Equine Rescue

What Happened to Horse Slaughter?

by Jerry Finch ~ founder/president of Habitat for Horses

“HfH will not be paying money to any killer buyer for any horses…”

Known Facts:

Right off from “Slaughterhouse” Sue’s website

Since around noon on Friday, October 12, the majority of horses in the US have finally been safe – at least from the threat of slaughter. Both the Canadian and Mexican plants received orders from the EU (European Union) that they will not accept meat from US horses.

Although rumors are flying all over, we do not know the real reason nor do we know if this is a temporary or permanent stay of execution. The EU should issue a statement early in the morning on Monday, October 15. The important word here is “should.”

Mexico is still slaughtering US horses for the Russian market. While that is only a small percentage of the former number of horses slaughtered, a few horses are still being accepted at the border and trucked to the slaughterhouse.

There is absolutely no way that the Russian market is big enough to accept the number of horses caught in the slaughter pipeline. The demand for US horses in Russia is simply not that great, plus many other countries are more than willing to step in should the EU slaughterhouses in Mexico close. Mexico also has a market for horsemeat, but they have around 4 million of their own horses that are quite capable of supplying enough for their market demands.

No one knows for certain, but best estimates are that between 5,000 to 7,000 US horses are now stuck in the pipeline while everyone waits for word from the EU. Everyone, including killer buyers and feedlots, were caught totally by surprise. We are receiving reports from feedlots, holding pens and auction houses that loose (slaughter) horses are being held.

Important fact – in every state, it is against the law to deny equine food, water and care. It is against the law to turn horses loose or to abandon them. In every state, the person in “care, custody and control” is the person who will be charged with the criminal act if any of these events occur. If you witness such an event – CALL LAW ENFORCEMENT!

Don’t waste time contacting Habitat for Horses or your local horse rescue. You are the witness, make the call. If they need assistance, any number of equine organizations are willing to step in, but know that equine rescues cannot step in and take charge of any horse without legal action being taken first.

Habitat for Horses will not be paying money to any killer buyer for any horses. They bought into making blood money off the bodies of dead horses and we will not relieve their financial disaster by sticking donated money in their pockets. Any money we receive will be spent buying hay, transporting and finding places for the horses. If we find any horse being denied feed or water by any auction house, feed lot or killer buyer, we will inform law enforcement and ask that charges be filed against them.

Please be aware and cautious when donating your money to any organization. In this situation, there will be a lot of scam artist popping up with heartbreaking stories of pipeline horses that “must be saved.” I cannot recommend enough that you deal only with equine organizations recognized, approved and accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, the only organization for accreditation of equine organizations in the United States.

These GFAS approved organizations, with the help of the ASPCA and HSUS, can and will do everything in our power to aid and assist all equine caught in the pipeline. If this is the complete end of the slaughter of US horses for the EU market, it is a day of celebration. It is also a worst case scenario where once again, those that care have to step in and clean up the mess made by those who created it.

I hope everyone pays close attention to the reactions of the breed associations, mainly the AQHA and their brother organizations, the Farm Bureaus, the Cattlemen’s Association, the horse racing industry and all those who have so strongly promoted horse slaughter to see how quickly they step in with their millions of dollars and offer assistance.

Mass breeding will have to stop or the dollar value of registered horses will drop to zero. None of them will be able to use horse slaughter to cull their horse herds. While the next few years will be difficult for the horse industry, if they act as they should, the end result will be a slow increase in the value of all horses.

Another guaranteed reaction will come from the BLM and King Salazar, because their plans to slaughter 45,000 now captive wild horses was just erased from the option list.

There is a scene from “Casablanca” that so well portrays what is happening to horse slaughter in America right now. Rick’s “American” bar was just closed by the Germans.

Rick: How can you close me up? On what grounds?

Captain Renault: I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!

[a croupier hands Renault a pile of money]

Croupier: Your winnings, sir. 

