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Guardian’s Wild Horse Meat Story Contains 92% Bull

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Photo: Jennifer Maharry

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Article Review:

Why You Really Should (But Really Can’t) Eat Horse Meat

the Guardian  –  Jan 09, 2015

Michael Moss’ powerful New York Times’ investigation into the United States Department of Agriculture’s Meat Animal Research Center (“U.S. Research Lab Lets Livestock Suffer In Quest For Profit”) predictably outraged readers. The collective angst came not just because of the center’s ghoulish and inept experimentation; not just because the research animals suffered to boost profits in the livestock industry; but because the public learned that taxpayers had footed the bill — and had been doing so — for fifty years.

Compare that discovery to the recent media attention given to a very similar program, one involving even more animals, conducted to boost livestock industry profits, costing even more taxpayer dollars, and degrading millions of acres of public rangelands in the American West: The Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burros Program (WHB).

The news media regularly covers this program. Articles about wild horses appear daily, in fact. So why is the public incensed over the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Meat Animal Research Center while the WHB program goes ignored?

The difference is in the reporting. Coverage of the Meat Animal Research Center (which we review here) was initiated by government whistleblowers within the research facility. An experienced investigative reporter subsequently spent a year researching the claims, largely through Freedom of Information Act requests. Federal and corporate perspectives were handled with appropriate suspicion.

Coverage of the WHB program, on the other hand, is typically sourced almost entirely from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the industries benefiting economically from wild horse roundups: notably, private ranchers holding public grazing permits (though mining and energy development companies profit, too).

If Moss, in his reporting on the Meat Animal Research Center, had turned to the USDA’s web site and livestock producers to ask about doing research to boost industry profits, would anyone ever know about “easy-care sheep” and lambs left to perish in rainstorms courtesy of unknowing taxpayers? Of course not.

But coverage of the WHB program was dominated by those groups making money off it. David Philipps’ New York Times article (“As Wild Horses Overrun the West, Ranchers Fear Land Will Be Gobbled Up,” critiqued here) and Caty Enders’ Guardian piece (“Why You Really Should, But Really Can’t, Eat Horsemeat”) are two cases in point.

Non-industry sources comprise less than 8 percent of the articles’ collective text. The other 92 percent is all industry boilerplate. Enders’ loyalty to the ranchers’ perspective even creeps into her word choices. Notably, she uses rancher lingo to refer to wild horses, calling them “feral.” Her point of view is clear, and it’s 92% bull.

This kind of source bias would be understandable coming from a reporter for a beef industry trade publication. But Enders is a reporter for a major media outlet.

An over-reliance on federal and industry sources is problematic not just for animals, but for the consumers who eat them (and care about their welfare). Enders’ piece notably fails to answer the two questions posed in her own headline: a) why you should eat horse meat, and b) why you can’t.

One reason why you can’t eat horse meat is that some states ban it outright. The larger reason is that Congress passed an amendment banning inspections in horse slaughter plants, preventing them from opening. These facts are well documented in the media, as this January 17, 2014 NPR article exemplifies.

A bipartisan majority supported this amendment because the drugs horses routinely take are banned in food animals. Furthermore, there is no proper system in place to track these drugs, making it impossible to keep tainted horse meat out of the food chain. As a reporter, Enders should have known these facts. And reported them.

Enders’ suggestion that wild horses would be suitable alternatives is equally misinformed. For one thing, wild horses in BLM holding facilities are wormed and vaccinated (therefore not free of drugs banned in meat animals). For another, Congress prohibits the slaughter of wild horses. As a reporter, Enders should have known that, too.

Why did she not? Simple: industry, whom she relied on for her reporting, doesn’t offer this information. The only place you’ll learn about the intricacies of horse slaughter (and wild horse round-ups) is from advocacy groups: the very people Enders and Philipps gave one word of text to for every eleven it handed to ranchers and the BLM.

rapa das bestas photo_Getty_Miguel RiopaAgain, sources matter. Consider, as a final point, the dramatic photo in Enders’ piece showing wild horses fighting, one with its teeth bared and the caption, “Overcrowding on the frontiers of the American west could lead to a depletion of natural resources for wild horses.”

The photo confirms the article’s bias. The problem is that it doesn’t depict wild horses fighting over depleted natural resources in the American West at all. Rather, it was taken in Sabucedo, Spain during a 400-year-old “horse festival” called rapa das bestas, a macabre ritual in which wild horses are driven down from the mountains, wrestled to the ground to have their manes and tails trimmed, and “corralled into a village where they face aloitadores or fighters in this man vs. animal challenge – minus weapons, just bare hands and hooves.”

There’s a reason why complex topics — such as Moss’ investigation into the Meat Animal Research Center and wild horses rounded up by the BLM — require thoughtful digging and reporting. The alternative — an easy reliance on self-interested federal and industry sources — keeps the public in the dark about the inept, incomprehensible and inhumane things that the government is doing with its money. Journalists should not be abetting that corruption. They should be exposing it.

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The only thing Republicans and Democrats can agree on! Lets eat the horses!

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From: billinmissouri  via RTR.org

Horse slaughter plants are legal again in the United States. Restrictions on horse meat processing for human consumption have been lifted.  courtesy of Google Images

In a bipartisan effort, 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. Essentially, one turkey was pardoned in the presence of worldwide media while in the shadows, buried under pages of fiscal regulation, millions of horses were sentenced to death.

