The NY Times reports on how the market has responded to the closing of U.S. slaughterhouses for horses (related to the repugnance felt by some to the eating of horse meat.): Slaughter of Horses Goes On, Just Not in U.S.
"The closing of the country’s last meat processing plant that slaughtered horses for human consumption was hailed as a victory for equine welfare. But five years later just as many American horses are destined for dinner plates to satisfy the still robust appetites for their meat in Europe and Asia.
"Now they are carved into tartare de cheval or basashi sashimi in Mexico and Canada.
"That shift is one of the many unintended consequences of a de facto federal ban on horse slaughter, according to a recent federal government study. As the domestic market for unwanted horses shrinks, more are being neglected and abandoned, and roughly the same number — nearly 140,000 a year — are being killed after a sometimes grueling journey across the border.
"The study’s findings have been fiercely contested by animal welfare groups, which argue that most of the problems stem from the economic downturn and the high price of feed. The study also breathed new life into the long-smoldering battle over whether to allow the resumption of domestic horse slaughter or, alternatively, to prohibit the animals from being shipped abroad for their meat.
"In recent weeks lawmakers have pushed Congress to take action in both directions. The Government Accountability Office, which conducted the study, concluded that either option would be better than the status quo, but advocates on both sides, while hopeful, said a resolution did not appear imminent."
Here is the report by the Government Accountability Office,
HORSE WELFARE: Action Needed to Address Unintended Consequences from Cessation of Domestic Slaughter
"GAO analysis shows that U.S. horses intended for slaughter are now traveling significantly greater distances to reach their final destination, where they are not covered by U.S. humane slaughter protections."