The HSUS Responds to Oklahoma Governor Signing Horse Slaughter Bill into Law

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, issued the following statement in response to Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signing H.B. 1999, which opens the door for the slaughter of American horses to resume in Oklahoma:

“The horse slaughter industry is a predatory, inhumane enterprise.  It doesn’t ‘euthanize’ old horses – but precisely the opposite: young and healthy horses are purchased at auction, often by people misrepresenting their intentions, and sold to slaughter plants where they are killed to sell the meat to Europe and Japan.  We should reject this industry, just as we would reject a slaughter industry for dogs or cats gathered up under false pretenses and killed for export.”

The HSUS condemns the inherently inhumane practice of horse slaughter. Whether in U.S. or foreign plants, slaughtering horses for human consumption was never and can never be humane due to the nature of this grisly industry and the unique biology of horses. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversaw inspections at horse slaughter facilities that operated in the U.S. prior to 2007, documented frequent cruelty violations and severe injuries to horses.


  • USDA statistics show that 92.3 percent of all horses sent to slaughter are in “good” condition–meaning they are sound and in good health.
  • Results of a recent statewide poll conducted by SoonerPoll reveal a strong majority (66 percent) of Oklahoma likely voters opposed passage of the legislation.
  • Results of the SoonerPoll survey demonstrate that an overwhelming majority, 72.3 percent, of likely voters in Oklahoma is opposed to having a horse slaughter operation in their community. Additionally, a majority of likely voters, 54.1 percent, would be unlikely to vote to re-elect their senator or representative if he or she voted in favor of this horse slaughter legislation.
  • The slaughter pipeline is horribly cruel, with many of the horses suffering immensely during transport and the misguided and often repeated attempts to render them unconscious.
  • Horse slaughter encourages overbreeding, neglect, and irresponsibility. Irresponsible breeders often dump their surplus horses at auctions where they are bought by kill buyers who then transport them to slaughter.
  • Horses are not raised for human consumption in this country, and they are routinely given hundreds of drugs and other substances, both legal and illegal, over their lifetimes that can be toxic to humans if ingested.

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