Horse Meat Recalled Due to Illegal Drugs


Canada – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued several recalls of horse meat produced by the Viande Richelieu Meat company and Metro Richelieu Inc.  The meat has been recalled from Canada, Austria and France after investigators found the meat was contaminated with drugs.

Investigators found Phenylbutazone (bute) in the meat, which causes serious disorders in humans, such as aplastic anaemia.  Remnants of bute in horse meat has long been known to cause aplastic anaemia, particularly in children, and there are no safe levels established.

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Jo Anne Normile, author and Pres. of Saving Baby Equine Charity, on Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Wed., 1/14/2015)



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Horse slaughter: Farmer offended by lawyer quote

Letter to the Editor of by Diana Kline

“Farmers feed people, they do not poison them.”

Farmer and HorseDan 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)

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New Mexico AG Intervenes in Lawsuit to Halt Horse Slaughter Plant

(ALBUQUERQUE)—Attorney General Gary King has filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit to stop a plant in Roswell from slaughtering horses for meat because federal authorities have not yet undertaken the required environmental review.  


Rick De Los Santos, owner of Valley Meat Co. in Roswell, stands in the slaughterhouse where he plans to butcher horses for the foreign meat market. (PAT VASQUEZ-CUNNINGHAM/JOURNAL)

Rick De Los Santos, owner of Valley Meat Co. in Roswell, stands in the slaughterhouse where he plans to butcher horses for the foreign meat market. (PAT VASQUEZ-CUNNINGHAM/JOURNAL)

The AG’s motion, filed late last Friday, joins Front Range Equine Rescue, the Humane Society of the United States, and a variety of other groups and individuals that recently brought the lawsuit in federal district court.

AG King’s motion says New Mexico has a strong interest in ensuring that “commercial operations within its borders are conducted in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.”  Attorney General King previously concluded in a legal analysis last month that “state law does not allow for production of meat that is chemically tainted under federal regulations.”

The lawsuit asks the district court to block Roswell’s Valley Meat Company and several plants in other states from beginning commercial horse slaughter until the United States Department of Agriculture undertakes a full and adequate environmental review of those operations.

One of Attorney General King’s primary concerns is that horses in the United States are frequently treated with drugs that the federal Food and Drug Administration has determined are unsafe for human consumption in any amount.

In an opinion letter issued last month in response to an inquiry from State Senator Richard Martinez, AG King noted a 2010 scientific study which revealed the widespread presence in horses destined for slaughter operations of an anti-inflammatory drug that the FDA determined could cause bone marrow toxicity in humans.

The FDA’s own regulations specifically ban administration of the drug, Phenylbutazone, in any horse sent to slaughter for human consumption.  Nonetheless, the study found that the FDA’s ban is effectively being ignored because no mechanism has been implemented to identify and remove horses that receive Phenylbutazone from food manufacture.  The study determined that this shortcoming “indicates a serious gap in food safety and constitutes a significant public health risk.”

Despite these important concerns about the widespread use on horses of Phenylbutazone and other drugs whose effects on humans are either documented to be harmful or are unknown, the USDA announced that, in its view, the planned horse slaughter operations would not have a significant environmental effect on human health or the environment.  The lawsuit is a response to that determination, and it asks the court to order the USDA to conduct a thorough environmental review prior to approving commercial horse slaughter operations for human consumption.

The Attorney General’s motion to intervene raises other serious concerns, including the additional and costly regulatory burden that commercial horse slaughter operations will likely impose on the State of New Mexico to ensure that waste discharge does not threaten area water supplies and environmental quality.  The imminent slaughter of horses for commercial food production in our state, following the horse meat scandal in Europe, also threatens the well-being of our local food production businesses, especially the beef industry.

Horse Meat In Human Food Chain Causes Health Concerns

Source: WBZ-TV Chief Correspondent Joe Shortsleeve

“We ought to stop this practice and protect these horses, and protect the American people, and other consumers around the world,”

BOSTON (CBS) – The practice of slaughtering race horses is considered inhumane by animal rights groups. There is also a growing health concern for people, as horse meat shows up in the human food chain.

A retired race horse often doesn’t have many options according to Tawnee Preisner of Horse Plus Rescue. “If they’re lucky, they go to a person who wants them and who will retrain them, but most of the time they go to slaughter,” she says.

That can mean a long and grueling trip to Canada or Mexico, because the last slaughter facility in the United States closed six years ago.