Captain Renault: Oh, thank you very much.

To all those who promote horse slaughter – why would you act surprised when you knew that practically every US horse is filled with prohibited drugs? We told you, the EU told you, the scientists told you, yet you ignored every warning and continued to sell and promote the selling of cancer causing, drug tainted horsemeat.

I would hope that the US Government is totally and completely embarrassed, once again, by the lack of any concern for food safety for any food product exported from the US. We lived through the horror of mad cow disease, with the known cause permitted by the our government. Yet you once again failed, horribly, to live up to any acceptable standard of food safety – and other countries have to step in and correct the situation.

When are we ever going reach a level of self control in our government when the words “A Product of the USA” actually means something to the rest of the world?

Stay tuned…

Click (HERE) to visit the HfH Blog and to Comment

34 replies »

  1. Now that the horses are not being accepted in Canada and Mexico, what will happen to them? My concern is that some backyard butcher will have his way (doesn’t seem to matter whether or not it is legal) and the horses will suffer an extremely cruel death.


  2. My bet is that they will get real quiet and cry in their beer. I would wager that they will do nothing to help clean up the mess that they THEMSELVES created! I hope they all go broke. And with my hatred of the BLM I hope that those horses are released back so that they can live in peace..without BLMs engineering for their demise..


  3. PS. Thanks RT for your timely updates. I stand with you on NOT paying killbuyers a dime for the horses that they have put out mo.ey for. Hopefully their time has come to an end and ghey have to get real jobs like the rest of us. I have no sympathy for them.


      • The waiting SUCKS! I have been hoping and praying ALL WEEKEND that this stays in effect, and we can start making plans to help the horses stuck in the pipeline.

        I too, agree that we shouldn’t give the KB’s a dime for any horse they currently have. They can either release them to us for free, and avoid having to pay to feed them, or feed them and spend all of that blood money they’ve been getting off their hides for years!


      • Ruby Ranch Horse Rescue (Ramah, CO) also does not and will not pay kill buyers for horses. Although not accredited through the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) we provide a credible and excellent service to our communities, to law enforcement and to the horses we have rescued. By stating that all of us “little guys” on the frontline should not be considered for donations is quite the slap in the face. We are not certain how the few GFAS accredited rescues would be able to handle a huge influx of horses should a diminished donation base require the rest of us to shut down. Please use good judgement and perform due diligence when donating to any organization. There are a number of us reputable ones out there that do not reside in the GFAS purview.


  4. Sadly, I fear a knee-jerk reaction will be for the government to step in and ban the sale/administration of those problem drugs/medications. That would certainly be short-sighted in the extreme, would eliminate some very beneficial treatments, and would have other financial ans welfare repercussions – but it would be a quick though pointless action. I fear that the ‘market’ for fabricated papers certifying the horses to be drug and medication free will become more and more lucrative, further cementing the existing scofflaw climate with a number of segments of the equine-related communities.
    Considering the existing joint problems of the weak economy and the consequences of two years of drought, many horses and their owners will be struggling. This winter won’t be pretty, regardless – but perhaps one additional consequence will be a willingness to address the current federal farm policies regarding domestic hay production, which favor any crop other than hay and which encourage both substantial hay exports and the diversion of hay crop land into other crops or into idle-land programs.


    • Where I live, a large percentage of hay/forages produced within the state are exported.

      I know why, but don’t agree that a portion isn’t set aside for regions in the US that have severe forage conditions due to weather, etc.

      I’m for capitalism…NOT crapitalism.


      • Denise, I know you have a background in agriculture. I think we need to figure out how to get the USDA to dedicate some of these conservation lands that it is using for other crops, to support the production of horse quality hay.

        I fear that the current administration sees horse partnership as a luxery afforded to the few rather than the reality that the greatest number of horse owners are middle income people—I fear if we are not proactive, the administration’s policies which have already added to the equine welfare problems in country will put horse partnership out of the reach of ordinary Americans.


