Robert Redford Fights to Close U.S. Horse Slaughterhouses
by Megan Thompson
Categories: Animals, Causes
Tags: .

Actor and director Robert Redford is taking a stand to close horse slaughterhouses across the U.S. and protect horses from mistreatment and death. As a first step, the Sting star is joining forces with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson to form the Foundation to Protect New Mexico Wildlife; this foundation, in turn, will partner with the Humane Society of the United States to back a lawsuit preventing the opening of a New Mexico horse slaughterhouse. The slaughterhouse, currently scheduled to open on August 13th, would be the final destination of retired racehorses, injured farm animals and unwanted older horses, many of which were treated with drugs that the FDA prohibits for human consumption. The horse meat would then be shipped overseas for use in both human and animal foods.

Robert Redford, who has long been involved with environmental causes, was very disturbed by the news that horse slaughterhouses would reopen in the U.S. for the first time in six years. He believes that “[h]orse slaughter has no place in our culture. It is cruel, inhumane, and perpetuates abuse and neglect of these beloved animals.”

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

About Megan Thompson

Megan is a healthy living and natural beauty advocate who is obsessed with sustainable gardening, food politics, human rights and animal protection. An L.A. native, she loves staying on top of the latest pop culture news and green lifestyle trends. When she is not writing, she loves going to the beach, hula hooping and working on upcycling projects.

View all posts by Megan Thompson →
  • Lainer

    This has been happening for years. I know of a horse trader in Massachusetts who made millions buying horses from out west and bringing them to MA to fatten up then send to slaughter for food in Europe. He’d have an auction every Thursday night to sell some horses to private owners, but many would just go to slaughter. Some would stay on his hack lines to be used for trail riding. I used to work at the stable for riding, so i saw everything that went on. I worked there as a teenager and into my twenties. It was all legal and numerous places were doing this. It was notorious for the west to have feeding lots filled with these hack-type horses.This isn’t something new. i’m surprised it’s taken this long to even think about closing a place like this where they warehouse horses for slaughter? Where was everyone in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s when this was going on and making people rich?

    • Pat1959

      If you were there, why didn’t you speak out?
      At least awareness is now at forefront and people are doing something about it.

      • Lainer

        I was very young, and this was in the 1980s and 1990s. I didn’t even realize I could do anything about it back then. Plus, what they were doing was LEGAL. All legal.

    • chyboy002

      Where you been I have been in horses over 20 years and slaughter houses we have been trying to close for years. When they do close they just open up somewhere else. And yes it is a big money maker but it does not make it right…

  • Arthur

    meat is meat. Horse meat is no more sacred than cow meat. I don’t understand why people get in a tizzy about eat other animals than cows and chickens? Its all pretty disgusting and then by the time it gets to a store its so contaminated its scary!

    • Deedie Fay Cameron

      Because we don’t raise horses to be eaten in this country. Your statement implies that any animal, even cats and dogs, should be up for slaughter and human consumption. People are eating less meat, not more. The last thing we need to do is chunk another animal into the food chain and nasty up the land & water supplies with a filthy slaughterhouse.

      • Dingosbaby

        Agree – we don’t need to encourage MORE meat-eating – we need to encourage LESS!

      • Terra Pennington

        I myself don’t want to see toxic horse meat on the market in the US like Sue Wallis is trying to do to make a buck. You all should check out her survey which is trying to see if there is a market for horse meat here in the states. I would love to know when the European Union is going to enforce their ban on American breed horse meat for human consumption. They did a trial test for one day that left Pro-slaughter groups crying like babies. The EU gave the US two years to set up a passport system. Now two years later no tacking system to tell what horse has been given toxic drugs and what horse has not. Horse slaughter is just a trash can for all those who want to make a quick buck off their unwanted horses or a way to clean house for the new stock to come in but they want the tax payers to foot the bill while they keep breeding and trashing horses at slaughter.

  • 123tl78

    Good man. Thank you. People have been fighting against horse slaughter for years in this country. You don’t have a relationship with a horse for ten, twenty, thirty years and after its raced its heart out for you, carried you into war and died for you, carried you across America to settle lands, entertained you and then send it to slaughter. It promotes over breeding solely for the purpose of slaughter. We all need to work better at committing to the animals we have for life. If you can’t take care of it, find it a good home. They deserve that. As for any animal that is in our care, for whatever purpose, just treat it kindly for God’s sake and be thankful for what animals do for humans. There is no room for animal abuse or any excuse for animal abuse. People can make a living without over breeding an animal to make a quick buck. You can be a responsible breeder of an animal and make money and actually care about the consequences of over breeding an animal. It’s about being a decent human being. It’s not that hard. Also, leave the wild horses in the wild please. Birth control methods (if that is even necessary) are much more humane than roundups that kill wild horses in the process and destroy families of wild horses. Don’t let the special interest groups ruin the beautiful Western states and their wildlife.

    • carol

      You are awesome and I agree with you 1000%

  • Terra Pennington

    If we let horse slaughter open up in the USA you can bet we will soon find toxic horse meat being sold as beef or mixed into our ground beef all the while paying for USDA inspection. There is a reason why the European Union is planing on banning American breed horse meat from being imported oversea. But you got to love Sue Wallis and her marketing survey in hopes of selling toxic meat to the American people out right. Sue Wallis who has done everything she can to see that a horse slaughter house would open up in her own state. But then her family makes their living off horses and horse slaughter so they really need a trash can to stay in business. Slaughter is not about taking care of the old, sick or abandoned horses. Slaughter is all about the money and how to make the most out of their unwanted horses. Even if they have to lie, cheat, or steal to do it.

