Every year, approximately 100.000 American horses are slaughtered for human consumption. They are transported across the border to large slaughter facilities in Mexico and Canada and their meat is exported to Italy, Belgium, France and Japan. Where do these horses come from? They come from race tracks, farms, riding academies or private owners. They are sold at auctions all over the country where they spend hours and sometimes even days in overcrowded pens, often without access to food and water.
After being bought by a "kill buyer" they are loaded onto a double or single deck trailer and transported to their final destination, one of the slaughter plants in Canada or Mexico. Animals' Angels has documented transport times of more than 35 horses - and at no time were the horses ever given food or water, or had a chance to rest.
Upon their arrival at the slaughter plant, some of them are already “down”, unable to rise, due to exhaustion, dehydration or injuries. These horses are supposed to be euthanized immediately. However, our investigations and research show that this is usually not the case. Federal law requires that horses must be rendered unconscious prior to slaughter, usually by a captive bolt. However, due to horses’ natural aversion of anything approaching their foreheads, some horses, even after multiple attempts, are improperly stunned. They remain conscious as they are hung up by their rear leg and their throat is cut.
At slaughter, living horses’ humane treatment is superseded by economics. Profitability requires speed. But as speed and the rate of slaughter increase, errors and horses’ suffering increase. Holding up the kill line is frowned on. Video footage recorded at a Canadian slaughter plant confirms that operators are pressured to kill faster, egged on with, ‘Hurry it up, guys!’, ‘What’s the hold up?!’, ‘One more!’, and just plain ‘Hurry up, kill her!’
Get all the information! Read our Horse Slaughter Compilation Report, which shows all the evidence obtained by Animals' Angels during 30 months of cruelty investigations...
The language is vague and unclear, a fact that makes enforcement next to impossible.
In 2013, the Safeguard American Food Exports (Safe) Act (HR.1094 /S.541) was introduced to the 113th Congress. HR. 1094 was introduced in the U.S. House on March 12, 2013 by Congressman Patrick Meehan. At the same time, an identical version (S. 541) was introduced in the Senate by Senator Mary Landrieu. Similar to past legislation, H.R. 1094 /S. 541 would finally prohibit the slaughter of American horses for human consumption and their export for slaughter in other countries.
You can help - take action!
Check if your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators are already co-sponsors of the Safe Act, H.R. 1094/S. 541. If they are not, please call to urge your elected officials to become co-sponsors.
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