Amid Sequester Scare and Global Horse Meat Scandal USDA May Approve Horse Slaughter Plant

By of the New York Times

Inept U.S. Government Decision Baffles Experts

Let the Cruelty CommenceThe United States Department of Agriculture is likely to approve a horse slaughtering plant in New Mexico in the next two months, which would allow equine meat suitable for human consumption to be produced in the United States for the first time since 2007.

The plant, in Roswell, N.M., is owned by Valley Meat Company, which sued the U.S.D.A. and its Food Safety and Inspection Service last fall over the lack of inspection services for horses going to slaughter. Horse meat cannot be processed for human consumption in the United States without inspection by the U.S.D.A., so horses destined for that purpose have been shipped to places like Mexico and Canada for slaughter.

Justin DeJong, a spokesman for the agriculture department, said that “several” companies had asked the agency to re-establish inspection of horses for slaughter. “These companies must still complete necessary technical requirements and the F.S.I.S. must complete its inspector training,” he wrote in an e-mail referring to the food inspection service.

He said the Obama administration was urging Congress to reinstate an effective ban on the production of horse meat for human consumption that lapsed in 2011.

The impending approval comes amid growing concern among American consumers that horse meat will somehow make its way into ground beef products in the United States as it has done in Europe. Major companies, including Tesco, Nestlé and Ikea, have had to pull food from shelves in 14 countries after tests showed that products labeled 100 percent beef actually contained small amounts of horse meat. Horse meat is not necessarily unsafe, and in some countries, it is popular. But some opponents of horse slaughtering say consumption of horse meat is ill-advised because of the use of various kinds of drugs in horses.

“We now have the very real prospect of a horse slaughtering plant operating in the U.S. for the first time in six years,” said Wayne Pacelle, chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States. The last plant that slaughtered horse meat for human consumption in the United States closed in 2007, after Congressional approval of an appropriations bill that included a rider forbidding the U.S.D.A. from financing the inspection of such meat. That rider was renewed in subsequent appropriations bills until 2011, when Congress quietly removed it from an omnibus spending act.

That opened the door for a renewal of the horse slaughter business, but only if the U.S.D.A. re-established inspections. The agency never moved to restart its equine inspection service…(CONTINUED)

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28 comments on “Amid Sequester Scare and Global Horse Meat Scandal USDA May Approve Horse Slaughter Plant

  1. ..OH.. NO .. Shirley stated the solution correctly. Horses are not for human consumption. May those who eat this “meat,” suffer the consequences!!!! Along with the “ugh,” politicians!!

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  2. From the 1980’s to 2007, when horse slaughter was operating in the U.S.- by foreign companies – it centered in Texas (illegally, against an unenforced 1949 Texan law prohibiting it), California, & Illinois. Those 3 states have now all successfully elimated horse slaughter legally. Florida and New Jersey also ban horse slaughter and transport for slaughter through their states. New Mexico needs to follow the lead of Gov. Martinez and immediately pass a law against this atrocity to keep their state safe.

    Oklahoma seems to be going in the opposite direction – the direction of destroying their communities from the nastiness of all this trade involves (pollution of the air, water, land, violent individuals imported to do this work, with the resultant increase of drugs, alcohol, domestic abuse, horse thievery, additional crime, murders & suicides). If this is enacted, OK communities that install horse slaughter plants will be bankrupt from additional costs for clean up and law enforcement. In this way tax payers will have to subsidize slaughterhouse profits (as always).

    Oregon and Washington, where I live, battle this spector community by community only to be sued by would be slaughterers who demand the right to force their agenda down all our throats (pun intended). So far, the good guys are winning. People in th NorthWest are too smart to be bullied this way.

    We, as a country, need to stand up to these pro-slaughterers and pass “The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act!” Also, as an individual, you can show your support for horses by stop eating beef. The Cattleman’s Association is a major driver proposing horse slaughter. Obviously it has been shown in Europe that they can easily add cheaper horse meat to beef products. They have been doing it there for decades. From what has been publically stated in letters to the editor of my local newspaper, the head of the Cattlemean’s Association here sees nothing wrong with eating horses and promoting that behavior.

