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Unified Equine Selects Rockville, MO, for Horse Slaughter Plant

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Sue Wallis' Unified Equine announced yesterday that Rockville, Missouri, population 150 or so, would be home to the company's first food-grade horse slaughter plant by the end of the summer. This is the second proposed Missouri location for the Wyoming state senator's plant. Mountain Grove was the first choice, but the company determined that converting the former gas pipe factory to a slaughter house would be cost prohibitive; and maybe the town's unified opposition to the plan had something to do with Mountain Grove being passed over.

Rockville is a small town in Bates County, about 90 miles southeast of Kansas City. A cattle processing plant that's been closed for some time would be home to the new horse slaughter house. Unified Equine's plan for Mountain Grove included a partnership with Belgian company Chevideco, one of the biggest horse meat importers in the world. It's unclear yet if Chevideco is on board again for Rockville, but it is clear that Belgium is part of the European Union, which means that the proposed plant will need to have lifetime veterinary records for all horses processed starting next summer.

If that makes Chevideco sound progressive and cuddly, you may want to take a look at this 2005 Forbes photo essay on Kaufman, Texas. Kaufman was home to a Chevideco-owned "humane" horse slaughter plant, and it caused the city and its citizens much grief. Horse blood in the sewer systems and backing up into toilets, body part falling off trucks on the roads, the sounds and stench of midnight horse loads arriving, and untold numbers of vermin such as vultures, rats, snakes and cockroaches moved in. The plant was eventually shuttered, but only after property values dropped, many people moved and the city was forced to pay $6 million for a new waste water treatment plant.

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35 comments
Shannon Smith
Shannon Smith

This is disgusting.  American do not eat horse meat!  What's next - dogs?  Cats?  Horses are beautiful animals that are raised as pets - they have served this country since its inception.  This is a horrific and inhumane thing.  Anyone who thinks they may not have a problem with it, needs to educate themselves on the inherent unspeakable cruelty in the transport of these gentle animals and in the actual slaughter.  I don't know how Wallis sleeps at night.

Ponygirl
Ponygirl

Bute maybe you all should look it up. It remains in the system for 4 to 5 days. Bute used to be used in HUMANS.

Curt Lukens
Curt Lukens

The Moran amendment has passed the House appropriations committee.  This stops the Rockville plan in it's tracks.  The bill still has to pass the full house and senate this fall but for now it's a done deal.  NO funding for inspections by the USDA for horse slaughter plants.  Last time it passed by a huge margin but was put back in by Blunt, Kohl and Kingston in committee.  But this time we're on to their tricks and will stop them  BLUNT went against the will of the people (80% are against horse slaughter) so let's vote him out!!!

Oskarkatz
Oskarkatz

FDA Order Prohibits Extralabel Use of Phenylbutazone in Certain Dairy Cattle February 28, 2003 The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is issuing an order prohibiting the extralabel use of phenylbutazone animal and human drugs in female dairy cattle 20 months of age or older. FDA is issuing this order based on evidence that extralabel use of phenylbutazone in these dairy cattle will likely cause an adverse event in humans. The Agency finds that such extralabel use presents a risk to the public health for the purposes of the Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act of 1994 (AMDUCA). AMDUCA amended the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to allow licensed veterinarians to prescribe extralabel uses of approved animal drugs and human drugs in animals. Section 2(a)(4)(D) of the AMDUCA provides that the Agency may prohibit an extralabel drug use in animals if, after affording an opportunity for public comment, the Agency finds that such use presents a risk to the public health. Phenylbutazone became available for use in humans for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and gout in 1949. However, it is no longer approved, and thus not marketed, for any human use in the United States. This is because some patients treated with phenylbutazone have experienced severe toxic reactions, and other effective, less toxic drugs are available to treat the same conditions Phenylbutazone is known to induce blood dyscrasias, including aplastic anemia, leukopenia, agranulocytosis, thrombocytopenia and deaths. Hypersensitivity reactions of the serum-sickness type have also been reported. In addition, phenylbutazone is a carcinogen, as determined by the National Toxicology Program. For animals, phenylbutazone is currently approved only for oral and injectable use in dogs and horses. Use in horses is limited to use in horses not intended for food. There are currently no approved uses of phenylbutazone in food-producing animals. Investigation by FDA and State regulatory counterparts has found phenylbutazone on farms and identified tissue residues in culled dairy cattle. In addition, USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service has reported phenylbutazone residues in culled dairy cattle presented for slaughter for human food throughout the U.S. in the past two calendar years. This evidence indicates that the extralabel use of phenylbutazone in female dairy cattle 20 months of age or older will likely result in the presence, at slaughter, of residues that are toxic to humans, including being carcinogenic, at levels that have not been shown to be safe. FDA will consider all comments on this order that the Agency receives by April 29, 2003. Written comments should be submitted to the Dockets Management Branch (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061, Rockville, MD 20852. Submit electronic comments to http://www.fda.gov/dockets/ecomments. All comments should include Docket number 03N-0024. The order will become effective May 29, 2003, unless FDA revokes or modifies the order or extends the comment period. Additional information on this prohibition is contained in the February 28, 2003, Federal Register. Questions about this prohibition may be directed to: Gloria J. Dunnavan, Center for  ThisVeterinary Medicine (HFV-230), Food and Drug Administration, 7500 Standish Place, Rockville, MD 20855, 301-827-1168, e-mail: gdunnava@cvm.fda.gov. When they test for residue they usually do it from the kidney, liver, or fatty tissue and measure in very small units.  OF COURSE, there is no way for anyone to know about an infinite time for residue.  However, a number of compounds stay in these tissues (and by extrapolation other  tissues, such as muscle) for as long as tests have been done. FDA thinks it crosses over to the milk for long enough that the cow's milk cannot just be held off human consumption for a  while.  She may never give milk for human consumption again.

Diana VerHoef Bodensteiner
Diana VerHoef Bodensteiner

Bute metabolizes to oxyphenylbutazone which binds to injured tissue. Oxyphenylbutazone in miniscule amounts, has all the dangers of bute including causing cancers and deadly aplastic anemia. Oxyphenylbutazone is released back in to the horse's system as the tissue heals over a period of weeks, months or even years. With a chronic injury, where tissue is constantly repairing and re-injuring this can be in the horse's system for the rest of his life.

Diana VerHoef Bodensteiner
Diana VerHoef Bodensteiner

Testing for bute at a show is looking for a therapeutic level in the blood stream. A therapeutic level would be way off the charts on a meat residue test. The level that would be considered unacceptable in meat will not show in the blood. You have to kill the horse and take a kidney swab to detect it. Even so, neither of these tests will be good enough for the EU by July 2013. EU will require that all horse meat come from horses that have never had a dose of bute in their life. They must be enrolled in a program that tracks their ID from birth and records all their health and drug history. The program must be approved by EU and be comparable to their passport system as far as accuracy and being tamper proof. EU passed these regulations in 2008 and has allowed a transition period where owner affidavits are acceptable for imported meat. Transition will be over next summer and our horses will not be eligible for the market where most American horse meat goes. Expect the price for American slaughter horses to drop further next year, unless they are raised for slaughter and enrolled in a program which has not yet been designed.

Linda Horn
Linda Horn

 Hackneylover, are you still receiving replies to your comments? You seem like a reasonable person, and I'd like to brainstorm about possible alternatives to horse slaughter for Rockville, and rural community development ideas in general.

Kathy Heinisch
Kathy Heinisch

 Maybe not Your school children.. But Ms.Wallis did in fact sponsor a Wyoming law, HB0122, http://legisweb.state.wy.us/20... /HB0122.pdf which would provide that seized, abandoned,stray livestock could be slaughtered for use in  state institutions, or as the Bill refers to it "disposed of". "AN ACT relating to livestock; providing for the disposal ofestrays, livestock and feral livestock; adding definitions;providing for the disposal of meat from slaughter" Some "state institutions" that exist in Wyoming , Veterans Home of Wy., Boys School of Wy., Girls School of Wy.,Life Resource Center and Wy Retirement center to name a few. Is this the type of business owner You want to do business with, A person that thinks it's acceptable to "dispose" of meat from "estray Livestock" by serving it to people in state institutions that would have  no knowledge or choice but to eat it ? Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/06/12/3659273/rockville-mo-welcomes-horse-slaughter.html#storylink=cpy

