The majority of the slaughter horses are byproducts of the sport horse industry. Racehorses that no longer win races (or produce foals) constitute between 16% and 19% of the slaughter horse population; Quarter Horses account for a whopping 70% of all breeds slaughtered according to the USDA; and rodeo stock is well represented.
The American Quarter Horse Association, which makes money from registering foals, has been a client of Mr. Stenholm’s firm, Olsson, Frank, Weeda for years. And it’s only one of many groups seeking to profit off horse slaughter while hiding behind the ploy that horse slaughter actually benefits horses and reduces abuse.
Groups like the AQHA don’t get a mention in the GAO report—the one paid for by U.S. taxpayers, who will also be stuck with the cost of inspecting horse slaughter plants in the middle of sequestration and paying to clean up any environmental mess these plants historically inflict on communities.
My first horse was an American Quarter Horse. I loved that mare. I loved that mare enough to breed her and get my filly. Both were registered with the AQHA. I was a proud member. As life changed and I moved away from horses, I sold my filly and dropped my membership.
I now know what I didn’t know then. I now know that my membership dollars, my number added to their membership count, helped to support horse slaughter. I was so naive then. How could I not have known? You can’t possibly register that many horses each year without some sort of “easy disposal” plan for older stock. How do you ensure that people keep breeding? Make it easy to get rid of the old to make space for the new!
I think I’m going to be sick.
You wouldn’t think that an organization which panders to your love of your horse, caters to it, encourages it and flaunts it – would want you to eventually slaughter it by inhumane means. It’s such a contradiction! However one cannot lose sight of the fact that they’re a business FIRST. Not everyone can hold to a moral code and turn down big money. They SHOULD. But they don’t.
I would be happy to own another American Quarter Horse. I love the breed. However I will NEVER be a member of the AQHA again. I will also make a point of asking any other organization involved with horses, their stance on horse slaughter. Point blank. If my membership support is going to encourage horse slaughter in any way, I will not support them.
If you are a member of any organization involved either directly or indirectly with horses, you may want to ask this question too. If their names DO NOT appear on this list – you need to ask them why.