  • Ana Morris

    Thank you Robert Redford, a true human being! <3 . To those saying, 'so what we eat pigs and cows etc'. Well maybe you do, but you are not going to add horses to the list of murdered animals. We will fight to the death to save them.

  • Ana Morris

    B.L.M. = Bloody Lying Murderers. Their dirty plan with Sue Wallis is to EAT the 50,000 wild mustangs now standing in torturous holding pens. The intention is to make a few bucks from the bodies of Amercian Horses.
    Palamino Valley gives NO SHADE to rounded up wild horses. No grazing, No shade, minimum moldy hay. THIS IS UN AMERICAN. STOP THE ROUNDUPS.

  • neicey22

    Thank you BOB and BILL!!

    THIS ARTICLE STATES A PRO LIE OR TWO, old unwanted, lame, and retired race horses! Same old crap, why don’t they check the USDA stats?

  • adoptivemum

    If that were ONLY what is found at slaughter houses!!!! There are young, healthy horses.. mares with foals, mares about to foal… these slaughter houses AREN’T for the aged, infirm, and injured horses… it is for MONEY.

  • ChristyLee0ChristyLee

    A huge thanks to Robert Redford and Bill Richardson for standing up for horses like this. These beautiful animals are taught to trust us. We owe them our protection from the cruel, predatory business that horse slaughter is. For people who have a true heart for horses, it is gut wrenching. I’ll fight it to the day I die.

  • chyboy002

    It is good to have someone of your stature for this cause. There are other ways to fix the over population than slaughter. We are suppose to be the smart ones here. Slaughter in this country is for one thing only Money it is a big money maker. I realize that there are a lot of unwanted horses in this country and race horses that do not make the grade. But there are better ways than slaughter. I am amazed that they have not sent dogs and cats that are put down over to countries for human consumption. We don’t seem to have a problem killing them. But of course not, those are pets and to us horse lovers so are our horses. So thank you for stepping up to the plate to help..

  • texray

    I wonder what he’s going to do with all the ones he saves.

    • 123tl78

      I think that is the responsibility of the horse owner who is sending a horse to slaughter. Don’t you think? It’s called re-homing. Or you could set up a way, which people are already doing to help people who are having trouble feeding their horses until times get better. It’s a wake-up call to not over breed horses or any other animal. This is all if you actually care about what happens to your horses.

  • 123tl78

    Why would you have a horse if you can’t afford to feed it or dispose of its body when it dies from natural causes? Why are horses shipped to Mexico and Canada for horse slaughter? Don’t have a companion animal such as the horse if you don’t plan on committing to it for life. If you have hard times, ask for help. There is such a thing as responsible breeding of horses and re-homing of horses. We need responsible breeding of all animals. It’s just going to take time for people to become more responsible animal owners. A horse is a companion animal. Not a meat animal. People have relationships with horses for years and years. Horse slaughter promotes over breeding of horses. The number of unwanted dogs and cats has gone down from I believe 17 million in the 1980 s to 4 million. Progress has been made.

    • Lee-Anne Witherspoon Diepdael

      You must be young and idealistic. Reality is people will continue to breed horses they don’t need because a foal from their pet would ‘be so cute’. Why should we wait until a horse dies of old age and shell out $3000 + to dispose of it? That doesn’t make sense. We have dogs and cats who need food, and everything dies once, even you. What about quality of life? Does that figure into the equation for all these animal rights activists? Seems they just want to keep everything and everybody alive as long as possible, even if they are suffering. I have seen so many pets ‘rescued’ online who are in terrible pain and misery. It would be so much kinder to simply put them down. I think its people’s own fear of death that makes them fight for life of animals so hard. Death is a fact of life. Accept it. You are not going to change the thinking of the majority of ‘pet’ owners. We can’t even get people to stop abusing their own children, but I guess its more important to fight for the welfare of peoples’ pets. It makes me sick! If you want to fight for a worthy cause, how about protecting babies and children from abuse? Once you have that handled, then I’ll help you fight for pets….

  • Lucina Maestro

    Thank you Mr. Redford for speaking up for the horses that are being threatened with slaughter I only hope and pray that by you taking this cause other people respond and stop the killing of this loyal and beautiful horses.

  • Walsh Walsh

    Che Daughter predicted Robert Redford would save a horse before he would save the human who called his attorney and wrote him to reach him to no avail. Redford works on neglecting real issues of human protection while he knows they are key witnesses, key relatives of story he had no right to, Robert Redford leaves them to die. Then he smooges with the sons and daughters of the murdered in photo shoots and “do-gooder” headlines like this. Redford fights to end slaughter houses, photo shoot with his wife. Is she a horse?

  • Walsh Walsh

    hunted daughter

    2 years ago

    Mr. Redford, Che has an American Daughter that your film ordered
    dead. Her World War II nurse mom has been murdered and you are not
    reaching out at all. Some of your artist friends have been asked to
    speak with you about your allowing the murders and assault almost to
    death of the daughter, and how she has been hunted, but you do not reach
    out. Oh, the company you keep.