Historic anti-slaughter vote taken in Md.; it’s time

Cool Checkers, front, and Nature’s Fancy were spotted at New Holland by CANTER Mid Atlantic’s Allie Conrad. She took their pictures and they were saved. Yet, Bev Strauss, a supporter of the SAFE Act, says hundreds of horses pass through that very same auction every week.

Cool Checkers, front, and Nature’s Fancy were spotted at New Holland by CANTER Mid Atlantic’s Allie Conrad. She took their pictures and they were saved. Yet, Bev Strauss, a supporter of the SAFE Act, says hundreds of horses pass through that very same auction every week.

Saying it’s time to end the practice of shipping American horses to Canadian and Mexican slaughterhouses, the Maryland Horse Council last month took a historic vote to support the federal SAFE Act, legislation aimed at outlawing the sale and transport of American horses to slaughterhouses.

By a 28-to-3 vote, (with one abstention), the board made an unprecedented reversal of its earlier decision against taking a stand on slaughter following three months of deliberation among its vast membership.

“We just felt it was the right time,” said Council President Jane Seigler. “This is an issue that has been evolving with us.”

Following months of discussions, its vast membership of individuals and breed councils researched the possible ramifications of ending slaughter. Issues discussed included unwanted horses and potential for neglect to possible solutions, including humane euthanasia and the establishment of “surrender farms,” before finally deciding to endorse the SAFE (Safeguard American Food Exports), she said.

“The Maryland Horse Council is an umbrella organization that includes associations, businesses, farms, charities, foundations, and individuals from all parts of the Maryland horse industry,” Seigler stated in a press release. “Few issues are more important to our members than how we confront the problem of unwanted horses. The passage of this resolution sends a clear message that the pipeline to slaughter as it currently exists is unacceptable within the horse industry. The challenge that we now face is how to create humane alternatives for horses that have no market value and whose owners no longer want or are able to care for them.”

Steuart Pittman of the Maryland Horse Council says scenes like this one-- a Thoroughbred filly auctioned possibly for meat--strike fear in the hearts of good horsemen. Photo by Allie Conrad

Steuart Pittman of the Maryland Horse Council says scenes like this one– a Thoroughbred filly auctioned possibly for meat–strike fear in the hearts of good horsemen. Photo by Allie Conrad

The vote to support the federal bill, which would outlaw the sale and transport of American horses to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico, was applauded by longtime Thoroughbred advocates and horsemen Steuart Pittman, founder of the Retired Racehorse Project, and Beverly Strauss, president of MidAtlantic Horse Rescue.

Pittman, whose mission is to help raise the value and marketability of ex-racehorse Thoroughbreds through retraining, lauded the vote as one that reflects the ideology of most horse owners.

“There’s an increasing percentage of Americans who oppose slaughter of horses for human consumption,” said Pittman, who is also a member of the Md. Horse Council. “The council leadership, by this vote, made a case that as an industry we are trying to recruit horse lovers to become horse owners, and fans. And when we were asked our position on the SAFE Act, it did not look good that we hadn’t taken a position.”

Allie Conrad of CANTER Mid-Atlantic snapped this photo at New Holland. These horses, with meat stickers, were ready to load and ship to slaughter.

Allie Conrad of CANTER Mid-Atlantic snapped this photo at New Holland. These horses, with hip tags, were among many who had already been purchased by the meat buyer, according to Conrad.

Pittman added, “Horsemen live in fear that the horses we sell could end up in a livestock auction, and wind up on a truck bound for a Canadian slaughterhouse. Everybody with a Thoroughbred lives in fear of it. You care about the horse, and your reputation. Slaughter has been an easy way out for some people, who are unwilling to euthanize or take the time to find the right situation for that horse.”

And when a horse winds up in the slaughter pipeline, people like Beverly Strauss of MidAtlantic Horse Rescue are left to scramble to raise emergency funds and save the animal’s life. Strauss said she was thrilled with the Council’s vote.

