Federal cuts to affect slaughter plant inspections


Budget pressure on the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) may prove a saviour for slaughter horses should the industry resume on American soil, a horse advocacy group believes.

A $US2 billion budget cut to the USDA has prompted slaughter plant inspector furloughs – mandatory time off work with no pay – within days of discovering the department intends to approve horse slaughter inspections inside the US.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told the House Agriculture committee that due to the cutbacks, each USDA inspector will likely be furloughed for 11 to 12 days at a time. The White House suggests the furloughs will cause meatpacking plants to shut down periodically.

“USDA inspections must take place on site at each US slaughterhouse in order for its meat product to be legally available for interstate commerce,” said Katia Louise, of the Wild for Life Foundation (WFLF).

The former ban on the spending of taxpayer dollars for USDA inspections of horse slaughter had stopped the slaughter of horses at US plants. However, this provision was stripped in a farm bill in November 2011.

“Proponents of slaughter argue that it would be better to slaughter horses in the US where we can supposedly ensure their humane treatment,” Louise said.

“But numerous governmental reports and undercover investigations show that USDA inspections fail to stop insidious abuses from taking place inside our slaughterhouses.

“Substantial documented evidence reveals egregious violations and a total lack of enforcement by the USDA in US horse slaughterhouses before they were shut down in 2007. If horse slaughter plants are reopened in the US, horses will undoubtedly suffer torturous agony on US soil again.”

In the absence of a federal ban, tens of thousands of US horses are shipped across federal borders to slaughter plants in Mexico and Canada each year and from there the horse meat is shipped primarily to the EU.

Before 2006, the USDA spent about $US5 million annually for inspections at US-based horse slaughter plants.



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3 thoughts on “Federal cuts to affect slaughter plant inspections

  • March 9, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Ban house slaughter on a federal level. End the abuse once and for ALL!

  • March 9, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    This is an incredible help, they need to stop this permanently, but little bits off of the main plans are better than nothing at all. There’s holes in the plans that the slaughter people have that dont make any sense. They say the horses travel to far and is inhumane, however, opening up 5 plants in the states to kill even more is actually inhumane. So if they open in Oklahoma and someone is bringing horses from way out the other side of the map guess what? There’s even longer drives. Their logic isnt in their plans. Look up the accidents where the trailers going to states 5 yrs ago, not Mexico had many, many accidents resulting in horse deaths on the highways, plus if anyone reads the write-ups SUeWallis writes to her cult They reprint in several websites so people can see the thin veil between crazy and crazier…she said and I quote these activists will try to spread their propaganda and we have to reply to it, we have to spread our words everywhere they are trying to say save the horse, in the end this is all about the money, this is not about welfare of horses, this is about profit. The meat industry is profitable for us. (Really sad. The people who seem to care about a horse are called activists and they are telling people to reply with propaganda about killing horses.) So sad. So very, SAD, There is a petition I found and all my family signed it. WE are Oklahoma’s people, we have been in Oklahoma our whole lives and we really love it here. So Donny said for the first time the other day we may have to relocate. Aqha wrote a letter stating they will continue to show here. But AQHA will stay in all states that earn them revenue regardless of anything the states do. That’s part of the Show industry. They stay where they earn money-so that really doesnt say anything. Same way with Arabian, they won’t leave because they dont have alot of places they are really accepted as show people anymore, so they will stay, besides some Aqha and Arabian people are in both breeds. That doesnt mean much. Again so Sad. Donny and all the kids are exciting about leaving the state, but I will miss it.

  • March 10, 2013 at 4:56 am

    “Before 2006, the USDA spent about $US5 million annually for inspections at US-based horse slaughter plants.”

    Yup, and guess how much the plants payed out in taxes? In 2004, Dallas Crown payed…drum roll please… $5.00

    With sequestration resulting in a reduction in funds for USDA inspections of meat we actually DO consume, why in heaven’s name would we spend more tax dollars, which won’t be recouped, for inspecting a meat NOT consumed here???? It’s insanity!

    Not to mention how much the horse meat scandal in the UK has hurt the beef industry there. Why do we just assume the same thing will not happen in the US?


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