October 27, 2021

Applications For Horse Slaughter Permits Mosey In To USDA

Europe’s horse meat scare hasn’t scared everybody.  While European health officials scan their meat for horse DNA, in the U.S., companies from five states have submitted applications to the U.S. Department o Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA’s FSIS) for permission to slaughter horses. According to Front Range Equine Rescue (FRER), a Colorado nonprofit organization that seeks to prevent the abuse and neglect of horses through rescue and education, FSIS has received applications from companies in New Mexico, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Iowa, and Missouri. FSIS says the applications are in the early stages.

HorseHorses have not been slaughtered in the United States since 2007 because Congress withheld funds for inspection of horse meat from 2006 to 2011.  During that time horses were shipped to Canada or Mexico for slaughter, or simply abandoned by owners who would not pay transport fees, according to a report filed by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

“The slaughterers have misled the public and public servants into thinking horse slaughter is necessary and humane, when it is anything but,” FRER President Hilary Wood, said in a statement. FRER issued a press release decrying the applications saying it has already “established in formal legal filings that horse meat from American horses is a toxic stew, that there is no humane way for a horse to be slaughtered for consumption, and that the environmental effects of a horse slaughter plant can be devastating to local communities and citizens.  FRER has proven that there is no way to safely produce horse meat, and highlighted the tragedy of companion, race, and wild horses ending their lives on a meat hook.”

FRER isn’t the only group with concerns about the resumption of horse slaughter. The  Human Society of the United States has notified the USDA of domestic and international legal problems associated with it.


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