Thank you, Wyoming

My, this is refreshing!  I have read (and and posted previously) about efforts in place like Missouri to help resolve the intended consequences of no more horse slaughter.  See, the practice itself (the slaughtering of horses) was not banned.  The reason horse slaughter had to stop was because federal dollars going to horse slaughter inspection was yanked — effectively “shutting down” horse slaughterhouses.

Now, some states are working one establishing their own inspection systems for horse slaughter and horse meat.  At this point, all I can say is:  BRAVO!

Wyoming Governor signs landmark legislation providing the option of horse processing to deal with abandoned horses

By Sue Wallis

The United Organizations of the Horse is working with Dr. Temple Grandin to  implement an Equine Assurance Program to ensure meat quality and address animal welfare concerns.

CHEYENNE – Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal has signed HB 122-Disposal of livestock into law which provides the Wyoming Board of Livestock three options to deal with abandoned, estray (animals whose ownership cannot be determined), feral, or abused animals which come under their control. The first option is taking the animal to a public sale, which was the only alternative before passage of this legislation. Additional options provided are sending the animal to slaughter, or destroying the animal.

While the legislation applies to all classes of livestock, the need arose because of the current lack of a market for low-end horses that are small or are in poor condition. Since the closure of the last US horse slaughter plant in 2007, the only unusable horses that have any value whatsoever are those that are big enough, or healthy enough, to be worth the transportation costs to Canada or Mexico. This has resulted in a huge increase in abandoned and neglected horse cases in Wyoming, and across the nation. Wyoming has seen more than a tripling every year in these numbers, which has required emergency funding through the Governor since they are unable to recoup the cost of care and feeding by selling the horses.

If the Board of Livestock chooses the slaughter option they are required to provide the meat to Wyoming state institutions or nonprofit organizations at their cost. They are authorized to sell the meat to profit entities at market price. Meat intended for human use will be state inspected and used in Wyoming.

The United Organizations of the Horse is coordinating a working group that includes state agencies, private meat processing businesses, nonprofit relief organizations, Dr. Temple Grandin, veterinarians, and other experts to design a system for the processing of horses, and the efficient and practical use of valuable meat and byproducts. The product of this working group will be a pilot Equine Assurance Program which will be a model for other states to utilize to address animal welfare concerns, and ensure the humane handling, transportation, and processing of horses.

seattle horse meat

Historical photo from Seattle’s Pike Place Market that reminds us that horse meat was appreciated nation-wide during World War II as a delicious, healthy and high-quality meat that is 50% higher in protein, 40% lower in fat than beef.


Horses for Humanity

The United Organizations will provide horse meat at their cost to Wyoming relief organizations for distribution to those in need. Once the roadblocks to federal inspection of horsemeat in the US can be lifted, the United Organizations of the Horse is planning to implement a partnership with national and international relief organizations to provide wholesome, healthy, humanely harvested horsemeat to the hungry.

Through this program horse owners have the option of donating a horse that would otherwise be disposed of. Owners are assured a quick, humane death for their animal, and the comfort of knowing that the meat is going to a good and useful purpose.

For additional information, please contact Sue Wallis or visit


5 thoughts on “Thank you, Wyoming

  1. A perfect solution to what should never have become a problem in the beginning. I wonder how many of those bleeding hearts who stopped horse slaughter for their romantic reasons realize that the real end of them co- operating with PETA and HSUS types will mean the end of meat of any type on their tables.

  2. South Dakota Legislature supports reinstatement of Federal horse processing inspection.

    State of South Dakota

    354R0767 SENATE ENGROSSED NO. SCR 4 – 3/2/2010

    Introduced by: Senators Kloucek, Bartling, Bradford, Garnos, and Maher and Representatives Schrempp, Frerichs, Greenfield, Hoffman, Lederman, Nygaard, Olson (Betty), Sorenson, and Verchio

    A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION, Opposing certain federal legislation related to equine slaughter and processing and urging the reinstatement and funding of federal inspection programs governing equine slaughter and processing facilities.

    WHEREAS, the slaughter and processing of horses has become a controversial and contentious issue, which has resulted in the closing of the last horse processing and slaughter facility in the United States; and

    WHEREAS, thousands of unwanted horses annually are exposed to abandonment and neglect because of the cessation of horse slaughter in the United States. These additional abandoned horses compete for adoption with wild horses that are fed and sheltered at public expense. The nation’s overburdened horse rescue facilities cannot absorb the influx of additional unwanted and abandoned horses that result from the cessation of equine slaughter, processing, and transport activity; and

    WHEREAS, pending legislation in Congress, the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act, would further restrict actions related to horse slaughter and horse processing, and would prohibit the
    transport and export of horses outside of the United States for the purpose of slaughter for human consumption. This legislation includes H.R. 503, S. 727, and similar legislation that only exacerbates the problem; and

    WHEREAS, if transport of horses to Mexico and Canada for slaughter and processing for human consumption is prohibited, as the current legislation before Congress proposes, the number of additional abandoned horses in the United States will increase even further; and

    WHEREAS, in 2005, Congress removed funding for USDA inspection programs for horse slaughter and processing intended for human consumption. These funding bans have continued for several years and have effectively prevented the operation of slaughter facilities; and

    WHEREAS, horse processing facilities cannot operate in the United States unless federal inspection for such facilities is funded and reinstated; and

    WHEREAS, there is a critical need for humane horse processing facilities in the United States to reduce the suffering inflicted on unwanted and abandoned horses and to meet overseas export markets for horsemeat in a humane manner:

    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Senate of the Eighty-fifth Legislature of the State of South Dakota, the House of Representatives concurring therein, that the South Dakota Legislature urges the Congress and the United States Department of Agriculture to reinstate and fully fund USDA’s inspection program for equine slaughter and processing facilities; and

    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the South Dakota Legislature urges the Congress to defeat the current Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act, including H.R. 503 and S.727 and related legislation.

    • To what are you referring? I have not been notified of any incoming messages on this post in quite awhile. Please do not rush to conclusion that your posts are being deleted… they cannot be deleted if notification of their posting is not received.

  3. I’m sorry. I thought this was one of Sue Wallis’ spots. Her “Organizations for Horse-Slaughter” sites keep deleting my posts and all I want to do is discuss the issues like adults. I am not a troll and dont drop into places to bash anyone or stir up trouble, but to engage in healthy debate.
    Sorry for my confusion. Meanwhile, while I got you here, did you hear the latest news from abroad?

    Europeans Outraged at Treatment of Americas Slaughter-bound Horses – Talk of International Boycott Abounds;

    Horse Slaughter Bombshell in Belgium and Holland

    Belgian and Dutch consumers were shocked to learn of widespread horse slaughter-related cruelty in North and South America. Undercover video footage aired on three major news programs showed horses designated for slaughter are routinely starved, dehydrated, injured and abused.

    Horse meat is commonly available in Belgium and the Netherlands where consumers are almost completely unaware of the cruelties of horse slaughter. Most believe what suppliers claim on their websites, that the meat on their dinner plate comes from contented, grass-eating, healthy horses. The story begins by asking, “Do they [consumers] really know where it comes from?

    The 8½ minute news segment was produced by GAIA, a respected animal welfare organization from Belgium, with much of the footage provided by Animals’ Angels USA. The dire conditions of horses at slaughter plants, feedlots and markets in Mexico, Brazil and the U.S., have generated talk of boycotts and moratoriums on the import of horse meat from these countries.

    Viewers are told “Cruelty goes hand in hand with incompetence”, as undercover video shows a worker knowingly crushing the lower leg of a live horse as he forces the iron gate of an overcrowded trailer shut.

    An English version of the story is available on youtube:

    Consumers responding on television websites demanded action. “They [importers] told us the meat is of superior quality because the animals live a life of luxury and freedom on green pastures…well cared for with plenty of food. But it’s a horrible lie.”

    On importer Chevideco’s website, horses are said to be treated with respect and to live without stress. An accompanying photograph depicts well-proportioned horses standing knee deep in grass. Importer such as Visser & van Walsum make similar claims.

    Within hours of the story’s broadcast, supermarkets responded with promises to investigate. Delhaize, the second largest retailer in Belgium asked their supplier to remove affected meat from their shelves. Two other major grocers have told consumers they do not import horse meat from outside Europe.

    Fenavian, the Federation of Meat Producers in Belgium, issued a response denying any wrongdoing and offering reassurances that adherence to safety and European Union animal welfare rules were standard practice.

    “However, the evidence is quite overwhelming,” said Sonja Meadows, president of Animals Angels U.S. “Up until recently, officials may have been able to claim that to their knowledge, the animals were treated properly. But now such claims are quite obviously false. Unfortunately we have plenty of documentation to prove that animals caught up in the horse slaughter pipeline are horribly abused.”

    Animals’ Angels’ began focusing efforts on the issue of European consumers’ awareness about horse slaughter in November 2009 after meeting with the European Commission. AA shared with committee members evidence of extreme cruelty uncovered at Mexican horse slaughter plants, U.S. feedlots and government export facilities. AA filed an official complaint with the commission soon after the meeting.

    Last month Gaia asked Animals’ Angels for footage from Mexico and the U.S. to help with a European campaign to publicize the conditions endured by horses in the slaughter pipeline. Gaia had recently finished undercover investigations in South America and had gathered their own ample evidence of brutality.

    Other organizations in the Netherlands and France are also launching consumer awareness campaigns. Most national and regional newspapers have published the story and photographs. Fueled by concerns from both consumers and animal welfare advocates, many more European news outlets are expected to pick up the story.

    “I really doubt I’ll ever eat horse meat again,” said one man. “They may say they fixed the problem, but I’ll never trust them again.”

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