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.


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.


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:-

This link explains in a little more detail, worth reading:-


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Iowa Man Who Shot Dog Playing In The Snow Is Found Guilty Of Animal Abuse

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“This heartless pig, has to be sent down for this, the dog growled, oh boo bloody hoo!! Was the growl even aimed at him? Probably not, as the dog was playing with another dog at the time. Crikey, you want to hear my dogs when they all start playing, especially if it’s one toy that all 3 of them want at the same time; the smallest one barks the loudest, my tiny Chihuahua! But if you were walking past on the opposite side of the gate that you can’t see over, one would think they were killing each other fighting!! But their dogs, that’s what they do when they get excited, they try to scare the other dogs off by a growl, but it’s playful growl; more like a “come & get it if you dare” type of growl!”

“What the hell was this knob head doing, walking around with a shotgun, in his hand, in the first place?? Was it in case he came across a polar bear hiding in the bushes?? Get him sent down for killing the dog & carrying a firearm outside in a public place!; what if those dogs were playing with young kids at the same time, doesn’t bear thinking; about does it??”

It took a jury just 30 minutes to find Charles Cutler, 56, of Marne, Iowa, guilty of misdemeanor animal abuse for shooting and killing a dog, reported Wednesday’s ABC 7 News.

Cutler shot and killed a one-year-old Labrador retriever named “Wrigley,” back on December 24, 2012,

Wrigley was with his guardian, Denver school teacher Stacey Ernat, who had stopped at a friend’s home in Marne while on vacation. Wrigley was outside, playing in the snow with another dog at the time.

Cutler defended his actions, stating that the young dog had growled at him and that he feared for his safety, so he got his shotgun and opened fire.

Ernat was devastated by the shooting.

Not long after her dog’s death, she described what happened after Wrigley was hit to WTVR News,

She was curled up in a ball, really scared and confused why she was hurt so bad, so I picked her up and I held her an I told her it was gonna be okay,

Cutler will be sentenced on May 6 – he could face up to two years in prison.” Keep your fingers crossed folks!”

News Link:-

Iowa Man Arrested For Death Of Starved Dog Found In Crate

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“WTF…I’m trying to write whilst tears run down my cheeks…I’m just so sickened by the fact this was done on purpose…the evil that resides in this pig needs destroying…take a good look at him…I pray to God he gets what he deserves!”

On Thursday night, the man believed to be responsible for the starvation and death of a young dog, who was locked in a crate and dumped in Waterloo, Iowa, was arrested.

Ty Alyn Hickman

According to the Quad-City Times, 23-year-old Ty Alyn Hickman was arrested by Jesup police, who received numerous tips on the abuse case from the public.

Maria Tiller, a Waterloo animal control and code enforcement officer, stated:

Without the help of the public, we never would have got this far,”

A substantial reward was offered for information leading to the arrest of the person behind the despicable crime.

Caleb, described as a Labrador retriever mix, was found back on Feb. 16, locked inside of a feces and urine filled crate. It was evident that the dog has suffered greatly before finally succumbing to starvation.

Hickman is facing up to two years behind bars for the misdemeanor charge of aggravated animal torture.

Read the prior story about this incident here.

News Link:-

Ty Hickman, 23 was arrested Thursday in Jesup, Iowa and charged with aggravated misdemeanor animal torture according The male dog named Caleb was found dead, locked in a kennel and likely starved to death amid his own feces and urine.

Hickman was booked into the Buchanan County Jail by the Jesup Police Department. If found guilty Hickman faces up to two years in prison.

The tragic story of Caleb, a Labrador retriever and Great Dane mixed breed was uncovered on Feb. 16 when his emaciated body was discovered in a pet carrier kennel on the 2700 block of Independence Ave in Waterloo. Authorities believe the dog had already died from dehydration and starvation and then was dumped on the side of the road.

When the story of Caleb hit social media, animal lovers and compassionate friends were so disgusted by such an egregious act of apparent animal cruelty, they joined Agape Fosters and helped to raise $7500 for a reward leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for this reprehensible deed.

Never underestimate what a community can do when motivated. Local police received many leads which helped lead to the arrest of Hickman and the alleged charges against him.

News Link:-

Breaking Investigation: Horses’ 36-Hour Journey to Slaughter Exposed

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“The following is very upsetting for anyone who loves animals & horses, especially those who own horses like myself; which is why I have inserted the PETA Video at the end. Please use your own discretion on viewing it! . If you are an American or Canadian Citizen, please use your voice…put an end to their suffering…Please!!”

“Once again, my fellow animal warrior & sister against animal abuse, has lent her exquisite voice & artistic impression, toward the fight against horse slaughter!.” 

Louise du Toit – CD albums @

Slaughtering horses for human consumption, or any other reason, is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE and we need to stand up all together against this atrocious practice before anymore horses are killed. 

Every year, tens of thousands of American horses are killed for their flesh. Worse still, they are forced to endure journeys of hundreds of miles in cramped trucks—often in extreme weather without food or a drop of water—before reaching slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico. It is a cruel industry that has been hidden from sight—until now.

