The ban on the commercial slaughter of horses: More unintended consequences

All of the concerns of abandoned horses and the other consequences of the US laws to shut down the commercial slaughter of horses seem to be coming to pass.

There is a national epidemic of “surplus” or “unwanted” horses. Domestic horses are being abandoned as never before. Some are being released as “strays” on public lands. Others are being left to starve in pastures denuded of grass. The reasons are various and excruciatingly complex.

There are, to begin with, too many horses in the USA: 9.2 million as recently as 2005, up from 5.3 million in 1999. Indiscriminate breeding leads not just to too many horses, but also to too many with physical or behavioral faults that render them unsuitable for domestic uses.

Then there’s the economy. Horses are not cheap to keep. Factor in training, vet care, tack and feed, and the expense averages $1,800 to $2,400 per animal, per year — and rising, as grain and fuel costs increase. According to the American Horse Council, a third of horse owners have household incomes less than $50,000 a year. When it comes to feeding your horses or putting gas in the car, the choice is simple, if painful.

But the single overriding cause of “surplus” horses is the movement to ban the sale of horses or their meat for human consumption. Activism forced the last three horse slaughter plants in the U.S. to close last year. They had hitherto processed about 100,000 horses annually, mostly for meat sales to France and Japan, where horse meat is considered a delicacy.

Not that facts and common sense carry any weight where emotional issues are involved.


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One Response to “The ban on the commercial slaughter of horses: More unintended consequences”

  1. Thomas Lee Trevino Says:

    The bullcrap story of unwanted horses or horses being abandon or that increase abuse and neglect is increasing. Are only being fed lies to promote a foreign business that pays no gross income tax nor exports as most americans are subject too. Dont let these idiots lie to you. There all making money to support there evil ways. The AQHA and the APHA promote back yard breeders to continue to breed for profits. The AVMA and the AAEP which took an oath in office have lied and failed the trust of responsible horse owners. They knew horses were going to mexico for a far worse slaughter being stabbed in the neck several times they also Texas Plants operated illegal for years and in secret. They also knew they were hauled for hours inhumanely in double deckers. Its all about the money. Slaughter numbers were at $42,000 in 2002 there were no increase of abuse and neglected horses the increased of slaughter was due to the plants having to hire lawyers and lobbyist represent them and to also finally pay for there Inspectors since again we the tax payer were paying for these inspectors. Abuse and neglect has only increase because of slaughter the killers at plants know there are some people having hard times and there ready to cash in at some peoples downfalls. Neither the AVMA ,APHA, AQHA, AAEP set funds aside to help rescues only profits. We have started a program that is awarding rescues for doing the right thing called the Top Ten Rescues for Donations for more info visit

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