Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Iowa Horse Slaughter Facility Gets USDA Green Light

We have GOT to get the SAFE Act (H.R.1094/S.541) passed!!  PLEASE contact your legislators and ask them to cosponsor and support SAFE today!!

Use these links to find your legislators to give them a call or send them an email and be sure to thank them if they are already a cosponsor!  ~Declan


Mark Carlson/SourceMedia Group News Updated: 2 July 2013 | 5:20 pm   As posted on The Gazette

Sigourney horse slaughter facility gets USDA green light

A business in Sigourney could be one of the first to begin slaughtering horses after congress banned the practice seven years ago. Tuesday the USDA gave a green light to Responsible Transportation LLC., a business which vows to humanely euthanize horses.

Responsible Transportation LLC in Sigourney. (Mark Carlson/The Gazette)

“I know that what we are doing will be more humane than shipping horses to Mexico,” said Keaton Walker, founder of the business.

Walker said tens-of-thousand of horses have been shipped to slaughterhouses in Mexico annually since Congress banned horse slaughter in 2006. A recent law change has now made the practice legal, and Walker will soon own one of the few horse slaughterhouses in the nation.

The business is still pondering what to do with the meat, but one option is to sell it as zoo feed, Walker, 27, said.

Walker and his two business partners are all graduates of the University of Iowa.

“These are local guys,” said Sigourney Mayor Pat Miletich. “I think they have a lot of support.”

Walker said the business will likely employ 25 people. Inspectors still need to walk the site before operations can begin. The USDA is required by law to grant inspections to plants, which meet all required guidelines, effectively giving the green light to begin operations.

Both House and Senate agriculture committees have endorsed proposals to cut funding for horse slaughterhouse inspections. Such action would essentially reinstate the ban, but it’s not clear if any action will be taken in the immediate future.

Members of the Humane Society have spoken out against the business and several others across the nation. This week animal rights groups also banded together to file a lawsuit against the USDA in an attempt to block horse slaughtering permits.

“These horses depend on us, I don’t think it’s too much to give them a humane end to life,” said Bernie Lettington, who serves on the board of directors for the Iowa Federation of Humane Societies.

Walker said he hopes to be in business in the next several weeks.


  1. Humanely "euthanize." total misused of words. This business in no way intends to sedate to calm, then run an IV and wait for a horses last breath. They will use other means to kill. There is a big difference between painless euthanasia by drugs and taking a jolt to the head, being shoved down a chute and hung upside down and gutted. Sometimes, these horses are still alive. When they are too sick, have broken limbs or otherwise cannot make it to the kill spots, they are shoved around with tractors and forklifts. Don't let anyone fool you -- slaughter houses are brutal places -- the "trip to Mexico" is bad -- but only eliminates the journey itself. The end result is still the same.

  2. If you are a responsible horse owner, you should euthanize, NOT slaughter!
    Horses can be spayed & neutered also. Be responsible owner & euthanize.
    It is also wrong to kill an animal for human consumption, knowing that they have been raised as companions & have medications in them that will kill other people.
    Ethically this is wrong!
    Biblically speaking, it says in the Bible not to eat anything that does not have a split hoof. If it is wrong to eat them, it is just as wrong to kill them to send them out of the country for others to eat them.
    Please help to stop this now legal crime on the life of our companions. How can minority rule? Speak out for them, they would do anything for you, if only they could.

  3. Please support this for our companions! Please help to fight this killing industry! Is it right to kill unwanted animals in such an inhumane way & sell them? Is this really worth doing for 113 jobs among 3 states. I say no. It is not going to help the economy, but decline many things, other than give the US a bad name. If you are a responsible horse owner & you do not want your companion anymore, show them you love them & euthanize them. It doesn't cost much & is not betrayal. We will all be older someday & need someone to take care of us. Do you really want to take the chance of someone turning their back on you, seeing as you turned your back on someone who, without a doubt, loved you at one time? Be responsible & be humane.

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