May 27, 2024

White House Budget Has No Funding for Horse Slaughter Inspection

The White House 2014 budget does not have any funding for horse slaughter inspection. There is no money available to inspect horse meat under the Federal Meat Inspection Act, the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act, or the Code of Federal Regulations. This will prevent the slaughter of horses for human consumption in this country.

HorseThere has been a ban on horse slaughter in this country since 2006, but a rider that prevented the USDA from financing the inspection of horse meat was let expire in 2011. Horse meat has been in the news since a European scandal this winter which revealed that horse DNA was found in some products labeled beef that were sold in the UK and other countries.

The problem with horse meat is that the animals can be drugged with hormones and other chemicals such as phenylbutazone, or “bute”, which are not approved for human consumption. Bute can cause aplastic anemia in human beings. Anabolic steroids and gestagenic steroids can also be present in horse meat.

Two weeks ago, the state of Oklahoma approved processing horse meat for export. Governor Mary Fallon stated that she signed the law to prevent inhumane handling of horses that are sent to other countries for slaughter. But the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) says that horse slaughter is “inherently inhumane” and has worked to prevent horse slaughterhouses from reopening in this country. That agency applauded the President’s action.


  1. You are only fooling yourself if you think banning slaugher in the US is a good thing – hundreds of thousands of US horses are shipped to Canada and Mexico for slaughter every year. Even worse – their suffering has increased due to the long journeys, housing and methods of transportation. Banning slaughter has merely diverted the problem. Perhaps a better solution would be a system to re-home unwanted horses, researching humane methods of euthanizing them, encouraging the “horse mills” to stop, etc. Most of the comments are focusing on the meat – and I agree – horse meat should not be consumed, exported, etc., Those of us that truly love the horses need to find another solution that tackles the real problem breeding. In a perfect world every animal born would have a lifelong home where they are loved and cared for. The same problem exists with the millions of dogs, cats, etc. that get put down every year in the US – too many animals not enough homes – and what is driving those that breed to do it??? MONEY

  2. Myra Deen says

    Horse slaughter is voluntary ( the plants pay for inspection) therefore tax money is not needed to kill these animals the money comes from the of those who eat horsemeat .

    If you open plants in the United States it would create jobs in the United States . I can insure you as an anti mordem inspector these animals be more humanely treated if slaughter in the United State

    • Linda Larsen says

      Actually, the slaughtering of any animal for human consumption in this country is a federally regulated process. Horse meat will be shipped across state lines, which brings it under the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause. Please see this information from the Animal Welfare Institute.

  3. Sandy Parocai says

    I worked at the Bar S Feed Lot in Shelby, Mt where upwards of 3,000 horses, ponies and mules are held, awaiting slaughter in Canada. Not only is the slaughter inhumane but the treatment of those animals is terrible at the Feed Lot. I worked three months gathering information to try to get help for these animals. Please look up The Bar S Feed Lot in Shelby, Montana and read what happened to some of thier horses. Please ban the slaughter of horses in America and make it illegal to transport horses across the boarder for slaughter. Now there is a market for foal meat and pregnate mares are kept in a separate field to foal. Once the foal is 6 months old the mare and her foal are slaughtered. The foal meat goes to Italy. With the economy being as it is I have seen many a Registered mare and foal go for slaughter. Truely sickening!!!!

    • robin kichnet says

      My husband and I rode an Amtrak train past the Shelby Montana facility in June 2013 and saw these horses awaiting deportation for slaughter. If other officials could see this it might change some minds. As one other person said, “this country was built on the back of the horse.” It is truly against nature and decency to kill a horse for meat.

  4. Terra Pennington says

    I have sent letters to everyone in my state on the H.R. 1094 and the S. 541 and have not gotten any positive feed back from anyone only that they will keep my fears in mind if the bill does come up. My fears that we will end up finding toxic horse meat mixed in with our meat products more so when all these horse slaughter plants open in the USA. The USDA does not have the funds to inspect the meat we do eat so why should the American people pay for meat inspection on a animal that we don’t eat?