“The way in which they are transported to slaughter is inhumane,” according to Dr. Nicholas Dodman of the Tufts Veterinary School. “There are rules for example that they should not be transported in double-decker transporters and not crushed in, and none of those rules are policed.”

By one estimate, 160,000 American horses shared this fate last year, ending up in the human food chain.

Steven O’Toole, General Manager of the Plainridge Track in Plainville, told WBZ no horse leaves his premises for any type of slaughter situation. He added that Massachusetts race tracks were the first to prohibit trainers from sending horses to slaughter.

Although Plainridge has stiff penalties if they find a horse was auctioned to a so called “Kill Buyer,” O’Toole admits it’s not foolproof. “At some point a horse that races with us might end up in a slaughter situation because some will fall through the cracks.”

Nationally, preventing slaughter is even harder to police. A track employee from out West wouldn’t reveal her identity as she said, “It happens quite frequently. . . I think people just want to get rid of the horse anyway they can, and if they can make some money on it, all the better.”

There’s also a real health concern here. Race horses can be given all kinds of drugs in their lifetime, and that is not something that you want going from stable to table.

Dr. Dodman has studied the presence of drugs like phenylbutazone, or ‘bute’, in horsemeat. “It does bad things to your bone marrow. You really don’t want to consume it. The FDA knows that. They banned it for human consumption, and it is banned for use in animals intended for human consumption, but it is used like water in horses.”

In a global economy, Dr. Dodman worries that meat slaughtered in Canada or Mexico could circle back to the United States, particularly because it is cheaper than beef…(CONTINUED)

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Saved from the Slaughterhouse, Horse is Welcomed to New Home on NJ Farm

Source: By Spencer Kent/South Jersey Times as published in

“I didn’t understand such an amazing horse could just be tossed away like that.”

Baia-Roe, a standardbred mare saved from the slaughterhouse, received a warm welcome to the farm of Caitlin Stewart in Pilesgrove Township, Saturday. ~ Photo by Spencer Kent

PILESGROVE TWP. — Baia-Roe is a 15-year-old standardbred mare rescued from a truck that was on its way to a slaughterhouse.

Caitlin Stewart, her boyfriend, Stephen Wade, and brother, Gustave Stewart, all initiated an effort to save Baia-Roe and this weekend a group of about 30 people from all over the state came to Pilesgrove to welcome the rescued horse to her new home.

Baia-Roe was just hours from being taken over the Canadian border by “kill-buyers,” people who purchase horses cheap to then slaughter in order to sell their meat, according to Stewart.

But a place called End of the Line Horse Placement located in Harmony, Pa. – a sort of horse limbo where the animals have the chance to be rescued, but not always – offered a chance to save Baia-Roe.

According to Caitlin Stewart, kill-buyers will sometimes stop at End of the Line on their way to slaughterhouses to see if anyone wants to purchase the horse for rescue.

Stewart saw Baia-Roe on End of the Line’s Facebook site and knew she had to save her.

“There was something about her eyes,” Caitlin said as family and friends gathered Saturday on her Pilesgrove farm. “I didn’t understand such an amazing horse could just be tossed away like that.”

Baia-Roe is a former six-time place winner trotter that was also owned by Amish.

“And when I saw that she was owned by Amish, I knew how hard she must have worked over the years,” Stewart added.

Stewart explained that when dealing with kill-buyers at End of the Line, once a rescuer commits to saving a horse, he or she must pay for the horse via Paypal within a matter of minutes.

“The kill-buyers don’t really care if the horses are saved or not,” she explained. “They just want to make a buck. So once they get their money, they’re gone. It doesn’t matter to them if they get money from me or from selling the meat.”

Once Baia-Roe was purchased for $300, she had to be put in quarantine and have a veterinarian examination before being cleared to travel to New Jersey.

In total, it cost about $2,000 to save Baia-Roe. However, Caitlin was able to gather about $1,400 in donations from family and friends.

This is Stewart’s third rescue horse. She is not sure if she will end up keeping Baia-Roe permanently or adopt her to a loving family. Her boyfriend said he would like to adopt Baia-Roe out and rescue another horse headed for the slaughterhouse.

Stewart explained that though there is not a huge market in the states for horse meat, places in Europe considerate it a delicacy, which is why kill-buyers get good money for the meat.

