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Genuine Question on Slaughter - Please No Flamethrowers

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  • #21
    Originally posted by Angela Freda
    Thomas, I think you've actually reinforced the point.

    The Eu has strict guidelines.
    The US does not, because horses are not raised here for human food.
    We ship our horses, after slaughter to Europe.
    I wasn't aware that there was a point! Indeed I was so stupid I thought this was a genuine question regarding control of drugs into the food chain. Indeed wasn't the posting called that!

    AND you are totally wrong is your presumption regarding the reason why the EU and the USA are different.

    And thanks to JSwan for the tip off

    So before I go any further I will point out that for many years I campaigned against the live transportation of horses for food and also for better welfare regulation in other countries. Please understand that the UK does not ship live horses for transport for meat and horse meat is NOT eaten in the UK at all - ever!

    The USA is virtually entirely unregulated and traceability of stock going into the food chain is abysmal there in comparison to EU regulation. Europe has a culture of higher regulation and particularly where it extends to food and animal welfare. Makes no difference whether or not you eat horses, I'd suggest you find out about cattle and sheep going into the food chain there too!

    Furthermore we are much more highly regulated regarding shipping stock - including horses - Quite simply we have much stricter welfare regulations regarding transportation. The USA transport stock (horses too) in conditions that would warrant a fine and prison sentence here!

    Additionally we are much stricter with regard to drug control on stock as I've already posted. Use of Bute and steroids for instance is severely limited and highly regulated and we would quite simply not be permitted to use it as you do without incurring fines.

    Likewise over here farriery is highly regulated and only a trained and competent person can trim a horses feet for shoeing - otherwise again its breaking the law and a hefty fine.

    And to arabhorse2 - whilst its entirely possible to be anti transporting live horses in inhumane conditions and for excessive distances, I would say its just NOT realistic to be anti slaughter.

    Indeed whilst I'm against the former its my view that a heck of a lot of horses would be alleviated immense suffering if they were owned by responsible people who took the final decision to slaughter them when they should.


    • #22
      I think NAIS will actually result in more regulation of horsemeat exported from this country. Each horse arriving at slaughter will be scanned and its origins verified and reported to the government. There will be no way for the slaughterhouse to determine if the horse was stolen or anything - but the scan of the chip will reveal the premises ID number - which every horse in the US will have. Every barn, every auction, every horse show - will have to scan each other and report its movements to the gov't.

      When any animal arrives at the slaughterhouse - the end of its life will be a reportable event - must be sent to the gov't database.

      So while it won't track which horse got wormed or which has Lasix in its system - there will be some increased regulation of horse transport in the US.

      (there are issues with NAIS that I find appalling but that's another subject). For this thread - I think NAIS will serve the horse slaughter industry in Europe - as increased regulation devised to satisfy import requirements is the main goal of NAIS.
      Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
      Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
      -Rudyard Kipling


      • #23
        Thomas still seems to be missing the point of the first question. He seems to have gotten all haughty based on the suggestion that French people could be eating tainted horsemeat. "No they are not! Things are much stricter in the EU!"

        OK but... what the French are eating are dirty U.S. horses. Or at least that's what we all believe is happening to the horses slaughtered in the U.S. --> European and Japanese dinner plates (though I believe in Japan they import the horses alive and slaughter them "fresh").

        So this wasn't a question of whether feed lots and slaughterhouses in Europe are better/cleaner/more strict than in the U.S. It was a question of whether anyone is testing the horsemeat that goes from the U.S. to Europe. Because we sure as heck aren't.
        Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.


        • #24
          "juice 'em" is often the phrase heard at a midwest auction before the horses are loaded onto the double deckers for a very very long ride to Texas. . . mind you the Texas slaughterhouse is more than twice the distance than the trip would be to the Illinois slaughterhouse. But you see the slaughter buyer has a contract with Texas, not Illinois so that's where these horses get dragged to so they can be slaughtered.

          So the shipper tells the sale lot vet to "juice" the lame/sick/old ones so they won't fall down enroute. Then they pack them in - usually about 40 to a load. . . doesn't make any difference how hot it is. . . now mind you these horses have been in pens with absolutely NO water for the duration of the sale.

          Regulations? HOGWASH. . .regulations are not enforced now and the USDA has no intention of enforcing regulations in the future. Have it straight from the number two field man in Washington. . . horses are not important. Our agents must focus on cattle first and then whatever time is left is spent on the animals Americans consume.


          • #25
            Originally posted by JoZ
            Thomas still seems to be missing the point of the first question. He seems to have gotten all haughty based on the suggestion that French people could be eating tainted horsemeat. "No they are not! Things are much stricter in the EU!"

            jeez ..... in that case why did the poster title it Genuine Question..... would have been much better to title it Vague and Evasive and see if you can work out what I really want to know

            And the answer to that is yes meat going into the food chain for human consumption is tested.


            • #26
              Originally posted by Calhoun
              ... killer trucks lined up outside a Texas slaughter house and horses being unloaded and killed. My question - isn't there a waiting time for drugs to clear the body? Are the French eating horse meat w/ wormer, steroids, etc. in the meat?
              You're right! Many of the drugs we owners regularly give our horses are NOT intented for or tested for "food animals". If they only knew... and to think they pay a premium for this "gourmet" delicacy.

