ASPCA launches campaign to end slaughter trade in US horses

One of the ASPCA's campaign images.
One of the ASPCA’s campaign images.

The ASPCA has launched a social media campaign in a bid to end the long-haul shipping of 130,000 US horses each year to slaughter plants in Mexico and Canada.

The long-standing animal advocacy group’s campaign, #NotWhatIOrdered, wants supporters to sign a petition seeking a permanent ban on the slaughter of American horses for human consumption and the transport of American horses over borders for that purpose.

The nonprofit group hopes the campaign will go viral to help create awareness about the issue.

It is backing the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act – a piece of legislation that would ban the slaughter of American horses and outlaw the transport of horses to Canada and Mexico for that purpose.

The charity describes horse slaughter as America’s dirty little secret, saying the process isn’t humane and arguing the meat isn’t healthy because of the drugs given to many US horse during their lives.

“With this campaign, we’re hoping to educate the public on the issue that American horse meat is unsafe for eating – throughout their lives, horses are given medications and substances that, because of their known toxicity to humans, are expressly forbidden for use in animals intended for human consumption,” the ASPCA’s social media coordinator, Carly O’Malley, said.

“Additionally, horse slaughter is far from humane, as these animals suffer through horrible conditions.

“They are commonly shipped for more than 24 hours at a time in crowded trucks without food, water or rest and the methods used to kill them rarely result in quick, painless deaths …”


7 thoughts on “ASPCA launches campaign to end slaughter trade in US horses

  • June 22, 2016 at 11:49 am

    Just because something moves and breathes doesn’t mean humans have to eat it! A large market for horse meat is Japan! It’s sliced thinly and eaten raw. Good grief. There is plenty of good protein based plant life so people don’t have to eat things with faces who love and trust humans.

  • June 23, 2016 at 8:00 am

    It seems there is more cruelty to horses by not being slaughtered instead they are starved and not given proper attention to their needs. I believe slaughter plants should be within easy travel distance and humane euthanasia used.

    • June 27, 2016 at 6:50 am

      You know better than that, as being a veterinarian’s wife I can attest that vets become desensitized to death and dying. It’s comparable to food banks, there is food available, there are vets that will neuter at reduced prices. I just got a rescue stud, and a group paid for his castration, in full….
      He will not be adding to the breeders over supply.
      Why dont vets actively contribute by reducing fees???
      Would you like your neck to be sliced open and hung by your ankles alive??????
      If there weren’t auctions to pay money to take animals off people’s personal responsibility, perhaps they would find better ways.
      Too many horses are bred, there should be contraceptives given out for pets, horses,,,,
      No profit would stop breeding and over population.
      Vets are part OF THE PROBLEM.

    • June 28, 2016 at 3:07 am

      Starving horses are a result of irresponsible, ignorant owners. Not a lack of slaughter houses. This is a myth perpetuated by pro slaughter advocates. A myth that has been debunked many times. Horse slaughter is not a disposal for so called “unwanted horses” or horses you don’t have time for or horses that don’t suit your needs. I have researched horse slaughter for the better part of 40 years and have found many reasons to oppose it, but not one to support it. Not one.

    • June 28, 2016 at 3:10 am

      Slaughter is not “humane euthanasia.” Horse slaughter is absolute torturous for horses, no matter how short the ride is to the slaughter house. Just because you’ve allowed your self to desensitize doesn’t mean horse slaughter is humane. Good grief.

  • June 28, 2016 at 8:37 am

    Stop the horse slaughter!

  • July 13, 2016 at 12:06 am

    We explore this complicated horse slaughter pipeline in the doc film Kill Pen. Fact-driven and without gratuitous violence, the film exposes how complicated this issue truly is, and the forces that are driving it – politics and economics. The film is available for viewing at


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