Just a comment on Mike’s comment:
    “When the number of starved and neglected horses skyrockets, when you find starving horses dumped in the ‘wild’ and on Indian reservations, when debilitated, ill, or terminally ill horses are allowed to suffer because the owners cannot afford veterinary care for them or even to feed them, then you will know why slaugterhouses are a necessary evil.”
    Mike in Wisconsin, we are already at this point.

  12. yes, maybe part of the problem is people… now the financially unable are buying cheap horses and cannot take care of them, hence the starving/unvetted and dying horses… Education has not worked in the last 5 years and it dosn’t work in the dog and cat fields, how is it gonna work now… We need a humane slaughter and humane shipping…. Lets work on that, and at least save our horses from a long time death in the fields..

  13. when we think of the over-population of horses, we not only have the “breed” ranches/farms to blame, but the backyard breeders are the main ones that are to blame. the breed ranches have herds of 30-40 mares all in foal, and people breeding their backyard trail mare just to raise a foal or put their paint stallion up for stud service all because he is so pretty, is majority of the problem. backyard owners should NOT be allowed to breed their horses at all, ever. only breed ranches with registered horses but only a limited number of foals should be allowed to be born. the ranches are the ones with the best horses; intelligence, disposition, temper, atheticism, confirmation. these qualities are what should be the purpose of having a foal. instead, people either want to have a baby horse to play with and raise, not knowing how much work and time, and possible danger there is in it. or they just want color, so they breed their mare to that all so pretty paint stallion their buddy has, forgetting about the most important qualities a horse should have. so, if people would stop the worthless breeding of not so good or unregisitered horses, that would help lower the amount of unwanted horses.
    not to mention the cost of living is thru the roof, so of course feed and regular maintainence of horses is outragous. 8 yrs ago, i had 6 horses. now i only have 1 full size horse and 1 mini and i know im not the only one that has down sized. if you weigh the decision on whether to keep and care for the horse(s) you have, or pay the electric bill or buy groceries for your kids, down the road goes the horse(s). it doesnt matter what they go for or where they end up, as long as they’re gone and no more money has to go towards caring for them.
    to me, a horse suffering from starvation is worse than slaughtering it for food. and theres lots of them out there that are starving to death. there just needs to be specific and severely strict regulations and treatment of the horses, to and in the holding yards and more humane ways of the actual slaughtering process. just face it people. horse slaughter is a neccessary evil. all you people who are against it, are you the ones that have taken in all of the thousands of horses out there that are unwanted? have you given them all the care and food they need, and will you for the rest of their lives? no, i didnt think so. so dont say slaughtering horses needs to stop, if you are unable to give ALL of them the care and food they need when people no longer wants them or is unable to have them. slaughtering is just something that has to be, and needs to be, done.

  14. horses are far more abused and starved with no slaughter house,,you lost your mind !!we have millions of horses and they get old!!Yes God put man over animals to take care of them,,and these horse rescues cant keep up,,lets keep our priorities strait,, they are many human being in need and being neglected.whats the abortion rate?? where do our parents end up when they get old?Lets go back to the Bible.

  15. I think many of us in the horse world understand that there is a need for horse slaughter. In my Speech and Composition classes in college, I have wrote papers and given speeches about why horse slaughter is needed. People who are in the horse world understand horse slaughter. People who are not in the horse world, see the ads on TV saying how horrible horse slaughter is, but they do not fully understand the consequences. We as horse owners, riders, and lovers need to educate people on these subjects so our beloved companions do not have to pay the price.

  16. This is so upsetting and shocking. How could this get past the eyes of our horse groups? We must work to stop the states form passing bills to authorize building slaughter plants. Obama lied again.

  17. To me,I think horse slaughter is absulutly wrong in everyway. And what Obama has done is just made everyone hate him even more than they do now. I dont understand why he wants anyone to eat these poor innocent animals?! We raise these horses from when they were little and to trust us and to gain a bond with us. Their last thought is for us to send them off to a horrible disgusting place for people to slowly kill them. When they are transferd to the slaughter houses,they are all on each other and stepping on other horses,causing them to slowly die that way also. People that are able to watch and know that this is going on is cruel and have no heart what so ever. Yeah,cows and pigs and all the other animals are like this too,but they were put on this world to be eatin. They give us plenty of stuff to work with them for. As in milk,leather,meat,and much much more.
    I know alot of you are for slaughtering,but just think there are many many ways to go around horse slaughter. As in,not selling horses for like 10$,not just giving a horse to just anyone..they should look at their background records and see if they are able to care for these beautiful animals.
    Why not open horse shealters like they do for dogs? Why not put down horses when they cant find a home after soo many months? I think that would be a good idea if you ask me.
    Also,im only thinking that the animals that do need to go to slaughter should ONLY be the ones that dont have any place to go what so ever,and the ones that are in pain and starving extreamly bad. I dont think it would be a bad idea also if they put chips in the horses or something to keep track of them so the government and them can see who is doing what to these poor horses.
    This is all in my opinion,i hope i didnt make anyone mad,but this is how i think it should be going down. Horses dont deserve this nor does any other animals. Horses arnt made for being eatin by humans,besides we arnt even hardly gettin any of the meat,so they just need to keep the horse slaughter in Mexico and stay away from our horses. They are no differarnt than deer or any other wild animals.

  18. That’s great– this guy, Jim Moran (D-VA), supports the bill and then says he’s committed to doing everything in his power to prevent the slaughtering. Either he didn’t read the bill before voting on it, or he failed to do the one thing within his power that may have stopped it from ever going through.
    Are we supposed to hail him as a hero?

  19. I know a lot of people who do rescue work, without be part of any organization….Just doing it on their own. but like me, the dollars only go so far, and even I had to turn some horses away, because it cost a ton, to help some of them, and without a job, I must focus on the ones I have, or they will be right aback where they were.

  20. Did you read where Mexico just dumps the horse’s they don’t want for slaughter, some coraled and starved to death. Slaughter plants don’t want the sick/skinny horse’s, they want those young 2 and 3 yr olds that breeders don’t want associated with their “industry”. How about the race horse that doesn’t win races? The slaughter house’s are just an easy way out for some people. Let’s see how long horse stealing is in the news. It’s all over the Fla newspapers.

  21. i may only be 13 but i can still say this is a out rage i dont want this slaughtering to happen to the definclece animals they desurve to live as long as they can just like us. to me i think all animals deseve to live dont slaughter them u can put the down but dont slaughter them. i understand cows and pigs getting slaughtered for meat for us to eat, but horse meat ewww gross. not the horses please.

  22. I may be only 10 but i know this is wrong every animal is human like espessially horses this is the wrong thing to do. I say that horse slaughter should be band in all states.

  23. I think if I had horses, that should be put down…for whatever reason, why not donate the meat to a local zoo, or other type of wild game farm.

  24. Horse slaughter is not only cruel and inhumane to horses, it is harmful to humans as well. In its lifetime, a horse is given medications and other toxic substances that would be harmful to humans and animals that consume its meat. Horse meat is not sold in the United States, but it is exported to other countries.
    Horses are beautiful, intelligent animals that bring joy and friendship into our lives. We need to protect these sensitive animals from being killed.
    Horses can’t speak for themselves, but we can be their voice. Let congress know that Americans won’t stand by while these precious animals are butchered.
    Please don’t be a bystander, be a rescuer! Follow this link to act today:


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