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 TheHorse.com reports here.