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Breaking News: USDA Approves Horse Slaughter Plant in New Mexico

Friday, June 28, 2013 - 2:00pm
Close up of brown horse outside

In the wake of important victories for horses, we are dismayed to learn that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today approved an application for horse slaughter inspections at Valley Meat Company LLC in Roswell, New Mexico, and will issue horse slaughter permits in Missouri and Iowa on Monday.

The inherent cruelty of horse slaughter is reason enough for our government to prevent this practice, but the dangers to consumers, the clear public opposition to slaughtering our horses for foreign diners, and the harm we know this will cause our communities make this a reckless and hazardous move by the USDA.

These plants are now slated to be the first facilities in the U.S. to slaughter our horses for human consumption since 2007, when the few remaining plants closed after states took action to shutter them and Congress voted to eliminate funding for horse meat inspections. The two Agriculture Appropriations bills that will eliminate the possibility of horse slaughter in the U.S. are expected to be voted on by the full House and Senate in July—today’s announcement is a serious federal bureaucratic misstep that defies common sense.

“Moving ahead with the costly proposition of funding horse slaughter inspections is wasteful, cruel and reckless,” says Nancy Perry, Senior Vice President of ASPCA Government Relations. “Recent polling shows that 70% of New Mexicans, 70% of Missourians and 71% of Iowans, along with the overwhelming majority of Americans, oppose the slaughter of U.S. horses for human consumption. Given the recent outrage over horse meat entering the food supply in Europe, this decision is irresponsible. The USDA is knowingly diverting tax dollars from programs that protect American consumers to programs that jeopardize them. It is time for Congress to take action to prevent American horses from suffering this terrible fate and stop horse slaughter in the U.S. once and for all.”

Passing the Safeguard American Foods Export (SAFE) Act (S. 541/ H.R. 1094) is now more crucial than ever. Doing so will prevent the slaughter of horses in the U.S., end the current export of American horses for slaughter abroad, and protect the public from consuming toxic horse meat. Please be a voice for the horses TODAY and urge your members of Congress to cosponsor the SAFE Act to protect horses and consumers. This nightmarish trade must be stopped.

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Kathy

So terrible! :(

siearah

i think they should treat the owner of the horses the same as they treated the horses. lock the owner up dont give them food or water and slice their skin every time you see them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

siearah

actualy i adopted a dog named scrappy and a cat named cinnakat their great together and i love them soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooomuch.

kimberly miller

Everyone involved in the slaughter of America's wild and domestic horses, from the overbreeders of America, to the signing of the slaughter bill, to the builders and operators of the slaughter plants, will have to answer to GOD....Horses are not for human consumption. HORSES HEAL PEOPLE AND PEOPLE HEAL HORSES..... THERAPUTIC RIDING CENTERS ACROSS AMERICA NOW, FOR GODS GIFT OF HORSES TO HUMANS,,, 70k of Americas wild horses are sitting on death row, if they have not been sold off for human consumption yet, as well as 300k domestic horses made homeless by the overbreeders of America., yearly....(GO TO SLAUGHTER YEARLY) HAS EVERYONE FORGOT WHAT HORSES AND BURROS HAVE AND CAN DO FOR MAN.. HORSES AND BURROS HAVE A PURPOSE LIKE PEOPLE, GOD BLESS THEM FOR THE ABUSE THAT MAN RAINS DOWN ON THEM DAILY OUT OF GREED

morgansinkc

I am also against the USDA opening up inspections for the proposed horse slaughter plants in the United States because horses in the U.S. are not raised for human consumption. As a grower of corn, wheat and soybeans, having the USDA inspect horse slaughter plants concerns me as well.

They are our friends and companions (at least they are my friends and companions), and as such horses are treated with drugs like cats and dogs to a wide variety of vaccinations, bacterins, topical and oral treatments that are not approved for human consumption. We use gloves with topical treatments, because we don't want equine drugs touching our skin, let alone consuming them.

It's not economical to raise horses for slaughter in the U.S., because it takes more money to raise a foal to maturity than the horse meat market is willing to pay. It's an economical losing proposition. Therefore, the USDA has no business inspecting a horse slaughter plant that by default will be receiving horses that are not fit for human consumption. The horses they will be receiving have not been raised drug-free for human consumption.

As a grower of corn, wheat and soybeans, the USDA's reputation directly affects many. The European Union, which is where most of the horse meat would go, has a zero tolerance for Bute (Phenylbutazone) , which is routinely given to horses in the U.S. It is estimated that 90% of horses in the U.S. have been treated with this drug, not to mention all of the other drugs.

There is no good way to test for all of these drugs on every horse destined for slaughter, which would need to be done, since they are not raised for human consumption in the U.S. Many tests would need to be run on each horse, and there is no way to do this in a timely fashion, especially given that the tests have to be run after the horse is dead, and that autopsies need to be performed within 24 hours. The owners of the proposed Gallatin, Missouri horse slaughter plant say they will have the University of Missouri test each horse. That would mean dead body parts would need to be shipped from Gallatin to Columbia, and the University of Missouri does not perform testing on the weekends.

Most of the horses destined for slaughter are young or middle-aged, and in the prime of their lives. Two that have been rescued from slaughter have gone on and are now showing at the Morgan Grand National level.

Here is information on what New Jersey has done regarding horse slaughter in the hopes that others will take note:

http://www.oceancountysignal.com/2012/09/21/dancer-bill-banning-horse-meat-for-human-consumption-signed-into-law/

"The law prohibits anyone from knowingly slaughtering or selling a horse for human consumption."

morgansinkc

Horse slaughter is s a highly expensive proposition for taxpayers.

Each plant will cost taxpayers $400,000.00, according to this press release. This issue crosses all party lines. Voters and politicians from all sides of the isle are against horse slaughter for a laundry list of reasons.

Here is the press release:

http://moran.house.gov/press-release/moran-statement-usda-decision-allowing-re-opening-us-horse-slaughter-facility

"According to the USDA, each horse slaughter facility...would cost U.S. taxpayers over $400,000 per year in operation costs."

This is the worst economy since the Great Depression. In addition to the cost of the USDA inspecting plants, at a price tag of $400,000.00 per plant to U.S. taxpayers, the meat will not even be eaten in the U.S. Why should we, as American taxpayers, pay for these inspections?

Additionally, we have to factor in the taxpayer expense of police officers who will likely be taking more reports on horse theft and making more investigations into horse theft.

As a horse owner, the thought of horse theft and stolen horses ending up at slaughter concerns me greatly. I would hope that it would concern you, too. Many people think of their horses as family members.

morgansinkc

Please sign the petition to ban horse slaughter in the U.S.:
http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/ban-horse-slaughter-now

Here is another petition, this one to Stop Horse Slaughter Factory in Missouri:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/925/215/246/stop-horse-slaughter-factory-in-missouri/