“I think it’s wonderful because the Horse Council polled its constituents, and they were overwhelmingly supportive of the SAFE Act,” she said. “Rather than having a few at the top make the decision, they listened to the people, and they changed their position.”

Strauss has been saving horses from the New Holland Auction since the 1980s. Though the number of horses being sold has declined since slaughterhouses in the U.S. were closed, she estimated that between 200-300 pass through the auction every week.

“Overall,” she said, “I think the SAFE Act is a step in the right direction. Horse slaughter won’t end until we get rid of demand for horsemeat overseas, and there will always be people who circumvent the laws. But I think that adding another roadblock will make it harder to ship horses to slaughter.”

65 responses to “Historic anti-slaughter vote taken in Md.; it’s time”

  1. Melissa

    I tried to buy a tb mare at a local sale a few months back. She was calm and really pretty but had strangles which had busted and a front right foot that needed corrective shoeing. I wanted her bad! Thought I would be able to take her home as thought she would only go for 100 if that. I was wrong! They started her out at 400 and was sold to the meat dealer for 500? I had 400 on me.
    To think that horses that are unhealthy or skinny don’t end up at slaughter is stupid. I thought that they wouldn’t take her as she was in racing condition plus I figured with the issues it would not pass health inspection at plant. Thought I would get her for 100 and put 300 into her for special shoeing and strangles treatment.
    I didn’t even bid. As started out high. I did get one later though. She is one of the best horses anyone could ask for! And I will be back to rescue more!

  2. MJ Wilson

    Thank you MHC! Now the SAFE ACT!

  3. kimwfindlay

    What a lot of people do not realize is just how brutal the slaughterhouses are, whether here or in Canada or Mexico. I don’t think every horse should live, but we owe it to these creature that WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR BRINGING INTO THIS WORLD, be it equine, bovine, canine, feline, or whatever, to give them as peaceful an end as possible.

    There is more to be done ahead of all this to prevent overpopulation- better networking among the horse industry to create a better safety net, condoning a proactive horse ownership culture (i.e. think before you buy what are you going to do with that horse when it can no longer fit your needs etc.), commissioned breeding, and so forth.

    Sometimes a law can be the beginning of reforming a culture that has gone astray, the throw away culture is what I’m referring to.

  4. Kamee

    WA WA WA. First of all. If a horse is humanely euthanized there may be a need to think about cremation of horses. This then feeds the environment. You people who have no use for a horse that cannot please you or you can no longer afford. Than this many need an option just like the small.animals.that are at animal shelter all around the USA. Second of.all yes the drugs do.break down in the environment over .time. if the horse is buried 8 foot down by the time the carcass is broken down the drugs.within his system are no longer a threw. My question to people who are pro slaughter would you eat the horse meat not knowing if it has had proper withdrawl time which means nothing for the moat.part. Do you think all of these horses have never had any de worker or.drugs in there system at any time since your worries.about drugs being in the environment. What about the humans who ingest horse.meat and think they are eating.clean meat? .I have seen skinny unhealthy horses go.to slaughter all.to often and end up on someone’s plate. .Frankly anyone who eats horse meat deserves what ever they might get if the meat is contaminated in my opinion. So as.far.as far as where will all the horses go that is the big.question that is resolvable in many ways. Funding will have to be allocated in budgets just like small.animals are. People who do not see the big picture are mostly irresponsible who have no compassion for horses . It is just an industry where they can proffit and if they cant profit they just get rid of the evidence as seen daily at horse auctions’ These business people are all about the money and necessarly about the animals welfare if the horse doesn’t look or do what they intended then they promptly dispose of the horse and move on to the next one. Same goes for the small animal.industry. For the people who buy these horses and make a profit from slaughter get a real job and do.something good in the world because Karma will get you in the end as well as God will judge you and decide if what you did with your life was worthy.

