Survey: Majority Opposes Horse Processing

The majority of American voters oppose the slaughter of horses for human consumption according to results of a survey released by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) earlier this week.

Horse processing has not taken place in the U.S. since 2007 when a federal court decision combined with Congressional refusal to fund United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspections at horse processing plants forced the closure of the plants operating in the U.S. Since then, American horses have been exported to plants in Canada and Mexico for processing. Horse processing again became possible in November 2011 when Congress passed HR 2112, a budget bill which did not specifically defund USDA inspections at horse processing plants.

On Feb. 1 the ASPCA released results of a telephone survey indicating that the majority of voters polled oppose the slaughter of horses for human consumption. In January, Lake Research Partners, a national public opinion and political strategy research firm, asked 1,008 registered voters across the U.S. if they approved or disapproved of allowing American horses to be slaughtered for human consumption. According to the pollsters, 80% of all those surveyed disapproved of horse processing, while 13% approved.

Poll results also revealed that 71% of horse owners rejected processing while 21% approved of it. Non-horse owners disapproved of horse slaughter by an 81% to 13% margin.

The women polled were more opposed to horse processing than their male counterparts by a 90% to 70% margin. Politically, 85% of voters who identified themselves as Democrats disapproved of horse processing compared with 73% of Republicans and 82% of Independents.

Finally, 85% of city dwellers opposed processing compared to 72% of those who reside in rural communities.

Processing proponent Sue Wallis was unavailable for comment on the survey findings.

Slaughter opponent Fran Burns, director of marketing for Angel Acres Horse Haven Rescue, said the poll results send a clear message to lawmakers: “It’s time for Washington to pay attention to this important information from the public. We need to pass (federal legislation) and to once and for all stop horse slaughter.”

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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