Meat From Horses Not Raised For Food Presents Public Health Hazard
(March 27, 2012)— Front Range Equine Rescue and The Humane Society of the United States
filed a legal petition with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to prevent former companion,
working, competition and wild horses from being used as human food. The petition alleges that
the drugs given to these horses throughout their lives are banned by FDA and/or potentially
dangerous to humans. Using these horses for human consumption creates an unacceptable and
illegal public health threat under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
Current FDA rules do not require sufficient testing or documentation to ensure that former
companion and other non-livestock horses slaughtered for human food do not contain or have not
been administered prohibited substances. The “killer-buyers” who acquire these horses typically
have no concern or knowledge about the horses’ prior history before shipping them off to
inhumane deaths in slaughter facilities. Unlike cattle, pigs, poultry, and other livestock, which
are raised on the farm, horses are swept up by a predatory industry from a variety of sources—
former race horses, carriage horses, family ponies, and others which are routinely given drugs
and medications not fit for human consumption.
The FDA does not adequately regulate this flow of potentially toxic meat, despite the human
health and animal welfare risks associated with it. The petition documents more than 110
examples of drugs and other substances which are or should be prohibited in food-producing
horses, describes the horrible way in which horses die at slaughterhouses, and outlines the
environmental devastation caused by horse slaughter plants in local communities.
- More than 100,000 American horses are sent to slaughter each year, mainly for consumption in Europe and Asia.
- The slaughter pipeline is horribly cruel, with many of the horses suffering immensely during transport and the misguided and often repeated attempts to render them unconscious. USDA documented the abuse and misery horses suffered at slaughterhouses in the U.S.
- Virtually all the horses used for meat spend most of their lives as work, competition or sport horses, companion animals, or wild horses.
- During their lives, horses who end up at slaughter are given a constant regimen of drugs and other substances which are either illegal for food animals, or are potentially dangerous to people who eat them.
- Under the current rules and regulations, there is no safeguard in place that can protect against the consumption of unsafe toxins in horse meat.
- Consumers do not know of the inherent dangers because there is no control over the drug residues.
“The slaughter of American horses for meat is an unnecessary and tragic end for these icons of
our nation’s history,” said Hilary Wood, president of FRER. “Horses are treated with many
different drugs throughout their lives because horse owners don’t expect they could end up as
meat. Horses often have many uses during their lives, from show rings to trail riding to therapy
programs. Their lives should not end with an arduous journey to a terrifying death to be turned
into an expensive and potentially toxic dinner.”
The petition requests that FDA certify all horses and horse meat from American horses as
“unqualified” for human consumption. This action is especially timely because in November
2011, Congress authorized the inspection of horses for slaughter in America, something that had
been prohibited since 2006. Businesses looking to start up American horse slaughterhouses have
been actively promoting horse meat, even though the animals were never intended to be food.
These businesses and their misguided investors are proceeding despite their awareness that
virtually every U.S. horse who ends up at slaughter has been exposed to a plethora of dangerous
drugs, many of which are specifically outlawed for animals intended for food.
- 14 Year Old Offers Solution in Beleaguered Horse Slaughter Debate (rtfitchauthor.com)
- Preventing Horse Slaughter – a Personal Evolution (rtfitchauthor.com)
- Breaking News: Summit of the Slaughter Horse Canceled (rtfitchauthor.com)
- Horse Slaughter President and Buddy Reporter Concoct Another Story of Misinformation and Untruths (rtfitchauthor.com)
- Congress Considering Ending Horse Slaughter Once And For All (rtfitchauthor.com)