Horse News

Guardian’s Wild Horse Meat Story Contains 92% Beef

Photo: Jennifer Maharry

Rated: F

Article Review:

Why You Really Should (But Really Can’t) Eat Horse Meat

the Guardian  –  Jan 09, 2015

Michael Moss’ powerful New York Times’ investigation into the United States Department of Agriculture’s Meat Animal Research Center (“U.S. Research Lab Lets Livestock Suffer In Quest For Profit”) predictably outraged readers. The collective angst came not just because of the center’s ghoulish and inept experimentation; not just because the research animals suffered to boost profits in the livestock industry; but because the public learned that taxpayers had footed the bill — and had been doing so — for fifty years.

Compare that discovery to the recent media attention given to a very similar program, one involving even more animals, conducted to boost livestock industry profits, costing even more taxpayer dollars, and degrading millions of acres of public rangelands in the American West: The Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burros Program (WHB).

The news media regularly covers this program. Articles about wild horses appear daily, in fact. So why is the public incensed over the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Meat Animal Research Center while the WHB program goes ignored?

The difference is in the reporting. Coverage of the Meat Animal Research Center (which we review here) was initiated by government whistleblowers within the research facility. An experienced investigative reporter subsequently spent a year researching the claims, largely through Freedom of Information Act requests. Federal and corporate perspectives were handled with appropriate suspicion.

Coverage of the WHB program, on the other hand, is typically sourced almost entirely from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the industries benefiting economically from wild horse roundups: notably, private ranchers holding public grazing permits (though mining and energy development companies profit, too).

If Moss, in his reporting on the Meat Animal Research Center, had turned to the USDA’s web site and livestock producers to ask about doing research to boost industry profits, would anyone ever know about “easy-care sheep” and lambs left to perish in rainstorms courtesy of unknowing taxpayers? Of course not.

But coverage of the WHB program was dominated by those groups making money off it. David Philipps’ New York Times article (“As Wild Horses Overrun the West, Ranchers Fear Land Will Be Gobbled Up,” critiqued here) and Caty Enders’ Guardian piece (“Why You Really Should, But Really Can’t, Eat Horsemeat”) are two cases in point…(CONTINUED)


About Vickery Eckhoff (3 Articles)
Co-founder and Executive Editor Vickery is a New York City-based writer whose investigation of wild horse politics and the underground horsemeat trade has produced six radio interviews, a book proposal and more than two dozen articles on, the Huffington Post, Newsweek/The Daily Beast and Alternet. As part of her research, Vickery has interviewed Dr. Temple Grandin, local and state legislators, horsemeat-loving chefs, slaughter plant owners, kill buyers, ranchers and officials at the USDA, Bureau of Land Management and other government agencies. She has been a guest speaker at four equine conferences on the topic of correcting disinformation about horse slaughter and animals in the media.
Contact: Website



15 replies »

  1. Kill Buyer Ole Olson trucks 224 stallions to Dennis Chavez, likely into the slaughter pipeline
    Debbie Coffey
    January 27, 2015

    Shipment of Stallions to Dennis Chavez 1/15/15

    Well known Nevada Kill Buyer ships 224 Stallions to Dennis Chavez!
    Animals’ Angels has received confirmation that on January 15, 2015, Ole Olson transported 224 stallions to the New Mexico’s largest and most notorious kill buyer Dennis Chavez. Records obtained from the New Mexico Livestock Board indicate that the agency inspected the 224 stallions and 64 mares at the Los Lunas Feedlot.

    While it cannot be confirmed that these horses are indeed a part of the Dann Sister herd, it is possible. However, regardless of the origin of these horses, it is important to question how these stallions were shipped. The Commercial Transport of Equines to Slaughter Regulations require that every stallion is segregated inside the trailer to avoid fighting and the risk of injuries. Given the fact that Olson shipped 224 stallions, it is unlikely that this requirement has been met.


    • Nothing like an unbalanced ecosystem.
      I guess we will have to kill bugs bunny now – well one of these animals will have to get the publics attention.


    • Arlene, that’s an excellent question, one I wish more people would ask. We all need to contact our Congressmembers and implore they take the lead in standing up against the slaughter of American horses. Stay in contact with them on a regular basis, weekly, if necessary, by email, phone, and scheduled visits at their offices. Ensure they have all the documentation they need to be fully educated on the subject, so they can either initiate new legislation or co-sponsor a bill. Be pro-active! Posting articles like this one and commenting on news articles on social media is a fantastic way to get this information out there, but, most importantly, we have got to change the law!

      One voice can be powerful, but together we can move mountains!


  2. Well stated, Vickery, as always. Thank you!

    The wild horse issue is so much bigger than most American taxpayers know. The corruption, lies, and blatant misuse of taxpayer dollars is leading directly to the extinction of our wild horses, and it all stems from one thing: greed.

    The issue of slaughtering our domestic horses is also bigger and filthier than most Americans know. Kill buyers are shady and predatory, and roam the country in search of young, fat, healthy horses that will get them top-dollar by the pound. They are brazenly in attendance at every horse auction in every state, snapping up the meatiest horses and ponies by outbidding the local rescues and private buyers. These immoral men and women make their living by scouring Craigslist for free or cheap horses, tell the same story about their wife or daughter wants a horse, then show up with a borrowed “daughter” and their horse trailers.

    Most of these kill buyers spend several days or weeks collecting horses and drop them off at a local feedlot until they have enough to tightly pack a huge stock trailer. They haul the load to the Mexican or Canadian slaughterhouses, stopping at the border for inspection. MOST of the time, any horses that are sick, lame, or pregnant are rejected at the border, so the kill buyer/driver has to take those horses elsewhere,usually a large feedlot specifically for rejected horses.

    Hmmmm, so what happens to THOSE horses? We know where the healthy ones go: to the nightmare of their lives, the slaughterhouse. But what about those pregnant, lame and sick horses, where do they go?

    Enter Dennis Chavez, one of many feedlot owners scattered along the Mexican and Canadian borders who accept rejected horses. The rejected horses are trucked to a corral way in the back of the feedlot, dumped off, and there they stay. They will stay there, with no food or water, or shade from the brutal Texas sun, amongst all the other dying horses and rotting carcasses, until they die. The pregnant mares will either abort or deliver a foal, and they, too, will slowly die.

    It’s already been said that horsemeat is unsafe for human consumption because of the routine medications given to them throughout their lives. Phenylbutazone, or “Bute,” for example, is a common equine anti-inflammatory that is highly toxic to bone marrow in humans.

    What is rarely publicized is the actual pipeline and process by which horsemeat is obtained. I didn’t even hint of the actual events once the horses are unloaded at the slaughterhouses. If you want to know the details, use Google. It’s all there. One note: slaughtering horses in a slaughterhouse designed for cattle simply doesn’t work.

    Thank you for reading this outstanding article by a leading expert in the field. Thank you also for reading my comments. If you’ve read this far, I hope you will consider taking a stand against the horrors of horse slaughter.


    • Thank you for asking , and yes I will take a stand for these Awesome Treasures………..Just say where and when !!!!!


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