Horse News

Children at Risk from Slaughter of US Horses

Information Supplied by the Equine Welfare Alliance

Politicians Out to Poison School Children for Political Gain?

In a feverish attempt to profit from the bloody sale of butchered horse flesh Wyoming State Rep. "Slaughterhouse" Sue Wallis proposes to feed tainted horse meat to Wyoming school children and prisoners

Chicago (EWA) – As Senator Max Baucus and the horse slaughter lobby make a concentrated effort to persuade Congress to reverse the 2007 defunding of USDA horse slaughter inspections, evidence is growing that the main consumers of US horse meat are not likely to welcome the move.

An Irish Veterinary Journal white paper, released in December of 2010, has recently come to light. The paper gives an inside account of the EU (European Union) deliberations that are leading to tough new restrictions on drug residues in animals, including horses, intended for human consumption horses. The new EU regulations clearly define food animals and the risk to humans, particularly children, of ingesting horse meat containing banned substances.

Focusing on one such banned substance, phenylbutazone, the paper outlines the extreme dangers to children and warns veterinarians, “It is a statement of fact that if the European Commission on its audit of this country find evidence of bute use in animals not excluded from the food chain, then the product will immediately lose its license Europe-wide. If samples prove positive for phenylbutazone or its metabolite in equine meat of Irish origin, it will be traced back, and the prescribing veterinary practitioner will be in the firing line of prosecution.”

The paper states “The difficulty with phenylbutazone is that it, or its metabolite, can cause aplastic anemia in children. If a child were to consume an animal-based product containing even the minutest amount of bute or its metabolite then the child may develop aplastic anemia.”

Horses have always been shipped to Mexico and Canada for slaughter. The closing of the plants didn’t save U.S. horses from slaughter as the industry began shipping all horses across the borders. Moreover, phenylbutazone is one of the most popular and effective drugs used in equine practice in the U.S.

In a 2010 paper in the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology, doctors Marini, Dodman and Blondeau found that all 18 of the race horses that the study tracked to slaughter had been given phenylbutazone. The study further explains that the drug can take up in injured tissues and be released back into the blood stream later as the tissue heals, and that there is no acceptable washout period for the drug.

Ignoring food safety laws, outspoken slaughter proponent Sue Wallis has declared on several occasions that she wants to feed US horse meat to children and prisoners in Wyoming, as well as the starving children in Africa. Wallis went so far as to sponsor a Wyoming law, HB0122, which would provide that seized animals be slaughtered for use in such state institutions.

European Regulations [(EU Comm Reg No 504/2008] require all horses in Europe to have a passport [tracking system]. All passports issued to horses over six months of age will automatically be excluded from the food chain as will horses with duplicate passports. By 2013, the EU has announced that all third countries, including the US, will have to meet the same traceability standards.

Both Canada and Mexico are instituting tracking programs based on RFID tagging technology in order to meet the new requirements. However, after years of resistance from ranchers and horse owners, the U.S. scrapped a similar program called NAIS (National Animal Identification System) in 2010.

It is a well known fact that horses in the US are not raised or regulated as food animals. The US has no mechanism to remove animals from the food chain that have received substances banned in food animals or any way to trace horses back to the owner(s) or veterinarians that allowed the animal to enter the food chain.

Congress must start taking food safety seriously and realize the risk to the U.S. for knowingly allowing unsafe food into the foreign markets. Horse slaughter in this country is not used for food production but as a dumping ground for owners that no longer want to be held accountable for their animals and breeders that continually produce excess horses that far exceed the demand for horses. These animals should never enter the food chain.

Equine Welfare Alliance calls on Congress to pass the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011 [S 1176] to protect US horses and foreign consumers.

19 replies »

  1. RT, I heard that many workers at slaughterhouses were ex-convicts. Do you know if this is true? If this is true, this aspect may not be good for communities with children, either.


    • I can only speak to one of the three that used to be open in the U.S. and that would be the former Dallas Crown plant in Kaufman, Texas. It was staffed primarily by illegal immigrants and when Wallis talks about thousands of jobs only around 140 workers applied for unemployment, total, when the 3 plants shut down.

