Horse meat processor still pursuing state permit

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Posted: Monday, January 6, 2014 11:45 pm

A Daviess County businessman pledges to seek the necessary state government permission that would allow him to process horse meat for human and pet consumption.

David Rains, who owns Rains Natural Meats east of Gallatin, Mo., told the News-Press on Monday that he plans to participate in an administrative hearing in two weeks with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. A permit is required from the agency in order for Rains Natural Meats to operate a wastewater lagoon involved in equine processing. It represents a reapplication to the state for a general wastewater permit.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • susanmeanslily posted at 1:46 am on Tue, Jan 7, 2014.

    susanmeanslily Posts: 3

    Horses are a livestock animal under the Federal Meat Inspection Act. The people who are opposed to horse processing appear to have the viewpoint that all horses are pets, but that is not the case. Any animal can be made into a pet. Horses, by law, are a livestock species that by law must be inspected by the USDA. No one is going to make anyone send their pet horse to slaughter. No one is going to force anyone to eat horse meat. Horses that are to be processed are bought by the pound, just like cattle, sheep and pigs. They are sold at public auction, where anyone can bid on them. As long as animal welfare laws are followed and the meat is inspected and found safe for human consumption, there is no logical reason that would keep domestic slaughter plants from opening back up. The same number of horses are slaughtered as there has always been, the business just went out of our country into Mexico and Canada. US horses should be processed in US plants under US regulations by US employees.

  • Curt posted at 8:25 am on Tue, Jan 7, 2014.

    Curt Posts: 17

    What difference does a name make? American horses are not bred for slaughter and are given drugs that are not meant for animals that are for human consumption. Phenylbutazone can only be tested for post mortem and then only by a sample of the kidney. There is no withdrawal period for Phenylbutazone. Bute as it is called causes aplastic anemia in humans. There also 114 other drugs that are routinely given to American horses. It makes no difference if you call them pets, livestock, sugar or pepper, the tainted meat will get into the food supply and the environment. Horse blood treated with drugs does not break down and a lagoon system will not work. Rains Meats sits on top of a dry creek that runs directly into the Grand River. This is a disaster waiting to happen.

  • Ted PeepLover posted at 8:34 am on Tue, Jan 7, 2014.

    Ted PeepLover Posts: 4

    A. Slaughter accounts for only about 3 cents for every $100 of the equine industry. According to former U.S. Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS), the live horse industry is valued at $112.1 billion of gross domestic product, meaning the reabsorption of “surplus” horses not sent to slaughter would actually boost the economy.
    B. Approximately $5,000,000 of American taxpayer funds, in the form of USDA meat inspectors, was spent annually to subsidize the three foreign-owned (Belgian and French) horse slaughterhouses that operated in the U.S. until 2007. Because there is no market for horsemeat in the U.S., after slaughter, the meat was shipped overseas, and there was no benefit at all to the U.S. economy.
    C. Chevidico which owned Dallas Crown, which operated in Kaufman, Texas until 2007 paid each year only 1/3 of 1% of revenues in taxes; one year, for example, the horse slaughter house paid a total of $5.00 in federal taxes on $12,000,000 in annual sales.
    D. Equine slaughter has been devastating to the communities where slaughtering facilities have been located, with significant negative impacts including nuisance odors that permeated the surrounding towns to chronic sewer and environmental violations. The standard of living in these communities dropped during the time horse slaughter facilities operated. Horse slaughter brings violence and crime to communities. A recent study by a University of Windsor criminologist, Amy Fitzgerald, shows a link between slaughterhouses and violent crime. A website that details the devastation in Kaufman TX as a result of the facility there can be found at
    E. Horse slaughter brought in virtually no tax revenues and local governments incurred substantial enforcement costs in trying to regulate these facilities.
    F. Horse slaughter plants operating until 2007 never created more than 178 low wage jobs -and many of these were held by illegal aliens.
    G. Another cost to communities is horse theft. When California banned horse slaughter in 1998, horse theft fell by 39.5% and in the years that followed, the state noted a nearly 88% decrease in horse theft.

    American horses are not raised, fed and medicated within the FDA guidelines established for food animals, making them unfit and unsafe for human consumption. It is a grave risk to public health to continue to allow the export of American horses for slaughter for human consumption in other countries.

    The US Dept. of Agriculture has confirmed with a study performed by Dr. Temple Grandin that 92.3% of the horses sent to slaughter are healthy. Slaughter is driven by a demand for horsemeat in some foreign countries; kill buyers are interested in buying the healthiest horses for horsemeat that is sold as a delicacy in some foreign countries.

