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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Videos & Petitions: Please Say No To Killing Wolves – They Are Not Our Enemy

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“Petitions to sign below please:-

“For centuries, Man & Wolf lived together as they roamed the lands; both respected each other & their personal space. Sure some were killed for their meat or coats…but that was nothing compared to what society kills today in the farming industry; we kill far more than we can really eat…WHY…just because we can!!

“Just watch this poor excuse of a man, (sorry a total knob head) you would think he had struck gold…imbeciles!! What did that wolf ever fxxxxxg do to them? NOTHING!!

“This is nothing but a blood sport!! He caught the wolf with his bullet, but the poor wolf ran for its life; until he had no life left in him…COLD HEARTED KILLERS!!”

Uploaded – December 2012

“Can anyone explain to me WHY these beautiful creatures need to be killed? It’s not for eating, it’s not for clothing as we have both in abundance! NO, THE WOLF IS KILLED PURELY BECAUSE CERTAIN STATES AROUND THE WORLD SAY IT CAN BE…THEREFORE;THOSE THAT TRAP & KILL ANY ANIMAL,  DO IT PURELY FOR SPORT OR TROPHY HUNTING. THEY ARE ALL JUST COLD BLOODED KILLERS WHO CALL IT A SPORT…THEY SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES.” 

After decades of protection, the American Grey Wolf was just barely back from the brink of extinction in 2011.

But then Congress made a rash decision to de-list wolves from the Endangered Species Act. Now trapping and killing of wolves is legal, and as you can see it being carried out with brutal efficiency. Already, more than half the wolves that roamed the Rockies and mid-west are dead. If we don’t act soon, there will be none left.

You can help stop this – Don’t look away. Sign below and share with friends and family who love the wild things so we can live in a world where wolves, and the wilderness they need to survive, can thrive alongside people.

Video 1. Brutal Wolf Killing – “This is cowardly, the wolf is already caught in a trap, nothing butch or manly about this…which is probably why kids are taught to kill them with guns!! After the wolf is shot…Guy in video says “Ha ha ha ha…that’s the end of her!”

Published on 28 Nov 2012

This video is hard to watch for anyone who’s ever loved wolves or wildlife. but we’re asking you not to look away. Right now in 5 states trapping and killing of wolves like this is totally legal. It’s all because of a rash and ill-informed decision made by Congress. But we need President Obama to act NOW to save the wolves.

“Another video; where the shooter is killing a sentient being, caught in a trap, so it can’t retaliate or even fight for its life…this is just a pathetic blood sport?”

Video 2. Second Wisconsin Wolf Killed;” Listen to  the guy talk, as if he just fought off a wild lion…pathetic! Guy in video says “Yes sir, that’s the best thing I ever seen in my life!!”

Published on 28 Nov 2012

Please sign these petitions: 

“Please sign any & all petitions to stop the idiotic killing of an animal that has lived in harmony with man; for centuries!” 

“Watch & listen to just a few of the many beautiful songs & videos created by my dear friend & animal warrior; Louise Du Toit. Louise manages to encapsulate the thoughts & feelings of animals, along with the daily struggles they have to endure, against their biggest enemy; man!  Enchanting melodies, with an angelic voice, Louise has written many songs along with videos to educate & create public awareness to the plight of animal abuse etc. This is one of my personal favourites; from her album “Ode To Magnificence”

Uploaded on 29 Feb 2012

Louise du Toit – CD Albums @http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/LouiseduToit
Louise du Toit – Official Website @ http://www.louisedutoit.com

Song lyrics, although not spoken:

I am wolf,  I am the true spirit of nature a perfect creation walking beside you, guiding your senses
to see the invisible.

I am a predator, preserving the delicate balance of nature, a sentient being no more evil or righteous than any other creature, born with everything I need to survive.

I am intelligent, courageous, strong, a true survivor, devoted to my family, loyal to my pack, 
the defender of my territory.

