Slaughterbound horses in a trailer heading across the US border to Canada. Image source: Unknown.

Top 10 countries ranked by horses slaughtered and horse meat production (2018)

March 2020

By JANE ALLIN

MARCH AGAINST HORSE SLAUGHTER — Recall from my introductory article in this series that the FAO stats are not always based on original datasets for countries included in their assessments. Missing values are a common problem for international datasets, stemming form countries’ non-responses to the data requests dispatched on a regular basis by international or regional organizations. The FAO Statistics Division has developed innovative methods to improve data reliability and consistency across statistical domains.

As a result, some numbers may not reflect those you see elsewhere, but nonetheless provide a framework for the overall distribution of horse meat production and horse slaughter across the globe. 

One glaring inconsistency is their failure to recognise that horse slaughter has been effectively shuttered in the US since 2007 and has since shifted to Mexico and Canada. For practical purposes, these data have been omitted from this analysis. Consequently, the numbers for Canada and Mexico will likely differ from actual numbers recorded by the respective countries since both were calculated using imputation methodology. 

Also note that these stats include horses slaughtered, and horse meat from all sources, not just Federal slaughterhouses where meat has been cleared (unscrupulously, of course) for human consumption. Please refer to the FAO website for more information on the collection of data and methods used to report it.

See http://fenixservices.fao.org/faostat/static/documents/Q/Q_Revision_Note_e.pdf

Horses Slaughtered (2018)

China tops the list of countries with the greatest number of horses slaughtered in 2018 (1,589,164 head) representing approximately 32% of the total globally.

The top 10 horse slaughterers by country in the world include about 86% (~ 5 million head) of the world’s total as shown in Table 1 and the accompanying bar chart (Figure 1).

Table 1. Top ten countries for horse slaughter and percent of total globally (2018)

(*) Aggregate, may include official, semi-official, estimated or calculated data

(**) Imputation replaces missing data with substituted values using an appropriate imputation methodology. As a result, it may not precisely reflect official data. http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/user_upload/eufao-fsi4dm/doc-training/17_Hoffmeister__Imputations__EN.pdf

See also to the earlier article: “Horse slaughter and horse meat production worldwide — Introduction

Figure 1. Top ten countries for horse slaughter and percent of total globally (2018)

Horse Meat Production (2018)

Again, China comes in number 1 with the largest amount of horse meat produced (200,452 tonnes or 441,996,660 lb.) representing approximately 26% of the total globally.

The top 10 horse meat producers by country in the world include about 83% of the world’s total representative of 762,713 tonnes (~1.7 billion lb.) as shown in Table 2 and the accompanying bar chart (Figure 2).

Table 2. Top ten countries for horse meat production and percent of total globally (2018)

Figure 2. Top ten countries for horse meat production and percent of total globally (2018)

How have things changed since 2013?

The last time we looked at these numbers was 2017 when the most recent data available was from 2013. Currently the most recent metrics are from 2018. To demonstrate how things evolved over the 5-year interval, a comparison of data between 2013 and 2018 was evaluated.

• The % change in horses slaughtered for the top ten horse slaughtering countries globally from 2013 to 2o18.

• The % change in horse meat production for the top ten horse meat producing countries globally from 2013 to 2o18.

Table 3. Top ten countries for horse slaughter and percent of total globally: 2018 vs 2013

Figure 3. % change in horses slaughtered from 2013 to 2018 – Top ten countries

For the top ten countries for horse slaughter, the total number of horses slaughtered increased by about 31% in 2018 compared to 2013 (i.e. 1,173,714 head). The most notable increases were for Kazakhstan (37%), Mongolia (33%), and Kyrgystan (21%). Moderate increases were observed for China and Brazil (6.5) while the other countries had less than a 5% increase, with decreases observed in both Australia (-12%) and Russia (~4%). 

Table 4. Top ten countries for horse meat production and percent of total globally: 2018 vs 2013

Figure 4. % change in horse meat production from 2013 to 2018 – Top ten countries

For the top ten countries for horse meat production, the total tonnes of horse meat produced increased by about 15% in 2018 compared to 2013 (i.e. 85,223 tonnes or approximately 188 million lb.). The most notable increases were for Mongolia (~95%), almost double what they produced in 2013, and Kazakhstan (41.5%). Moderate increases were observed for China (~12%), Kyrgystan (9%) and Brazil (~7%), while the other countries had less than a 5% increase, with decreases observed in both Australia (-12%) and Russia (~7%). 

SUMMARY

(1) China tops the list of countries with the greatest number of horses slaughtered in 2018 (1,589,164 head) representing approximately 32% of the total globally.

(2) The top 10 global horse slaughterers by country include about 86% (~ 5 million head) of the world’s total.

(3) China also comes in number 1 with the largest amount of horse meat produced (200,452 tonnes or 441,996,660 lb.) representing approximately 26% of the total globally.

(4) The top 10 horse global meat producers by country include about 83% of the world’s total representative of 762,713 tonnes (~1.7 billion lb.).

(5) Little has changed from 2013 to 2018 in terms of the ranking of the top ten countries for both horse slaughter and horse meat production. China remains the leading nation for both metrics. 

(6) However, there have been significant changes for several countries as far as the increases or decreases observed for both metrics.

(7) For horse slaughter, the most notable increases between 2013 and 2018 were for Kazakhstan (37%), Mongolia (33%), and Kyrgystan (21%). Moderate increases were observed for China and Brazil (6.5) while decreases were observed for both Australia (-12%) and Russia (~4%). 

(8) For horse meat production, the most significant increases were observed for Mongolia (~95%), almost double what they produced in 2013, and Kazakhstan (41.5%). Moderate increases were observed for China (~12%), Kyrgystan (9%) and Brazil (~7%), while decreases observed in both Australia (-12%) and Russia (~7%). 

(9) For the top ten countries, the total number of horses slaughtered increased by about 31% in 2018 compared to 2013 (i.e. 1,173,714 head). This increase is due to the large increases observed in Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Kyrgystan along with the moderate increase in China. 

(10) The total tonnes of horse meat produced for the top ten producing nations increased by about 15% (i.e. 85,223 tonnes or approximately 188 million lb.). This increase is primarily a result of the increased horse meat production in Mongolia, Kazakhstan and China. 


All Reports

Horse slaughter and horse meat production worldwide — Introduction »

Horse slaughter and horse meat production — A global perspective »

Top 10 countries ranked by horses slaughtered and horse meat production — 2018 »

Top 10 importers and exporters of horse meat worldwide »

Canada’s Horse Slaughter Plants and U.S. Ports of Entry »


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