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
You ARE obviously NOT an animal lover.

Submitted by Drifter81 (not verified) on

Submitted by Pink (not verified) on
NC....You state that the market has become saturated with "trash" horses? Well guess what!?....YOU, ME...ANYONE reading this is a "trash" human, if our breeding background defines us, or categorizes us as either "trash" or "stallion". Perhaps they should start slaughtering all the humans that are not from a perfect and stellar lineage, starting with ME! But wait...if they did that, there would be zero humans left! Just because this doesn't work out for you and your business does not mean the horses should suffer by a horrible, inhumane, and unjust death (and don't try to argue that it will be humane; we ALL know better!)! If I'm going to starve to death, let me starve. If there are too many people with my same, imperfect DNA, so be it; don't throw me in the back of a semi with a bunch of other starving people (genocide?!) and haul me off to be slaughtered so that my body can be used and consumed by others. That is not how GOD planned for life to end. Who are you to put a death sentence on any being???? For you it's the bottom line....$$$$$$! How lovely that you are "delighted" about this bill being passed. I am disgusted by it...and by your lack of compassion.

Submitted by Camelotfarm (not verified) on
PINK: YOU have a choice to starve or not, horses do not. And have you physcially ever BEEN to a slaughter house and seen with your own eyes (not that propoganda crap PETA splatters all over youtube) a horse slaughtered? And if this is your issue, then lobby for proper policing of existing laws pertaining to humane transport and slaughter of horses. You put humans in the same category as animals. BIG mistake. The day my family goes hungry because I am paying to feed horses (who are a LUXURY) NOT a necessity, is the day I need locked up. Since you brought God into the equation, keep in mind, the bible tells us that man was put on earth OVER all animals, NOT equal to them. If you must use religion to make a point, atleast be accurate.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Having a family is a privilege as well... You don't have to have children to feed... We need to stop putting a bandaid on our problems... Slaughter is a quick fix. Dig deeper and find the underlying issues and come up with a real solution.

Submitted by Pink (not verified) on
Why don't you just cut off the head because their is a cut in the cheek??? Quick Fix Indeed!

Submitted by Stephanie M Sellers (not verified) on
Mail this petition from Horses as National Treasure, with Stephanie M Sellers, to your representatives. 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,

Submitted by Pink (not verified) on
Camelot...... I said IF ...IF I was starving. Not every human has the choice to starve or not to starve. How naive of you to say that!? Have I been to a slaughter house???? Let's just define the word Slaughter...slaugh·ter  noun 1. the killing or butchering of cattle, sheep, etc., especially for food. 2. the brutal or violent killing of a person. 3. the killing of great numbers of people or animals indiscriminately; carnage: the slaughter of war. And I need to actually WITNESS this to know what it defines???? My issue isn't about HUMANE slaughtering. Look up the word HUMANE. No....allow me! Hu·mane   [hyoo-meyn or, often, yoo-] adjective 1. characterized by tenderness, compassion, and sympathy for people and animals, especially for the suffering or distressed: humane treatment of horses. How do you suggest that one HUMANELY Slaughter a being of ANY kind? Why would I lobby for slaughtering of any sort???? I am AGAINST slaughtering and would never lobby FOR it. Nobody said that YOU or your family should go hungry because you are feeding a horse. Where did THAT come from????? I would NEVER let my children starve to allow a horse to live. God granted me the authority over the animals. Let the horse starve, if it comes down to it. I'm not stupid! But do you seriously think a horse would CHOOSE to be slaughtered (go back and look at the definition of slaughter if you need to) and eaten, over just lying down and dying under God's blue skies, and letting it's body go back into the earth???? And I did not put humans in the same category as animals! GOD did. Read a bible! "Rule over" does not mean cause suffering and slaughter for your own selfish desires. God rules over us; do you see Him slaughtering us??????? Where in Genesis (since you are quoting the bible!!!!) does it say -Hear Ye Hear Ye Humans......slaughter thine animals for your own selfish desires????? Find that verse and I'll bow down to you. What God said was, "I have provided you with every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. " Oops.....maybe God made a mistake and meant to say something else, but got tongue tied perhaps??? I don't see the word animal/cow/pig/chicken/turkey/HORSE in that verse. I see only SEED-BEARING PLANT and EVERY TREE THAT HAS FRUIT WITH SEED IN IT! Are you still confused? It's very clear (unless of course you would like to rewrite the bible)....... And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” 27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” 29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Doesn't work, Pink ... Leviticus is where you will find God's food laws for human consumption ... and, yes, the animals we not only *can* but *should* eat are listed quite plainly and, yes, they remain valid to this very day ... no, pigs and horses are not in that list of animals for human consumption ... but, yes, cows, chickens, turkeys and other animals are ... God doesn't get "tongue-tied," but He does often get misquoted and have His words twisted by those who either do not rightly divide the Word and understand what they are saying, or who intentionally use Scripture to mislead ... I'm not sure where you fall, but your defense of humans not eating animals is not supported by Scripture, regardless ... Leviticus 11 ... check it out ... if you are truly interested in what God had to say about what is clean and unclean, i.e. healthy and unhealthy, for these flesh bodies we have, you will find it enlightening ... :)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Leviticus 11 Of all land animals these are the ones you may eat: any animal that has hooves you may eat,PROVIDED it is cloven footed and CHEWS the CUD.But you shall NOT eat of the following that only chew the cud or only have HOOVES.and the pig,which does indeed have hooves and is cloven footed but does NOT chew the cud and is therefore UNCLEAN for you.Their flesh you SHALL NOT eat.


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