Horse News

No Haven for Horse Meat

Source: Los Angeles Times ~ Editorial

Congress should reinstate the ban on funding horse meat inspections

No to Horse MeatThere is no market these days for horse meat in this country. The last horse slaughterhouses in the U.S. stopped production in 2007, the result of laws in Illinois and Texas banning horse slaughter or the sale of horse meat for human consumption. That same year, a congressional appropriations bill that included a rider banning the funding of U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection of horse meat went into effect. And without inspections, U.S. plants can’t sell meat anywhere in the world. But after years of renewing the ban, Congress let it lapse in late 2011. Now the Department of Agriculture is under pressure from a New Mexico meat-processing company to resume horse meat inspections.

Congress should reinstate the ban on funding such inspections, for several reasons.

In this country, horses are not raised as food animals, with the sort of controls and restrictions in place for cattle, poultry and swine destined for our tables. Currently, horses that are bought here to be sold to processing plants in Mexico and Canada are acquired from random sources, aggregated at feedlots or ranches, and then shipped to slaughter. They have not been tracked from birth, as cattle and pigs are.

In addition, the horses have usually been treated over their lifetimes with a vast array of drugs, the most common of which is the pain reliever phenylbutazone, a substance the U.S. Food and Drug Administration stipulates can never be administered to animals processed for food.

Furthermore, for horse meat plants to resume operating, the Department of Agriculture would have to train and deploy inspectors at a time when its meat inspection budget is being cut by the sequestration.

And there is another reason. For centuries, horses have been our companions in life and in sport, and most Americans find the notion of killing horses to eat them repugnant. Horse meat isn’t even used in dog food any longer because dog owners won’t buy it. California not only bans horse slaughter for human consumption and the serving of horse meat in restaurants, but prohibits the export of horses to be slaughtered for food…(CONTINUED)

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12 replies »

  1. thanks for putting this up RT so that more people will see it. Please go to the site and comment away. Already good comments there.


  2. Thanks for getting the info out RT. Here in NM we’ve started a petition to get Gov. Martinez to sign an Executive Order Banning Horse Slaughter. Please check it out, sign and share.
    We are also asking people to call Senate Appropriations Chairman Barbara Mukulski 202-224-4654 to “REQUEST LANGUAGE BE RESTORED TO DEFUND USDA INSPECTIONS OF HORSEMEAT IN FY 20113


  3. Another well spoken advocate against the slaughter of the amazing equine. Please go to the article and lodge your voice too. Thank you R.T.!


  4. Finally…a newspaper that got more than 10% factually correct about the horror of HCHS, food safety and actually had the “huevos” to print it as an editorial no less.


  5. Thanks to the L.A. Times, the first national news that did their homework. It gave most of the pertinent argument against the insane idea of horse slaughter which is opposed by 80+ percent of the country.


  6. Another great article! Thanks RT for making it available ….knowledge is the key to understanding and hopefully commonsense will prevail, after all is said and done. We, the American people and our beautiful gentle giants deserve nothing less. They were born free and they belong free!


  7. You would think it would be a no-brainer, with all the negative aspects of horse slaughter and the reality that most Americans oppose it being restored. Unfortunately, the decisions are not always decided by the public, but by special interest groups. This is wrong and proves change must be made to ensure fairness and responsibility, by elected officials.


  8. People have questioned why I lobby against horses going into the food chain that are from the USA, when we are here in the UK. So many of these poor horses end up over here in Europe as do thousands of UK’s horses, ponies and mules and donkeys – and as most know suddenly their flesh has been found in meats here in the UK. For me whatever one decides to put into their mouths is up to them, what concerns me most is how it is raised, transported and killed. But for our horses, everywhere, it seems to be the ultimate betrayal that this horrific ending is being allowed to happen to them. The companion, children’s pet, working and race horse, guards horses & the war horse have serviced us since the beginning of time and now they end up on someone’s plate ?! If we cannot curve people’s compassion for the horse just because what they have meant to us over the years then I hope that the health issue will be the source to bring about change but all I can say is what a pity that their value has such little meaning …… traces of dog and rat have also been found in meat here at one of the horse slaughter houses that was shut down and investigated ! Something the press really don’t want to talk about because that goes just a bit too far for them ! Meat eaters – DO YOU REALLY KNOW WHAT IS GOING IN YOUR MOUTHS ?! Happy Eating ! For the sake of the animals, and my health I am glad I don’t eat any kind of animal products !


  9. What really gets me is that horse meat is toxic and many agree but then we ship it to a foreign country where the people don’t know where it came from or have the opportunity to turn it down as they do not get the information of the meat. They all still think that horses are treated to great lives and are pristine clean animals that have a very loving and peaceful death. But the reality is very different. And the US is wrong in allowing the toxic meat to be shipped. What is the matter with Congress? Have they not read the articles we have all sent? It is just crazy that food safety is ignored. Sad!


  10. Excellent comments all. What more can be said..we must hold our Legislator’s feet to the fire. They
    are there to represent us NOT THE FILTHY PEOPLE give them monies once they are elected. I feel
    sorry for our friends overseas, but do we really know it hasn’t happened here? I have not consumed meat for years due to the inhumane treatment of the poor animals and the possibilty of contamination. Check the news out for the last year and see how many recalls there have been. Very sad, just who can the American people trust? It’s all about the money not about the safety of the people or the animals. Congress needs to step up to the plate and do immediately!


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