Canadians Release Explosive Food Safety Data in Studies/Videos

By Steven Long

HOUSTON, (Horseback) – The Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch broke a story Wednesday certain to raise European eyebrows about the safety of American meat being exported from Canadian slaughterhouses. A report from the Canadian Horse Defense Coalition cites undercover surveillance and sloppy reporting, and perhaps falsification of birth records, health, and ownership documents of American race horses, and others,  sold for slaughter.

The Canadian group also released graphic undercover video shot inside an abattoir.

Horses used in racing in the United States routinely receive a multitude of substances such as phenalbutazone, wormers, and insect sprays that are banned for food animals.

The report cites falsification of ownership records and health certificates.

Increasingly, concerned U.S. public officials are openly discussing a European type passport system for  all horses born in the United States. Such a system would carry with it severe penalties for use of fraudulent records.

The cumbersome documentation would require detailed health data on every horse. The proposed system would be much more burdensome for horse owners than the ill fated National Animal Identification System (NAIS) proposed, and then abandoned by the USDA after howls of protest from horse owners.

Discussion of such a system began again in earnest this week after Congress removed a federal ban on taxpayer funded meat inspectors in horse slaughter facilities.

European food animals, including horses, must have passports required by law that contain the creature’s health records in minute detail from birth. Falsification of the records carries very harsh penalties.

Bute and many other drugs routinely used to maintain the health of U.S. horses is strictly prohibited in European food animals, including equines.

Almost all American horses receive phenalbutazone at some point in their lives. The drug, a proven carcinogen, never leaves the horse’s system and must be tested in the kidney to be found. It is also extremely dangerous to pregnant women if ingested. Bute also causes aplastic anemia in humans.

Recently, Horseback, confirmed that some “killer buyers” routinely falsify records of horses going to slaughter in Canada and Mexico.

In an investigation in Presidio, Texas,  state Texas Animal Health Commission inspectors found the same set of Coggins papers was used repeatedly for animals coming into a holding pen for horses bound for slaughter in Mexico. The Canadian findings seem to confirm fraudulent reporting is routinely taking place on both borders.

84 comments for “Canadians Release Explosive Food Safety Data in Studies/Videos

  1. December 23, 2011 at 1:44 am

    It is fact that the horses are not tracked. It is fact that the brands and stickers were removed from the horses. It is fact that there is NO process. I would suggest you research who is administering the USDA/APHIS program. Should you wish to educate yourself and save days of digging through their sites, it’s the kill buyers and there is NO oversight from the USDA/APHIS. None.

    You keep saying we’re wrong and that I don’t have a clue so I again ask, where are the horses that were rejected at the borders? If you can’t provide information that disputes our findings, other than saying we’re wrong, then you have proven nothing.

    • skip
      December 23, 2011 at 2:23 pm

      Vicki-If you want to be an archaeologist,you have to dig in the dirt,if you want to study the rain forest,it would be a good idea to go to the forest-get the drift? Why don’t you and Mr. Durfree take a road trip and bring back some pics of the 5,000+ rejected,starving horses roaming around Texas that were turned loose(as you’re well aware,there ain’t much grass to eat in Texas this year),then I’ll put some stock in your claim.While you’re at it,you just might find a clue or two as to where they really went.Enjoy the trip, Texas is a beautiful state.

      • Denise
        December 24, 2011 at 11:58 am

        Well, there were plenty of pics in and around the Presidio, TX hellhole…not that it would make any difference to you.

        Did anyone say ALL 5000 rejected equines WERE ALL in Texas?

        Your comment is ridiculous and off topic for the only purpose to distract and shift the debate.

        You should be asking the Feds and border state Ag agencies what the hell happened to all those equines.

  2. December 22, 2011 at 5:21 am

    BTW-Another – you left the s out of horseman in your close – LOL!

  3. December 17, 2011 at 6:02 am

    In reality, it doesn’t matter what you call them, it’s how they were raised. Either they are raised as a food animal or for other purposes. I’m sure when all the quarter horses and race horses going to slaughter were born, the owners didn’t say they were raising them for food.

    • Denise
      December 17, 2011 at 2:48 pm


      Why is it an animal equine brought into this world for sport, hobby, etc magically becomes meat when disposal is the issue….cattle, swine and poultry producers can’t change rules in the middle of the meat game.

      You went equines as meat…raise and handle as meat for human consumption.

      Freaking cheats!!!!! Lying, greedy, cruel cheats!

      • Denise
        December 17, 2011 at 2:49 pm

        correction “…You WANT equines as meat…”

  4. julie
    December 16, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    I see a near future where horse owners will be required to have passports here in the United States. If horses are going into the food chain, they should. It is not ethically right to feed horse meat that it really not fit for human consumption to people. I know every horse I’ve ever owned has had bute at one time or another. I think most horse owners would say the same. These guys lie on the paperwork, simply because they can. Some auctions sell horses that end up going to slaughter and the EID paperwork is not even mentioned at the sale.

    • December 17, 2011 at 5:05 am

      I don’t think so, Julie. Why on earth would the majority of horse owners – who would never send a horse to slaughter – allow their tax money to be spent not only on inspections, but the far greater cost of implementing such a system and enforcing such a monster? Not to mention the hassle and extra expense of having to have your vet sign off on every little thing.

      And what about all the over-the-counter horse products that are labeled “not for use in horses intended for food purposes”? We just lose all those? Can’t even spray our horses to keep the flies off?

      Over my dead body. That is utterly ridiculous.

  5. Anotherhorseman
    December 16, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    Dear Editor,

    I do take note of the comment “our strong belief” and that is your perspective to own and cherish…however USDA has clearly identified that for as long as horses can carry transmissable disease they will be under the regulations of the Livestock Regulatory Rules.

    As well I take note of the wordage “if” in regards to the burden of carrying toxic residues.

    The “if” is the very reason for the residue testing procedures as well as one of the reasons for the questionable value assessed.

    Best Regards

    • admin
      December 16, 2011 at 5:46 pm

      Okay Anotherhorseman, you lost me with the “if”. Did I write that somewhere?

      The Editor

      • Anotherhorseman
        December 16, 2011 at 8:12 pm

        Dear Editor,

        Yes Sir you did….”if” a horse had ingested the chemicals most horsemen use.

        Your last post at the bottom of the page.

