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USA Allows Horses for Human Consumption

Well, it had to happen eventually:

....the House of Representatives and the United States Senate approved the Conference Committee report on spending bill H2112, which among other things, funds the United States Department of Agriculture. On November 18th, as the country was celebrating Thanksgiving, President Obama signed a law, allowing Americans to kill and eat horses.( http://technorati.com/lifestyle/artic...) ...

So where and when can we line up to buy some????

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  1. What a disgustingly slanted article. And OP.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Stelmaria

      I agree. Horsemeat SHOULD be available for consumption.
      I'm surprised it wasn't legalized sooner.
      I really don't see why some people get their undies up in a bunch over the idea. They have no problems killing pigs, cows, chickens, rabbits, geese, ducks...and the list goes on...and yet they feel that eating horsemeat is somehow immoral or gross.
      Ridiculous (and stupid, if you ask me).

      1. re: The Professor

        Horses are going to be slaughtered here, but not approved for human consumption in the U.S. Domestic horses are fed de-wormers and other meds that would never pass the the bar for human consumption.

        1. re: pikawicca

          Further, reprobate diners may steer away from traditional cash gratuities, and substitute "Lucky Boy in the third at Pimlico" as their tip.

          1. re: Veggo

            Friend, horses have played such a major, positive role in my life that I just can't joke about their slaughter for food. For me, it would be the equivalent of eating a cat or dog. (Plus, knowing the drugs I've given them, I wouldn't ever eat them.)

              1. re: pikawicca

                I guess it's quite subjective. I own four cats and a dog, all of who I love deeply, but I must profess an extreme interest in trying properly prepared dog and hope for the opportunity.

                1. re: vorpal

                  Koreans like 'em. I wouldn't eat it, but doesn't give me the right to judge. All around the wold one man's pet is another person's dinner depending on the country and cuisine.

          1. Fantastic! Where can I get me some horse meat?

            1. Finally. a good use for all the feral horses they remove from the public lands... There's a lot of good meat on a horse.

              10 Replies
              1. re: NVJims

                Are wild horses destructive? Why are they removed?

                1. re: babette feasts

                  BLM "removes" them, because they compete for forage on land it leases to ranchers who graze traditional feedstock animals.

                  1. re: babette feasts

                    They are highly destructive--They hammer the riparian areas. All the watercress that I planned on for salads on my last camping trip had been trampled into the mud... This was in an area where there are no cattle.

                  2. re: NVJims

                    Feral horses may not be killed. Very few are adopted, less so now with hard times and high feed prices. It is costing taxpayers millions of dollars to "store" them.

                    http://www.slvjunction.com/index.php?...

                    Very good information here:

                    http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/news...

                    1. re: justicenow

                      outside of the talk of horsemeat and comment on BLM practices, horses are not indigenous to the US and the feral ones esp on the coast do stress the land in ways for which evolution hadn't been prepared (yet)

                      it's hard to justify their presence no matter how beautiful they are.

                    2. re: NVJims

                      <Finally, a good use for all the feral horses they remove from the public lands....>

                      What should we do about the people who let their horses go, and they became feral, because they couldn't take care of them any longer?

                      1. re: latindancer

                        The wild mustangs of the west are not domesticated horses recently turned loose. They have been wild for generations. (I'm sure there are a very few exceptions).

                        1. re: John E.

                          Ahh, you are VERY wrong. All the horses out there would pass genetic tests for relation to the horse stock of the local ranchers who turned loose horses and didn't gather them all back. There are usually several horses that show up in the gathers that are freshly released--some even have brands/tattoos that allow them to be returned. I'm tired of the city folks/easterners who don't live out here with the horses making these false statements. Those horses are good to eat.

                          1. re: NVJims

                            If you don't mind consuming Bute and various other drugs.

                            1. re: NVJims

                              "Several" horses out of how many? (That's a rhetorical question). I never claimed that the mustangs were genetically pure going back to the conquistadors.

                      2. Any ideas who will be eating the 120-200k horses a year predicted in the link? Are there that many people hankering for horse steak, or would it more likely be used as filler with other meats? I imagine restaurants serving horse could face controversy.

                        A few hundred thousand might sound like a lot, but not next to 30+ million head of cattle and BILLIONS of chickens slaughtered in the US every year.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: babette feasts

                          I think you nailed it with filler. or any product that is consumed without much question.

