Horse News

Horse Slaughtering for Food Set to Resume With USDA OK

Source: By Amanda J. Crawford & Alan Bjerga as published in Bloomberg

“The administration has requested Congress to reinstate the ban on horse slaughter,”

Eye to the Soul by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom FederationA New Mexico company is slated to be the first in the U.S. to slaughter horses for human consumption since 2007 after federal authorities agreed to issue a permit required for its operation.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is close to approving two additional horse-slaughter plants, said it was required by law to issue the permit to Valley Meat Co. in Roswell once the company had met the requirements. The last U.S. horse-meat plant closed six years ago after Congress banned funding for inspections for such facilities. That ban lapsed in 2011 and measures to renew it are before lawmakers.

“The administration has requested Congress to reinstate the ban on horse slaughter,” USDA press secretary Courtney Rowe said today in an e-mail. “Until Congress acts, the department must continue to comply with current law.”

Valley Meat, which previously processed cattle at its facility about 8 miles from downtown Roswell, was one of several applicants asking the USDA to provide inspectors. The USDA said it expects to issue permits for facilities in Gallatin, Missouri, and Sigourney, Iowa, as soon as July 1.

The USDA told Valley Meat it will be at least three weeks before they can provide inspectors, A. Blair Dunn, an attorney representing the company, said in an interview. Valley Meat sued the agency last year for delays in granting inspections.

“They really don’t want this plant to open and they are actually lobbying for the funding to stop from Congress in the future,” Dunn said in an interview. “They may not follow through.”

Horse slaughter has been an emotional issue among animal-welfare advocates in the U.S., where eating of horse meat is rare and surveys show most Americans oppose the practice.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it is “dismayed” by the USDA decision. “Horse slaughter is inherently cruel,” the organization said in a statement.

“Moving ahead with a government program to fund horse slaughter inspections is a cruel, reckless and fiscally irresponsible move,” said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA government relations, in an e-mail…(CONTINUED)

Please click (HERE) to read the story in it’s entirety and to comment at Bloomberg

35 replies »

    • Adulterated meat. No clean. Bad. Yes. And you would think that they will have a problem having it in their possession. This Roswell killer needs permits for drainage and he has lots of violations in his history there. Maybe the town will end this for us and not give him the permits. That would be sweet.

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      • They’ll be paid off to issue the permits – New Mexico is the most unethical, irresponsible, corrupt third-world “state” in this nation (at least I think its still part of the U.S.) – the state “environmental” agency “settled” De Los Santos’ $86,000 fine for ONLY $5k that’s why he had money left over to get the plant ready for inspection – its the most crooked, backward hellhole in the U.S. – don’t expect anyone associated in the NM government to do the “right thing” on any issue – it just won’t happen – its always about the money in this state – its “Little” Mexico here, not New Mexico

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      • And to think I live in this so called “Land of Enchantment” and what its not doing for our wild horses in this state. It makes me sick! I have seen these wild horses and they just do not deserve this. Roswell, N.M. should not be one bit proud of this guy opening this blood plant! He is corrupt and ruthless! I have called and emailed several letters off to Senator Tom Udall and others to not let this happen here. What more can be done ? Maybe burn or bulldoze this dam place over is the only alternative that can be left. Maybe the town of Roswell needs to get behind this guy and not let him open his blood bath business.

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      • The only thing that will get Roswell’s attention is the “Tourism” angle – their sole source of money comes from UFO Tourism – people just won’t travel to that desert wasteland to check out the UFO site if they know about the horse slaughter house – hopefully Roswell will care about that if nothing else – but they’re just like the rest of the state – pass the buck & stick their heads in the sand – I’m so ready to get the hell out of here – I’m hoping the eco-lawsuits from HSUS & Front Range will stop him if Congress won’t

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  1. I am sorry but I don’t understand how one week the country is NOT funding USDA horse inspections and the next week, they say they will!! Why would they bother to say “yes” they will be allowed to slaughter horses then in a few weeks ( hopefully) congress approves the budget that will DEFUND it, and “close” the plant which won’t have opened?? What a waste of tax payer money! I am so incredibly frustrated and it just plain saddens me….

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  2. Oh my god Dunn said they would sell it here??? WHAT the HELL is going on??? I don’t get any of it?? We have USDA not wanting it but said yes to it, we have altered meat but they can still open in NM we have Dunn saying it’s going to Europe to eat do they not have a ban on American horse meat I am so friggin confused??? HELP, I think I am going to throw up, seriously… Can someone explain t oall of us little people what is really going on???

