Project to study euthanizing horses gets state nod


(Mysterious observance – Someone brought to our attention that this article is old, published in July of 2010. The Gazette released it today for some odd reason. To add further to the mystery – look at the comments on the Gazette’s page – none of them have anything to do with the article. All the comments are bland, apply-to-anything comments. So the question is – WHY? Why would a newspaper go to the trouble of publishing an old article about horse slaughter and present it as current news?)

August 5, 2013 The Gazette

DES MOINES – A state board Thursday agreed to invest $25,000 in a feasibility study for a proposed Iowa City project exploring a humane way to euthanize horses and process the meat for animal consumption.

The state Economic Development Board gave unanimous support for a grant to Responsible Transportation, LLC, a startup company that intends to “consolidate unwanted horses across the Midwest” and put down the animals free of charge, according to DED documents. The company, which pledged nearly $31,000 for the study to be completed by July 2011, has used innovation to improve animal handling practices.

Board member Jerry Courtney, who handled the application for financial assistance, said “I was pretty skeptical what we’re doing this for” but noted the study is covered by board rules and approved by the Legislature. Courtney called the request “a fascinating project” but admitted “when I got this project, I said ‘whoa, what did you drop this on me for” fearing the issue will attract the attention of animal-rights activists.

“This is something that is new and different to us. It will be interesting to see how it works,” added Courtney, who said the latest research indicated there are about 200,000 horses in Iowa.




Responsible Transportation requested technical assistance funding for third-party research that will allow the company to conduct a feasibility study, plan for the development of a processing plant, perform an export analysis, and design a Website and building design. The activity will facilitate the company application for a U.S. Department of Agriculture guaranteed loan to further the business operation, according to board documents.

According to the University of Iowa News Service, the business plan for Responsible Transport, LLC, was written by Keaton Walker of Washington, a May graduate in industrial engineering who won a UI College of Engineering’s entrepreneurial startup award this year providing $10,000 in initial financial support. The project also won a $5,000 grand prize in the Bedell Entrepreneurship Learning Laboratory’s end-of-year competition.

Walker could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

Scott Beckstead, a lawyer and lifelong horseman from Oregon who is an equine protection specialist with the Humane Society of the United States, questioned whether the plan would be feasible since Congress defunded government inspections of U.S. horse slaughterhouses and American horses often are given anti-inflammatory drugs that would pose a risk to animal feed stock.

“I just think it’s a waste of the taxpayers’ money,” he said.

Beckstead questioned whether there would be true humane approaches to euthanizing horses in a processing setting. He also said the reference in the study language to an export analysis “raises all sorts of red flags” that the meat might be processed for human consumption in foreign countries where horse meat is considered a delicacy and sells for high prices. CONTINUED… Read more at The Gazette


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AUTHOR: Jerry Finch
  • Robyn

    Seriously?.. Euthanizing a horse and then processing it for food on top of all the other chemicals like “Bute” given to a horse???

    Frivolous DREAMIM and WASTING MONEY!

    Serious Intent to turn Horses into FOOD in this Country just BLOWS my mind!


    August 5, 2013
  • Suzanne Dunham

    Love your response Robyn. I couldn’t have said it any better.

    August 5, 2013
  • Debbie Tracy

    I have had people post me back at other site’s and they have mentioned that to me just said discussion over, no more for me…. I have wondered IF that is what all have been really wanting as there long term goal just because of SO many plants wanting inspections, I mean I certainly in no way am an expert on this, but just seemed like an awful lot of plants to me… OH yeah just keeps getting better, blows my mind, to me people who condone slaughter in any way are scum of the earth as low as one can go… This article is more than disturbing, must be nice to have money to throw around and waste, SICK!!!!!!

    August 5, 2013
  • JanSchultz

    So this guy’s enterprenearial project is to offer to euthanize a person’s horse and then process it for human consumption, rather than dispose of it in fill? What a concept? And taxpayer funds going for this? I justmade a quick trip to the American Horse Council – an average of over 70% of every state’s horse population is show and recreation including Wyoming’s horses ith the remaining percentage as rcing and “other” meaning I suppose working. So bet me how many of these horses are going to be loaded with FDA prohibited drugs? This is a stupid idea and sure to winthe dunce cap award.

