This is an unbiased look at horse slaughter from both sides.
Over and over again, the following cycle happens here in America, and over and over again the process fails to solve the problem of unwanted horses.
Horse slaughter advocates decide to open some new horse slaughter plants. However, once again they fail to address concerns about sanitation and safety. Because horse meat is less valuable than beef, corners are often cut, leaving carcasses and offal to rot in horse slaughter plants. There are many other concerns; just one is that horses excrete far more blood than cattle, which in the past was often simply dumped into lakes and rivers and onto fields. Horse slaughter advocates seem coldly indifferent to the cruelty of sending horses, which do NOT react like cattle, through the traditional slaughter process. It is well known that horses are flighty, spooky animals who are more likely to be injured before being killed. Speaking of cattle, horses are often trucked in to slaughter plants in low-ceilinged cattle trailers under poor conditions, with no food and water, over several days. In addition, absolutely no mention is made of how horse slaughter plants will ensure veterinary drugs won't wind up in the human food chain. This valid concern (valid because it has happened!) has led many European countries to consider banning the import of American horse meat. Finally, horse slaughter advocates often refer to horse slaughter as a "necessary evil," but do nothing to educate the public about how over-breeding and poor breeding lead to too many unwanted horses.
Anti-slaughter advocates see the horse slaughterers getting busy, so they get busy, and propose legislation like this bill, hoping to make horse slaughter for food illegal in America once and for all. However, once again these advocates fail to address the question, "what else do we do with these horses?" No legislation about low-cost euthanasia or gelding clinics is proposed, no restrictions on breeding, no proposal to fund horse rescues, no nothing that might address the root of the problem. When horse slaughter does not exist at all, many argue that the value of horses has no bottom, since a horse is not even worth the price of meat. When horses are valueless, the whole economy of the horse world may suffer.
Meanwhile, over-burdened, under-funded agencies are left to deal with the actual horses. Private horse rescuers, who receive no government funding, struggle to pay the hay bills and turn away horses by the dozen. Even the Federal BLM struggles to find cheaper and cheaper land to warehouse mustangs on. Thousands of these mustangs, which cannot legally be slaughtered (some of which wind up slaughtered anyway), nonetheless have to be rounded up periodically, lest they overpopulate. So they spend their entire lives in huge corrals, neither wild and free, nor owned and well-cared-for. Even while American taxpayers shell out millions every year to warehouse these mustangs, the horses receive only the bare-minimum care necessary to keep them alive, often in bleak conditions and with no vet care. Untreated injuries, overgrown hooves and fighting are rampant.
Read more of my thoughts on horse slaughter here: