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Racehorses = Dog Food

If I were a racehorse who spent all of my life running my guts out just so people could waste their money, lose their houses and alienate their spouses by betting on me outrunning another horse—not a penny of which is given to me, of course—I would expect a damn good retirement package. A stable on a hill, maybe, with plenty of room to gallop as I please (no jockey on my back, thank you very much), plenty of hay, some carrots, and maybe a nice chenille blanket to cozy up with.

I certainly wouldn’t expect to be made into dog food—as well as human food.

But this is the real future awaiting 4,500 horses every year. Japan buys hundreds of thousands of horses from the United States, and about 90% of these horses end up in the slaughterhouse annually.

Many of these horses are the beloved racehorses people use for entertainment every day. Can you imagine Seabiscuit being chopped up into a bag of canine kibble? That’s just what happened to Kentucky Derby winner Ferdinand.

In 2008, there was a huge spike in horse-killing due to an over breeding of thoroughbreds in America. As many as 20,000 horses may have been slaughtered last year alone.

Though the U.S. has closed all of its horse slaughtering plants (where over 100,000 horses were killed for kibble and human meat every year), it’s still quite happy to ship off its equine surplus to Japan—as well as Canada and Mexico—for slaughter. Horse meat is then used as meat in countries like Europe and Asia.

During transportation to these slaughterhouses, horses endure harsh cruelty and plenty of pain. They are transported for many hours without care, rest or food, and are housed very tightly together, which prevents them from being able to move. Often this all takes place in weather conditions that exceed 100 degrees. Many arrive at their destinations dead or severely injured.

At the slaughterhouses the horses have their spinal cords severed by being stabbed multiple times with an instrument called a puntilla knife, which leaves them unable to defend themselves but still fully conscious, feeling every moment as they die of suffocation or slaughter.

To stop these horses from being slaughtered, the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act has been presented. Not only would it ban American horses from being used as meat; it would also ban them from being exported to other countries to begin with. To contact your representative in support of this act, please click here.