American horses are an iconic symbol of the Wild West and the spirit of freedom the United States was founded upon. Despite being constant loyal companions to humans for centuries, tirelessly assisting in the advancement of agriculture, transportation, and the expansion of civilization, American horses are targeted by the government, cattle ranchers, and horse meat traders at alarming rates.

From 2008-15, an average of 127,000 horses were killed each year according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA reported that a staggering 92 percent of these horses were deemed to be healthy in “good” condition.

America’s wild horses are frequently rounded up to clear land for cattle ranching, where they are then taken to holding cells before they are presented before bidders on the auction block. Although the last American horse slaughterhouse shut down in 2007, horses are still butchered in backyard slaughter operations, while a majority of them are shipped to Mexico or Canada where they are butchered and subsequently sold to countries around the world, particularly in Europe and East Asia.

U.S. Senators from New Jersey, South Carolina, Rhode Island, and Maine are bringing forth a Senate version of the SAFE Act, which would ban the slaughter of horses on American land and prohibit the shipping of horses abroad to be slaughtered. (A House version of the Safe Act was introduced in January of this year by Representatives from California, Oregon, New Mexico, Florida, and Illinois, and it has received bipartisan support from 148 co-sponsors.) The SAFE Act will not only protect our horses from unnecessary slaughter, it will also protect humans who consume horse meat, as American horses are given any number of 375 medications that are not safe for human consumption, and some can even be lethal.

Please note that while the SAFE Act would protect horses from slaughter to be sold for meat, it does not protect horses from being culled and killed by the Bureau of Land Management.

American horses need all the help they can get. To help be a voice for them, please take a moment to sign a petition in support of the SAFE Act. Many people are completely unaware of the atrocities that American horses face, so PLEASE share this with your network to help gain further support for the cause!

Image Source: Pixabay/