U.S. horse slaughtering okay'd by Obama, Congress

Mechele R. Dillard's picture

Horse slaughter houses will again be opening in the United States, but the outcry from activists may not come as loudly as one would expect.

Horse slaughtering is again on the table in the United States.

Funding for inspection of horse slaughter houses was ended in 2006, which basically shut them down. This was done with the idea that more horse rescues would follow. However, that is unfortunately not what happened.

Patty Livingston, a horse rescuer in Bethlehem, GA, and president of the Georgia Equine Rescue League, spoke with 11Alive News in Atlanta about the controversial move of putting horse slaughterhouses back in business in the United States, supported by Congress and President Obama. The bill was sent to the president this month; he signed it on Nov. 18, allowing the slaughterhouses to get back to business in the U.S.

But, Livingston indicated that, horrible as it seems, it is the best of the options out there right now. "In 2006 I actually voted to shut them down, not knowing what that was going to mean for our horses," she said. The collapse of the economy led to more horse abuse, Livingston indicated, and abandonment has increased—as much as 60 percent in Colorado, she said, leading to rescue groups becoming overwhelmed and unable to deal with the problem of abandoned and abused horses in the United States.

Slaughter houses in Canada and Mexico have continued to demand horse meat since the U.S. slaughter houses shut down five years ago. So, many old and abandoned horses have been taken across the borders for slaughter—under less humane conditions, Congressman Jack Kingston (R-Savannah) pointed out to 11Alive News.

"In those facilities, particularly in Mexico, the USDA has no jurisdiction and we don't know what kind of facilities they are, if the horses are treated humanely," Rep. Kingston said.

Rep. Kingston did vote to allow horse slaughter houses to reopen, as did various Congressmen from both sides of the political aisle, allowing the bill to be signed by President Obama.

Surprisingly, some horse rescuers, like Livingston, do support the move as the lesser of the evils.

"The cruelty that they endure now is ten times worse than they ever endured when we had slaughter houses in this country," Livingston explained to 11Alive News.

There are over 9 million horses in the United States today; just over one percent, approximately 125,000 are slaughtered each year.

Image: Wikimedia Commons


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Why don't you pull your lip over your head and SWALLOW!! Idiots with bleeding hearts shouldn't have animals!! How about we bring all the unwanted horses to you and you can pay for them!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Maybe the unwanted horses sholdn't have been created in the first place. The breeders are to blame. If you can't afford them and they aren't selling, then don't breed them in the first place. The legalization of horse slaughter in the US is a direct result of over breeding and lack of sales. It's no different than a puppy mill except a large majority of Americans can probably afford to adopt and care for a puppy while only a handful can adopt and care for a horse. Either scenario stil leads to thousands of unwanted animals which we all could have prevented in the first place.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
The same goes for people.The world is over populated with people because of young girls laying on their backs with their legs spread open just so they can get a check every month.This also needs to be prevented.I say spay and neuter all the animals and people.The world is over populated with people so are you gonna start slaughtering the unwanted ones?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
If yall are going to sit here and say lets kill all of these unwanted horses the ones that are mean nasty and just ugly than i say we do the same with people there are alot of mean nasty and ugly people out there....... time to open up a human slaughter house

Submitted by NC (not verified) on
You are asking why the human slaughter houses are not open because people want to kill unwanted...nasty...ugly...horses. Read post #30 "Human Slaughter Houses". People are already being killed because they are ...unwanted... NC (anyone want to buy a horse, we've got 4 for sale)

Submitted by Stephanie M Sellers (not verified) on
Breeders must be held responsible. Go to Horses as National Treasure with Stephanie M Sellers. Website has plenty of information, educational links and the plan to change horse history! Mail petitions today. (links to representative's addresses on website) Petition to Mail Members of Congress, Copy and Mail Today Open Letter concerning passing American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act HR 2966, and to create Bill to cull all breeding incentives and to create a foal impact fee, and to remove horses from USDA. Dear Honorable _____________________________________________, It is a disgrace that in 2007, America closed the last horse slaughterhouse, yet we ship over 100,000 to other countries for horrific deaths and have now re-opened the door in America for horse slaughter. Support HR 2966, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act. Remove horses from USDA list. Cull all breeding incentives and create a foal impact fee. These steps will stop horse over population. Major horse breeders ‘play the sports of Kings’ and send more horses to slaughter than any other group. The Kings of horse breeding make fortunes while sending low performance, injured and confirmation defective horses for horrific deaths in slaughterhouses, then write off their loses. The Kings are financially able to buy more insurance. Do not enable the elite with incentives and write-offs. Make all horse breeders responsible for the horses they create. (1) Remove horses from USDA list, thus omitting tax write-offs on dead horses. (2) Cull all breeding incentives. (3) Create a foal impact fee. These steps are logical. Without USDA horse owners will lose agricultural status and taxes will increase thus creating more funds and omitting horse over population. Problem solved. Phenylbutazone, routinely used in horses, is banned for use in all animals intended for human consumption because it causes serious and lethal idiosyncratic adverse effects in humans, such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. In this lies the merit for a serious lawsuit against our government. Visit the kill floor of one of the horse slaughter plants in Mexico. If you cannot support the above bills afterwards, and take steps to make horse breeders responsible, please, send me a letter explaining ‘your’ logic. Reconsider your position as a supporter of the King’s men. Most Sincerely, ________________________________________________________________signature and date _______________________________________printed name_________________________phone ____________________________________________________________________________address email_______________________________________________________________________________ ____________________________________________________________ All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Why not a bullet in the brain then...whats wrong with that?? Not herding them to their death...slitting their throat, hang them up to bleed out....yeah thats the ticket...I'm not a bleeding heart "idiot" for your information but a member of the NRA, I'm a 60 yr old woman who has been on many hunting trips with my husband...I eat venison and can shoot my Ruger with pretty good accuracy. I sat on top of a bag of moose meat in a plane in Newfoundland on a hunting trip with my husband at age 50. A bullet in the brain is a "humane" way of killing...not your self righteous ranting ...the OWNERS should be responsible

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Apperantly you aren't!! wake up get the facts. This is for the best you don't have to like it

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on


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