Living in the west the last several years.. and the lack of slaughter available is a sad thing. People just let their horses loose in the desert. TO starve. All the pro wild horse people think that wild horses live this great life running free on the range but its very feast and famine... every wild horse I've seen in the area has had a poor condition score.
When slaughter first closed down I recall a man binding his mares legs and blindfolding her along with her freshly born foal.. and pushing them over the side of a bridge to die. Guess what. They didnt die instantly and laid there suffering in a half frozen rive for nearly a day before they were humanely killed. I also personally know of another instance where a man couldnt get rid of a mare for FREE that he didnt want anymore and tied it to a post in a paddock to starve it to death. By the time she was found she was too far gone and had to be euthanized. That is the kind of thing that happens without the option for slaughter.
While I personally would never send a horse of mine to slaughter. I know that slaughter has its place. In recent livestock auctions in town goats were going for 50.00 and horses for 25.00. Slaughter coming back WILL bring back up horses prices... even if your not happy at the way it is done... and it will give an option for those who need to get rid of their older or lame horses who are no longer useful for riding.