Monday, November 28, 2011

Appropriations bill ends ban on horse slaughter; opening of several slaughterhouses predicted

What amounted to a ban on horse slaughter for human consumption in the U.S. was lifted through a "mini-bus," or small omnibus appropriations bill passed by Congress this month. A horse-slaughterhouse proponent, Wyoming Rep. Sue Wallis, told Sonya Colberg and Chris Casteel of The Oklahoman that proposed slaughterhouses would likely be built in Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Georgia and Missouri, a move she says could "turn the whole equine market around." Critics of the ban, sponsored by Rep. Ed Whitfield of Western and Southern Kentucky, said it removed the floor from the horse market, driving down prices and contributing to abuse and neglect.

The ban was not outright, but stated federal money couldn't be used to inspect horse slaughterhouses, which was required before horse meat for human consumption could be shipped across state lines. This created a problem for slaughterhouses because the majority of the horse meat market is overseas. Agri-Pulse reports, "Although this clause had support due the undesirable idea of horse meat for human consumption in the U.S., many believe the ban had 'unintended consequences,' including mistreatment of horses the owners could no longer afford and inhumane conditions used to ship horses to slaughter facilities in Canada and Mexico." The Government Accountability Office released a study in June revealing an increase in neglected and abandoned horses since the ban started in 2005.

The return path to U.S. horse slaughter is not without some opbstacles. Lauren Silverman Simon, a federal lobbyist for the Humane Society of the United States, told Colberg and Casteel the slaughterhouses will have to seek state approval and many could face court challenges. Supporters also face criticism from many who consider horses an icon of the American West. (Read more) Pat Raia of reports here.

1 comment:

casa rural riopar said...

I'm happy with the announcement of these measures. I'm from Spain but I consider myself a faithful defender of animals and must fight against any abuse. In fact for me, the horse is also an icon of the American West. (sorry for my english). Greetings Manoli Navarro