FOIA Confirms Bouvry’s Plans to Re-Open “Death Row for Horses”

Story by Laura Allen of Animal Law Coalition

Canadian Horse Butchers Want to Kill Horses in the United States

In response to a Freedom of Information Act request submitted to the U.S. Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS), Animal Law Coalition has learned that Bouvry Exports, which has the largest horse slaughter operation in Canada, has obtained an application for FSIS inspections. Under the Federal Meat Inspection Act the inspections are required in the U.S. for horses that are to be slaughtered for human consumption. FSIS approval and agreement to provide inspectors would be an important step for Bouvry Exports in opening a U.S. facility to slaughter horses for human consumption.

Earlier this year Allen Warren, operator of Horse Harbor Foundation, an equine sanctuary in Washington state, indicated a source inside Bouvry Exports was reporting the Canadian company has plans to open a U.S. horse slaughter house at Florence Packing Co., Inc. just outside of Stanwood in Snohomish County, Washington. Florence Packing Co., Inc. previously slaughtered horses there until the early 1990s. It was known as “Death Row for Horses”. The Florence Packing slaughter operation as it was in the 1990s is pictured here.

The Florence Packing facility has continued to serve Bouvry Exports as a feedlot and collection point for horses doomed to slaughter at its Fort MacLeod, Alberta plant. “Florence Packing” is also listed as a Bouvry Exports brandname for its horse meat products.

Bouvry Exports was added to the November, 2011, USDA list of bonded meat processors in the US despite that currently the company has no slaughter facilities in this country.

All of this points to serious plans by Bouvry Exports to re-establish the Florence Packing facility as a horse slaughter house. Horse slaughter became legal again in the U.S. in November, 2011.  “The fact that Bouvry has an FSIS application in hand for Stanwood and can file it at any time means this threat is still hanging over our heads here in Washington State and we will continue our efforts to marshall public opinion against it to stop it in its tracks if and when the application is filed,”  Warren stated.

Snohomish County water quality officials are concerned as it is that horses are kept at the site for export for slaughter. An inspection was done last year because of concerns about pollutants detected downstream. The Stillaguamish River Divergence runs along the north side of the facility. It is a known Chinook salmon habitat with hatcheries located downstream. Also, the facility sits in a floodplain. Officials and residents will have much more to be concerned about if a horse slaughter facility opens: Go here to read about the economic and environmental devastation horse slaughter brought to communities when facilities operated in the U.S. prior to their closure in 2007. There was no benefit, only substantial cost including to the quality of life.

Washington animal welfare organizations representing thousands of state citizens have come together in an effort to prevent a horse slaughter facility from opening. Legislation is likely to be introduced soon at the county as well as state level.

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16 comments on “FOIA Confirms Bouvry’s Plans to Re-Open “Death Row for Horses”

  1. I wonder how USDA can entertain ANY HCHS plant petition for inspection when they just got through cutting their budget for American use food inspections?

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    • Yes Denise I find it completely irrational that they could spare any inspectors for food not consumed in America. This does indeed mean that there are less inspectors for food that is consumed here or they are hiring more people. This would mean they are cutting something else. What exactly is that “something”?

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  2. Tell the Canadians & the Mexicans to go to hell…get their horse meat outside the U.S.. I pray legislation does not let this happen. Horses everywhere deserve better…they don’t belong on anyones plate for eating. It breaks my heart to see & think daily about all the horses captured for months into years bound 4 slaughter.out west. The majority of humans are fortified with greed & they arent human. The word HUMAN comes from the word HUMANITY/HUMANE….which implies care,kindness,empathy 4 living things. These people are not human in my book!

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    • Well said, Sharon!! I agree with you. For those like myself, that believe in God, it’s a very good thing He’s a loving, forgiving God! If not, I’m sure He would have destroyed mankind long ago! I can’t even begin to imagine His sadness, disappointment & anger with us. Our Creator has given us so many, countless gifts & blessings, & this is how we thank Him?? By fighting & killing eachother, & by killing His precious gifts to us, especially, His horses! Sometimes I get so mad, sad, & angry that I’m at a loss for words, because there are no words to describe what I feel, see or hear. I don’t want to live in a sick, miserable, greedy, glutonous world, that allows such horror & abuse to happen. I know all of us want our horses & other animals left alone, wild ones left wild & free as they were intended, domestic ones free from the worry of being slaughtered, butchered alive, all to feed the EVIL that is within some inhuman beings that also live in this world with us. If we are the “chosen, the army, the 80+%”, then we must rise up, & stop these evil beings once & for all, we have to fight back, & I don’t mean just with words. If they want to play rough, then we play rougher! I do believe in my heart that we were all brought here, put together, to fight together to save these beautiful creatures we call, “the horse”. Kind of like if you were back in high school, or maybe collage, & you were suppose to dissect & kill some poorless, helpless little frogs, stuck in a jar with chloroform, only, instead, you set them all FREE, release them to their rightful freedom! Just saying, or, just thinking, why can’t we all sneak in to wherever horses are being held, & set them free?? Legal, no, but do we really care at this point? It would certainly get some attention!