Mankind has chosen me as its enemy, lack of knowledge, brought fear, bred hatred, enveloped in a dark cloud of demonic imagination.

Like countless other earthlings, I am shamelessly persecuted.

My true destination, will only become visible when humans discard their imaginary fear, false legends phantasmal myths, to seek the truth!

Music, text and vocal performance by Louise du Toit in Greece, 2012. Video created and produced by Louise du Toit. The copyrights to the music and lyrics are reserved by the artist. The images in this video are not the property of the producer. This video was made as a contribution to the salvation of wolves, for non-profit educational purposes, without any intention of commercial advantage or private financial gain. There is no intention of copyright infringement either.

“Other songs performed by Louise Du Toit:-Howl Across America – Video on YouTube:-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlK0cl11JHQ

Uploaded on 12 Aug 2011

Louise du Toit – CD Albums @http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/LouiseduToit
Louise du Toit – Official Website @ http://www.louisedutoit.com

The song for HOWL ACROSS AMERICA was written by Louise du Toit as a contribution to the August 2011 events, organized by NIWA (Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance), Wolf Warriors, Howling For Justice and individual wolf advocates around the world, protesting against the killing of wolves. Music, lyrics, performance and recording by Louise du Toit in Greece, 2011. Video created and produced by Louise du Toit. The copyrights to the music and lyrics are reserved by the artist. The images in this video are not the property of the producer. This video was made as a contribution to the salvation of wolves, for nonprofit educational purposes, without any intention of commercial advantage or private financial gain. There is no intention of copyright infringement either.

Created by members of NIWA (Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance), Wolf Warriors, and Howling For Justice, HOWL ACROSS AMERICA is calling on all wolf advocates to speak up for the wolves in August 2011. Please join their page at the following link and add your voice of protest against the war on our precious wolves:

Ode to the Wolves:-Video on YouTube:- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_gth8clJvA&list=PL94AAB1A1D936473C&index=2

Uploaded on 9 Sep 2010

Louise du Toit – CD Albums @http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/LouiseduToit
Louise du Toit – Official Website @ http://www.louisedutoit.com

“Ode to the Wolves” is an artistic tribute to all wolves, written to raise awareness about the endless atrocities they endure from humans all over the world, with a positive message to support the plight of the wolves and to end their suffering.

Louises FaceBook:-https://www.facebook.com/louisedutoitfanpage

Howl Across America:-http://www.facebook.com/HowlAcrossAmerica?ref=ts

Missouri Horse Slaughter Plant Hopes To Be First To Operate In U.S.

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KANSAS CITY, Mo., July 11 (Reuters) — A town in Missouri is trying to be the first of several in the United States to get a new plant to slaughter horses, now that Congress has overruled animal rights groups to allow the killing for the first time in five years.

U.S. slaughter of horses ended in 2007 when Congress, at the urging of animal rights groups, halted funding to inspect processing plants. The unintended result was thousands of horses abandoned or neglected, and even more enduring hundreds of miles of travel to Mexico and Canada for slaughter.

After a government report last year detailed the abuses of horses, Congress restored inspection money to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for this year.

“People are giving away horses every day because they can’t sell them,” said Wayne White, president of the Missouri Equine Council. “All the rescue places are over-populated.”

Horse meat is sold for human consumption in China, Russia, Mexico and other foreign countries, according to Unified Equine, a Wyoming company proposing to open a horse-slaughter plant in Rockville, Missouri. Horse meat is also used for zoo animals.

The proposed plant, at a facility previously used for cattle processing in Rockville, has strong support in the community. But animal rights advocates have not given up the fight.

“Americans are revolted by horse slaughter, it’s cruelty they just don’t want to support,” said Lindsay Rajt of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

In a report last year, the Government Accountability Office documented an increase in horse neglect and abuse since slaughtering ended and found that by 2010 nearly 138,000 horses were being sent annually to Mexico and Canada for slaughter.

