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100,000 Horses Transported To Canada For Slaughter
 By Winniefield Park   •   31st Aug 2014   •   3,974 views   •   4 comments
100,000 Horses Transported To Canada For Slaughter

We’re a few years down the road since the laws that made horse slaughter illegal came into effect. Since 2007, with brief exceptions, horse slaughter plants have closed in the U.S. The majority of the U.S. population agrees that horses are companion animals, and are not meant for human consumption. But has the legislation really worked to prevent American horses from ending up on someone’s dinner plate?

I took a look at some statistics. The USDA data, although cumbersome to wade through, shows some interesting figures. You can research back several decades, and it’s a lot of fun if you like math. I don’t. However, lots of other people smarter than me have compiled the numbers. The good news for all horse owners is that, the number of horses that went for meat has steadily decreased since 1989. That year, over 340,000 horses were processed within the United States. Over the ensuing decades, the numbers hovered between 50,000 to just over 100,000 per year. In 2006, the last full calendar year horse slaughter was still legal, 101,123 horses were processed.

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Prior to the year 2000, there are no reported statistics for the number of horses sent north and south of the border for slaughter. I'm not sure if it was because there weren't horses being shipped north and south, or that the the numbers were simply not being reported. I suspect the latter, since I vaguely recall hearing of horses from the mid-west arriving at a local auction yard. But, beginning in 2001, the reported numbers steadily increased. In 2002, 774 horses were sent to Mexico, and 21,709 were sent to Canada. As the U.S. slaughter numbers decreased, the number of horses sent out of the country increased. Since 2007, the USDA statistics reveal that there were no horses slaughtered in the United States for human consumption. However, in every year since, the number of horses shipped to Canada or Mexico have averaged between 98,000 and 160,000 head according to the Animal Welfare Alliance.

Horses are not being slaughtered on American soil. They're being subject to arduous miles in cramped trailers to reach their destination in the killing plants of Canada and Mexico. The U.S.A. hasn’t stopped horses from being slaughtered. They've just let someone else do the slaughtering.

In the Toronto Star, a 2011 story states “Canada has quietly become a major international horse meat supplier, exporting close to 20,000 tonnes each year to Europe and Asia. Canadians consume another 300 tonnes of horse each year, mostly in Quebec.”

I believe the majority of Canadians are blissfully unaware of the issue, although a poll by Ipsos-Reid poll found 64% of Canadians oppose the slaughter of horses for human consumption. They aren’t aware it’s happening in their own backyard. In Mexico, the picture is more grim.

The light at the end of the tunnel for anti-slaughter advocates is pending legislation, that may keep kill buyers from filling their stock trucks and heading to foreign processing plants. The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, H.R. 1094/S, could end the export of horses for slaughter as well as block slaughter plants from operating in the U.S. Then what? Will there be another ‘back door’ or loop hole for the kill buyers. If H.R. 1049 is passed, what do you think will happen?
Oblivyous  
Question: is it better for the horses to end up in a humane slaughter house where they will be shipped over seas to feed millions of people, or neglect, abuse, and let them starve to death over here because someone can't stand the idea of eating horse?
  Aug 31, 2014  •  4,254 views
 
Valkyrie   MOD 
I agree with Oblivyous. Several hours/days of pain and fear is actually a lot better than dying slowly of starvation tied to the roadside, or being otherwise neglected in someone's backyard with overgrown feet or other medical issues for years and years. It's sad but true.
  Aug 31, 2014  •  4,213 views
 
Silver Magic Stables
I think it's disgusting. How could anyone with a heart do such a thing!Yes they could be mistreated in other ways but there are people to stop it. As Valkyrie pointed out they could be suffering for hours or days and no one is going to stop it. It's inhuman!
  Sep 1, 2014  •  4,110 views
 
Habitual High Flyers  
I find it interesting that people will eat cows, chickens, sheep, etc. yet are appalled that people eat horse meat. How is it different? If you're a vegetarian/vegan and have your own reason against eating ALL animals, sure I understand, but why is horse meat so different?
I have several friends from various countries in Europe which all eat horse meat. However, all of the horses consumed have no other option for their life. Broken Thoroughbreds from the track are the main source, so if they're going to have to be killed anyway, what difference does it make?

Just my two cents...
  Sep 8, 2014  •  3,973 views
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