The Sad Truth
The slaughter of horses is opposed by the vast majority of Americans. Horses are widely perceived as companion animals like cats and dogs, and deserving of humane consideration because of their roles serving Americans as working animals and for sport. Although horse slaughter in the U.S. is currently illegal, our horses are still subjected to intense suffering and abuse through transport and slaughter over our borders to other countries. More than 140,000 horses get shipped from the United States to Mexico and Canada every year.
Most horses bound for slaughter are brought to the slaughterhouses by contract buyers, also known as “kill buyers,” who drive around the country buying horses at auction. USDA statistics show that 92% of all horses sent to slaughter are in “good” condition, meaning they are sound and in good health.
About 90% of the horsemeat is exported for human consumption overseas. The rest goes to zoos and big animal parks.