Iowa Meat Plant Approved for Horse Processing Permit

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A meat plant in Sigourney Iowa received a permit from the USDA last week to begin processing horse meat. The plant became the second in the United States to receive such a permit, preceded by Valley Meats Company of New Mexico.

The Iowa plant will process about 200 horses each week and will employ about 25 people in the first year.

Keaton Walker, president of Responsible Transportation, told The Horse that the plant will get its horses from “existing channels that send horses to Canada and Mexico.”

The lawsuit filed by the Humane Society of the United States and several rescue groups against assorted government officials to stop horse slaughter is still pending.

Read more at The Horse

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  • Richard C

    Money talks in politics….the type that benefits re-election campaigns and helps boost the mysterious walking around accounts.

    • nu-fan

      And, that is the part that I find appalling. How many of the racehorse owners have plenty of money and clout and, yet, are they making any attempt to use their connections to get the slaughtering of horses banned–including the warehousing and transportation of these animals? I agree, politicians listen to money and those who have it as well as the power that money provides. Individuals and animal activists? Not really that much. I would like to see all food industry leaders also take part in getting legislation passed since they will take a direct hit if horsemeat is found comingled with other food products. And, with food brokers selling to everyone, this will (not “may”) happen.

      • Jo

        Of course they remain silent and as we know, silence gives consent . The reason for the silence is money. Look how much money is made in breeding. And what is to be done with the huge numbers that either don’t sell, never make it to the track, are injured, don’t win races and even those that made money, sometimes lots of money, but are finished racing ? These owners have no plan or thought for what to do about these horses. Slaughter is where most of them are headed. And then there are the brood mares and what is to be done with these unfortunates when the breeders are “finished” with them ? The situation is ugly. there was a slight drop in the foal numbers for a few years because of the recession but once the economy improves the numbers will increase .

        Generally speaking, the Thoroughbred is a disposable commodity in the racing industry.

  • old horse lover

    I am so tired of reading these things.I have shed about all the tears I have,written all the emails,called all the right people,given what money I can and still the fight rages on everyday.
    I sure do need some backup from horse lovers everywhere.
    Please call,email ,speak up for these magnificient animals before another one dies on the way to or in one of these horrible plants anywhere.

    • notyourdaughter

      I am too. We don’t have power or limitless amounts of money so we are helpless.

  • betterthannothing

    “Walker said the plant can “provide a humane option” for horses nearing the end of their lives.”

    Talking with a forked tongue. Slaughter cannot be done humanely. There is no compassion in the meat business. If Walker is talking about the end of their natural lives, butchers don’t want those. Horses going to slaughter will obviously be near the end of their lives and butchers want them young and plump.

    • notyourdaughter

      A “humane option”. Ask Walker if he’d object to his life being ended that way or even his dog’s.

  • Quilla

    And horse meat will be purposely mis-labeled and end up in your Big Mac…

  • drjohn

    one thousand pound horse will have enough edible tissue to feed on child one pound of meat for 800 days, so why don’t you horse kissers stop whining and do what is right.. feed the hungry children

    • betterthannothing

      Our horses are being slaughtered and thus could “feed the hungry children” now! Nothing like feeding potentially toxic meat from unkown provenance to hungry children, unless of course Sue Wallis & Co plan to raise horses for the meat market which in that case will do nothing to the improve the plight of the horses going to slaughter now.

    • ziggiepop

      Is that you slaughterhouse sue?

    • Roisin

      Feed the hungry children, help the abandoned horse ; help the starving horse; help the old horse !! Very noble aspirations, except the start up of the horse slaughter business has nothing to do with such causes. Shame on those hiding behind such false propaganda. And, of course, there are those who truly fall for such deception and others who find it is just easier to “believe” the propaganda.

      Most know the startup of a horse slaughter industry is all about money and greed from start to finish built on a foundation of unspeakable misery, terror and cruelty. The meat will be sold at the highest price the market will bare and anybody who thinks otherwise is delusional.

      • nu-fan

        Those that condone horse slaughtering are just using rationalization to argue the invalid points that they make. They hide behind “save the starving” mantra each and every time. Their arguments are lame and, quite frankly, really quite insulting to anyone with half a brain. Are you getting as tired of hearing them as I am?!

    • Hossracergp

      Dear John,
      If you can’t feed them don’t breed them applies to humans too. I’m so tired of hearing that everyone should sacrifice to feed children spawned from people too ignorant or lazy to prevent their conception. Overbreeding is a problem in the human race. Let’s quit enabling people to be irresponsible by feeding the strays. Your argument for slaughter is a weak one. Try again.