    1. Peggy Reimer

      ALL animals that are used for food are wormed. Meat buyers do not buy bony horses. Horses intended for food could be on feed lots just like cattle are if there are concerns about withdrawal times for drugs and wormers. Even if horse meat is not used for a human protein source, why not dog or zoo animals food?? Why waste s perfectly good source of protein just because some people have more anthropomorphic tendencies regarding horses than other kinds of livestock. Setting horses apart is not logical.

      1. Daniel Cordero

        « Even if horse meat is not used for a human protein source, why not dog or zoo animals food??»

        Maybe because it is as toxic for them as it is for humans… The Association of American Feed Control Officials has stated that horsemeat has not been used for pet food in decades. Pet food nowadays is made from human consumption grade trimings and edible offal.. and for a good reason.

        «Why waste s perfectly good source of protein just because some people have more anthropomorphic»


        1) It is toxic.
        2) It is antieconomical
        3) It is not a “good protein”
        4) It is not a question of anthropormophizing, it is that we live in a civilized country that simply finds abhorrent and repugnant to eat and betray ouf faithful equine companions. American people does not find this cruelty to be morally acceptable, just as we don’t find eating dogs or selling small children like they were used cars as it is done in certain middle eastern countries to be morally acceptable either.
        5) More than 80% of Americans are above that “anything goes”, “for the almighty dollar” attitude of yours towards horses… and the fact that the majoriy of MD council members voted to endorse the SAFE Act proves it. We as a society have evolved past that moldy third-worlidsh, archpauper and protomiserly mindset slaughter proponent have. “Domine Cabra” characters like Sue Wallis or Dave Duquette were already moldy and cheesy in the 17th century… we live in the 21st one. We can and must do better for our horses and as society as whole.

        Speaking about Wallis… that “good protein” thing seems copied verbatim from one of her wacky rants… and that’s the second Wallis thing I find in this page!!! It seems we have a bunch of Wallis horsemeat cultists posting here… which may account for good part of the pro-slaughter comments.

  5. Ashley

    You can’t blame AQHA for everything ! First of all AQHA is 100% against registering cloned animals. They do not accept cloned horses for registration. Second, we do not require breeders to breed a certain number of horses per year. The problem arises with irresponsible breeders, breeding horses that should not be bred just because they can. Irresponsible owners who think 10 year old Susie who has taken lessons for a year needs a weanling to grow up with. These problems are with all breeds not just AQHA.

  6. Peggy Reimer

    Foals, sick and thin horses DO NOT GET SHIPPED FOR SLAUGHTER. Slaughter buyers are paid by the pound. They don’t want those horses. They want horses that are at a healthy weight that will survive the trip to the processing plants. Also, thanks to (theoretical) do-gooders who have pressured the Federal Government into withholding funding for horse meat inspection, the US horse-related industries are in the toilet. (By the way, it is NOT illegal to slaughter a horse in the US, but since the meat cannot be inspected by the USDA, it just cannot be sold or exported). There is nowhere for the bottom market type horses to go. I see people ‘rescuing’ horses that are physically not able to be used in any way, horses that are potential human killers, horses that are in CONSTANT PAIN and always will be, people who have NO clue how to deal with and properly feed and/or care for a large animal. It is appalling that this has been allowed to happen; mostly brought about by individuals who know NOTHING about horses. Where are all these messed up horses supposed to go?? All you do-gooder city folk gonna put one or two in your back yard?? These rescue horses often have issues; i.e., special diets, specific supplements, complicated shoeing requirements, genetically-passed conditions and/diseases with no possibility of a cure or decent quality of living. All the prior listed cost A LOT OF MONEY. Oh, just ‘humanely euthanize’?? Ok. Do all you Fluffy ‘Save ALL the pretty horsies people’ think it is cool that the first part of the euthanasia process basically paralyzes the horse so it can’t fight the process? The second part stops the heart. The horse knows what is happening. Secondly, do you all think that putting that toxic carcass of ‘Miss Fluffy’ in the ground is ok?? Kills everything it comes into contact with. Permanent poisoned ground. Neato! Personally, I find a bullet to be quick and efficient and thank goodness for the Lion Park quite near my home. I am not offended by the use of horse meat for human consumption. And forget about the “Bute is permanently poisonous and stays in the horses’ body forever!” argument. Nearly 100% of drugs have a safe time after which they are withheld in an animal, after which the meat is then safe to ingest once more. It works for the pork and beef industry just fine. CONGRATULATIONS!! You have completely destroyed the equine industry in the US!!! Now get out there and ‘rescue’ yourselves two or three ‘pretty ponies’ and go find a boarding barn. Should only cost you three to four hundred dollars a month (per horse). Oh, and add in another couple hundred a month for the special needs, veterinary care, and supplements.

