Pro Slaughter Leadership Caught Off Guard by Europe’s Ban on American Horse Meat

HOUSTON, (Horseback) – Dave Duquette, President of the rabidly pro slaughter United Horseman agricultural trade organization issued a statement late Friday in the wake of news that the European Union has banned import of tainted American horsemeat from the Western Hemisphere including Canada and Mexico. Auctions from coast to coast were disrupted as news of the unprecedented action spread.

“As many of you are already aware, there has been a major disruption today in the international trade of U.S. horses going to Canada and Mexico. This is the result of an unexpected and unannounced European Union action. Little official and accurate information is available on a Friday evening, nonetheless, United Horsemen, a 501c3 nonprofit whose mission is devoted to the well being of horses and horse people, and its executive team is working through our international networks, as well as governmental and industry contacts, to get to the bottom of this situation. We will provide continual updates and information as it comes available, and work with all of you to make sure that our network has accurate and reliable information.

Bear in mind that reestablishing humane horse processing in America is a viable solution needed more than ever with the news of this situation. As always, United Horsemen continues its work to restore much needed balance in the horse markets and horse industry, while profoundly improving the state of horse welfare.

We call upon all of you, as members of United Horsemen, for your much needed support in our efforts on your behalf and on behalf of the U.S. horse industry.

Warm regards,

Dave Duquette
United Horsemen”

51 comments for “Pro Slaughter Leadership Caught Off Guard by Europe’s Ban on American Horse Meat

  1. T Kay Pen
    October 15, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    The EU started this back in 2011 and stated from the get go their requirements for the horse meat they would purchase. These requirements were to go into effect January 2012 and one thing they stress was that they would no longer buy horse meat that is not drug free and because US horses do have drugs in their system be is wormer, Bute, or a dozen other drugs use in normal horse care.

    From what I understood was that all horses going to slaughter would have to be drug free for 6 month with written proof which has to accompany the horse before it would be accepted for slaughter. Well I for one am jumping for joy because the kill buyers are out of a job and no more horses will be shipped in pig/cow trailers for 100’s and 100’s of miles unable to lift their heads because the trailers are not tall enough for a horse to stand naturally. No more horses will be over looked at the auction house with horrific wounds and broken legs because all involved are so money hunger and do not know the meaning of humane.

    If you want to be humane why not set up clinics to have horses euthanized and their bodies cremated. Oh wait if you did that it would cut out the kill buyers; hurt the AQHA breed baby breed program, stop breeds from having an easy way to clean out their fields of the unwanted foals, mares and stallions, as well as do away with the need of a slaughter house in the USA. Looks like a lot of money hunger horse killers are going to be looking for a new line of work. That or fork out the money to care for the horses for 6 months before they can be shipped to slaughter. No longer will it be from auction to slaughter in three days with no food or water, no longer will it be an easy out for the breeds to thin out their herd before winter and to make room for next year’s foals.

    What I do fear with all these new drug free rules is that we are going to have to keep an eye on the BLM and make sure the Kill buyers don’t end up buying the wild Mustangs since the BLM are so lacks in doing their jobs. After all the mustangs are drug free, being free range animals and all. That may be why the BLM refuses to use the proven birth control program on the wild mustangs herd because being drug free opens up a new market for the wild horses.

    We don’t eat horses in the USA and we should not slaughter horses because there is a market overseas. We don’t send our unwanted cats and dogs to slaughter so why should we send horses. We do not raise horses for meat so why should we use slaughter houses as a way to take care of unwanted horses because it is not humane. We don’t do it for cats and dogs why should be do it to for horses. I thank god that there will no long be a overseas market for US horses.

  2. October 15, 2012 at 10:02 am

    Joe, what do you think the paperwork is for? it is to ensure the horses are drug free so yes, it is drug related. And exaclty where are you getting your information?

  3. Joe
    October 15, 2012 at 9:29 am

    What a bunch of lies when people say our American Horses are full of BUTE and other drugs. As of today 2 days after the ban because of paperwork not drugs the EU is accepting our American horse meat. Nice try EWA, Animals’ Angels and Horseback.

  4. colorado
    October 14, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Horse slaughter plants in America are not a viable answer. The EU imports 70 percent of horse meat. The horses here in the USA will not pass their testing of being drug free. Please understand this……. they will not be importing meat from the US.