    That the USDA doesn’t now have enough $, and will have fewer funds for meat inspection under sequestration, to add the extra burden and expense of inspecting horse slaughter plants for safety and food violations is just not reasonable. Their priority must be for existing food safety. If not, law suits await and it will be us, the tax payer, who will be liable. (Buyers of meat products and non-local produce beware).

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    • Cool thing is in the state of Texas, if someone steels your horse, (with a state trooper present) you can choose to string the SOB by his neck for thievin. Face it. we might as well boycott the meat industry, clan up. and Vegan up. =/ And i’d tell that cattleman a thing or two about his folly.. back in the day they never used trucks to wrangle their herds with. Nope.. it was a group of guys.. on horse back. And a good cow horse was a cowboys best friend. =/ Such are the ways of the old west disappearing.. and it’s disheartening. I’d like to see lotsa Karma from this.. so we can say “Told you so” so much it makes their ears fall shrivel..

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    • USDA is corrupt. They approve horrible pharmaceuticals a year causing deaths and heath problems to innocent people. Disapprove of any herbs that are wonderful for human and animals. It’s all about GREED and who benefits.

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      • Robyn. Pointe blanke the usda has chosen to remain stupid from the start. And i agree. The medical field is most lucrative because people are always sick. what better way then to keep people sick so they keep coming back, and not disapprove more they discredit it as witchcraft, placebos, or just plain poppycock. Especially for people who are not responding to quote unquote “Conventional” treatment. they push unnecessary surgery on the person instead of saying “hey i know this great Herbalist! Or, i can refer you to this great acupuncturist! Insurance companies are probably the highest paid in the medical field.. next to doctors, nurses and on down… The USDA approves crap like Viagra and says it’s for women and turns around and says “Oh! It’s male enhancement” don’t you think that was a big enough and red enough flag??

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  3. @NMtourism is the Twitter handle for New Mexico Tourism. Do they really want to swap Land of Enchantment for Land of Entrails? Will excellent restaurants welcome suspicions of horse meat in their kitchens? Doubt it. Tweeting R.T.’s article might put a stop to this before it begins. Worth a try.

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    • Great idea, Terri. However, unfortunately, some poeple will just not care. When there was a horse slaughterhouse proposed for Hermiston, OR last year – 23 miles from Pendleton, Oregon where there is a world class rodeo and horses are (supposed to be) revered – the Pendleton city council was asked, but refused, to support the Mayor, council, and city manager of Hermiston in opposing it. The then “Pendleton Round-Up” board of director’s president was even in favor of the slaughterhouse – knowing full well it would taint tourism of the rodeo he was supposed to promote. (By the way, this man is also in favor of an event the professional rodeo cowboys association, PRCA, are against call “horse tripping”). Call them heartless, brainless, or ball-less. Some people just won’t care – even those in influential positions that should care (especially if they can find a way to profit from the abuse).

      Like

    • There is no will, you’ve pretty much posted what is going to happen. Not only in New mexico but anywhere that they slap a slaughterhouse for horses.It is what it is. And it is as disturbing as a Restaurant right beside a taxidermy parlor. We’ll see what really happens though.. If people in Canada of all places can have their eyes opened to see this for what it really is, a lot can happen between now and then.. all we can really do now at this point is pray, and pray some more and ask god to turn hearts and open eyes.

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  4. I find it strange that our very backward, ignorant, & very stupid government is allowing some of these definite wastes of money to continue, or, even start up. First of all, cut your pay, cut your excess spending, cut out pointless, useless “programs”, such as wasting valuable money on continued round-ups/gathers, of our wild American horses & burros, & subsequent draining of money to care for them in short or long-term “holding” facilities, cut back all funding to continue the “BLM”, AND, maybe most importantly, do NOT fund federal USDA inspections for horse-slaughter facilities!!!! These all waste money, none of them make money, & the latter will most certainly destroy communities, near-by towns & cities, & decrease tourism in or near any of those places that have a horse slaughter facility! It is very misleading to the citizens, making them believe it will create “jobs” & help their economy. The only ones who will benefit will be the European markets/buyers/suppliers, & the big breeders looking for a way to make more money by getting rid of “their excess, unwanted, unuseful” horses”. It will not be the average little guy going through hard times, that can’t afford his/her horse(s), that will make money, only the already wealthy & greedy! HELLO! Why did we stop horse slaughter in this country in the first place!!!! Do you not see or hear what’s going on right now all over Europe, & the world!! You just can’t fix stupid, only, get the hell rid of it!!!! Use the darn money you saved on people & things that really need it, like the unemployed, uninsured, the homeless, veterans. Be a world-wide role model, NOT an example of what NOT to be!!