She also noted that a horse slaughterhouse in Roswell, N.M., is seeking to re-open after horse slaughterhouses were shuttered in the U.S. in 2007. Valley Meat Company, located in Roswell, is one of six slaughterhouses around the nation applying for a permit to slaughter American horses for food, Stewart said.

Nicole Barbye, of Mullica Hill, is a local horse trainer. She is also Stewart’s friend and partner in advocating against horse slaughter.

Stewart, Barbye, Gustave Stewart and Wade have banned together to try and spread awareness about the perils of horse slaughter. Barbye explained that eating horse meat is actually toxic because of a common anti-inflammatory drug horse owners often give to their horses called Phenylbutazone – or “bute” as it’s often referred.

“I am trying to get the word out about the toxicity of horse meat,” Barbye said. “Often horse owners and trainers flood horses with bute, which ends up causing damage to the horse because trainers will run them into the ground.”

Stewart, her passion as radiant as her sleeve of tattoos, added, “And what people don’t realize is, bute-ridden horse meat can give people cancer.”

In January, the United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency (FSA), identified eight cases of bute-positive horse meat in 2012 that may have been sold for food, according to a BBC news report.

Stewart said her goal is to merely spread awareness about such incidents that often get overlooked.

On Saturday, the homecoming for Baia-Roe was a festive one.

Those present at Stewart’s farm enjoyed food and a huge “Welcome Home” sign had been made and placed on the side of a barn.

Stewart responded to whether she considered herself an activist and said, “I guess I’d consider myself an activist. I’m outspoken, but you hear ‘activist’ and you think it’s something political. This isn’t political.”

Neither is Caitlin a “liberal hippie,” as Stewart finished by saying, “Look – I’m a registered Republican. I just want to save these horses.”

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Video: Phenylbutazone, Equines and Human Health

2013 American Equine Summit ~ Ann M. Marini, Ph.D., M.D.

We will be featuring key presentations, everyday during this upcoming week.  The information contained within each is invaluable in fighting the horse-eaters and their propaganda.  Direct YouTube link for this presentation is:

Veterinary Drug Bute found in Asda Corned Beef

Source: of the UK’s The Guardian

Supermarket withdraws 340g tins of Smart Price Corned Beef after discovery of phenylbutazone
Click Image to View Video

Click Image to View Video

Supermarket chain Asda said on Tuesday that it was recalling its range of budget corned beef after low levels of the veterinary pain killer phenylbutazone – known as bute – were detected.

The Food Standards Agency said the retailer had confirmed that the drug was detected in 340g tins of Asda Smart Price Corned Beef that had previously been found to contain traces of horsemeat.

The discovery is the first confirmation that products containing the drug have been sold in the UK after concerns were raised in the wake of the horsemeat scandal. Previously, eight horse carcasses slaughtered in the UK for consumption tested positive for bute, but the meat was exported.

Bute is banned from the human food chain as it could pose a health risk. But the FSA said the risk to people who had eaten products containing contaminated horse meat was low.

Asda said the affected product, which had been withdrawn from sale in March when the horsemeat was detected, contained “very low levels of bute”, registering four parts per billion. It urged customers to return tins to their nearest store: “Although there is a very low health risk, we are recalling this product. This simply means that we ask anyone who has tinned Smart Price Corned Beef (340g) in their cupboards at home to bring it back into store for a full refund.”

The retailer said it was also withdrawing 340g tins of its Chosen By You corned beef as a precaution as they were made in the same factory as the contaminated products.

“We want you to have complete confidence in the food you buy at Asda and we are happy to refund any product you’re not 100% happy with,” it said. The FSA said no other Asda products were thought to be affected.

Asda claimed to have taken “an extremely cautious approach since the very beginning” and had carried out more than 700 tests, “moving swiftly to remove any products” when they had any concerns. “The FSA has reassured us that the quantities we’ve found pose a low risk to human health.”

The FSA‘s chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, said the levels of contamination would be too low to have any significant impact on anyone who had consumed the affected meat. “Phenylbutazone, known as bute, is a commonly used medicine in horses. It is also prescribed to some patients who are suffering from a severe form of arthritis,” she said.

The levels of bute previously found in horse carcasses meant a person would have to eat up to 600 burgers, containing 100% horsemeat, every day to come close to consuming a human’s daily dose of the drug, she said.”In patients who have been taking phenylbutazone as a medicine, there can be serious side effects but these are rare. It is extremely unlikely that anyone who has eaten horsemeat containing bute will experience one of these side effects.”

