Americans do not raise horses for human consumption as some other nations do. However, more than 100,000 American horses are annually transported to Canada and Mexico to be slaughtered for European consumption, where horsemeat is considered a delicacy. Because of the lack of disclosure on the part of slaughterhouse dealers, horses are often acquired and slaughtered through fraud and misrepresentation. Slaughter also provides a quick and evidence-free outlet for stolen horses. These animals are often subjected to extremely cruel transport and euthanasia conditions. In the past 20 years, more than 3 million American horses have met their fate this way.

Aside from being eaten, these magnificent animals face other kinds of cruelty including abuse and doping. Sometimes show and performing horses are abused by soring, which is the practice of pouring caustic chemicals, cutting or otherwise abusing a horse's front hooves and lower legs to induce an accentuated high step. The gait, known as the "big lick," is prized at Tennessee walking horse competitions. Race horses are sometimes given drugs, including anabolic steroids to run faster and longer. Advocates claim hard-to-detect steroids are a threat to the integrity of this sport because their effects, including an increase in muscle mass, can persist long after the substance has left the horse’s system. They say there is strong temptation to use steroids in a sport in which winners are decided by a nose.

Pending Legislation:
S.1121 - Prevent All Soring Tactics Act of 2015 or PAST Act
H.R.2641 - Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2015

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Poll Opening Date
May 21, 2020
Poll Closing Date
May 27, 2020

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