Only Now Are PA Breeders Coming Out Against Slaughter

The “Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act” is a 2019 federal bill that would ban both the slaughtering of horses on U.S. soil (currently there are no active slaughterhouses, but that’s only because USDA inspections of those facilities has been defunded) and the export of American horses for the purpose of slaughter.

U.S. Horseracing, as we well know, is in a fight for its very existence. You would think, then, that all the major players would have enthusiastically lined up to back legislation that addresses the blackest of marks on their industry – the wholesale slaughter of their erstwhile “athletes.” But you would be wrong. For some – most conspicuously, The Jockey Club – support is still missing; for others, like the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association (PHBA), it’s only now coming – after two years.

In a press release last week, the PHBA wrote:

Continuing to demonstrate its commitment to the health and welfare of thoroughbreds, the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association today announced its endorsement of the Safeguard American Food Exports Act.

The release continued:

PHBA Board member Hank Nothhaft said … the fact that many unwanted thoroughbred broodmares are found in slaughter pens proved to be a call to action. “There was unanimous support from the PHBA Board to mitigate the slaughter of broodmares,” said Nothhaft. “Older broodmares, especially, are not attractive candidates for equestrian activities, and thus they are not as easy to rehome as younger horses. This has really pushed us from sitting on the bench towards getting into the fray.”

Imagine that. Only now, two years after the bill’s introduction, only now, after decades of carnage (which all have been aware of) are the PA breeders “demonstrat[ing] [their] commitment to the health and welfare of thoroughbreds, [no longer] sitting on the bench, getting into the fray.” It is cynical; it is disgusting; it is horseracing.

6 Comments

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  1. I suspect that many Thoroughbreds from Pennsylvania will continue to be shipped to slaughter, regardless of any public announcements. The owners and breeders can sell their unwanted horses to someone out of state, if they want to do so, in order to try to hide it from certain people that may be watching. The Jockey Club does not appear to be very concerned about the health and well-being of Thoroughbreds. It is sickening but they can sell Thoroughbreds to Puerto Rican and Korean buyers. That is almost the equivalent of sending them to slaughter. It is slightly less direct, especially Korea and Japan. They race them, use them for reproducing when possible and profitable, then slaughter them.

  2. A total insult to my intelligence.
    What does horse racing do when their millions in handouts are in jeopardy?
    Well they suddenly care about the racehorses and remember that this is only words because they sure as hell don’t give adequate financial resources to take care of their dumped profit slaves that usually require extensive and expensive vet work and rehabilitation on all levels: physically, mentally and emotionally.
    Right from the get-go at the bargaining table when pro-horse racing groups like the HBPA and the PHBA are putting contracts in place with our politicians (no non-racing community representatives) the millions in handouts they secure from taxpayers money and casino profits nowhere in their conversation is a minimum mandatory percentage put aside for the aftercare of racehorses.
    This is deliberate and malicious because all they care about are themselves which requires them to exploit the racehorses as much as they can and it’s downright egregious that our politicians permit them to get away with this because years ago, when these obscene amounts of money were secured by these groups, there should have been no resistance to implement a mandatory contribution policy.
    Instead, these groups were instrumental in fighting hard against it and to this day they still don’t have any type of mandatory financial contribution in place and when most breeders are contacted re: a racehorse in a kill pen that they bred they rarely send one dime to get them out of harms way.
    You are all pathetic, morally deprived, and demented in one form or another – liars all of you.

  3. Slaughter of horses is brutal wherever it is being carried out. American Horses are brutally killed for profit in neighboring countries while America has no control put in place. We must act NOW TO PROTECT AMERICAN HORSES FROM CRUEL end-of-life SLAUGHTER — especially the poor creatures that are being discarded like trash after being used as race horses.

  4. I agree with Gina…this statement is a total insult to my intelligence too. What am I missing when an industry board member says things like “unwanted thoroughbred broodmares”…especially not “attractive” candidates for equestrian activities” turning up in kill pens has motivated them to support the SAFE act? It doesn’t make sense…that’s it? That’s the thing that put them over the edge? Not all of the other things people have already mentioned in comments? Don’t get me wrong, this should certainly be a reason to support the act but there are about 100 other reasons too. I personally don’t see any sudden concern for horses here in this statement, I don’t see any industry correction, I don’t see new understanding or realization that horses are sentient beings. Nothing,…just that the baby makers are
    being slaughtered. This whole statement just rings hollow.

    • It is expectable for this group in Pennsylvania to say something/anything (that is an obvious lie to anyone who is paying attention to what the horseracing industry is all about) so that they can continue to receive public money to keep their industry afloat. The HBPA in Pennsylvania is just attempting to hold on to their millions of dollars and to hell with the horses. To this industry, horses are for using and abusing while profitable. They just need that CORPORATE WELFARE to keep racing and gambling and breeding operations at the same scale. Let their lips move; it doesn’t mean anything. The heartless heathens will continue to do business as usual regardless of their public relations ploy.

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