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    • Yeah they pretty much cut out wasteful spending to replace it with more wasteful spending. Gotta love this nation of ours..

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  5. ya for the USA hopping the extinction band wagon.. good thing texas has a brain of all states to have told Ken Salazar and Slaughterhouse Sue where to stick it. Hey! It could be some what good.. these big horse towns could vacate and come to texas where slaughter is essentially and will remain illegal among our equine counterparts, could bring alot more activity to parts like pearl and houston and here in fort worth! But then i’m only seein the blessing in a curse. lol. But seriously. Obama get your (pardon my language) fucking head out of your ass and do something to fix this. when you took this job you pretty much signed your four years and four more to work for us. Sorry but if you want a democracy go to England. I’m sure the queen will have no problem offing your head.

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  6. What else can one say…we cannot EVER let these Morans open a slaughterhouse in the United States. I love the Legislators we have…lets keep cutting the budgets for the seniors and less fortunate people. We can then allocate the money for the USDA. I still say we need a MASS demonstration in Washington, DC. I will keep calling and writing until I leave this Earth. I was appaulled today about the show dog that was poisoned. What a beautiful dog. I guess the trainer/handler had a tif with PETA calling the man inhumane. They then explained why. The poor dogs vocal chords where pierced to keep the dog from barking. In other words it was Debarked. They had a vet on showing how the procedure was done. I was shocked..I guess this should not surprise me when the greedy people treat our animals with such cruelty. Slaughterhouses…NEVER!!! If my state proposed one again, I would protest at the Capital buidling or the county..Why in the hell our we paying to have our horses slaughtered for all the foreign people overseas? This has got to stop somewhere..and it should begin now! We are becoming the laughing stock of the World because they feel that can run our country from the people and the
    animals that live here..

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  7. Gail, I agree with you, except that story about the “supposedly poisoned show dog”. That dog, though young, could have had cancer, or, it may have eaten something that caused internal bleeding, not necessarily only due to being poisoned. And, the stupid, suspicious owners/handlers, had the dog immediately cremated before performing a necropsy (autopsy), so, no one will ever know the truth. I used to work for a vet, & people would be amazed & appalled by some of the things dogs will eat. And, my vet refused to de-bark dogs, because of the risks to the animal & it’s blatant inhumane cruelty. The owners are looking for someone to blame, & PETA just happened to be a good “target”. Back to our horse issue, I’m with you on having a MASS demonstration, in Washington, DC, & elsewhere! We, the People, have to fight back, Protest loudly, &, stop this insanity before it starts back up! What don’t they remember about why they closed them in the fist place?? People just don’t get it. This is huge. This is not just about animal rights, this is now also about human rights, the right to having safe food, & the right to know what we’re buying & eating. Why aren’t they listening to how dangerous eating horses is? The facts are there, that should be enough, to even over-ride the greed, I can’t believe our stupid government is considering going along with this idea! Oh, I bet ole Sue W. & her cohorts are laughing theirs butts off, how can we just let them get away with this without a knock-out, drag-out fight!!!!

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  8. WHEN will WE THE PEOPLE ever get off our butts and take back OUR country? We only have ourselves to blame for this. We’ve become so complacent and afraid of our own government to the point that they now have US working for THEM. Only they get paid by us, and not vice versa! We have to come together as American Citizens, take back our government and our country, and get rid of EVERY politician out there. Start NEW and start FRESH, and start with a smaller body of governing officials who have limited terms, and put our CONSTITUTION back in action again. Our governing bodys have been using the constitution to wipe their asses with!

    WAKE UP….GET UP….AND GET BUSY AMERICANS!

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    • Get busy by making our congress pass THE AMERICAN HORSE SLAUGHTER PREVENTION ACT!!!!!!!! Do not let slime ball pro-slaughter lobbyists divide and conquer us. Whether you consider yourself a conservative, a progressive, or a moderate – we are all united against horse slaughter – as is 80% of the country. This bill should sail through congress, and it would if they were competent and responsive to the people rather than to greedy, immoral special interests. And NO, horse slaughter is NOT a job creator (those workers would be imported).

