Horse Slaughter: Missouri Slaughterhouse Awaits State's Decision On Permit

Categories: Animals, Food

horsy1.JPG
Flickr/will g
Hungry, anyone?
David Rains wants to sell horse meat in Missouri. He says he's ready to start, having already modified his processing plant in Gallatin and consulted with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and industry experts from Canada.

He'll know by January 27, the deadline for officials to respond to his request to include equine slaughter within a general meat processing permit.

"The federal government agrees with us," says Rains, who is pushing the state's Department of Natural Resources to allow him to start slaughtering horses and distributing their meat for human consumption as well as animal feed.

See also: Judge Orders Return Of 252 Animals: "No Credible Evidence" of Abuse

The DNR actually awarded Rains' facility, Rains Natural Meats, with a general meat processing permit in November. However, the permit stated that the plant's waste water lagoon "is only authorized to process non-equine species of animals."

Without a way to dispose of the waste, that decision effectively bars Rains from slaughtering horses.

Rains tells Daily RFT that he had never heard of DNR issuing general permit that excluded a specific species, especially since the lagoon has passed all its inspections. He thinks politics is involved.

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Flickr/get directly down

"The governor is behind making all these decisions," he says. "If he doesn't go with the science and stays with the special interest groups' political wants, then I'm really concerned he doesn't care about agriculture in Missouri."

DNR spokeswoman Gena Terlizzi says the department is closely following state regulations and that politics is not a factor.

After getting denied, Rains sued the DNR at the agency level. Front Range Equine Rescue, a horse advocacy organization, filed motions in that legal actions supporting the department, arguing that a lifetime of drugs and medications makes disposing horse carcasses a potential environmental danger.

"Horses are not raised in a regulated industry, and are given drugs and substances that can't be monitored," says FRER attorney Bruce Wagman, who argues that simply giving the horses a drug test prior to slaughter isn't enough since the the test only detects a small proportion of the drugs in a horse's body.

See also: Beast Feast: Gut Check Dines on Squirrel and Raccoon in Style

There are other problems with horse slaughter which should push the state to keep Rains' plant from equine processing, according to Wagman.

"Horses cannot go to a slaughter the way other animals do," he says, "There's an inability to stun them easily because of their intense fight or flight response. There won't be control in the slaughterhouses."

horsepancakes.JPG
Flickr/Michael Mandiberg
While actual horse slaughter is up for debate, horse-shaped foods are still totally legal.

Rains contends that his plant is humane, safe and will not produce "any pollution" as a result of horse meat processing. He sees the involvement of groups like FRER and the Humane Society of United States as a sign that his opponents are willing to "ignore the science" in favor of pushing a "vegan agenda."

"They are trying to take all of the meat out of America, and they are going after every segment of the livestock industry one piece at a time," he says.

Congress effectively banned horse slaughter in 2006 when it barred the USDA from using federal funds to inspect any meat processing plants that slaughter horses -- and no USDA inspection meant no legal distribution. But with the help of a key vote by Missouri Senator Roy Blunt, that ban was lifted in 2011.

"It's a legislative issue," says Wagman, who says new laws need to be passed that unambiguously ban horse slaughter in the U.S.

"If we're not going to slaughter cats and dogs in this country, then we shouldn't be doing it for horses."

Updated 4:00 p.m.: Daily RFT reached out to the Humane Society of Missouri for comment. Here's a statement from spokeswoman Jeane Jae:

Because horses hold an iconic place in our nation's history and are treasured for their beauty, majesty and companionship, the Humane Society of Missouri believes they deserve to be cared for, not brutally killed and shipped to foreign countries for consumption. HSMO supports all efforts to halt and ultimately prohibit horse slaughter in Missouri and the United States. We have and will continue to urge our constituents to support the SAFE Act (Safeguard American Food Exports Act -- H.R. 1094/S. 541) now pending in the U.S. Congress and to work with the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation to block horse slaughter in Missouri.

Follow Danny Wicentowski on Twitter at @D_Towski. E-mail the author at Danny.Wicentowski@RiverfrontTimes.com

My Voice Nation Help
246 comments
whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

Eating horse meat is part of US history and culture.  It was served in University dining halls until the mid 1980s and sold in local butcher shops. 


During WWII, as rationing made it more difficult for families to find beef, American butchers across the country sold horse meat, and consumers literally ate it up. 

Time Magazine reported that during the inflationary years of the early 1970s, a butcher shop in Connecticut was wholesaling about 6,000 pounds of horse meat every day.


