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
Beautifully stated...there is alot of money to be made by these people, by selling and by killing

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Beautifully stated...there is alot of money to be made by these people, by selling and by killing

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Submitted by A Browm (not verified) on
where there are "Trash Horses" there are TRASH people! How could you call them that.... Should we do the same with kids then ?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
You have no right to the privilege of owning and breeding horses. You do not deserve them. Simple as that. I only hope that you and Obama get to attend the opening of one of those facilities. You DO deserve that !!

Submitted by NC (not verified) on
If your comment was directed at me (NC) I have EVERY right to own and breed horses. As a horse lover, I know what some horses suffer through. If you would like to continue the discussion, please reply and at least you come come up with a name other than anonymous. I'd like to know if I was talking to a 13 year old adolescent girl, an animal hoarder with 150 cats, a 300# 20 year old in his mommas basement, or an anorexic vegetarian....? I'll check back tomorrow for your reply. - NC

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
the world is also saturated with trash people.you gonna send them to slaughter

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
what a bunch of losers. i hope people who slaughter horses get slaughtered in another country where eating humans is allowed. thats so sick. the problem is breeding laws because there are none. what a bunch of sickos whho would do that to a beautiful animal. quit breeding your **** animals and then there wont be a need for it.

Submitted by Camelotfarm (not verified) on
Great answer...don't slaughter....ok genius...WHAT do YOU propose we do with the overflow? You will NEVER stop people from breeding. Not from the big name barns down to the small backyarders...NEVER. And NO LAWS will EVER be passed barring you from breeding, so again, I ask...WHAT do you propose we do with the overflow? Some people think cows are beautiful, do you eat beef? Pork? Chicken? If you do, your statement makes you a hypocrite!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Well said! but wait, doesn't our meat just come from the store??? (Being Sarcastic)


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