    1. Jeanne Maust

      lovely rant. I hope you aren’t breeding more horses to feed into the pipeline.

      1. Susan Fitzpatrick

        One good statement is worth more than a rant of nonsense!
        Thank you Jeanne!

    2. Daniel Cordero

      “All the prior listed cost A LOT OF MONEY”….

      Hmm… if you don’t have money to put a horse down, then you surely don’t have either to keep it as it is just a fraction of the cost of year upkeep, and then likely you should not be owning horses to begin with. But anways, a .38 round is less thean 50 cents… enough is said.

  7. janwindsong

    I love the line – the sight of the filly and the thought of her being sold for meat, strikes fear in the HEART OF EVERY GOOD HORSEMAN. That is the battle here and always has been for the horse in teh wrong hands with the right hands trying to protect them. We are instructed to do good in this world. Stopping the atrocious business (and it for money and to hurt those who love the horses) is a GOOD thing.

  8. mari smet (@greentimes999)

    To kill these horses is so immoral and cruel it’s beyond the pale ===== each and every horse should have a place on our planet where he/she can live happily and comfortably! ====== NEVER should a healthy or treatable horse be killed! CASE CLOSED! ==== As a society we should accept, we should tolerate nothing less than helping horses LIVE happily and comfortably!

  9. S mitchell

    There are more bad apples in the bunch than good. And I doubt, after all my investigation, that there is onebouncebof altruism in any of them… It’s business for them… It’s nitbaboassion for the animals!!!

  10. Lorraine Truitt

    I manage a horse rescue in Maryland, and it was founded for the purpose of providing an alternative to slaughter. However, the number of people wanting a horse has declined, and it is no longer possible to find homes for all of the ones that owners want to surrender. I’m thinking part of the problem of not enough homes is because we have so much high powered technology and it’s very expensive and it has made people lazy. They can just type and push buttons and be entertained. And there is no tack to clean, no poop to scoop, etc. Some smart phones cost more than a horse use to. There are several steps to be taken. For every breeding of every horse a $100 fee should be paid and I would suggest an account be set up through The Unwanted Horse Coalition to handle this. Every time a horse is sold to a new owner, another fee should be collected. There are several correctional institutions that have equine programs that help horses and the inmates. I would suggest more of these be set up and in every state. Yes, I know it would cost the state money, but they need to look at the benefits. There are numerous therapy programs that use horses for everything from PTSD to helping abused women and children and so much more. I visit a racehorse regularly because I just happened to meet her and we bonded and she is an inspiration to me. There are so many second careers that could be available for all the displaced equines if all of us, as horse lovers, would poll together and make it happen; make our voices heard.

  11. ponylvr

    So they vote to approve the SAFE act and now they are trying to figure out what to do with the unwanted. Seems backwards to me. They should have figured out what to do with the unwanted FIRST! Are they going to continue to approve the SAFE act if they can’t figure out how to deal with the extras? What a bunch of citidiots.

  12. Amy

    A meat buyer as you call them could have very well purchased those horses. However, not all horses that buyers purchase end up bound for Canada. If they recognize they have more worth under saddle, they often will do their best to find buyers and second careers for these horses. Granted some ship all in their possession, but in this economy and the low prices, they are worth more usually to “trade on” than to ship.