        Best Regards

    • December 17, 2011 at 5:52 am

      Anotherhorseman, food safety requires that only animals that meet the regulations be sent to slaughter, not to test afterward. The testing is only random to ensure front end regulations are being met. By the time they are tested, the horse is already dead. In the case of bute, the only test that will detect residues is a kidney assay. You can’t do that with a live horse.

      If plants open, what will they do with all the horses that will not be eligible that currently slip through with falsified paperwork? If slaughter supporters are complaining about all the “unwanted”, neglected and abandoned horses now, what will they do with another 100,000? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that when the full passport requirement kicks in, whether it’s here in the US or over the borders, the problem is only going to get worse because slaughter supporters won’t address the cause and fix it. They can’t slaughter their way out of it.

      Raising horses for slaughter will only create another population of horses. They’ll still have the 100,000 that they’re dumping now and will have no place for them.

  6. Tom Durfee
    December 16, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    The pro slaughter sides doesn’t care who they poison as long as they make a profit.
    Horse Owner Survey Shows NSAID Use Trends
    In a recent survey, 96% of respondents said they used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to control the joint pain and inflammation in horses, and 82% administer them without always consulting their veterinarian. More than 1,400 horse owners and trainers were surveyed to better understand attitudes toward NSAIDs, in a project sponsored by Merial, the maker of Equioxx (firocoxib).

    Nonsteroidal Medication (NSAID’s)
    Phenylbutazone (Bute), flunixin meglamine (Banamine), and ketoprofen (Ketofen) are the most common NSAID’s used in horses while aspirin and ibuprofen are the most commonly used NSAID’s in humans. These are very effective in eliminating discomfort and are usually the first line of therapy in minor musculoskeletal pain.
    NSAIDs The systemic NSAID group includes phenylbutazone (Butazolidin) and flunixin meglumine (Banamine), which are 2 of the most widely prescribed drugs in equine medicine.
    Volume 25, Issue 3, Pages 98-102 (March 2005)
    Dr Anthony Blikslager, DVM, PhD, DACVS (Associate Professor)a, Dr Sam Jones, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (Associate Professor)b

  7. Suzanne Bryant
    December 16, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    So, I guess if we’re responsible horse owners and against horse slaughter we should be willing to purchase, rehab., heal, train and rehome all those quarter and paint horses being bred and “culled” by their breeders and all the slow or broken thoroughbreds being sold to kill buyers on the back stretch? Also the “by-products” of the drug companies, the cast offs from the Amish, the Mustangs that find their way to kill pens even though the BLM “doesn’t sell them for slaughter”, and every other pleasure, sport and companion horse that finds their way, through no fault of their own, to the kill buyer’s trucks. Interesting.

    So, those who are responsible should really take responsibility for those who aren’t I guess? We should also take their financial burden away, allow them to claim their loss and continue to allow them to knowingly subject foreign countries to unregulated, tainted meat. They should continue, business as usual, to churn out more horses than the market can bear. It’s their “right”. The fact is, Anotherhorseman, that those of us that are responsible are already doing JUST THAT!! We’re rescuing and purchasing and rehoming horses every single day of the week. On top of that, we’re also tidying up all the neglect and starvation cases that the slaughter industry will NEVER assist with. We’re weary and we’re shoveling the proverbial sand against the tides. When will those that are culpable for the mess start helping us clean it up? Ever?

    It’s high time that very people who are continually adding equines to the equine industry as well as the meat industry, step up to the plate and stop behaving like petulant children who should have what they want, when they want it and at a price that they deem acceptable. They should not be allowed to continue unabated at our expense.

    I will stop complaining about our corrupt Government when they stop being quite so corrupt. I will stop fighting against horse slaughter when we stop slaughtering horses. Horses are not “unwanted”. They are not a “crop”, they don’t get “harvested”. Slaughter is not humane euthanasia, it’s not a population control measure and the food chain should not be a dumping ground for our pets and companion animals. Salvage? It’s for inanimate objects, not lives. You’re a sad example of Anotherhorseman… Very sad. I won’t hide behind a pen name.

    • CanAmFam
      December 16, 2011 at 4:33 pm

      BINGO Suzanne Bryant!

    • Jet1
      December 17, 2011 at 12:24 am

      Well said … kudos to all those with big hearts who rescue. Best horses in the world!

  8. Anotherhorseman
    December 16, 2011 at 3:38 am

    Dear Editor,

    I admire your passion in journalism but I sometimes wonder why you continue to be leaning more to the Anti Slaughter side of this end of life horse usage issue.

    Your proclamation “almost all horses have been given a dose of Bute at some point in their lives” this statement simply does not have any place in this discussion…to assume that all horses have had Bute is foolish at best…in the event that they have had Bute then the proper testing should/could/can be done to identify this “sometimes toxic to humans product” This testing should always be done to the importing country of demands specifications as well…not our country…we are simply the country of origin and not the end user market…we have no place telling another countries political administration what standards they should govern by as we are not citizens of those particular countries(25% of the entire population of Earth) in which consumption of horse meat is an accepted norm of cultural values.

    In the past you have made it known that all the horses that you personally know in your region have been given Bute…while that may be true(and I realize you live in a very heavily horse populated urban area)…just how many horses do you actually know well enough to know what treatment/management they have had is..? Also of those Humans that you know who have administered Bute..How many would ever consider Slaughter as an end of life option…?

    In comparison to your personal experience and statement…I live in a very heavily horse populated region as well, in addition to that I do not live in a heavily human populated region….my personal recollection of how many horses(that I know) have had Bute in their lifetimes would be about 10 out of 250 existing performance/riding horses currently alive and being ridden…in addition to that real number I have asked the Humans that own them if they would ever consider selling these particular performance/riding horses for slaughter….not one Human offered that they would do such a thing as these horses that are given Bute are not renegades or livestock held in low esteem…these animals that receive this product are in fact held in high regard and cared for as well as any animal could ever be.

