The Humane Society estimates every year, more than 100,000 horses are inhumanely transported outside the country for slaughter and shipped overseas for human consumption. Now, a former Seahawk is raising awareness about the issue of horse slaughtering in Washington after he rescued 14 wild horses that were set to be killed.
Joe Tafoya said there are no active slaughtering houses in the United States, but he says there are in Mexico and Canada.
"The goal for me is to eliminate what should not be an issue and that is whether or not we send horses to slaughter," Tafoya said. "The real issue is overpopulation. It's overbreeding, and it's the fact that there are many, many horse owners out there that, they shouldn't have a horse to begin with."
Due to overbreeding and overpopulation, horses are often sent to auction where they are either rescued, sent to rodeo or potentially sent for slaughter. For 20 years, Tafoya and his wife have rescued horses that would otherwise be killed.
"I can't see them suffer and not do anything about it if I have the ability," Brandelyn Tafoya said. "We're now fixing the problems that were created for them (in their old environment) because of the overpopulation which is malnourishment, severe ticks, lice, and just not having the right environment to thrive."
"These horses when they came here were so scared and over the first couple days when they got here they were able to relax and you could just see in them that they knew we weren't going to hurt them," Brandelyn Tafoya said.
Tafoya plans to push for a bill in the 2016 legislative session that would ban horse slaughtering from ever happening in Washington. He also aims to ban the transport of horses that are set to be slaughtered.