              There's nothing to stop a horse being slaughtered the same day he's sold to the killer. There is no detox period. I'm scared enough when I hear the tests of the things showing up in commercially produced hamburger, who knows what contaminants are in horse steaks.
              Veterinarians for Equine Welfare


              • #27
                One of the things that concerns me with the horse slaughter issue is the prospect of increasing regulation (and decreasing availability) of medicines, wormers etc for our horses due to concerns over the possiblity of human consumption.


                • #28
                  I agree with Laurierace

                  Hope they all enjoy the chemicals....so sad if one would happen to have a negative side effect from consuming raw "cheval" laced with ivermectin.
                  Member of the Standardbreds with Saddles Clique!
                  LouLove - OTTB - 1992-2008...miss you my pretty red girl...
                  Wilde! NEW - OTTSTB - 2004 Gelding...my heart's new journey...


                  • #29
                    I have had some pretty indepth conversation with Onthebit12000 and the EU basically overlooks what they know about the toxicity in horse meat. If any of you really, really want to get a handle on horse slaughter from the political perspective - not the emotional one - I suggest you contact her. She has forgotten more facts about horse slaughter than I will ever know.

                    Mr. EqT and I have discussed how to get the truth out to the consumers in France. Apparently there are groups who have tried. We see two big issues - the first one is that France controls public advertizing to a certain degree and it is unlikely they would let this one slip on by. The second is it would probably require sponsoring by a large industry that would profit from seeing an end to the importation of horse meat. We have yet to figure out who that is, since horse meat consumption is less than 2% of the amount of any type of meat eaten in a year. Anyone got helpful answers to those two questions, let's talk

                    I do personally think that if we could start some type of campaign to show the French how their government is duping them, that could be VERY effective. They voluntarily boycotted beef during the mad cow mess for about 6 months. 6 months would put US horse slaughter out of business.

                    There is some hope, in that eating horse meat, at least in France, is mostly done by the older people who are dying, slowly albeit, but dying anyway and the younger generations do not eat it. Can't speak for Italy or Belgium, I don't know who the consumers are. Anyway, consumption in France declines every year. It will be interesting to see what the EU does as that continues.

                    Agree with everyone who says if you knew what was in that hamburger..
                    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                    • Original Poster

                      Wow, shaking my head as I type this. How on earth would the USDA know when I wormed my horse? And, every time the vet gives my horse bute he would have to report it to a database? What about those of us who medicate our horses ourselves? I just don't know how this could be controlled or enforced. Even if your horse tested positive for ivermectin in it's bloodstream at the slaughter plant, you could plead stupidity and it would be your word against their word. I don't think it would hold up in court. Personally, I think the USDA is too worried about mad-cow and the bird flu to put time/money into horses.

                      BTW, I've been a vegetarian for 20 years and drink soy milk, not cow's milk.
                      "You gave your life to become the person you are right now. Was it worth it?" Richard Bach


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by Thomas_1

                        And the answer to that is yes meat going into the food chain for human consumption is tested.
                        Are you saying that European countries test the meat shipped there by the USA? B/c if the USA doesn't have regulations, then "contaminated" meat is being shipped to European countries for human consumption. So, is that meat tested after its arrival in said European countries and then trashed if it tests positive for unwanted stuff?


                        • #32
                          food for thought

                          Originally posted by Phaxxton
                          Are you saying that European countries test the meat shipped there by the USA? B/c if the USA doesn't have regulations, then "contaminated" meat is being shipped to European countries for human consumption. So, is that meat tested after its arrival in said European countries and then trashed if it tests positive for unwanted stuff?
                          I am old enough to remember when the US finally started to ban a bunch of pesticides such as DDT. DDT along with some other agricultural herbicides/ pesticides are far too toxic to be worth using.... they're poison!

                          Banned chemicals like DDT are *not* banned in all 3rd world countries such as those in South America. Guess where most of our produce comes from, especially during the winter months?? Check the labels next time you're at a grocery store: "Product of Chile" "Product of Argentine".

                          US consumers turn a blind eye. Or we're just unwilling to give up buying fruit/vegetables from these countries due to their affordable cost.

                          We can't be shocked by the French people's ignorance for eating tainted meat when we never question what toxins our fruits & vegetables are coated in.

                          For more info on 3rd world use of very toxic chemicals, just search online. Here's one article for example: http://www.albionmonitor.com/9802a/b...sticides2.html
                          Veterinarians for Equine Welfare


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by MsM
                            One of the things that concerns me with the horse slaughter issue is the prospect of increasing regulation (and decreasing availability) of medicines, wormers etc for our horses due to concerns over the possiblity of human consumption.
                            And it should concern you! Cattle people have access to very few drugs compared to horses to treat sick animals. Dairy folks have it even more restricted. We are limited to penicillian with a 60 day slaughter and 6 day milk with holding and a few other drugs.

