Third Horse-Slaughter Wanna-be Qualifies for USDA Inspections

Source: By Dan Flynn of Food Safety News

“Rains Natural Meats is now eligible and requesting a grant of inspection…”

Butchering Companion Animals is top priority for Slaughterhouse.

A third business has met all the statutory and regulatory requirements to require USDA to provide inspection services when it begins processing horsemeat for human consumption.

Department of Justice (DOJ) attorneys representing USDA have informed the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico that it may want to expand its temporary restraining order against horse slaughter to include Rains Natural Meats in Gallatin, MO.

That restraining order currently only prevents USDA from providing inspection services to Valley Meat in New Mexico and Responsible Transportation in Iowa, the first two businesses to qualify since a five-year ban on spending federal money on horse slaughter inspections ended in 2012.

“When this court entered its temporary restraining order, Rains Natural Meats had not yet met the requirements for a grant of inspection, and thus the temporary restraining order expressly applies only to FSIS’s (Food Safety and Inspection Service’s) inspection of the Valley Meat and Responsible Transportation facilities,” the DOJ attorneys wrote, adding, “But circumstances have changed, and Rains Natural Meats is now eligible and requesting a grant of inspection.”

The government attorneys said that, while they were not waiving any of their earlier objections to federal Judge M. Christina Armijo’s order, they understood that she may want to amend it in light of the new reality.

Rains Natural Meats is a small meat and poultry slaughter and processing facility with about 5,300 square feet. Built in 1998, it has been a USDA-inspected facility for various meat and poultry processing since it was built, but the business has had difficulties due to the slow economic recovery.

Owner David Rains opted to file for an equine grant of inspection on Jan. 13. While waiting for the application to be approved, he told local media outlets that he’s been driving a school bus to pay his bills.

In its “Decision Memo,” USDA said the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) requires government inspectors to conduct ante-mortem inspection of all amenable species, including cattle, sheep, swine, goats, horses, mules and other equines, including a post-mortem inspection of “carcasses and parts of all amenable species.”

“Horses, mules, and other equines have been among the livestock species that are amenable to the FMIA since it was amended by the Wholesome Meat Act in 1967,” wrote Philip S. Derfler, FSIS deputy administrator.

FSIS is required to conduct an examination and inspection of the methods of slaughter to ensure they are in compliance with the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, which calls for prevention of needless livestock suffering.

In the USDA memo, Derfler says the decision to provide inspection services under the FMIA “is purely ministerial because if a commercial horse slaughter plant meets all of the statutory and regulatory requirement for receiving a grant of federal inspection, FSIS has no discretion or authority under the FMIA to deny the grant on other grounds or to consider and choose among alternative ways to achieve the agency’s statutory objectives.”

“Therefore, a grant of federal inspection services under the FMIA is not a major federal action that is subject to NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) requirements,” he added.

Horse rescue and animal-welfare groups have sued in federal court in New Mexico, charging that NEPA requires USDA to conduct environmental reviews before granting inspection services for horse slaughter. Judge Armijo granted a temporary restraining order just ahead of the start dates for Valley Meat and Responsible Transportation.

In a separate proceeding, a federal magistrate has ruled that a plaintiff’s bond of almost $500,000 per month might be required to cover potential losses by the defendants while the case is argued. The bond is intended to compensate the defendants if the plaintiffs lose.

Government attorneys then suggested the case be accelerated and the plaintiffs agreed. Both sides are now preparing briefs that should frame the issues for the judge to decide by about Oct. 10. After she rules, the losing side will likely appeal to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

About 175,000 horses from the United States are exported for slaughter each year to Canada and Mexico. New USDA-inspected horse-slaughter facilities in the U.S. would export horsemeat for human consumption to areas of the world where there is a dwindling demand, mainly Europe and Asia.

28 comments on “Third Horse-Slaughter Wanna-be Qualifies for USDA Inspections

  1. That does it! No more needs to be said.. So this sneaky bastard was lying to the public all along… They’re all alike, liars and criminals and thieves. Our horses are doomed and so are we..


    • And you are surprised to the point of outrage because?

      This scum has been doing this FOREVER and I know you have been involved for more than a few months for equine welfare and food consumer safety….wild equines included.


  2. This location has a small unlined lagoon that was just recently dug it has never been tested with a heavy rain. The plant sits on a creek that leads directly to the Grand River 1 mile away. Their discharge will be drug laden toxic biomedical, hazardous material. Blood that will not break down because of all of the medicines given equines over their lifetime. They state that they now will truck the material to the waste water treatment plant of Gallatin,Mo. 3 miles away which doesn’t have the capability to remove the pollutants. The heads, offal, fecal material, and all other body parts will be put in 55 gallon drums and shipped to where? It sounds like a God father movie to me! There is a court order for the Missouri State DNR to refuse them a permit to dump on open land (thank God). Now they want to go around this order and overwhelm the local town’s (1,700 people) waste treatment plant? Citizens of the USA please help us stop this disaster from happening!


