Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The fight for horses is not over! To stay on top of the latest legislation to ban (or legalize) horse slaughter in the U.S. go to our "Latest Updates" page. To find out more about what you can do to help horses, click here. Click here to watch the 8-minute video: "The Reality of Horse Slaughter" Mac users: If you have trouble viewing this video you can download a free QuickTime plug-in here. The American tradition of loving and respecting horses existed long before there was a United States. Americans counted on horses to build this nation; to plow the fields and to carrying soldiers to battle. Horses are for many people part of their family, and they are considered to be companion animals, just as dogs and cats are.

Unfortunately, not everyone in the United States is willing to give the horse the respect it deserves. There are those who are willing to see horses killed for profit, and that is who this website seeks to expose. Horse slaughter proponents claim to care about horses, but the facts and the video footage tell a very different story.

An Overview of Horse Slaughter
Horse slaughter has existed in the shadows for many years. In the past, horse slaughterhouses killed their victims in relative obscurity in numerous locations throughout the United States. As concern for the well being of animals has grown in recent years, horse slaughter has come under increasing scrutiny. By 2002, the United States had rid itself of the shame of horse slaughter in every state except one – Texas.
To the credit of Texans, the Texas Attorney General issued an opinion that those slaughterhouses violated Texas law, and a bill that would have legalized horse slaughter failed due to pressure from voters. A majority of Americans including Texans oppose horse slaughter, and they find the idea of eating horsemeat to be repugnant. Even in Texas, a state considered by many to be unfriendly to animals, horse killers were told to "take a hike."
Click here to find out why the rodeo industry is in cahoots with the horse slaughter lobby.
Not surprisingly, the horse killers didn't care about the Texas Attorney General's opinion, the opinion of Texas voters or about the cultural respect Americans have for horses. The horse killers received a federal court order that allowed them to continue to kill horses for the time being, in spite of the will of the people. But with the writing on the wall in Texas, the horse killers knew they had to find another state willing to take on the dubious title of "Horse Killing Capitol of the US." Now it is Illinois, the "Land of Lincoln," where the horse killers hope to continue their violent and bloody massacre.
Horse Slaughter Horror Video Documentation

What do these corporations all have in common?
Southwest Airlines
These companies prop up an industry that funnels horses to the killing floor. FIND OUT MORE.


Doomed horses are lined up for cruel termination. The last hours of these intelligent animals are filled with dread as they experience the noise, smell and sight of death.
This horse is hit in the shoulder by the mis-aimed captive bolt gun, causing even more pain and trauma.
Wounded but still conscious after the mis-aimed shot,the suffering victim is hit again and again by the merciless captive bolt gun.
A panicked victim struggles to gain footing on the slippery blood-soaked floor of the kill chute.
Finally steady, the horse is shot by her killer, but she remains alive and conscious.
Still struggling, she is shot a third time by her killer.
Clearly aware of the peril she faces, this horse repeatedly attempts to avoid the captive bolt gun.
The horror continues as the doomed horse continues to evade death. She looks toward her killer with eyes wide with terror. If she is looking for mercy, there is none to be found in this death house.
Finally, her killer succeeds in blasting her skull, but even after three shots she is still moving.
A still moving victim is ejected from the kill chute.
The latest victim is hoisted, to be cut up in view of still-living victims.
The victim on the left side of the screen is having its face cut apart, while the victim on the right is being bled. This occurs in view of other horses awaiting the merciless captive bolt.
While the dismantling of these once-beautiful creatures goes on, the camera pans to the kill chute just a few feet away. There a victim is hit four times with the captive bolt gun.
The above video clips were generously supplied to SHARK by the Humane Farming Association.
Humane Horse Euthanasia
These six clips add up to a total of one minute, and show two horses being put to sleep. They were euthanized due to failing health. They were put down together, as they knew each other and were very close. Their final day was sunny and breezy, and it is obvious that they are completely calm and at ease. They are given loving care from the beginning to the very end.
This footage demonstrates how people who truly care about their horses can give them a peaceful, dignified end. The horses simply become groggy and fall asleep. What a complete and utter difference from the horror of the slaughterhouse!
Our thanks to Judy Marteniuk, DVM, who was a co-producer of the film, for permission to use these clips. Dr. Marteniuk is a faculty member at Michigan State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, where she specializes in Equine Medicine in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences.
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