Horse News

Princess Anne attacks ‘inhumane’ suffering of horses as they are taken to slaughter and slams trade’s dopers, traders and breeders

As published on the

“The greatest suffering continues to be in the inhumane transportation of horses across country borders to slaughter houses…”

Princess Anne and horse 'Stevie B' after completing the dressage events at the Windsor Horse Trials in 1980

Princess Anne and horse ‘Stevie B’ after completing the dressage events at the Windsor Horse Trials in 1980

Princess Anne has attacked the suffering of horses being transported to slaughter houses.

In a foreword of a new book, the Princess Royal said the ‘inhumane’ transportation of horses as the ‘greatest suffering’ the animals can face

The royal, the sister of Prince Charles, is the president of the World Horse Welfare organisation and previously sparked controversy when she said horse welfare could be improved if horse meat was sold in British supermarkets.

She has reignited the issue in a new book. ‘Horse Welfare: Use not Abuse’, written by Christopher Hall, where she said the care of horses is getting worse because of ‘over-breeding, doping and indiscriminate horse trading.’

‘The greatest suffering continues to be in the inhumane transportation of horses across country borders to slaughter houses, matched only by the thousands of horses, donkeys and mules working long hours in the developing world’, the 64-year-old wrote. 

‘In these countries, the wellbeing of the horse may be just as significant as that of a child because, without a horse to fetch and carry, the very viability of family life can suffer. And yet it is still difficult for some to recognise the value of working animals in these situations.

‘While those struggling for survival may be forgiven for their failure to care adequately for their animals through ignorance or poverty, in equestrian ownership in more developed countries there is surely no excuse for inadequate care.’

The Princess Royal, however, stopped short of suggesting developing and better regulating the horse meat market.

In 2013 the discovery that processed meals advertised as containing beef was found to have horse meat rocked the food industry market and shook consumer confidence.

That year Princess Anne urged a debate on the issue, asking: ‘Should we be considering a real market for horse meat and would that reduce the number of welfare cases, if there was a real value in the horse meat sector?’

Former top jockey A P McCoy also wrote in his foreword to the book: ‘Welfare is vital to all who love horses this book goes to the heart of the matter.’

13 replies »

    • Just like the rich and famous in this country—–“say little, do even less”. If she would come out against it, (instead of looking like she is on the fence).people in England and this country would be up in arms over horse slaughter, period. (Since many people here still go “ga-ga” over anything royal.)>


  1. We know what she’s saying, but what are she and the other royals DOING? They’ve always been closely associated with horses. and received a lot of publicity from that association. Do they support all legitimate equine charities? Encourage a portion of all events, breedings, sales, etc., be dedicated to helping equines and owners in distress? They could be a force for good rather than just observers.


  2. The inhumane care, torture and death is just disgusting!! I have been following the website Auction horses and have helped to save many horses from torture and death in slaughter plants. Just who is to blame?? Some people are under the assumption that pregnant mares and young horses are NOT sent to slaughter. The truth is they are so wrong! Some of these sellers purposely breed mares so they can double their weight when they are weighed in and tagged for slaughter.. There are mares almost ready to deliver in these Kill Pens. Some abort the foals due to the stress and just the principle of survival. It sickens me that the morality of some people is so low. Wild horses are showing up in Kill Pens too. I called the White House and my Legislators to complain about these horses who are suppose to be protected. I wrote to the President if the European Union about American horses, their treatment and the health concerns we have for the tainted meat. It was to my surprise I received a very well written letter from the President of the EU who reviewed my letter with his committees. So you see one person can make a difference. This “Safe Act” cannot wait another day to be passed. Horse people all over the country are working side by side to keep as many horses, ponies, and burros from slaughter. There was a group of 97 burros..Come on folks, they didn’t come from a breeding farm. They were a direct result of roundupmost likely by the BLM. Please check the Auction Horse website because there are many rescues involved in saving the horses. Sabrina Connaughton has been working with these groups and lists the horses. She receives NOTHING from any source. Only the satisfaction of knowing that she us making a difference in the lives of many horses. The slaughter and the transportation will stop. My only hope is that the horse industry is ready. Thus was hiw it happened in Illinois. The storm came and a quietness was felt. Suddenly the jubilation came and the word was out. The plant was closed down immediately and 28 horses were spared death. I see the same coming so we need to be ready. Instead of donations trying to save the horses from slaughter the funds could then be used for rehabilitation and finding homes.


