Horse News

Horses are NOT Part of U.S. Food Chain

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New Mexicans lead the chorus of Americans opposed to horse slaughter
~ photo by Terry Fitch

~ photo by Terry Fitch

New Mexico has long been a place where horses run free in the high desert, work on ranches, demonstrate their athleticism in the show ring and serve as our trusted companions. These horses are a source of joy and inspiration and pride.

Now, we are dangerously close to seeing New Mexico become a place where horses come from all over the United States to be killed for food. That’s nothing to be proud of.

For their part, political and animal welfare leaders in New Mexico have been vocal against the possibility of horses being slaughtered in their state. Gov. Susana Martinez stated her opposition. The attorney general warned of the serious food safety concerns associated with consuming meat from American horses. Advocates with Animal Protection New Mexico have voiced their strong opposition to horse slaughter, and they have worked tirelessly to support the many humane alternatives that are available in New Mexico for horse owners who are no longer willing or able to care for their animals.

Yet, the only guarantee we have to prevent the horrors of horse slaughter from resuming on U.S. soil is for Congress to ban the practice or prohibit the use of federal funds for use by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to inspect facilities that slaughter horses.

We have strong New Mexican allies on that front, as well.

Sen. Martin Heinrich, and Reps. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Ben Ray Lujan have signed-on as co-sponsors of the Safeguard American Food Exports Act, federal legislation with strong bipartisan support that would prohibit the slaughter of American horses for human consumption and their export abroad for that purpose.

The American people’s abiding love for horses means that the business of inhumanely slaughtering them for their meat will always be greeted with disgust.

From the auction to the kill box, the slaughter pipeline is inherently inhumane. When plants previously operated in the U.S., horses suffered severe injuries or death during transport. Inside the slaughterhouse, horses often endured the torture of repeated attempts to render them unconscious.

Aside from the animal welfare concerns, horse slaughter in the U.S. is a non-starter.

Take the potentially toxic properties of the meat of American horses. Horses in the U.S. are neither raised nor generally regarded as food-producing animals. Throughout their lives, they consistently receive various drugs, such as Phenylbutazone (i.e. “bute”), which are banned by the Food and Drug Administration from use in food-producing animals because of known dangers to humans.

The Humane Society of the United States and Front Range Equine Rescue filed a legal petition with the New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board requesting that it adopt a rule that renders all horses that were formerly companion animals, wild horses or work and sport horses, and any other horses without a proven lifetime medical history, as “unqualified” for use as food for human consumption.

Furthermore, these facilities are far from desirable neighbors.

When the last three horse slaughter plants in the U.S. closed, the communities that had hosted them cheered. These plants had a history of polluting local water supplies, lowering property values and draining local economies.

They employed no more than a few dozen people in low-paying, highly dangerous jobs. The negative image created by these operations caused other businesses to look elsewhere for a place to set up shop.

The overwhelming majority of Americans oppose horse slaughter. New Mexicans are among those leading the chorus.

We must urge Congress to pass the SAFE Act and outlaw the practice before the predatory horse slaughter industry starts snatching up our former racehorses, children’s lesson horses and ranch horses from all across the country and trucking them into New Mexico to be killed.

18 replies »

  1. We cannot allow horse slaughter to start up again in the US and we must stop the transport of our horses out of the country for slaughter. Call your Representative and Senators today and ask them to co-sponsor the SAFE Act to BAN HORSE SLAUGHTER. To get contact information go to Congress.org and insert your zip code where indicated.

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    • What’s so urgent to get across to people is that in order to stop horse slaughter in NM, we have to stop it EVERYWHERE. We ALL have to call our legislators in every state, not just assume that New Mexicans are going to ‘take care of it’.

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  2. I was sent this just this morning ~~ahhh from the mouth of babs—http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRNNzMZgrzs–

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  3. And they never should be part of the food chain. There are so many negatives, starting with the horse itself not being a suitable candidate for large scale slaughter, not being a good choice for meat animal, there is more waste than meat on a horse, which leads to the environmental disasters. Then there’s the toxic drugs. Any one thing would make me not want to slaughter horses. I don’t understand why anyone still talks about it being a good idea.

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  4. All true. So frustrating that we are even fighting to stop this “no brainer” in the U.S. We had momentum going on co-sponsors for the SAFE Act. There has been a lull as of late. We need to keep the pressure on and make sure that the slaughter plant in New Mexico along with any others that try to open are stopped in their tracks. We cannot and will not permit this heinous practice in the U.S. ever again. End of story. Enough said.

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  5. So, how about we all gang up & knock some sense into our government officials, elected or otherwise, starting with making our dear President stop this right NOW. I know he’s actually only a puppet on strings, he has a voice (but can’t seem to act on it!), but why can’t he over-ride or veto any pro-slaughter bills, & deny horse slaughter in this country, once & for all?? Is his title just a title, or does it come with authority & power? Sorry, here I go again, writing (which is fine), emailing, calling, & signing petitions, may help, & I know we have to do something, but, those things alone are NOT enough! We need to be a physical force to stop this, words are insufficient. The only way to fix “stupid”, is to get rid of it, they’re obviously too stupid to learn by education!

