Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report

Trump's feelin' so fly like a G7

Oct 18, 2019

Latest Episodes

Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
This Is Uncomfortable
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Marketplace Morning Report
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy
Download
HTML Embed
HTML EMBED
Click to Copy

Drugged-up American horsemeat sold to Europe

Jack Rodolico Dec 11, 2012
Share Now on:
HTML EMBED:
COPY

In 2011, about 140,000 American horses were eaten abroad. But they weren’t slaughtered in the U.S. When America closed its last horse slaughter plants five years ago, American horse buyers turned their trucks north and south to slaughterhouses in Mexico and Canada. From there, most of the meat goes to the European Union.

But American horses are given drugs that humans should not consume. Silky Shark was one of those horses. His former owner, Ken Terpenning of Lexington, Ky., has owned over two dozen racehorses, but Silky Shark made a big impression.

“Silky Shark was everything you’d want in a racehorse,” says Terpenning. “He was vibrant, fiery, a very happy horse. On the racetrack, he was a total professional. He earned over $100,000 in his career.”

When Terpenning fell on tough times, he sold Silky Shark to a man he trusted. But then the horse was resold again, and again, eventually winding up in a Canadian slaughterhouse.

It’s perfectly legal to flip horses in this manner. But Silky Shark was given Phenylbutazone, or “Bute.” Bute is the most common anti-inflammatory drug administered to horses; it’s also a carcinogen for humans.

Sinikka Crosland, executive director of the Canadian Horse Defense Coalition, says Canada isn’t protecting consumers from tainted meat.

“Horses are not raised as livestock,” Crosland says. “They’re given drugs when they need them. People aren’t holding back.”

With Belgium, France and Italy topping the list, the European Union is the primary market for American horses slaughtered in Canada. Dan Jorgensen, a member of the European Parliament, is getting fed up with the system as it is.

“I think it’s quite concerning,” MEP Jorgensen says, “that European consumers might actually be buying and eating horsemeat that we don’t have any reason to believe is healthy.”

MEP Jorgensen says the EU’s laws are strict, but enforcement just hasn’t happened, particularly outside of the EU. He wants to pressure Canadians to stop letting tainted meat from slipping through the system.

Until that happens, more than 1,000 American horses a week will be slaughtered in Canada.

Back in Lexington, Ky., Ken Terpenning is waiting for someone to regulate the system.

“I just wish it was done. I look at [Silky Shark’s] pictures on my wall every day and I just still can’t believe it.”


This story comes with support from PRX and the Open Society Foundations. For more on how and why Silky Shark slipped through the cracks, visit LatitudeNews.

If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air.  But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.

Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.

When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.

Check Your Balance ™️
Check Your Balance ™️
Personal finance from Marketplace. Where the economy, your personal life and money meet.

Thank you to all the donors who made our fall drive a success!

It’s Investors like you that keep Marketplace going strong!