  3. Thank you Terri L Russell for your very well written comment. I agree 100% with everything you said, and I wish everyone had a chance or would make an effort to read not only your comment, but about the whole issue of the abuse animals are subjected to in and around slaughterhouses. No animal should be subjected to the horrors in those retched places! Anyone who condones it is either in complete denial or missing any kind of ability to feel compassion – and those people are dangerous!


  4. Hog wash. Why read BS from a pro-slaughter wealthy human who could do so much more to end the suffering of horses by banning horse slaughter and creating stiffer legislation supported by enforcement of animal cruelty/neglect laws? She’s unfortunately going the way of Marie Antoinette with her “Let them eat cake” when what the people wanted was bread/butter and to raise their own food. Her words are no more golden then the sentiments she expresses. Oh, the poor horses suffer during transport to slaughter, well Lady, if you’d end horse slaughter and punish those that starve and mistreat their horses, the over breeders and horse industry throw aways, horses would suffer far less. Doesn’t she know that horse slaughter is never humane? Am gagging here. A book? If she wasn’t a princess, I doubt it would get published or read. She’s so ignorant about the real horse slaughter issues. Is it because she was born with that silver spoon in her mouth which somehow equates to a big bunch of air in the brain, or is that from in-breeding?


    • I so agree. This is just posturing and quite pathetic at that. Her thought that legitimizing horse meat as a viable food source is just ridiculous and that it will end the cruelty makes no sense. It will just make more competition. …and by the way There are markets around the world that eat horse meat regularly, president princess. If she can’t see the true welfare issue of the horse then how about the humans that will be ingesting the toxins we shoot into these horses? The real issue is the front end of this whole mess. Humans need to be held to a standard and if that means taxes, licensing, heavy penalties, responsible humane euthanasia and so on then its sad but that’s what the princess should be fighting for in her role as Equine welfare blah, blah, blah blah position. A life, any life is precious


  5. I remember of reading a article last year about Princess Ann when visiting a horse rescue in the UK where she actually said the horse owners should send their horses to slaughter if they didn’t want them so they could at least make something off of them after taking care of them and feeding them for years. I thought at the time that the horses she rode in horse shows for years she probably had sold off for slaughter if she got tired of it. These people are no better than a large portion of the horse breeders here in the US. I’m not going to hold my breath about the two new anti-slaughter bills that have been introduced.


  6. There is a picture of a three year old colt making the rounds on fb this evening. Someone clobbered in the face–a shovel?, a whip, something.

    Sadly the colt didn’t make it. Owner/trainer responsible party are being sought.

    And simply no your Highness. I don’t feel we need to have a conversation on the value of horse burgers. I won’t speak for others because I don’t feel qualified to do so.

    I grew up understanding that racehorses went to slaughter. I didn’t like it but it was a gruesome reality. My mentor at the time played polo who probably could’ve held his own against Prince Charles. And that’s not bragging. It was my reality.

    Now since Barbaro (after many years away from horses)I’ve come back to understand the reality of what slaughter and abuse is. Slaughter workers can’t slaughter without inflicting more abuse on animals–whatever specifies you’d care to discuss.

    I understand that I’m usually on the outside fringe of happenings. That’s okay.

    Horses are our companions in the States. They are teammates in 3 Day Eventing, racing and any discipline within the equestrian world. They listen when we cry about the boss at work, or spouses. They listen when the kids make us crazy. And they don’t utter a word to another. They know how to keep our secrets. And they never betray that relationship! It’s the human who betrays it.


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