Horse News

Attorney: Horsemeat Not Safe for Consumption

By Alex Flippin FOX 26 KNPN

“…they can’t sell animals for whom they have no medical records…”

In December, the organization Front Range Equine Rescue began its challenge to stop Gallatin, Mo.-based Rains Natural Meats from slaughtering horses for human consumption.

Now this week, the group says it has uncovered information that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s own policies prohibit meat from animals of unknown origins or incomplete health records, like that of horses, according to the organization’s attorney, Bruce Wagman.

“We have discovered documents going back for years that the FDA has been sending to producers of animals for meat which consistently tell those producers they can’t sell animals for whom they have no medical records,” Mr. Wagman said.

He said all arguments aside, horsemeat simply isn’t safe for human consumption

“That’s based on all the drugs that American horses are given before they are turned out to be meat. Those drugs are dangerous,” he explained. “They’re prohibited for use of animals that are going to be food in America, and therefore would be adulterated on that basis.”

Mr. Wagman said Front Range Equine Rescue will continue its efforts to eradicate all horse slaughter for meat, and is now one step closer to that goal.

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15 replies »

  1. Boycott the Farm Bureau and Cattlemen’s Assoc. Many people have Farm Bureau insurance , we dropped ours years ago and now have USAA.

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  2. So glad this news is out. As always, with problems like this, the fudging of requirements ramp up as “producers” find ways to make money without really earning it. And law enforcement turned the other way. When we consider how many animals have suffered for human consumption and should not have been there, we have to be rude and bluntly ask our USDA/APHIS what the hell they did with the taxpayer money siphoned to them to ensure safety standards were met. And then ask the breed associations, just what the hell they did with all the money they made off the real “excess” horses they produced. Livestockers have much to answer for. Their fallback on “tradition” sounds more and more hollow and sounds more like kaching.

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  3. Illinois brought this up repeatedly in 2005/2006. The FDA Ignored this, prior to the last battle to close the Illinois plant several Representatives posed questions regarding as quoted “FDA laxadazical approach to regulation of food safety.regarding horses and horsemeat. The letter I have is dated 2005 and says the FDA Refusals to answer the question raise other questions on how meat is traced however, they simple wont answer the questions regarding horse meat requirements.” The People of Illinois tried to bring to a couple of Senators this issue, however they were more consumed with trackinhlg US meat sources and Not an overseas consumption product. I talked to William Black,.Illinois to no.avail on the issue of horses drugs and was told, not my problem. Shortly after the tide changed and the plant was closed. As far as many.people were concerned it was also a closed issue. Here is that same closed issue again. Instead of battling the FDA, closure of Illinois was a higher.priority. At the time I agreed, Now the issue needs resolved for the Country. The FDA has had several people previously working who tried to whistleblow and they stopped them. The fact is government agencies trumped it by bringing up beef issues instead and swept.horse issues under rug. Now the rug is removed and they.are standing behind a huge.rock. I hope Bruce Wagamon rolls the rock out of the way exposing it again. While I wasnt an Advocate or.AR to live in and near Dekalb, Il, to deal with issues all through our state as ramifications of it, yo see first hand the damages, to see what it did to our industry, the manipulation, horse thefts, horrible attitudes,.and the stigma whether at auctions, shows, or just recreational living. We lived it first hand. So before ARs and Advocayes even sniffed it out….there we all were living with it, bringing arguements, dealing with the issues, and trying to get Illinois oit of its clutches. When you are born into this industry like myself and you are a child growing up going to auctions to beware of the kill buyers, you really see alot of things that many people just walking into it barely scratch the surface of. The drugs in horses have always been a joke with pro slaughter people, they didnt care because the meat left our country, so what did they ever care? But we had people whp argued this many times, most had been threatenedto shut up or were afraid to bang the doir down, so I hope Now, that door will be kicked down, and the.emtire issue exposed, and ended for a lifetime. I got into an arguement with a cattleman who said horsestake the same drugs, I know that man will never be the same after this morning. I was so miffed I told him he full of it, horses have No restrictions like cattle on amounts,.frequency, dosages as needed or by opinion of owners, trainers, riders, and so on…..he says but we dont give our horses anything, when they go downhill we sell em. I snapped….sorry, but you dont take care of them and sell when they go.downhill BECAUSE you dont take care of them????