    In light of this seemingly common response I continue to logically disagree that the number of slaughter horses (1% of 10,000,000 or so) could be nearly all contaminated with Bute…the horse population that goes to slaughter are the bottom end of the entire horse population and seldom recieve these products or the management to administer them. The reason they(the 1%) are offered for slaughter is the very real fact that NO HUMAN wants them(for pleasure) and these particular horses are not held in high regard and are quite often thought of as rejects of the horse industry. The Anti’s do have the option to purchase and care for every single one of this class of livestock if they so desire…they as a group could in fact end all export or possibility of in country slaughter by simply pooling their resources(financial contributions from the many elite and wealthy members of the Anti Slaughter Group as well as smaller contributions from the proclaimed 70% of the entire population of the United States..just think if the 70% gave just 10.00 each… 210,000,000 X 10.00 = $2,100,000,000…not only could they buy/purchase the approximately $60,000,000 of Salvage Horses each year they could buy the land to let them live on……..Perhaps rather that complaining about the corruption of our Senate/House and Administration these Good Intention’ed People should do something on their own rather than expect the Government to do it for them…what a novel idea….cease to complain and call people names and just do something about the issue that is so disturbing.

    This issue is simply the arguement over the morality of salvaging a horses remains and the process and steps taken in the endeavor…nothing more/nothing less…if the Anti’s were truly supported by 70% of the population they could easily change the entire structure of this issue and solve the problem in a way acceptable to there own morality/ethics….however I suspect they do not have the over whelming support that they claim to hold….as well I also suspect they would rather sit on their posteriors and complain and berate elected officials and other Good People who disagree with them… rather than actually physically take control of the issue of who is going to offer an alternative to death or worse yet NEGLECT for these unlucky in life rejected horses.

    Best Regards

    • admin
      December 16, 2011 at 5:28 am

      Two points. 1. It is illegal to give Bute to a food animal in the United States, period, end of story. 2. We live in the region with the heaviest concentration of horses in the nations according to two Aexas A&M equin census studies – Greater Houston. There are 200,000 horses here. Almost all of them have had bute at one time or another.

      • Anotherhorseman
        December 16, 2011 at 5:58 am

        Dear Editor,

        The classification of whether the horse being slaughtered and salvaged is for Human Consumption remains to be discovered and can only be designated for that purpose after it has been tested for toxic residue of any type…that is actually the end and the beginning of the story.

        Have A&M do a survey of how many horse owners in the Houston Region would ever send their horse to slaughter…that will shed a bit more light on the subject at hand.

        Better yet….do it yourselves with your Online Horseback Readership….I doubt you will find many who would send their favorite performance/riding horse to a salvage type end of life scenario.

        Best Regards

        • admin
          December 16, 2011 at 6:02 am

          Our magazine is produced for the recreational horseman. The word salvage for their animals is extremely offensive to them as the word harvest when it is used to describe horses sent to slaughter.

          The Editor

          • skip
            December 16, 2011 at 1:49 pm

            To the editor-Anotherhorseman makes an interesting point;anyone thoughtful enough to administer bute,etc. would not send there horse to slaughter!What verbage you uese to describe the process has no bearing on this issue!

          • admin
            December 16, 2011 at 2:01 pm

            Nice effort, Skip, but lame. You know very well that families sell their animals at auction believing they are going to a loving home only to learn they were sold to a killer buyer. We’ve all seen this again and again.

            The Editor

          • skip
            December 16, 2011 at 3:37 pm

            To the editor-I find it a stretch to say these people selling their horse at auction are unaware of where their horse might end up;people totally outside of the horse industry are aware of the slaughter controversy,so it is reasonable to say as horse owners they know what’s going on.A prime example of this is your admission of being a “recreational” magazine,yet the topic that elicits the most response is the slaughter issue.I attend an auction several times a month,you might consider doing the same to get a real feel for what actually goes on out there;I do realize you are busy behind a desk and actual field work is out of the question.

          • admin
            December 16, 2011 at 3:47 pm

            Your gratuitous shot is appreciated, however, you might find it interesting that we do attend auctions and enjoy them. We have even bought horses there. But I sincerely believe there are many, many, horse families who haven’t a clue of the potential for their horses going to slaughter when they take them to auction. As we have said many, many, times before. We are journalists, not activists. We have not taken a position on your favorite issue other than to say we strongly condemn use of the captive bolt on horses. We do, however, insist on the truth and as such we have called folks who post on this forum every time when they tout disobeying the law when it comes to selling chemically laden animals for food. We have asked those who staunchly defend such sales, as well as those who who maddingly claim the chemicals leave the system, if they sell their own horses in such condition for food. We have yet seen one with the courage to reply, not one. So Skip, do you sell horses who have had bute, wormers, insect sprays, etc. for food?

            The Editor

          • Anotherhorseman
            December 16, 2011 at 5:07 pm

            Dear Editor,

            Having read your response to Skip encourages me to once again make note of the reality of the situation at hand…this class of livestock are not sold specifically as food(like cattle/hogs chickens)..they are sold as a class of animal whose value is suspect and questionable in a monetary sense….that is why they are so low in value in the mind of the horse buying public.
            The buyers of this class of livestock do so… full well knowing that the carcass may be tainted and could in fact be nearly worthless for added value operations.
            Once the animal is obtained and killed it can be assessed in real world market value via testing for residue harmfull to humans…at that point the current owner(in possession) is responsible to handle the carcass in a way that meets regulatory standards of the importing country. So..simply put…it is not a question of whether the seller of the product is in anyway responsible for the end market use of the animal…alive or dead.

            In addition I would like to inform you that I and my peer group agree with you that captive bolt usage is not correct and we feel that death via well placed high caliber gunshot is the only appropriate method for the death blow to an equine….it is in fact economically viable, non intrusive/threatening and final. Where the death blow is administered(Geographic Location is also a non issue..only the transport conditions and care of the animals are a priority.)

            Best Regards

          • admin
            December 16, 2011 at 5:25 pm

            Thanks Anotherhorseman regarding the captive bolt for horses. You are absolutely correct in how you would handle their end. That said, it is our strong belief that the American public long ago ceased viiewing horses as livestock other than for use as a tax deduction. We have proposed a new classification, still deductable, as service animals rather than livestock. The term is much more accurate in today’s world and fits nicely with modern American thought. Horses pretty much ceased to be livestock with the Model T. And they can in no way be classed as food in the modern sense in America as long as the FDA regulations prohibit their use if they have ingested the chemicals most horsemen use on them..

            The Editor

          • Tom Durfee
            December 16, 2011 at 6:58 pm

            The FDA doesn’t consider horses as livestock either here is the email i received from them.