                          1. re: babette feasts

                            My vote would be to send it to prisons, at least it would not be cruel and unusual like soy.

                            1. re: babette feasts

                              Before the last three remaining horse slaughtering plants were closed almost 100% of processed horsemeat was frozen and shipped to Europe. The blog to which the OP provided the link (it's a blog, so it's is supposed to be biased) said that 70% of Americans are opposed to horse slaughter for human consumption. I believe that number to be accurate although I also believe those that feel that way are simply uninformed.

                              I do not know why, but while I am not opposed to horses being slaughtered for human consumption, I do not feel compelled to go out of my way to eat it.

                              1. re: babette feasts

                                If the price is right I'll eat more than my fair share. Meat is meat and horse tastes better than most.

                              2. How many of you have actually eaten horsemeat? I did not find it particularly tasty.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: bushwickgirl

                                  I had horse skirt steak (& horse meat in general) for the first time a few months ago in Quebec City. It was frigging delicious. Certainly tastier than beef skirt steak.

                                  1. re: bushwickgirl

                                    I only tried it once, when my son brought some horse meat home from Montreal. I grilled it, and even though I overcooked it, it was delicious...really rich and sweet.

                                    1. re: bushwickgirl

                                      I had thin raw slices of horsemeat which were cooked quickly in a hot pot preparation. They were lighter in color and more tender than beef but tasted pretty similar.

                                    2. The key aspect to this much needed bill is that horses can again be slaughtered in this country.
                                      I am sorry if this is unpleasant for some to read, but please know that I have loved and owned horses.
                                      Having slaughter plants available is actually good for reducing horse suffering. It is a sad truth that way too many horses suffer starvation at home or even worse are turned lose on public land when they get old, not able to breed or ride, or too expensive to feed. Horse hay has gone up in price and economic hardship is forcing folks to make hard choices about their animals.
                                      It is easy find owners are willing to give away horses they can no longer afford. Slaughter plants provide a value of $300 to 500 for old horses. Horses turned out or starved suffer horrible deaths. The vast majority of horse meat was shipped out of country for human use or to animal feed plants.

                                      10 Replies
                                      1. re: justicenow

                                        it is my understanding horses kept as "pets" are not fit for human or animal consumption due to various vaccinations, etc.
                                        i believe zoos even refuse domesticated horsemeat for this reason.
                                        can anyone shed any light on this?

                                        1. re: linus

                                          Before the ban was put in effect, there was always a group of slaughter house buyers at horse auctions. They provided a "floor" price of say $400 so it did keep horses from being abandoned to suffer a slow death. Horses turned out on public land starve to death, or get weak enough that coyotes get to them. They are not able to live on the range like wild horses.
                                          I would also like to know about the vaccination issue.

                                          1. re: justicenow

                                            there are still kill buyers at auctions, as well as those who buy horses privately (like off craigslist). They then sell & ship to Mexico or Canada. Conditions are often deplorable. In-country slaughterhouses may mean more humane treatment. Doesn't mean I like it, but I can see the point of view.

                                            As far at the pet/vaccine issue - horses sent to slaughter are horses who have been used for showing, racing, breeding, pleasure riding, and companionship. There are many medications, vaccines, and supplements given to these horses. Safe for human consumption? Who knows. I do know that the fly sprays, wormers, and supplements that my horse is exposed to have warnings against human consumption. Even the manure of horses treated with these things can be discouraged from use as compost for crops. While I have no desire to eat horse any more than dog or cat (MY OPINION ONLY), I certainly would want to know how the horse was raised & with what chemicals before it appeared on my plate.

                                          2. re: linus

                                            As a horse owner & breeder, I obviously will not be eating horsemeat any more than I'd want to eat cat or dog meat. From what I understand, horses that have been vaccinated are not turned away from human consumption slaughter, but horses that have been treated with antibiotics, painkillers (Bute, Banamine, etc.), & worming products are.

                                            And for those of you hankering to buy horsemeat in the U.S., you'll most likely have a VERY long wait (if not forever), as not only has a proper U.S. inspections system ever been implemented for U.S. consumption, but many states forbid the sale of horsemeat for human consumption. As of now, if plants begin opening, all meat will - as before - be shipped overseas.

                                            1. re: Breezychow

                                              Beef cattle are given antibiotics. Dairy cattle are given antibiotics and growth hormones so they give more milk. When a cow's milk production falls off she is then sent to slaughter. Unless 'organic' beef is purchased you can bet these products have been given to the animals that become your beef at home.

                                              1. re: John E.

                                                As Breezychow and other posters above have pointed out, horses that have been given de-worming chemicals and certain painkillers are also not legal to slaughter in the U.S. for human consumption. It's possible that the levels or kinds of antibiotics used for horses differ from those given to cattle, as well.

                                                1. re: ellabee

                                                  i don't believe I claimed anything contrary to what you just posted.

                                                2. re: John E.

                                                  John E. - the products used for both dairy & beef cattle are COMPLETELY different from those used for horses. U.S. Medical products specifically developed for horses have never taken into consideration that the horses might end up on the table. There's a BIG BIG difference.

                                                  1. re: Breezychow

                                                    I never made any claim to the contrary. Both you and ella need to re-read my post and ONLY read the words I posted and not insert words or ideas that are not there. (I never mentioned horses).

                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                      Not sure what the argument is -- you're both stating true facts.

                                                      Yes, beef cattle are treated with hormones and antibiotics. So are horses.

                                                      And yes, the hormones and antibiotics injected into the beef are completely different than the hormones and antibiotics injected into horses.

                                          3. so where can i get my hands on some?

                                            1. I wonder how it tastes...is it leaner than beef?

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: Monica

                                                I bet it would taste good with some "horse"radish... :-)~

                                                1. re: Monica

                                                  Had a 'horse' steak at a bistro-brasserrie in Paris a couple of years ago; it was very tasty.
                                                  I had some issues with ordering, as did the 'horse-whisperer' thing as a teen and took riding lessons - I felt that horses were far more intelligent/sensitive than many mamals we kill for eating.

                                                  Howver, after some good table conversation, I realized that if the horse was older, and was going to be put out some way, just as a loved family sheep or goat (who can seem pretty sensitive and aware, even if a bit stupid -compared to a horse especially), why not eat the resulting meat if the animal is going to be killed anyway?

                                                  There is a significant history in France for eating horse, and indeed in the US during WWII, due to meat shortagages, and there are those who developed a taste for it.

                                                  I don't think it is any more wrong than eating anything - based on cultural mores, the trail of tears to the slaughter and serving; if these are ethical and thought about - even dog and cat are fine for certain cultures...

                                                  I am not saying in the US you would eat dog or cat; we revere them as friends and house pets, but in some countries, they are wild and ferral, and a good protien source for local folks that have that as a common meat.

                                                  Our western view is NOT the world's view - just our's, people. Realize that things change often depending on a countries GDP, latitude, longtitude, and ruler.

                                                2. I look forward to a significant reduction in McNugget prices.

                                                  1. I had horsemeat back in the day (1970s maybe?) when beef prices went through the roof. Housewives like my mom bought ground horsemeat as a hamburger substitute. I was not impressed with the flavor, bland.

                                                    But that's beside the point. I have no issue with people eating horsemeat if they want to.

                                                    I do have MAJOR concerns that horsemeat, which will likely be cheaper than beef, will be substituted for beef willy nilly on unsuspecting consumers. In the past few years there have been exposes about stores and restaurants that substitute cheap fish for more expensive ones.

                                                    I do not want to eat horsemeat. It is a personal preference. I want a Philly Cheesesteak, not a Filly Cheesesteak.

                                                    Caveat emptor.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                      being from the land that currently processes USA horses for the export market, it remains quite difficult to actually buy horsemeat at your local butcher or grocery store. It is not a product that is generally sold next to beef, except in very specialized butcher shops. And the meat inspectors are quite diligent in ensuring identification of the product is enforced. But who knows how it will be managed in the US, as the regulators are just ramping themselves up to handle the volume.

                                                      As @Trish said, "caveat emptor"

                                                      1. re: JohnnyGe

                                                        "But who knows how it will be managed in the US..."

                                                        You said it all Johnny.

                                                    2. HR2112 also as the 'pizza' claus

                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/818405

                                                      The only explicit mention of 'horse' in HR2112 is
                                                      " of which $696,000
                                                      shall be for activities under the authority of the Horse Protection
                                                      Act of 1970, as amended (15 U.S.C. 1831)"
                                                      http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-11...

                                                      1. Why stop at horses? Maybe we should include homeless and unwanted cats and dogs. I'm sure there's an export market somewhere.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: emily

                                                          Indeed. It takes all kinds of critters to make Farmer Vincent's fritters.

