Approximately 100,000 American horses are live-exported every year to Canada and Mexico to be slaughtered for human consumption. Driven by profit, the horses are reduced to a price per pound commodity in the international horsemeat trade.
ALL HORSES AT RISK
Horses aren't bred for meat in the USA, so where do all these horses come from? The sad fact is that horses that enter the slaughter pipeline originate from every corner of the horse world; including wild horses, racehorses, show horses, companions and pets. And contrary to false myths, most horses that find themselves at auction houses are young and healthy, with the potential of a fresh start with a new owner.
Purchased by kill buyers at auction houses, horses are then shipped long distances in cramped trailers without food, water, or rest. The entire journey in the slaughter pipeline has proven to be an inhumane and torturous experience for the horses. The actual slaughter process is nothing less than a living nightmare documented in many investigative videos.
HEALTH AND SAFETY ISSUES
American horsemeat is unsafe for human consumption. Because horses aren't raised as food animals in the United States they're regularly administered medications and other toxic substances that are expressly prohibited for use in food animals. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has declared that hundreds of these drugs, including some highly toxic to humans, are "not for use on horses intended for human consumption". Furthermore, there is currently no system in place to trace the drug histories of American horses. By law, horses being shipped to Mexico and Canada are required to be free of certain drugs for six months before being slaughtered, and those involved in their shipping must have affidavits proving that. But affidavits are easily falsified. As a result, horses often show up in Canada and Mexico within a few weeks from their initial export facility. This is most troublesome when horses come from racetracks, as these horses typically have a higher intake of drugs that are toxic for humans to ingest.
FACTS AND RESEARCH
A 2012 national poll revealed that 80% of Americans support an end to Horse Slaughter. However, despite the inhumane conditions horses endure throughout the slaughter pipeline and the serious health risks of eating horsemeat, some still believe we should slaughter them for human consumption. Whether you're pro-slaughter or a horse welfare advocate, please read '12 Reasons to Ban Horse Slaughter', the History of Horse Slaughter, and Horse Slaughter Facts to learn more about the research and the reasons horse slaughter isn't humane, economically sustainable, or a civilized practice to condone.
The U.S. Congress is now considering the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, H.R.961 / S.2006, which will prohibit the slaughter of horses on U.S. soil. It will also prevent transporting horses across American borders for slaughter in Canada and Mexico.