“Why the hell do we need to keep talking about killing horses for food…for Christ’s sake!! We already kill more than enough cow’s, pigs, sheep & poultry, all classed as livestock. These days the demand for high-end meat products, at good retail prices, mean livestock are modified, to produce the maximum end product! With the introduction of specific genes to the male species, breeding via artificial insemination & intense farming methods, which often use genetics & growth hormone drugs, to give the best profitable products; I think the USDA & the Health & Safety dudes have plenty to occupy themselves!!!
Especially since the recent scare of horse meat contaminating meat supposed to be fit for human consumption…when it clearly isn’t& probably hasn’t been for a while! 99% of horses have drugs, wormer’s, fly repellents etc. administered within their bodies even at young ages; meaning their meat is totally unfit for human consumption!
Horses are not intensely farmed, they do not take growth hormones to make them fatter in the rump to make better steaks…because first & foremost, THEY ARE NOT LIVESTOCK ! Horses are & always will be considered companion animals. Horses are pets, as much a part of the family as cats & dogs; therefore they should be classed as such; PETS! I for one would no more see my horse as edible, than any of my dogs; could you eat your dog??
If there is an abundance of horses that can not be cared for, then kind euthanasia is the answer; providing a gentle, painless death, in order to prevent suffering. Horse slaughter is a death fraught with terror, pain, & suffering, which often starts before they are even loaded onto a trailer; many hours or days before they get to the slaughter plant!!
“There is a template at the end of this news post, kindly written by Julie Jo (Facebook) along with an email address. Could everyone please copy & paste the letter & send it to the address below: please don’t let them kill our pets, horses belong in a stable…not the bloody table.”
The U.S. will be legally obligated to inspect horse-slaughtering plants if Congress doesn’t act to reinstate a ban on the killing of the animals, which would only be used in meat for export, the Department of Agriculture said.
Congress last year lifted the ban established in 2006 that prevented horse slaughter in the U.S., Michelle Saghafi, a USDA spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed statement today. While no plants are currently authorized to slaughter horses, “several companies” have asked that the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service re-establish inspections, the agency said.
“These companies must still complete necessary technical requirements and FSIS must still complete its inspector training, but at that point, the department will legally have no choice but to go forward with inspections, which is why we urge Congress to reinstate the ban,” according to the USDA statement, which did not give a time frame on when inspections would occur.
The first horse-slaughtering plant may be approved in the next two months, according to A. Blair Dunn, a lawyer for Valley Meat Co., owner of a plant in Roswell, New Mexico. The New York Times reported the possible approval earlier today.
Valley Meat filed a lawsuit against the USDA and FSIS in October and alleged that the USDA was violating the Federal Meat Inspection Act by failing to offer inspection for horse meat, Dunn, who is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, said in a telephone interview. The law states that the USDA must appoint inspectors to examine “all amenable species,” which include horses, before slaughter, Dunn said.
This week, the Justice Department asked for another 60 days to respond to the lawsuit, Dunn said. The request was made so “USDA can make sure all the components are in compliance in order to issue a grant of inspection,” according to Dunn. The USDA has notified Valley Meat that the company has completed all of its requirements to move forward, Dunn said.
Once approved, Valley Meat will sell the horse meat for export, Dunn said. They’d be open to selling domestically if there is a market, he said.
FSIS doesn’t allow imports of horse meat from other countries to the U.S. for human consumption, Cathy Cochran, a spokeswoman for USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, said in an e-mailed statement. Also, none of the countries or companies in the European Union that have recently recalled beef because of non-disclosed horse meat ship beef to the U.S., she said.
In Europe, retailers withdrew products such as frozen beef burgers, lasagne and meat balls from the shelves after the discovery of horse meat in products in several countries, after the initial case in Ireland in mid-January. The European Union has ordered immediate testing across the region for equine DNA in beef products and the veterinary drug phenylbutazone in horse meat.
“The meat and poultry inspection process in the U.S. puts FSIS inspectors carrying out our mandatory inspection requirements in U.S. plants every day they operate and at ports of entry inspecting products that come into our country,” Cochran said in the statement.
The agency also conducts “port-of-entry re-inspections for imported products, and that offers evidence on how other country’s inspection systems are working, she said. In addition, there are yearly reviews of countries that export to the U.S. to make sure they are “at least equivalent” to the U.S. process, she said. FSIS also conducts on-site regulatory system audits at least once every three years in nations that ship to the U.S.
“Many Thanks to Julie Jo for creating this template letter, in objection to the opening of a horse slaughter plant in Roswell, New Mexico.”.
