The Horse - A living symbol of our proud American heritage
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General Information


California Voters "Just Say Neigh" to Horse Slaughter!


Horse Transport Law Cards

PA Horse Transport Law Cards
NY Horse Transport Law Cards
VT Horse Transport Law Cards


New York Horse Transport Law

NY State Raises Fines On Illegal Transport

PA Horse Transport Bill Introduced!
IL Horse Transport Bill
IN Horse Transport Bill SB86

Law Enforcement

PA State Police Arrest NY Shipper For Cruelty to Horses

PA State Police Arrest NC Horse Dealer In Auction Barn

NY Shipper Faces 38 Misdemeanor Counts of Illegal Transport

PA State Police Enforce Laws On Coggins Test

Equine Infectious Anemia Outbreak in PA

New York Shipper Pays Another Fine

PA Horse Transport Law Enforced!

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HoofPAC Political Action Committee

HoofPAC is the political action committee that has been formed to end the slaughter of America's horses. Cathleen Doyle, founder of HoofPAC, led the successful Save The Horses campaign in 1998 that made the slaughter of California's horses a felony.

Did You Know?

"It is important that we never lose sight that rescue without advocacy will not change people's thinking, set social policy, pass laws or abolish equine cruelty."

Cathleen Doyle
HoofPAC, Save The Horses, CA Equine Council

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Frequently Asked Questions

EPN's Position

  • Is the EPN opposed to the slaughter of American horses for human consumption?
Yes. The EPN's position is that the slaughter of American horses should be outlawed. Horses are not raised in the United States for food or fiber, nor are they taxed the same as food and fiber animals, nor do they receive the same tax benefits as food and fiber animals.

The issue of horse slaughter is about disposal, not rescue. Just as we do not slaughter our dogs and cats in this country to control overpopulation or to deal with the issue of abuse and neglect, nor should we slaughter our horses.

  • Is the EPN opposed to the selling of horses?


  • Does the EPN want New Holland and other similar auction houses closed?

    No. The EPN strongly believes that the auction in New Holland and any other horse auction must comply with all Federal, State and local applicable laws. Including but not limited to:

    Federal and state animal health laws

    Federal and state animal anti-cruelty laws.

    In addition the EPN believes that horse auctions should adhere to accepted equine industry management procedures.

    Dealers and haulers attending these sales must also be in compliance with Federal, state and local animal health laws, motor vehicle and criminal codes.

    Horse slaughter could end tomorrow, and the conditions at low end horse auctions will continue. The members of the horse industry that support these low-end auctions and dealers by the purchase of inexpensive tack, the purchase of horses from dealers who attend these sales, and the "rescue" of horses from these sales. Every person who attends a low end auction who witnesses suspected abuse, neglect, and or cruelty and who fails to take action.

    Action to Take

    • Learn your state's law regarding cruelty
    • Contact law enforcement
    • Contact the media
    • Contact your elected officials
    • Contact horse organizations
    • Document the conditions
    • Any horse 'rescued' from an auction in a neglected condition should be seen by a vet immediately. The following evidence must be collected before any treatment or feed is given to the horse if the evidence is to be accepted in court. Bottom line- You will be paying for an emergency farm call or you will be transporting the horse directly from the auction to the a vet facility. Anything less jeopardizes the evidence.
      • Blood work to determine dehydration, reason for weight loss
      • Coggins Test
      • Fecal
      • Complete physical exam

    The failure of state and federal department of agricultures to enforce their own laws and the failure on the part of citizens at these sales to report violations. The veterinarian community whom are in the employ of these auction houses to draw blood for required Coggins Tests and the failure of veterinarians called to treat horses purchased from these sales to report the crime(s) of neglect/abuse, and or their unwillingness to testify in court as an expert witness to the condition of the horse.

