Horse News

Moran Statement on USDA Decision Allowing Re-Opening of U.S. Horse Slaughter Facility

Congressman Jim Moran, Northern Virginia Democrat and co-chair of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, released the following statement on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) approval of an application for federal inspections at a horse slaughter facility in New Mexico.

Congressman Jim Moran, R.T. Fitch - president of Wild Horse Freedom Federation, Vicki Tobin - VP Equine Welfare Alliance speaking before National Capitol during press conference earlier this year ~ photo by Terry Fitch

Congressman Jim Moran, R.T. Fitch – president of Wild Horse Freedom Federation, Vicki Tobin – VP Equine Welfare Alliance speaking before National Capitol during press conference last year ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“I am deeply disappointed in today’s (July 2nd) decision by the USDA to approve a permit for federal inspections at a horse slaughter facility in New Mexico.”

“It’s troubling, particularly given that over the last two weeks, the Senate and House Appropriations Committees amended their fiscal year (FY) 2014 Agriculture Appropriations bills to eliminate all funding for the inspection of horse slaughter facilities, consistent with USDA’s budget request.  As Congress completes consideration of this legislation in the coming months, I plan to redouble my efforts to defund horse slaughter inspections and shut down any facilities that may open.”

In FY 2006, Congress passed a prohibition on the use of appropriations for the inspection of horses intended to be slaughtered for human consumption. Without meat safety inspections, no horse meat can be sold to the public, effectively ending the slaughter of horses in the United States.  This defund language was removed from the FY 2012 appropriations bill, allowing horse slaughter facilities to once again request USDA inspections.  Moran has spearheaded efforts in the House to reinstate the ban on horse slaughter for human consumption.

According to the USDA, each horse slaughter facility opened in the U.S. would cost U.S. taxpayers over $400,000 per year in operation costs.  Requiring USDA inspections of horse slaughter plants would even further decrease funding available for beef, chicken, and pork inspections – meat actually consumed by Americans.

Horses are not raised as food animals and are routinely given substances, including the anti-inflammatory drug phenylbutazone, which the FDA requires to be labeled “not for use in animals that will be eaten by humans.”

In addition to fiscal and public health concerns, public polls have consistently shown that nearly 80 percent of Americans oppose horse slaughter for human consumption.

20 replies »

  1. Although the USDA says it’s doing what the law requires them to do, they do have the right to deny a permit to a known felon. There must be something going on behind the scenes. Sec. Vilsack has opposed horse slaughter so why wouldn’t he put his foot down and say NO? Is there a method to their madness?


  2. Yeah, there is of course, this is just my feelings but I really think Vilsack is PLAYING both sides here… Since we have NOT heard anything from Sally Jewel and she has had plenty of time to speak about the Wild Horses, they all have a mission and that is to slaughter the Wild Horses, maybe I am off the wall in saying this, BUT in one breath Vilsack has said NO to horse slaughter and in the other breath he approves, USDA had PLENTY of legal options to STOP this but have NOT…. SO what is one to think??? They all have an agenda be sure of it….. then when the problems with the Wild Horses are done and gone Congress will reinstate defunding in the language. I pray this is NOT the case?


    • Maybe this slaughter house is a way to rid themselves of the wild horses in the holding pens. What are they going to do with all of these wild horses? The BLM should let them back into the wild. There is something not right about the USDA passing the New Mexico slaughterhouse with all the prior violations and criminal history. Something is very dirty here.


  3. cash in pocket ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ What else could it be ?????????? ohhhh maybe Bloodlust?????……..or Complete Madness ????????? With multitudes of proven reasons that Horse Slaughter should be stopped, and they still continue this insane quest , one can only think they are all nuts!!!!!!!! And need help !!!!!!!!!! reservations in hell for those people are mounting up…………………………………………Definition of Insane is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a change !!!!!!!!!


  4. Found this when I woke up this morning: – Now Humans Think They Are God -and if the drugs horses are givin now are bad to consume imagine what effect all the disguarded clones will have on the food supply -if slaughtered
    We don’t breed enough animals – now we have to genetically make them – has this world gone Mad.


  5. I pray that President Obama intervenes here and stops this before it gets started. It’s unbelievable to me that this issue has become what it has. Not only is slaughtering horses as well as the billions of other animals humans slaughter each year a travesty but, I want to know where the market is for this. If, indeed, it is being sold abroad in places like China and Japan, don’t they realize the health risks associated with it? They have to! The EU, Russia, and other countries that were the main market for it seem to. So, this is totally confusing to me and the corruption in this country is not only infuriating me, it is also scaring the living hell our of me!!