    August 5, 2013
    • Judy Wendt

      In Oregon, horses cannot be euthanized and then rendered because of the toxicity of the phenobarbital (or other substance) used by the vet to kill the horse. They must be either buried or cremated. I cannot fathom how it would be any different for “processing” into meat for human consumption. Just more poison to deal with.

      Some people confuse the term “euthanize” with slaughter. Someone I know said, “what difference does it make, the end result (death) is the same?” as if he did not know the difference between “putting an animal to sleep peacefully” and causing fear, pain, torture, and suffering. I asked him how he would like me to do some of those things to him while he was conscious. Geez!

      August 5, 2013
  • Deb Schroer

    Incredibly short sighted to say the least. I agree with Robyn. Adding more drugs not less is going to make this a frivolous waste of tax payer money. Does anybody remember the story of the Eagles that died from eating horse flesh from an euthanized horse? Yeah, smart move there.

    August 5, 2013
  • Joey ru

    Hey this article is old I looked it up and it was dated back on July 15, 2010.

    August 5, 2013
      • sherriey

        …its fodder! food for thought and to hopefully stir up the pot some more…its to give the pro-slaughter a new topic to throw at us…as in…”WHY NOT?”…
        they like the drama and the war of the two sides going at it…plus…its not going in favor of the Pro’s lately…so this is more food for them to play with against us….

        August 5, 2013
  • I am thinking this is a play on words..if you think about it seriousy they are not going to add any more drug into the hors than there already is! So when they say euthanize – what are they realy saying? Most of us hate slaughter and what it means- so lets use the
    word euthanize and get all the anti-slaughter people off our backs. Maybe it won’t be slaughter but it won’t be euthanize either?????? They are playing games jsut to get these plants off the ground! Just my opinion! I d not trust anything the meat industry does!!!

    August 5, 2013
  • Margo Nielsen

    A rose by any other name….

    August 5, 2013
  • Margo Nielsen

    A rose by any other name…is still a rose!
    If you call it “humane euthanization for consumption” instead of “slaughter”, does it change the fact that horses are not carefully raised as food and have unknown carcinogenic substances in their system, and are therefore unsuitable for consumption? I think not!

    August 5, 2013
  • Laurie Hannenberg

    The word used is euthanasia. My guess is that it is no different then the method used for slaughter. Euthanasia is not as inflammatory.

    August 5, 2013
  • MorganG

    Sounds like a slick attempt to get around “horse slaughter”. What could they use to euthanize a horse with that would make it safe to feed to other animals? Nothing that I know of. I can save them a lot of money by telling them it can’t be done.

    August 5, 2013
  • Arlene

    Wouldnt there be less money wasted to do a study on Blood thirsty greedy people and WTF is the matter with them???? ????

    August 5, 2013
    • BlessUsAll

      It’s 2:15 a.m. where I live. I was tired until I read your comment, Arlene. Cracks me up. Now I’ll awake for at least another hour, fueled by your indignant suggestion! 🙂

      P.S. When shelters needlessly knock off dogs and cats, they call it “euthanization” simply because the method is often the same as that used for irreversibly sick animals (namely, chemical injection). But the motive is as macabre as if these innocent pets were being slaughtered. Thus, to me, the accurate word to employ, whether it’s horses-for-food or cats-for-shelter-space, is MURDER.

      August 6, 2013
  • Janna

    I want to know WHY there was state money given to Keaton Walker for a “feasibility study” in 2010 DURING the time when horseslaughter was defunded. The study was to be completed in 2011 BEFORE Blunt, Kingston, and Kohl removed the language from the Farm Bill. I found this article YESTERDAY and posted it on one of the FB anti-slaughter groups. Why on earth would the Gazette update the 2010 TODAY? Coincidink? Something isn’t right here. Did someone (a double agent perhaps) contact the Gazette?

    August 5, 2013
  • Nancy Albin

    hmmm??? They have so many secret tricks up there sleeves it is scarey to me. but if you go to BLM horse adoptions most if not all are from 2010 – 2011… why?

    August 14, 2013