Horse Slaughter in America

Stock Sale

A Horse Auction in Virginia

While Americans don’t eat horsemeat, there is a burgeoning market for it in some other countries, especially in the wake of the Mad Cow/BSE scare. While there are currently no equine slaughter houses operating in this country, horses are routinely purchased at American auctions or obtained from owners, then transported out of the country for this purpose. France and Belgium buy the most American horsemeat, but Canada, Japan and Mexico are also major consumers. Canadian and Mexican dealers buy American horses; many of them gentle children’s horses and companions, and transport them to slaughterhouses. While dealers would have people believe that only the old and sick are slaughtered, they preferentially purchase younger animals in good flesh. The slaughter chain is a common destination for stolen horses. Some states have enacted laws prohibiting the slaughter of horses and their number is growing. But until this market is abolished in America, it remains a national disgrace and an immediate danger for horses.