Graphic Video: Animal’s Angels Capture What Horses Go Through Before They Even Get To Slaughter!

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“Please share the video below with everybody you know! Most country’s were built on the back of horses & this is how they are repaid…it’s Fxxxxxg disgusting!!” 

“Please support all horse welfare charities that are trying to stop the slaughter of horses for human consumption. Please try to watch so you can understand the suffering they go through…the first video is fine to watch; the second, well it shows the truth & it’s not pretty or nice!!”

Just a few of the many petitions to sign; please

John Birdsong IES Case

Published on 5 Apr 2014

This video shows a mare delivered to the Cavel horse slaughter plant in Illinois on behalf of kill buyer John Birdsong. The mare should have never been loaded in this horrific condition. This is just more proof that horse slaughter – no matter if on US soil or in Canada or Mexico – will NEVER be humane. Please share wide and far and urge your representative to support the SAFE ACT, legislation that would ban the slaughter of US horses for human consumption.

Viewer Discretion Is Advised

Hoof-beats of Horror

Published on 31 Mar 2014

WARNING – GRAPHIC CONTENT THAT MIGHT BE DISTURBING TO SOME VIEWERS.

Animals’ Angels (www.animalsangels.org) latest video shows the brutal reality of the horse slaughter industry in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Argentina. Our investigators followed the slaughter horses’ torturous journey all the way from US auctions to kill buyer feedlots and from there to export pens and slaughter plants across the border. 

Please share this video wide and far, it is more proof that horse slaughter will never be humane and that it needs to stop immediately. 

Please support the Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE ACT; S.541;H.R.1094) Act , legislation introduced to stop the export of US horses across the border for slaughter in Mexico & Canada and to prevent US horse slaughter plants from reopening. 

Contact your representative now and urge him/her to support this important legislation. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

 

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PETITION: PLEASE BAN THE GRAND NATIONAL

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“I’m sat here thinking of all the horses that will run today! Please pray with me that they all finish safely & return to their homes. Some horses can finish the race but die later that day or the next due to internal injuries sustained whilst racing!” 

Please sign the Petition:http://www.animalaid.org.uk/h/f/ACTIVE/petition/?id=10&campaign=horse

If your unsure about the Race Horse Industry, or don’t believe it should be banned, please, download Animal Aids fact files on Race horses below, hopefully it will change your mind:-

ACTION POINTS

The following initiatives would have an important impact on the welfare of Thoroughbred horses. We need your assistance to ensure they are implemented.

  • The publication of comprehensive data on equine mortality, sickness and injury.
  • A ban on the whip. It is not merely cruel, but our research shows that it is counterproductive from the point of view of the rider. Please visit our website for more details.
  • A proper fund for retired thoroughbreds.
  • A ban on the Grand National – a deliberately punishing and hazardous race.

BAN THE GRAND NATIONAL PETITION

Every year more than 400 horses are raced to death in Britain. The racing industry also slaughters thousands of ‘unprofitable’ animals who fail to make the grade. The Grand National at Aintree is particularly cruel and is designed to push horses to their limit and beyond. The majority of horses fail to finish the race, with equine death and injury being a routine feature.

We the undersigned: Believe that, however much welfare standards improve, the Grand National is morally unacceptable. We therefore call for a ban on this race.

SIGN PETITION HERE:-http://www.animalaid.org.uk/h/f/ACTIVE/petition/?id=10&campaign=horse

News Link:-http://www.animalaid.org.uk/h/n/CAMPAIGNS/horse/ALL/592//

Horse Race Cruelty! Animal Planet “Jockeys”

ANIMAL PLANET: JOCKEYS WIN OR DIE TRYING IS A CRUEL SHOW BASED ON A CRUEL INDUSTRY!

For more information on horse racing cruelty, visit http://www.chai-online.org, http://www.hsus.org, or http://www.idausa.org/facts/racing.htm.

!!!! Ban the Cruel Horse Drawn Carriage Industry in Chicago:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/Ban-…

*Photos used thanks to http://www.peta.org, At Our Hands, Animal Exploitation Gallery, http://www.chai-online.org and http://www.fund4horses.org*

Race Horse Death Watch – Background

Animal Aid’s Race Horse Death Watch was launched during the 2007 Festival.

Its purpose is to expose and record every on-course thoroughbred fatality in Britain.

The horse racing authorities have failed to put clear, unambiguous horse death information into the public domain, preferring to offer complex statistical data rather than specifying, as Death Watch does, the names of killed horses, where the fatality occurred, who was riding the horse and the nature of the injury.