    The unacceptable conditions at low end auctions include overcrowding, lack of water and hay, horses standing on concrete with no bedding, horses standing in urine and manure, injured horses left untreated, incompatible horses placed together in pens causing fights and injuries, blatant cruelty including the use of electric cattle prods, striking horses about the face with whips, chains and or boards, the acceptance and sale of horses that are sick, lame, injured or debilitated. In several states this is illegal.

  • Does the EPN believe that all horses destined for slaughter need to be "saved"?

    No. Many horses purchased by "killer buyers" need to be euthanised. The EPN is not opposed to the horse's life ending, we are opposed to:

    • the method used to end the horse's life, (slaughter);
    • the prolonged suffering of the horse, (transport to a sale, sold, transported to holding facility, and finally transport hundreds or thousands of miles to a slaughterhouse;
    • Owners, dealers, auction houses, shippers, and slaughterhouses all profiting from a horse that is suffering due to sickness or injury. The EPN does not believe that irresponsible owners should profit from their irresponsible and sometimes criminal actions.
  • Does the EPN believe people who starve, abuse and neglect horses should be prosecuted or educated?

    The EPN believes strongly in education and awareness. People in the horse industry must be made aware of the problem of neglect, abuse and slaughter. They must also be made aware of the anti-cruelty laws. Many in the industry do not know that it is illegal to sell a sick, injured or debilitated horse. Many do not know the law regarding burial of horses. Many owners are not aware of the fate of these horses once they are transported to these low end auctions and then sold.

    On the other hand the EPN strongly believes in enforcement and prosecution of offenders. The problem is not with a lack of information on proper horse care. Magazines on horse care abound and can be found in the local grocery store. 4-H, pony clubs, tack shops & feed stores all have available informational booklets on horse care, often free. Libraries have books on horse care. Veterinarians are available to answer questions. Videotapes, training seminars and clinics abound. The Internet has information on horse care published by equine colleges, veterinarian organizations and other equine health and management experts. Information on the proper care of horses is available. The problem lies with the owner and their lack of one characteristic:


    Cruelty to animals is a crime. A crime not to be excused due to "ignorance." When a person acquires a horse it is their responsibility to properly care for that horse. That includes educating themselves on the requirements of a horse!

    If your child or elderly parent was losing weight & not doing well, what would you do?

    The responsible thing to do would be to seek medical assistance. In horse cruelty cases owners do not do this. The excuse,

    "I cannot afford a vet."

    doesn't hold up. It is not a person's right to own a horse. If an owner cannot afford a vet for their horse, then they have no business owning a horse. If a crime is committed under the law due to the fact that this owner could not afford a vet, then the owner needs to be held accountable. The owner could have sold the horse or contacted a welfare organization long before the condition became a crime under the law.

    Unless of course the horse industry propose to have an "equine welfare" program where the public donates money to organizations that will disperse these funds to the indigent owners who insist on owning horses, yet cannot afford their care.

    Are hardship cases involved in horse cruelty?

    Sure there is, but this is not generally the case. For an act to be a crime, there has to be intent to commit a crime. Upon investigation law enforcement would be able to make that determination. But again, it goes back to responsibility. If an owner's financial situation changes, the owner has to make a decision regarding the ownership of their horse(s)long before the horse has become a starvation case.


    Horse Slaughter Does NOT Prevent Owners From Starving Horses

    Horse slaughter does not prevent owners from starving their horses in their backyards.

    Starvation is a long slow process. Owners who starve their horses do not one day decide to no longer feed and water their horses. If they did so, the horse would be dead within a week from dehydration. Instead the process is often tied to the seasons. The horses get fat in the summer when there is plenty of grass. During the winter or periods of drought, the horses drop weight.

    Cruelty officers state that owners of neglected horses often make the statement,

    "I love my horse."

    OJ Simpson said he loved Nicole too.

    In their experience cruelty officers have found that these people do not want to give up ownership of their "beloved" horse.

    Upon inspection of the premises, law enforcement officers often discover that the owners have a myriad of other problems including child abuse, domestic violence, substance abuse and an overall problem with the maintenance of the property.