    A. The Government Accountability Office and dozens of veterinarians and other witnesses have confirmed that ineffective stunning is common and animals are conscious during slaughter.
    B. The 2011 GAO report confirmed that USDA/APHIS has not – and cannot – enforce humane transport regulations for equines sent to slaughter.
    C. A 2012 nationwide poll confirms that a vast majority of horse owners are also against the slaughtering of our nation’s equines, and is consistent with polls taken since 2006.

  • dk posted at 8:38 am on Tue, Jan 7, 2014.

    dk Posts: 29

    We have birth control that works for four years in horses, and it's not just the Federally-protected Wild Mustangs that receive this. Does Rains plan to quarantine horses for over four years? Additionally, Phenylbutazone (Bute) given even once makes a horse ineligible for horse slaughter in the European Union.

    I have bothered to as the Rains for a meeting and they are not bothering to set on up with me. I could inform them of lots of things if they would come to the table to discuss this.

  • Curt posted at 8:50 am on Tue, Jan 7, 2014.

    Curt Posts: 17

    Rains Natural Meats single clay lined (actually clay lined means not lined) lagoon system will not work. If you are going to process waste water from a slaughterhouse you have to have a multi-level lagoon to settle solid wastes. The liquids.will be transfered to the next lagoon and there is no aerator system. Horse blood does not break down because of all of the antibiotics given horses. These antibiotics kill the natural bacteria that allows the blood to break down. This blood will accumulate in David Rain's lagoon and build up and eventually spill over into the Grand river the next heavy rain they have. Won't that be fun?

  • notgoodnews posted at 10:17 am on Tue, Jan 7, 2014.

    notgoodnews Posts: 1

    Horse slaughter is all about money and not about humane treatment of horses. Horse slaughter was always for those people who never cared about their horses and wanted to make money off of the horses they never cared about. We didn't eat horse meat the last time the slaughterhouses were open and nothing has changed. The horse industry is the only industry that does NOT promote responsible breeding and care of their animals. The quarter horse industry and racing industry has always sent horses to slaughter purposely when the horse doesn't make money for them anymore or breed specifically to send younger horses to slaughter to make money. There are some great horse owners but not enough and there is a culture that claims victimization in the horse industry stating that the only humane way to treat the overpopulation of horses is horse slaughter when the person that dumped their horse could easily have asked for help and never gotten another horse. Horses are companion/work animals in the USA. Other countries have their own horses. Many horses are pumped full of drugs to perform and mask injuries and the truly wild horses from the lineage that was supposed to be protected on public lands in 1971 are supposed to be federally protected and not rounded up and killed or sent to slaughter to make way for more livestock farms and energy producers on public lands.

  • JanWindsong posted at 10:25 am on Tue, Jan 7, 2014.

    JanWindsong Posts: 1

    Horses are not raised as human grade food, but as companion animals, competing, working and pets and given drugs which are clearly labeled "Not to be Used on Animals Meant for Human Consumption." That warning would also extend to food for housepets and zoo animals. There is no oversight into the raising of the animals unlike cattle, sheep, pigs and other foods normally found in a supermarket.

    Any attempt to track horses, record their whereabouts and drugs administered has been strenuously fought by the horse industry and those who support the slaughter of horses as a dumping ground for their dispersals, rejects and worn out competitors. One can only guess why. Years ago, horsemeat was rendered to pet food and meat for zoo animals, but because of the DRUGS given to the horses, the effect on the animals eating the meat became an adverse medical issue. Today, just with administration of bute to a horse and then eating that horsemeat, a human is exposed to the risk of aplastic anemia (a dangerous blood cell killing condition). There are countless other types of drugs given to horses (including antibiotics, wormers, anti-coagulants, pain relief etc) whose effects on humans is just as devastating - hence the warnings on the labels.

    As for the reassurance of humane laws being followed in the handling and transport of equines bought for slaughter, the recent GAO report (2011) provided investigation and their report that because of the inability of the USDA to enforce the laws, they recommended complete overhaul of the animal protection laws and enforcement. Since that wasn't going to happen - their conclusion was a complete ban on the industry, including export to other countries. It is with rosecolored glasses that some espouse humane laws will protect these animals from brutality. Once a horse is designated as a slaughter animal, its status at the feedlot or auction drops exponentially with its weight or ability to transport. As their value drops, their handling roughens. If they can be electric prodded off the truck and up the kill ramp - it doesn't matter if they have been blinded, legs broken, bellies gashed, late stage pregnant.

