H.R. 6598, The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2008 (1896 comments ↓ | 11 wiki edits: view article ↓)

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H.R. 6598 would amend title 18, United States Code, to prohibit certain conduct relating to the use of horses for human consumption.

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The Intense Debate Over Horse Slaughter

If you want to see a controversial bill on which there are strong opinions on both sides, check out H.R. 6598, The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2008. The proponents of the bill (opponents of horse slaughter) feel very passionately about the cru...

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July 26, 2008, 2:40pm (report abuse)

Time to end this barbarism and treat horses as they should be, as our companions.

They work for us, they entertain us and carry our children. They act as therapy horses, seeing eye horses, police horses and military horses. Dogs do the same chores and we don't slaughter dogs.

Take responsibility for your animals and care for them, after they can't work for you any longer. It's the only moral thing to do.


July 26, 2008, 4:32pm (report abuse)

The cruelty of the transport and slaughter of horses for human consumption must be stopped. It is not necessary, does not constitute a public service and is an "industry" driven by the greed of foreign corporations.

It is well past time for Congress to respond to the will of the American people and pass legislation to end the victimization of our horses.


July 26, 2008, 6:37pm (report abuse)

we are a better country than ones that inhumanely treat their horses. Please stop the transport and the slaughter

Beth in Illinois

July 26, 2008, 7:30pm (report abuse)

We have been watching and waiting so long now.The bills have changed in title through the years but the grizly slaughter remains.We Americans want this slaughter to end but the Representitives who have been bought off by these foreign companies continue to do their bidding for them.End the slaughter,end the shame,we Americans have had enough!

L Matte

July 26, 2008, 7:49pm (report abuse)

Every five minutes, an American horse is brutally slaughtered for human consumption in plants in Mexico and Canada. Ironically, industry lobbyists admit to Congress that the foreign horse slaughter plants are cruel, yet the companies the lobbyists represent also own and operate these very plants across the border! Despite unsubstantiated claims of “unwanted” and “abandoned” horses, these foreign-owned plants and their killer-buyers continue to buy horses from all over America at an alarming rate to meet the demand for the animals’ flesh in fancy European restaurants.

l Matte

July 26, 2008, 7:50pm (report abuse)

Horse slaughter is a brutal process from beginning to end. Killer-buyers have no regard for the horses’ welfare; they just need to find as many of the animals as possible in order to fill a quota. Because the horses’ final destination is slaughter, no concern is paid to their treatment when they are collected, during transport, or in the slaughterhouse. A former equine investigator for the Pennsylvania state police summed this industry up perfectly when she said, “… horses were deprived of food and water because they were going to slaughter anyway. My conclusion is that the slaughter option encourages neglect…Money is the only objective of selling horses to slaughter. Those of us in the trenches have seen enough.”

L Matte

July 26, 2008, 7:51pm (report abuse)

Constituents concerned about the welfare of America’s horses must use this opportunity to speak up to their Members of Congress. The slaughterhouses, their lobbyists and the few pro-horse slaughter groups will be on Capitol Hill screaming loudly because they know support for ending horse slaughter is already strong. They know that if this issue is given a fair hearing and a fair vote, horse slaughter will end immediately.

Even though this fight has gone on for years, we must never forget that until Congress acts and passes a federal ban, horses are being hauled across the United States before being sent to Canada and Mexico to be slaughtered under even worse conditions. The slaughterhouses and their supporters hope to wear down horse advocates by stalling the political process. We must send a message that we will not stop until ALL horses are protected from slaughter.

L Matte

July 26, 2008, 7:52pm (report abuse)


Please call, write or email your Representative today, urging him or her to support HR 6598, the Conyers-Burton "Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act". Chairman Conyers and Congressman Burton intend to do everything in their power to move this measure through Congress as soon as possible. Be sure to mention the facts above and those found here.

Many Members of Congress have already supported a similar measure, so this is not a new proposal; click here to see if your legislator cosponsored the original bill. If your Representative is on the Judiciary Committee, please urge him or her to attend any upcoming hearing and speak out on this important legislation as well.

To find your Representative and learn his or her stance on horse slaughter, please visit www.compassionindex.org. You can contact your legislators directly through the Compassion Index as well.

L Matte

July 26, 2008, 7:55pm (report abuse)

For more information copy and paste this address into your browser



July 26, 2008, 8:44pm (report abuse)

I am for the bill I think it time to stop this inhume cruelty of slaughtering horses... Do these idiots that are eating horse meat even know what they could possible be doing to their health or they just stupid... Horses are injected with annual shots for west nile tetnus and many other yearly vacinations. The race horse owners like to inject their horses with steriods and what ever else need be to get the horse around the track. I think you are sick for wanting to eat horse meat and I sincerly hope this bill passes to stop this cruel act to our beloved horses, and I hope all of you that are eating horse meat I hope it catches up with you in your health. Horse meat is not like beef or pork it does not have to be FDA tested,,,

John Olexa

July 26, 2008, 9:17pm (report abuse)

All forms of animal abuse must be stopped! That includes eating, wearing and animals used for entertainment. Like the circus!


July 26, 2008, 9:53pm (report abuse)

Any American who sets aside all

self-interest, examines his conscience and asks himself if allowing the murder of our country's horses for money and meat is ever ethical can come to only one conclusion: NO!

I'm proud of Reps Conyers and Burton for creating this bill. May the rest of Congress rally behind them and swiftly pass it. The brutal betrayal of our beloved best friends must end -- NOW!


July 27, 2008, 1:41pm (report abuse)

Horse slaughter is cruel and exists only because of the large profits involved. Raising horses for feedlots is part of production agriculture in Sask, B.C, Manitoba and Alberta.One feedlot was originally based in the U.S. but most of the operation was moved to Canada a few years ago. These horses have never been someone's riding pony, sport animal or draft horse.PMUs have been going to slaughter for the last 40 years or so. Where else could thousands of foals go well bred or not. It is time everyone took responsibily for what they breed be it horses, dogs, or cats.


July 28, 2008, 1:09am (report abuse)

It appears I'll be alone on this one, but my principles supersede my morals. I am opposed to this bill for two clear reasons. First, the federal government has no authority to pass laws forbidding cruelty or slaughter of animals for consumption. Second, it is not the role of the federal government to act as the people's conscience.

I guarantee this or a similar bill could be passed easily in each of the 50 states, which is the proper way to handle this matter. Even if it went unpassed I, though not opposed to consuming meat in general, would diligently protest and boycott any slaughterhouse that produced horse meat or any restaurant or market that sold it.

I share in everyone's concern for these noble and useful creatures, but federal laws that restrict our freedom to eat whatever we want and restrict the free market are unconstitutional and unbecoming of the vision of our forefathers.


July 28, 2008, 9:06am (report abuse)

Why is consumption of horse meat so terrible. Most of you don't get so riled up about slaughter of cows. Maybe its because cows are ugly? If people are willing to buy horse at a premium price then that is their choice. If their is a market for it then it should be taken advantage of.


July 29, 2008, 9:11am (report abuse)

Danny, the USDA has a list of offically approved "food chain" animals, and our horses and our cats and our dogs and our hamsters and canaries and pet mice and guinea pigs, etc. ARE NOT on that list and we aim to keep it that way.

THERE is your differece between cows and horses. Cows ARE food animals in America. Horses ARE NOT~ Kabiesh?


July 29, 2008, 10:27am (report abuse)

Let foreigners kill their OWN "food animals" (ie: horses) if that is what they want to eat...STOP EATING OURS! Raise YOUR OWN (like we do our own cows, etc.) I do not eat meat, but I do not condem those that do (even my husband eats steaks!) However, we do not eat horse meat in the U.S so why should we supply it to other countries? We don't supply dog and cat meat to Asia because dogs and cats are PETS here, SAME WITH HORSES!!


July 29, 2008, 11:38am (report abuse)

How does Article I, Section VIII of the Constitution justify this bill? Oh wait, it doesn't! If anything else the various states should pass this law, but frankly I wouldn't support it in my home state either. Animals are property and as such the owners of them should be able to dispose of them as they wish. Let's use persuasion not force as a way to prevent animal cruelty.


July 29, 2008, 3:18pm (report abuse)

It is time to stop the slaughter of the American Horse, the horse has been with us forever. This animals have served us well, and now it is our turn to take care of them. Remeber what is said in the bible, "do not eat any meat that is not under split hoof".


July 29, 2008, 3:47pm (report abuse)

To Craig...Danny and anyone else who thinks slaughter is OK?? Or they have rights as owners ??? Your right as an owner stops the minute it is inhumane! Animal cruelty is against the law in this country and this bill effectively addresses the equine cruelty issue! Why would any owner oppose a bill that protects horses from cruelty and abuse??


This bill is needed to protect our horses from people such as these....

Bonnie Oliver WV

July 29, 2008, 6:33pm (report abuse)

"Horse slaughtger caters to the lowest common denominator in this society." - Hettington.

Please contact your U.S. Representatives and ask that they co-sponsor H.R. 6598, the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act of 2008. Do it today, before it is too late.

Erin R

July 29, 2008, 8:08pm (report abuse)

You are absolutely right GeorgeH!! Just because I "own" a dog doesn't mean I have the right to abuse it!! Most true animals lovers will tell you it is they that are owned by their animals :) This needs to end so that the killing of baby foals of PMU and Nurse Mares will be ended also, they use their hides called pony hides and no they aren't ponies they are baby hides!!

Terri R

July 30, 2008, 1:18pm (report abuse)

Horse slaughter is NOT humane euthanasia. It is barbarism at it worst. Personal property rights.. bah, humbug... what about the personal property rights of those owners whose horses are stolen and shipped off to slaughter? The horse slaughter industry is the very epitomy of abuse from beginning to end. This industry is money driven and in direct competition with the cattle, sheep and other livestock industries. Talk about a slippery slope.. Those of us familiar with equines know the difference between a cow, sheep, hog or other "food" animal. It never ceases to amaze me how callous and immoral some people are that speak up about this issue. Horse slaughter needs to be banned once and for all.