  13. Amy

    Those are not “meat stickers” on those horses tied in the stanchions of the main barn at New Holland as described by Ms Conrad. Nor are they necessarily bound for the plant (n fact they have not even been in the sale ring yet, the hip tags are marked with a red line when they come in the ring). They are hip tags. Something every horse at every sale, high end to low end gets, an identifying number. That number goes with the horse as it moves through that sale process, from consignment to leaving the property with the new owners. It keeps the paperwork with the correct horse, makes sure the seller gets paid and the buyer pays for the correct animal. USDA tags, ie meat stickers, are much larger and have the letters USDA in large letters and a bar code on them as well. It’s all well and good to raise awareness, but at least do it honestly. Someone that is not familiar with sale procedures or even a non horse person would take that description as factual. And have no reason to doubt the claims. Or was it deliberate misinformation? Because well sometimes the truth is not very exciting.

  14. V Fisher

    Awesome news! I’m forwarding this to Equine Canada and as many Provincial Horse organizations as I can find.

  15. Lynn

    OK. Then what are you going to do with all those horses? I didn’t see that addressed reasonably. Horse care is expensive. They live for decades. Are slaughter plants reopening in the U.S?

    1. Patti Littlefield

      What are you going to do with those horses? I get so sick of hearing that crap. How about breeders be held accountable for over breeding? They are no better then the people running puppy mills.The AQUA tells people that they have to breed so many horses a year.Why? How about buying the horses that are already on this earth and giving them good homes. Stop breeding more.If you have a good horse and you are in a bind and can no longer keep them. Donate them to a riding facility for crippled children or for veteran therapy. Also if you have mounted Police in your area and you horse is tall They will take sometimes. No horse deserves to go to slaughter. Would you allow cats and dogs to be slaughtered or sent to another country to be killed in a very inhumane way? Why no you wouldn’t But people seem to think its ok to slaughter our horses Why?.Dont forget the horse has helped us build this country we call home. Its time to stand up and give them something back for all they have done for us.

    2. Daniel Cordero

      No, they are not reopening and they don’t need to. Hundred of thousands of horses die in the US every year and they are humanely euthanized. There is no reason as to why the 1% that represents the amount going to slaughter. In fact, the proportion of horses going to slaughter is so small when compared to the total horse population that it is unreasonable to assume that they cannot be absorbed.

      The same “where would all they go” has been going on since California passed their anti-slaughter ban in 1998…. and the slaughter has nothing but increase. In fact, as USDA statistics reflect clearly, the more slaughter there is, the more breeding and the more breeding the more slaughter. It is a vicious circle. Frankly, slaughter fanboys already had twenty years to kill all the “excess” horses they wanted… and make quite a money in the process. They saw this coming in 2007 and again in 2011 and 2014… and now with the MD vote… how much time do they really need to adjust? The truth is that they will never do so until the incientive fro overbreeding is removed. Period.

      Horse upkeep is expensive yes but for that very reason it is ridiculous to assume that horse owners can’t afford calling the vet and putting the horse down at home. It is just a fraction of the yearly upkeep cost. If someone can’t affor it he/she should be having horses to begin with. And in an emergency case, I must remember that a gunshot at home is far more humane than the slaughter pipeline, and the cost is ridiculous.But the truth is that slaughter proponents simply want to squeeze every penny out of horses or are simply ideological zealots who live in a gold cage of outdated ideological constructs. One just has to take a look at how quickly the “free enterprise” / “animal rights are comming” fear mongering crap popped up to realize how true this is. As nobel prize economist Joseph Stiglitz puts it: “It happens everywhere. The right always scare the hell out of people when they cannot convince them with their arguments” (http://www.revistavanityfair.es/la-revista/articulos/joseph-stiglitz-podemos-tsipras-troika-15-m/21427).

