Texas Stops Shipments of Horsemeat

Shipping horsemeat through Texas that's destined for diners elsewhere is illegal, according to an opinion issued this week by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.

Texas already bans sale or possession of horsemeat for human consumption. Abbott said the prohibition also extends to transporting horsemeat that would be eaten by people.

Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, requested the Attorney General's opinion last year after speaking with an attorney for a slaughterhouse in Mexico. Chisum, who supports horse slaughter, said he was disappointed with the Attorney General's conclusion.

"Mexico kills horses, whether we like it or not, and people in France eat them. And sometimes the slaughterhouses like to ship the meat out of Corpus or Houston," Chisum said.

Horsemeat from Mexico had been shipped from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport until last year. The Tarrant County District Attorney's Office tried to stop the shipments and was unsuccessfully sued by two Belgium-owned horse slaughter plants, said assistant district attorney Ann Diamond. (For more on this see "Horse Slaughter and the Commerce Clause.")

American Airlines has stopped shipping horsemeat from Texas, said airline spokesman Tim Wagner.

The Attorney General's opinion doesn't address the export of American horses for slaughter in Mexico and Canada.

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The Associated Press

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