Terri R

July 30, 2008, 1:21pm (report abuse)

And 3 yrs. penalty isn't a stiff enough penalty.

Beverly Lonkani

July 30, 2008, 4:58pm (report abuse)

I am a registered voter and I too support H.R. 6598.

We are almost there but this inhumane loophole needs to be closed.

Please, let's put a stop to the knowing and intentional possession, shipping,transporting, purchasing, selling, delivering or receiving of a horse for food slaughter.

Making owners provide humane euthanazia will help cut down on the millions of horse and foal throw aways.


July 31, 2008, 12:23pm (report abuse)

I do not believe thos who ask 'what is the difference between a horse and a cow?' are serious.

Did Napolean ride a cow into battle? Was the American West won from the back of a cow?

Have you ever heard of the Lippizaner Cows?

If you are going to argue for slaughter, at least use a valid argument. The simple truth is we do not eat horses in the USA. Why should our horses be brutalized to food other lands? If they want to eat horse meat...raise their own horses, slaughter their own horses, and eat them. No one is saying they can't. Just leave ours alone.

Manny Segall

July 31, 2008, 8:30pm (report abuse)

I have in my youth saved many horses from being killed and have gone on round up to se these wonderful animal , the last of our heritage, the foundation and developement of our country. These animals desire life and not slaughter in countries outside our border by greedy human animals. Yes, humanely removing the sick and injured is justified. Please save our horses.

Helen L

July 31, 2008, 9:16pm (report abuse)

The Federal Government does not have the right to pass an anti-cruelty law? Excuse me, Sir. The Federal Government holds not only the Right, but bears the Responsibility of enforcing the Will of the People and the People have left no doubt about thier "Will" in this matter. Like it or Not, Sir, this is a fine example of the True America in Action.


August 1, 2008, 3:56am (report abuse)

I belive in treating animals with respect, but the fact is in all the comment i"ve read almost everyone wants to stop horse slaughter. My question is what to do with all the horses? We need to control there population,even if slaughter is the way, or in a few year horse will over take the land. I know you say put them down, well send money to every horse owner that has a old or wild horse, at the cost of around 300 per horse.

Neigh Sayer

August 1, 2008, 10:18pm (report abuse)

When something is outlawed from human consumption it should be either endangered or dangerous for consumption. If not, the government has no right to regulate it. Death is cruel, true, but the Big Mac's and Whoppers were out walking around once, too. What's next? Turkeys and chickens in the US are penned up all their short lives only to be killed for us to enjoy on the table. Animals ARE NOT humans. This does not mean they should be subject to cruelty, but it does mean that they are here for our use.


August 4, 2008, 1:01pm (report abuse)

This seems strange to me. While horse slaughter was going on in the United States, the list was started. The list was of people looking for old kid horses for their 12 year old daughters. There was a 2 year waiting line and a big price tag of $2,500 per horse. But still people would rather send those horses to there deaths then let SOMEONE ELSES daughter get any enjoyment from there horses. There is still a list for those animals but the price has dropped. As far as breeders go they are stepping up to the plate and not breeding all there mares. We pray the Animal rights movement doesnt bring any more horses in fron other countries. As you know the AR Movement has just about shut show dog breeders down while bringing in hundreds of thousands of dogs from other countries. The horse industry can and is taking care of there own. Dont let the animal rights group fool you, they want total animal extinction. I vote to end horse slaughter but I am not a member of animal rights.


August 5, 2008, 12:35am (report abuse)

I agree with chris about treating animals with respect and I'm not against horse slaughter because they will be overpopulated eventually. If only people would quit breeding horses with bad conformation and stop dumping horses everywhere because they are just another feed bill. I see more horses owned by people who have no idea how to take care of them. They require knowledgable people who understand them and their needs. They don't need love. Just a big pasture to graze on. We can't hardly give a horse away anymore. Horses aren't worth anything like they used to. We have to do something if not the killers, then control who can own or breed horses and what not.


August 5, 2008, 5:05pm (report abuse)

I hope this HR 6598 passes. It's time for horse breeders, PMU ranchers, nurse mare operators, race horse trainers and owners, ranchers, trail riding facilities, backyard breeders, and selfish horse trainers to be responsible for the animals they have put into this world. If someone doesn't want a horse, they have the right to put him/her down, regardless if the animal is sick or not. But dumping a racehorse because he couldn't run for you fast enough or a show horse because he's injuried is sick. Owning a horse is a commitment, and if you can't take care of him/her properly, you shouldn't have one.

Cows, sheep, pigs, and chickens are food animals. They are bred to be eatten, are treated like livestock, and people generally don't keep them as pets. We don't compare dogs and cats to cows and sheep, so why horses? Besides, horses take medication not intended for human consuption. Horse meat can kill you.

Americans don't eat horse meat. Enough is enough.


August 5, 2008, 5:13pm (report abuse)

Well Kristin, they need more than just pasture. Horses need clean water, good hay (which isn't cheap), grain, hoof trimmings and/or shoes, supplements if they're old or being worked hard, dewormers, daily grooming, interaction with people and other horses, consistant training using humane treatment both on the ground and in the saddle, teeth floating, vaccinations, and daily grooming. Horses aren't like dogs, they need more than food, water, and a walk everyday. They are high maintenance and can cost more than $3000 a year to take care of. Horses aren't for everyone.


August 6, 2008, 5:07pm (report abuse)

Response to Helen L:

Please, tell me what part of the Constitution allows the federal government to enact anti-cruelty legislation? I don't even need you to answer because I know it's not in there. There is not even a mention of animals in the Constitution!

The "will of the people", as you put it, holds absolutely no water. We are not a democracy, we are a republic. The majority has power, but the majority cannot subvert the rule of law, and the rule of law does not provide for the protection of animals.

I don't care if everyone agrees with the intent of this bill, even I agree with it, but we cannot stray from the rules the Constitution has set forth. When you ignore the Constitution you get people like Bush (or worse) making decisions without consent from anyone.


August 6, 2008, 9:07pm (report abuse)

Regardless, it is our duty as people to provide stewardship over our animals. A part of that is making sure our animals aren't being abused. Why else would we have humane socities and gov' sponsored animal rescues all over the country? Just because its not in the constitution doesn't mean it can't become a law. Or that its perfect and doesn't have flaws.


September 10, 2008, 1:56pm (report abuse)

I understand that this a hot topic for many of you and horses are dear to many of us. However, people need to look closely at both sides of the issue. First off I know many people look at horses as pets, and that is fine. But then they say that cattle slaughter is ok. I have raised bucket calves from cull cows or cows that have died or from cows that have had twins and couldn't feed 2. When you feed it and scratch it on the head twice a day you can get attached. Then it graduates on to grain and eventually is weaned off of the milk and somehow you can't help but feel proud out of what you and it have accomplished. When fall comes and all the calves are sent to feedlots to grow to be eventually sent to slaughter the hand raised calves go right along. When I was a little kid it would tug at the heart and now as an adult if I was to set and ponder it, it could probably still have the same affect. However, I know this is all part of life and this is my job, my salary.


September 10, 2008, 2:17pm (report abuse)

I am a rancher who has cared for thousands of cows and hundreds of horse with the utmost respect for God's creation, and I support horse slaughter. Bring it back to the USA where it can be strickly controlled by the USDA. If you are 100% vegan I think your crazy, but you are sticking to your guns. If you are a omnivore and you oppose horse slaughter you are a hiocrit and very uninformed of what REALLY goes on. Just because you glance at some literature or talk to someone, or spend a weekend on a dude ranch, doesn't entitle you to an educated opinion. Get the facts, then try to understand them. This is a much larger topic than mean men savagly killing the family pony. Slaughter to a horse, cow, pig or chicken is not pretty. It is however life. Live with it and bring it back to the US where it is held to the highest standard. Come see me. I would be happy to educate you on the daily life of a ranch er and show you who really cares for the horse and who doesn't.

Ms Carol A Marano RN

September 10, 2008, 3:41pm (report abuse)

Until Horse Slaughter is stopped, we cannot consider ourselves "Civilized."


September 10, 2008, 10:21pm (report abuse)

I have been an avid "horse-person" since before I can remember. BUT - I do not agree with the intent of the bill and I do believe that the U.S. Slaughter plants should be re-opened.

It is a much more complex issue than the majority of the supporters understand. There is not enough space or time for me to express my supporting reasons for my opinion.

What I can say is that IGNORANCE is most commonly the cause of most cruelty to animals, horses included.

Please don't think that I have no compassion for horses intended for slaughter. Certainly none of mine would go, BUT I am a responsible, capable person willing to bear all expenses for my horses well-being.

Not all horse-owners are and in certain cases, slaughter is more humane than to remain living in the deplorable conditions they are in.

Personally I don't ever intend to eat horse-meat, but have no issues with those who choose to do so. It is their choice.

Please do not pass this bill.


September 10, 2008, 11:08pm (report abuse)

Here Here TXBarrelRacer!

Too bad most supporters probably won't even be able to comprehend your post :(


September 10, 2008, 11:22pm (report abuse)

Horses are animals and humans eat animals. Death to an animal is a release from pain!! That is it. Why waist 1200 lbs of meat? Horse are being neglected and starved because of the economy and the high cost of hay and grain. They are not like cats and dogs to be desoposed as easly, when not wanted by their owners. Owners of cats and dogs can do what they want with them take them to the local pound. What happens to unwanted horses is thay are starved and neglectd or let loss to roam free and starve.


September 10, 2008, 11:56pm (report abuse)

Horses are a hobby for some but also a business for many. Most of the horses that people enjoy and love are born and bred due to someone else having it as a business. The idea of someone who makes a living in the eqine industry, keeping all the undesirable animals is at best impractical. The cost could amount to tens of thousands of dollars annually to a business. The alternative to slaughter is often a bullet and that is not a better alternative for the horse nor a better one for the owner. If people want to keep their horses for the extent of the horses life; that is great. However, anyone who thinks that will be the case for everyone is not in touch with reality. The equine slaughter market has always served as a way to dispose of undesirable or unwanted animals and is a necessary part of the equine economy. This is from someone who has raised thousands animals and spent hundreds of sleepless nights to save a young foal or a sick horse. Common sense has to prevail.