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    • I read Equine Advocates page and it does explain it but I still feel like Debbie — confused and sick to my stomach!! I still don’t get why the USDA couldn’t put on hold the “approval” until the budget got finalized? Just doesn’t make sense to me.

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    • Oh heavens no wonder no one can get anywhere. Horse meat is tested as goat meat? Just how in blazes will they test for Bute etc? Horses are fed antibiotics which animals being raised for human consumption can’t be given. Say I raise a cow, fed her penicillin and then slaughtered her. You came over and ingested that meat only you are allergic to penicillin–that could have fatal consequences.

      I think I understand a tiny bit of what’s going on. USDA doesn’t want to be sued. If they had decided any other way Valley Meats would sue based on grounds that USDA has just dragged there heels. It has more to do with legal ramblings than anything.

      So now others have to pay for filing lawsuits to stop this action.

      It’s all red tape and really stinky cow manure. It makes little to no business sense until one tops to consider next year. So horse slaughter goes off the table for a year. Perhaps next year will see a return. After all 3 Senators pulled a backroom door deal.

      In the end ALL of us get stuck with the bill. From the filings that will occur for the next round of lawsuits to the inspectors being trained whether they go to work or not. Then we the people get screwed again when the slaughter houses do open cause now we have to pay for the inspections.

      Take a guess who comes out sitting pretty? it isn’t us.

      The USDA is screwing around with food safety. I really feel violated. Personally I depend on them to do their freaking job and ensure the safety of the food chain. Not these cat and mouse bs games.

      I said it last Jan and I’ll start saying it again. I’m still looking for a way to test my own food. So I know it’s safe to consume. I flipping don’t trust some government agency who likes to play such deadly games. They need to go play with themselves ON THEIR TIME!

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      • I didn’t mean to imply the test was evaluated as “goat meat” … But rather the paper work that is filed to do the testing. In any case it predicts a cluster of future errors and mishaps. Yet one more species in the mix of meat. :/

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  3. I’m calling BS on this – I don’t see how they can defy federal law no matter what kind of lawsuit. I don’t know why nobody can shut down this little sh*t-pot outfit with their two-bit attorney. Now there’s a rant! lol

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  4. There are 2 lawsuits standing in the wings…It will be some time before the first horse is killed if ever. Hopefully the court cases will stretch out long enough for the 2014 Ag bill to be signed and slaughtering horses prohibited once again.

    We still need the S.A.F.E. Act to be passed!

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    • Steve I hope your right….This is heartbreaking!!! I just don’t get the legal games being played back and forth with the decisions of USDA.

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    • Has an injunction been filed? I believe Front Range Equine Rescue and the Humane Society are suing Valley Meat for its long standing violation of the Federal Clean Water Act. Also, NM does not (knowingly) allow tainted food. However, horses will be slaughtered before either of these protections can be enacted because both will lack evidence to prosecute until after the holocaust resumes.

      Filing to prevent extreme gut-wrenching cruelty may be the best way to stop any of these places from opening. Where is the Occupy “Horse Freedom” movement? Legislators clearly are not responding fast enough to the 80% of us who do not want this to happen. Vast numbers will have to publically demonstrate to get their attention, IMHO.

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    • Actually, it’s the Budget that needs to be passed. It was the House and Senate Appropriations Committees that passed the defunding amendments. They were stripped from the Farm Bill before it ever even got to the floor.

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  5. “The group says the USDA’s approval Friday pending inspections means that the agency could spend millions of taxpayer dollars to start such reviews of horse slaughter plants, only to have Congress terminate the process in coming months.

    “The USDA’s decision to start up domestic horse slaughter, while at the same time asking Congress to defund it, is bizarre and unwarranted,” Jonathan Lovvorn, the Humane Society’s senior vice president, said in a statement.”

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-horse-slaughter-new-mexico-20130628,0,4857557.story

    So unless there’s some underhanded dealings going on in Congress (which would not be a surprise), this makes no sense at all. There’s so much in question associated with it such as pollution, adulterated product, checkered backgrounds, it really does make one wonder who is pushing for this. What a step backwards.