      • drjohn

        aside from all of your silly protestations, consider this. The government is feeding 47,000 horses at a cost of three dollars per head per day. The end result of these horses is death from cumulative effects from being locked up on former productive ranches in the midwest that at one time were productive ranches until the golden goose, the blm, showed up. Now thousands of pounds of hay and grass and hundreds of thousands of gallons of water are being used to satisfy the wishes of people like you that have probably never had a horse or used one as it was intended by the creator to work or to be used as sustenance for people in all areas of the world. The horses that are being slaughtered today in Canada and Mexico are am part of the normal attrition. There are young horses being killed for a multitude or reasons. I have yet to hear about you fake horse lovers contributing to the care of horses in rescue farms who are always in the need of funds to purchase feed and other things. So in short, put your money where your mouth is instead of flapping your lips about something you know nothing about. Hear that hungry baby cry, thanks to Rep Moran and Senator Landeau. drjohnr

        • Roisin

          Nice try !! As always, assumptions and accusations run rampant. Why so angry ? Did someone touch a nerve ?

          • drjohn

            crying hungry babies touch every nerve in my body . to bad not in yours

          • Roisin

            drjohn, you have no idea of what I do and have done in my life . Suffice to say, you assume too much.

          • drjohn

            don’t know don’t care

          • Roisin

            Predictable !!
            Drop the ridiculous façade..

        • betterthannothing

          Going full circle! The brutal round-ups and eradication of wild horses are driven by cattlemen with their predatory culture against anything that eats grass other than their cattle, whether it’s their grass or OUR grass. The BLM is the beef lobby’s w h o r e. Those wild horses held in captivity were rounded up to make room for cattle and sheep and increase the worth of ranch holdings.

      • circusticket

        Hossracergp, you will be judged very harshly if you ever get close to the pearly gates. Jesus fed the poor. You don’t think we should?

        And let me add that the poor are not ignorant and lazy.

        • hossracergp

          He didn’t feed them racehorses, and I don’t think we should either. He walked on water and raised the dead do you think we should do that also? Starving children in the US are not starving because we are not able to produce enough food to feed them. And, no I don’t think we should start slaughtering horses to feed starving children in other countries. I do think our money would be better spent on education to prevent unwanted children in the first place. If you breed too many horses, or own more than what you can afford to care for you are irresponsible. However if you have more children than what you can afford to care for you are just poor? My salvation status is my concern not yours…..so don’t judge me too harshly ok.

          • circusticket

            Actually, you are judging the poor very harshly without walking a mile in their shoes. I hope that, since you believe in personal responsibility, you hold the rich to the same high standards, and judge bankers who sell fraudulent mortgages, health insurance companies who use extortion to grow their business, rich tax cheats, race horse trainers who make a living by drugging horses, etc, etc. I believe that many of them have had an ivy league education. A good education doesn’t guarantee honesty, responsibility, and love of country. Try living in the real world.

          • WT

            Rich people can afford to feed all the kids they want to have.

        • Roisin

          Oh, please. This horse slaughter issue has nothing to do with feeding the poor. I hope you don’t really believe that. Slaughtering horses never did anything for the poor and never will.

          I suppose there is no hunger in Mexico, or in any other country where there is horse slaughter, right ? As for other parts of the world they need less corrupt governments, not horse meat !!

      • WT

        Absolutely. Well said.

    • Jo

      Yeah, and kill the kid into the bargain. You must be ….better left unsaid !!

  • In Tears

    Old horse lover I agree. And i have called, written, emailed with no answers. These animals just cant’ get a break no matter which way they go cruel, heartless death waits..

    drjohn, so you say it okay to feed children meat(tissue) riddled with drugs to children not knowing the effects?

  • ziggiepop

    Again, this industry maintains it’s sickly silence. Karma is kicking your bu#ts already, better get together.

  • ziggiepop

    And I notice the pr messaging, and politically correct more pleasant term of “processing” is now in vogue, and used by this vile industry. Why are you buying into it Ray? Barbaric slaughter is barbaric slaughter. It is not nice.

  • zchairman

    Lasix bad, blowing a horses brains out or slitting their throat with a rusty knife instead of taking care of them good—REALLY?

    Ray, do you have a personal opinion you would share with us on horse slaughter or are you going to remain relatively ‘radio silent’? What about your ‘bosses’ at the BC and JC, what do they think about the rapid expansion of horse slaughter?

    • Roisin

      These days people are afraid of reprisals. It is hard to take on big powerful interests if you are in a position where you can be hurt because, more than likely, you will be hurt. Also, think about the so called Ag Gag laws that are being passed. True freedom of speech is being suppressed.

      • nu-fan

        Would like to see someone get a bill eliminating the Ag Gag laws as well as any of the other attempts to keep whistle-blowers from exposing anything that may be detrimental to others.

      • betterthannothing

        The passage of those gag-gag laws is nothing but a national disgrace. Those laws show how archaic, morally depraved, greedy but powerful and manipulative the livestock industry is.

