Appropriations measure nixes funding for horse slaughter inspection

The appropriations measure passed by Congress this week includes language defunding government inspections of horse slaughter facilities.

Sue Wallis, who chairs the Equine Business Association, tells Brownfield she’s disappointed.

“It is a very sad and frustrating day for the welfare of horses, for the horse business, for agriculture in general and for, quite frankly, the environmental condition of rangelands,” said Wallis, taking a break Friday from state legislative meetings in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where she serves that state as a lawmaker.

Meanwhile, the appropriations provision was applauded by animal welfare activist groups, such as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Humane Society of the United States.

Similar spending prohibitions were included each year from 2005 to 2010, but not in the 2012 budget, which paved the way for the return of U.S. horse slaughter for human consumption.

Although several applications to open horse slaughter facilities were filed with the USDA in New Mexico, Missouri and Iowa, none have begun operating.

The bi-partisan-sponsored provision to withhold horse slaughter inspection funding was approved by both the House and Senate Ag Appropriations Committees.

AUDIO: Sue Wallis (9 min. MP3)

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  • Animal agriculture errantly let a bunch of counter productive liberals like Jim Moran serve HSUS a nice hot victory on a silver platter. This will come back to bite those who make a living from animal protein. It was terribly short sighted for AMI and the other meat people to let this happen.

  • This also means horse will still be sent to Canada and Mexico for slaughter. Nothing was solved and animal wellbeing was not improved.

  • Congress needs to stop food aid to starving countries since we dont have enough money to fund meat inspectors that could inspect meat that these people are literally dying to have. Maybe the prevention of cruelity to animals and H$U$ people would then have money to save starving people. Oh, wait, they don’t give a sh*t about people, just animals, sorry!!

  • The inhumane commercial horse slaughter business has nothing to do with the welfare of horses. It is a profit driven industry that encourages irresponsible breeding. The consumers for horse meat are in distant lands. We don’t eat horsemeat in the USA. The enviromental condition of range lands is far more effected by 3 million plus cattle than by the 35,000 horses still left on public lands.

  • A sad day for the horses? I think not. Particularly those that won’t be whipped into a death chute to meet their tortuous death in a kill box. Anyone who wishes this on horses has no business clawing the are concerned for the ” welfare” of horses. Sue Wallis is a scary and dangerous woman, but she cannot beat the 80% who truly love America’s horses. We spoke and people listened!

  • We certainly don’t need any Representatives or Senators that believe that slaughtering U.S. horses is what is best for the horses or could think that it would be best for the horse industry.. Cripes – I’m sure the horse slaughter cartel is frothing at the mouth, looking at all the wild horses and just see dollar signs and will do whatever it takes to justify slaughtering them for dollars in their pockets. The truth is there can never be two classifications of ONE species that will not cross over by the greed of man and horses are NOT food here! Horse dealers are allowed to fabricate drug affidavits immediately after acquiring a horse and ship it the SAME day! Absurd! It really is terrorism of a human food chain!

  • Thom Katt not all people who oppose horse slaughter are liberal. Just because someone doesn’t agree with you doesn’t mean they are a bunch of “counter productive liberals”. This effort was bi-partisan all the way. 80% of Americans oppose horse slaughter. They have been heard. We now need to get the SAFE Act passed to keep horses from being transported for slaughter at all. Before you say it, let me go ahead and correct you: Horses don’t “starve” if they don’t go to slaughter. Horse slaughter plants don’t want “old, sick, lame horses.” There is no correlation between a lack of horse slaughter plants and the number of horses abandoned or neglected. The “other meat people” couldn’t stop this because they didn’t have the support of 80% of America.

  • This was a bi-partisan effort that involved 80% of America. Liberals are not the only ones in this country who oppose horse slaughter. I know plenty of conservatives and plenty of farmers who oppose horse slaughter. Nobody wants our beef supplies compromised by contaminated horse meat.

  • All you pro slaughter advocates need to get over it – 80% Of WE-THE-PEOPLE have spoken and that’s 80% that oppose horse slaughter – Why don’t you get it thru your hard heads that the majority of the people in this country do NOT and will NOT ever tolerate horse slaughter, and if you don’t like it then move to a country such as Mexico or Canada that has your mentality – We don’t eat horses in America, GOT THAT????

