Horses may soon be slaughtered for human consumption in Missouri if Unified Equine completes its plans to open a horse slaughterhouse in Rockvlle Missouri. Unified Equine has been planning to open a horse slaughterhouse for two years and has been searching for a suitable location.
“We wanted a state that was supportive of our efforts, and the folks in Missouri are 100 percent on board with what we’re trying to do and how we’re trying to do it” stated Sue Wallis, Chief Executive Officer of Unified Equine, as well as a currently serving Wyoming State Representative.
Missouri is not 100% on board with horse slaughter, no matter what Wallis wants to believe. “Oh, I think it would be horrible. People would be moving out. Everywhere you go, everybody’s talking about it, the slaughter plant coming in.” said Missouri resident Danita McCraig.
Many organizations have continued their support of horse slaughter, including the American Quarter Horse Association and the American Association of Equine Practitioners. About 100,000 horses are shipped out of the United States to Mexico and Canada for slaughter every year, and horse slaughter proponents argue that having slaughter houses in the United States would ensure horses are treated humanely. “My passion are the horses but my knowledge is telling me that we need a place to take these horses,” said Jim Dudley, a professional horse breeder in Missouri. As a Quarter Horse breeder, Jim believes that slaughter is the best option for the unwanted horses he breeds. His passion is breeding horses, even if he is breeding them for slaughter.
Those concerned about the alleged inherent cruelty argue passionately that horse slaughter is not a humane option for unwanted horses. They argue that horse slaughter is inherently cruel, an industry that cannot be made humane economically.
In 2008 the USDA, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, released 906 pages of violations of the “Commerical Transport of Equines to Slaughter Act” from between January 1, 2005 to November 17, 2005. Shown in the report are hundreds of horses injured during the transport to slaughter within the United States. Horses with eyes gouged out, legs broken off, mouths wired shut, along with other horrific accidents. These accidents all occurred to horses during USDA approved shipping of horses to slaughter plants.
But the injuries may not all be an accident.
A retired “killer buyer” was interviewed under a sworn deposition as to what occurs to horses during their trip to slaughter. He explained the horrific details of how stallions and mares, babies and seniors, healthy and sick, are all crammed together for the long trip to slaughter.
Nonstop, no stop for food, no stop for drink, if one falls down he gets hot shotted until he gets up, if he can’t get up, he spends the trip laid down under them other horses. The bad thing about that, is you got one down kicking for his life, he’s gon’a knock another one down, and you have a domino effect, horses down everywhere, but the truck just keeps rolling.
He went on to explain the many cruel methods drivers use to keep the horses from injuring each other, including wiring their mouth shut to prevent biting and shooting their eyes with pellet guns to shock the horse with enough pain to prevent it from kicking at other horses.
Horse rescuers and advocates have already begun speaking out vocally against the proposed slaughterhouse, with leading rescue organizations taking the lead and making strong statements against the brutal slaughter. Tawnee Preisner, the Vice President of the Horse Plus Humane Society is one of those voices.
I am completely against the opening of horse slaughter plants and believe that the border should be immediately closed to transport of horses to slaughter. As Susan Wallis stated, ‘The horses that are processed — it’s just like cattle or hogs or sheep. You don’t want starving, abused horses. You want horses that are in good shape.’
Susan Wallis is not looking for skinny, abused, unwanted horses for her slaughter house. She is looking for healthy fat horses that will maximize her profit. Those are the horses she wants to process. This is not going to solve the problem of horses being abandoned in the Midwest by killer buyers with auction tags still attached. Wallis is not wanting to take the skinny, injured, lame, senior horses and put them down in a humane way, she is just wanting to make the most money she can from the fattest, healthiest horses that breeders are over producing by the thousands.
Horse slaughter is not the option, a severe reduction in breeding and humane euthanasia by chemical injection of unwanted horses is the answer. We don’t ship our unwanted dogs and cats to a slaughter house, we must not ship our unwanted horses to slaughter either.
Susan Wallis states on her website that “Horse meat is healthy, safe, and plentiful, and is 50% higher in protein, 40% less in fat, high in iron, and has 18 times the Omega-3 fatty acids of beef. “ Wallis ignores the fact that horses are not raised for meat and are routinely given drugs banned by the FDA for use in animals intended for human consumption.
Withdrawal times for horses have not been established, and as such, if a horse has ever been given a drug banned by the FDA for use in animals intended for human consumption, that horse must not be slaughtered for entry into the food chain. Any horse in the European Union or the United Kingdom that has ever received a drugged banned from animals intended for human consumption can legally never enter the food chain.
The Veterinarians for Equine Welfare state: “It is the strong position of VEW members that absent any formal regulation or structure by the United States with regard to medications and food safety withdrawal schedules for equines entering the food chain, horsemeat derived from any U.S. horse can never be regarded as safe for human consumption.”
What can you do to stop horse slaughter from opening in Missouri?
1: Contact John Citron, Executive Director for Wright County, Missouri Industrial Development Authority at email@example.com
2: Voice your concern with Sue Wallis, Chief Operating Officer of Unified Equine, with phone calls at (307) 680-8515, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Among the questions you can ask her is how her company determined that the horses that are being slaughtered are free from FDA banned drugs, and how they plan to determine the withdrawal time of drugs before horse meat is entered into the food chain.