    • Curt Lukens, What can we do to stop this!? I live in St. Louis county, in Mo., & there HAS to be something that can prevent this. If even one of these horrific places is allowed to open, more will certainly follow. It doesn’t matter which side of our state you live in, or what city or town, we DON’T want this ANYWHERE, in our state, or elsewhere! I know Blunt doesn’t care, he’s all for horse slaughter here, not really sure where McCaskill stands, or even Nixon. I do NOT want to see slaughter trucks driving up & down Missouri roads & highways, nor do I want our 16 year old daughter to be subjected to that, as her BEST friend in the world is her horse! It seems like everytime something good & positive happens, something bad follows right behind it! Someone, PLEASE HELP!!


  3. David Rains has been driving a school bus to pay his bills and now he wants the blood of horses to pay his bills. The opening of any slaughter houses meant for horses must be immediately stopped at all costs.


    • And, why does he think driving a school bus is bad?? Sounds like a good, respectable &, real, job, to me! One of my cousins drives a school bus, in Minnesota, no less, & loves it! Killing horses, working in blood, guts, filth & stench, knowing full well these creatures he’s killing & dismembering, once were someone’s pet, showhorse, companion, partner, racehorse, or even wild free-roaming American Mustangs, that is NOT a “job”!!!! I’d go there personally, if I could, & punch the living daylights out of him, then I’d be happy to burn the place to the ground, if I wouldn’t get caught, or hang him upside down & do to him what he plans for American horses! NOT IN MISSOURI!!


    • We just found out that the USDA approval for inspections was based on the Gallatin, TN waste treatment plant. Not Gallatin, Mo. Wrong State! Wrong Plant! Did the USDA approve them on the wrong information? A lot is up in the air


    • If there is a “true” reveal of Mr/Mrs/Ms Rains’s finances, we might know more….depends on the prosecutors (at state and Fed level frequently lie and deny everything to equine advocates) level of effort….and they AIN’T efforting anything when it comes to animal welfare, public land policy OR US equines as food for anything..


  4. Yes, the “inspections” don’t require NEPA but the opening of the facility and its operations surely do, and especially to ensure non-violation of the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act. What is it that they don’t understand?!



    People have been pumping horses full of substances to get them to run faster as long as they’ve been sitting on top of horses and racing them against other horses for money. The difference between a win and a place can be literally a nose, so it makes sense that trainers would use everything at their disposal to give their horses an edge.
    Here are a few of the more common methods for enhancing horse performance.
    Frog Juice
    The New York Times just reported that upwards of 30 racehorses were found to be dosed with dermorphin, which is an ultra-powerful painkiller found in the skin secretions of South America’s waxy monkey tree frog. Frog juice also induces feelings of excitement and euphoria……
    In 2007, the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority suspended trainer Patrick Biancone for one year when a raid of his barn turned up several vials of crystalized cobra venom. While this might sound like some bad… Indiana Jones type …., cobra venom is extremely dangerous to horses—like Kermit, cobra venom is way, way stronger than morphine. Trainers inject the venom in very small doses under the skin when a horse is in pain, and the horse can then literally run till his leg falls apart. Because this drug rarely leaves a trace in urine and blood tests, a trainer pretty much needs to be caught red-handed, a la Biancone, to be found out.
    While blow is not nearly as commonly used by horses as it is by their jockey counterparts due to routine testing, I would be remiss in excluding booger sugar from this list. The effect on horses is exactly the same as it is on yourself, except horses won’t close-talk you about how “groundbreaking” Mission of Burma was for three hours.

    The type of milkshake I’m talking about consists of baking soda, sugar, and electrolytes, and it gets delivered though a tube shoved up the horse’s nose. (People don’t do this for fun—this fights fatigue caused by racing.) This is pretty common—just last month, trainer Doug O’Neill, who recently made headlines with his Kentucky Derby and Preakness-winning horse I’ll Have Another was handed a 45-day suspension in California when one of his horses tested positive for elevated levels of CO2, a common side effect of milkshaking.

