Meat&Poultry - August 2013 - (Page 14)

Washington by bERNARD SHIRE Horse slaughter storm rages on R ecently, the US Dept. of Agricul- payment for the practice. The reason- countries to be slaughtered. ture granted federal inspection ing was based on the idea that unlike USDA has tried to deflect some to Responsible Transportation LLC, some parts of the world, the US is not of the attention on the issue by say- a slaughter plant based in Sigourney, a horse-eating society. ing plants would have to comply with Iowa, for the purpose of slaughtering However, a few years ago, Con- the laws and regulations bearing on horses. The inspection agency’s ac- gress lifted the ban on funding the in- animal slaughter, including HACCP, tion comes on the heels of a grant of spection of horse slaughter. Recently, Sanitation Standard Operating Pro- inspection for horse slaughter for Val- members of Congress took another cedures (SSOPs) and the Humane ley Meat Co., in Roswell, NM. It is ex- approach by introducing legislation Methods of Slaughter Act. USDA pected a grant of inspection will also to stop the export of horse meat and has also said because horse carcasses be made to a similar plant in Missouri. meat products outside the US, and would be involved, the agency will If approved, horse slaughter would by making the consumption of horse take steps to ensure there will be no take place in the US for the first time meat illegal in the US. There’s also a illegal drug residues in the carcasses. in six years. stipulation in the 2014 federal budget In other words, it would take steps to to stop the inspection of horse meat. ensure inspection is carried out the The USDA’s actions could very well have repercussions for the entire same for horses as for other species. meat industry, despite the fact there Arguments against was no way the USDA could have The animal rights groups have based slaughter and the controversy sur- avoided issuing the grants of inspec- their arguments on the love affair rounding it puts more negative fo- tion. Meanwhile, animal-rights groups Americans have had with horses, dat- cus, even if indirect, on an industry are not sitting by idly. Led by The ing back to connections horses have that doesn’t want or need it. While Humane Society of the United States, to cowboys and the Old West, other the industry has to spend time, mon- four other groups and five individu- romantic aspects of American life – ey and public relations efforts on dif- als have filed a lawsuit against USDA and the fact that for the most part, ferent issues surrounding slaughter to stop the agency from carrying out horses haven’t been eaten in the US. and processing – including incidents Unfortunately, the issue of horse The opposition to horse slaughter of whether animals to be slaughtered here is based more on psychological are always treated humanely and the For years, the slaughter of horses factors, while the actual attempts to question of factory farming – the in- wasn’t much of an issue in the US be- prevent it are centered on paying or troduction of slaughter and process- cause Congress had banned the prac- not paying for the federal inspection. ing of horses for their meat is an issue tice. This was done by not allowing Gov. Susana Martinez of New industry really doesn’t need to deal Mexico objected to with, if it can possibly avoid it. Meat horse slaughter tak- from horses is not even going to be ing place in her state, consumed in the US, but the slaughter while the Iowa-based would take place here. With thousands company said allow- of plants in the US successfully pro- ing horse slaugh- cessing meat and poultry, three small ter and inspection plants slaughtering horses will focus in the US would be a lot of attention on a controversy the kinder to horses by industry could easily live without. ■ the inspections of horses slaughtered at those companies. preventing the travel they would have to endure to other 14 • Meat&Poultry • August 2013 • Bernard Shire is a contributing editor based in Lancaster, Pa. He also works as a food safety consultant for Shire & Associates LLC.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meat&Poultry - August 2013

Meat&Poultry - August 2013
Table of Contents
Commentary - Beyond foodies
Business Notes - Boyle to step down from AMI leadership
Cobb-Vantress strengthens position in China
Pilgrim’s Pride earnings surge in Q2
Arson suspected in Valley Meat Co. fire
Northern Beef Packers lays off workers
New issues arise around Smithfield/Shuanghui deal
Washington - Horse slaughter storm rages on
Legends of Deli
Deli Report
Gluten-free Growth
Deli packaging dynamics
Competitive edge
Meat Processing Operations & Engineering - Wild about turkey!
Cargill turkey operations gets new president
Tricks of the trade
Sanitation Tips - Equipment selection
Listeria alert
Small Business Matters - On a mission
Show Preview - Packing 'em in
From the Corral - Relieving painful practices
Product Showcase
Names in the News
Classified Advertising
The Insider

Meat&Poultry - August 2013