Girls Horse Club Blog

The Truth About Slaughter: Part II

Published by • Feb 3rd, 2008 • Category: by Julia, Take a Stand

by Julia, age 14

The rusty trailer screeched and clanked as it made it’s way down the back road in the dark hours of night. Fearful brown eyes peered out between the small openings in the trailer’s back door. The horses in the vehicle’s lower level fidgeted nervously from the sounds of the horses’ hooves above them. The driver came to a sudden stop, almost missing a red light. The jolt sent the hooves skidding out from under the horses’ feet. The horses were already unstable, but as the driver lurched forward and turned,the horses all leaned to the right. As if in slow motion, the trailer tipped precariously on its wheels before crashing into the road, rendering the driver unconscious…

This is an excerpt from a story I will soon submit to the Loft Book Club. Although it’s only the work of my imagination, this isn’t too far from the truth. In Part I of this three-part blog, I mentioned how the transportation of slaughter bound horses is extremely dangerous, cramped, and inhumane.

In 2006, double decker trailers were officially made illegal to transport horses into slaughter houses in the USA. However, a loophole in this regulation is causing many horses and even drivers to be seriously injured. There have even been a few fatalities. It’s illegal to transport a horse to a slaughter plant in a double decker trailer, but some people drive the horses in a double decker to a location nearby the plant where they are loaded onto ‘safer’ trailers. These trailers then take the horses to the actual plant.

Another huge problem with laws concerning the transportation of slaughter-bound horses is that they are too vague. The regulations state that the trailers must have adequate ventilation, ramps and doors of sufficient size, and location to allow safe loading/unloading. But if you consider adequate ventilation a small slit in the walls and doors, then you’re not doing anything illegal because it isn’t stated what is adequate. There are no regulations about type of footing in the trailer. Many horses are injured because they have no secure footing to grip when they enter or exit the trailer. And worse yet, even though inspections are legally required once the horses reach their plant, very few actually take place.

The last thing I will mention is that the horses/ponies in the trailer don’t have to be separated by size. Many injuries occur when smaller, younger horses are trampled by larger, heavier ones. Could you imagine a Fallabela in a trailer full of Clydesdales? (Ok, so that situation is really unlikely, but it helps get my point across.)

To wrap things up, I used the VetsforEquineWelfare.org website to get my facts. You can read more about this topic there. Part III is coming soon, and hopefully it will really make you think and take action.

13 Nickers »

  1. i’m not sure what to say… it was detalied and everything but it was kinda off topic… it seemed that it was about the trailers they use not about the horse sluagter it’s self… i reckon you could of done better… it was a really really good blog just off topic… id rather know more about what happens when they get to the slaugter house like if people can look at them and can be allowed to buy them or if the second they get there they are killed…

  2. Once again a very very very very…very very very excellent blog! It’s hard to believe how the horses are treated on the trailers. Double deckers and ponies with gigantic heavy horses? The mere thought makes me very sick. Though the facts are horrific, you have written this blog beautifully. :D

  3. Tash: Not to be mean…but the transport is just as bad as the slaughter itself.

    Julia: Excellent blog. Awsome job :D

  4. Great Blog I always love hearing from you!!

    Tash: I agree with what Tori said!

  5. Thanks everybody, glad you enjoyed it.

    tash: I know what you mean. :) I figured since this was titled “The Truth About Slaughter” I figured the transportation was just as crucial to understand as the slaughter itself. I would have gone into greater detail about the happenings of the plant, but I thought it was terribly gruesome and I didn’t want to scare anyone. Basically, I thought transport was just as important to understand as the slaughter itself. Thanks for the criticism though, I appreciate your honesty. I’ll take it to heart for my next blogs.

  6. Really GREAT blog!!! I knew the transportation was bad, but I didn’t know it was THIS bad!!!

  7. Great blog Julia!

    Tash: Not to sound mean, but transportation is as bad, if not close enough to worse, than the slaughter. Horses somtimes die on the way to the slaughter house. Transportation is a big part of slaughter, so I disagree that this blog was off topic.

    Once again, GREAT blog!

  8. I feel that some people transport horses in really bad conditions not only to slaughter but to other places too. So even though this does tie into Slaughter I just think it also could be part of maybe a blog about stolen horses being sold illegaly. I did like the blog and it was VERY well written it’s also a good point that if you wrote about the slaughter it would be pretty grusome. I’m still making my mind up about this being off topic… I’ll go do some research about slaughter transportation and might then see the link.

    I still realllllly liked the blog and it was VERY VERY well written!

  9. Thanks again, tash. :D I think it would be off topic but I think it still relates because of the loopholes and the vagueness of the laws. The link I used is a really good one for information.

    Thanks again, I think you will make a really good junior blogger if you win it.

  10. thanks you soo much for the complement! i read more about double-deck traliers and about the horride conditions the horses travel in and even though i found that still some people do likewise with horses going to an acution i am way more convinced that this is very related to horse slaughter!

  11. When I was only, like, seven, the person who lived across from me had one of there horses sent to the slaughter. It was horrible, I can never look at that person again without shuddering. :(

  12. Great, true blog, by the way… :)

  13. it’s one thing to hear about slaughter but it another thing to see or know. i wousl nearly die if that person lived near me! :-S