New Stuff to Blog About and More

What happens to a good race horse

Actor Paul Sorvino is mad.

We remember him most for his roll in the movie Goodlfellas.

No he is a advocate for horses, specifically race horses.

In case you have never wondered about what happens to a race horse once the race ends, listen up. At dozens of auctions around the country, many of these horses are sold to dealers known as kill buyers for just a few hundred dollars. Their final destination is a dinner plate overseas.

Up to 15% are shipped out of the country and slaughtered for human consumption. For many thoroughbreds, the end starts as soon as they finish in the back of the pack at the tracks. Sometimes the horse meat is marketed as "champion meat".

Paul Sorvino and his daughter Amanda are on a crusade to expose what they say is a cruel and inhumane process.

"If a horse can't run fast enough on the track, he goes to slaughter. So he is literally running for his life," Paul Sorvino told INSIDE EDITION.

In the U.S. there are currently no horse slaughter plants in operation. But they do exist in Canada and Mexico, so horses are often crowded onto trucks for a long journey across the border. According to Sorvino, the trip is long and arduous. "They're not fed. They're not watered. They're not taken care of."

The Humane Society says conditions can be even crueler in Mexico. At one plant, a frightened horse is shoved into a small pen before being repeatedly stabbed in the neck. Callous workers can be heard cheering when the horse finally goes down.

"They're just dying in this barbaric, despicable and unconscionable way," says Sorvino's daughter, Amanda.

"Think about that horse winning with the roses around his neck, and then one year later he's hanging from one leg in a slaughter house," Paul Sorvino says. "Think about that and then say we've got to do something."

According to the Humane Society;

  • The vast majority of horses that currently wind up at slaughterhouses are in good condition (92.3 percent according to the USDA Guidelines for Handling and Transporting Equines to Slaughter) and will not be neglected or abandoned.
  • The remaining 7 to 8 percent who may need rescue will either be placed at one of the more than 400 horse rescue and sanctuary facilities in the United States or will simply be humanely euthanized.

  • Horse abandonment and abuse is a sad reality whether or not slaughter is an available option . High hay prices, drought, poor economic conditions and owner education are all driving forces for horse abuse. Continuing horse slaughter—a form of horse abuse in itself—does not alleviate these problems.
The Humane Society Wants you to Know;

There are bills now pending before both the House and Senate that would permanently ban the export and slaughter of American horses for human consumption.

Horse Slaughter (H.R. 6598)
Similar to H.R. 503/S. 311, this brand new bill would end the suffering endured by more than 100,000 horses each year who are hauled across the country and cruelly slaughtered for human consumption overseas. Tell your legislators to end the slaughter of America's horses and prevent their export for slaughter abroad

In the fall of 2006, federal legislation to permanently stop horse slaughter, the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, passed the U.S. House of Representatives, in a landslide, bipartisan vote of 263-146. In September 2005, the Senate passed a funding limitation amendment to ban horse slaughter by a 69-28 margin, and in April 2007, the Senate Commerce Committee passed S. 311 by a 15-7 vote.

In order to stop the suffering experienced by horses and put an end to slaughter practices that most Americans abhor, efforts are underway this Congress to pass this legislation (S. 311/H.R. 503) which would establish a permanent ban on horse slaughter. Opponents of the bill are trying to confuse the issue by the untenable argument that the slaughter industry somehow benefits horses.

The passage of The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act will prohibit the slaughter of horses for human consumption, as well as the trade and transport of horseflesh and live horses intended for human consumption. This legislation will terminate any legal option for sending American horses to slaughter within the United States and over the border.

For more information on the controversial issue of the horse slaughter industry, including pending legislation, visit the links below:

The following organizations are involved in horse rescue and advocacy efforts to ban slaughter:

Another Chance 4 Horses, Inc.

Pure Thoughts for Horses


The American Veterinary Medical Association is one of several animal advocacy groups that oppose the efforts to ban slaughter.