Unified Equine hopes to open its slaughtering plant in Rockville in September, followed by one in Hermiston, Oregon. Another company, Valley Meats, intends to open a plant in Roswell, New Mexico.

The Missouri and New Mexico plants both requested U.S. Department of Agriculture inspections, according to the agency’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. But “a significant amount of time” will be required to update inspection procedures, the service said in a statement on Wednesday.

Even though Congress restored funding, the appropriations committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, which allocates how money is spent, again withdrew money for horse slaughter inspections in the fiscal 2013 budget. The proposal still would have to be approved by the full House and Senate.

Equine chief executive Sue Wallis said she has heard of people in 18 states and several Native American tribal areas exploring horse slaughter plants.

Residents of Rockville, a town of about 150 people 100 miles south of Kansas City, turned out in force at a meeting last month to support the new plant, said Mayor Dave Moore.

“I don’t know of anyone (in town) who is not for it,” said Dennis Heiman, operator of a grain elevator that has been Rockville’s largest employer since 60 jobs were lost with the closing of the beef plant two years ago. The horse plant is expected to create 50 jobs.

Owners of rescue ranches see the problem of neglected and abused horses first-hand. The Changing Leads Equine Rescue ranch just outside Kansas City, Missouri, is at its capacity of eight unwanted horses, said Tina Weidmaier, president of the all-volunteer organization.

Joe Black, a draft horse, was 700 pounds underweight by the time it was rescued from a pasture last August, Weidmaier said. Its owners moved to Florida and left it alone to graze for nearly a year, she said. He is back to his healthy weight but has a chewing disorder, she said.

Many people abandon or seek to give away their horses because of the cost, said Ericka Caslin, director of the Unwanted Horse Coalition. A horse costs an average of about $2,600 annually to feed and board, not counting veterinary bills, she said.

There are an estimated 170,000 unwanted horses in the United States, Caslin said, yet her group has no position on slaughtering plants. Neither does its parent group, the American Horse Council in Washington nor do some rescue ranches, such as Changing Leads.

“We’d rather focus on the problem than on everyone else’s solution,” Weidmaier said.

Animal rights advocate Rajt said the number of unwanted horses going to slaughter is fueled by racehorse or rodeo breeders who dispose of dozens of animals not deemed “the next big winner.” Horse slaughter and the shipping of horses to Mexico and Canada should be banned because it is cruel, she said.

But Wallis of Unified Equity said banning horse slaughter or shipment for slaughter would put well over 100,000 more horses per year at risk of abandonment, abuse and a slow death.

“It’s hard to imagine the magnitude of that,” Wallis of Equine said. “It would be an unmitigated disaster.” (Editing by Greg McCune and Jackie Frank)

News Link:-http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/12/missouri-horse-slaughter-plant_n_1666322.html

Ask Your Senator to Vote for Chimpanzees

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For the last several years, PCRM has been working to end chimpanzee experimentation.

Finally, we have begun to see some positive momentum on Capitol Hill. The Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works held a hearing on the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act last month, and we are expecting them to vote the bill out of committee soon.

Let me be clear: We would never have gotten this far without your help. Your e-mails, letters, and phone calls keep Congress informed and let them know that their constituents care deeply about this issue.

We need to keep the pressure on. As the bill gets closer to passage, we have heard from congressional staff that laboratories profiting from chimpanzee experiments are ramping up their efforts to defeat the bill, and we need you to remind your senator of the facts.

Please send an e-mail and ask your senator to support this important bill in committee. I know you may have done this already, but now is the time to remind them of your support.

Together, we can make sanctuary a reality for all of the chimpanzees currently suffering in laboratories. Please ask your senator to support this historic bill.

Petition Link:-https://secure2.convio.net/pcrm/site/Advocacy?pagename=homepage&page=UserAction&id=499&autologin=true&JServSessionIdr004=3ax38fe533.app209b

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