Have you been to a horse slaughter sale?

20 Mar

This may seem like an odd question but I am trying to gather information. I try to visit a sale like this at least twice a year. No, it is not enjoyable, but it does keep me grounded and aware in a very real way. If you do check ‘Yes’ please leave a comment about where the sale is held. I have gone to Sugarcreek in Ohio. I would be interested in other known locations.


Posted by on March 20, 2012 in Controversial


87 responses to “Have you been to a horse slaughter sale?

  1. Lizzi Lake

    March 20, 2012 at 6:50 am

    I’m not sure that they’d do this sort of thing in Australia ..I’ve never heard of it anyhow .i could never ever go to one as I’d want to rescue them all

  2. Noni Bodkin

    March 20, 2012 at 8:11 am

    Stacy, are auctions for slaughter noted as such? Or does this potentially happen at many sales where horses are not selling well and are going “cheap” ? I have been to a few regular sales where I have wondered if the horse or pony will go to a good home.

    • Stacy

      March 20, 2012 at 10:07 pm

      Usually the sale will have a bit of a reputation as one because they don’t generally go and buy just a couple of horses. So they tend to go where they can get quite a few, at least that has been my experience. Not saying there isn’t a trickle down effect of them getting there though (one small sale to another). A low price doesn’t always mean slaughter.

      • Tara Datz

        March 20, 2012 at 10:50 pm

        I volunteer at a horse rescue Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue that buys horses being sold to slaughter, rehabilitates them, retrains them, and then tries to adopt them out. Talk to Christine Hajek, she can give you all the information that you want/need to be a part of stopping the horror.

      • melisse

        March 21, 2012 at 12:09 am

        Hi Stacy. I went to Mikes Livestock Auction in Mira Loma, CA

        We were not there at the time the horse auction began, but it was obvious that shipping companies were offering transport of large numbers of horses to anyone who was buying in bulk. We are close to the Mexican border and it is so sad to think of the final destination for many of these animals. It’s on my bucket list to save at least one auction horse or pony one day and to rehome him. I also dream about picking up a retired thoroughbred from the Del Mar racetrack for the same future). Our vet says she will go with me, it’s just a scary proposition- Will I be able to actually take just one? Will I be putting my own horses and kids at risk by bringing this unknown animal home? What if no one wants it? Will I be stuck with a hard to home horse? It’s not a decision to take lightly. It would make a great RFD-TV show though!!!
        God Bless~

    • Tara Datz

      March 20, 2012 at 10:55 pm

      Sometimes they go to good homes. Most of the time they go to a broker that will buy them cheap and then go to sale after sale until they are bought, or the meat buyers with bid on a cheap horse then sell it to slaughter. Meat buyers usually go for the drafts because they get payed by the pound. Sad to think they get payed to kill an animal so it can be sold as a high-priced appetizer in other countries.

      • cody walton

        July 18, 2013 at 3:22 pm

        i have read alot of this crap bout killin a horse some how a bunch of city dudes an bleedin hearts have try to bring a horse to a human equal.PEOPLE WAKE UP they are a animal as nice as they are . why dont you spend an show this kinda concern about some litttle kidds that truely need help. an quit pissin with people that know what they are doing if you dont like it. THEN STAY A WAY FROM IT dont here any cryin bout killin cattle,,,oh thats ok cause uall eat beef…………………..

      • Majela

        September 28, 2013 at 7:52 am

        Simply put,there is no humane horse slaughter. People pick and chose their passions. Mine is ending horse slaughter and I do not live in the city. I am also boycotting beef along with many others. I do not need you to tell me what I should do with my time.

  3. Carlye cebul

    March 20, 2012 at 8:14 am

    Wooster sale always has buyers for trips to Canada but not all sale horses go to slaughter

  4. Gwen Confalone

    March 20, 2012 at 8:40 am

    I have not been in person, but “virtually”: I attend two every week. They are: Camelot Auction House in Cranbury, NJ, and New Holland Auction in Pennsylvania.

    Its a shame that so many people consider an animal a possession that they can just throw away when they are done with it. And I have seen some very, very well bred horses come through, too. We need to stop overbreeding!!!

  5. Maria Petrillo

    March 20, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Yes, New Holland, PA

    • Rebecca ALlen

      March 20, 2012 at 10:15 pm

      New Holland Pa

    • Tara Datz

      March 20, 2012 at 10:51 pm

      I go to new holland as well

  6. Sandra Clifton

    March 20, 2012 at 9:38 am

    No, but I will check around.

  7. Elizabeth Sherstoff

    March 20, 2012 at 11:00 am

    It’s sad to be entirely aware of the plight of so many horses that I cringe when I see a young foal rather than be thrilled at it’s beauty. In this day and age, these are luxury pets and ought to be regarded more than as if everyone had to have one in years past. With all the horse has done for us, they simply deserve so much better.

    To have served it’s whole life and end up at auction is the utlimate betrayeal and a shame to all horseman.

  8. Theresa Carey

    March 20, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    I use to volunteer as “Stable Crew” at a YMCA camp when I was younger. The Stable Director took the ‘crew’ to Sugarcreek. I was a teenager (I am now 35), but the memory is quite vivid. It was my first exposure to the reality of the horse industry…that horses are simply a commodity, and disposed of in the most profitable way possible, if not of value otherwise. To a horse crazy teenager, it was quite a shock.

    But, I think I benefited from this early exposure by learning the importance of training a horse right, breeding responsibly, and the need to plan, financially, for your horse’s retirement.

    The stable crew I was a part of 20 years ago, has collectively purchased each and every horse that was part of our herd when we worked there as teenagers, and have retired them, to prevent them from going to slaughter. They toted thousands of campers, Indian Princesses, and even mentally and physically disabled, on trail rides and around the ring. They deserved a happy home when they were no longer able to serve.

