How to Work to Stop Horse Slaughter

Three Methods:Notifying Legislators of Your ConcernsTaking Other Steps to Stop Horse SlaughterConsidering the Facts About Horse Slaughter

The phrase “horse slaughter” is used to describe the commercial practice of transporting, killing, and processing horses, particularly for the purpose of human consumption. Horse slaughter also colloquially refers to the processing of horse meat for dog food and other products as well. Methods used in this process are often inhumane. Further, horse meat is often unsafe to eat, which is a key factor in the politicization of this issue. Whatever your motivation for wanting to stop the unnecessary mistreatment and killing of horses, you can take steps to help stop horse slaughter.[1]

Method 1
Notifying Legislators of Your Concerns

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    Identify key points to share. Identify key points you can share with your legislators to lobby against horse slaughter effectively. Perhaps most immediately, horse slaughter is an inhumane practice that many people already oppose. Further, horse meat is often unsafe to eat, and horse slaughter is often tied to air and water pollution, diminished property value, and even increased crime.[2]
    • Since legislators are often interested in representing the views of their constituents, look up any statistics about opposition to horse slaughter in your area. Be sure to share these with your legislator.
    • If there is a horse slaughter plant or plans to put one in your area, point out your concerns. Be sure to mention pollution, negative impact on property value in the area, and the fact that horse slaughter plants are often associated with increased crime in the areas they operate.
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    Join existing efforts opposing horse slaughter. Organizations such as the ASPCA and the Humane Society, not to mention PETA, lead coordinated efforts to help end horse slaughter. Their methods include taking action to inform the public about the social, economic, and political components effects of horse slaughter. These organizations also commonly lobby government bodies and legislators, and even protest outside of government building.[3]
    • In fact, organizations such as these are already engaged in many of the steps listed in this article. Joining a larger organization may help ensure that your efforts contribute to your shared goal of ending horse slaughter.
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    Contact your legislator directly. There are several different methods to make your legislator more aware of horse slaughter. Send e-mails and letters to your legislator’s offices, and call the office directly. You can find their office’s address and phone number on their official government website. Though they may not receive your correspondence first-hand, their staff will inform them of the issues and perspectives that matter to their constituents.[4]
    • Be sure to take advantage of every method of direct contact available. The more correspondence a legislator receives about a particular issue, the more likely they are to address the issue.
    • Remember to keep your correspondence to the point. Focus on asking your legislator to help ensure horses are protected from slaughter, and that people are not exposed to dangerous horse meat.
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    Attend town hall meetings. Town hall meetings or other political meetings often allow for members of the community to present an issue. Find out about the date and times of meetings in your city or county. Let the political organization hosting the event know that you plan to attend.[5]
    • Prepare a brief, clear, polite, and research-based statement about the reasons to end the practice of horse slaughter.
    • Know that you do not need to be a professional about a certain issue to bring it to the attention of your city government.
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    Engage your legislator with social media. Use whichever social media platforms you use to bring horse slaughter to legislators’ attention. For instance, on Facebook, post directly on legislators’ pages. You can also post on your own timeline, and tag multiple legislators in your post. Similarly, tweet your legislators about horse slaughter, urging them to oppose the practice.[6]
    • These tactics will be especially effective immediately preceding a vote on any law regarding horse slaughter.
    • Post something along the lines of “please support/oppose bill ____, to protect horses and keep our meat supply safe!”
    • On any platform, use hashtags such as #EndHorseSlaughter.
    • Your legislators’ social media handles can be found on their government websites.

Method 2
Taking Other Steps to Stop Horse Slaughter

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    Inform your online followers. Use your social media platforms to tell your friends and family about the reality of horse slaughter. On Facebook, post on your timeline and the pages of friends who you think will be interested in joining your efforts. Whatever platform you use, post photos, videos, or facts, and urge those viewers to help stop horse slaughter as well.[7]
    • For example, post something like “Join our efforts to protect horses and keep our meat supply safe! Help us end a terrible and dangerous practice.”
    • Use hashtags such as #EndHorseSlaughter.
    • Include informative of engaging content, such as facts, videos, or infographics. Encourage viewers to repost this content. The Humane Society, as well as the ASPCA make resources freely available for this purpose.
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    Contact media organizations. The best way to inform the public is by getting prominent news organizations to cover the issue of horse slaughter. Write an op-ed to your newspaper, local television station, and radio station. Remember to include each of the key points you’ve identified about horse slaughter, or cite facts provided by the Humane Society or another recognizable organization.[8]
    • Include links to videos and other marketing material that news organizations might want to feature.
    • Local or national animal rights organizations will be happy to help with media relations. They will help you prepare a statement, and their support may help you get more coverage.
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    Volunteer with a horse rescue organization. Find a horse rescue facility in your area and submit a volunteer application. Expect to be tasked with cleaning, feeding, and grooming horses if you have experience doing so. You can also help by assisting with fundraising and organizing other volunteers.[9]
    • If you do not have time to volunteer at a horse rescue facility, considering donating money or other resources.
    • Contact the Homes for Horses Coalition or the ASPCA for help locating an organization you can work with or donate to.
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    Take it to the streets! Old school activism tactics still work in mobilizing energy, participation, and resources. Hand out flyers or hang posters on college campuses or other places where people may be interested. Set up an information booth at a local food or art market.
    • Consider protesting peacefully at facilities where horse slaughter takes place. You may also want to protest as places that use horse meat or other body parts to produce food or other goods.

Method 3
Considering the Facts About Horse Slaughter

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    Note the global nature of horse slaughter. Many large, economically powerful governments have outlawed horse slaughter. This includes both the European Union and the United States. However, horse slaughter still occurs in some countries, and the meat that is produced is often sent to other countries for human consumption.[10]
    • For instance, the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act has been passed in the U.S. This law prohibits horse slaughter, as well as the export of horses to be slaughtered.
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    Recognize that horse meat is not safe to eat. Put simply, horses aren’t raised to be eaten. In fact, horse slaughter adds dangerous meat to human food supplies. Since horses are commonly raised for work, sport, and human companionship, the food they eat and medications they take are not regulated by food production laws. This makes the meat derived by horse slaughter extremely dangerous for humans to eat.[11]
    • There is no regulatory system that monitors what horses have consumed or have been treated with when they are sold to be slaughtered.
    • Though it is increasingly uncommon, horse meat is occasionally eaten as a traditional food, or in cases where other meats are scarce. Fortunately, this often occurs in countries where these horses are less likely to have been treated with the dangerous chemicals or medications.
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    Familiarize yourself with specific examples. Several substances that are toxic to humans are commonly provided to horses. These include medications and/or supplements that are either known to be dangerous to people, or have not been tested for their effects upon people. In fact, more than fifty substances provided to horses have been banned for use on animals meant for human consumption.[12]
    • In particular, a pain reliever called Phenylbutazone, or “Bute,” is commonly provided to horses, and has been tied to potentially fatal human illnesses.
    • Meat from horses is often tainted with chemicals used in fly sprays and deworming medication.
    • Horses that are used for racing are also commonly given illegal drugs, including steroids, and sometimes even cobra venom.[13]

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Categories: Animal Welfare Activism | Social Activism