Billboards Hope To Save Horses From Being Slaughtered

GLENVILLE, Pa. (WJZ) — At least 100,000 horses each year are taken from the United States to be slaughtered. But a local campaign is hoping to change that.

Andrea Fujii explains how one horse rescue is taking their message to the streets.

Drivers on Leeds Avenue in Baltimore County may have seen the “Stop the Slaughter” billboard. It’s a grassroots effort to stop horses from being slaughtered.

“We believe that the American public does not know that horse slaughter is a very brutal and inhumane practice,” said Jo Deibel, Angel Acres Horse Haven president.

Deibel runs the Angel Acres Horse Haven Rescue in Glenville, Pa. and through donations put the billboard up.

“They’re slaughtering them for human consumption. They’re shipped out of the United States to Mexico and Canada to be exported to other countries that eat horse meat,” said Deibel.

Horse advocates say the horses are slaughtered because euthanizing them would taint the meat.

Angel Acres Horse Haven has saved more than 300 former race horses from certain death.

Deibel says she doesn’t know of any Maryland rescues that slaughter, but there are others that do.

“There are groups around the country that are trying to promote horse slaughter as a humane euthanasia; it’s not,” said Deibel.

She says many of the horses have already lived through trauma and should be able to die with dignity.

Deibel hopes the billboards will help.

Angel Acres hopes to put billboards in every state. For more information about Angel Acres, click here

  • Miriam Pugh

    My prayers go out to Jo. What she does is so wonderful. It took the people of Texas 10 years to get the last 2 slaughter houses closed in this state. One of them was less then 20 miles from where my 10 horses live. And we heard such sad stories about horses just disappearing never to be found. These slaughter houses had no systems to check for ownership of the horses that were brought to them. Good Luck Angel Acres!



  • Deanna Bishop

    Do you realize that every horse is given vaccines and wormers which both clearly state: Not to be used on horses used for food. Not to mention if a horse is ever given BUTE: Bute, short for phenylbutazone, is probably the most widely used drug in horses. Bute is an inexpensive, highly effective treatment for inflammation and pain that can be injected intravenously or given orally to horses as a powder or paste. However, like any drug, bute has its disadvantages.

    Bute works by inhibiting a class of enzymes called cyclo-oxygenases, COX for short. Activation of this system is a necessary step in the complex chain of events that results in inflammation.

    Which it turns out that horses also need COX enzymes for normal kidney function, for secretion of the protective lining that shields the intestines from damage and for production of blood cells. Low-level activation of the “bad,” inflammatory COX enzymes is essential for normal healing of tissues after injury or just plain routine wear-and-tear repairs.

    Horses treated with bute, especially at high doses or for long periods of time, can develop ulcers in their stomachs or colon, kidney damage and, in some cases, bone marrow suppression, although bone marrow problems are less common. More recent research has found that bute can slow the production of joint cartilage and delay bone healing. Bute also interferes with thyroid function.

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) bans phenylbutazone in any food producing animal, including horses. Food-producing animals in the United States are required to have health certificates which ensures that the animals are not given banned substances. In contrast, horses are not food-producing animals in the United States and they are not required to have health certificates. Thus, there is no way to know whether a horse received a banned substance. Thus, there are no mechanisms to remove horses given banned substances from the slaughter pipeline. Our study indicates that 9,000 pounds of contaminated horsemeat (18 horses x 500 pounds of dressed horsemeat/horse) were sent overseas for human consumption over the five year study period.

    The actual number of horses given bute prior to being sent to slaughter for human consumption is unknown. Based on the annual sales of one pharmaceutical company that makes bute, every horse in the America (10 million) would have been given one dose of bute. This estimate does not include compounded bute which can be purchased over the internet and is not tracked by the FDA. This means that our estimate is likely grossly underestimated.

    Phenylbutazone was on the market for human use in the late 1940s as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. It was touted that it would eventually replace aspirin. Dangerous and deadly side effects began to appear within three years including bone marrow suppression that was fatal in many cases and a hypersensitivity liver syndrome that could culminate in liver failure and death. The National Toxicology Program found that phenylbutazone is a carcinogen, adding to its deadly nature. For these reasons, the FDA bans the drug in all food-producing animals. Thankfully, the drug is off the market for human use.

