House Rejects Funding for Horse Slaughter Plant Inspections

The U.S. House voted once more to stop spending money on inspections of horse slaughter plants.

The measure, approved late Thursday, was part of a $91 billion spending bill for farm subsidies and nutrition programs.

Two horse slaughter plants were operating in Texas and one in Illinois, but court fights led to their shutdown over the past year. (A July 18 decision by a U.S. Circuit Court allowed the Illinois plant to resume operations temporarily while an appeal is considered.)

Animal protection groups have been trying for years to get Congress to pass legislation prohibiting the slaughter of horses for human consumption and have won overwhelming votes. But the bills either stalled or were thwarted by legislative or bureaucratic maneuvers.

Congress voted two years ago to strip money from the Agriculture Department budget for inspections, and that bill was signed by the president. But the USDA then offered inspections on a fee-for-service basis, allowing the horse slaughter plants to continue to operate.

Texas has had a law for decades preventing the slaughter of horses for human consumption. The Texas plants lost in their efforts to overturn that law or prevent the state from applying it to them. Illinois recently passed a state law prohibiting killing horses so people could eat their meat.

Animal protection groups also are hoping to prevent the export of U.S. horses to Mexico or Canada for slaughter there.

About the Author

The Associated Press

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with FREE weekly newsletters from Learn More