To the editor:
Since 1980, well over 4 million American horses have been slaughtered in the U.S. and Canada and their meat exported to Europe and Japan for human consumption.
Horse slaughter is not a form of humane euthanasia. "Slaughter horses" are brutally handled. They are forced onto trucks (including inhumane double-decker cattle trailers-illegal in some states), and are often shipped hundreds of miles, sometimes for over 30 hours, without food, water or rest.
Arriving at the slaughterhouses, they are driven out (sometimes dragged) into a killing factory and bludgeoned with a 4-inch captive bolt gun which drives a spike into their skulls. If that "machinery" is not working properly, horses can be conscious while their throats are being slit.
Today, an average of over 100,000 American horses are slaughtered annually at U.S. and Canadian plants. (According to the USDA, the number of U.S.-bred horses sent to Mexico for slaughter is "insignificant." The U.S. Meat Export Federation states that 567 horses were exported to Mexico for slaughter in 1998, as opposed to the 23,152 horses that were shipped to Canada for that purpose.)
Aside from the visible high end, most horses sold at auction are bought by "killer buyers" (middlemen for slaughter plants) and go straight to slaughter often without disclosure or the knowledge of the sellers which promotes and often results in consumer fraud and horse theft.
Most of the horses your children ride at summer camps, dude ranches and riding academies are sold for meat when they can no longer perform.
Very little horse meat is used in dog food; it's too expensive with some cuts selling for over $20 per pound.
The majority of surviving foals born to the estimated 80,000 PMU mares in North America to produce the estrogen replacement drug, Premarin, are considered byproducts, and are sold for slaughter (as are their mothers when no longer productive).
This information is from the horse rescue in Iowa. Now do you really think we need horse slaughter houses in Iowa or in the United States?