HORSE SLAUGHTER PART 6A: HORSE SLAUGHTER PLANTS IN THE US: OVERVIEW
June 11, 2016
Believe it or not, there are foreign interests, private citizens, agricultural lobbyists and their paid congressmen that are pushing hard to reopen horse slaughter houses in the US ( they now call them "processing plants"). The motivation behind this, of course, is money - they hope to profit from it. But these profiteers will try to convince you that it is more "humane" to slaughter horses in the US than elsewhere. To be honest, the word "humane" has no place in any aspect of a discussion on horse slaughter. Horse slaughter is a nightmarishly brutal and horrifically cruel and illegal process from the kill pens, to the jam-packed, locked, livestock trailers, to the floor of the slaughter houses where living horses are hoisted by one back leg to the ceiling, hung upside down, gutted, bled out and butchered. It is a joke to try to talk about subtle levels of "humane-ness" in a process like this. In fact, the real issue that must be discussed is food safety and what grave harm horse slaughter houses do to humans. It is an indisputable fact that US horses meet none of the food safety standards required for livestock intended for human consumption. US horses potentially contain illegal drugs and chemicals, over 300 FDA-banned cancer causing medications, and serious infectious diseases that are transmissible to humans. Horse meat is not tested for any of these things, so we would not want anyone, particularly pregnant women, children and persons with weak immune systems such as cancer patients, being exposed to this toxic meat. Essentially, the horse slaughter house that processes US horses is processing toxic waste (horses) that are a by-product of the US horse industry (show horses, racehorses, rodeo horses,wild horses, family horses, carriage horses and Premarin foals born as a byproduct of the drug industry). This dangerous toxic waste meat is going into our food supply, and because of uncontrolled global food distribution chains, it is putting families all over the world (including the US) at risk. In a study published last summer, by Chapman University, illegal horse meat was found to be in samples of ground meat sold commercially in the US. The US does not test all or any commercial meat for horse meat contamination, so it is impossible to determine the extent of horse meat contamination in the US food supply. However, the Chapman study is clear evidence that the food supply in the US is lacking in controls to adequately protect us from horsemeat entering our system. To use an FDA regulatory term, It is a system that is "out of control" and therefore should be shut down until effective and validated corrective actions can be out in place. Therefore slaughter of US horses should be immediately shut down, as it is creating a public health threat of grave concern and incalculable proportions. Unexplained rises in US rates of cancer, autoimmune, and learning disorders, neurological disease and birth defects could be a result of horse meat in our food supply. No one is looking at this because most of our legislators are refusing to admit it is happening. Those honest legislators that are sounding the alarm are being ignored, and worse yet, some legislators and agricultural lobbyists want to actually bring horse slaughter houses back onto US soil.
Currently, horse slaughter houses are not allowed to open in the US because there is no funding for inspectors for them. But one has to wonder, if there were funding for inspectors, how could that make this toxic meat safe? The inspectors don't test the horse meat for toxic chemicals or diseases. They do brief visual inspections, which are extremely limited and show only the most obvious diseases - not chemicals, not subtle incubating diseases. So how could inspectors make horse meat containing cancer-causing chemicals safe just by looking at it?
Even more worrisome regarding the horse slaughter situation is the fact that US citizens assume they are NOT eating horse meat, when in fact they probably are. So if a US taxpayer suffers ill effects from eating horse meat hidden in their food, they will never know what caused their problem. Sadly, it appears that most of our regulators and legislators are counting on this - they are more interested in getting away with poisoning us for profit, than in protecting us. A handful of alert citizens and scientists are aware of this situation and as a result, a new industry has arisen in the US which sells test kits to private citizens so that they can test their meat for horse meat contamination before eating it. When one thinks of the amount of tax dollars we pay to congress and regulators to protect our families, it boggles the mind to think citizens would have to resort to buying tests for their own food in order to protect themselves - simply because a handful of greedy, unethical people want to profit from selling meat that has not had to meet any expensive safety standards.
The food safety issues alone should immediately end horse slaughter and discussions about horse slaughter in the US. However, there are many other concerning issues around horse slaughter houses that involve foreign investors, tax dodging schemes, exploitation of communities, serious environmental problems, increased crime rates, horse theft and decreased property values in areas where horse slaughter houses are located. So in our next section Part 6B, "Horse Slaughter Houses in the United States: History", we will take a few moments to look at those issues also. Stay tuned!