                                                          1. re: Naco

                                                            HA! I can't help but think of that line whenever I eat a sausage.

                                                            (from the movie Motel Hell, for those that don't know. Unsuspecting visitors to a motel are kidnapped, fattened up and made into sausage)

                                                          2. re: emily

                                                            Huh? I think you have seen Soylent Green one too many times.

                                                          3. http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.a...
                                                            may give a better description of what happened.

                                                            The House version of HR2112 had a provision "prohibiting the use of federal dollars to fund USDA horsemeat inspections" The Senate version did not have this provision. The reconciled version that became law a few weeks also does not have this provision.

                                                            So HR 2112 has not changed anything, it just does not have a provision that some anti-horse consumption activists wanted. I'd be leery of any article that implies that horse steaks will be appearing in your grocery soon.

                                                            A 'American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act.' has been introduced in to both houses. This would prohibit the transportation of horses for slaughter (e.g to Canada or Mexico).

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: paulj

                                                              that was my impression -- that it didn't make it specifically legal -- just that it's no longer specifically ILlegal.

                                                              Much ado about nothing, IMO -- I was served horse unbeknownst to me and didn't like it -- even before I knew what it was.

                                                              It's commonly available in supermarkets in Europe, yet I know not a single person who eats it. (Obviously someone does, and my circle of knowledge is certainly not all-inclusive, but one would think that you'd find *someone* in a given group who will eat a given food.)

                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                It is a much ado about nothing as far as horse meat appearing in American grocery stores. It is a big deal to the operations that can now slaughter and process horse meat for export.

                                                              2. re: paulj

                                                                The provision in the original House HR2112 version, which did not make it into the final version is:

                                                                SEC. 739. None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to pay the salaries or expenses of personnel to—

                                                                (1) inspect horses under section 3 of the Federal Meat Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 603);

                                                                (2) inspect horses under section 903 of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of
                                                                15 1996 (7 U.S.C. 1901 note; Public Law 104–127); or

                                                                (3) implement or enforce section 352.19 of title 9, Code of Federal Regulations

                                                                Apparently there has been language like this in several of the previous year's appropriations bills.

                                                                Thomas Register (http://thomas.loc.gov/ ) is best place to find details like this.

                                                              3. This needs to be used on an episode of Iron Chef America or Top Chef, pronto.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: FoodPopulist

                                                                  There was a feature by Janet Street-Porter on Gordon Ramsay's F-Word a couple of years ago where she was promoting horsemeat consumption. She handed out horsemeat burgers at Cheltenham racecourse (!) until the racetrack management stepped in and asked her to leave. Predictably she was pushing it as a low-calorie diet-friendly alternative to beef.

                                                                  1. re: ratgirlagogo

                                                                    Yes - I saw that episode too.

                                                                    The difference? The horses that Janet Street-Porter's meat samples came from were SPECIFICALLY bred for the meat market. Just like beef. The horses haven't been injected with meds or fed supplements that can be harmful to humans.

                                                                    Again - I breed & raise horses, but I'm not against this so long as it's done in a humane fashion, & currently - it's NOT. It's just the usual slipshod stupid-ass people trying to make a quick buck, & frankly, inspections or not, that's what it's going to continue to be. I don't believe for a nanosecond that inspectors are going to run blood tests on EVERY horse going into a slaughter plant to be sure that it's not riddled with medication.

                                                                2. I find it funny that two of my chef friends on facebook posted totally opposite reactions in response to this. Both will eagerly cook and serve veal, foie gras, rabbit, young chicken, etc. One posted "yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" then lamented that it still wouldn't be legal in California, so he would be out of luck. The other posted links to what appeared to be a vegetarian animal rights blog and a petition calling to reinstate the ban. I was very surprised by the second chef, but I guess it just goes to show how emotional and irrational people get about animals.

                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                  1. re: babette feasts

                                                                    Some people in India don't eat cows, some Jews don't eat pork. Americans don't eat cats or dogs. People have a right to their own beliefs, be they based on religion or personal preferences.

                                                                    1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                      Yes...did I suggest I believed otherwise? I just found it surprising where one chef friend draws the line, while the other may well have no limits on what he would cook. I find it strange to make your living from cooking animals, including baby animals, cute fuzzy animals, and controversially force-fed animals, but then to be passionately against cooking one particular species because humans tend to form emotional bonds with it.