Myth: If horses can no longer be slaughtered, their welfare is at risk due to the lack of adequate equine rescue facilities and uniform standards for them.

Fact: Standards of care have already been developed and embraced by the hundreds of equine rescue and retirement facilities that exist throughout the country that routinely rescue horses from slaughter.

All must comply with state and local animal welfare statutes. In an effort to end the slaughter of racehorses, the New York Racing Association has partnered with other groups to launch the "Ferdinand Fee" to raise funds for the care of retired racehorses, and to honor Ferdinand, a former Kentucky Derby winner who went to slaughter. The organizations leading the charge in favor of a slaughter ban are the very organizations that are actively working to provide sanctuaries and solutions for any horses that would otherwise go to slaughter.

Myth: If a slaughter ban is passed, the federal government will face the financial burden of care for horses no longer going to slaughter.

Fact: This assertion rests on the false premise that all horses currently going to slaughter would become the financial responsibility of the federal government.

Horse owners, not the government, will remain responsible for the care of their horses. Owners who no longer wish to keep their horses and who cannot sell or place their horses in a new home will have the option of humane euthanasia. The average cost for veterinarian-administered euthanasia and carcass disposal—approximately $225, the cost of one month's care—is simply a part of responsible horse ownership.

Myth: Ending horse slaughter will cause environmental harm.

Fact: Approximately 950,000 horses die annually and are safely disposed of by means other than slaughter, and the infrastructure can absorb an increase in numbers.

Conversely, the operation of the horse slaughterhouses in the United States had a very real negative environmental impact- two out of the three were in violation of current environmental law related to the disposal of blood and other waste materials. Prior to its closure, Mayor Paula Bacon of Kaufman, Texas—the home of one of the three formerly-operating horse slaughter plants in the United States—desperately stated "Dallas-Crown is operating in violation of a multitude of local laws pertaining to waste management, air quality and other environmental concerns...Residents are also fed up with the situation. Long-established neighbors living adjacent to the plant cannot open their windows or run air conditioners without enduring the most horrific stench."

Myth: A prohibition on horse slaughter creates a negative precedent for beef, pork and poultry producers by legitimizing efforts to end consumption of food derived from any animal.

Fact: Americans don't eat horses, and unlike other animals, we don't breed them for human consumption.

Additionally, horses are different from cattle (and other animals specifically bred, sold, and transported for human consumption) due to their instinctive flight response in stressful conditions, making it difficult to accurately stun them prior to slaughter. Undercover footage has demonstrated that many horses are dismembered while fully conscious, underscoring the need to ban this utterly inhumane process. The American public overwhelming supports a ban on horse slaughter—horses have a special place in our heritage and they are beloved companions to millions today.

Myth: There has been no formal public discussion on this issue.

Fact: For years, legislation that would prohibit horse slaughter has been under consideration in the Senate.

The U.S. House of Representatives witnessed thoughtful and substantial public floor debate on this issue which led to passage of a permanent ban on horse slaughter by a landslide bipartisan vote (263-146). Further, there has been extensive media coverage on this issue by newspapers and television networks nationwide including CNN, The L.A. Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, and many others. Final enactment of a ban on horse slaughter—and the export of horses for slaughter over the border—is past due.

Myth: Zoos will be prevented from feeding their big cats an adequate diet.

Fact: Zoos will still be able to legally feed horse meat to their big cats, as the bill will only ban the domestic slaughter of horses for human consumption.

However, there is a growing trend to feed a beef-based diet to captive big cats. Several USDA-licensed facilities that keep big cats like lions and tigers have switched to such diets because it is a healthier alternative for these species. Horses are routinely treated with many drugs that are prohibited for use in animals raised for food.

Updated Dec 11, 2007.

Just five days after a dismal seventh place finish, she was sent to a horse auction in New Holland, Pennsylv

Greatest American Dog Store


Find it Here

Custom Search