Equine Terrorist Way Off the Mark
HOUSTON, (Horseback) – The chief author of a landmark paper published in a prestigious medical journal has spoken out offering a definitive defense of the document. Dr. Ann Marini, MD, PhD, called a letter published by a pro horse slaughter group, United Horsemen, “nonsense.”
At issues is paper titled, “Association of Phenylbutazone (Bute) Usage with Horses Bought for Slaughter” and was published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology authored by Marini and Nicolas Dodman, a veterinary anesthesiologist at Tufts University, Nicolas Blondeau, The Institute of Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology (France) and Dr. Marini, of the faculty of the Washington D.C. based Department of Neurology, Uniformed University of the Health Sciences, operated by the U.S. Department of Defense.
The critics are all equine science instructors from the agriculture departments of three small colleges and universities. They are William Day, PhD of Morristown State College, Sheryl King PhD, PAS, of Southern Illinois State University, Don Henneke, PhD of Tarlton State University, and Pat Evans EdD of Scottsdale Community College.
The letter was distributed by a second term state representative from a rural village who claims to represent the entire horse industry. Rep. Sue Wallis (R) of Recluse, WY (pop 13), is the nation’s most outspoken proponent of reopening U.S. horse slaughter plants, shut down after Congress refused to fund federal meat inspectors in such facilities, and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear challenges to state laws in Texas and Illinois outlawing them.
“None of them have a medical background, and it seems clear they don’t understand drug depository of materials and excretion,” Dr. Marini said in an exclusive interview with Horseback Magazine. “There is a certain amount of every drug that is ingested that remains in the body.”
Marini cited long ago research that led to a total ban of the use of phenalbutazone (bute) in all food animals. The findings showed that “patients were taking phenalbutazone and developed agranulocysis and aplastic anemia and died,” Marini said. “This is the basis of why the FDA banned pnenalbutazone in all food animals including horses.”
“It is a carcinogen that causes cancer in lab animals and also causes a liver hypersensitivity syndrome that’s fatal,” she told Horseback. “Bute is shown to produce serum sickness like syndrome that results in fever, fatigue, malaise, and inflammation of the kidney, swollen glands, and an enlarged spleen. A person can end up on dialysis for the rest of their life.”
“Drug residues in horsemeat that is ingested may be enough for people to develop these illnesses,” Marini said.
The Washington physician also pointed to a recent article in an Irish journal showing a relationship to the development of aplastic anemia in children.
“This is an idiosyncratic disorder,” she said. “No one can predict who is going to develop the disease. The letter is really nonsense. That is the reason the FDA bans bute in all food producing animals including horses.”
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