The process in which the horses are slaughtered is brutual and inhumane. It consists of stunning the horse with a captive bolt (which does not always knock the animal out), dropping them through a drop chute to break their legs, hanging them upside down with meat hooks through their hind legs, and lastly slitting their throat for them to bleed to death. The reason horses must endure such an awful process is due to the fact that horses are not raised for consumption purposes and are heavily medicated throughout their lives with medicine which is toxic to humans, take wormers as an example. They must bleed to death to drain their bodies from the toxins so that they are safe to eat in places such as Europe and Asia. Equine slaughter is an unrecognized problem in the United States because too many people are unaware of it. Many of the horses being slaughtered are racehorses that didn't make it on the track, old camp horses, stolen horses, and even the BLM protected mustangs are illegally slaughtered. Every week in Pennsylvania, a slaughter auction takes place. The horses that are sold at this auction are every breed and age, from healthy to dead on their hooves, professionally trained to unbroke, and every other variation you can imagine. (copied from www.hoofnhearts.comwith permission)
Many questions and misconceptions surround the issue of horse slaughter, questions like, “If we prohibit horse slaughter, what will happen to all the extra horses?” Below are some of the most prevalent myths about horse slaughter and the facts behind them. We hope these will help you be a more educated advocate of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act.
Myth: Horse slaughter is a more humane way to euthanize unwanted horses.
Fact: Horses suffer horribly on the way to and during slaughter. Often, terrified horses are crammed together and driven to slaughter in double-decker trucks designed for cattle and pigs. According to federal law, horses must be rendered unconscious prior to slaughter, usually with a captive bolt pistol. However, some are improperly stunned and still conscious when they are killed.
-------- Myth: Horses who are slaughtered are generally sick, dangerous or no longer serviceable. Fact: 92.3 percent of horses arriving at slaughter plants in this country are in "good" condition, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Guidelines for Handling and Transporting Equines to Slaughter.
-------- Myth: Horse abuse and neglect cases will rise significantly if horse slaughter is banned. Fact: There has been no documented rise in abuse and neglect cases in California since the state banned horse slaughter for human consumption in 1998. There was no documented rise in Illinois following closure of the state's only horse slaughter plant in 2002.
-------- Myth: If there is a ban on horse slaughter, horse rescue and retirement groups won’t have the resources to take care of all the unwanted horses.
Fact: Not every horse currently going to slaughter will need to be absorbed into the rescue community. Many will be sold to a new owner, others will be kept longer and a licensed veterinarian will humanely euthanize some. Also, because it is profitable to breed horses specifically for slaughter, a ban on horse slaughter would actually reduce the number of horses born.
Read more about misconceptions surrounding horse slaughter in this online study.
Complete text copied from: United Animal Nations - PMULines e-Newsletter :: July 2006
Each horse in America is the responsibility of its current owner. The only thing that is going to change is that those owners will not have the option of abandoning their horses to this cruel fate for a few pieces of silver. As rescuers (and yes I rescue too), it is not our responsibility to save every horse an owner wants to get rid of. It is their responsibility. Abandoning their horses or neglecting them are not legal options.
Many horses are sent to slaughter because it is marginally lest costly than treating them right. For example, a string of camp ponies can be replaced each season slightly more cheaply than it can be wintered over. The same goes for other horses. If a race horse has an injury that keeps it from racing for a few months, it is often sold to slaughter, etc, etc. It is all about money folks! It is also about whether horses are nothing more than property that can be discarded at will.
Finally, horse slaughter rewards bad behavior. When you reward bad behavior you just get more bad behavior and a sense of entitlement on the part of the abusers.