            CVM HomePage [CVMHomeP@CVM.FDA.GOV]

            Dear Tom Durfee:

            Thank you for sharing your concerns with us. We do not consider horses to be food animals.

            All of the phenylbutazone products that are approved for uses in horse contain a warning on the label:

            Not for use in animals intended for food purposes.

            While USDA may classify them differently, for our purposes they are not considered food, thus manufacturers of drugs for horses are not required to submit residue depletion data (as is need for food animals) in their new animal drug applications. I would recommend that you contact USDA with your concerns. Also, note that there are no longer any horse slaughter facilities in the United States.

            I hope this is helpful.


            CVM Home Page

          • skip
            December 16, 2011 at 7:09 pm

            Could someone please explain the need to reclassify horses from livestock to “service animals” and the reasoning behind it? Why don’t we reclassify tomatoes? At one time they were considered poisonous,now we slice them for BLT’s,crush them for sauce,and even turn them into juice.Is there anymore reason to reclassify them, than horses as “service animals”?Is there an agenda benefitting a reclassification you’d like to share w/us? One would think they were more likely thought of as “service animals” a 100 years ago, prior to the internal-combustion engine,not now.

          • admin
            December 16, 2011 at 10:57 pm

            Generally, we eat livestock, and horses aren’t thought of as a food animal in the USA.

          • December 17, 2011 at 5:13 am

            Actually, the FDA has horse information in their “Companion Animal” section.

          • December 17, 2011 at 5:12 am

            And just WHO is going to do all this checking? Huh? The USDA? The CFIA? PLEASE! Do you have any idea how much it would cost to do all that testing properly for EVERY horse? Do you even know what the proper way of testing for bute involves? It’s NOT a simple blood test.

            Ain’t gonna happen. It would cost so much it would wipe out the PROFIT.

          • Anotherhorseman
            December 17, 2011 at 10:37 pm

            Dear Mrs Moore,

            Its obvious that you have little knowledge of the world market value of high quality retail horse meat.

            Best Regards

          • admin
            December 17, 2011 at 10:45 pm

            And Mr. Anotherhorseman, we have twice attached the comprehensive list of list of all chemicals ingested by U.S. horses that are not market acceptable. We have twice done that in the last 18 hours. Have you reviewed it? Considering that studies found that 96 percent of all U.S. horses have been given bute which is strictly prohibited, not to mention the 25 or so other poisonous chemicals Europe won’t accept – there is no world market value for high quality horse meat, retail or otherwise if it is grown in the USA. In short, you are wasting the time of our readers promoting something that won’t sell and in the case of bute ingestion – is against U.S. laws. If you’ll follow the hyperlink in this post, we have now put up the list three times.

            The Editor

          • skip
            December 18, 2011 at 1:20 am

            To the editor- You raise another interesting point…who is buying the meat derived from processing the carcasses of 135,000 horses of U.S. origin per year if Europe is considered the main user of such products? Could there be that many unsuspecting people,considering today’s age of information? What are these horsemeat processors doing w/that much meat w/no market? Do they sell it to zoos?

          • December 18, 2011 at 1:54 am

            No, skip, the Europeans have been lied to about what is actually potentially in the horse meat they are eating. Why would you think the horse slaughter industry is any more honest in Europe than it is here? Yes, there ARE that many unsuspecting people in the rest of the world. If you had researched this subject, you wouldn’t have to ask such elementary questions.

            Why would they understand that the way we handle horses is so different when they have NEVER BEEN TOLD – until NOW. They are getting the message. Did you bother to read the report that is now out in Italy? NO, you did not, but I suspect you had better start keeping up with the times or you’re going to sound even more lame than you already do.

          • December 18, 2011 at 1:47 am

            You have no knowledge at all, Anotherhorsekiller.

          • Denise
            December 19, 2011 at 12:41 pm

            Really? Would that be with or without “drugs on the sides”???? LITERALLY!

            It is obvious you don’t understand the US equine industry OR FOOD SAFETY.

          • skip
            December 16, 2011 at 5:11 pm

            To the editor-To insinuate I sell”bute-laden” horses by asking me that, is quite offensive to me. When did I ever elude to selling “bute-laden” horses in any of my posts? To say you have not taken a position on slaughter,except to condemn the captive-bolt method is clearly disengenuous,based on your continual slant when writing on slaughter.It is quite obvious,if I may say so w/all due respect.

          • Denise
            December 17, 2011 at 3:38 pm

            Let’s try this skip….

            Do you properly test for bute (and other restricted pharmas) in equines?

            Do you buy and sell equines?

            The editor didn’t insinuate…the editor asked a question that you legally and certifiably can’t answer or could answer with the fact that equines are not tested thoroughly, scientifically and officially for human consumption. The perpetual loophole that is HCHS.

            The CBG has AAEP/AVMA stating very clearly the use of the stungun….head restraints, professional application etc. You ignore and dismiss these requirements. Actually, so do the AVMA/AAEP when discussing US equines to slaughter for human consumption.

            With all DUE RESPECT…you are a semi-antiquated killer of equines, peddling dangerous meat to humans.

          • admin
            December 17, 2011 at 3:42 pm

            See this for the list of drugs banned for use in food animals by the EU.


          • Denise
            December 17, 2011 at 6:23 pm

            I am just dying (pun intende) to know what the killers and dirty meat peddlers’ reply will be.

          • Joe
            December 17, 2011 at 11:43 pm


            Get a grip, horses are food animals in many countries and will soon be here in America. Like it or not there will be slaughter again. Joe

          • admin
            December 17, 2011 at 11:49 pm

            The law is the law, and we don’t poison our neighbors.

            The Editor

          • December 18, 2011 at 1:46 am

            Joe ~ It’s potentially costing taxpayers millions just to inspect any plants that might be built. To implement a full passport system would be enormously more costly – I have no idea how much the taxpayers would be soaked for that one. Given that the majority of Americans oppose horse slaughter – they do, Joe, whether you like it or not polls have run about 70% or more for DECADES – do you think the taxpayers are not going to scream bloody murder over having to shell out so much money, in these times, for something the adamantly oppose? Congress is supposed to be CUTTING costs, not spending more millions for something that is entirely unnecessary.

