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Sunday, 19 August 2018

Fact Sheet: L.D. 1286 Prohibiting Horse Slaughter in Maine for Human Consumption
Written by MFOA   
Monday, 08 April 2013
L.D 1286 "An Act to Protect Maine Communities by Prohibiting Horse Slaughter in Maine for Human Consumption and the Transport of Horses for Slaughter"


  • Maine ships approximately 1,500 horses, perhaps more, from and through Maine each year to two slaughter houses in Quebec. With federal inspection funds available, a horse slaughter plant could now be located in Maine.

  • Previous US horse slaughter plants closed in 2007; all were foreign-owned with profits going overseas, with significant documented history of failure to pay taxes, hundreds of USDA violations, and thousands of dollars in unpaid environmental fines.

  • The detrimental socioenvironmental impact of communities which have harbored horse slaughter facilities negatively affects property value, crime rate, infrastructure, and community/business development.

  • Workers held low paying, dangerous, high stress jobs in environments that incurred numerous violations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

  • Over 80% of Americans are against horse slaughter, including former US Senator Olympia Snowe and Senator Collins, who strongly support similar national legislation.

  • Every aspect of the process, from treatment at the auction, during transportation, at feedlots, and the slaughter plants -- everything up to and including death -- is inhumane. Horses are sensitive, sentient, intelligent animals for which long-distance transport and the slaughter process can be hugely distressing. Many horses are still conscious when they are shackled and hoisted by a rear leg to have their throats cut.

  • The American Veterinary Medical Association defines the horse as a "companion animal," along with dogs and cats. They have not been bred in this country for food consumption as farm animals have. Horse slaughter should not be a part of our culture. LD 1286 does NOT remove horses from being classified as livestock or change any Department of Agriculture dictate.

  • Studies have shown that the meat of American pleasure and race horses is often too toxic to eat safely because the horses have been administered a variety of drugs to enhance their performance. These drugs range from pain killers to anti-inflammatory medications, notably phenylbutazone, which is routinely used and poses a potentially serious risk to the health of human consumers. Tainted horse meat and horse meat added to other meats has created numerous recent scandals in Europe.

  • The State of Maine promotes its quality native and organic products such as blueberries, potatoes, lobster and other seafood, through a rigorous Quality Assurance Program. Tainted horse meat from Maine could have a significant financial impact on our reputation for high quality, safe food products.

  • Slaughter is NOT preferable to a horse left in abuse and neglect. Nothing is more cruel then the entire process of slaughtering a horse. Anyone leaving horses in neglect is subject to animal welfare laws and should be reported to the authorities. The expense for humane equine euthanasia and disposable is typically equal to one or two months' worth of its care and is an expense that should be part of responsible horse ownership.

  • Alternatives to slaughter include: 1) supporting new and existing horse rescue facilities; 2) retraining and placing unwanted horses; 3) reducing over-breeding; 4) approaching secondary horse industries to assist financially; 5) increasing public education regarding horse ownership; 6) developing and maintaining resources to assist horse owners with feed and veterinarian care; and 7) humane euthanasia.

  • Opposition rhetoric is often, "If these animal-rights advocates pass anti-slaughter legislation for horses, then the next will be cows, chickens and pigs." This is about one issue and one issue only: the slaughter of horses for human consumption, which the majority of the American public (New England included) opposes.

  • Horse slaughter is bad for communities, bad for human health, bad for workers, bad for the environment and certainly bad for the horses.

No animal that has served mankind so long, so well, so nobly, and in so many capacities, deserves such a fate. It is time to end Maine's complicity in the practice of slaughtering horses.


Maine Friends of Animals, 190 US Route 1, Falmouth, ME 04105


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