Horse News

Poll Finds Big Ag Horse Slaughter Promotion Has Backfired

Press Release from the Equine Welfare Alliance

Americans Repulsed by Concept of Butchering and Feasting Upon Companion Animals

Chicago (EWA) – A poll conducted in January by Lake Research Partners for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) found that 80% of Americans are strongly opposed to horse slaughter. The highly respected research group based its survey on 1,008 voters giving the results a 3% margin of error. The poll found opposition was consistent across all sectors, including horse owners.

The findings are all the more remarkable given the huge media effort that was mounted by the horse slaughter lobby following the closing of U.S. based horse slaughter plants in 2007.

While the effort appeared to have worked on Congress, causing them to restore funding for horse slaughter inspections, it had the opposite effect on voter opinion. A similar poll performed a decade earlier indicates that opposition to horse slaughter has increased by almost 10%.

The slaughter lobby, supported by some of the most powerful agriculture groups in the country including the Farm Bureau, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), the Pork Producers Council (PPC), the American Veterinary Medicine Association and the American Quarter Horse Association has engaged some of the top lobbying and PR firms in Washington in a concerted effort to push back against what they saw as a victory for “animal rights” supporters.

EWA’s John Holland explains “The horse slaughter issue has unfortunately become part of a much larger battle between big agriculture and animal welfare advocates. Big agriculture has decided to protect itself with an aggressive in-your-face strategy designed to preemptively crush its opponents, real and imagined.”

The promotion of horse slaughter is just one of the proxy battles being waged by the Ag giants. In July of 2011, the NCBA and the PPC opposed a plan already agreed to by the United Egg Producers (UEP) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to replace existing battery cages with equally efficient environments that create better living conditions for laying hens. The move showed a willingness to attack even other animal agriculture associations who appeared to be bending toward better humane standards.

Perhaps the most bizarre example of this aggressive strategy is SB 610 introduced into the Virginia Legislature this year by State Senator Dick Black. The bill called for working dogs to be reclassified as livestock, effectively removing their humane protection as companion animals. Following an avalanche of criticism, Black announced he was pulling the bill and admitting that he had introduced it “to aid the agriculture and farming community at their request.” He went on to mention the Farm Bureau and the Agribusiness Council by name.

“This newest poll should serve as a warning to politicians who have yielded to big Ag bullying” says EWA’s Vicki Tobin, “Voters are not with you on the horse slaughter issue.”

18 replies »

  1. While the slaughter ilk may have the support of big organizations such as NCBA and the AVMA etc, that doesn’t mean that the MEMBERS of those organizations slaughter. It’s like saying just because you shop at Hobby Lobby you support the Family First Council that they might give money too. I was once told by a bone carving artist that HE didn’t shop at a certain grocery store because of the particularly Baptist leanings of the store’s private owners. I told him that I’m glad my customers don’t judge me that way – only by my service and products. Because it IS a free country to believe as you wish – it is the laws of our country that we work on to make sure your freedom is upheld as long as it does not harm or infringe on anothers freedom. This country needs to work harder on including non-humans in that concept more than the laws state now,


  2. The American people are finally waking up to some of the cruelty perpetuated on animals. Horse slaughter is simply not wanted in this country. I think the cattle industry should review all the recalls of the tainted meat which have come from cows and other livestock. I don’t believe the slaughter of horses has anything to do with the decline in Americans eatting meat, but the constant recall of all types of meat/meat products. They need to clean up those slaughter houses first before they even think of taking on another. The number of USDA inspectors is declining with the economy the same way other jobs have declined. They need to do a better job here. If Americans are eatting less meat its not becasue of the horses, but the cattle industry itself. Keep the slaughter houses closed for equines. And if Americans stop eatting beef, do what every other American does that’s out of job – Get training in a new job category..


  3. what we need here to show we mean business , we do not want Horse Slaughter and we will not vote for any politicians who are for it, also a list of all politicians who are for horse slaughter……………………SO WE MAKE NO MISTAKE ON WHO THEY ARE !!!!!