Stanley
Stanley

If the previous owners could not make a go of it just a year ago why does Unified Equine think they can make a go of now? They would have sold it if they could not I would think. What kind of tax incentives are they asking for?Honestly tell us that--you are in the city office correct?These horse carcasses the slaughtering will yield must be shipped by airfreight to Europe--they all are. That is really expensive.  Beef gets carted away in refrigerated trucks which is a lot less expensive.  All beef offal and by products are used. Not so with equine--at all.It has a higher profitability potential as a beef slaughter plant--but it closed.What is your town going to do with 200 horse heads and 800 horse feet a day?But I think Sue Wallis said up to 800 horse heads and 3200 horse feet a day?And all those guts, and all that hide.  No the international community does not upholsterwith "pony hide"  only steer hide in those leather couches and car seats.These are all legitimate questions.At the export pens on the Mexican border (on the American side) the reject horses(the ones who are too sick, or lame to walk on their own) stay in the US.They must be euthanized. They do not cross the international bridge.What plan does the city of Rockville have for their disposal.  This is not aninsignificant number.Lots to think about here.  Lots you are not being told.

Oskar Katz
Oskar Katz

If $10.25 is a good wage I wonder why are the jobs going to all these immigrants? Why aren't there normal, white, working class people moving to Noel to take these jobs.  That is $21, 000 a year IF all holidays are paid. That is  before taxes. I will wager no holidays are paid.  They aren't in most packing houses.   After just payroll tax (FICA) that is $375 a week.  After federal income tax with just 1 deduction it would be less than $350 a week.   Horses who have given service, who are sick or lame or are dangerous should be euthanized after being given a large dose of Xylazine by a veterinarian. If a person is so desperate for a small sum on money that they must have the token amount,  they can still send their horse to slaughter in Canada or Mexico.  It should not be a stain on the moral fabric of our American society.  I do not want my tax dollars paying for any part of it.  And I predict it won't.  This will ultimately be decided in the courts.

Linda Horn
Linda Horn

 "Hopefully my other comment ..."

Linda Horn
Linda Horn

Hackneylover, my post on the slaughter coop is still being moderated. I didn't expect the one on the hay cooperative would be posted immediately. Hopefully n=my other comment will show up before too long.

Stanley
Stanley

Of course they are going to hire illegal immigrants.  The ones I know come up here on a tourist visa--from a small town in Mexico--and over stay the visa.  They have a  green card they pass around among them (from the village in Mexico) or they buy one here "on the street".  They pass it around because they usually only come up for a  six month stay or so.  The name is fake and the social security tax they pay they will never collect and they will never file a return to get the income tax refund on income tax withheld. Usually 6 or 7 guys pack into a house to save money and they try to save to send home.  I know this for sure because I work with them. Wallis, as all other employers, just says--" I did not know they were illegal as they had paperwork to show they could work". The problem is that they are a very family oriented society but just the men are here (at least from Mexico) alone.  It gets weird to say the least.  Alcohol consumption is a very big problem with them.  Combined with the loneliness it gets really bad for them sometimes.  Then there is the problem that in Mexico people cannot own guns without a very special permit.  Here the first thing a Mexican man wants is a gun. (This is my experience over 27 years of working with them).  But they do not really know the responsibilities of gun ownership.  They are good people but just find themselves in a bad situation.  

Stanleyl
Stanleyl

I take issue with your comment that it is none of our business. USDA meat  inspectors must be hired and paid for US tax dollars. That makes it everyone's business.  The money for this CANNOT-by law--be paid for by the plant.  It has to come from taxpayer's money so they cannot be biased. I do not understand your comment about shipping horses overseas--I think you mean the finished meat but the horses are slaughtered now in Mexico and Canada in plants that are inspected by the European Commission.   The proposed plant in Rockville may be partially owned by an American entity but it will--it MUST by European law--operate under the control of the European Commission and will be subject to its regulations.  One of these regulations, starting in July 2013, is that all horses slaughtered for  export to EU countries must have a lifetime passport that gives the drug history. The horses that do not have this will have to have their meat go elsewhere. That means they will be worth less.  I do not know how they are going to get these horses to kill that have this passport. In Belgium now they have farms that do it just for them but they do not have a lot of room.  They have even pared down their cow herds and are going more to pork raised in barns.  They raise more pigs now than cattle. It used to be the opposite.