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    • It was a tough fight in Illinois. These foreign people just don’t give up. One would think that they should care more about their people, but they don’t. I attended every congressional meeting in Springfield, Illinois. The bs was so thick, you cut it with a knife. Those in the cattle industry had better start policing their own industry. We have ad so many recalls on beef and other meat products that one wonders what the hell are they selling to consumers. I no longer eat any animal products for two reasons:1st the filth in some of these slaughterhouses is disgusting and 2nd the treatment of the animals is beyond comprehension. The USDA had better get with the program on their animal products. Adults and children are not just getting fat due to the consumption of food, but the chemicals injected and given to the animals.
      Antibiotics still are given in large quantities as well hormones to produce heavier animals and sooner then they should. When you go to the grocery store its amazing how little they know about the products or the producers of such. We need to start a protest to the USDA and our breed associations. They are just as guilty. If the number of horses being breed were reduced, then perhaps the numbers would catch up. Lately I have disliked going to some shows because I see what they are doing to these young horses. I can almost predict the number who will become crippled and unsound. 1 out of every 30,000 thoroughbreds will make to the derby or the triple crown. What happens to the other 29,000? Of course many of us love them and try to get them to rescues.. If you belong to a breed association email or write a letter to the president and the directors and ask them what they have in mind should the “safe act” pass. If they truly care about the breed, they may think about it. Right now I believe the breed associations feel this law will not get passed. Out of sight out of mind. There is little control at auctions…sick horses are sold many times. It just makes me sick! However, as horse warrior, I never miss a opportunity to address this issue with my legislators. If they can’t get it done then perhaps its time for some of us to throw our hats in the political arena.

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      • I agree, we NEED some horse savvy advocates out there in politics to help to make things better for the animals.

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      • So am I. Sorry but I am just to where I lay it all out there. They have been busy pushing against the right thing for so long. I don’t have a problem with people who don’t vaccinate or whatever because their horses are never ill or whatever, but when they get sick they have to be on the horn and get that horse help.

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    • Colt your post here reminded me of the USDA info I dug up months ago about meat inspections, in which they asked processors to label horsemeat as goatmeat, assuring them (and the eventual consumers?) they would understand it wasn’t but all was okay. I can look for that if needed, but your comments make me question it even more. People in most of the world eat goatmeat happily, I wonder how much horsemeat got shipped and sold as goatmeat to unsuspecting consumers?

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  4. I also know the Farm Bureau was aware of this. Besides one Representative in Illinois was told how do you think the came up with the idea for the kill buyers to use affidavits and say they are the actual owner? And how do u think they devised the not to my knowledge on the drug affidavit, they made it passable by saying its only for the Life of the drugs, setting withdrawal periods. Thats where all this bogus document trail came from years ago….to bypass FDA regulations amd fool states,.Congress and the law. The Good ol boy flim flam. Why else do you think Illinois woke up.and wanted to push it out?

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  5. In accordance with this somebody with the power to litigate better start investigating the EID, their origin, and how horses who we know are given bute end up crossing the border and going to Bouvry and Richelieu. You cannot tell me that anyone involved in the kill buying trade can attest to the fact that a horse has not been given bute in the past six months when they “own” the horses they are sending to slaughter for on average 3-6 days. If owners/trainers and advocates can’t find horses in the slaughter pipeline when we are actively searching you can’t tell me that KBs and those who sell to KBs are in the business of searching back vet records for horses for six months or don’t falsify records. They have no incentive when falsified EIDs are casually accepted and signing them holds no consequences. We could cut down domestic transport of horses to slaughter by 60% in a month if we insisted on EID’s being originated and attested to by owners and auctions and KBs were fined when the paperwork was erroneous. They aren’t even mandated to be notarized. These horses go to the border with a shipping manifest–frequently it has been proven (by investigative journalists) that the manifest doesn’t even reflect the number of horses actually on the trailer. Yet the trailer was sealed at the border regardless of discrepancies.

    Essentially the entire documentation process is a sham– a paper chase with absolutely no penalties for falsification or even outright invention.

    We have even more to worry about than tainted meat.
    We now know that overdosing with anti-inflammatory drugs causes cell die-off in the affected area of the injection. If apoptosis is occurring, what are the long-term affects for the animal and how will this effect the food chain?