  5. Ann M. Marini, Ph.D., M.D.
    October 14, 2012 at 7:55 am

    It is possible that those who ate contaminated horse meat overseas may develop cancer. The scientific evidence shows that a mutation in the genome or “hits” can take place over time and when a person reaches the threshold of hits, they develop cancer. Eating horse meat contaminated with phenylbutazone repeatedly may certainly increase the risk of that cohort of developing cancer. The criminality of the behavior is up to law enforcement to prosecute.

  6. Ann M. Marini, Ph.D., M.D.
    October 13, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Phenylbutazone is the most common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) used to treat musculoskeletal injuries in horses. Based upon the sales of ONE manufacturer that sells bute for use in horses, we calculated that every horse in the US (10 million) would get one dose. This means that there is no American horse that is eligible for slaughter anywhere. Bute causes bone marrow depression, hypersensitivity reactions that are idiosyncratic meaning you can’t predict who is going to get them. Furthermore, the National Toxicology Program showed that bute was a carcinogen. The levels that do NOT cause cancer are unknown. Taken together, there are NO SAFE LEVELS of the drug.

    Clenbuterol is a beta receptor agonist that is approved by the FDA for asthma. It also raises blood pressure and is a central nervous system stimulant. Here is what the Food Safety and Inspection Service says in part:


    The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service is responsible for ensuring that meat and poultry products are safe, wholesome and accurately labeled. The Agency works in cooperation with the Food and Drug Administration, which is mandated to ensure the safety of all other food products and is responsible for regulating animal drugs and feedstuffs.
    Illegal Use

    In 1991, FDA and FSIS were alerted that the veterinary drug clenbuterol was being illegally used to gain competitive advantage in some show animals such as calves, lambs, and swine. According to USDA officials, show animals comprise less than one percent of the millions of food animals slaughtered in the United States. Nevertheless, the illegal use of clenbuterol could be a public health concern if show animals were to be slaughtered for human food with clenbuterol residues in the liver or in the muscle tissue (meat).

    Clenbuterol residues can affect lung and heart function in persons who have eaten liver or meat of animals given the drug. In the United States, no human illnesses have been associated with clenbuterol use in food animals. But, several outbreaks of reversible, short-term illnesses in Europe have been traced to ingesting clenbuterol residues in European beef liver.

    To protect the public health, FSIS and FDA are taking enforcement actions against the illegal use of clenbuterol in show animals. While, FDA takes regulatory action against persons involved in the use or distribution of clenbuterol, FSIS tests meat and liver for illegal residues to help keep contaminated meat out of consumer channels. FSIS and FDA coordinate findings with the Justice Department, which handles prosecution of violators of Federal law.

    At the same time, FSIS and FDA are working with other organizations to educate the agricultural community about the public health concern and the legal risks. Groups include the Extension Service, producer organizations, state officials, the Future Farmers of America, the 4-H, and livestock show leaders.

    Clenbuterol has caused serious side effects in people who ate meat contaminated with clenbuterol. The drug residue was enough to cause people to get sick. Serious side effects were reported in some cases.

    Phenylbutazone can be more insidious because it is a carcinogen. Think of smoking where lung cancer develops 20-30 years down the road. This could be the case for those people who ate horse meat contaminated with phenylbutazone. I really feel sorry for all of those people who ate horse meat contaminated with bute.

    • admin
      October 13, 2012 at 8:39 pm

      Dr. Marini, is it your contention that it’s possible that someone who ate bute contaminated horse meat in Europe 10 years ago may be at risk of cancer now? I ask this because it is clear that for at least the last year, and probably longer, U.S. producers have been repeatedly warned of the dangers of bute. If so, should those who knowingly sold bute contaminated horse meat as clearly labled and prohibited by the FDA – be prosecuted for a felony?

      The Editor

      • skip
        October 14, 2012 at 8:17 am

        To the Editor’s post on 10/13 @8:39-very good question;while you’re prosecuting those who knowingly sold a horse treated w/bute,make sure you come up w/a test/program that positively identifies bute- not some assanine assumption like Dr. Marini’s “that based on the amount of bute produced and sold,every horse in the US has had a dose and is ineligible for slaughter”-mickey mouse science like that will not stand up in a court of law.If you want true reform,let’s do it right. 130,000+ horses/year have been shipped to slaughter since the closure of US facilities in ’07-I’m not saying there hasn’t been any,but please forward actual science showing the amount of contaminated horsemeat produced since that time and/or deaths and illness associated w/ingestion of horsemeat-then you’ll have a real case.

        • colorado
          October 14, 2012 at 1:08 pm

          I think actions speak louder than words. SOMETHING has come up with the testitg, for the EU to discontinue importing ANY horses from the USA. Just a guess, but I think MANY US horses tested positive for bute and steroids. I mean come on, they put a halt to US horses crossing the border to their slaughter plants in one day!

    • October 13, 2012 at 9:12 pm

      Thank you, Ann. Not everyone has read the study and it is a good reminder to those that still wonder why bute is banned and has no acceptable withdrawal period.

      Food safety is of paramount importance. Wallis and her ilk are always taking about property rights well, it’s time to start taking action for consumer’s rights by having Congress ban the slaughter of American horses. We have no right to send toxic meat to any foreign country.

  7. Royhobbscolorado
    October 13, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    TYPO! My apoligies……it should say will NOW use this as an excuse to pressure…….

  8. Royhobbscolorado
    October 13, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Those who want to slaughter our horses…..domestic OR wild, will not use this as an excuse to pressure legislators and the USDA to re-open horse slaughter plants in the United States. But what those for slaughter cannot seem to get through the thick excuse for a cranium is the very real and serious fact that the EU has been stepping up their testing our US horses intended for human consumption for the last 9 months and low and behold the results are worse than they thought!

    Now how on earth DAVE and SUE do you think you are going to sell adulterated meat to US citizens? The market is NON existent!

    AND you can kiss killing the wild ones goodbye. That will never happen in the US, although the BLM has been selling to it’s bulk kill buyers who have been shipping the horses to be killed over the border.

    The time for responsibility, accountability and healthy HUMANE choices is LONG overdue.

    • colorado
      October 14, 2012 at 12:58 pm

      I agree. I DOUBT any horse coming off the race track will have no drugs in their system. Also, most show horses also will have traces of bute in their system, and steroids for performance horses. Just a fact, these drugs ARE used in every horse venue in the country.

  9. CanAmFam
    October 13, 2012 at 9:43 am

    The primary market for horse meat from the US plants (owned by Belgian interests) was the EU. Unless Sue and Dave have a new market up their sleeves, that won’t care about the EU reaction (unlikely), the demand for our horse meat is going to be too low to justify investing in a plant.

  10. muffntuf
    October 13, 2012 at 7:58 am

    Okay I understand everyone’s arguments – but someone please tell me what we are going to do with all the horses that are being dumped.

    • DarrellC
      October 13, 2012 at 8:54 pm

      Simple hold those that brought them into the world responsible for their upkeep and well being and forbid them from producing anymore foals! Oh my gosh, perish the thought of holding anyone accountable and/or responsible for their actions and behaviors, eh? *shakes head and rolls eyes* Oh and there is ‘humane’ euthanasia. The earth could stand with a few less humans on it too…

      ~”So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do.” – Benjamin Franklin~

      • JC
        October 15, 2012 at 8:34 am

        I would like to point out that you can’t hold everyone responsible because they won’t cooperate.

        Last year we had a bad drought in Texas. People started turning loose their donkeys on the side of the road or let them out. In Austin County, the sheriff office at one point had 98 donkeys at the auction barn on feed. Tax payers got to feed them because no one claimed them or wanted to buy them. I don’t know what happened to them in the end.

        People should be held accountable for their actions!

        • admin
          October 15, 2012 at 8:40 am

          We totally agree.

    • colorado
      October 14, 2012 at 12:54 pm

      They will need to be humanely euth by vet, maybe the government can help with this??? They seem to want to be in every phase of our lives, let them subsidize vets to put down any unwanted, sick or elderly horses……….

      • admin
        October 14, 2012 at 12:58 pm

        Far better that the government force their irresponsible owners put the horses down at their own expense, including the killer buyers who are now stuck with horses.

        The Editor

  11. Mummy
    October 13, 2012 at 6:48 am

    Basically he’s saying it’s needed more than ever in the US because the EU is acknowledging how toxic the meat is with phenylbutazone (a carcinogen/no withdrawl period) and clenbuterol (a steroid) among other things and there must be more stupid people in the world he can capitalize off of…
    YES horses are still sickeningly slaughtered in the US for animal consumption. So since that’s not it, are American people supposed to be the next victims or perhaps asian countries? Who does he want to poison next?!

  12. October 13, 2012 at 5:31 am

    So the EU has put a stop to your industry poisoning innocent people across the globe, all the while knowing you are serving up a toxic meal to pregnant women and children. Yet, because you lack in any form of moral character, you push on. Truly the EU and all the facts are just not enough to stop your need to make a buck off the blood shed of our beloved American horse. You salivate at the thought of lining your wallet, using the most inhumane form of slaughter against the animal that helped build this country and continues to serve man kind daily. On top of that you push forward to make the tax payer foot the bill for your greed. Go get a real job Dave, we are truly sick of your criminally minded industry and are going to shut your part of the meat industry down, once and for all.

  13. Susan
    October 13, 2012 at 12:21 am

    Just who does Daffy Dave think is going to buy these tainted horses?

    Time to get off his broom, pick up a manure rake and join the majority of American horse owners working together to create a sustainable, quality horse industry.

    Imagine.. some 30,000 US horses each year, not being stolen to slaughter any more.

    Tonight, imagine the feeling of peace, in farms across the country, that their companion horses are safer.

    • Terri
      October 13, 2012 at 8:07 am

      Yes…this is a good feeling..

    • October 13, 2012 at 10:53 pm

      I can’t imagine why any company would want to start a horse slaughter business in this climate. At this point, even if they had a working premises and USDA inspectors, they’d still have to find a new market which would be difficult enough to accomplish when 70% of the market has evaporated in the face of issues with your product “quality.” They should look to the pink slime debacle, whereby suddenly and without notice – the market for their product completely disappeared and the producing company went bankrupt. Anyone coming out of a business program or marketing school knows that your company will be on very shady footing if you only have a few prospective purchasers.

      I’m sure Gerry Ritz of Ag. Canada is busy trying to find new markets in countries that don’t fully protect their citizens with food safety or product liability laws. Exploiting poor people in 2nd and 3rd world countries, by sending them product that isn’t good enough for the affluent white market.

  14. schipstar
    October 12, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    one word to describe this monster and his sick views – scumbag!

  15. Amy
    October 12, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    Dave…wake up and smell the horse shit you are babbling! So if Europe doesn’t want America’s tainited horse meat…your gonna sell it here! Are you fricking kidding me! You must be the biggest moron on this planet besides Slaugher Sue! GET A CLUE…IT AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN!!

  16. Margaret
    October 12, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    Hey Dave, wake up and smell the coffee. What are you going to do with all the horse meat? EU doesn’t want it, we don’t eat it. Are you going to make new dresses for Lady Gaga? Good luck with that.

  17. Jay
    October 12, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Now is the time for all people concerned about the horse industry to put aside their differences and find solutions to the horses that are in need. Our USA horses are not raised for slaughter and are used for many things. We know that we don’t eat nor will ever eat horses in the USA. The meat is tainted and not suitable for human consumption. Why would anyone want to try and market it here or anywhere? That’s a total disregard to humans as well as the animals. If Dave Duquette and Sue Wallis care so much for the welfare of the horse industry then they need to look outside of slaughter to work with all horse people and find other solutions. They have the business plans for rehab’s, training etc. Leave out the slaughter plant part for the horses not suitable for rehab and let’s see them put their plans in action for the betterment of the horses. They claim they could do it all and had volunteers etc. in place. Leave out the slaughter part and lets see this plan in action.

    • Laurie Neilio
      October 12, 2012 at 11:40 pm

      Yes. Please put our differences aside and advocate for the horse.We now have to come up with a good plan to handle the horses that are in the slaughter pipeline, no small feat!
      Without enforcement of good breeding management practices, the 80% of us who dont want slaughter are going to have a hard time proving we can care for the horses in need.
      This is a time to prove there is a better way, and that leaves no time for dissension.
      Revolution is here! Are you ready?

  18. templar
    October 12, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    “excess” or “Unwanted horses” is driven in large part by over- and indiscriminate breeding by individuals and by members of certain associations (registrations = $$). Abused & neglected horses are not fit for export as food because they’re often is such crappy shape and have been medicated during their lives with substances explicitly forbidden in potential food meats. Former race horses? More med abuse. The solution is NOT slaughtering the excess that bad practices may create; it’s making sure you breed intelligently based on both conformation and whether or not the foal can be sold. Slaughter is an excuse for lousy management; and would be mostly unfit for consumption in any case. That UH cares about horses is unmitigated “malarkey”!

    • breadmaker
      October 12, 2012 at 10:41 pm

      Bravo templar…. thank you

      • Susan
        October 13, 2012 at 12:24 am

        Ditto. Beautifully said. Most of us have long considered slaughter a failure of the owner, not the horse, and unfortunate the horse paid the price.

