Missouri Horse Slaughter Plant Proposed

The same group that canceled plans to develop a horse processing plant in Mountain Grove, Mo., has announced that it will open a horse slaughter plant in Rockville, Mo., by summer’s end.

Horse processing has not taken place in the United States since 2007 when the combination of a legislation and court decisions forced the closure of horse slaughter plants in Illinois and Texas. U.S. horse processing became possible again in November when Congress passed H.R. a 2112, a budget appropriations bill that did not contain language specifically forbidding the agency from using federal dollars to fund horse processing plant inspections. Since then, no horse slaughter plants have been opened anywhere in the United States.

In February, the Wyoming-based Unified Equine LLC announced it was conducting a study to determine the feasibility of locating a horse processing plant in the Twin Cities Industrial Park near Mountain Grove, Mo. In March, Mountain Grove residents packed a meeting to express opposition and learn more about the plant project. On March 12, Unified Equine Chief Executive Officer Sue Wallis announced that the company had decided not to locate the plant at the Twin Cities site in part because the cost of retrofitting the existing facility.

On June 7, Wallis announced that Unified Equine Missouri would establish a horse processing plant at the former American Beef Co., LLC, in rural Rockville, Mo., by the end of summer. The Rockville facility is currently being renovated and reequipped to process horses, Wallis said.

Vincent J. Paletta owner of the American Beef Co. property was unavailable for comment.

Wallis said that the once open, the plant will bolster the economy of the town and Bates County, Mo.

"We are excited to be bringing jobs and opportunity to rural Missouri," Wallis said.

Rockville Mayor Dave Moore was unavailable for comment.

Attorney Cynthia McPherson who opposed the Mountain Grove plant was unavailable to comment on the Rockville plant project.

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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