We have good reason to believe that the equine fatalities we are able to list on Death Watch, and which we have verified, fall some 30% short of the true total. Disgruntled industry insiders have, in the past, supplied us with documents to support that view. Since Death Watch was launched, we have periodically produced special reports detailing the scale of on-course deaths, the most lethal race courses, the nature of injuries suffered, and the relative dangers posed by National Hunt, Flat and All Weather racing.

You can read those on the Death Watch Reports page.

Deaths on racecourses are just one part of the sorry story to be told about commercial racing. Animal Aid’s extensive research over many years demonstrates that the industry treats thoroughbreds as mere reproducible commodities. It kills or dumps thousands every year when they fail to make the grade or when their racing days are over.

You can read our reports exposing the welfare problems associated with thoroughbred breeding, racing, and training, and the disposal of commercially unproductive stock on our main website:http://www.animalaid.org.uk/h/n/CAMPAIGNS/horse/ALL/.

A Total of 40 horses have died in 2014 alone  on UK & Ireland Race Tracks

 Link:http://horsedeathwatch.com/background.php

 

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THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION IS FAILING EUROPEAN ANIMALS

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When meat is imported into the European Union the law stipulates that the animal must have been slaughtered in line with EU legislation.

However, when EU animals are exported, the same rules are not afforded to them and instead they can face brutal treatment and long drawn out slaughter.

Every year three million European animals are sent on long, stressful journeys to be fattened or slaughtered outside the EU. A vast number of these go to the Middle East where Compassion’s recent investigation, in partnership with Animals Australia, has uncovered immeasurable suffering.

Please take a moment to watch the film and slideshow below to find out more about this deplorable trade. Be warned; some of the film is distressing to watch, but it’s essential concerned citizens find out where European animals are ending their journeys.

Take action against the EU’s cruel live animal export trade

 

Published on 27 Feb 2014

Every year three million European animals are sent on long, stressful journeys to be fattened or slaughtered outside the EU. A vast number of these go to the Middle East where Compassion’s recent investigation, in partnership with Animals Australia, has uncovered immeasurable suffering.

Please take a moment to watch the film and find out more about this deplorable trade. Be warned, some of the film is distressing to watch, but it’s essential that concerned citizens find out where European animals are ending their journeys.

Watch, share and take action herehttp://goo.gl/tEQQ2R

Please take a moment to watch and share our investigation. Warning: Due to its upsetting nature, you may need to verify that you are over 18 to watch the film.

When European farm animals are exported to non-EU countries every shred of protection they once received in their place of birth is rendered meaningless.

After enduring long, exhausting journeys by land and sea they may face terrifying ordeals at slaughter.

Animals are dragged by their limbs, bound up with ropes, pinned down by groups of men, beaten with metal rods, suspended upside down for extended periods of time, and eventually slaughtered in unacceptable ways that leave them conscious for many minutes after having their throats cut.

The European Commission has the power to take steps to stop this, but as each day passes without action more and more animals continue to suffer.

  • The European Commission must work towards ending the live export trade and if necessary replacing it with a trade in meat.
  • While a trade in exporting live animals continues, the European Commission must implement a scheme that will guarantee exported animals are treated in ways that prevent the worst of the suffering.
  • The European Commission must provide practical support to countries that import live animals from the EU in order that they can improve transport, handling and slaughter methods. This will not only improve the welfare of EU animals but also of any other animals slaughtered in those countries.

Please take action today. Email the Commission and call for an end to this suffering.

News Link:-http://action.ciwf.org.uk/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=119&ea.campaign.id=25833&ea.tracking.id=7774353c&utm_campaign=transport&utm_source=actionemail&utm_medium=email&ea.url.id=204606&ea.campaigner.email=KmIGskm9q9s8Id8OlpmXxz%2BUx/5a9CUY&ea_broadcast_target_id=0

Please sign the petition at the above link Or below

http://action.ciwf.org.uk/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=119&ea.campaign.id=25833&ea.tracking.id=7774353c&utm_campaign=transport&utm_source=actionemail&utm_medium=email&ea.url.id=204606&ea.campaigner.email=KmIGskm9q9s8Id8OlpmXxz%2BUx/5a9CUY&ea_broadcast_target_id=0

Please also take a moment to share the results of this investigation and call on others to take action with you!:-www.ciwf.org/EUliveexports

Media Gallery

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Graphic content: Slaughter Of Horses Causes Outrage: Petition To Sign

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“Horses will continue to suffer if not properly restrained & the gun aimed at the right place, by someone trained to do so, for an instant death! The horses in this video were in open crates, outside, with no restraints etc. One horse actually has to be whipped to get it away from the horse in the kill pen, but when horses sense danger; they tend to stick with other horses. They are flight animals, just the sound of the gun would make them very skittish; they can smell fear & blood & being able to see their fellow horses killed straight in front of them is appalling! No horse is just going to stand there & not move its head around, i.e. no clean shot which means no instant death via a gun! . This place obviously has no empathy or respect; so let’s get the bastards closed down!”