      So stop looking for excuses to justify the brutal slaughter and defend moldy, outdated ideology. Horses comes first and their welfare and well being should be the number 1 priority.

  16. Pete Bowling

    Cindy Henson…AQHA is NOT,never allowed the registration of cloned horses,just recently spent thousands of dollars in court to prevent it…find someone else to blame.

    1. Suzanne Moore

      Yes they are allowed to register cloned horses with the AQHA.

    2. Diana St. Gaudens

      70% of horses going to slaughter are Quarter horses, often bred back with a foal on their side. And yes, the foals get slaughtered, too. The AQHA officially promotes horse slaughter. They call it “terminal Use”. AQHA is central to the problem and they are spending tons of money lobbying to keep slaughter of horses.

  17. Pete Bowling

    Debbie.C. we do have free enterprise still in US ?
    Would Smart Little Lena have passed a conformation test to be allowed to breed…not really.Would High Brow Cat.? Not if I were judging either one on their conformation…

    Better come up with a new plan or two.

    1. Daniel Cordero

      This is not a question of “free enterprise” or lack thereof. Who ever said anything about banning horse slaughter having something to do with banning “free enterprise”, banning beef or several other shenanigans often quoted by pro-slaughter rethoric?

      Banning horse slaughter has nothing to do with that. It has to do with personal responsibility and providing a dignified end of life to our equines. It has to do with what kind world we want to live in. It has to do with driving the dregs of society out of the horse world. It has to do with building a better society where our animals have a dignifed death.

      By making such a comment your are thus revealing your opposition to the SAFE Act does not stem from a legitimate claim as to the welfare of horses but actually stems from your outdated, McCarthyistic ideology. Or what amounts to the same, your concern is not really the welfare of these majestic animals, but how many dough you can squeeze out of them, or simply that your ideological prejudices for the prevalence of a set socioeconomial system -or rather the structures that underpin it- prevail over any other consideration. There could be nothing more selfish… “mundo viejuno” as its best.

      BTW, as far as horse slaughtering being somehow “free enterprise”, it must be done that in 33 years said “free enterprise” has done quite a piss poor job as far as equine welfare and sound horsemeanship is concerned.

  18. Pete Bowling

    As the actual founding President of the Maryland Horse Council…ok so you stop it…so they can’t be shipped to Canada or Mexico…how about Indian sovereign nation that has active slaughtering? Then ships processed carcasses to Canada…right over THEIR border,not US…

    What happens to the ones we saw turned loose,stall raised and left to starve on BLM ? Or just deposited on some one else’s property ?
    Regulate.facilities and most important shipping of these animals..but sadly we need horse slaughter in the United States,we just need as humane a way to do it as possible…we slaughter cattle,maybe next we can prevent their slaughter ?

    1. Diana St. Gaudens

      Peter, you are off base thinking that ending the slaughter of 150,000 horses per year (1% of the USA horse population) would have any “slippery slope” outcome on the slaughter of 33,000,000 (33 million) cows per year.

      The only “slippery slope” for beef is the increase of vegetarianism in the USA from 1% in 2009 to 5% today. Americans are disgusted with the cruelty involved in the horse slaughter pipeline and after watching the horrid videos and seeing the pictures of abject cruelty to horses, are giving up red meat.

      99% of American horses are treated properly with the owners putting them down by their vet in a humane fashion. It is time to end the horror for 1% of our horses.

    2. Daniel Cordero

      «”how about Indian sovereign nation that has active slaughtering?”»

      1) There is not any “active slaughtering” in any indian nation.

      2) Federal law preempts those of the state nations as regards the Federal Meat Inspection Act is concerned. If the SAFE Act were passed it would apply to them as well. Moreover, since horsemeat needs to be inspected by APHIS before it could be sold (something which is impossible right now since the inspections were suspended) it cannot be sold anyways RIGHT NOW, either in the US, out of the US or outside the solar system.

      3) The market for horsemeat is abroad and, in the hypothetical case the nations were slaughtering horses, they would have to eat it all meat themselves because nobody in the US will buy it. As a matter of fact they would not even able to sell it amongst themselves.

      4) As far as international law is concerned, the indian nations are not sovereign territories. To paraphrase the words of the European Union’s Food and Veterinary Office (which, to refresh your memory, banned Mexican horsemeat imports because it was actually came from US horses fully of drugs and without veterinary records), they are not a Competent Authority. As far as other countries is concerned -particularly those who buy the meat-, they are no different than a province or a small municipality. So no indian nation slaughter.

      In fact that “indian nation slaughter” thing shows to what great, convoluted lengths some fanatical guys can go in their search of ways to enable the brutalizing and killing of horses in any conceivable way, just to make an ideological point. Reminds me of one of Wallis’ wacky, failed plans to bring slaughter back to the US, despite the fact the slaughter pipeline never left it, to begin with.

      «”What happens to the ones we saw turned loose,stall raised and left to starve on BLM ?”»

      Where did you see such horses? Because this issue has been thoroughly investigated for several years by EWA and other groups and all sheriff offices throughout the West denied all such claims, not even during the height of the suprime mortgage crisis, less so in BLM land. If you are referring to wild horses, these are not horses “turned lose”, and they are not starving, these are native, federally protected wild horses that reside in their legally-designated areas.

      The famous claim about the horses turned loose on the BLM has been circulating since 1998, when California first banned slaughter, but has yet to be proven true. In fact, the contrary is actually correct:

      Since 2011 a number of horse carcasses were observed near the Texas-Mexico border, just after Mexican SAGARPA implemented expressly at request of EU new regulations forcing them to reject at the border those horses that were too injured, had infenctions or failed to meet any of the requirements of the new (and failed) microchipping identification program for their also failed copy of the EU horse passports ID system. It was soon revealed that these horses were abandoned by killer buyers on their way back from Mexico because they would not spend not even a dime in a .38 round to put them down or veterinary treatment to heal them. So much for “we need slaughter back”…

      «”Regulate.facilities and most important shipping of these animals”»

      They were already regulated back when the US plants were open in 2007 and that did NOT prevent at all the thousands upon thuosands of horrors, cruelty and federal law violations found in all the USDA / FSIS paperwork retrieved through FOIA. Violations were recorded back then and enforcement was non-existent, namely because it is impossible as USDA insiders will tell you… in fact it was not until after the US plants moved down/up the borders that double-deckers were phased out by USDA.

      Moreover, following implementation of the new 2011 Mexican import regulations I mentioned before, Mexican inspectors started recording all the humane transport regulation violations observed when horses are presented to them for admittance at the border, still in the US. It turns out that the violations reported by the Mexican inspectors are identical to those found by USDA inspectors at the USDA plants ten years ago. So the question is…if slaughter was better in the US how comes that all the violatons are already present when the horses have not left yet the US???

      Slaughter fanboys claim it was better in the US but historical evidence proves this is is false, a lie put out to make an ideological point across. If the US was unable to make it humane or “better” eight years ago, why would it be different this time?

      «”we need horse slaughter in the United States”»

      NO, we don’t. What we need is to become responsible and start accepting that we can’t be throwing away horses at our whim when we broke them or when they fail to fill egos and expectations. Or worse yet… use them as a payola to pay for somebody lifestyles.

      If you need to put a horse down call the vet and do the right thing… or at least use that .45 gun in your drawer. Slaughter is allowed to exist because of greedy, irresponsaible, lazy individuals and because of those who can’t see past their outdated ideological prejudices.

  19. Letty Grayson

    Thank you to the Maryland Horse Council for recognizing the need to ban horse slaughter. Someone needs to tell Steny Hoyer (MD-5) and Andy Harris (MD-1) that Maryland DOES NOT support horse slaughter. Every other Representative and BOTH Senators support the SAFE Act H.R.1942 and S.1214. These two guys are the last holdouts. They are either a). lazy b). corrupt or c). stupid or a combination of the three. If you would like to help protect consumers from toxins in horse meat while sparing these companion animals a horrendous death, please join “SAFE Act Post & Tweet to Congress”, a closed Facebook group dedicated to letting Congress know what ALL Americans think about food safety and how slaughtering our equines is both cruel and inhumane as well as diametrically opposed to food safety.

