The reopening of the commercial slaughtering of horses was blocked Friday as President Barack Obama signed a budget measure that withholds money for required federal inspections of the slaughtering process.
Rains Natural Meats along with a plant in New Mexico and Iowa were ready to open their plants on a number of occasions but just when they think they have the go ahead there’s another road block with Animal Rights groups and the government and other legal issues. David Rains and his brother started Rains Natural Meats in the late 90’s slaughtering cattle. With the jump in the price of corn and beans along with what was considered “natural”, it became hard for Rains to compete in this market.
“We ran into this opportunity to possible do horse processing and it looked like a viable deal and something that was needed,” said Rains. “We started pursuing it having no idea we were going to get into the fire-storm that we have.”
Horses will be the most regulated livestock in the United States as far as how they are handled, and transportation restrictions.
This would not be a place for individuals to bring their sick and lame horses to be “disposed” of. Rains said the horses they would process would be unwanted animals that they would get from certified buyers of the International Equine Business Association.
“We had Humane Handling come in and we completely modified our plant to make it as safe for the animal as possible. All these things were done to make sure that it was being done right,” pointed out Rains. “Unfortunately, a horse that goes down out in the wild, coyotes can go to eating on them when they are down before they have passed and there’s nothing humane about that.”
Wild horses and burros are becoming a problem, mainly in the western United States. For example: two Nevada organizations are suing federal authorities over what they say is an overpopulation of wild horses in their state. The plaintiffs want federal authorities to comply with the requirements of the Wild Free-Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971. The two groups say that, under the act, it is the responsibility of the federal agencies that manage public land to maintain the balance of species and uses on public lands.
To hear the full interview with KMZU’s Mandy Young and David Rains, click below:
It could be 60-days before they find out if they will once again get the okay to open their doors.
The last domestic horse slaughterhouses closed in 2007, a year after Congress withheld inspection funding. David Rains says he will continue to fight to open his doors.