December 13, 2012 by 

ALLEGATIONS of inhumane slaughter of horses at a western suburbs knackery have sparked outrage and prompted the Melbourne and Werribee Open Range zoos to source horsemeat from other knackeries.

Petition by Ella Edwards Melboune, Australia

Please sign Petition:-http://www.change.org/petitions/laverton-knackery-stop-slaughtering-horses-whilst-still-alive-treat-them-with-dignity?share_id=LVTXrnLsgj&utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition

Secret footage shot by animal activists, the Coalition for Protection of Racehorses, and seen by Fairfax Media, shows several horses being killed at the Laverton Knackery, with at least one animal tied up and dragged along concrete while apparently still alive. The allegations are being investigated by the state’s meat regulator, PrimeSafe, as well as the RSPCA after Animals Australia – the group that uncovered cruelty to Australian cattle in Indonesia in 2011 – made a formal complaint.

Footage of a horse being dragged at Laverton Knackery

In a detailed letter to the Department of Primary Industries, Animals Australia claims dozens of breaches of animal cruelty, hygiene, welfare and meat industry laws, which could result in the cancellation or suspension of the business’ licence.

In one case, Animals Australia alleges a ”worker shot the horse twice, did not ensure the horse was dead, and then tied the horse to a tractor and dragged him across 60 metres of concrete and gravel after which he was found to still be breathing.

”The worker shot the horse again and the horse’s throat was then slit and the horse continued to make purposeful movements, paddling his legs and lifting his head off the ground until he eventually died.”

PrimeSafe chief executive Brian Casey said it would examine the potential breaches of the Pet Meat standard.

Mr Casey said horses are ”skittish” at the best of times but animals must always be handled and killed humanely. 

Laverton Knackery did not wish to comment when contacted on Wednesday .

The RSPCA confirmed that is conducting an investigation into animal cruelty, after receiving a complaint in November.

Last week, Animals Australia showed the video to Melbourne and Werribee zoos director Kevin Tanner. ”Zoos Victoria has ceased all supply arrangements with Laverton Pet Supplies following the presentation of evidence from Animals Australia showing inhumane treatment of horses at their premise,” Mr Tanner said. He said Zoos Victoria was also reviewing all other meat supply arrangements for all its zoos, including Healesville Sanctuary, to ensure suppliers adhere to the organisation’s Animal Welfare commitments.

Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses campaign manager Elio Celotto said the group was ”absolutely unsurprised” at the vision its activist captured.

”Primesafe, in my opinion, are not doing their job, these horses deserve to be treated with dignity,” Mr Celotto said.

Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh said he would closely monitor the investigations.

”Cruelty to animals will not be tolerated,” Mr Walsh said.Animal handling facilities that do not adhere to the rules and regulations regarding animal welfare can expect to face prosecution and have their operation licences cancelled.” “It’s no good just saying it, Welsh needs to act & prosecute all who do not adhere to rules & regulations; but then would lead to around 90% of slaughterhouses needing prosecutions!”

The allegations come amid renewed pressure on Australia’s live export trade after footage of cruelty to Australian cattle in Israeli abattoirs was screened on the ABC’s 7.30 on Tuesday night.

The new claims have again prompted calls from the Greens, independent Andrew Wilkie and some in the Labor caucus for the trade to be shut down or for tougher scrutiny by regulators.

Video ( Viewer Discretion) & News Linkhttp://www.theage.com.au/victoria/slaughter-of-horses-causes-outrage-20121212-2ba3l.html#ixzz2nV15Fk6W

Appeals Court Vacates Ban on US Horse Slaughter

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“THIS IS A DIFFICULT SUBJECT for me to discuss. I own horses & understand that due to overpopulation, lack of food or abandonment etc. it is causing welfare problems. Charities can’t protect every horse in need of a home, they will simply never have enough funds to protect them all. God…I wish they could, I hate to see horses or any animal for that matter suffer, no animal lover would want an animal to suffer unnecessarily. So to prevent this, if there is no other way possible to save them, I would prefer they were put out of their misery; in the kindest way possible & cremated.  Horses die from disease, injury or just old age & their bodies have to be dealt with whatever the circumstance.

