Letter to the Editor of News-Leader.com by Diana Kline
“Farmers feed people, they do not poison them.”
Dan Erdel has slandered me via his quote (“Are horses livestock? DNR weighs question, considers horse-slaughter permit,” Jan. 7):“If the new general operating permit issued to Rains by DNR in late January contains language prohibiting equine processing, it will be a clear indication to many that Jay Nixon and (Attorney General) Chris Koster are not friends of farmers, ranchers and the agriculture business in Missouri.”
If Rains Natural Meats is allowed to open for horse slaughter, this will give farmers, ranchers and agricultural business a huge black eye. My family has been in farming since the 1800s. I have owned horses for 40 years. I am completely against horse slaughter and I take great offense to what Erdel said. This is completely a misrepresentation of the truth.
Farmers feed people. They do not poison them.
Horses are classified as non-food companion animals by the FDA. We are allowed to give horses over 100 horse drugs that are clearly labeled, “not for use in horses intended for food.” Phenylbutazone is not allowed in beef cattle because it is a known human carcinogen. However, it is allowed in horses, and we have no tracking system in place.
Rains Natural Meats would have to quarantine the horses for four years to do this correctly, and properly label the meat with a disclaimer, “This horse meat may contain ingredients that are harmful to humans.” So far, I have read that the quarantine will be for 45 days and only two drugs will be tested for.
Horses being shipped for slaughter are not required to have health certificates, so Rains would be bringing horses across state lines and likely spreading disease. Horse theft has always gone up around horse slaughter plants…(CONTINUED)