Equine Rescue

U.S. Covers Up Terrorism on the E.U.

Guest post by Vicky Johnson

Want to know how to poison a country?   Feed them U.S. horses!

Suzy and Echo…Lost!

Horses aren’t regulated food animals in the United States and so little testing is done for residue or adulteration that there can be absolutely no confidence level of ‘safe’ horsemeat from the U.S.

And to top that off, there is basically no traceability despite any claims you may have heard. In the U.S. a horse can be designated for “slaughter” at any time, by any owner, even if that owner has no previous knowledge of the horses medical history.


There is a form that has to be completed by an owner, called an EID or Equine Identification Document that identifies a horse for “slaughter”. The EID requires that the owner declare that the horse has not had any prohibited medications, or medications that have no withdrawal period, during its entire lifetime. The EID also requires the owner to declare that if the horse was given medications that do have a withdrawal period, that it was withheld, or not given to the horse for the last 180 days.

However, the EID allows the owner to make that declaration “to the best of my information or believe”, thereby rendering the entire document useless. Traders, dealers, and their agents designate a horse for ‘slaughter’ and make those declarations when they have owned that horse for 5 minutes.

Who in their right mind would ever allow such a system for human food traceability? If such a traceability system was permitted to exist, you would think it would be mandatory to test each and every horse for chemical residue or adulteration.  If the situation was reversed, I would expect the U.S. government to test each and every one.


Horses in the U.S. are gathered one by one by traders, dealers and their agents from auctions, sales and individuals. Horses aren’t ‘produced’ like cattle in the U.S., where they would have been bred, raised, maintained or regulated as food animals by owners that know and understand food animal production. A large percentage of everything U.S. horse owners use on their horses is labeled ‘not intended for use on food animals’. “Bute”, the U.S. horse aspirin, has no withdrawal period and can never be used in food animals. The majority of horse owners just call the vet and don’t even keep a record of medications. Rarely does a horse transfer in the U.S. with medical history. In developing a sampling plan, it is important to establish a ‘lot’ or ‘batch’ that are the ‘same’ so that a smaller sample can be taken instead of testing 100%. There is nothing the ‘same’ about U.S. horses except that they are horses. There can be no confidence level of obtaining safe U.S. horsemeat on a ‘sampling’. Each and every one should be tested for residues or adulteration. In taking just a sampling of unregulated animals entering a human food chain, the probability and risk of adulterated or residue contamination is very high.

Suzy and Echo

My two mares were stolen by deception from me on April 15th, 2012. Both have had “bute”, a chemical that has no withdrawal period. One was recently treated with penicillin and both were de-wormed with invermectin that would have required 180 day holding period for withdrawal..

Once I learned they were missing, I called the Meeker County Sherriff in Minnesota, which is the county they were supposed to be in, to file a report. After a few days, I was informed that I had to file a report here in McHenry County, Illinois, where they were taken from. I filed a report and was informed it could take a week to get the report. I called to get the report and was told I had to write a FOIA and that could take another week. A week later, I received the report and it was marked civil and closed.

Why is the law selectively enforced? Who is the responsible authority? Does anyone care that horse owners are being deceived by traders that take their beloved pets and kill them? The ‘authorities’ don’t have any responsibility to prosecute. It is not ok to lie and take something that you otherwise would not have gotten if the truth were known. You can’t pick just the part of the sentence you like and ignore the rest.

I have been informed that my horses were sold to Keith Tongen, a known ‘kill’ buyer or someone that buys horses for slaughter. Does anyone think that my horses are still there after a month of trying to get help through our law enforcement? Not likely, but I am praying they are and I’m holding on to every shred of a possibility that they are still living. Probability is far greater that they have been slaughtered, consumed and are in a compost pile already. They were not safe to eat. Is anyone going to be able to trace where they were sold? Not likely.

Where are horse owners suppose to report horse theft to prevent their toxic horses from becoming someone’s dinner?

I am devastated that I can’t find my horses and those that eat them surely should have some concerns too. The U.S. doesn’t care. If there had been an actual investigation when I first discovered they were stolen, I may have been able to bring them home.

