Ag Bill Passes Without Prohibition Against Federal Horse Meat Inspectors

Story by Steven Long ~ Publisher of Horse Back Magazine

Horse-Eaters Sink to New Lows

HOUSTON, (Horseback) – Horse slaughter enthusiasts got a rare victory, of sorts, when the United States Senate passed an agriculture appropriations bill that did not contain a provision banning horsemeat inspections at U.S. slaughter plants. HR 3233, will now move to conference committee where conferees will hammer out the final legislation that will be passed by both houses of Congress.

A provision banning the use of federal meat inspectors at horse slaughter facilities has been included in every ag money bill since 2007. That, along with laws outlawing slaughterhouses in Texas and Illinois, and a U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding those laws, spelled  doom for the American horse slaughter industry.

A house version of the bill still contains the provision banning use of federal tax dollars to pay meat inspectors in the facilities. No horse slaughter plants currently operate in the United States where horses are not raised for food and. The overwhelming majority of American horses are treated with phenylbutazone (Bute), banned by the FDA in all food animals.

"Slaughterhouse" Sue Wallis Hits a New Low

In a release issued late Tuesday, United Horseman, a small organization made up mostly of stockmen and horse breeders who sell their culls to abattoirs across the U.S. border, stated, “Our dedicated networks of horsemen and horsewomen are making a difference, KEEP IT UP!”

“Now is the time for the horse people of America to take back the reins of our industry,” it said.

he release, issued over the Internet, showed the head of a dead horse with the caption, “Animal rights activists saved me from slaughter.” There was no explanation from the group of what that meant, but in the paragraph below they wrote, “Radical animal rights anti-slaughter proponents have nothing to do with animal agriculture or animal husbandry…they should not be speaking for horses, or what is in the best interests of animals or people who make their living with them.”

The group is headed by Rep. Sue Wallis, (R) Wyoming, of rural Recluse. It is reported that although she claims to speak for the entire horse industry, Wallis does not own a horse.

The resumption of horse slaughter has strong support from powerful breed associations such as the American Quarter Horse Association, the Arabian Horse Association, and veterinary organizations. The influential American Horse Council, while claiming neutrality on the issue, has quietly supported resumption of slaughter.

Opponents of the practice offer graphic sill photos and videos literally by the thousands of unspeakable cruelty to horses in the slaughterhouses and on transport trucks. Two years ago an expose of practices in Mexican facilities showed horses being maimed by being stabbed in the neck with a sharp knife.

The horses, still living, are hoisted up by the hind legs and bled to death.  In a recent scandal in Presidio County, Texas, the carcasses of dead horses from a slaughter holding facility was dumped into a flash flood prone creek during hurricane season. The creek feeds into the heavily used Rio Grande River that separates the U.S. from Mexico where a slaughter house is located just across the border.

Many equine humanitarians also oppose use of the unwieldy captive bolt gun on prey animals such as the horse where misses are as frequent as hits. The captive bolt must strike the horse on the pole precisely on the top of the head.

25 comments on “Ag Bill Passes Without Prohibition Against Federal Horse Meat Inspectors

  1. In summary.. the people that are pro-slaughter are really only concerned about money and In a recent article they said exactly that: It read…

    “The effect of the standoff has been deeply felt in rural states like Nebraska. Horse breeders and the owners of livestock auctions say that eliminating slaughter basically removed the floor for horse prices, allowing the market to collapse and forcing many out of the business. One reason, they say, is that owners are now forced to pay hundreds of dollars to euthanize and dispose of unwanted horses when they used to receive about that much to sell them to slaughterhouses.”

    It also went on to say the following:

    “Now owners have to pay to get rid of horses. Debby Brehm, director of the Nebraska Quarter Horse Association, spent $200 last month to euthanize a sick horse and $150 more for it to be hauled to a rendering plant”.