  20. CARRIE


  21. Daniel Cordero

    This is simply AWESOME!!!! Let’s hope the rest of state coucils follow the example of Maryland’s and decide to endorse the SAFE Act. It was about time they started paying some attention to the facts and let their members decide rather than simply parroting the propagadan of the pro-slaughter lobby.

  22. becki

    This needs to be mandated in every state. Its not only for TB’s but other breeds also. Cruelty at its finest. People need to be responsible from breeding to ownership or placement of their unwanted horse. Pass the safe act in every state. The rest will be resolved, like with unwanted pets! Making people responsible for their pets is the best solution. And stop with the nurse mares for these TB foals! Breed just to throw babies away. These monster breeders are rich. Make them responsible for their killing of innocent animals.

  23. Jessica

    Those are auction tags on the hip, not the usda shipping tags. Horses do not direct ship from auction.

  24. Linda Forward

    As someone who bought 7 horses from New Holland and Camelot and brought them down to Texas, I applaud this action. Step by step we are getting closer to making sure our horses have a dignified end-of-life experience.

  25. Rita

    There needs to be something done about to much breeding. Need to cut the amount of horses bred. Too many.

    1. patricia hay

      I agree if breeders would take a couple of years off then that would help so much

  26. Thomas McCumbers

    Why kill them when they are nothing wrong with these nice looking animals put them up for addopshion

  27. Cindy Jensen

    If they can stop the AQHA with all the horses they breed plus they are cloning horses, they need to be stopped!

  28. Debi C

    Consider licensing stud horse Owners and making their stallions pass a breed standard ruling from their registry. Put a stop to indescriminate breeding. No nurse mares or primarin factories.

  29. Gail

    Bravo, Maryland Horse Council! It’s about time state horse council’s actually put the welfare of the horse to the forefront. Let’s hope your important support to ban horse slaughter will spread to other council chapters.

  30. Sue carter

    The number of horses at auction has declined since slaughter houses closed. Not increased, as the Unwanted horse crowd claimed would happen, according to Beverly Strauss. So parlay that to Borders closing and forcing the US Equine Community to become responsible owners and breeders, starting at the Racetrack.

    1. Amy

      That is due in part to 50% to 80% drop in registrations and mares being reported on stallion breeding reports in major breed associations. If there are 50-80% less horses being born every year, sooner or later that is going to affect the number of horses offered at auction. Regardless of the level of the sale or whether there is domestic slaughter or the borders are open or closed. In fact Keeneland cancelled its 2 yr old in training sale this year, in part do to low consignment numbers.

  31. Michelle

    While its “wonderful” to think there may be no more slaughter of horses….those opposed to slaughter, have you thought of an alternative to the 150,000 unwanted horses in the US every year? What happens to them realistically?

  32. MorganG

    I emailed them to thank them for their humane stance. Got a very nice reply back with an invite to join the horse council. I’m in San Diego so it would be a long commute for meetings though.

  33. cheryl

    YES ! ! ! ! !

  34. Linda R. Moss

    These scenes break my heart – may level heads prevail in many more states!

  35. Susan Lindberg

    Thank you Maryland Horse Council!!
    Horse slaughter needs to end! We will fight the fight until it does …

  36. marla

    I am very happy with the Council decision of banning all horse slaughter because even though we don’t own horses but we all including good and beloved horse men and horse women and other organizations that believes in rescuing and saving an animal or multi animals really truly understand the love and beauty of the horses and horses are our friends too. The burros do need our help too to be safe from being killed. This is a good news and in the right direction and if we can help other states do the same then it would be good too.

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