September 11, 2008, 12:26am (report abuse)

The close of slaughter in the US has put the horse industry into a tailspin that effects the whole American economy.It is wrong to put the welfare of animals before the welfare of human beings.Death is cruel but starvation & abandonment are far worse.

May thousands of horses be tied in the yards of PETA /HSUS/congressman who voted for shutting down slaughter for them to bear the burden of their actions.


September 11, 2008, 5:52am (report abuse)

it's not cruel it's a necessity. Grow up what do you think your great great for fathers ate. You want to end slaughter then you take the crazy, dangerous horses and feed and try to do something with them without getting killed. They are much better off being used to feed hungry people or dog food then starving to death.


September 11, 2008, 8:43am (report abuse)

IMPORTANT! Please encourage everyone to phone, FAX or e-mail your congressman to VOT NO on HR6598. We need the slaughter plants re-opened so that slaughter can be regulated in our own country. Again, VOTE NO.


September 11, 2008, 10:09am (report abuse)

I am so glad to see that I am not the only one in this fight. If the people that are thinking with their hearts instead of their heads could see what I have. I have been to all US killer plants. I have also seen starved horses, and horses turned out to fend for themselves, and ones turned out on BLM ground that are all chewed up from the mustangs, and ones that go through the sale that have no value and the owner bolts having left a fictious name and the horse has no where to go. I will gladly see the killer plants rather than the real barbarian acts that are happening now DUE to the results of the the plant closures. Get a grip America. The plants need to be open. They serve a justified purpose. They give other good horses a chance and a monetary worth. I can't believe we have even went this far. Gett the facts.


September 11, 2008, 12:50pm (report abuse)

I am in total agreement with you Casper. I would really like to see the slaughter plants in the US re-opened. There is currently no bottom to the market. Horses are livestock and not pets. There needs to be places for the unwanted, sick, lame, old horses to go. Slaughter provides an avenue for these unwanted horse that also gives them a purpose. I don't want my older broodmare going into a hole in the ground. Let that future carcass serve a purpose, whether it be to put food on a table in a foreign country, or feed some exotic animal. Again, encourage your congress men or women, to kill this bill in comittee. VOTE NO!!!


September 11, 2008, 1:23pm (report abuse)

With the closure of the three US processing facilitties 100,000 horses/year are being diverted to Canadian and Mexican plants, or are being abandonded at rescues and auctions. Local Humane Societies and SPCA chapters in the US are recieving calls daily regarding scores of horses found starved, emaciated, and abandoned. Rescues are full and unable to accept more. Chemical euthanization is not an option in most areas as the solutions used are hazardous and contaminate groundwater. Carcass removal/rendering is not an option due to landfill restriction and chemical residue, and cremation is not practical on a 1500lb corpse. Slaughter provides an effective option to remove the body of an unwanted animal, and provides a marketable commodity. What is needed are strict regulations to make the processing quick, and humane from transport to kill floor. Instead of banning slaughter and creating an unfathomable hell of abuse and neglect of unwanted animals, legislate it and enforce it heavily.


September 11, 2008, 1:36pm (report abuse)

I am in total agreement with Casper, Gale, et al. Horses are fine animals, but they are ANIMALS. Making their deaths illegal is promoting them to human status (or at least close). Cruelty is bad and the mistreatment of any living thing, esp. humans is uncalled for. Death, however, is a different matter. The death, disposal, and USE of dead animals is important to the survival of species, important to the health of humans, important to the livestock owners and breeders, and important to any industries (who employ humans) who use animal products -- meat, tallow, hair, bone meal, blood, etc.


September 11, 2008, 3:09pm (report abuse)

When will people realize that horses are LIVESTOCK?!? I have been a horse owner for 20+ yrs & wouldn't send one of my animals to slaughter but I am REALISTIC. There are dangerous, untrainable, crippled, etc. horses that, through slaughter, can serve to benefit someone else. True, today we don't consume horse meat on a large scale but we did prior to, during and shortly after WWII? It is nutritionally better than beef. I am against cruelty to any animal, that is exactly why we should have humane, regulated slaughter plants in the U.S. where we can control how they are treated! How many people who have expressed their disapproval of slaughter have actually owned a horse? How many have looked at the total BIG picture & what it means to have no regulated outlet for dangerous, unwanted horses? It means overpopulated rescues no longer taking animals & cruelty/neglect for those with no where to go. You owe it to yourself to get educated b4 making any decision base on a warm-fuzzy feeling.


September 11, 2008, 3:11pm (report abuse)

And what are we supposed to do with the 100,000 unwanted horses not slaughtered every year? Do some of you do-gooders want to put some of them in your back yard? Mine is full up! I'm sure you'll have no problem finding a welfare family to take a few of those 100,000 unwanted, unneeded, crippled, crazy horses. But if you do find a welfare family to take them, make sure you drive by their home every day like I have to and see those horses slowly starve to death and then come and tell me how much kinder it was that we didn't slaughter those horses.


