Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Saturday, January 12, 2008

US Horses Inhumanely Slaughtered Across the Borders

On January 8, I posted about the rise of horse neglect in the United States. The second half of the post contained a quote bemoaning the loss of horse slaughterhouses in the United States.

I didn't agree with this sentiment, but now, a new article is making me rethink this opinion.

This article appears in the New York Times
and talks about the inhumane conditions of horses slaughtered in Canada and Mexico.

Amid pressure from animal rights groups, horse slaughter virtually ended in the United States last year, as courts upheld state laws banning it in Texas and Illinois, home to the nation’s last three horse slaughterhouses.

But there have been unintended consequences, including more grueling travel for tens of thousands of horses now being sent to slaughter in Canada and Mexico, where, animal advocates say, they sometimes face more gruesome deaths....

The American slaughterhouses killed horses quickly by driving steel pins into their brains, a method the American Veterinary Medical Association considers humane. Workers in some Mexican plants, by contrast, disable them by stabbing them with knives to sever their spinal cords, said Temple Grandin, a professor of animal science at Colorado State University.

“My worst nightmare has happened,” Dr. Grandin said. “This is an example of well-intentioned but very bad unintended consequences.”

Supporters of the ban on US slaughterhouses believe that horse owners should euthanize their animals humanely. Some opponents argue this is an expensive option because it could cost $140 or more to euthanize and disposs of the carcass. $140? How often have you spent less than $140 on a tune-up for your car? I have no sympathy for this lame argument.

But it concerns me that owners who refuse to euthanize these animals are making them suffer even more from inhumane slaughtering practices across the border. I don't want horses slaughtered for food, but if they have to be, I don't want them to suffer.

In the meantime, federal legislation that would forbid the sale and transport of horses for human consumption is awaiting action in both houses of Congress.


Anonymous said...

This, like all your content, is a great post I just noticed that I posted something similar a few hours later and wanted to say this was coincidental :) Yours is much better written, for starters. In any event, keep up the good work... I'm going to give you a shout out here shortly at my blog.

Riley @

Anonymous said...

Even with United States horse slaughter houses open, Mexico...and Canada were still slaughtering American horses in great numbers. Mexico has always slaughtered American horses!!

In fact, the U.S. needed to *import horses from Mexico/Canada for American slaughter houses.

Mexican slaughter is heinous. It is there. But it is a public relations ploy by those who profit by horse slaughter in the U.S. and want the hell houses reopened for GREED...$$$$$$.

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