Cross-posted from Riverfront Times Blog
by PAUL FRISWOLD
Sue Wallis, the CEO of Unified Equine, resurfaced in the media recently to hint that her plans for a horse slaughter plant in Missouri continue apace. Wallis claims that the company has designs on a shuttered cattle processing plant in “western Missouri,” with the exact location being kept a secret. The secrecy is necessary at least in part because of the public outcry over Unified Equine’s initial proposed location in Mountain Grove, Missouri — the local populace strongly opposed the plan.
Let’s say Unified Equine follows through with this new location, and a plant opens and processes horse meat for human consumption. What exactly would be in that meat?
Valerie Pringle of HSUS mentions just a few toxic items.
“Horses aren’t raised to be eaten, not like cattle,” Pringle says. For example, the United States and the European Union both have prohibitions against phenylbutazone being used in food producing animals. According to Pringle, phenylbutazone is at the top of the list of drugs given to horses as a matter of course.
“Phenylbutazone is kind of like horse asprin. We keep a big container in the barn. It’s used to treat pain or swelling from a bug bite — horses seem to injure themselves all the time. It’s very, very common,” Pringle explains before rattling off a list of further commonly dispensed medicines. “They get wormer generally every eight weeks. Fly spray, fungicidal shampoos, hoof treatment, copper tox for their hooves — that kills bacteria — all of those drugs are common for regular horses, including show horses. These things are done to keep them healthy. None of them are approved for human consumption.”
In case anyone other than a horse owner has any doubt about this, Pringle adds:
“I own a horse, Sue Wallis doesn’t. I know what’s in horse meat.”
The Springfield News-Leader reports Unified Equine is considering western Missouri because of large horse populations nearby.
The Int’l Fund for Horses is campaigning to put boots on the ground to lobby and speak to local business leaders in Oklahoma, Missouri and Wallis’ home state of Wyoming, where she and her colleagues are busy working to get horse slaughter plants into operation by the end of the year.
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