In the 2014 Budget proposal, the White House wants to prevent money from being spent on inspection of horse slaughtering facilities. Without these inspections, facilities could not legally operate. This is an indirect method to ban the slaughter of horses in the U.S. for human consumption.

Where do you stand on the subject of horse slaughter?

As with the previous ban we will see an increase on abandoned and neglected horses that are at the bottom of the ladder both in desirability and health. The slaughter houses serve a sad but needed service. Many horses at that level which are sent to slaughter are not viable for riding or are in constant pain due to health or lameness issues and allow the owners to move up in horse. This not only benefits that owner but so on and so on up the chain. As each owner sells a horse that goes to replace an empty slot they then seek a replacement themselves. Without the houses the rescues will continue to be full and the only people that will beneifit from this will be the news people who will have another story about a well meaning rescue that gets overwhelmed and becomes a news story because they can no longer care for all the horses that they have taken in. All my clients understand the need for the houses. To an individual they want the houses open as long as the manner of transport and method that the horses are put down are as humane as possible. I know that this will put a twist in the panties of those well meaning, soft hearted souls who want the slaughter to go away, but the houses also serve a very important role in the price of horses also. It has been said that for years that the slaughter houses represented the bottom of the horse market. Without them as we saw during the last ban, there is no bottom of the market. Remember this, without a viable, strong horse economy we don’t work. This ban effects us all, at all levels.
—Kraig Milam

I am against horse slaughter and transport from the US for slaughter for various reasons. Cruelty is a significant reason, but beyond that it has become a solution for criminals to dispose of the "evidence" of their crime (theft) without ever getting caught. This not only causes the stolen horse to endure the cruelty but they will never be recovered or reunited with their loving and heart broken owners. Because law enforcement does such a poor job of taking horse theft seriously and our laws are inadequate in dealing with the crime, then slaughter facilities, inspectors, and border agents do not offer any real safe guard to ensuring stolen horses are identified before slaughtered. I would never support horse slaughter, but strongly oppose anything that facilitates crime and lacks any recourse to victims.
—Melissa Kauffman

Totally against the slaughter of our horses and eating horse meat!!
—Jan Del Prince

I am unsure where Kraig got his "information" from, but it is completely false. Firstly viable healthy young horses are the ones who go to slaughter, not the elderly, infirm, lame and emaciated horses. These ones are actually turned away from the slaughter house. Yes I know, I am involved in horse rescue. The horses you mostly see in slaughter house pens are ex racehorses, companion horses and pets, working horses and such like. He states that slaughter houses are needed as a pipeline so people can "move up"...and that the ban would AGAIN see an increase in unwanted horses. The number of horses going from the USA to slaughter in either Canada and Mexico is over 170 thousand a year...this has not stopped nor decreased so you cannot say that the cessation of horse slaughter will create a certain problem when nothing has it is a moot point. Horses have continued to be slaughtered Kraig. And because of this you also can not use the argument that the money side of the horse industry has bottomed out because of the ban on horse slaughter simply because horses have CONTINUED going to slaughter. You have also stated that your clients want slaughter houses to open so they can use them as a way to dispose of their horses that do not fit their programs...slaughter is not humane euthanasia, it never was before, it is not now, it will not be. The bottom line is this is a greed driven profit based industry only benefiting those who irrestponsbly overbreed in this current economic crisis, irresponsibility and greed are the problems. No animal should have to pay for that with his life. So now you have realised all your arguments are based on grossly inflated mistruths, lets get onto the REAL discussion. Firstly slaughter houses are parasitic in nature, they feed off the horse population and they mislead the public. By this I mean the drugs in the horse flesh making most horses in the pipeline ineligible in fact for slaughter. You want a dose of cancer with your horse steak Kraig? Look up Phenylbutazone..or bute for short online. Get the picture here? Also we are intent on and currently DO, export this tainted meat? thank God Europe is finally waking up to the toxic product we are sending them cos we sure don't seem to have a conscience with sending them meat that has cancer causing agents. You think that won't hurt our reputation???? It is a well known fact in the horse industry that a live horse brings in far more money, to a wider array of people, than a carcus hanging from a slaughter house hook. And that money will not, will never reach you Kraig. Your living actually depends on living horses so it is ironic, sad maybe, that you promote the slaughter of our equines. Maybe you will learn something from me, probably not as I have found most people wanting the reintroduction of slaughter houses in America to be fairly stupid..putting it mildly....
—Claire North

I am pro-slaughter.  Enforce the laws already on the books regarding transport and killing.

I personally do not agree with using horses for human consumption in the U.S. or elsewhere! I do agree that horses with serious health/lameness issues or those that are simply too dangerous to be around are the ones that should be used for slaughter. However, they should be transported, treated with compassion & euthanized humanely!

