Have you been to a horse slaughter sale?

This may seem like an odd question but I am trying to gather information. I try to visit a sale like this at least twice a year. No, it is not enjoyable, but it does keep me grounded and aware in a very real way. If you do check ‘Yes’ please leave a comment about where the sale is held. I have gone to Sugarcreek in Ohio. I would be interested in other known locations.

91 Comments

  1. Ginger on September 3, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    I went the first time when I was first trying to find my first horse. I did not even know there was such a thing as horse slaughter. The second time I went and held up signs with my sister out front that warned people who may not realize if they sold their horse it MAY be going to slaughter and was actually “confronted” by a “killer” buyer who wanted to know why we were out there doing that to “people trying to make an honest living”….It is in Shispshawana Indiana..

  2. Heidi (nrhareiner) on July 31, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    I have been to a few when I lived in Tn. The ones I know about up in Ohio are the ones that have already been mentioned. Then there is Shippsie in In.

    What I find with these sales is that it is not just horses but Dogs and many other animals. As a breeder I try very hard to produce the best horses posible. Using proven stock. I have chose not to breed either of my dogs even though they have done well in the show ring. As a foster I find that there are just too many dogs needing homes. I find the same thing with some levels of horses. It is too bad people do not think before they act.

  3. Majela on June 12, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    I have never been to this one, but is in Unadilla NY. KB sale and horses go very cheap

  4. Dee on May 18, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    that was in southern Sapin with a client who wanted my help… it was traumatic and shocking and sad. There were hundreds of horses…of all kinds and injured in many ways.
    Big fan by the way Stacy, your famous video with wonderful Roxy makes me cry every time.
    Thanks for doing what you are doing!

    Dee

    • Dee on May 18, 2012 at 2:24 pm

      SPAIN guys, sorry.

  5. Theresa Blair Gray on April 10, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    http://www.tradingplaceamerica.com/auctions.php

    This is the link for the Shipshewana Horse Auction.. Loose horses are supposed to sell at 10:30 – but if you are interested in bidding it is a good idea to be there by 9… Happens every Friday. Have pulled heavily pregnant APHA registered mare, 8 month old foals, who had never been handled, blind horses, as well as others who have gone on to be great horses. The majority of them are shipped to Canada, however it’s an open market and anyone can bid, and the horses end up anywhere. The loose pen is not the only source for purchase. If they sell cheaply enough, they will be bought directly from the saddle horse ring as well…

  6. Carla on April 9, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Cowtown Livestock Auction, Turlock, CA This is not a high end auction although I have seen good quality horses go thru the auction and bring some good cash. Cheapest horse I have seen so far was $5.00. Black mare that wasn’t very well fed and nothing to write home about. I would classify her as a backyard failure.
    Billings Horse Auction, Billings Montana has a large sale every month and publishes it’s loose horse auction prices. This auction has both ends of the spectrum, so I use it to keep myself abreast of what the market pulse is. The prices of horses is starting to come back up with advent of slaughter houses being built in several states.
    Edmenton, Alberta, Canada has a horse auction and a slaughter plant near by. They buy horses at the local auction. You can send horses in for sale marked for “Slaughter Only” which keeps people from buying a horse with serious problems from being purchased. (i.e unsoundness issues, ALD’s, etc.
    Now my nickles worth. Horses are livestock and thus do not fall into the puppy/kitty catagories. I have cows that I brush & pet but they still are livestock. Like any rancher, I love my animals and take good care of them but ultimately my calves will be your steak dinner. I do not eat horsemeat but I do not condemn those that do. I have been breeding horses for almost 35 years and it is not done without a plan. Yes, I do not see as much money for my stock as I once did, but a good quality riding horse still brings a fair price. Good luck on your research.

  7. Darcy on April 7, 2012 at 3:39 am

    One is held every second saturday of the month at Knoxville Livestock Centers in Knoxville, TN. Horses for slaughter are sold first, then the riding horses are sold. It’s hearbreaking to see young, old, healthy, and malnourished horses sold alongside one another simply because down here selling by weight gets the most profit. My boyfriend and I were looking to purchase a large draft mule with a cataract in one eye (well kept, clipped, sweetheart while handled), however, the kill buyers outbid us by miles, even though they knew we were looking to give him a home and not slaughter him. It was completely disheartening to say the least.

  8. lynn villarreal on April 3, 2012 at 11:22 am

    I live in AZ and was told there is an auction place in Chandler AZ called Pacific Livestock Auction. One trainer told me don’t ever go there as it is depressing, stressful for the animals, and heart breaking to see what happens. Another person bought a filly from there and told me the same thing. She had a bad mark on her shoulder where I was told they had tried to brand her and when he saw her, blood was running down her leg. He was only able to save her. Told me there was another pregnant mare, nice-looking, that he could not save. I recently paid $400 for a filly which I thought was high, but I refuse to go to a place like this to find another horse. We are about 3 hours away from the Mexican border where I am told that there are still legal slaughterhouses. Very tragic!