    The reality of horse slaughter is that it is a brutal business to awaken to. It is only 1% of all horses that end up at slaughter. This 1% is made up of a large percentage of horses that have been criminally purchased or stolen. No one wants to sell their horse to slaughter, except for those who advocate slaughter. And that population is a mere 14-20% of ALL Americans. In every poll, 66-80% of all Americans want the slaugher of horses banned, So do the math on the probability of a horse going to slaughter who was actually intended to go. VERY small. Those who intend for their horses to go to slaughter do not care one iota for the animal aside from its potential to put a dirty buck into their pocket. This awakening identifies auctioneers, transporters, buyers for kill brokers, brokers, meat brokers., breed registries, show circuit managers, breeders. This group takes advantage of a window of opportunity when normal horse trading is meant to occur - not selling of live meat.

    This slaughter house wants to open a business - good for him. It should not be a business that so many do not want - horse slaughter. The controversy alone should tell our politicians and lawmakers this is not the way to go. The water and air pollution, the inability to handle the offal and fluids, the lack of accountability should also. Please contact your DC representatives and tell them you support the ban on horse slaughter. Ask them to pass S.541/HR 1094 to President Obama for signature.

    President Obama did not authorize funding. Funding was slipped into the Ag Budget Bill which he had to sign to avoid a shutdown. His stand prior to election has been to ban horse slaughter.

  • lotoole posted at 11:17 am on Tue, Jan 7, 2014.

    lotoole Posts: 3

    Even if you care nothing about horses, even if you care nothing about the environment, I can almost guarantee that everyone cares about money. The overburdened taxpayers of Missouri should not be expected to pay the $400,000 per year for horse slaughter inspectors per horse slaughter plant. Why should we be expected to subsidize the irresponsible elements in the horse industry who persist in breeding too many horses by providing a disposal plant for their convenience? This is not my responsibility nor is it my responsibility to pay for the environmental clean up common to horse slaughter plants (check out the problems experienced in Kaufman, TX - that's an eye opener. refer to: ) nor the inevitable legal action for the attempts to make the plant owners pay for their mess. This proposed business brings nothing to Missouri except problems. I'm from Missouri. I love my state. I love the unique beautiful environment and the hard working people who live here. This is truly God's country. We're going to keep it that way. Missourians do not want this in our state and we will not pay for it.

  • Shane posted at 11:19 am on Tue, Jan 7, 2014.

    Shane Posts: 1

    several important misleading inaccuracies in this story that give it a bias toward the pro horse slaughter faction. First, President Obama did not authorize refunding of horse slaughter inspectors. Congress overwhelmingly supported the Moran Amendment deleting such funding, responding to the will of the American people, 80% of whom object to the misuse of their taxdollars in subsidizing horse slaughter. The Moran Amendment was deleted in closed door committee, with no Constitutional authority, by three men: Roy Blunt, Jack Kingston, and Herb Koh. Congress has never legally authorized refunding of horse slaughter in the United States ! The will of Congress and the American people remain opposed to the resumption of horse slaughter by an overwhelming majority ! Second, the article focuses on the issue between the Missouri Department of Natural Resources as if it is a dispute between Front Range Equine Rescue, Wagman v. Rains, in the typical comic book method of dealing with complicated issues which is the hallmark of propaganda, not responsible journalism ! The Missouri DNR is sticking to the letter of the law in requiring of Rains that it demonstrate it has a way of disposing of equine waste in a manner consistent with isolating toxic residues from the groundwater and biosphere. The DNR is cleaving to their duty to protect the health of Missouri citizens. The reason that Rains cannot comply with the permit requirments is that this can't be done. Horse blood and equine waste contains drug residues with long half-lives. Like plutonium generated from a nuclear facility, it simply cannot be safely isolated from the biosphere. Period.

  • Luckieye posted at 11:47 am on Tue, Jan 7, 2014.

    Luckieye Posts: 1

    Yes "people's pet horses" will be sold at auction and sent to slaughter. Happen's every day. All across the US, people use elaborate ruse, posing as rescues, elderly couples seeking "a new pet horse" for their grandchild, Grandma's, families with children in tow-collect free or inexpensive horses promising life-long care/love load them on their trailer and take them straight to the auction. As even the possibility of slaughter resuming in the US looms the numbers of stolen horses climbs. An assumption that animal welfare laws would be followed or suddenly enforced is a stretch. Add the element of people that would follow this predatory industry into our state already struggling with finding funding for law enforcement agencies to keep Missouri "citizens" safe. With research one would find documented violation, after violation at all plants that met these with the concern of a speed bump ie. research Cavel in Illinois.

