For or against horse slaughter?

Where do you stand on the issue of horse slaughter?

For it, against it, or can you be creative and find yet another idea?

Before you get too worked up can we all agree that there is a problem that needs to be solved? There are more horses out there that need homes than there are homes with the means to support them. Now the question is, what to do about it?

Some say slaughter fills that void, others say it is cruel and in humane. I am here to propose another idea.

What happens at the dog shelter? I don’t know about where you live but near me most of the shelters euthanize the animals that cannot be placed within a given time period. Why hasn’t something like this been developed with horses? Not that I think euthanasia  is ideal, but it probably is better than being slowly starved to death over a period of months. What are your thoughts?



  1. lilith16 on January 24, 2014 at 3:12 am

    Hello everyone,
    I dont think that horse slaughter in principl eis so bad. dont get me wrong, I dont agree with the ways most horses are slaugheterd nowadays. for years theer has been a debate on whether or not to slaughter horses in the US. Let me just say, if you don’t do so, you will create a whole lot more problems for the horses. Just think of the much longer ways of transportation to slaughetr plants for horses in the US to Mexico or Canada, where horse lsaughter is still allowed. Also, think of theunwanted horse problem that is finacially really striking the horse industry? Prices for horse swill drop, quality might be going down and everyone will be able to afford a horse soon… do you think that is good for the horses? If you are intersted in my opinion, I would be happy if you check out my posts on this topic:

    or the problem of the unwanted horses:

  2. sandbean on May 8, 2012 at 1:14 am

    All horses deserve a chance at a decent life. They have become dependent on humans to care for them and many humans have let them down. This is a complex situation and there may not be one simple answer that will fix it. It may take multiple efforts, but I do think there are ways to improve the lives of many horses and save many from slaughter. It breaks my heart to think of these majestic animals being discarded at slaughterhouses. As for the difference between horses and cows, most cows are raised specifically for beef. Horses were not bred for this purpose.

    One idea is to duplicate some of the programs that have already proven successful with dogs. For example, partner up prison inmates, troubled kids, drug addicts in rehab, etc with unwanted horses in and it helps rehabilitate the horse and human at the same time. Yes, it would take resources to do this, but the results have been positive in similar situations with shelter dogs. Private companies may have the funding to participate if the results were there.

    Try and educate as many people as possible about the problem. If more people understood the consequences of having too many horses on the planet, there would be SOME that would make more responsible decisions. Also, in time it may become less desirable to buy from someone that you know is “over-breeding”, and maybe that breeder will eventually get the picture. I think a lot of people probably don’t realize how sad the reality of it is and just need some education. The economy is tough right now, but I don’t think people should be breeding horses in their backyard for a few extra bucks is the right answer. I see it in my area and it is so sad.

    Start with the youth kids in all horse breed organizations. They can be a huge force in spreading the word and educating everyone about the problem and may come up with the best solution. They are also the next generation to be making decisions and caring for the next generation of horses.

    Is there any way to regulate the shipping out of the country to plants in mexico? Could there be fees or taxes that would make it not worth it to ship them out of the country? Could this prevent suffering from the trip and keep them in US plants if slaughter is the only way?

    Maybe make it a little more uncomfortable to discard horses at Slaughter Houses? Make it so it is not financially appealing to slaughter your horse? Right now, it seems like it could be in the back of some people’s mind as a last resort “out” if they cant get rid of extra horses they breed. I say this because I have seen similar situations. I wonder if the option was not there, would they breed as many or as freely? Would they think twice before bringing another horse into the world?

    Maybe set up some type of board of directors to tackle this problem by setting up the roots for a non-profit rescue organization. By setting up the structure of the organization, it could be effectively duplicated across the country. With enough people, there could be a way to save some of these horses and let them live out there retirement in a happy pasture.

    I don’t know the best answer, but I think the situation could improve for sure. It is very sad.


  3. lexie southard on March 1, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    yes i love horse but if people put a stop to it i know someone will still do it butnot let any one know that they are do it i love horse so much and want one so so bad

  4. […] – The Petition SiteStates Move to Legalize Slaughter of Horses for Human Consumption …For or against horse slaughter? « Stacy Westfall HorseblogHorse Slaughter – TS Quarter HorsesHorse Slaughter Alternatives « Stacy Westfall Horseblog […]

  5. Royan Herman on November 11, 2011 at 9:50 am

    The issue is not horse slaughter. It is inhumane transport and Nazi holocaust slaughter for animals, any of whom have been dear friends and companion animals.

    There is a woman at Colorado State University named Temple Grandin who has devoted her life to diminishing, maybe even eliminating the stress and fear connected with cattle slaughter. If she can create a system equally humane forhorse slaughter, then it would become an asset in the horse world to remove the many poor animals that are consigned to slow and miserable deaths at the hands of people who have no money or don’t much care for the welfare of our four legged friends.

    Although I abhor the personal loss, I feel a sense of decency when I arrange for a severely ailing horse to be humanely euthanized.If his departure could be equally humane in a slaughter environment, I would quit actively objecting.

    Thanks for reading my opinion. Royan Herman

    • Jennifer Kirschenman on November 12, 2011 at 11:00 am

      I agree with you 100%, The main problem is how the animals are transported, and than processes. I know there is a way for it to be done in a humane way, We just have to find a way in which it could be accomplished, than every one on both sides of this issue would be resolved.
      I think that is the real question. Is how it could be set up better.

      Thanks for letting me comment.

  6. Jeanne O'Neal on November 10, 2011 at 11:33 am for those of you who want to adopt a new horse?

  7. Conie on November 3, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    I think I could like the idea of a adoption center set up were animals could be brought in and kept for a time be for being taken for slaughter. I think we should be realistic in the fact that people do actually use the meat from slaughtered horses. Control of who breeds what ??????? I think we have to be real carefully with that because the governmemnt already controls so much in our lives that it is very hard for the little guy to get ahead. Maybe the big ranches should be limited on how many they can produce. Oh that’s their lively hood too. I beleive that slaughter is a neccesary evil that should be handled in humane a way as possible. The thing about it was that when slaughter was out there the market for horses was up and people could make a living. Usually when you were at the auction if the meat buyers were bidding it was because nobody else was. I have also seen where too many rescue operation end up having to many animals and mistreating them themselves. I will never understand the people who intentionaly starve an animal. Even if you have to shoot them yourself would be better than watching them starve.