Does anyone care enough to expose the truth?

The U.S. is allowing a system whereby unregulated animals enter a human food chain with virtually no traceability and a high probability of adulteration or substance residues.

That could be termed ‘Terrorism”.

22 replies »

  1. It’s all about the $$$. The Canadian Gov’t despite their knowledge of the facts continues to only test aprx. 2% of Horses Slaughtered..The CFIA stated to Me via E-mail that exported meat is re-tested in the Countries that import from Canada..Testing the meat itself will always result in a “safe” product..because accurate testing for bute can only be done by testing the Kidney Tissue of every Horse slaughtered…By the way Canada has just announced it will now allow “downer” animals slaughtered on farm under private vet. supervision to be accepted for processing in the slaughter plants and will be sold to consumer markets with no labeling to alert consumers that the product is from a downer DOA animal. Nice Huh? 2011 Audit http://ec.europa.eu/food/fvo/act_getPDF.cfm?PDF_ID=9456

    With regard to horse meat, the national requirements implemented for the slaughter of domestic

    horses or imported horses kept under an approved horse feed lot programme, give guarantees

    which are at least equivalent to those provided for equine identification (Commission Regulation

    (EC) No 504/2008) and treatment records (Article 10 of Council Directive 96/23/EC). The

    reliability of information in these documents can be and has been verified by means of onfarm/

    feed lot controls. In contrast, for those horses imported from the United States of America

    for direct slaughter, the equine identification documents received were not reliable, with

    verification only being possible by means of residue testing.

    The report makes a number of recommendations to the Canadian competent authorities, aimed at

    rectifying the shortcomings identified and enhancing the implementing and control measures in



  2. I felt so heartsick upon seeing in R.T.’s earlier blog that two horses, Suzy and Echo, were “stolen” that I couldn’t bring myself to open and read the article, I’m ashamed to admit.

    Now that I’ve read about the deceptive trading of your horses (in this blog), I’m feeling just awful for you and them. Aside from the fact that I’m hoping like crazy that Suzy and Echo are still alive and well, the only thing I can say is that, if it’s any consolation, a friend of mine found her beloved mare 15 months after she was stolen. My friend never gave up praying, and continued to believe with all her heart that Candy was still alive. And so it proved.

    I trust you won’t let the fire that burns within you over this criminal act — this horrible injustice — ever die out, Vicky. You have great ability to do a lot of good for many horses and their humans, and I hope to God you never give up fighting on behalf of your horses and all horses.

    Just know that you have lots of prayers, love, and support surrounding you and yours.


  3. The USDA doesn’t consider this a problem yet. The US is not producing horse meat at this time. Since we aren’t producing horse meat of course there is no testing of horse meat for drug residue.

    For horses to be exported to slaughter, Canada and Mexico only require that the US apply a tamper proof ID to each horse and tie that to the paperwork provided with the horse. EU would expect USDA to vouch for the accuracy of the paperwork, but the USDA has refused to do that because they can’t. EU has documented the fact that papers on US horses have no verification as a problem, but has not taken action to stop the pipeline of questionable horses.

    I would strongly suggest that if horse meat were to be processed in the US, the USDA should only accept horses from a qualified USDA Process Verified program. That would require anyone who wants to produce horse meat to raise the horses under an ISO 9000 level, third party audited system to verify any claims as to history and drug residue. Since the USDA has this system in place to allow claims to be made as to the quality of an ag product, is should absolutely be required for horse meat. There is no way the USDA can document a horses history without this system.

    Meat species are controlled much more easily, since there are lists of drugs that the vet cannot sell to the producer of those animals.


  4. I am here to Restore to Freedom Our Wild Mustangs, and to stop Needless inhumane Horse Slaughter, I do not worry about tainted horse meat I will never eat my Allies and Icons…………….. nor will I allow them to be Slaughtered, in the first place , it is wrong they are not a food staple and will never be………….. I am also here to stop all inhumane treatment of all horses…………… and to insure a better life for them all…..