                                                                      1. re: babette feasts

                                                                        Babette, I was actually agreeing with you. When it comes to eating animals, people are all over the board on this one.

                                                                        1. re: TrishUntrapped

                                                                          It's simple...love the ones you eat, but don't eat the ones you love.

                                                                    2. I live in Canada and read this thread with amusement. Horsemeat is available at all grocery chains here and society as we know it did not fall apart. I have no fears of somebody secretly switching horse for beef either.

                                                                      Nemo saltat sobrius

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: porker

                                                                        if you've ever seen or tasted them side-by-side, you'd know that it would be difficult indeed to swap them out without someone twigging on to it.

                                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                                          Like the Folger's coffee commercials of yore, I remember it being done in the 1970s when the price of beef was sky high. You'd eat a meatball and someone would laugh and say bet you never guessed you just ate horsemeat. Not saying it will happen again, but it did happen back in the day. It was marketed as a cheaper beef substitute.

                                                                        2. re: porker

                                                                          Depends on where you live in Canada, I think. I've never, ever seen it at my local grocery stores and I've lived in major and minor cities from coast to coast. Maybe in Quebec its available freely, but I certainly have never seen it at my local grocery stores...

                                                                        3. Horse meat is to beef as veal is to venison. Each a different protein that you may or may not like. And would it surpise anybody here that where the cut of meat comes from the carcass makes a huge difference in flavor, texture, and tenderness. Not to mention cooking technique.

                                                                          My mother was pleasantly surprised to see horsemeat for sale in France. The family ate lots of it during World War 2 as it did not require ration points. She enjoyed it.

                                                                          Economics and cultural mores dictate what is and is not acceptable. In Polynesia, a certain breed of dog and a rat were butchered as meat. And taken along on the diaspora. Remember when sushi was thought of as a waste of fishing bait. Grass fed beef was the cheapest in the case. And dolphin free tuna just did not taste the same.

                                                                          I can't remember the source of this statement (Shakespeare?) " Pardon him Caeser, for he is a barbarian chieftan, and thinks his ways should be the ways of the world."

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                            1. Check the new Rome Layover episode for some horse meat and commentary.

                                                                              1. LA Times piece on the abandonment of horses and slaughterhouses:
                                                                                http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-...

                                                                                1. I think the whole issue I have with horse meat starts with the slaughter process and the transport of these animals. The "cattle liners" that transport them to the plants are setup for cattle. There is not enough head room for horses to be able to stand properly. The horses head acts as a counterbalance and as they travel if they can't move their heads properly they lose their balance, sometimes knocking eyes out, gashing heads some falling and getting trampled, mares aborting...all the bad stuff and they're not even there yet. The slaughter process is also setup for cattle and as a result horses suffer horribly. The kill chute is too large to hold a horse securely for a clean stun. All Canadian slaughter houses have all been cited for infractions on horse slaughter, with some of the worse in Quebec. One undercover video showed a bolt gun operator trying to stun a horse and taking more than 10 shots to do it. The same facility had more signs of an incomplete kills than others. eg. horses sitting up, trying to get up, running motions. Some were still showing signs of life as they were having their hocks cut off. This is where it becomes abuse and cruelty. Horses that are to be slaughtered as all animals with this fate, deserved to be treated fairly and with some dignity and as stress free as possible. We are supposed to be somewhat cultured and yet some things just go by the wayside. I'm not saying that these things only happen to horses, all I'm saying is that these slaughter houses are not setup for horses and the chances of a bad kill are proportionately greater. For those who want to know...I've worked in both the cattle industry and the horse industry and when the time came to deal with our older or badly injured working horses, they were put down on the ground they were raised on not shipped off somewhere terrified. Also it's been mentioned in earlier posts about the vaccines and Bute in horses...papers get filled out and signed as when they were last treated...most times someone lies...Bute is also an anti coagulant with properties similar to Aspirin and is the most commonly used painkiller for horses..it stays in them and builds up, watch out for unexplained bruising.

                                                                                  Hmmm.. what else..oh yeah I saw a post earlier too saying that horses are not indigenous to North America... recent studies by the American Museum of Natural History in particular Dr Ross McPhee have found out through scientific DNA research that horses as we know them today, evolved in North America and the reintroduction of the horse by the Spanish ( Columbus) was a non event...all they were doing was returning to past grazing lands. The BLM has been made aware of these findings and may be changing how they deal with the Spanish Mustangs. Check out his articles they are available to the public. Also the slaughterhouse undercover videos are available on Youtube. Check them out... and you'll see what I mean.