  8. Jeanne O'Neal on November 2, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Because few people have warm fuzzy thoughts about a cow on grand ma and grandpas farm there is less of a connection to the animal being slaughtered. Flicka and Mr Ed shows of this sort conjure many Ideas into peoples heads..
    The question on why is it ok for cows and not horses? It is the same thing. The general population is attached to horses. I love beef and cattle were used to pull wagons and break ground just as were horses when the west was settled however very few movies about Bell the milk cow exist.. Cows are smart and trainable and some are very dangerous! I feel that the only people that should be allowed to vote and pass regulation should be the party(s) involved in the industry.
    If you don’t want a horse to go to slaughter than get the money together and get one and keep it and care for it; as mentioned above would also give you a rite to vote on the issue. Well wishers have caused more damage than good on this issue. I am for the rite of an animal to die the most humane death possible. Let the owner choose to sell the horse at auction ‘to kill” or keep it till the day it dies. Where is the frame work to care for all the displaced animals that have starved to death? where are the do good people now?
    I like the comment on how the horses are off loaded into the chute instead of into holding pens in France. Also how about having a vet do the killing so that it is done the most humane way possible? we have meat inspectors what about a kill inspector? Horses get stressed in any new environment so the 3% reactive population above is not to realistic but lets make slaughter more humane..
    Just because a horse kicks and jerks after it has been bolted does not mean it is alive.. Nerves have to die and a animal being slaughtered has to be bled out before the heart stops pumping (electric reaction)..
    Has any one heard of the term Dark Cutter? this means that the color of the meat is dark because the animal was “stressed” this happens in beef my question is does any one know what the percent of “dark cutters” there were in horses before slaughter was ended and how does that compare to the cattle packing industry?
    For Slaughter

  9. Carole on October 25, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Let me suggest viewing this video form Youtube, Observations and Opinions of a Horse Killer.

    The issue is NOT a horse being dead or what happens AFTER death. The intolerable issue is the undeniable cruelty in the days/horse before death.

    If you are pro-slaughter, at least acknowledge the truth. It is a terribly callous and often corrupt industry. It has nothing to do with horse welfare. Slaughter houses are owned by foreign companies that profit from the death of American horses. Over breeders profit by having a place to dispose of their culls. Anyone who profits from slaughter condones and accepts the cruelty. It’s acceptable for abuse to continue because it is convenient and profitable.

    An additional very serious issue in horse slaughter discussions is the growing knowledge that our horse meat is contaminated with all sorts of toxic residue from dewormers, bute, etc. that present a very real risk to those who consume it.

    BTW I have adopted 7 slaughter bound horses, and have a sanctuary for old and, maybe to others, useless horses.

    • Stacy on October 25, 2011 at 9:49 pm

      Thanks for sharing. It would be really helpful if you could participate in offering some other ideas of what could be done with the horses that currently go to slaughter (alternatives). Also, does anyone know the answer to this question: Do they have this kind of trouble in the cattle industry? Why or why not?

      • Brenda on November 16, 2011 at 8:42 am

        Yes, the cattle industry has the same problem of what to do with unwanted animals. In this economy cattle ranches are also struggling to feed there animals and in drought areas they are also having trouble finding water for them and cattle are dying. This past summer has seen thousands of cows die from the above reasons. Some ranchers are giving there livestock away.

    • Brenda on November 16, 2011 at 8:35 am

      I just found this site this morning and I couldn’t agree with you more. If you watch how the slaughter houses put down horses it makes you sick to your stomach. Not to mention that the meat is not safe for consumption. Almost every horse in this country at one time or another has been given drugs that have warning labels not to be used on animals intended for slaughter because they cause cancers to the ones that eat it. I have 3 horses and I will see them put down by a vet if I ever had to part with them. Another thing that I hate is that the backyard horse owner/breeder is to blame for all the unwanted horses. I did a study in high school about this problem years ago. Most horses that could be found at slaughter houses had papers. They where race horses of all breeds, brood mares and young animals that they broke while trying to train them, They are show horses that stopped winning or broke down because they where pushed to hard. People say there are too many horses; what about the human population we are at 7 billion now. If there is one species that should stop breeding it is us.

  10. rosesette on October 23, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    True facts and documentation by the USDA when horse slaughter plants were here in the USA,

    Not as humane as some preach! See


  11. Deborah Coffman Beare on October 23, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    I was astonished to read that Ms Westfall is in favor of “regulated” horse slaughter. She does state this on her facebook page, and I have corresponded with her regarding this issue. It is my understanding that she believes this is a more humane way to address “overpopulation of starving horses” that she attributes to our floundering economy. What are YOUR thoughts?

    • Stacy on October 24, 2011 at 7:46 am

      If you have read, I think that there should be more than ‘for’ or ‘against’…can’t we come up with something else? If you just want to stay hot that is your choice but I don’t think you will be helping as much as you could. Please offer more suggestions here than just ‘for’ or ‘against’.

  12. sherri on October 22, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    Also look at Mayor Paula Bacon’s view on the slaughter house in Kaufaman Tx. Google Kaufman
    Tx slaughter ….. I lived about 30 miles from there for years and lived in constant fear of my horses being stolen and killed in this plant. It happened all the time.

  13. sherri on October 22, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Check out observations of a horse killer on you tube

  14. Jayna on October 17, 2011 at 5:41 am

    A few years back I was taking an Intro to Equine Science class. Our prof ended up letting us take the whole hour and a half of class one day to discuss and debate this issue, not planned but she thought this was a better way to learn. There were students that had never been on a horse before to students who were the 3rd or 4th generation on their ranch.

    Some students were on the fence not knowing if slaughter was the way to go and others were completely against it. I was one of the ones for slaughter.

    I live in Canada and although I didn’t see first hand what happened when slaughter houses closed in the states I did hear about it. Neglect of these animals was not humane and causedme to become a lot more hostility towards PETA and other organizations. People need to think about consequences before actions are taken. Horses
    Were much better off before the slaughter houses were closed than after. They had to know the numbers of horses going through these plants. I mean they used that as their bargaining chip. So logically, if you stop the outflow but do nothing to change the inflow what is gonna happen? Overpopulation.