      If you want to know how a horse slaughter plant destroys a community listen to the ex-mayor of Kaufman, Paula Bacon, speak at the International Equine Conference…she will give you an ear full and I have personally seen the pain, devastation and human suffering, myself.


      • And that data, TX slaughterhouse employment, corresponds to employment at the last slaughterhouse, Cavel in Illinois, closed in 2007. Employed @ 50-60 butchers with high turn-over rate. Does not add up to 1,000’s of jobs! From International Fund for Horses: “Many horse slaughter plants employ illegal immigrants and ex-felons who have committed violent crimes…horse slaughter… deliberately recruits immigrants because they will accept low paying wages and can be easily manipulated for fear of losing their jobs. Their willingness to accept low wages HAS THE POTENTIAL TO DRIVE DOWN WAGES [high caps mine} in the communities that support them.”


      • They are the lowest of the low jobs. If you think Americans won’t pick our own lettuce, strawberries and grapes, they certainly won’t be the ones killing horses. These plants are a plight on society. They bring no jobs, no tax revenue and nothing redeeming to any community.


  2. Good Morning! Why oh why does it take so long for the truth to get-out-there? Answer: Self-Interest, Corruption, Greed, Power Brokers… Finally the word is out…and snowballing!


  3. Off track here for just a moment. I was at the grocery store yesterday and there was a sign I dictating that the main distribution center had sustained a major power outage. So now we may be low on certain things til they can be restocked.

    When I saw the note I immediately thought of SS– realizing that our store was doing it’s best not to contaminate the food chain. SS can’t say the same for her dealings.


  4. In Mexico they mix the horse-meat with beef. I wonder how much of that gets turned into burgers and sold to retail or catering outlets in the states. Where there is money to be made there are crooks. Not long ago there was a case in court here in the UK where a gang were taking condemned chicken from processing plants that was destined for land fill by the skip load and washing off the purple dye that had been poured over to mark it as condemned, they then repackaged it and sold it to supermarkets. The same could happen with horse meat.


  5. Sue Wallis may force the citizens of Wyoming to become non-meat eaters–not a bad thing but the ranchers sure will be mad at her. Seriously, aplastic anemia in children is extremely serious and feeding tainted meat to folks in prison is cruel. She, of course, did not mention eating it herself.


  6. I would be pulling my children out of school so fast, it would make their heads spin! How dare she even think of serving horse meat to children? What is she, stupid? For one thing, horse meat is harder to digest than beef, cow and chicken. For another, horses sent to slaughter have no kinds of records of what they’ve ingested in the way of poisons or the kind of fly sprays used on them that have gotten into their meat! This woman is INSANE! Please DO NOT trust your children to this woman! It’s one thing to eat meat like this yourself, and another to push this onto children who have no options. Way too much CANCER in the world people! I’ve been there, fought it and pray all the time for a cure so others will survive as I did. DO NOT TRUST THE GOVERNMENT TO MAKE THE BEST DECISIONS ON WHAT YOUR CHILD EATS! THEY HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE, BUT YOU DO!


    • Liferays, My thoughts too. I do not know if Wallis is “stupid,” but likely so. But she IS insane: a sociopath. And I do not use that term, label, lightly.


  7. As sad as it is maybe the fact that they are poisoning innocent children will help stop the slaughter of innocent horses. The thought of holding any one except the government accountable for people eating unsafe horse meat is ludicrous. I won’t stop giving my horses needed meds just because some idiot down the road might want to eat them, if anything I will double dose them especially if I lived in Miami Fl check out illegal slaughter houses…


  8. A horse slaughter plant does nothing but contaminate the environment. Kaufman, Texas was one example. In Illinois to my knowledge there were numerous violations lodged against Cavel, which they tried to evade. I would say they never paid the fines. Just surf the internet and I’m sure you will find all the documentation. I have a friend who has relatives in Italy who did at one time consume horse meat because they were told it was the delicacy of the world. They eventually discontinued eatting the meat because there were people who came down with all sorts of cancers. I guess feeding it to the prisoners is another way of getting rid of them. And again, who would pay for
    the prisoners who developed cancer? That’s right the American tax payer.
    How many recalls of thousands and thousands of beef, and chicken have
    surfaced. I’m telling you these people are demented! The European Union is
    always first to do advaced studies. If it meant someone was going to make a buck sellng a toxic substance, I’m sure someone in this country would do it. Let’s make that last buck no matter what! Then let that family try to prove the
    cause of the cancer…Our Legislators better wake up!



