MOUNTAIN GROVE, Mo. (AP) — Opposition from some residents will not stop a Wyoming company from building a plant in southwest Missouri to slaughter horses and process the meat for human consumption, the company said.

Sue Wallis, a Wyoming legislator who is chief executive officer of Unified Equine, met Monday with a large crowd at the Wright County Livestock Auction to discuss plans for the plant. She said she was not swayed by opposition to the plant.

“Discussion’s over. Make all the noise you want. We’re going into business.”

Wallis created the company last November after Congress approved a bill allowing the U.S. Department of Agriculture to begin inspections again for horse meat plants. She said Unified Equine will complete its feasibility study in the next month and a half, and hopes to have a plant open in southwest Missouri by September.

The company has said the plant could eventually process up to 200 horses a day in a single shift and that the meat would be distributed to ethnic and specialty markets in the U.S. and abroad.

Wallis said the company is no longer considering a vacant building near Mountain Grove as the site for the plant.

“Might be really close to Mountain Grove, might be a ways away, but it will be somewhere in southwest Missouri,” she said.

Unified Equine chose the region because of its access to good highways and access to horses, she said.

“If you draw a 400- or 500-mile circle around southwest Missouri, you encapsulate more than 30 percent of the horses that are in the U.S,” Wallis said.

An earlier meeting in Mountain Grove to discuss the plant erupted into yelling and heckling of a plant supporter. Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers were present at Monday’s meeting to ensure order. Video cameras were not allowed inside the meeting, but the auction barn overflowed with curious residents.

Opponents contend the plant would bring pollution and crime to the region, as well as a stigma for slaughtering horses. Supporters contend the plant would bring much-needed jobs and help reduce an over-population of horses.

“We always need jobs. There’s a lot of people not working around here.  Plus, hopefully it’ll bring the price of horses back up,” said Jeff Walkowe of Dunn.

Protestors believe the plant would be bad for their horse companions and community.

Michelle Collins of Norwood said the horse slaughtering plant would ruin the Ozarks’ way of life.

“It’s just a love of our life, and it’s something we’ve always done together as a family, and we are definitely opposed to the horse slaughter plant,” Collins said.

But Mindy Patterson of the Missouri Equine Council said there are hundreds of thousands of unwanted horses nationwide.

“I implore them to give heed to the thought that these horses are suffering a painful death of starvation,” Patterson said.

© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Comments (17)
  1. Jeannie says:

    Sue Wallis ONLY cares about the Horse Industry

    1. Ann Mond says:

      PLEASE DO READ this letter from Cynthia MacPherson, (Attorney and local resident in Mountain Grove, the community that soundly rejected United Equine’s icky plan) to Dan Erdel, Attorney for United Equine. In this letter she exposes the devious, misleading and dishonest tactics of United Equine used in the attempt to manipulate the local residents of that area. Please get this information out there to each and every community approached by United Equine.

    2. Love Horses says:

      Whats better for the horse that is already going to be slaughtered because it cannot be cared for? Place it out of its misery sooner, or transport it to Canada or Mexico in a tightly packed livestock pot for a couple to several days.. Yes, slaughter is a business, livestock is a business.. Not all sides of the business are glorious.. That hamburger you just bought at Mc Donalds 20 mins ago got the same treatment… Just saying.. Don’t try to destroy an industry just because you might not agree with it….

