Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Horse meat in the U.S.

The NY Times reports on how the market has responded to the closing of U.S. slaughterhouses for horses (related to the repugnance felt by some to the eating of horse meat.):  Slaughter of Horses Goes On, Just Not in U.S.

"The closing of the country’s last meat processing plant that slaughtered horses for human consumption was hailed as a victory for equine welfare. But five years later just as many American horses are destined for dinner plates to satisfy the still robust appetites for their meat in Europe and Asia.

"Now they are carved into tartare de cheval or basashi sashimi in Mexico and Canada.

"That shift is one of the many unintended consequences of a de facto federal ban on horse slaughter, according to a recent federal government study. As the domestic market for unwanted horses shrinks, more are being neglected and abandoned, and roughly the same number — nearly 140,000 a year — are being killed after a sometimes grueling journey across the border.
"The study’s findings have been fiercely contested by animal welfare groups, which argue that most of the problems stem from the economic downturn and the high price of feed. The study also breathed new life into the long-smoldering battle over whether to allow the resumption of domestic horse slaughter or, alternatively, to prohibit the animals from being shipped abroad for their meat.

"In recent weeks lawmakers have pushed Congress to take action in both directions. The Government Accountability Office, which conducted the study, concluded that either option would be better than the status quo, but advocates on both sides, while hopeful, said a resolution did not appear imminent."

Here is the report by the Government Accountability Office,

HORSE WELFARE: Action Needed to Address Unintended Consequences from Cessation of Domestic Slaughter 

"GAO analysis shows that U.S. horses intended for slaughter are now traveling significantly greater distances to reach their final destination, where they are not covered by U.S. humane slaughter protections."


broncrider said...

We need to reopen US Horse Processing facilities where Federally and or State regulated horses can be processed humanely and professionally! We need the jbs, the equine industry needs a floor price for these horses, and we need to have horse meat available to US citizens. It is good, nutritious, and can be a darn good protein source. Why are we letting Canada and Mexico process our horses when we can do it here and the owners can get a fair price for them?

LynnIL said...

NO!! We don't need horse slaughter to come back nor do we need horse meat to be sold in the US.

You have not done your homework on this one. Horse slaughter, NOT horse processing, was not and cannot be made humane. There is not enough money in it to make it profitable if were made humane. At the Horse Summit in January the attendees there said they would never pay to make it humane. There is your answer to how this industry thinks. And of the 60 employees at the Cavel plant in Illinois only 10 were US citizens and they were low wage jobs. You are dreaming if you think this is such a good way to bring back jobs.

And US horses are given drugs that say right on the label not for food animals so most US horses cannot be used for human consumption. In 2013 the European Union who buys horse meat now will no longer take US horses because we cannot verify the drugs given to our horses through their lives and that makes them ineligible to be slaughtered for human consumption by EU rules. We don't even feed our pet’s horse meat because many became sick from it.

There is also the issue of pollution which the slaughter companies never even paid to clean up and they didn't even pay federal taxes. There is so much wrong with this industry that it is insane to think that this horrible cruel business should reopen in the US.