    Thanks for this post. Although I have sent numerous checks to my friend (a stable crew from our teenage years) who boards the retired horses (just a couple horses and a donkey still alive), I haven’t in a while. I am writing a check today and sending it her way. Everyone needs to realize that horses need a retirement plan, just like they do.

    Additionally, I have a fairly nice QH mare myself, (papered, good breeding, 16 hands, and a looker). I have been tempted to breed her to a nice stud, with the hopes of getting a competitive show prospect of my own. But, I vowed never to breed an average horse, because the likelihood of getting another average horse is too high (even if I breed to a proven stud). Although she looks good ‘on paper’, and is pretty, my mother always said, “Pretty is as pretty does”. So, hopefully I will get some points on this mare during the next couple show seasons, and then I can justify breeding her.

    I think everyone needs to visit a ‘slaughter sale’. I’m not against horse slaughter entirely, only because I think it is a better option than the neglect that an unwanted horse often suffers without this option. But, you can obviously see that I am passionately against irresponsible breeding, not investing in your horse’s training, and the discarding of horses that have served their people their entire lives. Maybe if we made more of a fuss over these things, slaughter wouldn’t be such a necessary evil.

    Stacy, not sure if you were hoping for more than a simple response from the question you posed, but, what a great question to ask people! You got me going 😉 Hope you don’t mind! I hope more horse owners will visit a slaughter house and take a first hand look at their horse’s potential ‘retirement’, if they don’t invest in their horse’s breeding, training, and golden years.

    • Stacy

      March 20, 2012 at 10:11 pm

      I like your ‘not so simple’ response! And that is great that you wrote a check and helped those horse too. I think that from this blog someday will be born an idea that can make a difference….actually you did just make a difference, thank you.

  9. Jane Serovy

    March 20, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    I’ve been to an auction in Shipshewanna IN where there is a part of the sale barn in the back that is set aside for the “killer pen” auction. These horses are poorly taken care of and then sold for almost nothing. Before they are sold they are kept in small pens with several horses to a pen. They barely have enough room to move.

  10. Brittany Wiseheart

    March 20, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    I have never been. But, I did get two horses who were going to go to slaughter. One 30+ horse I got was ON a slaughter truck to go to slaughter. We ended up taking him and he has been one the greatest horses ever. He takes care of little kids and will still run barrels at 30+ years old! He loves it. 🙂

  11. Kathi Cooper

    March 20, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    I used to go to New Holland LIvestock Auction in New Holland as a kid when I was unaware of the fate of many of the horses. I went for the first time in years a year ago President’s Day but it was mainly for the purpose of meeting a rescue group from New York who I follow on fb. Project Sage Horse Rescue saved at least six horses that day from the kill pens. It is the same auction frequented by Kelsey Lefever who is currently facing charges of freud after being caught for taking peoples horses for whom she promised good homes and was taking them directly to the kill buyers at the auction, avoiding the auction where lips may have been flipped and horses would have been identified. It’s amazing how many horses go straight to the kill pens at that horrible place every Monday!

  12. Rachel

    March 20, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    New Holland,PA

  13. Janice Jirsa

    March 20, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    There were several sales in SoCal that had several buyers that regularly attended and bought horses for slaughter. I have not attended in several years, but I believe that they are still taking place. If any member of the public bid on any animal, the slaughter buyers immediately dropped out… they only bid on animals that were of no interest to regular buyers.

    Being in SoCal with multiple racetracks, there were always horses that were terribly crippled or otherwise undesirable. We did get a chance to witness pretty much every problem know to man… an education that I could frankly live without.

  14. Olivia

    March 20, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    I don’t really know if they were sold, but I saw some messed up horses in a pen at the back of the auction barns. They were beat up(little cuts all over some of them) and several of them were missing an eye or were blind. One was severely lame. There were also two Belgian geldings that were WAAYYYYYY underweight, and some cows. Afterwards I went next door and when I was in the parking lot I looked over and saw two horses piled behind the farthest barn, where the horses that were perhaps for slaughter had been held. There could have been hope for the injured and blind ones, but the dead ones made my stomache turn. What did those horses go through before they died? That question will always haunt me. Where they euthanized by the staff? Or did they die in the corner to be trampled by other horses?

  15. Chris

    March 20, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    I have been to one, but it was many many years ago. I was in Albuquerque, NM where I grew up. i remember that people that were selling horses that they were concerned about going to the killers, they would put a child on them to ride them through so the crowd would know that they were calm and gentle. I was too young at the time to understand what was really going on, but as I got older and figured it out and what those places were all about it really bothered me. This was also at a time where even a high dollar horse was not safe from the killer. Meat was at a really high price and the killers bid on the biggest fattest horses until they thought there was no profit left on them. this was in the early to mid 80’s when there were slaughter houses everywhere and the horse market was really good.

  16. Melissa Villa

    March 20, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    Triple W Arena in Cookeville TN is held Tuesday evenings. It’s open to the public and many horses are bought by kill buyers and feedlots. I’ve rescued many horses and they’ve all been absolutely wonderful.

  17. Kendall

    March 20, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    We have 2 a year here (spring and fall) In Grunthal, MB (Canada)… Like above though, not technically a “slaughter” sale, but meat buyers do attend as horses generally always go dirt cheap (even broke and sound horses) so the meat buyers scoop up what they can. Grunthal auction mart lists on their website the sales…spring one is april 28th this year (i will be attending)

  18. Dianne

    March 20, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    I always thought if I could bear it I’d do a doc on this world (or underworld). I doubt if RFD would air it, though. Doesn’t quite fit our usual fare of happy horse trainers shows we make. I concur that the only outcome could be a cautionary tale of the perils of overbreeding. What I do is make sure my two are forever taken care of. It is a complicated issue, especially when the victims are horses that are sick or lame, too far for even retirement. But there should be more humane ways of getting it done. There should be some honor and dignity in it, at the end.