    3. Melissa Ohlsson VP America's Wild Horse Advocates says:

      Not only does horse meat contain steroids and adrenaline, domestic horses receive vaccines and painkillers (aka phenylbutazone) throughout their lives that prohibits them from entering the food chain. Horse meat isn’t even suitable for dog food in this country. Sue Wallis has never owned a horse and has no business trying to pass herself off as someone who cares about equine welfare.
      All she cares about is Sue Wallis making money. By targeting good people living in communities
      with massive unemployment problems, she hopes her lies will remain hidden long enough to convince them that her horse slaughter plant will turn their economy around. To her dismay, the good people of Mountain Grove, MO. saw right through her BS. Now she’s pounding her chest (picture an angry gorilla) and defiantly proclaiming that she’ll build her plant anyway. Mountain Grove residents have a sense of humanity and an affection for their town that allowed them to recognize this opportunistic horse-eater as bad news. At her 1st Summit of the Horse
      conference in Las Vegas last year, she told attendees that 2 ways she planned to make money from selling horse meat was to sell it to the public school and prison systems to put it on school lunch menus and feed it to state prisoners. Sue Wallis doesn’t think parents should have a problem with their elementary school kids eating “TRIGGER TACOS” or “BLACK BEAUTY BURGERS” for lunch. Our government is aware that horse meat is unfit for human consumption
      yet allows it to be exported to foreign countries to be eaten by consumers anyway. There is NO humane way to slaughter a horse, “end of discussion”.

  2. Karin Hauenstein (Horse Activist) says:

    What the proponents of Commercial Horse Slaughter in the U.S. are NOT taking into consideration is the fact that the end “product” of this industry contains Adrenaline and Cortisol in levels far higher than what is not allowed by the USDA in beef.

    If you want a real education yourself, Google “Commercial Horse Slaughter” and you will get one. This abhorrent practice was ill-regulated and only cursory inspected for meat quality, with the standards at all U.S. Commercial Horse Slaughter Plants in the U.S. being almost non-existent. Someone was protecting this industry before, but no longer.

    In Commercial Beef Slaughter they call it “dark cutting.” Google that and you will get an education about what is making it’s way into your hamburgers and steaks. It causes Cancer and other disease in humans and is the Commercial Beef Slaughter Industry’s largest financial loss every year.

    Equines and bovines are completely different species of animals. The equine senses are better than canines and their herd mentality extremely keen. It is virtually and practically impossible to kill a horse humanely in a commercial setting. The proponents of this issue are lying to everyone and the proof will come in the toxicology reports that will be mandated by the lawsuits filed against them and the USDA for attempting to distribute harmful levels of hormones and steroids to the population.

    Every single head-shot horse is a “bad kill” with the autonomic endocrine system delivering extreme amounts of adrenaline and cortisol throughout the flesh of the head-shot animal AFTER the shot. The evidence of this is in the pulsing of the animal post shot. Review some Commercial Horse Slaughter videos and see for yourself.

    This also happens in slower, dumber bovines at a much lessor rate but is supposedly tracked and managed by the USDA officials on their lines. The USDA that is already stressed and thin because of the economic budget issues our country is facing.

    So, Wallis and her friends are going to shout victory, backed by many dollars provided by the U.S. Commercial Beef Slaughter Industry and continue shouting on deaf ears because the pockets she picks from are very, very deep.

    The evidence that will make this “product” illegal is scientific and the fact that the Commercial Beef Slaughter Industry is already suppressing information regarding the levels of Adrenaline and Cortisol making their way into U.S. diets, causing Cancer and other disease, will also come to light.

    I thank Sue Wallis for being so outspoken with her propaganda and misinformation to bring so much attention to this issue. We all need to make a concerted effort to know exactly what we are ingesting and stay away from products that are proven harmful to our health.

  3. CP says:

    Someone include the voice of environmentalists and doctors that know the truth of what the blood of horses will bring to our personal health. Get the media to show as horrible as it is what the horses will go through. And signs, show the horror on signs. People just can’t imagine. As for the polititions that support the idea, Vote them down.

  4. CanAmFam says:

    This article curiously omitted the admissions from Chevidico, the owner/operators of the proposed plant, that “95% of the jobs would be likely filled by Hispanics,” and that they are not funding the plants, but expecting Missouri investors to front this risky venture.

  5. susiesansbury says:

    What an imbecilic IGNORANT thing to say!!! “Horse slaughter will bring the price of horses back up.” THATS ALL THESE PRO-SLAUGHTERERS THINK ABOUT, PEOPLE….MONEY!!! They couldn’t care less about the welfare of horses.