Oskar Katz
Oskar Katz

I know there are sales barns that put on auctions where the quality of the horse is high and the horses do not go to slaughter right from the auction.What I am referring to is very very different.  I am referring to the type of sale barn that is a local affair--there is one in Linwood Kansas--that may have a horse auction once a month--for any and all type of horse.  The killer buyer parks his big rig right out in the parking lot.  I have seen it.  He may buy up to 30 horses that night. I have seen it.  He buys the horses no one else bids on and lately will pay perhaps $200.  I have seen it.  People take a horse there when they are at the end of their rope-- perhaps the horse has a behavior problem, perhaps they are moving, perhaps they are getting a divorce.  Something has caused them to say--"okay-I do not  care what happens I want to rid of this horse even though I know it may be a really bad end "  Sometimes they do not even collect their money.  Some people just can't do that so they dump it near someone's pasture--someone they heard is a good person--and figure maybe it has a chance.  Neither of these types are real "horse people"--but they think they are.  If it was a dangerous horse they could have called a vet and had it put down.  The last time I did have a horse put down the total cost was $175.00--including having her picked up--not a steep price to do the right thing. That was just a few months ago for a very sick horse. I do think the jobs created will not be good paying jobs that a person would support a family with. I think they will bring a transient population.  I saw an interesting article in the KC Star on Sunday about all the immigrant workers at the chicken plant in Noel Missouri.  They work for a maximum of $10.25 per hour. They came for the jobs. There are alot of them.  Read it--it is very interesting. Read about Liberal Kansas.  It is a town that has seen a huge population shift due to work in the packing slaughter houses there.  The KC Star did an article about the gang violence there.  It seemed bad.  I was there on a business trip in January and it was very Asian and Mexican.  It has changed a lot and not for the better I think.

Ponygirl
Ponygirl

I show horses and they do to test for bute and many other drugs.

Swordfight2
Swordfight2

Eating horsemeat should be illegal and considered a public health issue due to the meds horses routinely get that are NOT TO BE USED IN ANIMALS MEANT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION.  Wormers, bute, etc.  Bute is interesting because there is no reliable way to test for residue unless it is postmortem as blood tests alone are not sufficient.  In fact, the EU is cracking the whip at US horsemeat (imported via Canada, mostly) for numerous reasons but one being the development of aplastic anemia in humans traced to eating horsemeat containing bute residue.  I could go on for DAYS regarding the issues why slaughter should be banned, why slaughter does NOT solve for our equine concerns, but wanted to share this one in particular.

Swordfight2
Swordfight2

You're are totally right, Dave.  Equine Unified and Chevideco will put up flyers in Mexico offering a crappy wage of maybe $10.50 an hour, which is a lot of money for someone working for $4 a day.  THAT'S who will work there, not the people in your community.  And this precedent has been set by all of the other slaughter/processing plants in the US. And then we could start talking about all of the expensive environmental costs.  The people of Rockville need to MOBILIZE before this becomes final.

Swordfight2
Swordfight2

LOLOL!!!!  RIGHT ON - I was thinking the same thing, Berksbound. I'm betting they are members of Equine Unified and the Sue Wallis gang...;..just floatin' around the net to copy and paste the same fallacies on every comment section of every slaughter article...

Swordfight2
Swordfight2

That little town won't see any revenue.  Unified Equine and Chevideco will put up posters in Mexico, making it sound like a dream job for about $10.50 an hour - a lot of money for someone making $4 a day.  Don't believe me?  Show up at ANY slaughter/processing plant in the US and that is EXACTLY what you will find.  Furthermore, these types of practices are well documented.  Furthermore, I would argue it would destroy the community.  Do the research on Kaufman, Texas, and then tell me the town needs it.  By the way, I am a horse owner.

Shezalongtallsally
Shezalongtallsally

i've seen the 'professional' horse people. they overbreed and say; literally~i don't care if you slaughter them, as long as i'm invited for dinner. this so-called pro routinely kicks, punches, cusses at and terrorizes hers and others horses, while putting on a pretty face for the magazines and newspapers that she is among the top 10 trainers in the country. so your serious professional horsepeople are a vile bunch that want to use cruel slaughter for their irresponsible breeding. aqha and apha dump beautiful, young horses just because they're the wrong color or conformation for their stupid and conceited shows.  shame on them. so don't put your professional horse people on some kind of pedestal, because they'll get knocked off and QUICK

Shezalongtallsally
Shezalongtallsally

there's a little thing in our Federal Gov't called the Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971 that protects our nation's wild horses.  now, the economy is a poor excuse for unwanted horses. i was temporarily homeless, but i did NOT give up my precious horses. i found a way. i used the shelter for myself till i got a place.  i live on a few hundred dollars a month and keep myself and 3 horses in good health . the ban on horseslaughter did not change the amount of homeless horses. the ban did not change the amount of horses slaughtered either.  horse buyers intending a good home for the horses are out-bid by the killer-buyers. 