    • There are no facts or statistics to prove the claim that slaughter prevents the starvation of horses.
    • Horse slaughter is legal.
    • Horses are still starving, proven by the fact that these horses show up at horse auctions and cruelty officers receive complaints regarding starving horses, even though slaughter is legal.
    • The starving of horses is illegal.
    • Enforcement of anti-cruelty laws would prevent starvation more efficiently than slaughter.
    • Owners who send their starving horses to slaughter are not punished for their cruel behavior.
    • Punishment deters bad behavior.
    • Slaughter rewards negligent owners with money for bad behavior.

    Emaciated and starving horses purchased at auctions have died within one day from starvation.

    The option of slaughter did not prevent the horse's owner from starving the horse within days of dying. The process can take weeks, months, or years. The horse is suffering during this time. The option of sending the horse to slaughter is not preventing the owner from neglecting the horse.

    Enforcement of anti-cruelty laws and education will do more to prevent horses from starving to death in owners' backyards than will the option of horse slaughter.

    If horse slaughter were illegal, responsible horse owners would comply voluntarily with the law.

    Pro-slaughter advocates have not researched cases of cruelty to horses. The proponents of slaughter as a means to prevent starvation have not interviewed law enforcement officers or studied cruelty cases to understand why these horses are being starved.

    Pro-Slaughter Argument

    Cost of euthanasia is prohibitive to some horse owners.


  • The cost of euthanasia is tied to the cost of living in each geographic area. The cost of euthanasia and removal of the carcass is comparative to the cost of a new set of shoes.
    Horses require new shoes every 4 to 6 weeks.
    If owners cannot afford euthanasia, than owners cannot afford a horse.
    The cost of euthanasia is part of horse ownership.
    Horses are not inexpensive animals to own.
    Horses become sick or injured.
    • Horses that are treated with medications are not to be slaughtered for human consumption.
    • Allowing a sick, injured, and or dying horse to suffer is against anti-cruelty statutes.
    • The owner is required by law to treat the horse humanely. By not euthanizing the horse, the owner is breaking the law.
    • The owner must pay for the horse to receive medical treatment.


    I cannot afford to be in a car accident. But if I am in an accident, I will have to pay for my medical bills, the repairs to my car and for any property damage that I may have caused. These expenses are part of owning and driving a car.

    Disposal of the Body

    Horses die all the time and owners are able to remove the body either by burial, rendering, cremation, or disposal in a landfill.

    Burial in cold regions:

    If the horse cannot be buried due to the ground being frozen that would mean that people are not being buried either. The ground digs the same for a horse grave as it does a person's grave.

    Owners of horses that die due to colic, a leading killer of horses, are able to dispose of the body. Owners do not tell their vets not to euthanise the horse that is dying of colic because they do not know how to dispose of the body. The horse is dying, whether the owner chooses to euthanise or not. Either way the owner is going to have to remove the body.

    • Denying a colicing horse necessary vet care is a violation of the anti-cruelty laws.
    • If the horse has already been treated with medications, it is illegal to send the horse to slaughter.
    • The horse may not live until the horse reaches the slaughterhouse. Horse slaughterhouses only exist in Texas, Illinois and Canada.

      • Building horse slaughterhouses in every state to eliminate the collection and transportation of the horses long distances is not feasible. Americans do not eat horsemeat. There is no demand for horsemeat in this country.

      • The law prohibits horses from being slaughtered in the same slaughterhouse as cattle, hogs or sheep.

      • No raw material and no demand for the final product make it economically impossible to have horse slaughterhouses located in every state.

    Responsible owners do not starve or abandon their horses, whether slaughter is legal or illegal. By stating that if slaughter became illegal, owners would starve their horses, is to embrace the theory that responsible people would now break the law by starving their horses because they could not, or would not pay $50.00 to $400.00 to have their horse euthanised and the carcass removed.

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