“If owners are not permitted to dispose of the body themselves on their own land, which most aren’t; then the body (no matter how loved) has to be dealt with! I dread the day one of my horses dies or has to be put to sleep, but I don’t have land to bury them on or the required permission…it would literally break my heart, but I will have no option but to still call the knacker man (for want of a better word) to cremate the body & return the ashes to me, so I can do with them as I wish.”

“WHAT I  OPPOSE is the use of slaughterhouses TO KILL HEALTHY, ILL & ABUSED HORSES FOR FOOD & PROFIT! This planet already kills way too many animals to feed the population, some in the most barbaric, cheapest & despicable ways, with rife abuse & cruelty: which is why I don’t eat animals. Those who don’t own horses but own dogs, would find the practice of a slaughterhouse for dogs horrific & wouldn’t stand for it! Just as it is with horse owners/lovers… HORSES DO NOT BELONG ON THE MENU in this century or the next. By all means their bodies have to be dealt with…BUT NO HORSE SHOULD END UP ON A PLATE! Killing horses for their meat & profit alone is not justified; THOSE WHO WISH TO KILL HORSES FOR FOOD, ARE IN IT FOR THE MONEY, PURE GREED ALONE & IT IS THEY WHO SHOULD BE BANNED!!”

A federal appeals court on Friday removed a temporary ban on domestic horse slaughter, clearing the way for companies in New Mexico, Missouri and Iowa to open while an appeal of a lawsuit by animal protection groups proceeds.

abuse1

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver lifted the emergency injunction it issued in November after The Humane Society of the United States and others appealed the ruling of a federal judge in Albuquerque. The judge said the U.S. Department of Agriculture followed proper procedure in issuing permits to Valley Meat Co. in Roswell, N.M., Rains Natural Meats of Gallatin, Mo., and Responsible Transportation in Sigourney, Iowa.

The appeals court’s order Friday said the groups had “failed to meet their burden for an injunction pending appeal.”

Blair Dunn, an attorney for Valley Meat and Rains Natural Meats, said the order lifts the emergency status of the case, meaning it will likely be months before a final decision is issued.

Dunn said the plants are ready to open, although they could agree to remain shuttered if the plaintiffs agree to post a sufficient bond to cover the companies’ losses should they ultimately prevail.

“They are getting ready to go as quickly as they can. It shouldn’t take too long. Not more than two weeks,” he said.

The Humane Society, however, said “the fight for America‘s horses is not over.”

“We will press for a quick resolution of the merits of our claims in the 10th Circuit,” said Jonathan R. Lovvorn, the group’s senior vice president of animal protection litigation and investigations.

The plants would become the first horse slaughterhouses to operate in the U.S. since 2007. Congress effectively banned horse slaughter by eliminating funding for inspections at the plants in 2006. It restored that funding in 2011, but the USDA did not approve the first permits for horse slaughterhouses until this summer.

The issue has divided horse rescue and animal welfare groups, ranchers, politicians and Indian tribes about what is the most humane way to deal with the country’s horse overpopulation, and what rescue groups have said are a rising number of neglected and starving horses as the West deals with persistent drought.

Valley Meat and Responsible Transportation were set to begin horse slaughter operations in August, but U.S. District Judge Christina Armijo blocked their plans while she heard the lawsuit by The Humane Society of the United States, Front Range Equine Rescue and others. The groups claimed the plants should have been forced to undergo environmental reviews under provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act.

Responsible Transportation abandoned its horse slaughter plans and converted its plant to cattle before Armijo dismissed the lawsuit in November.

Attorneys for the plants have argued that the plaintiffs are simply in court because they are morally opposed to horse slaughter and are looking for a way to delay the plants while they lobby Congress for a ban.

Proponents of a return to domestic horse slaughter point to a 2011 report from the federal Government Accountability Office that shows horse abuse and abandonment have increased since domestic horse slaughter was banned. They say it is better to slaughter the animals in humane, federally regulated facilities than have them abandoned to starve across the drought-stricken West or shipped to inhumane facilities in Mexico.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, calls the practice barbaric and has said blocking a return to domestic horse “is an issue of national importance and scale.”

