Missouri Slaughter Bill in Committee

A controversial Missouri bill that would allow horse processing plant development in that state was sent to the Senate Conference Committee May 11 for refinement. The committee has the power to strip slaughter language from the bill.

SB 795 establishes plant operation and meat inspection regulations for horse processing plants. It also requires plant operators to pay registration and processing fees to underwrite meat inspection costs.

Horse processing provisions in the comprehensive agriculture bill are derived from a House bill, HB 1747. The Missouri House of Representatives passed HB 1747 in March, but it was tabled in the Senate's Agricultural Food Product and Outdoor Resources Committee. Its language was later incorporated into SB 795, said Rep. Jim Viebrock, sponsor of HB 1747.

This past weekend some horse slaughter opponents posted messages on social networking sites Facebook and Twitter urging horse slaughter opponents to sign an online petition demanding the bill's defeat. One posting threatened to boycott Missouri if the legislation succeeds.

The Conference Committee was scheduled to meet May 12 to determine the bill‘s final contents, Viebrock said.

"Right now we're at the mercy of the conferees," he said.

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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