Mustangs come to Lifesavers from a variety of sources and for many different reasons. Some come from the various government agencies responsible for wild horse management, such as the Bureau of Land Management and the Nevada Department of Agriculture. In these cases the horses are wild and are at risk of being sent to a slaughter auction.
Other horses are surrendered by their owners, who adopt or purchase them and later realize they don’t have the time, knowledge or resources to properly train or care for a horse. Sometimes we are contacted by local animal control agencies and asked to take a horse that has been seized from an abuse or neglect situation. Many of our rescued horses were purchased from public auctions to prevent them from going to the “killer buyers,” who buy and sell unwanted horses for meat. Every year, approximately 100,000 American horses are slaughtered for human consumption. They are transported across the border to large slaughter facilities in Mexico and Canada and their meat is exported to Italy, Belgium, France and Japan. Horses are sold at auctions all over the country where they spend hours and sometimes even days in overcrowded pens, often without access to food and water.
Lifesavers Big Horse Rescue is a program of Lifesavers, Inc., which is dedicated to saving plus-sized horses from circumstances where they suffer or are in danger of being slaughtered. Big Horse Rescue focuses on larger-than-average sized horses, especially draft breeds, which are farmed for urine in the Premarin (PMU) industry. These horses are used as part of the production of drugs made for menopausal women. Urine collected from pregnant mares is the primary ingredient in “Premarin,” “Prempro” and associated brands, and the foals born in the industry are typically sold for slaughter.
Information on horse slaughter can be found here