Horse Transportation For Slaughter Examined

By: Ryan Dearbone Email
By: Ryan Dearbone Email

The practice of transporting horses to another country for slaughter is NOT illegal.

However, many feel like its cruelty to animals.

We decided to find out what would happen to many of these horses if they were sent away to be slaughtered.

There are many places like the farm in Allen County where horses are gathered and then sold to slaughter houses in Canada and Mexico, throughout the country.

It's a big business that some liken to the cattle industry.

Others feel its a cruel way to get rid of horses...

"They are not cows. They are built like cows and its very difficult to slaughter a horse humanly because they have such fear reactions," says horse trainer and activist, Shantal Rosales.

They also believe alternatives are out there.

"Like most people, I'm all for humane euthanasia done by a veterinarian if the horse is injured, old, or has health problems," notes Rosales.

In addition to euthanasia, which isn't always an option because of cost, any of these creatures are sold in auctions and sent to rescues.

However, Rainhill Equine Facility Director Karen Thurman says many rescues are overwhelmed with the amount of horses being sent their way.

"The truth is most of the sanctuaries... most of the rescues are full. People are calling, people are looking. There are no places. There's simply no places for these animals to go and that's why they're going to slaughter," Thurman says.

Joanna Coles, Agriculture Agent at the Warren County Cooperative Extension Service says many times horses are abandoned at state parks as well as being put in other people's trailers during auctions.

Website, Craig's List is also a popular place people go to try and sell a horse.

"Horses are selling for nothing. Sometimes 50 dollars, sometimes a little bit more."

House Bill 503, which seeks to outlaw horse transportation for the purpose of slaughter, is currently stalled in Congress.

U.S. Congressman Brett Guthrie of Kentucky's 2nd District tells WBKO in a statement...

"At this point, the bill is in the House Judiciary committee and no action has been taken by the subcommittee or full committee."

WBKO did try to speak with the owner of the horse farm in Allen County for his comments but he declined our request.

When asked what's the answer if the bill passes and these horses have nowhere to go?

That's a question she didn't have an answer to.

Its a question that no one we spoke to on either sides seem to have a definitive answer to. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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