Animal protection groups and many equine enthusiasts effectively argue that horses have long played a historical role in the development of our nation and have long been companion animals that deserve special consideration. They also argue that horse slaughter is a cruel and unjust end for such noble animals and the practice represents abusive treatment by its very nature.

On the other side are horse owners who argue without a horse slaughter option, many equine are abandoned and face starvation or are marshaled into overcrowded trailers and transported vast distances to slaughterhouses in Canada, or moved across the Mexican border where unregulated slaughter facilities eagerly await final disposition of the unwanted animals.

Also of major concern by opponents is the safety of human consumption of horse meat. While the packaging and sale of horse meat for human consumption is prohibited by law in the United States, opponents to horse slaughtering argue that the meat can be shipped to international destinations where horse meat consumption is legal, and that because of routine medications administered to American equine and the inability to detect many of these harmful substances, the practice of selling horse meat for consumption anywhere in the world should not be allowed.

Many proponents of horse slaughtering argue, and are supported by USDA and Federal Drug administration (FDA) researchers, that proper meat inspections can detect harmful substances in horse meat and that meat allowed to be shipped to foreign buyers is safe for human consumption.

Regardless which side is right and which is wrong, the issue of horse slaughtering remains a highly charged topic and continues to electrify emotions on both sides of the issue.


Also of interest:

Roswell horse slaughter plant set to open

Court rules horse slaughter could resume soon

What happens to your ranch/livestock in a divorce?