4 Shocking Facts About Unwanted Horse Slaughter

Unwanted Horses

According to a recent survey, more than 100,000 unwanted horses belonging to the category of pets, show ponies, draft horses, and racehorses end up in slaughterhouses each year. Most owners have little to no idea that their animal may end up at a slaughterhouse when they decide to trade them for another horse.

Most of the time, they are oblivious to this fact and imagine that their horses will find another lovable family.

But people involved in rescuing horses know how much of a menace the practice of slaughtering unwanted horses poses to be if let to continue. Horse slaughter is not at all about controlling horse population; it exists only to provide horse meat to satiate human appetite.

4 Shocking Facts About Unwanted Horse Slaughter

1. Most animals that are taken to slaughterhouses are healthy

Yes, you read that right. USDA documents have proved, beyond doubt, that over 92% of horses sent to their deaths are in good health and do not need to be put down. Around 900,000 horses die every year and are safely disposed of by other means, and the infrastructure responsible for handling the disposal has means to accommodate increasing numbers.

Incineration, rendering, and burial are all convenient options for disposing of the remains depending on local laws in the US. On the contrary, slaughter plants have been shown to generate a negative environmental impact that is also a violation of local laws.

2. Horse slaughter is one of the worst ways to be put down

Make no mistake; horses are not euthanized when they are to be put to death in slaughter plants. Instead of giving the horses a painless and gentle death to end their suffering, these plants take the brutal way out to provide meat that is full of pain and suffering for the horses.

Video evidence taken from countries like Great Britain, Canada, US, and Japan show that horse slaughter is no way to end a gentle creatures life. In case of lack of options, horses should be put to sleep by using euthanasia given by a licensed veterinarian.

3. Horses are not slaughtered more humanely in the US

Contrary to popular belief, horses are not killed any more humanely in the US than in other countries. Undercover footage, obtained from the US and Canada, can only give a glimpse at the horrors that these majestic creatures go through during the time of their death.

Many times, horses were unconscious when they were shackled and elevated by their rear leg while their throats were cut for the animal to bleed out.

The USDA recently published heartbreaking photos that show broken bones sticking out of the horse’s body, open wounds, and many such horrific views that were all taken at one of the slaughter plants in the US.

4. Ban on slaughter would reduce population of homeless unwanted horses

According to statistics published by USDA, 92% of horses that are put to death were in good health and perfectly capable of leading a productive life.

After the ban of slaughter in California in 1998, no reports of cruelty and neglect were further recorded. Also, theft of horses dropped by 34% once the ban was imposed.

Illinois says the same story as abuse and horse neglect was reported to have decreased in the state after its slaughter plant was shutdown. The only reason most horses were sent to slaughterhouses is that they can bring a lot of money through their meat.

Why do some owners choose slaughter houses?

When a horse nears the end of their life, some owners think it’s acceptable for them to give their horses for slaughtering. While the slaughter industry may promote itself as a humane way of putting horses to death, endless reports and photographic evidence have shown the contrary.

There is no euthanizing involved in these plants, and the horses are put to death in the most horrific way possible.

Some owners also choose to sell their horses because they think euthanasia is too costly. But this is a false assumption as well. In fact, it costs approximately $225 (which is barely one month’s upkeep and maintenance of a horse).

Some choose a slaughter because they have no idea how to dispose the body and choose to take the easy way out.

But in reality, there are many programs in different states of US that can aid owners to dispose the carcass properly. There are even programs that can help in funding the euthanasia, which is a humane way to end the life of a horse that’s either grown old or is too much of a burden.

What kinds of horses are slaughtered?

If you thought that horses are the only ones in jeopardy, think again. Even healthy racehorses, perfectly capable of living productive lives are abandoned by their users when they aren’t turning a big enough profit or are injured.

The winner of the Eclipse Horse of the Year award and Kentucky Derby, Ferdinand, was put to slaughter in 2002.

Carriage horses in New York, who have spent their entire lives ferrying tourists in the city are often sold for slaughter because apparently many of these horses served the owner’s interests and are of no use anymore, says Pringle.

This is not only a cruel way to end the life of a gentle beast, but also a disgrace to humanity because it reflects how we have failed to empathize with other life forms.

Is it possible for horse slaughter to be humane?

No – commercial horse slaughter was never and cannot ever be humane because of the nature of the industry and the unique biology of these gentle beasts. Horses have a heightened fight or flight response that makes the stunning before the slaughter extremely difficult. Horses often have to take repeated blows before getting unconscious.

Even after repeated blows, many horses still regain consciousness, and it is at this time they are dismembered in a slow and painful way. It is high time that horse slaughter and abuse is banned throughout the world and people to give up the practice of eating horse meat.

The ability to provide our horses with decent lives and humane deaths is what we should be striving for.

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