  6. Horse meat was banned from pet foods and discontinued for feeding zoo animals because??? Animals died from it. Now, want to feed it to humans? Someone made a comment about how this whole horsemeat enterprise was like the whole mysterious tobacco industry secrets. Government must be accountable and not let citizens eat our pets that are not raised for livestock and therefore, have many toxic substances in their tissues ( It was my understanding that the USDA didn’t have enough money for regular agricultural inspections, see article below. Yes, this is all a cover up and about greed. Horse owners that treat their horses as disposable, over breeders, idiot owners that should never have horses (or kids for that matter) and dump ’em as soon as they can’t make the horse do something or it get’s an injury, or heaven forbid, the horses gets older!




  8. Ok sue wallis stated on her facebook a month ago they had an inside man at FSIS, didnt the FSIS report read like a sue wallis release? Because sue handfed the info to this guy. A couple months back an article referred sue was in tight with FSIS contact and they told her and doink they were sick of tom stalling and the holdups were ridiculous. So its not Tom.


  9. Yes, it’s called Big Ag overpowering Iowa’s own Tom Vilsack and buying influence as usual. I never doubt the reach of Big Ag, i.e., after watching the parade of political celebrities and big wigs rally together here in Iowa in their obnoxious circus performances pulling out all the stops to defend Eldon Roth and his BPI plants’ pink slime while knowing Roth was a substantial campaign contributor to Mitt Romney and was the leading contributor to Iowa Governor Branstad and to many other Iowa politicians, that fact became sickeningly crystal clear to me–even though public opposition handed Roth and Big Ag a rare defeat in that instance. Branstad even threatened to initiate a Congressional investigation. Pink slime is perhaps as safe as any ground beef, but consumers were unaware they were getting less “beef” and not at a lower price; figuring out how to use dog food grade beef made Roth a multimillionaire. It was a lie. They have no shame.

    Iowa received the second approval for horse slaughter, Reliable Transportation the Iowa permittee, and that company is, unimaginably, in a competition for business innovation from my Alma mater, the University of Northern Iowa. Big Ag’s influence is so blatant in Iowa that in my conversations with Congressional representative office aides, they are reduced to nonsensical stone walling when faced with the facts and asked common sense questions to which they have no logical or even reasonable answers. The most idiotic came not from the loose cannon Steve King’s office, but from long-time Senator Chuck Grassley’s office aide who stuck to his claim that horse slaughter is adequately regulated, though medication history is not tracked as sport animals and random tissue sampling overlooks the fact that every single horse has a unique, unknown past. Inadequate is best case scenario and dangerous is worst case, that is undeniable–unless you stand to profit from it. It is mind boggling that politicians are so blatant and blind in their corruption.

    We need a public uprising similar to pink slime.


      • Sorry I mistyped. The manufacturer of pink slime was BPI, not IBP now Tysons. At the Waterloo, Iowa location the BPI facility was located on the former IBP grounds and most Iowans didn’t know the difference much less what they manufactured or what they did with it.


  10. i just got a email answer from Vicki Tobin, Equine Welfare Alliance, that i sent her yesterday asking about the ban the EU has on US horse meat. I’m quoting, ” Nothing yet. July is the three year mark for the third countries to come into compliance. The US can’t send horse meat to the EU because we are no longer on the import list and the US has not reapplied. The last time I checked, there wasn’t anything on the EU site.

    So where would the horse meat be sent from these slaughter plants if any of them were to begin operation? It sure won’t be the EU where most or all of the meat from Canada/Mexico is sent. What I don’t understand is how can the US horse meat be banned if Canada/Mexico get half of their horses from the US? There is something seriously wrong here about the ban to begin with. The EU knows there is no horse slaughter operations in the US at this time but yet they don’t complain about the US horses going to both countries where the adulterated meat will land on the plates of EU consumers. Why didn’t the EU stop Canada/Mexico from importing US horses? That’s what I’d really like to know.


    • The ban from the EU is for our horse MEAT because the USDA didn’t send the EU a plan for a traceability system similar the the passport system for the EU to approve in 2011. So they removed the US from the list of countries that are authorized to export horse MEAT to the EU.

      We live ship our horses to Canada and Mexico to be slaughtered THERE. The meat becomes the product of the country where the horses are slaughtered. That’s how they get around the ban on US horse MEAT. Slaughtered in Canada or Mexico it’s Canadian or Mexican horse meat that’s exported to the EU and THEY are authorized.


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