  4. Here is the GARBAGE that Sue Wallrus is sending out via emaIL

    International Equine Business Association Repudiates ASPCA Misleading and Fallacious Poll Regarding Horses

    On February 1, the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (ASPCA) issued a press release claiming “80% of Americans oppose the slaughter of horses.” It did not release the text of the actual survey questions, but based on the group’s press release, it is obvious those questions were chock full of misleading, misrepresentations designed for solely one purpose — to tug on the heart strings of animal loving Americans and to convince them horses are being horribly mistreated, and most importantly , that Americans with any heart need to send lots and lots of dollars to refill ASPCA’s ever-empty coffers so it can continue to pay six-figure salaries and finance all of those heart-rending TV advertisements.

    Here’s the TRUTH!

    Horses are multi-purpose animals which have been used for work, pleasure, sport and food since the dawn of time. They are processed under the federal Humane Methods of Slaughter law which applies to all livestock. It reads, in part “that the slaughtering of livestock and the handling of livestock in connection with slaughter shall be carried out only by humane methods.” Furthermore, the law specifically requires “that in the case of cattle, calves, horses, mules, sheep, swine, and other livestock, all animals are rendered insensible to pain by a single blow or gunshot or an electrical, chemical or other means that is rapid and effective, before being shackled, hoisted, thrown, cast, or cut.”

    There are ZERO citations for violations of this law even though federal government meat inspectors are required to be present in all plants whenever any animals of any species are being processed. The United States has one of the highest humane processing standards in the world, and utilizes a system professionally regulated by government officials, resulting in the finest and safest food supply on the globe.

    The fact is horses are not special or unique; when they are processed in modern, regulated, facilities they do not suffer, and they provide much-needed protein for a hungry worldwide market.

    Most of the world and many Americans enjoy equine meat for its nutritional density, rich, sweet flavor, and its affordability. Europe is facing massive economic problems and in every country where U.S. horse meat is prized and welcomed, horse meat costs 40% less than beef. Families struggling to feed their children on ever-diminishing budgets seek out this meat because it has twice the protein, half the fat, it is high in iron and super high in Omega-3 fatty acids, all at nearly half the price.

    In North America, Mexico, the Caribbean, and the French speaking areas of Canada are all large horse meat consuming areas. It is a sure bet the ASPCA didn’t target those populations with its slanted, pre-determined outcome questions. We’re pretty sure ASPCA didn’t survey the Mongolian populations in Seattle or Washington, D.C., or the Tongan populations in Salt Lake City. It likely didn’t call any of the ethnic communities, nor were they calling the horse people who breed, train, show, and work on horseback every day, folks who are nearly unanimous in their support of humane horse processing here in the U.S. where our government has jurisdiction, and horse people can monitor and ensure it is done correctly.

    Polling results are all about how one asks the question. Think about the different response if the ASPCA poll had asked: “If horses are not wanted for any other purpose, and you knew they would be handled with minimum stress and the absence of pain under federal laws and supervision which apply to all livestock used for food – and there is a global demand for the meat – do you think it is ethical and responsible to use these animals for food?”

    If they answered that question with some of the pat propaganda that has been so liberally thrown around by ASPCA, the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and other fundraising groups, how do you think they will respond to the follow-up question: “Who do you think should pay for the care and upkeep of the roughly 200,000 horses that will cost a minimum of several thousand dollars each, every year, for their entire 30-plus-year life span?”