  19. Stephanie Barnes

    March 20, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    I attend several in central Mississippi. The kill buyers are well known around here. If they figure out you are with a rescue group and you bid on a horse, they will run your bid up so that you pay a very high price to rescue the horse.

  20. Kathy M

    March 20, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    It’s not legal to ship them straight from CA to slaughter, but no one is enforcing it.. all they have to do is run them thru another sale in another state, fake the paperwork, or drive at night..
    I used to go to auctions 30 years ago, and I would buy yearlings and young horses with little training, get them ready to saddle start and then find a girl who always wanted a horse to give them too. (as long as the parents where on board with them having one)

    I have a Rez pony I bought from a KB lot in WA, and a young Haflinger from a KB in PA, (she went thru New Holland Sale) both are in training. The rez pony is going to be free leased to a young girl, and the Haffie? Shes pretty cute, so its tempting to keep her, but she really should be with someone that wants to show or jump her. I also have a couple of Quarter Horses, but my favorites are of course our beautiful mustangs. 😀 They have the best personalities! I just love them.

  21. jessica

    March 20, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    I recently rescued a mare from the kill pen @ Mize Sale barn in Mize, Ms. Several were bought by two different kill buyers. The mare I got didn’t run through the sale. She was already in a lot for the kill buyer’s horses. She is a beautiful mare and is gaining weight and improving everyday. You can see pics of her (Dalila) on my rescue’s FB page. Magnolia Horse Rescue. :). I also try to help Camelot Horse Weekly network their horses by sharing and reposting on FB.

  22. Lisa

    March 20, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    I attended a sale in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. It is a very sad place to be. Horses that are nothing more than a number…..they come in unkept and unloved. Makes me want to go home and give each horse I own an extra big hug.

  23. cowgirliz

    March 21, 2012 at 1:43 am

    It’s been a while since I’ve been to a horse sale that included loose horses. Those were the ones that I pretty much knew were slaughter bound. The times I saw this were are various sales in Oregon. I know that was when any horse would still bring about $1.00/pound. So, it’s been a few years ago.

    The emotional, horse crazy girl in me has always cringed at the thought of horses being slaughtered for anyone’s food.
    The more grown up, still in love with horses, but firmly grounded in reality version of me realizes processing horses can serve the highest good of many.

    I feel the last few years have served as a wake-up call to the horse industry in general. If the recession had happened a few years later, how many more horses might be suffering today. Certainly the numbers from the breed registries tell the tale. I believe I saw that there has been a 40% reduction in new registrations from the stock horse breeds. So, it seems we are on the right track with controlling numbers. At least those numbers we can influence. (BLM horses being one that is out of most of our control.)

    I have noticed a lot more information out recently on proper horse care and good accessible basic training. Those both go a long way on helping a horse be sale-able or even re-homeable if needed.

    From what I mentioned above I can sit pretty firmly on the fence for the issue of slaughtering horses. In a perfect world, it wouldn’t be an issue. This world isn’t perfect though and I suspect humanely processing horses may be a necessity for the time being.

  24. kim Vorbau

    March 21, 2012 at 2:45 am

    No, I haven’t been to a slaughter auction. I don’t think I could behave myself. All of my extra money goes to help horses in need and rescue organizations. I only wish I could do more. I have 2 mares that came to me very thin, an arab and a Tennessee walker. Both wonderful, beautiful animals. I would never abandon them or allow anyone to hurt them. I would NEVER breed them. There are more than enough wonderful horses in the world already. Take care of them before you make more. If you aren’t planning to keep a foal forever and make plans for its care in case something happens to you, then don’t breed. Period.

  25. Jess

    March 21, 2012 at 5:49 am

    I’ve gone to an auction whre they do sell horses and a lot of times, horses will end up being sold to the kill pen, but there are a few rescue organizations that work with the auction, so most of those horses get at least a foster home until they can be adopted out. Still, I think some do end up going to slaughter there.

    There is New Holland, in Pa that I’ve never been to, but know people who’ve gone. They say it’s very dark and depressing there. Some of those horses will end up being bought by people or sent to the NJ auction, but a lot (most?) do end up going to slaughter from that auction.

  26. qtswede

    March 21, 2012 at 8:30 am

    I go to Shipshewana, IN at least a few times a year. They have the kill pens in the back, as Jane said, but the kill buyers will pick up just about everything that isn’t being bid high. High dollar horses lately have only been going for a few hundred dollars.

  27. Kelly

    March 21, 2012 at 8:55 am

    I went to Sugarcreek once, cried the entire way home. I hope to one day have a bigger place, more property and be able to bring home a pair of belgians that worked their whole lives to feed and make a living for people, then were discarded like an old pair of work boots. They need to be put out to pasture and taken care of too with the money they helped make for their owners. I agree horse owners should have retirement plans for their horses! It’s beyond me how anyone can ask a horse to give, give, give, and then when they are seen as “unusable” they are thrown away. Sad, sorry about the rant.

  28. Jean Fine

    March 21, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Stacy, horse slaughter is such a hard topic for horse lovers but I am glad you have the courage to discuss it because “denial” will not make it go away.

  29. Erin/IAm

    March 21, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Great subject to bring up…gets perspectives up & about…let’s people ‘see’…Thanks!

    Auctions are for people who feel the need to ‘get at least some of their ‘investment’ back’. As if the horse did not ‘invest’ her lifetime into the situation! Silly, arrogant humans, huh? But, these businesses exist because their is a market for them…the only way to adjust business is to redirect their market.

    Many creatures have sacrificed themselves over many thousands of years toward homo-sapien evolution…Perhaps, we should endeavor toward respecting & reflecting THAT ‘investment’?