            Not only that, the passport system is NOT fool proof, not by a long shot, and since you horse killers have been screaming about having to obey the food safety laws – in some cases, flatly denying that substances like bute are toxic – why would anyone trust you to play by the rules all of a sudden?

            You would find a way around the passport system as well. It wouldn’t really be that hard, because even the passport system still requires honesty in noting on the passport all the substances a horse has been exposed to. The “Honor System” is still necessary, and those involved in and advocating for horse slaughter have proven over years and years that they have NO honor. I wouldn’t trust any of you as far as I could throw my horse.

            Horse are NOT food animals in the US, and it’s not going to happen just because a FEW people don’t care what they do to horses or the people unfortunate enough to eat them.

            Get a grip, Joe. No one care what you want. You’re dreaming. You and your cronies do not OWN this country – the sooner you get that, the sooner we all won’t have to listen to your subtle threats and petty whines.

          • skip
            December 18, 2011 at 1:32 am

            Denise-Yes,I buy,sell,and raise horses and no,I do not test for bute as my clients don’t want a horse that requires bute on a regular basis-I don’t purchase horses for resale that have problems requiring bute.In the future,please don’t assume what I “ignore and dismiss” as to the requirements to be in this business,unless of course your crystal ball is w/out fault.FYI,I have been engaged in the horse business for over 40 years;I won’t speculate on your resume…

          • December 19, 2011 at 12:51 am

            Skip, you better go back and start testing. Very few people give their horses bute “on a regular basis.” Good grief! But, according to the food safety rules, they don’t have to. Can’t you understand this simple premise: ONE dose of bute in a lifetime demands a PERMANENT ban from the human food chain.

            It’s been four years since I gave my gelding a gram of bute for a sole bruise. If I never give him another milligram of the stuff, he’s still banned from EVER being in the human food chain. Regular basis, foof!

          • skip
            December 19, 2011 at 4:18 am

            Suzy-Let me get this straight-a 10cc dose of bute given IV,5 grams of paste or 4 tablets of bute given orally 1 to 10 years ago to a 1000-1200 horse…how much bute residue ends up in a 3 lb. roast? 1 lb.steak? You’ve got to be kidding!Drinking out of a garden hose has more risks associated w/it than that! Do I condone eating products w/health risks? Not anymore than you do.The idea of a health risk eating horsemeat w/10cc’s of bute given from 1-10 years ago in a is absolutely ridiculous!(do the math Suzy,5 grams of bute paste in 500 lbs. of meat,administered over that amount of time,multiplied by how many lbs.of that particular horse were eaten by one individual-i.e.,how many lbs.of the same steer do you think you eat from your local grocer?)You seem to be on top of this subject,share w/us the prctg. of bute residue one would find given that scenario, and oh, don’t forget to include the actual cases of death/associated illness from eating the 96% of horses purported to have had a dose of bute, in the last 40 years.Please,no sloppy,un-scientific reasoning or hearsay for an answer.Yes,I READ THE REPORT,was unable to find the facts I AM ASKING OF YOU.As the reporter for my peer group,I’m just searching for the truth.

          • admin
            December 19, 2011 at 4:39 am

            No room for argument here Skip. It’s against the law, period, end of story. And you didn’t mention the 25 or so other drugs banned for food animals that we published on the European list.

          • skip
            December 19, 2011 at 11:46 pm

            To the editor-Thank you for your polite response;not trying to to be argumentive here,just asking for verification, as you often do-the question was not whether it was legal or not,but what are the stats given the question.Miss Moore’s answer is visibly absent,with you responding instead(and not answering my questions).The same questions apply to the “25 or so other drugs” you speak of in your reply to me.

          • admin
            December 20, 2011 at 12:00 am

            I apologize for not providing the answer you want, however, your question is made moot because the administration of bute to food animals is illegal and the question will never be a part of the equation until that changes. We see virtually no possibility of that happening from what respected scientists and physicians tell us here at Horseback. We view this entire fracas regarding reintroduction of slaughter in the United States as a pipe dream when a full 70 percent of your fellow citizens hate the very idea of it. No politician would run against those odds. In short, ain’t gonna’ happen. We expect to see an executive order soon from President Obama banning the slaughter of horses in the United States once and for all according to well placed intelligence sources. This is, after all, an election year and we are certain the president has seen the 70 percent polling number. Finally, farmers and ranchers don’t vote Democrat, so the president has everything to gain in pleasing your opponents. Sorry for the bad news.

            The Editor

          • skip
            December 20, 2011 at 1:25 am

            To the editor-No surprise there!I must agree w/everything you state…however,there’s too many unanswered questions…kinda like playin’ poker-a good bluff can win many a hand!Say,while I’ve got your attention,what’s your take on these 5000+ horses dropped off in the middle of nowhere in rural Texas? Why hasn’t the national media picked up on this story? Those are incredible numbers, to say the least!5oo,50, or even 5 is one thing,but 5000?I can’t believe it, can you?

          • Tom Durfee
            December 20, 2011 at 1:33 am

            Here is the answer for you Skip if you can read and comprehend.