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      • I suggest we all get familiar with the problems that are clearly apparent in the beef industry regarding the illegal use of prohibited drugs that we know are being used because Sue Wallis’s and Charlie Stenholm’s minions have insisted that it is so. In fact, Charlie Stenholm (sorry, I just can’t write the Honorable before his name) testified in the Texas Agriculture Senate Committee hearing on horse slaughter that the drug issue could be taken care of by waiting times and that there had never been a single incident when US horse meat was proven to have caused an illness to anyone. If this were true, the EU and the CFIA would not be banning US horse meat, and Charlie Stenholm surely must know better.

        What about the petitions filed by Front Range Equine Rescue and the Humane Association with the USDA, FDA? The petition filed with the USDA was quite thorough in discussing the drugs that are prohibited under the National Residue Program. This program began in 1968, and it is impossible to believe that a 22 year member of the House Agriculture Committee could be ignorant of this program and why it existed—especially since the law firm for whom he lobbies, Olsson, Frank, Weeda, PC, represents slaughter house owners charged with FSIS violations.

        After I found out about the National Residue Program, I began to ask around (my informal research) my area, and what I found out is that sometimes it is just not convenient for producers to wait for the full time for drugs in cows to meet the wait time for slaughter. And as we know, the whole idea of a residue is that the drug is not completely eliminated and remains in the body of the animal even after slaughter. What I learned when I looked up Ivermectin is that Ivermectin has an ion that bonds with an ion in the tissue of the meat and that is why the drug does not leave the body of the animal. In cows Ivermectin is poured over the outside of the animal. In horses, it is consumed as a paste. My vet pointed out that the amount of a drug given a horse could kill five cows, so when we consider that these drug residues are showing up in cows and we eat cows.

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  3. Send a message loud and clear to Canada…boycott their products! The American people are against horseslaughter, period! Why in the hell would we want “them” or “anyone” else to dis-respect the conerns of our citizens and/or the welfare of these magnificent creatures, by opening horseslaughter plants?! This is simply wrong, for many reasons and they know it!

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  4. THE PEOPLE IN WASHINGTON SHOULD BE CONCERNED. IN THE TOWN IN MISSOURI WHERE MY FAMILY LIVES THEY HAVE A SLAUGHTER FACILITY FOR PIGS. EACH DAY THEY ARE KILLING OVER 4,000. THE CREEK THAT RUNS CLOSE TO THE SLAUGHTER HOUSE IS FULL OF BLOOD, THE SMELL IS TERRIBLE AND CARRIES OVER A RADIUS OF 30 TO 40 MILES. DURING THE REALLY HOT SUMMER YOU DON’T EVEN WANT TO GO OUTSIDE. IT USE TO BE A QUITE LOVELY PLACE TO LIVE BUT NOW IT HAS BECOME ONE OF THE TOP DRUG ROUTES FROM THE BORDER TO CHICAGO. ALL THE LAW THEY HAVE THERE IS ONE HIGHWAY PATROL. AN ELEMENT HAS COME IN THAT IS VERY BAD. THE YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE ALL THE DOPE THEY WANT. IS THIS WHAT PEOPLE IN THE SLAUGHTER AREAS WANT FOR THEIR CHILDREN?

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  5. The Canadian and Mexican Butchers can go Hell along with the BLM Butchers……………………………………….. These people must have the minds the size of a pea……………………………What part of 80% of Americans do not want Horse Slaughter on American Soil(oi anywhere else for that matter) dont they understand ??????

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  6. I agree that some boycotting is called for – seems the answer to getting someones attention is to strike at their pocketbooks!

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  7. Dammit! I hope the Native Americans there are happy with the loss of salmon because pollutants will kill them. I smell the stench of Duquette in this. And another foreign company to blatantly ignore the laws and fines..kind of like there goes the neighborhood… i hope the horsemeat eaters all die from the meat. I curse them all.

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    • The Native people in Western Washington are very proactive on protecting the watersheds. There are some tribes that support slaughter but the tribe in that watershed (stillaguamish) are for protecting the water and fish. This is according to what I have read and what I have been told by people in the area. Also i have looked into the Snohomish County AG meetings and there has been no mention of a horse slaughter plant just a beef mobile operation since Jan 2012. This county has some very strict water quailty rules. I do think with the permits and requirements they can actually get approved. If they try it will take years and a lot of money.

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  8. Let’s see, we are currently in the worst drought we’ve had in the last 60 years. We’ve had wild fires throughout the West and incredibly powerful straight wind storms have struck states like Ohio and WV—53 of 55 counties in WV lost power and some counties did not get power for nine days when the temperature was close to 100.

    C.S. Lewis once wrote that God whispers to us in our pleasure but scream at us in our pain. And if we do not hear him, he screams a little louder.

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  9. The trouble with proving that drugs like bute cause certain diseases is that it can take years for the disease to show up in the person eating the horse meat. As far as I can find out the reason no drug company or researchers will bother to investigate bute is the cost of all of the research if you could dig up funding for it. The reason that bute is banned is because of having accidental proof of the damage and death it caused several people years ago. And the diseases bute causes is identical to cancer which millions of people world wide are diagnosed with. The same with aplastic anemia thousands are diagnosed with this also. I have wondered if bute or its metabolite could eventually be tested for in humans.

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