    I have a feeling that it’s going to be an amazing year of humans & animals pooling resources to accomplish much in awareness of connected-ness, while expressing talents of all species involved…This will be nice to ‘see’, yes?

  30. Joy Schuetz

    March 21, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    I have not been to an auction in many years……I have contact with those who do go. It is a depressing scene, one of despair. You can see it in the eyes of the animals. There is a solution or at least a way to slow down the throwing away of what no longer matters. There are states, counties that are starting to have euthanasia clinics…..for people who cannot afford the cost of putting their old, lame, etc. horses down in a humane way. Free clinics….or very low cost. This does not help the healthy horses being run through auctions pens. Does the public realize that horses with breeding and good training, healthy ones, are sold to kill buyers. The overbreeding of horses, dogs, cats, etc. has got to stop. The condition of horses brought to auction is not always a consideration. I live in Oregon, I have seen the results of horses sold out of auctions to kill buyers and then shipped to Canada or Mexico. They are not going there for a vacation. Mares in foal or giving birth in the kill pen of the buyer. Some are rescued, if a person takes a fancy to one particular horse. Pay the man and you can haul that horse off. It is not even the slaughter of the horse so much as the treatment given to the animal during it’s last days. One needs to follow the whole process not just the sale. We do like to bury our heads and try not to think about what that horse or other livestock is going on to. Pretend it is going to a loving home or a person who will treat it well. Not so much. Humane euthanasia is part of a solution for people. The horses that come in mal nourished and uncared for are at huge risk in the auction pen. The healthy, big, horse is at risk, the little chubby ponies are at risk……..of slaughter. Foals, yearlings, unwanted average and not so average are all just pounds of meat to the buyer. I do not believe the owner will have gotten enough money for their animal to cover the cost to transporting it to the auction. When a beautiful, registered, paint gelding with papers sells for $60.00, a two year old with excellent ground manners………..what do people think a skinny, depressed, dirty looking horse goes for? I am thankful that this lovely horse I spoke of was rescued by a place called Horse Plus Humane Society, was cared for until a new home could be found. Former TB race horses, horses of breeding and who have won money for their owner…………..sold for meat. The auction I speak of is in Central California. I see the results…………be responsible for your horse, dog, cat. Remember the moment you got that creature……why do you cast it off because you are no longer interested. There are places and people who will help. Keep asking the questions Stacey, people need to look it square in the face. Too sensitive……makes you sad….too depressing….how do you think the horse feels. They would not choose it, WE choose it for them. STOP BREEDING. The big QH breeders who overpopulate………..STOP IT. Dumping the average ones without a thought except for dollars. Auctions are not fun, exciting places full of promise any longer. They are “death camps”. There has to be a better way. God did not place these animals in our care to be abused but instead to respect them and the service they provide. Show respect owners. Give your animal a dignified end and that does not mean dumping them at the auction.

  31. Jan Myers

    March 21, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Springfield MO. Has a horse auction of the third Friday in each month. Most, if not all the loose horses are bought by known kill buyers. The name of the auction house is Springfield Livestock Marketing Center.

    On a lighter note…Can’t wait to see you again at Horse Fest this year.

  32. May Snyder

    March 21, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    New Holland auction, New Holland Pennsylvania: every Monday 250-300 horses are run through and several well known kill-buyers buy here. The problem is they DO NOT advertise it as such, so people consigning their horses there have no idea their horse might end up on a one-way trip to butchering in Mexico or Canada. Kill-buyers do not have to identify themselves as such at auctions or when calling classified ads, so unless someone knows who they are, the owners may have no idea who they’re selling to.

    I have personally bought at New Holland. Lots of very nice horses. A real shame so many of them are being bought to make meat for export. One of my own personal horse is a beginner-safe sweetheart, and she came from the “as is” part of the new holland sale and would likely have ended up as meat. It would’ve been such a waste for such a well-trained good-tempered sound horse to be killed.

    Some of the rescues send people to New Holland to save a few from a fate in the kill-pens. But it’s tough when we have to pay hundreds of dollars in efforts to outbid the meat buyers, especially for the ‘meatier’ horses. If these horses are so totally “unwanted”, why does it cost $250 to save a quarterhorse’s life? …or $400 to safe a draft horse’s life?

    Camelot in New Jersey sold to brokers. There is a livestock horse auction in Westminster Maryland that could potentially sell to kill-buyers of prices go low enough. Less often than the New Holland auction is the Mel Hoover auction (also in New Holland, PA), and those horses also go cheap enough to attract kill buyers. Basically *any* auction where horses sell with no reserve and fetch under $600 could be supplying slaughter brokers.

  33. julie

    March 22, 2012 at 12:43 am

    Stephenville auction is the largest kill sale in the state of Texas. Depends on what state you want to visit.

  34. Kim Houkding DVM

    March 22, 2012 at 10:22 am

    I worked a sale (DVM) for seven years. Twice a month plus specials. We have also had kb at out TB sale. I watched loose horses at every sale-unwanted, uncared for. So sad, but knowing they wouldnt suffer more. I also watched the KB after the sale checking, trying testing which had a use or value other than slaughter. I bought several to keep them from slaughter, too.the KB were more than happy-no profit, just what they paid. They started the bid when no one else wanted a horse. They ended up with the horse if no one wanted it too
    Stacy, I was impressed by your presentation at Iowa Horse Fair! You are a great lady and inspiration!

  35. Corina

    March 23, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    I’ve also been interested in going to a sale, but haven’t yet. I would recommend getting in touch with local equine rescues to direct you to upcoming sales, and so you have someone knowledgable to go with.

