Horse Slaughter & The Issues
One of the most baffling issues surrounding the equine world is horse slaughter in the United States. Horse slaughter in our country exists for the sole purpose of providing horse meat to foreign countries. Europeans and Asians who consume this product consider it a delicacy and willingly pay a high premium.
Auction houses across the country facilitate the problem. They provide an "easy out" for irresponsible equine owners, where all they have to do is drop off an animal at an auction facility and wait for a payment. Auctions in the North East have been found selling sick, sore, lame, disabled, blind and pregnant equines on numerous occasions. Many of these horses are accepted for sale without a negative coggins test or a general health certificate. For every animal that is sold, the auction collects a fee, so, it is in the best interest of the auction's pocket to accept and sell as many animals as possible.
Numerous licensed horse dealers who act as middlemen for the slaughterhouses frequent these auctions. The dealers arrive with either large stock trailers or double decked trailers to transport horses to slaughterhouses, feedlots or resale facilities. Mass quantities of horses are sold to these dealers at unbelievably cheap prices, who then transport the horses inhumanely and resell them to the slaughterhouses for profit.
Often these horses are:
Not examined by a veterinarian to determine if they are in pain or fit for transport
Not provided quality food, clean water and comfortable shelter
Not tested for disease
Not tested pharmaceutical and chemical residues that render their flesh unfit for human consumption ( Tainted Meat)
Many times an auction house and the dealer won't turn away an unfit animal, because as long as it is alive, it can be sold for meat.
Horses that have been stolen disappear without a trace this way. Mustangs allegedly under the protection of the Bureau of Land Management have been disposed of this way. Thoroughbreds and standardbreds that are no longer equitable to their owners are sold this way so that the very last nickel possible is squeezed out of them (Excellor).
The entire horse meat industry, regardless of the angle or involvement, is driven by greed and money.
People have domesticated horses and used them as work or companion animals for hundreds of years. Essential in the development and success of our nation, horses have been used during our wars and continue to provide us with companionship, recreation and hard labor. They truly deserve our protection.