    • Arlene, thanks for posting this, it is indeed garbage. After wading through it, near the end she answers her own qu. 2nd paragraph from end SW says what if poll asked this qu (ref. slaughter) …..”if you knew horses would be handled with minimum stress and the absence of pain”….. well we know they are not, so that would make her poll up come up with the same result as the ASPCA poll. As for polling ethnic groups! Isn’t this the US? Or should we poll other ethnic groups, SW, and adopt these practices as well, female circumcision, eating dogs, smashing the skulls of live monkeys and eating the brains right out of the monkey, stoning women suspected of adultery to death?
      As for the qu in the last paragraph, “who should pay for the care and upkeep of a horse for it’s lifespan? Errr, how about THE HORSES OWNER! That would be the person who breed the horse, if they kept it, or, the person they sold it to. For goodness sake, if you buy something that you know will live for 30 years, plan accordingly before you buy it. What a stupid qu.


      • Dear J Smith, wanted to make sure everyone would see her for what she is………….. Still the answer to her is, there is no need or want to Slaughter these beautiful magnificent Animals, And most important there is no reason to eat them………………………………………..It makes me sick to even think it………………………..They are our Prestigious Allies for whom American should be paying Allegiance to….. and Respect…………………


  5. Geez, this so simple…

    Doink and his friends can raise their own horses for slaughter FOR THEIR USE ONLY. The rest of us don’t have to worry about slaughterhouses etc cause it won’t happen.

    Lock the darn border already. No horses across without owner on board. Not kb, real live human being owner.

    Countries that want horse slaughter? RAISE YOUR OWN DARN HORSES! SLAUGHTER YOUR OWN DARN HORSES!

    AG world is so scared–there scaring everyone else with their bully tactics.


  6. I think the slaughter facilitators may have cut their own throats by removing the language to defund USDA inspections from the Ag part of the Appropriations Bill. It has received so much attention in the main stream media that ever since then I have been approached and asked questions by many people. These people who are my neighbors, friends, social network contacts and acquaintances and know me as the “Horse Lady” are incredulous that this is even an issue. Some are horse owners, some are not.

    To be fair, I explain to them who is pushing a renewal of slaughter, the sneaky way it was accomplished and tell them the reasons why they want to bring it back. I always make sure to get them to read the words of the perpetrators (like the above email from Sue Wallis) so they can see for themselves and not take my word for it. Then I tell them why we should never have horse slaughter again and leave it up to them to decide.

    I have not found a single proponent of slaughter after the explanation. Arguments like the first paragraph of the above email intimating that the ASPCA is somehow perpetrating a conspiracy so they can maintain their six-figure salaries hits them the wrong way to begin with and any empathy with the pros quickly vanishes as they continue to read.

    The pros have exposed their machinations to a world which predominantly no longer feels that this is the way to treat horses. When it comes time to rally around HR 2966 and S 1176, they are all willing to sign petitions, etc., and have in fact already started weighing in on my posts and sharing petitions and emails campaigns.

    I say give them enough rope to hang themselves!


  7. There’s no way anyone will convince me that the horses being slaughtered are not suffering. Is everyone stupid. A bolt to the head doesn’t guarantee the horse is out and then stringing it up to cut it’s throat not knowing it is dead IS INHUMANE. The truth is that all those supporting the slaughter of our horses are in in for the GREEN BACK – from the killer buyers to the slaughter houses. And anyone eating horses need their heads examined. How can anyone eat horse meat without thinking of that beautiful horse’s face and those beautiful eyes and soft nose. Only those that are deranged and have no feelings for life. As for all the notes above by Arlene about the cost of taking care of a horse for thrity years — SO WHAT. I think that when you adopt a dog, cat, or have a horse or donkey, you are responsible for that animals well being until natural death or if it is ill and has to be put down humanely by euthanizing. This is an excuse. This country needs to STOP THE TRANSPORTATION OF OUR HORSES ACROSS OUR BORDERS, STOP ANY ATTEMPT TO REINSTATE SLAUGHTERHOUSES IN THE UNITED STATES, AND PUT ALL CONGRESSMAN’S, CONGRESSWOMAN’S NAME OUT SO PEOPLE CAN SEE THAT THEY VOTED FOR REINSTATING SLAUGHTERHOUSES IN THE UNITED STATES. i bet they would crawl under a rock if they thought all the 20% left would see what they voted on, because that 80% would go up to a much larger figure. In fact, I think all the congress people having voted on this should be out in the open — I’m sure they got BUCKS UNDER THE TABLE BY BIG BUSINESS, like cattle interests. We all have brains and I’m sure we could find a way to keep these animals alive and well if we all put our heads together for the betterment of these animals.


