A new report has revealed that over 100,000 U.S. horses are sent abroad each year to be slaughtered.
Last year alone, 30,000 of these horses were trucked to Canadian slaughterhouses in inhumane conditions. They were later sold at auction and transported to other locations.
In 2007, the last horse slaughterhouses in the U.S were closed but it turns out that unwanted horses have been being transported to other places in order to meet an inhumane end.
The horse meat is exported to the European Union for consumption. In 2015, the EU banned the importation of horse meat from Mexico due to the health of the horses. There were worries that would mean the meat would not be safe to be consumed by humans.
Animals’ Angels (AA), an advocacy group based in Maryland have been investigating the horse slaughter industry in Canada for the past two years.
Their reports revealed cases of blind, emaciated and disabled horses being bundled into small trucks that drove for 20 hours until they reached their destination. Many of the horses were dead on arrival.
The situation was worse than AA ever could have imagined and described the illegal treatment of horses bound for slaughter as “rampant.”
At the U.S. auctions where horses are sold to “kill buyers,” people buy horses at low prices to send them to Canada for slaughter, investigators found that the horses were treated cruelly and kept in unhygienic pens.
These “kill buyers” did not care for the welfare of the horses and had very little concern for their wellbeing – any injured or ill horses were simply left to die.
AA, alongside European animal welfare groups have supplied it’s findings to the EU commission and hope they will aid the end of horse meat imports from Canada.
“In the field, we continue to witness the inherent cruelty of the horse slaughter trade,” a release from AA stated. “The complete indifference to the suffering of the animals is shocking.”
Earlier this year, the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) act was introduced in Congress in a bid to stop the slaughtering of horses.
“We encourage everyone to contact their representatives and urge them to support the SAFE Act,” Sonja Meadows, director of AA, said. “We believe that raising awareness is the key to promoting the long-term, positive changes our horses need.”
“The overpopulation of American horses needs to be addressed by the horse industry; [it] should focus on eliminating overbreeding and expanding and supporting adoption and horse rescues,” Sonja added. “Horse owners who can no longer keep their horse have many other options, and the HSUS (The Humane Society of the United States) has resources to help them find a humane option.”
To help Animals’ Angels continue their investigations, you can donate here.