Horse Over Population in North America Leading to Horse Slaughter

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About this sample


Words: 1323 |

Pages: 3|

7 min read

Published: Nov 19, 2018

Words: 1323|Pages: 3|7 min read

Published: Nov 19, 2018

" Ask anyone in the equine industry today, and they would most likely all agree that there is a huge problem with a horse overpopulation in North America. Therefore many more Horses are going to slaughter. Anyone involved with horses wants to solve the problem.

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One of the factors due to the increase of unwanted horses is that wild horses are over breeding. The government collects the wild horses and auctions them off. Since not many equestrians want a wild horse they are usually sold for really cheap. This means they are sold for slaughter.

Boarding a horse at a horse stable runs anywhere from three hundred and fifty dollars, to four hundred and fifty dollars per month, and up depending on the quality of care. Since the cost of owning a horse has become so pricey, many people have decided to not own horses anymore. Simply selling a horse, or even giving it away isn't an easy thing to do. There is very little interest in any horse trading. This is not only happening with wild horses it is also happening with breeders. People are breeding more horses than there are homes for. Breeding horses have become a popular hobby for many people involved in the equine industry. Many breeding farms or horse owners breed anywhere from five to twenty or more foals a year. Larger scale breeding farms may breed a hundred or more foals in a year.

The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), is one of the biggest horse registries in the world. Nearly one hundred and fifty thousand new foals are registered each year in that registry alone. This means there are so many foals for sale each year that only a very shallow percentage of them are sold each year. After the buying stops breeders will usually give away or sell the foals for a very reasonable price. Which interests slaughterers. One of the most controversial solutions to stop the problem of overpopulation is the slaughter.

In 2007, the remaining equine slaughter plants in the United States were shut down because of the lack of funding to pay USDA to inspect the meat. Many people involved with the dead horse market believe that by bringing funding back to bring slaughter back to the United States, the unwanted horses such as the old, sick, crippled, and dangerous can be easily disposed of, and make the horse market slowly revive. However, after the USDA quit inspecting the meat, thousands of American horses are being shipped to Canada and Mexico to be slaughtered.

Many believe that slaughtering horses is a humane way to relive the excess unwanted horse population quickly. Since it’s us who bred so many horses, it’s our responsibility to reduce the numbers while utilizing the meat for food, and bi-products for other uses. Anyways, what’s the difference between slaughtering pigs, cows, chickens, goats, and sheep? They are all livestock. Slaughtering horses is a cheaper option than euthanizing them, as it can cost two hundred or more dollars to euthanize and dispose of the body. Because the cost of euthanasia, unwanted horses may starve to death if the owner cannot find them a home or afford food. Slaughtering them would mean less suffering. Many people like to believe that the only horses used for slaughter are the old, crippled, sick, dangerous, or miserable horses. While some are old, lame or sick, hundreds of horses killed are young, healthy, rideable and fit. USDA and APHIS studied and recorded 92% of American horses killed in American Slaughter Plants were in good health.

Kill buyers sell horses to the Slaughter Plants by the pound; therefore they prefer a normal weight horse over a skinny horseUnlike the old, crippled, sick and used up dairy cow you eat in your hamburger, the majority of horses slaughtered are rejects from breeding farms (rejects meaning that they weren't born the desired color, gender, size, or the right conformation), untrained youngsters, broke saddle horses, show horses, breeding horses, race horses, pet horses, 4-h horses, wild horses, or PMU foals.Meat buyers pack as many horses as they possibly can fit into trucks designed for hauling of livestock such as goats, sheep, pigs, and cattle. Often during transport, double-decker trucks are used, which are outlawed in the United States as a way to transport horses for slaughter. These trailers are not designed to accommodate average sized horses.

The horses spend long hour trips hunched over, packed tightly together through extreme climates such as excessive heat, and bitter cold. Horses on the bottom deck often get showered in manure and urine. Death and injury are not uncommon during transport. Horses can become injured from kicks, falls, being slammed into walls, or hitting their head. Livestock trailers also have low set ventilation openings in which horses can get their hooves caught in resulting in broken legs. Some of these livestock trucks are roofless, exposing horses to the elements such as rain, snow, or beating sun. The slaughtering process is fairly similar to that of a cow. A captive bolt strikes the animal, to knock it unconscious. However, a study shown proves that the captive bolt is much more ineffective on a horse versus a cow as it is more difficult to get an accurate shot on a horse since they are not restrained like cattle are. This is because a horse has a longer neck, and has more ability to struggle and move.

Also, horse's brains are set back further than a cow, which means the captive bolt, or gun must be positioned at the correct angle, and distance to accurately kill the animal. Most of the time, it takes several attempts before the animal is actually dead. Mexican Slaughter Plants have no standards or regulations. The horses are either killed by gunshot, captive bolt, or a handheld spike is repeatedly stabbed into the horses back or wither area to sever the spinal cord. The last method mentioned does not kill the horse but instead immobilizes the conscious horse. The horse remains conscious through the bleeding out, and skinning process.Humans who eat horse meat are at a high risk of being poisoned because many FDA banned chemicals which are highly toxic. Many horses slaughtered were previously racehorses or riding horses, and the chances of them having been treated with something such as bute or any other veterinary chemicals or substances is quite likely. It can take anywhere up to sixty or more days for the toxic substances to wear off. Horses stand in kill pens for only a few short days before being processed, nowhere near long enough for the substances to wear off. Both Mexican and Canadian Slaughter Plants claim to test horses for the banned substances but upon several studies, F.V.O found several violations at the plants.Isn't it better for the unwanted horses to be killed rather than starve to death in its pasture?

The horse's owner should be responsible for the horse and let the horse starve to death because the owner cannot afford to feed it is irresponsible. While it is difficult in this tough economy, there is always something the owner can do. Some horse rescues hold “low-cost euthanasia clinics” to the public, where veterinarians are willing to euthanize the horse and dispose of the body for a reduced amount. In some states, some horse rescues also have “hay banks” which are food banks for horses. If horse owners are having difficulty feeding his or her’s horses, they can get free hay to help them feed the horses until they are financially stable and can afford their own. So overall the main thing is instead of slaughtering horses which is cruel for horses and extremely dangerous for human consumption is to either safely euthanize horses or if horses are being gone to slaughtered because the owner cant affords to keep them find a close hay bank and use the help until your more financially stable.

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Horse Over Population in North America Leading to Horse Slaughter. (2018, November 19). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 15, 2024, from
“Horse Over Population in North America Leading to Horse Slaughter.” GradesFixer, 19 Nov. 2018,
Horse Over Population in North America Leading to Horse Slaughter. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 15 Apr. 2024].
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