Currently, there are no horse slaughter facilities in operation anywhere in the United States. If the Missouri DNR issues a permit to Rains Natural Meats, Missouri would become the first state in the country to allow such activities.“Horses are commonly treated with over 110 different veterinary drugs that are not authorized by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for use in horses that are killed for human consumption,” said Hilary Wood, President of Front Range Equine Rescue. “In fact, horse meat is adulterated and cannot legally be sold, based on federal law,” added Wood.
Because American horses are not raised for food, no information is available concerning the horses’ drug or medical history. “Several studies have shown that these types of veterinary drugs generally do not degrade in wastewater lagoons and will continue to be present in soils even after the wastewater has been applied on land,” said Stephen Jeffery, an attorney in St. Louis, who represents FRER.Jeffery added, “With the wide prevalence of the use of these veterinary drugs in horses, the fact that these drugs are not authorized for human use, and the fact that these drugs persist in the environment, it is important to fully evaluate the potential adverse effects on human health and the environment before allowing such a facility to begin operations.”
A petition has also been submitted to the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services to adopt state regulations to prohibit the processing and sale of adulterated horse meat from horses who have been given these veterinary drugs.