Horse slaughter has been prohibited in the United States as funding for inspections of horses in transit and at slaughter houses was non-existent. This worked because the horse meat cannot be sold for human consumption without such inspections. The House version of the bill retained the de-funding language and the Senate version did not. The conference committee charged with reconciling the two opted to not include it. The result is that it is now legal to slaughter horses for humans to eat.

Notwithstanding that 70% of Americans oppose horse slaughter, that President Obama made a campaign promise to permanently ban horse slaughter and exports of horses for human consumption (horses can be sent to Mexico and Canada), that documentation of animal cruelty, slaughterhouse stench, fluid runoff and negative community impact exists, it is taxpayers that will bear the costs!

Wyoming state representative Sue Wallis and her pro-slaughter group estimate that between 120,000 and 200,000 horses will be killed for human consumption per year and that Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Georgia and Missouri, are considering opening slaughter plants.

During these trying times, is the only thing that Democrats and Republicans can agree on is that Americans need to eat horses?

Slaughterhouse Sue’s Big Fat ‘F”arce: Wyoming faces attack of the horse eaters

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By Debbie Coffey Copyright 2010 All Rights Reserved

PPJ Investigative Reporter

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Although Wyoming has at least one ethics law concerning its legislators, nobody seems to have gotten around to enforcing that pesky thing. Sue Wallis (“Slaughterhouse Sue”) hasn’t even bothered with a revolving door – she has just parked her butt in two different chairs at the same time – as a Wyoming State Representative (R) and also as the Executive Director of a trade/lobbying “mutual benefit corporation” called United Organizations of the Horse (UOH). UOH states it is concerned with “excess” and “unwanted horses” and claims that’s the reason it’s pushing so hard to reinstate horse slaughterhouses in the United States.
What they’re really pushing for is using horse meat for food. The UOH has an “Equine Assurance Program” which is supposedly about horse meat food safety.
A big problem with UOH’s “excess” and “unwanted” horse drivel is that UOH has taken financial contributions from the Biotechnology Industry Organization (www.bio.org). This is the huge, big bucks, powerful lobbying arm of animal cloning companies including ViaGen (which is actively cloning horses – genetic engineering companies including Monsanto, and pharmaceutical and chemical companies.

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Montana: Butcher Plans on Marketing Horse BLOOD

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Live link:  Straight from the Horses Heart   Tell a Friend 

“In my humble opinion” by R.T. FitchAuthor of “Straight from the Horse’s Heart

Butcher Plans on Marketing Horse BLOOD

HOUSTON – (SFTHH)  One needs to have a lot of pity on the family of retiring Montana Rep. “Red” Ed Butcher; you know that they have to cringe each time he steps before a microphone, picks up a phone or opens his mouth in general.  There is just no way that this man’s lips can part without him sticking his foot clear up his mouth until his eyes bulge out; it’s got to be painful for those who are related to him, at least just a little bit.

Butcher continues to defy public opinion, scientific fact, good business practices, common sense and simple human dignity by continuing to shove a bloody horse slaughter plant down the throats of the good folks of Montana.  Butcher brought his communist Chinese buddies out to Hardin  Mt., earlier this year, in an effort to swindle them into opening a horse slaughter plant in Hardin’s old sugar beet factory.  The Chinese wanted nothing to do with it and Hardin modified their town’s zoning to ensure that it would not happen.

In a recent interview with the Billings Gazette reporter, Ed Kemmick, Butcher quipped:

“We don’t need Hardin.  They need us a lot more than we need them.”

Butcher said, he and his Chinese investor buddies decided the location “wasn’t really what we wanted.” He said the main problems were that the sugar plant is too close to town and to the interstate highway.

Ok, genius, why did you bring the Chinese horse eaters all the way over there in the first place, for some sort of vacation or what?  Didn’t you do your due diligence and scope out the place in the first place, let alone realize that there is no market for horse meat?  Like, Duhhhh  READ MORE

She loves to kill and eat horses! “Slaughterhouse” Sue Wallis

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live link: Straight from the horses heart

New Tourist Attraction: Horse Meat in Wyoming

By JOAN BARRON – of Trib.com Commentary/Opinion by R.T. Fitch

Rep. “Slaughterhouse” Sue Wallis – a Career Dedicated to Killing and Eating Horses

“It’s been several months since we have heard anything out of the Wyoming Representative whose entire life has been centered around killing and eating horses, Sue Wallis.  An embarrassment to her state, she continues to flail away at the premise that killing horses for human consumption is a good and wonderful thing.  Between setting up a bogus non-profit organization that violates federal and state laws to accusing dozens and dozens of well known American celebrities of taking bribes on the issue,the out of control elected official continues to generate lies and propeganda on the issue of excess horses which her partner in crime, Dave Douquette produces.

Yesterday, information was uncovered on her plans to build a slaughter house that would kill healthy horses and supply their tainted meat to pets and today she still contends that horse meat is safe for human consumption which is in direct conflict with known science and international government assertions.  In the normal world they would put someone like this away; in the fantasy world of “Slaughterhouse” Sue Wallis she continues to spout bloody lies and attempts to covertly subvert the opinions of decent Amercicans with her bogus organization. More

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