    Lynn

  9. GEMO on April 1, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Get real people. Banning the Slaughter Houses has all but ruined the Horse Industry. People are left with no way out of the financial burden of horse ownership once the animal has become disabled. Regulations say you cannot bury a horse on your own property . . . so, what are people suppose to do with them? Every Rescue Organization you call is FULL, every Foster Home is FULL . . . can you not see the writing on the wall? How do the horses fend in the wild when a cougar runs one down for the dinner kill; do you think that being eaten alive is a fast death? It’s a natural food chain. Horses aren’t going to the slaughter houses for our dinner-table. If the meat goes overseas, who cares; if it goes for dog food, so what . . . it’s a food chain! Our Government does not support our horse fancy interests; it is up to each individual owner. With the economy the way it is, why should I be expected to spend what money I have to support my horse, when I need to feed myself? I don’t hear the same outcry for Cattle, Chickens, Pigs, Sheep, etc.; they are used as companion pets as well as any horse; but, reality is reality. The U.S. does not have to slaughter horses for human consumption; slaughter for carnivorous animal diets or dog and cat food! There are far too many horses and not enough individual incomes to cover them and certainly no Grants. You cannot give a horse away these days; come-on get real people!!! Ban together and offer suggestions for a better way to get rid of the unwanted horses, if there is one; but, for right now, the Slaughter Houses are all we got.

    Despite the fact that horse meat is not widely consumed in Canada, over 90,000 horses a year are slaughtered for food there. Its high-protein, low-fat meat is still consumed in many parts of the world, including Italy, Japan and Brazil. The taboo of eating horse meat persists in most of North America, however, and the Canadian horse meat industry remains controversial. If horse meat isn’t your thing, perhaps you would like camel (Egypt), whales (Norway) or monkeys (sub-Saharan Africa).

    • Majela on June 12, 2012 at 4:47 pm

      Can you stick with the subject. Not everybody agrees with your point of view. If you have a companion, yes it would be your responsability and if you can the euthanize the horse.If your is your comapnion you would not wend it slaughter. That is just weird.
      Have you heard of not breeding or euthanasia?

    • Ginger on September 3, 2012 at 2:15 pm

      If you can’t support a horse..DO NOT GET ONE…If you have one you can’t support..DO NOT take it to slaughter then turn around and get another one..And DO NOT breed when you can not afford to care for them. You say ” People are left with no way out of the financial burden of horse ownership once the animal has become disabled”…..If horse ownership is only a financial burden when your horse is no longer “fun” for you….you should NOT be a horseowner. People can make every excuse in the world…but it all comes down to selfishness and $$$$$$ greed…

      • Heidi (nrhareiner) on September 3, 2012 at 3:18 pm

        It is not about being selfish or greed 99% of the time. It cost more to take a horse to a sale then what you get for the horse the vast majority of the time if they are such that a killer buyer will end up with them. Keep in mind that for a lot of people there is little choice. I am lucky as I can berry my horses and other animals here on the farm but I know a lot of people who cannot. The average cost of rendering or cremating a horse is not cheap.. To cremate a horse here locally is cost about $1500+ then and in all the other costs. Even having one put down a berried here on my property cost about $500.

        As to a disabled horse. Again I am lucky I can keep a horse for about $350/year so when I have an old broodmare who has little to no use she can live out here life here will little problem. However again there are people who cannot do this. They board a horse or only have room for one or 2 horses and they want to do more then have a horse that recycles hay. They want to ride and enjoy their horses. Again I am lucky as I have more then one or 2 horses so if there is one I cannot ride I have another who I can. So do not just think it is about greed or Selfishness. Some times people are left with little choice. Some time life just happens. Someone dies, gets sick has an accident. Then what? If their horses have little value past the fact that, that person lived them. Then what? Are you going to take them? If they have a true value past the fact that someone lives them then there would be easier to find them a new home. I see this a lot with the foster dogs I have had come through here. Some has little value past that fact that they are a live. Fortuity I have been able to add value to some of these dogs and find them good homes. What if that is not possible?

        One thing that I have always said. There but by the grace of God go I. So I will not judge others until I fully understand what and why. Which is next to never.

  10. Erin on April 1, 2012 at 6:19 am

    I have been to auctions in Manitoba where the horses frequently are sold to killbuyers. Horses at these sales may also go on to homes. I once asked a person working at Grunthal how to ensure a horse went to an owner and not the killbuyer, he replied “ride it in.”
    I have learned a few things about kill buyers from these auctions; sometimes they buy horses for resale, they will attempt to outbid you even though they know the horse would be going to a home, and they aren’t adverse to back alley trading (offering you a horse they have just purchased at a mark-up).
    I have seen all ages and weights of horses go, even some emaciated. Killbuyers buy a large amount of the horses, despite condition, etc.