    So take into account that the majority of horses have been given Bute, Wormers and Vaccines that pose a serious risk to humans if ingested. Why in earth would you want to do that to yourself?

    • Jasmine Vaught


    • Puller Lanigan

      Hi Deanne, Sadly that’s what makes the American Mustang so tantalizing to the U.S. Government. In spite of the horses being vaccinated and wormed after a roundup, those that go to LT holding do not have to be vaccinated or wormed ever again. Hell, the Government doesn’t even provide shelter for these poor animals! It’s also BS that the horses in government Long Term (LT) holding facilities are all old. All horses over the age of 5 (although the gov says, ’10’) go to LT holding. Any horse from weanling to 4 years of age goes up for ‘adoption’. If they are not adopted after their THIRD event, they go to LT holding where they are never put up for adoption again. At $24/lb. don’t tell me 40,000 horses aren’t making Uncle Sam hungry.

      I think these idiots need to be rounded up, gelded and put out to ‘long term’ pasture.

  • Deanna Bishop

    According to federal law, horses must be rendered unconscious prior to slaughter, usually by captive bolt. However, some are improperly stunned, even with repeated blows, and are still conscious when shackled, hoisted by a rear leg, and cut across the throat. The USDA specifies that 10% live vivisection is acceptable! With their long necks and aversion to anything approaching their foreheads, many horses require multiple strikes. Lets also discuss how before the horse dies, it is completely aware of the man cutting off the horses skin before the horse is dead. So now you understand more, do you think this is really humane?

  • Sandra Unrat

    BILLBOARDS!!!! GREAT!!!!! (qc) GO FOR IT!!! tks

  • Jim Tourangeau Canada

    Great coverage… now you need a few hundred more across USA… great work Angel Acres

  • beverly

    what a wonderful gal you are jo. and deanna bishop, you have said it all. what is wrong with these people, we may never know. god bless you folks that do care, and yes it can be stopped , if we dont give up. obama why cant you help. i hope oneday to move back to kentucky, lexington area and start a rescue, angel acres thank you from the bottom of my heart, the lord is seeing you thru. this movement.

  • betty murphy

    This is fantastic coverage and commenting!!! also, isn’t it interesting that one of the countries that imports horse meat for consumption is one that continues to slaughter cetaceans and feeds it’s children meat from the cetaceans that is loaded…LOADED with mercury… I guess the “bute” tainting etc would not be an issue either…..just a thought…..THANKS AGAIN!!!!!!!!

  • Kathleen Hofferty

    Hats off to Jo from Angel Acres Equine Rescue for coming up with such a great visible educational tool.The billboards are a fantastic way to make uneducated people think abink about”What does happen to our American Horses”?Bravo Jo. You are a true animal equine angel.
    Ipswich Equine Rescue Corp

  • Stu

    This is a great cause! The practice of slaughtering is immoral and disgusting. We should all be supporting Angel Acres for doing what is morally right. In addition, lets not forget that thug organization, the BLM, and what they are doing to destroy our wild Mustangs. We need to spend more effort in helping ” the ones who cannot speak, the innocent ones”. We are their voice and must not be silenced.

  • Ana Morris

    God bless Angel Acres, our hearts are with you, and we intend to do the same thing in Las Vegas. We will stop this attrocity!! It is The Bloody Lying Murderers and Sue Wallis who will be taken out, not our horses!!

  • Rick Sherman

    Though I agree with the intent of this, there is already laws prohibiting slaughter of horses in the US for food. It has only been in effect for a few years. The result here it Montana, especially after poor hay crops and the collapsing economy is that there are a great many neglected horses. Many people move here, buy five acres of once ag-land then attempt to live out their cowboy fantasies. Horse ownership is a demanding and expensive lifestyle. People get hurt, the land gets grazed to dirt and the horses get neglected. The recreation horse market collapsed with the economy. Many horses are released into the “wild” to try to make it on their own through our famous winters. It is a long slow death to starve. I don’t know what the alternatives are, but there are not enough Angel Acres.

