NASHVILLE, Tenn.- After a trailer carrying dozens of horses collapsed on the interstate, many residents were outraged to find out that the horses were headed for a slaughter house.
The crash happened Tuesday, just after 12:45 p.m. at the split from I-24, near mile marker 7. Traffic was backed up for hours while crews worked to clear the scene.
The trailer from Three Angels Farms was carrying 37 horses, headed to a town in Texas. Thirty-six of the horses inside had to be moved to another trailer after the crash while one had to be euthanized when it couldn't stand up.
Investigators said the trailer seems to have buckled on its own. Leann McCollum from the US Humane Society believes the accident happened because of greed.
"They are cramming as many horses as they can onto unsafe trailers, in order to squeeze as much profit as they can from every trip to the slaughterhouse. And by doing that they are putting horses in danger, they are putting motorists in danger, and they are putting rescue workers in danger," said McCollum.
McCollum believes those horses were headed to the Mexico border to die. From their own investigation: the US Humane Society estimates every year more than a hundred thousand suffer the same fate. It can be a profitable business: each horse can be sold for thousands of dollars, just to become someone's dinner.
"They're going to Belgium, France, Japan, sometimes Italy and they are actually eaten as a high-priced delicacy," McCollum explained.
It's believed this happens every day in Tennessee and it's all legal.
The Humane Society is working to change that, they're behind a bill that would stop the transport of horses for slaughter, and keep people from buying and selling horses for slaughter as well.
"Americans do not want to see horses slaughtered, poll after poll has shown that 85 percent of Americans disagree with the slaughter of horses for human consumption," she said.