  8. This question is for anyone who can answer, Has anyone seen a captive bolt, I saw one yesterday , I was completely sickened,Please correct me id I am wrong, it looks like a hand held Pirate telescope, it is placed against the forehead and in the center a steel pole shoots out into the brain.???? If so Maybe everyone should see one it is horrific to say the least !!! Just to see how horrible it is !!!!!


    • UK doesn’t use captive bolt and we don’t have slaughterhouses which ‘process’ horses in the same quantity as USA and although the whole business of horse slaughter is distasteful, I think that, if it has to be, then we do it in a more calm and sedate way.
      For one thing there are no loud noises, banging, clanging and shouting, the horses are personally led into the kill room one at a time and not herded, hit, whipped, or hot shot through the lineup which all goes to stressing the horses before they are put into the kill box and suffer many attempts to stun them with a stun gun, many to no avail.

      I have put a link to the first film of horse slaughter in the UK, filmed back in 2007 and I’m interested to know what people feel about this process as opposed to USA.

      This business, unfortunately, isn’t going to go away and is always going to be an easy way out for irresponsible owners, whether they be from the racing circuit, ponies no longer wanted, injured sports horses and so on.
      As far as the injured horse waiting to be put out of his/her misery, well that is totally wrong and cruel and against regulations but I guess Animal Aid are right in thinking that they were waiting for the line to be restarted, no excuse, they should have dealt with it straight away irrespective of the line working or not. I’ve seen footage of injured horses in USA being dragged by their neck into the slaughterhouse before they are killed.

      I am totally against horse slaughter for whatever reason but I do feel that this is the more ‘humane’ method and more problems arise when dealing with thousands of horses as in USA and Canada and as far as Mexico is concerned, I don’t even want to think about that one!


      • Surely anyone reading the following passage would never be pro slaughter. It really is enough to turn your stomach. Taken from an Animal Angels press release November 2008:-

        In commenting on the photographs, Sonja Meadows, Executive Director of Animals’ Angels USA said:
        “The pro-horse slaughter lobby continues to lobby for the domestic slaughter of horses, railing
        that transportation and slaughter of horses inside the United States is ever so much better, so much
        more humane than what happens in Mexico. These people say that U.S. humane laws protect the
        horses, that Mexico has no such laws. But this rhetoric is now exposed as nothing but disingenuous
        talk. The FOIA reveals unimaginable suffering was being perpetuated upon large numbers of horses on
        a long-term basis here in the U.S. We can only shudder at the scale of the suffering over the years.
        Animals’ Angels will be investigating what actions were taken against those responsible for this horrific
        Meadows is firm in her support of a Federal ban of horse slaughter. “From our own weekly
        investigations at auctions, feedlots and slaughter plants, the barbaric and inhumane treatment of
        horses goes on and will continue to do so until a Federal law is passed to end once and for all, the
        transportation and slaughter of horses for human consumption. The horse has played such an
        important part in the history of the United States and continues to be such an integral part in the lives
        of millions of its citizens. It is well overdue, past time for Congress to act and to pass a law to bring
        this miserable trade in horses for human consumption to an end.”


  9. Dear MRS. SUE WALLIS:

    For the record: WE are ON to YOU.

    On the night of November 25, 2011, I visited a Facebook Page that you created in order to parody Mr. R. T. Fitch’s Straight From the Horse’s Heart.

    Brownfield Agriculture was doing a survey on whether or not people supported horse slaughter or not. You put an update on this site telling your followers to be sure to go vote because on this site which is a place for Agriculture News, the vote against the return of horse slaughter was 67% against the return and 34% for. One of your followers decried that this was pretty bad if this was the kind of support the pro-horse-slaughter people were getting on an Ag. Site.