                                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: rustyc

                                                                                    I would be interested in seeing your source about horses evolving in North America. I always thought horses were indigenous to the Eurasian Steppes.

                                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                                      A good overview is here: http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/Maga...

                                                                                      I don't agree that "reintroduction of the horse by the Spanish ( Columbus) was a non event".

                                                                                      Horse (perde vleis back home) tastes quite good -- I encourage hounds to try it.

                                                                                      1. re: drongo

                                                                                        culturally I agree with you it was a major event...ecologically no..it's in the article.

                                                                                      2. re: John E.

                                                                                        There were Pleistocene horses in North America, but they have been extinct for thousands of years. Domesticated horses are not their descendants.
                                                                                        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/artic...

                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                          http://www.amnh.org/science/bios/bio....

                                                                                          This is the scientist/curator from the American Museum who wrote the article.

                                                                                          1. re: rustyc

                                                                                            if you wish to contact him re: this topic here is his contact info:

                                                                                            Ross MacPhee, PhD
                                                                                            Curator
                                                                                            Division of Vertebrate Zoology
                                                                                            American Museum of Natural History
                                                                                            New York NY 10024
                                                                                            macphee@amnh.org

                                                                                            1. re: rustyc

                                                                                              Finally... Canada is no longer allowing import of US horses for slaughter. All this due to the European Union outlawing the import of horse-meat for human consumption. Recent studies have found high concentrations of carcinogenic chemicals like BUTE.

                                                                                              http://rtfitchauthor.com/2012/10/12/c...

                                                                                    2. We humans eat millions of dogs a year. I used to eat horse meat when living in France. Virtually every butcher shop had 'quarters' hanging in the window. Excellent meat when braised properly.

                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Puffin3

                                                                                        France and a number of E.U. countries are now having second thoughts about the safety of horse meat from the Canada and Mexico re: wormers, painkillers AB's etc. that are used in horses. Bute a well known and extensively used painkiller is a known carcinogenic. So eat it if you must...and take your chances. Since my last post horse slaughter has been re-instated.

                                                                                        1. re: rustyc

                                                                                          Before they were closed, the horse meat processors would process wild horses that were captured because they were damaging federal lands in the western U.S. A number of those horses were adopted as well. I'm not sure if those kinds of round-ups are still occurring.

                                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                                            The roundups are continuing John at an alarming rate... and I'm sure that some folks will argue this here...BUT they (as in the BLM) are managing them to extinction. Foals separated from family units..horses run to death with helicopters...mares aborting...it's all still happening!
                                                                                            There are now more horses in the BLM's holding pens then there are in the wild! Thousands... and the cost of keeping them there is astronomical. The horses have been removed to provide grazing for cattle. Large corporations have recently gotten into the cattle business and the horses have lost out. If they keep selling this land to big business, then of course horses have to be removed because the land isn't able to support the population.

                                                                                            1. re: rustyc

                                                                                              The BLM and other agencies are NOT managing them to extinction--they are not endangered or even threatened... They are not even getting them down to levels that does not destroy the land. They are good to eat, no chemicals, etc. The corporations are not buying the land, they are abusing their permits to use the public land. I would love to be able to legally harvest a horse for meat, They are feral animals just like free running dog packs in your suburbs.

                                                                                              1. re: NVJims

                                                                                                Alrighty... I'm not going to get into a pi--ing contest, really what's the sense since physical approaches are not possible. So all I can do is present the facts as I know them.

                                                                                                First off: http://www.holysmoke.org/sdhok/landsa... shows that public lands are for sale.
                                                                                                And this one pretty much explains the rest: http://www.animalrescueunit.com/wildh...

                                                                                                but then again this one is a little biased..how ever I'm sure they haven't pulled their information out of the air. Horses and cattle have always competed for grazing and horses not being raised for food, lose out.

                                                                                                Now are as far as the mustangs being feral...here's an email you can contact Dr. Ross MacPhee from the AMNH in New York ( after the storm) and tell him that all his research and all his DNA testing...hell even his degree is worthless because you know better. Their reputation is based on what they publish about their work.

                                                                                                Ross MacPhee, PhD
                                                                                                Curator
                                                                                                Division of Vertebrate Zoology
                                                                                                American Museum of Natural History
                                                                                                New York NY 10024
                                                                                                macphee@amnh.org

                                                                                                I got into this whole conversation saying that the biggest issue I have with horsemeat is... the slaughter process and the amount of chemicals in the actual animal. The system is set-up for cows not taller horses.

