Horse exports to Mexico up over 300 percent

Since all three U.S. horse slaughter operations were ordered closed last year, the number of horses exported to Mexico for slaughter has increased 312 percent, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. As of Dec. 20, 2007, 44,475 horses had been shipped to Mexico for processing for human consumption compared with 10,783 shipped at the same time in 2006.

Citing inhumane treatment, animal-rights groups such as the Humane Society of the United States have called for a ban on exporting horses for slaughter. The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, currently pending in Congress, would prevent any horse slaughter facility from operating in the United States as well as prohibit the shipment of horses to other countries for processing.

The AVMA and other opponents of the bill contend that actions of the anti-horse-slaughter coalition, led by HSUS, have, in fact, led to the current welfare crisis. Unwanted horses fared much better when they were transported under government supervision to U.S.-regulated facilities and humanely euthanized, they say. For more information, follow this link:

Several factors have combined to create an abundance of neglected horses in the United States. The closure of the horse slaughter facilities has made older horses a financial liability, and the rapidly escalating price of hay has made many horse owners re-evaluate their hobby. The American Horse Council says there are 9 million horses in the United States today, and the number of owners charged with animal cruelty due to neglected horses is on the rise as the price of horse ownership increases. So, the fallout from the closure of the slaughter facilities: More horses are suffering from starvation and neglect. — Greg Henderson, Drovers editor.

Categories: Industry news


  1. Barb AZ Said,

    January 14, 2008 @ 10:38 am

    It all comes down to being a RESPONSIBLE animal owner. Whether you own cats, dogs, or horses, you have to know what you are getting into and be abvle to provide, without the making the situation worse by OVER BREEDING.

    The AQHA dumps more horses into the slaughter pipelines than any other breed. They are followed by thoroughbreds.

    Here is a quote, discussing the multi faceted problem:

    Droughts in the South and West have pushed up the price of hay. The price of a 50-pound bale has nearly doubled to $3 in some areas of Pennsylvania, and is $6 to $10 in some southern states. The price of oats and other grains have gone up.

    “People have no idea what to do with them once they get them,” said Jan Dillon, 45, an agent with the Humane Society of Westmoreland County, which routinely receives calls about neglected horses.

    We need to STOP the slaughter by passing the bills, Senate bill S 311 and House bill, H.R. 503. Then we need to encourage the breed associations to CUT BACK. There are too many horses NOW.

  2. KDJJ Appaloosas Said,

    January 16, 2008 @ 8:54 am

    I agree with Greg Hendersons statement!! This is EXACTLY what most of us knew would happen!!! Having slaughterhouses for equine is nothing pretty, but it is and should remain, as part of the industry. Even with severe lowering numbers where are these horses going to go? Mexico would love to take them… how humane is that?
    Its a hot topic but closing them has compounded the problem. It did nothing to resolve over breeding!
    Just think……….this is only the first year its closed. What will it be like in a few years?

  3. Lynn Crowell Said,

    January 17, 2008 @ 7:20 am

    All we hear from the ApHC is how the numbers are down. How is the breed association going to encourage decreasing breeding when registration is their livlihood?????

  4. jean Robertson Said,

    February 5, 2008 @ 9:45 am

    Canada had 4 plants before the 3 U.S. plants shut down. Three new plants have opened in the past few months. We now have a grand total of 7 killing plants exporting horsemeat abroad. Your horses are being shipped up here by the thousands in double decker cattle trucks over thousands of miles with no food or water. Canada expects to kill over 100,000 this year over double from last year. There must be a terrific profit involved both for our government and the plant owners. All of it comes at the expense of the poor horse. Surely breeders could wise up and cut down on the numbers of low grade horses produced.

    For more information please contact the Canadian Horse Defense Coalition at

    Thank you.

    jean robertson

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