    Sildenafil (the science-y name for Viagra) improves the cardiovascular, nervous, and reproductive systems in horses, and there’s been research indicating that Viagra can be an effective therapy for Laminitis, a lethal foot condition in horses, by improving blood flow to the feet. While Sildenafil does seem to have some medicinal qualities and is allowed as a treatment for certain ailments in horses, it’s banned on race days because it enhances horses’ performance
    Anabolic Steroids
    Horse trainers have been juicing their horses for ages, and anabolic steroids weren’t banned in Kentucky, California, or New York until a few years ago. These are the exact same kind of ‘roids that athletes have been using to smash homeruns and win the Tour de France. How prevalent are ‘roids? Rick Dutrow Jr., a trainer who is currently appealing a ten-year suspension in New York and has been fined or suspended more than 72 times for medication violations, has openly admitted that he administered steroids to many of his horses including 2008 Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown.



    New York Times on Dermorphin:
    Turning to Frogs for Illegal Aid in Horse Races – New York Times

    Cobra Venum:

    Cobra venom said to be in Biancone barn – Horse Racing – ESPN‎
    Jul 4, 2007 – One of the materials confiscated by Kentucky Horse Racing Authority investigators during the June 22 search of three Keeneland barns …
    Racetrack vet testifies about cobra venom | xLocal |…/racetrack-vet-testifies-about.html‎
    Dec 4, 2008 – The veterinarian at the center of a notorious horse-racing medication case said on Wednesday that he never gave cobra venom to an active …
    Equine Chronicle » Milkshakes, Snake Venom, and Now Frog Juice …
    Aug 23, 2012 – Milkshakes, Snake Venom, and Now Frog Juice, What Will They Think of Next? – Just another Equine Chronicle weblog.

    ON HORSE RACING; Cocaine Case Proves Testers Are Gaining … › COLLECTIONS › COCAINE‎
    CachedFeb 28, 1989 – There is a line in an old blues song that says ”cocaine is for horses,” but until recently, horse racing’s cocaine problems were confined to the …


    Dutrow Barred From Training Horses in New York for 10 Years ……/dutrow-barred-from-training-horses-in-new-york-for...
    Oct 12, 2011 – The New York State Racing and Wagering Board revoked the license of the trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. and barred him from New York …


  7. Horse racing is truly a depraved industry. The innocents are the horses who are exploited to the last degree. Thank you Louis for the lists of deplorable medications.


  8. Gallatin, Missouri Mayor:
    Barb Ballew
    112 East Grand
    Gallatin, MO 64640
    Phone: 660-663-2011
    Fax: 660-663-3937

    Daviess County Health Department
    609 A South Main Street
    Gallatin, MO. 64640
    Cheryl Alexander, RN
    Cori Nichols, EPHS

    Perhaps send them the open letter from former Mayor Paula Bacon and/or this video.
    Mayor Paula Bacon:


  9. 15 years ago: California Prohibition of Horse Slaughter and Sale of Horsemeat for Human Consumption Act of 1998

    Prohibits any person from possessing, transferring, receiving or holding any horse, pony, burro or mule with intent to kill it or have it killed, where the person knows or should know that any part of the animal will be used for human consumption. Provides that a violation constitutes a felony offense. Also adds a provision making the sale of horsemeat for human consumption a misdemeanor offense, with subsequent violations punished as felonies.


    • Sad fact is that regulatory authorities, law enforcement have not been funded for enforcement, especially Agricultural Enforcement at the state and Fed level in this area.

      California has notorious scum (particularly race track) kbs and auctions that have peddled horse flesh for humans to eat even before the last US slaughterhouses closed and after the state ban was passed . No one in California DOES ANYTHING to stop this horrific cycle….in fact many kbs, auctioneers selling to slaughter own and lease land in the state of CA. Oooops…we got a problem, Gov Jer.

      As ineffective as the 1971 Act that was legislated, passed and signed by President Nixon (which was meant to shut Annie up….another sarcastic plus in Nixon’s achievements), it is the same with many issues.


  10. We may be getting some unexpected help to pass the anti-slaughter bills. I was sent a notice from Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine of which I am a member, to send my senators and rep a pre-written letter from them to sign on to the two bills to stop horse slaughter. I joined them several years ago to help stop lab animals from being used for experiments when there was other alternatives. They have stopped a lot of it. They are comprised of doctors from all across the US, many of them prominent. It looks like they are going after the livestock industry over the antibiotics that is given to all food animals and the horse slaughter industry over the drugs in horse meat that is shipped to the EU through Canada/Mexico. One thing none of these crooked senators can do is argue with a MD over the drugs in horse meat, they will lose.
    I’m not sure how much they have done on this but I was sent a email from GovTrack that Senator Chris Coons (D-De) had signed on to cosponsor S.541.
    I am hoping that once these MD’s start working on these crooked senators that enough will cosponsor S.541 to get both bills out of committee and to the floor for a vote. Then these greedy nuts like the bus driver can take the horse slaughter plants they would like to build and stick them where the sun don’t shine.


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