      Like

  9. The EU is going to ban the use of US horses for human consumption anyway. Just wish they would go head and do it and stop dragging their feed. Now that they see all the drugs we give our horses is not good for them to eat they can put a stop to US horses going to slaughter. So why is Obama and the USDA pushing to open a horse slaughter house in the US?

    Like

  10. Reblogged this on Serenity's Musings and commented:
    We do NOT eat horse meat nor do we want it. We eat beef, chicken, pork, etc. Have more slaughterhouses for them. We do NOT want slaughterhouses for our horses. How much longer will it be before our horses will be extinct from this? This all comes down to greed and money. From the 1980′s to 2007, when horse slaughter was operating in the U.S.- by foreign companies – it centered in Texas (illegally, against an unenforced 1949 Texan law prohibiting it), California, & Illinois. Those 3 states have now all successfully elimated horse slaughter legally. Florida and New Jersey also ban horse slaughter and transport for slaughter through their states. New Mexico needs to follow the lead of Gov. Martinez and immediately pass a law against this atrocity to keep their state safe.

    Oklahoma seems to be going in the opposite direction – the direction of destroying their communities from the nastiness of all this trade involves (pollution of the air, water, land, violent individuals imported to do this work, with the resultant increase of drugs, alcohol, domestic abuse, horse thievery, additional crime, murders & suicides). If this is enacted, OK communities that install horse slaughter plants will be bankrupt from additional costs for clean up and law enforcement. In this way tax payers will have to subsidize slaughterhouse profits (as always).

    Oregon and Washington battle this specter community by community only to be sued by would be slaughterers who demand the right to force their agenda down all our throats (pun intended). So far, the good guys are winning. People in the Northwest are too smart to be bullied this way.

    We, as a country, need to stand up to these pro-slaughterers and pass “The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act!” Also, as an individual, you can show your support for horses by stop eating beef. The Cattleman’s Association is a major driver proposing horse slaughter. Obviously it has been shown in Europe that they can easily add cheaper horse meat to beef products. They have been doing it there for decades. From what has been publicly stated in letters to the editor of my local newspaper, the head of the Cattlemen’s Association here sees nothing wrong with eating horses and promoting that behavior.

    That the USDA doesn’t now have enough $, and will have fewer funds for meat inspection under sequestration, to add the extra burden and expense of inspecting horse slaughter plants for safety and food violations is just not reasonable. Their priority must be for existing food safety. If not, law suits await and it will be us, the tax payer, who will be liable. (Buyers of meat products and non-local produce beware).

    Like

  11. …I find it a very sad day in this country when you have to debate if you will intentionally, and knowingly poison thousands of unknowing men, women, and children, of foreign countries! I am enraged over the fact that you would allow foreign investors and the 1% involved in this barbaric issue..to go ahead with the opening of these houses of horror. we do not want our tax dollars used to support the slaughter of America’s horses. we do not want you to give tax abatements to such an inhumane act. with more and more people in this country eating organic, going green, and fighting to have gmo’s removed from our food supply…why is this even an issue? oh..silly me..it is ONLY about greed and MONEY.. we as americans are truly sorry if we allow this to happen. this nation used to pride itself in setting an example for the rest of the world on humanity and compassion..we are doomed as a nation when terrorists, convicts, illegals, and pedophiles, get more bleeding heart compassion, than our elderly, poor, and our animals! GOD help us and our horses! … it has to make you realize….it is ONLY about the money! we need to contact foreign media outlets…and have them ask our government… YOU!!…why? the E U has banned horsemeat from the U.S.A.. I wonder what will happen when they finally put 2 & 2 together and realize that they have been eating our tainted horsemeat all along… and our politicians have been turning a knowing blind eye! GOD help our horses and us! I recently read an article with a quote from de los santos…he stated that he has already implemented his shipping of the meat to mexico! Does the european people know this? What do you think those people will say or do when they are told? What do you think will happen when someone over there puts 2 & 2 together and realizes that the politicians and branches of our governent have been turning an intentional blind eye to the killbuyers sending almost 200,000 of america’s horses through mexico & canada…..for the past 6 or 7 years!!!!!!!!!! Remember the mad cow issue? That is where you all will be heading for…if you allow this to happen! Sincerely….linda spinazzola

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