Missouri Officials Deny Permit For Horse Slaughterhouse

Flickr/Bambe 1964
Opponents of horse slaughter say horses like these are full of dangerous drugs. (No, not those kinds of drugs.)
State officials following the federal government's lead chose last week to block a Missouri slaughterhouse owner's quest to legally kill and process horses.

In a letter dated January 23, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources notified David Rains, owner of Gallatin-based Rains Natural Meats, that his meat processing permit would not be expanded to include horse slaughter. Pointing to restrictions within the recently passed 2014 U.S. budget that "effectively prohibit the slaughter of horses," the agency deemed further evaluation of Rains' request "unwarranted."

"Your application is therefore denied," the letter continued.

See also: Congress Blocks Horse Slaughter: Missouri Processing Plant Faces Uncertain Future

The DNR awarded Rains a general meat processing permit in October [corrected]. However, the permit only authorized a waste water lagoon to process non-equine species of animals. Rains then tried suing the agency, and then withdrew the suit in hopes that he could get his existing permit amended.

David Rains
None of the tactics worked, and Rains Natural Meats will be horse-free for the forseeable future.

Rains spoke to Daily RFT about his permit issues earlier this month.

"We're just trying to do our business in a legal way and doing it humanely and safely," he said at the time. "They just keep coming up with frivolous stuff."

Animal rights groups including the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Humane Society of the United States have raised concerns about drugs that remain in a horse's body for years, a potential danger for human consumption.

See also: Horse Slaughter In Missouri? ASPCA Slams Cruel Practice, Says Meat Is Dangerous

To be clear, Rains' has the state's blessing to slaughter as many non-horse food animals as he can fit through his facility. Still, this is a defeat for Rains and his business partner Sue Wallis, CEO of Unified Equine, who was prepared to distribute his horse meat.

Rains Natural Meats in Gallatin, Missouri.
Criticizing the new federal restrictions on domestic horse slaughter, Wallis said last week that she and her allies in the horse industry hope Congress will re-fund USDA inspections in a future budget bill.

"We will of course be working very hard to inform Congress and others of the continued consequences of this very short sighted poorly thought out situation," Wallis said.

We weren't able to reach Rains or Wallis for comment on this story, but we'll update you if we hear back.

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

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Our Meat Supply is safe for at least another 9 months, till Budgetary Funding rolls around again. So enjoy your Kansas City BBQ while you can. Rains' Partner Sue Wallis has publicly announced  that she wants their horse"meat" to be sold to the suppliers of the school Lunch Program. This would be served to Schools, Nursing  homes and other institutions.  Some people would do anything to make a buck. Shame on you Mr. Rains.


There are numerous key facts left out of this news story. 

The ASPCA and HSUS are not "animal rights" groups. These are conservative, well respected animal WELFARE organizations. That means they don't tell people not to ride a horse or eat beef. They do point out it is inhumane to attempt to kill a horse with multiple bolts to the head. Unlike a steer, a horse can receive up to twelve bolts to the skull in a slaughter house. By any reasonable person's viewpoint, this is inhumane.

There is far more blood and waste in a horse than in a cow. The environmental problems associated with horse slaughter are well known. Refer to: www.kaufmanzoning.net.  

Sue Wallis's involvement in the Raines "Natural Meats" business is a major red flag. Refer to: http://rtfitchauthor.com/2012/03/06/wyoming-horse-eating-politician-suffers-meltdown-in-anti-horse-rant/ for a fascinating glimpse into this person's mind. 


The Missouri Department of Natural Resources issued the permit specifying non-equine species on 10/29/13, not in November 2013, as this article states.

Rosalind Hagedorn
Rosalind Hagedorn

none of this will matter when zombie apocalypse breaks out ;)

Margaret Booker
Margaret Booker

What is the detail in the 2014 federal budget that out the hold on this. We need more reporting on this story element.


Nobody can slaughter horses in the same plant as cattle because it is far too easy to contaminate our meat supply. That is why we had stand-alone horse slaughterhouses prior to 2007. For Rains to argue otherwise is specious. If he truly doesn't understand why his permit specifically disallowed equines, what else doesn't he know about horses?


Congress and the President de-funded USDA inspections of horse slaughter plants, as they should have.  It was an expense of $400,000.00 per year, per plant.  The meat would have been toxic to our environment and to humans, and would have been shipped to overseas consumers. 

Why on earth would American taxpayers want to pay for this?

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