NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


October 5, 2007

A surge in exports of unwanted horses across the border for slaughter has horrified animal-welfare advocates, who helped facilitate inhumane practices by successfully suing the only three American horse-slaughter plants, says the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.


  • More than 100,000 U.S. horses were slaughtered last year for overseas consumption, according to government figures.
  • Since January, buyers who purchase horses at auctions have shipped 48,000 from the United States to Canada and Mexico for slaughter.
  • Overall, about 15,000 fewer horses overall have been slaughtered this year, but exports to the foreign slaughterhouses are way up; U.S. exports to Mexican slaughterhouses are up by 369 percent.

Particularly worrisome for advocates is the gruesome way in which the horses are slaughtered.  According to the San Antonio Express-News, horses at a plant in Juarez, Mexico, are stabbed in the spine until they are disabled, and then strung up from a hind leg, and their throats are slit. 

Some say the advocates are the ones to blame for the treatment.  Lobbyists who unsuccessfully tried to keep horse-slaughter plants open in the United States say those conditions would not exist here, where a more humane procedure using captive bolt guns is practiced.

Source: "Exports of horses for slaughter surge," Fort Worth Star-Telegram, October 4, 2007.


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