Horses are not produced for meat (usually) and are drugged up with all sorts of things not meant for human consumption. There is not yet a drug withholding period for horses. When slaughter plants were previously open (foreign owned, producing meat for human consumption) the meat dealers would pride themselves on saying, "7 days from stable to table".
The only records that are required at a sale is a signed affidavit from the seller "on their honor" that a horse has or has not been treated with drugs for 6 months or a year. All those folks who take horses to auctions to get rid of them will be marking that the horse was not treated with drugs because there is no testing to prove that.
It would be nice if an owner could go hold their horse to be humanely harvested and then the remains put to good use (as is the case in parts of Europe) but in reality only the responsible owners would do that and the majority of unwanted horses aren't coming from responsible owners.
Slaughter horses are not a valued commodity, there is no pride to keep them in good shape and lower stress to produce a superior quality meat. The folks that are shipping horses to slaughter currently are bottom feeders for the most part. We have more local folks getting into shipping horses for meat with the biggest having up to 400 horses on his local feedlot(s) at any given time. I've been there and those horses, mules and donkeys know they are in a bad place, no question they are wanting out of that place. It is also riddled with illness, strangles is rampant for example. These aren't the picturesque horse meat farms in France.
My friend is an investigator for Animals Angels and they have noticed no change in the amount of horses going for slaughter and no change in the way they are handled (poorly). If regulations aren't enforced then the regulations don't matter much.
No need for the graphic pics, here is Beltex feedlot where our local big meat dealer takes 4+ loads per week
Shelby MT feedlot
These going to MX in trucks legal for shipping horses
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