    As Canadian activist Mindy Lovell states. “It will take somebody to die before this gets investigated”,

    Sadly in Europe several deaths have been suspected due to tainted/drug-ladened meat and yet nothing has been done to investigate the pipeline.

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    • Exactly why we are all here Susan. The lies, deceptions, and misconceptions of the horse slaughter industry. We are very well aware of the paper monkeys. They use orgami to make the paperwork to appear appealing to the “experts” so called fact checking the documents unhum (fakes). While they are distracting people with fancy orgami paper puppets and making them go ooooh aaahhh, look look a monkey, a swan, meanwhile they are whacking horses with cattle prods, beating their heads in, poking eyes out, and railroading them alive into and out of the kill shoot without so much as checking a heart beat. And yes, its a complete flim flam! I am at the point where the orgami they are making the documents for kill buyers from just need piled up and lit on fire, bet it would be so big it would be seen for miles.

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      • Hi Colt:

        Yes exactly! I don’t know why there are so many rules associated with horse transport if the KBs and brokers and custom officials never even APPEAR to follow any of them. I tracked transport violations for three years. There were a total of TWO citations issued after the banning of double-decker trailers was issued during that time. Working towards banning horse slaughter could be helped along with more reporting on how the industry flagrantly thumbs their nose in the government’s face, Currently there is no funding available at either the states’ level or the federal level to enforce the laws. I’m hoping that we can use this to the horses’ advantage so that this industry that in the U.S. has a very low revenue return can be shut down due to flagrant violations of the few laws that govern it. Everyone keep advocating! And a heartfelt thanks to everyone who does anything to bring this and the wild horse issue to the attention of lawmakers and others. It’s always great to connect with others working to help horses.

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  6. Just read this today:
    A French Animal Rights Group is urging that France not accept horse meat from the Americas and Canada after an undercover investigation of animal cruelty and bute-laced meat.

    With the recent meat scare that extended from Tesco’s to Ikea, wouldn’t it be great if one of the greatest consumer countries just said NO?

    French animal rights activists uncover ‘unhealthy’ horsemeat from Americas
    By Agence France-Presse
    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/03/13/french-animal-rights-activists-uncover-unhealthy-horsemeat-from-americas/#.UyJcrAyg830.twitter

    “L214, which derives its name from an article in a 1976 French law that stipulates that animals have to be kept properly and in healthy conditions, said the conclusions followed a wide-reaching, two-year investigation launched in 2012.”

    “France, meanwhile, imported 16,900 tonnes of horsemeat in 2012, mainly from Canada, Belgium, Argentina, Mexico and Uruguay — many of the countries featured in the investigation.”

    My biggest fear is that instead of discouraging the horse-slaughter trade, the possible threat of banning any possibly bute-laced meat in European markets will begin encouragement of discussions by the overly enterprising “kill industry” of starting to raise horses as livestock for meat in the U.S.to circumvent bute problem.

    Hopefully inspection budget limitations will dissuade any effort in this area.

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  7. Great work Mr. Wagman and R.T. for keeping everyone informed and up-dated on an issue that’s been of great concern. As more facts are presented on horse slaughter, its health and safety issues from consumption, the public will help bring an end to such an evil and brutal business. Thank you to Front Range Equine Rescue, as well.

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  8. Rt i am.sure tomorrow you will.post the Huffington Post story on the Blm. I tried to comment but had a problem verifying thus could not. I hope you post the article, its succintly written, eliminates most questions, and is informative in a more positive way than other articles. One comment in particular still pushes my button regarding horses r not indigenous. My response was going to.ask if Cattlemen believe cattle were falling like raindrops on that acreage millions of yrs ago, because they did not. In fact many breeds of beef and dairy.cattle were imported to arrive at modern cattle, but All.cattle originated in Eastern region and moved across….horses led the way. Otherwise it would have been historically documented that all the tribes would have lived off slower easier to hunt cattle, much.less dangerous as well. However, history documents not cattle being in the Old West first at all. In fact, they kept shipping them from East to West because they didnt have enough in the West to.establish herds. Open grazing without fencing allowed for more bred cattle than if thry were fenced with one bull. So the response horses, especially wild ones were transplants makes no sense because without the horses the first cows would have never made it to the West making them second most non endigenous animals.

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