Animals' Angels State of the Horse Slaughter Industry Annual Update

Tuesday, March 28, 2023 - 10:07
Investigation Category: 

Cause to Celebrate as US Horse Slaughter Industry Flounders under Declining Exports and Shrinking Earnings

This month’s newsletter presents Animals’ Angels’ findings on the current state of the US slaughter industry. Exports of US slaughter horses to Mexico and Canada have continued to decline as have the earnings on horse meat sold by both countries. Overall, the data clearly reflects the US horse slaughter industry’s downward slide toward its inevitable end.

Good News from Both North and South of the US Border

In 2014, we watched in sorrow as 105,335 US horses were exported to Mexico for slaughter. By 2020, the number of US horses exported to Mexico had been reduced to 29,716 horses, over a 70% decrease.

In 2022, we saw that number further reduced to 16,362 horses, which brings us close to an 85% decrease in the number of US horses exported to Mexico compared to 2014!

The shrinking number of US horses being exported south of the border also contributed to a significant decline of Mexican horse meat exports. In 2022, Mexico’s shipments to Japan (the largest importer of horse meat), China and Russia were only valued at $4 million.

Progress in Canada

The recent progress at our northern border is also promising.

Back in 2020, there were 6,919 US horses sent to Canada for slaughter. Then in 2021, that figure was down to 5,139 horses, which is more than a 25% reduction in a single year!

We are still waiting for the final 2022 numbers to be released, but between January and September 2022 only 2829 US horses were shipped to Canada, which is another significant decrease compared to the same timeframe in 2021.

Canada made $28 million in earnings through exports of horse meat to countries such as Japan, France, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Luxembourg, and Switzerland.

Good-bye and Good Riddance to Several Slaughter Horse Feedlots

We’re also pleased to report that the largest US slaughter horse feedlot, located in Shelby, Montana, closed its doors and pens for business as of August 2022.

Then, in January 2023, an Animals’ Angels investigation revealed big changes at the largest US slaughter horse export pen, which is located in Presidio, TX.

Our investigation showed that only one pen appeared to be active, while the other two pens were dilapidated, with buildings caved in and trash scattered on the ground.

During the three-day observation, our investigators observed one truck delivering horses, but they witnessed no trucks crossing into Mexico. Previous investigations had uncovered up to five trucks coming in or out each day.

Subsequently, we obtained information from the Texas Department of Agriculture which revealed that the slaughter horse exports through their pen in Socorro had been discontinued altogether, and that no horses were shipped in 2022.

Kill Buyers in a Declining Mexican Market

The following US kill buyers are still delivering horses to Mexico for slaughter:

- Dennis Chavez, New Mexico - 82 shipments. Suppliers include Joe Simon, Jason Fabrizius, and Jeff Smith.

- Dennis Kunz, Utah - deceased, but the family business continues.

- Ramos Livestock, Texas - 74 shipments. Suppliers include Mike McBarron, Triple Crown Ranch, Rio Grand Classic, and Joe Simon.

- Gary Morris, Texas.

- M & M Livestock, Arkansas - 104 shipments. Suppliers include Cedar Ridge Farms and Jason Fabrizius.

- O’Dwyer Investments, Texas - 39 shipments.

- George Baker, Oklahoma - Deceased, but the family business continues.

- Blake Wilf, Arkansas.

Some of these kill buyers actually increased the price they charge per pound for horses in 2022 (charging between .60¢/lb. to .75¢/lb.) after the price of diesel fuel skyrocketed from a national average of $3.64 per gallon to $5.57 per gallon.

Kill Buyers in a Declining Canadian Market

The following US kill buyers are still shipping horses to Canada for slaughter:

Bruce Rotz, Pennsylvania

Curt Anderson, Nevada

Fred Bauer, Ohio

Max Palmer, Idaho

Chuck Walker, Washington

Jack Paluso, Oregon

Mike Edmundson, Missouri

Ole Olsen, Nevada

Keith Tongen, Minnesota

Bouvry Exports

Our Work’s Not Done – Just Ask the Wild Horses!

While our recent findings show that much progress has been made and thousands of innocent horses have been saved in the last year, we know our work isn’t done. Not while there are still almost 20,000 US horses a year being sent to slaughter.

Animals’ Angels remains committed to advocating for each and every one of these precious animals until the predatory slaughter industry is eradicated once and for all.

But we know that the remaining kill buyers and greedy industry players will not go away quietly. In fact, there are forces currently working to target our wild horses and remove whatever protection they might have.

Some of these poor animals are already being sold for slaughter by greedy individuals who want to make room for more livestock grazing and heartlessly dispose of any horse they deem to be in their way.

We must advocate for these wild horses and burros to ensure they don’t fall victim to the increasingly desperate and declining slaughter industry.

Join Our Mission to End Horse Slaughter for Good

We hope you have been inspired by the encouraging results presented in this month’s newsletter and that you’ll share the good news with as many people as possible.