    • M. Miller

      The slaughter of American horses has not stopped or even slowed down. They are shipped out of the country and killed in Canada and Mexico. So if people are abandoning or neglecting their horses, it has nothing to do with horse slaughter.

    • Jo Deibel

      Hi Rick,

      Thank you for your comment. There are NO federal laws banning the horses of slaughter…slaughter is ONLY illegal in CA, TX and IL.

      Horse meat cannot be sold in the usa – but it is LEGAL to slaughter them…there are several applications currently being considered which would allow the construction and opening of plants in the USA…this is going on RIGHT NOW…

      That’s why we are doing absolultely everything we can to let people know what is going on…

      Have a great day!

      Jo :o)

    • Rana

      Rick, you would be surprised. All one has to do is call the rescues, so that those horses don’t suffer. Sadly, many won’t and if they don’t, those horses will suffer, sadly. But, usually, it only takes one call to a rescue to have them helped. .

  • Carol

    Thanks Jo, what a great billboard, I would love to help. I will contact you in the next few days. We should all help this cause.

  • betty murphy

    Hey Jo…thanks so much for explaining the horse slaughter laws in the U.S….or lack thereof….I was going to, but thought it should come from you…I wish it would be banned across the board in every State…however…….
    Glad you put the billboard up they way you did!!!!!

    Go Girl!!!!

  • Jeannie Jacobs Parisi

    Wonderful a thousand times over…Education to folks that have no idea what is happening to our wonderfully sweet horses…THIS HAS TO STOP and our Gov’t needs to STOP allowing this to HAPPEn, with our MILLIONS OF TAX DOLLARS..WE DON’T WANT OUR HORSE SLAUGHTERED..END IT

    • Puller Lanigan

      I don’t even want my tax dollars used to pay Cattoor and Sun J government contractors to round up wild horses. I don’t mind paying the Mustangs board since they didn’t ASK to be rounded up and if it means getting them off public land that is being drilled to death by gov’t contractors and water usurped for equipment, and THEN they are put back (once water is established), I would turn a blind eye to that as well. Sell for slaughter? NIMBY!

  • Stu

    If you want to do something positive write the Governor of Wyoming condeming the efforts of Sue Wallis to open a slaughterhouse in that state. She is an immoral disgrace and needs to be stopped ASAP. Let your voices of concern be heard. You CAN MAKE a difference.

    Failure to end animal abuse is not an option

  • Puller Lanigan

    We need these billboards in D.C. Like right in front of the Capitol.

  • betty murphy

    Google will give you all the info u need to get to Wyoming gov’t…….there is also a petition to stop Sue Wallis…..

  • independent

    God have mercy on the human race – we’re the most corrupt violent beings on the planet.

  • amcmillan

    So what are your plans for all the unwanted horses? Now that the US slaughterhouses have been forced to close, the unwanted are now being subjected to an even worse fate–longer hauls in unsanitary, unsafe conditions without food or water or medical treatment across the borders into Canada and Mexico, where the rules and regulations for humane slaughter are even worse. Who is going to take in and care for all these horses? The horse rescues are full to overflowing. There are not enough homes for them all. Why not try to get the laws enforced and/or improved for truly humane slaughter, instead of starvation, abandonment, and neglect?

    • M. Miller

      Why can’t owners be responsible for their animals?

    • Jo Deibel

      First, there are NO unwanted horses! All domestic horses WERE wanted they were bread for a reason, they have simply outgrown the reason for which they were bred and are in need of assistance and are simply homeless horses.

      As for your argument about no slaughterhouses in the USA making it worse? How about checking out the NY Times article about the horses ABANDONED in MEXICO where horse slaughter is an everyday happening.

      Your argument is flawed.

      Jo Deibel

      • Jo Deibel

        oh my…shouldn’t type when hungry!! not bread, but bred…yikes!

    • Rana

      Who told you the BS that there are not enough homes or rescues for the horses? That’s a bold faced lie. I friends who sell horses on a day to day basis, and they have no trouble doing so. So, I don’t know who told you that B.S. I really hate when people repeat things they don’t know or understand.