Until the mid-1980s, horse steaks held a revered place on the menu of the Harvard Faculty Club.  A 1965 article in the Harvard Crimson describes a brief dry period, when supply issues temporarily disrupted access to the then-$2 dish, which was reportedly prepared “chicken fried” with a mushroom sauce. According to lore, horse was removed from the menu in 1985, not because of lack of demand, but because the Faculty Club’s new French chef refused to prepare meat that had been previously frozen.

http://www.phillymag.com/news/2013/02/21/eat-horse-meat-ok-wrong/

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

Horse meat has been consumed in the US for hundreds of years.  It was served in University dining halls up to the mid 1980s and sold at local butcher shops. It is part of the US history and culture.

During WWII, as rationing made it more difficult for families to find beef, American butchers across the country sold horse meat, and consumers literally ate it up. 

Time Magazine reported that during the inflationary years of the early 1970s, a butcher shop in Connecticut was wholesaling about 6,000 pounds of horse meat every day.


Until the mid-1980s, horse steaks held a revered place on the menu of the Harvard Faculty Club.  A 1965 article in the Harvard Crimson describes a brief dry period, when supply issues temporarily disrupted access to the then-$2 dish, which was reportedly prepared “chicken fried” with a mushroom sauce. According to lore, horse was removed from the menu in 1985, not because of lack of demand, but because the Faculty Club’s new French chef refused to prepare meat that had been previously frozen.

http://www.phillymag.com/news/2013/02/21/eat-horse-meat-ok-wrong/

alphamare
alphamare

Too late. Congress is passing a bill right now that will defund USDA inspections of horse slaughter plants in the US. These plants will NOT be able to open - period.


This legislation has been pending for a long time. These idiots really should have waited until after they knew whether it would be passed or not. They were SO sure the deep pockets of the pro-slaughter lobby would get them anything they wanted. Not THIS time!

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

If horses are allowed to be slaughtered again then they would be safely raised as cattle are and be butchered humanely. Just sayin'.

Beth Buker
Beth Buker

Cant he find a better way to make money?

vickysecho
vickysecho

Why on earth would someone in the U.S. want to go into business slaughtering American pets? These horse dealers acquire horses by any means they can and are allowed to fabricate drug affidavits immediately and ship a horse the SAME day! This is what you want to do for a business - poison people with adulterated meat? There is NO safe U.S. horsemeat! They are not raised as food animals here and no one intends to chemically test each and every horse! This is absurd! It is terrorism of a foreign human food chain! There will and can never be two classifications of a species that do not cross over by the greed of man. And about that environmental permit- I am amazed that some of these environmental permits are based on a given number of animals per day and then the facilities just ramp up after the permits are issued - which should basically nullify the permit - especially when it comes to horses - they have more blood than any other real  livestock and therefore any environmental permit would have to be specific by species. And the slippery slope argument is bogus too - food producers know what is and isn't a food animal and those that have been previously dupped are figuring it out. Ask them about the Brazilian cattle and then come back to talk about horse slaughter... I don't know what they are promising you but it surely won't be a bed of roses - that you can believe.

DRAKEMALLARD.0
DRAKEMALLARD.0 topcommenter

Get your piping hot horse burgers horse fries, horse cakes and shakes. We got tongue, straight from the horse's mouth."All our horses are 100% horse-fed for that double-horse "juiced-in" goodness.

Deena Daniel
Deena Daniel

No. I would NOT knowingly eat horse meat.

Soryn_Cter
Soryn_Cter

For, or against, horse slaughter for human consumption, one fact stands out:  It represents a huge slide downward in standards of living.

jannalukens
jannalukens

This is not about animal welfare. This is about making money. The kill buyers gather up as many cheap horses as they can in order to sell them to slaughter. Some of those horses are unwanted by the slaughterhouses due to their poor condition. Slaughterhouses only accept young, healthy, meaty horses. The rest become "unwanted". Many of these horses are either turned loose by the borders to starve or if they can't be sold on Craigslist, locked in a pen to be hidden away and INTENTIONALLY starved to death as a means of disposing of the "unwanted" animals. Kill buyers don't want to put any money into "fattening" them up. At a certain point, it isn't cost efficient. So all of you who support horse slaughter are also supporting kill buyers  and are also supporting mass starvation of horses. In fact, I'd say y'all are pretty much guilty of obstruction of justice..... Horse slaughter is NOT the solution. It is the problem. To advance the horse industry, we MUST keep horses out of the MEAT industry.