  11. nationalequine on March 31, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Southwest Livestock Auction, run by Dennis Chavez in Los Lunas New Mexico, is a big slaughter auction. Horses are brought in from surrounding states, and from CA, where slaughter is illegal.

    A recent investigative report was done by Animals Angels specifically on this auction house. Here is a link to that report: http://www.animalsangels.org/images/stories/pdf/dennis%20chavez%20slaughter%20horse%20feedlot%20in%20los%20lunas%20nm.pdf

    There are also 2 auction houses in Fallon, NV. They are primarily for cattle, but the horses run through after the cattle are sold by the pound, to two prominent, known “kill buyers.”

    Links to those two auction houses are as follows:

    Fallon Livestock Exchange http://www.fallonlivestock.com
    Nevada Livestock Marketing http://www.nevadalivestock.us

  12. Shirley on March 31, 2012 at 9:55 am

    I have been to several, all in Alberta. There is a kill plant in Alberta, so the local auction houses usually run a horse sale that the meat buyers attend. However, those buyers don’t send all of the horses to the kill pen, they do try to place the good ones and usually have a list of people they contact if they pick up a likely prospect; also, you can buy horses from them after the auction.

  13. Shelly Hubing on March 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Yes,I try to watch one that is near me every week online. It’s the Centennial Livestock Auction in Ft. Collins, CO. Most horses are sold by the pound, not by the head so it’s obviously a kill auction. I see nice horses go through every week.

    • Stacy on March 29, 2012 at 11:59 pm

      Can you post a link?

      • Shelly Hubing on March 30, 2012 at 12:04 pm

        Yep, it’s http://cla.casauction.com/ On the left hand side there is a link for CattleUSA.com which is where you can register to watch the auction. It’s a very simple form. You can also register to bid online. If you look under Hogs/Horses Market Reports you can see what horses have sold over the last several weeks, but they only list the horses sold by the pound, not any horses that were sold by the head. This week, for example, there were several yearlings and a pony sold. They sold for around $50/each, but they are not listed on the market report for this week. Horses sell Wednesday afternoons, starting anywhere from 2:30 to about 4 or so. Prices listed on the Market Report are listed per 100 weight.

  14. Wanda Gorgoschlitz on March 27, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    When anyone out there can figure out a way to keep 1 million dogs and cats from being put to sleep, we can use the same principles to do the same with horses. I so very much wish there was a magic button, but there isn’t. Education is the only thing I can think of that can have a positive impact. When I finally got my farm, my uncle let me breed a mare of his. She was old, sound, great disposition and breeding and enough quality that he had turned down $20,000. for her. So I bred to an old, sound, well bred, kid safe, 14.1H beautifully balanced stud. I have a 16 hand goofball who has been lame about half of his 9 years. What I see is now that responsible breeders have no bottom price for their horses and they are the people hurt the most by no slaughter. The backyard breeders, care, but don’t have the funds to keep their horses when they lose their good paying jobs like I did. I see people at auctions selling horses they know will have a chance to go to slaughter. But they need to keep their houses and feed their kids. And I can’t go to the local auctions anymore than I can be on the board for the local animal shelter. The local auctions aren’t tagged as slaughter ones, but the kids who have to sell their horse extremely cheap leave in tears knowing where their beloved horse is going.

  15. Shelby on March 25, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    I live in southern Utah and the first Thursday of every month there is a horse auction in Cedar City. I am not positive but I believe that some of the horses sold there are sold to kill buyers. There are some horses sold by the head (to people who I think want them to ride and such) and horses sold by the pound (to the kill buyers I think). I think that there is a time and a place for slaughter houses, but the lady who talked about the euthanasia clinics sounds infinitley better. I am a horse LOVER and also agree with the person who spoke about responsible breeding, for all animals. This is a tough subject and I don’t know that there will ever be a simple answer. Good luck!

  16. Corina on March 23, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    I’ve also been interested in going to a sale, but haven’t yet. I would recommend getting in touch with local equine rescues to direct you to upcoming sales, and so you have someone knowledgable to go with.

  17. Kim Houkding DVM on March 22, 2012 at 10:22 am

    I worked a sale (DVM) for seven years. Twice a month plus specials. We have also had kb at out TB sale. I watched loose horses at every sale-unwanted, uncared for. So sad, but knowing they wouldnt suffer more. I also watched the KB after the sale checking, trying testing which had a use or value other than slaughter. I bought several to keep them from slaughter, too.the KB were more than happy-no profit, just what they paid. They started the bid when no one else wanted a horse. They ended up with the horse if no one wanted it too
    Stacy, I was impressed by your presentation at Iowa Horse Fair! You are a great lady and inspiration!

