Horse News

EWA/WHFF Houston Horse Meat Connection Gains Major Media Attention

Source: Equine Welfare Alliance, Wild Horse Freedom Federation and Houston’s KPRC News

Horse Advocacy Groups Break Story of Illegal Houston Horse Meat Connection

Houston NBC 2 News Team interviewing Wild Horse Freedom Federation's president at his ranch ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Houston NBC 2 News Team interviewing Wild Horse Freedom Federation’s president R.T. Fitch at his ranch ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

HOUSTON – More than one million pounds of fresh and frozen horse meat has moved through the Port of Houston since August 2012, according to records obtained by Local 2 Investigates.

Those shipping documents also show those horse parts were sold primarily to a Dutch company that touts horse meat as “one of the healthiest kinds of meat for human consumption,” on their website.

It is illegal in the state of Texas to ship, transfer, or sell horse meat for human consumption, although the 1949 law is broadly written and infrequently tested.

The “bill of lading” documents obtained by Local 2 list “International Unicorn Group” as the shipper of most of the horse meat. International Unicorn is based in Kaufman, Texas.

Kaufman was the site of a Horse Slaughter plant until it shutdown in 2007.

The President of International Unicorn Group, Inc., is listed as Jan P. Visser with the Texas secretary of state’s office.

Jan Visser is also noted as the founder of the Dutch company receiving most of the horse meat.

From the documents, the horse meat appears to originate in Mexico, stopover at the Port of Houston and then make its way to Europe and sometimes Russia.

Houston NBC 2 News team with R.T. Fitch and featured, rescued "Fitch" horses - photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Houston NBC 2 News team with R.T. Fitch and featured, rescued “Fitch” horses – photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

31 replies »

    • Technically, last time the cattlemen’s ban on horse slaughter law was enforced was by the courts.

      Since then (the 1949? law in Austin), all official cattlemen’s and Farm Bureau associations have supported HCHS.

      The meat world….it is a changin’ because as the USMEF and the scandal in the EU will lead us to believe….horsemeat IS beef.

      So much for ethics and labeling.


      • They seem to want to add cheaper horse meat with their beef products here, similar to what they have been doing in Europe for decades. The cattlemen seem to believe that Americans are so addicted to meat that they will not care if it was a horse, a cow, a pig, or a combination.


  1. Now this was news worth reading! Corrupt politicians seem to be coming out of the woodwork. So now, is admiring going to be done about it? Or will it be swept under the rug like so many other illegal actions by the political crooks? I’m glad to see that it was brought out into the public eye.


  2. Good Lord! Another scandal under the Obama’s administration. How many want to point fingers to Obama and his henchmen? I have a sneaking suspicion this who scandal may lead back to him…


    • This is a flagrant violation of a 1949 TEXAS law. The finger points to Gov. Rick Perry and his multinational corporation loving administration (legal or not, apparently). The federal government definitely makes mistakes with regard to our wild horses – but the fault here lies directly at the feet of the greedy Texas legislators/attorney general for not upholding Texas law. Same thing happened from the 1980’s 1990’s until 2007 when T. Boone Picken, et. al., insisted that they enforce their own laws and banish the illegal slaughterhouses.


    • Why on earth would we think it’s Obama’s fault. This have been going on ever since horse slaughter came to the United States. Corruption from start to finish. Good grief!


      • Because shooting burros in Texas and removing wild horses in the West are both occuring due a 1997 decision by the UN’s Convention for Biological Diversity’s creating of the IUNC or the International Union of Nature Conservancies better known as O the World Conservation Group. This group created an Alien Species Working Group with the goal of preventing, controlling, and eradicating non-native, invasive, feral, pest, alien species in order to prevent them from destroying native plants or using resources for native wildlife.

        Equus caballus is not on the first or second list of for US invasive species, but EPA’s designation of the horse as pest and its willingness to use “pesticides” on our wild horses did not come out of the blue. At the USDA’s National Agriculture Library resources Equus caballus is listed as feral by SCOPE—Scientific Committee for Problems of the Environment at Massey University and University of Wakatobi—in New Zealand of all places—but SCOPE is a UN Convention for Biological Diversity (which the US did not sign) creation.

        So our wild horses and burros are being genetically collapsed by this administration so that international businesses that just happen to support the President and his anti-wild horse allies in Congress, can drill for our oil, natural gas, precious metals, and rare Earth elements below the lands where our horses have roamed for millions of years. As far as this particular scheme to raise money is any different than any of the previous of schemes by whichever party was in power, the answer is that the cast of players is much bigger and their goal is not only to enrich themselves but to impoverish the rest of us in the process.

        Either you can see it or you can’t, but just because you can’t see it does not mean that it doesn’t exist. .


    • Based on numerous links to those in POTUS past and the future he hopes awaits him, I think your suspicion may soon quit sneaking up on you. I remember that during the Gulf disaster, POTUS just seemed annoyed to be there—all the oil soaled. dying wildlife—the dolphins—not one moment of affect that showed any real empathy, undersanding, or compassion. But the smoke is diminishing day by day. I just wish more people had paid more attention to what he had actually done that the the lyrical quality he managed to give the caucophony he has created.


  3. It’s so good to see more and more people investigating, bringing these criminals to light. Maybe now they will start prosecuting them. So many people don’t know what is happening to our horses. This needs to be shared & shared & ….



    A community in Nevada needs your help to fight off the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) plan to wipe out a herd of locally revered wild horses.

    “As an advocate for Nevada and its animals, domestic and wild, I encourage the BLM to exhaust all efforts to work with Carson City citizens dedicated to keeping our wild horses on their native land.” – Nevada State Senator Mark Manendo, February 26, 2013
    In the coming days, the BLM will round up this beautiful family, and in so doing, will finish off the herd for good despite the wishes of nearby residents who have co-existed with the horses for 40 years!

    Last week, AWHPC urged the agency to build a fence to keep the horses in question on their designated range — something the agency does routinely for livestock. AWHPC even offered to cover the costs if necessary
    But the BLM refuses to build a fence to keep these wild horses within their designated range. On Monday the agency announced that it will proceed with the immediate removal of the horses, rejecting offers from neighbors, local officials and wild horse advocacy groups to work on solutions that would keep the horses wild and free. Local residents proposed additional proactive steps to ensure public safety while keeping these horses free on the range. The BLM has refused all recommendations and instead plans to remove the horses this week!.

    Please use the form below to tell BLM managers in Washington that you stand with the community and want to see the horses remain on the range. It’s time the BLM take actions to keep mustangs free and wild and to stop the roundup and removal mentality that has landed 50,000 wild horses in government holding facilities.

    Subject: Stop removal of mustang herd near the Pine Nut HMA


    • Thanks for the update! BLM’s plan is even more reason to end the horse slaughter trade.

      Closing the borders will go a long way to protecting America’s remaining heritage wild horses, too.


    • Louie and All-

      Per Craig Downer:
      “Today we just lost the last of the Deer Run Road herd of wild horses just east of Carson City, all due to this continued negative conspiracy of the so called powers that be, the officials in power who have sold their souls for a position and to fit in with a corrupt establishment. We tried everything but they would not listen, would not exercise Section 6 of the Act to set up a win win benign cooperative agreement with all the great majority of wild horse loving people who live in and around there.”
      Craig Downer commented on Equine Advocacy Groups Plan Press Conference/Rally Opposite BLM Board Meeting.

      From Grandma:
      I personally visited these Deer Run Road wild horses … they were beautiful and peaceful and a wonderful example of our wild horses that are quickly disappearing … and now these apparently completely gone today and on their way to auction. These were near the historical Virginia City area – lots of tourists and small desert suburbs mixed with open space … and these would have originally been part of the Pine Nut HMA who were recently captured and PZPd … with the adjoining Buckskin range completely wiped out by BLM and where we witnessed one lone stallion left alone who had escaped that 2010 capture … and I named him “ISHI” because he was the last of his “tribe”. It brought tears to all of us who witnessed this and I will never forget it or forgive BLM.


  5. Thanks to the investigators who exposed this latest scandal in the horse slaughter trade.

    More evidence that people who got no problem butchering horses like they do, and contaminating the food supply, got no problem breaking other laws too.

    You can’t expect people with no social conscience to change.

    We need to look at Federal laws making it a felony to transport/sell food contaminate with drugs banned from the food supply. Everybody involved – up and down the line – is responsible.

    One idea.. the shipment is confiscated and the felon pays full costs, including funding a pool to care for victims of food borne illness.

    The Belgians know US horse meat is unsafe. The shippers get the bill of lading, so they know what they’re carrying. A cheap DNA test will soon be available for groceries and middlemen, so they’ll know.

    If horse slaughter traders want to turn grocery shelves and human beings into Superfund sites, they need to pay.


  6. Serenity, this has nothing to do with Obama. This is the corruption in the State of Texas, where there are a lot of corrupt politicians as we’re well aware after having lived through the devastation of (and still suffering from) the Bush admin years and those before him from Texas.


      • Yep – the Meat Mafia are everywhere using their $ to pay for political campaigns to elect politicians who are favorable to their agenda. Just look at the state of Oklahoma. There are greedy businessmen in every state who will slaughter anything that moves and serve it up on your plate, including horses. Politicians they can buy are their “liars4hire” to push this shisnick down the throats of us little people. Get healthy and Boycott Meat! Together that is the best way we can fight back (advocacy for horses is great, too – if enough care).


      • No need to clear this throat—to the extent that sustainable development (now known as sustainable consumption) is being to convince people that we need to give up quite a lot in order to be able to feed the predicted 9 billion mouths that are to arrive despite a downturn in global reproduction rates.


  7. I think the BLM has already moved in & taken those horses, Louie. Paid no attention to the people who lived in that community whatsoever. They seem to be pushing the “envelope” further all the time – before time runs out?? I hope & pray there are some wild horses & burros left by the time Salazar is finally gone.


  8. Thank you to the researchers and investigators and those who supported them while they worked.
    We have become the comeback fighters and we have fresh incentive from the bad guys.


  9. Just received my new book, “Plant Based Nutrition.” A beginner’s guide. Threw frozen “beef” meals out. Now gag at all meat. Onto vegetarian…vegan…a process. Hear me, “Meat Mafia,” Cattleman’s Association, et al?


    • Good for you Ronnie. Your health will improve even if you view yourself as healthy now. Will Tuttle’s “World Peace Diet” is a revelation. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are not getting enough protein from the multitude of beans, nuts & nut products, tofu, etc. That is fat free high quality protein with little waste.

      Get a George Foreman or other table top grill for the mock meats to crisp them up and go on-line for all the fabulous meatless recipes. It is an adventure and very creative to relearn how to cook. Be kind to yourself, too, if you relaspe. Meat is an addiction and it is a process to get clean – just like any other negative substance.


  10. RT, I sent you a private message on Facebook, but haven’t heard back from you yet, I know you’re busy, I am at a loss about what to do.
    I just heard from a good friend on the Navajo Reservation where I worked for the Indian Health Service for nearly 20 years. She is a Pharmacy Technician in Crownpoint, NM. In NM they do not let their horses run on the roads like they do in Arizona, they are fenced, and the gates are posted with a sign to please close them. Here is her comment to me after I posted a “sign” on Facebook that read, “I don’t eat my horses”.
    We just had a horse round up two weeks ago, later I found out that they were taken to Window Rock, AZ. They were sorted out, transported to somewhere in Texas and then sold to a company in Mexico, where they are slaughtered to make dog food. How disgusting and inhumane! This needs to STOP!
    I don’t know if any of her horses were rounded up as you can see from her message, but the tragedy is the horses are valuable, some are rodeo horses that are well trained, just turned out for the season, many may be one or two year old colts/yearlings not quite ready to be trained. I had heard of this practice a few months ago, but actually not quite believed it. Our rangers on the “Rez” here in AZ have told my husband & I if we see a young horse we like without a brand, if we can catch him we can keep him (we have not resorted to that). Though there are many close to starving animals on the reservation that have been tempting to try.
    Thanks for listening!


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