  5. I can’t.. for the life of me..understand why horse slaughter has to ever be in debate at all! our politicians, big rich cattlemen, the over-breeders, and FOREIGN investors, have to debate if they should knowingly and intentionally poison thousands of unaware
    men, women, and children, of foreign nations…or not to poison them! really? if foreign nations want to poison their own people for a buck…then let them! we all know horse slaughter is the most horrific form of animal torture, and must be stopped! the biggest problem in this country is NO ONE is held accountable for their actions or in actions! if you own or buy a horse, then you know the expenses involved..and your obligation to care for that animal! in this day and age with thousands of people eating organic, going green, and fighting to have gmo’s removed from OUR food supply… it has to make you realize….it is ONLY about the money! we need to contact foreign media outlets…and have them ask our government…why? the E U has banned horsemeat from the U.S.A.. I wonder what will happen when they finally put 2 & 2 together and realize that they have been eating our tainted horsemeat all along… and our politicians have been turning a knowing blind eye! GOD help our horses and us!

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  6. Susan Setzke says

    We must keep the initiative going and send as much as we can to our elected officials and President Obama. I was on another comment thread discussing Jerry Finch’s “Rant & Rave” article. He is always writing very informative and motivating articles. This one, as the title implies, is about how tired we all are with the corruption and greed in our elected officials and their connection to the special interests that buy and control them. That if we truly want to change something, we must be relentless and tireless in our demands and requests for change. The consensus from people commenting were of frustration and anger. That no matter how many times we call, write, email, fax, etc., it seems to fall on deaf ears. I can relate to some of their responses. But, we have to stand strong in our beliefs, continue to speak often and loud, and to most of all combine and unite our voices to send a serious and powerful message that we will not go away and that we demand change in how our government operates. We can also choose to boycott the companies that are trying to control us and our elected officials. Enough is enough!!

  7. Tom Durfee says

    Horse meat is unfit for humans to eat. Food and Chemical Toxicology, Volume 48, Issue 5, May 2010, Pages 1270-1274
    Association of phenylbutazone usage with horses bought for slaughter: A public health risk
    Nicholas Dodman, Nicolas Blondeau, Ann M. Marini
    I have always said they don’t care how many people they poison as long as they make a buck.
    Here is the first warning to a horse killer from the FDA for falsified EID and the horse was positive for bute.
    Horse Owner Survey Shows NSAID Use Trends
    In a recent survey, 96% of respondents said they used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to control the joint pain and inflammation in horses, and 82% administer them without always consulting their veterinarian. More than 1,400 horse owners and trainers were surveyed to better understand attitudes toward NSAIDs, in a project sponsored by Merial, the maker of Equioxx (firocoxib).
    Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – prohibited as well Phenylbutazone, known as “bute,” is a veterinary drug only label-approved by the Food & Drug Administration for use by veterinarians in dogs and horses. It has been associated with debilitating conditions in humans and it is absolutely not permitted for use in food-producing animals. USDA/FSIS has conducted a special project to for this drug in selected bovine slaughter plants under federal inspection. An earlier pilot project by FSIS found traces less than 3% of the livestock selected for testing, sufficient cause for this special project. There is no tolerance for this drug in food-producing livestock, and they and their by-products are condemned when it is detected. Dairy producers must not use this drug in food-producing livestock and if it is found, those producers will be subject to FDA investigation and possible prosecution.

  8. Paula Todd King says

    I hope everyone will encourage their representatives to not only pass the budget with the defunding of horse slaughter but also support the SAFE Act, HR. 1094 and S.541. to ban slaughter legally. Here in New Mexico a plant is still trying to open and we are fighting hard to stop it. Not only is the toxic nature of horse meat an issue, but horse slaughter is the most barbaric form of slaughter imaginable. We don’t want it in this state and we hope it is banned nationally. Horses are companions, work mates, and this country was built on the horse’s back. This is no way to treat them.

    • Kathi Collier says

      This country was built on the horse’s back and everyone I talk to is completely against horse slaughter which is a very barbaric form of slaughter. Please support the SAFE Act, HR 1094 and S.541 to ban slaughter legally!

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