September 11, 2008, 3:30pm (report abuse)

If people really understood what this bill does, they would vote no on it. As a horse owner I much prefer there are goverment regulated, legalized slaughter houses to send unwanted or unusable horses to. The impact on individual owners and the equine and equine realted industries is greatly impacted should this idiotic bill be passed. If one truly understand what this bill means, they will VOTE NO. There are already countless unwanted horses that are left by uncaring owners to starve to death- how is that better than HUMANE deaths that do not let the horses slowly waste away and die. Ever watch Animal Cops and see what the results are from uncaring, irresponsible owners? You guys need to wise up and open your eyes, these ( regulated, legal and HUMANE) slaughter houses are a necessity.


September 11, 2008, 4:27pm (report abuse)

I travel a lot around the world and in many countries horses and dogs are considered livestock and are slaughtered for human consumption. Our forefathers considered them as livestock and if the truth was to be told, many horses where feed to our milatary and by way the the gov. encouraged it. I have had kids in 4-H and FFA showing cattle and yes, they become pets but does that change the fact that they are livestock? No. I see where horses are standing out in pastures or lots aging and looking like they are being starved to death and that is far from being the case; it's old age. How many times does law enforcement have investigate a person being turned in for neglect or abuse when that is not the case. I agree that all animals should be handled with respect regardless of being livestock or a pet. How many of you folks against the slaughter of horses really raise and own them? I'll bet very few. I'm a horse lover and owner and I think it is cruel not to have a slaugher plant.


September 11, 2008, 5:17pm (report abuse)

I have to wonder the demographics of the people who are trying to push this bill through. Are you acting purely on emotion? Have you attempted to educate yourself on the issue? Do you even own horses?

I have lived in Montana all my life. I had a horse who was my best friend for 19 years.

Herbivores are consumed by carnivores. It's the natural way of life.

Right now I am nursing a crippled filly the vet said should be put down.

I don't have an extra $3,000 a year to take care of her. I really wonder if I did her any justice by saving her.

How many of them are there out there.

I have seen horses that would kill you as soon as look at you. Do you want them in your yard?

Circumstances change in life. A horse lives around 20 years. If you have had 20 years of consistent financial stability, consider yourself blessed.

What happens then when you can't afford feed?

Think it through.

I vote, and I say do not pass this bill.


September 11, 2008, 5:56pm (report abuse)

I have owned horses all my life. I have seen crazy, dangerous horses hurt people. If you are against slaughter, step up and "save" 1-3 of these horses in your own backyard. I really do get tired of hearing these people want to end slaughter BUT do not have a viable intervention for the old, sick, dangerous, starved or unwanted horses.

So you people who are against this, what is your answer to the unwanted horses? I do not understand why you would rather see horses slowly starve to death. To me that is more cruel and inhumane. THere are many, many horse just being turned loose to fend for themselves, put in other people's horse trailers at shows or sales or in other people's pastures.

If this law passes, I think another needs to be passed that everyone who voted fagainst slaughter is mandated to take at least 1 unwanted horse and care for it until it has a natural death.


September 11, 2008, 6:21pm (report abuse)

45 years in the business - not a city person - raised on a farm with cattle and horses- we never ate our horses!

slaughter rewards abuse and neglect - it does not help the starving horse in the field.. it is demand for the meat abroad - not unwanted horses that sets the rates slaughtered. It does not feed the poor at 20.00 a pound. Horse slaughter buyers are doing business as ususal - it is currently an option - go see the list at www.kaufmanzoning.net

more are slaughtered now than lasy year - they just ship over the boarders..

it is the economy wreaking havoc - not the closing of the plants.. why is that so hard to see? those who want the plants open are ignorant to the cruelty and abuse, are those that abuse, or breeders of crap that want $ for their cull..




September 11, 2008, 6:28pm (report abuse)



September 11, 2008, 6:32pm (report abuse)

aacres - ever heard of HUMANE euthanasia via injection for the dangerous or severly injured or weak and old?

Horse slaughter is wraught with cruelty and abuse - The captive bolt is not humane euthanasia..

go see for yourself at www.horsekillers.com


September 11, 2008, 6:32pm (report abuse)

FOr those of you for this bill own up and adopt about a dozen horses hten! Get a real grip on the situation and put into action the words you speak. Do you even own a horse?


September 11, 2008, 6:50pm (report abuse)

When you brutally slaughter a horse it takes away the opportunity for the horse to make a difference in a persons life. Kids, adults all love horses and they are beneficial to handicapped people.

Horses that are at slaughterhouses can be stolen and have owners looking for them. The slaughterhouses dont ask questions they just are there to make money.

We opened the door to let a foreign company slaughter our beloved pets. We need to close it, this is morally wrong.

Ellen-Cathryn Nash

September 11, 2008, 7:07pm (report abuse)

No method of slaughtering a horse, pony, donkey, mule or foal can ever comply with the stipulations of the Humane Slaughter Act of 1958. This means that the slaughter of any these animals is a violation of a FEDERAL STATUTE. It is ILLEGAL already to slaughter these animals for ANY purpose whatsoever. That is the Law. Congress does needs only to ban the exports and enforce the existing statute!