“Please copy & paste the letter into an email & send to:- AgSec@usda.gov
To Whom It May Concern:
I have learned that you are likely to approve a horse slaughtering plant in Roswell, New Mexico in the next two months and I do not set well with this. New Mexico has served for years as a gruesome funnel for horses going to slaughter in Mexico. A horse slaughter facility in Roswell, New Mexico, will only increase the traffic of horses coming into our state for slaughter.
In the midst of drought and economic difficulty, New Mexicans have rallied around humane solutions for horses, including an emergency feed assistance program, subsidized gelding program, and a humane euthanasia program. I understand 120,000 U.S. horses/year are sent to slaughter — actually a number that we can do something about. With less breeding and more support for a basic infrastructure to support horses, America‘s horses will be provided with some basic compassion and decency, which they deserve.
I understand that the applicant for the Roswell license had previous USDA violations when they were operating as a cattle slaughterhouse. Documented evidence of egregious violations and a lack of enforcement by the USDA in U.S. slaughterhouses led to the de-funding of USDA inspections in 2007, but in the absence of a federal ban on horse slaughter, America’s wild and domestic horses continue to be shipped across federal borders where they are slaughtered just as inhumanely to this very day. If horse slaughter plants are reopened in the U.S., horses will undoubtedly suffer torturous agony on U.S. soil again.
This is evidenced by cruelty violations and lack of enforcement of the and lack of enforcement of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act that have been documented in GAO reports. U.S. undercover surveillance footage shows horses being whipped, beaten and electrically prodded and repeatedly bludgeoned, resulting in fully conscious horses being dragged, hung, bled out and dismembered alive. Established research indicates that there is no data to support the inflated number of horses reported as abandoned in the U.S. Countless unsubstantiated reports and articles are circulated by proponents which create the misconception that abandonment is out of control. It’s a crime to abandon, neglect or abuse a horse, and history clearly shows that crime rates increase during times of economic downturn.
The substantiated data shows there is an increase in horses in need that is tied to the worst economic recession since the Great Depression. Investigations have revealed some of the horses found abandoned were rejected for slaughter and were simply dumped by kill buyers. This would not have happened if slaughter was illegal. The “unmanageable surplus horses” is an artificial crisis created by the proponents to justify slaughter as “a necessary evil”, but slaughter is not driven by a surplus of horses; rather it is driven by a foreign market for horse meat.
On average, less than 1% of the 9 million horses that exist in the U.S. are “surplus or unwanted”. This tiny fraction of the horse population can easily be managed and reabsorbed back into the equine community just as it has in the past. The “surplus” of horses created by the industry can simply be kept longer, sold or traded, retrained in new disciplines, donated to retirement and rescue facilities, humanely euthanized or they can provide a public service such as equine therapy.
When the market for horsemeat dropped, and the number of horses sent to slaughter went from over 300,000 in the 1990′s to less than 50,000 in 2003, the industry was forced to take responsibility for the surplus of horses. The country was not overrun with “unwanted” horses; rather they were reabsorbed back into the equine community.
Horse owners that are unable to provide continuing care for their horses can have them humanely euthanized for the cost equal to one month’s care. Humane euthanasia clinics are often times available to horse owners that cannot afford to have a qualified veterinarian administer the lethal injection.
Slaughter creates a salvage or secondary market that enables and encourages over breeding and contributes to any excess horses in the market. U.S. horses, whether used for competition, recreation or work are treated with many substances known to be toxic to humans; substances that can be lethal when ingested by humans, and many of which have been banned from the human food chain in most countries. Horse slaughter is NOT desirable economic development. As evidenced from the past 30 years of operation in the U.S., these communities have been devastated by slaughter’s negative economic and environmental impacts. The government paid out over five million dollars in tax payer money a year to subsidize three foreign-owned horse slaughter plants in the U.S.
Horses have an established total impact on the US Gross Domestic Product of $112.1 BILLION and if “surplus’ horses are not sent to slaughter their absorption back into the equine community can instead provide a boost to the economy. Millions of dollars in losses are attributed to horse slaughter by those that have come forward from within the slaughter industry.
The majority of equine industry and community members OPPOSE horse slaughter.
Horse slaughter benefits a relatively small number of powerful stakeholders within the U.S. equine industry that stand to profit from the exploitation of irresponsible excess breeding practices.
You will see in the video below exactly what happens to these slaughter horses:-
Viewer Discretion Is Advised
I trust that upon examination of the above facts you will find it in the best interest of the USDA and the state of New Mexico to not approve of this.
Your Name & Country
Please – take the time to read the following facts about horse slaughter, don’t be fooled into thinking horses will die of starvation; if horse slaughter plants don’t re-open!! Satisfy your own knowledge, please, read the facts below from the HSUS:-