This spring, PETA investigators rode with and followed a transporter from a meat buyer’s property in Iowa to the Les Viandes de la Petite Nation Inc. slaughterhouse in Québec. U.S. law permits horses to be hauled for 28 hours and sometimes longer without being off-loaded. PETA’s investigator witnessed how the 33 horses aboard the transporter endured a 1,100-mile,36-hour journey in subfreezing conditions and were never given food, water, or a chance to unload.

This long, grueling ride is only a small part of the torment that many tired, injured horses endure. Panicked horses—including thoroughbreds, standardbreds, quarter horses, and draft horses—are crowded inside “kill pens” at livestock auctions across the country. At an auction in Iowa, horses waited for hours before they were corralled toward the auction ring, weighed, and finally sold. The heavy hydraulic gates used to separate the horses as they entered the auction area frequently slammed shut on their heads and necks—just one more ordeal in the long and traumatic journey to their deaths.

PETA investigators found ex-racehorse Royale With Speed, the grandson of Triple Crown winner Secretariat, packed inside a “kill pen” in Kalona, Iowa. By the time investigators saved him, Royale With Speed had been purchased by a meat buyer and was hours away from a harrowing ride to slaughter. He was severely exhausted and running a fever, and his lymph nodes were swollen and later burst with pus—yet he was still scheduled to be killed for human consumption. Following weeks of intensive care, Royale with Speed fully recovered. He was purchased by animal advocate and fitness trainer Jillian Michaels and then adopted by a PETA patron in New Mexico. He will lead a wonderful life.

Royale With Speed was saved from the slaughterhouse, where he would have faced a terrifying death. Undercover video footage taken inside the Québec facility revealed that at least 40 percent of the horses were still conscious after receiving a captive-bolt shot to the head. One horse suffered through an agonizing 11 shots before finally collapsing. In another instance, a worker was taped waving good-bye mockingly to a dying horse. In February, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency temporarily closed the slaughterhouse, but the plant resumed operations just days later and is now attempting to use rifles in place of captive-bolt guns, even though they have been shown to be a cruel and ineffective way to stun horses.

Your voice is needed today please click this link to sign petitions:-! American or Canadian Citizen

  • If you are an American citizen, voice your support for the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011, which would prevent U.S. horses from being transported to slaughterhouses, effectively ending the slaughter of U.S. horses for food. The bill is currently sitting in committees in Congress and may fall through the cracks if we don’t act fast. Jillian has penned letters to the committee chairs urging each to consider the bill. Join her in contacting the committee chairs and sign your letter below.
  • If you are a Canadian citizenvoice your support for C-322, which would ban the import and export of horses for slaughter for human consumption in Canada.

Published on 17 Apr 2012 by 

A PETA investigator gets on board a slaughterhouse-bound truck in order to expose the fate of unwanted horses, from the auction house to the supermarket. (long verision)

Record number of Alta. wild horses caught, many slaughtered for meat

CALGARY — A record number of wild horses were captured in Alberta this year — a sevenfold increase from the average — and many are slaughtered for their meat, said the president of the Wild Horses of Alberta Society.

Alberta allows for the humane capture of wild horses, and in the last five years an average of 30 horses have been captured per year.

This year, Sustainable Resource Development says 216 horses were captured between December 2011 and February 2012 of a possible 237 permits issued for the season. They are usually caught west of Sundre, Alta.

Bob Henderson, president of the Wild Horses of Alberta Society, said more than 90 per cent of the horses that are captured are sent for slaughter.

“These horses are part of our natural heritage,” said Henderson.

His organization doesn’t oppose capturing wild horses if it’s done for adoption and the group managed to get nine of wild horses this year for that purpose.

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Agriculture – Gov OKs bill criminalizing secret video of ag operations

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Utahns who take unauthorized video or photos of agricultural operations could face up to a year in jail under a bill signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Gary Herbert, although the bill could face a legal challenge.

The measure is aimed at preventing whistleblowers from taking the type of surreptitious images of farms and processing plants that have proven damaging to the meat industry.

Animal welfare advocates had urged the governor to veto the bill, arguing that it would silence whistleblowers who they said have protected the public.

Nathan Runkle, executive director of the group Mercy For Animals, which has conducted several unauthorized operations, said that Herbert failed Utahns by creating “a safe haven for animal abuse and other criminal activity in the state,” and that Mercy For Animals and other groups are exploring potential legal challenges.

Read More here:- Herbert signs so-called ‘ag-gag’ bill

Protect Your Food and Animals!

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Do you know where your food comes from? Let’s hope not from Iowa.

On March 2, Iowa governor Terry Branstad caved to the factory farming lobby and signed a law designed to keep the public in the dark about the cruelty that pervades modern animal agriculture.

The so-called “ag gag” law is aimed at animal advocates who go undercover at factory farms to expose the exploitation of animals at these facilities; however, the law also poses significant threats to public health and safety. Undercover investigations are often necessary to expose not only criminal animal cruelty, but dangerous food safety violations — the sort that result in massive food safety recalls and all too frequently lead to outbreaks of food-borne illness.