  5. This just goes to show that you that anyone in the business of sending and slaughtering horses from the United States simply do not care about rules and regulations of the EU. They simply have no morals or ethics. Falsifying documents that say that horses have not been given medications when they have no idea of the animals history just is wrong.


  6. Thank you for your comments and information. I will be researching and filing a complaint with the E.U. soon. Right now, I cry and I write. I don’t know what else I can do. Help expose this for what it is. I just want my horses back.


  7. My rescue just went to a local low level auction where kill buyers frequent last weekend. I outbid the buyers to bring home an 8 year old paint mare with one eye swollen completely shut and horribly infected. The eyeball was completely blue and she’s totally blind in it. She was brought there by a local Amish trader. After doing some research from her coggins test, I called the person on the coggins test and here’s the horses story, classic example of how horses end up in the slaughter pipeline:
    The owner had rescued this mare as a yearling from a PMU farm in North Dakota, they loved her dearly and spent much time turning her into a wonderful member of their family. Two years ago the owners husband unexpectedly died, leaving her with two teenage daughters. They lost their house and almost everything else. Their trusted farrier told her he would take her and promised he would find her a great home. In desperation, she believe him. This happened on 5/2/2012. I rescued this horse on 5/19/2012. I asked her what happened to her eye and she said her eyes were both fine. This poor woman could not stop crying. I felt horribly for her.
    When my vet examined the horse, she determined that she could NOT have done that kind of damage by just hitting it herself, she had been hit, and hit HARD. I found out the Amish trader who brought her in is WELL known for severely beating his horses. in only 2 weeks, this horse went from her owner, to her farrier, to the Amish trader, had her eye bashed in, and run thru the auction to enter the slaughter pipeline. I ALMOST didn’t go that night, Thank GOD I did……


    • OMG, this just shows once again that the horse slaughter industry doesn’t just exploit and abuse horses; their people in many cases are lied to, taken advantage of, all in the name of greed. Just reading this makes me physically sick, I can only imagine the heartbreak this poor woman felt. To have someone you know and trust betray you and your beloved horse as this farrier did simply must be more than one can bear. I am so glad this horse escaped the pipeline of slaughter and is now in loving care. I have heard before the Amish can be extremely brutal to animals, for all their devout lifestyle.


    • Yes, Thank GOD you did, donkeytails. That beautiful baby (yes, eight-year-olds are still babies!) went from a bad beginning to a wonderful family to a two horrible weeks and now, blessedly, to a happy final home on earth, where she will be well cared for and dearly loved.

      A friend of mine near Fargo rescued a yearling from a North Dakota PMU farm, and I thought of this beautiful horse, Emerald, when I read your story about your rescued mare.

      When my friend decided it would be best for Em to live with someone who could spend more time with her, she found, through her ad, a fine, mature man who wanted to surprise his girlfriend (who rode when she was a youngster and had been talking about having her own horse) for her birthday. As Em’s godmother (LOL), I had qualms about the whole thing, but shortly thereafter my fears were put to rest. My friend and I have been communicating with Emerald’s very responsible and loving new guardian for a few years now, and I visited all of them two summers ago. Emerald has a companion horse and a goat friend, is boarded in a clean, safe family-run barn, is healthy and happy, gets lots of attention, and enjoys trail rides.

      Thank for you inspiring us all, donkeytails, and giving us a reason to believe that some good, some how, some way, will come from what dear Suzy and Echo and Vicky have endured. All wrongs must be rectified, according to the law of Love. From sorrow can emerge strength and compassion and unexpected blessings. I hope that doesn’t sound like hollow words…. they are meant to be filled with light and hope.


  8. Vicky I hope and pray that by some miracle Suzy and Echo are returned to you. As stated before, the horse slaughter industry is cruel, inhumane and predatory not just on horses, but those of us who love them.