  • chuck martel

    Why should somebody need a “permit” from the USDA to turn horses into steaks? If somebody owns a horse and wants to eat it, or sell the meat to somebody else that wants to eat it, how is that the business of the government? If you don’t want people to eat horse meat, go ahead and buy the horses destined to become food and keep them in your pasture until they expire.

    • lindleypaxtonbarden

      Yes Chuck, please DO eat the horse meat . . . people with your attitude need ALL the chemical contamination they can get!

  • info

    i love horses too. so why not investigate the scams going on with many so called rescuers? many are running the scams and never take possession of the horse. They work with the auction companies and receive a list of horses they have including info. Then they contact all previous owners asking them to send money so they can save the horse from being shipped to the slaughter house to meet a horrible death. they also contact people (with no connection to the horse) and scam them to save a horse from certain death if they send money. As stated this is done often without taking possession. Of course, they take possession of the ones they can make money on. All this is being done while receiving grants and contributions. when you call some of these operations they will not even talk with you unless you have a horse that they can make money reselling.
    who wants to help thier bank accounts?

    • old horse lover

      Just some more of the scum bags associated with this tyoe of thing.

  • old horse lover

    In answer to you can give it to children and hungry people.
    AT LEAST 379 FDA banned for use in animals for human comsuption drugs given to horses.Plus the all the concoctions trainers come up with to try to give them an edge Frog Juice,Cobra Venom etc.
    Do you really want to feed this to children or adults for that matter?
    No test for a lot of this stuff by USDA.

  • Erik Weiss

    A step in the right direction. Way better than a rusty knife in Mexico.

  • ern

    I know one owner and at the end of life the horse could not even get up. Many encouraged her to have the downed horse put on a truck and sent to slaughter, alive but down, being trampled by other luckless horses. It’s disgraceful horses can’t be put down where they are, then sent in refrigerated rucks for processing. Oh, the owner humanely euthanized the horse despite the barbaric suggestions.

    • betterthannothing

      Give a hug to that owner for me although she could have eut. that horse before he was so far gone unless its health deteriorated very fast.

      Shame on those who suggested otherwise. What kind of people were they?

    • Karen

      That’s a solution. Mobile slaughter would meet the criteria for a quick, painless and unforeseen demise.

  • lindleypaxtonbarden

    Thank GOD for SOME people . . . a HUMANE euthanasia is the way to go! The “many” who encouraged her to send her horse to slaughter should be forced to witness the process themselves.

    • lindleypaxtonbarden

      And I DON’T mean watch the slaughter on a video . . . they should be required to be IN the slaughterhouse, to feel the heat, hear the screams, and smell the fear and guts. THEN decide to send your horses to slaughter . . .

  • Guest

    DEUTERONOMY 14:6
    “And you may eat every animal with cloven hooves, having the hoof split into two parts, and that chews the cud, among the animals.”
    KJV

    • Guest

      Horses DO NOT have cloven hooves.

      • nu-fan

        Bravo! Excellent reply made to someone with half a brain.

    • ern

      That says nothing about abusing and torturing the animal before it ends up on your plate. Get a grip.

    • WT

      You obviously do not know much about horses or you would know they do not have cloven hooves.

    • Karen

      Can’t eat pork either, if you adhere to Deuteronomy. Or camels, who seem to have both the criteria, cud and cloven hoof, or rabbits who just have cud, no cloven.

  • old horse lover

    Other People do it so is must be OK.

    BANGKOK — Thai police say they have rescued about 90 famished cats that they believed had been headed to Vietnam. They declined to say what fate they had rescued the felines from, but cats are considered a delicacy in their intended destination.

    Police Col. Sakchai Sadmaroeng said Thursday his men stopped a pickup truck at a checkpoint Thursday and found six plastic cages full of cats in northeastern Nakhon Phanom province. The driver was arrested and faces charges including animal cruelty and illegal transportation of animals.

    The Thai driver told police he received 2,000 baht ($63) to drive the cats to the Mekhong River, near the Thai-Laotian border.

    Cat meat is offered in many restaurants in Vietnam. Dogs also have been smuggled there from Thailand for their meat.

  • susanmeanslily

    There are too many horses in this country. Breeding has slowed down, but horses live 25-30 years, so the overpopulation isn’t going away for a long time. The market is extremely low…a horse can eat it’s “worth” in hay in a month. When people feel desperate, they have to make some hard choices such as selling a horse that is no longer wanted, needed, or can be cared for. Slaughter is a viable, practical way of alleviating the burden of too many horses and not enough homes/rescues. There are laws on the books now that need to be strictly enforced to see that horses are transported humanely, killed quickly and the meat tested for residues. I wish HSUS and the other anti-slaughter groups would put some of their donation money and buy up all the unwanted horses. Maybe some of the horses can be re-homed, but many won’t be. I’ve seen 100′s of horses sold at auctions where they are sold by the pound just like cattle and sheep. Some horses are seen as pets, but others have only been used as a livestock animal.

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