These unlucky horses, bought at regular horse auctions by "kill buyers" (individuals who fulfill contracts with foreign slaughterhouses) represent all equine breeds and come from show circuits, racetracks, family farms, and - as the OIG report indicates - even purchases arranged by the BLM, which explicitly prohibits the sale or sending of federally-protected wild horses for slaughter.
Horse slaughter for human consumption is, for the moment, effectively prohibited on US soil. But this prohibition has to be renewed annually in the federal appropriations bill. And even that action cannot prevent the export of American horses for slaughter in other countries. To fully protect American horses, we must also stop their one-way ticket to slaughter.
Some will tell you these horses are not well in the first place, but that's just not true. When horse slaughter plants legally operated in the US, USDA inspectors found that more than 92 percent of the horses they killed were healthy and of good body weight - which is valued by kill buyers who make money by the pound. Phedras, who weighed more than 1,500 pounds, appeared to be targeted because of his size.