What are the Consequences of the Equine Slaughter Ban on Horse Prices?

Editor’s note: Veterinarians and their clients have mixed emotions and standings about equine slaughter. An article was recently published that looks at the affect of the ban on slaughter on the price of horses. This is an open access article, so you can download and read the entire paper at no charge.

A recent article in the Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics looked at how the ban on slaughter has affected the prices of horses. The researchers said they also looked at how show horse prices are affected by many factors, including “breed, gender, age, coat color and sale catalog description.”

“What are the Consequences of the Equine Slaughter Ban on Horse Prices?” is an open access article, which means you can download a complete PDF of the research online.

The article was cited on Cambridge.org.


As a result of several judicial rulings, processing of horses for human consumption came to a halt in 2007. This article determines the change in horse prices resulting from elimination of horse-processing facilities. As expected, lower-valued horses were more affected by the ban than higher-valued horses. The analysis suggests the slaughter ban reduced horse prices, on average, by about 13% and resulted in a loss in producer surplus to sellers of approximately 14% at the sale we analyzed. We also show horse prices are affected by a myriad of factors including breed, gender, age, coat color, and sale catalog description.


Mallory K. Vestal, Assistant Professor of Agricultural Business and Economics, Department of Agricultural Sciences, West Texas A&M University; Jayson L. Lusk, Professor and Willard Sparks Endowed Chair, Department of Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University; Steven R. Cooper, Associate Professor, Department of Animal Science, Oklahoma State University; Clement E. Ward, Professor Emeritus, Department of Agricultural Economics, Oklahoma State University.

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