Kill buyers are the worst enemies of horses in the United States, according to the head of a leading American charity.
Wayne Pacelle, who is president and chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States, said kill buyers played a part in what he labelled the bloody and predatory business of horse slaughter.
Pacelle, writing in his blog, A Humane Nation, said kill buyers funneled more than 100,000 American horses each year into the meat trade, going from auction to auction and gathering up young and healthy horses for slaughter for human consumption.
They often misrepresented their intentions in the process, according to Pacelle.
“Most horse owners who take an animal to an auction are unaware that their horse could die in a day or two with a sharp throat-cutting exercise or a shot to the head.
“But at auctions all around the country, kill buyers bid against legitimate horse owners and horse rescuers, just so they can make a fast buck.
“In fact, some kill buyers outbid rescues, only to resell them the horses—often for a lot more money,” he said.
“Kill buyers and other key players in the horse slaughter industry trot out the notion that they are somehow ‘helping’ horses by sending them off to slaughter, but there is nothing noble about their enterprise.
“Horses are dragged and whipped into trucks and endure long journeys without food, water, or rest. Many die or sustain injuries during transport, including broken legs and punctured eyes.
“The idea of providing veterinary care to an animal about to be slaughtered is unthinkable to these profiteers.”
He continued: “Ironically, horse slaughter advocates say that their enterprise prevents people from starving and abandoning horses that they don’t want. But it’s actually the kill buyers who routinely abandon horses, especially at the border when they are rejected for slaughter.”
Pacelle cited several recent cases involving neglect which he said showed that the entire horse slaughter pipeline represented nothing but misery for horses.
“Frankly, I’m astonished that anyone could believe the propaganda that these kill buyers are helping horses.
“The only solution to protect horses from slaughter is federal legislation that will prevent horse slaughter plants from opening in the United States and stop the export of horses abroad for slaughter.”