Sounds like Kraig bought it hook line sinker. Abandoned horses?—look at the guys who dump the horses the slaughter plants won’t take. Neglected?—look at them that breed like monkeys and then look to slaughter to dump em. Bottom of the market?—breed like monkeys and see what you do to the market.  Horse slaughter is causing not solving it. Slaughtering horses does nothing but harm to the horse economy.  I know horse slaughter first hand and humane isn’t anywhere in the business plan no matter how much anybody says it is—what it is is a horses worst nightmare. Jabbing out a kickers eye before loading to ‘give him something else to think about’ is how these guys roll. Your choice to drink the kool aid but when your horse gets stolen and slaughtered (friend) try to remember then how good an idea it was. Making money for foreign market and killing our own markets—makes no sense. We raise cattle for food, not horses. With the bute, wormers, Lasix etc in horses, you wonder how long it will be before the Europeans decide all American red meat is bad. There’s no good for farriers that comes out of slaughtering horses.

Without legal inspection of facilities and horse slaughter, unwanted/old/no longer usable horses are condemned to torture by the government! How many senators, or congress men/women would advocate national policy of torture of horses? Do they agree with slaughter of cattle, sheep pigs etc.? Is that not humane either? I support President Obama and his policies, especially on gun control - well done to him for making the effort to eliminate human slaughter. But slaughter of horses who have no further use, are in pain, or old age in the America means they are not subjected to unsupervised poorly cared for transport over long journeys North, or South, to be killed under conditions we might not even approve of, because that is the only alternative to death without humane destruction. As an equine veterinarian I feel strongly that if this case is well presented to the President he will see the pure sense of the matter, and support the legal slaughter in America of horses who would otherwise suffer the indignity that their former owners and carers would not want or support!
—Robin S. Cutler

Which is more humane, a professional slaughter house or leaving the old feeble horse in pain on the side of the road? Those that are opposed to slaughter houses are living a sheltered life. As an avid horse lover I cannot tolerate the unqualified "do gooders" that want to see them suffer rather than putting them down. As for the economy, go to an auction. As for consumption, no different than any red blooded animal, if you are hungry!

I am totally against horse slaughter coming back to US soil as are 80% of Americans. I am happy to see that this administration is finally listening to the 80% because it is so rare that it happens. As a horse owner for over 40 years, I do not want my tax dollars used to support this predatory fraudulent greed driven industry. I am also interested to know how much $$ Kraig makes from trimming and shoeing dead horses feet? Seems like a conflict of interest there Kraig.
—Barbara Kothe

It's needed. With out slaughter houses the ones needed to be disposed of are just taken out and shot anyways. Where I am currently residing over 40 head were found in a hole shot and dumped. You can't have it bth ways people, why let cripples suffer or dangerous animals live to seriously injure someone. It also helps the economy in so many ways.
—Ray Cunnington

In a perfect world equine slaughter would not exist. But it is not a perfect world. I would much rather have a horse have a few days of discomfort before slaughter, than slowly stave to death in someone's back yard. YES, I blame breeders. I see it every day, people can not afford to care for their horses. But they can not afford to humanely euthanize them and dispose of the carcass. People, banning it in the US is not stopping it. The horses will be shipped to Canada and Mexico. At least I am fortunate enough to live where most of our horses get shipped to Canada. Their laws are very similar to ours in the treatment of these equine. But Mexico?  Really? And besides that, why not keep the jobs in the US? It's going to it or not.

As a farrier myself and multiple horse owner I will always oppose my tax money being used for subsides for over-breeders ie., AQHA and TB Assoc. who use the slaughter pipeline for a quick disposal of their colts, mares and geldings. They come in all ages to the slaughter houses, even a million dollar winner on the track was found in a kill pen. American horses are not raised for human consumption, when 30k more thousand were sent to slaughter last year then the year before, the burger-gate happened in the EU, now American horse meat will be banned in the EU, it's about time.  Call your politicians and ask them to co-sponsor H.R.1094 S.B. 541 the Safeguard American Food Exports Act.