  18. julie on March 22, 2012 at 12:43 am

    Stephenville auction is the largest kill sale in the state of Texas. Depends on what state you want to visit.

  19. May Snyder on March 21, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    New Holland auction, New Holland Pennsylvania: every Monday 250-300 horses are run through and several well known kill-buyers buy here. The problem is they DO NOT advertise it as such, so people consigning their horses there have no idea their horse might end up on a one-way trip to butchering in Mexico or Canada. Kill-buyers do not have to identify themselves as such at auctions or when calling classified ads, so unless someone knows who they are, the owners may have no idea who they’re selling to.

    I have personally bought at New Holland. Lots of very nice horses. A real shame so many of them are being bought to make meat for export. One of my own personal horse is a beginner-safe sweetheart, and she came from the “as is” part of the new holland sale and would likely have ended up as meat. It would’ve been such a waste for such a well-trained good-tempered sound horse to be killed.

    Some of the rescues send people to New Holland to save a few from a fate in the kill-pens. But it’s tough when we have to pay hundreds of dollars in efforts to outbid the meat buyers, especially for the ‘meatier’ horses. If these horses are so totally “unwanted”, why does it cost $250 to save a quarterhorse’s life? …or $400 to safe a draft horse’s life?

    Camelot in New Jersey sold to brokers. There is a livestock horse auction in Westminster Maryland that could potentially sell to kill-buyers of prices go low enough. Less often than the New Holland auction is the Mel Hoover auction (also in New Holland, PA), and those horses also go cheap enough to attract kill buyers. Basically *any* auction where horses sell with no reserve and fetch under $600 could be supplying slaughter brokers.

  20. Jan Myers on March 21, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Springfield MO. Has a horse auction of the third Friday in each month. Most, if not all the loose horses are bought by known kill buyers. The name of the auction house is Springfield Livestock Marketing Center.

    On a lighter note…Can’t wait to see you again at Horse Fest this year.

  21. Joy Schuetz on March 21, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    I have not been to an auction in many years……I have contact with those who do go. It is a depressing scene, one of despair. You can see it in the eyes of the animals. There is a solution or at least a way to slow down the throwing away of what no longer matters. There are states, counties that are starting to have euthanasia clinics…..for people who cannot afford the cost of putting their old, lame, etc. horses down in a humane way. Free clinics….or very low cost. This does not help the healthy horses being run through auctions pens. Does the public realize that horses with breeding and good training, healthy ones, are sold to kill buyers. The overbreeding of horses, dogs, cats, etc. has got to stop. The condition of horses brought to auction is not always a consideration. I live in Oregon, I have seen the results of horses sold out of auctions to kill buyers and then shipped to Canada or Mexico. They are not going there for a vacation. Mares in foal or giving birth in the kill pen of the buyer. Some are rescued, if a person takes a fancy to one particular horse. Pay the man and you can haul that horse off. It is not even the slaughter of the horse so much as the treatment given to the animal during it’s last days. One needs to follow the whole process not just the sale. We do like to bury our heads and try not to think about what that horse or other livestock is going on to. Pretend it is going to a loving home or a person who will treat it well. Not so much. Humane euthanasia is part of a solution for people. The horses that come in mal nourished and uncared for are at huge risk in the auction pen. The healthy, big, horse is at risk, the little chubby ponies are at risk……..of slaughter. Foals, yearlings, unwanted average and not so average are all just pounds of meat to the buyer. I do not believe the owner will have gotten enough money for their animal to cover the cost to transporting it to the auction. When a beautiful, registered, paint gelding with papers sells for $60.00, a two year old with excellent ground manners………..what do people think a skinny, depressed, dirty looking horse goes for? I am thankful that this lovely horse I spoke of was rescued by a place called Horse Plus Humane Society, was cared for until a new home could be found. Former TB race horses, horses of breeding and who have won money for their owner…………..sold for meat. The auction I speak of is in Central California. I see the results…………be responsible for your horse, dog, cat. Remember the moment you got that creature……why do you cast it off because you are no longer interested. There are places and people who will help. Keep asking the questions Stacey, people need to look it square in the face. Too sensitive……makes you sad….too depressing….how do you think the horse feels. They would not choose it, WE choose it for them. STOP BREEDING. The big QH breeders who overpopulate………..STOP IT. Dumping the average ones without a thought except for dollars. Auctions are not fun, exciting places full of promise any longer. They are “death camps”. There has to be a better way. God did not place these animals in our care to be abused but instead to respect them and the service they provide. Show respect owners. Give your animal a dignified end and that does not mean dumping them at the auction.

  22. Erin/IAm on March 21, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Great subject to bring up…gets perspectives up & about…let’s people ‘see’…Thanks!

