Horse Slaughter in the U.S. for Consumption

Horse Slaughter in the U.S. for Consumption

Is slaughtering horses inhumane or necessary to control the population?  Will Americans start consuming horse meat?

A ban on horse slaughter expired in 2011, and now a New Mexico company has applied for a permit to begin slaughtering horses.  While there is not a large consumer market in the U.S., their plan is to provide horse meat to European markets.

The plant, owned by Valley Meat, was shut down in 2007 after Congress banned horse slaughtering.

While President Obama’s administration has asked Congress to reinstate the banned, instead they approved measures that would deny government financing of horse slaughter.

“Until Congress acts, the department must continue to comply with current law,” said Ms. Rowe, a spokeswoman for the Department of Agriculture.

According to Ms. Rowe two other facilities have also applied for a permit.  She did not give the names of the companies that are located in Missouri and Iowa.

Although the New Mexico Company has several challenges to meet before obtaining a permit, if Congress does not act soon, they will be the first company licensed to process horse meat for human consumption since the ban in 2007.

Opponents of horse slaughter believe the government could have stepped in and withheld the permits, but gave in because the Valley Meat Company filed a lawsuit.

“This looks like a strange obedience to a Hail Mary lawsuit filed by the company,” said Wayne Pacelle, chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States.

Valley Meat does not plan to back away it will pressure the government until they release their permit. “Given the unjustifiable failures of U.S.D.A. to comply with the law for a period extending well over 14 months, Valley Meat intends to continue to pursue the case,” the company said.

Several New Mexico state officials are opposed to permitting horse slaughter.  Governor Susana Martinez and State Attorney General Gary K. King are against it because of animal welfare issues and veterinary drugs given to horses may present potential hazards to humans.

The Humane Society has published a list of over 100 drugs given to horses, according to some of the drug warnings, the drugs are not meant for horses that will be slaughtered for human consumption.

The drugs given to horses can also pose a hazard to the environment because of the waste.

“The offal and waste byproducts produced by horse slaughter is put into lagoons where those drugs and other contaminants can leach out into streams and ground water,” said Mr. Wagman, a lawyer for Front Range Equine Rescue.

“As I understand it, their attorney has said they have a testing process ready to go, and that’s a good thing,” said Mr. Phil  Sisneros, a spokesman for the N.M. attorney general. “We’re not going to just take their word for it, so there will be some sort of independent testing that has to be done.”

While horse slaughter in the U.S. is considered inhumane by many, there is a large market in Europe and this is the market Valley Meat intends to cater to.

 By: Veverly Edwards

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16 Responses to "Horse Slaughter in the U.S. for Consumption"

  1. Jane   June 29, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Holy Horse

    Reply
  2. Jane   June 29, 2013 at 2:16 pm
    Reply
  3. Jane   June 29, 2013 at 2:14 pm
    Reply
  4. swcooper50   June 29, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    I have eaten Horse meat. Not bad, a little strong like liver. Several euro countries like horse meat. So what is so bad about supplying them with our surplus of horses that on one wants. Why should we subsidize food for horses. Lets get real, let them have horse meat who wants it. coop

    Reply
  5. John George   June 29, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    i think those farmers should be put to death! horses are a gift from god, of all the animals they are the most graceful and beautiful. how anyone can kill horses, or any other animal of gods, is beyond my comprehension! the only thing i can say to them is i hope they die the same dam way! i will never eat horse meat i can promise you that. to all the killers of gods animals i hope you die the same way.

    Reply
  6. brenro   June 29, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Never had hore meat but pit barbequed burro wasn’t bad.

    Reply
  7. disgusted   June 29, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Well i won’t be eating any beef anytime again. No knowing whether youre eating horse or cow.

    Reply
  8. Dianna   June 29, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    If there were more responsible horse owners…they wouldn’t be applying for a license. I think it is wrong. Right now, we have a black market situation and horses are painfully transported to other countries with more barbaric factories. We need to outlaw the transfer of horses for consumption….Yesterday!!! Also, we need to create legislation that limits breeding! Especially since… the Indian Casino are taking over all the gaming, the current racetracks will cease to exist and there will be less horses needed. Black market match races will pop up and horses will be at even greater risks. Thank you Congress. You are doing a hell of a job!!! NOT

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  9. jnffarrell1   June 29, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Sell horses to slaughterhouses or buy fodder. Horse Caucus in Congress is too small to overcome budget hardliners.

    Reply
  10. jnffarrell1   June 29, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    Congress is footing the bill for feeding 40,000 horses the were taken off BLM land because the horses we destroying the environment. Given the effect of horse-fodder on Federal spending the horses have no chance.

    Reply
  11. Schlonger   June 29, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Please explain the differnence between a horse and a cow.

    Reply
    • Invidia   June 29, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      No one ever wrote a sappy children’s book starring a cow.

      Reply
    • DD   June 29, 2013 at 1:46 pm

      Please explain the difference between a human and a horse, after all meat is meat right, heck why not eat the criminals on death row. People like you are right meat is meat regardless of what the animal looks like on the outside but we as humans cannot just let that way of thinking cloud our judgement, we would not be here living in this country if it wasn’t for those animals. Horses should be protected just as eagles are, they have been there when we have needed them and i’d like to believe that we have progressed further and should not consider such arguments as meat is meat as worthy arguments.

      Reply
  12. Joseph Leaphorn   June 29, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Unacceptable. Only humans do not seek to control their own kind. My solution for horse over population is: Each state charge a yearly $250.00 license fee per horse owned. That would cut down on backyard breeders and those who could not afford to maintain a horse in the first place.

    Reply
  13. TT   June 29, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Slaughter within the US (with proper oversight) rather than the current death trek to Mexico will likely decrease their pain & suffering prior to the bolt. That said, only barbarians eat horses…

    Reply
  14. Kilo   June 29, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    The end of the US civilization

    Reply

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