  6. Cindy says:

    So sad that such a majestic animal like a horse needs to be slaughtered. Its all about money. Theres starving people in the world. Thousands of children die in Africa everyday. Should we send them of to slaughter because nothing gets done to solve that problem either this way they won’t suffer?Sounds awful doesn’t it? Can’t figure out a solution, so just kill it., and make money. Good move Mo! I don’t live in Mo. but I can tell you that you can now add horse slaughter houses after being famous for puppy mills.

    1. Suzanne Moore says:

      There ARE starving people in the world, but they won’t get any of THIS meat. Horse meat is VERY expensive in Europe. You can be they’re NOT planning to give it away.

  7. Laurel D says:

    Sue Wallis is living in some kind of fantasy land. She has very little potential market. She has no access to the higher dollar EU human consumption market. She has no investors. She is promising a state of the art plant and top paying jobs with good benefits, but she has no hope of producing a top end product if she ever gets it open. She is a politician not a business person. She doesn’t know how to make a sane business plan. You can’t have top dollar inputs and produce a low end product and expect to do anything but go out of business. It is hard for a new business to start up while demand for the product is shrinking. You definitely can’t acquire market share unless you drop your prices to rick bottom. How does she ever expect to make a dime for her investors if she ever finds any gullible enough to invest in her plant?

  8. Shelly Dunn says:

    Sue Wallis is a real piece of work, and someone who actually believes she can bully all of anti’s around, and slaughter our horses. To say “Discussion is over. Make all the noise you want. We are going into business.” That tells you right there, the ONLY concern she has is for lining her own pockets with the money she can make off of our horses blood. She does NOT care about horses. She does NOT care about what the majority of the American voters want. Sue Wallis, is out for Sue Wallis, and Sue Wallis, ONLY! She got busted on a whole lotta things in Mountain Grove. Her backers even packed up and left her high and dry! She got ran out of Missouri!!! Why do any of you think, she hasn’t been heard from since? Why do you think she hasn’t issued a press release? Because she is a lying, hateful human being, and she got caught up in her pipe dream, and got busted!!! With what Missouri uncovered about her scheming ways, now every state in this nation has the ammunition to run her out!! She needs to be held accountable for the threats and terror she keeps trying to inflict on these communities. With a full investigation into her business dealings, and a full investigation into her mental state. She is BANKRUPT, and doesn’t have any money. She wants the public, who she wants to force horse slaughter onto, to finance her dream of killing horses. How much more delusional can anyone get?

  9. Leslie Peeples says:

    Whatever is Sue Wallis’s obsession with horse killing. She is definitely living in a fantasy land. The funding of horse meat inspectors will be revisited by congress in September and there is NO GUARANTEE for any company that there will be an inspectors, so why would any company invest in something that is not a sure thing? Sue is just frothing at the mouth, salivating about all the money she thinks she will make on the suffering of Americas companion animal. Americans do NOT WHAT SLAUGHTER, what’s it going to take to get that message through to the bloody bimbo?

  10. hoofhugs says:

    Perhaps one of the reasons Ms. Wallis feels so emboldened is because a senator representing the good people of Missouri was one of the three Congressmen on the Conference Committee of four that voted to omit language specifically banning the use of tax payer funds to pay for horse meat inspectors is Senator Roy Blount, thus enabling the possibility that horse slaughter facilities reopening in this country.

    Someone might want to investigate exactly what Missouri Senator Roy Blount’s rationale for unleashing this evil not only on the state of Missouri, but potentially any state except for the few who ban horse slaughter. It was the vote of Missouri Senator Roy Blount along with retiring Wisconsin Senator Herb Kohl and Georgia Representative Jack Kingston who voted to omit language from the 2012 Agriculture Appropriations Bill that would have prohibited funding for horse meat inspectors with our tax dollars. California Representative Sam Pharr voted against omitting this language.

    The voters of Missouri have the chance to hold Senator Blount accountable since the less than honorable state representative from Wyoming seems to believe she is as unstoppable as (let’s say) the Titanic. Senator Max Baucus ordered the GAO to do a report that would show a link between the closing of domestic slaughter and the decline of equine welfare since 2007 according to state’s Horse Council pages. Of course, this is a false presumption because anyone who wanted to sell a horse for slaughter has the ability to do so. Not only does equine welfare decline in tough economic times, but so does the welfare of all animals. Reports from AAEP from previous years indicate that this is an established pattern and has nothing to do with the closing of domestic slaughter plants in 2007.

    Moreover, when you stop to think about it, to suggest that a horse be sold for slaughter as an answer to a humane issue really misses the mark. Horse slaughter is not euthanasia. It is a cold, brutal business from the moment that horse is sold at auction (see Animal’s Angels: A horses worst nightmare) or go to the Veterinarians for Equine Welfare’s web page. You’ll get the picture. Our own USDA’s report on US horse slaughter in 2005 can be found at Kaufman Zoning. Here you can see just how humane horse slaughter was when it done here in the U. S. You can many things about horse slaughter, but humane it is not.

    The less than honorable representative from Wyoming is pretty confident that she can get it done here. Mindy Patterson’s remark about the large number of horses near Southwest Missouri that could be slaughtered no doubt was a sinister allusion to the tens of thousands of wrongfully rounded up BLM mustangs sitting like ducks in the pastures of long term holding ranches owned by BLM friendly ranchers.

    These BLM friendly ranchers have discovered gold in the BLM’s wild horse and burro program where they are paid $475- $500 per month for each horse they purportedly have on their land. Of course, no private or independent party every gets to see the horses or take a census, so tax payers have no idea if we are paying Jolly Rancher $750,000 a year for feels like she came very close to defeating Proposition 8 almost single handedly with coaching from paid lobbyist from the Defense Department Frank Losey seemed pretty sure of themselves at Sue Wallis’s first Summit of the Horse.

    It is not a coincidence that Missouri has been chosen for this sordid business. You have a Missouri Senator Roy Blount voting to refund horse meat inspectors. You have Mindy Patterson, of the Calvary Group (look into this one) nearly blogging her little fingertips off about the evils of HSUS, her coach Attorney Frank Losey, a disgruntled paid lobbyist for the Defense Department who tells farmers and ranchers that the head of the Humane Society of the United States is like Al Capone, but he keeps losing to him in court.

    Missouri, you have been targeted. This team of semi-professional fear mongers have told farmers and ranches that is the rural folks versus the urban folks, the liberals in the cities versus the conservatives in the country, people who are against private property rights versus people who are for private property rights (thus, the NRA), Democrats versus Republicans, people who raise cows, pigs, goats, sheep, chicken, turkey, and fish for food versus vegans (for some reason, ordinary vegetarians are less of a threat).

    It is easy in the midst of this to forget that we are actually talking about horse slaughter, a soul destructive business that brings with it the underbelly of society. While it is possible that a few Missouri citizens may grow deeper pockets, the rest of you will get increased rates of murder and rape, environmental pollution on a scale rarely seen (horses have twice as much blood as cows so killing 100 horses is the equivalent of killing 200 cows in blood waste alone), property values will drop, companies will decent businesses that give decent wages for decent work will not come to an area corrupted with an indecent business. So instead of getting good jobs, the presence of a horse slaughter facility in Missouri will have a chilling effect on business development.

    And what about the children? What will the children say when they see these beautiful animals trucked in? They will be beautiful animals, too. They will be healthy, young horses that could have other careers? How are going to explain the sounds of the horses crying in the nights.

    Good people of Missouri, instead of having buzzards lining your power lines, why not let the chickens come home to roost the next time Senator Blount comes up for re-election. He has some explaining to do.

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