Horse News

Advocates Concerned by Shipment of Horse Meat Through U.S. Ports

Source: By of the New York Times

“…it would be possible for horse meat from the shipments going through Houston to end up in the United States”

the-latest-on-horse-meat_64611_600x450As concerns over horse meat infiltrating products labeled ground beef grows among American consumers, an advocacy group released shipping documents showing that horse meat does pass through at least one United States port on its way from slaughterhouses in Mexico to destinations in Europe.

The Equine Welfare Alliance unearthed bills of lading showing that since last August, more than 30 million pounds of fresh and frozen horse meat came into the Port of Houston on its way to distributors in Belgium, the Netherlands and Russia.

“The shipments come out of Tampico, the port closest to some Mexican slaughterhouse operations, and go through Houston, where they are broken up and sent out to various companies in Europe,” said John Holland, president of the alliance.

Shipments that pass through ports on their way to another country are typically under the jurisdiction of Customs and Border Protection and kept separate from other goods while waiting to be loaded onto ships.

The question is whether such transshipments, first reported by KPRC, the NBC affiliate in Houston, are legal under a Texas law banning the sale, transfer or shipment of horse meat for human consumption.

In 2008, Greg Abbott, then the state’s attorney general, determined that the Texas law, passed in 1949, applied even to transshipments of horse meat for human consumption. He ruled that the state law did not interfere with federal laws on interstate and foreign commerce.

A United States Supreme Court ruling later that year, however, suggested that federal law might trump state laws in such matters, said Wayne Pacelle, chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States. “I have some doubts about whether the Abbott decision would still be valid and whether a federal court would allow Texas to try and halt those shipments,” Mr. Pacelle said in an e-mail.

Nonetheless, Mr. Pacelle, Mr. Holland and others speculated that because ports are often porous places, it would be possible for horse meat from the shipments going through Houston to end up in the United States.

Ever since a recent scandal erupted in Europe in which horse meat was found in ground beef products, consumers in the United States have been looking more closely at the packages of the ground beef they buy and discovering the meat comes from Canada, Mexico and other places in Latin America where horses are slaughtered for human consumption…(continued)

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18 replies »

  1. It seems to me by allowing the horse meat to pass through Houston that Texas is, albeit vaguely, condoning the substance therefore becoming complicit of it’s sale and distribution. They wouldn’t knowingly allow cocaine to pass through the port so why should any other banned substance?

    Of course as soon as you close Houston to the slaughterhouse exporters we then have to move on around to the other ports in the Gulf. When there is big money involved they will find a way. It may be Mobile, or Tampa, or Miami…but they will find a way. We need to stop the product before it gets to the slaughterhouses by closing our borders to the horse slaughter industry. If we stop the live horses at the border then we essentially stop their supply line and the business dries up.

    Texas needs to step up to the plate. They need to begin stopping these shipments, confiscating the product then let the Fed’s sue them (if they ever will) and let the courts decide the matter.


    • Absolutely, Steve. We need to pass the Horse Slaughter Prevention Act currently stalled in our ineffectual congress so that federal law will supercede states like Oklahoma where their state legislation is so susceptible to being bought by BigAg pro-slaughter cattle interests to slaughter yet another animal for cheap meat.

      If people really want to be safe from the bait and switch of horse meat (or anything else) into what they assume is beef, then don’t buy it in the first place. There are so many meatless products on the market these days that the only thing you may miss is the blood and grease. In America eating vegan saves 31 animal ives per year (21 worldwide, but we are the world’s gluttons).


  2. In order to stop slaughter..we are going to need to offer a program that qualifies people to receive vouchers to buy hay in hard economic that they can keep their horses and the same for pets..a voucher program to euthanise old and sick..vets can sign an affirmation slip to qualify..How do we pay for it..return the wild horses in holding back to the land it frees up millions a year in roundup and holding costs and millions of tons of hay currently being used to feed them and puts it back into the supply chain lowering the cost to feed..any emergencies on HMAs can be addressed as what they are….a temporary crisis…and supply hay and water in the short term to get them thru until seasonal conditions improve


      • Also Steve current LTH facitities are in the very epicenter of the drought map, and the heart of livestock production..Salazar touted this program as moving the WH to the grasslands of the country where it would be more cost effective to house and feed is also taking that land out of production for raising food and livestock..why..because its a sweet deal to get paid whether they live or die..when they die..BLM sends them more…no doctoring, no special care or effort and who will know..hardly seems like an incentive program to care for have to put in a lot of time and effort into raising beef and your income fluctuates with the market weather sickness and weight gain..and then of course you can pick up your vacation money by shipping out a semiload to slaughter on the side…its noit going to lower your income…they claim they died, and BLM ships in another load to fill the space


    • Congress has not yet passed the farm bill. We need to call our representatives and let them know we need them to either stop subsidizing so many hay suppliers to produce corn or else subside hay growers to produce horse quality hay. This is the crux of the problem and some hay growers are letting their long time customers know that they are going to convert to corn. This could turn into a disaster for horse owners. By the time that a farmer does everything he has to do to grow the corn, the use of water and fuel, transport of corn, and processing—I don’tit is green enough to justify the imbalance in our agriculture market. But our POTUS is about as anti-horse or perhaps even more anti-horse and especially anti-horse people as we could have ever imagined.


  3. I posted this before..but a PDF was posted by the EU showing all the data on horsemeat shipments, origin and destination , tons of meat ect..It shows no shipmenst received from the US..obviouxly we are not slaughtering here…but the volume of horsemeat being shipped can only be supplied by the leading horse country in the world..the US…The EU is really avoiding this discussion in the media..however the whole of the EU is meeting to discuss the horsemeat issue and they need to address this ..we need to be informing the EU public thru FB..sharing our info and articles in their stop slaughter ..we need to work on several to solve our problems here and how to minimise the overseas market by decreasing demand…which is not really from horsemeat eaters..its from the big food corps who are substituting horsemeat for beef


    • In case you’d like to copy and send to your congressional folks here is what I sent…feel free to cut and paste…

      In order to stop the slaughter of American horses, which 80% of We the People oppose, we need to offer a program that qualifies people to receive vouchers to purchase hay in hard economic times so that they can keep their horses rather than sell to slaughter or abandon. Also a voucher program to offset the cost of euthanizing the old and sick..(vets can sign an affirmation slip to qualify)

      How do we pay for it? Return our wild horses in holding back to their home ranges and HMA’s deeded them by Congress in 1971. Exempt that land from the Multiple-Use policy of the FLPMA of 1976. This would free up millions of taxpayer dollars every year in roundup and holding costs and puts millions of tons of hay currently being used to feed them back into the supply chain lowering the cost to feed..any emergencies on HMAs can be addressed as what they are….a temporary crisis…and supply hay and water in the short term to get them through until seasonal conditions improve.

      (Do not listen to the BLM’s myth that they would over-populate and starve as science has debunked this theory quite conclusively)

      I await your response…


      • AMEN..good job Steve!..Identify the problem, identify the solutions and then identify and minimise any the shortest most consise and easiest to follow manner..thats why we call them Briefs in court..then at the bottom provide any links to data or cases that support your premise…when it looks simple..if you can say it in a looks doable and people don’t get crosseyed in the details…I always say if you can’t win your argument in a paragraph you don’t know your subject and you can’t win..Gerry Spence from WYO is one ofthe greatest most sucessful lawyers to ever walk the face of the earth…he is retired now but has written a wealth of books..that would benefit us family gave a collective groan when they saw “how to argue and win every time” in my library..LOL


      • Steve:

        And demand that public lands’ leases pay a 2013 fair use fee.

        Oh…and leases be reviewed and granted in a 2-3 year time frame (not the freaking 10, previously 5 years) and cannot be used for collateral in real estate transactions.


      • What a great idea, Steve. A simple solution, simply explained, simple to implement.

        it’s proof that violence is never the answer — and that evil is never necessary, despite what proponents of horse slaughter and wild horse and burro round-ups would have one believe.

        “In fact, if one person is unkind to an animal it is considered to be cruelty, but where a lot of people are unkind to animals, especially in the name of commerce, the cruelty is condoned and, once large sums of money are at stake, will be defended to the last by otherwise intelligent people.” — Ruth Harrison (1920-2000) British author of ANIMAL MACHINES, Quaker, conscientious objector during WWII


  4. Should have figured e this out a long time ago !!!! Had to know they were up to something huge and this is it….. I would just be horrified to know i have eaten a beloved horse , It is nauseating to even think it….. I want to know who is checking the US meat?????????? Should have known these Wiley bastards were up to something like this !!!!! The horses meaN NOTHING TO THEM, WELL THEY MEAN SOMETHING TO ME……….. And I want to get to the bottom of this OUTRAGE !!!!!!!


  5. I feel so betrayed by our government. I thought I was safe and cozy here in my home. That the very food chain we rely on is safe. Is it? Why can’t I get one of those do it yourself kits that tell you if the meat is horse or whatever? I want to know that what I purchased at the grocery store is what I meant to get not something else.

    I just wouldn’t eat horse. It’s not about the drugs. It’s about the friendships that I’ve made. When I met Point Given at Three Chimneys last spring he came over and sniffed my walker through the slots on his stall door. He never laid an ear back or tried to nip. He was super curious about it and me.

    I consider Mr. Given my friend if for no other reason than because he didn’t try to bite me. Horses at Old Friends like Marquetry just wanted to nuzzle me as much as I wanted to pet them.

    I don’t believe in eating your friends. Plain and simple.


  6. The issue of horse meat sold as beef has been getting alot of attention these days. I have found that all the talk shows and media failed to mention anything about the safety. I have sent emails and
    have made calls regarding the meat. I for one hopes this never happens.


  7. Glad we get our beef from Harold, down the road. There’s other articles in the attachement. With as much beef as the US produces, why in the world is meat imported from outside the US?????Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2013 12:28:35 +0000


    • Particularly when other countries allow much higher residues of drugs banned in food animals than the U. S. That sounded like an oxymoron—but I read an article about Brazillian beef being turned back.


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