  • Horses have always been sent over the borders and will continue until the SAFE Act is passed.
    The FDA classifies horses as companion animals, so who’s next dogs and cats? Heaven knows there’s too many of them! No, you slow the breeding, something the AQHA is being forced to look at, since per our USDA 70% + of all slaughter horses are QH or QH type. The TB racing world is being challenged on their neutral stance concerning slaughter for human consumption, especially since race horses receive an array of drugs that are harmful to humans.
    Slow the breeding by offering incentives to reduce breeding and offer more gelding and euthanasia clinics, cut subsidies breeders, and taxes should be applied for each foal they allow to be born. Imo, It’s a new world, a world of electronics, horses are an expensive long lived luxury animal that fewer people are interested in taking on.

  • Thom, with 80% of Americans against horse slaughter, this crosses all party lines. I am happy today that American horse owners can relax knowing their horses will be much safer from theft and disease now that these U.S. horse slaughter plants are not allowed to open. Horse slaughter houses have historically been a magnet for criminals, and slaughter horses are not required to have health certificates to cross state lines. We don’t need or want horse slaughter in the U.S.A. This is a victory for our horses, and for horse owners.

  • I know many conservatives who oppose horse slaughter. It took all 80% of us to be heard, but we were. When the SAFE Act is passed by years end, horses won’t be able to be transported to Canada or Mexico, either.

  • Have anyone looked at Oklahoma kill buyer George Baker’s inventory records at the weigh station and border? I have and most of the horses he takes to slaughter are between 18 months and 7 years of age and 99% are Quarter horse breeding stock. His monthly load is not much different than the other kill buyers. Come to Meeker, Jones, Bristow, and other auction houses in OK and you will only find the well fed younger horses being bought by kill buyers. Do we see kill buyers outbidding decent families wanting to provide a home for a horse? Yes….at every single auction. So there goes the starving old horse myth.

    One comment I see often is how “bad” and “inhumane” horse slaughter is in Mexico. Please note that all 4 plants across the border in Mexico are EU captive bolt regulated, just like what we had in the plants in TX and IL when they were open up until 2007. It is true there are some plants deeper into Mexico that use the Puntilla knife, however it is incredibly rare (and has been for over a decade now) that any American horses are sent to these local abattoirs.

    Also note that at least one of the plants in MX has all along been owned by Chevideco, the same Belgium company that still owns the Dallas Crown property in Kaufman, TX where welfare, environmental and tax income violations were sky high under the management and ownership of this Belgium company. Fortunately they were finally shut down.

    Even if plants were to open here they would not be any different than those in Canada or Mexico in terms of transporting, warehousing, moving or killing the horses.

    Some folks bring up the “long” transport to MX and Canada and how horrible the journey is for the horses. Keep in mind the kill buyers, feed lot managers, and shippers and auction house owners will be the same people who are in business now. So when you see (as I have) 77 pages of welfare violations for one year alone (2012), just know this will continue as the same players would still be part of the game with plants here in the US.

    Pro slaughter folks are behind the times on current food safety issues regarding horse meat being sold as beef by companies like Taco Bell, Stouffers, Tesco (Burger King supplier), Walmart, Aldi, Nestle (worlds largest food supplier) and many more. Beef consumption dropped by 43% in the first three weeks when this scandal hit in Europe and it continues to unravel daily overseas. But people like Sue Wallis wants to bring this industry here and put our beef and pork industry at risk like that? Please think. It does a country good.

    Last note: Horse slaughter is not a population control tool. Horse slaughter is about making money for foreign investors in the horse meat market…a declining one at that. Canada has 4 plants and they have the same rate of starvation, abuse and neglect as we do and during some years even higher. Explain that?

  • Perhaps those of you who oppose horse slaughter should look at who DOES support it. Start with the Minnesota Horse Council and in particular its past President Dr. Tracy Turner, DVM. How many other horse councils support this? How about the AAEP (American Association of Equine Practitioners) who endorses the captive bolt as a “humane” method of ending the life of an equine. However, in reading their publication on the appropriate methods of equine euthanasia, they state that the administration of a paralytic drug must be the first step. However, they don’t state that as part of the protocol for horses being slaughtered for meat. Why? Because the drug then makes the meat unusable for human consumption! My husband works with a man who used to work at a MN slaughter plant. He says he has personally seen, not only horses (they “processed” about 85/day when he was there), but other livestock that were stunned rather than killed by the captive bolt & were eviscerated alive. He said it was the case more often with horses than other animals.

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