Cross-posted from Food Safety News
WRITTEN BY DAN FLYNN
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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