Horse News

Wild Horse Emergency: Sheryl Crow and Viggo Mortensen’s Cry to STOP the Roundups

Sheryl Crow & Viggo Mortensen take a stand for saving the last few remaining Wild Horses and Burros in America! This PSA/Short film tells the viewer how to take positive action in contacting our elected officials in Washington D.C. helping to create positive change. The Time Is Now!

Wednesday is Call in Day for the Wild Horses, Call President Obama NOW!

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  1. I have seen this video many times and it brings me to tears every time especially at the end when that poor grey mare is herded down that concrete chute and into that enclosure because I have seen what happens to her directly after this sequence is shut off in the editing phase and what happens to all of the horses waiting in line behind her. It is appalling.


  2. I recently saw a YouTube from UK about the inhumane slaughter practices there and wrote them what is going on here. In another UK YouTube, though violators are caught, the horses are separated from each other in the trucks, and they are not supposed to be hauled further than 12 hours (I think I remember 12 hours).

    Back to the first YouTube, the UK are appalled that a horse is led by halter, from a nice clean uncrowded pen, one at a time (not shoved through chutes being poked with those electric prods, visibly scared and traumatized like here in the good ole USA), looking completely content and comfortable, into a nice paddock like enclosure, might be going anywhere in its mind. Then shot in the head. No fear – just brain dead – then on to slaughter in the next room. They were also appalled that one horse was left down outside for 7 minutes before someone came and shot it. I told them our horses often come off the trucks down, even dead, and trampled on, after 24 to 48 hours on a truck, etc, etc. etc. Sounds to me like the UK has a pretty good thing going – at least in comparison. I know my family always shot our sick pets on the farm, there wasn’t money for vets 50, 60 years ago. Come to think of it, there wasnt’ much money for our own dental or medical!

    You know, there is a lot of difference from early frontier days carry over mentality – just survival days, than now. I was taught that the humane thing to do was shoot them right away so they did not suffer.

    I’m curious though, because this is not really something I know about. I’m really just here to save the wild horses, but, dang if you are all not converting me! Is a bullet to the head any worse than the shot in the leg? Especially you have to leave the animal in pain and suffering until the vet arrives. I think sometimes, and no disrespect, we do things for ourselves. I loved the stories about holding the horse’s heads while they passed peacefully – I’ve held many a dog and cat at the vet, with tears gushing down my face as I told them how special and wonderful they were. But that little room they have set up at the vet is for me, not for my pet, and in a couple of cases they had to suffer overnight to get them there. Had the vet come to my house for my Great Dane, she was in an awful lot of pain for the 12 or so hours before the vet could get here. If I were a tougher person, and had a gun, I could have saved them sooner (just a mess to clean up), but I’m not tough enough for that anyway, but the other side of that coin, I’m tough enough to let them suffer for hours to see a vet – hyppocritical I think of myself. A horse does not know what a rifle is, and it is quick.

    And I know the shot is sometimes off mark and required again, but I had one cat that the vet tech missed the vien TWICE and had to waite another hour for the vet!

    Is it “slaughter” or the way in which America, being USA, Canada and Mexico, horses are treated to get to slaughter and the method of slaughter? I know there are many vegans here who are appalled by any animals slaughter, and I mean NO disrepect to you all – good for you. But, I’m asking the “meat” eaters here.

    Rebuttal welcome – educate me.


    • In a nutshell – if an animal were suffering and I had a gun, I would shoot it.

      Regarding horse slaughter, part of it is cultural – we don’t eat horses in the USA, just as we don’t eat cats and dogs. But, my MAJOR objection is the inhumanity of the entire process, from hauling them in cattle trucks not tall enough for horses to raise their heads and keep their balance, to the slaughter process itself which was created for docile cattle, not highly reactive horses. Horses differ in a number of ways from cattle, and the methods used are completely unsuitable for them.

      Also, and I know this from personal experience, slaughter is a dirty business. Everything about it stinks, and the people living close to a plant can give vivid descriptions about what it’s like. I lived in Dallas when both Dallas Crown and Beltex were operating, and horse theft was almost a daily occurrence. The thieves were extremely bold because horses fetched so much money per lb. that they would do almost anything.

      Just before we left Dallas, three horses were stolen from the stable where I boarded – right in the middle of Dallas! – with the foreman’s and the owner’s homes only a few feet away. The horse next to mine and two from across the isle were just gone without a trace. I think my horse was bypassed because of the big freeze brand on his hip. It was a nightmare. We searched the auctions and visited the slaughter plants, but we never found those horses. It still makes me cry to think about it.