    Those against slaughter have to stop attacking these plants. If you shut them all down it’s not gonna stop the number of horses dying it’s just going to increase the percentage of them dying of neglect. If you are against slaughter go after the backyard breeders. I have a friend that had 2 horses that sat out in her pasture for years and years then they sold them and ended up getting the horses back because the new owners couldn’t afford the amount of horses they had. The one mare came back pregnant and had a beautiful buckskin colt. I offered to buy him knowing she would never do anything with him and was refused. She wanted him as a lawn ornament cuz he was cute. A year later when he lost his baby cuteness and was becoming pushy she said they were thinking of breeding the same mare again to the same stud to get another buckskin. I flipped and told her not to because the pasture they were using wasn’t big enough to support another horse all summer. That and she had no right to keep breeding horses she was never gonna use and considering she went to see her horses once every 6 months wasn’t enough. She said she could just sell the baby as a yearling if it wasn’t what they wanted and I said that’s a waste they weren’t gonna make any money on a unbroken unregistered horse out of that mare because she was the meanest mare I had ever seen. My friend took my advise and didn’t breed her again.

    There are a lot of legitimate breeders out there and I know many. Most have their foals sold before they even hit the ground and they never breed more than they can sell to good homes. But the people who breed their mare because they can or they want a cute baby should be stopped. Regulations or licenses to
    Breed should be put into affect. This will automatically decrease horses at slaughter.

    Also in Canada our few horse slaughter plants are regulated and are all pretty humane. I am not so sure about Mexico. If the states doesn’t open their plants than they should at least open states regulated slaughter plants in Mexico. The long haul is the most inhumane part of the slaughter business and the united states government made that decision itself so animal rights organizations should be fighting to open plants to diminish this stress. You tried something, it made things worse. Don’t just ignore what’s happening now, fix it.

  15. Paula on October 15, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    I think slaughter is a necessary evil. Euthanasia vs slaughter should be a personal choice not governed by the PETA type/non owning horse population (the majority who are working for laws/regulations for no slaughter).
    The US economy has been down before and there was not the “unwanted horse” problem of this magnitude then. Horses had value for meat and there were slaughter facilities in most States (some with multiple locations). Little by little the smaller plants were fazed out or forced to close by do-gooders that don’t have a clue.
    So … the closing of all plants in the US, coupled with the general economy and we are left with a glut of unwanted horse and the ensuing neglect or abuse we are seeing now.
    More unforeseen consequences –
    1. Knowledgeable middle of the road breeders have cut back or not breeding at all (our good 4-H, open show and trail horses!).
    2. “Free” horses available to anyone that ever wanted to own a “horsey” and without any experience of horse care or horsemanship. Let’s not forget the “baby horse” syndrome leading to weird combo grade horses without any type of training. (I’m sure everyone has seen this disaster and these are the people that will still breed!).
    3. So called “rescues” popping up bilking the public of $$ and feeding the frenzy of save the horses regardless of cost and practicality. (when rescues are being turned into animal welfare agencies for neglect we have a big problem).
    Yes, I’m in favor of humane transportation and slaughter. Would I send my personal horse to slaughter? Not today as I have the means ($$) for euthanasia and disposal. Tomorrow? Who knows – I’m afraid I can’t see into the future.
    Just my opinion and ramblings.
    For anyone that is rabid about no slaughter – I hope you are backing your position with both $$$ and time.

  16. Chris on October 15, 2011 at 8:23 am

    I support horse slaughter. I would not choose that path for a horse of mine but, I have the resources to both euthanise and dispose of the body.

    Last Easter our old mare had reached that point. We drugged her, and I had been shown how to do it right.

    We painted a red dot on her head to place the shot and I shot her with the 303. It was not pretty, death is not pretty. But we tested for sensibility, and she was gone.

    And then I cried.

    As horse owners I believe this is our responsibility -to ensure a good death. What we did is not for everyone. I had someone trained show me how to hit the right spot – because it is not easy.

    Euthanasia by a vet is the choice my inlaws made for a horse of theirs. I don’t know which is more humane the gun or the drugs however, I respect this choice.

    I also respect the choice of horse owners I know who took their horse directly to the plant.

    In all of these examples the owners are taking responsibility for ensuring a good death.

    A humane slaughter industry is possible and nessisary. As one option. It may not be the “best” option but it does keep some horses from suffering.

  17. jill colby on October 14, 2011 at 11:17 am

    There are so many horses out there now that everyone that wants one can afford one. This doesn’t mean that everyone should buy one. Education would be an ideal. Too many people buy these excess horses that have no clues at all what to do with one. They don’t understand that a horse needs more room than a 1/4 acre back yard, sometimes sharing that yard with piles of scrap iron or boards or any other type of trash that may be out there. They don’t understand that horses have to be fed not just left to ingest whatever weeds and trees are in that 1/4 acre pen. Then they let their little 5 year old kid run around the horse and play with it or ride it and if the horse doesn’t behave they are gonna get on it and fix it without having ever ridden one before, when that doesn’t work the horse is considered a p.o.s. and is neglected or worse. If injured they are not treated and pretty soon we have infected and malnourished misbehaving horses that are now “disposable”. I take in “disposable” horses. But I only have so many hours in the day, and so many $$ in the month. I can’t save them all, nobody can. So education as far as riding lessons and care could be a worthy investment. All stallions do not necessarily make good sires, and all mares are not meant to be brood mares. So again educating people as to /and not allowing indiscriminate breeding would be beneficial. Just because your horse’s papers go all the way back to Leo doesn’t mean they will produce a super horse. So many think because they have a registered horse they are gonna get rich breeding and producing, and we end up with unwanted foals which eventually go to the sale and sell for $25 sometimes less, thus repeating the circle. With no slaughter in the U.S. horses are bought up by kill men and transported to Mexico, Canada, or even overseas to be slaughtered. We at that point have no control over whether or not the slaughter would be humane or not. (and it’s not) I am an advocate for slaughter in the U.S. In a controlled humane slaughter we can give these unwanted animals a more peaceful ending and let them one more time be of some use. It is much preferable to starving or left to die from infections and sickness because of lack of love.