                                                                                                1. re: NVJims

                                                                                                  BLM wild horse program
                                                                                                  http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/whbp...

                                                                                                  Their myths & facts page
                                                                                                  http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/whbp...

                                                                                                  http://www.wildhoofbeats.com/news/wil...
                                                                                                  MacPhee acknowledges that the current population is derived from European stock. He does regard them as native in the specific sense that horses evolved in North America, even though there have been extinct here for the last 10K years. In a sense, they are both native and feral. BLM notes that there is a specific congressional act that governs the management of horses and burros.

                                                                                                  1. re: NVJims

                                                                                                    And I would add,no more native than starlings,pheasant or the red fox

                                                                                                  2. re: rustyc

                                                                                                    You would need to provide me a link to provide details of what you are claiming in your post. I don't know enough about the subject to claim you are wrong but I am inclined to believe what NVJims wrote in his post. I do know that the federal lands are not being sold to big corporations. I also know that the wild mustangs on federal lands are not native. I remember writing on another thread that I have no desire to eat horse meat but I don't care of others do.

                                                                                                      1. re: rustyc

                                                                                                        Ok, I can see you are really invested in this topic. I am not. If the horses are destroying habitat, which I am inclined to believe, they should be rounded up. If nobody wishes to adopt them, then they should be slaughtered for their meat, whether it is consumed by people or made into dog food does not bother me in the least. I just got back from deer hunting. If you think killing horses for their meat is different from killing deer (or beef, swine, poultry, etc.) then tell that to the other animals being slaughtered and processed to feed people.

                                                                                            2. http://udel.edu/~kniel/VirtualFarm/Te...

                                                                                              Here's a good link for those that figure they still want to try horsemeat. Ahh... but then again those academic types are nothin' but a bunch of alarmists anyway, right.. right??.

                                                                                              23 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: rustyc

                                                                                                Virtually all veterinary medicines are labled 'not for human consumption' even if they are the same thing that we use.... The feral horses (aka mustangs, 'wild' horses) are grass fed organic...
                                                                                                I guess spending 20 days in the last year out on the range in areas that there is no cattle grazing and seeing the damage first hand and working with the biologists doesn't mean as much as being a museum curator...

                                                                                                1. re: NVJims

                                                                                                  I would think that feral horses would be the equivalent of wild game, which is illegal to sell. You can go out and shoot deer, boar, etc for your own consumption, and you can give it away, but you can't sell the meat of wild birds or mammals.

                                                                                                  1. re: EricMM

                                                                                                    Once again, horse meat, wild or domestic is not legally for sale in the U.S.

                                                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                                                        This story is nearly a year old. I looked up the relevant bill, and tried to summarize above. Note that it all revolves around the funding, or not, of inspectors for slaughter house operations.
                                                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8204...

                                                                                                        Has there been any change? Any new bill regarding horses? There was, for example, a 'American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act.' in both houses. Did this get out of committee or get voted on?

                                                                                                        How wild horses are managed is quite another matter.

                                                                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                                                                          I just looked up the status of 'American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act'. In both the house and senate the bill has been languishing in committees. It appears doubtful that either bill will go anywhere anytime soon (even with a new congress).

                                                                                                        2. re: John E.

                                                                                                          I have a better idea: why don't you provide us with the name of one restaurant or supermarket in the U.S. where one can purchase horse meat.

                                                                                                          1. re: pikawicca

                                                                                                            Why? I don't eat horse meat but I do not care if others do. By the way, it appears the law was changed so that it is not illegal to sell or eat horse meat in the U.S. There still are not any big slaughtering operations that I know of but if there is a market for horse meat and there is a way to make money with it someone will restart horse slaughtering operations.

                                                                                                  2. re: rustyc

                                                                                                    Why do you assume those not opposed to the slaughter of horses are opposed to their consumption by people?

                                                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                                                      I the reason is because of two things... number one... the system is set up for cows as I 've said before, you don't believe me check out the websites...it's plain cruel when horses are slaughtered using facilities set up for cows period. Number 2 is the domestic meat is toxic..how do you know you're getting a animal that has been raised in the wild. The kill buyers LIE. If you enjoy inflicting pain on animals and being cruel... then there is something WRONG with you. If you wanna do yourself in from eating toxic meat then fly at 'er.