News Link:http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/appeals-court-vacates-ban-us-horse-slaughter-21216265

Animal Welfare Groups Plan Suit in Response to USDA Decision to Support the Slaughter of Horses for Human Consumption

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“Scroll to the end of this post, to see a gallery of some of the worlds most beautiful horses…how could anyone even think, about killing one; let alone eating one??”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has given the green light for the grisly practice of horse slaughter to resume on U.S. soil. The agency approved an application for horse slaughter inspections under federal law at a plant in New Mexico.

This news comes on the heels of the U.S. House and Senate appropriations committees’ votes to halt all funding for horse slaughter in FY 2014. The decision means that the federal government could potentially spend millions of taxpayer dollars to start up inspections at horse slaughter plants, only to have Congress terminate the process in the coming months.

In response to the USDA’s decision, The Humane Society of the United States and Front Range Equine Rescue plan to file suit immediately against the USDA to put a stop to this agency decision. The two groups previously informed USDA that they would take aggressive legal action against the agency, in light of the serious unresolved environmental and food safety issues surrounding horse slaughter.

Jonathan Lovvorn, senior vice president and chief counsel for animal protection litigation at The HSUS, said: “The USDA’s decision to start up domestic horse slaughter, while at the same time asking Congress to defund it, is bizarre and unwarranted. Slaughter plants have a history of polluting their communities and producing horsemeat that is tainted with a dangerous cocktail of banned drugs.

“We intend to hold the Obama administration accountable in federal court for this inhumane, wasteful and illegal decision.”

Hilary Wood, president of Front Range Equine Rescue, said: “America’s horses are not raised as food animals, and they receive numerous substances during their lives making them unfit and illegal for human consumption. Adding insult to injury, the suffering of the horses in the slaughter pipeline and the danger to humans makes this action more than inhumane. Horses bound for slaughter have many alternatives open to them including re-training, re-homing, and humane euthanasia. We remain committed to stopping this insult to justice and our sense of justice.”

The USDA’s approval is particularly surprising, considering the recent scandal in the European Union, where horsemeat was discovered in food products labeled as beef.  The operation of horse slaughter plants in the U.S. will make it more difficult to prevent the commingling between horsemeat and beef products that occurred in Europe.

Horses are raised as pets and for use in show, sport, work and recreation in the U.S. and are regularly administered drugs that are expressly prohibited by current federal regulations for use in animals intended for human consumption. For example, a common pain reliever routinely administered to all types of horses, Phenylbutazone, is known to cause potentially fatal human diseases, and if the animal has taken the drug, the meat is adulterated and should not be eaten. There is also no system in the U.S. to track medications and veterinary treatments given to horses to ensure that their meat is safe.

Any facility slaughtering thousands of horses will necessarily be processing the blood, organs and remains of animals whose tissues and blood may contain significant amounts of dangerous substances, which are either known to be dangerous, or which have never been tested on humans and therefore present completely unknown dangers. At least six applications for horse slaughter inspections have been filed with the USDA.

Background:

  • This month, the U.S. House and Senate Appropriations committees voted to block funding for inspections of horse slaughter plants. President Obama’s proposed FY 2014 budget also included a request for Congress to prevent tax dollars from supporting horse slaughter.
  • The HSUS and FRER also filed petitions with USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to declare horsemeat unfit for human consumption. USDA denied that petition.
  • According to a national poll conducted last year, 80 percent of Americans disapprove of horse slaughter.
  • “Kill buyers” gather up horses from random sources and profit by selling healthy horses for slaughter that bring the best price per pound for their meat. USDA reports show that approximately 92 percent of American horses going to slaughter are healthy and would otherwise be able to go on to lead productive lives.
  • The methods used to kill horses rarely result in quick, painless deaths, as horses often endure repeated blows to render them unconscious and sometimes remain conscious during the slaughtering process. When horse slaughter plants previously operated in the U.S., the USDA documented severe injuries to horses in the slaughter pipeline, including broken bones and eyeballs hanging from a thread of skin.
  • The Safeguard American Food Exports Act, H.R. 1094 / S. 541, introduced this year by U.S. Sens. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Reps. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., and Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., is a bipartisan measure that would outlaw horse slaughter operations in the U.S., end the current export of American horses for slaughter abroad, and protect the public from consuming toxic horsemeat.

News Link:-http://www.humanesociety.org/news/press_releases/2013/06/usda-horse-slaughter-suit-062813.html

Some of the world most beautiful horses – should not end up on a dinner plate!