    • Jeanne O'Neal on October 14, 2011 at 11:30 am


    • Jeanne O'Neal on October 14, 2011 at 3:50 pm

      I think that the slaughter of horses is going to happen wether people like it or not.. the question is do we let it happen in mexico with no regulation or do we regulate it and have more plants here? I think the second is better. Change how it is done not where. As for no kill shelters not realy a viable option

  18. stonepony1s on October 13, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    I vote for slaughter. I love horses and I would never eat one but it is no more cruel to slaughter a horse than it is to slaughter a cow. As far as the cruel and inhumane thing goes anyway. I love my horses I know that it is much more cruel and inhumane to starve them to death or abandon them. It happens to dogs all the time, being left to starve or dumped on a road far from home to starve or get hit by a car. Horses that cannot be used or cared for should be used for dog food. The horse does not care after it is dead if it is used for dog food or to fill a land fill. It seems to me that it a big expence to just uthinize them. If we go to uthenization then we will stil have the problem of people letting them starve or be abandond because they cannot afford to have them uthenized. Do you know that it is over 500 dollars to dispose of a horses body? And then there is the expence of the vet to come and give it the shot to make it die and then you have to look at your poor dead friend until the rendering truck can come and get it. That could take days or longer. I have friends that have experienced that. If a person that has a lame or sick, dangerous or unwanted horse and they can take it to a sale and get a few dollars for it they are much more likly to do that then let it starve. But it is costs money they don’t have they will just let it starve. Not only does it not hurt horses any more than other animals to be slaughterd, The horse gets to go to the horse happy hunting ground. It always supprises me how many people think horses have not spirit. Even the Bible says hores have a spirit. they do not have people spirits they have horse spirits but they get to go to a horse heaven. So it is not as bad as some people think. I have met horses that are better off being realsed from their tortured body or mind and going to heaven where they can be free and happy.

    • jill colby on October 14, 2011 at 11:22 am

      well said and Amen. We know there are horses in heaven, read Revelations and see them come back through the clouds!

  19. sonia cochrane on October 13, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    hi i live in australia & the same rules apply with the dog pound.however there are people like my cousin who are foster carers for dogs & cats that give them a bit more time to find homes. unfortunatley horses need a lot of room so this might not be possible. i wouldn’t have a problem with any animal being put down as long as it’s done humanly. i remember a few years ago on the news they were shooting horses from helicopters leaving them to die a slow painfull death, this outraged animal lovers everywhere & is totally unacceptable. so therefore there is a right way & a wrong way, it’s too bad the law isn’t as strict on animal cruelty as it is on the human race.

  20. Ashley Miko on October 13, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    I don’t like to here of horses being slaughtered, biut i understand that sometimes its one of the only options. I would better like the idea, if i could ever like it, if i knew the horses were in good care, and very humanely put down; handled with care. Not just routinely killed to make money.

  21. Mary Kimball on October 13, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    I 2 horses from a local horse rescue organization-they were abused, unwanted, and had been at the agency for a significant period of time-several years I think. I also adopted 2 dogs from the pound. I cannot stand the idea of putting a horse, a dog or any animal, to sleep after a certain amount of time just because they are unwanted. I believe no kill shelters are the answer. I love my rescues so much, and I know of many success stories like mine-if my horses had been at a kill shelter, they would not be alive today. Slaughtering is, of course, horrendous and should never be considered as an option. Unwanted animals should be taken in by rescue, no kill, shelters, assimilated into loving, human environments until one is found for them where they can be properly cared for and bring immeasurable joy to their people.

  22. Janet on October 13, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    I do agree that something needs to be done, but on the other hand the amount of horses more horses out there then homes, I don’t place blame on the slaughter houses themself, but I do apaul the way in which they are handle prior to slaughter, the way inwhich they are ship, and yes starved.
    But we also have to look at some of these animals and I believe that it is up to the owners to take responsablity for them if the animal is unwanted and you don’t wanna have it go for slaughter the for crying out loud do not take them to an auction market where meat buyers are paying the lowest dollar around.
    I know alot of great horses that end up in slaughter, this is an enevable fact of life, and that fact is that we as a socity live in a throw away world where we have been taught and are teaching our children that if you don’t want it then toss it aside and have someone else deal with it.
    If we look at euthinasia, which I agree is the better way to go, but with some of the meat going to Japan and France as a food source and of course there is dog food. I have to ask myself the question is drugging the animal and placing that drug into the human food chain a good idea.
    Now do we place the blame on the breeders I personaly can’t answer that question. Maybe we need to have more govnerment requlation in shipping and handling of the animal such as in the cattle industry, and stiffer fines for the inhuman inwhich they are handle at the time and before the time as slaught.
    I personally take full responsablity of all my animals and when the time come that they need to put down it will be done humanly and handle with the dignity and honour of which they have served my.

  23. Jennifer Kirschenman on October 13, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    I agree with Julie, I am for the horse slaughter, I don’t like it, but what do you do with the horses that just are not ment to be around humans, I have seen some horses, that you just can not work with, Unless you don’t care about your life. and some are injured. I agree euthanizing is more humane, but slaughter could be too, if it were monitored more, and work with the lady that Julie mentioned. She had excellent Ideas, and all cattle plants are ran based on her ideas. So why cant the horse plants. I don’t like the Idea of our pets ending up there in the end, but burial is very very expensive, So sometimes you have to sell them, and hope they find a good home, But With out the slaughter, More horses will be neglected, starved, or released to defend themself out in the wild, Were they have no idea how to survive. I think we just need to make the process more humane. And save the horse market, at the same time. Along with a lot of foals, that I read in some magazines since the slaughter was shut down, that Are killed before they have a chance, just because the aren’t what the owner was looking for, and they new they were not going to bring them any money if he raised them and sold them.

  24. Wendy on October 13, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.
    Albert Einstein

  25. Trisha Marie Frye on October 13, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    The breeders propagate the problem of canine, bovine and equine overpopulation. If there were not so many there would not be so many homes needed for placement of the critters. I love each and every animal, but we have to many on this planet.