President Obama and Secretary Vilsak are the experts and they are absolutely right to ban horse slaughter. Imagine that your children have already eaten dog food in their Stoufflers and Burger Kings. Yes Dog Food. Horse meat slaughtered for dog food (unfit and illegal in USA due to death of dogs from kidney failure and seizures)..yes your children and grandchildren eating horsemeat unfit for dog food. And you want to open a slaughter plants so these criminals can save money from shipping it overseas and back?The beef consumption in Europe dropped 43 percent and coincidently the import of horses did also. Wallis does not care if our entire USDA Beef Market falls apart as long as she gets to broker a deal with China and everyone knows next to rat, cat and dog horse will be the new super cheap Walmart "Special Beef".....What is a Wyoming representative running around giving comments when she was already brought up on ethics charges for trying to put a slaughter house in her own district? It was voted down in Wyoming, Tennesee, Missouri and every place else she tried!Conflict of interest anyone?
—Elizabeth Dana

To Kraig, since 30k more horses were slaughtered last year than in 2011 your more abandoned doesn't work. It was proven that the kill buyers were dumping their MX rejects at the borders so they didn't have to deal with them. Stick to facts, the main one, American horses are not raised for food and receive drugs not allowed for human consumption, esp. bute. I'm a horse owner and all my horses have received bute. Maybe you don't mind hurting children but I do. Tell AQHA to promote gelding clinics, etc. instead of breeding incentives.

You go Kraig... We have a people problem that causes the horse over-population problem. In my "culture" horses are sacred, they are in our songs. They are used in many ways from consumption to ceremonies. Unfortunately there is a feral horse problem in my area that is over-grazing the arid range land and using up the range water supply. I can see the romaticism in seeing the "wild" horse roam free, but if the wild horses are using up the natural resourses versus the ranchers, then the choice is clear, the feral horses have to go. Tough choices have to be made and we can have control over the horse over-population.

If the people are against it then they need to step up and grab the lead rope on the horses that people can't afford to feed.

Uh folks...they didn't ban it. They merely refused to fund USDA inspections, which from my knowledge is only necessary for human consumption. So, it is merely a deflection and actually, nothing new. One of the oldest games in politics is to vote for or against something -- get your round of applause and a second term -- then fail to fund it. We are at status quo on this issue.

Why is the slaughter of horses so wrong. I don´t get it. Instead of just bairrie the horses, why don´t just eat it?
—Victor W.

It is a necessary evil. Anyone against horse slaughter should be made to sit at a Mexican slaughter plant for a day. It is the people that are ignorant as to the unintended consequences of the ban that causes horses to suffer.

First off the overwelming response to this question is great! I think that (strictly my opinion) horse slaughter is a better option than Mexican/ Canadian slaughter, because of a few separate reasons. If we are talking about the value of the meat itself and the amount of toxins in the meat. Have you ever eaten at Mcyouknowwhere? I would be willing to bet that not every piece of meat that they have sold was toxin free, also have you ever been to a cattle ranch that has high yield meat , which is also full of what some consider toxins. Like chemical steroids, growth hormones, fly sprays. . . . . . on and on the list can go. Yet we eat it because to pay for "Organic" or locals " grass fed" beef cause its really expensive! I would also like to say that Kraig does have a point about it helping us farriers. As far as the more horses more work argument that dog wont hunt, as they say. There are three times the  amount of horses in. America than the professed full time farriers can care for. Meaning I can take care of aproximately care for 300 to 350 head of horses in a 6-8 week schedule. The last facts I saw on this there was only 30,000 professed full-time Farriers. With some of my stellar math skills thats 3,000,000 horses which leaves about 6,000,000 (at the time of the last study I saw on this) that either arent cared for or are by none full-time farriers which Im not bad mouthing at all some do great work others just need mor beer money! I would also say that the term breeder has been used to mean someone that is unresponsible which is not real acurate. I personally work for several people who raise high end performance horses and have been breeding less horses because demand is way down! The folks that I think you are refering to have a stud in the backyard and let him breed whatever the neighbor lady brings home from the mustang adoption for 125 bucks. This I would say has way more effect on the horse population than actual breeders!  Lastly then I'll get off my soap box, lol. Value is going to be changed of the market is flooded, i think every business man on the planet would agree. What would happen to the value of your car if there was no junk yard? Your old car would sit in your backyard till you buried it? If there was no value in your old car the new ones would cost less because we only have so many places to put un-wanted cars. I personally think that same senario fits loosely with this. If the unwanted horses have no place to go than it brings the value of most of the market down. I want to leave you with. A question, why is dog and cat slaughter ok and horse slaughter not? Is it because someone or thing is eating a horses? Let's also remember that its free speech when we speak our opinions, and when others voice theirs! Glad to be an American!!!!!

When they take away horse slaughter, they allow so many equine  friends to continue to suffer needlessly for the mere reason that horse owners don't want to implement other options available because they offer no productive result.
—Todd Allen

I'm personally not against using any animal, including horses, for consumption in any form.  However, as with the killing of any animal, I believe it must be done as humanely and quickly as possible.

The real objection to horse slaughter is the transport and the process. If that was cleaned up, there would be less objection. Instead some horses will be sent to Mexico which is a horror. We need horse slaughter done properly.
—Steve Kraus

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