  36. Shelby

    March 25, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    I live in southern Utah and the first Thursday of every month there is a horse auction in Cedar City. I am not positive but I believe that some of the horses sold there are sold to kill buyers. There are some horses sold by the head (to people who I think want them to ride and such) and horses sold by the pound (to the kill buyers I think). I think that there is a time and a place for slaughter houses, but the lady who talked about the euthanasia clinics sounds infinitley better. I am a horse LOVER and also agree with the person who spoke about responsible breeding, for all animals. This is a tough subject and I don’t know that there will ever be a simple answer. Good luck!

  37. Wanda Gorgoschlitz

    March 27, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    When anyone out there can figure out a way to keep 1 million dogs and cats from being put to sleep, we can use the same principles to do the same with horses. I so very much wish there was a magic button, but there isn’t. Education is the only thing I can think of that can have a positive impact. When I finally got my farm, my uncle let me breed a mare of his. She was old, sound, great disposition and breeding and enough quality that he had turned down $20,000. for her. So I bred to an old, sound, well bred, kid safe, 14.1H beautifully balanced stud. I have a 16 hand goofball who has been lame about half of his 9 years. What I see is now that responsible breeders have no bottom price for their horses and they are the people hurt the most by no slaughter. The backyard breeders, care, but don’t have the funds to keep their horses when they lose their good paying jobs like I did. I see people at auctions selling horses they know will have a chance to go to slaughter. But they need to keep their houses and feed their kids. And I can’t go to the local auctions anymore than I can be on the board for the local animal shelter. The local auctions aren’t tagged as slaughter ones, but the kids who have to sell their horse extremely cheap leave in tears knowing where their beloved horse is going.

  38. Shelly Hubing

    March 27, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Yes,I try to watch one that is near me every week online. It’s the Centennial Livestock Auction in Ft. Collins, CO. Most horses are sold by the pound, not by the head so it’s obviously a kill auction. I see nice horses go through every week.

    • Stacy

      March 29, 2012 at 11:59 pm

      Can you post a link?

      • Shelly Hubing

        March 30, 2012 at 12:04 pm

        Yep, it’s On the left hand side there is a link for which is where you can register to watch the auction. It’s a very simple form. You can also register to bid online. If you look under Hogs/Horses Market Reports you can see what horses have sold over the last several weeks, but they only list the horses sold by the pound, not any horses that were sold by the head. This week, for example, there were several yearlings and a pony sold. They sold for around $50/each, but they are not listed on the market report for this week. Horses sell Wednesday afternoons, starting anywhere from 2:30 to about 4 or so. Prices listed on the Market Report are listed per 100 weight.

  39. Shirley

    March 31, 2012 at 9:55 am

    I have been to several, all in Alberta. There is a kill plant in Alberta, so the local auction houses usually run a horse sale that the meat buyers attend. However, those buyers don’t send all of the horses to the kill pen, they do try to place the good ones and usually have a list of people they contact if they pick up a likely prospect; also, you can buy horses from them after the auction.

  40. nationalequine

    March 31, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Southwest Livestock Auction, run by Dennis Chavez in Los Lunas New Mexico, is a big slaughter auction. Horses are brought in from surrounding states, and from CA, where slaughter is illegal.

    A recent investigative report was done by Animals Angels specifically on this auction house. Here is a link to that report:

    There are also 2 auction houses in Fallon, NV. They are primarily for cattle, but the horses run through after the cattle are sold by the pound, to two prominent, known “kill buyers.”

    Links to those two auction houses are as follows:

    Fallon Livestock Exchange
    Nevada Livestock Marketing

  41. Erin

    April 1, 2012 at 6:19 am

    I have been to auctions in Manitoba where the horses frequently are sold to killbuyers. Horses at these sales may also go on to homes. I once asked a person working at Grunthal how to ensure a horse went to an owner and not the killbuyer, he replied “ride it in.”
    I have learned a few things about kill buyers from these auctions; sometimes they buy horses for resale, they will attempt to outbid you even though they know the horse would be going to a home, and they aren’t adverse to back alley trading (offering you a horse they have just purchased at a mark-up).
    I have seen all ages and weights of horses go, even some emaciated. Killbuyers buy a large amount of the horses, despite condition, etc.

  42. GEMO

    April 1, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Get real people. Banning the Slaughter Houses has all but ruined the Horse Industry. People are left with no way out of the financial burden of horse ownership once the animal has become disabled. Regulations say you cannot bury a horse on your own property . . . so, what are people suppose to do with them? Every Rescue Organization you call is FULL, every Foster Home is FULL . . . can you not see the writing on the wall? How do the horses fend in the wild when a cougar runs one down for the dinner kill; do you think that being eaten alive is a fast death? It’s a natural food chain. Horses aren’t going to the slaughter houses for our dinner-table. If the meat goes overseas, who cares; if it goes for dog food, so what . . . it’s a food chain! Our Government does not support our horse fancy interests; it is up to each individual owner. With the economy the way it is, why should I be expected to spend what money I have to support my horse, when I need to feed myself? I don’t hear the same outcry for Cattle, Chickens, Pigs, Sheep, etc.; they are used as companion pets as well as any horse; but, reality is reality. The U.S. does not have to slaughter horses for human consumption; slaughter for carnivorous animal diets or dog and cat food! There are far too many horses and not enough individual incomes to cover them and certainly no Grants. You cannot give a horse away these days; come-on get real people!!! Ban together and offer suggestions for a better way to get rid of the unwanted horses, if there is one; but, for right now, the Slaughter Houses are all we got.

    Despite the fact that horse meat is not widely consumed in Canada, over 90,000 horses a year are slaughtered for food there. Its high-protein, low-fat meat is still consumed in many parts of the world, including Italy, Japan and Brazil. The taboo of eating horse meat persists in most of North America, however, and the Canadian horse meat industry remains controversial. If horse meat isn’t your thing, perhaps you would like camel (Egypt), whales (Norway) or monkeys (sub-Saharan Africa).