    Auctions are for people who feel the need to ‘get at least some of their ‘investment’ back’. As if the horse did not ‘invest’ her lifetime into the situation! Silly, arrogant humans, huh? But, these businesses exist because their is a market for them…the only way to adjust business is to redirect their market.

    Many creatures have sacrificed themselves over many thousands of years toward homo-sapien evolution…Perhaps, we should endeavor toward respecting & reflecting THAT ‘investment’?

    I have a feeling that it’s going to be an amazing year of humans & animals pooling resources to accomplish much in awareness of connected-ness, while expressing talents of all species involved…This will be nice to ‘see’, yes?

  23. Jean Fine on March 21, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Stacy, horse slaughter is such a hard topic for horse lovers but I am glad you have the courage to discuss it because “denial” will not make it go away.

  24. Kelly on March 21, 2012 at 8:55 am

    I went to Sugarcreek once, cried the entire way home. I hope to one day have a bigger place, more property and be able to bring home a pair of belgians that worked their whole lives to feed and make a living for people, then were discarded like an old pair of work boots. They need to be put out to pasture and taken care of too with the money they helped make for their owners. I agree horse owners should have retirement plans for their horses! It’s beyond me how anyone can ask a horse to give, give, give, and then when they are seen as “unusable” they are thrown away. Sad, sorry about the rant.

  25. qtswede on March 21, 2012 at 8:30 am

    I go to Shipshewana, IN at least a few times a year. They have the kill pens in the back, as Jane said, but the kill buyers will pick up just about everything that isn’t being bid high. High dollar horses lately have only been going for a few hundred dollars.

  26. Jess on March 21, 2012 at 5:49 am

    I’ve gone to an auction whre they do sell horses and a lot of times, horses will end up being sold to the kill pen, but there are a few rescue organizations that work with the auction, so most of those horses get at least a foster home until they can be adopted out. Still, I think some do end up going to slaughter there.

    There is New Holland, in Pa that I’ve never been to, but know people who’ve gone. They say it’s very dark and depressing there. Some of those horses will end up being bought by people or sent to the NJ auction, but a lot (most?) do end up going to slaughter from that auction.

  27. kim Vorbau on March 21, 2012 at 2:45 am

    No, I haven’t been to a slaughter auction. I don’t think I could behave myself. All of my extra money goes to help horses in need and rescue organizations. I only wish I could do more. I have 2 mares that came to me very thin, an arab and a Tennessee walker. Both wonderful, beautiful animals. I would never abandon them or allow anyone to hurt them. I would NEVER breed them. There are more than enough wonderful horses in the world already. Take care of them before you make more. If you aren’t planning to keep a foal forever and make plans for its care in case something happens to you, then don’t breed. Period.

  28. cowgirliz on March 21, 2012 at 1:43 am

    It’s been a while since I’ve been to a horse sale that included loose horses. Those were the ones that I pretty much knew were slaughter bound. The times I saw this were are various sales in Oregon. I know that was when any horse would still bring about $1.00/pound. So, it’s been a few years ago.

    The emotional, horse crazy girl in me has always cringed at the thought of horses being slaughtered for anyone’s food.
    The more grown up, still in love with horses, but firmly grounded in reality version of me realizes processing horses can serve the highest good of many.

    I feel the last few years have served as a wake-up call to the horse industry in general. If the recession had happened a few years later, how many more horses might be suffering today. Certainly the numbers from the breed registries tell the tale. I believe I saw that there has been a 40% reduction in new registrations from the stock horse breeds. So, it seems we are on the right track with controlling numbers. At least those numbers we can influence. (BLM horses being one that is out of most of our control.)

    I have noticed a lot more information out recently on proper horse care and good accessible basic training. Those both go a long way on helping a horse be sale-able or even re-homeable if needed.

    From what I mentioned above I can sit pretty firmly on the fence for the issue of slaughtering horses. In a perfect world, it wouldn’t be an issue. This world isn’t perfect though and I suspect humanely processing horses may be a necessity for the time being.

  29. Lisa on March 20, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    I attended a sale in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. It is a very sad place to be. Horses that are nothing more than a number…..they come in unkept and unloved. Makes me want to go home and give each horse I own an extra big hug.

  30. jessica on March 20, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    I recently rescued a mare from the kill pen @ Mize Sale barn in Mize, Ms. Several were bought by two different kill buyers. The mare I got didn’t run through the sale. She was already in a lot for the kill buyer’s horses. She is a beautiful mare and is gaining weight and improving everyday. You can see pics of her (Dalila) on my rescue’s FB page. Magnolia Horse Rescue. :). I also try to help Camelot Horse Weekly network their horses by sharing and reposting on FB.