    • I agree with the points you made..sorry my glass is only 1/2 full…there is too much blood money involved in this industry and I believe the “capitalists will compromise and slaughter will resume..there is no more prime candidate for slaughter than branded wild horses…raised without drugs…the only drug given them in STH is wormer..none of thei injuries are treated with bute…cattle are wormed and still slaughtered for the food chain..I suggest the horses in STH be treated with a prohibited drug by the BLM so that it is known by slaughter houses that they are ineligble for slaughter, and any branded horses are out of the slaughter pipeline


      • When I suggested to a former cattle veterinarian that is now more happily an equine veterinarian that if we should ever open horse slaughter again in this country, that his professional life will be turned upside down due to the paperwork and drug traceability requirements, he looked at me in stunned disbelief for a moment and then it hit him. So to the AAEP and the AVMA who are trying to put the responsibility of creating some type of testing that could possibly make horse slaughter politically less incorrect and give them some cover for their ethical abandonment of the principles of veterinary medicine, I say “Be careful what you wish for.”


  5. Well said, R.T.
    I’m going to enjoy every second until the hammer falls – as we all know it will.
    I’m calling my Congressman and Senator and reminding them of the need for the Horse Protection Law – now.


  6. I think we should call our senators and representative to demand why the USDA hasn’t provided guidance AND leadership to any of the participants on this supposed rejection of US Equines by the EU.

    What’s the plan USDA?….or Departments of Commerce and Transportation, for that matter. The states look to the Feds for regulation and policy on this specific issue…what ya’ gonna do, Vilsack?


    • Why should the USDA provide guidance for a predatory industry that isn’t in the U.S.? That would cost taxpayers. They should be enforcing laws we have, not scrambling to accommodate EU laws.


      • Because they are in charge or authorize states authority to monitor and mange all agriculture commerce with few exceptions like eggs, seafood….that includes auctions and animal welfare issues. They also are involved in international treaty agreements.


  7. Perhaps irresponsible breeders, who now no longer have a convenient dumping ground, will finally get the thought through their thick skulls that they should stop breeding. Those that purposely overbred, planning to keep only ‘the good ones” should grow a pair and step up to responsibly euthanize or find homes for any current oversupply. Slaughter was never an answer for real horsemen, who know that because of equine physiology it is impossible to humanely destroy horses using slaughter methods. The people who advocate horse slaughter are nothing more than greedy and/or lazy and should be ashamed of themselves.


  8. The AVMA, AAEP knew the meat was poison and still promoted slaughter as necessary so they should be charged for their criminal acts against the Europeans that ate the stuff. Maybe with the EU banning American horses we could get congress off their dead asses and do an investigation on them, rather than one baseball player taking steroids.


    • Tom…agree.

      Let’s not even discuss what their “Guidelines for Humane Euthanasia” (in print states for vets) and what they vomit spoke in conferences and before Congress that said the CBG was humane. in mass production slaughter lines

      Lying sacks of human $H*T! In violation of their own oath!…People of the Lie.


  9. And here it is, I knew one of them would figure this out, and I knew it wouldn’t be SueW, not enough brain cells. This is from FB:

    “Warner A. Weber III
    The best thing to really do is just better develop the market to China, Asia, and other countries. We should not just dwell on Europe as our primary market. Any business class should tell us this. Both the slaughter houses in Canada and Mexico with so much money at stake should have been doing so before this became a threat to the industry. ”

    Nice people aren’t they? I already knew they didn’t care about the horses, now I know they don’t care about other people either. Here’s my prediction, next thing they’ll do is convince the government that we should provide free poisoned horsemeat to welfare recipients. That should kill two birds with one stone.


    • The many leaders of anti HCHS policy have always known that the killers would switch markets if they got shut down in the Western World.

      So…we intend to follow them everywhere they go with US Equine Flesh.