    • Majela

      June 12, 2012 at 4:47 pm

      Can you stick with the subject. Not everybody agrees with your point of view. If you have a companion, yes it would be your responsability and if you can the euthanize the horse.If your is your comapnion you would not wend it slaughter. That is just weird.
      Have you heard of not breeding or euthanasia?

    • Ginger

      September 3, 2012 at 2:15 pm

      If you can’t support a horse..DO NOT GET ONE…If you have one you can’t support..DO NOT take it to slaughter then turn around and get another one..And DO NOT breed when you can not afford to care for them. You say ” People are left with no way out of the financial burden of horse ownership once the animal has become disabled”…..If horse ownership is only a financial burden when your horse is no longer “fun” for you….you should NOT be a horseowner. People can make every excuse in the world…but it all comes down to selfishness and $$$$$$ greed…

      • Heidi (nrhareiner)

        September 3, 2012 at 3:18 pm

        It is not about being selfish or greed 99% of the time. It cost more to take a horse to a sale then what you get for the horse the vast majority of the time if they are such that a killer buyer will end up with them. Keep in mind that for a lot of people there is little choice. I am lucky as I can berry my horses and other animals here on the farm but I know a lot of people who cannot. The average cost of rendering or cremating a horse is not cheap.. To cremate a horse here locally is cost about $1500+ then and in all the other costs. Even having one put down a berried here on my property cost about $500.

        As to a disabled horse. Again I am lucky I can keep a horse for about $350/year so when I have an old broodmare who has little to no use she can live out here life here will little problem. However again there are people who cannot do this. They board a horse or only have room for one or 2 horses and they want to do more then have a horse that recycles hay. They want to ride and enjoy their horses. Again I am lucky as I have more then one or 2 horses so if there is one I cannot ride I have another who I can. So do not just think it is about greed or Selfishness. Some times people are left with little choice. Some time life just happens. Someone dies, gets sick has an accident. Then what? If their horses have little value past the fact that, that person lived them. Then what? Are you going to take them? If they have a true value past the fact that someone lives them then there would be easier to find them a new home. I see this a lot with the foster dogs I have had come through here. Some has little value past that fact that they are a live. Fortuity I have been able to add value to some of these dogs and find them good homes. What if that is not possible?

        One thing that I have always said. There but by the grace of God go I. So I will not judge others until I fully understand what and why. Which is next to never.

  43. lynn villarreal

    April 3, 2012 at 11:22 am

    I live in AZ and was told there is an auction place in Chandler AZ called Pacific Livestock Auction. One trainer told me don’t ever go there as it is depressing, stressful for the animals, and heart breaking to see what happens. Another person bought a filly from there and told me the same thing. She had a bad mark on her shoulder where I was told they had tried to brand her and when he saw her, blood was running down her leg. He was only able to save her. Told me there was another pregnant mare, nice-looking, that he could not save. I recently paid $400 for a filly which I thought was high, but I refuse to go to a place like this to find another horse. We are about 3 hours away from the Mexican border where I am told that there are still legal slaughterhouses. Very tragic!


  44. Darcy

    April 7, 2012 at 3:39 am

    One is held every second saturday of the month at Knoxville Livestock Centers in Knoxville, TN. Horses for slaughter are sold first, then the riding horses are sold. It’s hearbreaking to see young, old, healthy, and malnourished horses sold alongside one another simply because down here selling by weight gets the most profit. My boyfriend and I were looking to purchase a large draft mule with a cataract in one eye (well kept, clipped, sweetheart while handled), however, the kill buyers outbid us by miles, even though they knew we were looking to give him a home and not slaughter him. It was completely disheartening to say the least.

  45. Carla

    April 9, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Cowtown Livestock Auction, Turlock, CA This is not a high end auction although I have seen good quality horses go thru the auction and bring some good cash. Cheapest horse I have seen so far was $5.00. Black mare that wasn’t very well fed and nothing to write home about. I would classify her as a backyard failure.
    Billings Horse Auction, Billings Montana has a large sale every month and publishes it’s loose horse auction prices. This auction has both ends of the spectrum, so I use it to keep myself abreast of what the market pulse is. The prices of horses is starting to come back up with advent of slaughter houses being built in several states.
    Edmenton, Alberta, Canada has a horse auction and a slaughter plant near by. They buy horses at the local auction. You can send horses in for sale marked for “Slaughter Only” which keeps people from buying a horse with serious problems from being purchased. (i.e unsoundness issues, ALD’s, etc.
    Now my nickles worth. Horses are livestock and thus do not fall into the puppy/kitty catagories. I have cows that I brush & pet but they still are livestock. Like any rancher, I love my animals and take good care of them but ultimately my calves will be your steak dinner. I do not eat horsemeat but I do not condemn those that do. I have been breeding horses for almost 35 years and it is not done without a plan. Yes, I do not see as much money for my stock as I once did, but a good quality riding horse still brings a fair price. Good luck on your research.

  46. Theresa Blair Gray

    April 10, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    This is the link for the Shipshewana Horse Auction.. Loose horses are supposed to sell at 10:30 – but if you are interested in bidding it is a good idea to be there by 9… Happens every Friday. Have pulled heavily pregnant APHA registered mare, 8 month old foals, who had never been handled, blind horses, as well as others who have gone on to be great horses. The majority of them are shipped to Canada, however it’s an open market and anyone can bid, and the horses end up anywhere. The loose pen is not the only source for purchase. If they sell cheaply enough, they will be bought directly from the saddle horse ring as well…

  47. Dee

    May 18, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    that was in southern Sapin with a client who wanted my help… it was traumatic and shocking and sad. There were hundreds of horses…of all kinds and injured in many ways.
    Big fan by the way Stacy, your famous video with wonderful Roxy makes me cry every time.
    Thanks for doing what you are doing!


