James McWilliams claims, contra the GAO, that the horse slaughter ban hasn’t increased horse abuse. From his conclusion:
Despite the report’s suggestion that the need for local slaughterhouses is an urgent matter, the GAO fails to note something quite extraordinary about the situation: Only about one percent of existing domestic horses are slaughtered every year. Ninety-two percent of that one percent, according to Temple Grandin, are healthy and devoid of behavioral problems. They’re bucking horses that won’t buck and racehorses that won’t win and quarter horses that nobody is buying from breeders because hay prices are too high. The only thing that’s urgent in this entire scenario is the desire to profit from sending these healthy horses to slaughter.
Horse abuse and neglect is a small problem that got smaller with the closure of slaughterhouses. The GAO—and the slaughter lobby it seems to represent—falsely presents it as a large problem getting larger.