Horse News

Once Again; Bill Introduced in Senate To Ban Predatory Horse Slaughter In U.S.

Long Overdue and Time for it Stick

A bill to ban horse slaughter was reintroduced in the United States Senate yesterday. Sponsored by Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), the “American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011″ will end the slaughter of American horses here and, most urgently, will stop these horses from being exported abroad for slaughter. The sponsors, who have long championed the cause, have the bipartisan support of 14 colleagues who are co-sponsoring the bill.

“As a lifelong horse lover and rider, this practice is appalling to me, and more importantly, the majority of Americans oppose it.  We raise and train horses to trust us, perform for us, and allow us on their backs, and as such, they deserve to be treated with human compassion.  When horse owners are faced with the sad reality of having to put their animals down, it should be by humane euthanasia,” said Senator Landrieu. “I intend to work with Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina and my other colleagues to get this bill passed and permanently end the slaughter of our American horses.”

The legislation comes at a time when horse slaughter no longer occurs on U.S. soil, but each year approximately 100,000 American horses are hauled to Canada, Mexico and beyond. Reports show that horses regularly travel for hundreds or even thousands of miles to the slaughterhouses on double-deck cattle trucks without food, water or rest. At some Mexican slaughterhouses horses are stabbed repeatedly in the spine until they are paralyzed, after which they are butchered while still fully conscious. This country’s three remaining horse slaughter plants – two in Texas and one in Illinois – were shut down in 2007 under state law.

“The slaughter of horses is not a substitute for humane euthanasia though it is often mischaracterized as such by opponents who are more concerned with wringing a few bucks from a suffering animal than doing what is right.” said Chris Heyde, deputy director of government and legal affairs for the Animal Welfare Institute.  AWI commends Senator Landrieu and Senator Graham for their continued leadership and for reintroducing this very important measure.”

For years, the pro-slaughter camp has led a concerted and disingenuous effort to resurrect the industry domestically and has used scare tactics in an attempt to defeat the federal ban. This federal legislation is desperately needed to stop the slaughter of American horses, irrespective of where the killing takes place.

11 replies »

  1. Time to man the phones once again to put a stop to this agregious industry. The House has stepped up to the plate before and I hope they do so again. It should be interesting to see where this particular membership lies. I know my rep Duncan Hunter (R-CA) seems to think that slaughter is an answer but you can bet he and I will be going head to head again. This round it is time for the Senate to back away from their big spending buddies in Ag and energy and pass this bill. To do other than that is to stand up and say you believe in the torture of animals. Not acceptable in my book.


  2. This time, this finally needs to pass, and it’s about time Congress steps up and protects our equines. I agree the breeders/Ag/supporters of horse slaughter are going to holler and make all sorts of false claims. If they will not recognize that THEY are the problem beginning with their overbreeding to get that “one perfect horse”, then they should at least agree to a program such as the one suggested by Allen Warren of Horse Harbor Foundation in Washington: “Since all breed registries and owner organizations are committed to the welfare of their horses, let them simply add $25 to every registration fee dedicated specifically to rehoming and long-term care of horses in need. The five largest registries alone add almost 300,000 horses annually; that’s $7,500,000 a year. Distribute this money to 250 qualified equine sanctuaries annually, and we’ll show you how fast the number of excess horses each year can be reduced.” The horse industry has for far too long treated horses as a “throw away commodity” (race horses, for example). It’s time they start supporting these horses who have given them their all. They owe them at least that much and more.

    As for the politicians, it comes down to the basics: if you will not afford our equines the protection they so rightly deserve, then you are supporting equine abuse. Try getting reelected on that campaign platform.


    • The Politicians? Yes most certainly should be held to a higher standard. The one’s that are not for it need to be educated on this point of this bill. Example C. Lummis. She is clueless. Another problem is the AAEP condoning slaughter, AQHA, and the Standardbred and Thoroughbred industry’s need to be held accountable to every horses that drops to the ground given its first shots and foaling halter placed on it should be micro chipped and tracked to where in the U.S. it ends up at and not at the kill pen. I strongly believe that theft goes unchecked. Border patrol should be included in a solution as well. Sorry I’m ranting. The AAEP Ethical questions I have. Each Vet is sworn to take a hypcratic type oath, First Do NO Harm. Condoning slaughter and no promoting birth control methods like not breeding should be looked into. The Racing industry as a whole is very guilty of this over breeding. I have a 6yr old retired Thoroughbred mare, she hit the board and ended her career in the same day because of a carpal fracture that is genetic. She has a half sister that suffered the same fate. What wrong with this picture? The owners of Ballet Partner and Silic are still breeding for this genetic predisposition, break down. Has no one told them to stop breeding? apparently not. Same problem with Quarter horse industry, Some idiot bred for more muscle and instead developed HYPP over breeding and inbreeding in this picture. Again no one has told them to stop. My question is where’s the vet in this situation?


      • I showed Great Danes for a short time–right up until I found that the majority of breeders had no ethics or morals at all. Had one breeder who kept breeding a line that had megaesophagus all through it–if you don’t know what this is thank your lucky stars. If you ever get a dog with this diagnosis euthanize immediately. This breeder even sent Danes to Japan and Sweden because she could get $20,000. That is the world of breeders. Known congenital defects–so what, by the time the new owner figures it out you can take back the original animal but they will have also probably have been bred and passed the defect along. Beautiful animals that the breeders know full well are just waiting for a place to lay down and die. Or become so devastatingly injured that they will be thrown into the slaughter loop. Damn them all! We have enough defective and disposable animals in this world just stop the breeding. Just stop it!


    • You said it all in a Nutshell. You are SO RIGHT!! Love and Respect is what these animals and all animals deserve. Where did all these heartless politicians come from?


  3. I have been calling all week , faxing emailing, Now this new one just introduced needs immediate attention, Lets all get this passed and done , its finally here lets jump on it , I will waste no time to get this done !!!!!………………….Thanks to all !!!!!


  4. The bill needs to come to a vote this time. No more of the Senate sending “difficult” legislation to committee for reconciliation, but not reporting it out – the “black hole” where many good bills die when the session ends. Congress should have the courage to act – yea or nay. Then we’d know who – among the old and the new – is supportive, and who needs further education.


  5. Thank God – I hope we can finally pass this legislation..I just finished phoning
    Senaor Mary Landrieu’s office, Senator Lindsey Graham’s office thanking them
    for submitting this legislation. I also called my Illinois Senators Dick Durbin and
    Mark Kirk asking them to support and become sponsor of this bill………


  6. If this came into effect,it would mean the slaughter houses in Canada would close…As the management is asking our government for operating and expansion grants as they claim the old plants aren’t cost efficient ..Taking 60-70% of their slaughter stock by stopping US horses would pretty much put them totally in the red Awwwwww , we can only hope..


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