    Who the hell though wants to eat a sick horse?? Again the US does not BREED horses for food .. if they want us to open US slaughter plants here in the US again, then we should be breeding horses for food.. not taking our athletes in racing that are full of drugs to slaughter for food consumption.. sorry but they need to euthanize them just as they stated they did. Horses in the US are not bred for human consumption and so we should not be slaughtering them as if they are a food source. It is a simple fact.

    Then countries that do eat horse meat are sick and tired of eating out sick, diseased and drug filled horses. Certainly the pro-slaughter people have to realize this as well.. they can’t be that dumb. I would love for them to deal with the real issues that we would face if slaughter was back in the US .. but they never ever answer those questions.

    Here is a link to the story quoted above http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/24/us/Horse-Slaughter-Stopped-in-United-States-Moves-Across-Borders.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

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    • Poor Ms Brehm, she had to pay to end lives equines SHE OWNED?

      What is with these scum????? But it appears they got buddies in Congress.

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  2. Why Wallis plan won’t work:

    Sue Wallis wants us to believe returning horse slaughter to this country will restore the horseback culture, but the lack of horse slaughter is not the only factor that has dropped horse prices. The GAO report says prices dropped from $110/head on the cheaper end to $140/head on the higher horses. Sue Wallis will tell you horse prices dropped 25%, but that is based on a $433 horse bring $323 without slaughter. Not enough difference to make or break the farm. (See page 15 of the report for these numbers.)

    Horse prices have dropped more than the $110 to $140 which the GAO report attributed to the lack of American slaughter, but part is due to the economy, and part is due to the fact that there are less riders in Gen X than there were in the Baby Boomers. We have had a perfect storm of events bring some horse prices to unsustainable levels.

    Sue will continue to have her followers believe slaughter will cure everything, and it is to the point that they won’t even look at other options. They wave the flag and yell property rights, as if owning property gives you the right to sell it for any purpose you want regardless of regulations to the contrary. Sue may actually get her way and have funding for USDA inspections returned, but that isn’t the end of the solution.

    Her next hurdle is to get a new state-of-the-art Temple Grandin style plant built. This is going to be a major investment so it will have to make money to pay itself off. She will have to show there is a market for the meat before the plant will be built. Since this is a high dollar plant they will have to have access to the human consumption market to get the prices they need. According to Sue’s documentation about half of Canada’s horse meat goes to the EU and our horses aren’t qualified for that market. That leaves the less regulated markets as the target.

    EU passed legislation to adopt a passport system for health and drug verification in 2008. It will be fully implemented by 2013 and at that point American horses won’t go to Canada. Since EU is a leader in food safety regulations I won’t be surprised if other countries emulate the regulations EU passed only three years ago. There will in all likelihood be countries that will buy American horse meat. It is just a matter of finding out how many.

    Sue tells us that drugs in horses won’t be a problem because, “Most processors are moving toward broad spectrum third party lab testing to absolutely verify food safety and purity in meat.” When asked where this information comes from she replied, “My statements about lab testing are derived from telephone conversations and personal visits with processors, laboratories, and scientists in regards to how best to address possible contamination.” We know beef plants are implementing real-time testing for pathogens in order to prevent contamination from e-coli. This is easier to do since the pathogen would be found on the surface of the meat. Comprehensive testing for drug residue would be much harder and is not done on every animal in real-time.

    Given this information it is difficult at best to put together a business plan for a profitable plant. Sue will have a hard time finding an investor who will risk his capital on this venture. She may ask her followers to invest some of their portfolio in this venture. They are believing what she has put forward so far, so they are the best target to believe this will work. She can probably convince them that they will become wealthy on two fronts, since the horse business will be saved and they will own part of a successful business. Many desperate horsemen may bet the farm on this venture and if it doesn’t all go as Sue plans, they may very well loose everything.

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  3. Anybody backing SS neeeds to loose everything. How can anyone can even think of slaughtering these sensitive and intelligent animals is beyond me. SS will want our cats and dogs sold for meat next. Go vegetarian to help animals and our planet.

