ASPCA Welcomes New Jersey Ban on Horse Slaughter

Gov. Christie signs bill prohibiting slaughter, transport, and sale of horses for human consumption

NEW YORK, (PR Newswire) – The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today commended New Jersey legislators and Gov. Chris Christie for enacting a measure to prohibit the slaughter of horses for human consumption. The new law also bans the transport of horses to slaughter, as well as the sale and transport of horse meat for human consumption.

“We thank Governor Christie for protecting New Jersey’s equines from the unnecessary and inherently cruel practice of horse slaughter,” said Debora Bresch, Esq., senior state director of ASPCA Government Relations for the Mid-Atlantic region. “As the official state animal, horses enjoy great respect among New Jersey residents, and horse slaughter is out of step with their deeply held values.”

Introduced by Assemblyman Ronald Dancer (R-Cream Ridge) and Sen. Raymond J. Lesniak (D-Union), A.2023/S.1976 makes it illegal to slaughter horses for human consumption, prohibits the sale of horse meat, and bans the transport of horse meat or live horses for the purpose of slaughter. Horse slaughter is inherently cruel, as horses’ physiology and instinctual flight responses makes them ill-suited for stunning, so they often endure repeated blows and sometimes remain conscious during their slaughter and dismemberment. In addition, horses bound for slaughter suffer incredible abuse even before they arrive at the slaughterhouse, often transported for more than 24 hours at a time in overcrowded trailers without food, water or rest.

Americans do not consume horse meat—the meat is shipped overseas to specialty markets. Further, horse meat is not safe for human consumption as horses are not raised as food animals and are frequently administered drugs that are prohibited by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  These drugs would be extremely harmful to humans if ingested. A national poll conducted earlier this year by Lake Research Partners shows that 80 percent of American voters, including the vast majority of horse owners (71 percent), are opposed to the slaughter of U.S. horses for human consumption.

“All states that do not specifically ban this abhorrent practice are at risk of becoming home to new slaughtering facilities,” added Bresch. “By signing this bill into law, Governor Christie has spared New Jersey communities exposure to the extreme cruelty of horse slaughter and the horse slaughter trade that has made the state a major artery for the transport of horses to slaughterhouses in Canada, ultimately providing us with another crucial victory in the growing movement for a complete and total ban on horse slaughter.”

Earlier this month, several prominent New Jersey horse owners and advocates, including accomplished equestrian Jessica Springsteen, daughter of musician Bruce Springsteen, joined the ASPCA in submitting a letter to Gov. Christie urging him to sign the critical legislation into law. The letter, signed by several well-known equestrians from across the state, including ASPCA Equine Welfare Ambassador and top international rider Brianne Goutal, read in part:

“As horse owners and enthusiasts, we are appalled that once-loved horses could meet such a brutal end. When no re-homing option exists, a horse should be humanely euthanized by a licensed veterinarian, not loaded onto a truck, cruelly transported, and then butchered for consumption abroad.”

The ASPCA urges all caring Americans to contact their federal legislators to press for passage of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011 (H.R. 2966/S.1176), which would prohibit the sale and transport of horses for slaughter in the United States, as well as across the border to Canada and Mexico.  The passage of this critical legislation would end the current export and slaughter of approximately 100,000 American horses each year. For more information on the ASPCA and to join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade, please visit

1 comment for “ASPCA Welcomes New Jersey Ban on Horse Slaughter

  1. John
    September 23, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    The ASPCA is anti slaughter anti carriage group. They are not doing a very good job of rescueing enough horses now. Their American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011, if passed will only lead to another 130,000 horses suffering. Who will take care of them? This bill if passed would stop commerce which illegal, not only that but it violates the world free trade act. It stops an agriculture food product that the world needs in their diet. The food inspections from Canada, Mexico and America will decide what is not safe to eat. It sure will not be the anti slaughter groups.

    The study that was done to find how many people are against horse slaughter was requested by ASPCA, the anti slaughter ant horse carriage group. Of course if you want a slanted study you would make sure you hird a group that would get the results you want. ASPCA of course chose (The Lake Research Partners) it would be interesing to see who all they called to come up with 80%. The Democrats call who they know will support them, same goes for the Republicans. None of this is a true and honest survey, this is a bias study.

    The transportation of horses is under the watchful eye of USDA/APHIS and their rules show that horses can be transported no more than 28 hours and then they need to stop and unloaded and fed and watered for a period of at least 8 hours. This is for all horses going directly to slaughter. If there are any sick or injured animals they will not be reloaded to go to the plant. This why the VS 10-13 numbers are sometimes less when arriving at the border or plant.

    The anti slaughter use old picture of injured horses, some are 15 to 20 years old. The man from APHIS reported this, he was an inspector at a Texas plant when they were open, he reported that the last 5 years when those plants were open the
    vast majority was only paperwork. Very few injuries, mostly scrapes that happen in
    all livestock transportation. We have more people hurting themselves including broken legs and ankles on public transportation than livestock including horses.

    It would be interesting to see the dates on the picture that the anti slaughter
    show and try to make people believe, that was every day at the plants. If it were the USDA/FSIS and USDA/APHIS would have shut them down.

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