    You advised your followers to they vote twice or vote using a different ISP. You said and I quote, “I am sure the anti’s are doing it.” Two comments later, one of your members posted a note to worry note because he knew how to create multiple IP addresses on his computer. Don’t worry. I saved the conversation. According to the author of the article that preceded the poll, 10 times more people than usual voted in this survey. In less than 72 hours 800 people voted. Wow! And the final result is that THOSE WHO OPPOSE HORSE SLAUGHTER DEFEATED those who voted for it. Despite your efforts to make it appear otherwise the weight of the good and honest people who read Brownfield Ag News outvoted you and your minions.

    This is not the first time you have attempted to skew the results of a national poll and YOU and the FEW FOLLOWERS you still have know it because they are the ones you told to call their neighbors and friends to get their permission to let YOUR DISCIPLES use their names to sign the survey for them. While the number of people signing the petition against horse slaughter met the minimum number of signatures within 10 days or two weeks, you had to rally the troops to put last names and first initials on the pro-slaughter survey.

    So few people in this country want horses slaughtered that you have to have people from Missouri who want to continue to run puppy mills in a country that euthanizes 100’s of thousands of dogs and cats every day, and you need them to stand with you.

    Why is it that everyone and every piece of research over which you have no power to manipulate is a lie?

    I had the most mysterious, miraculous experience while visiting the Brownfield Ag News page on Saturday, November 26, 2011 around 1:00 p.m. As I was adding a comment, the entire comments sections disappeared, and voila—within minutes the blankness of the page was replaced with an audio widget—of course, I had to click on it. And what did appear? The sound of your half breathless voice defensively spewing out what you always spew out which is a never ending stream of propagandized prevarications.

    Though it pains me to admit it, you have achieved far more than I once thought possible. But there is one thing I know you will never be able to do, and that is to create HUMANE horse slaughter because it is not possible. Rivers will flow upstream, the sun will rise in the West, and children will be born the age of 90 and die on the day they are born before horse slaughter can be done humanely.

    Why do I say this? Because everything in life comes down to people, to the feelings they carry in their heart, knowledge they carry in their heads, their willingness to work, and their physical and mental health. No one with the ability to kill a horse compassionately as those who study veterinary science or work with horses in the field, could possibly kill 50 to 75 young, healthy horses a day in the manner that is done in horse slaughter plants. No one. Ask a veterinarian who has had to euthanize a number of healthy horses because their owner can no longer feed them, and they fear if they sell them, their beloved horse will end up in the hands of someone like you.

    Is there any stronger testimony to the truth that horse slaughter is inherently cruel, inhumane, than the fact that individual horse owners are choosing to euthanize their horses rather than try to sell them for fear the companions that carried them through warm, hazy days on the trail or over jumps to ribbons in the arena, or dried their tears with the strands of their manes will fall into the hands of someone like you?

    It doesn’t matter what kind of euphemisms you saturate your propaganda with, you cannot change the truth. The only kind of person with the intellect, physical skill, compassion, and empathy to kill a single horse humanely could not/would not do the job. The only kind of person who could do it is a person missing his heart or one so desperate to eat, he would do anything. Neither of these kinds of people need to be near a horse in a kill room.

    Make no mistake about this either Mrs. Wallis, the people who are paying you will bring down the meat industry. You can hack into any computerized poll you want, but you can hack into anyone’s heart, mind, or soul (there are people who have all three). I never saw becoming an herbivore in my future, but then again, a year and a half ago I thought you only slaughtered horses AFTER they were DEAD. And I have you to than for it, Mrs. Wallis. If your behaviors, attacks on Mrs. Pickens, HSUS, had not roused my righteous indignation, I’d still think horses road in nice little trucks with hay in the bottom like the one that picked up Boxer in Animal Farm. Thanks to you, I researched horse slaughter. I didn’t even need to go to YouTube to see it. I went to the Veterinarians for Equine Welfare page and then I read and saw the pictures from the USDA’s report. I even went through the entire 480 drugs and substances banned for horses that are to be used for food animals if you keep following the links provided the the VEW web site. By the way these vets are members of the AAEP, just not on the same payroll you are on.