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  6. I read an article from D. Duquette that he and Sue Wallis along with the other pro-slaughter advocates are going to make this a life long fight. I am posting this because I am praying someone will read it, and do what is needed. I hope you take me seriously. It is imperative for the wild horses and burros. I am posting this to every group that I belong to because there is a solution; and it is one that will work if we want it to. Here is my remark on another group site, and I hope you will contact the appropriate people, and I pray that the advocates will take this seriously. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this group. With that said, the correlation between the scientific study of the wild horse and the actual protection of the wild horse in the Untied States is the point. We do not need to wait until the wild horses becomes extinct and pay some scientist to reconstruct the wild horse from a peach tree dish. It becomes apparent that more attention needs to be paid to using these facts (historical scientific research) to apply to the methods of saving the wild horses and burros. Actually, I am requesting everyone who does not have wild horses in their states to request ( via email or phone call, and both) that wild horses be removed from the holding facilities and relocated in states who do not have any wild horse population. In my state alone, there is vast amounts of forest and grazing, and plenty of water from streams and rivers. The method of trying to keep the wild horse alive is tandem to the actual science; and those advocates and rescue groups who actually have been saving the history of the wild horses, along with actually saving these ancient creature, is my suggestion: let the advocates and the rescue groups in each state with no wild horses (including the states which already have wild horses) take over the management and care (holistic care) and have the money that BLM uses in abusive practices to manage to extinction. Your study relies on the proof of the wild horse existence in the U.S. We already know that; what we need to do is apply the information that we have, and any new information that is coming in as it is found, and put these wild horses in a program that is NOT ran by the BLM or the Forest Service so that we do not have to watch them die out in a zoo; that is the ONLY reason why I joined this group. To use the information in order to save the wild horses and burros. If that is NOT the reason why this group was formed, I see no reason to be here except to gather information and use it to the benefit of changing the way wild horses and burros are managed and remove the BLM and Forest Service control over the wild horses and burros and put the control into the hands of people who could do the job without wasteful spending and with better ability to care for these horses. I hope people will contact their state reps and I am praying that the advocates and the rescue operations will come to realize that they really can do this operation. I really would love to see wild horses here in my state; and the population and the abuse would stop – if these horses were moved from the holding pens and put back on public lands and reserves. Thank you.

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  7. 1. We need to call Congress and ask them to work diligently to pass a Farm Bill and get the slaughter ban in place.
    2. We need to verify and check anything that the two other prospective plants are preparing to do immediately.
    3. We need to keep the public aware of this situation and comment everywhere possible to encourage the people who want this banned to keep with it, to NOT believe this is the End, it is NOT the end.
    4. We need to keep educating people and reminding the people supporting the Safe Act to stay the course.
    5. We also need to check into the comments on this being inspected as goat meat-this actually should be a relevant issue that they do NOT have appropriate procedures for horses set. Goats and horses are different animals and they are handled differently, there are also the drugs in horses issues that cannot be controlled, inspected, or regulated by the goat standards. Goats are smaller bodied animals changing the issues with them are completely different. At this point we don’t need a one size fits all standard-we demand that this be horse specific. WE cannot afford to let anything fall through the cracks.
    6. Please encourage people to Contact any relevant parties who can help to stop this from moving forward.
    7. Keep in mind, this is NOT over! WE will STOP slaughtering America’s horses.
    8. Please remind people to keep signing the change org petition to overturn the legalization of the slaughter of horses for human consumption (its listed under animals).
    9. Please look up sue wallis facebook and take a look at her latest release on her view on horse slaughter. People we need to keep apprised of what the uninformed are being fed about this controversial subject.
    10. Remind everyone including our Senate and House we appreciate their efforts and need to Stop this. Please keep reminding them BANNNG this industry promotes horse welfare, and it helps to make sure that horses in loving homes remain there and are NOT stolen, just today the numbers of stolen horses reported have skyrocketed. We need to keep reminding them that this is a serious food issue and endangers everyone with illnesses that are difficult to diagnose and that this is NOT what America stands for. We don’t want our Tax dollars recklessly spent causing a larger need to open more rescues because of the what slaughter brings to the states in rampant neglect and abuse. WE need to allow our children to know we are working hard to protect their food source and we care about what happens to people in other countries. That is American.
    Lastly we are never going to back down. We save them ALL. The wild and the tame. Our collective efforts are for the Horse Industry and its survival. We can also point out that slaughter has taken the horse prices in the gutter and then show them that our diligent fight to keep horses from slaughter has brought horse prices up tremendously-so we don’t want slaughter to destroy that for us again. Our hard work and the many pushes have been making changes while pro-slaughter just preaches kill horses. WE have set the industry back on a path and we are working hard to keep it there. Slaughter kill horses and the horse industry survives from the lives of horses and keep hard working people in their jobs-kill the horses and we lose a ton of industry jobs. A handful of workers versus hundreds of thousands of jobs that survive off the living animals is a huge difference. We also need to look at the issues facing us when you trail ride or go to shows, people have been reporting high dollar horses being stolen left and right-we need to push to keep this down. I have been telling people to report their horse losses on the internet in the hopes of getting the horses recovered before they can be slaughtered. This is a very predatory industry and many people don’t have their animals micro chipped yet, and the slaughterhouses have no set guidelines for keeping stolen animals out or checking for chips. Please keep the conversation going because we don’t want any time to lapse that America is NOT thinking about this before it is resolved.
    I REFUSE TO HAVE ONE TAX DOLLAR SPENT ON THIS INDUSTRY!
    STop slaughter! As for cows and pigs remember this is their diversion from the facts, ask them how many times they remember them consuming race horse drugs, cobra venom, or getting horse products to vet them up, I always say when cows can become barrel racers and run the Kentucky Derby, or when pig fly then we will discuss that until then this is only about horse slaughter.

