“This isn’t a horse. It’s a goat” – USDA Food Inspector


August 22, 2013

images-1Let’s just imagine that a horse slaughterhouse opened up here in America. One of the great concerns is the contamination of the meat by a wide variety of drugs that might have been administered to the horse prior to slaughter. But never fear that such meat will ever enter the food chain because our very own USDA inspectors will be standing by, sipping coffee and talking about football ,yet ever vigilant for contaminated meat. For your own satisfaction, here is the guidelines for the inspectors to use to insure that whomever consumes the meat is guaranteed a safe and happy meal:


Read it and laugh, or cry, for this is what our government thinks is a safety net that will catch all adulterated meat.

On the top of page 4:

PHVs are to identify as “U.S. Condemned” any equines that found on ante mortem inspection to be:

  1. Dead or in a dying condition when offered for slaughter on the premises of the official establishment;
  2. Plainly showing on ante-mortem inspection any disease or condition that, under 9 CFR Part 311, would cause the PHV to condemn the carcass when inspecting post-mortem;
  3. Febrile with a temperature of 105oF or higher (9 CFR 309.3(c));
  4. In a comatose or semi-comatose condition; or
  5. Other condemnable condition per 9 CFR Part 309.

Hopefully, they will have the sense to know that if a horse is “dead or dying” there may be a health issue. That’s a good start.

Page 6 and 7 list the part about testing for drugs, not for all the carcasses, mind you, just random testing. Out of every 100 horses, they are required to test 4. I’m feeling better about this already.

  1. Submit one sample containing one pound of muscle to the Western Lab (WL) where it will be tested for pesticides; and
  2. Submit the other one pound sample from each carcass to the Eastern Lab (EL) where it will be tested for multiple chemical class residues and contaminants. 

Now here is what is so amazing – DO NOT list the muscle as horse, but as GOAT. Seriously. I’m not making this up. The new USDA Food Safety Inspection Service spent $141.48 million on a new IT system that doesn’t work, so they have to list every horse as a goat.

2. Until the equine class is available in PHIS, unless directed by the DO otherwise, IPP are to verify that the establishment profile includes the slaughter class “GOAT” and enter equine data in PHIS using the goat slaughter class. If the establishment profile does not include the goat slaughter class, IPP are to add “GOAT” slaughter class to the plant profile.

NOTE: “GOAT” is being used at this time in order to capture necessary information in PHIS relative to equine. FSIS will manage PHIS results in a manner to discern goat data separately from equine data until such time that PHIS is modified to accommodate equine data entry. FSIS will rely upon the grant of inspection to discern which establishments in PHIS slaughter goat versus equine.

Read it and weep, America. This is our government at work.

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AUTHOR: Jerry Finch
  • Suzanne Dunham

    OMG! Insanity at its best!

    August 22, 2013
  • Linda Carey

    .gov is failing us on every single level, every single department, every single person.

    extrapolate and imagine what they pass for U.S. consumption of catte/chickens/hogs

    August 22, 2013
    • Sharon

      I shudder to think about it, Linda! Scary…

      August 22, 2013
  • Cornelia Spillman

    This makes me sick!!!!! Wake up America!

    August 22, 2013
  • Barbara


    August 22, 2013
  • karen

    Thank you Jerry, I hope all reporters working on horse slaughter stories have this information. I have no doubt that horsemeat will enter the US food chain should slaughter plants open here.

    August 22, 2013
  • Lori

    So much for testing ‘every single horse’ as the pro-slaughter side is trying to say. We all knew that isn’t true as well as we know that the majority of horse medications have no tests for as they aren’t given to ‘food animals’.

    August 22, 2013
  • Jan Schultz

    Besides all “that,” the testing ratio is hard to believe. Out of 10 horses, they will test 1. So to expand that ratio, out of 100 you would test 10. But the rules say 4.

    And we know that most horses are not coming in from the same owner. So testing should be per horse. Cattle might be good wiht this ratio being as how entire herds are slaughtered (I suppose).

    But interesting to note that the rules for show cattle and the restricted drugs such as antibiotics and growth hormones place those animals in U.S. Suspect class. So cattle are not all good to go despite what horse eaters say.

    Here, again, horses are not being recognized as the unique animal it is.

    August 22, 2013
    • Jan Schultz

      Also, right in the rules here, you will find the statement that “horses are not raised as food animals.”

      August 22, 2013
  • Sharon

    You’ve GOT to be kidding! UNBELIEVABLE!

    August 22, 2013
  • N.Laurel

    So, we will be seeing “goat meat” in our markets (Chevon), when it is actually horse meat (Cheval) . And it will all be legal, because markets are allowed to sell goat meat. If USDA says it is a goat, then who can disagree ? !

    August 22, 2013
  • terri russell

    Thanks Jerry. As Always, This Disgusts Me. Lol It’s Truth Though So It Doesn’t Surprise Me.

    August 23, 2013
  • Linda Horn

    Sue the USDA to require a horse be considered a horse. And the inspectors are supposed to take the temp of any animal who appears sick. For horses: ” … horses, mules, or other equines having a temperature of 105 degrees F or higher. Good luck taking the temp of an un-handled horse, but I guess they could just eliminate them from the small sampling. BTW, this is in VIII.ANTE-MORTEM LIVESTOCK INSPECTION; D 2. “Animals may also have increased temperatures for reasons other than disease. For example, in the summer, animals may develop heat stress from elevated environmental temperatures.” Do wild horses at PV and other holding without shade qualify? Does anyone even take their internal temps? Makes ya go hmmm…

    August 26, 2013