shanedestry
shanedestry

david rains and his his investor backers, which include a Japanese firm, have fooled Missouri cattlemen associations into believing horse slaughter will somehow be good for the Missouri economy. Nothing could be further from the truth ! The scandal in Europe which continues of finding horsemeat mixed in with beef caused sales of beef to plummet 48% within weeks after this tainting was uncovered. The same thing would happen here the first time someone discovered horse DNA in their Burger King. The only certain way to prevent that from happening in the United States is to prevent horse slaughter from starting up here again ! What would maximize only the profit of Japanese investors would ruin the Missouri economy just as it did in Kaufman Texas and De Kalb Illinois. These plants were closed down by the states themselves for this reason and the costly environmental contamination they caused !

Carrie Christen
Carrie Christen

im not a vegan or vegetarian, but at what point do we stop being such meat hoarders? we dont need to consume as much as we currently do.

Sean Arey
Sean Arey

saint louis already sells horse meat, just go to aldi.

Audacious Melodious
Audacious Melodious

Man...we're being fed bullspit already...what would make this any different. We ALREADY don't know all the crap that's in our food. No harm no foul...even though it's not right.

Michael McClanahan
Michael McClanahan

Not on purpose, but I'm not against anybody else eating it. And slaughtering is part of that process.

Ricky Nelson
Ricky Nelson

Cindy Sacks nobody is going to make you eat it, so relax and quit your preaching

Dennis Stroot
Dennis Stroot

I think moo-cows are cute too, but we still eat them. I might try it on a dare... But what if I like it? Eeww!

shanedestry
shanedestry

to Susan Humphrey, Suzie Q,  since you have attempted to make it dangerous for everyone with horses to even pass through Missouri without fearing horse thieves - although your attempt will fail as this horse slaughter plant will not open- I have a suggestion for you. If you ever drive through Missouri, just keep on going don't stop. When you come to the intersection of Hell and Damned Forever, turn either way, it doesn't matter. Because that's where people end up who spent their lives profiting from suffering, both horses and horse owners whom you have caused to live in fear.

blueribbonone
blueribbonone

...slaughtered "properly?" (FOR REAL?)whomever makes such a suggestion does not understand what happens in production based slaughter using equipment that was NOT designed to be used on horses. Why is pro slaughter uninformed? Because they don't know what actually happens...PERIOD.  

shanedestry
shanedestry

what does allowing a horse slaughter plant in Missouri mean: that we consider horses only to be pounds in a butcher's scale, things, with only market value ! Allowing horse slaughter in Missouri is an environmental catastrophe in the making because of the toxic run off into our streams and waterways. Allowing horse slaughter in Missouri would be an economic catastrophe because our state would lose millions in tourist $$ through boycotting, rise in crime rates associated with horse theft and environmental cleanup. And allowing horse slaughter in Missouri would be a moral catastrophe because degrading horses to the level of things whose suffering and death we ignore can only lead to us becoming the moral sinkhole of the United States, shaming us and degrading us all ! Therefore we must not allow them to open this slaughter plant in our state !

blueribbonone
blueribbonone

USDA, European Union (EU) or Elmer Fudd's presence doesn't change what animals are slaughtered and what chemicals they have already been exposed to. Unsuspecting consumers are eating meat (that USA currently rejects by its own standards) from horses that happened to end up with this awful, unthinkable fate!!


No slaughtering processes from when horse slaughter for sale for human consumption was outlawed several years back in the United States have changed. They merely moved the equipment across international borders as well as the animals and set up their heinous brutal industry there. Any one that says this is humane is either an uninformed idiot or a bad liar. 


What a multi billion dollar sham the United States, Canada and Mexico is responsible for..!

alphamare
alphamare

@whateveryousayTop Commentator? When you're totally WRONG? Our old horse slaughter plants were NOT one bit better than those in Mexico and Canada. Horses were NOT raised as cattle then and wouldn't be now. Are you nuts?

shanedestry
shanedestry

@DRAKEMALLARD.0 thanks for the helpful comment moron horse slaughter is not funny they hang them upside down from hooks while they are ripped apart still alive and conscious why don't you take a walk sometime through a slaughter plant if you still are inclined to think it's funny then you are not a moron you are a sociopath.

