Horse Slaughter Set to Resume

Domestic horse slaughter has been cleared for resumption in several states, marking the first time horses have been approved for consumption in the United States in more than seven years.
While horse slaughter has never been outright banned, Congress and the White House have taken steps to severely restrict human consumption. Funding for US Department of Agriculture inspections of facilities licensed to sell horsemeat has been stripped over the past seven years and new permits have been denied, reducing horse consumption to something accomplished via private auction and sale.
The USDA, however, recently reversed these policies, issuing permits to New Mexico’s Valley Meat Company, authorizing the establishment of facilities for horse slaughter. The agency also indicated that it would approve similar permits in Iowa and Missouri.
Company officials, however, are skeptical about the potential for horse consumption. With animal rights activists threatening lawsuits and with federal officials dragging their feet, it seems unlikely that horse will be added to American menus in the near future.
“The company is going to plan to begin operating in July. But with the potential lawsuits and the USDA — they have been dragging their feet for a year — so to now believe they are going to start supplying inspectors, we’re not going to hold our breath,” said attorneys for the Valley Meat Company.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer