Horse Slaughter – A Rebuttal



This rebuttal is about the debate on the horse slaughter especially about the statement that “The United States Should Not Provide Horse Meat to Satisfy Other Countries Need When Americans Do Not Eat Horse Meat”. Logical and ethical arguments are made in response to this false statement to justify the export of US processed horsemeat to other countries.


The history of animal slaughtering for human consumptions has been acknowledged as a moral question. Horsemeat is widely used as a food in Europe and China. Despite a cultural fetish or taboo of horse being the companion, United States of America was an exporter of horsemeat (Anderson 125-164). When in the 1990’s, allegations of mistreatment, during slaughter and transportation, of horses, aroused, federal regulation against the inhumane handling of horses surfed up. In 2005 when Congress approved the Agricultural Appropriations Bill, that banned the funding for USDA inspection, the local slaughterhouse started to shut down. The cessation of horsemeat production resulted in the transportation of the horses to Canada and Mexico, for slaughtering purpose. Annually, 100,000, unwanted horses are exported to slaughtering facilities in Canada and Mexico (Kelly).

A lot of debate has so far been sparked about the export or transport of US horses to meet the horsemeat requirement of other countries. Several accusations and exculpation had been made from both sides. The first major accusations by the anti-slaughter side are inhumane slaughtering process. Banning a process or act due to some faulty and unsatisfactory application of regulation is incorrect. The slaughtering of horses is done not only to get meat for human consumption but also for euthanasian purpose. According to AAEP, the techniques defined for euthanasia of horses have both “Gunshot to the Brain” and “Penetrating Captive Bolt to the Brain” method (“Euthanasia Guidelines”). These two methods are actually the one that is used for slaughtering any livestock and are considered humane ones according to American legislation. Another case of horse slaughtering, on the land of America, that is neglected or not highlighted by these horse lovers, is forgetting horsemeat as a pet food (Lin).

The second argument or more precisely exculpation from the anti-slaughters point of view is the culling up of horses to the wildlife. It seems to be a good solution, until or unless the facts are being reviewed. The Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971 requires the Bureau of Land Management to control the wild horse population. More than 50,000 horses are running wild across the country, while the other 50,000 are kept in facilities. The maximum limit defined by the BLM is of 22,000. The law allows euthanasia of horses in case of non-adoptive and overpopulation of them. Specialists are pointing the declined interest in adoption that results in less than ideal and expensive housing facilities (Enders). Furthermore, the Congress has to increase the budget up to $80 million USD in 2014, for the wild horses alone.

The increasing population not only burden the budget but also develops a state of environmental degradation in the American West. The possible danger of drought and starvation due to the increased population will result in the same situation that has been faced by Australia’s feral horses. According to American Veterinary Medical Foundation, the cost for properly disposing of a single horse after euthanizing is an average of $385 USD, with a limitation to non-acceptance of chemically euthanized horses due to the environmental risk factors associated with the burial of these carcasses.

The third point that is used mostly in the debate is to readopt the horses. Rehabilitation and retirement facilities for horses just like for cats and dogs are the good option. But the current situations of these equine are not so good in choice. Since 39% of these centers are fully filled while the other 30% are near up to, leaving a horse there may end up in neglecting and abandoning. The annual cost of caring is about $2300 USD on average, excluding veterinary expenditures.

On the other hand, still, after the ban on slaughtering hundred thousand horses are annually transported to Canada and Mexico for the very same purpose. The USA is a major exporter of beef, pork and poultry products, if the export of other types of meat is not offensive then why exporting horsemeat is aggressive (Whiting 1173-1180). Horses are born, raised and transported in America, if they are slaughtered here too, does this will cause some harm to any American. No, instead they will provide a good amount of revenue and a number of new jobs for the Americans.


The debate about the statement that “The United States Should Not Provide Horse Meat to Satisfy Other Countries Need When Americans Do Not Eat Horse Meat” is just a bogus declaration. It has no logical and legal proving. Since the country’s law allowed horses as the private property of the owner, then imposing a ban on someone’s will is against the liberty of freedom, that is the basic right of every American. Wild, as well as unwanted horses, should be slaughtered in a proper humane way. And their meat should be exported to the nations that are willing to consume that. Slaughtering, currently, is the best possible option for unwanted horses.


Anderson, Natalie. “Protecting Equine Welfare and International Consumers Of Horse Meat: A Proposal For The Renewal Of Horse Slaughter In The United States.” San Diego International Law Journal 17.1 (2015): 125-164. Print.

Enders, Caty. “Why You Really Should (But Really Can’t) Eat Horsemeat.” The Guardian. N.p., 2015. Web. 11 Oct. 2018.

“Euthanasia Guidelines.” American Association of Equine Practitioners. N.p., 2016. Web. 11 Oct. 2018.

Kelly, Erin. “An On Slaughtering Horses for Meat Gets Last-Minute Renewal in Spending Law Trump Signed.” USA Today. N.p., 2018. Web. 11 Oct. 2018.

Lin, Doris. “Is Horse Slaughter a Necessary Evil, or Another Form of Profit?” ThoughtCo. N.p., 2018. Web. 11 Oct. 2018.

Whiting, Terry L. “The United States’ Prohibition of Horsemeat for Human Consumption: Is This a Good Law?.” The Canadian Veterinary Journal 48.11 (2007): 1173-1180. Print.

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