      That the killers are saying they will find “new” markets is neither unexpected or a surprise….thank the Lord for the internet and information technology…we will chase those liars back to the hell they came from.


  10. Thanks again R.T and Jerry for providing and keeping us updated on what’s happening with our horses, domestic and wild. With all of this now, out in the open, it’s time to really put the pressure on our Congressmen, Senators and even the White House to stop the wild horse roundups and start protecting and preserving our equines, once and for all. It’s good and very important that the EU are finally admitting to the public the harmful and serious effects of consuming horsemeat. What I question is…why has it taken so long?!


  11. This smacks a little of the Bailout a few years ago. If the economy had been allowed a natural collapse, the playing field would have been leveled completely. Those who have learned to live with less would have been the best equipped to survive a ‘depression’, for not much would have changed. However, those who have had the Power could not fathom an existence where they would have to live within their means.

    Pro-slaughter folks have always believed sending off animals to be disposed of in this fashion is their right, and the right thing to do, relieving them of personal responsibility for the animals they chose to create. The only thing they’ve been denied – and only for a few years – is homeland slaughterhouses. But it hasn’t stopped or changed their ways of doing business. So it’s difficult to believe this will make them step back and say. “Hmmm.”

    But it should. This IS a crisis – one they’ve been warned about repeatedly. They chose to cheapen the horse industry by flooding the market, particularly during a recession, with their ‘mistakes’, rather than demonstrating the careful and measured craftsmanship of creating a horse of commercial worth.

    And making it so very difficult for those who don’t believe murdering horses is an acceptable alternative.

    I don’t think the USDA – an agency with a notorious reputation for taking the path of least resistance and damning American consumers with preferential treatment for special interests – is gonna be much help here, and Mr. Vilsack avoids controversy and confrontation like the plague. It will be citizen intervention – the very thing that keeps American slaughterhouses at bay.

    Before contacting senators and representatives, many of whom have shown themselves to be impotent or too self-involved, ask what you can do, because, as a private citizen, you can do it faster and better than some representative with 500 letters on his desk and an election coming up.

    Perhaps we can prevail upon RT, Jerry, Mr. Holland – put together a list of things WE can do Right Now, to lay the groundwork to keep these horses safe – and alive.


    • Lisa:

      I disagree to a point. What I suggested was contact your Senators and Rep and ask why the equine industry, consumers and folks like us that are concerned about equine welfare and food safety haven’t been informed by the very Federal and State agencies in charge of this issue regarding this dramatic “interruption” of the status quo. After all, this is a part of their job..


  12. Here in europe horses destined for slaughter for human consumption MUST have a completed passport which states everything from where they have come from to what drugs have been administered.this is an expensive and prohibitive involvement which may be why eu slaugther houses were importing horse meat from north america. the same rules will have to apply for the american horses to quailify for human comsumption here so perhaps this has prompted the ban on us imports.if so then this ban may be permanent. we all pray so.


  13. I heard from friends in Washington state that truckloads of horses will be allowed through very shortly from the US to Canada. And someone posted on ABR that the slaughter plants are re-opened… I think this is disgusting. How can we go back and pretend everything is status quo ever again.


  14. FOB Deb Jones on Alex Brown Racing was quoted as this:

    Unfortunately, having spent the last 1/2 hr speaking with an official of the EU division of Veterinary and International Affairs (G6) in Brussels I can confirm the block has now been released allowing US horses to once again be slaughtered in Canada and Mexico. VIA (G6) were alerted by French authorities on Friday concerning a shipment of horse meat originating from the US with what was first considered “incorrectly certified meat” Upon further investigation that turned out not to be the case with this particular shipment.

    I wish this were not true…. can anyone else substantiate this??


  15. Great article, with one exception-there are MANY legit rescues not registered with Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries… I think that is short-sighted. Our vet was here today to do our yearly inspection to renew our Equine Rescue License with the State of Az. Dept. of Agriculture.


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