      • advocation farm

        Rana..there are not enough rescues but dont worry more are popping up every day getting unsuspecting good hearted people to donate and then they take the money and run. Rescues are more evil than people realize

    • Puller Lanigan

      They don’t get medical treatment anyway if they are being slaughtered for human consumption. They can’t have the drugs in their body.

    • advocation farm

      I completely agree with amcmillan. Rescues are now having to be rescued. And of course sees the slaughter argument as flawed because then her cash cow would be shut down.

  • betty murphy

    to amcmillan….the only true way to humanely euthanize(your word was slaughter) an animal is by intravenous injection….there is no other way(ask Barbaro!)…and if you have ever seen or been inside of a slaughter house..whatever the species might be…you would look at the whole issue differently..I am certain of it…I am not a horse owner…my sister was…I have however been around them and have ridden a bit…..This whole issue is huge..and needs to be dealt with and thanks to Jo Deibel, hopefully it will be soon….

  • betty murphy

    ‘s alright ,Jo…we know what u were saying…and just a bit of humor for you…I was eating garlic bread when I read ur post……..

    • Jo Deibel

      omg – now that is TOO funny! LOL!!!

  • Linda

    That’s a lot of revenue going right out of the country. We need to bring slaughter back to the United States. Then we will be able to regulate this business, keep it humane for the horses, and make the huge profits from it. THE HORSES NEED THIS. We have all but lost our culling system. Some horses NEED to be culled. This is what keeps horses great. When the not-so-great horses are not culled, resources are spent on caring for them, and some people will allow them to reproduce!!!! Some horses need to be culled for health issues, some for safety issues (handler safety), and some for genetic issues. Countries who eat horses themselves have the BEST horses. This is because only the best are kept to be used. DUH, THIS SYSTEM IS NOT WORKING. BRING HORSE SLAUGHTER BACK TO THE US. I LOVE HORSES. I have cared for and owned horses 40+ years. We need to do this for the horses.

    I would rather see a horse go to slaughter than to starve or suffer other neglect due to a lack of resources.

    • Jo Deibel


      ANY horse owner should be responsible for their horses and should consider the cost of euthanasia before owning a horse. Many do not, there are also tons of pro slaughter breeders that have slaughter as an option and are not made to be responsible.

      It truly, truly amazes me that you think that horse slaughter is humane. Telll me, if you think its so great, would you send your dog, cat, horse (well, never mind you answered that) or how about humans?

      Would you rather see a person that was starving be slaughtered than get help? Your argument is full of holes. Show some humanity and compassion…EVERY being deserves respect and kindness and anyone who believes horse slaughter is ok, should get inline.

      Jo Deibel

      • Linda

        Are you a vegetarian? Or, did you have cow-burger for lunch or dinner? Did you eat pig with your eggs? Was there chicken on your sandwich. They were slaughtered for human consumption as well. Wake up America!

      • Linda

        Would I send my dog/cat/horse to slaughter? Ever live on a farm? Ever take care of cows and pigs (feed and water them everyday, fix the fence, whatever they need) and eat them when the time is right? Where do you think meat comes from? THE GROCERY STORE?!?! ha ha ha

      • Puller Lanigan

        Geez, they (gov’t) can’t even agree to the death penalty for humans via intravenous injection and claim THAT is inhumane!! How can an ill handled bolt action gun or several bullets to the face be called humane? If it is so humane, it should be used on humans.

    • Jo-Claire


      Perhaps people should not be breeding indiscriminately. Perhaps the federal government should not be subsidizing the quarter horse industry and racehorse industry to over breed,. Stop the over breeding and you stop unwanted horses. Oh and if you’re going to own a horse, then you need to ensure you have the finances to humanely euthanise the horse when that time comes.

      • Linda

        It should be legal to eat your own horse when the time comes. People in other countries do. We will too one day, when we are hungry enough.

    • Rana

      Linda, not everyone is after JUST money.

      Personall;y, I think some humans need to be culled too. You seem to be a good candidate for that, Linda. Would you like your skull broken open with a bolt gun?