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  6. I totally agree with Valerie, we all have been writing emailing calling I have every week for months I have gotten ONE good response from Ed Whitfield, I have facebooked all rep in my area also have been pushing in my home state, I know we have to do something BUT it is NOT enough, I also yesterday wrote to HSUS and I know they have helped a lot but I feel they could do a lot more, they have the resources and lawyers I would think to STOP this put ads on TV of horse slaughter like they did for Tenn and the AG-GAG bill, there is so much more to get the message out there more!!!

    I honestly can’t fathom WHY this is still as issue any more ESPECIALLY knowing the meat is tainted, what in H=LL are our politician’s thinking??? It is a no BRAINER one would think!!! SO WICKED FRUSTRATING…….

    And every day they keep hauling them away to torture, OH GOD I am MAD MAD MAD, I will keep doing what I have been just to try and help in any way we can…..

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    • Debbie, I agree about the HSUS doing more. I would think a few TV spots would enlighten Americans. If they were aware of the reality of horse slaughter there would be a public outcry. Getting to that point is the tough part!

      Valerie, I don’t see that there is any law for the President to veto. The pro-slaughter laws all come from states. He wants to change the language in the budget to end slaughter (prevent the states from slaughtering horses) but getting ANY budget passed would be a miracle.

      If a large organization like the HSUS would partner w/ celebs like Robert Redford, maybe Jennifer Lawrence (young actress that won Oscar), etc maybe the issue would get some press.

      Will attempt posting on my US Senators & my US Rep’s FB page.

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  7. We have a long history of trusting horses with our lives. Shouldn’t they be able to trust us with theirs?

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  8. Can we get a law passed now before Oklahoma gets their plant open and running then the matter will be a “non-matter”!! Please let’s get this SAFE act passed!!

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  9. Other States are still kinda sitting back and thinking well if its not here and they are having trouble starting it there, it may not happen. So we have to push as hard as we can as stated about. Many people figure if its not in their states then they don’t have to worry. So let me pass on some long time earned statistics. Killer buyers travel across the states, to attend auctions to bid on horses from all over, why? Because the cheaper they get the horses the better the profits even with the drive if you get the highest number of animals to kill, secondly they travel to states not having slaughter plants to steal animals, that way they increase the probability people wouldn’t figure it out til it was too late. With the plants in full swing many states not having plants experienced horse missing and suspiciously getting out. Well that’s because on the way through kill buyers make connections and “good ole boy” friends and with those contacts the states are tapped of “free/stolen” livestock so by the time you drive home from a 8 hr day, an hour commute and get to the ol farm to realize that the horses are missing they have been transported across state lines, sometimes the opposite direction of the plants as they are collecting more premium animals. So I want to enlighten those trusting folks who say ok it cant wont happen this statement will help them to understand. You are sitting at work doing your thang, your smiling cause at home your well-kept animals are stuffed and fat, right, so slaughter buyers only want the abused, sickly, old, injured, and starving animals-well that’s the injection of sedative the slaughter industry uses to catch you off-guard. They make money off the animals they do NOT have to feed and fatten, and they make pure profits off the ones that they just take. I lived near the Illinois plant and I want you to understand that when they are risking their necks to steal a horse from a property its not so they break in, risk felonies, trespass, felony theft, and such so they can haul off your half starved broken down aged mare for a free jail pass-no they want your fat, happy, and beautiful animals, those they cant sell with fetch a good meat price per pound-the larger yours horses are the more money they stand to make. So by the time the states that aren’t joining into the uproar realize its started and they go out to the barn and lift the halter, dig out a scoop of grain to only realize the horses aren’t there anymore and they have to call the cops to interrogate the barn cats that swear they saw it all, they’d ask the dog but farm dogs are bringing good money stolen too…..All the States near to pull the needle out of their arm, drink some coffee, and wake up to the industry that wants the horse’s they WANT to keep. Trust me, you read the stolen horses ads all over the country and start to total them up you will see it. We need a Nation-wide registry for the stolen horses to be registered in every states as they come up missing, they have some but they also post on facebook and other places not realizing that its something they have to do also in a registry to get the solid numbers. I said it before=I want the killer buyers to be the ones holding the empty halters and our American horses to be free to live again!

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    • Yes, Cynthia, a microchip for horses would help with stolen animals. You are right, too, that KBs want fat, healthy horses. 92% slaughtered are just that. The old, sick animals (8%) that should be euthanized are violently slaughtered for zoo meat – still a lucrative business for these scum. Those who are too cheap to do right by their elderly horses and sell at auctions are only marginally better than KBs, IMO.

      Those of us who do not live in New Mexico are still fighting to keep slaughter out of the U.S. In Oregon, “Devil” David Duquette desired to murder horses in his home town of Hermiston, but the mayor, city council, city manager and majority of residents soundly defeated his proposition – legally. It would never have passed Oregon’s environmental laws.

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  10. Like I said earlier, everyone has been passing the buck USDA, President, Gov.. N.M. BUT maybe NM will stop this slaughter house, when their Environmental Improvement Board votes on hopefully banning all horse meat as being altered and with NO history or records to go with the horses this would be a no brainer wouldn’t it??? I believe they are to review this petition on June 10th, so see THEY COULD STOP THIS at least in New Mexico, lets pray they vote on this in the only way they should and in quick and timely manner I hope>>>>> I would THINK this could stop it????

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