                                                                                                      1. re: rustyc

                                                                                                        Where are horses being slaughtered in a facility set up for cows (sic)? There are a lot of wild horses that could be slaughtered that have not been inoculated with anything. I am certainly not in favor of inflicting pain on animals and being cruel. Do you eat meat?

                                                                                                        1. re: John E.

                                                                                                          Okay...slaughter houses are set up for COWS and smaller animals check it out on youtube..if you dare you'll see what I mean. YES of course I eat meat... the kill procedure is quick and clean BECAUSE it's set up for COWS I've been in the horse and cattle business for years check my previous posts I TOLD you this before. There is very few slaughter houses set up to handle horses. Undercover videos have been accessed by vets. determined the horses were suffering unless of course you know better than they do or at least your other buddy probably does.. Some had their hocks cut off while still aware. READ my previous posts about this procedure.

                                                                                                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ci4Jiw...
                                                                                                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyF3Ic...

                                                                                                            1. re: rustyc

                                                                                                              There are no horse slaughtering operations in the United States. If you have been in the cattle business, why do you refer to the beef animals being slaughtered as 'cows' when most of them are actually steers? Sure, old cows that are no longer efficient milk producers are sent to slaughter, but that's not really the nomenclature.

                                                                                                              My other buddy? What does that mean?

                                                                                                              1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                splittin' hairs now are ya...I didn't say there was any in the U.S., location wasn't the issue. I and if you know any better than me about the slaughter process, as you obviously feel you do, then I'm waisting my time. It's too bad you're not able to face facts.

                                                                                                                The facts are all there... and I'm outta here.

                                                                                                                1. re: rustyc

                                                                                                                  Splitting hairs? This entire thread is about allowing horses to be slaughtered in the U.S. for human consumption. Please provide a link to a reputable source that shows the location of a plant that is slaughtering horses for human consumption in the U.S. If you cannot do so, you are wasting everybody's time.

                                                                                                                2. re: John E.

                                                                                                                  Beef in the US isn't steers by a landslide.Big herds,replacement cows are preg tested in the fall,all barren cows leave with weanling steers,heifers and spays to the feed lots.

                                                                                                                  If there is any for "human" consumption USDA processor of horse meat it's well hidden

                                                                                                                  1. re: lcool

                                                                                                                    Of course cows are slaughtered, just like I said. But the vast majority of 'beef' cattle raised for slaughter is in fact steers. The heifers are kept for breeding.

                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                      kept for breeding........you only need 6%-12% of a 50/50 birthrate for herd replacement

                                                                                                                      Your use of "vast majority" is ? perhaps problematic for me,taking it to mean more than 65%.Not so.
                                                                                                                      1,000 breeding age head plus 1,000 weanlings = 2,000 ,I'll leave out bulls NOW,November 550 weanling steersM,450 weanling heifersF
                                                                                                                      10%,100 barrenF + 300-350 weanling heifers + 550 weanling steers sold to cattle buyers,feed lot folks ,now that's 400-450 F and 550 M ,male not a "vast majority" to me.
                                                                                                                      These numbers are using our worst f/m birthrate year in the past 10 and largest % kept for herd replacement in the past 10 and the barren number of 10% is an average.So most years it would be 475f & 525-550m off to the table.A difference yes,but "vast majority" no.With herd thinning at the current rate in many states it's closer to 50/50 f/m
                                                                                                                      Spaying is big business because of the high female number,not every operation can manage m/f separately/effectively.

                                                                                                              2. re: John E.

                                                                                                                Isn't it illegal to sell wild game? Just as wild deer, elk, etc cannot be sold (only their farm raised equivalents) I would think that wild horses would be illegal to sell as food, regardless of their status as horses.

                                                                                                                1. re: EricMM

                                                                                                                  That is exactly the paradox covered in recent rule changes.

                                                                                                                  1. re: EricMM

                                                                                                                    I don't know if it would be illegal to sell wild horse meat or not. There are no plants or inspectors yet as far as I know so it's a moot point. Even if there were horse slaughtering plants in the U.S. I am sure 99% or more of the meat would be exported.

                                                                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                      The way it's written any USDA processor can handle it just like deer etc and I have doubts about any little guy putting his neck in that noose.
                                                                                                                      Like you I think "99% or more" for export is spot on,it was the working number back in the day.