Saturday, December 4, 2010

Horse Slaughter Plant Slated for Wyoming

The Desert Independent

December 4, 2010
Guernsey, Wyoming – Plans are progressing to site a state-of-the-art processing plant designed to humanely slaughter horses in Wyoming. The Unified Equine LLC plant is only one component of a holistic system designed to provide a solution to the problem of excess domestic horses in the United States.
All horses entering the holistic Unified Equine System will be first evaluated by veterinarians. If they are in poor condition they will be sent to the Rejuvenation Program for extra feed, care, and supplementation to put them quickly back to good health. If they are in decent condition and have any prospect for use they will be sent to the Rescue Program which is a collaborative effort with college and university equine training programs and private horse trainers to train, re-train and market horses. If they are inappropriate for either slaughter or other aspects of the system such as pregnant mares, colts, yearlings, and weanlings they will be put on pasture until ready for re-evaluation and placement. Finally, those horses that are past their useful life, unsound and unable to recover, or dangerous and untrainable will be humanely processed.
All facilities for the handling of horses, and systems and procedures for the humane killing of horses will be designed by world renowned animal scientist Dr. Temple Grandin and her team at Grandin Livestock Systems. The rest of the facility is being designed by Randy King of King Construction and Wayne Schmeeckle of Schmeeckle Brothers who are respected contractors in the meat processing industry. Once constructed the facility will be under constant third-party video monitoring to ensure humane handling and food safety. All products will be produced under American Meat Institute regulations and the  Wyoming Department of Agriculture – Meat Inspection which meets or exceeds USDA requirements for food safety, and all products will be certified as being humanely produced.
Three legal entities will manage and operate the entire system. The United Horsemen’s Front, an existing 501c3 nonprofit has shortened its name to United Horsemen, moved registration from Oregon to Wyoming, and will oversee the Rejuvenation, Rescue, and Pasture portions of the Unified Equine System. A new legal entity, Unified Equine LLC has been set up to operate the meat processing and associated enterprises. The United Organizations of the Horse, a mutual benefit nonprofit formed for political action will continue, but will not be the main focus of any part of the system.
Once complete the processing facility will be capable of humanely processing 200 horses per day for meat and byproducts. Initial product will be primarily marketed as zoo diet and pet food. This new facility is planned to be sited on property near Guernsey, Wyoming.
Unified Equine LLC is finalizing cost estimates and beginning the process of acquiring the necessary financing and permitting that will be required, a process anticipated to take at least six months. Once construction begins the plant should be operational within six months.
At full capacity the facility will create approximately 100 good paying jobs with competitive benefits in a rural area that is economically depressed. Hiring preferences for construction and operating positions will be given to local workers. A comprehensive training and safety program will be implemented, and all permanent employees will be stock-owning partners in the enterprise.
The Desert Independent thanks the United Organizations of the Horse for this Press Release.

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