  26. Heather on October 13, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    I agree with you…euthanasia and slaughter are not good choices but the first is much better than the last. I must say though that we wouldn’t have the problem with as many unwanted animals in all species if people were smarter with their breeding practices or if people would just be good pet parents and have their pets spayed and neutered. Spaying and neutering would help a ton.

    Euthanasia…would be my choice. I don’t trust too many other people with my pets(horses, dog and cats) so if anything happened to me and someone that is close to me can’t take on their care I would rather see euthanasia happen than my animals go to slaughter or starve to death somewhere. My pets are my life and I want nothing but the best for them, I would miss a meal before i would let them.

    Slaughter….just plain isn’t an option in my book! I think of what the animals have to go through to get there and then the wait for it to happen and then the procedure itself. I can’t imagine what is going through their heads!

  27. Dennis on October 13, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    I like your thinking, but horse slaughter shouldn’t be discounted from the equation. Horses can still contribute even when their lives are finished, rather than just euthanized, burned, or burried. Even though the desicion should rest on the horse owner, inevitably, the government will step in. Careful thought must be given to any regulation given to this matter.

    • Jeanne O'Neal on October 14, 2011 at 10:41 am

      I agree Dennis.. I get upset when someone orders meat and dont eat it all. An animal gave its life thely deserve the respect of not going to waste. Instantanios death is not a bad thing. I think that in a country where it is a democracy the people should have to understand what they are effecting befor they vote. I know I am a horse hugger that supports slaughter. I know growing up it broke my heart to know that some animals were slaughtered that didnt belong there. I do what I can for those horses that I can but there simply is not enough homes for all of them. Just because a horse is “lame” dont mean that it cant stand on all four hooves. A horse can be broken winded, or have a hitch in its giddy up. meaning it is sore after working for a little bit. It cost the same to feed a healthy horse as it does one that you cannot enjoy. Some horses will go that are trained and there is nothing wrong with them but on the flip side it means that the ones that are around will recieve better care while they are alive.

  28. Gail on October 13, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Stacy, I am one who is FOR Horse slaughter houses. The problem is how they are run with no rules. Rules with humane treatment for the horses as well as with all animals is what it is all about. Being a horse person and passionate about them I feel it is in their best interest to be euthanized, then to starve or be mistreated when they are no longer useful. There is far too much abuse to these God given creatures. It was a wrong thing to close the slaughter houses. The resues here in FL are filled with x-race horses. At least they are making the racehorse owners donate to these rescues to help find good homes for them. Glad you brought out this question.

  29. 1cowboygirl on October 13, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    I am for it. Horses are livestock not pets.

  30. Aundy on October 13, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Correct me if I am wrong, but by shutting down slaughter plants in Canada and the US, I believe that three problems arise from this (for unwanted horses). First of all, without slaughter available locally, people are more likely to neglect unwanted horses and allow them to starve to death or die from nornally non-fatal injuries/illnesses left untreated, neither of which are at all humane. Secondly, there is a demand for horse meat and bi-products, therefore slaughter of horses in rather inevitable, so why not do it in our own countries where we can set standards and regulate the treatment of horses that are to be slaughtered, as well as how the deed is carried out. Thirdly, if we don’t offer the option of slaughter here, that means horses that do end up going for meat end up travelling much long distances, and i don’t imagine they are pampered on this journey.

    I have taken a horse to be slaughtered, and it was truely a terrible feeling seeing some of the healthy but unwanted horses there living out their final days. Given the chance to do it over, I would have had her euthanized by a vet; although, with that said, that is for my own peace of mind. As Antje said, to my brain it looks like a nicer way to go, but I really can’t say which way is indeed the most humane as I am unfamiliar with the practices that are used at these facilities. The only reason that horse was “put down” was that she was in a great deal of pain and was failing to thrive because of it. We gave her a chance (she was given to us with a previously broken knee, but was young and getting along quite well at the time). But after about a year she was going downhill fast. In response to what Jean said, I totally agree with giving horses a forever home. We have a couple of “grannies” that are no longer sound enough to ride, and they will live out their days in our care. Our current riding horses will be offered the same retirement if they become unrideable with age. I am blessed to be fortunate enough to be able to offer them this, and I understand that not everyone is. I would, however encourage those who are not as fortunate to find homes for the horses that they can, and if they can not, to look at euthanasia or slaughter as a much kinder option than fending for themselves leading to starvation.

  31. Janni Bemis Cooper on October 13, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    I would like to see a slaughterhouse in every state for horses. Cattle are slaughtered humanely every day… and we enjoy that delicious beef. Cattle are allowed to settle for a period of time after being shipped… travel through a winding chute (calming for them) before their sudden death. I would have no problem with zoo animals benefiting from my horses’ meat. Inhumane is letting a horse starve…or limp around your pasture in pain… or sending them off to an auction so they are someone else’s problem!

  32. Melody on October 13, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    AGAINST SLAUGHTER… If you bring it into this world YOU are responsible for it’s life. I will NEVER support the most cruel form of death there is. I kept my first pony for 26 years, she died on my parents farm and was buried there complete with headstone. That is being responsible for her and I didn’t even bring her into this world. If you can afford to breed them … then you should also plan for their end of life.

  33. Julie on October 13, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    I am for horse slaughter. If we are going to euthanize we might as well use the body for a good purpose instead of it just going to waste. Not all slaughter houses are inhumane. Perhaps we need to work on making these places more horse friendly. If you have never watched the movie Temple Grandin you should. Her whole goal was to make slaughter houses calming for the cows and many of the slaughter houses for cows today are built by her.

  34. Shari Dedick on October 13, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    I say that I am against horse slaughter. Why don’t they capture some of the mares and fix them so they cannot breed anymore…then you would have some control over the over-population. When you have to take in a mare or stallion due to the family not being able to care for them, ask for donations to get them fixed and then place them in foster homes until they can find good homes for them. I know a lady down in FL that is doing just that with the horses she is rescuing.

    I also do not think the answer is to put down a perfectly good horse…not unless there are medical problems that cannot be fixed. I know they are putting down a lot of dogs and other animals, but I am working to help find homes for these animals, and place those that are going to be killed in a foster home until they can find the “right home” for them.

    We need more people that can help to step up and take on the challenge. People also have to make provisions in their wills for their animals so that they do not go to “another merciless human”. That is the right thing to do for your pets that you love so much.

    • Jeanne O'Neal on October 13, 2011 at 6:48 pm

      To spay a horse is very very very costly and an indepth procedure the cost to spay a horse is around $800 per animal the cost to castrate a horse is around $100. Horses are pets but they are also a working animal and not one that you can bring into your house.. They are a laboring animal just like a car your job as an owner is to maintain it and care for it or it will fall apart. I love my horses but it is very expensive to dispose of a euthanized horse why not let his or her death benifit some one some where some how.. There are perfectly healthy wild mustangs that are starving and natural selection is taking place. the wild horses are not the problem they are regualted and maintained by the BLM also have adopeted two and trained two not a challege i care to accept again but as a demonstration on my ability to train I accepted once. I enjoy domestic horses much more. Horses have two basic instincts flight and fight. In some very rare cases I have met horses that were beautifull and WORTHLESS the medical bills that an unpredictable horse can cause makes me wonder why any one would want a horse that is unpredictable. not worth the risk better horses should recieve better care and better treetment. Especialy in the case where training is not the issue but more the personality of the animal. For example had a mare that was domesticly raised would ride but absolutly wanted to kill every other horse she met humans ok not a big deal. she was raised in illinois with a heard of horses. the problem walk into the pen and get ran over by other horses trying to get out of her way. Or get kicked in the cross fire. Good horse rode fine but you could never put her in a pen with other horses or trust her to not kick on a ride.. dangerous horses need to put down but she was healthy. why not let someone eat her?

  35. Beth on October 13, 2011 at 11:59 am

    The truth is, ethuenizing is expensive, you have to have a vet, to do the job, don’t have your own backhoe to dig a hole? You have to rent one or spend the next week digging it with your own shovel. The horse market in the US crashed when the slaughter houses were shut down. Jobs were lost and in turn it created more horses going to slaughter, but now they have to travel to Canada or Mexico. MY solution would be to regulate the slaughter houses better and create more of them so horses don’t have to travel as far and get trampled in the process. Say, no horse that can’t stand on all 4 legs, no horse under the age of 1 year, no horse under the height of 14 hh (you can then have a load of horses where no horse is over the height of 14hh) And all horses are slaughtered in a humane way of the contained bullet.

    • Jeanne O'Neal on October 13, 2011 at 6:38 pm

      Minimm height of the trailer should be 2 ft taller than the tallest horse on the load. and the size of the animals in each compartment should be about the same. i agree with no horses under the age of two Unless it has a qualifying reason to be slaughtered. i do think that they need to walk on all 4 feet. I also think that they should be unloaded and watered every 4 hours when being hauled. and some form of minimum square feet required based on weight of a horse..

      • stonepony1s on October 13, 2011 at 10:57 pm

        I don’t agree about the horses that are lame or cripled not being slaughtered. I think that sometimes that is the most humane thing that can be done for them. they would have to be treated more kindly on the way to the slaughter house though.

    • stonepony1s on October 13, 2011 at 10:54 pm

      Maybe a rule if you buy ponies to slaughter they must be in a seperate area from horses or you must have all ponies in you trailer. Something like that so that the big one cannot trample the little ones. There should be a rule on how many can be put into one trailer acording to its size.

  36. Jeanne O'Neal on October 13, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Note that the pony here is a “rescue” he was wormy uncastrated and untrained when he came to my farm. The Idea of fixing up a horse that has fallen into the “wrong” hands is now a financial burden insted of a break even proposal. Why dont people understand there is no such thing as a “free horse” and bring back the base market for the horses. Side note also rescued a registered filly that was underweight that the owner had paid a stud fee, fed a mare for a year (she was thin also but I cant take them all) and paid 15 dollars to “sell” her for 5 to me; she will start training under saddle in the spring. no one wants something that has no Value… why pay to feed a colt for two years? when you can buy a trained horse for less than $300.. BTW this filly has a pedigree that was no accident. So back yard breeders are only part of the problem. Another filly was bought as a group of three (verry affordable at 150 for the group) here in kansas the other two horses died in the pen from starvation, the new owners didnt think about the cost to feed them they just wanted a horse.. When she was reported as many horses are there was no infustructure to take her in at the local animal controll facility. I took her in and she has since been re-homed and has recovered. By the same token I have met horses that the owners “loved” and were living the good life. Frustrated with both sides of the issue.

    • stonepony1s on October 13, 2011 at 10:51 pm

      Me too but there is just not enough caring people or money to go around.

  37. Letitia Hise on October 13, 2011 at 11:54 am

    While euthanizing may be more humane, disposing of the bodies becomes an issue as well. Slaughter is much more practical, but needs to be done in the most humane way possible. My feeling is to push for having Temple Grandin devise the slaughter rules and regulations including developing approved designs for the facilities. She has done it for cattle and the facilities she designed keep the cattle calm and the process as humane as it can be. (Much better than many animals receive at the hand of nature.) Transport, too, of course must be addressed. I would trust her judgement in devising rules for that as well. Trying to do away with slaughter has only caused more problems, and it would be much better to keep the slaughter here in the US and regulated than to have these poor horses shipped down to Mexico where God knows what goes on in those slaughter houses.

    • stonepony1s on October 13, 2011 at 10:46 pm

      That sounds like a good plan.

  38. Ayla on October 13, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Personally I would like to someday see restrictions on breeding(of all pets and possibly people). I think it would be great if registeries had inspections for all animals that would be registered as breeding stock so that the non breeding stoks offspring could not be registered. I am against horse slaughter in it’s current conditions.I have heard that in places like France they have places kind of like meat lockers where horses are unloaded and are shot quickly.It would be quick and humane though some good horses would still be killed-an alternative would be to have places like shelters where horses go and if they are not adopted they are brought to places like that?

  39. shirley autra on October 13, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Due to people that think horses do not have feelings of pain and hunger—-we need to have a place that horses can be taken when God’s humans do not care for God’s creatures. I wish there was a retreat that old and neglected horses could go to live their lives out in comfort , but there is no place. People are breeding horses carelessly—I don’t mean you shouldn’t breed, but know where and what you plan to do with these animals. I believe that with strong controls and proper transportation—-we need for the time being slaughter houses. They are transporting horses to Mexico that has no regulations and the animals are treated horribly. We must stop this and we need to realize that not having the slaughter houses is not stopping careless breeding and abuse of horses—-let’s get control of the slaughter houses and work on educating people about proper care and treatment of horses. There is nothing more beautiful of God’s creatures as when a happy, healthy horse is running happily in a pasture—we are to be animals caretakers according to God’s word!!!!

    • stonepony1s on October 13, 2011 at 10:44 pm

      What I think that needs to be started is a way to stop the good horses from going to kill and only the unuseable ones let go to slaughter.

  40. Jeanne O'Neal on October 13, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Though I love and work with horses every day there is an influx of unwanted horses since the slaughter plants have closed. The result is that there are many animals not recieving the care that they deserve. A horse is like a family member to some and it should be the owners choice to euthanize the animals that are thier family. On the other side I would much sooner that an animal is slaughtered and endures a few days for shipment and as painless of a death as posible durring the hauling and pre slaughter process. The idea of horses being slaughtered is not one that I like to call to mind however. the slaughter of horses fueld an industry of trainers horse shoers, traders and vetrinary care, as well as provided a consistant demand for quality hay to farmers. Many more cases of neglected horses and horses that are not trained are present in the market today. An animal that has a financial value has much greater odds of recieving at least the care provided to livestock. Standing in pens and lots all accross america at this time as well as being turned loose on the streets or in parks are horses that are dying from starvation and lack of care. Given the option of starving to death or dying swiftly at a plant I would choose a plant. With this being said I have rehabilited many well breed horses that were starved down and placed them into homes that are loving. There are many more animals in the us than there are responsible and loving owners. If I accepted every animal in my area for rescue that was unwanted I could not feed or do justice to any of them. As a horse lover I pleed to the the rational hearted to write to your legislators to re open the plants. Require better care and better procedures for the shipment containment and slaugther of the animals untill they are as defined in the veternary manuals humanly euthanized using a bolt action gun. having a vetrinary perform the bolting and puting regulation in to place would be an acceptable comprimise on this issue.

  41. cmsq on October 13, 2011 at 11:42 am

    I agree Stacy. Horses seem to be caught in the between world of livestock and pet. There is a hunting season for deer and other wildlife to control over population. Over population of livestock is controlled by the market. Over population of pets is controlled by shelters…some kill some don’t. It seems that some horses will have to be put down in some form or another be it euthanasia or at the slaughter plant. My heart breaks to see animals given up because the owners can no longer take care of them or no longer want them, many dogs & cats find new, loving homes at shelters maybe the horses could too.

  42. Lindsey on October 13, 2011 at 11:36 am

    I find slaughter to be a necessary evil. With the falling economy and over popultaion, something needs to be done. Its what drives the market. A well trained horse that was worth 5 grand 10 years ago you couldn’t get $200 for now. No one wants to see their beloved pets go that way, but there will always be the horse no one can train, or the one extra that you can’t even give away. How far are people willing to let PETA and the ASPCA go? Pretty soon, there will be no slaughter of pork, beef or chicken. Personally, I think horse slaughter needs to be brought back.

  43. Jessica Crider on October 13, 2011 at 11:35 am

    I am an animal lover, don’t get me wrong, but I have to say I am for slaughter…There are so many rules and guidelines in this country that have to be followed at slaughterhouses that it is almost insane. I think that it is more humane to any animal to put it out of it’s misery quickly, rather than to draw out their death (as with euthanaisia-they DO know what’s going on, and they DO have feelings). We have a growing problem in the United States as the number of horses is getting out of control; and people can’t afford to take care of them all…What do we do with the lame, crippled, suffering animals? We also have a problem with people that are homeless and starving…solution? Possibly.

  44. Emily J. Larramore on October 13, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Our economy is in shambles right now, and horses are a large financial investment. You can find NICE horses for FREE all over the internet and, people are just letting their horses go. There are rescues that are doing the best they can, but it is becoming too much, and the horses are suffering. I do not think letting a horse starve to death is humane, but I do think, helping a horse move on that will not be taken care of in the future is something that needs to be done. This is not just a horse situation, its a dog, cat, and other animal situation. This all stems from the human. STOP BREEDING!! There are too many people with paperless horses, dogs, and cats having babies, its a vicious cycle that is not stopping any time soon. Put an end to useless breeding, put a end to starvation, and in the meantime, be as humane as we can and help these animals from suffering.

  45. Susan Germanio on October 13, 2011 at 11:09 am

    I agree that this is a practical alternative.

  46. jean on October 13, 2011 at 10:21 am

    It breaks my heart to go to auctions and see little Johnny or Jennies Thunder or Max standing in the kill pen, because thier parents lost thier jobs and have to pay thier mortgage. these days there are alot of good horses, family pets going to auction, and there are alot of starving horses standing in fields with no feed or hay, because thier owners can no longer feed them and won’t give them up. I don’t know the answer, but I would rather see these pets uthanised, I’m not talkingabout the rank, untrained horses, I’m speaking up for the ones that have willingly done our bidding, or have been some childs companion that went to college and lost interest, or the ones that have gotten old and some feel are just a burden anymore, I see alot of those in the pen. they reached that ripe old age and served someone well, so be kind to them, help them go to sleep. I have 25 year old, in excellent shape, I saved him from just one of these situations and the next place he will live after my house is heaven, I will put him down, if I cant afford to care for him, before the thought of him going to another merciless human. so I say if you love them, help them die peacefully.

  47. Colleen on October 13, 2011 at 10:15 am

    It is a sensitive topic for many people and I appreciate that. I think the idea of having a governed shelter for large companions that are not able to be cared for properly (their health is at risk – they will physically suffer, not for a few moments but long term) is a good idea. If I had to surrender a horse, I would much rather know that it has been euthanized, however the method, than live out its years with long hooves, lack of food/water or diseased.
    I believe there needs to be more attention spent on a cost effective way of sterilizing fillies. Take the option of breeding sub-par animals out of the equation and it should open up more homes for animals that already exist. The procedure should be reversible, at a cost.