    Missouri Agencies dependent on already stretched tax dollars should not have to worry about their ability to provide essential services for Missourians based on having to compete with what might benefit a handful Americans and totally benefits a foreign market. Personally, and as a Small Business Owner, I expect my tax dollars working to support programs benefiting Missourians and Americans, including focus on keeping "our" food supply safe. Is it not wasteful to spend $400,000 American tax dollars per year per plant to inspect meat, only testing a small % already knowing most is poison and toxic to humans?!

  • Susan carter posted at 12:49 pm on Tue, Jan 7, 2014.

    Susan carter Posts: 3

    Since the Horsemeat scare in Europe this past year, millions of pounds of Beef Products have been dumped for fear of containing tainted horsemeat. Canada has tightened regulations on horses entering their Country, because of the European rejection ofEquine -Drug tainted meat.
    In an effort to avoid regulation, Belgium and Mexican Operators have again turned their sights on the US. The USDA will only inspect 3 out of 100 horse carcasses for drug-residue, in one pound of muscle. It is as if they do the bare minimum for fear of actually finding something!
    Rains Natural Meats, David Rains has said, " there will be a surprising Domestic market." His business partner, Sue Wallis, Rep. From Wyoming, has stated she would like to see the horsemeat served in the School Lunch Program. This is a surprise we do not want!
    Thank you Missouri DNR and AG Koster for trying to keep this Adulterated "food product" out of Missouri. Please, use any means necessary....

  • blpaints posted at 12:56 pm on Tue, Jan 7, 2014.

    blpaints Posts: 2

    If anyone has any doubts about how detrimental a horse slaughter plant is to a town, please go to and you'll see the official city reports of how destructive a horse slaughter plant was to Kaufman TX. And as for the brand new, state-of-the-art plant they had in DeKalb IL, they were wracked with environmental violations.

  • guitarguy posted at 1:40 pm on Tue, Jan 7, 2014.

    guitarguy Posts: 182

    Can someone give me a basic summary of why horse processing is even an issue? My thoughts are that it is basically the same as for commercial cattle. The cattle are bred and raised specifically for meat, with drugs deemed safe enough by the powers that be. Killed quickly and probably painlessly.

    Or would this be more like a deer processing plant where random deer are brought in, killed, processed and packaged for the customer? If so, isn't this the customer taking their own health into their hands?

  • horselobbyist posted at 1:54 pm on Tue, Jan 7, 2014.

    horselobbyist Posts: 1

    It's no surprise to me, who's ridden and owned horses for almost 43 years, that the vast majority of these comments reflect opposition to horse slaughtering in Missouri. After reading this news update I called Gov. Nixon's office to voice my opposition, and then I called the DNR to do the same (for the third time in recent months). I left a message for David Rains to call me back to discuss this as well and indicated that I was researching how to start a state petition against horse slaughter. If he and Susan Wallis underestimates the tenacity of horse lovers in this state, they'll be surprised at fierce, continuing opposition. They're simply trying to profit off of the public's lack of knowledge about what to do with so-called "unwanted horses" that end up at auction. I'm working on educating the public about what to do when a horse needs to be re-homed, such as donating it to any number of therapeutic riding programs thriving statewide. As a 4-H leader, I teach my club about responsible horse ownership and costs involved. Horses are good for the economy--farriers, vets, hay farmers, feed stores, tack stores, etc., all gain. I'm hopeful that the DNR will continue to say no to Rains and Wallis.

  • Claudia posted at 1:58 pm on Tue, Jan 7, 2014.

    Claudia Posts: 1

    If you agree with the majority of Americans and do not want to see horse slaughter resume in Missouri and all our United States, please call your Representatives, especially Senator McCaskill, and ask her to please represent Missourians and become a co-sponsor of S.541, The Safe Act - (Safeguard American Food Exports) which will ban horse slaughter in the United States as well as their transport across our borders to slaughter.

    Canada, too, will be discussing a bill this Spring, C-322, which will also ban horse slaughter across all of Canada, and ban the transport of horses across their borders to slaughter. 2014 is The Year of The Horse, lets make it the best year ever for our horses and burros by passing S.541 and putting an end to this unsafe, unsound, and inhumane business.

  • Susan carter posted at 2:43 pm on Tue, Jan 7, 2014.