    In just two short months, you have managed to draw more attention to the fact that our a few people in Congress are willing to do the devils work. We knew that of course; you just helped us get a better of idea of which ones they are and how much blood they are willing to spill. Perhaps we can send some people to Washington who are willing to keep the beady-eyed little vermin who scurry through the halls of Congress trying to buy votes with blood money. We don’t need a Congress who ignores our voices. More importantly, we do not need a Congress that is so dull that it can tell the difference between the shade and the tree. And we do not need government agencies that support companies trying to feed us toxic meat. There is no reason to have a Department of Agriculture that does not promote good, healthful, safe food. We do not need a Department of Interior that puts the interests of their friends above the interests of the nation. Five years ago, I would have guess that the job of the Department of the Interior was to design and decorate federal buildings—perhaps they could do less damage that way.

    Partly because of you, I have come to understand the influence of a very small number of people on every tax payer in America. Until Bob Abbey and John Falen did their bromance hug, and Bob Abbey announced to a group of horse slaughter wanna be’s that he could think of no group he would rather talk about the future of the wild horse and burro to than the people who want to eat America’s horses, I still had hope that the the BLM might of its own accord make a professional decision to get its people trained in natural horsemanship and start managing our horses humanely. That was then. This is now.

    By the way, I spent some years on a dairy farm, and almost all equine advocates and people who rescue horses spend a lot of time on farms and ranchers. One of my best memories is of drinking fresh, warm, raw, frothy milk freshly pumped into the milk troth. My worst memories are of watching headless chickens walk around after my grandmother axed them on the tree stump outside the hen house. She always took me with her to bring back the eggs. These were the days when farmers actually practiced animal husbandry. Anyone could have walked onto my grandfather’s property at any time with a video camera and never found an animal living anything but a life that was natural for that animal. A lot of what you call animal husbandry has nothing to do with husbandry—its about production. Fortunately, there are still farmers who understand what husbandry is and they practice it despite the policies that make it difficult for them to compete with the assembly line approach to agriculture.

    Equine advocates are not the ones who lack knowledge of animal husbandry. That dishonor belongs to you. Your determination to perpetuate the horror of horse slaughter upon U. S. horses and U. S. horse owners will stain everything and every person you touch and everyone who touches you.


    • Well said hoofhugs. I couldn’t have said it better. This woman is a sob from the word “go”. She will go down with all her cronies and we and our beloved horses will have the last laugh. All who follow her will be dust as well. We don’t need this kind of “whatever they are”. They are every day showing their true colors and they will get what is comin to them, it’s just a matter of time. And, we and our beloved horses will stand by laughing and be victory in the fact that we were the ones that loved those that have stood by us in good and bad times.


  10. Hoofhugs, very well written. Why is Sue Wallis intent on becoming most hated woman in America? Why is she so adamant on legalizing horse slaughter? It’s too bad she choose to spend so much time and energy on promoting something that causes so much anguish, suffering and pain to a sensitive living animal. Imagine the good she could have done with her time if she had chosen to do something of a positive nature instead.


  11. It’s important to note that HR 3798, the HSUS-UEP egg bill, would in no way “replace” battery cages. To the contrary, it would establish egg factory cages as a national standard that could never be challenged or changed by state law or public vote.

    Instead of outlawing cages — this crazy measure would outlaw the BANNING of cages. That is why it is being pushed by the egg industry itself! The Stop the Rotten Egg Bill ( campaign is getting it right. Check it out. This bill would stop cage-free laws dead in their tracks – instead instituting a variety of empty “reforms” that are already occurring due to state law and public pressure. This stinks.


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