    Tell Senators: No Budget Increase for BLM Wild Horse Roundups
    The U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is seeking a budget increase of $12 million for the wild horse and burro program. If Congress grants this increase, the BLM will proceed with the roundup and removal of 7,600 wild horses from the range in FY2012. This action would be in addition to removing more than 10,000 horses and burros during FY 2011, a move that has boosted the captive population in tax-funded holding facilities to more than 44,000!
    We must stop these unnecessary and inhumane wild horse roundups and removals. This is also a key time to seek support for the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (S. 1176) to save tax dollars and stop the transport of over 100,000 horses (including mustangs) to Canada and Mexico for slaughter.


  10. As I was reading these terrific comments, I found myself thinking about the movie about Erin Brockovich and her battle with PG&E. That sent me to her website to find these comments about her philosophy:

    “Often times we don’t think about or worry about or understand what is happening to another until it happens to us. Deceits have no boundaries. Disease doesn’t recognize the color of our skin or our political parties affiliation. When it comes to cover-ups and destruction of our environment, we are all up for grabs.

    A lot of times I am motivated or become very inspired by a cliché. They make me think and more often than not can be true. For example, “an informed citizen is the only true repository of the American will” – Thomas Jefferson. Oh how right he was. I believe that our perception of things become our reality. It is how you choose to see yourself, your character, that can actually determine your fate.

    Most people don’t know that my favorite movie is not “Erin Brockovich” but “Pay It Forward”. All of us should pay it forward but not with the expectation of seeing a reward, that is not why we do it. Pay if forward because it is the right thing to do, reward or not.

    If you follow your heart, if you listen to your gut, and if you extend your hand to help another, not for any agenda, but for the sake of humanity, you are going to find the truth.”

    This entire issue has moved way beyond why many of us became invovled years ago – while the sheer inhumane treatment of these magical creatures and what they mean to us is still a primary issue, we have brought government coverups, illegal activities, and a gross misuse of taxpayer funds to people in this country! Even people who are not “into horses” have begun to question the necessity of the expense of warehousing horses that were free roaming to start with! And now the exposure to the other side of the planet that horsemeat being shipped from Mexico, Canada, (and formerly the US), does NOT come from “happy horses raised in pastures of belly high grass” as has been touted by suppliers in European countries such as Belgium and France!

    I am honored and humbled daily to be a part of such an amazing group of humans who can get up every day and go out in the field to document the horrors of the these “gathers” by the BLM, or make the phone calls to their paid representatives, write and fax/email/mail thousands of letters, show up for protests, educate non-horse people, and (in the immortal words of Eliot Ness in THE UNTOUCHABLES lol) who know to “never stop fighting till the fight is over!” And in this process we are finding, and making available to others, the truth. Thank you all!


  11. It should have been clear to even those who know little about the travesty & danger surrounding horse slaughter, that when Sue Wallis stated we can feed the horse meat to the children getting free & reduced lunches, the homeless & prison inmates, that she is in fact is a very sick minded individual and a class snob. Sue Wallis knows the meat is toxic, so therefore those she considers below her should be the ones who eat it, get sick, suffer and most likely die. After all, children who get free or reduced lunches are a burden to her…….so let’s feed them poison, the homeless………well we can feed them poison and soon they will disappear………prisoners……their just low lifes anyway, what the heck let’s poison them too. I ask you how is this woman a Senator? She should be in a straight jacket some where in a padded room. Certainly she should not be in a position to decide what’s in the best interest of our American heritage, the horse, never mind people who she feels are beneath her.


  12. I read the latest OpEd from the horse haters. Hold on to your stomach if you read it. The entire newsletter was full of lies. Why would anyone work so hard to be able to abuse a horse? I don’t get it Sue, not at all. If Sue ever did attempt to feed tainted meat to school children and prisoners–well get in a very long line of attorneys that will be filing suit to block this abomination. And Sue’s eyes are so glossed over with horse blood she can’t even see that no one would EVER allow her idea to be set into practice. What does it take for you to get a clue lady?


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