    • Dee

      May 18, 2012 at 2:24 pm

      SPAIN guys, sorry.

  48. Majela

    June 12, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    I have never been to this one, but is in Unadilla NY. KB sale and horses go very cheap

  49. Heidi (nrhareiner)

    July 31, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    I have been to a few when I lived in Tn. The ones I know about up in Ohio are the ones that have already been mentioned. Then there is Shippsie in In.

    What I find with these sales is that it is not just horses but Dogs and many other animals. As a breeder I try very hard to produce the best horses posible. Using proven stock. I have chose not to breed either of my dogs even though they have done well in the show ring. As a foster I find that there are just too many dogs needing homes. I find the same thing with some levels of horses. It is too bad people do not think before they act.

  50. Ginger

    September 3, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    I went the first time when I was first trying to find my first horse. I did not even know there was such a thing as horse slaughter. The second time I went and held up signs with my sister out front that warned people who may not realize if they sold their horse it MAY be going to slaughter and was actually “confronted” by a “killer” buyer who wanted to know why we were out there doing that to “people trying to make an honest living”….It is in Shispshawana Indiana..

  51. Anne Hunter

    September 6, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    I know of a woman who goes to Sugar Creek auction every week. She buys horses that appear sound and good mind and re-homes them. Her business is called Copper Horse Crusade. Not all the horses at Sugar Creek are broken down horses. Sometimes, it is owners who have no where else to turn, due to economy, divorce, etc. Sometimes it is backyard breeders getting rid of their less than average horse or a known breeder/trainer who thinks the horse is not going to be the next big star and has no further use for the horse. Slaughter is an unfortunate solution to a problem of too many animals. Not every horse is going to be a superstar. A lot of those less than perfect horses are carting kids around 4H, or a show ring or on a trail with a less than perfect rider. Long term thought is required to stop slaughter.

    • Majela

      September 6, 2012 at 8:30 pm

      I think owner responsibility is of upmost importance. Sugarcreek, New Hollandand all of the other auctions have been around longer than when the economy tanked. Has very little to do with that. It has to do that there is a certain number of horses to satisy a market.There is no other motivation but demand and supply. There is no way that backyard breeders can support this market. Is the big breeders. I blame the breed associations for this!

  52. Afarmgirl

    December 1, 2012 at 2:18 am

    Shipshewana in Indiana would be a close one for you. They just had the one Friday after Thanksgiving. I believe there is also one Friday of Easter weekend.

  53. Gena Nicholas

    December 23, 2012 at 12:01 am

    Catts. Kentucky…and the conditions are horrible as well as the treatment of women as buyers at this sale. The horses have it much worse than the women but not by much. The owner is a kill buyer. His name is Josh McKay and is listed on the known kill buyer lists.

  54. Ann Hards

    December 30, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    New Holland, and I purchased a horse that day.

  55. Majela Urbay

    January 4, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    New Holland in Pa just got charged with a 75 000 fine for falsifying sale papers. they sold cattle for a lot higher than reported

  56. Jmartin

    January 8, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    What do you want to do with old horses? Let them suffer and starve?

  57. Cynthia Porter

    March 19, 2013 at 12:43 am

    Veedersburgh indiana has auctions that people know the killer buyers by name and try desperately to outbid constantly fighting for good animals. Sometimes people even fight to save the very old and very young. Wear alligator skin inside though the killers have a big smile offer a service of riddi.g us of animals then beat them half to death loading them cause they scare horses who sense something bad about them. Killers dont do a service they rip horse owners off and try to push out the regular honest horsemen so that only the higher up industry farms profit. Their lies a.d smiles are matched by the size of their wallets and NEVER tell th where ur horses r or will be Ever!

  58. mhorses

    April 14, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    I run the web site and a small rescue and have done a lot of research on the subject. In MS auctions are managed or owned by people who are in the business of selling horses to slaughter. A just want to say that we have assisted law enforcement with saving over 200 horses since 2008. In the majority of the cases, people tried to help and even offered to buy the horses. They wouldn’t sell them if the slaughter plant was across the street. These type of people would rather be fined and charged with animal cruelty than to have someone tell them what to do with THEIR property. I call it arrogant ignorance. Our first priority is to always try to help the owner keep their horses. There are those very few success stories however where the owner just needed education on horse care and were actually willing to learn.

  59. dusty

    September 12, 2013 at 12:07 am

    I don’t mean to make any one mad so please don’t take this the wrong way but I have seen the effects of to many horses and not enough room on the ranges and there just isn’t enough money or people to take care of them all but if you have to kill 500 to save a 1000 from starving to death on the ranges is it not worth it that seems more humane to me please don’t get mad at me I love horses can’t make it with out them but a person can only take care of so many thanks and sorry if what I said upset you

  60. Amy

    September 30, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    Corsica, SD

  61. Steve

    October 8, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    Mt. Hope close to you always runs loose horses thru at the end of there monthly sale. (Second Sat) You are close to three of the largest kill buyers in the country. Fred Bauer Larue Oh, Jaron Gold, Michigan, and Leroy Baker Sugarcreek Ohio. There is a buyer at every sale that buys for someone that sends horses to kill. I’ve seen them at Keeneland and even the Congress Super Sale buying open broodmares or horses that were lame or po’ed. What to do, it’s a crapshoot. Starting by like with dogs and cats offer low cost spay and castrations, along with better education of the public.