  31. Kathy M on March 20, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    It’s not legal to ship them straight from CA to slaughter, but no one is enforcing it.. all they have to do is run them thru another sale in another state, fake the paperwork, or drive at night..
    I used to go to auctions 30 years ago, and I would buy yearlings and young horses with little training, get them ready to saddle start and then find a girl who always wanted a horse to give them too. (as long as the parents where on board with them having one)

    I have a Rez pony I bought from a KB lot in WA, and a young Haflinger from a KB in PA, (she went thru New Holland Sale) both are in training. The rez pony is going to be free leased to a young girl, and the Haffie? Shes pretty cute, so its tempting to keep her, but she really should be with someone that wants to show or jump her. I also have a couple of Quarter Horses, but my favorites are of course our beautiful mustangs. 😀 They have the best personalities! I just love them.

  32. Stephanie Barnes on March 20, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    I attend several in central Mississippi. The kill buyers are well known around here. If they figure out you are with a rescue group and you bid on a horse, they will run your bid up so that you pay a very high price to rescue the horse.

  33. Dianne on March 20, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    I always thought if I could bear it I’d do a doc on this world (or underworld). I doubt if RFD would air it, though. Doesn’t quite fit our usual fare of happy horse trainers shows we make. I concur that the only outcome could be a cautionary tale of the perils of overbreeding. What I do is make sure my two are forever taken care of. It is a complicated issue, especially when the victims are horses that are sick or lame, too far for even retirement. But there should be more humane ways of getting it done. There should be some honor and dignity in it, at the end.

  34. Kendall on March 20, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    We have 2 a year here (spring and fall) In Grunthal, MB (Canada)… Like above though, not technically a “slaughter” sale, but meat buyers do attend as horses generally always go dirt cheap (even broke and sound horses) so the meat buyers scoop up what they can. Grunthal auction mart lists on their website the sales…spring one is april 28th this year (i will be attending)

  35. Melissa Villa on March 20, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    Triple W Arena in Cookeville TN is held Tuesday evenings. It’s open to the public and many horses are bought by kill buyers and feedlots. I’ve rescued many horses and they’ve all been absolutely wonderful.

  36. Chris on March 20, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    I have been to one, but it was many many years ago. I was in Albuquerque, NM where I grew up. i remember that people that were selling horses that they were concerned about going to the killers, they would put a child on them to ride them through so the crowd would know that they were calm and gentle. I was too young at the time to understand what was really going on, but as I got older and figured it out and what those places were all about it really bothered me. This was also at a time where even a high dollar horse was not safe from the killer. Meat was at a really high price and the killers bid on the biggest fattest horses until they thought there was no profit left on them. this was in the early to mid 80’s when there were slaughter houses everywhere and the horse market was really good.

  37. Olivia on March 20, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    I don’t really know if they were sold, but I saw some messed up horses in a pen at the back of the auction barns. They were beat up(little cuts all over some of them) and several of them were missing an eye or were blind. One was severely lame. There were also two Belgian geldings that were WAAYYYYYY underweight, and some cows. Afterwards I went next door and when I was in the parking lot I looked over and saw two horses piled behind the farthest barn, where the horses that were perhaps for slaughter had been held. There could have been hope for the injured and blind ones, but the dead ones made my stomache turn. What did those horses go through before they died? That question will always haunt me. Where they euthanized by the staff? Or did they die in the corner to be trampled by other horses?

  38. Janice Jirsa on March 20, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    There were several sales in SoCal that had several buyers that regularly attended and bought horses for slaughter. I have not attended in several years, but I believe that they are still taking place. If any member of the public bid on any animal, the slaughter buyers immediately dropped out… they only bid on animals that were of no interest to regular buyers.

    Being in SoCal with multiple racetracks, there were always horses that were terribly crippled or otherwise undesirable. We did get a chance to witness pretty much every problem know to man… an education that I could frankly live without.

  39. Rachel on March 20, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    New Holland,PA

  40. Kathi Cooper on March 20, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    I used to go to New Holland LIvestock Auction in New Holland as a kid when I was unaware of the fate of many of the horses. I went for the first time in years a year ago President’s Day but it was mainly for the purpose of meeting a rescue group from New York who I follow on fb. Project Sage Horse Rescue saved at least six horses that day from the kill pens. It is the same auction frequented by Kelsey Lefever who is currently facing charges of freud after being caught for taking peoples horses for whom she promised good homes and was taking them directly to the kill buyers at the auction, avoiding the auction where lips may have been flipped and horses would have been identified. It’s amazing how many horses go straight to the kill pens at that horrible place every Monday!

  41. Brittany Wiseheart on March 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    I have never been. But, I did get two horses who were going to go to slaughter. One 30+ horse I got was ON a slaughter truck to go to slaughter. We ended up taking him and he has been one the greatest horses ever. He takes care of little kids and will still run barrels at 30+ years old! He loves it. 🙂

  42. Jane Serovy on March 20, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    I’ve been to an auction in Shipshewanna IN where there is a part of the sale barn in the back that is set aside for the “killer pen” auction. These horses are poorly taken care of and then sold for almost nothing. Before they are sold they are kept in small pens with several horses to a pen. They barely have enough room to move.

