Horse Slaughter in the US – What is the Solution?
February 25, 2012 by cherryhillhorsekeeping
You might be on one side or the other of the horse slaughter issue in the US – or perhaps at this time you are uniformed and/or undecided. Here are some facts and an abbreviated timeline. Feel free to leave your suggestions for solutions here or on Facebook.
The slaughter of horses has never been illegal in the US at the Federal level. However, it has been illegal in California since 1998.
In 2005 legislation removed funding for the inspection of horses slaughtered for meat which essentially put the the horse slaughter plants out of business.
H. R. 2744—45
SEC. 794. Effective 120 days after the date of enactment of this Act, none of the funds made available in this Act may be used to pay the salaries or expenses of personnel to inspect horses under section 3 of the Federal Meat inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 603) or under the guidelines issued under section 903 the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 1901 note; Public Law 104–127).
In 2007, the last operating horse slaughter house (in Illinois) closed.
Since then statistics show that just as many or more horses were slaughtered each year, the difference being that they were hauled to Canadian or Mexican slaughter houses.
In November 2011 legislation was passed that allows the USDA to once again fund inspectors of plants that slaughter horses, so there is the possibility that horse slaughter plants in the US could reopen.
With many unwanted horses in the US (a high percentage of those starving) and rescue and adoption programs filled to capacity (a few of those being the worst offenders regarding lack of care), what is the answer?
For more information:
The American Association of Equine Practitioners also has some informative articles on their site, namely
We horseowners can agree on one thing:
None of us want horses to suffer, whether from neglect or malnourishment by irresponsible horse owners or by inhumane treatment when traveling or being euthanized.
What are some positive solutions to this controversial and complex problem?