New Mexico Panel Approves Horse Processing Study

A legislative committee in New Mexico has unanimously approved a study to determine the feasibility of locating a slaughter facility in the state for purposes of processing horsemeat for human consumption.

The Agriculture and Water Resources Committee voted 10-0 on Jan. 30 to recommend to the Legislature that it allocate $20,000 to New Mexico State University to undertake the feasibility study. The bill, House Bill 90, has been sent to the Appropriations and Finance Committee for consideration.

Horse slaughter in the United States for human consumption (primarily in Europe and Asia) effectively stopped in 2006 after federal funding ended for United States Department of Agriculture inspection of slaughter houses. In late 2011, President Obama signed into law a broader bill that reverses the ban on the funding, leading to the possibility that horse slaughter would resume in the United States. Federal legislation banning horse slaughter has failed to pass Congress.

A U.S. General Accountability Office report in 2011 concluded that the ban on horse slaughter has led to increased case of horse abuse.

According to the synopsis accompanying the New Mexico legislation, the USDA has not issued protocols for drug residue testing since the ban on funding for horse slaughter inspections was lifted and has not approved any facilities for operation to date.

Originally published on

About the Author

Ron Mitchell/The Horse

Ron Mitchell is Online Managing Editor for The Blood-Horse magazine. A Lexington native, Mitchell joined The Blood-Horse after serving in editorial capacities with The Thoroughbred Record and Thoroughbred Times, specializing in business and auction aspects of the industry, and was editor-in-chief of the award-winning Horsemen’s Journal. As online managing editor, Mitchell works closely with The Blood-Horse news editor and other departments to make sure the website content is the most thorough and accurate source for all Thoroughbred news, results, videos, and data.

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