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    • It’s the Budget! NOT the Farm Bill! It was the Appropriations Committees that passed the defunding amendments!

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      • The word and is for the Farm Bill to regulate the food prices from reverting back to the ultra high prices of a time long ago AND the Safe Act getting passed. We have to really make sure that we have both coming in. I am so sick of BIG AG. They drive this until they have it vivisected like a carcass-it doesn’t EVER have a straight shot to get voted and be completed.

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  8. As a wild horse advocate, I appreciate your comments and creating eco reserves for our wild horses. It is prudent of us to do so. I am learning more about their behavior and what wild horses survive on out in the wild. It is important they have essential plants to nourish their bodies as they forage for food. The problem now is they have been introduced to hay and feed. Now they are being domesticated. Now how can we introduce our wild horses back into an eco system designed for them to survive? The government is broke and in debt. We need to come up with solutions. We can help them and as wild horse advocates we play a very special role in developing these reserves especially designed for our wild horses.
    What a challenge. It is time to end horse slaughter. We must create a bill in Congress that is designed to protect our wild horses and placed in preservation for years to come. This is a fight well worth every penny. We must do this. I suggest we start saving thousands of pennies for our wild horses. We can do this. We must stop horse slaughter now and forever. End horse slaughter forever.Stop the abuse of our horses now. To save a genome of our wild horses, it will take every one of us to save them and fight for their right to live. The time is now. I will and you can count on me forever saving our horses. The abuse of horse slaughter is torture. We must stop this. We must.

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    • You reintroduce horses slowly. Hopefully bands will pick them up and remind them of their natural ways. For those born in captivity they may not be able to manage to be reintroduced. That is the fault of a government agency so entrenched but this is the way we’ve always done it.

      No matter what those horses who have been held in captivity must be assured of their safety. If that means turning them back out on the lands they were given in 1971 or held–they must never be sold for slaughter.

      The geldings will have it tougher. The stallions won’t like them. They’ll fight like crazy. It would be easier if you could convince the geldings to make up gelding herds but I don’t know anyone who speaks horse.

      This is one huge bleeping mess. Caused by unthinking, lack of foresight folks who care only about now and their freaking pocketbook. And then pull into the mix a government agency done gone crazy–which is so set in their ways that they can’t see the damage their doing for the cows.

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    • The defunding amendments are in BOTH House and Senate versions of the BUDGET. The SAFE Act is before both Chambers and that will ban slaughter AND trucking across borders for the purpose of slaughter. It’s all already there – we need to get the Budget passed ASAP and then work on the SAFE Act so we won’t have to fight this battle every year.

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      • Yes, Suzanne obviously follows politics. It is the federal budget that defunds horse slaughter inspection in the USDA’s budget. The Farm Bill is a mess, too, with BigAg (Monsanto, Syngynta, Bayer, Dow) controlling the decisions through their elected minions, and the farmer getting a raw deal. So much obstructionism in congress just to make this president look bad. All politics, with little good for the people they represent, and less for animals and their welfare – which is bi-partisan.

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  9. I live in N,M. and do not want to see this happen. I have called my state legislator’s and emailed them that I am against this horrible way for people to make money. Maybe a bull dozer could run into this place in the meantime….wishful thinking.

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  10. I find this absolutely sickening who the heck would want to eat the meat of such a stunning animal i can’t believe that this goes on what the devil is this world coming too so sad.

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  11. Three or Four years ago the State of Florida had a rash of horses being stolen and taken to some slaughter plants in Mexico, eventual a few of the pochers were caught before the horse owners took action to make sure the crooks wouldn’t make it back to Mexico.in one piece. I can forsee this happening again and horse owners protecting their property and ( horse ) family. ! Our horses are Family !!!

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  12. To better understand the push behind Horse slaughter and from WHERE it’s coming, DO watch this video. John Holland connects the dots beautifully:

    2013 American Equine Summit – John Holland, Guest Speaker (Video #4)

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