                            Lostfarming in Idaho


                            • #34
                              Calhoun- On pg 36 of the thread here on Off Course titled "0", you'll find a post of mine towards the bottom of the page with a link to info about passports for horses overseas. It has a section about meds/reporting/selecting if your horse is eligible to be slaughtered or not. It's pretty interesting.


                              • #35
                                You know its too bad we couldn't go triple worm and bute up all the horses destined for slaughter



                                • #36
                                  I am sitting here stunned. Not amazed but stunned.

                                  What do you mean that, in the USA, there is no withholding period for drugs used on horses that become meat??? ALL of our wormers (and believe me there seems to be an increasing plethora of them available in little old NZ) have it clearly stated on the packaging that all horses intended for CONSUMPTION are to be held for a minimum of 20 days postworming. (I have just completed a little survey at my local saddlery and all the main brands were there). That is consumption by either animal or human (animal = cat or dog or lion etc not another herbivore/omnivore). BUte is the same! I have just given my mare her 5ml dose of oral bute for her pulled armpit muscle (think groin strain in human) and it is clearly written on both the package and the tube itself. Woe betide if our MAF catch a horse abbatoir that can not provide evidence of this withhold! And yes, they do hold the ones that can be held. The others simply do not enter the food chain - they are processed but not for food.

                                  Anyway, ivermectin the most common wormer family is not toxic to humans - it is to dogs. In humans, it is quite safe to eat a small amount (equivalent to your horses weight for weight) for internal parasite control and to cure river blindness in Africa.

                                  This is not a dig at the USA - you are really about 50 countries in one which would be difficult to govern effectively- I am also appalled by the apparent lax attitude that your USDA and similar organisations have with basic animal transportation standards and abbatoir standards. YEs, I have been there - was part of an inspection programme from AUS/NZ - and we walked out sickened. These were very experienced abbatoir meat inspectors - all vets as are required by our law (I was for the engineering side) - and we are talking vomiting sick! As in get drunk to wipe the memories out. Not all, I can recall two that were reasonably humane but at the lower end of our scale.

                                  Taking the emotion out of horse slaughter for human consumption, our MAF is probably stricter on horse abbatoirs than on those where meat is intended for human consumption. (Yes, NZ also doesnt tend to eat horse meat but we do "dead" ship pre-packaged meat.) Actually, they are incredibly strict on all abbatoirs and we have strict quarantine laws for all animals destined for the food chain (either to predator animal or human).

                                  And you wonder why NZ does not accept US beef/sheep into our country? It simply does not meet our required standards. You feed animals to animals! (NOt every one, but it is a very common practice.) The reporting of "downers" is very lax especially as to reasons why. So you can not prove adequately that it was not through the biggies - Foot and Mouth, BSE, Antrax etc. UK fronted up to their international responsibilties and did radical stock removal. USA government cries foul when other countries close their borders because they can not say how many are probably infected when they find one or two with FMD or BSE. Actually, this is one of my largest beefs (sorry for that) with a Free Trade Agreement with the USA - we would be required to take your tainted meat! NO way! Give me a beautiful clean grass fed hereford any day of the week! Which has been correctly wormed, treated and fed and withheld for the appropriate time and given the tick off by the MAF meat inspector.

                                  And where does "blood and bone" come from?


                                  • #37
                                    *Whip crack*

                                    I appluade you Still workingonit.

                                    I love NZ and it is a wonderful place to be.


                                    • #38
                                      I'm sure Thomas1 will be familiar with the act that almost caused us the loss of worming our horses other than by a vet. The EU was trying to make it so we couldn't by wormers OTC because of the slaughter issue. And whilst all drugs are supposed to be listed in a horses passport over here, they aren't. I give all my vac's myself, although you have to get them from a vet, but if one gets bute or something else it's not listed. Like there's a whole section for medicinal treatment in the passport, but I have never seen one used. All medications i get from the vet have a withdrawl period for slaughter. But I don't see how horses get to slaughter free of wormers and drugs for consumption even with a passport. Everything is very restricted over here, but I'm sure it still happens. And for the record livestock have stricter rules for what can go into them as well. I remember having dinner with a beef farmer and me saying that meat tasted diffrent over here than in the states. And he said well if you take away all the crap you give them over there this is what you get. O.K. got it.
                                      COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

                                      "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.


                                      • #39
                                        Yeah... have you ever eaten chicken that is home raised on grain and gets the run of the garden... that meat is totally different to supermarket chicken.


                                        • #40
                                          Still Working On it: I understand what you are saying about animal slaughter in NZ, but if I sell a horse to the local meat man, who ships horses for slaughter for human consumption, how does he know that I haven't given that horse something that has a withdrawal time? Does he have to show that he has kept the horse on a holding farm for a certain length of time?

                                          I once was offered a pony for free. I suspected he had cushings and had to take bloods off him, give him a drug, wait a period of time and take more blood for an after test. The vet said that once given the test drug, the pony could not be slaughtered for food. i didn't even own the pony, and couldn't say that he wouldn't be slaughtered. He tested +ve for cushings and I didn't take him. How could anyone control what happened to him?

                                          Maybe the stricter regulations about wormers and drugs here is the reason that wormers especially are more expensive here than in the US - $NZ30 for a full dose.