Horse carcasses in the UK are required to have a negative bute test before they can enter the food chain but the Guardian discovered in February that two carcasses which tested positive for bute in 2012 were not reported to the FSA for up to seven months.

Asda’s announcement came as a new study revealed that the government appeared to have averted a crisis of confidence in the meat industry by telling consumers the horsemeat scandal posed no health risk. A poll of more than 8,000 people found that few people were changing their shopping habits because of the scandal.

WY Horse Slaughter Article Missed the Point

Source: Wyoming‘s Star Tribune

Horse slaughter is horribly abusive and cannot be made humane for horses”


Horses awaiting sale at Sugarcreek Livestock Auction ~ photo by Alex Brown

Horses awaiting sale at Sugarcreek Livestock Auction ~ photo by Alex Brown

I was very disappointed by your recent article about prospective horse slaughter plants opening in Wyoming (“Prospective Wyoming horse slaughterhouse investors watch national scene,” March 31). This article failed to address the inhumane nature of horse slaughter and serious food safety risks associated with the consumption of horse meat.

Horse slaughter is horribly abusive and cannot be made humane for horses. During transport to slaughter, horses are crowded on trucks without food, water, or rest for up to 24 hours and often sustain severe injuries or even die during transport. In fact, a Government Accounting Office report recommended banning the export of American horses for slaughter. Additionally, the slaughtering process itself is also very inhumane. Horses are skittish by nature and cannot be stunned properly. As a result, some horses are still alive during slaughter. When horse slaughter plants operated in the U.S., the USDA reported horrific cruelty, including eyeballs hanging by a thread of skin and broken bones.

The article also failed to mention that if horse slaughter returns to U.S. soil, there is a serious public health risk. Unlike animals raised for food, horses are not raised for human consumption in the U.S., and they receive hundreds of drugs over the course of their lives that can be toxic to humans if ingested. For example, Phenylbutazone (“horse aspirin”) is a drug commonly given to horses that is also a known carcinogen in humans. Worse yet, there is no system in the U.S. to track what drugs a horse has received to ensure the meat is safe for human consumption. Horse slaughter proponents have already publicly stated that they plan to market horse meat within the U.S., making this a real threat to the American public.

Horse slaughter is bad for people and bad for horses. Considering that 80 percent of the American public opposes horse slaughter, Wyoming should not become known as a state that slaughters horses. The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act, House Resolution 1094/Senate File 541 will put an end to horse slaughter. Please call our two U.S. Senators and our U.S. Representative urging co-sponsorship of this important legislation.


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Phenylbutazone in Horsemeat Detected by Thermo Fisher Scientific test

Source: Press Release from Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc

“Phenylbutazone is considered to be one of the most toxic non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Click on Image to Enlarge and Read Warning

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., the world leader in serving science, recently mobilized its Food Safety Response Center (FSRC) to develop a method to test for the presence of the veterinary drug phenylbutazone in horsemeat. Phenylbutazone, also known as “bute,” is a potent painkiller banned in any horsemeat intended for human consumption. Although horsemeat is not approved for human consumption in the U.S, it is commonly sold and consumed in many countries worldwide.

The new Thermo Fisher method overcomes previous challenges of testing horsemeat by using a simple two-step solid-phase extraction (SPE) cleanup protocol that is significantly faster than the manual liquid-liquid extraction procedures required by other methods. The method has been validated by Thermo Fisher FSRC scientists according to guidelines set by the EU, AOAC International and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.

“We activate the Food Safety Response Center when risk of a foodborne illness is widespread and potentially life-threatening,” said Michal Godula, Ph.D., marketing manager, food safety and environmental applications for Thermo Fisher Scientific. “Lost in discussions of mislabeling and fraud is the fact that some horsemeat may contain chemicals that are toxic to humans, and our response, in the form of a new testing method, can rapidly detect ‘bute’ and help protect the food supply.”

In 2007, the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service stated that “phenylbutazone is considered to be one of the most toxic non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It is not approved for use in food animals and there are no regulatory limits, such as acceptable daily intake or safe concentration for meat, established by the Food and Drug Administration. Therefore, the presence of any amount of phenylbutazone in food animal tissue will be considered a violation and likely to be unsafe for human consumption.”

For more information about the new method: