The plant has not yet gotten a permit for its composting pile and for its open lagoon, which will be filled with tainted blood (horses have 1.7 x as much as cattle) and will lie 10 feet above the water table. These open lagoons are an environmental hazard. The antibiotics in them disable the bacteria in most wastewater systems and commonly ruin a lot of expensive municipal infrastructure. It's not coincidence that fertilizer companies, which use cattle blood, stopped accepting horse blood about two decades ago. Too many drugs.
This meat is not fit for dogs (it ceased to be used in the seventies because one of the antibiotics in common wormers is fatal for some breeds of dog).
It's more dangerous for humans. Read What's In Your Horse Burger: Serious Chemicals That Post a Serious Health Risk, which was published March 5 in Newsweek/The Daily Beast.
Side effects of these drug residues include bone marrow depression, cancer, miscarriages...and there are dozens upon dozens of drugs that are labeled "not for use in horses to be used for human consumption" that can be fatal in small doses depending upon the individuals sensitivity. There are no withdrawal times of safe levels for most of them.
This is much different than cattle slaughter. For one thing, the drug issues are more serious with horses because they are bought at auctions for ex-racehorses, riding horses, carriage horses, etc. These horses have drugs in their systems that are banned in food animals and they do not come with veterinary records. The kill buyers simply buy them and declare them to be drug free. This is how the economics of horse slaughter work. It's lucrative because of the availability of discarded horses (about 1% of the US population), making actually raising horses for slaughter (which is economically infeasible due to the slow pace at which horses convert nutrition to muscle) unnecessary.
There isn't an overpopulation of horses and with fewer than 30,000 wild mustangs on 31 million acres of public land —where they are outgrazed by cattle 50:1 —they are being preyed upon by ranchers who want more welfare grazing, subsidized by US taxpayers.
You'll be stuck with the bill for inspections, too, and the meat, by law, is going to be sent abroad. This is an economic and food safety hazard that will profit ranchers and horse breeders who overbreed and want an outlet for their culls.
The USDA, Congress, the White House and the public have spoken: they want inspections defunded. 80% of Americans are against slaughtering horses and they need to speak up.
Don't eat it. Don't support it. Call your representatives and ask them to co-sponsor HR 1094 (Safeguard American Food Exports--SAFE). Tell your senators to co-sponsor the senate version: S541. Do it now. Don't wait. They are waiting to hear from their constituents.
If you want to know if this is humane, look at the gruesome photos supplied by the USDA of what horses abused during transport to US plants endured at the last three U.S. plants to operate in Kaufman and Fort Worth, TX, and in Dekalb, IL: www.kaufmanzoning.net.
And read the Kansas City Star's recent article on violations of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act ongoing in U.S. meat plants as we speak: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/06/28/43200…
Also, look at http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-05… (about drug residues in meat drawing federal regulators' concerns).
Finally, I have written 20 articles on this topic for Forbes.com, in addition to the Newsweek article. If you want to know more about this, start there. It'll tell you what other pubs won't.
Do NOT believe the BLM. They sold more than 1,700 horses to a single individual related to one of the biggest killbuyers in the US and none of the horses has been documented to have wound up in the "good homes" he promised. They've all "disappeared." 1,700 wild horses that are supposed to be protected. Sold for $10 a head. That's great profit for the (kill) buyer, who can make a huge profit on selling them to slaughter. And totally illegal. Nice BLM hand out, huh? Who made that private deal and what kind of kickback did they get?
Rounding up horses is a cottage industry created by the BLM. Protecting rangeleands and horses is their excuse for doing it, but the real excuse is making $$ on the side.
Without horses to round up, all those contractors (second occupations for BLM employees looking to make more $$) would have to stop sticking their hands into the tax payer's pockets. It's a total sham. And that number you mentioned (37,000) is BS. Probably half that. Look more deeply into this, please, and stop getting your facts from the BLM (Bureau of Liars and Manipulators).
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