  43. Theresa Carey on March 20, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    I use to volunteer as “Stable Crew” at a YMCA camp when I was younger. The Stable Director took the ‘crew’ to Sugarcreek. I was a teenager (I am now 35), but the memory is quite vivid. It was my first exposure to the reality of the horse industry…that horses are simply a commodity, and disposed of in the most profitable way possible, if not of value otherwise. To a horse crazy teenager, it was quite a shock.

    But, I think I benefited from this early exposure by learning the importance of training a horse right, breeding responsibly, and the need to plan, financially, for your horse’s retirement.

    The stable crew I was a part of 20 years ago, has collectively purchased each and every horse that was part of our herd when we worked there as teenagers, and have retired them, to prevent them from going to slaughter. They toted thousands of campers, Indian Princesses, and even mentally and physically disabled, on trail rides and around the ring. They deserved a happy home when they were no longer able to serve.

    Thanks for this post. Although I have sent numerous checks to my friend (a stable crew from our teenage years) who boards the retired horses (just a couple horses and a donkey still alive), I haven’t in a while. I am writing a check today and sending it her way. Everyone needs to realize that horses need a retirement plan, just like they do.

    Additionally, I have a fairly nice QH mare myself, (papered, good breeding, 16 hands, and a looker). I have been tempted to breed her to a nice stud, with the hopes of getting a competitive show prospect of my own. But, I vowed never to breed an average horse, because the likelihood of getting another average horse is too high (even if I breed to a proven stud). Although she looks good ‘on paper’, and is pretty, my mother always said, “Pretty is as pretty does”. So, hopefully I will get some points on this mare during the next couple show seasons, and then I can justify breeding her.

    I think everyone needs to visit a ‘slaughter sale’. I’m not against horse slaughter entirely, only because I think it is a better option than the neglect that an unwanted horse often suffers without this option. But, you can obviously see that I am passionately against irresponsible breeding, not investing in your horse’s training, and the discarding of horses that have served their people their entire lives. Maybe if we made more of a fuss over these things, slaughter wouldn’t be such a necessary evil.

    Stacy, not sure if you were hoping for more than a simple response from the question you posed, but, what a great question to ask people! You got me going 😉 Hope you don’t mind! I hope more horse owners will visit a slaughter house and take a first hand look at their horse’s potential ‘retirement’, if they don’t invest in their horse’s breeding, training, and golden years.

    • Stacy on March 20, 2012 at 10:11 pm

      I like your ‘not so simple’ response! And that is great that you wrote a check and helped those horse too. I think that from this blog someday will be born an idea that can make a difference….actually you did just make a difference, thank you.

  44. Elizabeth Sherstoff on March 20, 2012 at 11:00 am

    It’s sad to be entirely aware of the plight of so many horses that I cringe when I see a young foal rather than be thrilled at it’s beauty. In this day and age, these are luxury pets and ought to be regarded more than as if everyone had to have one in years past. With all the horse has done for us, they simply deserve so much better.

    To have served it’s whole life and end up at auction is the utlimate betrayeal and a shame to all horseman.
    .

  45. Sandra Clifton on March 20, 2012 at 9:38 am

    No, but I will check around.

  46. Maria Petrillo on March 20, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Yes, New Holland, PA

    • Rebecca ALlen on March 20, 2012 at 10:15 pm

      New Holland Pa

    • Tara Datz on March 20, 2012 at 10:51 pm

      I go to new holland as well

    • Gloria on April 23, 2016 at 10:48 am

      There are two different sale barns in New Holland that sell to kill buyers. Both do hold specialty sales that are not geared toward kill buyers and most of the horses/ponies bring high prices. However, there are always the few animals who sell at kill buyer prices. Both also hold regular sales that the kill buyers get most of their horses from. The New Holland Sales Stables holds their regular sales on Mondays. Mel Hoover Stable also in New Holland holds regular sales two Saturdays a month plus various specialty sales. He also has a facility in NY.

  47. Gwen Confalone on March 20, 2012 at 8:40 am

    I have not been in person, but “virtually”: I attend two every week. They are: Camelot Auction House in Cranbury, NJ, and New Holland Auction in Pennsylvania.

    Its a shame that so many people consider an animal a possession that they can just throw away when they are done with it. And I have seen some very, very well bred horses come through, too. We need to stop overbreeding!!!

    • Stacy on March 20, 2012 at 10:08 pm

      Can you share with me how I can ‘virtually’ attend also?

    • Majela on June 12, 2012 at 4:35 pm

      Camelot, is not a KB sale.

