Horse Slaughter Prevention Act
Bill in PDF: HR
Representatives John Sweeney (R-NY) and John
Spratt, Jr. (D-SC)
NM Co-sponsors: Rep. Tom
APV Position: SUPPORT
Bill Status: H.R. 857 has
been referred to the House Agriculture Committee,
Livestock and Horticulture Subcommittee; to
the International Relations Committee; and
to the House Ways and Means Committee, Trade
What the law would do: This
bill will prevent the cruel slaughter of horses
in and from the United States for human consumption.
Why it is needed: Horses have played a significant
role in the history and culture of the U.S.—and
New Mexico—and are often viewed as one
of our national treasures. Yet more than 55,000
American horses are slaughtered by foreign-owned
slaughterhouses each year—more than
three million in the last two decades –and
sent to Europe and Asia to supply the demand
for horsemeat. These numbers are likely on
the rise as a result of the decreased beef
consumption abroad due to mad cow disease
and foot and mouth disease.
Horses from all walks of life—the show
ring, racetrack, back yard, and even wild
horses—end up at the slaughterhouse.
Killer buyers obtain horses from unsuspecting
sellers at the auction house. The horses may
then be shipped to slaughterhouses in Mexico,
Canada, or to the two US-based horse butcheries
in Texas (BelTex Corporation in Ft. Worth
and Dallas Crown in Kaufman).
The horses are often shipped on crowded
double deck trucks designed for shorter necked
species such as pigs, cattle and sheep. Their
travels may be lengthy, with out rest, food,
or water. Once at the slaughterhouses, they
may endure a long wait on the crowded trucks
or be forced off by callous workers. Due to
extreme overcrowding, abuse, deafening sounds,
and the smell of blood, the horses show their
fear: pacing in prance-like movements with
their ears pinned back against their heads
and eyes wide open.
Death is not kind; the horses are not killed
by the preferable method of chemical euthanasia.
Instead, they are forced to endure repeated
blows to the head with stunning equipment
that often does not render the animals unconscious.
Some horses proceed still conscious through
the remaining stages of slaughter being bled
out and dismembered.
For more information on horse slaughter, go
Bill in PDF: