Equine Slaughter Voted Down in South Dakota

Senate Bill 170 was denied by a South Dakota legislative committee

After being bombarded with anti-slaughter messages from people across the country, a South Dakota legislative committee killed Senate Bill 170 on Jan. 29. If passed, the bill would have set the wheels in motion for construction of an equine slaughter facility in that state. Currently, there are no U.S. equine slaughter facilities.

Senate Bill 170, which would have provided a $1 million state loan to construct an equine slaughter plant in South Dakota, was voted down because legislators there were concerned about horse slaughter legislation currently pending in Congress. That legislation, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (H.R. 503/S. 311), a federal bill that was reintroduced to the current Congress this year, would make it illegal to slaughter horses for human consumption and would also outlaw the domestic and international transport of horses to slaughter. H.R. 503/S. 311 has yet to be voted on.

Many people considered the South Dakota bill a waste of time because of the pending federal legislation on horse slaughter. Animal welfare organizations are hailing the legislative decision to kill the bill and point to the overwhelming anti-slaughter sentiment in this country. According to an Associated Press report, South Dakota legislators said they received thousands of e-mail messages and phone calls from people who opposed Senate Bill 170. However, Republican Senator Tom Hansen said he wasn’t swayed by the messages. “We love to hear from our constituents, but we don’t especially take kindly from hearing from people who don’t even understand the situation, who live in California, Pennsylvania, New York,” Hansen said.


  1. I am very disappointed.This would have gone well.You people who are anti slaughter,you need a reason other than “It’s just cruel” as to why there shouldn’t be slaughter.There are horses out there(more now)that are suffering.Rescues are Overloaded.And the Mexicans are smart.They will take these horses over the borders not matter what.If you’d like to talk to me about this subject go to Unbridled Blessing’s page..Thanks..This is UNBELIVABLE.

  2. Horses are shipped to Mexico & Canada everyday whether people like it or not. With our slumping economy and the serious decline in the horse business it seems inevitable there will be a plant of this nature somewhere in the United States eventually. Too bad it got shot down.

  3. I think the horse slaughter plant should be built we as responsible breeders have horses that are not worth anything. What is going to happen to all these unwanted horses are they going to be starved to death? These horses are unwanted for a reason they could have mental issues from being mistreated, and most of the time these horses are dangerous to be around. We need to stop breeding grade horses, and just because someone has a mare they breed her, and then do not spend any time with the foal so the foal than becomes untouchable, and thus unwanted. Horse kill plants are a nessacery evil, I do not like to horses killed for food any more than the next horse lover,but we have to cut down on the number of unwanted horses.

  4. I am definitely opposed to equine slaughter; especially as an effort to “help the economy.” These “unwanted” horses were bred by humans and need to be taken care of by humans. There are a lot of unwanted dogs, too, but we don’t have dog slaughter plants.


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