Horse on his way to slaughter in a Texas abbatoir. Humane Farming Association image.

Five applications compete for first USDA horse slaughter inspection approval

Horse walks death row to slaughter. Humane Farm Association photograph.
Horse walks death row to slaughter. Humane Farm Association photograph.

Cross-posted from Food Safety News

From Larkspur, Colorado (population 234), the anti-slaughter Front Range Equine Rescue group Thursday disclosed the names of four more horse slaughter applicants.

The four are in addition to New Mexico’s Valley Meat, which is located outside Roswell (pop. 48,386). The group has applied for federal meat inspection services under the “equine” option on USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service forms.

Valley Meat’s application has been known for months both because Front Range Equine Rescue has been opposing it, and because the business has gone into federal court in hopes it can get a federal judge to order FSIS to provide inspection services.

The others are managed to stay beneath the radar, until now. They are:

  • Rains Natural Meats, Gallatin, Missouri (pop. 1,791). Located in rural Northwest Missouri, not much is known about Rains. It may currently be producing an organic pork product.
  • Trail South Meat Processing in Woodbury, Tennessee (pop. 2681). Trail South is listed in one foreign trade directory as a supplier of boxed frozen horse meat to Asia and Europe. Founded in 2012, Stanley Dobson is listed as chief executive officer.
  • Oklahoma Meat Co. in Washington, Oklahoma (pop 520). Company information is not immediately available. Washington is just 30 minutes south of Norman, home of the University of Oklahoma.
  • Responsible Transportation, Sigourney, Iowa (pop. 2059). Work is reportedly underway in Southeast Iowa to turn the old Louis Rich Plant north of town into a horse slaughter facility. Responsible Transportation LLC wants to be up and running by late spring or early summer 2013. It has the editorial support of the local newspaper, the Sigourney News-Review.

Valley Meat is owned by Sarah and Ricardo de los Santos, and was previously a beef plant that ran into financial problems and was forced to cutback operations.

Some of Oklahoma’s top lawmakers have been moving legislation to lift the state ban on horse slaughter as long as the meat is processed for export only. At the same time, new efforts are underway in Congress to re-impose the ban on horse slaughter that was lifted more than a year ago after being in place for about five years.

USDA will not comment on pending applications and released them only upon a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that was filed by the Colorado group, which gets legal help from the Humane Society of the United States. HSUS is based in Washington, D.C. (pop. 632,323).

With no domestic “sale barn” option for disposing of horses since the last legal horse slaughter plant closed down in 2007, some experts say the “unintended consequences” have been more cruelty to the animals now than before. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) of Congress documented those concerns in a report two years ago, and the Obama Administration and Congress opted to lift the ban a year later.

© Food Safety News


“Some experts” indeed. The ones quoted are pro horse slaughter and expert it seems only as misrepresenting the facts. Slaughter promotes over breeding leaving many horses without homes and negatively impacting the market. That’s just for starters.

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4 thoughts on “Five applications compete for first USDA horse slaughter inspection approval”

  1. We have to stomp! out horse slaughter and strengthen our positions as horse owners, the horse mills have been around since the beginning of the 1900’s when men rounded up horses and made money off their deaths to purchase and lands and cattle, so the myth that isnt blood soaked money continues and to people nowawdays they are relatively new to the industry and they believed it when they were dressed like turkeys and told that the horse prices bottomed out. This rumor started where it always has with the pro slaughter people and the additional flow of animals they are continually bringing up is a relatively small number, however, they ran the math and figured out how to scam the public into giving their steeds to the make a pro slaughterman wealthy fund while they laugh masquerading around as a rescue. So the AQHA has been onboard to slaughter because they love big breeding seasons new registrations cost money, new purchases cost money, stud fees, certificates, all types of processing fees and when they figured to boost their earnings they jumped on the ITS ok bandwagon and the idiots that have bought into it and are backing it dont realize that when all the horses are killed off the only ones making money will jack their prices so high that they cant step up to their next ride. So u would think they would recognized they are being duped and stop this. Horses values are really not governed by ANY organization and they are ACTUAlly governed by the individuals that sell them so we need to wake up before they kill all the cheap horses off-they make the money and we are stuck paying more and more. So this is really something we have to stop. Its brutal, cold, and criminal. We are a nation of Natural Horsemanship people we need to take a stand and do whats right! Please do so! Call your US senators and legislators and lets straighten this out! WE are the people they are OUR horses WE are in Charge of protecting them. And these places like AQHA are stupid because the economy, the trends in the US to buy cheaper and cheaper everything to say money has made headlines for 8 years so people have learned to spend wisely so their 20000$ horses have not been selling boohoo, I bought a reined cowhorse worth that for only 2000 and it was from a cowboy down the road with only 3 mares to breed a year and my horse kicked but for 4 years! So this is ridiculous! WE have learned to be careful not careless with our money. Sale barns in our area talk badly about horse prices before the sale and they drive the prices down and lose consumer confidence which tricks you into thinking they are right, horses arent selling-but we know thats not true. We need to stop the games today! Petition to sign Petition to Overturn the legalization of the Slaughter of horses for Human consumption…and sign the wild burro one too! so we need to contact the white house. Leave messages, emails, anything it takes I have even been talking to state officials to push them to voice their dismay and support the bill in the US senate by talking to other people. So get it out there. put it in your local letter to the editor. Please today!


  2. It won’t open the tab to send a message to congress it just says

    This is somewhat embarrassing, isn’t it?

    It seems we can’t find what you’re looking for. Perhaps searching, or one of the links below, can help.


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