Target: Tom Vilsack, Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture
Goal: Stop the U.S. government from allowing a New Mexico horse slaughtering plant to process meat for human consumption
Horses haven’t been slaughtered for human consumption on U.S. soil since 2007 and for good reason, but the government is currently reviewing applications for an inspector at a horse slaughtering plant in New Mexico. The presence of an inspector means that the thousands of horses the Valley Meat Company slaughters every year can be processed for human consumption.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) have been leading the defense, heavily criticizing the Obama administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Wayne Pacelle, the president of the HSUS made a statement saying, “It is astonishing that we may see the resumption of horse slaughter on U.S. soil while Europe is still reeling from a horse meat scandal. Have we not learned anything about the industry’s deception in Europe and the turmoil it has caused?”
Not only is processing horse meat for human consumption unnecessary and inhumane, it also creates serious health risks for consumers. Horses are often treated with drugs like anti-inflammatories, which never fully leave the body. The recent discovery of horse meat being exported from Mexico and the European Union triggered an investigation which ultimately led to the discovery that residue from these drugs was present in the food supply.
In most cases, horses are integrated into the food supply as a method of saving money. Thousands of horses are sequestered every year and shipped across borders for processing. Because there is no cost involved in sequestration, such as there is in farming or raising cattle, cutting beef products with horse meat can dramatically reduce a company’s overhead. The decision couldn’t have come at a worse time. Recent government spending cuts could affect food safety inspections on U.S. meat products, making more horse slaughter plants in the future and highly contaminated meat supply a strong possibility.
The HSUS and ASPCA are currently pressuring Congress to reintroduce a bill that would outlaw the slaughter of horses on U.S. soil and also ban the export of live horses across U.S. borders. Please sign the petition below to demand that the U.S.D.A not approve inspections in New Mexico, saving hundreds of thousands of horses from unnecessary slaughter and also protecting our food supply.
Dear Secretary Vilsack,
The United States Department of Agriculture is currently considering the possibility of hiring inspectors at the Valley Meat Company in New Mexico, which would allow horses to be processed for human consumption. Not only is the slaughter of horses unnecessary and inhumane, horse meat often contaminates the food supply, as was recently witnessed in Europe, because of the drug treatments they are given throughout their lives.
I strongly encourage you to pass legislation that will outlaw horse slaughter on U.S. soil and also ban the export of horse meat. With spending cuts already likely to affect food safety inspections, the possibility of contaminating the meat supply with toxic drugs and chemicals should be more of a concern than ever. One needs to look no further than the recent investigations throughout the European Union, Canada, and Mexico. Reducing the expenses required to raise meat for consumption isn’t worth slaughtering thousands of horses every year and potentially endangering human life. Please do not allow this to happen.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Andreavallejos via Flickr