      • Gloria on April 23, 2016 at 10:42 am

        Camelot was sold some time back and is now known as Cranbury Sale Stable. Although it is not a “direct to kill” sale, they do sell to kill buyers. Some of these horses later turn up in kill pens several states away.

  48. Carlye cebul on March 20, 2012 at 8:14 am

    Wooster sale always has buyers for trips to Canada but not all sale horses go to slaughter

  49. Noni Bodkin on March 20, 2012 at 8:11 am

    Stacy, are auctions for slaughter noted as such? Or does this potentially happen at many sales where horses are not selling well and are going “cheap” ? I have been to a few regular sales where I have wondered if the horse or pony will go to a good home.

    • Stacy on March 20, 2012 at 10:07 pm

      Usually the sale will have a bit of a reputation as one because they don’t generally go and buy just a couple of horses. So they tend to go where they can get quite a few, at least that has been my experience. Not saying there isn’t a trickle down effect of them getting there though (one small sale to another). A low price doesn’t always mean slaughter.

      • Tara Datz on March 20, 2012 at 10:50 pm

        I volunteer at a horse rescue Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue that buys horses being sold to slaughter, rehabilitates them, retrains them, and then tries to adopt them out. Talk to Christine Hajek, she can give you all the information that you want/need to be a part of stopping the horror.

      • melisse on March 21, 2012 at 12:09 am

        Hi Stacy. I went to Mikes Livestock Auction in Mira Loma, CA
        http://www.mikesauction.com/

        We were not there at the time the horse auction began, but it was obvious that shipping companies were offering transport of large numbers of horses to anyone who was buying in bulk. We are close to the Mexican border and it is so sad to think of the final destination for many of these animals. It’s on my bucket list to save at least one auction horse or pony one day and to rehome him. I also dream about picking up a retired thoroughbred from the Del Mar racetrack for the same future). Our vet says she will go with me, it’s just a scary proposition- Will I be able to actually take just one? Will I be putting my own horses and kids at risk by bringing this unknown animal home? What if no one wants it? Will I be stuck with a hard to home horse? It’s not a decision to take lightly. It would make a great RFD-TV show though!!!
        God Bless~
        melisse

      • Kim Rogers on October 22, 2016 at 11:29 am

        Shipshewana, Indiana Fridays 10 am in the very back there are all kill pens. Help Stop This Abuse, euthanize at home. It should be against the law to live haul these animals from feedlot to feedlot being starved and abused before being slaughtered. If the carcass must be utilized the for economic reasons why not have a refrigerated truck route that comes to the homes and eutanizes and loads only the carcass not a live animal. I know that sounds bad but what is happenning now is CRUELTY and TORTUE. This really is an economic issue that has become INSANE. THERE HAS TO BE A BETTER WAY.

    • Tara Datz on March 20, 2012 at 10:55 pm

      Sometimes they go to good homes. Most of the time they go to a broker that will buy them cheap and then go to sale after sale until they are bought, or the meat buyers with bid on a cheap horse then sell it to slaughter. Meat buyers usually go for the drafts because they get payed by the pound. Sad to think they get payed to kill an animal so it can be sold as a high-priced appetizer in other countries.

      • cody walton on July 18, 2013 at 3:22 pm

        i have read alot of this crap bout killin a horse some how a bunch of city dudes an bleedin hearts have try to bring a horse to a human equal.PEOPLE WAKE UP they are a animal as nice as they are . why dont you spend an show this kinda concern about some litttle kidds that truely need help. an quit pissin with people that know what they are doing if you dont like it. THEN STAY A WAY FROM IT dont here any cryin bout killin cattle,,,oh thats ok cause uall eat beef…………………..

        • Majela on September 28, 2013 at 7:52 am

          Simply put,there is no humane horse slaughter. People pick and chose their passions. Mine is ending horse slaughter and I do not live in the city. I am also boycotting beef along with many others. I do not need you to tell me what I should do with my time.

        • Debbie on October 1, 2015 at 6:37 am

          Wow, I cannot believe that you feel that you have the right to tell people who and what they are able to care about. Just because you don’t care if horses are being killed for no reason doesn’t mean that others can’t care. If you don’t like the fact that we all care about this cause, then go to a starving child page and make your opinions made clear there since that seems to be YOUR passion. I have been rescuing horses for many years and I will continue to try to save every last one of them and not you or any one else has the right to tell me or any of us that we need to get into other interests. People in the U.S. don’t eat horse and that’s why it’s so appalling. Simply stated, if you don’t agree with what we are passionate about then just go away and put your energy into something that you care about. You can’t tell others what to do, you’re being a bully.

  50. Lizzi Lake on March 20, 2012 at 6:50 am

    I’m not sure that they’d do this sort of thing in Australia ..I’ve never heard of it anyhow .i could never ever go to one as I’d want to rescue them all

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