Soryn_Cter
Soryn_Cter

@jannalukens As is the case with the shelter problem for dogs and cats, the breeders should be shut down until control can be achieved over the supposed population problem of these horses.

morgansinkc
morgansinkc

We are being fed the bullspin alright, Vinyl!  Slaughtering U.S. horses is the polar opposite of farming.  Farmers feed people.  Horse slaughterers poison people.  We're being fed a lot of bullspin on this and the out of state people are behind this and trying to shove this down the throats of Missourians with David Rains as the front man.

morgansinkc
morgansinkc

Knowledge is a good thing, Mary Ellen!  Did you know that U.S. horses are not raised for food, and therefore we can give them 115 drugs that are labeled, "not for use in horses intended for food?"


This is a really bad idea to try to slaughter U.S. horses for food, especially without any type of warning label, such as, "WARNING:  this meat may be harmful to the environment and to humans.  This product may cause cancer."

morgansinkc
morgansinkc

I guess you want to die early?  The U.S. horses are not regulated as livestock and therefore we have 115 drugs we can give them that are labeled "not for use in horses intended for food."  There is no withdrawal period for some of these medications.

morgansinkc
morgansinkc

Are you against food fraud, Michael?  The U.S. horses are not raised as food animals and are not regulated as to what drugs we can and cannot give them.  Phenylbutazone (Bute) has no withdrawal period and is a known human carcinogen.

shanedestry
shanedestry

they are making her pay for it with her tax dollars at a rate of $400,000 a year per plant and why should she for a product exported to other countries - for which there is no market ! change your name the Ricky Nelson I knew would never support horse slaughter

lynnequus
lynnequus

As a sports horse owner, I can tell you that unlike cows, horses are athletes. They have aches and pains just like any NFL star. So a common drug given to these horses (along with about 115 other drugs) is BUTE, a drug that does give them relief. But Bute is a known carcinogen, not intended to be eaten and the FDA classifies horses as a non-food animal. So although I don't know you Dennis, I do care about your health and I'd advise you to not eat horse meat.  And if a horse slaughter plant starts up in Gallatin which is on the Grand River watershed, I'd also advise you not to drink the water. 

jannalukens
jannalukens

Why don't you move to France? But before you go, I suggest you read some of the comments on this thread to discover the difference between cows and horses....

morgansinkc
morgansinkc

There is every reason not to.  For one thing, birth control is good in horses for four years.  Those horses would need to be quarantined for four years and carry a warning label:  WARNING:  this product may be hazardous to the environment and may cause cancer.

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

@alphamare  You are correct. Each country has a right to its culture. Here in the US horse meat has been consumed for hundreds of year.


Try and read a history book from time to time. At least become knowledgable on the topic you so ignorantly spout off about.   

During WWII, as rationing made it more difficult for families to find beef, American butchers across the country sold horse meat, and consumers literally ate it up. 

Time Magazine reported that during the inflationary years of the early 1970s, a butcher shop in Connecticut was wholesaling about 6,000 pounds of horse meat every day.


Until the mid-1980s, horse steaks held a revered place on the menu of the Harvard Faculty Club.  A 1965 article in the Harvard Crimson describes a brief dry period, when supply issues temporarily disrupted access to the then-$2 dish, which was reportedly prepared “chicken fried” with a mushroom sauce. According to lore, horse was removed from the menu in 1985, not because of lack of demand, but because the Faculty Club’s new French chef refused to prepare meat that had been previously frozen.

http://www.phillymag.com/news/2013/02/21/eat-horse-meat-ok-wrong/

alphamare
alphamare

@whateveryousay@alphamareNo, they don't eat cattle in India. WE don't eat horses here. Why don't you pro-slaughter dunderheads go to India and tell them they MUST slaughter cattle because Americans do? That's what you're saying to Americans - you MUST slaughter horses because some other countries DO eat horse meat.


I'll bet the Hindus would tell you exactly what WE have been telling you. Both countries have a right to their cultures.


I'm sure the Hindus care about as much about what Americans eat or don't eat as we do about that they - or any other country - eats. We don't expect the Hindus to slaughter their cattle because WE slaughter cattle. So why should WE slaughter horses because some other countries do so? 


We slaughter our OWN cattle. Let other countries that want to eat horses slaughter their OWN horses. To each his own. Or don't our cultural norms mean as much as the cultural norms of every other country?


Go away and leave OUR horses alone!


Besides, Congress just defunded the USDA's inspecting horse slaughter plants in the US, so horse slaughter plants CANNOT open, permits of not. Sorry about that. NOT!

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