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    • How can anyone think of slaughtering? Because they have ALWAYS been able to. The history of HCHS has changed drastically; drugs, less equines, hobby v. need of equines, reproduction technology (IVF, etc).

      Plus…I think many proHCHS are just plain cowards.

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  4. Having to pay a couple hundred dollars to have a horse euthanized is all part of the responsibility of owning a horse. If you can’t afford to take on the FULL responsibility when you buy/adopt a horse, don’t own one. That’s a ridiculous analogy…poor Ms. Brehm, out a couple hundred dollars. And to think that the price of horses has plummeted because of slaughterhouse closing is just as ridiculous. I adopted an appaloosa from a person that bought him from a breeder as a colt, pretty much to save his life. She had to delay the purchase due to health reasons so the breeder held on to him but told her that if she didn’t take him, he would send the colt to slaughter. He would breed every spring and the foals that were not sold were sent to slaughter so he could breed a new crop…..she would not give me the name of the breeder but I know he’s somewhere in PA. REGULATE THE BREEDERS!

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  5. The vice director at BLM Palomino Valley told me last Friday that BUTE is out of the horse within thirty days. When I mentioned tissue he told me that the BUTE went to the liver.

    Someone’s been drinking from the kool- aid stand again…

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    • Wouldn’t matter if Bute was out of the system next day. The purchaser gets to decide what they will accept. More countries are saying no bute ever in his life and be able to prove it.

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      • I agree with your post. Importing countries are saying NO to bute and other drugs, but I believe that when those involved in the process can’t even agree on the baseline science (including the AVMA, USDA) it becomes more than problematic. It becomes distractive and intentionally so, mostly to buy time to continue the current system. FDA says one thing, BLM and USDA either through ignorance, noninvolvement in the final product say another.

        By virtue of contradiction, there is a serious problem.

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  6. When SS was “crowing” about access to Congress and the bill via her press releases and posts on certain websites and that ridiculous letter…I knew this was coming. And remember, folks like Reid and Pelosi are just as responsible for this wording and/or lack thereof. Reid is a horse killin’, resource sucking troll; Pelosi is a sly politico that doesn’t expend political capital on small potato issues (HCHS, wild equines, etc).

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  7. Yes RT when I saw SS’s photo and caption I thought she had found a new low. As far as having to pay to have a horse euthanized, guess what, if I want to have my dog euthanized I have to pay for that too. And if I want them cremated I have to pay for that. It costs me as much to euthanize my dog as the average upkeep for one month. It costs about the same monthly upkeep to euthanize a horse only difference is its a larger animal and the upkeep is more expensive.

    I am wondering what community would have this horrid business in their back yard? Hope they don’t rely on ANY tourists dollars cuz they sure aren’t going to have any anymore. My guess, just like we are seeing in Canada, that the businesses will fail if they indeed even find a backer stupid enough to enter into a contract with SS and Doink.
    Does anyone know who is on the committee who is reconciling the two versions?

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  8. Stop supporting the Representatives or Senators that support slaughtering. That’s what they deserve. Let them know this loud and clear.

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  9. I can’t believe this…Let me say as a member of the Arabian Horse Association, thousands of the members were outraged that the Board of Directors passed a motion to support the slaughterhouses again. We tried to pass a resolution at the convention last year and it was withdrawn because of some technicality.
    I will be going to the convention again in Vancouver, BC in a week or so.. I guess I better get some of my literature together. Holy Cow, the Devil is doing his job lately. So let me get this straight..lets remove all the horses and burros off the very land that was supposed to protect them…put them in adoption centers with the unlikely possibility of getting adopted..send some of them off to private farms which again the tax payers are footing the bill..Then slaughter could be reintroduced and guess what…what will we do with all these horses? I will fly to Washington, DC to fight this..Those of us who are trying desperately to fight this are disorganized and some how we all need to come together..OMG, its going to be another fight to the end!!! Will ever end???