    • I can’t even decribe how I feel about the possibilty of my horses being on someones plate. My Echo, I cradled in my arms her first few days, she almost didn’t make it. My vet had to tube her and we fed her with a turkey baster her first four nights and five days until she could stand on her own. We picked her up to get her to stand and watched her struggle with every once of energy she could muster, to stand and couldn’t. We cryed when her mother, started to accept her as she got stronger and stood over her and showered her with milk. We cried on her fifth day when she could actually stand on her own. She thought she was “our’ baby and for her first five days she was. We would look up from their stall in those first few days and my Pastor would be standing there too. We were exhausted and worried and no one spoke very much. Echo was in a very grave condition but with alot of prayers, and help from friends and Echo’s own determination, she survived. Before she was two years old, she rammed a post in the front of her chest and hit so hard, she damaged the muscle band across her shoulder and developed ‘sweeney’. I will never forget the look in her eyes when had to go look for her as she was always first to meet and greet me. She was devastated. It hurt so bad. I made a huge mistake in believing that these people would care and provide for them as they had told me they would. I can’t believe I made such a huge mistake. Please help me find my girls.


  9. This just hurts so much. I really don’t know what to say other than my heart aches for you Vicky & for your lost babies. This world is getting to be such a beat down but we must persevere for the horses & all animals sake. A win is important but, at this point, it is just individual wins that are possible. Each animal we save, defend, force change for is a win. For Suzy & Echo the win would be their return to your loving arms, if this doesn’t happen then we must continue to fight hard to show them their deaths were not in vain. Yours & their story speaks loudly & clearly as to how important it is to cut off any avenues available for kill buyers to get their hands on horses. My prayers are with you & them.


  10. I’m so sorry for your loss and I hope somehow they are returned. What a nightmare and I truly feel bad for you. This is why we must continue to fight against the evil kill buyers and stop the slaughter of our horses.


  11. Isnt it a shame that some have no purpose in life other then , It is a very sad state of affairs , all they can do is prey upon the innocent to get blood money…… What miserable people they must truly be………….. They need to turn their miserable lives around , we all are here for such a short time, why not make the very best of life , and start realizing there is more to it then to murder innocent horses !!!!! They take away the beauty that was intended for all of us……. There are so many pleasures a horse has to offer, he was not put here to be murdered , he has a purpose many of them…………….Kill buyers have no purpose …………..Whomever knows what or where Vickys beloved horses are should MAN Up ……..Either return them to her or help her find them !!!!!! Somebody knows , and should come forward…………………….


  12. It’s been said to me lately that God hardened some men’s hearts to where there is no redemption for them…I’m not judging anyone, but let’s hope, pray, that they hardened their own hearts, placed a veil over their own eyes to where they can not see that the people and animals, and relationships with others, even strangers, come way before their god that they are serving: Mammon, i.e. money, one of the lower god’s serving the god of the earth. – And for so little money too… then again, there is not ever enough money, by design.
    I feel these guys must have been raised in the “be a man” jonra, (is that spelled right?) filling themselves, or being filled with the be tough, and real men – fill in the blank – junk,
    How can a man who would take a horse that they know is very much loved and loving and do that to the horse and to its owner? No amount of money can justify cruelty. Pride does not cover up being a viscious bully beating up on little girls. There’s really no excuse for being so empty inside to be able to do that, unless God did it to them to punish them, like he did Pharoh… And in the end, what did Pharoh end up with? So will be the fate of the kill buyer, and his house.
    Well, if they think they can really feel, really know the kind of love that’s available, and the joy of knowing that state of being, they’re sadley mistaken, and, whatever they think it is that’s fulfilling their emotional and spiritual lives, they really have no clue how empty their hearts, and their lives are.
    I feel these guys need to be stopped, but, I feel like they’re lost souls, knowing no good thing, building nothing in this world that will go on to the next, where they just may find themselves living for all eternity with all of those they hurt, and with all truth known.
    Oh, and then their hearts may be reawakened.
    Let’s hope they wake up before it’s too late, in this life.
    In the mean time, what can i do to help hunt down Vicky’s friends, Suzy and Echo, and make certain that it wasn’t worth it to those who did this to them… Ideas?
    Hope nobody got offended with my getting a little heavy there… But, that’s how I see it.


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