• At ISSUE: slaughtering
horses for meat.
• Who are the
• What areas of conflict?
• What should you do?
• Americans may not like the idea of horse
– For humans . . .
• Americans frown on eating horsemeat.
– For animals . . .
• Using horse meat in animal feed does not bother
• Any horse owner • The horse industry
• Animal rights groups • Consumers
• The packing houses • Importing countries
• A multi-million dollar U.S. industry.
• Sale of lame, untreatable animals by horse owners.
• 112,677 horses killed in the U.S. in 1995
– International exports -- $200 million/year, 120
million lbs (1978).
• France - 37,033,600 lbs imported (1978)
• Belgium - 19,506,400 lbs imported (1978)
• Countries of the former Soviet Union
• In France, Holland,
– chevaline = $12-15/lb
– This produces a “floor”
• Nutritious and lean -
leaner than beef
• Many cuts and uses of
it, making it an
alternative to beef.
• Tastes considerably like beef
• In 1994, 150,000 slaughter horses were
• France is the largest consumer of this meat:
– 1.8 kg/capita/year
– ~100,000 tons/year
• Iceland is a larger consumer
– 3.5 kg/capita/year
– But it is all domestic meat
• Pet Foods
• Livestock feed additives
• Tail and mane hair used for braiding
• Hooves used in the glue industry
• Blood and bone meal
• Only 4 states that have USDA-regulated
• Iowa is right in the middle of two of these
– Makes us an important advocate of the industry
• Animal Rights groups are against
– Don’t like the idea of slaughtering animals
– They think that horses should be considered
• Producers, horse owners, and the horse
industry are supportive
– Provides a net for horse owners
– Drives prices of horses in general up ($0.10-
• Passed Nov. 4th, 1998 in California
– The slaughter of horses
– The sale of horsemeat for human consumption
• Felony to buy, sell, or obtain:
– horse, pony, burro, mule
– with intent to slaughter for human consumption
• The sale of horsemeat for human
consumption is a misdemeanor
• Considers a horse a companion animal
– Same level as a dog and cat
– Horse owners in a different tax bracket
– Allows a person to cram a horse in their
backyard in the middle of a city
• providing city ordinances allow for it.
• Passed in September, 1997
• Requires brand inspectors to inspect
slaughter horses carefully
• Makes it against the law to sell horsemeat
for human consumption in the state
• Two USDA-regulated slaughterhouses in
– export mainly to France and Belgium
• They are NOT companion animals
• They are raised on ranches and farms
– not in operations comparible to puppy mills
– not sold in a pet store
– not kept in houses or yards (in most cases)
• They are treated like livestock
– herding animals that are usually kept on pasture
• Used for work and recreational purposes
– This does not make them companion animals
– Started out as a way to sell a particular animal
• compare to showing cattle, swine, sheep, etc.
• Some people keep horses solely as a
– very, very few compared to the number of
horses owned for livestock purposes.
• Horses are livestock and owners should be
able to buy and sell them as they see fit.
• The industry drives up prices of all horses.
• Without the horsemeat market, many horses
would be cruelly abandoned and die
• Horse slaughter for human consumption is
USDA-regulated and is as safe and humane
• People should have the right to eat
horsemeat if they want.
• The horsemeat industry is a major export
industry for the U.S.
– The horsemeat industry does not use inhumane
methods and treatments
– The industry is beneficial to the U.S. economy
– Horses are livestock - not companion animals
– Iowa is very close to states that have USDA-
regulated slaughter houses
• Why you need to understand the industry and its
• If a proposition such as the one enacted in
California ever tries to make its way into
Iowa’s law books - ACT.
– Vote or write your local representatives to vote
– Explain to your family and friends what a
proposition such as this can do
• Support any legislation that would continue
to consider a horse a livestock species