            December 18, 2011
            John Holland
            Vicki Tobin
            Mystery Surrounding Abandoned Horses Finally Solved
            Chicago (EWA) – A six month investigation by the EWA and other animal investigation organizations has finally determined the predominant source of abandoned horses in the Southwestern US. The findings show that most or all of more than 5,000 horses a year are being abandoned after being rejected for slaughter at the Mexican border.
            The investigation explains the source and reason for abandonments, most of which have been reported in the vast stretches of isolated land north of the Mexican border since 2009. Most of these horses could clearly be identified as domestic stock from such indications as nail holes in their hooves (where shoes had recently been removed) but no other clues to their source were found.
            Until now articles about their discovery have speculated that they were abandoned by individual owners because they could no longer afford to feed them. The horse slaughter lobby has further suggested that this was made worse because individuals “no longer had a slaughter option”.
            Equine advocates countered this hypothesis by pointing out that there had been no decrease in slaughter to force such actions, and that the areas where they were being found did not have significant domestic horse populations.
            Moreover, it made no sense that someone who could not afford to euthanize and bury a horse would elect instead to pay for hauling it hundreds or thousands of miles only to turn it loose. In fact, many horse advocates had good reason to suspect the reports were bogus.
            Following the closure of US horse slaughter plants in 2007, there were a large number of stories published claiming horses were being abandoned because of a lack of slaughter. These reports ranged from reclaimed strip mines in Kentucky to the Florida Everglades and Oregon ranches. For a year each of these was investigated and found to be false or hugely distorted.
            But in the past two years there have been an increasing number of authenticated reports of abandoned horses, mostly in the remote stretches of the southwest Border States. A few of these horses actually had hide removed, apparently to obscure a brand.
            In August, the first piece of the puzzle fell into place when approximately 300 horses were spotted from the air starving and dead in a remote feedlot near the port-of-entry town of Presidio, Texas.
            The fact that living horses were found in different stages of starvation and the dead horses were in various stages of decomposition, indicated they had been dumped there at different times.
            The situation became all the more puzzling when it was revealed that the feedlot was operated by the C4 Cattle Company and Intermeat Inc./Dallas Crown the Belgian meat company that had formerly operated the Dallas Crown horse slaughter plant in Kaufman, Texas. The company buys horses for slaughter in Mexico. It was also discovered that about 40 of the horses came from kill buyer Trenton Saulters.
            The question was of course why they had left the horses to perish only a few miles from the border crossing where they could have been sold to the slaughter plants in Mexico.
            An answer came in the European Union’s (EU’s) report (DG(SANCO) 2010-8524 – MR) from the 2010 audit of their horse slaughter plants in Mexico. In section, the report divulged that Mexico had rejected 5,336 slaughter horses out of 62,560 presented at six OISAs (Border Crossing Offices) during the audit period between January and October 2010.
            The horses were rejected under a new system of controls implemented in December, 2009. Reasons for rejection included health problems, advanced pregnancy and injuries.
            The final piece of the puzzle came from an investigation by EWA on how the USDA’s APHIS (Animal and Plant Inspection Service) tracks horses bound for slaughter. EWA’s Valerie James-Patton was researching the Owner/Shipper certificate system which is supposed to allow APHIS to assure humane regulations are being followed. When asked what happens to horses rejected at the Mexican border, she was told simply “they fall out of the system.”
            Normally kill buyers who haul slaughter horses to Mexico try to fill their trailers with cattle and other animals on the return journey. So clearly they need to dispose of the rejected horses, and the most economical way to do so is to simply abandon them on a deserted stretch of road or in an isolated lot.
            Ironically, while the horse slaughter lobby has been claiming abandonment was a result of a lack of slaughter, it now appears it is in large part a result of the practice.
            The Equine Welfare Alliance is a dues-free 501c4, umbrella organization with over 210 member organizations and hundreds of individual members worldwide. The organization focuses its efforts on the welfare of all equines and the preservation of wild equids.

          • skip
            December 20, 2011 at 1:30 pm

            Mr. Durfee-what is hard to comprehend is 5000 horses being chased off the back of a truck in the middle of nowhere,the media not picking up the story,and people like yourself that believe it!(as evidenced by you taking the time to respond to my post)

          • Tom Durfee
            December 20, 2011 at 3:41 pm

            What I believe is that the pro slaughter side that never has any proven facts would turn horses lose to make it look like a problem so they can continue to profit off of poisoned meat. Over a years time that is only 15 horses per day being turned loose off of the trucks. I have seen this happen when I had six horses shipped from CA to VA the driver had four extra horses he would have to haul back to TX so if I didn’t take them he was going to leave them at a local holding lot. Yes he also hauled for the slaughter houses in TX. Skip where do you think the approx. 6000 horses that were turned away at the border went? I believe in research and facts something the pro slaughter side doesn’t believe in. I am also the owner of twenty horses as well as raise Angus beef and Boer meat goats. At one time I owned 36 horses.

          • Denise
            December 20, 2011 at 11:53 pm

            Mr Durfee:

            I think the more important question is why are “loose” equines hard to identify and where did the turned away equines at POEEs go based on lack of documentation and disposition?

            I have read “journalist” reports in heavy ag areas that slant truth, don’t probe interviewees and are basically tote the corporate ag line….that is what humane care and equine advocacy are really about.

            VA has some of the worst enforcement record and seizure rate in effect, but believe it or not…there are multiple states that are even worse. That is what are country is. Please note, I didn’t say animal welfare laws; I said enforcement and seizure.

            California has some of the best laws….and they suck, I repeat SUCK at enforcement.

          • admin
            December 20, 2011 at 1:47 am

            I’ll give you an answer on that one. I believe it to a point. However as journalists we are paid skeptics and question everything, including the EWA as much as we respect the incredibly impressive work they do. That said, we are very inclined to believe them since the EWA and John Holland in particular was the organization that burst the bubble three years ago on the original AP story about horses being let go in Kentucky. It turned out they traced the horses to an owner who had been depositing his horses at the site of an abandoned coal mine for years to winter. As we’ve delved into the abandoned horse issue ourselves with law enforcement, we have been unable to substantiate the incredible numbers with being bandied about with law enforcement. Finally, if the truth be known, we’ve largely lost interest in the abandoned horse story.

            We’ll say this though. Last month we put an intense effort into the issue of the Presidio, Texas horses found dead in a creek that leads into the Rio Grande. It was one more piece of evidence that the slaughter industry can’t be trusted with human health issues. Ever heard of cholera? Those dead horses were dumped into that creak a mile from where it dumps into the river and about 50 miles upstream from a recreation area.

            The Editor

          • December 20, 2011 at 3:16 am

            Skip, where are the thousands of horses that have been rejected at both borders? Surely you don’t think the kill buyers have taken them in or euthanized and buried them.

          • skip
            December 20, 2011 at 1:47 pm

            Vicki-why are you asking me where the rejected horses are? You’re the one who says they’re running around rural Texas,that’s where they are!EWA’s credibility on this one is questionable, to say the least.

          • Anotherhorseman
            December 20, 2011 at 4:42 pm

            Dear Mrs. Tobin

            Where are the 5000 Horses ?…perhaps a good many were held back to clear up the reason for rejection, it happens in cattle all the time…take the animal back for 30 to 60 days and then go again…in the case of strangles or a pregnancy that would usually allow for enough time to remedy the reasons for rejection.

            Or…perhaps they sold them back into the market at whatever price they could recover for them….many viable and reasonable possibilities exist. The need for full back hauls as the logic for releasing these horses into the wild blue yonder is very thin as the number of rejected horses/load could easily be kept in a seperate compartment.

            I must say that your group has presented some very interesting and persuasive data over the years..however..releasing this type of conspiracy theory somewhat diminishes the relevancy of all your so called scientific and professional information.

            Best Regards

          • December 22, 2011 at 5:19 am

            Another and Skip, the number is accurate as reported by the EU. We did not say all the horses were in SW Texas. There are at least 6 POEs. We said southwestern states. There are no records of the horses, brands were removed and the USDA/APHIS said they “fall out of the system”. Since you are disagreeing with us, then tell us where those horses are. This is a prime example of no regulations, no accountability and you can’t say it’s because they’re going to Mexico or Canada. This is all occurring on US soil and it’s only going to get worse when the majority of horses can’t meet food safety regs. I think we all know that the horses were not sold back or held. Presidio was a prime example of horses that Mexico wouldn’t take. Dead and dying horses, no vet care, etc. This wasn’t a conspiracy theory, it was an explanation of where some of the abandoned horses are coming from. Slaughter stickers and tags on the ground and other evidence. Nothing scientific needed. Get the numbers and follow the horses. Just another benefit of horse slaughter. They keep whining about abandoned horses and they refuse to explain why the same number of horses are being slaughtered but bringing it back to US soil and slaughtering the same number of horses is going to eliminate the abandoned horses. The market will be the same so how is slaughter on US soil going to eliminate neglect and abandonment if it’s not doing it now?

            I’m also curious about Wallis’ brain child – mobile slaughter plants. They can’t treat the wastewater with the equipment in the plants so she’s going to go around polluting the entire country? You just have to wonder what possesses a person [and an elected legislator, no less] to come up with such asinine ideas and comments.

          • skip
            December 22, 2011 at 2:27 pm

            Vicki-No one is argueing about the 5,000+ horses being kicked back at the border;the absolute absurdity of them being turned loose, as reported by EWA and this venue, is what is disturbing! And yes,you are right when you say it is only going to get worse-can you imagine when the 135,000+ horses going to slaughter now are backed-up w/nowhere to go? 3 years from now,when we have 400,000+ backed up? Going into the 5th year of plant closures in the U.S.,WE STILL HAVE 135,000+ HORSES that are NOT being euthanized,adopted/re-homed,or “rescued” per year.Count ’em Vicki,5 years, and we’re still faced w/the same issues(and this is after a 50-60% reduction in breeding programs across the U.S.) As to your question” where are the rejected horses going?”-they’re taken back home,either resold at auction,refreshed and re-submitted or put down.No big mystery here.

          • December 22, 2011 at 5:47 pm

            Yes, it is a shame and the pro slaughter have done nothing in the 4 years the plants were closed. They won’t address the cause, implement programs to help owners or help any rescues. We’ve started plenty. What have you done? It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that even with slaughter, as we have now, slaughter is not going to fix anything and it all falls on them. They knew the EU was cracking down, they knew our horses were never raised as food animals and that slaughter wasn’t going to fix anything. It hasn’t and it won’t. People are still going to neglect and abandon animals as they have been. They did it when the plants were open in the US, they’re doing it now and they’ll do it if plants reopen in the US. There are increases in countries that have horse slaughter plants. There is NO correlation between neglect/abandonment and the availability of slaughter. Why are livestock being neglected and abandoned in the US? We have plenty of livestock slaughter plants. Slaughter has nothing to do with neglect or abandonment other than those people won’t sell or donate their horse because a) it is a sickness and a crime that slaughter won’t cure and b) they are in fear if they relinquish their horse, it will end up on a slaughter truck.

            Slaughter is a business. They buy what they need to fill the demand, not the number of available horses. It is not going to right the horse industry because the horse industry doesn’t produce meat. That is a foreign meat business. The only way the horse industry will improve is to put money back into the pockets of American consumers so they can afford to buy and care for horses. Butchering horses isn’t going to do that. Adding back the 30 American jobs at the 3 plants that closed, isn’t going to do that. The people that had those jobs are not going to be buying horses.

            It’s not absurd at all. The kill buyers are not running rescues and they sure as hell aren’t going to take care of horses they can’t sell. Next you’ll be saying they euthanized and buried them. If they were that bad that the plants wouldn’t take them, you know darn well what happened to them. So once again I ask, then where are they? Why are they not tracked? Why is there no paperwork on them? What is absurd is your comment. They were rehomed or resold at auction? If they could be rehomed or sold why were they headed to slaughter? You’re starting to sound like Wallis and not making any sense.

          • skip
            December 22, 2011 at 10:12 pm

            Vicki-the last paragraph of your post on 12/22 @ 5:47 speaks volumes as to your general lack of knowledge on this particular issue.Until you familiarize yourself w/more facts as to what actually goes on at this point in the process,(you might call a rep from Animal Angels and have them follow a set of rejected horses home and have them report back to you)I’d ask you to refrain from making statements that are untrue and comparing me to Sue Wallis,’cause it just ain’t so, Vicki.

          • December 23, 2011 at 1:45 am

            skip, for some reason, my reply posted up toward the top instead of under yours….

          • skip
            December 23, 2011 at 2:26 pm

            Vicki-Thanks for directing me to your post,you’ll find my response there…

          • Denise
            December 24, 2011 at 12:11 pm

            vicki’s entire post not only made sense, the final paragraph made logical rebuttal points regarding your inability to reason (or would that be your refusal to “change”?).

            You did not rebutt or provide one counterpoint containing any verifiable fact.

            You may control HCHS right now, as it is (because Mr. skip…you HAVE IT! BUT YOU WANT MORE!) and have the right to speak your mind; you do not, however have the right to control the truth…it speaks for itself.

          • Anotherhorseman
            December 20, 2011 at 2:42 am

            Dear Editor,

            Would the Obama Administration include Banning Export for Slaughter in the Executive Order..?

            Curious minds want to know and you seem to have the inside track on all of the issues regarding this subject.

            In regards to Democrats and Agriculture Policy I believe you are incorrect….. historically the entire U.S. Agricultural Subsidy System exists because of Democrat Senate Support and Policy… are you saying that the Obama Administration does not value the support of the Farmers and Ranchers and attached value added businesses of the United States Of America..?