    Susan carter Posts: 3

    Guitar Guy, you are asking the right questions but expecting the wrong answers... Horses are NOT the same as cattle... They are not raised in lots, expected to go in the food chain. Hence, they receive Drugs that are labeled by FDA "not for use in food animals." Secondly, they are not "built" for slaughter. Unlike cattle, who are more square, with short legs and short necks, who will, more willingly enter the kill-chutes and have a mechanical restraint shut behind their heads, a horse will not.
    Horses are much more excitable and nervous. Their fight or flight response is much more keen. They are tall, leggy and have long powerful necks. They tend to rear in fear. This makes it impossible to clamp a neck-hold on them.
    if you know horses, you know never to approach head-on reaching for their poll. They will immediately back and raise. This is what happens in the kill box, where the frantic horse encounters a strange man with a mechanical object attempting to hit the horse in the forehead. The horse is panicked at the sounds and smell of blood. They will not stand for it.
    It is neither quick or painless. Skulls recovered from horse slaughter have revealed up to 11 hits with the captive -bolt. They are not shot with a gun. They are merely stunned before the evisceration begins.
    This is not a Custom-Exempt small slaughtering plant where individuals bring their own deer or horse. Valley Meat in NM intends to kil 121 horses per day. Rains is part of the same International Belgium/ Mexican Concern, they intend to infiltrate the American Food Market. It is not an individual taking " his own health in his own hands."

  • Curt posted at 2:48 pm on Tue, Jan 7, 2014.

    Curt Posts: 17

    If you don't know the issues with horse slaughter you just haven't been reading any of the comments or articles on horse slaughter that are on the internet every day. If you just read the comments on this thread you will get the idea.

  • lotoole posted at 4:14 pm on Tue, Jan 7, 2014.

    lotoole Posts: 3

    Guitar Guy, Susan Carter gave an excellent explanation to you on the difference between slaughtering horses and slaughtering cattle. I just want to add that it's important to understand that some horse slaughter investors are trying to get a stronghold in Missouri and most of them are not even from this state. They aren't concerned about the health and welfare of communities where they place the slaughter plants. This is not just my opinion. Just take a look on the internet for articles under "Kaufman, TX horse slaughter" and you will get an eye opening glimpse into this disturbing business. Former Kaufman Mayor, Paula Bacon couldn't get the Kaufman plant closed down fast enough.

    One of the individuals involved in attempting to shove horse slaughter down the throats of Missouri citizens is Sue Walllis. I encourage you to go to the web link: so that you might fully understand what we're dealing with and why, along with Temple Grandin, we "do not want anything to do with Sue Wallis's business dealings."

    Note that the New Mexico horse slaughter plant was managed by Rick De Los Santos, a twice convicted felon. There are some people involved in the horse slaughter industry that you really don't want doing business in your town because bad things are going to happen. For information on Santos, go to:

  • guitarguy posted at 5:46 pm on Tue, Jan 7, 2014.

    guitarguy Posts: 182

    Thank you Susan for your helpful response.

    It seems that in 2014 we would have the technology and the means to slaughter a horse humanely. I'm not saying we do, just that there should be a way.

    To address some of the other arguments here:

    "There is no market": Maybe there is no market because it hasn't been allowed. I am raising my hand that I would buy and eat horse meat... at least once.

    Antibiotics & drugs: If you create a market and it makes financial sense to raise horses in a certain way or without certain drugs, people will jump through the hoops. There will always be a market for GMO free corn no matter how much Monsanto wishes otherwise.

    Environmental: I actually think this is a pretty good argument on particular sites. I also think that throwing some money at the problem can solve it. They have figured out how to use 100% of a pig, there's bound to be a way to find a good use for 100% of a horse.

    Bad people running the companies: Just because there is a bad used-car salesman doesn't mean we should ban the sales of used cars.

    The biggest problem I see is regulation/safety. It seems like there is a way to raise horses to be just fine for human consumption. Currently many horses don't seem to be raised that way in the US... probably because there is not a horse slaughter option. If there is a way to make sure that only safe horses get slaughtered, then go for it!

    Ultimately I have no real stake in this issue beyond my my taste buds and the idea that a thriving horse slaughter industry would probably help drive down what I pay for chicken, beef, pork and turkey at the supermarket. It just seems like a very emotionally charged issue when it seems like a very rational business that needs to work out a couple kinks before going into production.

  • dk posted at 6:23 am on Wed, Jan 8, 2014.

    dk Posts: 29

    Susan, we all know you for who you really are, now that you slipped up and told us you would be hauling horses to Rains. We know the horses are coming from Sue Wallis in Wyoming and you are in western Nebraska.

    Why not use your college degree for something worthwhile that benefits communities, rather than ripping them apart?


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