The new bill is a red herring, the other bills are still active and could be passed. HSUS and AWI decided to draft new legislation because they do not want slaughter to end. Horse issues are a huge cash generator for them, and Chris Heyde could not meet the celebrities or claim to have spoken with the late John Hettinger every day. Mr. Hettinger had a stroke and was not able to speak. He lived the last years of his life in Florida.

Ellen-Cathryn Nash

Bedminster, NJ

d jessler

September 11, 2008, 7:11pm (report abuse)

To "Martin"...The Federal Govt acts as the people's concience all the time. That's all it does. Pick up a history book and read up on the Emancipation Proclaimation, The New Deal or any war for that matter. It's teh Fed's job to decide what's best for the country. What's best is to end animal cruelty of any kind. Horse slaughter is systematic, institutionalized animal cruelty. It's evil from start to finish. Go thru slaughter with a horse just one time and see if you still support it.

Marjorie Caruso

September 11, 2008, 7:17pm (report abuse)

The only reason horse slaughter even exists is to pad the pockets of irresponsible horse owners and to feed foreign appetites.

Horse meat is a delicacy in Europe and Asia. Americans do not eat horse meat, but yet we are padding the pockets of foreigners with the blood of our horses.

We teach our horses to trust us, work for us, play with us and then we send them to a barbaric death.

Horse slaughter is unethical and we must pass this law now!


September 11, 2008, 7:21pm (report abuse)

My vote is against this bill. Re open the USA plants and if a horse owner doesn't want their horse slaughterd then I suggest they take care of it. If I want to send mine to slaughter, then I should have that right.


September 11, 2008, 7:26pm (report abuse)

Bob Godlatte isn't opposed to slaughter.....he actually thinks horses really do enjoy slaughter. Senator Larry Crag didn't block the bill because he thinks that all horses should die. Both have close ties to the cattle industry. Watch.....Larry Craig will be working alongside Charles Stenholm for a lobby firm when he leaves office.....It is all about MONEY. There is no ethical reason for slaughter. The PRO slaughter supporters need to get their facts straight. Did YOU read the Vetrinarians for Prevention of Equine Cruelty's comments on HR 6598?? Read it! This would shed a new light on the reality on horse slaughter......


September 11, 2008, 7:26pm (report abuse)

Horses are livestock, not pets. There needs to be a humane (stress humane) mechanism for slaughter of unusable, unwanted animals in the U.S. and not ship them outside the country to be disposed of in a cruel and brutal manner. It is not for me to determine what is edible in other countries – some people eat ants, grub worms etc. or raw fish. I for one do not want the added burden of the cost of feeding, veterinary and boarding animals that cannot be put to slaughter. These are not Trigger or my friend Flicka in many cases and there is no means to stop the multiple breeding and indiscriminate breeding which produces a glut on the market and fouls the values of the animals. How about managing the breeding aspect like Europe does for warmbloods so there are not unwanted stock.


September 11, 2008, 7:27pm (report abuse)

Horses are not being abandoned because US slaughterhouses closed. It's the economy, stupid! MORE are being slaughtered for meat now than when US plants were open, because new Canadian plants have more capacity.

But note that the number slaughtered depends on how much Europeans want to eat -- it is a delicacy and not cheap, so demand could actually fall. It uses only 1% of the US horse population anyway, so could hardly be a panacea.

And, it is not the old, sick, truly "unwanted" horses that go to slaughter -- would you want to pay top Euro for a stringy tough steak? No, you want to eat the young tender horse in good flesh -- the horse (average age 5) that could have a long useful life in service to humans. The USDA stated that over 90% of the horses slaughtered were NOT old, infirm or behavior problems.

We (US) don't even get the profits from this cruel business, why fight to keep it? For the pennies you get from KBs at auction? Cruelty is never justified.

Lynn at PMR

September 11, 2008, 7:29pm (report abuse)

Arguments that support the transport of equines for slaughter, and are then against this bill are very thin. Any change in our history comes with great opposition. Should women vote? Should Blacks be treated equally? Should abortion be illegal? Our laws should reflect the will of the people, and todays people do not want America's horses going to slaughter.It was best said "The American Cowboy is an icon. Not once in history did the cowboy ride off into the sunset and eat his horse!"


September 11, 2008, 7:34pm (report abuse)

Speaking with my mind and not my heart- I support this bill. I have lifelong involvement in the horse industry as trainer, competitor, stable owner and operator. If you have truly worked- boots on the ground- in the horse industry you would understand that horse slaughter is NOT a necessity but an easy disposal option for the the worst of horse owners/brokers in the equine industry. Who allows their horses to go to slaughter? Those who do NOT care if the horses receive the basic needs of equine care. That is proper food, water, safe transportation, properly segregated holding pens, and minimal vet care to keep the horse reasonably free from pain until they are processed. Horses "sent to slaughter" enter into a pipeline of abuse, neglect, and often of lengthy endurance. Horse slaughter can not *solve* over population problem nor can it be a platform to prevent abuse since the very nature PRIOR to slaughter is far below acceptable standards of most regional animal protection laws.