      I wonder how you would feel if someone hung you up and pulled your skin off your body, while you were alive, It’s obvious you have severe genetic issues. But, I’m sure you would enjoy that, right? Just think of it, your body could be used to feed the poor. Hmm…countries that cull humans have the best humans, I hear. Amazing…some of the stuff that comes out of ‘so-called’ higher thinking mouths. Let’s get them to pass a law that allows others to CULL PEOPLE WHO TALK ABOUT LOVE, BUT CHOOSE TO HARM THE GENTLEST OF CREATURES, Please!

      You love horses? It sounds like the only thing you love is LINDA!

      By the way, I cared for horses for many, many years, and I never put one down by sending him/her to slaughter.

      I truly hope God does the same thing to you, one day. Something tells me you wouldn’t like being in their shoes at all!

    • NBE

      Linda dear, horse slaughter (or any animal slaughter) is NEVER humane. Horses are either shot in the head with a bolt, or they are stabbed in the spine. Sometimes they need to be stabbed or shot multiple times in order to knock them out. Does that sound humane to you??? Sometimes they are awake when their throats are slit and they are hung up by one leg to bleed to death. Horses are not stupid. They know what is about to happen and they are terrified of what they are about to face. Watch a video on slaughter – I watched two last weekend in order to educate myself – and I ended up sobbing it was so cruel and scary and heartbreaking. The horses DO NOT NEED THIS. None of us need this. What is needed is for breeders to be responsible and stop mass producing t’breds and q’horses and PMU mares always impregnated. The more foals to choose from the greater likelihood of a champion. Those that don’t measure up don’t deserve to live? That’s the devil’s idea. Linda, every horse is THE BEST HORSE. Let’s ask you this: are you the most beautiful, talented woman? If not, is it acceptable to put you to death? No. Life is sacred. ALL life is sacred. “Thou shalt not kill.” “We are forever responsible for what we have tamed.” Antoine de St. Exupery.

    • advocation farm

      YES! Linda is correct. Some horses do need to be culled. England and France eat horses

  • boxwood6

    Linda Horse Slaughter is not humane. Do your research. You have missed the point. Put horses down humanely by injection.

  • MJ Wilson

    You Rock Jo!

    Hope many more will materialize across this nation!

  • Linda

    Boxwood6, I have done my research. I have worked the industry from the inside. I would rather see horses go to slaughter than suffer neglect any day, any year. It is out of ignorance that people think banning horse slaughter is a solution. You need to do more research. See what is actually happening to horses in the US now that horse slaughter is not as readily available.

    • Jo-Claire


      You need to do your research, in your first statement you stated that revenue was going out of the country. You sound like Slaughterhouse Sue Wallis. It seems to me that “revenue” is what is more important to you than the welfare of horses.

      • Linda

        Jo-Claire, I have nothing to gain financially from horse slaughter. Do you really have to turn to insults to support your point? I don’t. I have facts. I simply have a moral conscious and love animals. And, poor decisions/laws such as this one have led our country into a recession. I am experiencing the recession along with others within our country. We need to take steps to turn around the recession. Look at the big picture.

    • Rana

      Linda, you are so full of it! If you did do REAL research, you would know that those aren’t the facts.

      Show me ONE FACT, just one, that shows more horses die of neglect and abuse than being slaughtered.

      Feel free to pull it up the statistics, if you can. I guarantee you won’t be able to show me the numbers!

      You see, if you actually worked on the inside, as I have done (yes, I worked the farms, went to the slaughter houses and watched them put the horses down. I went to auctions, etc., and watched as the trailers pulled out with horses, daily!

      If you knew what you were talking about, you would not be saying any of that. You’re repeating what is ‘COMMONLY’ thought amongst those that wish you to believe that there aren’t enough homes, etc; as opposed to what really occurs.
      I can show you story after story of most of the animals getting homes, with very few being put down (humanely) when things are done correctly. .

      Most people aren’t even aware that their animals have been taken to slaughter. Many think the buyer that took their beloved animal was legit when, in actuality, the person doing the buying was a meat auction buyer.

      If you knew anything about the industry, you would have known that. No, you’re just another parrot, sadly. I can always tell the parrots, because they always sprout off with alleged facts, when in fact, there are none. Each case is unique and most of the horses can find homes, if and when they’re placed up for adoption.

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