Veterinary administered euthanasia

Horses entering slaughter plant

The Save America’s Forgotten Equines Act awaits passage by the 117th Congress. Lawmakers still have time to protect domestic and wild horses.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA, UNITED STATES, November 1, 2022 / — When the difficult time comes to have a horse euthanized, most owners want to ensure they do it in the most humane way possible. They want their companion to be pain free and not experience panic or a sense of danger during the process.

Horses that end up in the slaughter pipeline face a far different end of life. Kill buyers, also known as horse meat brokers, purchase equines to transport them to Canadian or Mexican slaughter houses. A humane end of life is not part of the death process during equine slaughter. Horses in slaughter plants may remain aware of what’s happening when the rendering process begins. It’s possible they can be fully cognizant of their situation. They experience extreme fear and suffering because of failure to render the animal fully unconscious.

The word ”euthanasia” comes from the ancient Greek words eu (”good”) and thanatos (“’death”). The good death. Slaughter is the act of killing an animal for human purposes. It happens, mostly, so the animals’ body can be sold as meat. Horse slaughter involves long distance transport to a Canadian or Mexican rendering plant, stunning and then slaughter. Humane euthanasia is not synonymous with equine slaughter. The two are neither identical nor similar.

Two bills to protect American horses were scheduled for the September 21st U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee hearing. The Save America’s Forgotten Equines Act of 2021, the SAFE Act, is the bill preventing America’s horses from being transported out of the country to foreign slaughter plants to be slaughtered for human consumption. A last minute and unexpected turn of events resulted in the SAFE Act being stalled before the hearing.

Blood Horse Magazine published an article two days later written by Journalist Jay Hovdey titled Horse Slaughter Ban Hits a D.C. Speed Bump. His September 23rd piece provides more insight into the stalling of the SAFE Act.

An excerpt from Mr. Hovdey’s article reads “But now this roadblock, thrown up with a last-ditch effort by opponents of a total slaughter ban that prevented the SAFE Act from clearing the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The next stop would have been the entire House and a floor vote, where passage of the legislation is all but assured thanks to the 222 member co-sponsors, including original sponsors Jan Schakowsky, Democrat of Illinois, and Vern Buchanan, Republican of Florida.”

Proponents of horse slaughter work to advance the viewpoint that slaughter is a humane end-of-life process for what they often refer to as ‘unwanted’ horses. Members of the rescue and equine protection community believe these horses are not actually unwanted but are instead the unlucky ones. They are the horses that have fallen into the hands of kill buyers.

Testimony given in a 2008 hearing by Dr. Nicholas H. Dodman, founder of Veterinarians for Equine Welfare, presents the opposing view of equine slaughter. Dr. Dodman’s testimony is cited to this day as evidence why equine slaughter is inhumane. “One need only observe horse slaughter to see that it is a far cry from genuine humane euthanasia. From the transport of horses on inappropriate conveyances for long periods of time without food, water or rest – to the very ugly slaughter process in which horses react with pain and fear, no evidence exists to support the claim that horse slaughter is a form of humane euthanasia. Rather, it is a brutal process that results in very tangible and easily observable equine suffering.”

Learn more by opening the blue hyperlinks. Readers wishing to support the SAFE Act may reach out to their elected officials. Ask lawmakers to ‘support the Save America’s Forgotten Equines Act, the SAFE Act’. It only takes a few minutes to make the call and help American wild and domestic horses, burros and donkeys. These links provide their contact information: and

Committee Testimony,+BVMS+MRCVS,+hearing+testimony+before

Save America’s Forgotten Equines Act

Donna Brorein, AEA Advocacy News
American Equine Awareness
+1 770-870-7589
email us here

Leave a Reply