DeedieFay
DeedieFay

Hackney, I don't use my horses in place of cars or tractors.  They are my companions, my pets; as are my cats and my dog.  Just because we are in a recession, we don't have to go slaughtering our pets and companions.  We know better and when you know better you do better.  This is how we evolve away from shady, deceptive practices.  

DeedieFay
DeedieFay

You could also be very, very right; and that is very, very scary.  Thank-you for your research and input...very valuable & informative.

DeedieFay
DeedieFay

It's not the animal rights crowd.  It's the I-don't-want-a-stinking-nasty-slaughter-house-in-my-town crowd.  That's the crowd you're pissing off in Mtn. Grove.

DeedieFay
DeedieFay

If most of the "serious, studied and professional horse people" you know are "overwhelmingly in favor of horse slaughter", perhaps you should get out more;  The horse people I know and have known for years,  "serious, studied and professional",  know better.....and by the way...Sue Wallis, doesn't even own a horse.

DeedieFay
DeedieFay

I've had horses all of my life as well (I am a mere 52).  Of course people are emotional about horse slaughter; just as they would be about cat or dog slaughter in this country.  Horses are no longer considered livestock.  Even the FDA considers them companion animals.  One of the worst things we can do is to continue to do something just because that's the way it's always been done.  Calling people who oppose horse slaughter "among the cruelest" and "advocates of starvation and abandonment " is an emotional charge itself. The alternatives have not proven "hopelessly inadequate" according to my research.  I am amazed at the number of rescue organizations in existence and the success  that  they have.  There is a reason that 80% of the people in this country oppose horse slaughter (and many of us are horse owners).  It is possible to evolve from this cruel, inhumane and greedy practice.  It is also time.

DeedieFay
DeedieFay

Horse slaughter is hardly a "practical solution" when there is so much deceit involved.  When horses are stolen from pastures, people are lied to about their horses getting good homes, healthy horses are the ones sent to slaughter, horses are abandoned when turned away from slaughter houses....where is the practicality?  To suggest that horse slaughter plants will take care of the "unwanted horses population" is ludicrous.  In Spain, there are 91 horse slaughter plants in operation, yet horses are abandoned and turned loose at an alarming rate.  Horse slaughter serves the greedy; those who wish to continue to overbreed, sending to slaughter horses that are not desirable for showing, racing or further breeding.  When you consider the prospect of having a slaughter plant in your town, the type of people who work there (do any of us want a bunch of people capable of killing horses for profit running around our community), the stench that will come with it, seeing trucks filled with horses bound for the slaughter house (explain that to your kids) is it really something you can tolerate in your hometown? 

Shelley Powers
Shelley Powers

And I'm not responsible for people having unwanted horses. That's just absolute BS. Take responsibility for your own horses. Do the right thing, for once.

Shelley Powers
Shelley Powers

Not the horse people I know, many of whom are quite passionate about ending horse slaughter. Again, you insult people who disagree with you, seemingly because you're trying to make it seem as if you're more informed. Yet, you're another person biased in favor of horse slaughter--nothing more, nothing less.

Shelley Powers
Shelley Powers

The recent increase in unwanted horses has nothing to do with there being no horse slaughter houses in the US, and everything to do with the economy. This plant will do nothing for the abandoned horse problem. Horses are being shipped out of country even now for slaughter, and it has made no impact on the numbers of unwanted horses. And if you want to be taken seriously, you need to stop calling people a liar because they don't agree with you. It doesn't make you seem wiser, just incapable of dialog.

Oskar Katz
Oskar Katz

This is the Belgian FAO report.  Belgian stockbreeders have a strong passion for breeding based on meat and muscle genetic characteristics that can be observed in several species: poultry (e.g. Coucou of Malines), rabbit (e.g. Flemish Giant), sheep (e.g. Belgian Texel), pig (e.g. Piétrain), cattle (e.g. Belgian Blue) and even horses (the powerful Brabant (Brabançon) and Ardenne (Ardennais) draught horses).   Think about it.

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