Two high profile cases this month involving "kill buyers," who buy horses at auction to send them to slaughter, have brought the bloody, predatory business of horse slaughter out into the light of day. They've also shown the kill buyer for what he truly is – the worst enemy of horses in the United States today.
Every year, kill buyers funnel more than 100,000 American horses – working, racing, and companion horses, and even children's ponies – into the horse meat trade, going from auction to auction and gathering up young and healthy horses for slaughter for human consumption, often misrepresenting their intentions in the process.
Most horse owners who take an animal to an auction are unaware that their horse could die in a day or two with a sharp-throat-cutting exercise or a shot to the head. But at auctions all around the country, kill buyers bid against legitimate horse owners and horse rescuers, just so they can make a fast buck.
In fact, some kill buyers outbid rescues, only to resell them the horses-often for a lot more money.