      And here is “Slaughterhouse” Sue Wallis advocating states open their own slaughter plants. She knows NOTHING.


  3. From my perspective, it is the way that the horses are treated (these are horses gathered at horse sales who are not bought and end up in the hands of the killer buyers). This is a completely different discussion from the one about the Mustangs. Here from the videos I have seen and people I have spoken to, when the slaughter houses in the USA were open, the horses were herded down chutes, entered into the holding “cell” one at a time, someone either stabbed, used a stunning technique or whatever and was not always successful, the horse was then mechanically turned on its side, chained by a back leg haled into the air and its throat cut (still alive in many cases, not even stunned or unconscious) and left to bleed out. I think the reason for this was that with the animal still alive the heart contunued to pump and the blood was expelled more quickly. I have seen video of horses still alive and aware of what is happening to them in this situation.

    The transportation of these animals is also horrible, in the past (and I am willing to bet that even though it has been outlawed here in the US) they cram these horses into double decker trucks which are designed for smaller stock animals and not high enough for a horse to stand up in and hauled thousands of miles to either Mexico or Canada. The number of accidents where these trucks have been involved and many horses have been maimed or killed is also an issue. If you have the stomach for it, do some searches on You Tube for Horse Slaughter Houses or their transportation, I promise you, you will never want to see one again, that is why I say I know what happened to that grey mare and how it distresses me every time I see it.

    Horses are very sensitive and they can smell blood and panic and this is a dreadful ordeal for those that are to follow. Can you imagine it?

    Bear in mind that I am no expert and can only convey what I have seen and it sickens me.

    In Mexico they also have blood sports where horses are hacked to death in the name of entertainment. I can’t bear to watch these videos and there would probably be more people who could verify this “passtime”.

    So in answer to your question, the way the horses are treated is my biggest thing, but on the part of the Mustangs, it is about Greed, mining (can you imagine how much destruction to the environment there is with the open cast mining operations carried out in these areas? Yet they say the horses are destroying the environment), cattle ranchers wanting the land to graze their millions of cattle on and the BLM’s management of this whole mess by fencing off areas of grazing and water holes that is my biggest peeve, and the fact that it is ILLEGAL and no-one seems to care.

    I am sure there are more knowledgeable people out there who will add their opinions too.


  4. I wanted to add that the method of slaughter in the Mexican slaughter houses is still the same as what I described. The problem is that now that the USA slaughterhouses have been shut down the horses endure far more with the distances they have to be shipped to either Canada of Mexico.


  5. Suzanne and Lori, Thanks to you both, maybe there will be some more replies.

    Yes, I’ve seen all those YouTube videos, and the fire departments posted one of a truck that over turned, and yes they turn my stomach. Tried to watch “Earthlings” – made it about 10 seconds – don’t need that in my head, too much there already!

    And my question was NOT that any wild horse should ever go to slaughter – NO, never – no matter how humane one could try to make it, no way a wild creature should endure any part of that – we don’t treat wild game that cruelly. If they are diseased shoot them all there on the spot so it does not spread (but it is my understanding that has never been the case of wild horses – true?) or there truly is some mass starvation or dehydration event on the range shoot SOME of them there on the spot! Then I’ll gladly pay my tax dollars to helicopters to drop in some food or trucks to haul in some water until it can be determined if that is going to be ongoing or not. And they should be fattened up and watered before run long distances to roundups anyway.

    These roundups are no better than the slaughter, EXACT same thing going on, just one ends worse than the other – not even sure about that after seeing the depressed horses just put in holding in Nevada (they take belts away from human prisoners for a reason, so I don’t believe the horses are any better off being kept year after year). And then thinking of them going through more chutes over and over to get in that cattle contraption, turned on their sides to take care of their hooves. It’s all too much like Criminal Minds on TV of serial sadists if you ask me. OMG, those You Tubers that think this is better than dyeing wild on the range; I keep trying to change their minds. Thought I had a couple, but they have abandoned me, for now anyway.

    I know definitely what I think about the way North America, as a whole has and is treating horses going to and being slaughtered – worse than disgraceful! Did not know about the Mexico slashing thing – may go on here too. AZ just passed a law about “tripping” horses at rodeos. But, you know, like puppy mills, dog fighting, child prostitution, Russian roulette, cock fighting, etc, etc, anything humanly possible is done underground – wish I were younger I’d be a cop or something like that.