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  10. Once again I am appalled at the people in congress who are on these committees and they do not give a damn about the horses, all they seem to care about is money and of course, they get paid well by the people who want HS back in the USA. There doesn’t seem to be much difference between the pro people and the BLM. I am just disgusted.

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  11. It seems very logical, really……if slaughter is legal, would that not just promote the breeding of more “disposable” Horses?
    I read one proposal. All organizations that support slaughter must contribute a percentage of profits to humane euthanasia clinics or to a similar program
    I think the suggestion was 25%.

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  12. If our government is that wimpy, & that STUPID, to allow horse slaughter in this country, God help us all, especially our equine friends & companions!! If they allow this to happen, against the wishes & expertise of the vast majority of American horse lovers & horse owners, including wildlife & medical experts, then I WISH I could move the hell out of this assinine place! Not sure where, but, I WISH anyway! Only problem is, we can’t really afford to move. What more can we do to STOP this R.T. ????

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  13. In America, horses are our pets, friends, workers and loyal companions
    just as dogs and cats are. They are not bred for meat and it is insane to slaughter them for food. Would anyone do that with our dogs and cats? There are thousands of unwanted dogs and cats in this country, but we don’t send them to the slaughter house and then serve them up as dinner. No, that would be inhumane! But, we do it to horses and it’s OK??
    We try to solve the problem of over breeding with spaying and neutering, why don’t we do the same for our horses? Stop the over breeding!
    As for the price of horses dropping out because of the slaughter houses being shut down, too bad! You shouldn’t be in the horse business to make money off of their demise. If you own a horse and it is sick or has some other issue, then it is YOUR responsibility to have that animal taken care of, be it training or having it put down. Relying on the slaughter houses to give you a good price for your sick or injured animal is just insane!!! Once you purchase and animal, it is your responsibility for life! It is up to you to take care of it, give it food, love, training, health care and whatever else it needs. It is also up to you to find it a good home if you become unable to care for it.
    I strongly disagree with horse slaughter I think it is just as wrong as we as a whole country think it would be wrong to slaughter any of our other beloved PETS for food… Come on people, use your heads!
    I personally think horse auctions should also be banned! I think this is where the trouble starts. There has to be another way for people to find good loving homes for these beautiful animals than to subject them to the trauma of the auction house.
    I could go on all day about the abuse of these majestic animals but really, don’t you think they deserve better than the treatment they get at the slaughter houses and then to end up on someone’s damn dinner plate???????

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  14. How did this happen…distracted by all of the drama and what not? I had not heard anything about this until I read it here. That is so sad. I’m on so many pages and have not seen it posted anywhere until this morning.
    In regards to a horse’s end of life decisions, I am completely willing to pay any vet bills I accumulate and any other bills accrued over the years. I might not have the money on hand for an expensive emergency, but I will sure as hell use a credit card or write post dated checks to cover it….I am good on my word and every vet I have ever used has been dedicated to my pets care. Matter of fact, the 3 cats and 2 dogs that I have had euthanized were all done by the same vet that provided all of their care over the years. They also provided their cremated remains in a nice urn for my family, free of charge, probably d/t the money I had spent on their care in the years before. But I have not yet had to have a horse euthanized, and my vet for my cats and dogs doesn’t take care of large animals. So I have found another vet for my 2 horses, and though I don’t know what they do especially since horses are much larger and more expensive, I’m sure, but still, I would rather fork over the dough to pay for euthanasia and cremation than see them suffer the same fate as my horse that was stolen and slaughtered. To me, the price of euth is far less than what is owd to them after the many many years of friendship and loyalty. People need to think long and hard about that. This news disgusts me in so many ways and I hope there is something we can do to fix it.

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  15. We need to make the crazed woman in Oregon who killed that horse and then climbed into it and filmed it the new poster child for the pro-slaughter movement. I hate the idea of giving her anymore press time-but maybe it is necesary for the end result. Every senator and legislator should have her bloody picture sent to him daily and put next to his picture with a listing of everyone who is proslaughter or refusing to vote on this issue in our government.

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