  48. Antje on October 13, 2011 at 8:33 am

    First of all, sorry for sometimes bad english, don’t know every word or phrase. As my father is a veterinary and I’m affiliated with animals, I know about those worldwide existing problems. Starving to death, or better let’s say “letting them starve to death”, of course is not the answer. In Europe people try to set up special horse shelters running with donations.

    Economic crisis caused abandoning horses, also causes it all over the world at every time. Lack of financial resources means including the risk of humans becoming cruel.

    As I’m concerned with the issue “slaughter or euthanasia” since early childhood, also asking many questions to my father, later discussing with others (especially owners of horses, animals), and as I know how a brain works, I’ve got special opinion: “Death” is cruel. Even heart attack (the great one) is bloody and cruel but we can’t see it. Blood vessel bursting means sudden death and blood in the body. Veterinaries know that slaughter made in a professional concentrated and well focused manner is a humane death and not cruel but just cruel to our eyes.

    Euthanasia in horses is a little bit complicated and needs a good worker (veterinary, specialist, expert, you know what I mean) too. But, being honest, if I were a horse, or in general an animal, I’d prefer being slaughtered (or shot by a gun) in a professional well focused manner because at euthanasia I miss the moment of being shocked (which means being without feelings, fear and pain). Euthanasia first of all was developped for the human’s eyes. They tried to develop a kind of death without blood and “cruelty”. They sometimes work with paralysing agents and death is slowly. Many questions remain to be answered if you really want to know what happens every second while being euthanised (have had many discussions with my father concerning this). I admit that I’d prefer a well focused slaughter or shoot at my small pets too but of course this is impossible.

    So back to the horses: A sheperd learns how to slaughter sheeps. This is not cruel but humane: He doesn’t want to be alone with an injured sheep in the wild, without any veterinary, watching the injured sheep slowly dying in a cruel way without any help. Big problem concerning horses slaughter is the slaughter in masses (I mean rapid slaughter of many horses). This is a worldwide problem of slaughterhouses. They try to make it fast and cheap in a cheap manner with cheap workers, that means in a cruel manner. Regarding this there is need of outright ban of slaughtering in masses (many animals in a short period of time) over the whole world. So to my personal opinion best solution could be: Trying to save starving horses, collecting donations, but if you can’t help anymore, euthanasia (or shooting) in a well focused professional manner, which is a little more expensive than slaughtering in masses but cheaper and (to my very personal opinion) safer (let’s say “more natural”) than euthanasia.

  49. Liseanne on October 13, 2011 at 8:18 am

    Although I don’t like to think about it, it is an unavoidable subject if you work in the equine industry.

    The idea of slaughter, the way it is supposes to be, is not horrible, if you look at it as reusing the meat, of animals that are beginning to over populate.

    But that’s not how it’s gone about, slaughter houses are not a humane way to go, so in that light I am against it.
    People are taking the easy road, of course euthanasia would be a kinder solution to the over population of unwanted horses, but it’s more expensive, and takes more man power, and time.

    The world is slowly getting better on this subject, and a pray that someday euthanasia will replace all slaughter houses, even if it’s not in my life time.

    Another idea, that could even be used in tandem with yours, would be to put some restrictions on breeding, this could make the “back-yard horse owner” lean more towards the new breed of horse…
    Around here they are saying there is a new breed of horse “The Rescue” this spike in rescued horses being taken in by horse owners, I think is helping us – in this area at least – to find a better solution.

    People I find tend to think of “The Rescue” as a hobbling old, three legged, one eyed mess of a horse, that nobody wants, but more often then not, they are just great horses in bad situations.
    I have even heard of some people going to auction houses and getting fully papered horses, with great blood lines, that where just sold to the wrong people.

    I have a rescue myself, a little Heinz 57 pony, and he is in great health, great with kids and was literally pulled right of the meat truck by his past owner.

    So why not?

    • Cyndy on November 2, 2011 at 10:48 am

      most of us have a rescue….whether a husband, horse, dogs or cats. The problem is that there are more critters in need of rescue than there are ready willing and able rescuers. Evidence that several 501C3 well meaning rescues have become the problem as they take in more than they can handle and go broke trying. Noone wins in those situations. Not everything broken can be fixed, but I believe the slaughter houses can be fixed, and that IS the euthanasia principle. United has a program I can believe in and maybe you can too. They want to reopen the slaughter houses but also want to do whatever they can to keep horses OUT of the slaughter houses. And for those who go in… they want to mandate Dr. Temple Grandin’s program. Dr. Grandin has devoted her life to creating humane ‘exit strategies’ for horses and cattle. Her parameters are so strict that if 3 out of 100 horses brought in for slaughter react verbally or phsyically in fear, then the facility is considered in failure and must be closed until the offending factor is resolved. Monitoring would not be accomplished only by on site govermment inspectors, but also by volunteers who are acting remotely by camera/computer surveillance. A very difficult but neccessary volunteer position…. done for the love of the horse. I am not saying that slaughter houses are the only solution, but that they are a necessary PART of the solution.By eliminating that option we have created far more problems than solutions, and it is time that we fix that because we have been loved by these magnificent creatures, we owe them better than they are getting.

  50. Cindy on October 13, 2011 at 8:11 am

    I hear your concern, Stacy. It is unfortunate but what you have stated is so very true and sad. At the moment I cannot remember where you live but want to give you something to research. I am from the Midwest but had the extreme fortune to visit the beautiful state of Utah numerous times over the last two years. There is a fabulous group of people in Kanab, Urah, who do an amazing amount of work caring for animals. Yes, horses are included. Animals nay live out their lives there. There is a beautiful burial garden. It is located on hundreds of acres. If you have a moment, look them up online. Be sure to read about the two special horses (one adopted; other may be but for sure are going together. Lady been waiting years for their feet to heal.). Anyway, they built a very special barn for these horses with horrible hoof issues; they are on recycled tennis shoes all day! The info can be found Best Friends Animal Sanctuary (Kanab, Utah). Let me know what you think!

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