#Animal Welfare
Beltex Corporation, Dallas Crown, and Cavel International
United States of America

Horse slaughter is extremely inhumane! Many people do not realize how awful these horses are treated.

Currently, three foreign-owned slaughterhouses in the United States are killing horses for human consumption. They are in Ft. Worth, Texas; Dallas Crown in Kaufman, Texas and Cavel International in DeKalb, Illinois.

According to the US Department of Agriculture over 100,000 horses were slaughtered in 2006. In addition to the horses killed in the three US-based plants, thousands more are transported under deplorable conditions across our borders into Canada and Mexico to be slaughtered.

Conditions of transport are appalling. Horses are typically hauled for more than 24 hours without rest, water or food in trailers that provide little protection from weather extremes. They are often forced onto cattle trailers with ceilings so low they injure their heads. Many horses—sick, lame, pregnant or blind—are in distress even before being loaded.

Once at the slaughterhouse, the suffering continues unabated. Horses are left for long periods in tightly packed trailers, subjected to further extremes of heat and cold. In hot weather, thirst is acute. Downed animals are unable to rise. All the horses are moved off forcibly when it’s time to unload. Callous workers, using fiberglass rods or electric prods, poke and beat the horses’ faces, necks, backs and legs as they are shoved through the facility and into the kill box.

Subject to extreme overcrowding, abuse, deafening sounds and the smell of blood, the horses become more and more desperate, exhibiting fear typical of “flight” behavior—pacing in prance-like movements with their ears pinned back against their heads and eyes wide open.

Despite the federal mandate that horses be rendered unconscious before having their throats slit, repeated blows with captive bolt pistols are often necessary to stun the animals. Terrified horses writhe in the holding stalls (known as the “kill box”), legs buckling under their weight after each traumatic, misguided and ineffective blow to their heads. Death, the final betrayal of these noble animals, is protracted and excruciating.

Prior to the closure of all three foreign-owned plans in the U.S., over 100,000 horses were being slaughtered in the United States and processed for human consumption. Now, tens of thousands of live horses are transported across the border to Mexico and Canada for slaughter. After these horses are killed, their flesh is shipped to Europe and Asia for human consumption. Their owners are often unaware of the pain, fear, and suffering their horses endure before being slaughtered.

Some myths about horse slaughter:

Myth: Horse slaughter is a form of humane euthanasia.

Fact: Horse slaughter is a far cry from humane euthanasia.

"Euthanasia" means a gentle, painless death provided in order to prevent suffering. Horse slaughter is a death fraught with terror, pain, and suffering. Horses are shipped for more than 24 hours at a time in crowded double-decker cattle trucks without food, water, or rest. Pregnant mares, foals, injured horses, and even blind horses must endure the journey.

Once they arrive, their suffering intensifies—undercover footage obtained by The Humane Society of the United States demonstrates that fully conscious horses are shackled and hoisted by the rear leg and have their throats slit. Because horses are skittish by nature, it is particularly difficult to align them correctly and ensure the captive bolt stun gun renders them unconscious.

Unwanted horses should be humanely euthanized by a licensed veterinarian when no other option exists, rather than placed on a truck, cruelly transported, and then butchered. Most horse owners already use humane euthanasia for their older or ill horses.

Even though the states have shut their plants, our horses are still being subjected to intense suffering and abuse though transport and slaughter over the border. Undercover footage shows live horses being dragged, whipped, and crammed into trucks in 110 degrees on their way to a horrific form of slaughter in Mexico and Canada. These horses are stabbed multiple times in the neck with a "puntilla knife" to sever their spinal cords. This procedure does not render the horse unconscious, and is not a stunning method. Rather, it paralyzes the horse, leaving him/her twitching on the ground, unable to move or breathe, and then they die from suffocation (because their lungs stop working) or from blood loss during dismemberment.

You can make a difference! Please help by signing this petition! We must stop the way these horses are being killed!!!

Horse slaughter is extremely inhumane! Many people do not realize how awful these horses are treated!

You can help change this horrible inhumane way of killing horses!

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The Horse slaughter is extremely inhumane! petition to Beltex Corporation, Dallas Crown, and Cavel International was written by Lorrie and is in the category Animal Welfare at GoPetition.