    I guess my question was more about domestic horses (that should not be breed in the numbers that are occurring in the first place), if they were truly treated well up to that gunshot to the head, looking at a compassionate face, is there a way to look at horse slaughter as being “capable” of being humane, like euthanazia is? But, then of course, who is going to regulate it? WE sure are not any good at regulating anything that I can see! Maybe it was a stupid question or position to pose.

    Yes, I know about cattle slaughter, never saw it myself, but have a friend from the south who worked at one for 2 summers. And had a boyfriend once, who just raised steer at a time, and he actually took the thing in a shot it himself, thinking that was easier for the steer (I should have held on to that one!). Yeh, at least cattle are too dumb and do not have that same connection to what is going on around them that horses have. But I’ve cleaned enough small game animals and farm chickens myself to know what it is about – nasty, stinky – but if we are going to eat meat, if any other animal is going to eat meat, that is the way that part of it is. And wild animals do start eating before their catch is dead – not a statement meant to rationalize horse slaughter. Just putting in a perspective.

    Thanks again, I’ll still stay away from the domestic horse slaughter issue for now. I don’t think we should impose our eating beliefs on other cultures, but they should raise and butcher thier own. But, like I said, you all are a powerful bunch, don’t ever doubt that for one minute, and may sway me yet!

    One last question, I thought we EXPORTED most of our beef, rather than IMPORTED most of it?


    • Roxy: “I guess my question was more about domestic horses (that should not be breed in the numbers that are occurring in the first place), if they were truly treated well up to that gunshot to the head, looking at a compassionate face, is there a way to look at horse slaughter as being “capable” of being humane, like euthanazia is?”

      But, that’s not the way it is in slaughter plants – and I doubt it ever will be. In fact, I’ve NEVER seen a slaughter plant like the video you describe. They go through chutes, one after the other, panicked. The one that’s “up” is terrified, throwing its head around while the guy with the captive bolt (NOT a bullet) tries to stun it. I’ve seen horses hit 4 or 5 times and still fighting and trying to escape the chute. Imagine the fear and pain! Cattle don’t throw their heads up like horses do, and, a horse’s brain is in a different position. I’m sure many operators don’t even know THAT, so they aren’t even aiming at the right place.

      Where was the slaughter house in the video? It sure wasn’t in Texas!


      • Suzanne, Yes, I know, I’ve seen all the YouTubes, our current American methods are barbaric and cruel. I hope I did not come across in favor of that.

        Search YouTubes under horse slaughter in UK, there are a few, and what I have described is exactly on the “under cover” video showing horse slaughter methods in the UK. Wish I’d kept the name – I’ll try to find it again.

        But, my question in the end is moot – because, reality check – there is not one American business, or one foriegn business doing business in USA, that would spend one penny on an alternative humane method anyway, and no way to regulate or control it. That is probably why they want to open their slaughter houses in America, because they would have to tow a differnt line that would cut into their profits in their own countries? Belgium, France, Japan, who else?

        Could you direct me to the report on beef imports? I missed that somehow, and somehow have the opposite impression from I think reliable sources, or I may have misunderstood, so I need your further assistance please.

        There is so much to learn, I find I am missing some details along the way, but will persist! This is becoming my 4th career! And Halleluiah to that! I have not been so happy about being involved in something for a long time, even with so much tragedy going on within our fight! We must win!


      • Suzanne, found them – just go to YouTubes, then type in search – horse slaughter uk. Stillman and another in Cambridge seem to be the targets.

        They even have a trucking problem – they think. But, they actually use horse trailers, and are required to have a barrier between each horse and to stop regularly to make sure the horses are up and sturdy. There is a You Tube video about trucking abuses though too.

        Anything that is or ever will be, will be abused by some humans. Thats why the likes of us on on earth – to help stop that!

        Thanks for all your help to me on this issue.


      • PS, how I found these – I was looking for pro slaughter You Tubes to go in and try to get them to turn away from slaughtering our wild horses.

        And, that is specifically why I have stayed away from the anti horse slaughter campaign (one reason anyway -I would put all the responsbility on the breeders and buyers and horse sports businesses – like the “Puppies are not Products” campaign) – I want to connect with these people for the wild horses. Most pro horse slaughter people, I’m finding are domestic breeders or hores sports folks and are only looking at it as part of the business plan, they really should be able to see the need to save our wild horses.

        Have had little success that I can track, only one so far that I think has really stuck, but if she converts, even just 1 or 2, and they covert even just 1 or 2…chipping away, one person at a time – or trying as hard as I can.


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