  62. Melanie

    October 23, 2013 at 12:21 am

    Our mare came from Sugarcreek Auction, owned by Leroy Baker. At Sugarcreek, and most other auctions, if a horse does not have a lip tattoo, it is listed as grade Quarter horse stock. I’ll be honest, Sugarcreek is cruel and inhumane. In 2008, the USDA Administrative Law Judge J. Clifton, ordered Baker to pay a fine of $162,800.00 for multiple violations of the Commercial Transport of Equines to Slaughter Regulations. Then in 2010, the US District Court/Northern Ohio District/Eastern Div, increased the original penalty to $172,621.66 and issued a court order to garnish his wages & assets. Its unclear how much of this fine has actually been paid. Sugarcreek continues to move horses in the chutes by spraying them with high powered water hoses, jamming them on trailers, and stabbing them with cattle prods to separate horses for “bleeding”. Sadly, the Amish are the largest percentage of workers. The Sugarcreek owner Leroy Baker is a KB. The auction is held every Friday and most of the KB’s stand in or by the ring to chose the youngest, healthiest, heaviest horses auctioned. Our group had been happy to save a few from slaughter that day. Most horses are listed as grade, weighed prior to ring entry, and herded in with a group of horses they don’t know, there is lots of fighting. One entire ring lot was bought by a KB, the horses were herded out and into a feedlot to be picked up. Later that day, we went to pickup our horses and the KB’s had also arrived. The large lot KB buyer began forcing his horses up into his tractor trailer. He had more horses than space, but as we watched, he continued to cram the trailer past capacity. There was no Animal Enforcement Officer at Sugarcreek to tell him to stop. A mare was to be the last horse, but there was NO room, the KB beat her and tried to force her in, she was in danger of breaking a leg and was terrified. The horses already on the trailer were all panicked and the trailer was swaying, the situation was bizarre. Our group ran over and offered to buy her since he had no room, he demanded $550. even though he had only paid $150. for her. Using debit cards, she was purchased and saved from slaughter. She was not a grade quarter horse, she was a 4 year old Missouri Foxtrotter. She is now 11 years old, loved and well cared for. She has been shown, won, and adores her trail rides. She is still terrified of water hoses with hard sprayers and electric clippers which sound like cattle prods. This is her forever home and when she can no longer be ridden, she will be queen of the pasture. If you have a horse you can no longer take care of and you have tried to find a good forever home, please do not let your horse go to auction! 95% of all horses auctioned at Sugarcreek are sold into the slaughter pipeline. Please humanely euthanize your horse and have the body properly disposed of or cremated. Don’t be fooled by the AMVA saying the captive bolt is humane. Their study was performed by vets for vets (not barely trained workers) in a controlled environment (not on a kill floor with terror in the air, blood, urine and horses screaming) and with the horses head restrained (not in a blood soaked kill box with a horse thrashing it’s head). Read all the literature, both sides, make the right decision. Our horses do not need to be killed by foreign owned companies to be put on a foreign countries gourmet dinner plate. I will never attend another slaughter auction, it is to soul wrenching to know these healthy, young, companion animals are destined for a gourmet dinner.

  63. Kerrie

    January 16, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    Toppenish and Moses Lake, WA

  64. Cedar

    February 25, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Delta, Colorado

  65. Laura Vivod

    March 25, 2014 at 10:24 am

    There is a horse auction in North Bloomfield ohio. Not sure of schedule but you can Google it.

    • sharla

      May 3, 2014 at 9:09 pm

      I live in saskatchewan and every sale I go type o good horses go for slaughter I sm so against it and wish I had the money to save horses
      Just stop slaughter its not a good thing I love horses


    June 10, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    There is a horse auction in south Alabama that I go to sometimes. It’s very upsetting to see the kill buyers there, buying all those poor horses. I just hate it!

  67. Barbara Claus

    February 28, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    Hell yes I go to the sale barn auction!
    The more people snapping pictures and taking videos of the dark seedy side of the horse trade the better!!! It intimidates and unnerves the kill buyers.
    I have a group of friends that attend the
    Hamilton County Sale Barn auction in Strawtown, Indiana. It is bi monthly, and is a family orientented sale barn.
    The kill buyers spoil the fun, friendly atmosphere! So we spoil right back at them! The number of kill buyers is dwindling down to one or two. The goal is 0 kill buyers. I recommend that
    everyone attend their local sale barn auctions. Talk to the sale barn owners, take your horse trailer and offer to haul a horse purchased by families that do not own a trailer. I talk to the auction owners and tell them to let me know if a horse comes in that should be rescued rather than auctioned off. There is no point in passing sick and starving horses through the auction and exposing the healthy horses to disease. If you get to know the regulars that attend the auction you can find out a lot of information. The pubic has more power than they think!
    Keeping kill buyers out of the sale barns can be accomplished!!!
    College students are always looking for something to do on a Saturday night that is fun, free and gives them a cause.
    I even had a kill buyer bring me a miniature horse that he did not want to shoot!
    And I have met and hauled horses for families that want an inexpensive pet horse. There are good people at the auction and alot of good that can be accomplished with little effort. And everyone has a cell phone!
    The kill lots, are horrable places, I am not saying follow the horse trailers out of the sale barn parking lot. There are professional animal welfare advocates that get deep into the investigation of cruelty. That is best left to those groups. But as a member of the public knowing the number of horses purchased at the local sale barn for slaughter is a positive step in keeping that activity out of your community. Being informed is always a good thing. Warning innocent horse sellers there is a kill buyer in attendance is a good thing! And just being a spectator and with a cell phone camera documenting horses
    being loaded out of the sale barn stable
    into big stock trailers, rattles the kill buyers to the core, the flash of cell phone cameras has an impact and is a wake up call. They don’t have to be good pictures the flash is enough to unnerve them.
    Hopefully we can shoo them all away like flies!
    Wear a hat with a feather in it to the sale barn! I wear a distinctive hat, the bigger my feathers are, the more flies I can shoo away from our community’s horse auction sale barn. And keep the families with the cute kids coming out to hear the auctioneers rythmic chant!
    And maybe go home with a new pony!
    My approch to staying grounded is to inject a positive energy into the whole experience of the sale barn horse auction. You can truly make a difference!


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