            Best Regards

          • admin
            December 20, 2011 at 2:47 am

            The scuttlebutt we are hearing is that it would be a complete ban including transport across state lines and international boundaries, in other words, total. Let me emphasize that we have utterly no way of knowing the truth of the matter. That said, the sources have been reliable over the years.

            Also, regarding agriculture voting Republican, I refer you to the most recent electoral map. Red states where farms and ranches are located overwhelm it.

          • Anotherhorseman
            December 20, 2011 at 4:09 am

            Dear Editor,

            Do you have a time frame for implementation of such an all encompassing Executive Order..?

            In light of such policy I would think that NAFTA would be taken into consideration…or will the Obama Administration over ride that Multi Country Trade Agreement as well..?

            Best Regards

          • admin
            December 20, 2011 at 4:11 am

            Not a clue. Only in the rumor stage coming from our Washington sources.

          • Denise
            December 19, 2011 at 1:44 pm

            If you quibble about drugs and certifiable paperwork…I don’t need to assume; I KNOW.

            And for forty years, if you believe in this form of Human Consumption Horse Slaughter (HCHS)…you have been doing it WRONG! Difference? You and your cronyies are under the microscope now.

            Longevity, especially in horse whackin’ does NOT constitute quality or knowledge.

            You would be wise (for once) not to speculate on my resume. However, based on your position and comments, I could go to the bank with yours.

          • admin
            December 16, 2011 at 2:02 pm

            Moreover, you clearly didn’t read the article we posted on the Canadian findings regarding race horses who were sold with fraudulent paperwork.

            The Editor

        • Denise
          December 16, 2011 at 2:52 pm

          To Anotherhorseman:

          USDA and US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) data and statistics would take your “discover” premise and deliver it into the dumpster of ridiculous and irrelevant.

        • December 16, 2011 at 4:52 pm

          Bute is not the only product that comes with a lifetime ban. Even our fly spray is a banned substance.

          Even for drugs that DO have withdrawal times, we have no way of knowing IF a given horse has had that drug – or any other – nor WHEN that horse was given that drug. We have NO WAY of knowing whether withdrawal times have been met of not.

          And, we now have this from the Italian Horse Protection Association:

          “You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time.” Abraham Lincoln.

        • Virginia Bennett
          December 18, 2011 at 6:45 pm

          Dear Editor

          I think this discussion is glossing over a very important fact. I agree, no one is going to send their favourite horse to slaughter. But they will sell them when they are no longer winning the ribbons, or there is no longer the time or money or interest to keep them. What happens to them after that trailer drives away is, usually, not the previous owner’s concern. Most horses have had several owners through their lifetime. As that horse that was once someone’s ‘favourite’ gets older and less athletic and starts to cost more in vet bills, it gets sold again. The ‘value’ of the horse is told by the price the next buyer is willing to pay. When that ‘value’ gets lower and lower is when the kill box becomes more likely.

          The horses that arrive at the slaughterhouse don’t get driven there in a nice clean Slant 2 horse trailer. No. The person with that kind of trailer has clean hands. They’ve managed to sell their horse, now ‘sadly outgrown’ or ‘bomb-proof’ to someone else. The horses arriving at the slaughterhouse come from the auction yard packed into a livestock trailer with a bunch of other horses. They are brought by people who make their living buying horses that no one else wants anymore and selling them as meat. We are all complicit in this trade when we insist on having a new horse because the old one just isn’t good enough anymore.

          No reputable or ethical horse owner especially one who owns a sport horse or other horse of value, would think of sending their horse directly to slaughter, but how can they say that’s not where their lives ended? I don’t know where the pony I had as a child ended up. I don’t know where the ex-racehorse I had as a teenager ended up, but now that I know the truth about horse slaughter, my current horse will NOT end up on the kill floor. I will make provision for her so that she will always be safe and the end of her life will be conducted with respect and compassion.

          another opinion

        • December 19, 2011 at 12:41 am

          Another ~ You DO take the cake. No, most recreational horse owners would NOT sell their horses to slaughter deliberately. If however, they are stolen or obtained under false pretenses, that doesn’t really matter does it?

          Also, all those Quarter Horses that go to slaughter. How many do you imagine were either racing horses, show horses or performance horses of one kind or another. Bute for SURE. And the Thoroughbred race horses – well, bute is standard racing procedure.

          Neither of my horses are performance horses of any kind, yet both have had bute at least once. And that’s what we’re talking about – ONE dose in an entire lifetime. Considering the potential danger to children from minute residues of this powerful drug, you’re not going to get away with this kind of sloppy reasoning.

    • mary papini
      December 16, 2011 at 7:18 pm

      To anotherhorseman, YOU ARE AN IDIOT!!! YOU KNOW NOTHING!!! GO AWAY!!!!

  9. Denise
    December 16, 2011 at 12:59 am

    The “kill the equines with cruelty and then pass on contaminated meat” will say the “undercover” video is fabricated.

    Mr/Ms Horseback….”confirmed that some “killer buyers”…..”some”???? Please! They all do it because of the inherent discrepancies” in the ENTIRE equine disposal system.

    And what was the final disposition of Presidio????? Anyone doing time or paying fines????? The equines did. How about the humans involved?

    • admin
      December 16, 2011 at 1:30 am

      The strongest case appears to be with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. They gave the feedot owner a slap on the wrist. The commission is appointed by Gov. Rick Perry who has a spotty record on environmental issue in Texas. We are beginning to ask hard questions regarding the public health issue of dumping dead horses in a creek that leads into the Rio Grande. The Texas Animal Health Commission has done virtually nothing on thism and the Presidio County Sheriff needs calls from the public to get him off dead center. We are beginning to believe he also needs an active and well financed opponent who will actually enforce animal cruelty laws in the 2012 election.

      The Editor

      • December 19, 2011 at 12:34 am

        Agree! Also, these horses did not have valid Coggins tests. EIA is SUPPOSED to be a reportable disease. Hmmm.. Report to WHOM? When I was living in Texas, they took EIA more seriously than this.

        • admin
          December 19, 2011 at 1:06 am

          The TAHC in spector says the agency has lost 30 percent of its workforce due to budget cuts.

          • December 19, 2011 at 1:59 am

            Sounds about right. Too bad I don’t live in Texas any more so I could vote.

Comments are closed.