WASHINGTON, D.C. — Meat peddlers in the U.S. are happy. Why? In a word. China.
While trying to put together some statistics on U.S. meat production and consumption during Meat Out for Mustangs, a meat man made this remark to Tuesday’s Horse, “The meat industry here [U.S.] could care less if the entire English speaking world goes vegan. The demand in China is big and getting bigger. We could never hope to fill it all but we’re damn sure going to try”.
What is China demanding now more than ever? Equine meat.
Horse Meat Peddlers Busy
While lobbying on the Hill, a U.S. Senator told us that it is hard to make an argument against the United States refusing to compete in the world wide market demand for horse meat. Add to horse meat the strong demand in China for the meat of donkeys and the entire equine meat demand is skyrocketing. It is worth millions if not billions of dollars.
The U.S. Agribusiness wants as much of the equine meat market as it can possibly get. Right now its plan is to eliminate competition in N. America is simply this: kill off one; work with the other.
The horse meat business in Canada relies heavily on U.S. horses coming across its border to do a brisk business — roughly 60% of all horses slaughtered. A big return of horse slaughter to U.S. soil could for all intents and purposes put an end to horse slaughter in Canada.
Indications are that it would be a similar story with Mexico but with a twist.
The U.S. Agribusiness lobby envisions working with Mexican horse slaughter plants, not competing with them.
The EU currently have no horse slaughter plants operating under its jurisdiction in Mexico. This is perfect for what U.S. Agribusiness have in mind.
We were told by a lobbyist for U.S. Agribusiness that they are working on a deal with Mexico to do necessary routine inspections of their horse meat. Mexico would send their horse meat to the U.S. The USDA would “inspect” it (meaning they would test random samples), put their seal on it and send it on its way — for a fee. Horse meat sanctioned by the USDA would be worth millions to both countries. We are told their negotiations are firmly underway.
The proposed location in the U.S. for proposed horse meat inspections and export? Right across the border in Texas. How convenient.
This is why there is movement afoot right now in Texas to open not one but two horse slaughter plants, in a State with a long history of killing horses for their meat and shipping it. Oklahoma is itching to get in the game too we are told and they have thousands of wild horses there to dispose of if the Department of Interior gets what it wants in the 2018 Appropriations Bill.
What must happen for the above to be accomplished? By restoring federal funding to the USDA for horse meat inspections necessary for its export, or in other words NOT returning the defunding provision to next year’s federal budget. Horse advocates want that defunding provision to continue.
The U.S. House Appropriations Committee voted not to return the USDA horse meat inspection defunding provision to next year’s spending bill. The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee voted to keep it. Next up, the full House and full Senate will vote on it.
You can see how important continuing the defunding provision for horse meat inspections in next year’s federal budget bill is and how each one of you must keep calling your U.S. Representative and both U.S. Senators, in particular the U.S. House right now as it is divided almost equally.
Horse meat peddlers are licking their chops. Your call could turn the tide in favor of the horses!
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The current budget bill that includes the USDA horse meat inspection defunding provision ends September 30, 2017.