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Dept. of Agriculture Approves Horse Slaughterhouse Amid Lawsuit Threat

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“PLEASE NOTE – GRAPHIC IMAGES OF HORSE TRAILER ACCIDENTS – AT THE END OF THIS POST. Do not scroll down the post if you do not want to see them! They are just one of many reasons why these companion animals should not be slaughtered for human consumption; would you think it ok to send your family pet dog to slaughter? Horses were not put on Gods green earth for humans to eat, they are our pets; just as much as cats & dogs are!”

“It is pure greed, FFS we slaughter enough animals to satisfy the human hunger for meat. Nobody is going to starve, horses are not part of a normal persons diet. I am totally sickened & disgusted that this heinous act, the killing of Gods noble most beautiful creatures; is once more going to be in action!! I can only hope & pray that those who want to eat any part of a horse, after all the health scares etc. suffer a miserable & painful existence!! PLEASE sign the petitions”

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A New Mexico meat plant received federal approval on Friday to slaughter horses for meat, a move that drew immediate opposition from animal rights group and will likely be opposed by the White House.

The U.S. Agriculture Department said it was required by law to issue a “grant of inspection” to Valley Meat Co, Roswell, New Mexico, because it had met all federal requirements. Now, the USDA is obliged to assign meat inspectors to the plant.

The USDA also said it may soon issue similar grants for plants in Missouri and Iowa.

NO HORSE SHOULD END UP ON THE END OF A BUTCHERS HOOK!!

Horse meat cannot be sold as food in the United States, but it can be exported. Attempts to reach Valley Meat Co via a number listed on-line were unsuccessful.

Valley Meat would be the first meat plant to be allowed to slaughter horses since Congress banned it in 2006.

It is not known when the plant will start production, but two bills in Congress want to ban horse slaughter and President Obama has asked Congress to ban it.

The Humane Society of the United States and Front Range Equine Rescue threatened on Friday to sue the USDA, saying horses are raised as pets and as working animals. Because they are not intended as food animals, horses are given medications banned from other livestock, the groups said, questioning if the meat would be safe.

The USDA says it can test for residues of 130 pesticide and veterinary drugs. It also has safeguards to keep horse meat out of the food supply.

Congress effectively banned horse slaughter in 2006 by saying the USDA could not spend any money to inspect horse plants. Without USDA inspection, meat plants cannot operate.

The ban was part of the annual USDA funding bill and was renewed a year at a time through 2011. The prohibition expired in October 2011.

Lawmakers could vote on reinstating the ban in coming weeks when the USDA appropriations bills are debated in the House and Senate. But no date has been set to consider the bills and it could be months before work is completed.

The USDA said it was required by law to issue the grant of inspection because Valley Meat met all federal requirements. At one point, the company sued the USDA for an overly long review of its application. Once it issues a grant of inspection, the USDA is obliged to assign meat inspectors to a meat plant.

“Until Congress acts, the department must comply with current law,” said a USDA spokeswoman.

Valley Meat retrofitted its plant for horses after drought weakened its cattle slaughter business.

Horse meat is sold for human consumption in China, Russia, Mexico and other foreign nations and is sometimes used as feed for zoo animals.

But in the United States, horses enjoy a higher stature, more akin to house pets, than to hogs, cattle and chickens.

An estimated 130,000 U.S. horses are shipped annually to slaughter in Canada and Mexico. Groups have quarreled for a decade whether a ban on slaughter will save horses from a cruel death or lead to abandonment by owners of animals they cannot afford to feed or treat for illness.

Early this year, regulators discovered that horse meat was being sold as beef in Ireland. The mislabelled meat was found in meatballs sold by Swedish retailer IKEA in much of Europe and in other outlets.

IF YOU SCROLL FURTHER – GRAPHIC IMAGES ARE BELOW – VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED 

USDA conducts tests on domestic and imported products to identify the species that yielded the meat. The tests can distinguish beef, sheep, swine, poultry, deer and horse.

As well, USDA stepped up its species testing in April because of the meat adulteration scandal in Europe.

(Reporting By Charles Abbott; Editing by Bernard Orr)

News Link:-http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/06/29/dept-of-agriculture-approves-horse-slaughterhouse-amid-lawsuit-threat/

This link explains in a little more detail, worth reading:-http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20130628-909609.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

HORRIFIC INJURIES OBTAINED WHILST TRAVELLING TO SLAUGHTER HOUSE 

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