That’s why the Animal Legal Defense Fund is proposing a law designed to minimize the risk to citizens of contracting food-borne illnesses by prohibiting state or local governments from purchasing or distributing food products from any jurisdiction — like Iowa — that passes an ag gag law.

Protect your food and farmed animals with a donation to the Animal Legal Defense Fund. ALDF is working hard to prevent factory farmers from hiding the truth about what goes on behind closed doors — to win justice for the animals already suffering in miserable conditions on factory farms and to protect the public from consuming unsafe food products.

ALDF’s Protect Your Food Act will not only help protect your family and the residents of your state from increased risk of exposure to contaminated food…it will also serve as a legislative strike back against the corporate agriculture lobby in states that choose to keep consumers in the dark by passing ag gag laws.

Curb corporate agriculture’s appetite for deception by donating today!

Support ALDF’s Protect Your Food Act and prevent factory farmers from hiding what goes on behind closed doors.

 Donate today!

“Ag Gag Laws” Protect Animal Abusers, Harm Food Supply

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She is nameless. Only a yellow plastic tag piercing her ear identifies her as “5489.” A dairy farm worker brutally hits her over the head with a metal pipe. Then again, and again. She lets out a heart wrenching scream and falls to the ground. He repeatedly kicks her in the head as she struggles to stand. She bellows in pain, but the abuse doesn’t stop.

Tragically, this is the sad reality at some factory farms in the United States. Animals are abused, tortured, and neglected, and food safety precautions are disregarded, all in the name of profit — and just last week, Iowa passed a law so no one will ever find out. Legislators in several other states are also trying to pass similar laws which will endanger the public by exposing them to dangerous diseases and bacteria, such as E. coli.

Promoted by the corporate agriculture lobby, so-called “ag gag” laws would make it illegal to photograph or videotape at agricultural facilities, and in some cases to possess or distribute such evidence. Their goal is insidious: to prevent consumers from ever seeing the animal abuse and food safety violations that are common practice behind factory farm gates.

That’s why the Animal Legal Defense Fund is working hard to prevent factory farmers from hiding the truth. ALDF’s Protect Your Food Act is a proposed law designed to minimize the risk to citizens of contracting food-borne illnesses by prohibiting state governments from purchasing or distributing food products from any jurisdiction that passes an ag gag law.

Protect your food and farmed animals by donating today. Ag gag laws are a real threat to the animals already suffering in miserable conditions on factory farms. ALDF’s Protect Your Food Act will encourage jurisdictions to speak out on their behalf and provide millions of animals with real protections by posing a tough legislative challenge to ag gag laws.

via “Ag Gag Laws” Protect Animal Abusers, Harm Food Supply.

Debate intensifies over animal undercover filming | Seattle Times Newspaper

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Animal welfare groups reacted with outrage Wednesday after the Iowa Legislature made the state the first to approve a bill making it a crime to surreptitiously get into a farming operation to record video of animal abuse.

The groups have urged Gov. Terry Branstad to veto the measure that was overwhelmingly approved Tuesday by the Iowa House and Senate, arguing that the measure would prevent people from publicizing animal abuse.

“The intent behind the legislation is to put a chilling effect on whistleblowers on factory farms,” said Matthew Dominguez, a spokesman for the Humane Society of the United States. “It begs the question of, what exactly does animal agriculture have to hide?”

Legislatures in seven states – Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York and Utah- have considered laws that would enhance penalties against those who secretly record video of livestock, though the efforts have stalled in some states.

The Iowa measure would establish a new penalty for lying on a job application to get access to a farm facility, making it a serious misdemeanor. A second conviction would be an aggravated misdemeanor.

A serious misdemeanor carries a fine of up to $1,500 and imprisonment up to one year. An aggravated misdemeanor can be punished by a fine of up to $5,000 and imprisonment of up to two years.

via Nation & World | Debate intensifies over animal undercover filming | Seattle Times Newspaper.

“Personally I think this is a real set back in the fight against animal abuse, it’s bloody ridiculous!. Animal abuse itsn’t done right in front of the public gaze, it’s done behind doors.   If I was a meat eater,  I would want know that the lamb I bought to eat, wasn’t abused; the slaughter process is bad enough without the animals suffering abuse before they get to the end of their lives!

The only real way of knowing if an establishment employs staff, who for whatever reason, take out their anger & frustration on the animals, is for undercover surveillance to be carried out. 

I have said for a long time that all establishments that deal with live animals, i.e. slaughter house should have CCTV at every stage of the slaughter…from coming off the trailer to being slaughtered…but it should be monitored by a third party!  Seriously, if people in the animal business don’t want it, I think they have something to hide!  

Hidden camera footage has proved beyond doubt that inappropriate abusive behaviour happens in many animal establishments.  Some undercover evidence has resulted in criminal charges against owners and workers, plants have been shut down, & slaughterhouses investigated!  Surely having whistle blowers is a step in the right direction against rampant animal abuse.

It doesn’t matter what line of business your in, if you know that there is going to be an inspection; steps are carried out to make sure everything is in order & ship shape!  Surely inspections should be carried out on the spot, no forward warning –  or else what’s the bloody point??


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