To Seabisc

September 11, 2008, 7:37pm (report abuse)

Unlike beef, young horses are tougher than the old - the older the horse, the more mellow and tender the meat.C40


September 11, 2008, 8:04pm (report abuse)

Currently 45% against?!? What are these folks thinking? It is time to end this nonsense and get past this. It is a disgrace to this country that we continue this practice. Human civilization as we know it depended on the horse. Our freedom was won on the backs of horses. How can any individual overlook this? The slaughter of horses for meat is not the issue. The issue is the cruel manner in which these easily excited animals are auctioned, transported, held, handled, and then finally slaughtered.


September 11, 2008, 8:10pm (report abuse)


Have you ever seen an injection go wrong? I have and it is not pretty. It happens more than many people realize, sometimes resulting in horrible seizures or a horse actually living through it. A well placed bullet means instant death which is much more humane than injection. People who cannot feed their horses are NOT going to be able to afford to put them down via injection. Then what do they do with the carcass? No one that is against slaughter that has posted here has come up with an alternative have they? If slaughter houses were able to open back up in the United States and strictly regulated, what would be the problem.

To those who said Americans don't eat horse meat, you are mistaken. Before horse slaughter was made into this huge argument, some people did eat them. Many of my neighbors and relatives have eaten horse meat without first knowing what it was and said it is good, slightly sweeter than beef. Horses are classified as livestock NOT pets.

Ellen-Cathryn Nash

September 11, 2008, 8:24pm (report abuse)

I repeat: horse slaughter is already illegal and has been since President Eisenhower signed the Humane Slaughter Act into law in 1958.

Regarding the 'property rights' argument, the Takings clause of the 5th Amendment of the Bill of Rights does NOT come into play here. The rights of an owner of a stolen slaughtered horse trumps the rights of those whom want to take their horse to kill. People whom have had their horses stolen & slaughtered suffer irreparable material and psychological harm. That is what is required to gain standing to sue in Federal Court.

It is illegal already and this messing around the Congress is doing is ludicrous. They should just amend the Horse Protection Act of 1971 to prohibit the export of horses to foreign countries (or International waters as happens in South Carolina - it is already illegal to slaughter horses at sea too). Congress does not know their nose from a hole in the ground. Amend the existing legislation and don't bother with this new bill.


September 11, 2008, 8:29pm (report abuse)

We need horse slaughter back in the USA to help with the horse economy!!!


September 11, 2008, 8:36pm (report abuse)

The repercussions of the passage of this bill are so unimaginable to "people in Washington". PLEASE - I URGE YOU to speak with EDUCATED professionals in the equine industry before voting yes. Organizations like the AAEP, AVMA, PVMA, AQHA and MANY others are against this legislation - and for a very good reason!! They ARE FOR the protection of horses and for the welfare of horses. There will always, always be unwanted horses in the United States for whatever reason - dangerous, lame, unusable - and there absolutely MUST be a humane outlet for these horses. If we push the outlet to other countries, we can no longer guarantee humane treatment. To expect the industry and people who's sole income depends on the equine industry to absorb the millions of dollars per year it will cost to fund adequate rescues is absolutely absurd!! Please visit this site: http://www.pavma.org/associations/9025/files/Unwanted_Horse_PDF.pdf


September 11, 2008, 8:45pm (report abuse)



September 11, 2008, 8:48pm (report abuse)

By implementing this no transport law and the no slaughter law this country has relegated these noble creatures to a death far worse than the video you have seen on youtube. Have you ever seen a horse that starved to death eating his own feces because his owner could not afford feed or to euthanize humanely, or the horse that is turned out in the canyon due to vet bills or loss of home that is eaten while still alive by coyote? I have and personally that is much more cruel. The horrible slaughter that you all speak of at least gave these animals peace after relatively brief hardship and mistreatment instead of months of agony and torture. You really think the humane society has the resources to help all the animals that are being abandoned, starved abused etc right now, if you do you are delusional. Yes, the slaughter transport and process needs change but I and many others who truly love these animals are dying because these animals are truly suffering and none of you are helping!


September 11, 2008, 8:54pm (report abuse)

I can only hope that logical thinking prevails over all this propoganda being promoted to elicit such wrenching emotions. This needs to be defeated, period.

The information given here is erronious, and the debate is rediculous. The most unfortunate thing is so many of the horses are suffering long term due to these folks beliefs. Peta has mastered the practice of manipulating the uneducated.


September 11, 2008, 9:05pm (report abuse)

well Becki the majority of us take care of our horses. I am sure what you say is true,just like people that don't take care of their cats and dogs. They don't have an alternative to get butchered, how come. MONEY...horses are not cows.Horse slaughter can not be an option. that's the bottom line. If there is abuse and starving animals

we do have animal cruelty laws. Why are they ignored for horses? We are helping, we help with money, we rescue, we adopt. and Becki the majority of us, that have horses know the responsiblity to take care of them and when the time comes when they leave this earth it's not going to be in an auction, transported thousands of miles and brutally killed and butchered so rich Europeans can have a pet patty.

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