    • Maggie
      October 13, 2012 at 12:53 am

      Bang on templar well said!

    • Kaye Killgore
      October 14, 2012 at 7:03 pm

      Well said. When you hear about a TB stud who covered approximately 350 mares in a year, it illustrates perfectly the irresponsible breeding problem.

  19. Kathryn Ireland
    October 12, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    What Dave doesn’t get is the EU wont accept American horses, no matter how hard you try,they don’t want to die. No market Dave!!!! Geeze…..

  20. Nona
    October 12, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    Dave says “Bear in mind that reestablishing humane horse processing in America is a viable solution needed more than ever with the news of this situation.”

    When did the United States ever have HUMANE HORSE PROCESSING?

    • Terri
      October 13, 2012 at 8:09 am


  21. October 12, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    He is delusional.. And I love it. I’m thinking that US slaughter plants would be even more under suspicion. We are in a situation where as long as we refuse the requirement of the passport, our horses will not be fit for EU tables.. Besides… the investment is too high for a maybe yes, probably no situation. I personally think United Horsemen is screwed…and we knew this is the reason that would take them down.

  22. October 12, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    Don’t you just admire someone that upon hearing the news only thinks of new ways to kill horses? Instead of pulling together to help the horses in the pipeline, he wants to find another way to kill them. Apparently, he isn’t getting the message that the EU doesn’t want North American toxic meat.

    • Sioux
      October 12, 2012 at 11:38 pm

      And neither do Americans!

      • Terri
        October 13, 2012 at 8:00 am


  23. Amy B
    October 12, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    United Horsemen will argue that humane slaughter plants can open here and be supplied with horses reared from birth for slaughter. Which would negate their entire ‘unwanted horse’ argument since slaughter will no longer be an option for the so-called ‘unwanted’. They will be forced to ADD to the horse population in order to slaughter horses.

    Amy in TX

  24. nancy mcmillan
    October 12, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    Dear Dave.
    how long have we been telling you that the EU was not stupid? How many times did we say what if there is no market? How many times did we point out that our horses are not raised as food? How can this be a surprise? We all know you want to return to the days of rodeo and horse tripping in every town followed by an equine bbq for those who don’t survive the rodeo. Fact is the rest of us have evolved. This does not come as a surprise to those who understand that the world is a different place

    • Sioux
      October 12, 2012 at 11:39 pm

      The rest of us evolved Dave, get with the program!

    • Margaret
      October 13, 2012 at 3:46 pm

      The only “surprise” I see is this came without any real warning. We all got kinda caught off guard. Take a moment or two and rejoice. And now we have to ALL work together to find solutions for those horses caught in the crosshairs of this mess.

      Hay we all knew it was coming. It just happened sooner than we thought.

      Hard to believe that D bag and Suzy still can’t quite grasp the idea that killing horses is just not gonna work. There’s NO MARKET for American horses.

      And if you can afford to own a horse with all the corresponding bills–you can darn well afford to put the horse down humanely. Studies were done on this. It costs between 400-600 dollars I believe depending on where you live. Where I live that’s about a months board bill.

      We all know people who have suffered job loss, or lost their homes etc. While I don’t wish that on anyone–should it befall you–start that day to rehome your horse. You may not like it, and your kids might not like it–but its much more responsible being proactive than the alternative.

  25. Frank
    October 12, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    GET A REAL JOB, DAVE! You just lost 80% or more of your market. Good luck with your investors!

  26. October 12, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Yep, good old Duquette wil use this as a reason to reopen American slaughterhouses so Americans will be able to eat TOXIC HORSE MEAT. The man is just brilliant.

  27. rebekah
    October 12, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    Your key word being “humane”

  28. Margaret
    October 12, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    D bag there is NO humane slaughter. Just yesterday I saw video from a Burger King slaughter house that showed horrible abuse of cattle on their way to slaughter. No matter how you try to package your dream it is still slaughter.

    What will you use to render a horse unconscious? The captive DESIGNED for cattle. We’ve seen how well that DOESN’T work. Would you use the puntila knife they use in Mexico? Horrible abuse.

    Slaughter can’t be done humanely. And this doesn’t even begin to cover the drug residue left in horses. I’ll leave that to the next person.

    • Cecilia
      October 13, 2012 at 8:41 am

      You are so right. This report has to be spread to the average consumer who knows nothing. Like the Huffington Post, AOL news, and MSNBC. And better, lets see what the USDA has to say about this!

Comments are closed.