You may remember reading a while back about Sue Wallis trying to set up a horse slaughter plant in Mountain Grove, MO. She eventually abandoned that idea due to how outraged the locals were. Sadly, that isn’t where this story ends.
It turns out Sue Wallis has found an abandoned cattle slaughterhouse in western Missouri that can be ‘easily retrofitted’ for equine slaughter. Though Wallis refuses to disclose the exact location of this intended plant (probably to avoid the same reaction as Mountain Grove), it has become clear that the state representative will stop at nothing to see horse meat in American production. Although this undisclosed location apparently is certified through the U.S. Department of Agriculture for meat production, Unified Equine LLC has allegedly not yet applied for a federal grant inspection that would be required of the plant pre-production.
Now what is interesting about the great horse slaughter debate is that most meat produced at this plant will likely be sent overseas for foreign consumption (has been confirmed by Wallis in a statement), essentially opening a new venue for exportation. However, foreign buyers may be more hesitant to buy American horse meat given the fact that the United States has yet to develop an updated inspection procedure (using the method from six years ago would be exceptionally out-of-date and risky). How risky? In a recent post by the Riverfront Times, Valerie Pringle of the Humane Society of the United States mentions that American horses aren’t properly raised to be eaten. Not only that, but horse meat could suffer from a chemical problem: Phenylbutazone, or more commonly known as “horse aspirin”.
“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.” –Valerie Pringle, cited from the Riverfront Times
Hopefully all these concerns will be taken into consideration as Wallis continues to campaign for killing horses. For more information on Unified Equine, you can look at their comically blank website or sign a petition to keep horses out of slaughterhouses by checking out the United Horseman’s Do Not Slaughter Registry….which allows owners whose horses have been stolen or put up for slaughter against the owner’s will to be spared.